New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg once asked retiring U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to succeed him, according to the New York Times. In a phone call that three people confirmed, Bloomberg encouraged Clinton to consider entering the 2013 mayor's race, thinking she'd be the perfect fit. Bloomberg's move is intriguing, the publication says, because he has privately signaled support for the candidacy of lesbian City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, who cleared a path for Bloomberg's third term by backing a change to the city's term-limit law.
In New York, former male model Renato Seabra, 22, was found guilty of killing and castrating 65-year-old journalist lover Carlos Castro, according to CBS News. Seabra had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, and his defense team said he was mentally ill; however, a court-ordered psychiatric exam found Seabra fit for trial. Prosecutors argued that Seabra and Castro were a couple and Seabra, wanting fame and fortune, was angry that Castro had ended their relationship. Seabra will be sentenced Dec. 21.
The board of directors of San Francisco Pride has announced Earl Plante as its new CEO, according to a press release. Plante joins SF Pride from the Latino Commission on AIDS in New York City, where he served as director of development. Plante will begin moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in mid-December.
U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., introduced a House resolution that asks the U.S. House of Representatives to encourage states to take steps to prevent minors from being harmed by conversion therapy, according to LGBTQ Nation. California's passage of a measure banning reparative therapy inspired Speier's bill, which is entitled "Stop Harming Our Kids." In a statement, National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq., said, "We applaud Congresswoman Speier for showing true leadership by shining a light on this important issue. ... Every child deserves acceptance and support, and families deserve honest, accurate information about how to protect their children."
In Philadelphia, drag star Ian Morrison, a.k.a Ms. Brittany Lynn, and her Drag Mafia will be the first "Drag Brigade" to ever march in the Philadelphia Mummer's Day Parade on New Year's Day, according to a press release. James Julia, president of the Mummers Brigade Association, and Mummers Board President Rocco Gallelli asked Morrison and his Drag Mafia to lead the string bands in the parade down Philadelphia's Broad Street. Dating back to 1901, Mummers are men and women of all ages who belong to more than 40 organized clubs split into five divisions: Comics, Wench Brigades, Fancies, String Bands and Fancy Brigades.
In conjunction with World AIDS Day (Dec. 1), Gay Men's Health Crisis released a new report, "FENCED IN: HIV/AIDS in the U.S. Criminal Justice System," according to a press release. The report addresses the dual epidemic of HIV and mass incarceration in the United States, and offers policy recommendations to improve the health of affected communities. Among the recommendations is having condoms and other prophylactic devices readily available to inmates. The full report is at http://gmhc.org/files/editor/file/a_pa_2012_prison.pdf.
GLAAD; The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN); and PFLAG National released a joint statement denouncing the Dr. Oz Show for airing an episode debating the merits of so-called reparative therapy, and having a representative of the discredited National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) as an "expert." The groups urged Dr. Oz to stand with the entire medical community against this so-called therapy, and to tell his LGBT viewers that he does not support the idea that their sexual orientation should be "repaired." Sony Pictures and Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions launched Dr. Oz in 2009.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has included protections for binational same-sex couples and comprehensive immigration reform among its new set of principles, the Washington Blade reported. The caucus unveiled a set of nine items in its legislation entitled "One Nation: Principles on Immigration Reform & Our Commitment to the American Dream." Binational same-sex couples currently face potential separation under immigration law; the Uniting American Families Act would address this issue.
In Montana, the debate over the state's so-called sodomy ban will resume in the 2013 legislative session, according to the Huffington Post. State Sen. Tom Facey, D-Missoula, has reintroduced a measure to repeal the state's almost-40-year-old sodomy ban that more specifically prohibits "sexual contact or sexual intercourse between two persons of the same sex." Even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Montana's ban unconstitutional in 2003, Facey said that only the legislature can take the words out of the state code.
In Michigan, performing-arts teacher Susan Johnson was suspended from South Lyon's Centennial Middle School for playing a song about being gay to her students in class, the Huffington Post reported. Johnson said one of her eighth-grade students asked if he could play a song; the tune turned out to be "Same Love," a song produced in support of marriage equality that Seattle-based hip-hop artist Macklemore performed. Johnson was later told she would be suspended for a total of three daysincluding two without payafter a student claimed to be offended by the song's content.
In Mesa, Ariz., Westwood High School principal Tim Richards stirred controversy for his method of disciplining two students who got into a fistfighthe made them hold hands while sitting together in the school courtyard, according to the Huffington Post. The punishment lasted an hour; however, they endured much teasing the following day. Critics say the punishment encourages bullying by allowing students to publicly taunt the teens; others have suggested that it sends a negative message about gay students by asserting that two males holding hands is an embarrassent.
At its "Out for Change: The Future of LGBT Rights" event, the Ford Foundation announced a new LGBT initiative that will invest $50 million over the next five years to advance LGBT equality and rights, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF). As for the event itself, one of the hightlights was the panel "The Road to Equity: Where Do We Need to Go?," which featured NGLTF Executive Director Rea Carey, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Commissioner Chai Feldblum, Gay-Straight Alliance Network Senior Manager of Racial and Economic Justice Programs Geoffrey Winder and attorney/commentator Richard Socarides.
Army veteran and OutServe-SLDN board member Brenda S. "Sue" Fulton married Penelope Dara Gnesin in the first same-sex marriage at the Cadet Chapel at West Point, N.Y., according to an OutServe-SLDN press release. Fulton is also executive director of Knights Out, an organization of LGBT West Point graduates and allies. The couple met in 1995.
