Iowa
A jury in Iowa sided with a former athletic administrator who said she was discriminated against at the University of Iowa for being a lesbian, the Associated Press reports:

A jury on Thursday awarded more than $1.4 million to a former University of Iowa athletic administrator, ruling that the university had discriminated against her because of her gender and sexual orientation.

Jane Meyer alleged she suffered workplace discrimination as a gay woman in a relationship with the school’s longtime and highly successful field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum, that the school retaliated against her for complaining about Griesbaum’s firing, and that she was paid less than a male counterpart for similar work.
Judge Michael D. Huppert said the eight-person jury found in favor of Meyer on all five counts.
“This is for everyone who has fought for discrimination,” Meyer said. “It’s much bigger than Jane Meyer.”
The trial lasted nearly three weeks and featured testimony from Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz and wrestling coach Tom Brands.

The Associated Press also reports that the University of Iowa will review its employment practices in light of the case:

The University of Iowa announced plans Friday to hire an outside firm to review its employment practices after a jury ruled that it discriminated against a high-ranking gay female athletic administrator.
President Bruce Harreld said the review would begin in the athletic department and focus on compliance with the Iowa Civil Rights Act. The department was the focus of a three-week trial that cast a harsh light on the management of Athletic Director Gary Barta,

Wisconsin
A professor who allegedly harassed a fellow instructor because she staked a position on same-sex marriage in the classroom has lost a court case over his firing, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports:

A Milwaukee County Circuit judge ruled Thursday that Marquette University had the legal right to suspend a tenured political science professor who opened a student up to threats by criticizing her by name on his politically conservative blog.

In a 33-page ruling, Judge David Hansher found that because John McAdams named the graduate student instructor in a November 2014 blog post criticizing her handling of a confrontation with a student, it could bring negative attention to her, and he was prohibited from doing that.

The judge dismissed all six of McAdams’ claims against Marquette and rebuked him in a recitation of what academic freedom is — and is not. Academic freedom, Hansher wrote, “does not mean a faculty member can harass, threaten, intimidate, ridicule.”

McAdams, who alleged the graduate student instructor tried to impose liberal views on students, vowed to appeal Hansher’s ruling, according to a news release issued by his attorney.

Manitoba
A school district in Brandon, Manitoba, is looking at ways to be more inclusive of LGBTQ students, the CBC reports:

The Brandon School Division says it hopes to implement some ideas brought forward by a Grade 11 student to make its schools more supportive and inclusive for LGBT students.
Navan Forsythe made a presentation to the division’s board of trustees on March 20, offering a variety of recommendations from ally training to more gender-inclusive washrooms, based on concerns he’s observed and heard from friends in Manitoba and beyond.

Grade 11 student Navan Forsythe made a presentation to the division’s board of trustees on March 20, offering a variety of recommendations from ally training to more gender-inclusive washrooms. (Submitted by Navan Forsythe)
Forsythe said he has received positive feedback from the board as well as from his school’s principal.
“The school board was very supportive — much more supportive than I had originally anticipated,” he told CBC’s Radio Noon program in an interview that aired Wednesday.
Brandon School Division board chair Kevan Sumner said trustees were impressed by Forsythe’s presentation.

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Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

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