Queer Bites for the Week of Sept. 20, 2017

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Check out the latest in lesbian, transgender and intersex bites!

 

Houston Church Blocks Jewish Lesbian from Helping Harvey Victims

(SFGN) A Texas woman who volunteered at a Houston church to help families in need after hurricane Harvey, was told she’s no longer welcome after the pastor asked about her religion and sexual orientation.

The Calvary Church in Friendswood Texas needed volunteers to help at the food bank after Hurricane Harvey, Carmen Hix told OutSmart magazine. Hix, a 64-year-old Navy veteran, took a week off from work and donated $500 worth of food to the church.

Hix said she was later called into pastor Ron Hindt’s office. Hindt asked why she said “Shalom” after her prayers. When she told him that she was Jewish, he asked her to leave and to not return to the church.

“I asked ‘So if I were a liar with an evil heart, and I told you what you want to hear, that I am a Christian, I would be allowed to continue to contribute to those less fortunate than I?’ I was told, ‘Yes,” Hix said.

After returning home, Hix called the church to complain against pastor Hindt. She was invited back to the church, only to have Hindt ask her to leave again, this time because of her sexual orientation.

According to Hix, the pastor said that he “can’t let you represent our church, as being a lesbian is a sin.”

Hix shared her story on Facebook, prompting several complaints to the church and a demand for an apology. Hindt posted an apology to the Calvary Church Facebook page, which has since been deleted.

According to Hix, Hindt invited her back to the church to “show me the evil of my ways and would change my heart to realize that my 20-year relationship with my wife was a sin.”

 

Outcry from Harvard Students after Chelsea Manning Dropped as Fellow

(SFGN) Harvard students are criticizing what they’re calling the school’s double standard in fellowship selection, asking that Chelsea Manning’s fellowship status be reinstated, and petitioning to revoke that of Sean Spicer, and Corey Lewandowski.

“We call upon the Harvard Kennedy School to reinstate Chelsea Manning’s designation as a fellow at the Institute of Politics,” read a letter, cosigned Sunday by the Trans Task Force, the Progressive Jewish Alliance, and the Anti-Islamophobia Network, among other groups, the Harvard Crimson reported.

Harvard’s Institute of Politics had announced on Wednesday that Manning would be one of approximately 10 visiting fellows including former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign manager Robby Mook and Kansas City Mayor Sly James Jr.

On Thursday, CIA Director and graduate of Harvard Law School Mike Pompeo canceled an appearance at a Harvard forum. Pompeo wrote in a letter that appearing after Manning, who was found guilty of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, would "betray" his conscience and the trust of the people of the CIA.

Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell resigned as a senior fellow at Harvard University after the school's announcement.

The school withdrew the offer to Manning Friday morning.

Manning is still invited to spend a day at the school and participate in a forum with students, but Elmendorf said in a statement that designating her as visiting fellow was "a mistake," CNN reported.

Several hundred alumni have also signed a petition for Spicer and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s fellowships to be revoked, citing that Lewandowski was charged with misdemeanor battery of a reporter before he was fired from the Trump campaign, and Spicer was routinely accused of lying during his engagements with the press.

 

Chicago LGBT Center calls for American Academy of Pediatrics to Consider Intersex Kids

(SFGN) Chicago’s LGBT center, the Center on Halsted, has asked the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to endorse a moratorium on medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex kids. The AAP, an organization of 66,000 pediatricians across the U.S, will meet in Chicago for their annual gathering this weekend.

Kim Fountain, Chief Operating Officer at Center on Halsted stated, "It's time for the AAP to provide Intersex kids the same protections as LGBTQ youth." 

The American Medical Association Board of Trustees recommended respect for intersex children’s rights to autonomy and informed consent, saying “our AMA affirm that medically unnecessary surgeries in individuals born with differences of sex development are unethical and should be avoided until the patient can actively participate in decision-making”

Intersex people, those whose chromosomes and sex organs don’t match up with what is generally considered typically male or female – make up nearly two percent of the human population.

One of the risks associated with sexual assignment surgery on children is that the child is too young to participate in the process, and the sex assigned may not match with the child’s gender identity.

A report from the Human Rights Watch recommended the AAP develop a policy on medically unnecessary and non-consensual surgeries on intersex children consistent with APP standards on Assent, Informed Permission and Consent, and on female genital mutilation.

Human Rights Watch and interACT are joined by the World Health Organization, Amnesty International, Lambda Legal, three former US surgeons general, and international intersex-led organizations in calling for an end to medically unnecessary non-consensual surgeries on intersex children. 


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