October 2012 Archives

Hundreds of voters have been spammed with anti-Obama and anti-gay text messages one week before Election Day, soliciting a legal complaint from the Human Rights Campaign. Multiple news organizations are reporting that voters received text messages that read, among other things, "Voting for Obama means voting for same-sex marriage" and "Obama supports transgender marriage in America. Obamas values are just ... [Read]

Maryland state Del. Kathy Afzali (R-Frederick Co.) turned up the heat against Question 6 Oct. 24 in email blast to her constituents.  Her letter, aimed at convincing Maryland voters to reject Question 6 – the referendum to uphold the Civil Marriage Protection Act – urged those leaning in favor of marriage equality to "read my opposing arguments." Many of her ... [Read]

Supreme Court Sets Marriage Date

Posted by Justin Snow
October 31, 2012 1:58 PM |
The Supreme Court justices will meet on Nov. 20 to consider whether the high court will hear a number of marriage equality cases petitioned for review by the court. According to an announcement made Monday, the justices will review several Defense of Marriage Act cases petitioned before the court as well as the Proposition 8 case, which was distributed ... [Read]

A new poll from Baltimore's Goucher College shows a majority of Marylanders support marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, but also underscores the importance of each side’s ability to turn out die-hard supporters and ensure that they vote on the Question 6 referendum, which would allow same-sex couples to obtain Maryland marriage licenses.  The poll, conducted from Oct. 21 ... [Read]

Speaking to a supporter at a campaign stop in Sarasota, Fla., on Tuesday evening, Vice President Joe Biden called discrimination against transgender Americans the "civil rights issue of our time." According to a pool report: [Biden] singled one woman out who he thought had beautiful eyes. She said something to her at first inaudible to pool, to which VP responded ... [Read]

A new poll by Annapolis-based OpinionWorks done for The Baltimore Sun shows erosion among support for marriage equality among likely voters, with opponents holding a statistically insignificant edge of one point heading into the final week before November’s election.  The poll, conducted from Oct. 20 to 23, asked 801 likely voters across the state the following question:  "This spring, the ... [Read]

A gay Republican who said he was the target of a brutal beating last week because of his political beliefs and sexual orientation has recanted statements he previously made to Madison, Wis., police. In an updated incident report released Oct. 29, police say Kyle Wood recanted his earlier statements during an interview with Madison Police detectives on Monday afternoon. According ... [Read]

Video has surfaced of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney condemning same-sex parents. The video of Romney speaking to an audience of social conservatives in South Carolina in 2005 comes after The Boston Globe reported last week that as governor of Massachusetts Romney blocked birth certificates for same-sex couples who have children. "Some are actually having children born to them," Romney says ... [Read]

Marylanders hoping to vote on marriage equality in the Free State are running into a few bumps. Some absentee voters in Maryland have reported that when they received their ballots, the second page was missing, meaning those voters did not have an opportunity to vote on Question 6, a measure that, if approved, would ratify the Civil Marriage Protection Act ... [Read]

The Obama campaign officially put its support behind three marriage-equality ballot initiatives on Thursday. In three similar statements released earlier this afternoon, spokespeople for Obama's re-election campaign announced the president's support for ballot questions in Washington, Maine and Maryland that, if passed, would legalize same-sex marriage in those states. Paul Bell, Washington press secretary for Obama for America, announced Obama's ... [Read]

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is facing heightened criticism from the LGBT community after The Boston Globe reported this morning that as governor of Massachusetts he rejected new birth certificates from same-sex parents. According to The Globe, after Massachusetts legalized marriage equality in 2003, the state Registry of Vital Records and Statistics sought to revise birth certificates to include same-sex ... [Read]

In a historic move, the nation's largest military LGBT-rights organization has announced Allyson Robinson, a transgender woman, will be the group's new executive director. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and OutServe, which will officially combine into one organization this weekend, announced Oct. 25 that Army veteran Robinson will lead the newly combined group, earning praise from LGBT-rights advocates. A 1994 graduate ... [Read]

Members of the left and the right are demanding answers after rumors that Log Cabin Republicans endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in exchange for promises regarding workplace nondiscrimination. Metro Weekly first reported that discussions between LCR and the Romney campaign centered around workplace nondiscrimination following the endorsement announcement from the group of gay Republicans. In a phone interview ... [Read]

An out gay Republican running for the House of Representatives has secured the endorsement of one of his state's largest newspapers. The Boston Globe has endorsed Richard Tisei over Rep. John Tierney for Massachusetts's 6th District seat. Tierney, a pro-gay Democrat, has represented the district since 1997. According to the Globe's endorsement, Tisei has demonstrated a moderate streak missing from ... [Read]

