Gays were among the victims of the shootings that took place at Virginia Tech University on April 16, The Washington Blade reported. Curtis Dahn, president of the LGBT Alliance of Virginia Tech said, 'Thirty-three people were killed. Some were queer, and others were straight allies. The GLBT community at Tech grieves in the same way as others—deeply and as part of a greater whole.' Dahn, who would not reveal the exact number of gay individuals killed, added that the incident is 'not a gay thing. It's an everybody thing.'
In Washington State, Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed a new domestic-partnership measure into law, according to The Seattle Times. Moreover, the act has other provisions, such as hospital visitation rights, and inheritance rights in intestate ( no-will ) situations. The law will take effect July 22.
Bernard McGuirk, Don Imus' producer who initially called the Rutgers University women's basketball team 'hos' in an exchange with the shock jock, has also been fired, according to The New York Post. McGuirk produced Imus' radio show, Imus in the Morning, and also booked guests. Meanwhile, Imus—who was fired April 12—has said that he has received several job offers.
In South Dakota, lesbian Daphne Wright, who killed Darlene VanderGiesen and chopped up her body with a chain saw, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole, according to Advocate.com . According to prosecuting attorneys, Wright was jealous of Darlene VanderGiesen, 42, and her friendship with Wright's former paramour, Sallie Collins. Wright reportedly smiled after the verdict was read.
The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has started hearings to possibly move a federal hate crimes bill—known as The Matthew Shepard Act—through Congress, according to Gay City News. Moreover, hundreds of clergy members from all 50 states rallied across from the U.S. Captiol earlier in the week, urging Congress to pass the measure.
Disgraced former U.S. congressman Mark Foley is paying legal bills with campaign funds, according to Advocate.com . As authorities still investigate if Foley conducted any illegal communications with male pages who worked on Capitol Hill, Foley spent over $200,000 in campaign money on attorneys from November to January. He resigned last year after being confronted with the e-mails, and checked himself into rehab shortly thereafter.
In Colorado, Gov. Bill Ritter plans to sign a bill that would permit same-sex couples to adopt children, according to CBS4Denver.com . The State Senate and House both approved the measure. Colorado will be the 11th state that will allow gay adoptions.
Dallas Councilman Ed Oakley could make history as the first openly gay elected mayor of one of the nation's 10 largest cities when elections are held May 12, according to DavidMixner.com . Although almost 20 people are running for the position, the Victory Fund-backed Oakley is considered one of the top candidates.
By a vote of 19-7, the Oregon Senate has approved SB 2, a sexual orientation anti-discrimination measure, 365Gay.com reported. The new act, which Gov. Ted Kulongoski said he will sign, will ban discrimination in employment, public accommodation, housing, education and public services across the state.
The attorney for former Louisiana State University women's basketball coach Pokey Chatman says that her client deserves compensation and damages for the last two years on her contract, CBS Sportsline.com reported. On March 7, Chatman left the team after allegations surfaced that she behaved improperly with former players.
'Feminist Hullaballoo: The Wild Women Reunite'—a women's-only event featuring speeches, music, commitment ceremonies and even spirit circles—will take place June 22-24 at the New Mexico School for the Deaf, located in Sante Fe. Among the featured performers will be Sonia Johnson, philosopher Mary Daly and musician Alix Dobkin. Check out program information and reservations ( $175 ) at www.feministhullaballoo.com .
Katharine Jefferts Schori, the liberal presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church in the United States, has nullified the election of the Very Rev. Mark Lawrence to bishop in the conservative Diocese of South Carolina, according to Advocate.com . Jefferts Schori said that several dioceses did not follow the proper procedure to elect Lawrence, who will remain pastor of an Episcopal parish in Bakersfield, Calif.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation ( GLAAD ) has released its first-ever media reference guide written in Chinese to help the Chinese press cover LGBT-related matters fairly and accurately, according to a GLAAD release. Some items in the guide include a list of potentially offensive terms as well as a glossary of English and Chinese LGBT terms.
Stonewall News Northwest, which has served LGBTQA individuals in the Pacific Northwest since 1992, will suspend publishing with its May 2 issue, according to the paper's Web site. The site states that the decision came after 'much consideration amidst a climate of declining advertising revenue; chronic problems securing payment from existing key advertisers; and low community engagement with the publication.'
Seven Stories Press will publish I Had to Say Something: The Art of Ted Haggard's Fall, a memoir by Mike Jones ( written with Sam Gallegos ) , the male prostitute who outed anti-gay minister Ted Haggard as a former client in June to coincide with Pride Month, according to Publishers Weekly. Jones will embark on a 12-city tour to promote the book.
Speaking of Haggard, he has moved to Phoenix from Colorado Springs to embark upon a new beginning, according to Advocate.com . Haggard, 50, resigned as leader of Colorado's New Life Church and the National Association of Evangelicals last year after Mike Jones, a former male escort, alleged that he had a drug-and-sex-fueled relationship with Haggard. Haggard left Colorado Springs as part of a severance package with the church; he plans to get a graduate degree in counseling at a local university.
The LGBT-rights organization known as Equality Forum will hold its International Equality Dinner on May 5 at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, according to an organizational press release. Tennis icon Martina Navratilova will receive the 12th Annual International Role Model Award. See www.equalityforum.com for more.