September 2012 Archives

California became the first state in the nation to officially outlaw gay "conversion" and "reparative" therapy for minors after Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed the historic legislation into law on Saturday. The San Francisco Chronicle reported late Saturday that Brown signed the bill into law, which prohibits children younger than 18 from undergoing "sexual orientation change efforts" at the hands ... [Read]

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit heard the latest arguments against the Defense of Marriage Act yesterday as lesbian widow Edith Windsor's suit against the 1996 law reached the federal court. At 83-years-old, Windsor has become the most visible face in the legal battle against Section 3 of DOMA, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages. Windsor has ... [Read]

A day before the Sept. 25 criminal hearing for gay rights – and environmental – activist Lt. Dan Choi, accused of failing to obey an officer’s order and of unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct during a 2011 Keystone XL pipeline protest, the judge in the case recused herself. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Wingo recused herself due to a motion made by ... [Read]

Poll data released Wednesday has more good news for supporters of marriage equality. The poll of 813 registered voters, conducted by Annapolis-based Gonzalez Research & Marketing Strategies Inc. between Sept. 17 and 23, finds that a majority of Maryland voters support Question 6, the ballot referendum that would allow the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which allows same-sex couples to civilly ... [Read]

Almost two months after Democrats on Capitol Hill urged the Obama administration to recognize in writing binational same-sex relationships with regard to deportation proceedings, the Department of Homeland Security has announced it will do so. "In an effort to make clear the definition of the phrase 'family relationships,' I have directed [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] to disseminate written guidance ... [Read]

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) is facing criticism from the LGBT community after announcing his administration will appeal a federal court's ruling earlier this month that the state must pay for sex-reassignment surgery for a transgender prison inmate. In September, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mark Wolf ruled that Michelle Kosilek is entitled to the surgery under the Eighth Amendment ... [Read]

Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the coalition of labor, religious and community groups seeking to uphold Maryland's marriage-equality law by approving the Question 6 referendum at the ballot box Nov. 6, is increasing outreach to groups considered key to securing marriage equality with the release of a new Web ad aimed at reaching observant Catholics and Eastern Shore voters. The latest ... [Read]

Legislation introduced last week by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) seeks to bring nondiscrimination language to the court system, prohibiting the exclusion of individuals from serving on a federal jury because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Jury ACCESS Act would amend title 28 of the United States Code to specifically forbid discrimination against LGBT Americans in the jury-selection ... [Read]

The Southern Poverty Law Center is following up on the group's July warning to the Falls Church-based Public Advocate of the United States and the group’s president, Eugene Delgaudio, a Loudon County Board supervisor, announcing that SPLC is moving forward with a lawsuit. At issue is a same-sex couple’s engagement photo, appropriated by the anti-gay Public Advocate group for a ... [Read]

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said those still wishing to overturn the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" need to "move on" in an interview that aired Sunday. During an appearance with WPTV, a local television station in Miami, the Wisconsin representative said attempts to reinstate the ban on out gay servicemembers would be a mistake. "Now that ... [Read]

The Supreme Court announced it would take up six cases in an order issued this morning, but made no announcement on the marriage equality cases before the court. The nine Supreme Court justices returned from their summer break yesterday to meet in conference and consider several cases that have been petitioned for a hearing before the high court. Although the ... [Read]

Backers of out gay congressional candidate Richard Tisei will host a fundraiser for the Massachusetts Republican at a private reception near Washington Circle in Foggy Bottom tonight. Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown will join Tisei at the event, which will be hosted at the home of Michael Wascom, managing director of international and government affairs for American Airlines. Tisei, ... [Read]

The Supreme Court's nine justices return from their summer break today with a number of cases that could have strong implications for marriage equality awaiting their consideration. Although the high court's new term does not formally begin until next Monday, Oct. 1, the justices will meet in conference today to consider which of the hundreds of petitioned cases will ... [Read]

"I kind of shy away from political events and issues -- not because I don't have my own opinions, but because I find it to be a very sensitive thing," says Adam Lambert. "And quite frankly, I'm a little bit frustrated with politics in this country. From somebody who hasn't gotten super involved, it seems like a lot of mudslinging ... [Read]

