Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Morning Sweep

The New York Times has comprehensive coverage of same-sex families living in the Bronx, where a recent Williams Institute report shows gay couples with children in New York City are most likely to live. More on the report's findings here.

The Staten Island Advance reports on a recent study showing that most LGBT youth plan to form a family in the future, including having a monogamous partner and raising children.

A columnist for The Detroit News points out why partner benefits for federal employees makes good business sense.

The Greek government has attempted to overturn the country’s first same-sex marriages, which took place when two same-sex couples took advantage of a loophole in Greek civil law that fails to specify gender in matrimony.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Morning Sweep

The Alliance Defense Fund, the anti-gay group behind many efforts to ban same-sex marriage, organized 33 pastors in 22 states to give sermons this past Sunday urging their congregations to vote for McCain-Palin. Pastors who did so could face investigation by the IRS, as church organizations are not legally allowed to make political endorsements.

In California Prop. 8 news:

The New York Times editorial board stands once again on the side of justice and writes that Californians should vote against Prop. 8 to ban same-sex marriage, as well as the similar ballot measures in Florida and Arizona.

Supporters of Prop. 8 have released their first TV ad, using footage of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom saying about same-sex marriage: "This door's wide open now. It's going to happen, whether you like it or not." The commercial claims this means the door’s wide open to judicial activism, churches losing their tax-exempt status, and gay marriage being taught in schools.

Another reason why you shouldn’t mind that Google is taking over the world: the company’s official blog has a statement against Prop. 8.

New Hampshire
lawmakers will face two new bills dealing with gay rights when they return to session in January: one to legalize same-sex marriage and one to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages as fully valid in NH.

A new Constitution approved in Ecuador will allow civil unions for same-sex couples.

A massive gay rights march took place in Taiwan over the weekend in what’s being called the largest demonstration of its kind to take place in Asia.

The New York Times writes that Hollywood is more out than ever, but gay actors are still marginalized when it comes to starring roles.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Morning Sweep

Gay City News writes extensively on the 56th District State Senate race between Rick Dollinger and Republican Senator Joe Robach. Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle is quoted: "Rick Dollinger is not only going to vote for our issues in Albany, but he is also going to be a strong voice within the Democratic caucus in the Senate for those issues. I have 100 percent confidence in that." Read more on the Pride Agenda’s endorsement of Rick Dollinger here.

Four San Diego firefighters who are suing the city for the “emotional stress” of being assigned to march in the city’s gay pride parade testified this week.

The Iraqi coordinator of an organization that provided safe houses for gays and lesbians in Baghdad was assassinated yesterday.

Bosnia’s first gay pride festival will close early due to the homophobic violence on its opening night.

A Bilerico guest blogger highlights the importance of including LGBT youth voices in advocacy work.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Morning Sweep

A discussion at a recent U.S. Senate hearing focused on possible legislation to provide health care benefits to the partners of federal employees.

A new report by the non-partisan Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute in NY states that there is a near "universal professional consensus" that adoption applicants should not be judged on their sexual orientation, and that "the pool of potential adoptive parents must be expanded to keep pace with the growing number of kids in foster care who are legally free for adoption."

Michelle Obama has penned an op-ed in The Advocate titled “The World As It Should Be.” It urges LGBT people to vote for Obama in order to finally “put hope into action” and start to change the country for the better.

Violence has erupted at Bosnia’s first ever gay festival.

Ellen DeGeneres has urged her fans to vote no on California’s Prop. 8 – because there’s no way she’s willing to return those wedding gifts.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Morning Sweep

A letter being distributed to Madison Ave. advertising agencies this week calls for an end to the stereotypical portrayal of the LGBT community. The letter, from the Commercial Closet Association, has been signed in support by New York lawmakers including Sen. Tom Duane, Assemblymembers Deborah Glick, Daniel O'Donnell, and Micah Kellner, NYC Council member Rosie Mendez, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and NYC Comptroller William Thompson.

Gov. Paterson will speak in support of same-sex marriage at a NY fundraiser to help defeat California’s Prop. 8.

This op-ed against same-sex marriage, using the tired argument that the only valid purpose of marriage is procreation, will make your blood boil for multiple reasons. Here’s just a sample to get you going: “Every child being raised by gay or lesbian couples will be denied his birthright to both parents who made him. Every single one.”

