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Memphis, TN Approves LGBT Workplace Protections in 9-4 Vote

Memphiscitycouncil

The Memphis City Council voted 9-4 to add sexual orientation and gender identity to a list of city workplace protections, the Memphis Flyer reports:

Councilman Reid Hedgepeth, a conservative who voted in favor of the ordinance last time, told the audience that harassment and robo-calls from the amendment's opposition had only strengthened his resolve to vote in favor of the amendment again.

"One e-mail said 'I hope you and your family burn in hell together.' How is that for Christianity?" Hedgepeth asked.

Additionally, councilwoman Janis Fullilove proposed an amendment to the ordinance that added protections on the basis of "gender identity." That amendment passed 9 to 4, as well. The only "no" votes on the "gender identity" amendment and the main motion to amend the city's nondiscrimination ordinance came from council people Wanda Halbert, Bill Boyd, Kemp Conrad, and Joe Brown.

The council chambers were lively before the vote. Speaking for the opposition, a representative from the Family Action Council said the amendment's passage would lead to protections for "grown men attracted to 12-year-old boys." That elicited boos and gasps from the audience. Pastor Larry Hunter, who wore a Taekwondo uniform, said he didn't "want to walk nowhere and see two mens [sic] kissing or two mens [sic] hugging."


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RoadSame-sex divorces begin in Illinois: "The same law that will allow gay couples to enter a civil union in Illinois will also allow them to divorce. Stephen Jacobs, partner in the law firm Shaw, Jacobs and Associates, said he believes he is the first attorney in Illinois to file a legal action for dissolution of a same-sex marriage."

RoadMother asks for help as 2010 murder of Buffalo gay man goes unsolved.

RoadHome Depot tells the American Family Association to take a hike with its boycott.

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RoadParis Hilton ambushed by by hosts of The View.

Acshow RoadAnderson Cooper's daytime talk show Anderson gets cheery website, ticket information, details...

RoadAnthony Weiner critic at center of the Twitter scandal has ties to conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart.

RoadDaniel Radcliffe to accept Trevor Project's Hero Award: "The fact that they think of what I've done by promoting awareness of the Trevor Project itself and the issues that it works to promote and help is a great honor."

RoadMale model fix: Pedro Fernandes.

RoadMemphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, which was facing closure over financial issues, has surpassed its funding goals and will stay open: "Thanks to support from previous and new donors, including a matching gift from Dr. Herb Zeman, the organization has received donations amounting to $60,277 as of May 31."

RoadThe Hard Times of RJ Berger concluded with steamy gay shower scene.

RoadChristopher Plummer talks about his role in Beginners and panic at 80.

Hoult RoadNicholas Hoult does BlackBook magazine.

RoadFormer Iowa lawmaker: Republicans supporting same-sex marriage on the increase. "Former state Sen. Jeff Angelo, an Ames Republican, said his newly launched group, 'Iowa Republicans for Freedom,' is only the beginning of more Republican-centric organizations advocating for same-sex rights, including civil marriage, and such groups will be more common as time goes on."

RoadJon Huntsman polishes his "prop-life" credentials.

RoadGay man finds himself in tax predicament after the hospital he works for failed to pay taxes on his domestic partnership: "Unlike married couples, those who use domestic partner coverage must pay taxes on the value of that coverage unless the partner is considered a dependent. If same-sex couples were allowed to marry, they could avoid the tax like their heterosexual counterparts....By his estimation, the hospital didn’t include the taxes, of about $270 a month, for nearly three years. As a result, he said his partner would have to amend his tax returns for those years, and will probably owe $7,000 to $8,000 in back taxes, plus any penalties or interest."


Watch: Memphis LGBT Center Faces Financial Shutdown; Memphis Residents Speak Out About Gay Rights

Mglcc

The Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center is facing shutdown over financial issues after 22 years in operation, ABC24 reports:

"The goal is to raise $45,000 by the end of May,” explained Christy Tweddle, chairwoman of the Center's Board.

Without that money, the Center would “have to let go of our only employee, and our only employee runs all the programs for which we get grant money, which keeps our programs and services open,” she said. She said those programs and services are hard to find elsewhere.

“We have the YES program, which is a homeless gay youth outreach, we're the only place in 200 miles square that does anything remotely close to that,” Tweddle said, also pointing out that the Center offers after-hours HIV testing. Tweddle said the Center relies mostly on donations, a funding stream that has dried up because of the economy.

