Media Trail

Activists push for antidiscrimination ban

The Miami Herald reports that Jacksonville, Fla. , gay-rights activists are urging business leaders to support a measure that would ban discrimination based on sexual preference.

Jacksonville is the state’s only major metropolis that doesn’t ban discrimination against gays.

The city’s current ordinance prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations on the basis of race, religion, disability, sex, marital status, national origin, color and age.

Noose found at gay-rights group’s office

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a gay-rights group has found a black noose hanging on the door of one of its Southern California offices.

Equality California phone-bank trainer Mel Distel said she found the noose Oct. 28 when she opened up the Santa Ana office for campaign volunteers.

Distel says she called police and an officer told her, “Sometimes you have to live with being a victim.” She plans to file a formal complaint about the officer’s response.

Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna declined to comment on Distel’s account. He says police are investigating.

The Anti-Defamation League has condemned the noose and urged police to treat the incident seriously.

Court reaffirms custody for lesbian

The Vermont Supreme Court has unanimously granted custody to a lesbian who has been battling to become the guardian of the young girl she and her former partner raised together.

The ruling favors Vermont resident Janet Jenkins, affirming a 2009 court order giving her sole physical and legal custody of their 8-year-old daughter. Lisa Miller, Jenkins’ former partner, remains at large with the child, according to Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, which argued on Jenkins’ behalf.

Vermont “has determined that same-sex couples have the same rights and responsibilities as opposite-sex couples — thus, the sexual orientation of the parents is irrelevant in a custody determination,” the court wrote Nov. 1.

The court added that because Miller fled with the child, her behavior is not in the 8-year-old’s best interests.

— Larry Nichols