Friday News Bites: LGBTQ Progress, Gun Violence + More

Hello, everyone! I’m back after a month off and I’ve got a mostly good news roundup to ease us into our first October weekend. Let’s get right to it:

First up, a few odds and ends:

Pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong have continued as the country fights for elections free from China’s oversight. The protesters have faced tear gas and other “crowd control” pushbacks, but the movement continues.

This made me giggle a bit: A man in Portland stole a doughnut delivery van, and when police caught him, he was indeed eating a doughnut. That’s some serious hunger, man. (Ed. As a person who recently drove forty five minutes to the nearest West Coast Dunkin Donuts, this speaks to me.)

Remember Book It! from Pizza Hut? If you were an American kid since the ’80s, I bet the taste of those personal pan pizzas is forever imprinted in your mouth. In celebration of the reading program’s 30th anniversary, they now have a “Book It! Alumni” program, so go on and get yourself one more pizza.

In Gun News (since unfortunately this is a thing with frequent enough stories worth mentioning):

After the Secret Service did not adequately respond to a gunman making it onto White House grounds, there have been further investigations into their security preparedness.

The grand jury in charge of investigating the Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown is now being investigated for misconduct:

An account of possible jury misconduct surfaced Wednesday morning on Twitter, when several users sent messages about one juror who may have discussed evidence in the case with a friend.

In one of those messages, a person tweeted that they are friends with a member of the jury who doesn’t believe there is enough evidence to warrant an arrest of the officer, Darren Wilson.

The same person who tweeted about being friends with a member of the jury has also tweeted messages of support for Wilson.

In better news, a Florida man has been convicted of shooting 17-year-old Jordan Davis after a “loud music dispute” in 2012. The shooter, Michael Dunn, will spend life in prison.

It is now illegal to kill wolves in Wyoming, after a judge determined that the state’s management of the wolf population was ineffective. Wolves will once again be protected under the Endangered Species Act until further decisions are made.

In LGBTQ News:

In the seven different cases the Supreme Court agreed to hear in their upcoming term, none of them involve the legality of banning same-sex marriage.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are asking President Obama to include LGBT protections in his immigration policy. The administration plans to enact immigration reform through executive order after the November elections.

New studies conducted by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimate that between 5.2 and 9.5 million adults in the U.S. identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). And that as of 2013, approximately 124,000 same-sex couples were married and raising more than 30,000 children.

Also according to the study, bisexual people make up about 40% of the population who are attracted to the same sex. Approximately 1/4 of the people who were part of the study identified as bisexual males, many of whom are working to increase visibility of their…. well, existence. (So let the study be a reminder to not ignore that particular letter of the acronym.)

In California, Governor Jerry Brown signed a law banning the “panic defense” when it comes to cases that try to justify violence against LGBTQ people. The bill cleared the Assembly 50-10, and its passage also marked Equality California’s goal of passing one hundred pieces of LGBTQ legislation.

Facebook has finally agreed to drop the “real name” policy on their site, a move that was widely criticized after several drag queen’s profiles were suspended.

And finally… The Best Headline I’ve seen this week:

Pig in Australia Steals 18 Beers from Campers, Gets Drunk, Fights Cow

Until next time!

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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