September 8, 2011 | by Staff reports
National news in brief: September 9

Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign two LGBT bills into law. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Calif. Gov. Brown to sign 2 pro-LGBT bills

SACRAMENTO — Two major LGBT bills are headed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for signature. The first, ‘Seth’s Law,’ is an anti-bullying bill that would establish anti-harassment policies and programs at all California schools meeting specific criteria.

A second bill would mandate California colleges collect sexual orientation and gender identity data, and designate staff to address the needs of LGBT students on campus, according to Equality California. The law would also require public colleges and universities to include a policy on harassment and intimidation as part of its student code of conduct.

‘Seth’s Law’ is named for Seth Walsh, a California teen who hanged himself after being tormented by anti-gay bullying last year. Both bills are expected to be signed into law.

White House honors Trevor Project, GLSEN

WASHINGTON — Two LGBT non-profits were honored by the White House in a ceremony last week as ‘Champions of Change.’

The Obama administration initiative honors Americans combating some of society’s biggest problems. The Trevor Project, which works to stop LGBT teen suicide and challenge bullying in schools and in sports was honored along with the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, which works in schools to educate the public on the needs and challenges of LGBT youth.

GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard and Trevor Project interim Executive Director and C.E.O. David McFarland received the award on behalf of each of their organizations.

Pentagon to allow gay, lesbian magazine on bases

WASHINGTON — According to the Washington Post, OutServe the magazine will go on sale Sept. 20 at U.S. military bases with the Pentagon’s blessing.

The magazine — which is targeted specifically to enlisted lesbians and gays — is published by the gay and lesbian active duty service members organization that launched last year with the help of social networks, like Facebook. The organization boasts nearly 4,000 members.

Mistrial declared in Lawrence King murder trial

LOS ANGELES — A mistrial was declared after a jury was unable to reach a verdict in the trial of the 17-year-old teen accused of murdering 15-year-old Lawrence King in February 2008.

The heavily scrutinized trial of Brandon McInerney had to be moved to Los Angeles due to the media attention surrounding the shooting of the young gay student, according to news blog FireDogLake. During the eight weeks of testimony, the jury heard from nearly 100 witnesses, with the defense leaning heavily on what is known as the “gay panic defense,” in which a defendant claims he or she acted in a state of violent temporary insanity because of “homosexual panic.”

McInerney brought a gun to school and shot the victim in the back of the head twice at point blank range allegedly after King began wearing makeup to school. McInerney apparently also warned a friend he would be committing the act the day before.

Man ‘curb stomped’ outside Salt Lake City club

SALT LAKE CITY — A gay 20-year-old Salt Lake City man spent four days hospitalized, lost six teeth, and suffered a broken jaw as the result of a brutal attack that included what is called a “curb stomp” outside of a Salt Lake City club.

According to Q Salt Lake magazine, Dane Hall was leaving Club Sound, which is gay themed on Friday nights, when he was attacked by four men wearing red shouting anti-gay slurs. After repeated punches and kicks, one of the assailants positioned Hall’s open mouth on the street curb, and kicked the back of his head, knocking out the teeth, while the others kicked Hall in the abdomen. The assailants stole $40 and Hall’s identification.

A similar attack occurred at the same spot in April, but calls made from the cell phone stolen in that incident did not lead the police to the assailants. Both cases remain open.

A fund to cover Hall’s $30,000 in medical expenses has been set up at a local bank, and both Club Sound and a neighboring bar are holding benefits to raise money for Hall’s medical bills.

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