In the News

Darren Manzella, gay soldier who challenged ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ killed in NY car accident
source: The Washington Post
posted: 8/30/13
Darren Manzella, a gay combat medic discharged from the Army after criticizing the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy in a 2007 television interview, has died in a traffic accident in western New York. He was 36.

His aunt, Robin Mahoney, on Friday confirmed his death. Manzella lived in the Chautauqua County town of Portland; he and his partner were married in July.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said Manzella was driving on Interstate 490 in suburban Rochester about 8:30 p.m. Th


Gay marriage advocates shift focus in Illinois, turning to unions, immigrant rights movement
source: The Washington Post
posted: 8/30/13
After their efforts to legalize gay marriage fizzled in Illinois this year, advocates gave their campaign a serious makeover: They called on unions, focused longer-term and recalibrated their message by using personal stories instead of civil rights comparisons.

It’s a formula picked up from their fellow activists who made Chicago an influential player in the push for immigrant rights.

Proponents will try again this fall to push gay marriage legislation through the Illinois Legislature, wh


Walmart's same-sex partner benefits may tip scale
source: SFGate/San Francisco Chronicle
posted: 8/30/13
Walmart's decision to extend health care benefits to workers' same-sex partners has removed one of the biggest holdouts and added pressure on other resistant companies to follow suit.

"You can go to your board, and all of a sudden you're not swimming against the stream as much as you were yesterday," said Wallace Hopp, associate dean of faculty and research at the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business. "You can say, 'Jeez, Walmart does it.' "

Walmart, the largest U.S.


Demand for gay marriage licenses is steady in RI
source: SFGate/San Francisco Chronicle
posted: 8/30/13
The demand for marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples in Rhode Island continues one month after the state's new marriage law took effect.

Clerks in Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket and other cities told The Associated Press on Friday that they've issued dozens of licenses since Aug. 1, the first day same-sex couples could wed in Rhode Island.

Officials in Providence and East Providence are not counting how many licenses they've given to gay and lesbian couples. The new law eliminated ge


Federal Court Backs Calif. Ban On Conversion Therapy For Minors
source: NPR
posted: 8/29/13
California's pioneering law that prohibits treating young gay people with psychotherapy in an attempt to change their sexual orientation has cleared a constitutional challenge in federal appeals court. The in San Francisco ruled that the ban does not violate essential rights.

The law, which was to take effect in January, had been on hold after its opponents won an injunction last December. It bans mental health providers from treating minors with conversion therapy. The injunction against it


I.R.S. to Recognize All Gay Marriages, Regardless of State
source: The New York Times
posted: 8/29/13
All legally married same-sex couples will be recognized for federal tax purposes, regardless of whether the state where they live recognizes the marriage, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday.

The federal rules change is one of many stemming from the landmark Supreme Court decision in June that struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. That ruling found that same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits, but left open the question of how the federal


Judge orders clerk in New Mexico’s largest county to issue gay marriage licenses
source: The Washington Post
posted: 8/26/13
An Albuquerque judge on Monday ordered the clerk of New Mexico’s most populous county to join two other counties in the state in issuing marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples.

The order from State District Judge Alan Malott came in a case involving a lesbian couple who sought an emergency ruling because one of them is dying.

In an unexpected turn, the couple was able to get married Friday after a judge in a separate case ordered the Santa Fe clerk to issue same-sex licenses. Also l


Divide Over Religious Exemptions On Gay Marriage
source: NPR
posted: 8/25/13
The battle over gay marriage is heating up in the states, energizing religious groups that oppose same-sex relationships — but also dividing them.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court gave married gays and heterosexuals equal status under federal law, but did not declare a nationwide right for gays to marry, setting the stage for state-by-state decisions. So faith leaders are forming new coalitions and preparing for the legislative and courtroom battles ahead.

Yet, traditional religious leaders


Blatter awaits Russian answer on anti-gay law
source: Boston.com/The Boston Globe
posted: 8/25/13
FIFA President Sepp Blatter expects a reply within days from Russia, the 2018 World Cup host, clarifying its law prohibiting gay ‘‘propaganda.’’

Blatter told The Associated Press on Sunday that he asked ‘‘by letter and by personal contacts’’ up to Russian President Vladimir Putin for details about legislation that has provoked an international outcry leading to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

‘‘The office of Mr. Putin has promised to me that they will send all these documents in the first days of


Gay Activists In Amsterdam Protest Russian Policy
source: NPR
posted: 8/25/13
More than 2,000 gay rights supporters protested in Amsterdam's largest square Sunday, carrying signs, singing songs and chanting slogans to condemn the Russian government's homosexuality policies.

Demonstrators especially criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin, with performers leading the crowd in cheering "Putin Out!" An enormous blow-up doll caricaturing the president flanked one side of the stage — flexing his muscles, bare-chested, and draped in a rainbow flag.

Protesters said Sun