BY ANDREW DAVIS
Attorneys for same-sex couples seeking the right to marry in New York told the state's highest court that they are being denied a constitutional right, according to Forbes. During the two and a half hours of oral argument, the lawyers of the 44 couples urged the Court of Appeals to follow the lead of judges in Massachusetts. The lawyers compared laws prohibiting same-gender marriage to statutes that banned interracial marriage, which the Supreme Court struck down in 1967, The New York Times reported. Lawyers defending the marriage laws argued that changing the law is the job of the legislature.
Bill Owens, Colorado's Republican governor, vetoed a bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state's workplace anti-discrimination code for the second time in two years, PlanetOut.com reported. It is one of 32 vetoes so far this session.
In Hawaii, four people face federal charges of marriage fraud in a scheme to allow the foreign national partner of one of the accused to stay in the country, 365Gay.com reported. One of the suspects, high school teacher Bob Loren, who was in a relationship with 20-year-old Hang Duan, has been suspended from his job, according to KGMB9.com .
A new report reveals that the U.S. is not honoring its commitments to the United Nations to curb AIDS at home, according to an Open Society Institute ( OSI ) press release. The report, published by the Public Health Watch HIV/AIDS Monitoring Project of the OSI, shows that, among other things, domestic efforts are uncoordinated, with no national plan for comprehensive HIV prevention, treatment and support.
Jessica Bussert, 41, an American transsexual who works in the United Kingdom, has filed discrimination suits against Hitachi Data Systems in both British and U.S. courts, 365Gay.com reported. In court filings, Bussert—who moved after a young transgender woman was murdered in the U.S.—contended that her boss, Steve Larkin, said that he did not want any of 'these people' working for him. She is seeking $950,000 in damages from Hitachi in Britain and $3.6 million from the American branch.
Jacob Reitan, Haven Herrin and Ezekiel Montgomery—three openly gay young adults—have started the process of enlisting in the Minnesota National Guard, according to a press release from the LGBT-rights organization Soulforce. They are the first openly gay people to attempt to enlist in the 13-year history of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' The trio cannot take the qualifying tests or medical exams until they receive a waiver for sexual orientation.
The San Francisco-based Colin Higgins Foundation has announced the recipients of its Youth Courage Awards: Christopher 'Cree' Gordon, Ana Lopez and Captain Young. The awards are bestowed upon 'remarkable lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender youth who refuse to be silenced by societal norms, demonstrating amazing courage when confronted with hardship, intolerance and bigotry based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.' Higgins, a screenwriter, director and producer of movies such as Nine to Five, established the foundation in 1986.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean joined Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank and Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin in issuing a proclamation marking Pride Month, according to USNewswire.com . In May, Dean last week angered many gay-rights advocates by saying the party's platform states that 'marriage is between a man and a woman.' ( He has since apologized for the statement, according to the Washington Blade. )
America's first gay TV network, here!, announced that it had completed its acquisition of Hyperion Interactive Media ( H.I.M. ) Corporation. H.I.M., to be renamed here! Interactive Media, has over 2 million unique visitors monthly through sites such as Gaywired.com and GaySports.com .
Commercial Closet's 2006 Images in Advertising Awards honored Diet Pepsi's Super Bowl TV ad with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Carson Kressley with its top award, according to a press release. T-Mobile and ESPN were among the other companies that were honored while Kraft Nabisco received a Clean-Up-Your-Act Notice for its 'snack fairy' campaign.
Jeff Crouse, a teacher at a Bishop Gorman High School, a Catholic institution in Las Vegas, has been fired after coming out on a Web site, according to 365Gay.com . On the site, Crouse described himself as gay and looking for 'straight-acting single men.' Richard A. Facciolo, the school's chancellor and superintendent, would not say how he found out about the site but upheld the firing.
The National Center for Transgender Equality announced that founding executive director Mara Keisling has been named Outstanding LGBT Person of the Year at Harvard University. She is the second alum to be honored with this annual award.
Equality 365, an LGBT financial services organization, announced that it is offering a unique line of 'affinity' credit cards for LGBTs and their allies. The new eQuality credit cards will help support the Rainbow Endowment.
A federal panel recommended that Gardasil, a vaccine that blocks viruses responsible for most cervical cancer, is safe and effective should be approved, The New York Times reported. Merck, which produces the vaccine ( which would cost $300-$500 ) , said that it could cut global deaths from the cancer by more than two-thirds.
The domain name Lesbian.com can be bought—for $2 million. Mel Braman, co-producer of Lesbian.com, said in a statement that she hopes that the buyer continues to use the site 'to provide resources to the lesbian community.'
Travelocity, through a partnership with Community Marketing, Inc., has announced what it calls the travel industry's most comprehensive LGBT-friendly database. In addition to offering TAG ( Travel Alternatives Group ) -approved properties, there will also be LGBT-themed last-minute deals, event listings and photo tours of gay-friendly resorts.
One of the Human Rights Campaign's ( HRC'S ) most recent political endorsements may cost it a bit of money. According to 365Gay.com, Thomas J. Van Etten is supposedly so upset over the organizations endorsement of the re-election of Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif., that he is excluding HRC from his will, which may result in the loss of aproximately $1 million.
The Eden Prairie, Minn.-branch of PRIDE Institute, an LGBT-inclusive treatment center, has appointed Dr. Jon E. Grant as its new medical director. Grant, 42, an addictions specialist who is also an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School, is a graduate of Brown University Medical School and earned a Masters in Public Health degree from Harvard University.
Bisexual Leader Dies
Dr. Fritz Klein, the founder and board chairman of The American Institute of Bisexuality ( AIB ) , died May 24 following cardiac arrest at his home in San Diego; he was 73. He is survived by, among others, his life partner, Tom Reise.
Born Fred Klein, he is best known for his development of the multi-dimensional Klein Sexual Orientation Grid, which factors in such aspects as fantasies and emotional preference to measure how complex sexual orientation is, according to the AIB Web site, www.bisexual.org .