With just two weeks before Election Day, Log Cabin Republicans have endorsed Mitt Romney for president. The "qualified endorsement," which was announced this morning, credits the economy as the overriding issue of the campaign and the need for a Republican vision for the future. However, it notes that as a qualified endorsement, LCR will be more active in supporting the ... [Read]

Grindr's Political Bedfellows

Posted by Justin Snow
October 22, 2012 1:42 PM |
One of the world's largest social networking apps for gay men is getting political. With just two weeks before Election Day, Grindr is attempting to mobilize its 1.5 million U.S. users as a "political bloc." Through a series of national and geo-targeted service messages that display when the mobile app is opened, the "guy finder" hopes to raise awareness of ... [Read]

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker Friday told WAMU radio host Kojo Nnamdi that he supports Question 6, the referendum that if passed will allow the Civil Marriage Protection Act to take effect, allowing same-sex couples to obtain Maryland marriage licenses. "It is my intention to vote in favor of Question 6," Baker said on The Politics Hour, hosted by ... [Read]

If the Nov. 6 election were held today, a majority of likely voters in Maryland would vote in favor of Question 6, a referendum to uphold Maryland’s recently passed marriage-equality law, which would allow same-sex couples to obtain a state marriage licenses, according to a new Washington Post poll. Among likely voters, 52 percent would vote in favor of Question ... [Read]

A new advertisement featuring Christian evangelist Billy Graham began running in newspapers across the country today, encouraging voters to cast their ballots this November for candidates who "support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman." The full-page ad, which ran in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal today and will run in other publications ... [Read]

Overall support in Congress for LGBT rights has decreased significantly over the past two years, according to the Human Rights Campaign's latest Congressional Scorecard. Despite significant legislative victories, the scorecard, which grades lawmakers on their support for LGBT equality, shows anti-gay sentiments have increased on Capitol Hill since the 111th Congress. For the 112th Congress, the average score for members ... [Read]

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional and a violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution in a 2-1 decision released Thursday morning. The ruling in Windsor v. USA, the case surrounding 83-year-old lesbian widow Edith Windsor, makes the appeals court in New York the second ... [Read]

The second of three 2012 presidential debates ended last night with no mention of LGBT issues. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney engaged in a heated debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., on Tuesday night. Obama's showing left many supporters re-energized after the president's lackluster performance at the first debate two weeks ago. It was ... [Read]

Nearly $1.5 Million Spent on Defending DOMA

Posted by Justin Snow
October 16, 2012 12:13 PM |
Since House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) agreed to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in federal courts 15 months ago, more than 1.4 million taxpayer dollars have been spent on the legal bills. According to numbers released by Democratic minority members of the Committee on House Administration, money spent on outside counsel is rapidly approaching the $1.5 million cap agreed ... [Read]

Former Sen. Arlen Specter, the longest serving senator in Pennsylvania history, died on Sunday from complications of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. The 82-year-old legislator, whose career took him from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party and back to the Democratic Party, was hailed by members of both parties for his long career in public life and his independent streak. Specter ... [Read]

The U.S. Census Bureau announced the establishment of a committee tasked with advising the organization on LGBT populations for implementing the once-a-decade national census. The National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations will advise the Census Bureau on topics such as housing, children, youth, poverty, privacy, race, ethnicity and LGBT populations. According to a release, the committee will ... [Read]

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT civil-rights organization, announced today that it would contribute $1 million to assist pro-equality groups in four states facing marriage-related ballot measures in November: Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. Similar to a previous cash infusion given to the four campaigns in early August, the $1 million will be split evenly among the ... [Read]

Freedom to Marry Sets Weekend Engagement

Posted by Justin Snow
October 12, 2012 3:44 PM |
As activists continue to pour resources into the four states that will vote on marriage equality this November, Freedom to Marry is taking their fundraising efforts to major cities across the country. Freedom to Marry is hosting a joint "National Engagement Party" in six cities: Los Angeles; Palm Springs, Calif.; San Francisco; Miami; New York and D.C., on Saturday ... [Read]

The first and only vice presidential debate of the campaign concluded last night with no mention of LGBT issues. Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan faced-off at Centre College in Danville, Ky. in a heated debate that many observers declared a draw. For 90 minutes, Biden and Ryan addressed a number of issues, ... [Read]

