Category:  News

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.

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."

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

In this exclusive interview with, 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.

Wisc. church fires its gay music director

The music director of a Wisconsin Catholic church has been fired for living "an openly gay life," reports the Wisconsin State Journal.

Charles Philyaw had worked as director of music liturgy for the St. Andrew Catholic Church in Verona since 2004, eventually directing the church choir, leading the liturgy committee, and playing for multiple masses on a weekly basis.

But in June, according to the State Journal, the church's parish priest, the Reverend Dave Timmerman, informed Philyaw he was being let go because he led an openly gay life. Philyaw and his partner, James Mulder-Philyaw, were active participants in the Verona religious community.    READ MORE »

Ike doesn’t slow gay bar in Galveston

As Galveston told its remaining residents on Monday to leave the Texas island devastated by Hurricane Ike, Robert's Lafitte, a gay bar, was planning a pre-curfew drag show and Tina Turner sing-along.

The first of two bars to reopen after Ike's onslaught on Saturday, Robert's Lafitte is a haven in the storm -- for gays, straights, anyone who needs a place to drink and find comfort.

‘HIV POZ’ gets OK for Calif. license plate

Julien Pierre fought the California DMV and, surprisingly, won.

The HIV-positive software engineer will soon have the vanity plate he wanted -- "HIV POZ" -- for his Toyota Prius after pushing the issue with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Gay Fla. couple claims harassment

There aren't many openly same-sex couples in Spring Hill.

But Perry Hogg and Jesse Worf, a gay couple who have been together for more than two decades, say they've never had a problem.

That is, until they moved to their current home on Masada Lane.

Rights museum heads to downtown

imageWhen the Center for Civil & Human Rights breaks ground next year, it will do so on a 2.5-acre parcel of land tucked between the World of Coke and the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta.

When the doors of the $125-million facility open in 2011, key moments in Atlanta's gay history will be included, according to Doug Shipman, the center's executive director.

“There are a couple of different places that specific gay and lesbian issues come in,” Shipman says. “You have both a historical piece and a contemporary piece. You’ll see that in exhibitions and in programming. We have very specially outlined how we want to tackle the issues.”

Read the full story from Project Q Atlanta.    READ MORE »

Piedmont weathers first fest of ‘09

Piedmont Park survived its first festival of the year last weekend, thanks to small crowds that apparently did little to damage the turf in the vast park.

Atlanta’s commissioner of parks, recreation and cultural affairs, Dianne Harnell Cohen, said she didn’t see any damage from the two-day Atlanta Arts Festival held at the city’s most popular park.

“From what I observed the show was well attended, people were respectful of the park, and normal activities continued,” said Cohen, who attended the festival on Saturday and Sunday.

There's more after the jump.    READ MORE »

‘HIIV POZ’ license plate OK’d in Calif.

Julien Pierre fought the California DMV and, surprisingly, won.

The HIV-positive software engineer will soon have the vanity plate he wanted -- "HIV POZ" -- for his Toyota Prius after pushing the issue with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

An effort to sell an AIDS awareness license plate in Georgia stalled earlier this year.

Watch a news clip about Pierre's story after the jump.    READ MORE »

CNN’s live man-on-man action

Nothing like a little man-on-man kissing and nipple tweaking to perk up CNN's so serious "American Morning."

CNN reporter Allan Chernoff was stationed outside Lehman Brothers this morning to report on the firm's demise into bankruptcy. As his live report aired about 8 a.m., two men seemed to console one another within the live shot, then turned up the heat with more consolation of the mouth-on-mouth variety. They topped it off with some nipple licking. All the while, Chernoff continues his report.

Watch the video after the jump.    READ MORE »

Hallmark under fire for gay cards

The Idaho Values Alliance has urged the owner of seven Hallmark stores not to carry a set of four greeting cards created to celebrate same-sex marriage. By Hallmark's acknowledging gay marriage, the company "is doing what 48 states and the federal government have refused to do, and that is to recognize homosexual marriage," Bryan Fischer, IVA's executive director, said in a statement.

Three of the cards feature gender-neutral illustrations, with either hearts or flowers. A fourth shows the torsos of two men in tuxedos holding hands.

The IVA specifically asked Philip Jordan, owner of seven Hallmark stores in Nampa, Idaho, not to carry the cards. An associate manager at one of the stores told, an LGBT news website based in Idaho, that his store was not planning on selling the cards as part of its inventory, though interested customers could purchase the cards upon request.

Read the full story from the Advocate.    READ MORE »

Calif. firefighters sue over gay Pride parade

Four San Diego firefighters have filed a lawsuit against the city government for damages after alleging they were sexually harassed while participating involuntarily in the 2007 gay pride parade.

The Los Angeles Times reports the firefighters say they were ordered to drive their fire truck along the three-hour parade route even though they say peers had complained of being harassed during previous pride parades. The trial was expected to begin today.

The suit alleges that mandatory participation was part of a policy by Fire Chief Tracy Jarman, according to the firefighters' attorney, Charles LiMandri. Jarman, who is a lesbian, marched in the parade.

One of the firefighters alleged that after questioning the parade assignment, the "lesbian battalion chief" gave him an unsatisfactory job rating.

"This is not an anti-gay thing," LiMandri said, according to the Times. "These guys have served the Hillcrest community for years with dignity and honor. They just feel firefighters should not be forced to participate in a parade where firefighters have been harassed in the past."

Read the full story from the Advocate.    READ MORE »

Author of ‘Daddy’s Roommate’ fires back

The author of the book Sarah Palin reportedly tried to have removed from her hometown library blasted back Saturday evening, saying the Alaska Governor had a "small-town mind," was an enemy of intellectual freedom and a "disastrous choice" for vice president.

"I rather suspected one of my books might be the one she targeted," said Michael Willhoite, author of "Daddy's Roomate" and several other children's books. "I can tell you right now, Ms. Palin is a very good mother and everything. But she is my mortal enemy. She is one of the enemies of the First Amendment and I can hardly [organize] my thoughts here, I am so offended by this."

Reached by phone, Willhoite was ultimately not surprised he had once been Palin's target. In fact, he admitted to being "strangely flattered" that he was "on her list."

"I wasn't on Nixon's enemies list," he said, "I was too young for that."

Read the full story from the Huffington Post.    READ MORE »