In Pennsylvania, morning disc jockey Gary Smith was fired after asking listeners to repeat the phrase that led CBS and MSNBC to dump shock jock Don Imus, according to The Los Angeles Times. Smith urged WSBG-FM listeners to call and say 'I'm a nappy-headed ho' for the station's 'Phrase that Pays' contest. Executive Rick Musselman said that the station fired Smith because he said the phrase 'with full knowledge of the reaction to Don Imus' use of the exact same phrase.'
In Virginia, police are disputing reports that a stabbing for which a Norfolk State University student has been charged was a hate crime, BET.com reported. Terrance Allen Ross has been accused of stabbing and killing Sean D. Williams, a freshman at the school, and wounding Sherrod Allen. On his Facebook.com home page Williams wrote, 'I am a young, Black, homosexual man with a lot going for myself.' However, city policeman Sgt. Ollan Burruss has said, 'This is not a hate crime against a homosexual. It is not a crime of opportunity.'
In Maryland, The House of Delegates voted 122-18 to approve a measure that forces health insurance companies to write policies that include domestic partners, 365Gay.com . ( The policies are contingent upon the employers requesting them. ) The bill, which the Senate has already passed, now goes to the governor.
In Washington State, the legislature has passed a domestic-partnership bill for same-sex couples, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. After passing through the senate, the House approved the measure 63-35. Wash. Gov. Chris Gregoire plans to sign Senate Bill 5336—which, among other things, creates a domestic-partnership registry and provides inheritance rights in the absence of a will—into law.
In his latest motion requesting joint custody of their daughter, Jacqueline, openly gay former Gov. Jim McGreevey claims that his wife, Dina Matos, is homophobic, according to The New York Post. McGreevey also does not want Jacqueline to accompany Matos on her upcoming tour to support her book, Silent Partner, which details her marriage to McGreevey.
An official national memorial celebrating the life of LGBT-rights pioneer Barbara Gittings will take place April 28 at Philadelphia's National Constitutional Center. Scheduled speakers include Philadelphia Mayor John Street, Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Cathcart and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.
In Connecticut, a same-sex marriage bill has made it out of the State House's Judiciary Committee by a vote of 27-15, according to JournalInquirer.com . In 2005, the state approved same-sex civil unions, but advocates said that marriage is the next logical step. However, Gov. M. Jodi Rell has said that she believes marriage is for heterosexual couples only.
In Arkansas, the state's court of appeals has transferred custody of a child to a father from the lesbian mother, according to Advocate.com . However, several of the judges stated that the transfer was not linked to the mother's sexual orientation. At a court hearing, Lisa Holmes said that her monthly income as a substitute teacher was not stable; however, her ex-husban, Joseph Holmes, argued that the child should be raised in a 'heterosexual environment.'
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has increased the reward to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Andrew Anthos' death, according to an organizational press release. Anthos, a gay activist who lived in Michigan, died on Feb. 23—days after being allegedly attacked by a man who followed him off a bus.
Several notable LGBT leaders have endorsed U.S. presidential candidate John Edwards, according to a campaign press release. Among the individuals listed are former National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director Eric Stern, TV writer-producer Darren Star ( Melrose Place, Sex and the City ) and David Mixner, a former adviser of ex-President Bill Clinton.
The Rev. Barry Burkholder, the new minister at South Hill United Methodist Church, has gotten the church to allow a gay man to join—two years after the man was rejected, 365Gay.com reported. The Rev. Edward H. Johnson, the former pastor, said in 2005 that he could not accept the man into South Hill because the would-be congregant would not ask for forgiveness.
The International Consortium of Investigative Reporters at The Center for Public Integrity's report, 'Divine Intervention: U.S. AIDS Policy Abroad,' recently won a first-place Sigma Delta Chi Award for online reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists ( SPJ ) , according to a press release from the center. Among other things, the document stated that science came in second to morals in the Bush administration's $15 billion HIV/AIDS foreign treatment initiative.
In South Dakota, lesbian Daphne Wright was found guilty of killing and dismembering her ex-lover's friend, the Associated Press reported. According to prosecuting attorneys, Wright was jealous of Darlene VanderGiesen, 42, and her friendship with Wright's former paramour, Sallie Collins. Wright, 43, could become the state's first female to face the death penalty.
Martha Sosman, one of a trio of Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court judges who voted against legalizing same-sex marriages in the state, has passed away at the age of 83, according to the Associated Press. Sosman, 56, died of respiratory failure after battling breast cancer.
In Montana, a measure that would have prohibited sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination died in committee following objections from the Catholic Church and other groups, according to 365Gay.com . The bill, which was tabled by the Senate Judiciary Committee after it failed on a 7-5 vote, was sponsored by Sen. Christine Kaufmann, an openly gay Helena Democrat.
Tony Brennan, a University of Massachusetts student, has been arrested for beating another student and verbally assaulting him with anti-gay slurs, according to MassLive.com . Campus police arrested The assault was reported near the school's Crampton House, which houses the Stonewall Center, an LGBT organization.
John McDonald and Rob Wright, a gay male couple hoping to someday marry in California, recently donated $1 million to UCLA's law school, allowing the institution to establish the nation's first endowed academic chair in sexual orientation law, according to the L.A. Times. The donation will help fund the research of a professor at UCLA Law School's Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy.
Kyle Hawkins, coach of the University of Missouri men's lacrosse team, is the country's first openly gay male coach at a college campus, according to the Associated Press. One twist that has developed is that several gay high-school lacrosse players have already signed to join Missouri's team—although Hawkins hopes that they join because of the coach's ability and not the hope of preferential treatment based on sexual orientation.
Openly gay director Bryan Singer ( Superman, X-Men ) will direct the Mayor of Castro Street, a movie about the life of former San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, according to Towleroad.com . Milk was one of the first out officials in the country when he was elected to the city's Board of Supervisors; he was assassinated in 1978 by Dan White.