Row breaks out over "homophobic" Tory's promotion
Ben Townley, Gay.com UK
Conservative Kent County Council leader Sandy Bruce Lockhart has been promoted to chief of the country's local governments, despite him being at the centre of a row over the "son of Section 28" legislation.
Bruce Lockhart will now become the chair of the Local Government Association (LGA), and will have the power to oversee local governments across the country.
The news shocked gay rights groups who had accused the council leader of homophobia after he maintained similar legislation to Section 28, despite it being repealed in parliament.
He was given the promotion after the results from this month's local elections were counted, and it emerged that the Tories were the largest single party. This allowed the party to elect a new chair and replace Labour's Sir Jeremy Beecham, who had held his place for the past 9 years.
Concert cancelled in lyrics row
Beenie Man is one of the world's biggest dancehall stars
A concert by a Jamaican dancehall star was cancelled after complaints it might provoke violence towards gay men.
Police spoke to Beenie Man after a complaint that some of his songs contain "lyrics that are an incitement to homophobic murder and violence".
The performer, real name Anthony Davis, was due to appear at the Ocean club in Hackney, east London on Thursday night.
The club said it was cancelled due to "concerns for public safety" and after talks with Scotland Yard officers.
The performer was not arrested or spoken to under caution and Scotland Yard said it did not ask for the concert to be cancelled.
"Gay Folks Live Where Black Folks Live"
By Carla Thompson
When Jasmyne Cannick hears the comment, "go to back to West Hollywood where you belong," it makes her blood boil. Cannick, a board member for the National Black Justice Coalition, an ad hoc social justice organization formed around the issue of gay marriage, says she's not going anywhere — especially to the white gay enclave some fellow black activists suggest she check out.
Cannick says her goal, first and foremost, is to empower the black community, gay and straight. "That's not my culture and those aren't my people," says Cannick. "Before anything, I am black, everything else comes after that. First you see black. They don't know if I am gay if I don't disclose this info.
"Gay folks live where black folks live," Cannick continues. "We're black and we have all the same issues as African Americans. Many are struggling to survive and make it like every other African-American out there."
Her partner Azaan Kamau agrees. Editor of Gay Black Female magazine, Kamau lives in Ingelwood, where she says she wakes up to old people jogging and blue-haired ladies walking their poodles. She thrives on this part of Los Angeles County, where she describes a kind of neighborliness that anybody would thrive on. She says she thinks most of her neighbors know she's a lesbian, but it's not something they discuss.
Gays plan protest march to Delegate Marshall's house
By CHRIS NEWMAN
News & Messenger
Cindy Allan grew up in Dale City, her lesbian identity not accepted by her church and community.
She left the county, away from its conservative culture, to live in Alexandria.
She's returning Saturday to march with her mom and others on Delegate Robert G. Marshall's house to protest a law he sponsored they say could make Virginia the most restrictive state in the country for gays.
"I remember growing up there. It's very difficult to get people to come out," Allan said of Prince William. "But now, this bill has set off people. This is too much to risk, to let this go by. It's time to speak."
More firms adopt gay-friendly policies
BY SALLY DUROS
As Sunday's Gay Pride Parade approaches, coming out is becoming very in -- especially in executive offices.
While President Bush adds fuel to the political firestorm that is same-sex marriage, the most successful members of the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered community -- LGBT for short -- are stepping up and out, taking a stand for their equal rights.
Standing alongside the LGBT execs are an unprecedented number of corporations embracing "inclusion" in their human resources departments through nondiscrimination policies covering sexual orientation and gender identity, domestic partner health insurance benefits, and other policies relevant to gays and lesbians.
During June, Gay Pride month, eight companies with large employment in Chicago -- Accenture, Bank One, CNA, Deloitte, Exelon, Harris Bank, LaSalle Bank and Quaker Oats -- are co-sponsoring a series of events promoting inclusive work environments. Their partner in the venture is the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, an LGBT activist group.
Fulton County issues first-ever Pride proclamation
Atlanta City Council misses proclamation deadline, but extends bar hours
By CHRISTOPHER SEELY
Nearly 30 years after former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson issued the city’s first “Gay Pride Day” proclamation, the Fulton County Commission caught up, drafting its first-ever proclamation this year.
“It seems appropriate for us to blend our support for the issues and the people,” said Commis-sioner Nancy Boxill, who presented the proclamation on June 16 to members of the Fulton County Alliance of County Employees for Equality.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta City Council, which has consistently issued proclamations at Pride for the past several years, contacted the Atlanta Pride Committee too late this year to present its proclamation on stage during Pride festivities.
