Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Feb. 11 announced the extension of benefits to same-sex partners of gay and lesbian servicemembers.

The announcement comes 17 months after the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the policy that barred gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

Anti-gay group backs lifting environmental rules in order to help Florida billionaire build iron mine

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Friday, 08 February 2013 17:41

Julaine Appling, executive director of Wisconsin Family Action, issued a press release today urging her right-wing Christian followers to support Senate Bill 1 and Assembly Bill 1, both of which would relax environmental rules involving groundwater pollution, wetland protection and waste rock disposal in order to make a proposed mining project in northern Wisconsin more profitable.

“When Wisconsin’s families are independent of government, they are strong and our state is strong,” Appling said. “When our families are dependent on government, they are weak and our state is weak. Legislation that legitimately and responsibly promotes independent Wisconsin families should be welcomed by all.”

Gov. Walker declines to answer question about Boy Scouts

Written by WiG
and AP reports
Friday, 08 February 2013 07:04

Gov. Scott Walker is declining to weigh in on whether gays should be allowed in the Boy Scouts of America, the Associated Press reported.

Walker was asked about the issue Thursday following a speech at an economic development conference. Walker obtained the Boy Scouts' highest rank of Eagle Scout.

Chicago Pride extended to 2 weekends

Written by WiG Thursday, 07 February 2013 08:12

Chicago’s Pride celebration may be extended to two weekends, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. Traditionally the celebration has been crowded into one weekend close to the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York.

The Tribune reported that the Pride parade and the Pride festival, which are organized by different groups, will take place on different weekends.

Pope Benedict to resign on Feb. 28

Written by WiG Monday, 11 February 2013 05:14

Pope Benedict XVI will resign on February 28, his spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CNN on Monday (Feb. 11).

In a statement, the 85-year-old pope said he had noticed his strength deteriorating and "for this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter."

First PFLAG mom to receive posthumous Presidential Citizens Medal

Written by WiG Friday, 08 February 2013 13:48

President Barack Obama on Feb. 15 will present the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second highest civilian honor, to Jeanne Manford, the mom who founded PFLAG – Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

In 1972, Manford and husband Jules co-founded PFLAG, which has grown into a national organization.

Massive hunt for ex-cop, manifesto targets lesbian, black, white officers

Written by AP,
WiG reports
Friday, 08 February 2013 05:05

Despite a massive manhunt that touched three states and Mexico, the heavily armed ex-Los Angeles police officer believed behind a rampage, who promised in his rambling writings to bring "warfare" to police and their families, remains free.

"We don't know what he's going to do," said Cindy Bachman, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, one of many law enforcement agencies whose primary purpose on Feb. 8 became finding 33-year-old Christopher Dorner. "We know what he's capable of doing. And we need to find him."

'Atlas Shrugged' as required reading in Idaho high schools?

Written by AP Thursday, 07 February 2013 07:25

The chairman of the Idaho Senate Education Committee says he would like to require Idaho high school students to read Ayn Rand's 1957 novel "Atlas Shrugged" before graduating.

GOP Sen. John Goedde of Coeur d'Alene is only half serious.

Ohio mayor resigns after calling police officer 'queer'

Written by AP Sunday, 10 February 2013 07:51

The mayor of a southeastern Ohio town has resigned over accusations that she repeatedly called a gay police officer “queer” in front of his colleagues and created a hostile work environment.

Jackie Welker, council president in the Village of Pomeroy, tells The Associated Press that 78-year-old Mayor Mary McAngus submitted a letter of resignation Saturday.

LGBT group fights to march in Tet Parade

Written by AP Friday, 08 February 2013 11:36

A gay Vietnamese-American coalition is fighting efforts to bar it from this weekend's annual Tet Parade in Orange County, Calif.

The Partnership of Viet Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organizations has marched in past parades despite objections from religious groups.

Minnesota governor calls for marriage equality

Written by WiG Thursday, 07 February 2013 09:39

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, in his State of the State address Feb. 6, called for marriage equality in the state.

The governor said, “Let me mention one other cause, which is controversial, but consistent with my faith and my principles. And, more importantly, consistent with this country’s founding principles and its Constitution. I believe that every Minnesotan should have the freedom to marry legally the person she or he loves, whether of the same or other sex.”

Illinois governor urges marriage equality in State of the State

Written by WiG Wednesday, 06 February 2013 13:31

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, delivering his State of the State address on Feb. 6, urged passage of the pending marriage equality bill.