In the News

Federal Court in Alabama Is Asked to Clear Way for Same-Sex Marriages
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/6/15
Lawyers for gay and civil rights groups on Friday asked a federal court in Mobile, Ala., to force the state’s probate judges to once again issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, three days after the Alabama Supreme Court ordered them to stop.

The motion, filed with Judge Callie V.S. Granade of United States District Court, could trigger the next salvo in a showdown between state and federal judiciaries over same-sex marriage in one of the nation’s most conservative states.

In its rul

Morals Clause in Catholic Schools Roils Bay Area
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/4/15
It is the issue that is stirring San Francisco: The archbishop has specified that teachers at four Bay Area Catholic high schools cannot publicly challenge the church’s teachings that homosexual acts are “contrary to natural law,” that contraception is “intrinsically evil” and that embryonic stem cell research is “a crime.” He also wants to designate teachers as part of the “ministry,” which could, under a 2012 Supreme Court ruling, strip them of protection under federal anti-discrimination laws

Erskine College’s Sexuality Statement Jolts Its Openly Gay Athletes
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/4/15
It has been a year since Juan Varona and Andrew Davis, volleyball teammates at Erskine College, a conservative Christian school, came out as gay in an interview with

During that time, Mr. Varona said, he has been embraced by teammates, coaches, teachers and fellow students. The president of Erskine’s student government association called Mr. Varona and Mr. Davis “some of the most-liked guys on campus” at the rural liberal arts school of about 600 undergraduates, founded 176 yea

Gay Rights Groups Find Unlikely Ally in Georgia Fight
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/4/15
Former Attorney General Michael J. Bowers of Georgia has already earned an enduring — his critics would say notorious — place in gay rights history.

As the state’s chief lawyer in the 1980s, he vigorously defended its anti-sodomy law. It is his name that graces Bowers v. Hardwick, the 1986 Supreme Court decision that upheld such laws nationwide and, to many, gave cover for other kinds of discrimination against gays and lesbians until the court reversed course in 2003.

In recent days, howev

New York Fire Dept., Diversifying Ranks, Is Set to Swear In First Lesbian Chaplain
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/2/15
Maybe it is her short, spiky hair, or the cigarettes, which she gives to the men repairing the wiring in her Brooklyn apartment. Maybe it is because she swears. For whatever reason, the Rev. Ann Kansfield does not fit the stereotype of a minister.

Not that she is worried about meeting anyone’s expectations for what a clergywoman should say or do.

“We shouldn’t have to hide ourselves or worry about being judged,” Ms. Kansfield, who ministers at the Greenpoint Reformed Church, said.

In he

Marching in One St. Patrick’s Parade, de Blasio Spurns Another
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/1/15
There were shamrock ears, bagpipers and green top hats, and more than a little politics on display Sunday at a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Sunnyside, Queens, that emphasized a message of inclusiveness as it moved down Skillman Avenue.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who provoked the Irish when he skipped New York City’s marquee parade on Fifth Avenue last year because of the organizer’s policy against displays of gay pride, strode through the snowfall at the smaller parade alongside rainbow banners and

Fresh Challenge to Gay Marriage Increases Confusion in Alabama
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/18/15
Though most county probate judges in Alabama are now issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the fight over the matter continues to simmer in state and federal courts, fueled by two conservative groups that have asked the state’s Supreme Court to halt the practice.

The groups’ emergency petition, which was filed on Feb. 11 as some counties began allowing gay couples to marry, has raised a host of new legal questions and prompted lawyers for same-sex couples to file a federal motion dem

Lesley Gore, Teenage Voice of Heartbreak, Dies at 68
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/16/15
Lesley Gore, who was a teenager in the 1960s when she recorded hit songs about heartbreak and resilience that went on to become feminist touchstones, died on Monday in Manhattan. She was 68.

Lois Sasson, her partner of 33 years, said Ms. Gore died of lung cancer at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

With songs like “It’s My Party,” “Judy’s Turn to Cry” and the indelibly defiant 1964 single “You Don’t Own Me” — all recorded before she was 18 — Ms. Gore made herself the voice of teenage girls ag

Selling Cure for Being Gay Found Illegal in New Jersey
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/13/15
The plaintiffs described the methods used by the counseling group in Jersey City from which they had sought help: One of them, a young man hoping to overcome his attraction to other men, said he had been told to grab a tennis racket, scream and beat an effigy of his mother as if killing her.

This week, in a lawsuit brought against the counseling group by that man and three others, a State Superior Court judge in Hudson County, N.J., ruled that counselors selling so-called conversion therapy w

Tokyo Ward Plans to Extend Rights of Gay Couples
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/12/15
A district in Tokyo plans to give same-sex couples the same legal rights as married opposite-sex spouses, becoming the first local government in Japan to do so at a time when gay marriage is a hot-button issue in many countries.

On Thursday, Shibuya ward in central Tokyo unveiled a draft of the new statute, which it said would be put to a vote in the ward’s assembly next month. If approved as expected, same-sex couples will be able to start applying for “proof of partnership” certificates beg