Minnesotans will push for marriage equality next year

Written by AP Friday, 21 December 2012 06:18

The leader of the campaign that defeated a gay marriage ban in Minnesota said yesterday that the group would push to legalize marriage equality in the legislative session starting in January.

Richard Carbom told The Associated Press that he’d continue to lead Minnesotans United for All Families, transforming it into a lobbying group. The group will lobby Minnesota lawmakers to pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state next year.

Gingrich says GOP should embrace civil marriage equality

Written by WiG Thursday, 20 December 2012 13:02

Newt Gingrich, who was House Speaker when Congress passed the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, has told the Huffington Post that the Republican Party must find a way to support civil marriage equality.

Responding, Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group, said, “Newt Gingrich reflects the experience that has changed the minds of so many Americans in understanding that LGBT people are a part of every family and community – including his own. His evolution resonates with people on a very personal level and is a quintessential example of why momentum is on the side of equality.”

U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., lost his Senate bid to Democrat Claire McCaskill in November after insisting that a woman’s body automatically shuts down and prevents pregnancy during “legitimate rape.” But he hopes to deliver a parting blow for the religious right by passing a bill designed to undermine the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

In May, Akin introduced a “conscience clause” into the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. Although he says the measure will protect the religious liberties of military personnel who believe homosexuality is evil, critics call it a license for bigots to harass and discriminate against out members of the military. 

Arbitrator: Disgruntled beauty queen defamed pageant, owes $5M

Written by AP Thursday, 20 December 2012 04:51

A beauty queen who claimed this year’s Miss USA contest was fixed has been ordered to pay the pageant organization $5 million for defamation.

In a decision signed last week, an arbitrator found that the comments from Miss Pennsylvania USA Sheena Monnin were false, harmful and malicious. Monnin had alleged that the five finalists had been selected in advance of the pageant’s live telecast.

Pope takes denunciation of gay marriage to new level

Written by WiG,
Friday, 21 December 2012 05:28

The pope has taken his opposition to gay marriage to a new level, saying "in the fight for the family, mankind itself is at stake."

Benedict made the comments on Dec. 21 in his annual Christmas speech to the Vatican bureaucracy – one of his most important speeches of the year and one he dedicated this year to promoting family values, according to the AP.

Florida’s opinion on gay marriage changing

Written by WiG Thursday, 20 December 2012 12:33

Florida voters are changing their minds about same-sex marriage. An increasing number support gay marriage in a state that banned it with a constitutional amendment several years ago.

In May, a Quinnipiac University Poll showed 50 percent of voters opposed gay marriage.

Harvey Milk documentary added to US film registry

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 20 December 2012 07:11

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Dirty Harry” and “A League of Their Own” will be preserved for their enduring significance in American culture at by the Library of Congress, along with “A Christmas Story” and some pioneering sports movies.

They are among 25 selections the library is inducting into the National Film Registry. Congress created the program in 1989 to preserve films for their cultural or historical significance. The latest additions bring the registry to 600 films that include Hollywood features, documentaries, independent films and early experimental flicks.

RI Senate president expects same-sex marriage vote

Written by AP Wednesday, 19 December 2012 08:47

The Rhode Island Senate president said this week she anticipates a committee vote on same-sex marriage in the coming legislative session, despite her opposition to it, if the House of Representatives endorses it.

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, a Newport Democrat, said her opposition to same-sex marriage, which kept the legislation from being heard last year, has not changed but she expects the issue will be taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee if the House advances a bill.

Poll: Majority of Americans say Republicans are too extreme

Written by WiG Thursday, 20 December 2012 19:26

For the first time ever, more than half of all Americans view the Republican Party’s policies and views as too extreme, according to a CNN/ORC International poll.

Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said the GOP’s positions are extremist, up 17 points from just two years ago. Only 37 percent said the same of Democrats.

Gay Mississippi mayor indicted for personal use of tax money

Written by AP Thursday, 20 December 2012 10:20

A north Mississippi mayor accused of misusing taxpayer money on several purchases including at a Canadian sex shop was indicted this week on one count each of embezzlement, false pretense and making fraudulent statements.

Southaven Mayor Greg Davis has been under scrutiny since November 2011, when the Mississippi Auditor's office told him to repay $170,000 for allegedly improper billings, including travel, food, liquor and one bill for $67 at Priape, described on its website as “Canada's premiere gay lifestyle store and sex shop.”

LGBT band invited to march in inaugural parade

Written by AP Thursday, 20 December 2012 05:01

An LGBT band, along with spouses of servicemembers in the Armed Forces, college and military bands, service dog trainers and a drill team from Chicago are among the diverse groups invited to participate in next month’s inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee has started sending out invitations to groups nationwide to march behind Barack Obama from his swearing in at the Capitol to the White House on Jan. 21.

Around world, massacres have spurred gun control

AP writers
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 08:03

If there’s anywhere that understands the pain of Newtown, Conn., it’s Dunblane, Scotland, the town whose grief became a catalyst for changes to Britain’s gun laws.

In March 1996, a 43-year-old man named Thomas Hamilton walked into a primary school in this central Scotland town of 8,000 people and shot to death 16 kindergarten-age children and their teacher with four legally held handguns. In the weeks that followed, people in the town formed the Snowdrop campaign – named for the first flower of spring – to press for a ban on handguns. Within weeks, it had collected 750,000 signatures. By the next year, the ban had become law.