A Mount Vernon woman is suing Grant County and its director of community corrections, claiming she was called a “bad lesbian,” among other derogatory terms, by staff members while under consideration for a job in 2013 and was eventually passed over because of her sexual orientation.
Terry Hanson, 54, contends county staff discriminated against her and violated her civil rights. In the suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Pendleton, Hanson claims Grant County has a “custom, policy or practice of engaging in sexual orientation discrimination.”
The claims come after another federal suit filed against Grant County in September by James Gravley, a former county parole and probation officer. Gravley claimed to have heard the comments made about Hanson, spoke out about what was said, filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and was later fired in retaliation.
In an answer filed in November to Gravley’s federal complaint, Grant County admitted an employee called Hanson one lesbian slur during a staff meeting to discuss job candidates, but it denies anyone called her a “bad lesbian” and other derogatory terms.
Both lawsuits ask for jury trials and an undisclosed amount of financial damages.
A Black gay woman who worked at a Tesla Inc. factory accused the electric-vehicle maker in a lawsuit of “festering” racism by ignoring the racial and homophobic slurs and physical harm she endured.
Kaylen Barker, a former contract worker who inspected brake parts, is the latest to complain that Tesla ignores discrimination based on race, sexual orientation and gender at its plants. According to her complaint, her abuse occurred even as Tesla defended another contract worker’s discrimination case in court — which the company lost and was ordered to pay $137 million in damages.
Fairness West Virginia reported that Technical Sergeant Kristin Kingery has filed a lawsuit alleging ongoing discrimination based on her sexual orientation and gender expression in the Air National Guard.
According to the complaint filed, Kingery was allegedly told by supervisors that her career would “suffer” unless she began wearing makeup and growing her hair long.
Documents say that the alleged harassment based on her sexual orientation and gender expression included Kingery being forced to try on a woman’s Honor Guard jacket in front of others to, “confirm that none of the women’s sizes would fit.” It also says that rumors of her “transitioning from female to male” were perpetrated by both colleagues and supervisors.
The Young Terrace community in Norfolk, Virginia is in devastation after a mass shooting on November 3 left three women dead, two injured, and several children traumatized from witnessing the murders first-hand — some seeing their own mothers gunned down in broad daylight — right outside their home.
Police report that Detra R. “Dee” Brown, 42, and Nicole Lovewine, 45, who were partners, came home as Lovewine’s pregnant, 19 year-old daughter, got into an argument with her boyfriend. He pulled out a gun and shot her at approximately 6:00 pm. When Brown and Lovewine came out to help, the shooter turned the gun to them and reportedly fired at both “point-blank” in the head.
Another women who was outside with her three children, Sa’idah E. Costine, 44, then ran to try and help them. The assailant shot her as well, leaving her dead. Another women was shot and wounded before the rampage came to an end.
Police have arrested Ziontay Palmer, 19, and charged him with the entire shooting after apprehending him hours after. He was dating Lovewine’s daughter, who is five months pregnant, and authorities believe a domestic dispute set off the violence, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
Palmer is facing three second-degree murder charges, two malicious wounding charges, and multiple firearm charges. He is being held in Norfolk General District Court without bond.
Lovewine’s sister, Tina McPherson, told the Virginian-Pilot, “That man… put a stain on this family that can never be washed — he hurt us to the core.”
A neighbor and witness told local reporter Andy Fox that there was “nothing they could do” for Brown and Lovewine. “They were shot execution-style. They had just come home from work,” the witness said.
The NYPD is asking for help in its search for the man who attacked a young woman in the East Village because she was holding hands with her girlfriend.
On September 15, the 21-year-old woman was walking with her girlfriend near the corner of East 14th St. and 3rd avenue when the suspect began yelling anti-gay slurs at them, amNY reported.
The couple continued walking, but the suspect did not relent. Continuing to spout slurs, he approached the victim and punched her in the face before fleeing the scene. The victim was not seriously injured.
Nearly a month later, the attacker has still not been found. The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force continues to investigate the incident and on Sunday, released camera footage of the suspect walking down the street.
A same-sex couple who were denied rental housing in Evansville because of their sexual orientation won their complaint this week against a company that says God, not government, is the final authority.
The Evansville-Vanderburgh County Human Relations Commission ruled in favor of Kimberly and Chasity Scott in their 2020 filing, while Myers Family Rentals, the subject of the Scotts’ complaint, was hit with $41,000 in civil penalties and damages.
While being shown the home in May 2020, the Scotts said they were asked by a Myers family member if they were “together, together” or “lesbian.”
“Yes, ma’am, we are. She (Chasity) is my wife,” Kimberly Scott responded.
After hearing this, Myers Family Rentals refused to make the home available to the Scotts, according to the couple’s complaint. It was filed a few days after the Scotts toured the home.
