Gay Facebook kiss, Delaware unions, DOMA
Facebook scrubs gay photo, Delaware passes civil unions, GOP mounts DOMA defense, lesban appointed to Illinois state House, Jesse Jackson denies anti-gay complaint, “Mrs. Garrett” misspeaks at TVland awards, and more LGBT headlines.
• Lesbian prosecutor chosen for vacant Illinois state House seat. Kelly Cassidy (top photo, with her sons), a Cook County assistant district attorney, was chosen from a field of 23 candidates to fill the post representing Chicago’s District 14, vacated by a state representative who was elected to Chicago City Council in February.
• Suicide risk jumps for gay teens in “unsupportive” counties. The geographic-area study of social environments and gay acceptance by online magazine Pediatrics shows that LGBT teens are five times more likely to commit suicide, though supportive networks and communities slightly lowered their risk.
• Facebook removes photo of kissing gay men. A kiss-in event was organized on Facebook to protest a London pub that kicked out a gay couple for pecking on the lips. The posted still from a U.K. soap (second photo), and then the event invitation it accompanied, were scrubbed by Facebook as “sexually suggestive.” The event still drew hundreds and shut down the bar for the night.
• Delaware approves gay unions. The state House passed the bill in a 26-15 vote on Thursday, the state Senate also approved it last week, and the governor is expected to sign it this week. The civil unions law gives same-sex couples all rights associated with marriage except in name only.
• Republicans mount defense of federal anti-gay marriage law. True to their promise, leaders in U.S. House head to New York on Monday to defend the 15-year-old Defense of Marriage Act, which limits marriage recognition to those between one man and one woman. On Friday, Democrats hammered National Organization of Marriage Chair Maggie Gallagher in hearings over the Republican plan to defend the law after president Obama called off the Justice Department from such cases.
• Charlotte “Mrs. Garrett” Rae learns the (gay) “Facts of Life” at TVland awards. The elderly actress (third photo center) unwittingly made a faux pas when she said her “girls all turned out to be straight. Straight!” referring to the cast avoiding the pitfalls of some child stars. Ironically, cast member Geri Jewell (left) came out as gay this year. Later, when accepting an award for “Family Ties,” out actress Meredith Baxter referred to Rae’s speech: “We didn’t come out as straight as the Facts Of Life cast, but we’re doing pretty well!”
• India’s Supreme Court to hear arguments on decriminalizing gay sex. Justices in New Delhi are scheduled to hear petitions from proponents as well as backers of the law that makes same-sex intimacy illegal in that nation.
• Gillead halts AIDS prevention pill study. The drug being tested on African women showed no benefits, so it’s back to the drawing board for the pharmaceutical company.
• Jesse Jackson denies anti-gay harassment claims. The outspoken reverend (fourth photo, left) denies allegations in a complaint filed in Chicago against him and his organization, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, by former employee Tommy Bennett (right), who claims he was terminated because he’s gay.
• Michigan domestic partnerships policy survives repeal vote. A proposal failed to receive a two-thirds majority among state lawmakers to repeal a policy providing domestic-partner benefits to state employees, assuring the policy will go into effect.
• Abuse of LGBT immigrants alleged. A complaint filed last week by the Chicago-based Heartland Alliance on behalf of 13 LGBT detainees alleges that LGBT immigrants are undergoing severe abuse when held in custody by the federal agency Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
• Lance Bass, Clay Aiken to attend “Drop Dead Diva’s” LGBT prom. The singers (bottom photo, l-r) are among the out performers to guest star on an upcoming episode of the Lifetime network hit.
• Barney Frank: LGBT hatred losing steam. The gay Congressman tells the May issue of Playboy that he has little faith there will be a federal remedy for gays seeking to marry anytime soon, but that he also believes antigay prejudice is becoming less acceptable in society.
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