In Florida, a fight between Republican U.S. Allen West and gay-rights activists continues, Advocate.com reported. The Florida Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Democratic Caucus recently sent a letter to the The Wilton Manors Business Association, threatening a boycott if the association followed through on an event featuring West; Wilton Manors relented. West, a Tea Party favorite, and his wife criticized the caucus separately, saying it was intolerant. Wife Angela West also posted on the congressman's website that "if tolerance were to be achieved by an evening of discussion, it would have been discovered that Congressman West's close relative is gay and married to his partnerwe love and adore them both."
A South Carolina newspaper has published the wedding announcement of a gay interracial couple, according to Advocate.com . William Leonard Hasty III and Gregory Maurice Smith were married July 26 at Town Hall in Mamaroneck, N.Y. While they live in New York, the couple met in Columbia, S.C. Smith is an executive vice president and Hasty is currently a homemaker, according to the newspaper The State.
In Colorado, teens Joseph Murphy and Zachary Kocman have been charged with an anti-gay attack after allegedly yelling slurs at a man before chasing and assaulting him, according to Advocate.com . Murphy, 18, and Kocman, 19, yelled at a 25-year-old man; they then allegedly got out of the vehicle, chased the victim for several blocks and assaulted him. They were released on bond but have an Aug. 9 courtroom appearance.
The anti-gay group Wisconsin Family Action is accused of sending misleading absentee-ballot applications to voters in the state's recall elections, according to the Minnesota Independent. The applications had a printed return deadline of Aug. 11two days after the state's actual cutoff date. The mailing was sent out in the districts of Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls, and Rob Cowles, R-Allouez, who are facing recall challenges from Democrats Shelly Moore and Nancy Nusbaum.
In Washington state, the Suquamish tribe has allowed and recognized marriage equality, according to Advocate.com . The Suquamish Tribal Council voted to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples on its reservation near Seattle at the request of lesbian member Heather Purser. However, since the rest of the state does not recognize same-sex marriage, the law's effect is limited to the reservation.
Illinois' Wheaton College has been named the least LGBT-friendly campus in the nation, Advocate.com reported. The institution, founded in 1860, has acquired the title despite the efforts of OneWheaton, an alumni group that organized to advocate for LGBT students at the Christian college. Wheaton was also named the unfriendliest for LGBT students two years ago but was fifth last year.
In Missouri, the Missouri Research and Education Network ( MOREnet ) has dropped an "alternate lifestyles" filter because of a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU ) , Advocate.com reported. The ACLU stated that "there were things going on with the filter that were not intended," MOREnet Executive Director John Gillespie said. "MOREnet should be commended for acting quickly and responsibly once we alerted them to this problem," ACLU of Eastern Missouri Tony Rothert said in a statement.
In Wisconsin, Milwaukee County employees will have access to health benefits for same- and opposite-sex domestic partners, Advocate.com reported. County Executive Chris Abele signed a measure making this possible. Board chairman Lee Holloway, who voted for the bill, said that if cost becomes an issue, the board may limit the benefits to same-sex partners, cutting the tab by 75 percent, when it goes into the budget process later this year.
The New York City Council has awarded the Ali Forney Center $620,000 to take over a 20-bed Brooklyn emergency center that will serve homeless and runaway LGBT youths, Advocate.com reported. The money represents a shift of funds that had been allocated for another group, Turning Point, that didn't comply with shelter licensing guidelines. Carl Siciliano, the executive director of the Ali Forney Center, hopes to open the new site by October.
A University of Texas study has shown that men are more than twice as likely to continue dating a woman who has cheated on them with a woman instead of another man, Advocate.com reported. Fifty percent of men would stay with the bisexual women, as opposed to the 22 percent who would continue dating a woman who slept with a man. However, only 21 percent of the women would stay with a man who had a same-sex affair.
In Houston, Texas, Jenifer Pool is running for city council, hoping to be the city's first transgender member on the board, according to Advocate.com . Pool is running for a seat vacated by lesbian Sue Lovell, who reached her term limit; before Lovell, current Mayor Annise Parker occupied the seat. Pool worked in the construction industry in the 1990s but was fired when she underwent gender-reassignment surgery. After that, she started a consulting business in the same industry.
Tim Pawlenty has joined some other GOP presidential candidates in signing the National Organization for Marriage's anti-gay pledge, according to Advocate.com . The ex-Minnesota governor had originally seemed to skip signing the pledge. Pawlenty now joins Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney in signing the pledge, which, among other things, calls for supporting a federal constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Activist Andrew Breitbart is boycotting the Conservative Political Action Conference ( CPAC ) because the event has excluded gay organization GOProud and because of anti-gay comments from individuals connected to the confab, according to Advocate.com . Breitbart, a member of GOProud's advisory council, said he won't attend CPAC if the group is excluded, and another right-wing commentator, Roger L. Simon, has joined him. Also, GOProud leaders met with American Conservative Union ( ACU ) chairman Al Cardenas after anti-gay comments by his wife, Diana, were publicized on a blog; ACU runs CPAC.
