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Philadelphia Gay News www.epgn.com August 16-22, 2019

Media Trail Restaurant to pay $40,000 in pact over gay server’s harassment A Virginia restaurant operator has agreed to pay $40,000 to resolve a lawsuit that claims its employees routinely harassed a gay server with homophobic epithets and taunted him about his sexuality, according to Washington’s Top News. A federal judge on Aug. 8 signed off on the settlement between the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Mejia Corp., which does business as El Tio Tex-Mex Grill restaurant in Gainesville. The commission’s September 2018 lawsuit claimed restaurant employees also harassed the gay server’s heterosexual friend, a busser, based on their friendship. The settlement calls for the server and his friend to split the $40,000 payment from the

COHEN from page 1

“It was one of the factors that contributed to my decision to leave the race. But the overall reason was that I didn’t see a path to victory. So I withdrew from it.” A victory for Cohen, as she noted, also would be groundbreaking, as City Council never had an “out” LGBTQ member.

OUTLAW from page 15

ernment tasked with responding to attacks on LGBTQ people outside the U.S.; • Authorization of sanctions against those who commit anti-LGBTQ human rights violations abroad and a requirement that the U.S. State Department must report on those violations in its annual human rights report;

SWEDEN from page 12

While efforts like this seem “basic,” Wainwright Höckerfelt said, allowing children to grow up authentically is as simple as offering kids options, like choosing from a “smorgasbord” of toys

NATIONAL PGN

company. The agreement also bars the restaurant from engaging in or condoning sex-based harassment of any employee. An attorney for the company didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment Aug. 10.

Virginia transgender bathroom case: Judge favors ex-student

case goes to an appeals court that oversees Maryland, West Virginia and the Carolinas.

to Transathlete.com, which tracks state policies.

Transgender athlete policy is California city denies permit subject of civil rights probe for Straight Pride rally

A judge in Virginia has ruled that a school board’s transgender bathroom ban discriminated against former student Gavin Grimm. The Aug. 9 ruling by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen in Norfolk is among several across the nation favoring transgender students who faced similar policies. The Gloucester County School Board’s policy required Grimm to use girls’ restrooms or private bathrooms. The judge said Grimm’s rights were violated under the U.S. Constitution and a federal policy that protects against gender-based discrimination. The issue remains far from settled. A patchwork of differing policies governs the nation’s schools. But Allen’s ruling will likely strengthen similar claims made by students in eastern Virginia. It could have a greater impact if the

ABC News reported the federal Office of Civil Rights has launched an investigation into Connecticut’s policy allowing transgender high school athletes to compete as the gender with which they identify. The investigation follows a complaint by the families of three girls, who say they were discriminated against by having to compete in track against two athletes who are biologically male. They say that violates Title IX, the federal law designed to ensure equal athletic opportunities for females. The Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference says its policy follows a state anti-discrimination law that says students must be treated in school according to the gender with which they identify. Connecticut is one of 17 states that allow transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions, according

The Los Angeles Times reported a Northern California city has denied a request to hold a so-called Straight Pride rally at a park. Modesto city officials on Aug. 9 denied an application by the National Straight Pride Coalition for an Aug. 24 event at Graceada Park. Organizer Don Grundmann estimated 500 people would attend. The group says it supports heterosexuality, Christianity and white contributions to Western civilization. Opponents argued the rally would promote hatred of LGBTQ people and minorities. City spokesman Thomas Reeves said the permit request was denied over safety concerns, because the group lost its liability insurance and the parks department determined the event wasn’t consistent with park use. However, Reeves says the city would allow the rally at a downtown plaza if the group proves it has insurance by Aug. 13. n

“I’m seeking the support of the LGBTQ community because I think this is a great opportunity to succeed in electing one of our own,” she said. Cohen added that Council needs progressives. “I am a lifelong Democrat. But my candidacy [as an Independent] is an electoral strategy to get more progressives on

Council. We progressives should not be conceding two of the seven at-large seats to Republicans.” In an interview with PGN, Alvarez questioned Cohen’s honesty. “I oppose how Sherrie lied to the community and said that she dropped out of the race to heal the community. That was an outright lie. She dropped out because

she came up with a plan to run as an Independent because she wasn’t getting the support as a Democrat,” said Alvarez. “I don’t want to attack her as a person, but I don’t want her on City Council,” she added. “I don’t want dishonest representation.” Fletman’s ruling is expected in the next few days. n

• A nondiscrimination policy codified in all U.S. foreign assistance programs to ensure inclusion of LGBTQ people in all U.S. funded programs; and • Permanent establishment of LGBTQ identities as a “social group” for the purposes of claiming asylum in the U.S. Titus’ bill has support from 52 cospon-

sors and many civil rights organizations. While the introduction PRIDE Act and the GLOBE Act are small steps, and potentially politically motivated given the upcoming elections, they play a significant role in our fight for equality. It shows that the new wave of politicians are attempting to honor this country’s diversity and provide long-overdue justice to countless same-sex couples across the country who

have been denied benefits and privileges during a time when this country shamefully denied our existence as well as reinstituting the United States as a country that not only cares about human rights but is willing to act to protect the rule of law. If nothing else, the simple act of introducing these two bills show that (some) legislators are taking the fight for equality seriously. n

at daycare. “Getting dressed up, trying different roles, being police if you’re a girl, princess if you’re a boy, there’s no way to fuss about that,” she added. Tomičić told PGN she hopes to see

Olika continue to grow and publish up to 40 books per year. Additionally, she’d like to see books offered to a wider-ranging age group. “Sometimes, as we hear here, ‘Olika’ can be tricky, there’s a lot of fear,”

Tomičić said. “You can always detect fear, and that is why we try to make Olika something positive. It’s not dangerous, it’s just different. We are different and that is OK, we can still live side by side.” n

Reporting via Associated Press

Profile for The Philadelphia Gay News

PGN Aug. 16-25, 2019  

“The Philadelphia Gay News is the nation’s most award-winning LGBT publication, and the largest LGBT media outlet in the region.”

PGN Aug. 16-25, 2019  

“The Philadelphia Gay News is the nation’s most award-winning LGBT publication, and the largest LGBT media outlet in the region.”