In Saugatuck, Mich., vandals spray-painted a swastika and anti-gay statements on a fence surrounding the Campit Outdoor Resort. Co-owner Sally Howard said that she will prosecute the perpetrator ( s ) if located. The person ( s ) who did the damage could face criminal charges, but not hate-crime ones; sexual orientation is not protected in Michigan. The 33-acre site is supposed to open April 16.
A Republican National Committee ( RNC ) stafferformer Young Eagles Director Allison Meyerswas fired over nearly $2,000 spent at the West Hollywood, Calif., club Voyeur; however, it remained unclear if she actually approved the expense, according to Politico.com . Erik Brown, a RNC donor and president of Dynamic Marketing, Inc., said his company organized the February event, Advocate.com reported. The club's Web site describes the venue as a "destination for provocative revelry that combines eroticism and nightlife exclusivity."
Fox News Channel figure Bill O'Reilly has offered to pay $16,510 in costs an appeals court ordered Albert Snyder to pay Westboro Baptist Church minister Fred Phelps, according to Advocate.com . Snyder is the father of slain marine Matthew Snyder, whose funeral was picketed by the church. ( The Supreme Court is slated to hear the free-speech case in October. )
In New York, the advocacy organization Make the Road New York has released a report, "Transgender Need Not Apply," according to Advocate.com . The report, discussed on the talk-radio program The Brian Lehrer Show, revealed that 42 percent of trans job seeks faced discrimination. Pauline Park, who heads the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy, said, "The report by Make the Road NY simply confirms anecdotal evidence, which is, suggests that there is widespread, and deep, pervasive discrimination based on gender identity and expression here in New York City and in fact, throughout the country."
In Oklahoma, Keith Kimmelthe 28-year-old man who filed a lawsuit against the Oklahoma Tax Commission, seeking the "I'm Gay" license platewas found dead in his apartment in Norman March 31, according to an Advocate.com item. Just two days earlier, Kimmel had complained that Tulsa police officers assaulted him outside the gay nightspot the End Up Club March 27. Tulsa officers will reportedly speed up the internal investigation because of Kimmel's death.
In Virginia, the board of visitors of George Mason University has decided to keep the school's non-discrimination policy, which includes sexual orientation, in place, according to the Washington Post. The board met in response to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's recent letter asking the state's colleges and universities to reconsider including gays and lesbians in their anti-discrimination policies. Part of the resolution retaining the policy reads, "Whereas, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender faculty, students, administrators and staff make outstanding contributions to the accomplishment of the university mission ... the Board of Visitors of George Mason University ... remains deeply committed to equal treatment of all persons in their dealings with the university in any and all contexts."
In New York City, authorities are investigating the murder of transwoman Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, who body was found in a Queens apartment, according to the New York Times. Gonzalez-Andujar, 29, was strangled, and the medical examiner concluded her death was a homicide. Originally, police had identified the victim as a man, Edelbuerto Gonzalez-Andujar, but later corrected itself, saying she was a transwoman who had not yet gone through gender-reassignment surgery. It was not immediately known if gender identity factored in the killing.
In Texas, Travis County District Judge Scott Jenkins has refused state Attorney General Greg Abbott's attempt to interfere in a same-sex divorce case, according to the Houston Chronicle. Angelique Naylor, 39, and Sabina Daly, 42, married in 2004 in Massachusetts; they then returned to Austin, Texas, and adopted a son. Jenkins noted that Abbott is already involved in a same-sex divorce case ( with two men ) in Dallas that could provide a legal precedent, and that a delay in the lesbians' case could affect their son.
In Texas, a college play that depicted Jesus Christ as gay was cancelled after school officials received a deluge of hate mail, according to CBS News. The play, Corpus Christi, was the result of a theater-class assignment at Stephenville's Tarleton State University; in the production, Jesus is a gay man who presides over the marriage of two male disciples. David Harris, minister of the Hillcrest Church of Christ, led his congregation to cancel the play by giving out the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of university officials.
