Maryland: Gunman Attacks & Kills At Least Four At Capital Gazette Newspaper

Just yesterday, Trump supporter and former senior editor for Breitbart, Milo Yiannopoulos said, “I can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight.”

Today, a shooter guns down journalists in Annapolis, Maryland.

The Baltimore Sun is reporting a shooting has occurred at the Capital Gazette in Anne Arundel County, a paper that is owned by The Baltimore Sun, according to police and Capital Gazette staff.

Anne Arundel County Sheriff says multiple fatalities have occurred, a suspect in custody and the building has been evacuated.

Phil Davis, a reporter for the Capital Gazette, shared the breaking story in a series of tweets:

As a result of the shooting in Maryland, New York City Police has sent extra protective forces to major media office buildings.

It’s worth noting that, on many occasions, Donald Trump has incited anger over the press to his followers. He’s tweeted in the past, “The FAKE NEWS media is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK!”

Maryland Bans So-Called “Ex-Gay” Therapy For Minors

Maryland became the 12th state in the U.S. to ban health professionals from practicing so-called “ex-gay therapy” on minors after Gov. Larry Hogan signed the bill into law today.

Supporters of the ban note the therapy is widely discredited by medical and mental health associations and can lead to depression, lowered self-esteem and in some cases, suicidal thoughts.

The new law will classify the practice as unprofessional conduct.

The practice of “conversion therapy” on minors has also been banned in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, the District of Columbia, and about three dozen cities and counties.

Podcast: “Will & Grace” Finale; New Documentary On The Life Of Sir Ian McKellen “Playing The Part;” MGM Resorts Releases Gender-Flipped Love Songs

In this week’s podcast:

• MGM Resorts released a new collection of wedding songs for LGBTs from Kesha, Bob Dylan and more.

• The finale of Will & Grace aired this week with some surprise couplings.

• A new documentary of the life and legacy of Sir Ian McKellen – Playing The Part.

• Natti Vogel’s new music video “Brown Rice” starring Matthew Wilkas explores the pressures of Instagram fame

• Maryland’s state legislature moves closer to banning so-called “conversion therapy.”

• Anchorage, Alaska, says “no” to transgender discrimination.

All that and more on this episode of The Randy Report.

If you enjoy catching up on LGBTQ headlines in 15 minutes with The Randy Report podcast, please share it with your friends.

I like to think of my newsmagazine podcast as “the 60 Minutes of gay news” – only shorter.

Maryland Becomes 12th State Plus District Of Columbia In Automatic Voter Registration

(image by Maryland Dexter GF via Flickr)

Maryland has become the 12th state in the U.S. to adopt automatic voter registration.

The new law will automatically register voters when they obtain a driver’s license, use state social services or buy insurance on the health exchange.

Automatic voter registration will go into effect in July 2019.

From The Baltimore Sun:

Voters can decline to be registered. But advocates say the automatic voter registration program’s out-opt structure will end up getting more people registered than the current opt-in one.

Already, the Maryland Vehicle Administration and other state agencies offer residents the option of registering to vote. The new law will have state workers informing residents they will be registered to vote unless they decline. It also requires people who electronically file taxes to be offered an opportunity to register to vote.

Oregon was the first to pass automatic registration in 2016 and the result was 270,000 new voters registered and the highest voter participation of any state in the union in the last presidential election.

Anything that encourages eligible voters to take part in the democratic process is a good thing 🙂

More please.

Currently Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and the District of Columbia have adopted automatic voter registration.

p.s. 4 million teens turn 18 before the 2018 election.
p.s.s. 17-year-olds can register to vote if they will be 18 on or before Election Day.

News Round-Up: March 13, 2018

Some news items you might have missed:

• How could I pass up sharing a pic of uber-sexy model Stuart Reardon and wine???

• A federal judge in Maryland has ruled that transgender students have the right to use the rest rooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity.

• Hundreds turn out in support of an out high school football player who was targeted by the hate group Westboro Baptist Church.

• A hospital refused the tissue donation from a deceased 24-year-old because he was gay.

• A Republican candidate for office in Maine viciously attacked one of the surviving students of the Parkland gun massacre as “a skinhead lesbian.”

• With the new coming-out/coming-of-age gay dramedy Love, Simon opening this week, out director Greg Berlanti spoke candidly to NewNowNext about his own teen years as a closeted young gay:

“I can only imagine what I would be feeling right now if I was a 16-year-old watching people like Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy on TV.

“I wasn’t ready to come out in college or high school. I think the fear was similar, and putting on a brave face so people saw me as a happy kid next door. I had family that was close-knit, but that didn’t make me less terrified. I came out in my early 20s, around the dawn of the Internet exploding, which I think made people feel less isolated or alone.”


