First Openly Gay Justice Confirmed to Massachusetts High Court
The Boston Globe reports that veteran appeals court judge Barbara Lenk, who is openly gay, won confirmation to a seat on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She becomes the first openly gay judge to serve on the state’s highest court. Lenk had the full support of the state’s legal establishment.
Moscow Allows First Gay Pride Rally
Agence France-Presse reports that Moscow officials have authorized the city’s first Gay Pride parade. GayRussia association head Nikolai Alexeyev told AFP, “After a five-year struggle, we have received permission from city hall to organize a Gay Pride parade on May 28.”
St. Paul City Staffer Under Review for Antigay E-mail
The Pioneer Press reports that Barb Benson, the executive assistant to St. Paul City Council Member Dave Thune, is under review after a derogatory e-mail she sent about a political opponent. In the e-mail, she referred to Bill Hosko as “the gay guy that always runs [against] Dave for City Council.” Benson is now under review by the city’s human resources personnel.
Eight Horses Dead in Possible Hate Crime
NBC reports that authorities in Ohio are investigating a barn fire on the property of a local gay man that left his eight horses dead. Antigay graffiti was spray-painted all over the barn. The fire has been ruled an arson, and local authorities are looking at the possibility of a hate-crime investigation.
Clinton Backs New York Same-Sex Marriage Bill
Politico reports that former President Bill Clinton, who notoriously signed the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which banned same-sex marriage, has announced he is supporting a campaign to legalize gay marriage in New York.
Catholic Charities Threatens To Block Illinois Gay Adoptions
WBEZ reports that Catholic Charities, one of the largest adoption and foster-care providers in Illinois, has warned that it may drop those services if forced to accept gay and lesbian couples. The statement comes less than a month before new protections for gay and lesbian couples go into effect.
FOX Houston Under Fire for Asking: “Is Glee Too Gay?”
The Houston Chronicle reports that Houston’s FOX TV affiliate KRIV has been criticized for airing a segment after the TV show Glee asking if it was “too gay.” The six-minute segment featured a debate between an advocate and an opponent of equality for gays and lesbians.
Wheaton College Alumni Group Offers Support for GLBT Students
The Chicago Tribune reports that alumni from Wheaton College have formed an organization to support GLBT students on campus. Organizers said they sought to offer GLBT students a safe space on the Christian conservative campus.
Law Firm Hit from Both Sides Over Same-Sex Marriage Law
Reuters reports that King & Spalding, the DC area law firm that reversed its decision to participate in the legal defense of the federal Defense of Marriage Act after criticism from liberals, is now losing conservative clients. The NRA announced it would no longer use the firm as its outside counsel.
Police Arrest Suspect in Murder of New York Gay Bar Owner
LGBTQNation reports that police in Elmira, New York, have arrested 20-year-old Louis Duffy for the murder of a local gay bar owner, 53-year-old Clinton Billy Lewis. He was found shot inside his residence. He died shortly after being taken to the hospital. Duffy is being held without bail, and has been charged with second-degree murder.
Dallas County Adds Protection for Transgender Employees
The Dallas Morning News reports that Dallas County commissioners voted to include transgender employees in the county’s nondiscrimination policy. The vote was 3-2 along party lines, with three Democrats in favor and two Republicans opposed.
Murder of South African Lesbian Activist Condemned
Agence France-Presse reports that Human Rights Watch has condemned the murder of 24-year-old South African lesbian activist Noxolo Nogwaza in April as part of an “epidemic” of hate crimes against gays and lesbians. Nogwaza, a member of the Ekurhuleni Pride Organizing Committee, was stoned and stabbed to death on April 24. Police haven’t made any arrests in the case, and told AFP they don’t yet believe the murder is a hate crime. A 2008 study found, however, that 86 percent of black lesbians in South Africa’s Western Cape province fear sexual assault or “corrective rape.”