U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., recently met with the heads of several Minnesota pro-LGBT groupsand they gave him high marks for his work on LGBT issues, according to the Minnesota Independent. Sixteen leaders from organizations such as the Minnesota GLBTA Campus Alliance, Rainbow Rumpus, OutFront Minnesota and the Bisexual Empowerment Conference met with Franken, and lauded his support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act, among other things. Bethany Snyder, Franken's director of field operations, said that the senator "left the meeting more aware of the great and needed work of the organizations present. He is energized to continue to work hard for the LGBT community."
In Iowa, social conservatives criticized the first anniversary of the state supreme court's April 3 decision legalizing same-sex marriage, according to On Top Magazine. The Iowa Family Policy Center said its members would celebrate "the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who offers eternal life" as marriage-equality advocates celebrated "personal choices that lead to eternal death." Gay activists held a number of events to mark the first anniversary, including a gala in Des Moines.
In Georgia, the state House has passed a controversial measure that would make school officials notify parents when their children are either the victims or perpetrators of bullying, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The bill originated because of the death of 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera, who reportedly committed suicide after classmates taunted him with anti-gay insults. An investigation concluded that his death was not necessarily caused only by "a simplistic case of bullying."
Also in Georgia, anti-gay state legislator Nancy Schaefer and her husband, Bruce, were found March 26 in their home; both had been shot, according to MyFoxAtlanta.com . Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesperson John Bankhead said, "Preliminarily, it looks like a murder-suicide." Nancy Schaefer founded the nonprofit foundation Family Concerns, Inc.,which opposed abortion and marriage equalityin 1986.
Scott Roeder was sentenced April 1 to life in prison without being eligible for parole for 50 years in the killing of Kansas abortion provide Dr. George Tiller, according to CNN.com . In January, Roeder was convicted of murdering Tiller, who was one of the few doctors in the country who performed late-term abortions. Before being sentenced, Roeder criticized Tiller and told Judge Warren Wilbert "You have the power to acquit and if you were to obey the higher power, God himself, you would acquit me."
In San Diego, Calif., gay-rights activists protested an appearance by former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a book-signing, according to On Top Magazine. Californians Against Hate founder Fred Karger said he organized the protest to ask "Romney, through online ads and [ the ] demonstration, to use his vast influence with the Mormon leadership to ask his church to take a vow of political neutrality." Mormons donated at least $30 million to make sure the anti-marriage-equality initiative Prop 8 passed. Romney is being mentioned as a 2012 presidential candidate.
In Wisconsin, a federal court has ruled that doctors can determine if trans inmates can continue hormone treatments in state prisons, according to Advocate.com . The state legislature passed a law four years ago that prevented prison physicians from prescribing/administering hormone treatments or gender-reassignment surgery for prisoners. Lambda Legal Transgender Rights Attorney Dru Levasseur said, "The court understood that medical treatment is critical for transgender people and that medical decisions should be made by doctorsnot legislators."
Tuff Lucka trans-inclusive cafe located inside feminist bookstore In Other Wordsopened in Portland, Ore., last month, according to Advocate.com . Tuff Luck provides jobs and a venue for selling art to help trans individuals raise money for health care. Ryder Richardson said, "Down the line we'd like to set up an individual development account and get organizations to match whatever people can make working here."
A recent article in the New York Times magazine focused on the science behind same-sex mating throughout the animal kingdom, according to an Advocate.com item. Biologist Lindsay C. Young found out that, regarding the Laysan albatross, "a third of the pairs at Kaena Point actually consisted of two female birds, not one male and one female"and that some of these lesbian pairs had been around at long as the scientists' data went back, which was 19 years. The article also stated that "same-sex sexual activity have been recorded in more than 450 different species of animals by now, from flamingos to bison to beetles to guppies to warthogs."
Count Beau Breedlove among those attempting to have Sam Adamsthe gay former mayor of Portland, Ore., and Breedlove's ex-loverrecalled, according to Advocate.com . Breedlove was among approximately two dozen opponents of Adams at a recent rally who were collecting signatures for petitions seeking to remove Adams from office. When Adams ran for mayor in 2007, he denied having sex with Breedlove; he then said that he did not have sex with Breedlove until the latter turned 18.