National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director Jerame Davis said that his organization will cease operations through at least the end of this year after it failed to bridge a $30,000 budget gap, according to the Washington Blade. Davis said, "A lot of people really believe there's a need and a place for Stonewall, it's just that circumstances over the past several years have led to funding crisis that we found ourselves in." He said that when he took over in 2011, there were "$1,800 in the bank and a boat load of debt."
Thomas Beatieknown as the "pregnant man" for giving birth to three children after having gender-reassignment surgeryhas hit a snag in his divorce proceedings in Arizona, according to Hawaii News Now. A judge is questioning whether the state's same-sex marriage ban bars him from ending Thomas and Nancy Beatie's unionor even recognizing its validity. Maricopa County Family Court Judge Douglas Gerlach has said that he is unable to find any legal authority defining a man as someone who can give birth.
Openly gay blogger Andrew Sullivan is parting ways with the Daily Beast and forming an independent company that will charge for content, according to the Huffington Post. He made the announcement in a post, saying, "we felt more and more that getting readers to pay a small amount for content was the only truly solid future for online journalism." The new site, called The Dish, can be found at www.andrewsullivan.com as of Feb. 1; membership will cost $19.99 a year.
When New Hampshire Gov.-Elect Maggie Hassan was sworn in Jan. 3, Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan opened Hassan's inauguration with the pledge of allegiance. According to Queerty.com, Morgan is a member of the New Hampshire National Guard who was diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer in 2008and is one of the plaintiffs in a Servicemembers Legal Defense Network lawsuit against DOMA. Morgan's wife, Karen, needs Morgan's benefits to help care for their 5-year-old daughter.
The Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA)a musical organization made up of marching and concert bands from across the United States and around the worldhas once again been selected from more than 2,800 bands to perform for President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden during the presidential inaugural parade Jan. 21, a press release noted. According to the LGBA, it's the only LGBT group in history invited to march in such a parade. (The group first appeared in the 2009 event.)
National Youth Pride Servicesan LGBT youth leadership and development organization specifically designed to meet the needs of Black gay youthhas released a mobile-phone app, according to a press release. The app allows access to the organization's programs, such as the Young Leaders Society, PULSE (for HIV-positive individuals), Code Red (national social marketing/campaign/performance team), the Young Women's Program, SWAG (for those with disabilities) and BOMANI (Black LGBT youth in the military).
In Kansas, William Marottawho donated sperm to a lesbian couple after answering an online adis fighting the state's efforts to make him pay child support, arguing that he and the women signed an agreement waiving all of his parental rights, the Washington Post noted. The state argues that because Marotta (who donated with his wife's permission) didn't work through a clinic or doctor, as required by state law, he can be held accountable for about $6,000 that the child's biological mother received through public assistanceas well as future child support.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued a release warning against a "troubling" provision of the National Defense Authorization Act, which President Obama signed. The statement says that the provision, Section 533, compels the military to accommodate the conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of all members of the armed forces without accounting for the effect an accommodation would have." "The language is too broad," said Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, who cautioned that it could lead to claims of a right to discriminate.
Faith In America wants to know why YouTube would remove a video that the organization posted as part of its ongoing report about an anti-gay church that allegedly abused a young man because of his sexual orientation, according to a press release. The video, which Faith In America produced, contained the personal story of Jerry Cooper, who was once a member of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) in Spindale, N.C. In the video, Cooper corroborates allegations of abuse by the church that have been lodged by 22-year-old Michael Lowry, a gay man who says he was confined for four months against his will.
Emmy-nominated actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, fiance Justin Mikita and the non-profit advocacy organization Tie The Knot have unveiled their first formal bow tie: "The Signature: Wedding Bow Tie," according to a press release. Personally designed by Ferguson and Mikita, the limited-edition bow tie is currently available online exclusively at The Tie Bar (www.TheTieBar.com) for $25. All proceeds from the sale of the bow ties will go directly to various organizations fighting for civil rights and equality on behalf of the LGBT community.
The National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Bar Association will present the Out & Proud Corporate Counsel Award to the Legal Department of American Airlines in Dallas Feb. 7, according to a press release. The association stated that American is the only airline in the world and one of only a handful of companies that has earned perfect marks on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index every single year from the start.
Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that greater concealment of homosexual behavior (or being on the "down low") was associated with more symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to a Science Daily item. The study of 203 men, published in the American Psychological Association's Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, also show that bisexual men who were more concerned than others about concealing their same-sex behavior also tended to report lower levels of social support and more internalized homophobia.