Surprising no one, Clay Aiken has finally officially come out.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Morning Sweep

Westchester social workers and adoption agencies are now reaching out specifically to gay couples to adopt the 900 children needing homes in the county.

The Daily News writes on gay Republican State Senate candidate John Chromczak’s campaign against Democrat Daniel Squadron, a supporter of the LGBT community.

The first TV commercial against California’s Prop. 8 was unveiled today. See it here.

GLAAD reports that there will be twice as many LGBT characters on TV this fall.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Morning Sweep

The Albany Project backs up the Pride Agenda’s endorsement of Rick Dollinger for State Senate.

Although the ban on travelers and immigrants with HIV coming to the U.S. was lifted two months ago, the government has been slow in implementing the changes needed to put new rules into effect.

Opponents of California’s Prop. 8 are worried that black voters driven to the polls in record numbers in support of Barack Obama will vote in favor of the proposition to ban same-sex marriage.

McCain and Obama have avoided discussing the divisive same-sex marriage ban amendments on the ballot in three states (California, Arizona and Florida).

The Buffalo News puts its two cents in on the topic and suggests that the “outside issue” of same-sex marriage ban amendments could be one of the top factors in the outcome of the presidential election.

The Orlando Sentinel’s editorial board writes against its same-sex marriage ban amendment because it puts all domestic partnerships – not just same-sex ones – at risk.

Also in Florida, the Palm Beach Post editorializes against the state’s gay adoption ban – but still says “Ideally, adoptive children would go to two loving, heterosexual parents.”

The transgender woman who sued the Library of Congress for withdrawing its job offer after finding out she is trans has won her lawsuit.

Hate crimes in Boston are on the rise, and particularly those against gays and lesbians.

The New York Times has a great profile of a Raleigh, NC family that, when Dad came out as gay, found acceptance at a local Baptist church.

The Times also analyzes makeup company CoverGirl’s choice of Ellen DeGeneres as its newest spokesmodel.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Morning Sweep

In his interview with Republican VP hopeful Sarah Palin, Charlie Gibson asked just one LGBT question: "Homosexuality. Genetic or learned?" Palin didn’t elaborate on her own beliefs, but said she’s “not going to judge someone on whether they believe that homosexuality is a choice or genetic.”

Newsweek looks at the needs of a new generation of LGBT seniors. On a less serious note, the mag also examines how LGBT characters have evolved on reality TV shows.

The lawyer for the man who killed Angie Zapata, a 18-year-old Colorado trans woman, says that his client was provoked by Zapata smiling at him after he discovered she was transgender.

In a landmark case for Washington State, a judge has ruled that a man who quit his job to care for his dying partner is entitled to unemployment benefits.

After two years of investigation, former U.S. Rep Mark Foley is unlikely to face charges for his online transgressions.

The president of Brazil is in support of same-sex unions, and called politicians who oppose them but still court lesbian and gay voters “hypocrites.”

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rick Dollinger for the 56th Senate District

The Pride Agenda is announcing today our endorsement of Rick Dollinger, who is challenging Republican Senator Joe Robach in the 56th State Senate District (representing part of Monroe County). Dollinger once held this seat (from 1992-2002) but decided to return to the private sector after a decade of service.

In addition to his experience as a State Senator, Dollinger has also served as a Monroe County Legislator and as Brighton Town Justice. A friend of the LGBT community then, Dollinger long supported the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act and voted for both SONDA and the Hate Crimes Bill when they finally passed and became law in 2002 and 2000, respectively. Because of his consistent support for LGBT issues throughout his career in public office, the Pride Agenda honored Dollinger with the Community Service Award at our annual Spring Dinner in 2003, shortly after he left the Senate.

In an interview with The Albany Project, when asked why he has chosen to return to the State Senate, Dollinger replied: “New York wasn't getting any better. The Senate GOP did nothing while I was there and haven't done anything since I left. I decided that this was my chance to bring about real change." And in his Pride Agenda candidate questionnaire Dollinger said “Quite simply, I’ve always been a champion for the LGBT community and I look forward to being a champion again as we gain the opportunity to make historic changes in the New York State Senate. It goes without saying that my opponent and the leadership that he supports has simply not taken the right stands on critical issues.”

