Married lesbian couple rejected from retirement community win lawsuit … Queer bookstore … World AIDS Day vigil

News

Married lesbian couple rejected from retirement community win lawsuit

The lesbian couple, who were told in 2018 that they would not be welcome at the Friendship Retirement Village have reached a settlement.

A lesbian couple who have been together for over 40 years has won a legal battle after they were refused entry into a retirement village together because they are married.

Mary Walsh, 74, and Bev Nance, 70, applied for a house in the Friendship Village senior living community in Sunset Hills, Missouri, where a number of their friends already live.

The couple attended a viewing in July 2016 and had put a $2,000 deposit on a home, however, their application was rejected.

They were told: “Your request to share a single unit does not fall within the categories permitted by the long-standing policy of Friendship Village Sunset Hills.”

Owners stated their cohabitation policy only extends to opposite-sex married couples citing their belief is that marriage is “the union of one man and one woman, as marriage is understood in the Bible.”

Mary and Bev were shocked by this as a couple who have been together since 1978 and married since 2009. They sued Friendship Village alleging housing discrimination but their case was dismissed with a judge finding that the discrimination was not illegal.

The brave couple did not give up and their case was reinstated in July 2019 following the landmark US Supreme Court ruling that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace discrimination, applies to cases of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The lesbian couple got their victory on 8 December 2020, having reached a confidential settlement with the retirement village.

“This has been a harrowing experience and one that I hope no other same-sex couple has to face,” Walsh said after the ruling was announced. “Bev and I are relieved that this case is now behind us and that we have closure after our lives were thrown into chaos.”

Mary and Bev’s focus now is only “on their health and each other,” and trying to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The Online LGBT+ Bookstore Our Community’s Been Asking For

Queer Lit is a new and exciting LGBT+ Bookstore who’s finally given the community somewhere online to discover over 1000 LGBT+ titles. If you want to learn more about LGBT+ Literature, you won’t have much luck heading into your local high street. Even the “Largest Book Shop in The North” doesn’t offer you a “safe place” to find out about LGBT+ books.

More than just a book shop

Queer Lit offers over 1000 LGBT+ titles including 175 titles discussing Coming Out, 102 on Trans & Non-binary, Romance, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Autobiographies, LGBT+ History and much more.

However, this is not just a bookstore. Queer Lit has created a community space where real readers and bloggers can discuss and review the latest books, listen to LGBT+ podcasts, discover hot topics, engage with LGBT+ authors, and up and coming aspiring writers.  We’re even helping LGBT+ book bloggers create even more exciting content with pre-launch books and arranging interviews with authors.

Matthew Cornford – Managing Director

Matthew has over 15 years of retail management and operations with some very big brands, he’s got the experience, passion and vision to make Queer Lit something really special.

“Like many people I love a good book and wanted to discover more Queer Literature. After heading into a store in Manchester describing itself as “the biggest book shop in the north” I was shocked to be told “We don’t have an LGBT+ section. You’ll need to go home and search the internet for gay books then come and find it in its relevant category”. This just wouldn’t do … and the idea for Queer Lit was born.

I didn’t want to just create an online bookstore. I wanted to create an immersive experience with everything Queer Lit. Even living in Manchester which has a vibrant gay community sadly there are still people who feel they cannot be open about who they are, or some are still on that journey of discovery, so I wanted to create a welcoming space where people can not only read about issues and characters that reflect their lives and experiences, but discuss it, and be inspired”.

Now it’s your turn to discover Queer Lit and the magnificent range of LGBT+ titles waiting to be explored.

 

This year there was a very different World AIDS Day Vigil. If you missed it you can watch the Vigil in full here. The vigil offered a moment of reflection, a chance to remember and an opportunity to look to the future.

 

Merry Christmas from The Jingle Belles

Stay safe!

 

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