Big Gay News

By Bradley Traynor April 21, 2011

Categories: Big Gay News, Our Affairs

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First Public Same-Sex Partnerships Celebrated in Ireland

Agence France-Presse reports that the first same-sex civil partnerships were celebrated in Ireland in early April, after a law passed in January took effect. Dublin residents Barry Dignam and Hugh Walsh were the first couple to celebrate their partnership.

Washington Recognizes Out-of-State Same-Sex Unions

According to the Associated Press, the Washington Legislature approved and Governor Chris Gregoire signed a bill recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Delaware Elects First Openly-Gay Mayor

Delaware City elected openly-gay restaurant owner John Buchheit as its Mayor in April, making it the first city in Delaware to do so. Buchheit, who ran as an independent, defeated sitting mayor John Martin by just 30 votes.

Arkansas Court Strikes Down Gay Adoption Ban

The Associated Press reports that in April, the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling striking down a state law barring same-sex and unmarried couples from becoming adoptive or foster parents.

Navy Panel Votes Unanimously To Retain Openly Gay Sailor

A three-member panel at Leemore Naval Air Station in California has voted unanimously not to discharge openly-gay sailor Derek Morado under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban on openly gay soldiers.

Police Raid Shanghai Gay Bar and Detain More Than 60

According to The New York Times, in April, Shanghai police raided a gay bar, and detained more than 60 patrons and employees. Police said they were investigating reports that a male dancer was performing a “pornographic” show at the Q Bar.

Nashville Approves Gay Protection Proposal

The Associated Press reports that in April, Nashville, Tennessee, passed by a thin margin an ordinance aimed at protecting gays and lesbians who work for companies contracting with the city. Religious institutions are exempt.

Student Sues Former Assistant Attorney General for Stalking

According to the Associated Press, openly-gay University of Michigan student President Chris Armstrong, who is Student Assembly President, is suing former Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell on charges of stalking and emotional distress.

Transgender City Manager Accused of Antigay Bias

The Palm Beach Post reports that transgender woman Susan Stanton, City Manager of Lake Worth, Florida, is being accused of antigay bias in connection with a dispute over a local gay bar. The Cottage bar is circulating a petition accusing her and other city officials of targeting it for noise complaints.

Massachusetts Governor Nominates First Openly Gay High Court Justice

According to The Boston Globe, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has nominated Barbara A. Lenk to be the first openly-gay justice on the state Supreme Court. She also would be the first justice to be legally-married as a result of the 2003 high court decision to legalize same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

Lesbian Police Officer Wins Homophobic Abuse Case

The BBC reports that 42-year-old lesbian British police officer Tracey West won her sex discrimination case against Sgt. Michael Service and the police force. She alleged that he made constant antigay remarks about her and other gay officers.

Married Gay Couples “Refuse to Lie” on Tax Forms

According to The New York Times, some legally-married same-sex couples in the United States are refusing to file federal tax returns separately this year. Federal law does not recognize same-sex marriages, and couples must file separate federal returns. Nadine Smith, Executive Director of the GLBT advocacy group Equality Florida, who told the newspaper that she plans to file a joint return with her wife, said, “More people are refusing to lie on those forms, even though the government is telling them to.” A spokeswoman from the Internal Revenue Service stated that the agency follows the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

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