Within minutes of being elected to the top job in the Olympics, Thomas Bach got a phone call from a powerful leader he'll work with closely in the next few months: Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Bach, a 59-year-old German lawyer, was elected on Sept. 10 to president of the International Olympic Committee. He succeeds Jacques Rogge, who stepped down after 12 years.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced late Sept. 9 that he will call a special session to consider marriage equality legislation.
An announcement from Equality Hawaii board member Steven Levinson said, “Since this morning, we’ve counted the votes over and over again and I won’t sugarcoat it: it’s going to be extremely close. Several lawmakers still haven’t decided which way they’ll vote. If we’re going to win their support, it’s going to take the most rigorous lobbying and grassroots organizing program we’ve ever run. We have to mobilize tens of thousands of supporters to take action in key districts across the state.”
The head of the Sochi Olympics has asked the International Olympic Committee to help “stop this campaign and this speculation” related to the enforcement of an anti-gay law that has been overshadowing preparations for next year’s Winter Games in Russia.
A senior IOC member, meanwhile, said sponsors are “afraid” of the fallout of possible demonstrations in Sochi.
New Mexico's 33 counties asked the state's highest court Thursday to decide whether gay marriage is legal in the state and to stop the spread of lawsuits that have forced some county officials to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The New Mexico Association of Counties and clerks statewide filed a petition seeking clarity in a legal dispute that has changed rapidly in the past two weeks since a southern New Mexico clerk independently began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
The AFL-CIO amended its governing constitution on Sept. 9 to include gender identity.
Amendment 9 adopted at the organization's convention is about "welcoming all workers to our movement." The amendment was proposed by the Communications Workers of America and recommended by the AFL-CIO Constitution Committee.
Legislators in Puerto Rico are preparing to debate a bill that would allow people to use marijuana for medicinal purposes in the U.S. territory, officials said.
The measure would create a system to legally produce the substance and allow state health officials to regulate it, said Rep. Jose Baez, one of the bill's two authors.
The Washington theater where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated will produce the play "The Laramie Project" and offer programs about bullying and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Ford's Theatre announced its Lincoln Legacy Project will mark 15 years since Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was abducted and killed in Laramie, Wyo. The Lincoln initiative focuses on issues of diversity, equality and acceptance.
San Antonio's leaders on Sept. 5 approved anti-bias protections for LGBT residents over the disapproval of top Texas Republicans and religious conservatives who packed a City Council hearing and occasionally shamed supporters for comparing the issue to the civil rights movement.
The 8-3 City Council vote in favor of the ordinance was a victory for gay rights advocates and for Democratic Mayor Julian Castro. Castro has called the ordinance overdue in the nation's seventh-largest city, where there is a stronger current of traditionalism and conservatism than other major Texas cities that already have similar gay rights protections.
The Indiana University GLBT Alumni Association on Sept. 10 launched the nation’s first-ever scholarship campaign devoted to assisting LGBT students and promoting leadership on LGBT concerns.
Bolstered by an anonymous $500,000 challenge gift, the campaign kicked off with more than $200,000 in cash and pledges.
The Southern Baptist Convention, which provides the largest share of active-duty military chaplains, has barred members from taking part in weddings, counseling sessions and couples retreats for same-sex couples.
The North American Mission Board, an arm of the Nashville, Tenn.-based SBC, also prohibits chaplains from participating in any services that would appear to endorse or accept same-sex unions.
After three years of boycotting Home Depot over its LGBT-supportive policies, the American Family Association says it has achieved its goals and is ending the boycott. “We’re satisfied that the company has withdrawn its major financial contributions to gay activist groups and to their activities,” the anti-gay AFA said in a statement.
The announcement came as a surprise to Home Depot, however. A spokesman for the company told ThinkProgress that no policy changes have been implemented as a result of the boycott. In fact, Home Depot continues to offer numerous services to support diversity in the workplace, including a Pride Network Associate Resource Group. It also maintains an official partnership with LGBT community organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was making a pitch on Sept. 5 to gay and lesbian couples in Chicago that they should come to his city to say their vows — and spend their money on weddings — rather than wait for Illinois to join Minnesota in legalizing same-sex marriages.
At a news conference in Chicago's predominantly gay neighborhood, Rybak said that while he hopes Illinois eventually allows gay marriage, as Minnesota's Legislature recently voted to do, he plans to take advantage now of his city's competitive advantage for tourism dollars.