The Scotts said they moved to Henderson after being denied the rental property in Vanderburgh County.
According to the Human Relations Commission’s findings, Myers Family Rentals admitted that they “do not rent to people who choose to live as boyfriend and girlfriend, fiancés, male or female homosexuals, polygamous, polyamorous, or any other relationship that denies God’s requirement … that marriage be between one man and one woman.”
The Scotts said they were discriminated against based on Vanderburgh County’s Fair Housing Ordinance, which is a companion to federal and Indiana fair housing laws.
In 2008, after 55 years together, Del Martin, age 87, and Phyllis Lyon, age 84, were finally wed in San Francisco, but it was for the second time. Four years earlier, before same-sex marriage was legalized in the state of California, during a large ceremony honoring their long-standing contributions to LGBTQ activism, they were the first of 90 gay couples to be married illegally by the city’s then-mayor Gavin Newsom.
When Martin and Phyllis made their initial vows as San Francisco’s first same-sex couple, the ceremony was conducted so that their union could potentially be included in a lawsuit to champion marriage equality in the United States. The director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Kate Kendell, invited them with this promise: “This will hopefully be the last thing the movement will ever ask you to do, but do you wanna get married?”
As lesbian history was unfolding in the 1950s, it was Del and Phyllis who gathered in the home of their friend Rose Bamberger and her partner Rosemary Sliepen and founded the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), the first lesbian organization in the country. Martin and Lyon would soon become co-editors of the Ladder, DOB’s publication, and grow the readership even amid an era of pervasive homophobia. The pair was also the first lesbian couple to join the National Organization for Women, as feminist causes also spurred their organizing work.
Over the next five decades, Martin and Lyon never stopped organizing, and gradually, thanks in no small part to their efforts, LGBTQ visibility shifted from secrecy to “out and proud” activism.
July 16 2021: TUCSON, Az. – The global audience of the It Gets Better Project received a glimpse into the lives of LGBTQ+ athletes who won’t let setbacks keep them from achieving their dreams in its new series “Passion. Power. Performance,” which streamed last month.
The docu-series shares inspirational stories behind proud LGBTQ+ athletes who are out and training for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, which episode one featured Arizona-based paralympic basketball player for Team USA, Courtney Ryan.
“I want to be an inspiration because you see me on the court doing some crazy tricks, tilting in a chair, doing all of this stuff that you wouldn’t expect,” Ryan said. “That’s what I love about wheelchair basketball — we get the opportunity to change perceptions and change ideas of what disability should look like. We aren’t fragile. We are competitors, and we’re ready to prove that,” she added.
Out and Training for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: Sports have always been part of Ryan’s life – and that didn’t change after she became paraplegic. Watch how with the support of her sister, she came out, and is changing perceptions of disability.
July 16, 2021: Lillian Faderman is a mother and grandmother, but these aren’t the only titles that make her proud: The La Jolla resident is known, depending on who you talk to, as the “mother of lesbian history” or the “foremother of gay and lesbian studies.”
Over the past four decades, Faderman’s books have revealed the hidden history of female same-sex romance and uncovered how American lesbians pioneered social movements that transformed our society. She’s also written landmark books about gay rights, pioneering politician Harvey Milk and more. Three of her works have been named Notable Books by The New York Times, a remarkable accomplishment for any author.
Faderman, who turns 81 on Saturday at the tail end of San Diego’s Pride Week, isn’t done. She recently curated an exhibit about local LGBTQ+ history at the San Diego History Center, and she’s now finishing her work on an upcoming book. In an interview, she talked about her awakening as a Southern California teenager, the influential roles of lesbians in America’s past and San Diego’s surprising history as a vanguard of LGBT activism.
Police in Utah have launched a homicide investigation in the deaths of a married female couple shot to death Wednesday at a campsite in Grand County.
The victims were Crystal Michelle Turner, 38, and Kylen Carrol Schulte, 24, who had lived in Moab, Utah, Salt Lake City TV station KSL reports.
The women were last seen at a tavern in Moab Saturday night, and they had called friends that night saying they were worried about “a weirdo camping near them that was freaking them out,” according to social media posts. They were planning to move to a different campsite.
A same-sex couple is trying to use the Paycheck Protection Program to sue a Christian school that kicked out their daughter.
The school says the five-year-old girl can’t start kindergarten there because she has two mothers.
Normally, a private religious institution doesn’t have to comply with anti-discrimination laws.
However, attorneys for Sara Evans and Brittney Hudson argue that the school has to accept those laws because it accepted federal funding.
“These are emergency federal dollars that have come through to private entities that are used to getting away with discrimination like this,” said their attorney, Leslie Briggs. “They only do so because they are private entities that aren’t beholden to federal rules. If you take that federal money, that all changes.”
