Mass. justice, trans golfer, Blake Shelton
Massachusetts confirms lesbian High Court judge, transgender golfer settles “born female” lawsuits, “The Voice” touts gay contestants as Country coach hurls slurs, Illinois unions prompt adoption wars, new U.S. Census numbers, and more LGBT headlines.
• Blake Shelton tweets homophobia. The country singer and “The Voice” coach made a gay crack about Jake Gyllenhaal on Twitter last week. Now he seems to support gay beat-downs as he tweets a revision to a Shania Twain song: “Any man that tries Touching my behind He’s gonna be a beaten, bleedin’, heaving kind of guy…” Meet “The Voice’s” gay and lesbian contestants (top photo), including one on Shelton’s team.
• Law professors add to opposition of Minnesota marriage amendment. More than 60 legal experts signed a letter of dissent as both chambers of the legislature continue to advance a bill that would let voters decide whether to define marriage in the state’s constitution as between one man and one woman.
• Massachusetts confirms its first gay Supreme Court justice. In a close 5-3 vote, Judge Barbara Lenk (second photo) was confirmed Wednesday. She answered questions about being a lesbian during hearings on her nomination, and at least one member of the Governor’s Council voted against her because of it.
• Illinois civil unions spark battle over gay adoption. As the state’s same-sex unions law goes into effect, gay rights groups are urging Illinois lawmakers not to let Catholic adoption agencies turn away gay couples. Catholic groups are asking for a new law letting them refuse to place children with gay couples on religious grounds.
• Bill Clinton endorses New York gay marriage. The former president announced his support in a statement released by the Human Rights Campaign on Thursday, saying that the goal of achieving a “more perfect union” includes marriage equality.
• Lesbian wins Denver City Council race. Robin Kniech (third photo) becomes the panel’s first openly gay member after a win in a field of five for one of two at-large posts.
• U.S. Census: Unmarried partners make up 6 percent of U.S. households. In the latest round of reports based on the 2010 Census, nearly 6.5 million unmarried partners live together in the United States. That number isn’t specific to gay couples, but more information on unmarried partners will be released in June, followed by statistics specifically on same-sex couples in November.
• South Africa sets up task force to battle anti-gay crimes. After the rape and murder of a lesbian activist in what perpetrators call “corrective rape,” the government put together a team to combat all hate crimes against LGBT people after some 170,000 people around the world signed an online petition calling for action.
• Transgender golfer settles lawsuits. Lana Lawless (bottom photo), who won a Long Drivers of America title that was rescinded, settled her lawsuits against that organization and the LPGA after both groups ruled that only women “female at birth” were eligible to compete in their events. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
• Court dismisses case against Croation soccer president for anti-gay comments. Vlatko Markovic said last year that no gay player will be part of the Croatian national team on his watch because “only healthy people play football.” The first of two civil cases by gay rights groups has been thrown out, and European Soccer’s ruling body has also opened a case against Markovic.
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