News Briefs: Mandy Moore on Gay Family, N. Carolina Lost 700 Jobs & More!

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Emails: Anti-LGBT Law Cost N. Carolina Project with 700 Jobs

(AP) Internal emails show that city and state officials blame a North Carolina law limiting LGBT protections for a company's decision to pick another state for a new project that includes 700 jobs.

The Charlotte Observer reports it obtained emails showing the law known as HB2 was cited as a key factor in CoStar Group's decision not to put its hub in Charlotte.

One email to city officials says the real estate research firm's CEO received pushback from his board over HB2 when he sought to move forward with negotiations. The Sept. 20 email was from a local Chamber of Commerce executive to a city official.

An Oct. 25 email between North Carolina officials refers to "Spring 2016 Legislation" - an apparent reference to HB2 - as the reason the project was lost.


Mandy Moore Opens Up on Family, Says Mom & 2 Brothers are Gay

(EDGE) Actress Mandy Moore opened up about her nontraditional family this week in an interview with Byrdie, revealing she has two gay brothers and that her mom is also gay. 

The singer, who currently stars on the hit NBC show "This is Us," said her family is "the least traditional" and talked about her LGBT siblings and mother.

"I've never really talked about this, but my parents are divorced. My mother left my father for a woman," she told Byrdie. "And both of my two brothers are gay."

Moore, 32, went on to say that her own marriage with rocker Ryan Adams (they've since divorced) was her way of trying to be traditional but added: 

"I learned that that wasn't going to be the fruitful experience I wanted it to be," she said. Moore went on to say that her family is "exactly where they should be. Everyone's so much happier, richer, and more fulfilled, being their authentic selves."

"I want to have kids in the next couple years," the actress said. "I always said that I want to take care of myself to the best of my ability before I venture into that phase of my life."


Designer Tom Ford: Melania Trump 'Not Necessarily My Image'

(AP) Fashion designer Tom Ford says first lady-to-be Melania Trump likely won't be wearing his clothes in the White House.

During an appearance on "The View" on Wednesday , Ford said he had been asked to dress Melania Trump "quite a few years ago" and declined because "she's not necessarily my image."

Ford says he is a Democrat and voted for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, but added that even had Clinton won, she shouldn't have worn his clothes because "they're too expensive." He says his clothes cost a lot to make and the president needs to "relate to everybody."

Asked if Melania Trump should wear expensive clothes, Ford replied: "I'm going to leave that to Melania."

Designer Sophie Theallat wrote an open letter last month urging colleagues not to dress Melania Trump.


Federal Court Weighs Key Decision on LGBT-Workplace Bias

(AP) A rare full-court session of a U.S. appeals court in Chicago heard arguments Wednesday on whether protections under a 1964 Civil Rights Act should be expanded to cover workplace discrimination against LGBT employees, as hopes dim among some gay rights activists that the question will be resolved in their favor following Republican election victories.

Several of the 11 judges at the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals signaled they are ready to enter what would be a historic ruling broadening the scope the 52-year-old landmark law, with the court directing the toughest questions during the hour-long hearing at a lawyer who argued only Congress could extend the protections.

Judge Richard Posner repeatedly interrupted the lawyer representing an Indiana community college that was sued by a lesbian for alleged discrimination and at one point asked: "Who will be hurt if gays and lesbians have a little more job protection?" When attorney John Maley said he couldn't think of anyone who would be harmed, Posner shot back, "So, what's the big deal?"

Even if the 7th Circuit becomes the first U.S. appellate court to rule that the law covers sex-orientation bias, legal experts say the issue is likely to land before the Supreme Court. Chances of a majority of justices agreeing that workplace protections should include LGBT workers will be slimmer if President-elect Donald Trump fills a high court vacancy with a social conservative.

A GOP-majority House and Senate also makes it unlikely the next Congress will amend the statute, said Chicago-based labor lawyer Barry Hartstein.

"You can't count on Congress or the courts," said Hartstein, who wants the act to cover LGBT workers.

President Barack Obama's administration has taken the position that the law already prohibits discrimination of LGBT workers. It has criticized courts for a reluctance to reach the same conclusion.


UN LGBT Expert Vows Broad Investigation into Abuses

(AP) The first-ever U.N. independent expert selected to investigate violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people is vowing to forge ahead with wide-ranging investigations despite formidable opposition to his appointment.

The expert, Thai legal scholar Vitit Muntarbhorn, said in Bangkok on Wednesday that he will find ways to work with countries opposed to his appointment.

He is tasked with writing a U.N. report and responding to complaints of discrimination and abuse. He plans to visit countries around the world to carry out his duties.

His U.N. position was in peril last week when a group of African nations nearly derailed his appointment by the U.N. Human Rights Council, but the amendment to block him was defeated.

He faces a final vote next month in the General Assembly.


No Ruling Yet After Hearing in Louisiana LGBT-Rights Dispute

(AP) Lawyers for Louisiana's governor and attorney general clashed in court Tuesday, in a struggle about the limits of the statewide elected officials' authority and Gov. John Bel Edwards' executive order aimed at protecting LGBT rights.

Baton Rouge Judge Todd Hernandez heard a full day of witness testimony and legal arguments in the latest in a series of disputes between the Democratic Gov. Edwards and Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry.

But the state district court judge didn't rule on Landry's request to block Edwards from enforcing his executive order prohibiting discrimination in government and state contracts based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He also didn't rule on Edwards' request to spell out the boundaries of the attorney general's authority.

Instead, Hernandez asked for follow-up written arguments by Friday and said he'd make a decision quickly thereafter.

"There's an awful lot of testimonial evidence submitted to the court to decipher," he said.

Edwards says his LGBT-rights protection order, issued in April with an exception for contractors that are religious organizations, is a statement that Louisiana doesn't discriminate.

Landry, seen as a possible challenger to Edwards in the 2019 governor's race, calls the order executive overreach - arguing it's unconstitutional because it seeks to establish a new protected class of people that doesn't exist in law and that lawmakers refused to add.

The attorney general has stalled legal contracts that contain the anti-discrimination language, a move the governor says exceeds Landry's authority.

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