LAPD to house trans detainees separately
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department has adopted a policy of housing transgender detainees separately from other prisoners, according to Frontiers LA.
The changes, which dictate that transgender detainees be transported to the new women’s module of the downtown Detention Center, rather than to local jails, come as part of a major overhaul of policies regarding LAPD interaction with trans individuals.
“You know, there is no down side for the police department,” said LA Police Chief Charlie Beck. “All this does is build trust. All this does is ensure that we do what we say which is: … treat people equally, apply the law equally.”
The new policies also include guidelines for using appropriate gender pronouns, for using a detainee’s preferred name, giving detainees access to clothing of their preferred gender and barring officers from frisking a detainee for the sole purpose of determining gender.
Discharged service member to be reinstated
SACRAMENTO — Staff Sgt. Anthony Loverde, discharged in 2008 under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” will be reinstated to the U.S. Air Force and will return to active duty, according to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which represented him in his lawsuit against the armed forces.
“I am honored and humbled to return to the service of my country and the job I love,” said Loverde, who will take the oath in Sacramento in May and be assigned to 19th Operations Squadron at Little Rock AFB in Arkansas. “I am grateful to my legal team and all of those in the armed forces who helped to facilitate this reinstatement. I am eager to take the oath and get to work.”
Loverde was one of three plaintiffs represented by SLDN in the case Almy v. U.S. He is only the second member of the armed forces discharged under DADT since its repeal, the first being his co-plaintiff, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jase Daniels, who was reinstated as a Navy linguist in December. The third plaintiff, Air Force Major Mike Almy, expects a resolution soon.
Illinois marriage bill dead for the year
CHICAGO — Gay Illinois Assembly member, Greg Harris, tells LGBT website Chicago Phoenix the votes “aren’t there,” for a bill he authored that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in that state.
“They call it a struggle for equality for a reason,” The Phoenix quoted Harris, whose civil unions bill passed in 2010. “I look at the roll call for the civil union bill and the people that voted at that time. Nearly a quarter of the people in the senate and a third of house are gone. We have a whole new group of legislators that have to be educated to get back to that original level of support.”
Civil unions offering many of the same benefits as marriage have been available to same-sex couples in Illinois since June 2011, but across the western state line, same-sex couples in Iowa have been able to marry legally since 2009.
Psychologist renounces his 2001 ‘ex-gay’ study
NEW YORK — In an interview with American Prospect magazine, influential clinical psychologist, Dr. Robert Spitzer, renounced a 2001 study he conducted that supporters of “ex-gay” reparative therapy have used to justify their tactics for more than a decade.
Spitzer was the driving force behind removing “homosexuality” as a mental illness from the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnosis manual, but later upset the psychology world with his study of patients who claimed success of “ex-gay” therapy methods.
“In retrospect, I have to admit I think the critiques [of my study] are largely correct,” Dr. Spitzer told the American Prospect. “The findings can be considered evidence for what those who have undergone ex-gay therapy say about it, but nothing more.”
Spitzer says he made several attempts to convince the editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior to print a retraction, but this was denied.
Spitzer asked the American Prospect to print a retraction for him, “So I don’t have to worry about it anymore.”
‘Equality’ riders arrested in Colorado
LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Five members of Soulforce’s “Equality Ride” and a member of the Denver community were arrested Tuesday at Colorado Christian University as they attempted to engage the campus community in a discussion of LGBT tolerance.
The riders were arrested for attempting to engage in a Bible study after the university declined to meet with the riders over concerns that LGBT students on campus faced a difficult climate. Other members of the ride distributed “affirming” materials at the campus entrance. The riders were expected to be released by Tuesday evening.