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San Diego Man Charged With Willfully Exposing Boyfriend To HIV - VIDEO

Thomas Guerra

The San Diego City Attorney's Office has charged a 29-year-old man with knowingly exposing an ex-boyfriend to HIV, who is now testing positive. Thomas Guerra has also been accused of infecting 24 other men with HIV, reports Gawker.

Guerra's unnamed accuser said that he was messaged by a man on Facebook who told him of Guerra’s HIV positive status.

The accuser also said that he discovered a number of text messages on Guerra's phone allegedly implicating him:

"Texts where he's stating he's negative to people then bragging to others about giving people his 'positive load.’ It's crude, it's...I don't know how someone could treat another individual like that."

Guerra, who is also known as Ashton Chavez, currently faces a maximum of six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. However, his alleged victim is hopeful that additional text message records could prompt prosecutors to upgrade the case to a felony, punishable with up to eight years in prison.

Watch an ABC 10 News report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Chicago Couple Kicked Out Of Taxi For Kissing Files New Lawsuit: VIDEO

CHI

Last June, Chicago couple Steven White and Matt McCrea were kicked out of a taxi for sharing a closed-mouth second-long kiss. In October, Lambda Legal stepped in to file a complaint on behalf of the couple with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, then commented, "A taxi-cab company, like any other business in Illinois that offers services to the public, is bound by the Illinois Human Rights Act to not discriminate based on sexual orientation, among other protected categories." However, as NBC 5 Chicago reports, that complaint was rejected "because the department said it had no jurisdiction over corporate entities." The couple has now filed a lawsuit against the taxi cab company: 

"It's ludicrous to suggest that a cab company is not responsible for the discrimination enacted by its drivers," the couple's lawyer, Christopher Clark, said. "They should be liable under the law for the conduct of their agents."

The suit claims the driver, who is not named in the suit, complained the men were "making sex" in the cab in May 2013. McCrea and White, who were heading into the city from O'Hare, say the driver began flashing the interior lights of the vehicle and then swerved on to the shoulder of the Kennedy Expressway and demanded they get out miles before their intended destination.

Meanwhile, the driver was issued several violations and fined close to $2,000 because of the incident. 

Watch a news report on the couple's latest legal action, AFTER THE JUMP...

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10th Circuit Grants Utah Extension To File Appeal Of Gay Marriage Ruling: VIDEO

Utah

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a request by the state of Utah to extend its deadline for filing an appeal in a case challenging the state's same-sex marriage ban, according to KSL Utah. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes filed the request to extend the deadline to October 22, arguing the state needed the additional time because "the case is 'factually and legally complex' and that the attorneys on the case already have a busy workload." The ACLU, which represents the couples who sued the state for the right to marry, has said that the state had plenty of time to prepare its appeal, arguing further that delays "cause the plaintiffs financial and emotional stress." Meanwhile, the state claims "it has never disputed that the couples 'genuinely feel subjected to hardship' but that their attorneys haven't acknowledged the "equally true proposition" that Utah is harmed by not being able to enforce its laws."

Gay couples in Utah began to marry after Federal Judge Dale Kimball ruled in December of last year that Utah's gay marriage ban "[denied] its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean[ed] the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason." The 10th Circuit then upheld Kimball's ruling but the decision was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court until Utah could appeal the circuit court's ruling. 

Watch a news report on the 10th Circuit's latest decision, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Thousands March For Marriage Equality In Dublin, Urge Ireland To Replace 'Tolerance' With 'Citizenship' - VIDEO

Ireland2

An estimated 8,000 people took part in the fifth annual March for Marriage in Dublin, Ireland, last Saturday, reports The Irish Times.

Some dressed in sashes and tiaras after the news that the newly crowned Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh had revealed she is gay.

NoiseThe organisers of the march said that hoped this would be the biggest - and last - gathering for same-sex marriage equality prior to a referendum on the issue to be held early next year.

Comedian and writer Tara Flynn, who last week starred in an LGBT Noise video spoofing the “Armagayddon” that sadly some believe will come about if marriage equality becomes law, introduced speakers at the end of the march.