Emboldened by California's historic ban on "ex-gay" therapy for LGBT youth, activists are continuing their fight against practices they say equate to child abuse. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a national civil rights organization, filed a complaint in Illinois today against a state licensed clinical social worker who also practices reparative therapy. Filed with the Illinois Department of Financial and ... [Read]

With the ball back in their court, marriage-equality advocates fighting for Question 6, the ballot measure that would allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain civil marriage licenses in Maryland, are moving forward with various media strategies. Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the coalition of labor, religious and grassroots community organizations seeking to approve Question 6, have released two television ads ... [Read]

All eyes will be on Danville, Ky., Thursday night as Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan take the stage at Centre College for their first and only debate of the campaign. Biden and Ryan will meet one week after President Barack Obama shocked supporters and pundits with his lackluster performance against Republican presidential ... [Read]

With just 27 days to go before the presidential election, gay conservatives are seeking to solidify their support behind Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Following a debate performance last week that left supporters of President Barack Obama scrambling, new energy has been injected into the Romney campaign. About 60 people gathered at D.C.'s Hotel Monaco Monday evening for GOProud's "Unity" ... [Read]

A conservative Christian legal group has fired one of its senior attorneys after reports surfaced on the Internet that he may have had romantic relationships with younger men. The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ), founded by anti-gay televangelist Pat Robertson and led by Jay Sekulow (pictured above), confirmed in a statement provided to Metro Weekly that James Henderson, ... [Read]

Opponents of marriage equality have begun airing the first of what is expected to be many commercials opposing Question 6, the ballot referendum that would uphold the recently passed Civil Marriage Protection Act that legalized marriage equality in Maryland. Starting this morning on Washington's WUSA 9, the Maryland Marriage Alliance, the chief opposition to Question 6, aired an ad opposing ... [Read]

A Boy Scout just days away from his 18th birthday has been denied the organization's highest award after revealing he is gay. The Boy Scouts of America kicked Ryan Andresen, who has been involved in the Scouts for 12 years, out of the organization after he came out to his friends and family as gay. Andresen had met all the ... [Read]

Social conservatives moved forward with their lawsuit against California's historic ban on "ex-gay" therapy for LGBT youth today, filing a lawsuit in federal court. Brought by the Liberty Counsel, the lawsuit alleges that the ban, which was signed into law by California Gov. Gerry Brown (D) last weekend, is an overstep of state power. "This law places the state between ... [Read]

The most important night, so far, of the presidential campaign ended with a re-energized Republican base and Democrats scrambling to defend their candidate. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took to the stage at the University of Denver in the swing state of Colorado Wednesday night for the first of three presidential debates.  Although both campaigns had ... [Read]

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins hinted at legal action against Dan Savage today after the founder of the It Gets Better Project unleashed a tirade against Perkins and the FRC during a speech at Winona State University in Minnesota. Speaking to university students last week, Savage said Perkins "sits on a pile of dead gay kids everyday when he ... [Read]

Activists are turning their attention to UPS in their latest attempt to pull corporate funding for the Boy Scouts of America. A week after Intel announced it would halt donations to BSA because of the group's discriminatory ban on out gay members and leaders, a petition targeting the United Parcel Service has already garnered nearly 16,000 signatures since its launch ... [Read]

Out gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said today that he agrees with a decision by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) last week to appeal a federal court's September ruling that the state must pay for sex-reassignment surgery for a transgender prison inmate. The U.S. District Court ruled that Michelle Kosilek, who is serving a life sentence without parole in a ... [Read]

As LGBT-advocates continue to hail Gov. Jerry Brown's signing of a bill on Saturday that made California the first state to officially outlaw gay "conversion" and "reparative" therapy for minors, the anti-gay Liberty Counsel has announced it will file suit against the historic law. In a statement released today, Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver announced that the group of social ... [Read]

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal brought by the National Organization for Marriage in a case regarding Maine's campaign finance laws. The case had been petitioned to the high court after a U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled in January that Maine's campaign finance laws apply to the anti-gay nonprofit organization as well. ... [Read]

In what he dubbed "the scoop" of his interview with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed he officiated over two same-sex weddings as governor during the brief five-month period in 2008 when marriage equality was legal in the state. The former Republican governor and movie star, who served as California's chief executive from 2003 to ... [Read]

The Supreme Court made no new announcements today on whether they will hear marriage equality cases regarding California's Proposition 8 or the various challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act before the court. Today officially marked the beginning of the high court's new term, which will stretch into June 2013. Although few anticipated any news on the four DOMA ... [Read]