Friday, August 29, 2008

Morning Sweep

Breaking news: McCain has picked Sarah Palin, Gov. of Alaska, as his VP running mate. Palin is against same-sex marriage and abortion rights.

In his rousing speech last night in front of an estimated 84,000 people at Invesco Field, Barack Obama had this to say about gay marriage: "I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free from discrimination."

Gay City News has a great profile of Kevin Parker, the Brooklyn State Senator who is facing two primary challengers who are against marriage equality. The Pride Agenda has endorsed Parker for the Sept. 9 primary election.

Gay City also has more on the Williams Institute study that shows the majority of LGBT New Yorkers with families live in the outer boroughs.

Michelle Obama spoke at a LGBT convention delegate and media luncheon earlier this week. She praised openly gay Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, and emphasized her husband’s past and future plans for support for LGBT issues.

The only gay couple ever legally married in Iowa will soon celebrate their one year anniversary. Same-sex marriage was ruled legal for one day in Polk County, Iowa in August 2007, but Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan were the only couple able to make their union legal before a stay was issued by the court pending an appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court. It’s unclear when a decision on the case will be handed down.

Gay Pride organizers in Birmingham, Ala. have sued the mayor for not allowing them to hang pride week banners on city property.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an interesting story about a policewoman who recently discovered she is intersex.

Police in a suburb of Toronto have set up a LGBT Hate Crime Hotline, believed to be the first of its kind in North America.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Morning Sweep

Del Martin, a gay rights activist who wed her partner of 55 years, Phyllis Lyon, on June 16 in the first legal same-sex marriage in California, died yesterday at age 87. Pam’s House Blend has reactions from supporters.

The New York Times editorializes that now that Obama’s supporters have spoken so highly of him and his positions, including those on gay rights, it’s time for him to be just as clear about what he stands for.

A new poll shows that the majority of voters in California (54%) oppose Prop. 8’s aim to ban marriage for same-sex couples, while only 40% support it. The same group is evenly split on whether they actually support the practice of same-sex marriage, however.

A new report shows that HIV is spreading in New York City at three times the national rate, with African Americans and gay men at the highest risk.

A total of 94% of Fortune 500 companies now provide workplace protections based on sexual orientation.

The Washington Post has a short interview with Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend.

The lawsuit over the wording of Arizona’s same-sex marriage ban amendment has been dropped. The ballot question will now fairly inform voters that same-sex marriage is already illegal in their state.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Report shows lesbian and gay families live in NYC's outer boroughs

Note to those who think being gay in NYC means you must live in Manhattan: You would be wrong.

This week the Williams Institute at UCLA issued a report that gives a detailed look at the lives of same-sex couples living in the five boroughs of NYC. The report’s primary author, Gary Gates, is the nation’s foremost expert on studying U.S. Census data to shed light on the demographic and economic makeup of the country’s lesbian and gay population. The report gives a city-wide overview and then looks at each borough separately.

From our perspective as advocates for marriage equality, the major take-away in this report is the strong message this sends to Assemblymembers and State Senators in the outer boroughs still making up their minds on where they stand on marriage for our families. The message is this: our families having access to marriage (and the protections New York provides with marriage) will directly benefit families in your districts. You have lesbian and gay constituents – a lot in fact – and they need marriage and the 1,324 rights and responsibilities it provides to keep their families strong. They are raising thousands of children who are depending upon you to provide their families with the protections only marriage can provide.

Here are some of the report's key findings:

  • Same-sex couples live in every borough with 62% living in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island
  • They are racially and ethnically diverse and in some cases, like in the Bronx, are more likely to be non-white than those in the Bronx who are different-sex married couples.
  • Ninety-two percent (92%) of children being raised by same-sex couples live outside of Manhattan and nearly half of same-sex couples in the Bronx are raising children.
  • Same-sex couples raising children are economically disadvantaged, having average household incomes between 7% (Brooklyn) and 36% (Staten Island) lower than their married counterparts.
  • Same-sex couples raising children in the four outer boroughs are less likely than their married counterparts to own their own homes.