The results of a year-long investigation into the 2011 hazing death of Robert Champion Jr., a gay drum major at Florida A&M University, concluded that the school failed to adhere to state laws and regulations about hazing, according to an Advocate.com item. Champion died following a football game in 2011 after participating in a hazing ritual where the drum major tried to make his way through the bus as fellow bandmates kicked and punched him. The university has denied fault in Champion's death, claiming that because he was an adult, he was responsible for his own death.
In Houston, lesbian couple Belinda Espinoza and Ana Flores are dead as a result of a murder-suicide, according to Advocate.com . Espinoza, 29, had been upset, calling her relatives and threatening suicide. A fight between her and her 24-year-old fiance, Flores, had spiraled out of control. By the time authorities arrived at the couple's home, they found that Espinoza had shot Florez and then turned the gun on herself.
Two Rhode Island legislators introduced bills Jan. 3 that would legalize same-sex marriage, according to the Washington Blade. We are long overdue," said state Rep. Arthur Handy (D-Cranston), who has introduced a same-sex marriage bill in the state House each year for more than a decade. Openly lesbian state Sen. Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket) introduced a similar proposal in the Senate.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) fined Bank of America $7,500 after it refused to provide a lesbian couple with a mortgage loan because they were not married, Gay Star News reported. The fine was the result of a negotiated settlement between the bank and HUD in which the bank also agreed to "remind applicable employees that they are prohibited from discriminating against applicants of FHA-insured loans on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status."
Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., was sworn in as a U.S. senator Jan. 3 in Washington, D.C.becoming the first member of the LGBT community to be a part of the national legislative body. According to the Huffington Post, Baldwin's mother (Pam Bin-Rella) flew on an airplane for the first time in nearly 40 years to watch her daughter being sworn in. After her swearing-in, Baldwin ran into former GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan (who's also from Wisconsin)and they gave each other a big hug, with Ryan saying, "Congratulations!"
The Supreme Court said it will hear two days' worth of arguments over laws affecting same-sex marriage March 26-27, according to the Huffington Post. The justices hear arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry on March 26 and United States v. Windsor on March 27. The first case involves California's constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex marriage. The second concerns a federal law that denies same-sex couples who legally marry the right to obtain federal benefits available to their heterosexual counterparts.
In West Jordan, Utah, Herriman High School officials have reversed a previous decision and will run an Elvis Presley musical, according to Fox News. A parent was offended by Presley's song lyrics (thinking they're too sexual) as well as a scene suggesting cross-dressing, and reported her thoughts to officials. Although rehearsals for the show, All Shook Up, had been briefly canceled, the production is back on for a February run.
Citing waning participation and a lack of funds, one of the nation's largest transgender conferences has ceased organizing after more than three decades in the Chicago area. The Be-All Conference, which gathered hundreds and hosted big-name speakers in Downers Grove, has been canceled. Two years ago, the conference hosted Chaz Bono. Last year Amanda Simpson, the first out transgender presidential appointee, keynoted the event.
California Gov. Jerry Brown appealed a court injunction that has blocked enforcement of a new law that prohibits conversion therapy for minors, according to the L.A. Times. State Attorney General Kamala Harris filed the notice of appeal was filed on behalf of Brown and the Medical Board of California with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which decided Dec. 21 to block the law that was to take effect Jan. 1, pending a decision on its constitutionality.
In Georgia, Corey John Capels, a dancer at the gay club Bliss Atlanta, called the cops from the club to report damage to his 2004 Maserati, according to Project Q Atlanta. Capels, who is apparently straight, contended that a bartender at the club keyed his carand he made threats and anti-gay slurs on his Facebook page, stating at one point, "I hate all faggots[;] burn in Hell." An officer filed the incident report, but no charges. A manager at Bliss says Capels was terminated after the incident and no longer dances at the club.
Gay Maryland couple Chris and Shawn Riley have invited hundreds of strangers, via the Internet, to a wedding they're having, according to Gay Star News. The Riley originally tied the knot in Washington state, where same-sex marriage is legal. The couple then posted a message on social network Reddit ahead of a vote on a marriage-equality bill. They are planning to hold the wedding April 13.
Just-retired U.S. Rep. Barney Frank would like to serve as a temporary successor to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the secretary of state nominee, according to the Washington Post. Taking a more proactive stance, Frank has said that he's asked Gov. Deval Patrick to appoint him, although Frank added he doesn't want the job for the long term. Patrick will be required to fill Kerry's seat with an interim appointment, while setting a day for the special election between 145 days and 160 days after Kerry's resignation.
