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LA high school gets gender neutral bathroom

Students at a Los Angeles high school open a gender neutral bathroom amidst a national debate over gender equality. It was a long time coming, but students in this Los Angeles high school have successfully petitioned to open what they say is the state's first gender-neutral restroom.Students in the Santee Education Complex's Gay Straight Alliance helped convert a girls' restroom into a restroom open to all students regardless of their gender identity.GSA group members say they started the "It's Just a Toilet Campaign" to help not just transgender students, but the entire student body.Dean of students Jose Lara says: "One of the spaces where students would say they often time get bullied or feel uncomfortable, it was in the restrooms, sometimes on campus, usually off campus. Students talked about having stories about how at times they would have to hold it and not go to the restroom all day long and you know that is unhealthy for them...Student and activist Johnny Ramos says:"So this restroom is important so that all students can feel comfortable, not just LGBT students or not just minority students, it is for all students so everyone could feel welcome.Their campaign comes amidst a nationwide debate over laws in North Carolina and elsewhere that bar transgender people from using public bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.The laws have touched off widespread criticism from corporate, entertainment and sports leaders... rock group Pearl Jam is the latest to cancel a show in the state in protest.But here in this downtown LA school- a step towards equality as students close the door on gender discrimination.

Suspected Islamists kill Bangladeshi gay activist working for US embassy

Suspected Islamist militants hacked to death a leading Bangladeshi gay rights activist employed by the U.S. embassy and a friend in an apartment in Bangladesh's capital on Monday, police said.The killings took place two days after a university professor was slain in similar fashion on Saturday in an attack claimed by Islamic State.Five or six assailants went to the apartment of Xulhaz Mannan, 35, an editor of Rupban, Bangladesh's first magazine for gay, bisexual and transgender people, and attacked him and a friend with sharp weapons, Dhaka city police spokesman Maruf Hossain Sordar said.They entered the apartment disguised as couriers, he said, quoting witnesses.The assailants also wounded a security guard. Witnesses said the attackers shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest)" as they fled the scene.Mannan was employed by the U.S. embassy, working for the U.S. Agency for International Development, the State Depertment in Washington said.State Department spokesman John Kirby said the United States was "outraged" by the "barbaric attack." He called Mannan, "a beloved member of our embassy family and a courageous advocate for LGBTI rights - human rights, actually.""LGBTI" stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and intersex.A spokesman for the White House's National Security Council, Ned Price, said the United States strongly urged the Bangladeshi government to ensure the perpetrators were brought to justice.Other attacks took place in the country on Monday, but it was not immediately clear whether those assaults were carried out by Islamist militants.Two men on a motorcycle shot dead a former prison guard in front of Kashimpur jail, on the outskirts of Dhaka, said Khandakar Rezaul Hasan, chief of the local police station.A teacher was hacked to death in the southwestern district of Kustia, police said.The M
April 25, 2016 | 06:06 pm PT
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