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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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Ban on gay blood donors upheld by panel – AIDS- msnbc.com

Posted: June 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Ban on gay blood donors upheld by panel – AIDS- msnbc.com

It ain't much, but it's a start: citing flaws in the research, on June 11th the Health and Human Services Committee called for new research on policy alternatives to the life-time blood-donation ban on gay men, but did not recommend lifting the ban. There was much testimony on both sides of the issue. One possible alternative would be to switch to a 1 year deferral period after homosexual relations, which would bring in an additional 89,000 pints of blood a year. Despite this increase, most of the conversation focused around blood safety rather than blood supply. Some other countries seem to have a good idea of how to keep supplies safe: Spain and Italy screen donors for risky behaviors, rather than simply for orientation. Huh; Good thought!

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Pakistan jails couple over gay marriage allegation – CNN.com

Posted: June 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Pakistan jails couple over gay marriage allegation – CNN.com

18 year old Rani, who was born as a man but lives as a woman, and 42 year old fertilizer dealer Malik Muhammad Iqbal, both Pakistani residents, were arrested and now face up to 10 years in prison. Peshawar police Chief Shoukat Ali said that their investigation "shows [Iqbal] likes these people more than women. He admitted it. This is a psychological disease when men are attracted to men and not attracted to women."

Iqbal and Rani deny the allegations. "We were only celebrating my birthday," Rani said, according to a CNN report, which says that "prosecutors say it was a marriage that was taking place. Police smashed their way in, broke up the party, arrested 43 dancing guests, Rani and Iqbal. Iqbal says he was just another guest at the party."

Rani is one of about 400,000 people known as 'khusra,' called eunuchs, transsexuals or transvestites. "After decades of discrimination, Pakistan's Supreme Court recognized khusras as a minority last year—but many are still mocked in public."

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Law.com – Jury Finds Sex Bias by Novartis, Supports Punitive Damages

Posted: May 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Law.com – Jury Finds Sex Bias by Novartis, Supports Punitive Damages

Multinational Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. was ordered to pay $3.3 million in compensatory damages after a jury of 5 women and 4 men found the company guilty of "discriminating against women in pay and promotion and on the basis of pregnancy," Mark Hamblett writes at Law.com. According to plaintiffs' lawyer, Steven Wittels, "this is the first gender bias class action in which a jury will have awarded punitive damages. [The judgment] is a resounding verdict for women all across the country, both at Novartis and elsewhere, who for too long have been underpaid and underpromoted and have suffered at the hands of male-dominated companies."

The company released a statement expressing disappointment in the verdict and "maintained the company believed plaintiffs' claims [of paying women less than similarly situated men are] unfounded." The defense team said "random or isolated acts of discrimination" only amount to "anecdotal evidence." Some 5,600 women are part of the class-action suit.

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Update: Two days after finding the company guilty of discriminating against women, a U.S. jury decided that Novartis Corp. must pay $250 million in punitive damages, Reuters reports. David Sanford, a lawyer for the women, “had argued in court on Tuesday that the jury should award between $190 million and $285 million in punitive damages, which is about 2 to 3 percent of the company’s $9.5 billion 2009 revenue.”


Louisville School Targets Student Over Her Lesbian Parents | Gay Rights | Change.org

Posted: May 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Louisville School Targets Student Over Her Lesbian Parents | Gay Rights | Change.org

Assistant Principal Angela Allen of Crosby Middle School in Kentucky is facing official complaints after telling a 12 year old girl who stood up to homophobic comments about lesbian parents "should simply ignore such comments and grow some thicker skin." The remarks were made by students on her bus, but also from Ronell Mattingly, her bus driver!

The student was then disciplined by being forced to ride in the back of the bus. An open Change.org petition is asking that the bus driver gets reassigned to a new route and that the school apologize. Jordan Palmer of the Kentucky Equality Federation said, "The school certainly is not giving 'an environment that fosters self-discipline and self direction' as stated on their website." Indeed, people have long said that gays shouldn't adopt kids because their kids will be teased. Now they're making sure that happens.

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