Spokane ( Wash. ) Mayor James E. West was recalled in a special election over allegations he offered jobs and perks to young men he met in a gay Internet chat room, The Washington Blade reported. West, 54, became the city's first elected head to be ousted; he must leave office when the election results are certified Dec. 16. The recall contended West used his political office for personal benefit by offering a city internship to someone he thought was an 18-year-old man he had met in a gay online chat room. City Council President Dennis Hession will become mayor pro tempore until the council appoints a replacement to finish the two years remaining on West's term.
Boston College has asked a student group to adopt a 'less gay' theme for an AIDS benefit dance, saying the proposed 'A Night in Gay Paris' defies the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, according to an item in The Boston Globe. The school's Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Leadership Council, which put together the event, dropped the original name of the fundraiser at the college's request.
In Massachusetts, supporters of a 2008 ballot initiative to eliminate gay marriage and same-sex civil unions delivered petitions with more than 170,000 signatures to the secretary of state, according to the Associated Press. The move by the Massachusetts Family Institute and its supporters was the next step in their quest to overturn the 2003 court ruling that made Massachusetts the only state with gay marriage.
Lambda Legal filed its opening brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, arguing that Lorenzo Taylor was denied employment as a Foreign Service Officer by the U.S. State Department because he is HIV-positive, according to a press release. The suit, originally filed in 2002, says the State Department's policy violates the Federal Rehabilitation Act, which bars the federal government from discriminating against the disabled.
A California appeals court ruled that two fertility doctors had the right to refuse to artificially inseminate a lesbian because it would have violated their religious beliefs. The ruling reversed a lower court's decision that Drs. Christine Brody and Douglas Fenton could not use religion as a defense in a lawsuit filed by Guadalupe Benitez.
In California, a federal judge ruled that a lesbian student can sue her school district and her principal for revealing her homosexuality to her mother, USA Today reported. Charlene Nguon, 17, may go forward with her suit claiming violation of privacy rights, U.S. District Judge James V. Selna ruled in a decision announced by the ACLU of Southern California.
In Washington, D.C., councilmembers gave preliminary approval to a bill granting full inheritance rights as well as the obligation to pay alimony and child support to couples, gay and straight, who register as domestic partners, The Washington Blade reported. The bill's language allows any two unmarried adults who cohabit and who are financially interdependent to become domestic partners.