On 1 August 2021 Listening2Lesbians provided submissions in response to the following from the Commission on the Status of Women:
“Any individual, non-governmental organization, group or network may submit communications (complaints/appeals/petitions) to the Commission on the Status of Women containing information relating to alleged violations of human rights that affect the status of women in any country in the world. The Commission on the Status of Women considers such communications as part of its annual programme of work in order to identify emerging trends and patterns of injustice and discriminatory practices against women for purposes of policy formulation and development of strategies for the promotion of gender equality.”
Information was provided to the UN on incidents dating back approximately 2.5 years across the 57 countries we have reported on in that time.
Legal, social and familial punishment of lesbians for failing to conform with the expectations imposed on women illuminates the status of women around the world. Homosexuality is understood to be a breach of sex-based expectations. Strictly enforced sex roles are accompanied by increased consequences for those who break them, individually or collectively. Lesbians, or women read as lesbians, are doubly punishable for their non-conformity, both overt and inferred.
Listening2Lesbians is not an expert on these countries and provided this information to augment and support the information provided by women from individual communities. We can only provide information on cases we have been able to locate and based our submissions solely around the available facts. Please note that we welcome corrections and updates.
We are painfully aware of the many communities not represented.
Anyone with information on missing communities is invited to contact us with information on reporting violence and discrimination against lesbians in their community.
A Kansas public school district has agreed to reforms, including publicizing of its anti-discrimination policies and training for its staff, after a student was disciplined and told she couldn’t ride a school bus for several days after she said she was a lesbian during a bus ride home.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansassent a letter to the superintendent of the North Lyon County Unified School District 251 on July 6 telling the district that the actions of school staff violated Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities receiving federal funds.
The civil rights organization also said that the school violated 14-year-old Izzy Dieker’s rights under the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Based on an independent investigation conducted by the Kansas Association of School Boards, the ACLU letter said that several students riding a school bus were leaning in and out of the aisle and using profanities on Jan. 27.
Dieker, who was riding the bus, did none of those things, the letter notes. When she said, “I’m a lesbian,” the bus driver, Kristi Gadino, pulled the bus over and reprimanded Dieker, telling her, “Watch your language.” She added, “Do you think that these little kindergarteners need to know what that word means?”
After the bus ride, Gadino wrote up Dieker for disobeying the driver, using “unacceptable language,” and being rude or discourteous, and Izzy’s parents were told she would be temporarily suspended from riding the bus. The school principal told her and a teacher who advocated for her that despite the fact that video footage showed that Izzy had not been rude or disobedient, calling herself a lesbian was “inappropriate” and the suspension would stand.
This past Wednesday at 1 a.m. in Piedmont Park the bodies of Katherine Janness, 40, and her dog Bowie were found. Janness had been stabbed multiple times, her face disfigured in the attack.
“She was the most intelligent, kind, humble, and beautiful person I have ever known. I wanted to spend every second with her,” her fiancee Emma Clark wrote on Facebook.
“Today I lost the love of my life and my baby boy. It was tragic.”
Janness – a bartender at the Campagnolo Restaurant and Bar in Atlanta – and Clark had dinner together on Tuesday evening and then Janness took Bowie for a walk. When she didn’t come home, Clark found her body by using an app to track her phone’s location in the park about a mile from their home.
Police searched the park for evidence and went door-to-door in the neighborhood to find witnesses. They returned to the park with diving gear to search a lake.
The last known picture of Janness shows her crossing a nearby rainbow crosswalk. Atlanta police released the image and are offering a $10,000 reward for information on the killing.
On a morning about 10 years ago, the Rev. Amy DeLong woke up in disbelief that she was still a reverend.
The day before — June 23, 2011 — she had stood trial at Peace United Methodist Church in Kaukauna on two charges. She had officiated a wedding between two women and she herself was in a lesbian relationship — or in the church’s language, was a “self-avowed, practicing homosexual.”
LGBTQ clergy and same-sex weddings were, and continue to be, forbidden by the United Methodist Church, a body of over 12 million members globally that has in recent years threatened to split over its refusal to fully include LGBTQ people into the faith.
Since DeLong’s church trial sat squarely on that debate, her case drew national scrutiny, including a story in Time Magazine. But she could barely pay attention to the uproar she had triggered, because she was certain she’d lose her pastoral rights and responsibilities as punishment.
Instead, the jury of ministers gave her just a 20-day suspension and tasked her with writing a document about how clergy could resolve issues that harm the church or could lead to future trials. An event that could have been devastating ended up leaving her hopeful that the United Methodist Church was changing.
Today, though, she’s lost that hope.
After a decade of fighting for the inclusion of the LGBTQ community in the denomination she had chosen for herself and loved, DeLong said she watched things get only worse.
