GLAAD has announced that actor/activist Wilson Cruz has joined the organization as its strategic giving officer, according to a press release. Cruzknown for his work on such TV shows as My So-Called Life and Noah's Arc as well as films like He's Just Not That Into Youwill be part of GLAAD's development team, helping to fund the organization's work amplifying stories from the LGBT community that build support for equality.
Paul Babeuthe Arizona sheriff who announced he was gay after a former lover accused him of abusing his powerdefeated three Republican challengers in his bid for re-election, the Arizona Central reported. Earlier this year, media outlets reported that Babeu had threatened to deport ex-boyfriend Jose Orozoco if he went public about their relationship; Babeu had denied abusing the power of his office, and the state attorney general's office recently announced that he had been cleared of criminal wrongdoing, Reuters noted.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray are among those scheduled to attend an Oct. 2 fundraiser for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, according to the Washington Blade. O'Malley is also slated to attend a Marylanders for Marriage Equality fundraiser in New York City in September that counts actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Julianne Moore among its co-hosts.
The California Assembly voted 52-21 Aug. 28 to pass a bill that will protect LGBT youth from treatments by mental health practitioners who say they can change sexual orientation or gender expression, according to a release that the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Equality California co-issued. NCLR, Equality California, Gaylesta, Mental Health America of Northern California, Lambda Legal and the Courage Campaign co-sponsored the measure (Senate Bill 1172). State Sen. Ted Lieu authored the legislation to bar so-called conversion or reparative therapy.
Former Arizona state legislator Kyrsten Sinema took a step closer to being the first out bisexual in Congress after winning the Democratic primary Aug. 28, according to Advocate.com . Sinema defeated former Arizona Democratic Party chairman Andrei Cherny and state Senate minority leader David Schapira. She will face Paradise Valley Town Councilman Vernon Parker in the general election, the Arizona Central reported.
In Rhode Island, a campaign worker for congressional candidate Anthony Gemma has been removed after making a remark comparing Gemma's opponent, gay U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, to convicted child molester and former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, according to Advocate.com . The Rhode Island Democratic Party asked Anthony Sionni to apologize to Cicilline after he tweeted that Cicilline is "a liar, thief, crook, Sandusky copy cat." (The comment was later deleted.) Gemma and Cicilline will face off in the September primary.
To mark its 25th anniversary, the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) is bringing the U.S. Conference on AIDS (USCA)the largest annual AIDS-related gathering in the countryto Las Vegas Sept. 30-Oct. 3, a press release noted. The program will address ways that the Affordable Care Act will improve access to care for people living with HIV/AIDS, the future of the Ryan White Program and biomedical advances, among other issues. For more information, visit www.2012usca.org .
Talking with the National Catholic Register, Father Benedict Groeschel of the conservative Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, said that teens are the seducers in some sexual-abuse cases involving priests, according to the Huffington Post. When asked to clarify, Groeschel said that children looking for father figures might be drawn to priests. Groeschel assists with Trinity Retreat, which stirred controversy in 2006 when it was discovered that the facility housed priests accused of abusing children.
Billionaire businessman David Koch, who with his brother Howard is spending millions to elect Republican candidates, made a surprising statement recently: He supports marriage equality, Advocate.com reported. This means he differs with the official platform the GOP adopted at its national convention in Tampa, Fla. In 1980, Koch was the vice presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party.
The California State Assembly has adopted a resolution carried by Assemblymember Toni Atkins requesting that the United States Postal Service honor the late gay-rights leader Harvey Milk with a postage stamp, according to a press release. HR 41 recognizes Milk's accomplishments as a leader of the LGBT community and will be added to letters from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leaders in urging the postal service to create a Milk stamp.
In Reno, Nev., a Fox News Radio affiliate cancelled Sean Savoy's year-old program, House of Savoy, after the ordained minister conducted an interview with an LGBT-rights activist, according to a GLAAD press release. The interview with Dallas-based advocate William Kolb covered topics such as marriage equality and the Chick-fil-A controversy. "To think that I could be removed for having a conversation about the LGBT community in America baffles me," said Savoy, who learned of the cancellation while he was away for a business trip in Las Vegas.
Undocumented and LGBT youth disrupted Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's Republican National Convention farewell speech at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport by shouting "We want the DREAM Act" and "We want full equality,"according to a joint release from GetEQUAL and the DRM Capitol Group. "As an undocumented and LGBT American, Romney's speech was an insult toward our communities," said Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, GetEQUAL's national field director. "His policy proposals deny LGBT Americans equal protection under the law and call for the self-deportation of our families, neighbors, co-workers, and loved ones. This is un-American at its core and we won't stand for it."
Boxer Micky Wardwhom actor Mark Wahlberg portrayed in 2010 in the film The Fightersaid that he cannot support the re-election of Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown because of the politician's stances on unions and marriage equality, according to Advocate.com . Ward contacted the Sun of Lowell (Mass.) newspaper a half-hour after initially confirming he would support Brown; in his reversal, Ward said, "I found out Scott [Brown] is anti-union, and I'm a Teamster guy. I found out he's also against gay marriage, and I say if you love someone, you should have the same rights no matter who you are."
Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy met with college and university leaders in Atlanta recently to discuss the company's future involvement with LGBT issues, according to Advocate.com . After a summer filled with controversy when Cathy announced his positon against marriage equality, he and the chief operating officer are now attempting to repair his image with college leaders. Chick-fil-A is aggressively trying to expand onto college campuses but has met resistance at schools such as the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) and New York University.
