Cameroon torturing, raping gays and lesbians

Written by AP Friday, 22 March 2013 11:24

People suspected of being gay in Cameroon say they have been tortured and raped in prison, according to a report released this week by Human Rights Watch and three local organizations.

The 55-page report, titled "Guilty by Association," documents reported abuses by authorities prosecuting suspected gays and lesbians. Those convicted can face up to five years in prison in Cameroon.

Lesbian couples sue to marry in New Mexico

Written by WiG Friday, 22 March 2013 06:44

Two lesbian couples seeking the freedom to marry filed a lawsuit this week after they applied for and were denied marriage licenses by the Bernalillo County, N.M., clerk.

The couples are Miriam Rand, 63, and Ona Porter, 66; and Rose Griego, 47, and Kim Kiel, 44. Rand and Porter currently live in Albuquerque while Griego and Kiel reside in Santa Fe. They are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of New Mexico, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Albuquerque law firm Sutin, Thayer & Browne.

Equality House opens across from anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church

Written by WiG Thursday, 21 March 2013 11:57

A rainbow-striped Equality House has opened in Topeka, Kan., near the Westboro Baptist Church, home to one of the most notorious anti-gay groups in the country.

Westboro has long been led by the Rev. Fred Phelps, who, along with relatives and members of the Christian church, pickets funerals of U.S. soldiers and stages anti-gay demonstrations.

Santa Fe mayor, council member urge marriage licenses for same-sex couples

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 20 March 2013 14:55

The New Mexico Legislature left town without acting on a constitutional amendment to legalize gay marriage, so Santa Fe Mayor David Coss and a City Council member are encouraging county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples anyway. And they insist it is legal to do so.

Coss and Councilor Patti Bushee say they will introduce a resolution March 27 ``recognizing'' that same-sex marriage is legal in New Mexico.

Anti-Defamation League imagines world without hate in new video

Written by WiG Friday, 22 March 2013 10:53

The Anti-Defamation League is launching a major public awareness initiative with an 80-second public service video that imagines the contributions that victims of high-profile hate crimes might have made to society had their lives not been brutally cut short by racism, homophobia or anti-Semitism.

Set to John Lennon’s “Imagine,” the video pays tribute to the lives of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., hate crime victims Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr., Holocaust-era diarist Anne Frank, former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and slain Journalist Daniel Pearl by imagining their impact on society had they survived into the present day.

Colorado civil unions law takes effect May 1

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 22 March 2013 06:11

Civil unions for gay couples got the governor’s signature in Colorado on March 21, punctuating a dramatic turnaround in a state where voters banned same-sex marriage in 2006 and restricted protections for gays two decades ago.

Cheers erupted as Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bill during a ceremony at the History Colorado Center near the state Capitol. Hundreds looked on, with many chanting “Equal! Equal!”

Pediatrics group backs marriage equality

Written by WiG Thursday, 21 March 2013 09:58

The American Academy of Pediatrics today announced its support for marriage equality. The group said, simply, that legalizing same-sex marriage is good for children.

AAP's more detailed explanation of its endorsement was in a policy statement called "Promoting the Well-Being of Children Whose Parents Are Gay or Lesbian," which was published after an extensive review of the academic literature on the subject. The group concluded that legalizing marriage for gays and lesbians simplifies the adoption process and helps protect children’s right to maintain relationships with both parents, eligibility for health benefits and financial security.

United for Marriage rallies planned for Supreme Court hearings

Written by WiG Wednesday, 20 March 2013 13:32

United for Marriage: Light the Way to Justice rallies are being planned for Washington, D.C., and all 50 states as LGBT citizens and allies celebrate the Supreme Court taking up two major cases next week.

The United for Marriage Coalition consists of civil rights, religious and political leaders and their plans are for more than 150 events on March 26, the first day of the two days of hearings before the high court.

Study finds 2 in 3 hate crimes unreported

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 22 March 2013 08:18

Despite growing awareness of hate crimes, the share of those crimes reported to police has fallen in recent years as more victims of violent attacks express doubt that police can or will help.

Nearly 2 of 3 hate crimes go unreported to police, the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reported this week. For the years 2003-06, 46 percent of hate crimes were reported to police. But more recently, in 2007-11, just 35 percent were reported.

Speakers announced for marriage equality rally in D.C.

Written by WiG Friday, 22 March 2013 05:47

Athletes, activists and politicians will step up to the speaker's podium during the national marriage equality rally taking place outside the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26. That's the first day of oral arguments in marriage equality cases before the high court.

Pope Francis once supported civil unions

Written by WiG Wednesday, 20 March 2013 19:32

Faced with the likelihood that same-sex marriage would be legalized in Argentina in 2010, the head of the Argentina Bishop’s Conference, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, wanted the church to support civil unions as ‘the lesser of two evils.”

Bergoglio, who is now Pope Francis I, was rebuked over the idea by the other bishops, according to the pope’s authorized biographer. Bergoglio went on to become the public face of opposition to the marriage equality law proposed by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Boy Scouts' Scout-O-Rama' loses Chipotle support

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 20 March 2013 07:01

Chipotle Mexican Grill has pulled its sponsorship of Utah's "Scout-O-Rama" because of the Boy Scouts of America's long-standing ban on gays.

The popular Colorado-based restaurant chain initially signed on to provide about $4,200 worth of coupons to the Utah Boy Scouts' annual event, scheduled for May 4 in a Salt Lake City suburb. The Boy Scouts' Great Salt Lake Council is one of the largest in the country, with the majority of troops sponsored by Mormon churches.