U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, the ultra-conservative from Minnesota who unsuccessfully campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination last year, is set to headline at The Awakening 2013 prayer and patriotism meetup.

Pro-gay GOP chair beats conservatives' attempt to oust him

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 16 April 2013 06:03

Illinois' GOP chairman emerged from another ouster attempt over the weekend and said his party must be more welcoming of diversity and inclusive of people who disagree if it's going to grow and win future elections.

More conservative members of Illinois' Republican Party have been trying to oust Pat Brady for months, largely because he took a position in favor of gay marriage as the Legislature took up an equality bill. About 50 party members attended the weekend meeting of the GOP's State Central Committee to ask that Brady step down or that the committee fire him.

Protesters seek anti-gay marriage amendment in Puerto Rico

Written by AP Monday, 15 April 2013 04:13

Hundreds of people marched through the capital of Puerto Rico to demand that the governor approve a constitutional amendment stating that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid.

The protesters walked on April 13 from the U.S. territory's seaside Capitol building to the governor's mansion in historic Old San Juan.

Los Angeles warns gay community of meningitis illness

Written by WiG
and AP reports
Saturday, 13 April 2013 04:24

A 33-year-old West Hollywood, Calif., man who felt sickened by bacterial meningitis earlier this week has been declared brain dead amid warnings to sexually active gay men about the deadly strain of illness, officials said.

Brett Shaad was declared brain dead but remained on life support Friday afternoon, said Elizabeth Ashford, a spokeswoman for Shaad's family. She declined to release further details.

A new study forecasts that extending marriage rights to same-sex couples in Minnesota would pump an estimated $42 million into the state and local economy.

The study was completed by Angeliki Kastanis, a Williams Institute public policy research fellow at UCLA, and M.V. Lee Badgett, a Williams Institute research director and professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Lesbian couple wins bias suit against Hawaii B&B

Written by WiG Tuesday, 16 April 2013 05:16

Hawaii's First Circuit has ruled in favor of a lesbian couple who sued for discrimination the Aloha Bed & Breakfast after the business turned them away because of their sexual orientation.

"The court today rejected a legal attack upon an important civil rights law that protects all people from discriminatory business practices,” said Lambda Legal staff attorney Peter Renn in a news release. "The court made clear that no business is above the law. When you enter the commercial world, you take on an obligation not to discriminate against customers, no matter what the color of their skin, what religion they practice, or whom they love.  That very simple but fundamental principle was vindicated today."

Illinois Republicans renew effort to oust pro-gay chairman

Written by AP Sunday, 14 April 2013 14:18

Tensions flared Saturday over who should lead an Illinois Republican Party grappling with internal divisions and fallout from a dismal showing in the 2012 elections.

A group of about 40 Republicans attended a meeting of the party’s State Central Committee to say they want Chairman Pat Brady to step down or the state committee to fire him.

UPDATE: On April The Republican National Committee – meeting in California – approved a resolution to reaffirm party opposition to marriage equality.

The resolution was affirmed by the committee as increasing numbers of elected officials endorse legalizing same-sex marriage and as polls show a majority support for marriage equality among voters. Numbers also are up among Republicans.

Pope backs crackdown on nuns for social justice work

Written by AP Tuesday, 16 April 2013 09:12

The Vatican says Pope Francis supports the Holy See's crackdown on the largest umbrella group of U.S. nuns, who were faulted for focusing too much on social justice instead of issues such as opposing abortion rights.

American sisters had expressed hope that Francis, a Jesuit whose emphasis on the poor mirrored their social outreach, would take a different approach than his predecessor.

Marriage equality advocates demonstrate on Tax Day

Written by WiG
and AP reports
Monday, 15 April 2013 08:06

Marriage equality advocates are demonstrating on April 15 around the country calling attention to the discrimination against LGBT people in federal and state laws on Tax Day.

Demonstrators, in actions sponsored by Marriage Equality USA, planned to rally at post offices, courthouses and clerk's offices to protest state and federal laws that bar recognition of same-sex relationships and result in same-sex couples going by different tax rules.

San Diego finally gets Harvey Milk Street

Written by AP Saturday, 13 April 2013 08:23

Nearly a year after it was approved, two blocks in San Diego’s Hillcrest district have officially become Harvey Milk Street in honor of the gay civil rights hero.

Until this week, a sign for Blaine Avenue was still posted below one for Harvey Milk Street.

French Senate votes to legalize same-sex marriage

Written by AP Friday, 12 April 2013 07:21

The French Senate has voted to legalize same-sex marriage in France, putting a landmark bill on track to become law by summer.

The vote in the upper house of parliament – led by President Francois Hollande’s Socialists – comes despite boisterous protests.