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Politics - Emily’s List Backs Lesbian Minn. Congressional Candidate

(SFGN) Angie Craig, a Democrat from Minnesota, is running for Congress. Craig is a married, out lesbian -- a fact which Craig’s political opponents are attempting to use against her, according to political action committee, Emily’s List.

The PAC, which supports the election of pro-choice, Democratic female candidates, released a statement on Wednesday calling out the homophobic opposition campaign being waged by Republican leaders in Minnesota.

“Last week a local Republican leader put out a fundraiser invitation for Angie's opponent with a photo of Angie, her wife, and their four children alongside family photos of four Republicans who are running for office. The caption below the photo said, "She's a liberal and this is her family. She and her female marriage partner and their 4 teenage sons," as if Angie's family was a problem,” the statement reads.

Craig’s opponent is former right-wing radio show host Jason Lewis, who has been quoted as saying that allowing transgender students to use the school restroom of their choice is an “abomination.”

In 2012 he said, "You've got a vast majority of young single women who couldn't explain to you what GDP means. You know what they care about? They care about abortion. They care about abortion and gay marriage. They care about 'The View.' They are non-thinking."

The PAC is asking for donations of $3 to help get Craig elected over Lewis. Donations can be made at If elected, Craig would be the first openly gay person to represent Minnesota in Congress.



International - Pope Backs Opposition to Mexico Gay-Marriage Proposal

(AP) Pope Francis has voiced support for Mexican bishops and citizens opposing the government's push to legalize same-sex marriage.

At his weekly Sunday blessing, Francis said he willingly joined their protest "in favor of family and life, which in these times require special pastoral and cultural attention around the world."

Tens of thousands of people marched through Mexico City on Saturday to protest President Enrique Pena Nieto's proposal on marriage. Wearing white, they held banners warning against same-sex marriage and demanding parents' right to control sex education in schools.

Francis has opposed gay marriage and has railed against "gender ideology," particularly as taught in schools. But he rarely intervenes publicly in national debates, preferring to let local bishops take the lead.

Francis visited the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Mexico in February.


International -- Uganda: Police Stop Gay Pride Parade Deemed Illegal

(AP) Ugandan police on Saturday prevented organizers from holding a gay pride parade on the orders of a government minister who said such an event is illegal.

Police blocked organizers from staging the event at two locations outside the Ugandan capital, Kampala, said Frank Mugisha, a gay rights leader in Uganda.

More than 100 LGBT people turned up for the event Saturday at a beach on Lake Victoria. Most were later ordered into minibuses and escorted by police to Kampala, apparently for questioning, the reason one young man jumped off a moving minibus and injured himself, Mugisha said.

"They are traumatized," he said.

The LGBT people who had traveled in the mini-buses were later set free, he said.

Homosexuality is a crime in Uganda, as in many African countries. A colonial-era law proscribes homosexual sex acts "against the order of nature." Gay rights leaders say the LGBT community faces discrimination, violence and extortion.

In August, Ugandan police briefly arrested about 20 people attending a gay pride event at a nightclub in Kampala. Following that raid, Mugisha and his colleagues decided to postpone the pride parade until September.

On Wednesday, Simon Lokodo, the Ugandan minister in charge of ethics and integrity, issued a strong statement condemning public activities of homosexuals and urged police to arrest them if they went ahead with the parade.

In 2009, a Ugandan lawmaker introduced a bill that prescribed the death penalty for some homosexual acts, saying he wanted to protect Ugandan children. The proposed bill prompted international condemnation. A less severe version of the bill passed by lawmakers was rejected by a Ugandan court as unconstitutional.


National - Chelsea Manning Punished with 2 Week Solitary Confinement for Attempting Suicide

(AP) Transgender solider Chelsea Manning has been punished by prison officials with two weeks in solitary confinement after she tried to take her life in July, the Guardian reports.

Manning is serving a 35-year prison sentence in a Fort Leavenworth prison in Kansas for leaking classified government documents to Wikileaks.

Seven days of the punishment have been suspended indefinitely, "in effect reserved in case prison officials feel Manning poses further disciplinary problems. Manning did not indicate whether she intends to appeal against the punishment," the Guardian writes.

Manning also gave a statement.

"The term for this status is 'disciplinary segregation'," she told Fight for the Future, an advocacy group supporting Manning's behalf. "There is no set date set for this to start. After I receive the formal board results in writing, I have 15 days to appeal. I expect to get them in the next few days.

"I am feeling hurt. I am feeling lonely. I am embarrassed by the decision. I don't know how to explain it," Manning added.

Manning recently made headlines for going on a hunger strike earlier this month to protest the government's refusal to treat her gender dysphoria disorder. After five days, the government approved Manning to undergo gender transition surgery.


National - After Being Blocked from Bringing Date to Dance, Gay Student Sues Catholic School for $1M

(EDGE) An openly gay student at an all-boys Catholic school in Memphis, Tennessee tried to bring a date to his homecoming dance last year but school officials blocked him from doing so. The teen is now suing the school under Title IX, arguing he was discriminated against because of his sexual orientation, NBC News reports.

