In the News

Obama Urges Congress to Ban Job Bias Against Gays
source: The New York Times
posted: 7/21/14
President Obama, declaring himself on “the right side of history,” called on Congress on Monday to ban job discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans as he signed an executive order doing so for workers of federal contractors.

In a ceremony at the White House, Mr. Obama noted that in much of the country, companies can fire employees based on their sexual orientation. “That’s wrong,” he said to an audience of supporters. “We’re here to do what we can to make it right — to bend that arc o


Obama to Issue Order Barring Anti-Gay Bias by Contractors
source: The New York Times
posted: 7/18/14
President Obama plans to sign an executive order on Monday that protects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees from discrimination by companies that do federal government work, fulfilling a promise to a crucial Democratic constituency, White House officials said on Friday. But the directive will not exempt religious groups, as many of them had sought.

The order will also, for the first time, explicitly protect federal employees from discrimination on the basis of gender identity, o


Court Finds Oklahoma Cannot Ban Gay Nuptials
source: The New York Times
posted: 7/18/14
A federal appeals court here on Friday struck down a second conservative-leaning state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that Oklahoma could not deny gay couples their “fundamental right” to wed.

The 2-to-1 decision came less than a month after the same panel of judges for the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit decided that Utah’s ban was unconstitutional. It was another legal victory for gay couples as a range of legal challenges to state bans on same-sex mar


Justices Say Utah Doesn't Have to Recognize Gay Marriages
source: The New York Times
posted: 7/18/14
The Supreme Court on Friday said Utah is not required to recognize the marriages of roughly 1,000 same-sex couples there while state officials pursue appeals.

The court’s order was two sentences long and said only that a lower court’s ruling “is stayed pending the final disposition of the appeal” by the federal appeals court in Denver.

The marriages took place between Dec. 20, when Judge Robert J. Shelby of Federal District Court in Salt Lake City struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriag


Posthumous Recognition
source: The New York Times
posted: 7/14/14
Glenn Burke was 27 when he walked out on Major League Baseball, his promising career as an outfielder undone mostly by the burden of being a semicloseted gay man. It was 1980, and it was more important, Burke later explained, to be himself than to be a professional baseball player.

“It’s harder to be gay in sports than anywhere else, except maybe president,” Burke said in 1982, when he came out publicly in an Inside Sports magazine article. “Baseball is probably the hardest sport of all.”


Ian Thorpe, Swimming Star for Australia in Olympics, Says He Is Gay
source: The New York Times
posted: 7/12/14
The Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, whose five-medal performance at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney captivated his country and served as powerful motivation for a young Michael Phelps, has revealed in an Australian television interview that he is gay.

Thorpe, a two-time Olympian and a nine-time Olympic medalist, made the acknowledgment in a sit-down interview to be broadcast Sunday night. He shares a manager with Michael Parkinson, who conducted the interview.

Thorpe, 31, a public figure since


Pastor Led Son’s Gay Wedding, Revealing Fault Line in Church
source: The New York Times
posted: 7/12/14
Father and son had always been close, from the moment Tim Schaefer was born, six weeks premature, with blood poisoning, a weak heart and lungs, and a doctor who thought he would not make it through the night.

His father, the Rev. Frank Schaefer, a United Methodist minister, thought of his eldest son as a miracle child, saved by some combination of medicine and prayer, saved for something special.

“We couldn’t even touch him; he was in an incubator, and we had to reach in with latex gloves


A Victory for Same-Sex Unions
source: The New York Times
posted: 7/8/14
The marriages of gay men and lesbians who work for the United Nations Secretariat will be recognized by the organization if they have been wed in a jurisdiction where same-sex unions are legal, including New York. Previously, the secretariat, the body of employees who work under the secretary general, deferred to the laws of a staff member’s home country in classifying his or her marital status: Same-sex unions were recognized by the United Nations only if the employee’s home country deemed such

A Guide to Changes in Federal Benefits for Same-Sex Couples
source: The New York Times
posted: 7/2/14
The Obama administration made regulatory changes last month that extend more federal benefits to committed same-sex couples. But there are still a few provisions on the books, both at the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, that prohibit same-sex couples from receiving benefits if they live in states that do not recognize their unions.

Here’s a summary of the rights that couples most recently gained and where Congress needs to act so that all same-sex couple


Supreme Court Declines Case Contesting Ban on Gay ‘Conversion Therapy’
source: The New York Times
posted: 6/30/14
The Supreme Court declined on Monday to hear a challenge to a California law that bans “conversion therapy” aimed at changing the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian minors.

The court, in rejecting the case, effectively let stand a federal appeals court ruling issued last August that said that the state’s ban on the practice did not violate the free speech rights of counselors or people seeking treatment. The appeals court had said that the state had an interest in banning professional trea