The New York Post got it right in its headline (for once) when it said: Gay-Parent Mecca. Chelsea? Nope. The Bronx!

Go here to look at the entire Williams Institute report and here to read our statement on the report.

Morning Sweep

Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention was all about New York Senator Hillary Clinton, who mentioned the fight for gay rights in her phenomenal speech last night.

The Wall Street Journal's "Numbers Guy" blog looks at the DNC's system of affirmative action when selecting delegates that are an accurate demographic representation of the country. According to these calculations, 6-8% of the delegates at the convention should be LGBT.

Three bloggers from Pam's House Blend are keeping us updated on all of the goings on (specifically relating to LGBT issues) at the Democratic Convention. So does Andy over at Towleroad.

The GOP platform includes a constitutional ban on marriage for same-sex couples, even though the party's presumptive nominee supposedly doesn't support such a ban.

The Williams Institute at UCLA released a census snapshot of same-sex couples living and raising children in New York City. We'll post more on that later.

The Oneonta Daily Star editorializes in favor of the decision by the Otsego County board to overturn the county treasurer, Myrna Thayne's attempt to ban married same-sex couples from receiving spousal benefits as county employees. Said the board's Republican Chair, "[what Thayne did was] wrong and it is wrong, period. Gay people get sick, too, and when they do, they need medical attention."

Cortland resident Kathy Gilleran is trying desperately to find her missing gay son who disappeared in Vienna, Austria last October.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Morning Sweep

Among the highlights of the Democratic National Convention last night was Mass. Senator Edward Kennedy’s remarks: "Barack Obama will close the book on the old politics of race and gender, and group against group, and straight against gay."

The new draft of the Republican Party Platform includes calls for constitutional bans on gay marriage and abortion, which McCain doesn’t support.

An Arkansas group has succeeded in getting a measure on the Nov. ballot to ban unmarried couples, including all same-sex couples in the state, from adopting or becoming foster parents.

Same-sex marriage opponents in Massachusetts have gotten the official go-ahead to begin petitioning to reinstate the 1913 law keeping out-of-state same-sex couples from marrying there. The group needs 33,000 signatures to get the measure on the 2010 ballot.

The city government in Sydney is attempting to crack down on homophobic violence in a historically gay neighborhood, but critics say their efforts are little more than a stunt.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Morning Sweep

LGBT groups are enthusiastic that Obama has picked Delware Senator Joe Biden as his VP running mate. Check out the LGBT blogosphere’s take here, here, and here.

The New York Times examines the lengths that some political bloggers have gone to in order to make it to the Democratic National Convention, including Pam’s House Blend’s Pam Spaulding and The Albany Project’s Phillip Anderson.

The Times’ Modern Love column tells the tale of a gay couple who decided to get married in California despite some hesitations.

The AP reports on the thousands of same-sex marriage foes who have mobilized in California in support of Prop. 8.

Organizers in Ca. aim to bring 1 million Catholics, Mormons, Jews, Muslims, evangelical Christians, Sikhs and Hindus together in support of Prop. 8. "What binds us together is one common obsession: . . . marriage," said Jim Garlow, pastor of Skyline Church, an evangelical congregation in La Mesa. Too bad the religions’ newfound common ground isn’t a little bit less hateful.

Arizona’s Secretary of State Jan Brewer wants to limit the state’s same-sex marriage ban proposition’s wording to keep voters in the dark about the impact of the proposed amendment. Although Ariz.’s laws already prohibit same-sex marriage, Brewer is trying to keep that info from being explained on the ballot.

Openly gay Australian diver Matthew Mitcham took home Olympic gold in the 10-meter platform competition.

Not surprisingly, some Hallmark store owners have already decided not to carry the new line of same-sex wedding cards.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Endorsements for the Sept. 9 Primary Election

The Pride Agenda announced today endorsements for the September 9 Primary Election and released a Primary Election Online Voter Guide.

We have endorsed five incumbants who have, time and time again, stood with and actively supported the LGBT community on several important issues, including the three bills at the top of our public policy agenda: marriage equality, GENDA and the Dignity for All Students Act.