Dollinger would not only be a “yes” vote for LGBT New Yorkers, he would be a vocal advocate for issues that are essential to our community—issues like marriage equality, banning discrimination against transgender people and making schools safe for LGBT youth. In his candidate questionnaire, Dollinger stated that he would not only support these bills but sign onto them as a co-sponsor, as well. Dollinger has stated frequently that he intends to help our community find more “yes” votes on these issues in the State Senate once he is elected.

Dollinger’s opponent and incumbent Joe Robach has not been an ally of the LGBT community. According the Pride Agenda’s Legislative Scorecard, Robach has indicated several times his opposition to marriage equality and banning discrimination against transgender New Yorkers. While he has indicated that he would support legislation that would make schools safer for LGBT youth, he has not been a strong advocate for such legislation and has not taken any steps to move the bill forward. Additionally, Joe Robach was one of only 27 Assemblymembers to vote against the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act when it passed in 2002.

Despite all the nice words Robach says about us when he is talking to our community, he does nearly nothing to support LGBT people when it comes to legislation. Robach will also vote for a Senate Majority Leader who has said unequivocally that he will not support marriage equality or the GENDA bill. Actions speak louder than words—and we do not need someone who consistently votes against our interests in Albany.

Voters in the 56th Senate District, the LGBT community and New Yorkers in general will be better served by Rick Dollinger’s experience and commitment to bringing change and progress to Albany. We look forward to helping in making that happen on Tuesday, November 4.

For information on how you can get involved with helping Rick Dollinger win, visit our online Election Center.

Morning Sweep

In his first interview with the gay press since he accepted the Democratic Party’s official presidential nomination, Barack Obama said he doesn’t think his support of the LGBT community can effectively be used against him. He also said that he would not try to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on his own, but instead by working together toward an agreement with military officials.

The Washington Blade predicts that a same-sex marriage bill could be approved by the D.C. City Council sometime next year.

Mormons are the biggest contributors in favor of Arizona’s same-sex marriage ban amendment.

A UK newspaper, despite calling NYC the “gay capital of the world,” awarded us the bronze in their list of the best places in the world to be gay. San Francisco and Sydney beat us out.

In the largest donation to the cause by a celebrity, Brad Pitt has given $100,000 to fight the California Prop. 8 same-sex marriage ban.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Morning Sweep

State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos attended a Log Cabin Republicans fundraiser last night, even though he’s opposed to same-sex marriage. He did voice his support for a safe schools bill — but as State Senator Tom Duane noted, it has often been the Senate Majority leadership who has “impeded progress” on bills important to the LGBT community in New York, like marriage equality and GENDA.

Eleven advocacy groups, including the Pride Agenda, have signed on to an amici curiae (friends of the court) brief urging a judge to reject the East Meadow school district’s claim that it does not need to adhere to the state’s Human Rights Law (including SONDA) because it believes the law only protects private school students from discrimination.

The creators of “The Laramie Project,” the play about Matthew Shepard’s murder, have headed back to Laramie, Wyoming 10 years later to do new interviews in order to add an epilogue about the lasting impact of the tragedy.

The Advocate reflects on how the public’s lack of backlash against Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s wedding may signal more progress for LGBT rights.

The Center will hold its second annual Out to Work LGBT career fair tomorrow, from noon to 7pm. We promise not to tell your boss you’re looking…

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Morning Sweep

A New York Times editorial praises the Bronx state trial judge's decision to uphold Gov. Paterson’s directive for state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state.

Four police officers in Rochester who were investigated for alleged misconduct in the mishandling of a gay bashing incident are planning to sue the city, saying they have been unfairly targeted.

A USA Today op-ed laments the lack of progress for gay rights in the Southern states.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals has barred gays and lesbians from adopting their partners’ children as straight stepparents are allowed to do.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Morning Sweep

Sunday marked the fifth annual “Wedding March” across Brooklyn Bridge by marriage equality supporters. Speakers at the rally beforehand included Comptroller William Thompson Jr., Manhattan's president, Scott Stringer, and the NYC Council speaker, Christine Quinn.

A marriage equality march was also held in Albany.

The New York Times has more evidence to back up the reports that Republican VP hopeful Sarah Palin may have attempted to remove books with gay themes from her local library in Wasilla.

A new poll found that young people are more often in support of same-sex marriage. While more than two-thirds of people under 35 favor same-sex marriage, less than 40 percent of those 35 and older feel the same.

