In Ohio, the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation ( ACF ) has awarded $32,994 in grants to nine local nonprofit organizations, according to Akron.com . Among the grants is the largest award in the fund's history—$10,000 for the Akron Pride Center's "Building Pride" capital campaign.
As part of its protest against Florida's gay-marriage ban—which 61.2 percent of the state's voters passed in November—LGBT-rights activists will appear outside St. Petersburg's First United Methodist Church Dec. 12 to demonstrate at Gov. Charlie Crist's wedding, according to The Suncoast News. Crist, who has himself been the subject of gay rumors, endorsed the measure, known as Amendment 2, prior to its passage.
In California, some minority groups wonder if their rights could be limited if Proposition 8 is allowed to stand, Reuters reported. Legal authorities have noted that the measure—which was passed Nov. 4 and overturned the California Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage—is groundbreaking in that it limits the court's ability to protect minorities.
Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has once again sparked controversy—this time with a statement about gays. According to Queerty.com, Gingrich said, "I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment," on the FOX show The O'Reilly Factor. Gingrich allegedly added, "You have to confront the reality that these secular extremists are determined to impose on you acceptance of a series of values that are antithetical, they're the opposite, of what you're taught in Sunday school."
On World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, Catholics for Choice and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health collaborated to produce two Spanish-language radio ads in New York City. The ads will run on Spanish language radio in NYC through Dec. 14. See www.condoms4life.org .
The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) released a statement praising President-elect Barack Obama's selection of Eric Holder as attorney general of the United States. "In Eric Holder, President-Elect Obama has chosen an attorney general who has demonstrated his dedication to civil rights, protecting communities from hate violence, and the fair and equal application of our laws," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "President-Elect Obama's appointment continues to prove his commitment to the [ LGBT ] community."
A University of Iowa poll has revealed that 60 percent of those questioned in that state support rights for same-sex couples, according to 365Gay.com . The poll discovered that 28.1 percent of respondents are behind same-sex marriage, while another 30.2 percent support civil unions, but not marriage. Iowa's supreme court was slated to hear arguments Dec. 9 regarding six gay and lesbian couples who want to marry.
America's pharmaceutical research companies are testing 109 medicines and vaccines to treat or prevent HIV/AIDS and related conditions, according to a report from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Of the 109 products in development, 29 are vaccines and 57 are antivirals, and these drugs are either in human clinical trials or are waiting for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval.
In New York City, almost 50 gay and bisexual men have been arrested on prostitution charges at various porn shops, according to Gay City News. In lawsuits brought against six of the seven Manhattan shops where the arrests took place, the city has use those arrests as the reason for trying to shut the businesses down.
On Nov. 15, Keep a Child Alive ( KCA ) Co-Founder and Global Ambassador Alicia Keys took part in welcoming 400 student AIDS activists in the second annual KCA Student AIDS Summit, according to summit.kcacollege.com . During the event, the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter served as keynote speaker and also participated in "The Stigma Factor," a panel discussion on AIDS. Other KCA global ambassadors include supermodel Iman and Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi.
In North Carolina, the city council of Carrboro has passed a same-sex-marriage resolution—and sent copies of it off to the state and federal governments, the Associated Press reported. Alderwoman Jacqui Gist, who introduced the measure, said that the resolution is a condemnation of the more than 1,000 marriage benefits and state and federal rights that gay couples do not have.
Robert Walsh, a New York City firefighter, settled with the city for $3.75 million after a co-worker hit him with a metal chair during a fight, according to 365Gay.com . Walsh said at his trial that the 2003 attack was the straw that broke the camel's back after two years of anti-gay taunts from colleague Michael Silvestri, who served a year in jail as a result of hitting Walsh.
In Washington, D.C., Black gay activists are worried that the city's same-sex-marriage advocates have not developed a proper strategy for winning support from African Americans—who make up 56.5 percent of the population, the Washington Blade reported. Some activists have cited California's Proposition 8 as an example of failing to reach minority voters.
In Memphis, Tenn., former police officer Bridges McRae has pleaded not guilty to beating Duanna Johnson, a trans prostitution suspect—even though the alleged hitting was caught on video, the Associated Press reported. McRae is accused of violating the civil rights of Johnson, who was found murdered last month.
Neil Patrick Harris, John C. Reilly and Maya Rudolph are among the celebrities who are in "Prop 8: The Musical," a three-minute Internet video that protests the anti-gay-marriage initiative. The video, conceived and written by Hairspray composer Marc Shaiman, was posted Dec. 3 at FunnyOrDie.com .