A bill aimed at pressuring the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on gay members by making the organization ineligible for nonprofit tax breaks cleared its first vote on April 10 in the California Legislature.

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee voted 5 to 2 to move the first-of-its-kind bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee for review.

Texas may amend discriminatory 'Romeo and Juliet' law

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 10 April 2013 10:55

Parents of LGBT  teens urged Texas lawmakers on April 9 to give their children the same legal protection as heterosexuals when it comes to prosecuting sex crimes.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee voted to change Texas' "Romeo and Juliet" law that protects some heterosexual teens from being prosecuted for sex crimes and apply it to gay teens as well.

Petitions filed to block gay rights law in Detroit suburb

Written by The AP Tuesday, 09 April 2013 19:37

A man in Royal Oak, Mich., recently submitted petitions to force a referendum on a new gay rights ordinance in the Detroit suburb.

Fred Birchard said the petitions have 1,226 signatures. They seek repeal of the measure that Royal Oak’s City Commission approved March 4.

A study released by a coalition of civil rights groups shows that $250 billion to $300 billion a year in federal contracts goes to businesses in states that do not protect LGBT workers from discrimination.

The coalition, in addition to releasing the study, promoted a petition calling on President Barack Obama to issue an executive order banning federal contractors from discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

Uruguay votes to legalize same-sex marriage

Written by The AP Thursday, 11 April 2013 06:10

Uruguayan lawmakers voted on April 10 to legalize gay marriage, making the South American country the third in the Americas to do so.

Supporters of the law, who had filled the public seats in the legislative building, erupted in celebration when the results were announced. The bill received the backing of 71 of the 92 members of the Chamber of Deputies present.

DC Comics introduces transgender character in "Batgirl"

Written by WiG Wednesday, 10 April 2013 08:27

In DC Comic's "Batgirl" released April 10, character Alysia Yeoh comes out as transgender.

Wired reports that DC Comics is working to continue to expand the diversity of the superhero universe.

Putin faces furor of gay rights, feminist protesters

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 09 April 2013 11:26

Vladimir Putin faced hundreds of protesters ranging from gay rights activists to a topless feminist group during his visit to Germany and the Netherlands on April 8, but the Russian president appeared unruffled by the furor.

In Hannover, Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Russia's human rights record at a press conference. Then activists from Ukraine's Femen group bared their torsos and ran at him shouting "Putin dictator!" before they were detained.

Equal pay demands delivered to White House, Congress

Written by WiG Monday, 08 April 2013 15:55

More than 100 organizations on April 8 called on President Barack Obama to issue an executive order banning retaliation against employees of federal contractors for disclosing or inquiring about wages.

The request was made on the eve of Equal Pay Day and accompanied with renewed calls for equal pay for equal work. Data from the U.S. Census says that women still earn, on average, 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes. Women of color take home even less.

National lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organizations joined in the march for justice for all immigrants on National Immigration Day of Action, which was observed on April 10 with a rally at the U.S. Capitol and actions around the country.

Twenty-six LGBT groups joined in the actions, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; GLAAD; the National Center for Lesbian Rights; the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project, a project of the United We Dream Network; National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance; and Immigration Equality.

British teen crime czar quits over racist, anti-gay tweets

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 10 April 2013 06:37

She was hired to teach local police about British youth - but it was 17-year-old Paris Brown who said she learned a lesson after her scandalous tweets about drugs, drinking and sex hit the tabloids.

The Twitter postings sparked a media furor, questions over why a teen would be named a crime official and calls for Brown's resignation. The latter she gave Tuesday, along with an apology, a week after her appointment to the 15,000-pound ($22,800) a year role as Britain's first youth crime commissioner.

A new study found that residents of right-wing states with high rates of gun ownership are more likely to commit suicide than others.

The February issue of Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology published the study, which was compiled by researchers at the University of California, Riverside.

U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson comes out for marriage equality

Written by WiG Monday, 08 April 2013 12:42

U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, a Democrat from South Dakota, announced on April 8 his support for marriage equality.

The senator's statement was brief: "After lengthy consideration, my views have evolved sufficiently to support marriage equality legislation. This position doesn't require any religious denomination to alter any of its tenets; it simply forbids government from discrimination regarding who can marry whom."