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  WINDY CITY TIMES

NATIONAL ROUNDUP
Special to the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis
2011-01-19

This article shared 2409 times since Wed Jan 19, 2011
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Attorney Robert Parker Mills has written a book, Between Rock and a Hard Place: In Defense of Rock Hudson, according to a press release. In the book, Mills argues that the jury erroneously awarded Hudson's lover, Marc Christian, $14.5 when the supposedly uninformed Christian claimed he had to live in a constant "fear of suffering a slow, agonizing death" from the AIDS Hudson had contracted. Mills contends that if Christian had engaged in high-risk intercourse during the eight months Christian was reportedly unaware of Hudson's condition, he would have contracted the virus as well.

New resources are available for same-sex couples from Fertility LifeLines, including a new site, www.FamilyBuildingOptions.com, which is designed to provide targeted information to same-sex couples about their family building options. The site offers info about assisted reproductive technology and other treatment choices; a "Find a Fertility Specialist" tool; and more. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there are approximately 600,000 same-sex couples in the United States—a number that has no doubt increased significantly.

In Minnesota, transgender woman Chrissie Bates has become Minneapolis' first homicide victim of 2011, according to The Blotter. Bates, formerly known as Christopher Bates, was found dead Jan. 10 in an apartment. Timothy Bates, an unrelated neighbor of the victim, said that Chrissie had claimed she had been recently sexually assaulted and that her window was broken. Timothy also said that the building management told Chrissie that she would have to pay for the window herself.

In California, Palm Springs Police Chief David Dominguez has resigned after apologizing to the gay community, according to an On Top Magazine item. A complaint regarding a 2009 undercover sex-sting operation revealed that Dominguez said "what a bunch of filthy motherfuckers" and told officers that they "should get paid extra for this." The complaint also alleged that handsome, muscular officer dressed in tight jeans and rubbed their crotches, resulting in the arrests of 19 men.

A new museum that celebrates San Francisco's LGBT community has opened, according to AOL News. Paul Boneberg, executive director of the GLBT Historical Society (which runs the museum) stated, "We have gone all out to create a museum as rich, diverse and surprising as the GLBT community itself." The 1,600-square-foot museum is only the second of its kind in the world; the other is in Germany.

In Pennsylvania, Haverford may become the 19th jurisdiction in the state to pass an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance, according to the Philadelphia Gay News. The ordinance—which bans sexual orientation- and gender identity-based discrimination in the areas of public accommodations, housing and employment—passed Jan. 10 by a vote of 5-3 (with one abstention). However, the township commission must approve the bill on a second reading, expected to happen next month.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has criticized North Carolina state Rep. Larry Brown after the politician said that taxpayers' funds should not help HIV-positive adults who "caused it by the way they live," according to the Winston-Salem Journal. Earlier, Brown said he did not "condone spending taxpayers' money to help people living in perverted lifestyles." HRC called Brown's statements "extremist," and added that they could foster "an environment that prevents many from getting tested and seeking treatment, thereby furthering the spread of HIV and AIDS."

In Minnesota, the Minneapolis School Board unanimously passed a resolution that adds to its LGBT curriculum and that anti-bullying initiatives, according to the Minnesota Independent. The resolution will have the district include educational materials about the safety of LGBT students and offer annual training for all district staff members. This also means that the sexual-health curriculum will include LGBT issues, and there will be an elective course on LGBT history.

Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has said that he would like to bring back "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) if he were elected president, according to TheAtlanticWire.com . Pawlenty said, "If you look at how the combat commanders and the combat units feel about it, the results of those kinds of surveys were different than the ones that were mostly reported in the newspaper and that is something I think we need to pay attention to." Recently, U.S. Sen. John McCain—who fought against the repeal of DADT—said that he will "do everything [he] can to make it work."

After seven rounds, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has chosen Wisconsin's Reince Priebus, 38, to succeed Michael Steele as its chairman, according to the New York Times. Steele dropped out after the fourth round of voting. Priebus, who was the RNC's top legal counsel, promised to pay off the RNC's $21-million debt and strengthen state branches of the party. In a statement, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper said, "As Chairman Priebus stated 'we must come together over common interests. We must unite.'"

