Media Trail

Rep. apologizes for sex accusations

The Nashua Telegraph reports New Hampshire state Rep. Nancy Elliott apologized Feb. 16 and withdrew her claim that gay sex was being taught to fifth-graders.

“I would like to apologize to the Judiciary Committee, the Nashua public schools and its employees and the speaker, as well as anyone else affected,” Elliott said.

Elliott’s comments were made during a Feb. 12 Judiciary Committee hearing for a bill that would repeal same-sex marriage. She said a parent had told her that fifth-graders had been shown pictures of naked men and taught how to engage in anal sex.

Nashua school officials have insisted her charge was false.

Elliott said she went back to her source of the statement to verify the information.

“I found that I could not confirm the accuracy of the information,” she said.

Court reverses $6.2M discrimination award

The Washington Post reports a California appellate court has reversed a $6.2-million verdict in a discrimination lawsuit filed by a black lesbian firefighter.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals issued a decision Feb. 18 in the lawsuit filed by Brenda Lee, who sued the city of Los Angeles alleging the fire department discriminated against her.

Lee claimed her superiors made derogatory comments about her and put her through grueling drills without proper safety precautions.

The appeals court said that Lee failed to pursue all administrative remedies following her termination in 2005.

The 2007 jury payout was the largest in a string of settlements of discrimination cases against the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Gay group asks U of Alaska to update policy

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports members of the gay-straight alliance at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have again asked the Board of Regents to add sexual orientation to the school’s nondiscrimination policy.

Tristan Walsh told regents Feb. 18 that the UA system is lagging behind other state universities in its protection of LGBT students and employees.

Regent Kirk Wickersham said the board is committed to dealing with the issue this year, but the search for a new UA president has slowed the process.

— Larry Nichols