AIDS Nonprofit Again Sues SF, Wiener
(EDGE) An AIDS nonprofit that's been trying to move a pharmacy in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood is again suing the city and gay Supervisor Scott Wiener, claiming discrimination.
The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed its latest complaint April 28 in San Francisco Superior Court. In court documents, the nonprofit accuses Wiener of opposing its plans because AHF has been an outspoken critic of PrEP, which Wiener takes and which is supported by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
"For at least the last two years, AHF has continuously, very loudly, and very forcefully argued against the adoption of PrEP as a widely used method of attempting to prevent HIV infection," the nonprofit, which expresses safety concerns about the prevention method, says in its complaint.
The nonprofit claims Wiener and others enacted controls against its plans "in retaliation against AHF for engaging in its aforementioned protected First Amendment activities."
In a phone interview Monday, Wiener said AHF's claim about the AIDS foundation is "completely untrue. My action had nothing to do with favoring or disfavoring anyone, and everything to do with closing a loophole so AHF and others could not game the formula retail rules."
He was referring to how, at least at one point, the nonprofit had planned to call the space Castro Pharmacy instead of AHF Pharmacy. By doing so, he said, AHF was "pretending not to be formula retail."
The commission "failed to proceed in the manner required by law, its decision is not supported by its findings, and its findings are not supported by substantial evidence," AHF says.
AHF is seeking $500,000 in damages from the city, plus other costs.
SF Woman Denies Threat, Hate Crime Claims
(EDGE) A San Francisco woman has been accused of threatening to kill two drag performers outside a gay South of Market nightclub while wielding a knife and yelling anti-gay and anti-trans slurs.
Pearly Martin, 29, pleaded not guilty April 27 to two felony counts of making criminal threats, and misdemeanor charges of exhibiting a deadly weapon and vandalism of less than $400. Each of the felony counts carries an allegation of a hate crime based on the victims' gender and an allegation of use of a deadly weapon.
Rakesh Modi, a co-owner of Club OMG, at 43 Sixth Street, said in a Facebook exchange that he heard Martin make comments like "I have a real pussy and you don't," and "I will kill you faggots" to "some drag queens who were outside leaving the club." Bar staff called police. Court records say the incident occurred Monday, April 25.
At Martin's arraignment last Wednesday in San Francisco Superior Court, Assistant District Attorney Brenna Kantrovitz said Martin had been "brandishing a knife," and in the squad car, she had screamed "multiple curse words" and "kicked out a window."
Martin had also told people that her boyfriend had a gun and would kill them, Kantrovitz said.
Deputy Public Defender Chesa Boudin said the allegations involved "simply verbal threats," and there hadn't been any physical violence. No weapon had been found on Martin, he said.
Martin, who didn't comment as she appeared in court Wednesday in an orange sweatshirt and pants, is in custody at San Francisco County Jail #2 on $300,000 bail, according to the sheriff's department. She initially agreed to an interview request made through a deputy Friday, but minutes later changed her mind and declined to speak to a reporter.
Her next court date is May 10.
Ariz. High Schooler Exposes Himself in Yearbook, Gets Arrested & Playgirl Offer
(EDGE) An Arizona high school student who was recently arrested after exposing himself in a yearbook photo received an offer to pose nude for Playgirl.com.
Hunter Osborn, a football player at Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Ariz., was facing 69 charges for indecent exposure and one count of furnishing harmful items to minors, after showing off his junk in a team photo that was published in the school's yearbook, which was sent to 3,400 students, many of whom are underage, according to CBS affiliate KPHO. Instinct magazine reports all the charges have been dropped, however.
The Maricopa County Attorney's Office released a statement regarding the charges.
"An assessment of the available evidence for the felony charge of Furnishing Harmful Items to Minors, ARS 13-3506.A., leads us to conclude that the evidence does not establish a violation of the statute," said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. "MCAO has furthered review of remaining misdemeanor charges submitted by the Mesa Police Department for possible submittal to the Mesa City Prosecutor's Office."
Local police also announced the incident exposure counts were nixed as no one involved wanted to press charges, according to AzCentral.com.
Osborn could have more to celebrate if he accepts Playgirl's offer. A spokesperson for the X-rated publication spoke with blog Naughty Gossip about the student athlete and his prank gone wrong.
"We're trying to reach this kid to get him in Playgirl. We want to support him as this was a hilarious prank, and people are too tightly wound. Playgirl.com would like to have him pose naked and pay his legal bills," they said.
It's unclear if Osborn has accepted the offer.
