An online petition demands the reinstatement of a teacher fired from a Catholic school in Ohio after she listed her female partner's name in her mother's obituary.

The petition campaign began on April 17 on behalf of PE teacher Carla Hale, who was fired from Bishop Watterson High School in Clintonville.

New Hampshire lawmaker calls women 'vaginas' in email

Written by WiG Wednesday, 17 April 2013 08:06

New Hampshire state Rep. Peter Hansen referred to women as "vaginas" in an email to legislative colleagues during a debate over repealing a law allowing people to use deadly force to defend themselves.

Hansen, of Amherst, N.H., sent an email on April 1, that referred to a speech by another lawmaker, who described retreat with the use of deadly force in public.

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.

LGBT groups respond to Gang of Eight's immigration bill

Written by WiG Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:40

LGBT civil rights activists say the immigration bill offered on April 16 by the bipartisan Gang of Eight marks the beginning of a long battle for justice. The legislation contains some key provisions sought by LGBT civil rights leaders, but lacks specific proposals to protect an estimated 40,000 binational families in which same-sex marriages or partnerships are not recognized by the federal government.

Library association releases ‘most challenged books’ list

Written by By HILLEL ITALIE,
AP writer
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 18:58

Here’s a list “Fifty Shades of Grey” was destined to make: The books most likely to be removed from school and library shelves in the U.S.

On Monday, E L James’ multimillion selling erotic trilogy placed No. 4 on the American Library Association’s annual study of “challenged books,” works subject to complaints from parents, educators and other members of the public. The objections: Offensive language, and, of course, graphic sexual content.

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."

New Zealand passes same-sex marriage bill

Written by WiG Wednesday, 17 April 2013 08:26

New Zealand became the 13th country in the world and the first in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage early on April 17.

Lawmakers voted 77-44 in favor of a marriage equality bill on its third and final reading.

Mass Equality LGBT group joining in Boston vigils

Written by WiG Tuesday, 16 April 2013 14:26

MassEquality, the statewide LGBT civil rights group, is joining many other organizations in a vigil on the Boston Common in the wake of the bombing at the Boston Marathon.

Mass Equality executive director Kara S. Suffredini issued the following statement on April 16: 

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.