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  WINDY CITY TIMES

National Roundup
by Andrew Davis
2006-08-16

This article shared 1474 times since Wed Aug 16, 2006
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In California, state lawmakers have given up trying to require that textbooks cover the history and achievements of gays and lesbians in America, the Los Angeles Times reported. State Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, removed that provision of the gay-rights bill, which, if signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, would bar instructional materials and teachers from lecturing about anything negative concerning sexual orientation.

The Vermont Supreme Court stated that its state's courts, and not Virginia's, have exclusive jurisdiction over a custody case involving two women who had a child and lived in both states during their relationship, according to the Associated Press. Vermont Justice John Dooley wrote that Vermont's laws control the case because the women involved were legally joined in a civil union in 2000, meaning that Vermont family law governs matters regarding separation and custody.

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, R-Penn., has taken his signature off a diversity statement that is a joint project involving GenderPAC and the Human Rights Campaign, Advocate.com reported. This development came less than a week after Santorum became the 170th member of Congress to affirm that his office does not discriminate in its employment practices based on a person's 'sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.'

More gay and lesbian couples are leaving Virginia as the state inches closer to approving an amendment to its state constitution that would ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, 365Gay.com reported. Although northern Virginia is considered the least conservative, the impending amendment has many families relocating to the more gay-friendly areas of Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Also, the American Psychological Association ( APA ) will move its meetings out of Virginia because of the possible impact of ban on its members and their domestic partners, according to The Washington Blade. The APA announced that meetings scheduled to be held in Virginia in 2007 and 2008 will be moved to Washington, D.C.

In Meade, Kan., a 12-year-old son's gift of a rainbow flag embroiled his parents, J.R. and Robin Knight, in controversy when they flew it in front of their business, the Lakeway Hotel. However, the heterosexual couple—who admitted to flying the flag because it is 'summery'—plans to keep the banner flying by replacing the one that someone cut down, Advocate.com reported.

Advocacy organization Truth Wins Out praised the American Psychological Association ( APA ) for condemning conversion therapy, which supposedly transforms gay people into heterosexuals, according to U.S. Newswire. 'Truth Wins Out applauds the APA for taking a strong stand against quack science and not buckling to a transparent PR campaign designed to politically pressure the APA into abandoning reputable and respectable research,' Executive Director Wayne Besen declared in a statement.

In Florida, Tom Hutchinson, CEO of CNL Hotels & Resorts Inc., has left Mayor Rich Crotty's re-election campaign in the wake of the passage of a fair-housing ordinance that protects gays and lesbians, The Orlando Sentinel reported. However, it seems that no other backers have followed Hutchison's lead.

To commemorate the World AIDS Day observance at the National AIDS Memorial in San Francisco, the memorial's board of directors is asking the public for personal testimonies regarding the AIDS legacy, according to a press release from the organization. People should send stories identifying a single year during the past quarter century of the AIDS pandemic and explaining how it has affected them to mystory@aidsmemorial.org or to National AIDS Memorial, 856 Stanyan Street, San Francisco, CA 94117.

The Connecticut Supreme Court has denied a request from the conservative group known as the Family Institute of Connecticut to take part in a lawsuit involving sam-sex marriage, according to Gay.com . Eight couples have sued the state, claiming that the civil unions the state legislature passed in 2005 constitute an inferior status and violate their constitutional rights to equal protection, due process, and free expression and association.

In New Jersey, Steven Goldstein, chairman of the gay-rights group Garden State Equality, called for an investigation of the Palisades Interstate Park Police after a state appeals court overturned a gay man's conviction for lewdness. According to the Star-Ledger, the ruling added controversy to buzz regarding the park's sting operations to uncover lewd behavior.

After a board ordered Medicaid to pay for two individuals to travel out of state for sex-reassignment surgery, officials in Washington State are rewriting rules so that the state no longer will cover such operations, 365Gay.com reported. However, counseling and hormone therapy would continue to be paid for by Medicaid.

The surprising results of a survey of 800 South Dakota voters revealed that a proposed amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships would probably fail, 365Gay.com reported. Forty-nine percent of voters from the conservative state oppose the amendment, with 41 percent supporting it and the rest undecided.


This article shared 1474 times since Wed Aug 16, 2006
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