BigGayNews from Maryland:
Ben Carson Withdraws As Johns Hopkins Commencement Speaker After Gay Marriage Outcry
The Huffington Post reports that Dr. Ben Carson, a Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon, said Wednesday evening that he would step down as commencement speaker for the School of Medicine after his incendiary comments opposing gay marriage drew outrage from students and faculty.
In a recent appearance on Fox News, Carson compared gay marriage to bestiality and pedophilia, sparking outrage which resulted in a majority of the graduating students signing a petition stating that he was an inappropriate speaker for commencement.
BigGayNews from the United States:
NHL Announces Initiative To Support Gay Athletes
The New York Times reports that amid heightened speculation that a male athlete in one of North America’s four major professional leagues will soon publicly declare his homosexuality, the National Hockey League and its players announced Thursday what appears to be the most comprehensive measure by a major men’s league in support of gay athletes.
The NHL plans to train and counsel its teams and players on gay issues, in partnership with the You Can Play Project, a group that fights homophobia in sports.
While no gay male player for a major US sports team has come out yet, Patrick Burke, a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers and founder of You Can Play, feels that the very demographics of the NHL makes taking this initiative an important one.
BigGayNews from Michigan:
Indigo Girls Encourage Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival Protest Over Transgender Exclusion
The Huffington Post reports that though they’ll be on hand to perform, the Indigo Girls are encouraging a protest against the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival for the event’s continued exclusion of transgender women.
The duo plans to donate the proceeds from their performance to transgender activism.
An official statement on the Indigo Girls website states: “We have made it clear that this will be our last time at the Festival until MWMF shows visible and concrete signs of changing their intention.”
BigGayNews story from Missouri:
Missouri Man Arrested At Hospital For Refusing To Leave Gay Partner
The Raw Story reports that a gay man was arrested at a hospital in Missouri this week when he refused to leave the bedside of his partner, and now a restraining order is preventing him from any type of visitation.
Roger Gorley, who has a power of attorney to make medical decisions for his partner, refused to leave Research Medical Center in Kansas City when a family member asked him to leave. Gorley was put in handcuffs by hospital security and removed from the building.
BigGayNews from California:
San Jose’s Gordon Gets Three-Game Ban For Anti-Gay Slur
Reuters reports that San Jose Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon was suspended three games and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Soccer (MLS) on Tuesday for a homophobic comment he directed at an opponent.
The slur, caught on camera during the Saturday game against the Portland Timbers, was directed toward midfielder Will Johnson.
Gordon has since apologized, but MLS Commissioner Don Garber stated: “Major League Soccer stands against discrimination and prejudice of any kind and will not tolerate this type of behavior.”
BigGayNews from Montana:
Montana House Backs Repeal Of Law Criminalizing Of Gay Sex
The Missoulian reports that the Montana House decisively voted Tuesday to repeal Montana’s law making gay sex a crime, putting the bill one step away from the governor’s desk.
The House voted 64 to 36 to endorse the bill, with 25 Republicans crossing the aisle to join all 39 House Democrats. The bill would remove gay sex from the definition of the crime of “deviate sexual relations”, which was a felony that carried a penalty of up to $50,000 in fines and up to 10 years in prison.
Representative Duane Ankney (Republican – Colstrip), who has a lesbian daughter, stated: “To say she is any less of a person or a criminal for her lifestyle … really upsets me. I consider myself a good Christian … and I don’t think God thinks any less of my daughter than he does of any one of you in here. The law is an embarrassment on the people of Montana. It should go away.”
BigGayNews from Uruguay:
Uruguay Legalizes Gay Marriage
The Huffington Post reports that Uruguayan lawmakers voted Wednesday to legalize gay marriage, making the South American country the third in the Americas to do so.
With a backing of 71 of the 92 members of the Chamber of Deputies attending, the passing of the law brought the country in line with twelve other nations around the world that legally recognize same-sex unions.
The wording of the legislation creates a single set of rules governing marriage, adoption of children and divorce for all citizens, gay or straight, to ensure that GLBT couples are treated no differently than heterosexual couples in the court of law.
BigGayNews from New Zealand:
New Zealand Gay Marriage: Lawmakers Approve Marriage Equality Bill
The Huffington Post reports that hundreds of jubilant gay-rights advocates celebrated at New Zealand’s Parliament on Wednesday as the country became the 13th in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage.
With a vote of 77 to 44, lawmakers passed the measure to give equality to all citizens, with lawmakers being encouraged to vote their conscience rather than by party lines.
Louisa Wall, sponsor of the bill, stated: “In our society, the meaning of marriage is universal – it’s a declaration of love and commitment to a special person. Nothing could make me more proud to be a New Zealander than passing this bill.”