The Chicago Tribune reports that High School District 227 in Rich Township, Ill., has caved to a small group of parents who asked the district to ban rainbow triangles on the doors of more than 100 supportive teachers. The school board voted 5-1 Jan. 13 to remove the 'safe zone' triangles—they appeared in Olympia Fields, Richton Park and Park Forest schools. Parents accused the district of promoting homosexuality and discriminating against non-GLBT students.
Second-term Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack used his inaugural speech to ask for civil-rights protections for gays and lesbians, reports 365gay.com . The Governor issued an executive order in 2000 banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in state government. A state court ruled that he exceeded his power.
The Georgia Supreme Court struck down another sex law. Adding to their decision that struck down the state's sodomy law, the court ruled that the state's fornication law was also an invasion of privacy.
The University of Pittsburgh is back in court after rejecting domestic-partnership benefits for employees. According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, employees and the university called a truce in May 2001, when the school agreed to consider offering the benefits in return for a suspension of the lawsuit. The school, after a study, decided benefits for the partners 'wouldn't be prudent.' The case is back in court.
Fred 'God Hates Fags' Phelps' crew was in Honolulu this month to protest the existence of gay Hawaiians, according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The group of four reportedly stomped on American and Hawaiian flags while holding the traditional 'God Hates Fags' signs along with a new entry, 'Thank God for Dec. 7.'
A public transit employee in New York City is suing his employer for domestic-partner benefits for his lover of 20 years. Newsday reports that James Reilly, 57, wants to add acceptance for blue-collar gay men. Reilly, a high-school drop out, says his partner is now on federal assistance for his circulatory medical problems.
Rehoboth, a gay-friendly Delaware resort town, may lose its only gay nightclub, according to the News Journal. The Renegade reportedly will close its doors this spring.
Brigham Young University TV stations will air talks from the 'Families Under Fire' conference. One of the speakers is Jeff Robinson, a psychotherapist who says he helps gay men go straight. Robinson told the Daily Herald, 'It's like any serious addiction—it's very difficult to overcome.'
California's Gov. Gray Davis recently hired a gay man for his deputy chief of staff. Daniel Zingale left a position as the top HMO regulator in the state to fill the Governor's staff position.
Gay bathhouses don't have to be for anonymous sex. The New York Times reports that New York's Mount Morris Bathhouse in Harlem remains open while the city's department of health has closed most other gay bathhouses. Open since 1893, the establishment caters to gay Black men, but the owner says anyone from straight Jews to French tourists can be found there for the steam.
In Vermont, Civil Unions for gay couples helps increase commerce. AP reports that the owner of Black Bear Inn in Bolton, Vt., has presided over almost all of the 201 civil unions that the town approved since inception of the law in 2000. Second only to Brattleboro, with 836 unions, Bolton has Black Bear's owner to thank.
In Brief … The District of Columbia police department adds officers to its gay and lesbian liaison unit. ... Webster, NY, Cable Access is trying to figure out how 20 minutes of gay porn showed up during an infomercial for the Army recently. ... Las Vegas is home to a brand new all-gay resort—The Blue Moon.