Kentucky city rejects anti-discrimination ordinance
Officials in a south-central Kentucky city have again voted against an ordinance that would add specific housing and employment protections for gay, lesbian and transgender residents according to the Daily News.
The Bowling Green City Commission voted 3-2 on May 7 to reject the second reading of the ordinance. The vote came after three hours of impassioned discussion and comments from 85 speakers.
There were 55 people who spoke in favor of the ordinance, with many citing instances of discrimination.
Those who spoke against it cited fears that it would infringe on religious liberties and lead to costly litigation.
The newspaper reports Bowling Green is the largest city in the state that hasn’t added formal protections for residents based on sexual orientation and identity.
Buttigieg sells out fundraiser at iconic Hollywood gay bar
Pete Buttigieg drew a sold-out crowd to a fundraiser at an iconic West Hollywood gay bar, providing an intimate moment with the first Democratic White House contender who is a member of the LGBT community reports NBC News.
Attendees at The Abbey each paid about $25 to attend the South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s “grassroots” event. Buttigieg was introduced by his husband, Chasten.
It’s just one of a crush of fundraisers he has in the coming days and weeks.
Buttigieg told the audience to ignore skeptics who say change is impossible: “Tell them you saw ... a top tier presidential candidate on his way to the White House moments after his husband introduced him.”
Maine House, Senate advance ‘conversion
News Center Maine reports a bill that would ban so-called gay conversion therapy for minors passed Maine’s House and Senate this week in initial votes.
If the bill becomes law, Maine would join 16 states that have banned the practice that aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Maine Senate on May 9 approved the bill, which received a 91-46 vote in the House on May 8.
Maine’s former Republican governor vetoed a similar measure last year, but the bill has gained momentum this year under a Democratic-led Legislature. The bill faces more votes in both chambers before it can head to Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ desk.
Supporters decry the practice as a harmful and medically discredited; the American Psychological Association opposes the therapy.
“It just doesn’t work,” said Democratic House Majority Leader Matt Moonen.
Critics of the bill, meanwhile, said it was too broad and infringes on parental choice and religious freedom.
The bill downplays the “tried and true values and traditions of parents and the church,” said Belgrade resident Joy Emmons, who told lawmakers she was a certified counselor with the American Association of Christian Counselors.
A Republican failed to gain support for an amendment to exclude talk therapy and counseling from counting as “conversion therapy.” But, under that amendment, the use of punishment or “unpleasant stimuli,” such as ice baths, pornographic materials and electroconvulsive therapy, would be banned.
A law against “conversion therapy” was signed recently in Massachusetts, while states including North Carolina are considering such legislation this year.
BYU graduate who came out as gay describes fear on campus
U.S. News reports a student who came out as gay during a valedictorian speech at Mormon-owned Brigham Young University says he lived in fear of being reported for a violation the school’s strict code of conduct forbids dating among members of the same sex.
Matt Easton made the comments during an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that aired May 6 in which she gave him a check for $10,000.
Easton says he worried that he could be reported for even hugging or shaking a man’s hand on campus while on campus.
DeGeneres applauded Easton for his bravery. The TV appearance was the latest praise and attention Easton has received since he said in his April 26 speech that he was “proud to be a gay son of God.”