Log Cabin Republicans rallied their supporters at a fundraising event yesterday evening, but remained mum on the organization's presidential endorsement. With less than two months to go before the general election, the organization of LGBT Republicans has yet to endorse Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, fueling speculation that the group could abstain from issuing an endorsement, as was the case ... [Read]

President Barack Obama issued a statement commemorating the one year anniversary of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" earlier today, describing the end of the ban on out gay servicemembers as upholding fundamental American values. Obama, who signed the bill that repealed the 18-year-old anti-gay law on Sept. 20, 2011, said that by allowing gay and lesbian troops to ... [Read]

The struggle for the media spotlight is on – on both sides of the Potomac – when it comes to marriage equality.  Today, a group of African-American clergy opposed to marriage equality announced they will be holding a press conference tomorrow, Sept. 21, that directly conflicts with a similar event supporting marriage equality. The initial press conference, set for 11 ... [Read]

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney courted Latino voters on Wednesday during an appearance at a forum broadcast on the Spanish-language Univision channel. Held at the University of Miami in Florida, Romney addressed a number of campaign issues, including same-sex marriage. Asked what Romney's advice would be if he discovered one his children were gay, Romney, who supports a constitutional amendment ... [Read]

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins broke with her party today when she became the first Republican senator to co-sponsor a bill that would grant binational same-sex couples the same rights enjoyed by straight couples, including the ability for gay Americans to sponsor their partner for citizenship. Collins's support comes as many Democrats have signed onto the Uniting American Families Act. ... [Read]

Some of the biggest corporations in America have donated millions of dollars to the Boy Scouts of America, including those with policies against giving to groups that discriminate against LGBT people. According to an investigation by The American Independent, 23 of the top 50 charitable corporate foundations gave at least $10,000 each to the BSA in 2010 for a grand ... [Read]

Bob Ross, president of the Prince George's County, Md., branch of the NAACP, has filmed a Web ad showing his support for Maryland's Question 6, a measure on the November ballot that asks voters to approve Maryland's recently passed marriage-equality law. "Question 6 gives gays and lesbians the right to obtain a marriage license," Ross says in the ad, released ... [Read]

Romney and Ryan Address Anti-Gay Conference

Posted by Justin Snow
September 14, 2012 6:54 PM |
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan addressed the Values Voter Summit today, aligning their candidacy with the strict social-conservative positions of the Family Research Council. Echoing his stump speech from the campaign trail, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan spoke at length about the economy and fiscal issues, largely shying away from the controversial social issues the Values Voter Summit, organized by ... [Read]

Out gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) continued his campaign against gay Republicans yesterday when he voiced his support for the Democratic opponent of a gay Republican running for Congress in Massachusetts. Frank put his support behind incumbent Democratic Rep. John Tierney, whose 6th District seat in Congress, which he has held since 1997, is being challenged by out gay Republican ... [Read]

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was found in violation of a federal law on Wednesday for comments she made at a Human Rights Campaign event in February. According to federal investigators, Sebelius violated the Hatch Act when she advocated for President Barack Obama's re-election while attending an event in her official capacity as a cabinet officer. Federal law ... [Read]

As the saying goes, the best defense is a strong offense. The Marylanders for Marriage Equality campaign today issued a memo to media outlets that preemptively pushes back against myths and misinformation expected to be used by marriage-equality opponents in the run-up to the November election when Question 6, a measure asking voters to approve the state’s recently passed marriage-equality ... [Read]

In remarks delivered on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at the National Press Club, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins kicked off one of the most high-profile conservative events of the year by equating gay people to drug users. Asked if he would disown his child for being gay, the father of five said that he would never disown one of his ... [Read]

Groups Raise Money for Young LGBT Immigrants

Posted by Justin Snow
September 12, 2012 5:45 PM |
More than 40 LGBT organizations and leaders have joined the fight for immigration reform in a fundraising effort to help pay for work permits for young undocumented LGBT immigrants. Having raised more than $75,000 so far, the groups hope to assist LGBT immigrants pay for the nearly $470 application fee for President Barack Obama’s "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" program. ... [Read]

