Westboro banned, LGBT museum, bird blame
Arizona bans funeral picketing in time to block Phelps clan, first U.S. LGBT history museum opens, Maryland poised for gay marriage, wingnut blames dead birds on DADT repeal, the anti-gay math on new Congress, and more LGBT headlines.
• Nation’s first gay museum opens in San Francisco. The 1,600-square-foot GLBT History Museum (top photo) opens Wednesday and chronicles the movement with displays from Harvey Milk’s pink-framed sunglasses to manuscripts and bar matchbook covers.
• Maryland poised to become sixth state to legalize gay marriage. State legislators say they have votes to pass the measure into law this session. The governor has already said he would sign it.
• Lesbian golf coach to sue over University of Minnesota reassignment. Kathryn “Katie” Brenny (second photo) filed against the school Tuesday, alleging discrimination because she’s gay after being stripped of her coaching duties.
• HRC does the anti-gay math on 112th Congress. It was widely assumed that the Republican takeover would mean less gay rights support and action, but HRC sifts through individual members’ records. The report ranks 225 members of the new House as “anti-LGBT,” up 53 from 172 in the 111th House. The 112th House has 167 “pro-LGBT” members, 29 fewer than the 196 last year. HRC finds that the Senate’s 53–47 Democratic majority does not translate into a pro-gay-rights majority but rather an even 40–40 split.
• Arizona passes ban on picketing funerals specifically for Fred Phelps. After the traveling publicity hounds and rabidly anti-gay Westboro clan, led by Phelps (third photo), announced plans to make a roil at the funerals of Tucson’s mass-shooting victims, the state legislature and the governor moved quickly to make the action illegal.
• McDonald’s backtracks on New Zealand restaurants’ wireless web filter for “gay.” The fast-food chain’s New Zealand arm came under fire last for blocking all gay sites, including news and LGBT youth advocacy. After initially defending the decision, adjustments have been made to allow access to some gay-specific, non-porn websites.
• TV actor chooses man as Austrian “Dancing With the Stars” partner. Alfons Haider (fourth photo) is thought to have inspired the “Bruno” movie character. He chose a straight male professional dancer as his partner. No word on who will lead.
• Immigration office named UK’s most gay-friendly employer. The Home Office, which handles immigration and passports, topped the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. It is the first government agency to do so.
• National Organization of Marriage targets Rhode Island. Amid a governor- and legislature-backed push to legalize same-sex unions in the state, NOM’s Rhode Island chapter launches a six-figure ad campaign against the idea. Remember: they and their allies succeeded with similar tactics in Maine last year.
• Anti-gay activist blames bird deaths on DADT repeal. Cindy Jacobs (bottom photo) said that when a nation makes a change against God’s principles, “nature itself will begin to talk to us — for instance, violent storms, flooding ... the blackbirds fell to the ground in Beebe, Ark. …” You’ll be amazed by her logic. It’s too funny not to watch the whole thing:
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