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Dropped Planet Fitness Member Sues Company For Being Too Transgender-Friendly: VIDEO

Yvette cormier

Yvette Cormier, who had her Planet Fitness membership revoked after making waves about trans woman Carlotta Sklodowska using the women’s locker room, has sued the fitness chain for more than $25,000, reports MLive.com.

LogoAfter complaining to local staff in Michigan and escalating her concerns with corporate offices, Planet Fitness enacted its “Judgement Free Zone” policy and cancelled Cormier’s membership on March 4th.

A press release detailing the lawsuit reads in part:

"Ms. Cormier was wrongfully denied the benefits of her contract with Planet Fitness and wrongfully denied the use of the public accommodations at Defendant's gym because she objected to Defendant's unknown policy.

"Mrs. Cormier has filed this lawsuit to protect Michigan women and children and to hold Planet Fitness accountable for its irresponsible policy and actions. This case further illustrates the potential harm caused by adding the proposed new categories of sexual orientation/gender identity to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.”

Elliott-Larsen prohibits discrimination based on race, age, sex, religion and more, but does not offer protections based on sexual orientation.

Cormier’s complaint lists the alleged damages she suffered as "loss of use of gym facilities," "fear about using the gym facilities," "embarrassment and humiliation," "severe emotional distress" and "damage to reputation."

It claims Cormier's rights were violated in seven counts including breach of contract, an exemplary damages claim, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and three counts of sexual harassment under Elliott-Larsen.

According to the summons and complaint, she suffered "aggravation, annoyance, discomfort, disgrace, feelings of oppression, humiliation, inconvenience, indignation, insult, mental anxiety, mental suffering, mortification, outrage, scorn, shame, sorrow, vexation, and worry."

Planet Fitness has declined to comment on the case.

Watch a report on the lawsuit and a CNN interview with Cormier, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Mississippi Man Claims Facebook Panic In Brutal Beating Of Gay Man: VIDEO

Scott

Corinth, Mississippi resident James Scott denies that a vicious attack on gay man Devin Norman last weekend was a hate crime, reports WREG.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c768cd54970b-800wiScott (above) has admitted to attacking Devin Norman (right) in the car park of a Corinth Walmart last Friday.  Norman suffered a broken cheekbone and other serious facial injuries.

Scott alleges that Norman threatened to out him using images posted on Facebook.

Scott said:

“I cannot see how it could be a hate crime. I don’t even have an emotional hatred for him. The only thing I dislike about it was that he took something from me...I should have know better. I should have been more of an adult. I should have thought before I acted.”

Charges against Scott are likely to be upgraded from simple assault to aggravated assault after police found out Norman suffered broken bones.

Watch an interview with Scott and Norman, AFTER THE JUMP...

 

 

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Jason Collins Blasts Indiana's Anti-Gay 'License To Discriminate' Bill: VIDEO

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Jason Collins, the first openly gay pro athlete in the four major North American sports leagues, has spoken out against Indiana’s recently passed “License To Discriminate” bill, reports IndyStar.

By a vote of 63-31, the Indiana House of Representatives yesterday passed the bill which allows private businesses, individuals and organizations to discriminate against LGBT individuals on religious grounds.

.@GovPenceIN, is it going to be legal for someone to discriminate against me & others when we come to the #FinalFour? http://t.co/uBlKbIf8YK

— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins98) March 23, 2015

Governor Mike Pence says he is "looking forward" to signing the bill.

Collins, who has been mentoring other young, gay basketball players who have yet to come out of the closet, played for 13 seasons in the NBA for multiple teams, including the New Jersey Nets.

Watch the trailer for new documentary Out to Win, which provides insight into the lives of LGBT athletes including Collins, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Wade Davis and Brittney Griner, AFTER THE JUMP...

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The Animus Amicus: Archive Activism and Marriage Equality

Mattachine Society

Note: This article first appeared at Huffington Post. 

BY: PETER MONTGOMERY

In April, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of state laws that ban same-sex couples from getting married. The historic case has attracted a widearray of amicus briefs; People For the American Way Foundation joined religious and civil rights groups on a brief urging the Court to reject discriminatory marriage bans and challenging “religious liberty” arguments opposing marriage equality.