I've also posted an interesting "man on the street" report from 'The Important Questions' asking Memphis residents where they stand on gay rights in Tennessee.

Watch that clip and ABC24's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

You can make a donation to MGLCC from the group's website.

Continue reading "Watch: Memphis LGBT Center Faces Financial Shutdown; Memphis Residents Speak Out About Gay Rights" »


LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Withdrawn in Memphis

Neither the Memphis City Council nor Mayor A.C. Wharton feels its important to protect LGBT people from discrimination. Therefore, Janis Fullilove (pictured), who last month received death threats and a dead cat on her lawn over her sponsorship of the anti-discrimination legislation, has withdrawn it, the Commercial Appeal reports:

Fullilove "The Tennessee Equality Project and councilwoman Janis Fullilove this morning withdrew the proposed ordinance, which would prevent the city from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in hiring or promotion of employees, and an accompanying resolution that would have included the ordinance’s language in city contracts. Fullilove and TEP members said it was clear the ordinance, which was scheduled for the second of three readings this afternoon, lacked support from the 13-member council and Wharton’s administration, which said two weeks ago that it favors a more general ordinance approved by the Shelby County Commission earlier this year. Michelle Bliss, vice chairwoman of the Shelby County Committee of the TEP, said council members were making decisions based on 'fear and prejudice.' ...  'At this time we don’t think we can get a fair hearing,' said Bliss. Fullilove said she was disappointed that she had to withdraw the legislation."


Memphis Councilwoman Receives Death Threats, Dead Cat on Lawn Over Support for LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

Fullilove  

Memphis City Councilwoman Janis Fullilove has received four death threats specifically related to her sponsorship of an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance the city is considering. Someone else threw a dead cat onto her lawn.

WREG reportsFullilove

"Police think the threats are serious enough have increased patrols around her home to keep her safe. Each phone call mentioned her support for banning discrimination against gays in city government. Distraught, Fullilove reached out to Jonathan Cole with the Tennessee Equality Project. 'She essentially said that they were threatening to kill her,' said Cole, who thinks the death threats are just another example of intolerance in Memphis. 'It's scary and our city needs to stand up to this kind of ugliness.' Police are keeping a close eye on Fullilove and her family. She's asked her telephone provider to track the calls. Meanwhile, Cole says the councilwoman's experience should highlight the need for the ordinance to protect gays and lesbians working for the city."

Fullilove says she will continue to push for passage of the anti-discrimination measure, which comes up for a vote on August 10.

You can send your support to Fullilove here.

Watch a news report about the threats, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Memphis Councilwoman Receives Death Threats, Dead Cat on Lawn Over Support for LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance" »


News: India, Gordon Fox, Cockroach, Party Crasher, Dolphins

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Dolphin  roadScientists: Because of their intelligence, dolphins should be treated as non-human persons.

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 roadDenise Williams, who became spokeswoman against hate crimes after her transgender son Simmie Williams was murdered in February, 2008, dies at 40. Simmie's case is still unsolved.

 roadA third alleged White House state dinner party crasher has been identified as Carlos Allen, a D.C. party promoter. Allen denies that he was there: “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I don’t know why people are saying that."

 roadMichael Cera gets a makeover from Jersey Shore's Pauly D.

Fox  roadGay Rhode Island lawmaker Gordon Fox front-runner to become House Speaker: "If his fellow representatives choose him as speaker, Fox will become one of the state’s most powerful politicians, leading the Democrat-controlled House as it struggles with the worst financial mess in decades. He has competition from his party’s more conservative flank. Fox’s legislative priority list aligns him with the party’s more liberal wing. An openly gay man, he is a staunch advocate, for example, of same-sex marriage."

 roadMemphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center receives anonymous $50K endowment.

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Pavelka  roadThis is probably all of The Bachelor you really need to see.

 roadNew cockroach species discovered in New York.

 roadWashington lawmaker Jamie Pedersen prefiles bill that would recognize legal same-sex unions from out-of-state.

 roadBritney Spears to release new album in March?

 roadBefore New Year's I posted that the police were interested in talking to the ex-girlfriend in the hit-and-run dragging death of Leticia Martinez. That ex-girlfriend has since been arrested and charged with the murder.

 roadA memorial will be held Friday, January 15, at 5 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 2120 North Fee Lane in Bloomington, Indiana for slain professor and author Don Belton. Hundreds attended a New Year's Day candlelight vigil.


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