Category:  News

Teen wins with piece on gay marriage

Morgan Aitken-Young, a senior at Sacred Heart Preparatory School, won first place in a small national contest this summer for writing about a big national issue: gay marriage.

And as the daughter of mothers Katherine Aitken and Kim Young, she knows of what she writes.

The 17-year-old Fremont resident placed first in the first annual Young Voices Foundation Short Story Contest, which drew about 600 entries in two categories, one for grades 3-7 and the other for grades 8-12. First-place winners won $250, and one grand-prize winner won $500.    READ MORE »

Effort against Prop 8 gets new backer

Gay Ohio entrepreneur and political activist Jonathan Lewis issued a challenge of sorts to Los Angeles's entertainment industry Tuesday -- raise $500,000 for No on Prop. 8, and he and his family will match the contributions dollar for dollar. Sources close to the Lewis family say Jonathan became particularly interested in California’s Proposition 8 after Brad Pitt’s $100,000 contribution. Reports that followed suggested a number of key entertainment figures had yet to give.

If passed, Proposition 8 would rescind marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples in California. The constitutional amendment would override the state supreme court’s landmark May 15 ruling deeming California’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.    READ MORE »

Schwarzenegger vetoes Harvey Milk bill

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill honoring slain gay civil rights pioneer Harvey Milk by marking his birthday.

The bill, authored by Assemblymember Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) would have set aside May 22 as Harvey Milk Day, designating it as a ‘day of special significance” in California.

It passed the legislature with little difficulty, but the governor in vetoing the bill said that, while he respected the measure’s intent, he thinks Milk’s “contributions should continue to be recognized at the local level.”

May 22 is Milk’s birth date. He would have been 78 this year.

Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 and shot to death a year later, along with Mayor George Moscone, by fellow supervisor Dan White.

Read the full story from 365gay.com.    READ MORE »

Calif. marriage ban could be tipping point

Gettysburg. Armageddon. The War of the Rings.

Those are some of the superlatives culture warriors on both sides of the same-sex marriage divide are using to convey the urgency surrounding Proposition 8 on the Nov. 4 ballot, which would place a ban on gay marriage in the state Constitution.    READ MORE »

Gay families calling the Bronx home

It is a statistic surprising even to those it describes: Same-sex couples in the Bronx are more likely to have children than those in any other New York City borough, according to a study released last month, and perhaps more than any county in the country.

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Model ‘humiliated’ over pics in gay mag

A cover model for Genre Magazine who claims a series of provocative photos intended for his personal use were reprinted without his permission is suing the magazine after he says he was subjected to unwanted advances and harassment from gay men.

Benjamin Massing appeared on the magazine’s March/April cover in what he considers to be a “cruel and vulgar” shot. Now, according to Queerty.com, he’s suing the magazine and photographer Rick Day for invasion of privacy.    READ MORE »

Matthew Shepard memorial bench unveiled

About 100 people have attended a ceremony at the University of Wyoming dedicating a memorial bench in honor of a gay student who was murdered nearly 10 years ago.

Matthew Shepard died Oct. 12, 1998, five days after he was found brutally beaten and tied to a fence outside Laramie. The two men who killed him are serving life sentences in prison.
The crime triggered nationwide sympathy and revulsion and brought a re-examination of attitudes toward gays.
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Study: States should tap gay adoptions

A study released Thursday by a non-partisan adoption group says that states need to tap into the gay and lesbian community to reduce the number of children up for adoption.

There are about 129,000 children waiting to be adopted, the New York-based Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute said in the report.

Many of these children are older and have special physical, mental health, and developmental challenges.    READ MORE »

Iran’s leader says gays like traffic offenders

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, defended his nation's treatment of its gay citizens on CNN's "Larry King Live" Tuesday night.

Speaking through a translator, Ahmadinejad told King that he was more concerned about the population of Iran as a whole than "a few homosexuals," and that laws against gays are enacted and enforced on the same principle that, for example, traffic laws are.

Ahmadinejad has faced criticism for a speech he made at Columbia University in September of 2007 in which he said that "we don't have homosexuals" in Iran. "In Iran," he said, "we do not have this phenomenon." A spokesman later said that the comments were misinterpreted.

Read the full story from Page One Q.    READ MORE »

Meet man behind Fla. gay adoption case

imageTwo months after the foster child came to live in Wayne LaRue Smith's two-story Key West home, the brown-eyed 5-year-old boy looked up from the kitchen table and, in a plaintive voice, asked what seemed a simple question.

``Will you be my daddy?''

At first, Smith, a foster father who has cared for 33 children in state custody, could not say yes.

