National Gay News

CA Legislature Approves Removing Gay "Cure," Language; San Francisco and Castro Residents Celebrate

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Posted on www.365.com
By Staff Writer

(Sacramento) The California State Senate passed a bill on Monday that would repeal a section of the California Welfare and Institutions code that instructs the State Department of Mental Health to conduct research into the "causes and cures of homosexuality," with the implication that lesbian, gay, and bisexual Californians are sexual deviants, potential sex offenders and a threat to children. The Castro District in San Francisco celebrated.

The bill, AB 2199, was passed in a unanimous 36-0 vote that included bipartisan support and is sponsored by Equality California and was introduced by Assembly member Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach).

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Hillary VP Speculation Picks Up

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Posted on www.advocate.com
By Julie Bolcer

Chatter about a promotion for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues from Beltway pundits, who say that President Barack Obama could use the lift by selecting her as his vice presidential running mate in 2012.

The evolving relationship between Obama and Clinton has remained a popular topic since the 2008 presidential election. In the latest take on the team of rivals idea, Clinton adds competency to the ticket and helps to raise her one-time adversary's sagging poll numbers.

According to The Wall Street Journal, "Former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder, his state's first African-American governor, touched off the controversy. Writing at Politico.com last week, Mr. Wilder argued that Mr. Biden's tenure has been undistinguished and chock full of 'too many YouTube moments.' He charged that Mr. Biden 'has continued to undermine what little confidence the public may have had in him.'"

Some even suggest that Clinton could switch positions with Biden, the Journal reports.

"Pundits jumped on Mr. Wilder's comments and expressed near-universal approval. On his syndicated national show, Chris Matthews of MSNBC assembled a panel to discuss the Wilder intervention. Howard Fineman of Newsweek, a longtime Hillary watcher, said Mrs. Clinton would accept a place on the 2012 ticket 'in a second.' John Heilemann, a reporter New York magazine, said the major obstacle would be to 'figure out a way for Biden to slide aside happily' and suggested that Mr. Biden replace Mrs. Clinton as Secretary of State."

California Seeks Tax Equity for Gay Married Couples; the Castro District Rejoices!

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Posted on www.365gay.com
By Celeste Lavin

The California legislature passed a resolution asking the IRS to tax same-sex spouses and domestic partners the same way it taxes heterosexual married couples.

The resolution, AJR29, passed the Assembly 59 to 2 on Monday. The taxes of the 18,000 same-sex couples who married in California before Proposition 8 passed are quite complicated because while their state taxes can be filed as the married couples they are, their federal taxes cannot. The Defense of Marriage Act prevents the federal recognition of these marriages, which extends to taxation.

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The Candidate Target Didn't Back

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Posted on www.Advocate.com
By Ross von Metzke

Antigay Republican Tom Emmer is making headlines for benefiting from Target Corp.'s $150K contribution to a conservative PAC supporting his bid for governor of Minnesota.

What isn't making many headlines is the identity of his likely opponent. Pro-gay former U.S. senator Mark Dayton is in the lead heading into the August 10 Democratic primary, facing off against for the gubernatorial nomination against Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Kelliher. An heir to Dayton-Hudson Corp. fortune, Mark Dayton is the great-grandson of George Dayton, who stared the Dayton's department store chain. In 1962, Dayton's opened the first Target, a discount department store.

"Mark Dayton's connection to Target is mostly a historical one," his deputy campaign manager Katharine Tinucci told The Advocate.

But she says the campaign takes Target's support of Emmer "as a sign the CEO and other executives take Mark Dayton's promise to tax the richest Minnesotans" more seriously.

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel defended Target's contribution in an e-mail to employees Tuesday, saying the company supports "candidates on both sides of the aisle who seek to advance policies aligned with our business objectives, such as job creation and economic growth." He went on to defend the company's commitment to LGBT rights as "unwavering," writing that inclusiveness is a "core value" of the company.

But gay activists aren't pleased with the donation, and a boycott of Target is gaining momentum.

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Dueling Marriage Rallies Held in Iowa

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Posted on www.advocate.com
By Advocate Editors

Advocates and opponents of marriage equality held separate rallies Sunday in Iowa ahead of the November elections, which could bring a showdown on same-sex marriage.