“It’s like that old adage, ‘It’s the thought that counts,’” said Donna Narducci, executive director of the Atlanta Pride Committee. “We appreciate the thought and had we been contacted earlier, we could have made accommodations.”
Castro bar discrimination charges expand
By Jo Stanley | Staff Writer
A Castro District bar owner, who faced charges earlier this month that he mistreated some black customers, has also been accused of gender discrimination, leading some city leaders to question his proposal to purchase a local business that serves the black community.
Don Romesberg and John Newsome began a public campaign in June against alleged discrimination at Badlands and Detour bars, which are both owned by Les Natali.
The two men filed complaints with The City's Human Rights Commission and the state Alcoholic
Beverage Control Department based on reports that black men were being discouraged from entering the bars or ignored if they did get inside. Romesberg and Newsome have since heard complaints from other non-white men as well as many women who claim they were also not welcome at the clubs.
Judge Petitioned To End New Paltz Gay Weddings
by The Associated Press
(Kingston, New York) A judge was asked Thursday to invalidate roughly 180 gay marriages performed in New Paltz this year and bar any village official from performing more same-sex unions.
The lawsuit from the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel is the broadest legal challenge yet to same-sex weddings that have been performed in New Paltz since Village Mayor Jason West first officiated over marriages on Feb. 27.
The group has successfully argued for an injunction keeping West from performing more weddings, inspiring other officials and ministers to take his place. Last weekend, village board member Julia Walsh joined a group of ministers in marrying 19 same-sex couples. Another board member, Rebecca Rotzler, married gay couples a week ago.
Besides West and the village, the Liberty Counsel suit asks the judge to bar Walsh, Rotzler and their fellow board member, Michael Zierler, from performing gay weddings. The suit also asks Supreme Court Judge Michael Kavanagh to declare invalid the appointment of Rotzler and Walsh as marriage officers.
FG call for gay couples' rights stops short of marriage
From:The Irish Independent
FINE Gael has published proposals which would allow same-sex cohabiting couples to formally register their relationship, but the party has stopped short of calling for gay marriages.
The party's Civil Partnership policy would also extend the same rights to heterosexual couples who have decided to remain unmarried. The proposals would allow these couples to avail of a number of rights, including succession, social welfare, pensions, tax and property.
Senator Sheila Terry, the party's equality spokeswoman, said the policy was not gay marriage and did not represent an attack on the traditional family model.
"Our policy document clearly states marriage will remain the choice of the majority and we have no wish to alter that."
Rape new weapon against South African lesbians
Keba Sebetoane's distress is evident as she describes her rape by a man she had considered a friend simply because, as a lesbian, she challenged traditional sexual roles.
"(If) I said 'no', I get beaten. (If) I say 'yes', I get raped...defenceless, I kept quiet and then it happened," said the 17-year-old at her home in Kagiso, a poor Johannesburg township.
South Africa's pro-gay laws are unprecedented on a continent where many regard homosexuality as an un-African taboo. But activists say legislation is not protecting those like Sebetoane, who pay for their freedom at the hands of male rapists.
While hate crimes, or "gay bashing", are common in all societies, researchers say rape seems more prevalent in South Africa.
12 Hispanic members of Congress go on record against FMA
Twelve Hispanic members of Congress members have signed a letter to President Bush expressing their strong opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment as well as "any other proposed amendments which attempt to achieve the same discriminatory objective." The letter also urges the president to reconsider his support of the discriminatory amendment initiative. "The Constitution and its subsequent amendments were designed to protect and expand individual liberties," the statement reads.
"Throughout our history and under the guiding principle of equal protection, the Constitution has been used to protect and expand individual liberties," said Rep. Charlie Gonzalez of Texas. "Establishing a federal standard defining marriage is unnecessary and restrictive to states, but more important, it would incorporate into the Constitution the restriction of rights for an entire class of people. If that were to happen, it would establish a constitutional precedent upon which to justify discrimination and exclusion of others."
Those who signed on to the letter so far are Charlie A. Gonzalez of Texas; Xavier Becerra, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Grace Napolitano, Linda Sanchez, Loretta Sanchez, and Hilda Solis of California; Nydia M. Velazquez and José E. Serrano of New York; Ed Pastor and Raul Grijalva of Arizona; and Luis Gutierrez of Illinois.
LLEGO, the National Latina/o LGBT Organization, has urged prominent Latinos to take a stand against the Federal Marriage Amendment. Last month representatives from the National Council of La Raza, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement announced their opposition at a LLEGO organized press conference.