LGBT Notable News Happenings (June 2, 2009 – June 6, 2009)
There has been a lot of discussion lately about publicly recognizing people who are anti-LGBT in their actions. Previously, contributors to anti-LGBT legislation such as Prop. 8 in CA have been listed on weblogs and other internet sites. When a registered voter signs a petition, and it has been properly certified, the names then do become a matter of public record. Now two organizations are planning to create a similar type of post showing those who sign petitions for Referendum 71. Recently WA passed an expansion of their Domestic Partner Bill and Referendum 71 is an attempt to overturn that approved expansion of LGBT rights.
Denmark Study – Kids of Lesbian Moms More Mentally Healthy (June 2, 2009)
According to a study done in Copenhagen – children raised in families headed by Lesbian mothers have a lesser chance of developing mental illness than those children raised in families headed by heterosexual parents. Merete Lauberg of the University of Copenhagen said, “The findings suggest that concerns that alternative families have a negative effect on child development are over.” Hopefully this will be the beginning of many more adoptions by LGBT parents – to be. Good news and definitely very interesting news for our community.
Harvard Joins Yale in LGBT Studies (June 3, 2009)
The Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus has made a large gift to the university to endow a chair – being named for F.O. Matthiessen. The gift will be used to invite “eminent scholars studying issues related to sexuality or sexual minorities” for a one semester period on the Harvard campus. Professor Matthiessen was a Harvard scholar and literary critic who also was a gay man. Candace Gingrich a youth outreach manager at HRC, and sister of Newt Gingrich said, “Any time a university as renowned as Harvard feels it is important and sees it as important to have an endowed professorship in LGBT studies is recognition that it is an important issue.” Although Yale originally turned down the endowment they were offered, the university later accepted the endowment and also has an endowed chair in LGBT studies.
Catholic Charities in Legal Dilemma in UK (June 3, 2009)
Adoption is one way of growing a family in LGBT households. Here in the U.S. some couples are finding it very difficult if not impossible to adopt. For LGBT households in the UK the Charity Commission is the legal board in England and Wales which regulates charities. The Charity Tribunal was set up as part of the Charity Commission. Recently Catholic Charities has come under scrutiny for discrimination – because of their “heterosexuals only” policy. The Catholic Church and Catholic Charities now are facing a decision of choosing between the tenants of the Church and their legal status as a charity in the UK.
New Hampshire Joins in Legalizing Gay Marriage (June 3, 2009)
Governor John Lynch signed the bill after it passed the state Senate and the state’s Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2010 – and will also recognize out-of-state gay marriages and civil unions. “Today, we are standing up for the liberties of same-sex couples by making clear that they will receive the same rights, responsibilities, and respect, under New Hampshire law,” Lynch said in a statement.
Former N.C. Mayor Sues Radio Host for Libel (June 3, 2009)
Tom Fetzer, a former Raleigh mayor, filed a lawsuit against a radio show host – the purpose of which he claims was to protect his name. Mr Fetzer claims that Curtis Wright knowingly forwarded an anonymous letter containing false information – which implied that Fetzer is gay. Fetzer said in a statement, “It is justice that I seek, not vengeance.” A 1994 state Court of Appeals ruling said that falsely accusing someone of being gay or bisexual wasn’t automatically slander because such an accusation is not tantamount to charging someone with a crime. Fetzer is a candidate for chairmanship of the North Carolina Republican Party.
Gay Penguins Raise Family in Germany (June 3, 2009)
The penguin couple – at a zoo in Bremerhaven – were given an egg which was rejected by its biological parents. The couple named Z and Vielpunkt have been happily raising the chick as their own since the zoo allowed them to adopt the egg as an “Easter gift”. A statement from the zoo said, “Since the chick arrived, they have been behaving just as you would expect a heterosexual (penguin) couple to do. The two happy fathers spend their days attentively protecting, caring for and feeding their adopted offspring.” Best wishes to the happy and growing family.
State Workers in AZ Could Lose Domestic Partner Benefits (June 3, 2009)
Last year then Governor Janet Napolitano’s administration added domestic partner benefits. Critics of the benefit now site many reasons why they feel the benefits should be removed, including estimating a financial savings to the state. Republican legislative leaders are currently proposing a budget which would eliminate those same benefits effective Oct.1 of this year. “Department of Administration spokesman Alan Ecker said it’s impossible to know how many domestic partner benefits are going to same-sex couples because the state doesn’t track that information.” Accordingly, there is no way to really determine the amount of money the state of Arizona would save by eliminating the benefits.
Ted Olsen & David Boies Have Filed Fed Lawsuit (June 4, 2009)
In a previous post an article was included about the Federal suit and some opinions both for and against the suit. This particular article includes a more thorough background as to why Olsen and Boies joined with American Foundation for Equal Rights to file the suit. Also included in the article is a photo history, “pictures of the gay-rights movement, from Stonewall to Prop. 8”. I urge everyone to take a look at these historical and quite moving photographs – an appropriate and sobering reminder of why we are continuing to fight so hard for LGBT equality.
Staten Island Pride Parade Year Five: “We Are Here!” (June 6, 2009)
They were out and proud and having a lot of fun. There were “church groups and students, seniors and toddlers, lawmakers, union members, business owners, and co-grand marshals riding in flag-draped convertibles”. Hundreds of LGBT folks with their friends and families filled the streets in celebration of LGBT Pride. Happily there were no protesters – just supporters and participants for the nearly 2-mile parade. Jim Padula, who came out just a few years ago – in his 60’s – said, “Twenty years ago I would have been scared to be here. Now it is like family.”
Close to 50,000 Attend Europride in Zurich Despite Rain (June 6, 2009)
Europride festival which was first held in London in 1993 travels to a different city each year. This year it was held in Zurich, Switzerland and next year it is expected to be held in Warsaw. The Christian Social Union (BCS) had called for the defense of the “Christian family model”, and some people were seen handing out their leaflets, but that stayed pretty quiet. Michael Rueegg the organizer said while at Europride, “Up to now, there are about 50,000 people participating in the parade, but there will be some more people coming for the festivities later today.” The article also includes a map of the location and pictures of the fun.
anti-LGBT Catholic Charities UK Denmark LGBT Domestic Partner Benefits Europride F.O. Matthiessen gay marriage gay penguins Harvard LGBT LGBT adoption LGBT families New Hampshire Olsen & Boies Pride-Fest Referendum 71 Tom Fetzer