An Augusta State University counseling student is appearing before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today asking not to be expelled from the school because she believes homosexuality is a sin, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Jennifer Keeton, who is studying to be a school counselor for students in grades K-12, filed a lawsuit against the university on July 21, 2010, in the United States District Court Southern Division in Augusta, claiming that the school threatened to expel her because of her Christian belief that being gay or transgender is immoral.
Brit Blalock, an Alabama poet, hopes to fund the publishing of a collection of essays written by LGBT Southerners and donate copies of the collection to libraries across the Southeast. “As We Are” is a planned collection of 15 to 20 essays written by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender authors who grew up in the so-called “Bible Belt” of the Deep South.
“I was writing a poetry collection and my poems were mostly about the overlap of growing up gay and being a child of the South,” Blalock, who identifies as queer, said by phone. “I really wanted to see what it was like for other people. I know there’s a wide variety of experience.”
“Testing Makes Us Stronger,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new HIV testing campaign targeting young black gay and bisexual men, is the federal government’s first foray into specifically asking gay and bisexual men help stem the wave of new HIV infections.
The Atlanta-based CDC determined figures that show that in 2006, there were 4,400 HIV infections among black gay and bisexual men ages 13-29. The numbers jumped to 6,500 infections in 2009 within the same age group, for a momentous increase of 48 percent. This subpopulation represents the only subpopulation in the U.S. to experience a statistically significant increase of new HIV infections during these three years.
Three judges sitting on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals today appeared to side with transgender woman Vandy Beth Glenn, who was fired from her job as a legislative editor for the Georgia General Assembly after she informed her boss she was transitioning full-time to a woman.
“We have direct evidence of intentional discrimination,” said Judge Bill Pryor.
Richard Sheinis, representing the state, argued that if Glenn was to win this case, transgender people would become a “protected class.”