National News

Report: Substitute teacher fired for berating child on dads

The Salt Lake Tribune reports officials said a substitute teacher in Utah was fired after berating a fifth-grade student who said he was thankful for being adopted by his two dads, one of whom is a former dancer on “Dancing with the Stars.”

 

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced a new nationwide program to provide free HIV-prevention drugs — PrEP — to uninsured Americans at risk of HIV. About 200,000 people will have access to the daily pre-exposure prophylaxis medication through the program, Ready, Set, PrEP. To qualify for the program, participants must test negative for HIV, have a valid prescription for the medication and be without prescription drug coverage.

 

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), a former Mormon missionary and author of several best-selling religious-themed books, introduced the “Fairness for All Act” on Dec. 6. The bill was put forward as a compromise to the Equality Act that passed the House in June with some bipartisan support. The Equality Act has been awaiting ratification by the Senate. The Equality Act would “prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.”

Judge blocks challenge to Indiana’s religious
objections law

WNDU.com reported conservative religious groups have failed to convince an Indiana judge they faced any harm from limits placed on the state’s contentious religious objections law signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence.

 

The American Medical Association (AMA) has voted to support state and federal efforts to ban gay conversion therapy, the scientifically discredited practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Wyoming middle school sexual orientation survey angers some

The Jackson Hole News & Guide reported a survey asking Wyoming middle school students about their sexual orientation is angering some parents.

The survey went out to Jackson Hole Middle School students in October. It was part of an effort to determine if the school should have a gay-straight alliance or other support for LGBTQ students.

Parent Mike Mielke says the questions were inappropriate and school officials at least should have told parents about the survey.

Principal Matt Hoelscher said he pulled the survey after he found out about it. Hoelscher says there are better ways to get such information.

Hoelscher said the survey originated in the school counseling office, which sought to identify and reach out to marginalized students.

School district sued over transgender students treatment

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported a mother is suing a Minnesota school district, claiming it discriminated against her son because he’s transgender.

The lawsuit filed in Wright County alleges Buffalo Community Middle School repeatedly isolated her son from his classmates, limited his access to a suitable restroom and removed him from physical education classes. Woods wanted to use the boys’ bathrooms and locker rooms but was required to use a single-occupancy restroom that he says was difficult to get to between classes.

Matt Woods was 11 years old in September 2015 when he transitioned socially and adopted a new name. School officials have denied the allegations in the lawsuit.

Matt’s mom, Helene Woods, said, “transgender kids are just kids.” And, that denying them access to the facilities that meet their gender identity is harming them.

Alaska AG: Same-sex spouse eligible for oil-wealth check

KTIV.com reported Alaska’s attorney general said a woman who alleged she was wrongly denied a check from the state’s oil-wealth fund because of her same-sex marriage is eligible.

Kevin Clarkson in a since-deleted tweet called Denali Nicole Smith’s lawsuit “pointless.” He says her application for the check is listed as eligible but hasn’t been paid because of an address issue.

Attached to Smith’s federal lawsuit is a denial letter from the state that cites nullified laws barring recognition of same-sex marriage.

The lawsuit says Smith is an Alaska resident who has been living in Florida to accompany her military wife. It claims Smith was denied eligibility when she would have been eligible had her spouse been a man. 

Reporting via Associated Press

 

The FBI has released its annual Hate Crime Statistics report, which concluded that LGBTQ people are targeted in nearly one in five hate crimes. In Philadelphia alone, the number of such reported crimes has doubled in just two years.

On Nov. 19, U.S. District Judge William Alsup issued an opinion and order in Santa Clara v. Azar, a case against a proposed Trump administration rule that would allow health care workers to deny medical services — such as abortion or gender-affirming surgery — based on personal religious or moral beliefs. 

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