Three of the endorsed candidates are from New York City, one is from Buffalo and one from Suffolk County on Long Island. Many elected officials who are friends of the LGBT community are not profiled in this voter guide because they have no primary opposition. They will be profiled in the General Election Voter Guide, which will be issued in October.

New York City:

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-WFP)

Assembly Speaker Silver is the incumbent for this seat, having served a total of sixteen terms in the New York State Assembly, with seven terms as Assembly Speaker. He is a strong supporter of the LGBT community and votes correctly on all of our issues. As Speaker, he has played a pivotal role in making sure LGBT legislation such as the marriage equality bill, Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, and Dignity for All Students Act has come to the Assembly floor for a vote. Under his leadership, the Assembly has also provided millions of dollars to fund the important work of community-based LGBT health and human services providers.

Assemblymember Adriano Espaillat (D)

Assemblymember Espaillat is the incumbent for this seat, having served six terms in the New York State Assembly. He is a strong supporter of the LGBT community and has voted correctly on all of our issues, specifically for marriage equality (June 2007), the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (June 2008) and the Dignity for All Students Act (2002-2008). He is also a co-sponsor of GENDA and Dignity for All Students Act.

State Senator Kevin Parker (D-WFP)

Senator Parker is the incumbent for this seat, having served four terms in the New York State Senate. He is a strong supporter of the LGBT community and votes correctly on all of our issues. He is also a co-sponsor of the marriage equality bill, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, and Dignity for All Students. His challengers are New York City Councilmembers Kendall Stewart, who is against marriage equality, and Simcha Felder, who is against marriage equality and has voted a number of times against pro-LGBT legislation in New York City, including a bill protecting transgender people from discrimination.


Assemblymember Sam Hoyt (D-I-WFP)

Assemblymember Hoyt is the incumbent for this seat, having served eight terms in the New York State Assembly. He is a strong supporter of the LGBT community and votes correctly on all of our issues. He is also a co-sponsor of the marriage equality bill, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, and Dignity for All Students, and he has voted to secure millions of dollars in state funding for groups like AIDS Community Services, Gay and Lesbian Youth Services, Pride Center of Western New York and other programs that directly benefit LGBT people.

Long Island:

Assemblymember Philip Ramos (D-I-WFP)

Assemblymember Ramos is the incumbent for this seat, having served three terms in the New York State Assembly. He is a strong supporter of the LGBT community and had voted correctly on all of our issues, specifically for marriage equality (June 2007), the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (June 2008) and the Dignity for All Students Act (2002-2008) He is also a co-sponsor of the marriage equality bill and GENDA.

Good news out of Otsego County

It was quite a jaw-dropper last week when Oneonta's newspaper The Daily Star reported that County Treasurer Myra Thayne took it upon herself to unilaterally revise the county’s health care plan to exclude same-sex couples, whatever their legal status. She clearly felt the shifting statewide political and legal climate in favor of recognizing legal out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples might mean Otsego County would be faced with doing the same thing for a LGBT county employee coming back married from Canada, Massachusetts or California.

It was equally refreshing today to learn that the Otsego County Board of Representatives, Republicans and Democrats alike, voted Wednesday night to reverse Thayne’s action and made clear she had acted without consulting the County Board and had no authority to do what she did. Go here and here to read about this.

While James Powers, Chairman of the County Board and a Republican, told The Daily Star that the Board does not expect to pro-actively recognize legal out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples, he did say he expects New York will eventually allow same-sex couples to get married here at home.

Powers’ statement is just one of many increasingly being made by elected officials across the state that marriage equality is coming to New York. He believes as we do. Marriage equality is no longer a matter of if for New York -- it’s only a matter of when.

If this were not 2008, Myra Thayne probably could have gotten away with what she did last week. Her actions though were seen by elected officials on both sides of the political aisle as an overreach and an unfair targeting of LGBT county employees.

