News Briefs: Anti-Trump Ad Features Mother of Pulse Victim, Romanian Man Asks Court to Recognize His Same-Sex Marriage & More!

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Politics - Clinton Tells South Florida Crowd About Trump's 'Terrible' Record on LGBT Rights

(EDGE) Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton campaigned in South Florida on Sunday where she warned a largely LGBT audience in Wilton Manors that her Republican challenger would pose a threat to the advances made in LGBT rights under the Obama administration.

"Donald Trump has a terrible record on LGBT rights," she said. "This election determines whether we continue the progress we made or let it be ripped away."

She went on to warn the crowd that her opponent would nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn the legality of [same-sex] marriage. 

She further warned that the reality TV star turned politician would repeal President Obama's executive orders against LGBT discrimination should he be elected. 

Clinton then went on to tell the crowd that if elected, she would call upon the congress to pass The Equality Act. The currently stalled legislation has overwhelming Democratic support with less than a handful of GOP lawmakers backing the bill. 

"We will work together to achieve the AIDS-free generation," she told the crowd. 

The Miami Herald reports that Clinton's visit to South Florida comes as she is in a dead heat in the state with Trump. Clinton was ahead by only a fraction of a percentage point according to a Real Clear Politics average of the polls through Thursday.

 

Politics - LGBT Law, Hurricane Jostle Close N. Carolina Governor's Race

(AP) Republican Gov. Pat McCrory has been unable to quash the firestorm over his signing of a law limiting protections for LGBT people, while trying to focus his re-election bid on North Carolina's economy, taxes, teacher pay and his recent response to historic flooding.

That legislation has reinforced this election as a referendum on North Carolina's conservative shift under McCrory and the Republican-led legislature. The gubernatorial contest is one of the nation's most competitive, with several polls showing McCrory and Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper in a statistical tie.

Cooper wants to repeal the law known as House Bill 2, which among other things directs transgender people to use bathrooms in schools and government buildings that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates. He also says he'll work to restore the state's progressive image if elected and has launched an ad blasting the LGBT law, saying it's "trashed our brand" and cost thousands of jobs.

"North Carolina is better than this. We always have been. We will be again," Cooper, the state's attorney general since 2001, told dozens of Democratic volunteers working for him in Greensboro.

McCrory got a shot at resetting the campaign narrative this month when flooding spread following flooding triggered by Hurricane Matthew, as he made near-daily appearances on the news leading response and recovery efforts. One of his recent ads shows footage from the storm and the riots sparked by the fatal shooting of a black man by Charlotte police.

"The last four years I've focused on my job as governor. The campaign has always been secondary," McCrory told The Associated Press in an interview, adding that with "any event that happens in a state ... you just do your job. But I assume if we didn't do it right, there would be political ramifications."

 

National - Anti-Trump Ad Features Mother of Pulse Nightclub Shooting Victim

(AP) The mother of one of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting has made an ad asking how someone could vote for Donald Trump.

The digital ad was released Wednesday by the gay rights group, the Human Rights Campaign. It features Christine Leinonen, the mother of Christopher Leinonen, who was one of the 49 Pulse patrons killed during the massacre.

In the ad, Leinonen says, "We have to continue to moving forward as an inclusive society." She goes on to say, "If you love a gay person, if you know someone who's gay, and you truly love them, I don't know how you could justify a vote for Donald Trump."

She then encourages voters to pick Hillary Clinton.

View the video at http://bit.ly/2e5RU49.

 

Legal - ND City Approves LGBT Anti-Discrimination Resolution

(EDGE) City leaders in Bismarck have quietly approved a resolution condemning discrimination in housing, employment and services based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

It has no force of law, but members of the LGBT community are still pleased with the move in the wake of the Legislature's defeat last year of a resolution seeking the same rights statewide, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

"The city commission doesn't condone discrimination in any shape or form," said Mayor Mike Seminary.

Kevin Tengesdal, who served in a discussion on the issue in Bismarck, said he sees the resolution as a promising step for the city and that he hopes North Dakota pursues a nondiscriminatory effort statewide.

"This moves the issue and conversation forward where sometime it will go statewide," said Caitlin McDonald, program assistant at the North Dakota Women's Network, an advocacy group. "Bismarck stands with protecting LGBT, and discrimination is not part of its values."

Mathew Leidholm, a board member of LGBT advocacy group Dakota Outright, said the resolution is one of the most important steps Bismarck could have taken in protecting its citizens and creating a culture of acceptance.

 

National - Pulse Victim's Mom Says Calls' Release Would Be Traumatizing

(AP) The mother of a patron who was gunned down at a gay nightclub in Orlando says in a letter to a judge that the release of audio recordings of 911 calls from the club during the massacre would be "traumatizing."

Rosetta Evans wrote the letter to an Orlando judge ahead of a hearing next Monday on whether the 911 calls should be made public.

The city of Orlando and two dozen media groups have been fighting over the release of more than 600 calls dealing with the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The city made public around two-thirds of the calls.

But the city says releasing the remaining calls would violate a law prohibiting the release of recordings that depict a killing.

 

International - Romanian Man Asks Court to Recognize His Same-Sex Marriage

(AP) A Romanian man asked his country's Constitutional Court on Thursday to recognize his marriage to an American man, in a case that has pitted the nation's conservative majority against those who want to move into the European mainstream.

Adrian Coman, a 45-year-old Romanian gay rights activist, wants the court to rule that his 2010 marriage in Belgium to U.S. citizen Claibourn Robert Hamilton, also 45, is legal in the way it would be if the couple was not the same sex.

"Our values are no different from any other family in Romania," Coman said.

Romania and Belgium are both members of the European Union. Romanian law allows the family of a Romanian citizen to take up residence in Romania, regardless of their nationality.

But as the law stands now, Coman could marry a woman in Romania and not be found guilty of bigamy, his lawyer, Iustina Ionescu, told the court.

He and Hamilton, a graphic designer and San Antonio native, live in New York City and took legal action to get their union recognized in Romania in 2012. In an unusual move, court president Valer Dorneanu on Thursday thanked Coman for his sincere remarks.

Opposition to same-sex relationships is often fierce in Romania, where homosexuality was decriminalized in 2002. The Constitutional Court has postponed ruling on Coman's case twice before.

Religious groups want the national Constitution amended to define marriage as only the union of a man and a woman. Nearly 3 million people have signed a petition demanding a referendum to change the constitution, which currently states that marriage is a consensual act between spouses.

President Klaus Iohannis recently voiced his support for same-sex couples and warned of "religious fanaticism." Political leaders and some Romanians criticized his outspoken stance.


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