NATIONAL NEWS: New North Carolina Anti-Gay Law Faces Court Challenge

Plus: The “Obamacare kid” comes out as transgender, and the Atlanta 'boiling water' hate-crime culprit gets indicted.



New North Carolina gay discrimination law is headed to court.

A new anti-LGBTQ law that prevents North Carolina municipalities and counties from extending protections to LGBTQ citizens in restaurants, hotels, and stores is now being challenged by The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and Equality North Carolina. The controversial law was signed by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory last week after GOP lawmakers wanted to overturn an impending Charlotte ordinance that allowed transpeople to have a restroom preference that matched their selected gender identity. The lawsuit argues that “by singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, H.B. 2 violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment and the U.S. Constitution. H.B. 2 imposes a different and more burdensome political process on LGBT people than on non-LGBT people who have state protection against identity-based discrimination.”

“Obamacare kid” Marcelas Owens reveals that she is transgender.

Marcelas Owens, who stood alongside President Obama as he signed the Affordable Heathcare Act in 2009, is now coming out as transgender. In a recent CNN interview, the Seattle high schooler states, “I’m going through a reinvention process … I’m growing into adulthood. I’m not the Obamacare kid anymore.” Owens is now a page for Washington state Sen. Pramila Jayapal, who has been very supportive of the teen’s transition. “Marcelas is not transgender on Monday, black on Tuesday, and an activist on Wednesday,” the senator wrote in a piece for The Nation. “She is all of those things, all of the time.”

Atlanta man indicted on charges of pouring boiling water on gay couple.

Martin Blackwell, 48, has been indicted on eight counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated assault for pouring boiling water on an openly gay couple in Atlanta. Blackwell previously told investigators that he poured water Anthony Gooden and Marquez Tolbert after being “disgusted” by their relationship. The incident left Tolbert hospitalized for 10 days and caused him to undergo surgery. Steve Emmett of the FBI’s Atlanta office told the media that the agency has opened a federal hate crime investigation in the case, and it’s speculated that Blackwell could face 80 years in prison if convicted.