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    In the News—–April 21, 2016

    Compiled by Dennis McMillan


    Supervisor Wiener Announces Legislation to Ban Public Spending in States with LGBT Hate Laws

    Supervisor Scott Wiener is drafting legislation to prohibit City spending in states that have passed LGBT hate laws. The legislation would statutorily ban city sponsored travel to states with LGBT discriminatory laws, codifying Mayor Edwin Lee’s executive order. It would additionally make San Francisco the first jurisdiction to ban city-funded contracting with companies that are headquartered in these states and would ban purchases of goods and services produced in these states. Supervisor Wiener is collaborating with Mayor Lee on this legislation.


    Activists Urged to Take Annual LGBT Community Survey

    Participating in the 10th Annual LGBT Community Survey study helps open doors and minds around the world, and influences positive changes for the LGBTQ community. Previous surveys have yielded 45,000 respondents from 150 countries. The ten to twelve minute survey can be found online at


    Transgender Law Center, Equality California Launch ‘Transform California’ Campaign

    Transgender Law Center is partnering with Equality California and a coalition of organizations for the launch of Transform California, a statewide public education campaign to raise awareness, understanding and acceptance of transgender and gender nonconforming Californians. Transgender Law Center Executive Director Kris Hayashi said, “We are joining together in a commitment to make California a place where all transgender and gender nonconforming people can feel safe and live free from discrimination.” The statewide launch celebration in Los Angeles was held on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall and was attended by more than 50 coalition members.


    International Humanitarian Organization Publishes First-of-its-Kind Glossary of Terminology for LGBTQ Individuals

    San Francisco-based Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration (ORAM), a leading international nonprofit organization devoted to advocating on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers, has released a first-of-its-kind glossary of terminology to assist humanitarian professionals to communicate with people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. The comprehensive, 124-page glossary entitled, “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression: Essential Terminology for the Humanitarian Sector,” contains the most appropriate and culturally sensitive terms for communicating with LGBTQ individuals. The glossary is written in five languages to ensure its availability in key cultures and locations.


    CDC Confirms Gay Sex Can Spread the Zika Virus

    Men can contract Zika through unprotected sex with other men who are infected with the virus, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said—a finding that adds to experts’ understanding of how Zika can be transmitted. It was only the second reported case of sexual transmission of Zika ever, and the first in which sexual spread of the virus was observed between two men. While gay men who want to avoid Zika infection should take note, the lesson here applies to both men and women: Zika infection can be contracted through unprotected anal sex.


    Mayors Form Anti-Discrimination Group in Response to Hate Laws

    Mayors from around the country are forming a group called “Mayors Against Discrimination” in the wake of recent North Carolina and Mississippi laws they say are discriminatory. The coalition that includes mayors from San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Philadelphia and other cities plans to explore prohibitions on contracting and purchasing from companies in those states in response to the new laws, which critics say discriminate against LGBT people. Mississippi recently passed a law allowing religious groups and some private businesses to refuse service to gay couples. The North Carolina law prevents specific anti-discrimination rules for gay and transgender people for public accommodations and restroom use.


    Westboro Bigots Protest at NBA Finals Over League’s Policy Against Gay Slurs

    The Westboro Baptist bigots brought their special brand of hate to game three of the NBA Finals to protest the league’s policy against gay slurs. Members of the Topeka, Kansas-based church demonstrated outside American Airlines Center in Dallas, displaying their familiar “God hates fags” posters, along with others that included NBA Commissioner David Stern’s photo. The anti-gay extremists were protesting a new NBA policy that prohibits the use of hate speech, including gay slurs.


    Vow of Silence Taken in Support of LGBT Anti-bullying Crusade

    This year, the National Day of Silence was observed nationwide last Friday. Since 1996, the goal of the annual National Day of Silence has been to illustrate the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBTQ students. According to the “Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) 2013 National School Climate Survey,” nearly nine out of 10 LGBT students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school, and more than 30 percent report missing at least one day of school in the past month out of fear for their personal safety.


    Supervisor Wiener Introduces LGBT Data Collection Legislation to Improve Support for Queer Community

    Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced legislation to require City departments to collect LGBT data that will help target and improve services and policies to support the LGBT population in San Francisco. The ordinance requires City departments and contractors providing health care and social services to seek, collect and analyze data concerning the sexual orientation and gender identity of the clients they serve. Clients have the right not to provide the data. The legislation was a recommendation by the LGBT Aging Policy Task Force, which was created by gay supervisors Wiener and David Campos in 2012. (See page 10 of this issue for more information.)


    Better, More Frequent SFMTA Service Coming

    On April 23, SF Municipal Transportation Agency will be rolling out its fourth round of service improvements in just over a year. Citywide, nearly 20 lines will get more frequent service, eight lines will see expanded service hours, two lines will make new connections to BART and two new Owl routes are launching. The 35 Eureka will connect directly to Glen Park BART.


    OutServe-SLDN Announces Transgender Paula Neira to be Inducted into Hall of Heroes

    OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), representing the U.S. LGBT military community worldwide, is inducting Paula Neira into its Hall of Heroes. Neira graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy in 1985. A Surface Warfare Officer, she served afloat and ashore as a regular and reserve officer. She participated in Operation Earnest Will, volunteered for a recall to active duty and served in mine warfare combat during Operation Desert Storm. She was a leader in the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. For more than a decade, she has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on transgender military service. In 2015, she made naval history by becoming the first transgender Navy veteran to have her discharge documentation updated to reflect her correct name by order of the Board for the Correction of Naval Records.


    Travel Ban Clears Assembly Judiciary Committee

    A bill sponsored by Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights that would ban state-funded travel to Mississippi, North Carolina and other states that enact laws that permit discrimination against LGBT people has cleared the California Assembly Judiciary Committee. Assembly Bill 1887, authored by openly gay Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell), would ban non-essential, state-funded travel to those states by California state employees. The bill received bipartisan support in its first committee, demonstrating that California is squarely on the side of fairness and justice, and against the blatant discrimination taking place in North Carolina and Mississippi, says EQCA.


    Nebraska Legislature Kills LGBTQ Civil Rights Bill

    Nebraska may have the nation’s only unicameral legislature, but the split between progressives and conservatives has been starkly illustrated in a 26–18 vote to shelve a proposed bill that would have prevented employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Senator Adam Morfeld of Lincoln introduced the bill and vowed to bring it back again every year for as long as he is in office. Recent opinion polling showed statewide support for the measure.


    Pride at Work Reacts to Supreme Court Ruling in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association

    The Supreme Court voted 4–4 to uphold a decades-old ruling that threatened the continued viability of unions for workers in government, education and other public sector jobs. Pride at Work, a nonprofit organization that represents LGBTQ union members and their allies, celebrates this important victory that will protect the rights of working people and their families. This outcome is particularly important for LGBTQ working people, who are disproportionately affected by workplace discrimination and do not have legal protections in more than half the country.