News Bites for May 27, 2015

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender news bites for this week.

 

LESBIAN

Alabama Jails, Fines Minister After Performing Lesbian Wedding

Anne Susan DePrizio, a nondenominational minister in Alabama was sentenced to 30 days in jail last month for her stance on same sex marriage.

After a federal court ruled that Alabama's same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, DiPrizio conducted a marriage for two women at a probate judge's office in Prattville, Ala., in February. (In Alabama, probate judges are responsible for issuing marriage licenses.) A local judge ordered her to stop, but she defied him and obeyed the federal ruling, returning to the probate judge's office after she posted bail from her disorderly conduct arrest. Her punishment for refusing to vacate the office: thirty days in jail, sixth months probation, and a $250 fine according to The Advocate. http://bit.ly/1HH2ngi

GAY

Boy Scouts President: Lift Ban on Gay Adults

(CNN) -- Robert Gates, the president of the Boy Scouts of America, called for the organization to end its ban on gay adults in remarks (PD) at the organization's national business meeting Thursday.

Citing "the social, political and judicial changes taking place in our country" regarding laws and sexual orientation, Gates said that "the status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained."

He added, "Our oath calls upon us to do our duty to God and our country. The country is changing, and we are increasingly at odds with the legal landscape at both the state and federal levels. And, as a movement, we find ourselves with a policy more than a few of our church sponsors reject, thus placing Scouting between a boy and his church."

BIEXUAL

Oregon’s Bi Governor Signs Ban against Conversion Therapy

Gov. Kate Brown signed the bill into law on Monday, making Oregon the third state to ban conversion therapy on LGBT youth as reported by the Huffington Post. http://huff.to/1AwgZiS

The new law prohibits mental health professionals and social workers from performing therapy that tries to change the sexual orientation of children. The practice has been condemned by the American Psychological Association because it can lead to anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicide among young LGBT people. Earlier this month, Oregon's state Senate voted 21-to-8 to pass the bill. The Oregon House passed the bill in March. Oregon joins California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., which already have similar laws.

President Barack Obama condemned gay conversion therapy in April, addressing a WhiteHouse.gov petition that called for a ban after Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen, committed suicide. Alcorn, who identified as female, had posted online that religious therapists tried to tell her she was a boy.

TRANSGENDER

Amanda Simpson to Participate in LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony

(Press Release) Amanda Simpson, America's first openly transgender presidential appointee, will attend the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony on July 4th at Independence Hall in Philly. Simpson currently serves in the U.S. Commerce Department.

“It is an honor to have Amanda Simpson, the highest ranking transgender federal employee, participate in the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony. Amanda will be the lead-in presenter for 50 years of LGBT civil rights progress,” said Malcolm Lazin, National LGBT 50th Anniversary Chair

Simpson is the Executive Director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives. A defense industry veteran, Simpson is originally from Tuscon, Arizona and was appointed by President Obama to the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security as a senior technical advisor in 2010. She has worked in the aerospace and defense industry for over 30 years, serving as Deputy Director in Advanced Technology Development at Raytheon Missile Systems prior to her appointment by the President. She holds degrees in physics, engineering and business administration, and is a certified flight instructor and test pilot.


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