We give credit to the LGBT community in Oneonta and Otsego County and groups like PFLAG. They swung into action last week when the Thayne policy change was made public. They contacted their elected representatives on the County Board. They attended the Board meeting on Wednesday night and spoke out against Thayne’s decision. And the County Board agreed with them and made the right decision in reversing what was clearly an ugly statement of personal bias on the part of the Otsego County Treasurer.

Morning Sweep

The Otsego County Board of Representatives voted last night to nullify the ban on providing health coverage for the same-sex spouses of county employees. The benefits had been taken away by County Treasurer Myrna Thayne, supposedly to “save the taxpayers money.”

Even though same-sex marriage is now legal in California and Massachusetts, a little-discussed provision of the federal ENDA bill would not require employers to offer spousal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

The Coquille Indian Tribe in Oregon has become the first American Indian tribe in the U.S. to adopt a law recognizing same-sex marriage.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal doesn’t see the need to renew an executive order banning discrimination against gay and lesbian state employees that was enacted four years ago.

A group of 24 men have been charged with sexual misconduct in Alabama after a sting at a local scenic outlook. The men could be added to the sex offenders registry, but the local media has already decided to take matters into their own hands and try them in the court of biased, hateful public opinion by publishing all of their names, ages and hometowns.

An op-ed in Gay City News emphasizes the importance of the gay vote in the upcoming election.

Lots of polling going on lately: One new poll found that 65% of voters would be willing to support an openly-gay president.

Yet another shows a large increase in the number of social conservatives who think that the church should stay out of political matters.

And unfortunately, a recent study reveals that more than a third of transgender military veterans have experienced discrimination because of their gender identity.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Morning Sweep

The Dignity for All Students Act has been amended to make it stronger and address concerns raised by the State Education Department.

The same New Jersey poll that reveals that the state’s residents see marriage equality as inevitable also shows they are in support of transgender protections. More than half of those polled said it was unfair for insurance companies to discriminate against transgender people by not covering the medical treatments needed to transition.

The Denver Post reflects on the 358 LGBT delegates who will attend the Democratic National Convention.

The anti-gay Family Research Council has released its 25 policy goals to be distributed at the upcoming Conventions, and 9 of them directly affect the LGBT community.

Janet Edwards, a Pittsburgh Presbyterian pastor who officiated over a lesbian wedding in 2005, will face charges in her church’s court that she defied church rules.

The AP highlights the need for anti-bullying and harassment legislation for students with the story of a Florida principal who conducted a "witch hunt" against gay students at his school.

Hallmark will soon roll out a line of cards for same-sex marriages and commitment ceremonies.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Morning Sweep

A Staten Island man has been charged with a hate crime for attacking another man who he suspected was gay.

A new poll found that 59% of New Jersey residents would be “fine with” civil unions in their state becoming fully recognized same-sex marriages. And 69% of those polled said they think marriage equality is inevitable in the Garden State.

Another new poll shows that 68% of LGBT people favor Obama, with only 10% supporting McCain, and the rest undecided or rooting for third party candidates.

This news comes just as LGBT for Obama launches. The new blog will feature writers from sites including Bilerico, Pam’s House Blend, Blabbeando,, Good As You, Rod 2.0, and Towleroad, just to name a few.

A trans woman is suing the Library of Congress for withdrawing her job offer to work as a terrorism research analyst when it was discovered she is transitioning.

Opponents of same-sex adoption in Arkansas are currently petitioning to put a measure on the state’s Nov. ballot to limit adoption to married couples only.

A coalition of same-sex marriage opponents aims to change the Connecticut State Constitution in order to pass an amendment banning same-sex marriage. The state’s Constitution currently doesn’t allow citizens to petition to get issues on to the ballot, which has kept the coalition from bringing a same-sex marriage ban to the voters.

According to GLAAD, over 1,000 newspapers in the U.S. now print same-sex wedding or commitment ceremony announcements. Only 69 papers did the same back in 2002.

