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Server Who Died in Restaurant Explosion in Kansas City Last Week was Lesbian Activist, Counselor

46-year-old Megan Cramer died in the natural gas explosion that destroyed JJ's restaurant last week in Kansas City.

CramerShe was a server there. The Kansas City Star writes about her life:

She loved all things writing, from the New Yorker magazine — to which her family gave her a subscription every Christmas — to anything written by Maya Angelou.

She was also quite the activist and once helped found the first chapter of the lesbian and gay student group at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, her alma mater.

And she would counsel young people as they were coming out.

“She was one of those people who had great wit but would never say, ‘Let me tell you a joke,’ ” said sister Stephanie Cramer, a Springfield artist who is six years older than Megan. “She could look at you, give you that smile and you knew that she had lots of layers and this person was very deep and very loving.… This has been very hard.”

Fifteen other people were injured iby the explosion. Surveillance video showed how powerful the blast was.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Man Sues Kansas School District For Failing To Stop Homophobic Bullying: VIDEO

KansasLawsuit

A Kansas man filed a lawsuit against the Blue Valley School District that alleges school officials turned a blind eye to bullying he endured because of his perceived sexual orientation.

In addition to having his nose broken on a number of occasions and being called homophobic slurs, the unidentified man, who graduated in 2010, was allegedly doused in urine by abusive classmates and had his hand forced on a burner during cooking class. And administrators, he claims, did nothing.

KCTV has more:

"His reports were met with indifference, inaction, or where some action was taken, the action was wholly inadequate and ineffective," according to the lawsuit.

"A few sympathetic teachers" passed on the reports to administrators, but either nothing was done or administrators "made inadequate and feeble attempts to discipline students, only to knowingly permit the physical and emotional assaults and harassment to continue," according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff suffered emotional and physical trauma, and as a result his grades suffered. He attended classes at another facility to escape the abuse, the lawsuit claims. He still experiences physical pain and post-traumatic stress disorder issues, and is receiving counseling.

"The harassment was so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively deprived (the plaintiff) of access to educational benefits or opportunities provided by the school district," according to the lawsuit.

Watch video of the report AFTER THE JUMP.

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Today: Chely Wright Opens Kansas City LGBT Community Center

Chely-WrightWell -- technically it's a center for youth who are questioning their sexuality, but these kids will probably figure themselves out quickly enough. Maybe they'll stick around.

Chely Wright is the nu-country singer of hits "Shut Up And Drive" and "Single White Female" who came out of the closet in 2010 and shortly thereafter married her partner, the activist Lauren Blitzer. She decided to open the LIKEME Lighthouse, as it's called, because she grew up not far from Kansas City and remembers well the difficulties of coming of age in an area without resources for LGBT teens. From the Washington Post:

“This just gives so much hope to these outlying areas, that your major metropolitan area has a gay and lesbian center,” said Wright, who married LGBT activist Lauren Blitzer last summer. “That would have meant everything to me had I been a kid growing up in Wellsville, knowing that there is a beautiful facility in our major city, that that was OK.

LIKEME Lighthouse's ribbon-cutting ceremony is today at noon, and opening festivities continue into the evening with performances by Wright, Alan Cumming, and others. Lighthouse's website is up and fully operational, but it doesn't seem like the center's yet fleshed out its programming. The facility will be open, presumably for drop-ins, from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on most days, but what teens will be able to do once they arrive hasn't yet been decided. Maybe Lighthouse is waiting on volunteers?


Watch: Kansas City 'House of Prayer' Exploits 'Ex-Gay' Teen

Jacob

"Do you hear that? He was set free from addictions to homosexuality, heroine, crack cocaine. Anything else?"

Unfortunately, Jacob was not delivered from ugly exploitation on YouTube and elsewhere by the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(source)

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KC Chiefs Cut Punishment for Larry Johnson's 'Fag' Slur in Half

The Kansas City Chiefs saved Larry Johnson about $315,000 after cutting his punishment for directing anti-gay slurs at reporters and a fan in half. According to the AP, the Chiefs were afraid of losing in arbitration:

Larryjohnson "The Chiefs issued a terse announcement saying they had made the settlement in conjunction with the NFL Management Council and the NFL Players Association. Originally, they suspended the former two-time Pro Bowler two weeks, which would have cost him about $630,000. He will still miss the game at Jacksonville this week and not participate in team activities until Nov. 9. The Chiefs had said the suspension was for conduct detrimental to the team. Johnson's agent, Peter Schaffer, told The Associated Press on Saturday the agreement had been tentatively agreed to. Schaffer said Monday that as far as he knew, Johnson would remain with the Chiefs. He needs just 75 yards rushing to become the team leader."

The punishment stems from an October 26 incident in which Johnson told two members of the media in the Chiefs locker room, "Get your faggot asses out of here." He later directed the same language at a fan on Twitter.

Johnson's agent Peter Schaffer later made the ridiculous claim to TMZ that neither he nor Johnson knew that "faggot" was offensive. Said Schaffer: "We know the N-word is unacceptable, that's not disputable -- but f*g? I'm learning that there's a segment of our society that finds it offensive and that it should not be used. I didn't realize that, but I do know now..."

The Chiefs have refused comment throughout the incident.


Who Doesn't Know the Word 'Faggot' is Offensive?

Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson and his agent Peter Schafer, or so Schafer claims:

Johnson"We know the N-word is unacceptable, that's not disputable -- but f*g? I'm learning that there's a segment of our society that finds it offensive and that it should not be used. I didn't realize that, but I do know now..."

Johnson received a one game suspension for directing the slur at members of the media and a fan on Twitter earlier this week. He is appealing the punishment.


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