In the News

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


Among Gay C.E.O.s, the Pressure to Conform
source: The New York Times
posted: 6/27/14
In 2007, John Browne, Lord Browne of Madingley, resigned as chief executive of the British oil giant BP after being outed as gay by the tabloid The Mail on Sunday: “The True story about Lord Browne — by ex-rent boy lover.”

Mr. Browne said then, “I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter,” tacitly confirming that he was gay.

Now, he has written a candid and unsparing book about his tortured life as a closeted gay chief executive, “The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out Is Good for


United Church of Christ Joins Sponsors of Gay Games
source: The New York Times
posted: 6/25/14
A PROTESTANT denomination known for its longtime support of religious diversity and inclusion has agreed to become a sponsor of the 2014 edition of the Gay Games, to be held in northeast Ohio from Aug. 9 to 16.

The denomination, the United Church of Christ, has its headquarters in Cleveland, which, along with Akron, is one of two cities that will play host to the more than 35 sporting and cultural events scheduled to be part of Gay Games 9. Geography, however, is only one reason the church ag


Appeals Court Rejects Utah’s Ban on Gay Marriage, Prodding Supreme Court
source: The New York Times
posted: 6/25/14
Expanding a streak of legal victories for same-sex marriage, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday that states may not deny same-sex couples their “fundamental right” to marry, overturning Utah’s voter-approved ban on such unions.

Advocates for same-sex marriage hailed the 2-1 decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit here in Denver as a historic win. It had special resonance because it sprang from a legal challenge that brought jubilant scenes of gay nuptials t


Methodist Panel Reinstates Defrocked Pastor
source: The New York Times
posted: 6/24/14
A onetime Methodist pastor who was stripped of his clerical credentials because he presided at the wedding of his gay son is being reinstated, a startling reversal for a large Protestant denomination that, like many, is riven by divisions over same-sex relationships.

A United Methodist Church appeals committee — a nine-member panel made up of laypeople and clergy — said Tuesday that it had decided to overturn the punishment of Frank Schaefer, who with three gay children and a determination to


Bill Clinton Adds Voice to Wife’s Support of Gay Rights
source: The New York Times
posted: 6/23/14
Former President Bill Clinton, in a video message to be broadcast this week, says he was “honored and grateful to be among the voices urging” the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act, the measure he signed into law in 1996 that barred federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

Mr. Clinton’s remarks will be included in a special program to honor gay rights activists that will be shown on Thursday on Logo TV, a cable channel aimed at gay and lesbian viewers. The special, called “Trailblaz


Finally, an Executive Order on LGBT Workplace Discrimination
source: The New York Times
posted: 6/17/14
Workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity “needs to stop,” President Obama said last November, “because in the United States of America, who you are and who you love should never be a fireable offense.” But November came and went, as did 2013, and the first quarter of 2014, without the president heeding the rising calls for executive action.

Finally, on Monday, a White House official disclosed that Mr. Obama is prepared to issue an order barring federal contracto