Rachel Maddow will become the first openly gay woman to host a primetime news program. "The Rachel Maddow Show" begins Sept. 8 on MSNBC.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Morning Sweep

The New York Times profiles Lawrence Quinn, Speaker Christine Quinn’s 81-year-old father, who acts as one of her closest advisors. Although he was initially upset when his daughter came out, the senior Quinn now supports gay causes and even marches in Pride.

The Calif. Supreme Court has ruled that two doctors who refused to artificially inseminate a lesbian because of their religious beliefs did so unlawfully. The ruling states that medical professionals are covered by the state’s sexual orientation non-discrimination laws, and they therefore can’t use religion as a reason to deny treatment to gays and lesbians.

Obama wants to draw attention to his support of hate-crimes legislation, which McCain has routinely opposed.

CNN reports that more gay men than ever are becoming biological fathers.

In the country’s first small step toward gay rights, Argentina will now allow same-sex couples to claim their deceased partners’ pensions.

Berlin’s new monument to gays persecuted in WWII has been vandalized.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Morning Sweep

Same-sex marriage opponents in Massachusetts are trying to get a measure on the ballot to reverse the recent repeal of the 1913 law keeping out-of state same-sex couples from marrying there.

A column in Newsday praises AARP for proactively working to address the issues facing the aging LGBT community.

Only 10 out of 10,500 Olympic athletes are openly gay, according to Outsports, an online gay sports community.

The American Psychological Association recently released a resolution to become more supportive of transgender people and to take an active role in advocating against transgender discrimination.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi finally got hitched over the weekend.

The UK’s spy agency is seeking gays to apply to be secret agents. Where do we sign up?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Morning Sweep

An editorial in The Journal News talks about the significance and importance of the Safe Schools for All Students Act being introduced in the State Senate.

But some New York gay rights groups are skeptical of the Senate’s actions: they’re worried that the Safe Schools Act is just a gesture and that Senate Republicans won’t work together with other lawmakers to actually pass a cohesive law.

Liz Benjamin comments on our ad on Gay City News’ website in support of Assembly Speaker Silver.

A challenge to a NY state regulation banning the use of Medicaid funds to pay for sex reassignment treatment has been rejected by a US District Judge.

A challenge to Oregon’s domestic partnership law has been thrown out by a federal appeals court.

At the International AIDS Conference, The UN Secretary General called for an end to the homophobia that keeps many AIDS prevention and treatment programs from being fully effective.

“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” advocate Elaine Donnelly writes in the Chicago Tribune that she fears the "forced intimacy" that straight military members face when forced to be around gays who are attracted to them.

Fox News ran an offensive and hateful segment on the transgender contestant on the newest season of “America’s Next Top Model.” Pam’s House Blend has the details, and the execs to contact to complain.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Morning Sweep

Queerty reflects on how the Safe Schools bill, recently introduced in the State Senate by the Republican Majority, might signal changing attitudes in New York government.

McCain says he would consider a pro-choice running mate, but he’s a lot more hesitant about one that is pro-gay rights, like Mayor Bloomberg.

Jared Polis, the entrepreneur from Colorado who will likely become the third openly gay member of Congress, says that his victory in the state’s primary “sends a signal to young gays and lesbians across the country that they can consider a career in public service and they shouldn’t be scared away from that merely because of their sexual orientation.”

The challenge that debate was cut off unfairly in the Senate against Arizona’s same-sex marriage ban amendment has been thrown out by the Senate Ethics Committee.

An op-ed in the L.A. Times argues that race – long seen as one of the biggest factors in whether a voter will support same-sex marriage – takes a back seat as an indicator to age, gender, religion, and party affiliation.

A gay New Jersey rabbi writes on how it’s no surprise that gay and lesbian couples with children and strong religious beliefs are the most likely to legalize their relationship and have a commitment ceremony.

The upcoming season of “America’s Next Top Model” will feature a transgender contestant, which was previously against the rules. The season premieres Sept. 3.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Morning Sweep

County will no longer offer health care benefits to the same-sex partners of its employees. County Treasurer Myrna Thayne, who made the change in a July 15 memo, says she did it to “save the taxpayers money.”

