Advocate names Baldwin Person of the Year

Written by WiG Friday, 04 January 2013 12:54

The Advocate has named Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin its Person of the Year and featured the lawmaker on its cover.

Baldwin, who took the oath of office in the U.S. Senate on Jan. 3, is the first openly gay person to serve in that chamber.

Lesbian couples denied marriage licenses in Mississippi. Video

Written by AP
and WiG reports
Friday, 04 January 2013 05:33

Five lesbian couples applied for marriage licenses in Forrest County, Miss., this week, knowing they would be denied.

The action on Jan. 2 was part of a national group's campaign to gain equality for LGBT people. The "Campaign for Southern Equality" is based in Asheville, N.C.

Tammy Baldwin takes oath in Senate. Video

Written by Tammy Baldwin takes oath in Senate Thursday, 03 January 2013 12:34

Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin took the oath of office in the U.S. Senate on Jan. 3, becoming the first openly gay person to serve in that chamber.

In the House, six out representatives were sworn in on Jan. 3 – Mark Pocan, Jared Polis, David Cicilline, Mark Takano, Sean Patrick Maloney and Kyrsten Sinema – while Barney Frank ended his long career in Congress.

Ahoy! Israeli pirates lead surge of quirky political parties

Written by ARON HELLER,
AP writer
Thursday, 03 January 2013 06:08

Shiver me timbers! Israel’s newest political party has more than a platform – it’s got a plank.

The Israel Pirate Party is one of 34 lists competing in the country’s Jan. 22 parliamentary election. While only a dozen or so have a realistic chance of getting elected, many Israelis fed up with existential issues like the conflict with the Palestinians and possible war with Iran are seeking sanctuary with some of the quirkier parties.

School play edited over 'sexually suggestive' Elvis song

Written by lisa neff Friday, 04 January 2013 11:15

A Utah school district will require the editing of a high school play that uses Elvis Presley's music after a complaint about a "sexually suggestive" song.

Jordan School District officials announced plans on Jan. 2 to scrap Herriman High School's production of "All Shook Up," saying it could be offensive. Then the district announced the play would be edited, including removing the play's title track from the script, and other tweaks.

Marriage bill introduced in Rhode Island

Written by AP Friday, 04 January 2013 05:22

The long debate over gay marriage in Rhode Island intensified Jan. 2 with lawmakers in both the House and Senate finalizing legislation that would allow same-sex couples to wed. The bill was filed in the House on Jan. 3 in the only New England state where gay marriage is not legal.

Rhode Island Rep. Art Handy, D-Cranston, spent Jan. 2 asking lawmakers to co-sponsor his marriage bill. Democratic Sen. Joshua Miller said legislation should be introduced in the Senate as well. House Speaker Gordon Fox, a Democrat, has said he hopes to call a vote on the issue in the House by the end of the month.

Group vows to oust Illinois Republicans who back marriage equality

Written by WiG Thursday, 03 January 2013 11:10

The National Organization for Marriage on Jan. 3 vowed to campaign against any Republican in Illinois who supports marriage equality.

The threat comes as lawmakers in the state are considering legislation to legalize marriage for same-sex couples. Votes could happen as early as today.

2016 politics on display as Congress ends term

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 03 January 2013 05:55

Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential candidate, voted for the “fiscal cliff” compromise that raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul voted against it. And Vice President Joe Biden helped broker the deal with GOP leaders in the Senate.

As Congress closed out its term this week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie accused fellow Republicans of showing “callous indifference to the suffering of the people of my state” by not holding a vote on Superstorm Sandy aid. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined him in the rebuke.

R&B singer Frank Ocean cited for pot possession

Written by AP Friday, 04 January 2013 08:05

Grammy-nominated R&B singer Frank Ocean, who made headlines last year when he came out, is back in the news. He has temporarily lost his driver's license and faces a marijuana possession charge after police say he was pulled over twice on the final days of the year in California's Eastern Sierra Nevada for driving more than 90 mph in 65 mph zones.

The Mono County Sheriff's Department said officers first stopped Ocean's black BMW on Dec. 30, 2012, as he was heading northbound on U.S. 395 near Keoughs, and cited him for speeding.

Ill. Senate committee approves marriage equality bill

Written by AP
and WiG reports
Thursday, 03 January 2013 18:30

A measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois cleared its first hurdle this afternoon after a state Senate committee approved it on a vote of 8–5.

With the Senate Executive Committee’s stamp of approval, the measure heads next to a vote by the full Senate. At this point, it’s unclear when that vote will occur.

Sperm donor to lesbian couple fights state's demand for child support

Written by AP Thursday, 03 January 2013 07:16

A Kansas man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple is fighting state efforts to force him to pay support for a child conceived through artificial insemination.

William Marotta told The Topeka Capital-Journal newspaper he’s “a little scared about where this is going to go, primarily for financial reasons.” He said the case has already cost him 10 percent of his annual salary.

GOP leaders back Illinois marriage bill

Written by lisa neff Wednesday, 02 January 2013 16:53

Two prominent Republican Party leaders on Jan. 2 endorsed marriage equality legislation in Illinois.

Equality Illinois, the state's largest LGBT civil rights group, said Illinois Republican Party chairman Pat Brady has given his "full support" to the legislation pending in Springfield. Brady, according to a news release, was contacting GOP lawmakers to urge them to vote for the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.