Friday, September 4, 2009

Equality in the News August 29th-September 4th

By Equality NC Intern Jennifer

Before reporting on this week’s headlines, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Jennifer and I will be picking up where Harmony left off. (I have big shoes to fill)! I’m interning (remotely) as a Communication’s intern out of Greenville.

In the State….

Marriage Discrimination Amendment in North Carolina

The News & Observer ran a nasty column opposing marriage equality and calling for passage of a marriage discrimination constitutional amendment. We've got to keep up our efforts to stop this amendment when it comes up again in next year's legislative session!

Chapel Hill to host Gay Travel Event

Q-Notes reports that Chapel Hill, N.C. has become one of the most gay-friendly municipalities across the state of North Carolina. On September 24-27th Chapel Hill will host a “familiarization tour and symposium” for the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association . This event will attract travel trade professionals which will include media and tour planners. Events include cooking school at the kitchens of restaurant “A Southern Season” a private reception at an Antebellum Home, a back porch Musical concert and historic tours and chats with LGBT elected officials and others. For more information on this upcoming event click here:

MeckPAC releases Primary Choices

Q-Notes reports that on Thursday August 27th The Mecklenburg Gay and Lesbian Political Action Committee (MeckPAC) held its pre-election party at the Morehead Inn and endorsed seven candidates for the Charlotte City Council. This will make the first time MeckPAC endorsed two candidates in the same race as City Council District 1 primary will pit incumbent Patsy Kinsey and openly gay Owen Sutkowski against each other. Charlotte and Mecklenburg County voters head to the polls for their primary election on September 15, while other N.C. municipalities hold primary elections on Oct 6th. A general election will be held November 3rd.

Two Carolina Gay Pubs Merge

Q-Notes reports that the publisher of three LGBT-focused publications in the Carolinas is happy to report that his company is growing even in a time of economic uncertainty. Stereotypd’s Lin Orndorf, Proscha Yount and QnQ Network’s Jamie Seabolt announced on August 24th that they plan to merge their companies. Currently Stereotypd is a monthly publication with a print circulation of 8,000 copies while QnQ Carolina Edition has a bi-weekly print circulation of 5,000 copies.

In the Nation…

N.Y. Governor Paterson Recommits Himself to Same-Sex Marriage

The Advocate reports that New York Governor Paterson recommits himself to including same-sex marriage on the agenda. Paterson quotes “After the loss of Proposition 8 in California, I’ve sensed a little confusion and maybe stunned reaction from a lot of the advocates…legalizing same-sex marriage in New York could help reignite the momentum started in the Northeastern states earlier this year.”

New Judge for Supreme Court?

The New York Time reports that there has been speculation that Justice John Paul Stevens (90) is preparing to leave the supreme court. Justice John Paul Stevens has been one of the most reliable friends of gays and lesbians. He is most noted for cases such as 2003’s Lawrence v. Texas (where he stated the decriminalization of gay sex should have happened years before the 2003 case), Romer v. Evans (preventing municipalities from enacting antidiscrimination protections of LGBT people).

Reno, N.V. approves domestic Partner Benefits

The Gay and Lesbian Times reports that The Reno City council adopted a resolution that will extent health care benefits to domestic partner (whether gay or straight), who register with the Nevada secretary of state under a new state law. Council members agree the decision is an issue of “fairness”. Other entities offering similar benefits to employees’ domestic partners are the Washoe County School District and the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson.

N.J. Catholic Bishops Campaign Against Same-Sex Marriage

The Gay and Lesbian Times in association with the Associated Press report that N.J. Roman Catholic bishops have begun a new campaign opposing marriage equality. The push comes from anticipation of a possible vote on the issue after the November election. A 2,300-word letter was distributed in parish bulletins last Sunday stating the long-standing Catholic teaching that marriage is “the union of one man and one woman”. Currently New Jersey already recognizes civil unions for same-sex couples.

Referendum in Washington over Gay Partnerships

The Associated Press reports that a referendum on an expansion of Washington’s domestic partnership law for gay couples has qualified for the November ballot. This decision was finalized Monday. Supporters of the expansion asked King County Superior Court judge to temporarily block the referendum from the ballot because of election officials accepting thousands of invalid petition signatures. If the referendum leads to a rejection of the law’s expansion legislation approved in 2007 and 2008 would be retained, but it would roll back the additional rights granted in the “everything but marriage bill” To read more about this story click here:

In The World

Moscow court Lesbian Marriage Causes Drama

The News & Observer reports that on Wednesday a case seeking to allow a lesbian couple to marry in Russia sparked debate inside a Moscow courtroom. In protest to the holdup in proceedings the two women locked lips outside of the courtroom. Homosexuality has been decriminalized in Russia, but there is little support for gay rights.

Embassies support Budapest Pride

The Gay & Lesbian Times reports that thirteen embassies in Hungary issued a statement August 28 in support of Budapest’s 14th gay Pride events. Starting with a parade September 5th, the weeklong festivities include music, parties, an “antifascist demonstration,” workshops, an open-mic night, a picnic and a wreath-laying ceremony at the grave of Karoly Kertbeny who “invented the term homosexuality,” according to Pride organizers. Last year right-wing extremists attacked the parade’s 1,500 marches and fought with police afterward.

Uruguay OK’s Gay Adoption:

The Gay & Lesbian Times reports that on August 27th Uruguay’s Chamber of Deputies voted 40-13 to let same-sex couples adopt children. The Roman Catholic Church has fought against the measure, suggesting it violates natural law and human rights.

U.K. Foreign Office to Fund Foreign Gay-Rights Cases

The Gay & Lesbian Times reports that the United Kingdom’s Foreign office will help pay for legal challenges to gay rights in repressive nations such as Jamaica, Nigeria, Egypt, Iraq and Iran. Gay Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Chris Bryant stated that British missions will also focus on gay legal issues in Ghana, Colombia, Uzbekistan and other nations.

That’s all for this week! I look forward to updating everyone on LGBT news throughout this semester!

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