After becoming the first state to reject a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage back in 2006, legislators are pushing to ask voters to ban gay marriage in Arizona again. According to The Arizona Republic, leaders in both houses introduced a measure to place a same-sex marriage ban on the November ballot. This ballot measure is slightly different this time around because it does not ban other relationships, such as domestic partnerships.
Bay Windows reports that Stan McGee, one of Massachusetts' Gov. Deval Patrick's openly gay aides, was arrested in Florida for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old. McGee is an aide for the state's Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. He was arrested in late December.
San Jose State University's president suspended the school's on-campus blood drive in protest of anti-gay federal donation guidelines that prohibit gay men from donating, according to Out in America. The university's president, Don Kassing, announced his decision to students via e-mail, writing that the federal guidelines conflict with the school's non-discrimination policy. He said that the suspension of the blood drive will continue until the Food and Drug Administration reviews its policies.
Former Bush aide Karl Rove revealed that he is uncertain whether or not his adoptive father, who died in 2004, was gay at a recent chat at a Connecticut high school, reported the Hartford Courant. He was responding to a student's question, which referenced published accounts of his sexual orientation. Rove, when asked by a student, also discussed his thoughts on gay marriage. He explained that he feels that the issue of marriage should be left up to a state legislature, not the courts.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has more gay super delegates than Sen. Barack Obama, according to the Washington Blade. Because the race is neck-and-neck, super delegates will play a very important role in deciding who will be nominated. The Blade reports that there are 21 super delegates who identify as LGBT in the electoral system. Twelve of those delegates have pledged their support for Clinton, while two have pledged their support for Obama. Seven remain undecided.
A Colorado lesbian couple who wants to get married recently filed suit in Denver County court, reported The Advocate. The couple wants Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage to be declared unconstitutional. In 2006, voters approved a ballot measure that amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The lesbian couple was arrested in 2007 on trespassing charges after they attempted to obtain a marriage license.
In Massachusetts, a federal appeals court ruled that it is okay for an elementary school to use children's books that promote gay tolerance, reported Gaywired.com . The families of two students filed suit because of the school's position of not providing parental notification for LGBT-friendly materials used in the classroom. They felt that the school's use of children's books Molly's Family, King & King and Who's in a Family? conflicted with their personal religious beliefs and the religious training of their kids.
A lesbian mom was recently convicted in the murder of her infant son, according to 365gay.com . The New York City mother was sentenced to 15 years to life for the murder of her 23-month-old son. Her partner, who pled guilty in May, is currently serving her 15-year sentence. The infant was beaten to death in September, and both women blamed each other for the death.
An openly gay student who was shot in the head by a classmate was recently declared brain dead, according to the Los Angeles Times. The 15-year-old Oxnard, Calif., junior high student, Lawrence King, was declared brain dead on Feb. 13. The 14-year-old suspect, who has not been identified by local authorities because of his young age, will now face first-degree murder charges. Students at the school say that King was targeted because of his sexual orientation.
A new gay travel social networking site, Gaypedia.com, launched on Valentine's Day. The site serves as a one stop shop for travel information, as well as social networking. The site gives visitors an inside peek into numerous travel destinations by informing them of the laws that impact LGBT people at each destination.
The Williams Institute at UCLA Law School announced that $5.5 million in new gifts has been contributed to support its research on sexual orientation law and policy. The Williams Institute is the first national think tank to dedicate itself to such issues and research. The institute's endowment is now up to $15 million.
Straight ally and brother of activist Larry Kramer, Arthur Kramer, died at age 81, according to GLAAD. Kramer was the lead funder of his brother's initiative for Lesbian & Gay Studies at Yale University, donating $1 million in 2001. Kramer's law firm, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, tackles many LGBT issues.
According to Outincolumbus.com, the Ohio Health Department plans to study gay teens' smoking habits. The state's health officials allocated $60,000 in federal dollars to study the issue. Nationwide, gay and lesbian teenagers, and the LGBT community in general, tend to smoke more than their straight counterparts. Ohio wants to conduct the study because it does not have any statewide data on LGBT smoking habits.