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  WINDY CITY TIMES

NATIONAL ROUNDUP
by Andrew Davis
2009-01-28

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Brady Boyd, who succeeded disgraced minister Ted Haggard at the New Life Church in Colorado, has said that a young male church volunteer revealed in 2006 that he had a relationship with Haggard, according to the Associated Press. Boyd said that an "overwhelming pool of evidence" pointed to an "inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship" that "went on for a long period of time ... it wasn't a one-time act." The volunteer—who came forward after escort Mike Jones talked about his three-year tryst with Haggard—was in his 20s when he allegedly had his relationship with Haggard.

Leaders in the HIV/AIDS arena will address the AIDS crisis at the "National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change" in Denver, Colo., Jan. 28–Feb. 1, according to a National Gay and Lesbian Task Force press release. The conference—the nation's largest gathering of LGBT-rights advocates—will, among other things, serve as a platform to call on the Obama administration to develop and implement a national AIDS strategy that joins agencies and social sectors.

The Sunday before the Rev. Rick Warren gave the invocation at President Barack Obama's inauguration, approximately 100 people protested at his Saddleback Church in California, the Orange County Register reported. Among the protesters were Diane Olson and Robin Tyler, the married lesbian couple who initially who started the lawsuit that led to the state's superior court allowing gay marriage.

Los Angeles, Calif., TV station KABC executives have changed their minds and will air a same-sex ad after meeting with members of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and GetToKnowUsFirst.org, according to a press release from the latter organization. The station initially balked at airing an ad featuring two married African-American men who raised five children 6 to 25 years old.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission's ( IGLHRC's ) board of directors has named Cary Alan Johnson as the organization's newest executive director, according to a group press release. He will succeed outgoing leader Paula Ettelbrick, whose six-year term ends March 1. Johnson is currently IGLHRC's senior Africa specialist, and is manager of the organization's office in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado distributed more than $1.7 million in grants to Colorado non-gay nonprofit organizations last year, according to a press release. The philanthropy organization's donations supported programs involved in everything from arts and culture to public broadcasting.

Noah's Arc director/creator Patrik-Ian Polk, entertainer Sheryl Lee Ralph, talk-show host Tavis Smiley and Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson ( The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ) are among the celebrities slated to make public-service announcements for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, according to a press release. The day, which is Feb. 7, is a national mobilization effort designed to encourage African Americans to become educated about HIV/AIDS-related issues and to get tested and treated.

The Fourth District of the Louisiana Court of Appeal has affirmed a lower-court ruling that New Orleans made a valid decision when it granted health benefits to the domestic partners of its city employees and established a domestic-partner registry for its residents, according to a Lambda Legal press release. In so ruling, the three-judge panel overruled an appeal by the anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund.

Donors are attempting to help the Log Cabin Republicans climb out of a $100,000 financial hole, the Washington Blade reported. The only full-time staffer at the organization is President Patrick Sammon, who planned to step down at the end of January. Sammon, who has declined to identify any of the donors, said he still expects 2009 to be a "very tight year" for the group.

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, who authored the Defense of Marriage Act, wrote in a Los Angeles Times editorial that the law should no longer be valid—although the reason behind the suggested revocation relates to politics, not support of the LGBT community. Among other things, he wrote that " [ i ] t truly is time to get the federal government out of the marriage business. In law and policy, such decisions should be left to the people themselves."

In a new documentary that airs on HBO Jan. 29, former megachurch minister Ted Haggard said that he was dealing with same-sex attraction while condemning the lives of gays and lesbians, according to EDGE Chicago. Moreover, Haggard claims that those feelings resulted from childhood sexual abuse at the hands of his own father.

Minneapolis lesbian couple Amy and Sarah Monson have lost an appeal in a discrimination case against the Rochester Athletic Club, the Associated Press reported. The Minneapolis Court of Appeals has upheld an Olmsted County judge's ruling that the couple could not prove that the club treated heterosexual unmarried couples any differently than same-sex unmarried couples.

In Pittsburgh, Penn., Episcopal leaders are in court trying to recover $20 million in assets they believe were wrongfully taken when the conservative branches split from the liberal diocese last October, the Associated Press reported. Former Episcopal Bishop Robert Duncan, a theological conservative, led the break after Episcopalians consecrated the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, in 2003.

Three recently discovered poems by the influential African-American poet Langston Hughes—speculated by many to have been gay—have been published in the January 2009 issue of Poetry magazine, according to a press release from the Poetry Foundation. Penny Welbourne, a rare book cataloger at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, discovered the poems, which were handwritten in pencil on the endpapers of Hughes' edition of An Anthology of Revolutionary Poetry.

In New York, Charlie Batista, former Nespresso USA employee, has filed a complaint with the state's Division of Human Rights, claiming discrimination against his disability and sexual orientation, according to an EDGE Boston item. Batista has claimed that former supervisor Jules Tuyes started discriminating against him in May 2007 after learning that Batista is openly gay. Batista also alleges that Nespresso USA used his excessive absences from a self-described "panic disorder" as grounds to terminate his employment.

An attempt to void Cleveland's domestic-partnership registry has fizzled, according to EDGE Boston. Ministers attempted to gather 11,000 signatures to counter the measure, but fell short; now they are attempting to collect 5,000 signatures to file an ordinance by initiative, said Connie Schulz of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which criticized the petition effort.

A Vatican office that evaluated U.S. Roman Catholic seminaries has concluded that the schools have made strides in stopping what it is calling "homosexual behavior" among students, 365Gay.com reported. The Vatican also is saying that seminaries are excelling in teaching about celibacy.

Cartoon creator Stan Lee is in the process of developing the world's first gay superhero for a new television show, according to Pink.co.uk. The character, reportedly the son of another superhero, is a high school student called Thom Creed, who will be forced to hide his growing superhuman powers—and the fact that he is gay.


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