In Washington, D.C., widow Katherine Wone settled a $20-million wrongful-death suit with Joseph Price, Victor Zeborsky and Dylan Ward, three gay men she holds responsible for the 2006 death of her husband, Robert, Advocate.com reported. As part of the monetary settlement ( less than $20 million ) , the three will make payments to the Robert E. Wone Memorial Trust. Robert Wone, the former general counsel for Radio Free Asia, was fatally stabbed three times in a townhouse where he was staying with friends; no one has been charged in the killing.
In Holland, Mich., more than 150 individuals marched from Smallenburg Park to City Hall to protest the city council's decision to exclude sexual orientation and gender identity from the anti-discrimination ordinance, according to MLive.com . During the council's public-comment period, many spoke, including professor Thomas Crisp, who spoke of being harassed while growing up in Holland. Mayor Kurt Dykstra said he welcomed the "deeply and passionately held" positions of the speakers, but added that the city's position shouldn't be taken as a sign that Holland isn't welcoming.
A survey has found that 81 percent of New Jersey voters support civil unions or marriage for same-sex couples, according to On Top Magazine. The poll also found that more people support marriage equality ( 47 percent ) than those who do not ( 42 percent ) . New Jersey is among five states that recognize civil unions, along with Illinois, Delaware, Rhode Island and Hawaii. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is against same-sex marriage.
In New York City, public middle and high schools will be required to take sex-education classes beginning this year, according to the New York Times. Children will take lesons on how issues such as proper condom usage and the appropriate age for sexual activity. Nationwide, one in four teenagers between 2006 and 2008 learned about abstinence without learning about contraceptive methods, according to information from the Guttmacher Institute. As of January, 20 states and the District of Columbia mandated sex and HIV/AIDS education in schools.
The Trevor Project is marking 13 years of 24-hour daily lifeline service to LGBTQ youth in crisis, according to a press release. In celebration of "Trevor" turning 13the minimum age of the young people served by The Trevor Projectthe organization has launched a birthday-wish campaign online to engage supporters in suicide prevention in the weeks leading up to National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 4-10. Supporters can participate by visiting bit.ly/trevorbday. On Aug. 8, 1998, The Trevor Project officially opened its first 24-hour national lifeline.
Seven years removed from resigning as New Jersey's governor, Jim McGreevey is working as the spiritual counselor at the state's Hudson County Correctional Center, Advocate.com reported. McGreeveywho left political office after the publicizing of a scandal involving him and a male staff membergot involved in counseling after he enrolled in an Episcopal seminary in 2007. He now helps women and some men educate themselves and find ways to keep them out of the prison system.
In Wisconsin, Marquette University has rescinded suspending a group that dismissed one of its officers after he said he is gay, Advocate.com reported. The school initially suspended the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter, which describes itself as a "student-led, inter-denominational Christian organization." However, after InterVarsity appealed the suspension to Dean of Students Stephanie Quade, the chapter was placed on a year's probation.
A gay couple is suing California's Great America amusement park over a photo taken of them, saying the image was altered in an embarrassing manner, according to Advocate.com . The lawsuit, filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court by Craig Person and Edmund Yang, cites an incident that occurred in 2008, after the men were photographed holding hands on the Psycho Mouse roller coaster. The men allege that the photowhich was sold publiclyhad a thought bubble with the words "Were [ sic ] fags."
In New York City, street vendor Mohamed Abdallawhose cart has amassed $20,000 in fines from the city's health departmentsaid that the criticism he's getting is a conspiracy generated by "homosexuals," "Jewish people" and "rich people," among others, according to Advocate.com . Upper West Side residents are reportedly disgusted by the vendor, who parked his mobile cart on the corner of Central Park West and West 86th Street a decade ago and hasn't moved.
In Texas, same-sex couple Eric V. Culbertson and David W. Carlson have pledged $2 million to Resource Center Dallas ( RCD ) , according to the Dallas Voice. RCD Executive Director and CEO Cece Cox said the money would be used to help pay for construction of a new building that will consolidate programs and double the agency's space. Cox said that the center has already raised 30 percent of the $12 million needed for the new facility.
Compiling data from LGBT organizations nationwide, the Movement Advancement Project released a comprehensive report that illustrates that more than half the country is still without LGBT protections. The Colorado-based think tank released its biennial "Momentum Report" Aug. 3. According to the report, high-profile triumphs for LGBT communities in the past two years have had little impact on policies in 28 states, where protections for LGBT people are almost non-existent.
LGBT activists are condemning the murder of a transgender woman found stabbed to death in her New York apartment. Camila Guzman, who was identified by her legal name by New York police, was found dead in her East Harlem apartment Aug. 1 at 4:41 p.m. Guzman was 38. No arrests have been made, said police. LGBT groups denounced the murder and called for more accurate reporting from the media. Sources have used Guzman's birth name and male pronouns, despite the fact that she is reported as having identified as transgender.
Conservative provocateur Ann Coulter has joined the advisory board of the gay Republican group GOProud, according to Yahoo! News. Coulter has long supported the group, which also counts anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, online media mogul Andrew Breitbart and Republican strategist Roger Stone as its backers. "I am honored to serve in this capacity on GOProud's Advisory Council, and look forward to being the queen of fabulous," Coulter said in a statement.