National LGBT Briefs: Little State, Big Move

Chafee orders recognition for out-of-state marriages, gay Indianapolis teen attacked, and Family Equality Council marks 30 years


Rhode Island Moves to Recognize Out-Of-State Marriages

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) on Monday, May 14, signed an executive order to recognize same-sex couples legally married elsewhere, the Associated Press reported. Rhode Island does not offer marriage equality, though Chafee is pushing for it, saying his state is ”way overdue.”

Chafee characterized the order as ”following through” on a nonbinding opinion issued in 2007 by then-Attorney General Patrick Lynch that favored recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

The AP reported that the National Organization for Marriage criticized the move, with the group’s regional coordinator, Christopher C. Plante, saying the order ”flies in the face of the clearly expressed actions” of Rhode Island residents and the state Legislature.

Ray Sullivan of Marriage Equality Rhode Island, however, called the order ”bold” in that ”all families deserve equal protection and recognition under the law.”

Expelled Gay Student Attacked At Indianapolis Mall

Darnell ”Dynasty” Young, a gay Indianapolis teen who made headlines after being expelled from school earlier this month for bringing a stun gun to school to defend himself from bullies, was attacked at a mall food court May 11, Indystar.com reports.

The alleged attacker, Khyran R. Delay, 34, told police he recognized Young, 17, from the recent news coverage and wanted to speak with the teen. Young and a janitor working at the Indianapolis mall, Circle Centre, told police that Young passed by Delay’s table, that Delay used anti-gay slurs, and that Delay hit Young in the face.

The Marion County, Ind., Prosecutor’s Office has charged Delay with a misdemeanor count of battery.

Family Equality Council Rings the Closing Bell

The Boston-based Family Equality Council launched International Family Equality Day May 6 with events in the United States and Europe, such as picnics in Albuquerque, N.M., and Geneva, and family photos in New York’s Times Square.

Also in New York, the organization continued the celebration Wednesday, May 9, when Family Equality Council Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler rang the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange. Chrisler was joined at the bell with a group of about 20 people, about half of whom were children, and including Bishop Gene Robinson, the first out gay bishop in the Episcopal Church. With Zach Wahls, Robinson’s daughter, Ella, co-chairs the council’s Outspoken Generation campaign, featuring the children of LGBT parents.

”For the first time ever, LGBT parents and their children from across the world will come together on this special day to celebrate the amazing progress we’ve made over the years and to recognize what efforts still remain,” Brent Wright, the council’s director of programs, said in a release announcing International Family Equality Day, which coincides with the council’s 30th anniversary. ”On this day, I hope families will realize they are a part of a worldwide community bound by love for their family, commitment to their children, and shared hope for a world where all families can be celebrated and valued.”

Follow Will O'Bryan on Twitter @wobryan.

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