HRC taps Prop 8 champion to replace outgoing president, state asks judges if they’re gay, principal threatens gay students, Ken Mehlman still apologizing, “Awake” pits gay vs. lesbian, Mississippi rallies without squashed march, and more LGBT headlines.
• Mississippi LGBT rally happens despite police shut-down of march. Citing safety concerns, police unexpectedly stopped a planned march on the state capitol on Thursday. Reportedly, they also told those gathered that gays have no legal rights in the state. Organizers rallied at the statehouse (top photo) without the preceding march.
• Tennessee principal resigns after threatening gay students. The ACLU and HRC came down hard on Dorothy Bond of Haywood High School after saying that she would expel students who display same-sex affection, adding that they are “not on God’s path” “going to hell” and “ruining their lives.” Bond quit on Thursday, and the school board apologized.
• HRC names Chad Griffin as new president. Griffin (middle photo), a key strategist in the effort to overturn California’s Prop 8 ban on marriage between gay couples and former aide to President Bill Clinton, takes the helm of the gay rights organization as Joe Solmonese steps down and takes one of 15 co-chair spots on the Obama re-election campaign.
• State to California judges: Are you gay? In a move to track its diversity, a new law seeks to “promote and increase the representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the state’s judicial branch.” Worried about outing public figures? Judges don’t have to answer the question. Of course, if they do say it, they may have to defend their standing like now-retired gay Prop 8 Judge Vaughn Walker.
• Ken Mehlman still regrets role against marriage equality under Bush. The former GOP presidential advisor and campaign manager who came out as gay after his tenure continues to attempt amends for exploiting gay marriage for political gain.
• SAGE Center for gay elders opens in New York. The country’s first community center for aging LGBTs threw its grand opening fandango on Thursday.
• “Awake” pits gay vs. lesbian actors’ against each other. In the NBC show about a man who can’t tell waking life from the dream world, “Oz” and “Law & Order” alum B.D. Wong (bottom photo, left) plays his psychiatrist in one life, and award-winning actress Cherry Jones (right) is his counselor in another. Tune in Mondays to see which one “actually exists.”
• Rutgers spy-cam trial: Defendant “uncomfortable” with gay roommate. A friend of Dharun Ravi also testified that Ravi bragged about setting up a webcam on roommate Tyler Clementi a second time after the incident in which he caught Clementi in a makeout session with another man.
Rally photo from WLBT; Griffin photo via Advocate; Wong-Cherry photos from NBC