In a stunning turn of events, Jamal Edwards' two-year tenure as CEO of Chicago's Howard Brown Health Center has come to an end, as staffers were informed at a meeting Aug. 31. The announcement came at the end of a period that had been clouded with doubts even as it began with much promise, after initial news that the agency was in severe financial crisis. For example, Howard Brown held a press conference earlier this year to declare that it now had a $1.2-million surplus; however, such notable achievements have come at the cost of cutting health care for some staff at the center's Brown Elephant locations, most of whom have been turned into part-time employees in order to save on their healthcare costs. At the same time, Edwards' salary in 2011 was $265,000.
In California, Bienestara center serving the Latino LGBT and HIV-positive communitieswas evicted from its offices in Van Nuys just two days after opening, Advocate.com noted. Only 48 hours after opening, the landlord forcibly evicted the organization, saying it was "bringing disease" to the building. Bienestar has filed a lawsuit to regain access to its property, still locked inside the building. The organization will offer limited services in Van Nuys from its mobile unit, currently located outside its former office.
John C. Nienstedt, archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, is urging Catholic parishioners to vote for a constitutional amendment in Minnesota defining marriage as strictly an opposite-sex union, according to Advocate.com . Nienstedt wrote in an open letter The Catholic Spirit that "Our effort to support God's unchanging plan for marriage is not a campaign against anyone." However, Michael Bayly, director of Catholics for Marriage Equality, asserted that not all Catholics are united in opposition to same-sex marriage.
In Michigan, a man has pled guilty to a federal hate-crimes charge after admitting he punched a stranger in the face because he thought the man was gay, according to Advocate.com . In March 2011, Everett Dwayne Avery hit Justin Alesna in the face while the two were in a Detroit convenience store. In a video, Alesna alleges that bystanders, including store employees, did nothing to stop the assault and even laughed during the attack.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich split with Mitt Romney and other Republican leaders by defending the right of Rep. Todd Akin to stay in the Missouri Senate race despite Akin's controversial remarks on rape and pregnancy, the Chicago Tribune reported. "I just think people ought to be a little cautious about saying the voters of Missouri don't count," Gingrich said on NBC's Meet the Press. Akin has rejected calls for him to exit the race.
In Phoenix, Dallas Augustineherself the daughter of a murdered politician, Kathy Augustinewas found dead in an apparent murder-suicide, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Authorities said that Augustine, 32, was suspected of killing her partner, Jessie McCaskill, 50. They then said Dallas Augustine killed herself; a weapon was found but not immediately identified. Kathy Augustine was killed in 2007 when her husband, critical-care nurse Chaz Higgs, poisoned her.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), OutServe and the Interbank Roundtable Committee (IRC) announced that Barbara Walters will serve as emcee for the event "Celebrating Our Heroes," scheduled to take place Sept. 18 aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum in New York City, according to a press release. Marking the first anniversary of the repeal of t"Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the event will be a tribute to all U.S. service members and will honor former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, who played a significant leadership role in last year's repeal.
In New Orleans, nine preachers were arrested after police said they yelled anti-gay slurs over bullhorns during a demonstration at Southern Decadence, an annual gay-themed celebration in the French Quarter, according to the Times-Picayune. The nine, who range in age from 20 to 52, were arrested on suspicion of aggressive solicitation, a city law passed last October. The measure bans "any person or group of persons to loiter or congregate on Bourbon Street for the purpose of disseminating any social, political or religious message between the hours of sunset and sunrise."
The Democratic Party released its national platform Sept. 4, the first day of its national convention. The 40-page document deals with a variety of issues, and the first part, entitled "Moving America Forward," deals with the economy, saying that it has to be "built not from the top down, but from a growing middle class." The platform also talks about strengthening communities (agriculture, supporting troops, etc.); protecting rights and freedoms; ensuring quality of life; ending the war in Iraq; countering threats; and advancing universal values (including making gay rights human rights).
University of Minnesota basketball star Trevor Mbakwe has joined tthose opposing the state's anti—marriage equality constitutional amendment, according to Advocate.com . In a post on Minnesotans for Equality's Facebook page, he writes, "This proposed amendment would permanently ADD in discrimination to our states constitution. This feels like taking a step back in time, it's 2012, and this sort of extreme act is not only unfair ... it's anti-Minnesotan!"
In Connecticut, the Catholic archdiocese of Hartford has formally criticized a priest who assisted in his cousin's same-sex wedding, Advocate.com reported. The Rev. Michael DeVito had assisted in the ceremony when his cousin, photogrpaher Richard Termine, married theater director Roger Danforth on a yacht in New York City Aug. 17. A subsequent New York Times wedding announcement mentioned DeVito, which angered some conservative Catholic bloggers. Days later, Hartford Archbishop Henry Mansell met with DeVito.
A gay-owned Los Angeles home shop is among the winners of urban-culture website DailyCandy's "Start Small, Go Big" contest, according to Advocate.com . Apt2Ban online-only furniture-resale store what sells inexpensive, stylish home furnishingswon the contest's Most Inventive Award. Founder, Mat Herman, who is gay, will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the DailyCandy "Start Small, Go Big Academy" in New York City Oct. 9-10.
Ta'rea Campbell (The Book of Mormon, The Lion King) will be lead nun Delores van Cartier in the national tour of the Tony Award-nominated musical Sister Act, which will launch Oct. 2 in Toronto, according to Playbill.com . The film is based on the popular 1992 film of the same title that stars Whoopi Goldberg, who is co-producing this tour. Other actors in the production include Hollis Resnik (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Les Miserables) as Mother Superior and original Broadway cast member Kingsley Leggs (The Color Purple), who will repeat his work as Curtis Jackson.