Should we be upset that the new Democratic Platform doesn’t directly mention LGBT people? Queerty says no.

Internet businessman Jared Polis has won the primary race in Colorado, and he is now slated to win a spot in the U.S. House as the third openly gay Representative.

Maryland’s highest court will decide if a proposition to overturn the state’s new law that provides protections for transgender individuals will make it on to the Nov. ballot.

A LGBT Mormon group has made its disappointment public that the Church of Latter Day Saints hasn’t responded promptly to its request for dialogue.

The Arizona Republic reports than an increasing number of straight couples are making statements in support of same-sex marriage at their weddings. You can read our suggestions for New York couples looking to do the same here.

The Seattle Times profiles Israel as a new gay travel hotspot.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hamptons Tea Dance Media Roundup

It’s been a month since we held our Hamptons Tea Dance on July 12. Since then, we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from people who attended and told us it was the best Tea Dance yet. The reporters who came also seemed to have fun. We already shared this post from Guest of a Guest (a great Hamptons blog), and since then, the Tea Dance has been written up in The East Hampton Star, The Independent, Dan’s Papers (photos 16-18), and here and here.

Last but not least, check out these videos from Plum TV (Click the play buttons at the bottom of each to start them). We can’t wait to see everyone again next year!

Morning Sweep

Some national activists are calling the new Democratic Platform the most LGBT-inclusive to date.

The group supporting California’s Prop. 8 against same-sex marriage has finally dropped their challenge on the proposition’s wording.

That didn’t stop the prop’s supporters from confounding the L.A. Times with their ridiculous justifications, such as the need to protect children from being “recruited” into homosexuality.

Meanwhile, the California Chief Justice who was part of the landmark decision to allow gay marriage there will face a tough re-election campaign now that he has been labeled an “activist judge.”

The U.S. hasn’t been granting as many requests for asylum for LGBT people from Mexico and other Latin countries with a history of intolerance.

A professor’s guest column in Newsday praises the virtues among the Millenial Generation’s flaws: those born between 1982 believe in a “live and let live” philosophy when it comes to relationships, gay or straight.

Focus on the Family has a new strategy for keeping Obama from becoming president and supporting newfangled protections and rights for same-sex families: pray for rain during his nomination acceptance speech.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Morning Sweep

Camille S. Hopkins, Buffalo's first city official to transition openly, talks to The Buffalo News about the "intolerance" she's faced at work and why she is moving to Portland, OR.

The Lower Hudson Valley News featured a story this weekend about a trans teenager's battle against hate and discrimination in her Rockland County high school.

In the Times of Trenton, George Amick says that those supporting marriage equality in New Jersey look to legislators -- not courts -- to bring full civil marriage rights to the state agenda.

A Florida Congressional candidate publicly "evolves" on the issue of gay couples adopting.

The New York Times reports what bearing social initiatives on state ballots may have on the presidential race. There are currently three states with marriage bans on their ballots: Arizona, California and Florida; 27 states have already passed similar laws prohibiting marriage equality.

Read this article to see which LGBT-related issues made the 2008 Democratic platform.

That the "insensitive" Snickers commercial was finally pulled marks a small shift in the how the advertising industry markets around LGBT people and issues.

An Indonesian trans woman living in San Francisco wins asylum after much ado in court.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Morning Sweep

Yesterday in state Supreme Court in the Bronx, the state defended Governor Paterson's action to recognize legal out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples and asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed by an out-of-state conservative Christian legal group. It appears the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund may have had a tough day in court. Go here for the Associated Press account. The New York Sun, after listening to the judge's comments, went as far as to predict a first-round victory for Governor Paterson and the state on this issue. The judge expects to announce the lower court verdict by Labor Day.

New York Times education writer Jennifer Medina reports that the Republican Majority in the New York State Senate has quietly introduced legislation that reconciles most of the outstanding differences it has had with the Assembly’s Dignity for All Students Act (Dignity). Dignity requires public schools to put in place policies to combat bias-based bullying and violence against students. Bias categories are several and include sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. The Assembly has passed Dignity every year since 2002.

