News Bites for July 8, 2015

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender news bites.

 Bakery Ordered to Pay $135K for Discriminating Against Same-Sex Couple

(AP) Owners of a Portland-area bakery that denied service to a same-sex couple must pay $135,000 in damages, the Bureau of Labor and Industries has ruled.

The damages are for emotional suffering caused by Sweet Cakes by Melissa, which two years ago refused to bake a wedding cake for Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer.

A 2007 Oregon law protects the rights of LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations. It provides an exemption for religious organizations, but the agency ruled that exemption does not allow private businesses to discriminate against potential customers.

Bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein closed their Gresham store in 2013 and now operate the business from home. They can still file an appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Official Sued in Landmark Marriage Case Reads at Gay Wedding

(AP) Ohio's health director, Rick Hodges, whose refusal to list a gay man as the surviving spouse on a death certificate led to last week's landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling, has delivered a Bible reading at a gay wedding.

The marriage lawsuit bore Hodges' name because he heads the Ohio Department of Health, which records vital statistics. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine defended Ohio's 2004 gay marriage ban on behalf of the state.

Hodges told the Northeast Ohio Media Group ( http://bit.ly/1RUunA7 ) he's been friends with one of the grooms, Steve George, for 25 years. George worked in Republican Gov. John Kasich's administration and represented the governor on the panel that oversees Ohio Statehouse operations.

Hodges said he saw no irony in being the defendant in a case against gay marriage one week and a reader at a same-sex wedding the next.

"I love my friend," he said.

NYC Pride Hosts First Out Fluid Bisexual Grand Marshal

Originally published on Advocate.com June 29

J. Christopher Neal, a bisexual artist and educator, served as one of four grand marshals chosen for this year’s NYC Pride. Neal leads FluidBiDesign, an advocacy and support group for “fluid men of African Descent.”

"This honor and recognition has taken 45 years to come," Neal said in the Advocate. (http://bit.ly/1dvdqi2)

Alongside Neal were grand marshals Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Derek Jacobi, and Ugandan activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera.   In 2014, NYC pride was scrutinized for hosting three grand marshals representing the gay, lesbian, and transgender community without any bisexual representation.

DOJ Filing Supports Transgender Student’s Right to Appropriate Restroom Facilities in ACLU Case

(ACLU) The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in federal court explaining that transgender students must be allowed to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity under Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972.

The DOJ filed the statement in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Virginia on behalf of transgender male student Gavin Grimm, a junior at Gloucester High School. The filing states “There is a public interest in ensuring that all students, including transgender students, have the opportunity to learn in an environment free of sex discrimination.”

http://acluva.org/17553/doj-filing-supports-transgender-students-right-to-appropriate-restroom-facilities-in-aclu-case/


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