Lesbian Sues Police for Trying to “Turn Her Straight”
The Daily Mail reports that Amanda Booker, a lesbian, is suing Georgia’s Bartow County Sheriff’s Department for allegedly paying two evangelical Christians $600 to “turn her straight.” She says she was taken to the home of Chris and Donna McDowell for conversion therapy instead of a nearby hospital for a drug treatment program. Sheriff Clark Milsap told reporters from the GA Voice, “I haven’t been served [with papers]. But, no ma’am, that is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Catholic Charities In Rockford, Illinois, Ends Foster Care Over Gay Rights
Following the passage of civil-union legislation in Illinois, which went into effect June 1, Catholic Charities of Rockford, Illinois, announced it would stop providing foster care services. The legislation prohibits adoption agencies that receive state funding from discriminating against same-sex couples. Catholic Charities said it will transition the 350 or so cases to other private agencies, and terminate 58 employees. No other Catholic Charities offices in Illinois have yet said whether they will follow suit.
Brazil’s President Suspends Sex Education Material Over “Antihomophobia” Kits
The BBC reports that Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff, has suspended the distribution of sex education material that included content for gay and lesbian students, such as films containing scenes aimed at fighting homophobia. A spokesman for the President told the BBC that she “didn’t like what she saw,” and felt it did not offer an objective picture of homosexuality. Christian lawmakers said the material encouraged gay behavior.
Police in Grenada Arrest Man for Alleged Gay Sex
The Associated Press reports that police in the Caribbean island of Grenada have arrested a 41-year-old man for having sex with a 17-year-old. Although the age of consent in Grenada is 16, and the sex was consensual, gay sex is illegal. The penalty in most Caribbean nations for sex between men is up to 10 years in prison.
Assault on Gay Men in Portland Waterfront Treated as Hate Crime
The Oregonian reports that Portland police are investigating an attack in May on a gay couple. Brad Forkner and Christopher Rosevear were walking down the street holding hands. As the two approached a scenic overlook of the city, a group of unknown men attacked them. The assailants, who were in their 20s, brutally beat the men, then ran off. Forkner and Rosevear were ultimately treated for their wounds. Police have yet to apprehend any suspects.
Dayton Symbolically Vetoes Marriage Amendment
The Star Tribune reports that although it was a symbolic act, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton in May vetoed a constitutional amendment passed by the State Legislature that would ban same-sex marriage. “I do not have the power to prevent this divisive and destructive constitutional amendment from appearing on the ballot, in November 2012. The Legislature sent it to me in the form of a bill,” Dayton wrote in a letter to legislative leaders. “Thus, symbolic as it may be, I am exercising my legal responsibility to either sign or veto it.”
Lawyer Says Transgender Widow’s Marriage To Be Voided
The Associated Press reports that according to attorney Edward Burwell, a Texas judge plans to void the marriage of transgender widow Nikki Araguz, which would deny her the death benefits of her firefighter husband who died battling a fire last year. Araguz says she was “devastated” by the decision.
Gay Troops To Hold Las Vegas Convention
The Huffington Post reports that a group of actively serving gay, lesbian, and bisexual military personnel is planning its first convention this fall in Las Vegas. The gathering is considered another sign that the process of lifting the military’s ban on openly gay service members is almost complete. OutServe, an anonymous group of more than 3,000 gay troops, is planning the convention. The group hopes it will “provide an international forum on enhancing military readiness through encouraging an environment of respect with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity.” OutServe recently conducted a survey that showed 78 percent of its members said they were already “out” to at least some people in their unit.