In the News

Judge Lifts Ban, and Gay Weddings Begin in Florida
source: The New York Times
posted: 1/5/15
Ending a drawn-out battle over same-sex marriage in Florida, Miami-Dade on Monday became the first county in the state to allow gay couples to wed after a state judge lifted a temporary ban on the nuptials.

The rest of the state was to begin legalizing same-sex marriage just after midnight, as Florida becomes the 36th state to allow gay couples to wed. (The District of Columbia also permits same-sex marriages.) Mass wedding ceremonies were scheduled in counties across Florida beginning on Tue


Egypt’s Appalling Crackdown on Gays
source: The New York Times
posted: 1/5/15
Even if they were acquitted on the ludicrous charge of “debauchery,” the 26 Egyptian men on trial in the government’s latest crackdown on gays are likely to suffer a lifetime of public scorn.

Over the past two years, there has been no shortage of travesties and injustices in Egypt’s courtrooms. The country’s ousted dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was sentenced to life in prison in 2012, lying on a stretcher placed within a cage, only to be acquitted two years later in a subsequent proceeding once hi


F.D.A. Lifting Ban on Gay Blood Donors
source: The New York Times
posted: 12/23/14
The Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday that it would scrap a decades-old lifetime prohibition on blood donation by gay and bisexual men, a change that experts said was long overdue and could lift the annual blood supply by as much as 4 percent.

The F.D.A. enacted the ban in 1983, early in the AIDS epidemic. At the time, little was known about the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes the disease, and there was no quick test to determine whether somebody had it. But science


Lance Bass Marries Michael Turchin in California
source: The New York Times
posted: 12/20/14
Lance Bass and Michael Turchin were married Saturday night at the Legendary Park Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, where 300 guests gathered. Jamie-Lynn Sigler officiated with JoAnna Garcia Swisher; the two actresses, friends of the couple, became Universal Life ministers for the event.

Mr. Bass, 35, the singer, actor, producer and writer, is a former member of the band ‘N Sync. He hosts “Dirty Pop With Lance Bass” on SiriusXM satellite radio. He has recently become a special correspondent for TV’s


A Texas Showdown Over Same-Sex Marriage
source: The New York Times
posted: 12/20/14
Fourteen states allowed same-sex marriage when Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman filed a lawsuit late last year challenging Texas’ constitutional ban on marriages that are not between a man and a woman.

The couple, who had married in Massachusetts in 2009, live in Austin and collided with a Texas law when they could not both be listed on the birth certificate of their first child. They hope the law is changed before the birth of their second.

“There are moments in our lives that are f


Can’t Have Your Cake, Gays Are Told, and a Rights Battle Rises
source: The New York Times
posted: 12/15/14
Jack Phillips is a baker whose evangelical Protestant faith informs his business. There are no Halloween treats in his bakery — he does not see devils and witches as a laughing matter. He will not make erotic-themed pastries — they offend his sense of morality. And he declines cake orders for same-sex weddings because he believes Christianity teaches that homosexuality is wrong.

Mr. Phillips, whose refusal two years ago to make a cake for a gay male couple has led to a court battle now gettin


Advocates Seek Civil Rights Bill for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans
source: The New York Times
posted: 12/4/14
As barriers to same-sex marriage fall across the country, gay rights advocates are planning their next battle on Capitol Hill: a push for sweeping legislation to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination, similar to the landmark Civil Rights Act that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed in 1964.

Plans for a so-called comprehensive lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights bill are still in their infancy, and advocates say the campaign could take a decad


A Gay Mayor in Poland? No Big Deal
source: The New York Times
posted: 12/2/14
In the end, the fact that Robert Biedron is one of Poland’s most prominent gay-rights activists seemed to play almost no role in his election as the new mayor of Slusk, a conservative city of 97,000 near the Pomeranian coast.

“There is no reason to think that Mr. Biedron’s private life was an advantage, but it looks like it wasn’t a disadvantage, either,” said Jaroslaw Flis, a sociologist and political commentator. “Sexual orientation didn’t matter for the voters in Slusk.”

In conservative


Dale Scott, Baseball Umpire, Comes Out as Gay
source: The New York Times
posted: 12/2/14
As a Major League Baseball umpire for 29 years, where going relatively unnoticed means that you are doing your job well, Dale Scott has kept a low profile.

He has umpired three World Series and three All-Star Games. He recently worked as the crew chief for the National League division series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals.

But Scott, 55, now will be known as the first publicly gay active major league umpire. He has not hidden the fact that he is gay for many ye


Jason Collins, N.B.A.’s First Openly Gay Player, Retires
source: The New York Times
posted: 11/19/14
Jason Collins, who last season became the first openly gay player in the N.B.A., announced his retirement from basketball on Wednesday in a news conference at Barclays Center.

Collins, 35, said that he made the decision over the summer and that he would focus on his work supporting organizations devoted to promoting diversity and inclusion.

“The past 18, 19 months have been incredible,” said Collins, who did not sign with a team after finishing the 2013-14 season with the Nets. “I’ve grown