The L.A. Times editorial board calls for the U.S. Senate to stop delaying and pass ENDA.

George Takei and Brad Altman married over the weekend in West Hollywood. Insert corny "Star Trek" joke in congratulations here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lead Assembly sponsor of DOMA charged with fraud

This week federal prosecutors announced that Queens Assemblymember Anthony Seminerio had been charged with fraud. A Democrat and 30-year veteran in the Assembly, Seminerio is a staunch defender of “family values” and the lead sponsor of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act.”

He has been charged with setting up a consulting company that received more than $500,000 in payoffs since 2000 for duties that are part of his job as an Assemblymember. In FBI transcripts made public this week Seminerio is caught saying, “I was doing favors for these sons-of-bitches there, you know, they were—they were making thousands. ‘Screw you, from now on, you know, I’m a consultant.’”

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said, “Anthony Seminerio put his office up for sale for those willing to pay the right price.” Seminerio could face up to twenty years in prison.

It never ceases to amaze us how anti-gay politicians who have no hesitancy about legislating “values” end up being the ones who are most bankrupt in that department.

Morning Sweep

Gay City News has more coverage of the New York Obama Pride press conference, as well as how the pro-LGBT primary candidates fared in the Sept. 9 primary.

Some advocates say that NYC’s new anti-bullying measures aren’t enough.

The Albany Times Union has a letter from the Coalition to Save Marriage that argues that same-sex marriage opponents aren’t bigots. Let's consult the dictionary: “Bigot: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance.” Thanks for clearing that one up, Merriam Webster!

The editorial board of the Anchorage Daily News wants to make it clear: Sarah Palin’s views on social issues are anything but mainstream.

The New York Times sheds more light on the CDC’s recent study showing that young gay black men are at the highest risk for contracting HIV.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Morning Sweep

On the seventh anniversary of 9/11, 365gay.com memorializes some of the LGBT people killed, and profiles a lesbian emergency responder who still suffers health problems as a repercussion of her bravery on that day.

Toe-tapping Sen. Larry Craig’s lawyers are arguing that he should be able to take back his guilty plea from his infamous airport sex sting.

The Blade profiles Lawrence Goldyn, an openly-gay former professor of Barack Obama who Obama has called a “strong influence.”

California’s top Episcopal bishops have announced their opposition to Prop. 8. They support marriage for same-sex couples, saying it promotes the "Christian values" of monogamy, love and commitment.

Maurice Sendak, the author of the famous children’s book “Where The Wild Things Are,” just came out to the New York Times.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Celebrating Senator Kevin Parker's victory

Last night a number of us from the Pride Agenda gathered at Tropical Paradise Restaurant on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn with other supporters of State Senator Kevin Parker to follow the election returns and -- as we had hoped -- celebrate his Democratic Primary victory.

Parker faced a serious challenge from two term-limited NYC Councilmembers who are both against marriage equality. Losing Senator Parker would have been a big setback to our efforts building a pro-LGBT majority in the State Senate.

When all the votes were counted, Senator Parker prevailed with 49% of the vote to 37% for Simcha Felder and 14% for Kendall Stewart.

When Kevin gave his victory speech to his 150 or so assembled supporters, he mentioned the Pride Agenda several times, thanked us for our support and our work helping him win. He also highlighted how important it is to make marriage equality a reality in New York and promised to work hard to make it happen.

Senator Parker is a politician who not only is with us on all our issues, but doesn’t hesitate to say so in front of his non-LGBT supporters. Not all elected officials will do that. He’s a true friend of our community and we hope to have more like him in the State Senate come November.

Below is a picture of our Executive Director, Alan Van Capelle, giving Senator Parker a celebratory hug following his victory speech and one of Parker answering press questions.

Primary Election 2008 Sweep

Each of the five candidates that the Pride Agenda endorsed in the 2008 New York Primary Election won their races. Here’s some stories on their elections:

The New York Times has a rundown of several of the most talked-about races, including those of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senator Kevin Parker, and Assemblymember Sam Hoyt.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver won his primary by a large margin.

Buffalo Assemblymember Sam Hoyt survived a well-financed challenge to his incumbency.

Washington Heights Assemblymember Adriano Espaillat also won his primary. The New York Times’ City Room blog captured scenes from his campaign headquarters yesterday.

Suffolk County Assemblymember Philip Ramos beat his challenger by more than 2-to-1.

