Come Out. Speak Out. Vote.
National Coming Out Day is October 11th
By Josh Aterovis
"Come Out. Speak Out. Vote." That's the theme for this year's National Coming Out Day, sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The purpose of this year's theme is not only to encouraging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans to come out, but to also talk to their families and friends about their lives—and perhaps most importantly this year, participate in the election process.
National Coming Out Day began in 1988, and is celebrated every October 11 to mark the anniversary of the 1987 March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Equality. The first National Coming Out Day was celebrated with events in eighteen states, and national media attention including The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, USA Today and National Public Radio. By 1990, it had expanded to all 50 states. The celebration gathered momentum with each year, and in 1993, HRC, then the Human Rights Campaign Fund, merged with the growing movement. Since then, the event has exploded onto the international scene, featuring numerous celebrities and well-known LGBT persons as its spokespeople.
New conference to focus on LGBs within ethnic minorities
Ben Townley, Gay.com UK
A conference looking into how lesbian and gay people in ethnic minorities are treated and protected from homophobia is set to take place next year.
Organised by the Nottingham Lesbian and Gay switchboard, the two-part conference is expected to target both black and ethnic minority people within the LGB community, as well as the groups and organisations that offer a support network for them.
The first part will have a national focus on the issues, while the second part will be targeted at a more local region.
Organisers say the conference comes after the issue of ethnic diversity within the LGB community is continually overlooked.
Scotland to consider hate crimes review
Ben Townley, Gay.com UK
The Scottish parliament is considering whether to extend hate crime legislation to gay and transgender people, after an advisory group recommended the change.
The call for change comes since Scottish hate crime law does not protect lesbian and gay people as broadly as the rest of the country.
The Working Group on Hate Crime is set to report to the Scottish Executive that change is necessary to ensure gay people feel more protected. Disabled people are also included in the proposed changes.
The group also says campaigns targeting discrimination should be rolled out across the country, while young people's prejudices should also be targeted at schools.
Gay opponents try to undermine courts
By Deb Price / The Detroit News
In 1954, in the wake of the Supreme Court's breakthrough Brown v. Board decision declaring racially segregated public schools unconstitutional, outraged lawmakers scoffed at obeying the ruling.
"A court decree is worthless unless it is supported by public opinion. The South will not abide by nor obey this legislative decision by a political court," fumed Sen. James Eastland of Mississippi, who proposed amending the Constitution so only states could regulate education.
Rep. Mendel Rivers of South Carolina called the Supreme Court "a greater threat" than "Soviet Russia."
In that stormy time, a blizzard of bills unsuccessfully sought to cripple the Supreme Court by abolishing life tenure for justices, forcing them to run for office or limiting what they could declare unconstitutional, notes an eye-popping report by the Justice at Stake Campaign. ">Krafty
EU's rights chief urged to quit over view on gays
From Anthony Browne, Brussels Correspondent
THE Italian politician chosen as the EU’s justice and civil rights chief will be asked today by the European Parliament to stand aside even before taking up his post after causing outrage with his views on homosexuals and women.
Rocco Buttiglione, a friend of the Pope, infuriated the Parliament when, in his confirmation hearing last week, he said: “I may think that homosexuality is a sin but this has no effect on politics, unless I say that homosexuality is a crime.”
When asked why he was opposed to gay marriages, Signor Buttiglione said that “the family exists to allow women to have children and be protected by their husbands”.
Ulster facing 'gay wedding' storm
By Jonathan McCambridge
A ROW was brewing today over legal recognition for same sex relationships after a Christian organisation accused the Government of trying to "impose gay marriages" on Northern Ireland.
On Tuesday MPs will debate the Civil Partnership bill which extends legal rights and privileges to couples who register a 'civil partnership'.
The Christian Institute said the legislation was "gay marriage in all but name" and said the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland were opposed to it.
But the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association (NIGRA) has welcomed the proposed new legislation and accused the Christian Institute of being "like a dog which returns to its own vomit".
Oregon Gay Couples Worry About Marriage Ban Vote
by Julia Silverman
The Associated Press
(Portland, Oregon) Portland Community College instructor Andy Simon and his partner, novelist Rodger Larson, have loved each other now for almost three decades.
But despite sharing their home, benefits and lives, whenever Simon was filling out a form that asked for his marital status, he had to check the "single" box.
"I was resigned to dying a single man," he said — until March 5, 2004. That's the day Larson and Simon joined what they remember as the "linear party" outside the Multnomah County Courthouse in Portland to get their marriage license.
A day later, witnessed by a small clutch of family and friends gathered in their Portland backyard under a grape arbor, they were married.
Kerry, Jackson tell blacks to ignore gay 'marriage' issue
By Stephen Dinan
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
MIAMI — Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry and civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson told black voters at a church here yesterday that President Bush's support for a constitutional amendment against homosexual "marriage" shouldn't be enough to earn their vote.
Mr. Kerry attended Mass at a Catholic church in North Miami, and then spoke during services at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Miami , as he and several black Democratic leaders tried to rally black voters.
"How many of you — someone from your family — married somebody of the same sex?" Mr. Jackson asked of the congregation of about 500. After nobody raised a hand, he asked, "Then how did that get in the middle of the agenda?"
"If your issues are cancer and Medicare and education and jobs and Social Security and decent housing, then how did someone else put their agenda in the front of the line?" he asked.
Gay bishop dismisses Anglican report
By Julia Duin
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church's first openly homosexual prelate, predicted yesterday that an upcoming report judging the effect that his consecration has had on the world's 70 million Anglicans would not lead to a split.
"I think the communion will be a stronger place for having had this conversation," Bishop Robinson said during a visit to the downtown Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, which attracted 315 persons, three times the normal Sunday-morning attendance. "I think it will stay together."
A number of same-sex couples, he said, identified themselves at the door of the church, where the bishop, dressed in a bright gold and green cape, stood to greet parishioners.