News Bites for October 28, 2015

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender headlines for the week.

Lesbian

Couple Who Sued Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Marry

(AP) April Miller and Karen Roberts stood before a minister Saturday night, hand-in-hand, and said the two words they fought for months to exchange.

"I will."

The people packed into the room around them jumped into a standing ovation. They all wore matching rainbow buttons that read #LoveWins.

The couple, the first denied a license by Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, celebrated their wedding Saturday, capping a months-long saga that landed them in the middle of a national firestorm over religious freedom and civil rights.

They laid out one rule for their guests: no one was to mention Davis.

"This is about us and our wedding," Roberts said.

When the Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage across the nation in June, Davis cited "God's authority" and stopped issuing marriage licenses. Miller and Roberts, along with three other couples, filed a lawsuit against her.

Davis continued to refuse them, again and again, in defiance of a series of federal court orders. U.S. District Judge David Bunning held her in contempt on Sept. 3 and ordered her to jail.

Miller and Roberts, a couple for 11 years caring for a disabled daughter together, got a license the next day, issued by a deputy clerk who agreed to sign them in Davis' absence. The couple, who still had to return the license to the clerk's office for recording, worried about what might happen once Davis got back to work. So they scrambled together a private wedding, alone at their home, the following Thursday.

Roberts said it was not how she imagined her wedding would be. So they held a second ceremony Saturday in a reception hall at the Pines at Sheltowee in Morehead and invited 125: friends, family and dozens of people they met just four months ago, on the courthouse lawn outside Davis' office.

Gay

Olympic Athlete Gus Kenworthy Comes Out

(SFGN) Top-ranked free skier Gus Kenworthy won Olympic silver at Sochi, is the face of the X games, and is appearing on the cover of ESPN. But Kenworthy’s biggest obstacle to overcome was the fear he faced in coming out as gay last Thursday.

"I never got to be proud of what I did 
in Sochi because I felt so horrible about what I didn't do," Kenworthy says. "I didn't want to come out as the silver medalist from Sochi. I wanted to come out as the best free skier in the world,” Kenworth tells ESPN.

Kenworthy took to social media to elaborate on the revelation.

"My sexuality has been something I’ve struggled to come to terms with. I’ve known I was gay since I was a kid but growing up in a town of 2,000 people, a class of 48 kids and then turning pro as an athlete when I was 16, it just wasn’t something I wanted to accept. I pushed my feelings away in the hopes that it was a passing phase but the thought of being found out kept me up at night. I constantly felt anxious, depressed and even suicidal. 

"Looking back, it’s crazy to see how far I’ve come. For so much of my life I’ve dreaded the day that people would find out I was gay. Now, I couldn’t be more excited to tell you all the truth. Maybe you’ve suspected that truth about me all along, or maybe it comes as a complete shock to you. Either way, it’s important for me to be open and honest with you all. Y’all have supported me through a lot of my highs and lows and I hope you'll stay by my side as I make this transformation into the genuine me - the me that I’ve always really been.” 

Bisexual

Daughter of Movie Legend Vincent Price says He was Bi

(SFGN) Victoria Price, daughter of Vincent Price was interviewed by online LGBT outlet, Boom to promote the 50th anniversary re-release of her parents’ cookbook, “A Treasure of Great Recipes.” While it’s a subject Victoria has avoided in the past, she did open up during the exclusive.

"Everybody asks me was your dad bisexual, was he bisexual," said Price. "And it was Roddy McDowall who said to me, you know, we didn't have any idea what bisexuality meant in that sense, and if we didn't know, then how can we know the answer to that question."

The 53-year-old Price, and out member of the LGBT community went on to say, "I am as close to certain as I can be that my dad had physically intimate relationships with men. I know for 100 percent fact that my dad was completely loving and supportive of LGBT people."

She describes coming out to her father in the 70’s.

"The interesting thing for me,” she said, “is that when I came out to him and he said to me, 'you know, I know just how you feel because I have had these deep, loving relationships with men in my life and all my wives were jealous.' In a funny way, and I think I'm going to cry, he understood me at 22 better than I understood myself then.”

Transgender

Gov. Cuomo Extends Discrimination Protections to Transgender New Yorkers

(Equality Federation) New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced at Empire State Pride Agenda’s gala that he will issue regulations to protect transgender people from discrimination in housing, employment, credit, education, and public accommodations.

Governor Cuomo will direct the State Division of Human Rights to issue regulations that would extend existing protections against discrimination in New York’s Human Rights Law so that protections based on sex are defined to include gender identity, gender expression, and gender dysphoria.

Nathan Schaefer, Executive Director of Empire State Pride Agenda said, “After years of tireless advocacy, we’ve won a tremendous victory for transgender civil rights with Governor Cuomo’s announcement tonight.  We look forward to working with the Administration to quickly implement these regulations so transgender New Yorkers are protected from discrimination—a basic civil right that is long overdue.”

After a 45 day comment period, people who have experienced discrimination based on their gender identity will be able to file complaints with the Division of Human Rights, the state attorney general, or through the courts.

Lambda Legal issued the following statement from M. Dru Levasseur, Director of Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Project:

“This is very welcome step —these rules will provide guidance and help alleviate some of the very real problems transgender New Yorkers experience. We thank the Cuomo Administration for working so hard to make this step happen. There has been a long-standing gap in spelling out explicit protections that bar discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

“Transgender people in New York experience high rates of discrimination and violence and are turned away from jobs, rejected by health care providers and are denied a range of services—these new regulations will make clear discrimination is unacceptable.”

Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Project works to expand and defend protections for transgender people under federal, state and local laws and other policies. Learn more: http://www.lambdalegal.org/issues/transgender-rights


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