At a Freedom to Marry gala in New York City, the organization's political director, Sean Eldridge, has announced his engagement to Facebook co-founder and Jumo founder Chris Hughes. Also at the event, Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson announced that the group would have a presence in Washington, D.C., to work with the government. Among the gala's honorary hosts were U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Ivanka Trump; co-hosts included ex-Republican National Committee Chair Ken Mehlman and comedian Kate Clinton, among others.

****

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from anti-gay activists who wanted to overturn Washington, D.C.'s, same-sex marriage law, according to Advocate.com . Beltsville, Md., minister Harry Jackson had sued the district's board of elections and ethics rejected his effort to let voters decide the issue. The board said that having such a question on the balot would violate non-discrimination regulations.

Chick-fil-A, Inc. President Dan Cathy has put forth a video addressing his company's alleged support of anti-gay organizations such as the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family as well as the event "The Art of Marriage," according to Metro Weekly. In the video, Cathy says, "Marriage has long been a focus of Chick-fil-A, starting with my own mom and dad, who are celebrating their 63rd year of marriage. ... Providing food to these events or any event is not an endorsement of the mission, political stance, or motives of this or any other organization. Any suggestion otherwise is just inaccurate."

In an article for CNN entitled "10 Realities About AIDS," iconic HIV/AIDS activist Larry Kramer wrote "AIDS was allowed to happen," according to Advocate.com . Kramer wrote that he wanted the article to break people's hearts, adding, "[AIDS] is a plague that need not have happened. It is a plague that could have been contained from the very beginning." He also wrote that AIDS "is a plague that is not going to go away. It is only going to get worse." Kramer co-founded Gay Men's Health Crisis and founded the organization ACT UP.

Oprah Winfrey's OWN has purchased the rights to Becoming Chaz, a documentary that follows Chaz Bono's journey to becoming male, according to Advocate.com . Becoming Chaz is slated to debut at the Sundance Film Festival later this month; OWN is reportedly going to announce the movie acquisition there. Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato—the pair behind Party Monster and The Eyes of Tammy Faye—directed the documentary.

Two more high school students—Minnesota's Lance Lundsten and Pennsylvania's Tiffani Maxwell—have committed suicide, according to the Huffington Post. Lundsten, 18, was openly gay, and friends say that he was bullied because of his sexual orientation. U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., said in a statement about Lundsten that his death was "a tragic event, not only for them, but for the school, and the Alexandria community and really for all of us. ... LGBT kids really do need [more] protection."

Ohio University will allow men and women to live in the same dorm rooms—an idea that was pushed on behalf of the school's LGBT Center, according to Thenews-messenger.com . The center's director, Mickey Hart, said that the new gender-neutral housing set-up will benefit transgender students, in particular. Other colleges throughout Ohio, including Miami University, are also experimenting with the housing concept.

In South Carolina, the Columbia HIV-prevention program YEAH! (Youth Empowered Against HIV) received a $20,000 grant from the Central Carolina Community Foundation, according to WLTX.com . YEAH! trains 18-to-24-year-old gay, queer or bisexual youth to be peer educators. The program is part of the Harriet Hancock Center, a meeting space and resource for the LGBT community.

Andrew Cuomo, the newest governor of New York, has appointed Erik Bottcher to a senior position in his administration, Advocate.com reported. Bottcher, 31, recently worked with the HIV/AIDS and LGBT communities in New York City on behalf of out lesbian council speaker Christine Quinn. He left that position last fall to serve as the LGBT liaison for Cuomo's campaign. Cuomo has also appointed Alphonso David, a gay African American, to the new position of deputy secretary for civil rights.

The federal rules that stop hospitals from sexual orientation- and gender identity-based discrimination have gone into effect. According to an Advocate.com item, "These new regulations require all hospitals participating in Medicaid and Medicare programs—virtually every hospital in the country—to permit patients to designate visitors of their choosing and prohibit discrimination in visitation based on a number of factors, including sexual orientation and gender identity." President Obama announced the rules last year.


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