Maryland bans ‘gay conversion therapy’ on minors

Maryland voted yesterday to prohibit health professionals from practicing “gay conversion therapy” on minors, after a legislator spoke of the pain she experienced when her parents sought it for her. Just days earlier, the woman’s father, a state senator, voted against the bill.

The House passed the bill 95-27, sending the measure to Gov. Larry Hogan. A spokeswoman for Mr Hogan said the governor will support the bill.

https://nypost.com/2018/04/04/maryland-lawmakers-vote-to-ban-gay-conversion-therapy/

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Another cleric in trouble for being gay and married

The Rev. David Meredith of Cincinatti, an openly-gay Methodist minister, may have to face a church trial that could strip him of his ministry for marrying his longtime partner.

ABC Reports:

Meredith has led the congregation at Clifton United Methodist Church in Cincinnati as an openly gay man since 2012. The Methodist Church pledged to welcome “all persons, regardless of sexual orientation” more than a decade earlier. Despite that pledge, the church’s “Book of Discipline,” a document that is revised every four years to reflect current realities in society still bans gay people from serving as ministers, Meredith told ABC News. The book was last revised in 2016, just days before Meredith married his longtime partner Jim Schlachter, he said.

Shortly after his wedding, 10 members of the Methodist Church in the Cincinnati area sent letters to Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer of the Ohio West Area of the United Methodist Church, challenging Meredith’s fitness to be a pastor. None of those church members actually belonged to Meredith’s congregation.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/gay-methodist-minister-faces-discipline-possibly-defrocking-married/story?id=53638538

Gay man murdered in Kansas City

Friends of a gay man murdered as he walked down a city street say he was murdered in a hate attack. Ta’Ron ‘Rio’ Carson, 24, was fatally shot by an assailant in a black SUV as he left Aura nightclub in Kansas City on Sunday.

The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project speculated that he had been the victim of a hate crime. They said: ‘This act of violence follows a pattern in which LGBTQ+ people of colour are most often directly targeted and suffer the highest number of fatalities.”

Gay Activist sends condolences.

Gay man shot dead after leaving nightclub in ‘homophobic attack’

Starkville relents

Rogelio V. Solis | Associated Press | r

There will be a Gay Pride in Starkville, Mississippi, after all. Having been turned down by the city council, a community group called Starkville Pride and two organizers filed a federal lawsuit, saying the city had denied their constitutional rights to free expression and equal protection. They asked a judge to overrule the city and immediately grant a parade permit to Starkville Pride.

Now Mayor Lynn Spruill broke a 3-3 tie to allow the parade to go forward, after an alderman who previously had opposed the parade abstained, saying the city needed to move past the dispute. Aldermen had voted 4-3 to reject the application last month.

The parade will be held on March 24.

“What happened at tonight’s meeting was a victory not only for our clients and for their equal dignity under the law, but also for the core principle that in this country, we do not restrict a person’s ability to speak based on whether or not we agree with what they have to say,” said Roberta Kaplan, lawyer for Starkville Pride and organizers Bailey McDaniel and Emily Turner.

March? Isn’t that a bit early?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/03/06/mississippi-city-to-allow-gay-pride-parade-reversing-denial.html

Trump’s war on Trans

Ben McKeown / Associated Press | r

In post-marriage-equality America, where same-sex couples live openly and increasingly are embraced in their communities, those on the conservative right who once pushed back against gay rights now appear to have shifted their focus to the transgender community,

writes Jaclyn Cosgrove in the Los Angeles Times.

10 states have introduced a flurry of bills to make life tougher for trans students who try to use campus restrooms that match their gender identity. The U.S. Department of Education confirmed that it will no longer investigate civil rights complaints from transgender students who say they were barred from using restrooms that align with their gender identity.

Alaska and Massachusetts are also considering ballot initiatives that could restrict the freedoms of trans people.

The moves are a direct result of President Trump’s rescinding the Obama administration’s directive that discrimination against transgender students on the basis of gender identity violates Title IX of the American Constitution.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-transgender-rights-20180219-story.html

New York gets tough on insurers

State financial regulators in New York said today they would investigate reports in American newspapers that gay men have been denied life, disability or long-term care insurance policies because they were taking medication to protect themselves against HIV. Note that the applicants did not have HIV.

If proved these denials of cover would amount to illegal discrimination based on sexual orientation and the companies doing so could be penalized, according to Maria T. Vullo, New York state’s superintendent of financial services.

Insurers around the US had denied policies to gay men after learning they took Prep to avoid catching H.I.V. through sex. To get insurance, some men even stopped taking the protective drugs.

Another gay bar closes for redevelopment. Cincinatti, this time.

Cincinatti.com reports that The Dock, a long-running Cincinnati gay bar, closed yesterday. Open since 1984, it had been at the forefront in its role as an LBGT community-building asset by hosting drag shows and dance nights, as well as serving as a hub of social activism.

The Dock has been targeted for demolition, as the Ohio Department of Transportation is purchasing a portion of the land on which the building sits, in order to make improvements to nearby roads and a bridge.

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/entertainment/2018/02/15/last-call-dock-cincinnati-gay-bar-closes-after-34-years/340028002/