LGBT week in review: Lesbian student expelled, Griner inducted, lesbian moms denied

LGBT week in review headerBY CANDY PARKER

What did you miss this week in the world of LGBT news? Check out our round-up and you’ll be ready to gather ’round the rainbow-colored water cooler to talk about five of the biggest, best and most interesting stories for July 6 – July 12.

Lesbian college student expelled for marrying partner

On Wednesday, Christian Minard, 22, received written notice from Southwestern Christian University that she was being expelled. The reason? She married her same-sex partner.

“I was informed that you recently married someone of the same sex and saw a few pictures from Facebook,” Brad Davis, the school’s vice president of student life, wrote. “Of course, this is opposing to our view as an International Pentecostal Holiness denominational university as well as the Lifestyle Covenant that all students must agree and sign.”

Minard, who married her partner March 17, is just one semester shy of earning her degree in sports management from the the International Pentecostal Holiness Church affiliated university. She claims that other students violate the cited Lifestyle Covenant regularly without repercussion and believes she was singled out for being a lesbian.

The expulsion leaves the would-be senior with an uncertain future.

“I’m trying to figure out how and where I can graduate,” Minard told CNN, noting that she’ll have to start paying off her loans at the end of next year unless things change. “… It’s going to be hard to get into classes that may be full, because they gave me very little notice before the fall semester starts.”

Italian mayor wants to ban same-sex PDA

If Mayor Gianluca Buonanno of Borgosesia, an Italian municipality, gets his way same-sex couples who kiss in public could be fined up to 500 euros ($680 USD) for the affectionate display.

Per a Huffington Post translation, Mayor Buonanno told Italian newspaper La Repubblica, “Kissing in public between homosexuals? No thanks… It’s a matter of respect. And I am convinced that is morally harmful for children.”

Buonanno is regarded as an eccentric, having previously engaged in behavior uncharacteristic of someone in position, including shredding the European Union flag to use as a handkerchief, waving a sea bass around during a session of Parliament and now announcing his intention to add a photo of anti-gay Russian President Vladimir Putin to his office decor.

According to Pink News, European Parliament member Daniele Viotti said the “new decree is just the latest, pathetic publicity stunt by a narrow-minded man who desperately wants to be in the spotlight.”

Colorado marriage ban struck down

On Wednesday, District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree ruled that Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Crabtree found that Amendment 43 of the state constitution, approved by voters in 2006 and defining marriage as being between one man and one woman, “bears no rational relationship to any conceivable government interest.”

In his 49-page decision, the judge also stated that, “confining same-sex couples to civil unions is further evidence of discrimination against same-sex couples and does not ameliorate the discriminatory effect of the Marriage Bans.”

Crabtree immediately put his ruling on hold pending an appeal and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers issued a statement on his website indicating his intention to do just that.

“Judge Crabtree provides additional clarity that until the high court rules on the issue of same-sex marriage, Colorado’s current laws remain in place,” said Suthers.

2014 Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame inductees

Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner and Olympic swimmer Diana Nyad were among those honored Friday as inductees into the LGBT Sports Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame, a non-profit organization launched in 2013 and headquartered in Chicago, was established to honor individuals and organizations whose achievements and efforts have enhanced the fields of sports and athletics for the gay and lesbian community.

Other notables joining Griner and Nyad in the 2014 class were Billy Bean (MLB), Wade Davis (NFL), Mayor George Moscone (straight ally, deceased), Tom Daley (Olympic diver) and Nike.

The inaugural 2013 class of inductees included tennis legends Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, and LPGA Tour champion Patty Sheehan.

Lesbian moms denied family pool pass

An outdated ordinance in Galion, Ohio, which defines a family as a “mother, father and up to three children” came under fire this week when Melody Mohn and her partner, Hela Young, attempted to buy a family pool pass at Galion’s Heise Park.

Mohn, a mother of three, had purchased a family pass for herself and her three children for the past nine years, but when she inquired about adding her partner under the “family” rate, she was denied based on the city’s definition of family.

Members of the city council agree that the ordinance language needs to be changed.

“We certainly don’t want to do anything to prevent children and parents to go swimming in our pool,” Carl Watt, Galion City Council president, told a local news station, adding about the current definition of family, “I mean, 20 years ago, it probably fit the scene, but not today. Not today’s lifestyle.”

Mohn is glad the City Council will be updating the ordinance and has no regrets about pushing for the change.

“We’re not the only same-sex couple, and we’re not the only non-traditional family, either,” said Mohn.

Given that the pool is set to close next month, it is unlikely that the Mohn/Young household will enjoy a family rate at the pool until 2015.

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