Watch an Independent report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Warning against complacency among supporters of equal rights, Marriage Equality’s Gráinne Healy asked the crowd to check the electoral register to make sure they and their friends and family are registered to vote.

Representatives from LGBT youth organisation BelongTo, INTO LGBT Teachers’ Group, the Union of Students in Ireland, trans rights organisation TENI, and LGBT Pavee representing the traveller community also spoke.

Irish Times journalist Fintan O’Toole called for Irish society to replace “tolerance” of LGBT people with “citizenship”. He told the crowd:

"What we’re asking for is a recognition of a change that has already happened... The slogan I would suggest is ‘if you want a Republic, put a ring on it.’”

Continue reading "Thousands March For Marriage Equality In Dublin, Urge Ireland To Replace 'Tolerance' With 'Citizenship' - VIDEO" »


Equality California Sponsors Resolution Urging an End to Gay Blood Donor Ban - VIDEO

Ban

Equality California, the largest LGBT advocacy organization in the state, has partnered with Assemblymember Richard Bloom to advance an assembly joint resolution (AJR 50) urging President Barack Obama to compel the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to introduce blood donor policies that do not discriminate against men who have had sex with other men.

Currently, the FDA prohibits men from donating blood for life if they have even once had sex with another man since 1977.

Medical organizations including the American Red Cross and the American Association for Blood Banks have called for a reevaluation and/or repeal of the policy citing its excessively broad nature and advances in blood testing.

BloomThe Williams Institute think tank estimates that an additional 130,150 men would likely donate 219,200 pints of blood each year if the ban were lifted, helping blood banks which routinely operate with a short supplies.

Bloom said:

“The FDA's archaic exclusions are both discriminatory and unwise, considering the nation’s chronic blood supply shortages. It is time for the FDA to restructure its blood donor deferral policies to reflect sound science, not outdated social prejudices.”

The resolution, which passed the Assembly Floor yesterday with a final bipartisan vote of 58-15, will now move to the Senate for consideration.

Watch a report on a blood donor protest at the University of Cincinnati's Hoxworth Blood Center last month, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Los Angeles Couple Arrested For Torturing, Murdering 'Gay Acting' Eight-Year-Old Son - VIDEO

Gabriel fernandez

Gabriel Fernandez, an eight-year-old from Antelope Valley, Los Angeles, was allegedly murdered by his mother and her boyfriend for ‘acting gay,’ reports the LA Times.

Gabriel, who died in May 2013, was allegedly beaten, doused with pepper spray, forced to eat his own vomit and locked in a cabinet with a sock in his mouth to muffle his screams.

FernandezGabriel’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, both of whom pleaded not guilty, are in jail awaiting trial on charges of capital murder and a special circumstance of torture.

Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami said that Gabriel “was abused, beaten and tortured more severely than many prisoners of war” for eight months.

Two of the boy’s siblings confirmed that Gabriel was forced to eat cat feces, rotten spinach and vomit; that he slept in a locked cabinet and wasn't let out to go to the bathroom; and that Fernandez and Aguirre called him gay, punished him when he played with dolls and forced him to wear girls' clothes to school.

According to testimony, Pearl Fernandez once jabbed Gabriel in the mouth with a bat and knocked out several teeth.

One of Gabriel’s siblings said that on the day of the fatal beating, Fernandez began hitting her son because he didn't want to pick up his toys. She then dragged him into a bedroom, where Aguirre joined her, and the siblings heard screaming, banging and then silence.

James Kemp Ribe of the L.A. County coroner's office told the grand jury that Gabriel died as a result of blunt-force trauma and child neglect.  He added, "I have never seen this many skin injuries on one child.”

Gabriel's mother called 911 on May 22nd, 2013. She told sheriff's deputies that Gabriel had fallen and hit his head on a dresser. Paramedics found Gabriel naked in a bedroom, not breathing, with a cracked skull, three broken ribs and BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin. He died two days later.

The incident has prompted calls for reforms to the Los Angeles County foster-care system because child welfare workers failed to remove Fernandez from his home. Moves have since been taken to fire two social workers and two supervisors, while others involved in the case have received letters of warning or reprimand.

Watch a CBS report, AFTER THE JUMP...

[Photo via KTLA]

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