In Minnesota, openly gay state Sen. Scott Dibble plans to take the lead on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage during the 2013 legislative session, according to LGBTQ Nation. Dibble said that Democrats taking power in the legislature plan to focus early in the session on what he called "kitchen-table issues" of improving the economy and creating jobs. However, Dibbled added that he believes allowing same-sex couples to marry is a kitchen-table issue as well.
Anderson Cooper has been named Out magazine's man of the year. With more than 29 percent of the votes, Anderson Cooper was the clear winner of the publication's first Out Man of the Year poll. That was followed by 15 percent of the votes for Zachary Quinto; statistician Nate Silver got 12.6 percent of the votes.
As for The Advocate, it has named new U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin as its person of the year. In an interview with the magazine, she talked about the late politician Geraldine Ferraro inspiring her. Baldwin also said, "At every glass ceiling I've broken, I've hoped that that's the message that goes out so loudly and clearly. This is a message that we don't have to limit our aspirations in this society anymore."
The Associated Press released a tabulation of official presidential votes from all 50 states, and GOP candidate Mitt Romney receivedyou guessed it47 percent of the tally, according to an ABC News item. That number 47 percentresonates in the context of the race because of Romney's infamous "47 percent" comments that seemed to have an effect on the race. In a clip that was secretly taped, Romney told donors that 47 percent of voters will chose Obama "no matter what" because they are people "who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. ... These are people who pay no income tax."
The Human Rights Campaign announced that "Out for Equality"the LGBT inaugural celebration for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Bidenwill be held Monday, Jan. 21, at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C., according to a press release. Ross Mathews (from Chelsea Lately, E! Network and The Tonight Show) will emcee the event, while Cyndi Lauper, Audra McDonald, Will Swenson and the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, D.C., are slated to perform.
Michigan's Ruth Ellis Center announced the appointment of Margaret Warner as interim executive director, a press release stated. Warner, who recently retired as the Michigan Department of Human Services' child welfare director for Wayne County, will serve while the center conducts a national search for a permanent executive director. The Ruth Ellis Center is solely dedicated to serving homeless, at-risk and runaway LGBTQ youth.
The Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conferencethe largest LGBTA college conference in the nationwill take place Feb. 8-10 at the Lansing Center in Lansing, Mich., and students from Michigan State University will host, according to the event's website, www.mblgtacc2013.org . The 21st annual conference will include speakers such as athlete ally Ben Cohen and out writer LZ Granderson; among the workshops will be "Media Circus of the Grotesque: Rhetoric of Privilege and Violence," "The Gay Black and Latino Ballroom Scene: The Invisible Correlations to HIV Transmission" and "Understanding LGBTQIA-lphabet Soup."
Military computers are reportedly blocking a number of LGBT blogs and websites, including those of AMERICAblog Gay and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), according to GLAAD. GLAAD discovered that the Department of Defense uses a web-filtering product made by Blue Coat Services, a company based in Sunnyvale, Calif. Blue Coat responded to a GLAAD inquiry with a statement that it categorizes websites into 90 categories that range from type of content to audience to topic.
In light of Mexico recently lifting its ban on gay and bisexual men from donating blood, the organization Let Gays Give is launching to get the United States to lift its ban as well, according to a press release. The website, letgaysgive.wordpress.com, includes a petition that has already garnered thousands of views and hundreds of signatures. In addition, site visitors are invited to share their stories.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced an agreement with Bank of America to settle a claim that the mortgage lender refused to provide financing to a lesbian couple, according to a press release. The agreement is the first enforcement action taken against a lender involving HUD's recent rule ensuring that the department's core housing programs be open to all eligible persons, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.
A White House online petition seeks to have the Roman Catholic Church classified as a hate group, according to WhiteHouse.gov . Thousands of people have signed the petition, which partially states, "Using hateful language and discriminatory remarks, the Pope painted a portrait in which gay people are second-class global citizens." Twenty-five thousand signatures are needed by Jan. 24 for the White House to file an official response.
A conservative website is trying to convince its readers that CBS is mocking football player Tim Tebow and Christianity by featuring out actor Neil Patrick Harris in its Super Bowl ads, according to Advocate.com . Calling Harris an "outspoken homosexual actor," WND.com points out that the CBS sitcom star was used in spots advertising next month's Super Bowl. In the ad, Harris has blackeye paint that lists the date of the football game. (Beyonce used the same paint and pose to promote her halftime show for the Feb. 3 sporting event.)
In Georgia, Luke O'Donovan is now in jail following a New Year's Eve fracas in Atlanta where he's accused of stabbing several young men; however, some believe he was only defending himself from an anti-gay mob, according to Advocate.com . Many men were stabbed, including O'Donovan, who suffered cuts to his upper back. The other victims said O'Donovan stabbed them, resulting in O'Donovan being arrested after being treated at a hospital.
