The Weekly LGBTQ News: Issue #6
A group of Muslim youths in Ghana are wanted by police for lynching a gay man. While the authorities are making an effort to catch those responsible, the local community has been uncooperative. It’s been reported that two youths confronted the man and his assumed lover over flaunting their relationship publicly, leading the deceased to physically retaliate by striking the youths, which resulted in a fight. Following the encounter, the youths gathered a mob outside the man’s home and broke into it. The man believed to be the lover of the lynched man has fled, but is being hunted by a gang of Muslim vigilantes. Crime Officer for Nima Divisional Police Inspector Kwadwo Osei has commented that those involved “don’t see [reporting] as helping in investigations; they see it as snitching and that community frowns upon snitching.”
In Connecticut, a sixteen year old trans* teen has been held in solitary confinement since April. The teen has not been charged but remains in an adult prison. Last November, the teen, currently known as Jane Doe, was deemed a delinquent due to a history of violence at facilities where she was housed since being taken into Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families at the age of 12. The teen’s attorney Aaron Romano has filed charges against the Connecticut Department of Corrections as well as the DCF for the illegal transfer of the teen due to the fact she was never charged or tried as an adult. Protests have been held in support of the teen in New York City and Hartford.
Trans* Catholic high school teacher Marla Krolikowski was terminated after being called “worse than gay” by a school administrator. Krolikowski filed a suit against St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens after she was allegedly fired after coming out. On Monday, a judge rejected the school’s motion to have the case thrown out as well as a motion claiming Krolikowski was a minister and the school had the right to terminate her. The judge expressed incredulity at the motion to dismiss, saying “Insubordination after 32 years of teaching? And the insubordination seems to coincide with the expression of being transgender.”
In East Texas, a gay couple was asked to leave after they paid for their breakfast at Big Earl’s Bait House and Galey Café. A waitress told Collin Dewberry and Kelly Williams “[Big Earl’s] does not serve fags” before reciting its house rule: “We like for men to act like men and for ladies to act like ladies so we want you to never return.” Dewberry said it was as if the waitress was reading off a script, which in a way is accurate since the phrase is displayed on its front door. Owner Earl Cheney said the couple violated the rule by touching legs under the table. Cheney added that he never went over to see what “rubbing” was occurring before stating “[it’s] not appropriate in a family restaurant that has a sign on the front door [making it clear] that we just don’t do that here.” Cheney declined to share surveillance video with local station KLTV. When asked his view on how a man should act, he responded with the following: “A man’s supposed to stand up and be a leader. He’s not supposed to be a woman. He’s not supposed to come in here in a dress.” Dewberry and Williams have received support since the incident and Big Earl’s has faced a backlash on their Facebook page.
Also in Texas, the Houston City Council passed an ordinance that prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations with an 11-6 vote. Led by Mayor Annise Parker, who is openly gay, the ordinance has received criticism from religious groups who focus on trans* individuals’ use of public restrooms, claiming men will take advantage of the ruling by dressing up and raping women and children. Local religious institution Grace Community Church spent one evening addressing the ordinance with fierce opposition. They also posted a sign warning women that men were allowed to use the women’s restroom and legally be there. Several pastors and opponents of the ordinance have threatened to attempt a repeal of the ruling by voter referendum, and have vowed to try to remove Parker and others who support the ordinance from office. The LGBTQ community in the city has expressed their happiness at the passing of the ordinance.