Lance Sanderson, 19, made headlines in 2015 after administers at Christian Brothers High School refused to let him to take a male date to the homecoming dance. Even though he earned online support via a petition, he was still not allowed to bring his date and Sanderson decided to skip the event all together. 

He was suspended from school days later and when he returned, Sanderson says students used derogatory language towards him. Sanderson finished his senior year at home and did coursework online, missing his graduation. 

"I was very active at school," he told NBC News. "It was a big part of my life, and it was all of a sudden gone. I was alone 24/7."

Sanderson filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Circuit Court and is seeking up to $1 million in damages from the school on a number of several state and federal claims, including breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent training and a violation under Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, according to NBC News.

National - Scrotox Boom? Requests for Scrotal Botox are On the Rise

(EDGE) Is scrotox actually a thing?

The Sun for Fox News reports that the number of men requesting Botox to decrease lines and increase the appearance of their scrotum is on the rise. 

Inquiries about the procedure (dubbed "scrotox") which can cost about $3,100 and involves injecting Botox into the scrotum, have doubled in the past year, according to experts.

In addition to having smoother balls, a scrotox procedure can also ease sweating and makes the proverbial coin purse look bigger by helping the muscles relax.

"Over the past year, requests for scrotum Botox have doubled at Transform [clinic], showing the huge demand and interest for this procedure," said Mark Norfolk, clinical director of the UK national clinic.

And although scrotox is a quick fix for getting wrinkles out of your yam bag, Norfolk insists that only way to get rid of excessive wrinkles and loose skin on a man's scrotum is to have surgery to remove the excess skin.

"As the vaginal rejuvenation market is skyrocketing, men are seeking their own type of rejuvenation," wrote Dr. Jason Emer, a Beverly Hills surgeon in Cosmetic Surgery Times.

Surprising, the procedure isn't just for older guys.

"I have many younger male patients who are interested in this," Emer wrote.

"Who wouldn't want to be a little bit longer, thicker, or have more sensitivity and a better sex life?"


National - University Adopts Nickname Policy for Students, Workers

(EDGE) A university in Pennsylvania is allowing students and workers to use nicknames on some campus records, including student identification cards and emails, in an effort to better allow them to express their identities.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Clarion University says it's the first of the state's 14 state-owned universities to implement such a policy. It became effective this fall.

Officials say anyone can use a preferred first name once they apply. The policy aims to support some international and transgender individuals, among others.

The university can reject or revoke names that it deems inappropriate, including situations involving fraud, obscene language or avoidance of a legal obligation.

Nicknames also can be used on class and grade rosters, university press releases and social media sites.


Workplace - Ex-Employee Sues Whole Foods for $75K for Anti-Gay Harassment, Discrimination

(EDGE) A former employee for Whole Foods in Boulder, Colo., is suing the supermarket company for anti-gay harassment and discrimination she said she endured, and is seeking $75,000 in damages, the Denver Post reports.

Jennifer Johnston, who is lesbian, claims her boss frequently asked her if she thought other people in the market were gay. She says her boss said that she would know who was gay because Johnston, who is married to a woman, could use her "gaydar," a federal employment discrimination lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver, which was obtained by the Post.

In the suit, Johnston claims she experienced similar type of discriminatory harassment on a daily basis at the Whole Foods location, which she called a "hostile and abusive" work environment. She said it led to her "constructive" resignation, according to the court papers.

Johnston worked at the Boulder Whole Foods after transferring there from a Pennsylvania location on Dec. 5, 2014. She resigned on July 22, 2015 and said most of the abuse started in February 2015 and came from her supervisor Tawny Duckworth, who no longer works at Whole Foods, according to the Post.

Johnston says she asked her boss to stop asking offensive questions that focused on her gender and sexual orientation. After filing a discrimination complaint with the store's general manager on July 2, 2015, she received an apology and an offer to work a different shift to avoid Duckworth. But another coworker had issues with Johnston and she later resigned from Whole Foods.

"Said resignation constituted an involuntary termination," the suit reads, according to the Post.

Johnston is looking for $75,000 in damages for emotional distress, which includes mental anguish, according to the court docs. She's also seeking future and past pay, as well as punitive damages.


Politics - NOW Protests Against Trump Modeling Agency

(EDGE) NOW and The Feminist Majority are calling on Donald Trump to shut down Trump Model Management until disturbing allegations that the Republican presidential candidate's modeling agency engaged in labor exploitation of girls and young women have been thoroughly investigated. 

This protest will kick off the #WomenWant2Know campaign to raise questions that need to be answered by Donald Trump -- because women's lives and well-being are at stake. 

Members of NOW and Feminist Majority protest labor exploitation at Trump Model Management, and demand immediate shutdown of the modeling agency. 

Featured guests inlcude Terry O'Neill, NOW President; Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority President; and Sonia Ossorio, NOW New York President.

NOW and Feminist Majority demand that Donald Trump suspend all operations at Trump Model Management until the allegations of exploitation of girls and women have been thoroughly investigated. The demonstration will mark the launch of the #WomenWant2Know social media campaign, which will highlight ways that Trump's treatment of women has been sidelined from the national conversation.