Alabama Chief Justice Faces Ouster After Gay Marriage Fight
(AP) Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore - ousted from office more than a decade ago over a Ten Commandments display - now faces removal from the bench over his effort to block gay marriage from coming to that state after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission on Friday filed ethics charged against Moore, saying that the state chief justice abused the power of his office and displayed disrespect for the judiciary.
The charges largely stem from a Jan. 6 administrative order Moore sent to probate judges telling them an Alabama order and law banning same-sex marriages remained in effect. His order came six months after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges effectively legalized gay marriage.
"By issuing his unilateral order of January 6, 2016, Chief Justice Moore flagrantly disregarded a fundamental constitutional right guaranteed in all states as declared by the United States Court in Obergefell," the Judicial Inquiry Commission wrote in the charges.
The Court of the Judiciary will decide whether Moore is guilty of violating judicial ethics. If found guilty, he could face removal from office.
Moore issued a statement Friday night saying he doesn't believe the commission has authority over administrative orders and state court injunction. Moore, as he did in a press conference last week about the complaints, referenced a recent protest outside his office by gay and transgender people.
"There is nothing in writing that you will find that I told anybody to disobey a federal court order. That's not what I said," Moore said last week. Asked if judges should be issuing licenses to gay couples, Moore said it remained for "probate judge to decide."
North Carolina Governor Leads Lawsuit Over LGBT Rights
(AP) North Carolina filed a lawsuit Monday against the federal government in a fight for a state law that limits protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Gov. Pat McCrory's administration filed the lawsuit seeking to keep in place the law the U.S. Justice Department said last week violated the civil rights of transgender people.
The Justice Department had set a deadline of Monday for McCrory to report whether he would refuse to enforce the last that took effect in March.
McCrory's defiance could risk funding for the state's university system and lead to a protracted legal battle.
McCrory and other state officials have been under pressure since the U.S. Justice Department warned last week that the law passed in March violates civil rights protections against sex discrimination on the job and in education for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
In letters, federal civil rights enforcement attorneys focused particularly on provisions requiring transgender people to use public restrooms that correspond to their biological sex.
'Duck Dynasty' Patriarch Sends Anti-Trans Email Over Bathroom Laws
(EDGE) Surprise, surprise: "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson, who made headlines a few years ago after using homophobic language in a GQ interview, is back at lashing out against the LGBT community.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the reality star teamed up with the controversial group Citizens United to raise money and sent out an email to conservatives over the weekend, blasting trans rights.
"This is Phil Robertson from Duck Commander and I've got a radical idea," he wrote in an email, according to THR. "Men should use the men's bathroom and women should use the women's bathroom. Just because a man may 'feel' like a woman doesn't mean he should be able to share a bathroom with my daughter, or yours. That used to be called common sense. Now it's called bigoted."
He adds: "The Judeo-Christian values that led America to greatness are under full assault by the mob mentality of political correctness, and we're slowly losing our soul."
Robertson's email also includes a link to StandTallWithPhil.org, which asks for donations for "Speak Freely," a joint effort between the reality star and Citizens United.
"As Americans, we ought to be able to speak freely about our faith in God and live by our values without fear of coercion," the website reads.
Teen Girl Reportedly Takes Life Over Struggles With Sexuality
(EDGE) A teenage girl from Scotland reportedly took her own life Friday, after struggling with her sexuality, the British newspaper the Mirror reports.
Chloe Orr, 15, was found dead in her garden shed in Dumfries, Scotland and left behind a letter detailing her inner turmoil.
The teen's mother, Kelly Moorhead, 35, said Orr, who was openly gay, was having trouble accepting her sexuality.
"When Chloe came out, we all accepted her...but Chloe couldn't," Moorhead told the Mirror. "She really struggled with being a lesbian."
The newspaper reports Orr was joking with her mother hours before she took her life. According to the Daily Record, the teen's family started to worry about her when they couldn't reach her Friday evening. They tried calling her cell phone several times but Orr didn't answer. Around 10 p.m. her family discovered her body in her garden shed after hearing her phone ring.
"I kept calling but there was no answer. We heard the phone ringing inside the shed and we found her," Moorhead told the Mirror.
Orr reportedly left behind a suicide note and a lock of her hair for her mother. In the letter, the teen wrote she was sorry but could not cope, despite the support from friends and family.
Orr's relatives said they were shocked by her death and did not know of her struggles with her sexuality. The teen leaves behind a twin sister Samantha as well as a 12-year-old brother and a seven-year-old sister.
A friend of Orr's told the Sun, the teen "appeared to be happy, but a smile can often cover a lot of pain. She was beautiful, really intelligent and fun."
Police said they took Orr to the hospital Friday night. She was pronounced dead shorty after. Authorities do not suspect suspicious circumstances in Orr's death, the Mirror notes.