September 28, 2011 | by Staff reports
National news in brief: September 30

NFL adds sexual orientation to non-bias language

NEW YORK — In its latest collective bargaining agreement with its players union, the National Football League has quietly added sexual orientation to its non-discrimination statement.

According to LGBT issues sports blogger and sports law expert, Pete Olsen in the ‘Wide Rights’ blog, the league that governs the lucrative professional football teams in the United States this week added the two words to a 2006 non-discrimination statement that previously included race, religion and national origin.

Outspoken NFL LGBT ally and a Player Association rep to the talks from the Cleveland Browns team, Scott Fujita said the lawyers are responsible for the change, rather than any representatives from the groups at the table.

“Our counsel is pretty progressive [and] on top of such issues,” Fujita told Olsen on Twitter, “so I imagine this was worked out during the ‘lawyer’ discussions when players weren’t around.”

According to blogger Olsen, Perry v. Schwarzenegger lead counsel Ted Olson and David Boies were also present on opposite sides of the contract talks, with Boies representing the team owners and Olson representing the players.

Trans org unveils standards of care recommendations

ATLANTA — The World Professional Association for Transgender Health unveiled new standards of care for transgender and transsexual individuals Sunday at the largest annual meeting of transgender health advocates in the country.

According tothe Georgia Voice, the organization released the seventh version of the standards of care, removing “gender identity disorder,” and replacing it with “gender dysphoria.” The new standards were greeted with applause from the audience.

Bill would curb criminalization of people with HIV

WASHINGTON — A new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives would bar states from creating laws that target HIV-positive individuals with harsher punishment based on their HIV status.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced the bill last week in hopes of eliminating laws that unevenly affect HIV-positive individuals, such as stricter punishments attached to disclosure laws, and punishments on behaviors that have no risk of spreading infection, as is the case with an HIV-positive Texas man given a 35-year sentence for spitting on a police officer. Thirty-four states have laws that criminalize non-disclosure of HIV.

Ind. election includes three out gay candidates

INDIANAPOLIS — For the first time in the city’s history, openly gay Democratic candidates are running in the Indianapolis City Council elections.

The City Council race, which has never seen an openly gay major party candidate, now has three openly gay candidates vying for one at-large seat and two district spots. On the ballot are Zach Adamson, who was endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund for his at-large race against three other candidates for four open seats, as well as Jackie Leigh Butler and Todd Woodmansee, who are both running against Republican incumbents.

“The historical significance of it is the fact that it doesn’t matter,” Woodmansee told the Indianapolis Star. “We can have people running regardless of what their sexual orientation is, regardless of what their race is and regardless of what their religion is.”

Retailers backing away from anti-gay ‘charity’ marketer

SEATTLE — With the aid of online petition sites like Change.org, several LGBT advocates have successfully pressured major retailers to cut ties with an Internet marketing firm that gives a portion of purchases made through its portal to anti-gay charities.

In a recent New York Times profile, Seattle activist Stuart Wilber recalled discovering that portions of purchases made through CVN.com run by the Christian Charity Give Back Group aided anti-gay groups like SPLC certified hate group the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family. The purchases could be made through retailers like Macy’s, Barney’s New York, Microsoft, Apple and Netflix. All have since left the network, leaving companies like Office Max, Office Depot and Elizabeth Arden.

“I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding, Microsoft,’” Wilber told the Times, about launching his petitions.

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