Straight Arizona Student Denied Right to Be Prom Queen Says He's Standing Up for LGBT Students: VIDEO
River Flanary, a straight high school student in Tempe, Arizona, ran for prom queen and won after receiving the most votes of any of the candidates on a write-in ballot. Flanary designed his own dress for the occasion, but school officials are saying he can't attend. Flanary says his rights have been violated, CBS5 reports:
When CBS 5 News asked him why he wanted to run he said, "I guess you could say that I am standing up for those who maybe weren't bold enough to stand up before and maybe putting that courage in their hearts a little."
He said he is talking about homosexuals, bi-sexuals or transgender students, but the Tempe School District is being very clear that a prom ballot is a write-in ballot that asks students to write in names of girls for queen and names of boys for king.
"If they want to challenge the way the ballots are written, that would need to be addressed, and it wasn't," said Linda Littell with the Tempe Union High School District.
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A psychiatric patient "suffering from paranoid schizophrenia" is in police custody and is expected to be charged with second-degree murder in the death of Ryan Raymond Taavel, a Halifax, Nova Scotia gay activist, CBC reports:
Ryan Raymond Taavel was former chairman of Gay Pride week events and a well-known editor for Wayves magizine. He also worked for the Shambala Sun Magazine. A vigil is being organized in his honour Tuesday night.
He was found lying in the street bleeding at 2:39 a.m. local time by a passing motorist who called Halifax Regional Police. Taavel died at the scene.
He and a friend had just left Menz Bar, a popular Halifax gay bar, when they got into an argument and fight with a much larger man. Two witnesses have told police the attacker used homophobic slurs during the beating and one eye witness told CBC News that he repeatedly slammed Taavel's head into the street where the victim was found by police and later pronounced dead by paramedics.
A witness, who only wants to be identified as James, told CBC News that he saw a large man attack two smaller men, who appeared to be friends. One victim fled and the attacker then slammed the other man's head into the street.
Taavel's attacker was reportedly on unescorted leave from a psychiatric hospital.