BangorDailyNews.com reports the Maine Human Rights Commission found that the Orono School Department discriminated against a transgender child.
The commission’s ruling came in the case of a fifth-grader who was initially allowed to use the girls’ bathroom even though she’s biologically male. Educators later required her to begin using a unisex restroom after a male student harassed her.
Melissa Hewey, attorney for the school department, said the decision may make sense on an intellectual level, but she’s not sure it “takes into account practicalities that face educators around the state.”
The commission’s decision is not binding and the case could be brought to court by the agency if conciliation efforts fail.
Probe called into gay sailor’s death
MSNBC.com reports the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee is calling for a probe to determine whether the killing of a gay sailor at Camp Pendleton was a hate crime.
Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.) said he wants an investigation into the death of 29-year-old Seaman August Provost, found slain in a guard shack June 30.
Nicole Murray-Ramirez, chair of the San Diego Human Relations Commission, said Provost’s family told her that personnel on the base had been harassing the sailor.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has taken a “person of interest” into custody but has not filed any charges.
Mennonites protest exclusion of gays
365gay.com reports an estimated 100 gay and lesbian Mennonites dressed in bright pink gathered outside the church’s official convention in Columbus, Ohio, on July 2 and criticized its leaders for trying to push them out.
The protest brought the deeply divisive issue to the forefront of the Mennonite Church USA conference, a biannual, national gathering of 8,000 delegates.
The Mennonite church does not recognize openly gay people as official members. But in some congregations, gay Mennonites are welcome as long as they remain celibate.
Congregations are disciplined or sometimes kicked out all together for allowing non-celibate gay members to worship with them. Pastors who perform civil unions for gays risk losing their ordination.
— Larry Nichols