42 States Receive Failing Grades in Inaugural GLSEN Safe Schools Report; 2004 State of the States Report is 1st Objective Analysis of Statewide Safe Schools Policies
WASHINGTON, -- The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, today announced the release of the 2004 State of the States report. The report summarizes state laws that affect school environments and school safety for all students, particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students. The report represents the first systematic measurement and comprehensive analysis of statewide policy to ensure the safety of all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Forty-two states received failing grades, or grades of "F", in the report. New Jersey was ranked first with a score of 95 and is one of only two "A"s on the list. Mississippi was at the bottom of the list, and the only state with less than zero points, with a score of -3. A complete breakdown of all grades, including a ranking of states, is attached and also available by visiting http://www.glsen.org.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia were given letter grades based on points granted in six categories, including existence of statewide safe schools laws, statewide non- discrimination laws, support for education on sexual health and sexuality, local safe schools policies, general education issues (e.g. student/teacher ratios, graduation rates) and existence of laws that stigmatize LGBT people.
Lords' amendment "reopens the gay marriage debate", activists say
Ben Townley, Gay.com UK
The House of Lords decision to adopt an amendment that would extend the Civil Partnerships bill from recognising lesbian and gay relationships to also marking carers and siblings has been backed by a coalition of gay activists.
Additionally The Coalition for Marriage Equality (CFME), along with the Gay Conservatives group, has slammed protests over the amendment, which many believe would make the bill unworkable.
The amendment, drawn up and supported by senior Conservative peers, would move the bill from only recognising same-sex partnerships, to also recognising other partnerships between disabled patients and carers, as well as brothers and sisters that lived in the same property.
It was backed in the House of Lords by a vote of 148-130. The immediate reaction from mainstream groups such as Stonewall was dismay.
Ruslan Sharipov released on probation
A district court in Khamzincki, Tashkent sentenced journalist Ruslan Sharipov to two years community service in the central town of Bukhara, at the end of a secret trial.
Reporters Without Borders condemned "the serious violation of the right to defence during this farce of a trial", in a letter to President Islam Karimov.
The court on 23 June ordered Sharipov to serve the rest of his sentence in Bukhara, 600 kms from the capital, and where he has no family. He was sentenced to community service and to pay one quarter of his salary to the government. He cannot leave the city without prior police permission.
The case was heard behind closed doors and in the absence of his lawyers. None of his family was notified in advance. Sharipov was transferred to Bukhara on 25 June.
Gays plan to protest same-sex measure
Groups will rally at noon at Rotunda to express views
BY DIANA FISHLOCK
Of The Patriot-News
Ginny Rogers wanted Rep. Jerry Birmelin to see her family's faces.
Birmelin, R-Wayne, is sponsoring a measure that would ban Pennsylvania counties and towns from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
"I decided he needs to meet with us. He needs to hear my story," said Rogers, 36, who's been with her partner, Josie Byzek, 37, for 16 years.
In March, Rogers showed Birmelin a photo of their union in 1998 and a story her daughter, Dawn, had written in first grade. Rogers worried how Dawn would handle the assignment to write about her family, but she wrote: "Me and Josie and my mom love each other."
"I wanted him to see that if a small child could define family so easily, why are adults making it so difficult?" the Lancaster woman asked.
Couples applaud OU domestic partner benefits vote
By Nick Claussen
Athens NEWS Associate Editor
On Thursday, Jonathan Leal had questions about how long he wanted to live and run his business in Athens, and Susan Burgess felt she wasn't being treated equally compared to other Ohio University employees.
On Friday, however, outgoing OU President Robert Glidden announced during the OU Board of Trustees meeting that the university will extend benefits to domestic partners, meaning that gay and lesbian couples are now eligible to receive all the benefits married "straight" couples can receive from OU.
Straight Couple Sues Over Gay Marriage Ban
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(Portland, Oregon) A straight couple refused a marriage license is suing Benton, County over its refusal to issue any licenses until the state allows it to provide the same service to gay couples.
Orin Nusbaum and Amanda Fanger in their suit claim that Benton County Clerk James Morales is violating state law by not issuing licenses to heterosexual couples.
"It's a matter of principle," Nusbaum told KOIN television. "We felt that somebody should step up to the plate."
Benton County in March became the second area in Oregon to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But, after Multnomah County was ordered by a judge to stop the practice, Benton followed suit. In announcing its decision, Benton Commissioners said they would also refuse to issue licenses to straight couples.
Manure Tossed on Ark. Gay Parade Route
Gay Pride Parade Goes on in Arkansas Town Despite Protests, Dumping of Manure on Route
The Associated Press
CONWAY, Ark. — Organizers of a gay pride parade awoke to find the parade route covered in cow manure, but it was cleaned up in time for the event.
Police said the dump-truck load was spread at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday. Authorities are investigating, they said, and criminal mischief and littering charges could be filed.
City workers scooped and rinsed the manure from the route.
The parade attracted about 275 marchers in the town of 26,000 north of Little Rock. It also attracted protesters, many from local churches. Police said there were no injuries or arrests.
"We want to let people know that gay people don't just live in cities," parade organizer John Schenck said. "They live in little towns like Conway and Greenbrier." The street in front of the home of Schenck and his partner, Robert Loyd, also was vandalized with the manure.