Boy Scouts delay, gay military, Ian McKellen
Scouts board puts off vote on gay ban until May, Department of Defense looks to extend benefits to same-sex partners, gay actor thanks every out person, gay immigration and bullying bills reintroduced, gay marriage vs. gay liberation, and more LGBT headlines.
Boy Scouts delay vote on lifting national gay ban. After a week of handwringing, the BSA board announced Wednesday that more dialogue is necessary before weighing if local troops can decide whether to allow gay scouts and leaders. Don’t expect a vote until May, when 1,400 members will take action at the annual national meeting. In the meantime, here’s BSA’s gay rights evolution, all the way back to James Dale (top photo), who was kicked out in 1990 (second photo).
Pentagon poised to offer some benefits to gay military partners. One of the final acts of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is reviewing policies for same-sex couples that could extend access to bases and on-base stores, as well as to some health programs, to legal partners of gay military personnel. Activists vow to keep up pressure until same-sex partners have exactly the same benefits as straight spouses.
Tyler Clementi Act reintroduced in Congress. The bill, named for the gay Rutgers student (bottom photo) who committed suicide shortly after being recorded in an intimate encounter with another man, would require colleges to have gay-inclusive anti-harassment policies and would offer programs to combat student bullying.
Governor: Rhode Island crippled without marriage equality. Gov. Lincoln Chaffee urges the state Senate to follow the House’s lead and upgrade civil unions to full marriage by arguing that innovative businesses and industries could go to neighboring states that are seen as more progressive and tolerant.
Ian McKellen thanks you for his doctorate. You can call him “Sir,” or now you can call him “Doctor.” The 73-year-old actor (fourth photo) was awarded an honorary doctorate in letters at a University of Ulster ceremony on Saturday, where he thanked “every gay person in public and non-public life who has come out,” as well as “politicians not in thrall to those constituents who cling to the status quo.”
Teacher suspended over First Lady remarks, anti-gay comments. Bob Grisham, who teaches psychology and coaches football at an Alabama high school, got 10 days without pay after a recording of his class leaked to the media. In it, he says “fat butt Michelle Obama,” aka “big fat gorilla,” is responsible for low calorie lunches, “what [gay people] do is wrong and an abomination against God,” and, “I don’t like being around queers.”
Gay Facebook cofounder’s husband runs for Congress. Sean Eldridge (bottom photo), the 26-year-old Democratic activist who last year married Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes, thus forming one of America’s most powerful gay couples, has filed papers to run for a U.S. House seat representing New York’s Hudson Valley.
Marriage inconsistent with early gay liberation ideals? In the wake of Britain’s lower house advancing gay marriage, an opinion piece looks at early gay rights principles that rejected marriage as oppression. It’s written in the U.K. but includes writings by American activists as well.
Immigration bill for gay partners filed. Again. Every Congressional session since 2000 has seen a proposed law to allow gay immigrants to file for permanent residency based on their committed partnership with an American. The 2013 version of the Uniting American Families Act hit the books Tuesday. A Senate version is expected to follow.
Happy National Gay-Straight Alliance Day. Schools across the country are celebrating their GSAs on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Tweet live with them using the hashtag #gsaday at 6 p.m. EST on Wednesday evening.
Top Dale photo by New Jersey Star Ledger; second photo via Advocate; McKellen photo by Los Angeles Times; Clementi file photo
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