Gay Service Members Ponder Military Policy
By DIANE SCARPONI
Associated Press Writer
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Brian Hughes served four years with an Army Ranger unit, including assignments in Afghanistan and Iraq, while keeping his homosexuality - a potentially career-ending sexual orientation - secret.
Hughes, 26, left the Army last month in part because of his frustration with the military's ``don't ask, don't tell'' policy, which allows homosexuals to serve so long as they do not disclose their sexual orientation and do not engage in homosexual acts.
Now enrolled at Yale University, Hughes said the policy forced him to lie to other members of his unit, who frequently bragged about their sexual exploits. Hughes said he found himself substituting ``she'' for ``he'' in stories so he could join in conversations.
``It hurt. I was lying to those people,'' he said. ``I eventually withdrew and became quite anti-social because I didn't want to deal with it anymore.'
Gay row singer silenced
CONTROVERSIAL reggae star Buju Banton has had the plug pulled on his appearance in Manchester after two venues refused to allow him to perform.
The Jamaican dancehall icon was due to play at the Bierkeller in Manchester city centre but club owners cancelled the gig after equal rights campaigners threatened to protest outside the venue.
They say that one of Banton's songs called "Boom Bye Bye" speaks of shooting and setting fire to gays.
His promoter Joe Splain tried to switch tomorrow's gig to the Big Western in Moss Side but its owners had a change of heart.
Administration Moves To Remove Gay Protections From Federal Labor Contracts
by Paul Johnson
Washington Bureau Chief
(Washington) The Bush administration has begun working to remove hard won protections for gay and lesbian workers from civil service labor contracts.
In several contracts negotiated over the past few months the list of categories that are protected has been replaced with the more nebulous phrase "any class protected by law." While the change will mean little to African Americans or other minorities, it effectively removes LGBT workers from being protected from being fired or harassed on the job.
"One of the reasons from my perspective is they're doing this because there is no federal law protecting gays," Rob Sadler, a spokesperson for Federal Globe an organization of LGBT federal workers, told 365Gay.com.
The most recent instance is at the Social Security Administration where negotiations are underway for a new contract. SSA is is trying to remove specific language protecting its employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Idaho Supreme Court Rules Against Gay Father
By Hailie Brook
BOISE - The Idaho Supreme Court ruled Tuesday against a gay father trying to get custody of his children.
Theron McGriff of Idaho Falls appealed a lower court ruling denying him visitation of his two children as long as he lived with his gay partner.
McGriff argued he was being held to a higher standard because of his sexuality. Tuesday the high court ruled the children's mother, Shawn Weingartner, is best suited for custody.
The director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho said the decision included both good and bad news. "Idaho's court is now one of the first supreme courts in the nation to acknowledge that sexual orientation by itself can't be a factor in modifying custody," said Jack Van Valkenburgh of the ACLU. "Unfortunately, Theron McGriff was not well served. It mystifies me how the court could let stand the magistrate's decision, while properly stating the applicable law."
'GAY HARASS' CHARGE ROCKS CITY COUNCIL
By STEPHANIE GASKELL and DAVID SEIFMAN
A male aide to Brooklyn City Councilman Vincent Gentile has accused his boss of sexual harassment, rocking a legislative body that is currently grappling with a separate workplace complaint against a Queens councilman.
"Oh, no, we've got our own McGreevey," declared one council member, referring to the gay sex scandal that took down New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey.
In a bombshell revelation, council officials reported yesterday they had received a written sexual-harassment complaint on Monday.
"I can confirm that there is a sexual-harassment complaint filed, but I can't give you any names," said council spokesman David Chai.
GOP lawmakers join defense of gay marriage vote
By Dave Williams
ATLANTA — Six Republican state legislators Monday formally asked to join in defending a lawsuit challenging an upcoming referendum banning gay marriage in Georgia.
The lawmakers, led by Sen. Mike Crotts of Conyers, filed a motion in Fulton County Superior Court to intervene as defendants in a suit filed last week by the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and Lambda Legal, an advocacy group that works on behalf of equal rights for homosexuals.