A Black Connecticut legislator made history recently when he announced he is gay, according to The Courant. Connecticut Rep. Jason Bartlett came out of the closet on Feb. 19. Bartlett, who is now the sixth openly gay legislator in Connecticut, is up for re-election in November. In recently interviews, Bartlett said he has been out to his family, but wanted to address rumors about his sexual orientation. According to the rights group National Black Justice Coalition, there are six openly gay black elected officials in the U.S., including Bartlett.
In a report, a 12-member commission charged with reviewing New Jersey's civil-union law has concluded that the statute is flawed, according to The New York Times. The commission did not make any recommendations, but reported what it perceives as problems with the law. Not only did the commission find flaws, but stated that poorer couples, transgender people, those in the military and others have an even harder time with the law. The commission feels the law creates a second-class status for same-sex couples.
Edgeboston.com reported that plans to move a same-sex marriage ban forward in Indiana is most likely dead in the water until 2012. State Rep. Scott Pelath helped kill the amendment by choosing not to hear the legislation, which stalls it from moving forward. Indiana law requires that amendments be passed by two consecutive legislatures before they can be placed onto a general election ballot for voters to decide. According to Indystar.com, Pelath said that he killed the amendment because it is poorly worded and the state already bans gay marriage. Proponents of the amendment are trying to pressure the House Speaker to allow a vote.
A California gay man said he was discriminated against because of his sexual orientation when his gym revoked his membership for wearing a flirty T-shirt, reported Sacbee.com . David Cano had his membership revoked from an Elk Grove fitness center after management received complaints about his shirt that read, 'I NEED A MAN OR A DATE. Serious Inquiries only.' The shirt included Cano's phone number. His membership was revoked for 'disorderly conduct.' Cano said that he is consulting with a lawyer about the matter.
A legislator's attempt to ban discussion of homosexuality in Tennessee's schools died in a House subcommittee, reported the Knoxville News Sentinel. State Rep. Stacey Campfield wanted all discussion of homosexuality banned from the state's elementary and middle schools. It was dropped because the subcommittee thought the measure was unnecessary. The ACLU called the measure 'a clear attack on one community' that would limit free speech.
According to Southern Voice, an Atlanta lesbian mother is accused of murdering her former lover with the help of her son. Tonya and Jabaris Miller are on trial for the 2005 murder of a 55-year-old woman, Cheryl Miranda. Authorities allege that the mom and son duo killed Miranda because the relationship went sour. Miranda's body was found in her own truck, stabbed and burned. The family's attorneys insist that the Millers never harmed Miranda.
A study conducted by Harris Interactive found that one-third of gays and lesbians would switch their car insurance to a gay-friendly company. The study highlighted that 33 percent of gay and lesbian participants said they would make the swap if they knew the company offered domestic partner benefits to its employees. The study also found that twice as many gay and lesbians seeking auto insurance purchase their policy online than their heterosexual counterparts.
The Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute announced the formation of a new project meant to increase the number of LGBT presidential appointments in the next administration. The Presidential Appointment Project aims to find more qualified LGBT professionals that could fill appointed positions. National gay rights organizations such as Human Rights Campaign, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Stonewall Democrats are involved in the project.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation ( GLAAD ) has expressed its disappointment in how New York Daily News reported on the recent murder of a transgender woman, which included the word 'tranny,' described the victim as 'a man who dressed like a woman' and insinuated that the victim, a prostitute, had fooled her attacker. The 25-year-old transgender prostitute was stabbed to death in her Bronx apartment. A 37-year-old male customer allegedly stabbed the victim multiple times. The original article—a follow-up piece used improved wording—referred to the victim using male pronouns.
Two organizations, the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute have announced the formation of the Bayard Rustin Award, according to 365Gay.com . The award will honor exemplary contributions in political science on the subject of LGBT African Americans. The award is named after Rustin, an openly gay advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King.
According to Hollywood Reporter, ABC has ordered a pilot from the gay-straight duo that created of Will & Grace, David Kohan and Max Mutchnick. The new comedy will focus on the friendship of two men—one gay and one straight.