The case of a University of Iowa coach who alleges she was fired for being lesbian has begun, the Associated Press reports:
A former University of Iowa athletic administrator said Wednesday that during her tenure she became concerned after noticing that female coaches who were fired were often gay and had become more open about their sexuality.
Jane Meyer testified about Iowa coaches as her case continued in Des Moines, where jurors are considering her claim that she suffered workplace discrimination as a gay woman in a relationship with a Hawkeye coach. Meyer alleges in a lawsuit the school also retaliated against her and paid her less than another deputy athletic director for similar work.
Meyer is seeking damages for pay and emotional distress.
Attorneys for Meyer said she was on pace to lead a Division I college program until she was unfairly transferred and later laid off. Meyer testified she felt she’d been “tucked away” when decisions on retaining women’s coaches were made and that at times, subpar facilities kept coaches from succeeding.
Meyer also said she felt slighted in 2011 when athletic director Gary Barta chose not to have her — the second-highest ranking member of the Hawkeyes athletic department — address the media when a highly publicized rhabdomyolysis outbreak sent 13 Iowa football players to the hospital.
The Washington Post has more:
The former top female athletic administrator at the University of Iowa says she functioned with a “don’t ask, don’t tell” mentality while maintaining a decade-long relationship with the Hawkeyes’ field hockey coach that ultimately led to her dismissal from the department.
Jane Meyer testified Thursday at her discrimination trial in Des Moines that she feared she’d never achieve her goal of becoming a Division I athletic director as an “out lesbian.”
Meyer says, “You have to be very careful with your personal life unless you’re heterosexual.”
Winnipeg’s Pride Festival is changing it’s format and theme to reflect those who still face oppression, the CBC reports:
After 30 years, the Pride Winnipeg Festival is making big changes to how they do things.
Festival president Jonathan Niemczak said, for the first time, the festival will focus less on the triumphs within the local LGBT community and more on the work that still needs to be done.
Organizers revealed the festival’s 2017 theme on Wednesday — Resurgence: Taking Back Space — to “amplify that message that there are still folks within our community that aren’t at that stage of celebration. They’re still facing oppression in their day to day lives … [We’re] using our festival, our platform and our power to shine a light on these other forms of oppression and counter them,” said Niemczak, pointing to racism and Islamophobia.
The change comes after the festival and its organizers faced sharp criticism over exclusion and exclusivity.
Concerns from the LGBT community included discrimination and judgment during pride events and little to no representation in pride materials.
“A lot of the marketing material we used tended to have white individuals. A lot of times it was stock footage, and they just didn’t really see themselves,” said Niemczak. “One of the comments was that they felt Pride was for the beautiful people.”
The Washington Blade profiled Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin as the U.S. Senate’s only LGBTQ-identified member gears up for reelection:
As Democrats gear up for the congressional mid-term elections in 2018, one race that will be critical for the LGBT community and potentially a challenge to win is the re-election bid of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the only out lesbian in Congress.
After becoming the first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, Baldwin will face re-election in a state Trump won in a surprise last year. Her race will almost certainly be a priority for the LGBT community seeking to ensure visibility in Congress and to strike back at Trump after his victory there.
Aisha Moodie-Mills, CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, said Baldwin’s re-election is “the priority for Victory Fund through 2018 – which is why we made her a spotlight candidate almost two years before her election.”
“Her rise from the Dane County Board of Supervisors to the United States Senate is in many ways emblematic of the progress we’ve made as a movement over the last 30 years – and we need her continued leadership,” Moodie-Mills added.
In D.C. on April 26, gay Democratic activist Peter Rosenstein is set to host a fundraising event for Baldwin in anticipation of the upcoming battle she’ll face. Expected guests include Baldwin herself as well as D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and high-dollar Democratic donors.
Baldwin hasn’t just aided the LGBT community through her visibility as the only out lesbian in Congress. In the five years she’s been in office, Baldwin has taken leadership roles — sometimes quietly, sometime more prominently — to raise attention to LGBT issues.
North Dakota’s Democratic U.S. Senator criticized the state’s lawmakers for failing to protect LGBTQ citizens, KFGO reports:
U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) is criticizing the North Dakota legislature for failing to pass an anti-discrimination bill.
The legislation introduced this session would add sexual orientation to the list of classes of individuals who are specifically protected against discrimination.
“I do not believe, in any way shape or form, that discrimination in this state helps maintain a workforce” Heitkamp said. “The North Dakota Legislature has had numerous opportunities to send a message, especially to gay, lesbian, transgender individuals, ‘look, this is a safe state for you to live’. They refuse to send that message. It’s the wrong message.”
“When we say we aren’t going to embrace people who want to come here and work, we’re going to judge you and send you someplace else?” Heitkamp said. “We could be sending away the next entrepreneur or innovator that could grow our economy. Why would we do that?