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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 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

LGBT travel index puts Sweden on top

 Sweden has been named the most LGBT-friendly country in the world for travelers according to new research into gay rights in 150 countries.

The City of Philadelphia released a report Tuesday that outlines priorities for improving care for youth in residential placements. The 19 recommendations, which detail how to strategically reduce the number of youth in residential facilities, were derived from The Youth Residential Placement Task Force that Philadelphia City Council established about a year ago to work on the issue. 


Penn Nursing — ranked as the best nursing school in the world — has received a $100,000 grant from the Robert I. Jacobs Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation for HIV research. The grant is for an investigation led by one of the top local experts in the field of HIV research, Dr. José A. Bauermeister. Bauermeister is a presidential professor of nursing and director of the Program on Sexuality, Technology and Action Research (PSTAR) at Penn Nursing. He also serves in the National Institutes of Health on Sexual and Gender Research.


On Nov. 25, the New Jersey General Assembly unanimously passed legislation to ban the use of an LGBT-panic defense to get a reduced penalty for committing a homicide in the state. The vote was 72-0, with eight legislators absent. The Garden State is now poised to become the ninth state in the nation to pass such legislation.


New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal last week announced an LGBTQ-equality directive that applies to all state, county and local law enforcement agencies. Every law enforcement officer in New Jersey must be trained on the new guidelines — stemming from a report by the Transgender Equality Task Force — by June 1. All 21 county prosecutors must educate the public about the guidelines, and by Dec. 31, 2020, they must report to the attorney general’s office on their public education efforts.


The Human Rights Campaign has created a series of indexes and reports on the status of LGBTQ equality in the U.S. The latest, the Municipal Equality Index (MEI), details the rankings of cities in all 50 states. Philadelphia landed a perfect score. Using metrics in five main areas with subsets within those five areas, HRC ranks how well a city is doing for its LGBTQ citizens, with the top score being 100.

Queer Philadelphia couple Kate Austin and Sarah Sulsenti appeared on "The Ellen Show” last week after asking the talk show host in a viral tweet to attend their upcoming wedding.

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