Assemblymember Dede Scozzafava, one of three Republican votes for marriage equality legislation in the Assembly, tells the Fox television affiliate in Watertown that she will continue to support gay marriage when it comes up for a vote. Scozzafava tells the reporter, “I have to do what is right. I wasn’t put on this earth to judge whether a relationship is right or wrong.” She also says her religion has taught her a traditional view of marriage, but that doesn’t mean it should affect anyone’s civil rights.

Carmen's Place, the shelter for LGBTQ youth has announced that is moving to a larger, safer place in Queens. Recently, one of the residents was beaten up on Steinway Street after the attackers started calling her names.

The latest adoption statistics put out by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics show that men are twice as likely to adopt children as woman. While the factors behind this are several, Kim Hofer with the New York University of Rochester Medical Center says the increasing trend all over the country of same-sex couples adopting children must be considered as a factor, particularly since gay men who want children usually have to adopt.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Morning Sweep

Some gay New York couples are contemplating the "Amtrak option" now that out-of-state same-sex couples can obtain marriage licenses in Massachusetts.

The New York Times ran a story about the Pride Agenda's comprehensive "1324 Report," co-authored by the New York City Bar Association, over the weekend.

NYC community leaders split over renewal proposals for Eighth Avenue, or as some call it: the "Gay Boulevard."

In Buffalo, the beating of a 47-year-old gay man was caught on camera and is being treated as a hate crime.

Minister and lawyer Oliver Thomas offers one route towards achieving consensus in America's debate over marriage for gay couples: leave marriage in the church and keep civil unions for the government.

Jennifer F. Boylan pens an eye-opening op-ed for the New York Times about the controversial "gender tests" being administered at the Beijing Olympics.

The CDC may have underestimated HIV infection rates; Senator Obama and McCain respond to the news.

Mombian has a statement from Sen. Obama on protecting the rights of LGBT families.

As the once-in-decade Lambeth Conference comes to a close, Anglican leaders are debating the consecration of gay bishops. Though excluded from official proceedings, openly-gay Bishop Gene Robinson participated in the conference "to remind the bishops...that there are gay Christians sitting in the pews in every one of their churches, and that they have taken vows to serve all in their flock."

Did you know Minnesota was the first state in the country to outlaw discrimination against transgender people in the workplace?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Morning Sweep

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill that allows out-of-state same-sex couples to marry there. In celebrating the good news for NY gay couples, Pride Agenda E.D. Alan Van Capelle added,
"We believe that LGBT New Yorkers should not have to leave their home state to get legally married. We look forward to a day in the near future when New York State stops discriminating against our families and issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The State Assembly, Governor Paterson, and a majority of New Yorkers also look forward to this day. Now it's time for the State Senate to act."

Gov. Patrick, who signed the bill in the company of LGBT advocates and legislators and turned 52 today, called the occasion "a great birthday present."

This week's Gay City News has a story -- and another quote from Alan Van Capelle -- on the Stonewall Democrats' problematic endorsements of five State Assembly members who failed to support pro-LGBT legislation.

Pride in the City (also known as Black Pride) jumps off this weekend; checkout the list of scheduled events here.
UPDATE: Some events for this year's Pride in the City have been cancelled; check Rod 2.0 for the latest.

LGBT supporters of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama held meetings across NYC to discuss policies they want included in the Democratic National Committee’s conference platform.

Affirmation, a gay Mormon organization, looks forward to the day when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sets a date to talk about issues facing LGBT Mormons.

Billerico covers the "arresting" new ad campaign put out by The Trevor Project, a 24-hour crisis and suicide prevention center for LGBT youth.

Margaret Carlson criticizes U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for his insistence that Larry Craig’s "foot-tapping" is more problematic than corruption by straight officials.

A Colorado man is charged with the murder of Angie Zapata, a transgender woman.

A Federal Judge rules against a Florida Panhandle high school principal and board after they sought to punish students who stood up for a gay classmates' rights.