Morning Sweep

The New York State AFL-CIO has passed resolutions urging the Legislature to pass bills for marriage equality, banning discrimination against transgender New Yorkers, and ending bullying and harassment of LGBT youth in public schools.

Republican Assemblymember Teresa Sayward, an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage, recently received an award from The Bridge, a Glens Falls-based LGBT advocacy organization.

An anti-gay rally by Hispanic religious leaders near City Hall on Monday was a huge flop. Not surprisingly, it was a bit upstaged by the NYC Obama Pride launch.

Today has been named “The Trevor Project Day” in New York, in conjunction with it also being World Suicide Prevention Day. The Trevor Project is the non-profit organization that operates the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBT and questioning youth.

The Church of Latter Day Saints has released a statement that although it opposes same-sex marriage, it does not oppose employment, housing and other protections for gay couples. Affirmation, a gay Mormon group, says this is “by far the most affirming statement of both human and civil rights of gay people" by the religion.

A circuit court judge has ruled that Florida’s law banning gay couples from adopting is unconstitutional.

A Montgomery County, Maryland law banning transgender discrimination went into effect yesterday. The law had been challenged in court by conservative and religious groups who wanted to force it to a referendum.

The same-sex marriage ban on Florida’s Nov. ballot likely won’t have enough support to pass.

But same-sex marriage bans on Florida, Arizona and California’s ballots could bring more voters out to the polls – a possibility that McCain and Obama must take seriously.

David Mixner writes on how this presidential election will be critical to our nation’s future.

A Wall Street Journal columnist notes the absence of anti-gay rhetoric from last week’s Republican National Convention.

CBS News has an interesting story on Trinidad, Colorado, a small town known as the “sex-change capital of the U.S.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A eulogy for RENT

One morning last spring I woke up to some very sad news: RENT, the Broadway rock musical about life in the East Village in the midst of the AIDS crisis, would be ending its twelve-year run in September.

The show had its swansong last night, as the curtains closed for last time on the 1996 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winner for best musical.

Yes, I consider myself one of the “RENT-heads”—one of the many of my generation who fell in love with the story and the music way back in 1996 and have bought enough tickets through the years to probably have some sort of tangible impact on the reason why the run has become the seventh-longest in Broadway history.

And I get plenty of grief for it—even here in my office at the Pride Agenda, those who are a bit (or a lot) older than me call the show trite or a relic—something that became a historical artifact right before our very eyes. Many of them dealt personally with HIV/AIDS in a way that made the show somewhat trivial or not relevant to their own experiences.

But for me—for the awkward 16-year old from Longmont, Colorado—RENT brought up issues that I hadn’t dealt with in a serious way before. HIV/AIDS certainly wasn’t a part of my everyday life. I knew of AIDS in abstract terms—what I saw on the news and statistics that I’d hear about that impacted places far from where I was. I was also educated in one of those unfortunate, backwards-thinking school districts that taught “abstinence only” as the best way to avoid teenage pregnancy or the spread of STDs. Along with this mindset came the implication that those who did contract HIV somehow brought it on themselves: miscreants who only cared about sex or drugs.

RENT changed a lot of that for me—or at least it started to. Not only did I see young people dealing with their mortality, I also saw how communities and friends can become families and that making the choice to live—even when it’s not easy—was a powerful way for people (especially gay people) with HIV/AIDS to say “I will not be invisible.”

Most significantly for me, RENT was really the first time that I saw gay people, in a pop culture vehicle that I could connect with, as integrated and “normal” members of a community, falling in love and dealing with the loss of a loved one. When I first saw RENT in 1997 I was only beginning to realize that I didn’t get excited about girls or that looking at guys in gym class was more fun than anything that might happen on Prom night. I certainly wasn’t ready to admit to myself that I was gay, but RENT was the first time I can remember not hating myself for the possibility that I might be.

I saw RENT again at the Nederlander a few months ago with my best friend from college. Singing the songs of RENT was one of our very first bonding moments when we met as freshmen in the dorms at USC. She’s not gay or living with AIDS, but RENT meant something bigger to her, too. For those of us who came of age in the mid-late 1990s—after the worst of AIDS, in the midst of the burgeoning gay rights movement, during the revitalization of many of America’s cities, the advent of the Internet, and in a general era of prosperity—many of us felt a need to cling to an idea that people and communities still mattered and that we, unlike many before us, were going to think differently about traditional, artificial divides based on gender, race, sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. And in an increasingly cut-throat society, where we were taught to always think about what’s next and how to advance faster, RENT reminded us to pause and think about the real impact we could have on today—what we could do now.