Maryland DJ Refuses To Provide Services For Gay Man’s 60th Birthday Party

(Graphic via Washington Post)

Well, this will get interesting.

First we had wedding photographers and bakeries refusing to provide services for same-sex weddings based on “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Same-sex marriage was a bridge too far for those folks, and they could not see themselves as “participating” in a same-sex wedding.

Now, however, a Maryland DJ has refused to work at a birthday party being thrown for a 60 year old gay man. No wedding. No unions. Just a party where gay people might be.

And Ultrasound Deejays has a written company policy stating, “we will not be involved in any event involving homosexual celebration or activity. We follow biblical morality.”

More from the Washington Post:

The national debate about how to balance religious conscience protections and gay equality flared in the large, mostly liberal Washington, D.C., suburb of Montgomery County Friday, when Dani Tsakounis tried to help her brother hire Ultrasound Deejays for a party. An owner of the business told Tsakounis he would not provide the DJ because Tsakounis’s brother, a Silver Spring therapist, is married to another man and the birthday party they are hosting is for their 60-year-old roommate, who is also gay.

“I just said, ‘We won’t be able to do it, we’re a Christian organization and it would go against our faith, I’m sorry,’” Michael Lampiris, co-owner of Ultrasound Deejays, said Friday.

Tom Tsakounis, 46, was so upset when his sister told him that he posted the news on his neighborhood listserv, prompting calls of sympathy from neighbors. He also registered a complaint with the Montgomery County Human Rights Commission, which hears cases of alleged discrimination.

Maryland state law has banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodation — which includes businesses “offering goods, services, entertainment” the law says — since 2001.

The article goes on to say that Lampiris admits that he’s turned down bridal parties just because he heard lesbians might be attending.

According to reports, Lampiris didn’t sound very concerned about breaking the law, though, stating, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

Maryland Governor Restores “Gender Identity” To Non-Discrimination Provisions

One day after his inauguration, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued an executive order dropping the words “gender identity” from non-discrimination provisions for Medicaid.

Two pro-LGBT organizations – Equality Maryland & FreeState Legal Project – were quick to respond.

As such, Gov. Hogan has re-issued his executive order to include the words “gender identity.”

From Equality Maryland:

“We are pleased that Governor Hogan re-issued the Executive Order to reflect current state law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Equality Maryland will continue to advocate for the proposed regulation prohibiting discrimination by Medicaid providers to be revived.”

(via Washington Blade)

Maryland Gets Economic Boost From Same-Sex Marriage

NerdWallet.com reports that Maryland’s economy banked $52.7 million from same-sex marriage.

In Maryland, where same-sex marriages have occurred since Jan. 1, 2013, the percentage of the population that identifies as LGBT is 3.3 percent from a population of 5,928,814.

An estimated 1,507 same-sex marriages occurred with an average cost of $34,995 spent on weddings bringing a total of $52,720,973 to Maryland’s economy.

Maryland House of Delegates passes transgender rights bill

Today the Maryland House of Delegates passed SB 212: Fairness for All Marylanders Act with a vote of 82-57. The bill, previously passed by the Senate in an overwhelming 32-15 vote, will extend employment, housing, and public accommodations protections to transgender people in Maryland.

The Human Rights Campaign’s Chad Griffin issued this statement:

“Today, the Maryland legislature brought this country one step closer to the promise of its founding documents by recognizing that everyone should be treated equally, including transgender Marylanders. Being free from discrimination on the job is one of the things that makes our economy thrive and our nation succeed. It’s long past time for these essential workplace protections to extend from coast to coast and everywhere in between.”

Gov. Martin O’Malley has stated he intends to sign the bill into law.

(source)

Maryland state Senate approves ban on transgender discrimination

By a vote of 32-15, the Maryland state Senate has approved a bill that would put in ban discrimination of transgender people in the state.

From the Washington Blade:

“I just hope people realize this is a fairness issue,” said state Sen. Allan Kittleman (R-Howard County).

“It is not our job to discriminate,” added state Sen. Delores Kelly (D-Balitmore County) before the vote. “The bill is carefully crafted. The definitions are clear”

State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County), who introduced SB 212, applauded its passage.

“Today marks a historic milestone in the continued fight to advance equal rights for all Marylanders,” he said in a statement. “The Senate’s passage of the Fairness for All Marylanders Act sends a reaffirming message throughout our state that regardless of whom you are, prejudice and discrimination will no longer be tolerated or exempted from law. With these new anti-discrimination protections for transgender persons one step closer to full passage.”

The bill now moves to the Maryland House of Delegates which approved similar legislation in 2011.