Topeka, KS - Ex-Klansman‚Äôs Gay Son Challenges Conservative House Democrat ‚Äď 4.26
Openly gay Erich Bishop, 28, told gay rights advocates that his father was a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, saying, ‚ÄúTo call my household as a child racist and homophobic would be an understatement. My father rightly faced opposition from people like you.‚ÄĚ Bishop spoke against a bill that gay activists worry will sanction discrimination against LGBTQs under the guise of religious freedom. He also announced he is challenging one of the chief proponents of the bill, House Democratic Representative Jan Pauls.
Pauls, a lawyer who has been in the Legislature for 20 years, has been as rightwing as any of her Republican colleagues on social issues. SB 142 seeks to prevent government from burdening an individual‚Äôs exercise of religion unless there is a compelling governmental interest. Proponents like Pauls and Republican Lance Kinzer argue it is about ensuring religious freedom. But Thomas Witt of the Kansas Equality Coalition said the bill is about undermining local ordinances, such as one in Lawrence prohibiting landlords and businesses from discriminating based on sexual orientation. Kinzer exemplified a wedding photographer sued for refusing to take pictures of a same-sex wedding. Pauls earlier spoke against removing an anti-sodomy law from the state‚Äôs books.
Source: Topeka Capital-Journal
Center City, PA - Pennsylvania to Get First Openly Gay State Legislator, and It‚Äôs About Time! ‚Äď 4.26
Brian Sims, a 33-year-old lawyer, is defeating Center City‚Äôs longtime representative in the state House, making him the first openly-gay state lawmaker in Pennsylvania. Sims has a 233-vote lead over his fellow Democratic opponent Babette Josephs, with 51.6 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns. Sims served as Josephs‚Äô campaign treasurer when she won reelection two years ago. He will be unopposed in November unless an independent candidate gets into the race.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs because of the work Babette has done over the years that I was able to run and win in a district like this,‚ÄĚ Sims said. ‚ÄúThe campaign was about ideas and who could do the best job going forward; not a referendum on the past 27 years.‚ÄĚ
Josephs, 71, has been a strong advocate for liberal and progressive causes since she was first elected to the House in 1984, representing Center City and some neighborhoods in South Philly. Sims, who is also a motivational speaker, had said during the campaign that he was willing to ‚Äúwork across the aisle‚ÄĚ with Republicans who control the state House and the state Senate, as well as the governor‚Äôs office.
Boulder, CO ‚Äď Civil Rights Bill Could Pass, Unless Bible Says No ‚Äď 4.27
Gay civil unions passed the Colorado Senate after senators recited Bible verses, passages of Shakespeare and even a section of military law.
Senator Rollie Heath revealed his job in the Army was to sign off on discharge forms dismissing military members who were gay. But Heath later became a passionate supporter of gay rights. All 20 Democrats plus the three women in the GOP caucus supported the measure by Democrat Senator Pat Steadman, who is gay. The 12 men in the GOP caucus voted against. It will have a tough time in the House: Republicans holding a 33-32 majority.
Regarding Amendment 2 of ‚Äô92, Democrat Senator Ellen Roberts said, ‚ÄúI could not believe that in this great, generous, free-spirited state of mine ‚Ä¶ we had just passed a constitutional amendment that denied gay people basic rights and liberties.‚ÄĚ Republican Scott Renfroe preached, ‚ÄúI truly believe Jesus is a better answer than Senate Bill 2. Adopting laws that change our definition of morality will tear at the fabric of society.‚ÄĚ Democrat Mike Johnston countered, ‚ÄúFor me, the great mystery of the Lord is ‚Ä¶ unconditional love. It is as simple as John 4:8, ‚ÄėGod is love.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
Boston, MA ‚Äď Barney Is Quite Frank with His Opinions of Gov. Romney ‚Äď 4.26
Openly gay Congressman Barney Frank made it clear how he feels about Mitt Romney, calling the presidential candidate‚Äôs politics ‚Äúdespicable.‚ÄĚ After a National Stonewall Democrats event, Frank said that Romney‚Äôs recent remarks about marriage equality (that he was proud that he prevented Massachusetts from ‚Äúbecoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage‚ÄĚ) while that state‚Äôs governor, downplay the importance of same-sex love.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs saying our marriages were a trick, were a sham,‚ÄĚ Frank said. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs clearly prepared to embrace the most ‚ÄĒ oh, and supporting a constitutional amendment. What that says is that existing marriages are abolished. That‚Äôs just outrageous.‚ÄĚ
Frank also accuses Romney of ‚Äúlying‚ÄĚ when he says he opposes discrimination, arguing, ‚ÄúHow does he oppose discrimination? He‚Äôs not for any legislation that would make it illegal. So how does he oppose it? He is for a discrimination that would dissolve all the existing marriages.
So what does that mean when he says that?‚ÄĚ Frank also insists the prez wannabe deserves no praise for hiring openly gay former UN ambassador Richard Grenell as his foreign policy spokesman. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre beyond giving people credit for not overtly discriminating,‚ÄĚ the congressman curtly countered.
Source: Washington Blade
New York, NY ‚Äď Dr. Spitzer: Loved Him; Hated Him; Love Him Again ‚Äď 4.28
Dr. Robert Spitzer, a psychiatrist who published a controversial 2001 study suggesting that in some instances gays could change their sexual orientation, has now retracted those claims. He had led the effort to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973 in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. In 2007, Spitzer said he was uncomfortable with groups like Focus on the Family and other homophobes who misused his study [to ultimately make queers second-class citizens and deny them rights, as in Prop H8].
Spitzer was drawn to the topic of ex-gay therapy because it was controversial, but was troubled by how the study was used. ‚ÄúI believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúThe findings can be considered evidence for what those who have undergone ex-gay therapy say about it, but nothing more.‚ÄĚ The editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior refused to accept Spitzer‚Äôs retraction. Spitzer said he was proud of having been instrumental in removing homosexuality from the list of mental disorders and was afraid the 2001 study would tarnish his legacy and perhaps hurt others. He emphasized ex-gay therapy ‚Äúcan be quite harmful.‚ÄĚ
Source: American Prospect and MSNBC news