World AIDS Day in London, LGBT protections, teacher fired over Facebook comments, and charges dropped against Boyd Corbin.
International — London Celebrates World AIDS Day
Around 100 people, mostly from the LGBT community, gathered for a World AIDS Day mass inside a Catholic church in London. It was a rare occasion for the church to acknowledge, from the pulpit, gay men exist in its congregation – and not in a condemning tone. The mass was supported by Positive Catholics, a peer support network of Christians living with HIV, at Farm Street Church in the Mayfair district. “If the LGBT community doesn’t remember, who will?,” said Vincent Manning, Chairperson of CAPS, a charity which supports Positive Catholics. There are 100,000 people living with HIV in the U.K.
National — More Protections for the LGBT Community
The U.S. Labor Department announced a new rule in regards to discrimination in the federal contracting workforce. The rule adds workplace protections covering sexual orientation and gender identity in accordance with President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13672, signed July 21. “We are building on the work of presidents and members of Congress from both parties who have expanded opportunities for America’s workers,” said Patricia A. Shiu, director of the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which will enforce the new regulations. Currently, 18 states and the District of Columbia offer workplace protections to LGBT employees.
State — Teacher Fired for Insensitive Comments
A teacher at Florida State University in Tallahassee resigned last week after she made insensitive comments on Facebook. Deborah O’Connor, a senior lecturer in the FSU College of Business, used a gay slur when commenting about the U.S. Justice Department’s decision to investigate the shooting death of a 12-year-old black boy by police. O’Connor went on to insult President Barack Obama, claiming he has “single-handedly turned our once great society into a Ghetto Culture, rivaling that of Europe.” O’Connor’s comments were screen captured by Susie Sharp, founder of the Social Media Club and sent to FSU President John Thrasher and Board of Trustees Chairman Allan Bense.
Local — Charges Dropped Against Wilton Mayoral Candidate
The State Attorney’s Office has dropped charges against Wilton Manors resident Boyd Corbin for his role in a 2012 Halloween tussle. Ron Ishoy, spokesman for the Office of State Attorney for the 17th Judicial Circuit, confirmed to SFGN that the case was not to be prosecuted. Corbin, who recently campaigned for Wilton Manors Mayor, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and battery stemming from an altercation with drag queen Michael “Dame Edna” Walters. Corbin was dressed as a Klu Klux Klansman and was carrying a lighted torch. Corbin finished third in the Wilton Mayors mayoral election with 190 votes.