One fascinating brief was filed by the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C.  The original group by that name was led by Frank Kameny, an astronomer who was fired from his federal job for being gay and led some of the earliest gay-rights protests in the nation’s capital in the 1960s. The name and legacy have been revived by local activists Charles Francis and Pate Felts for the purpose of documenting decades of systematic anti-gay discrimination by the federal government. In partnership with pro bono attorneys from the firm of McDermott Will & Emery, the new Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. is engaged in strategic “archive activism.” They are using the Freedom of Information Act to unearth a “culture of animus” that permeated the U.S. Civil Service Commission – now known as the Office of Personnel Management – and to bring to public light previously closed records about investigations challenging workers’ “loyalty” and “suitability.”

Civil service commission“The investigation and firing of gay and lesbian federal employees was like shooting fish in a barrel for the General Counsels and legal staff of the Civil Service Commission,” says Francis. “The animus, almost sports-like in their writings, is documented in decades of legal advisory files we discovered this year at the National Archives.”

Among the historical tidbits unearthed by the project: Nancy Reagan turning down a plea from a dying Rock Hudson for help getting into another hospital; and anti-gay activist Gary Bauer’s no-holds-barred, but ultimately unsuccessful, effort to keep the White House from including a gay person on the nation’s first AIDS commission.

The Mattachine Society’s project is about preserving the historical record, but it also has an important legal purpose, which is demonstrating that anti-equality laws and regulations have long been grounded in hostility, or animus, that is not a permissible justification for discrimination.  Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissent from the Supreme Court decision in Windsor, which overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, demonstrates the importance of this archival work. Roberts suggested there is insufficient evidence – he waved it away as “snippets of legislative history” – to demonstrate that DOMA’s purpose was to “codify malice.” Added Roberts, “I would not tar the political branches with the brush of bigotry.”

Continue reading, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Oregon House Of Representatives Passes Measure Outlawing Conversion Therapy

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The Oregon House voted on Tuesday to outlaw the dangerous practice of conversion therapy, with several lawmakers arguing the practice is heavily discredited and can cause irreparable emotional and mental damage reports KATU.com. The passage of HB 2307 makes it illegal for social workers or licensed mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists or psychologists, to practice conversion therapy on children under the age of 18 in the state of Oregon. The bill even received support from Rep. Knute Buehler, a Bend Republican.

Said Buehler:  

"Conversion therapy itself can cause incredible emotional and mental trauma to people, particularly young people in the process of coming to terms with their sexual identities."

The measure passed 41-18 and now heads to the Senate. New Jersey and California recently passed laws banning the dangerous therapy with Federal appeals courts upholding the bans. However, others such as Rep. Duane Stark, a Republican from Grants Pass who voted against the bill, felt there should be an opt-in option for the treatment should youth choose to pursue the treatment on their own volition.

Said Stark: 

"It's a normal, common practice that when people come in they can request from their therapist what sort of therapy they want to receive. I felt like there should be some sort of opt-in option for youth and empower them in that client-centered therapy."

However, the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association have both condemned the dangerous therapy, with proponents of the bill saying the therapy leads to anxiety, depression and destructive behaviors in children. 


Homophobic 'Religious Freedom' Bills Defeated in West Virginia

House Bill 2508 and Senate Bill 487, two pieces of West Virginian legislation that would have codified and sanctioned widespread discrimination against the state’s LGBT population, have been defeated. Neither of the bills made it to their respective bodies’ voting floors before West Virginia’s legislative session ended this past weekend, effectively cutting the discriminatory laws off at the knees.

6a00d8341c730253ef01a511603fb9970c-800wi“Fairness and equality have prevailed in West Virginia,” said Marty Rouse, National Field Director to the Human Rights Campaign. “These bills were assaults on liberty and justice, and without the work of Fairness West Virginia, HRC members, and allies in the state, they could have very well been passed into law.”

H.B. 2508 followed in the recent trend of conservative House bills designed to circumvent laws protecting LGBT people from workplace, housing, and employment discrimination. Similarly S.B. 487 would have empowered West Virginian government officials to claim religious exemptions in those instances where they were required to render services for LGBT people like issuing marriage licenses.

In many ways the bills worked to support the vision laid out in H.B. 2881, a defeated bill that--had it passed--would have rolled back any and all protections for queer people under the pretense of improving intrastate commerce.

“As evidenced by the overwhelming public opposition to discriminatory legislation, it’s clear that West Virginia is no place for intolerance and hate,” explained Andrew Schneider, Fairness West Virginia executive director. “We look forward to continue working with our allies in the WV Legislature to ensure that West Virginia is a more inclusive and attractive place to call home.”


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