Here Media Inc. announced that The Advocate (www.advocate.com) print publication will be returning to newsstands in 2013, according to a press release. The Advocate had been sold only by subscription since 2010, and will again be available at major distributors nationwide starting February 2013. The Advocate returns to newsstands Jan. 15.
Former service members who are part of a class-action lawsuit challenging a Department of Defense policy that cuts in half the separation pay of those who have been honorably discharged for "homosexuality" will receive their full pay after a settlement, according to an ACLU press release. The national ACLU and the ACLU of New Mexico had filed a class-action lawsuit against the policy, which was not part "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and, thus, was not changed when that law was repealed.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton returned to work Jan. 7 after a month-long absence, according to Bloomberg.com . Clinton, 65, was released from New York-Presbyterian Hospital Jan. 2 after treatment for a blood clot discovered after she suffered a concussion. Staff members welcomed her back with a standing ovation and gag gifts such as a football helmet.
State Rep. Patricia Todd, Alabama's first out lawmaker, introduced a bill to alter the state's sex-education policy, according to Advocate.com . Among other things, the current policy also includes lessons that same-sex behavior is socially unacceptable and illegal, while urging students to completely refrain from sex. Alabama still has laws on the books criminalizing gay sex; however, they're unenforceable because of the Supreme Court's 2003 Lawrence v. Texas ruling.
Former Congressman Barney Frank has changed his mind about defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, Advocate.com noted. Initially, Frank criticized Hagel for calling James Hormel "openly, aggressively gay" back in 1998. However, Frank later told the Boston Globe that "with the attack coming out of the right, I hope he gets confirmed." Fellow Republicans are attacking Hagel, saying he's too weak on Iran and not friendly enough toward Israel, among other things.
At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), OhMiBodwhich specializes in technology-driven sexual health productsunveiled its newest product: the Club Vibe 3.OH, the world's first Bluetooth-controlled wearable vibrator, according to Business Wire. OhMiBod, which created the first music-driven vibrator, also developed a cross-platform mobile web app called OhMiBod Remote.
Jeanne Manfordmother of gay-rights activist Morty Manford, pioneering straight ally in the LGBT-rights movement and the founder of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)died at her home in Daly City, Calif., on Jan. 8, according to a PFLAG statement. Manford was 92. The Manfords had been discussing organizing a support group for parents of gay children; the first meeting of the groupthen called "Parents of Gays" took place in 1973. By the early 1980s, the group formally established itself as a national organization fighting for equality for LGBT people, changing its name to Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
In California, the Mount Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout Council has approved a gay scout's Eagle application after more than 460,000 people joined his mother's campaign on Change.org, despite the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy, according to a press release. Karen Andresen launched her campaign on Change.org urging the Boy Scouts to award her gay son, 18-year-old Ryan, the rank of Eagle Scout after Ryan's scoutmaster refused to sign the application because of Ryan's sexual orientation. Ryan's application for Eagle Scout, the Boy Scouts of America's highest rank, will now be forwarded to the national organization for final approval.
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has compared the growing "acceptance of pedophilia" to marriage equality, according to On Top Magazine. On a recent show, Limbaugh said that there is a movement to "normalize pedophilia." He added, "What has happened to gay marriage? It's become normaland, in fact, with certain people in certain demographics it's the most important issue in terms of who they vote for."
In New York, a high school teacher is claiming wrongful termination after he came out as transgender, according to Advocate.com . Mark Krolikowski (who prefers male pronouns and to be referred to as Mr. K by his students) received several honors for his work over the years, which included co-leading his St. Francis Prepatory School students in a musical performance for Pope Benedict XVI. Howeverafter growing out his hair, painting his nails and wearing earrings along with suits and necktiesBishop Leonard Conway, St. Francis Prep's principal, called him "worse than gay" in 2011.
In Washington, D.C., Gallaudet University announced that it has reinstated Chief Diversity Officer Angela McCaskill, who was placed on administrative leave in October for signing a petition to place Maryland's same-sex marriage law on the ballot in a voter referendum, according to the Washington Blade. Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz put McCaskill on leave after she signed a petition from marriage opponents seeking to overturn the marriage-equality law.
Military judge Denise Lind has ruled that out Army private Bradley Manning was treated unlawfully before his trial, awarding him 112 days of credit toward his sentence if he is convicted, Advocate.com reported. Manning, among other things, was held in isolation in a windowless six-by-eight-foot cell for nine months in a Marine brig in Quantico, Va. After a pretrial hearing, Lind ruled that Manning's extreme confinement was excessive and largely unnecessary.