BigGayNews from New Mexico:
José Julio Sarria, Gay Political Pioneer, Dies
The SF Gate reports that José Julio Sarria, a pioneering San Francisco drag queen who became one of the first openly gay candidates for U.S. public office, died Monday of cancer in his Albuquerque home.
Sarria, an Army veteran, drag queen and the founder of the International Imperial Court System, ran a groundbreaking, although ultimately unsuccessful, campaign to be elected to the office of San Francisco supervisor in 1961.
California State Senator Mark Leno (Democrat – San Francisco) hailed Sarria as a “fearless community leader” whose “visionary and legendary leadership helped build the foundation for our successful modern-day GLBT civil rights movement.”
BigGayNews from the United States:
Bayard Rustin – The Gay Black Pacifist At The Heart Of The March On Washington
The Guardian reports that though he was chief strategist for King’s march, Rustin was kept in the background as some organizations considered him a liability.
Rustin’s abilities as an organizer and his place as a central figure in the civil rights movement of the 1960s have been overshadowed by the fact that he was also an openly gay man in an era where such was deeply frowned upon.
Fifty years later, Rustin—a man nearly forgotten for his accomplishments due to his sexuality—will be honored by President Obama with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award for a civilian in the United States. Fittingly, the award will be given in time to mark the 50th anniversary of Rustin’s most memorable achievement, organizing the march on Washington.
BigGayNews from Minnesota:
Minnesota Supreme Court Rejects Misuse Of Criminal Law To Prosecute HIV-Positive Man
The San Diego Gay & Lesbian News reports that the Supreme Court of Minnesota today upheld the decision of an intermediate appellate court overturning the conviction of Daniel James Rick, who is HIV-positive, for the alleged criminal transmission of a communicable disease.
This decision reaffirms that the government is obligated “to respect the personal and private decisions of consenting adults” regarding sexual acts.
Lambda Legal applauded the decision.
BigGayNews from New Jersey:
Chris Christie Signs Ban On Gay Conversion Therapy
The Huffington Post reports that Republican Governor Chris Christie signed a law on Monday barring licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teenagers straight, the latest example of the potential 2016 presidential candidate steering a moderate course.
Although the decision was met with disapproval by Christian conservatives, the governor maintained that he believes people are born gay and that being a homosexual is not a sin.
Christie remarked that the conversion therapy had a potential list of ill effects including depression, suicide and drug abuse, and stated: “I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.”
BigGayNews from Minnesota:
Minneapolis Presbyterian Church To Host Historic Ordination Of Openly Gay Man
The Star Tribune reports that in a historic milestone for the Presbyterian Church, a Minneapolis congregation is set to host the first ordination of an openly gay person to serve as a minister in the faith in Minnesota.
Daniel Vigilante, 36, was ordained on August 25th at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, and will serve at the Grace-Trinity Church in Minneapolis, joining only about a dozen other openly gay and lesbian members to be ordained nationwide in the Presbyterian organization.
Vigilante commented: “I think it says a lot about how far our church has come over the last 10 to 15 years.”
BigGayNews from Israel:
Israel To Build First Monument To Gay Victims Of The Nazis
Gay Star News reports that Tel Aviv’s Meir Park is to be the site of Israel’s first monument recognizing the gay victims of Nazi Germany.
The monument, designed by landscape architect and professor Yael Moriah, will include a large pink granite concrete triangle to represent the symbol used on the uniforms of homosexual prisoners.
Eran Lev, who proposed the monument, said that the location of it in the park and near Tel Aviv’s Gay Center is symbolic because one of the first restrictions imposed on Jews by the Nazis was forbidding them to go to public parks. He stated: “We’re bringing that memory back into the public space. We felt it was important to present it as part of the park. This will be the first and only memorial site in Israel to mention the victims of the Nazis who were persecuted for anything other than being Jewish.”
BigGayNews from Canada:
Sidney Crosby Against Anti-Gay Law
ESPN reports that the NHL’s top player didn’t shy away Sunday when asked about Russia’s anti-gay law being adopted for the Olympics in February.
Crosby, who will play for Team Canada at the Sochi games, spoke at a news conference and said: “I think that everyone has an equal right to play and I think we’ve been supportive of that. With the Olympics and the controversy around that I think those decisions and those laws aren’t necessarily something that I agree with personally … their laws and their views.”
BigGayNews from Germany:
Germany To Offer Third Gender Option On Birth Certificates
The Huffington Post reports that as of November, Germany will be the first country in Europe to offer a “third gender” distinction on its birth certificates.
The new law is designed to help children of indeterminate gender so that they will no longer have to be classified as “male” or “female” on their birth certificates.
The parents can opt to leave the space blank, and the individual can choose the sex at a later date according to which gender they identify themselves as, or choose to select “neither”.