Although she said it breaks her heart that her work came to an end without producing meaningful change, DeLong said she never questioned whether she was right to do it.
“There’s nothing … that tells me that the love that I share — the adult, consensual, loving relationship I share with my partner — is anything but holy,” DeLong said. “I have always been hurt by the accusations, and I’ve certainly been hurt by the hatred that has been directed at me. But I never once thought I was wrong.”
Even if the United Methodist Church had a rapid change of heart and opened its arms to the LGBTQ community, DeLong said, the institution is flawed. The way church leaders have conducted themselves is no longer resonating with people, she said.
The decision to depart was an immensely tough one, she said, but necessary. She could no longer be an ambassador for the church, after all, if she no longer believed in the product.
5 July 2021: A Connecticut double murder-suicide may have been pushed by the killer’s homophobia, the household of one of the victims mentioned.
David Knowledge, 65, killed himself Friday in his Windsor Locks house after he shot his spouse, her daughter and an 18-year-old girl mentioned to be the daughter’s lover, The Journal Inquirer reported.
His spouse, Delores Tracey Knowledge, 44, and pal Lauren “Lela” Leslie died – however the unnamed daughter survived and was handled for a number of gunshot wounds at an area hospital, The Hartford Courant mentioned.
Leslie’s brother Jhavier Leslie informed the Courant the household needed an investigation to see if the crime was “rooted in hate.”
“It’s arduous to undergo this new actuality of not having her right here, however I feel it is a half of an even bigger situation in society that should be addressed of simply homophobia and the risks round that,” Leslie mentioned, based on the Courant.
“She spent her entire life barely speaking as a result of she was afraid of who she was and she or he lastly gained the power to understand who she is, so it’s very troublesome for me to know that now, her being her true self and dwelling in her actuality, that is the outcome of that in my eyes,” he added.
2 July 2021: Joseph Truhon, 45, of Highland Falls, New York was arrested in connection to an attempted assault at Spring Hill Suites Marriott in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on June 19, according to Pennsylvania State police.
Truhon is accused of harassing and attempting to assault a fellow traveling youth soccer coach and Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Wagner University, Nicole Gaudenzi, 27, of Little Falls, New Jersey, say police.
Gaudenzi told state police that Truhon asked her “Why are you a lesbian?” and began to touch her arms and legs while at a parent and soccer coach gathering where alcohol was being served in a hotel conference room.
Ernie Chambers has filed a complaint with Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican urging that Dixon County Judge Douglas Luebe be disciplined for “discriminatory dismissal of the adoption petition of a married same-sex couple qualified by law to adopt a minor child.”
“Angry-outrage is an accurate two-word summation of my reaction to discriminatory mistreatment of vulnerable human beings by those wielding power on behalf of the state and ‘the people’ in the role of a judge,” the former Omaha state senator wrote Heavican.
Luebe ruled against allowing the couple to adopt a child, arguing that the “plain ordinary language” of relevant statutes does not allow “a wife and a wife” to adopt.
The Supreme Court subsequently rejected that reasoning, ruling that state adoption laws clearly allow a same-sex married couple to adopt a child.
Kelly Hoagland and Maria Salas Valdez, the married couple, ultimately received approval from Dixon County Judge Edward Matney for the petition allowing them to adopt Yasmin, a 3-year-old.
A civil rights group is threatening to sue a Kansas school district if it doesn’t train employees about LGBTQ rights in response to an eighth-grade student being suspended from riding a school bus after saying, “I’m a lesbian.”…
The ACLU is representing the student, Izzy Dieker, who graduated from eighth grade and plans to attend the district’s high school this fall. She was suspended from her bus for two days in January but didn’t ride again for two weeks because she felt humiliated, said Sharon Brett, the group’s legal director.
A Kansas Association of School Boards investigation found that the bus driver and the principal of Dieker’s K-8 school sexually harassed her, violating federal civil rights regulations and district policies.
Sally Miller Gearhart, the first out lesbian to receive a tenure-track position at San Francisco State University and a beloved LGBTQ rights advocate, died July 14, according to Jean Crosby, who sent out an email to friends. She was 90.
Ms. Gearhart had been in poor health for several years. She had lived for many years in Willits, California but had moved recently to a care home in Ukiah.
The GLBT Historical Society posted on Facebook about Ms. Gearhart’s passing, of which they were informed by her good friend, Ruth Mahaney.
“Losing Sally is like a huge tree falling. She was very tall, and she was so important in the world,” stated Mahaney. “She had been saying she wanted out of here, to be ‘up in the sky.’ She was ready to go.”
In 1973, Ms. Gearhart received the tenure-track position at SF State. She established one of the first women’s and gender studies programs in the country while at the university, and was a leading LGBTQ activist throughout the 1970s and 1980s.