Dolly Parton Apologizes for Gay Marriage Shirt Spat
The Atlantic Wire reports that Dolly Parton has responded to a controversy involving a lesbian who was asked to turn her gay marriage t-shirt inside out in July at Dollywood. Parton said in a statement to ABC, “I am truly sorry for the hurt or embarrassment regarding the gay and lesbian t-shirt incident at Dollywood’s Splash Country recently. Everyone knows of my personal support of the gay and lesbian community. Dollywood is a family park and all families are welcome.”
Chile President Offers to Legalize Gay Unions
AFP reports that conservative Chilean President Sebastián Piñera proposed legislation in August that would legalize same-sex civil unions. Piñera said in a statement, “I deeply believe that marriage is by nature between a man and a woman, but that conviction does not prevent me from recognizing that other forms of affective relationships exist.” The proposal would grant gay couples some of the same rights as married couples.
Dallas Museum Finds The World’s Last Gay Holocaust Survivor
D Magazine reports that Rudolf Brazda, who passed away in August, was not, as had been reported, the last gay survivor of the Nazi Holocaust. The Dallas Voice reports that, in fact, 88 year old Gad Beck of Berlin, himself a gay holocaust survivor, is alive and well.
Woman Pleads Guilty in Transgender McDonald’s Beating
The Associated Press reports that 19-year-old Teonna Brown pleaded guilty in August to one count of first degree assault and one count of a hate crime. Brown was captured on videotape brutally beating 22-year-old transgender woman Chrissy Polis at a Baltimore area McDonald’s. Brown will be sentenced in September. Prosecutors are seeking a five year prison term.
Court Hears Challenge to Gay Juror Dismissals
The Associated Press reports that the U.S. 9th Circuit of Appeals heard arguments in August in a case that could decide whether lawyers can dismiss potential jurors because they are gay. The suit arose after a LA prosecutor’s decision last year to strike a lesbian from a case against a gay federal inmate. The LA Times reports that a favorable ruling could extend discrimination protections to sexual orientation along with race creed and gender.
Romney Signs New Pledge Banning Gay Marriage
The Boston Globe reports that Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has signed a new pledge, sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage, committing candidates to support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum also signed the pledge. Former Minnesota Governor and fellow candidate Tim Pawlenty did not sign the pledge, but re-affirmed his opposition to same-sex marriage.
New HIV Cases Stay Steady in US Over Decade
The Boston Globe reports that the rate of new HIV infections has stayed the same over the last decade. The findings were released by federal officials in August. About 50,000 people a year are infected with HIV in the United States. Critics call the numbers a failure of federal HIV/AIDS policy. Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief of AIDS research at the National Institutes of Health called the number an “unacceptably high level” and warned “we’re likely to face an era of rising infection rate.”
Suquamish Tribe Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage
The Seattle Times reports that the Suquamish Indian tribe in the state of Washington has passed an ordinance legalizing same sex marriage on its tribal land. The tribal council unanimously approved the ordinance. The change allows two unmarried people, regardless of gender, to marry as long as they are at least 18 and one is a member of the Suquamish Tribe. According to the Times, the Coquille Tribe in Coos Bay Oregon is the only other tribe to have legalized same-sex marriage.