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Trans woman judge hopes to make US history – from Pink News

Posted: June 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Trans woman judge hopes to make US history – from Pink News

"Victoria Kolakowski, 48, is the frontrunner candidate for superior court judge in Alameda County, California," Pink News reports. Victoria is a trans woman and, if elected, would "make history by becoming the first trans person to be…a trial court judge in the United States." She'd also be the first openly GLBT superior court judge elected in Alameda County.

On her website, KolakowskiForJudge.com, she writes, "I believe that interacting with a transgender judge would help the other judges, court staff, police, district attorneys and the private bench to see people like me as respectable professionals and even colleagues, and not as 'freaks'." As no candidate got a majority vote, a run-off will be held in November between Ms Kolakowski and lawyer John Creighton.

According to the Pink News article, Ms Kolakowski transitioned from male to female in 1989, lives with her wife, and married the first day gay marriage was legal in California.

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Rolling Back the Discrimination | News Features | Advocate.com

Posted: June 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Rolling Back the Discrimination | News Features | Advocate.com

Despite Walmart's policy forbidding anti-gay discrimination, 18 year old Fernando Gallardo alleges a Las Vegas location's supervisor forced him to wear "a yellow vest no one else had to wear, much like Jews had to wear a yellow star of David in Hitler's Germany." After filing a complaint with Walmart HR to no avail, he's now taking on America's largest retailer with a Nevada Equal Rights Commission complaint. At Advocate.com, Michelle Garcia says "if his claims are found to be true, Gallardo could be entitled to monetary compensation amounting to $114,000 and a position at another Walmart store."

Walmart corporate spokesman Phil Keene explained the yellow vest as "a rotation through the position of 'May I Help You' associate," in which "associates in this role wear a vest so customers can identify them and ask for help in finding products that may have been temporarily moved to a new spot." Gallardo alleges he was "completely ignored and shunned" during his 2 months as an employee.

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IRIN Asia | BANGLADESH: Educating girls lowers maternal death rate | Asia | Bangladesh | Gender Issues Health & Nutrition | News Item

Posted: June 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on IRIN Asia | BANGLADESH: Educating girls lowers maternal death rate | Asia | Bangladesh | Gender Issues Health & Nutrition | News Item

Maternal mortality rates (MMRs) in Bangladesh have more than halved in less than a decade, down from 724 deaths per 100,000 births to only 338, and correlate with higher education levels, according to a study in The Lancet, a British medical journal. "Improving the education of women has been a key factor in bringing down the MMR," an IRIN News article reads. "Increased access to education has had huge ramifications in socioeconomic development and maternal mortality. […] Women who are better informed are also more active in making family planning choices."

The article says lack of female medical professionals is a major cultural obstacle, because women "are not comfortable with male health workers." Associate health director of BRAC, a Dhaka, Bangladesh-based NGO, said, "If we want a long-term and sustained decline in MMR, we have to invest in the education and employment of women."

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Scare tactics, blocking sites can be bad for kids | InSecurity Complex – CNet News

Posted: June 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Scare tactics, blocking sites can be bad for kids | InSecurity Complex – CNet News

"Schools often filter sites or block social networks, believing it is in the best interest of the students," Elinor Mills writes at CNet, but "blocking the sites can have a negative effect on student safety," according to the 148-page "Youth Safety on a Living Internet" report commissioned by the US government. Among others, the report debunks the myth of widespread child sexual predation on the Internet, noting that "use of MySpace and Facebook by adolescents did not appear to increase their risk of being victimized by online predators."

While "'new' issues" like sexting have grabbed headlines, cyberbullying—particularly against GLBT youth—is a far bigger problem. Other under-reported problems are identity theft and loss of reputation. The report says child safety concerns, particularly around sexually explicit material, should be approached by promoting "media-literacy education," not "scare tactics."

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Boulder condom company Sir Richard’s looks to help other countries – Boulder Daily Camera

Posted: June 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Boulder condom company Sir Richard’s looks to help other countries – Boulder Daily Camera

Boulder-based vegan condom company Sir Richard's plans to donate 1 condom to help prevent STIs in developing nations for every condom they sell in the US. Local reporter Brittany Sovine says, "Their new condoms will be marketed toward women, college students and the gay community by using a 'very disruptive' product design, according to co-founder Mathew Gerson. […] Made in Malaysia, they will be produced without casein, a dairy byproduct that is conventionally used in the manufacturing process."

Sir Richard's says they're aiming for 2% of the condom market share, currently dominated by Trojan with over 70%, and "plans to sell the condoms nationwide at eco-friendly grocery stores and retail locations that target a socially progressive customer" come this October. Moreover, a Student Ambassador program partnering with university health departments has been launched by the company at Stanford, with the University of Colorado joining this fall, to raise awareness of safer sex on campuses.

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Feminisnt » An argument for more sex workers to be out?

Posted: June 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Feminisnt » An argument for more sex workers to be out?

Citing Andrew Sullivans' analysis of "Why The Gay Movement is Winning," highlighting that 77% of people say they know a gay or lesbian person today compared with 42% in 1992, independent pornographer Furry Girl urges sex workers to come out of the closet. She says that "Being out [does] loads of good by humanizing a stigmatized part of our society, of which almost no one openly admits they're either a creator/provider or consumer. You can help dispel stereotypes simply by showing people that sex workers are not a monolithic caricature of abused, drug-addled illiterates covered in open sores. […] When your opposition depends on secrecy and shame to influence public opinion, openness is a powerful weapon."

As more gay people come out of the closet, discriminating against them is made harder. Would the same hold true for sex workers? We think so.

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D.C. LGBT Activists Push to Legalize Prostitution – The Sexist – Washington City Paper

Posted: June 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on D.C. LGBT Activists Push to Legalize Prostitution – The Sexist – Washington City Paper

Among The Gay & Lesbian Activist Alliance (GLAA) 2010 priorities such as "keeping same-sex marriage legal, fighting HIV in D.C., and addressing the city’s response to hate crimes," is the controversial goal of legalizing prostitution. GLAA political director Rick Rosendall calls the group's position "essentially conservative", noting that criminalizing "survival sex" does little to help people in need of services like job programs, substance abuse treatment and housing. DC reporter Mike DeBonis paraphrased the argument by saying, "get rid of the street trade, and you get rid of the accompanying trash, loitering, and noise problems." Rosendall adds, "Most of the public officials we talk to agree with us privately," although to date none have said so publicly.

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