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News round-up and open thread

Community/Meta Transgender Rights

There’s not much news going on at the moment but we will report on any new developments. The one big news item Cokes from the Fourth Circuit: the Obama administration has filed a brief supporting a transgender student who is barred from using the correct restroom st school.

8 Comments

  • 1. jpmassar  |  October 29, 2015 at 8:29 am

    HPD officer accused of arresting lesbians kissing in store

    The Honolulu Police Department opened an internal investigation Wednesday into allegations that an officer wrongfully arrested a vacationing lesbian couple after seeing them kissing in a grocery store.

    Courtney Wilson and Taylor Guerrero, who were visiting Hawaii from Los Angeles in March, said in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday that they were harassed and arrested because the officer didn't like their public displays of affection in a Foodland store on Oahu's North Shore.

    They were walking through the aisles holding hands and at one point hugged and kissed, the lawsuit said: Officer Bobby Harrison, who was shopping in uniform, "observed their consensual romantic contact and, in a loud voice, ordered plaintiffs to stop and 'take it somewhere else.' "

    The women complied and continued shopping, the lawsuit said. When Harrison again saw them being affectionate with each other, he threatened to have them thrown out of the store.

    "We're used to people making remarks here and there," Wilson said of their two-year relationship.

    While the women were in the check-out line, Harrison grabbed Wilson by the wrist, and she started to call 911, she said.

    "He was bumping his belly against Courtney," Guerrero said. "He said, 'you girls don't know how to act. You don't know the difference between a motel and a grocery store.'"

    When Guerrero tried to get in between her girlfriend and the officer, he shoved her. She kicked him as she was falling, she said.

    "The whole situation got physical," Wilson said. "I got punched in the face by him."

    Because Harrison didn't have any handcuffs on him, store employees helped restrain the women, as customers watched. "You can't really blame them for not getting involved," Wilson said of the bystanders.

    Police earlier told The Associated Press that they couldn't comment on pending litigation, then later said they had opened the internal probe. Police department spokeswoman Michelle Yu said she would pass a message seeking comment from Harrison, a 26-year veteran, to his commander. He remains on full active duty. Foodland, which is not part of the lawsuit, apologized to the women, Seitz said. A Foodland spokeswoman didn't respond to requests for comment.

    The women were arrested and charged with felony assault on an officer. They spent three days in jail and each paid a bail bondsman $1,300 for bail that was set at $12,000 each, they said. They had to remain in Honolulu as a condition of their release.

    The charges were eventually dismissed, said their Honolulu attorney, Eric Seitz.

    In the meantime, they had to stay with family friends or strangers they befriended. At one point thought they would have to go to a homeless shelter. They found jobs cleaning vacation rentals.

    The incident happened on the second day of their vacation, which was their first trip to Hawaii.

    http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/20151

  • 2. JayJonson  |  October 29, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Some high profile endorsements of HERO are coming out now and over the weekend, including Hillary Clinton, Matt Bomer, Sally Field, Julian Castro, et al. I hope that those names help push us over the top on Tuesday.
    http://www.towleroad.com/2015/10/hillary-clinton-

    In addition to the endorsements noted in the link above, President Obama and Vice President Biden have also announced their support for the ordinance. While President Obama is very unpopular in Texas generally, he enjoys a lot of popularity in Houston, especially among minority voters. http://www.joemygod.com/2015/10/29/obama-biden-vo

  • 3. Fortguy  |  October 29, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    The endorsement front is what has been so disappointing. To my knowledge, Matt Bomer is the only national celebrity from Houston that has endorsed HERO. What is shocking is who hasn't endorsed HERO, or done so quietly without media attention.

    Singers/musicians? No one, not even Beyoncé despite the longtime Twitter plea #BeyBeAHERO imploring her to do so.

    Sports figures? There have been no notable public endorsements from any athletes from the Texans, Rockets, or Astros.

    Cinema or TV actors? Thanks, Matt for standing weirdly alone. Not even openly gay actor/comedian Jim Parsons (CBS's Big Bang Theory), a native Houstonian, has made a public endorsement.

    Good Grief!

  • 4. Fortguy  |  October 30, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Multi-billionaires who purchase NFL organizations have a choice. Almost all choose to invest in gifted and supurb talent, community support, and a fun fan-friendly environment needed to make their teams successful, proud symbols of their cities, and profitable to their shareholders. Or they could emulate Bob McNair and waste their resources on conservative politics above all else.

    John Nova Lomax, Texas Monthly: The 72 Hours That Ruined Another Houston Texans Season

  • 5. JayJonson  |  October 30, 2015 at 6:16 am

    Sally Field is working hard in Houston to promote the HERO ordinance. But current polls indicate a statistical tie. So disappointed that the campaign has learned so little from our experience. Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/sally-field

  • 6. 1grod  |  October 30, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Fifty-six percent favor issuing license over personal [religious] objection. Alabama probate judges, including Covington Co's Ben Bowden take note. Just 41% favor your view. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/ap-gfk-p

  • 7. JayJonson  |  October 30, 2015 at 6:40 am

    Marriage equality inches closer to reality in Ireland. The marriage bill has now been signed. Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald must now issue a commencement order which will allow same-sex couples to start getting married.

    Ms Fitzgerald last week said the first same-sex marriages will take place by mid-November.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/bil

  • 8. online payment  |  October 30, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Sally Field is working hard in Houston to promote the HERO audience. But current polls indicate a statistical tie.

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