Four LGBT candidates claimed victory Tuesday night in a series of primary wins in Rhode Island, Delaware and Connecticut. While a success for the LGBT community, the primary wins were also another victory for the increasingly powerful Victory Fund, which works to elect LGBT public officials through increased strategic, technical and financial support. All four winning candidates on Tuesday were ... [Read]

Less than a week after he equated Log Cabin Republicans to "Uncle Toms," out gay Rep. Barney Frank reaffirmed his comments in a statement released on Tuesday. The Massachusetts Democrat elaborated on his reasoning for equating the group of gay Republicans to the slave character from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. According to Frank, he is not ... [Read]

The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics (DCBOEE) announced today that John C. Cheeks, an Independent candidate for D.C. City Council chair, will not appear on the ballot for a Nov. 6 special election coinciding with regular Election Day races. John C. Cheeks In a Sept. 11 release, DCBOEE said the board determined that Cheeks was ineligible. Cheeks’s removal from ... [Read]

Almost a year after the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," a new study has found that the end of the discriminatory ban on out gay servicemembers has had no negative impact on the military. Published today by the Palm Center of the Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles, School of Law, it is the first academic ... [Read]

Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and 144 other House Democrats filed a brief on Friday arguing that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The brief was filed in the case of Edith Windsor, an 83-year-old lesbian widow who sued the government after she was taxed more than $363,000 on assets that passed to her after ... [Read]

With a speech that was both a call to arms to the Democratic base and a direct response to Republican critics, President Barack Obama brought the Democratic National Convention to a close on Thursday night. As he formally accepted the nomination of his party for a second term, Obama asked voters not to cave into cynics who claim the hope ... [Read]

The Democratic Party wore their support for the gay community on their sleeve Thursday as the party's national convention came to a close. On the final day of the three day convention, several high profile figures in the gay rights movement spoke to delegates in Charlotte, N.C. Out gay Rep. Barney Frank addressed the convention early in the evening. ... [Read]

Longtime civil rights figure Dr. Julian Bond is speaking out in favor of marriage equality in an op-ed in the Afro-American newspapers, which has both Baltimore and Washington editions, ahead of November’s referendum on Maryland’s recently passed marriage equality law. The referendum, know as Question 6, was placed on the ballot after opponents of same-sex marriage, led by the Maryland ... [Read]

Out gay Rep. Barney Frank slammed Log Cabin Republicans today, equating them to "Uncle Toms" in a highly charged interview on the last day of the Democratic National Convention. "I'll be honest: For 20 years now I've heard how the Log Cabins are going to make Republicans better, but they've only gotten worse,” Frank told The Huffington Post's Michelangelo ... [Read]

Equality Virginia, the major nonpartisan LGBT rights organization in the commonwealth, praised the election of former Alexandra City Councilman K. Rob Krupicka to the Virginia House of Delegates in a Sept. 4 special election. According to returns from the Virginia State Board of Elections, Krupicka, a Democrat, defeated Republican Timothy T.C. McGhee with nearly 76 percent of the vote. McGhee ... [Read]

By Matt Comer/QNotes  CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Fresh off his trip to Tampa, Fla., for the Republican National Convention, Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder and executive director of the Republican LGBT group GOProud, says he's come to the Democratic National Convention to refocus attention on the issues he says are most important to Americans, gay or straight. "We're going to see three days of ... [Read]

The Democratic Party embraced its liberal base last night, the first night of the Democratic National Convention, openly acknowledging their support for key social issues, including gay rights. References to the LGBT community pervaded throughout the remarks of several gay and straight speakers during Day One of the convention. The night culminated with an electrifying speech by first lady ... [Read]

Schumer at DNC: We will pass ENDA

Posted by Will O'Bryan
September 4, 2012 6:16 PM |
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer speaks with a blogger at Charlotte's Democratic National Convention (Photo by Matt Comer/QNotes) By Matt Comer/QNotes CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was a "high priority" today during an impromptu question and answer session with independent media and bloggers attending the 2012 Democratic National Convention. ... [Read]

A new pro-Romney super PAC ad running in North Carolina during the Democratic National Convention takes direct aim at President Barack Obama's support for marriage equality. In the 30-second commercial entitled "New Morning," a couple is portrayed as former Obama supporters who have become disillusioned by the president's declaration in May that he supports the right of same-sex couples to ... [Read]