RENT signified these things for many of us, and that’s why we’ve clung to it for so long, even if its literal story line has become outdated. So it’s with no small amount of nostalgia that I bid farewell to a work of art that no doubt played a part in developing who I have become.

Morning Sweep

Very few same-sex married New Yorkers have signed up for the state's health insurance since it extended the benefits to them on May 1, 2007. Only 33 out of the 589,000 families who work for state or local governments and are enrolled in the state's health insurance program are same-sex couples.

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn will participate in weekend bus trips to swing states to promote Barack Obama to gay and lesbian voters.

Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin’s church in Alaska promotes the “Love Won Out” conference. Head to Anchorage this weekend to pray away the gay!

An increasing number of gay men are making the decision to become single parents.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Morning Sweep

Gay City News
has info on four candidates they support in the Sept. 9 Primary Election, including Brooklyn Senator Kevin Parker and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who the Pride Agenda has endorsed.

A top McCain adviser met with Log Cabin Republicans yesterday, telling them “Your organization is an important one in the fabric of our party.” Meanwhile, McCain didn’t even mention LGBT rights in his speech at the RNC.

Catholic bishops in Arizona are speaking up in favor of the state’s proposed same-sex marriage ban.

Corners Church in Blacklick, Ohio wants to give you a loving warning” about being gay.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Morning Sweep

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the NYC schools chancellor have announced a new regulation establishing a process to keep students safe by reporting and investigating harassment, intimidation and bullying based on bias.

The Times Union editorializes in support of the court’s decision to throw out the legal challenge brought against Gov. Paterson’s directive for state agencies to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.

With one in four Fortune 500 companies now including gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies, The Times reports on workplaces becoming more accepting of their trans employees.

Five Rochester-area companies are among the nation’s best places to work for LGBT employees according to HRC. They are Bausch & Lomb Inc., Xerox Corp., Eastman Kodak Co., Corning Inc. and Nixon Peabody LLP.

The newest season of “America’s Next Top Model” premiered last night with trans contestant Isis Tsunami. Other contestants’ reactions ranged from supportive to bigoted.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Morning Sweep

A judge has thrown out the first legal challenge brought against Gov. Paterson’s directive for state agencies to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages.

The Washington Post reports that since Paterson’s directive and the repeal of the Mass. 1913 law barring out-of-state same-sex couples from marrying there, a flood of gay and lesbian New Yorkers have headed to the Bay State to get hitched.

Members of the Troy City Council will vote tomorrow whether to allow bereavement and sick leave for the domestic partners of city employees. The amendment would not extend health coverage, but it would give same-sex partners the ability to take leave to grieve or care for a loved one.

The New York Times editorializes on the need to increase outreach efforts in light of the news that HIV is spreading in New York City at three times the national rate.

Even though the Log Cabin Republicans have officially endorsed McCain, they still hope to change the party’s line on same-sex marriage. A group of gay and lesbian Republicans are attending the GOP convention and making the case for same-sex marriage, and a new poll found that 49 percent of the delegates there support allowing same-sex marriages or civil unions.

A transgender inmate in a Pennsylvania jail is suing several guards and prison officials for allegedly physically abusing and taunting her.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Morning Sweep

Gay City reports on McCain running mate Sarah Palin’s record on gay rights. Palin is on the record against same-sex marriage – although she did act in accordance with an Alaska Supreme Court decision to provide benefits for same-sex couples, she vocally opposed it.

The Advocate has a great profile of Michelle Obama with stories of her past experiences with and dedication to the LGBT community.

What happened to the Straight Pride Parade that was supposed to take place in Brooklyn this past weekend? Apparently, no one attended.

Here are some hateful anti-gay highlights from the newly adopted 2008 Republican Platform.

The Huffington Post took Labor Day as an opportunity to reflect on the status of workplace equality for LGBT employees.

Church leaders in the UK may be on the verge of electing the country’s first openly gay bishop.

Matthew Foreman, former Pride Agenda executive director from 1997-2003, got married over the weekend in San Francisco. Congrats!