According to the Sioux City Journal, Mari Culver, the wife of Gov. Chet Culver, spoke to about 300 people in Des Moines, where she made her first public remarks in defense of the marriage equality decision by the state supreme court last year. Governor Culver, a Democrat, is up for reelection this fall.

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Study: MTV Leads in Showing Gay Characters on TV

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Posted on www.365gay.com
By the Associated Press

(New York) MTV held a solid lead among 15 networks for its representation of gay characters last season, according to a report released Friday. In its fourth annual Network Responsibility Index, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation found that of MTV's 207.5 hours of original prime-time programming, 42 percent included content reflecting the lives of gay, bisexual and transgender people. This earned MTV the first-ever "Excellent" rating from GLAAD.

"MTV programs like 'The Real World' and 'America's Best Dance Crew' have offered richly diverse portrayals of gay and transgender people that help Americans better understand and accept our community," said GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios.

Among broadcast networks, the CW was on top with 35 percent, while Fox ranked a close second with 30 percent. ABC, with 26 percent, got a "Good" rating, while NBC was "Adequate" with 13 percent. CBS' 7 percent earned that network a "Failing" grade from the report.

Scoring high on cable along with MTV were ABC Family (37 percent), TNT (34 percent), Showtime (32 percent), Lifetime (31 percent) and HBO (26 percent), which all received a "Good" rating. The report assigned a "Failing" grade to USA (4 percent), A&E (3 percent) and TBS (2 percent).

GLAAD reviewed all prime-time programming – totaling 4,787.5 hours – on the major broadcast networks between June 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010. The study also examined all original prime-time programming – 1,227.75 hours – on 10 prominent cable networks. This included dramas, comedies, unscripted fare and newsmagazines.

GLAAD noted, with approval, the parenting role played by gay couple Mitchell and Cameron on ABC's "Modern Family," and the story line on Fox's "Glee" where high school student Kurt comes out as gay to his father.

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LGBT Buying Power Estimated at over $743 Billion

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Posted on www.365gay.com
By Celeste Lavin

The total buying power of the adult LGBT community in the U.S. is projected to be $743 billion. This is up from the 2009 projections of $732 billion.

Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications, the group who published the estimate, said that the study gives the nation a snapshot of the economic activity of the LGBT community, even in the recession.

Witeck said that this estimate should not be interpreted as any evidence that gays, lesbians, and transgender individuals are wealthier than others. He said that was "little more than a stereotype."

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Victory for Gay Marriage in D.C.

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Posted on www.Advocate.com
By Advocate.com Editors

Marriage equality foes were dealt a blow Thursday morning; the D.C. court of appeals ruled against allowing an initiative on the ballot to invalidate same-sex marriages entered into in the district.

Gay marriage foes — led by antigay bishop Harry Jackson of Maryland and groups that include the National Organization for Marriage — were attempting to get a Prop. 8–like initiative on the ballot in D.C.

The court of appeals ruled 5–4 that the proposed initiative would permit discrimination against gays and lesbians in the district, which is prohibited by the D.C. Human Rights Act.

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A Beauty Queen to Believe In

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Posted on www.Advocate.com
By Julie Bolcer

Move over, Carrie Prejean. Claire Buffie, crowned Miss New York in June, is the first Miss America contestant to compete on a gay rights platform. A trained dancer and Apple employee, she knows her profile may seem unusual for a pageant contestant, and that's exactly why she believes she can win over America in the competition this January.

In her first interview with the gay press, the 24-year-old Indianapolis native spoke with The Advocate about her platform of improving the climate for LGBT youths in schools, misconceptions about beauty pageant contestants, and the real lesson of Prejean, the 2009 Miss USA runner-up.

Do you think beauty pageant contestants are misunderstood?

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White House Silent on Mass. Gay Marriage Ruling

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By The Associated Press

(Boston) A key part of a law denying married gay couples federal benefits has been thrown out the window in Massachusetts, the first state to legalize gay marriage. The ball now lies in the White House's court, which must carefully calculate the next move by an administration that has faced accusations it has not vigorously defended the law of the land.

President Barack Obama has said repeatedly that he would like to see the federal Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, repealed. But the Justice Department has defended the constitutionality of the law, which it is required to do.

The administration was silent Friday on whether it would appeal rulings by U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro. Spokespeople for the White House and the Justice Department said officials are still reviewing the rulings.

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