Smith, who is openly gay, could raise other people's children. But in Florida, the only state that outright bans all gay people from adopting, he could never adopt a child of his own.

Until now.    READ MORE »

Prop 8 opponents release first TV ad

No on Prop 8 has released its first television spot for the campaign against the anti-gay ballot measure.

Our first TV ad from No On 8. Sam and Julia Thoron offer a heartfelt message about their daughter, Liz, whose right to marry the person she loves will be eliminated if Prop 8 passes.


Watch the video after the jump.    READ MORE »

Top McCain staffer lives in a ‘glass closet’

What does John McCain’s loyal chief of staff – a man who apparently is in a long-term relationship with another man, and appears to be open about it to John McCain -- think about the fact that Sarah Palin devoutly worships at a church that promotes “converting” gays to heterosexuality? What, conversely, does she think of him? More importantly, what does John McCain think about all of this? And don’t we deserve some answers from the American media?    READ MORE »

Pioneering gay activist John Burnside dies

imageJohn Lyon Burnside III, a founder of the Radical Faeries, inventor and longtime partner of the late gay rights pioneer Harry Hay, has died.

Mr. Burnside was one of the few remaining midcentury gay activists, who risked ostracism in the 1960s by protesting the military's exclusion of gays and advocating for gay men to speak up for their rights and explore their spirituality.
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Georgia’s colleges vary on gay issues

imageSouthern Voice provides an interesting look this week into how colleges and universities in the state approach a variety of gay and lesbian issues. The report comes as the gay religious group Soulforce prepares to stop at two local schools during its upcoming Equality Ride.

The paper's comparison also provides some insight into the atmosphere on college campuses in Georgia as a recent report from the Human Rights Campaign recently rated businesses on how well they approach similar issues.

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

Gay and lesbian seniors seek recognition

Bob McCoy is a youthful, active 78-year-old. He sings in his church choir, takes a weekly computer class, and regularly attends social gatherings organized by a gay senior citizens group in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lives. But McCoy worries about a day when he can no longer care for himself: he has no close family, no partner, and he's outlived most of his friends. "I'm used to having friends I can call up and say, 'Let's go to [a movie],'" he says. "But now there's nobody to call."
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Brad Pitt gives big to fight Calif. measure

Brad Pitt announced Wednesday that he's donating $100,000 to fight California's Proposition 8, a November ballot initiative that would eliminate same-sex couples' right to marry.

"Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn't harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8," the actor said in a statement.    READ MORE »

Train engineer in L.A. crash was gay

imageThose who knew Robert M. Sanchez say he was a relentlessly upbeat man with a passion for trains and Italian greyhounds. At the same time, the Metrolink engineer led a solitary life in recent years and was intensely private, sharing little about a past that included tragedy and run-ins with the law.

Sanchez died Friday at the helm of a Metrolink train after apparently failing to stop at a signal near Chatsworth and colliding with an oncoming Union Pacific train. The crash, the worst in modern California history, killed 24 others and injured 135.

Investigators on Tuesday said they had ruled out train and track failure in the accident, and are close to ruling out signal failure. They said they are now focusing on Sanchez and the long days engineers must work, which include lengthy breaks during non-peak hours.    READ MORE »

Ky. court rules against gay adoption

In a harshly worded opinion, the Kentucky Court of Appeals has barred judges from allowing lesbians to adopt as though they are a stepparent.

Ruling 3-0 in a Jefferson County case, the court said that stepparent adoptions are allowed only when the stepmother or father is married to the biological parent, and marriages between gays are forbidden by both statute and Kentucky's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.    READ MORE »

Piedmont finds drilling a tough go

Piedmont Park officials drill and drill. But they are having little success.

The Piedmont Park Conservancy, the non-profit caretakers of the crown jewel of Atlanta's park system, wants to drill to tap underground sources of water. That will, in turn, allow them to irrigate the park and skirt tough city restrictions on outdoor watering. Those rules meant large-scale events including the Atlanta Pride Festival were booted from city parks this year.

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

Bob Costas speaks on Matthew Mitcham

imageBob Costas, NBC’s prime time host for its coverage of the Beijing Olympics, talks about the network’s lackluster coverage of Matthew Mitcham in a wide-ranging interview with AfterElton.com.

In this exclusive interview with AfterElton.com, Bob Costas, NBC Primetime Host for the Beijing Olympics and one of the nation’s most respected sports’ broadcasters, discusses NBC’s omissions in the Mitcham coverage, how and when the sexuality of an athlete may merit mention in sports coverage, homophobia in professional sports, and what it might take for a professional athlete to come out.
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