By a vote of 21-9, the California State Senate passed the School Success and Opportunity Act (Assembly Bill 1266), which supports transgender students by allowing them to fully participate in all school activities, sports teams, programs, and facilities in accordance with their gender identity, according to SDGLN.com . The bill passed the California State Assembly last month 46-25. The bill awaits Gov. Jerry Brown's signature.
Sarah Palin is considering running for the U.S. Senate in 2014, although she suggested she would rather see someone else run for the seat held by Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), according to the Washington Post. "I've considered it, because people have requested me considering it," she told radio host Sean Hannity. "But I'm still waiting to see what the lineup will be and hoping that … there will be some new blood, new energy, not just kind of picking from the same old politicians in the state." A GOP poll recently found that Palin would tie Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell in a Senate primary.
A murder trial in Kentucky has marked the first legal test in the state involving whether same-sex partners can be forced to testify against each other, according to USA Today. Prosecutors say Geneva Case heard her spouse, Bobbie Joe Clary, admit to killing a man two years ago, and saw her clean blood out of the man's van and abandon it in southern Indiana. Case and Clary entered into a same-sex civil union in Vermont in 2004; however, Kentucky law does not recognize union or marriages, even though it exempts spouses from being compelled to testify against each other.
Two HIV patients in Boston who received stem-cell transplants for cancer had no trace of the AIDS-causing virus after the procedure, according to Bloomberg. The two patients, treated at Brigham and Women's Hospital, stopped HIV treatment after the transplants, which normally has opened the door for the virus to come back with a vengeance. In one patient there was no sign of the virus 15 weeks after stopping treatment, while the other has gone two months without HIV rebounding. However, researchers say it's too early to conclude the two men have been cured, adding the virus may be lingering in their brains or gut.
One week after the Supreme Court's struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Lambda Legal filed a motion for summary judgment in New Jersey Superior Court on behalf of Garden State Equality, the state's statewide LGBT advocacy organization, and six same-sex couples who want marriage equality, according to a press release. In June 2011, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry, arguing that barring same-sex couples from marriage and allowing only civil unions violate both the New Jersey Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment of the federal Constitution.
There's been another development regarding the staff of the LGBT military organization OutServe-SLDN, according to Advocate.com . After a week of turmoil, the group is appointing a new board of directors and Josh Seefried, the board co-chair who some saw as the instigator of the PR crisis, is resigning. Anti-trans bias had been alleged after Seefried was said to have orchestrated the ouster of Allyson Robinson, the executive director appointed last year who is the first out transgender person to lead a major LGBT organization.
Cherry Grove Community House and Theaterlocated on New York's Fire Islandhas been added to the National Register of Historic Places, according to the Huffington Post. The theater was cited for being the oldest continuously operating gay and lesbian theater in the United States. Cherry Grove and the nearby Pines neighborhood are the predominantly gay communities on Fire Island, although the Pines developed its reputation as a haven decades after Cherry Grove.
A lesbian couple from Colorado has become the first same-sex couple to receive a green card based on their marriage, according to On Top Magazine. Cathy Davis, an Irish citizen, and Catriona Dowling met in 2006 while trekking in the Himalayas; They married in Iowa in 2012 and are raising three children in Boulder, Colo. The approval came exactly a week after the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.
Eleven same-sex couples are suing the state of Arkansas for the right to marry, On Top Magazine reported. In their complaint filed in Pulaski Circuit Court, the plaintiffs are asking a judge to declare Amendment 83, the state's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union, to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Religious leader Peter Lucas Moses was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for the 2010 murders of a 4-year-old "gay" boy and a woman, according to On Top Magazine. Moses, 28, pleaded guilty last year to murdering 28-year-old Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy and 4-year-old Jadon Higganbothan. Moses shot Higganbothan to death after learning the boy had struck another child's bottom; Moseswho led a Durham, N.C., sect called the Black Hebrews with five women and nine childrenhad already feared Higganbothan was gay.
Bisbee couple Kathy Sowden and Deborah Grier made history when they became the first same-sex couple in Arizona to have their relationship legally recognized as a civil union, according to Advocate.com . Sowden and Grier's civil union allows them to claim a few of the privileges that married couples enjoy, including the ability to make medical decisions for one another when necessary. Bisbee was the first city in Arizona to approve same-sex civil unions; the new legislation was put into practice 30 days after the City Council approved an ordinance legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples June 4.
In Valdosta, Ga., U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson said that a hospital did not discriminate against a supervisor it demoted for allegedly badgering lesbian nurse Amanda Dix by telling the woman she lived "in sin," according to Courthouse News Service. Lawson said he disagreed with Pamela Hall's claim that the Tift County Hospital Authority and two directors "punished her for following a brand of Christianity they found unacceptable." Hall sued the Tift Regional Medical Center operator and two directors last year, claiming she was demoted after passing Dix a Christian-themed pamphlet and email on homosexuality.
Paul Scaliaa son of U.S. Supreme Court Antonin Scalia and a Roman Catholic priestwill speak in front of Courage, an organization that believes gays and lesbians should never have sex, according to the Huffington Post. Paul is a featured speaker at Courage's annual summit, taking place this year July 25 -28 at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Ill. A part of the younger Scalia's position on homosexuality (which is similar to his father's) is his belief that being gay is not an immutable characteristic or identity.
On July 15, the controversial Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket the University of Central Florida, one of several area locations the congregations will protest, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The church reportedly has taken issue with the school spending money on programs for certain students, including gay and transgender individuals. Several hundred people had indicated on a Facebook page that they planned to attend a counterprotest.
Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a former presidential candidate known for his anti-gay stance, has said he will not run for re-election next year, according to the Chicago Tribune. "The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership," Perry said at a press conference in San Antonio. Perry took office in December 2000 after then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush was declared winner of the disputed presidential election over Democrat Al Gore. Perry was elected to a full term in 2002, and re-elected in 2006 and 2010.
Family type is not a predictor of a child's psychological adjustment among adopted children placed early with lesbian, gay or heterosexual parents, according to a new study entitled "Predictors of Psychological Adjustment in Early Placed Adopted Children With Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Parents," a press release issued. Among the key findings was that parents' level of preparation for the adoption was related to both externalizing and internalizing symptoms, such that parents who were less prepared reporting more symptoms in their children. A digital version of the report is available at http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Goldberg-and-Smith-2013-JFP1.pdf.
Lambda Legal announced that it is in the planning stages of a new federal lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Virginia with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), according to a press release. Virginia couples who have suffered from discrimination and are interested in sharing how marriage discrimination harms their families or being a part of a campaign for the freedom to marry are encouraged to fill out a survey at http://action.aclu.org/couples.
Republican Jim Petro, the former attorney general of Ohio, now backs marriage rights for same-sex couples, according to Gay Star News. Petro, who was attorney general 2003-07, made the announcement with the advocacy group FreedomOhio. The organization is working to amend the state's constitution, which prohibits marriage rights for gay couples.
The American Civil Liberties Union said it filed the first known legal challenge seeking to overturn a state law effectively banning same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania, the only northeastern state that doesn't allow it or civil unions, USA Today reported. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Harrisburg, also will ask a federal judge to prevent state officials from stopping gay couples from getting married. Pennsylvania would become the 14th state to legalize gay marriage if the lawsuit is successful.