News Briefs

Pocatello LGBT group vandalized

All Under One Roof, a Pocatello, Idaho LGBT advocacy group was vandalized Monday, Aug. 27. The vandal(s) wrote references to the Bible and drew the symbols for peace and love with crosses inside.

“I’d like people to be aware this is happening,” Tom Nestor, the group’s founder told KPVI News — an NBC affiliate. “You know, our allies need to…move forward and…speak up when they see this kind of stuff. And it’s not gonna put me down; it makes me stronger to keep moving on and making a safe place for people.”

All Under One Roof reported the incident to police. But they think they know who did it, as they said a woman came in the week prior and wrote similar writings all over their pamphlets.

Seventh Circuit holds housing providers may be liable for anti-LGBT abuse

In a case closely watched by both LGBT and housing rights advocates, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit overturned a lower court ruling Monday, Lambda Legal wrote in a press release. The court held that Glen St. Andrew Living Community in Niles, Illinois, can be held accountable for purposefully failing to protect lesbian senior Marsha Wetzel from the harassment, discrimination, and violence she suffered at the hands of other residents because of her sex and sexual orientation.

In the ruling, the court said:

“Not only does [the Fair Housing Act] create liability when a landlord intentionally discriminates against a tenant based on a protected characteristic; it also creates liability against a landlord that has actual notice of tenant‐on‐tenant harassment based on a protected status, yet chooses not to take any reasonable steps within its control to stop that harassment.”

Noting that Lambda Legal’s victory in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, ruling that discrimination based on sexual orientation qualifies as discrimination based on sex, “applies with equal force” under the Fair Housing Act, the Court held that “the harassment Wetzel describes plausibly can be viewed as both severe and pervasive,” rejecting the facility’s attempt to dismiss the litany of abuse Marsha experienced “as no more than ordinary ‘squabbles’ and ‘bickering’ between ‘irascible,’ ‘crotchety senior resident[s].’”

Man assaulted at Harvey Milk Plaza in SF

While Michael Levy, 53, was walking home in the Castro District with his husband on the night of Saturday, Aug. 25, a man perched on a wall kicked Levy in the head as they passed by.

Levy told the Bay Area Reporter that he “was totally stunned” when he felt the blow to his forehead. He also commented that shortly following the incident as he and his husband continued home, not confronting the man, the assailant screamed, “Suck a dick you fucking faggot” at him.

The incident was reported to the San Francisco Police Department, but no arrest has been made.

States ask Supreme Court to limit LGBT protection

A group of 16 states urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Aug. 23 to rule that companies can fire workers based on their sexual orientation and gender identity without violating federal workplace discrimination law, Bloomberg Law reported. The states, led by Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, asked the justices to overturn an appeals court decision against a Michigan funeral home that fired a transgender worker.

They said Congress didn’t intend the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to cover bias against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender employees. “The States’ purpose is to note that ‘sex’ under the plain terms of Title VII does not mean anything other than biological status,” Peterson wrote.

Photo courtesy of KPVI News

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