BigGayNews from Australia:
Gay Slur Sparks Gillard Boycott Of Christian Event
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has pulled out of speaking at the Australian Christian Lobby’s national conference after its leader suggested a homosexual ”lifestyle” was more hazardous to health than smoking.
The group’s managing director, Jim Wallace, made the comment in Tasmania this week during a debate on same-sex marriage, which outraged same-sex marriage campaigners.
Ms. Gillard states: ”To compare the health effects of smoking cigarettes with the many struggles gay and lesbian Australians endure in contemporary society is heartless and wrong. In light of this, I believe my attendance at the conference would be inappropriate.”
BigGayNews from the United States:
Maryland Delegate Acknowledges Football Player “Has First Amendment Rights”
ThinkProgress reports that anti-gay Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. (D) has backed off his attacks against Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo after creating a media firestorm with his letter condemning the player’s support of marriage equality.
Ayanbadejo responded on Friday that he was “surprised” by the letter, but that he wasn’t backing down and had his team’s support, while Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe stole the media spotlight with his retort to Burns, challenging the delegate, “Why do you hate freedom?”
The controversy has sparked a broader dialogue about GLBT inclusion throughout the NFL.
BigGayNews from Kenya:
Kenyan Lesbian Rape Victim Hopes Film Will Inspire Other Survivors
Gay Star News reports that a Kenyan lesbian who was raped because of her sexuality says she wants a documentary about her life to inspire other victims not to give up hope.
I Am Mary tells the story of Mary Mathui, who, after being the victim of “corrective rape” 11 years ago, conceived a son and was diagnosed with HIV.
Mathui states: “I wanted to inspire and to challenge those who have gone through the same experience of rape not to lose hope and stand firm no matter what.”
BigGayNews from Washington State:
Online Travel Company Expedia Announces Support For Marriage Equality
LGBTQNation reports that online travel company Expedia.com on Tuesday announced its support for marriage equality and the efforts to approve Referendum 74 in Washington state, the November ballot initiative asking voters to approve or reject the state’s new marriage equality law.
Dara Khosrowshahi, President and CEO of Expedia Inc. said in a statement that supporting the ballot measure “is a natural extension of our ongoing commitment to the LGBT community.”
“We strive to actively promote equality in our workplace and are committed to treating one another with respect and dignity. Part of our overall diversity effort is providing a supportive environment for our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) employees.”
BigGayNews from Washington, DC:
At Democratic Convention, A Record Presence For Gays
PJStar.com reports that the Democratic National Convention is a watershed event for America’s gay rights movement, which never before has been embraced so warmly by a major political party.
There’s a platform endorsing same-sex marriage, a roster of speakers that includes three gay members of Congress, and a record number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender delegates hailing from all 50 states—486 in all, more than 8 percent of the total.
Jerame Davis of National Stonewall Democrats, a gay-rights affiliate of the party said, “We’ve been an under-represented demographic in politics for a long time. Finally seeing us appropriately represented is just a thrill.”
BigGayNews from Long Beach, California:
Four Marines Arrested For Assaulting Man At Long Beach Gay Bar
The Press-Telegram reports that Long Beach Police Department detectives are investigating a possible hate crime attack involving four Marine Corps members who attacked a man outside a popular local gay bar, authorities confirmed Tuesday.
Silver Fox Manager John Barnes said the attack occurred as the bar was closing, with the primary suspect punching a young gay man who was much smaller.
Police were on the scene within moments of the call, and the suspects were detained and arrested for assault. LBPD Violent Crimes Division detectives are also investigating the incident as a possible hate crime attack, according to Nancy Pratt, a Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman.
BigGayNews from Minneapolis, Minnesota:
Minnesota Basketball Star Opposes Marriage Amendment
The Advocate reports that University of Minnesota basketball star Trevor Mbakwe has joined the team of those opposing the state’s anti–marriage equality constitutional amendment.
In a post on Minnesotans for Equality’s Facebook page, he writes: “This proposed amendment would permanently ADD in discrimination to our states constitution. This feels like taking a step back in time, it’s 2012, and this sort of extreme act is not only unfair … it’s anti-Minnesotan! By voting NO to this extreme Marriage Amendment, you’re sending a message that you support the rights for all loving couples, gay or straight.”
BigGayNews from Boston, Massachusetts:
Judge Orders Sex Change For Massachusetts Murder Convict
Boston.com reports that a federal judge on Tuesday ordered state prison officials to provide a taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate serving life in prison for murder.
U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled in the case of Michelle Kosilek, who was born as a man but has received hormone treatments and lives as a woman in an all-male prison. Robert Kosilek was convicted of murder in the killing of his wife in 1990.
Wolf is believed to be the first federal judge to order prison officials to provide the surgery for a transgender inmate.