In the News

Methodist Bishop to End Trials for Ministers Who Perform Gay Weddings
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/10/14
The head bishop of the United Methodist Church in New York on Monday committed to ending church trials in his region for ministers who perform same sex-marriages, essentially freeing them to conduct a ceremony still prohibited under his denomination’s laws.

As the first sitting United Methodist bishop to publicly make such a pledge, Bishop Martin D. McLee instantly became a leading figure in a decades-old movement within the United Methodist Church, the country’s second-largest Protestant den


Gay group invited to march in St. Patrick’s Day parade with a caveat
source: Boston.com/The Boston Globe
posted: 2/28/14
Organizers of South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade are inviting a statewide gay advocacy group to march, a significant first that could silence a controversy that has festered for two decades and cast a cloud over one of the city’s signature events.

But the invitation, brokered by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, includes an important caveat: The group, MassEquality, could not wear T-shirts or hold signs that include the word “gay” or refer to sexual orientation.

“They can march under the Mas


Arizona Governor Praised for Veto of Antigay Bill
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/27/14
After her veto on Wednesday of a controversial bill that would have let business owners use religion as a pretext to refuse service to gay men, lesbians and other people, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona, a Republican, earned praise from national political figures on both sides of the aisle, including the unlikely combination of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic former secretary of state, and John McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona.

“Inclusive leadership is really what the 21st centur


U.S. Judge Strikes Down Texas Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/26/14
A federal judge in Texas struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, ruling that the laws restricting marriage to a man and a woman violated the United States Constitution, handing gay-rights advocates a major legal victory in one of the nation’s biggest and most conservative states.

The judge wrote that the amendment to the state Constitution that Texas voters approved in 2005 defining marriage as between a man and a woman — and two similar laws passed in 1997 and 2003 — d


Holder Sees Way to Curb Bans on Gay Marriage
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/24/14
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Monday injected the Obama administration into the emotional and politicized debate over the future of state same-sex marriage bans, declaring in an interview that state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws that they believe are discriminatory.

Mr. Holder was careful not to encourage his state counterparts to disavow their own laws, but said that officials who have carefully studied bans on gay marriage could refuse to defend them.

Six st


Jason Collins, First Openly Gay N.B.A. Player, Signs With Nets and Appears in Game
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/23/14
Jason Collins, a 35-year-old center, signed a 10-day contract with the Nets on Sunday afternoon and played against the Lakers hours later, appearing in an N.B.A. uniform for the first time since last spring, when he announced that he was gay.

The signing represents a significant step toward transforming North American professional sports into a more welcoming environment for gay athletes. Until Sunday night, no N.B.A. game had taken place with an openly gay player on the floor. The N.F.L., Ma


N.F.L. Prospect Michael Sam Proudly Says What Teammates Knew: He’s Gay
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/9/14
Coaches at the University of Missouri divided players into small groups at a preseason football practice last year for a team-building exercise. One by one, players were asked to talk about themselves — where they grew up, why they chose Missouri and what others might not know about them.

As Michael Sam, a defensive lineman, began to speak, he balled up a piece of paper in his hands. “I’m gay,” he said. With that, Mr. Sam set himself on a path to become the first publicly gay player in the Na


More Federal Privileges to Extend to Same-Sex Couples
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/9/14
The federal government will soon treat married same-sex couples the same as heterosexual couples when they file for bankruptcy, testify in court or visit family in prison.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. was preparing to issue policies aimed at eliminating the distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex married couples in the federal criminal justice system, according to a speech given at a Saturday event organized by a prominent gay-rights group.

“In every courthouse, in every proce


Victory, and Tax Changes, for Same-Sex Couples
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/7/14
Erin E. Miller and her wife may have to pay more income tax this year, but they aren’t about to protest. Quite the opposite.

They are delighted.

The change in their tax situation results from the Supreme Court’s landmark June decision, in United States v. Windsor, which declared that the Defense of Marriage Act violated the Constitution. The ruling expands the rights of gay couples, but one consequence is that some couples will pay higher taxes.

“I don’t care,” said Ms. Miller, a softwa


Idaho: Gay Rights Activists Are Arrested
source: The New York Times
posted: 2/4/14
The police arrested dozens of gay rights activists on Monday after a protest that blocked entrances to the Idaho Senate chambers in Boise for more than two hours. The Idaho State Police said they took 43 people into custody on suspicion of misdemeanor trespassing. Former State Senator Nicole LeFavour, the Idaho Legislature’s first openly gay lawmaker and an organizer of the protest, was among those arrested. Before the demonstration, she had said the group would block the entrances until lawmake