Republican Pennsylvania state legislator Mike Fleck, 39, came out as gay in an interview with his local newspaper, according to TheRepublic.com . Fleck won his House seat in 2006 and ran unopposed for a fourth term in the House in the Nov. 6 election. A devout Christian, Fleck told the newspaper that he was always taught homosexuality was a choice, and got married in 2002. Fleck is now the first and only legislator currently in Pennsylvania's General Assembly who is openly gay.
In New Hampshire, Stacie Laughton has made her resignation official, according to the Huffington Post. Laughton was the first out transgender person in the nation to be elected as a state representative, but said she would resign after her criminal record became public. Laughton later said she would reconsider resigning, but then ceremoniously signed her letter of resignation on camera at the Access Nashua cable access TV station.
In Nevada, federal judge Robert C. Jones has upheld the state's constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, according to Opposing Views. Jones ruled that Nevada had a constitutional right to pass the amendment, which voters approved twiceonce in 2000 with 70 percent of the vote and a second time in 2002 with 67 percent. Lambda Legal, joined by pro bono co-counsel from O'Melveny & Myers LLP and Snell & Wilmer LLP, argued that Nevada's law barring same-sex couples from marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution; Lambda Legal has vowed to appeal the decision.
In Minnesota, the Minneapolis city council unanimously confirmed 25-year veteran officer Janee Harteau as the city's new chief of policemaking her the first woman and openly gay officer to serve in that capacity, according to LGBTQ Nation. The council voted 11-0 to confirm Harteau after council members and Mayor R.T. Rybak praised her. Harteu and her partner, Sgt. Holly Keegel, also a Minneapolis police officer, are parents to a 13-year-old daughter.
In Chicago, Lincoln Park High School's newly appointed dean of students is working to create a first-of-its-kind mentorship program for gay and lesbian students that she hopes will be a prototype for the city's public schools, according to DNAinfo.com . Christy Walker, 28, said the mentor program will likely be structured similar to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Walker and Nico Lang, a DePaul University graduate student, hope to have it running by the start of next year.
The new issue of Jet magazine, which has a primarily African-American readership, features a gay male couple in its Jet Love weddings section for the first time, according to Advocate.com . The Dec. 10 issue of Jet featured the wedding of Ravi Perry, an assistant professor of political science at Mississippi State University, and Paris Prince, a licensed real-estate broker and compliance officer for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. In a statement, the couple said, "Long the hallmark in publishing news, culture and events pertaining to the Black American experience, Jet's publishing of our union is historic."
An attorney for former WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw says he's investigating the circumstances that led to assault and weapons charges against the Olympic gold medalist, according to a Boston.com item. Holdsclaw, 35, is accused of smashing the windows and firing a shot into a car belonging to ex-girlfriend Jennifer Lacy, who plays for the WNBA's Tulsa Shock. Holdsclaw is out on bond and has been ordered to wear a monitoring device and to not contact Lacy, 29.
The American Psychiatric Association has removed the term "gender identity disorder" from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM), a much-anticipated move that has been met with mixed reactions among transgender people. In its latest edition, the DSM-V, the manual has introduced the term "gender dysphoria," a phrase intended to highlight the experiences of gender-variant people whose identity or experiences fall out of step with their birth-assigned gender.
In San Francisco, a $6.1-million grant from the city's new Housing Trust Fund will relaunch an effort to build an apartment complex for low-income LGBT seniors, according to Advocate.com . Voters approved the trust fund November 10, and Mayor Ed Lee recently announced the grant to the complex. The project is slated to be built on a five-acre site in the Hayes Valley section of the city.
In Atlanta, the city council approved a resolution to support marriage equality, countering Mayor Kasim Reed's stated opposition to extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, Advocate.com noted. Openly gay council member Alex Wan, who led the effort, told the Georgia Voice that he had been waiting for the right moment to introduce the resolution. Although Reed has expressed his support of LGBT issues, he said he could not yet back marriage.
Nearly a month after nationwide elections delivered historic victories for marriage equality across the country, the Human Rights Campaign released a polling report showing a new, pro-marriage equality voting bloc drove ballot measure victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state, a press release stated. Nationwide, voters supported marriage equality by an 11-percent marginsignificantly larger than President Obama's margin of re-election. The full memo on the survey is at www.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/ExitPollSurveyAnalysis.pdf.
A young gay man from North Carolina has been charged with fatally shooting a man he had been staying with in Alabama, Advocate.com reported. Zachary Stirewalt, 21, has been arrested and charged with the murder of Daniel Turman, 43, who was shot several times. Police have not made any public statements about a possible motive for the shooting.
Hospitality executive Richard Gray has been appointed managing director for the LGBT Market for the Greater Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Convention & Visitors Bureau, according to a press release. Gray was previously owner of The Royal Palms Resort & Spa, which was the first gay guest house in the destination to achieve a five-star rating.
In Maine, same-sex couples who want to get married can now get hitched as soon as Dec. 29, Gay Star News noted. Voters, by a 53-47 percent margin, approved a marriage-equality ballot measure last month. Gov. Paul LePage approved of the certified results Nov. 29, and the new law is set to officially go into effect exactly 30 days after that date.
In California, U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb has temporarily blocked the ban on "ex-gay" therapy, according to Advocate.com . The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, says that therapists who attempt to "change" the sexual orientation of minor clients will be subject to discipline by state licensing boards. However, Shubb's rulingwhich was in favor of the free-speech rights of practitionersonly applies to three plaintiffs.
The place cited as the most promiscuous gay city in the United States is West Hollywood, Calif., according to a Huffington Post item. (Some of the other cities in the top 10 include Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Columbus, Ohio; and Chicago.) SeekingArrangement.com, which calls itself the world's largest "sugar daddy" dating website, polled 11,000 of its active gay members on how many join dating websites to have casual sex.