Archive for the ‘LGBT’ Category

Georgia University Warning About HIV-Positive Man Transmitting HIV Comes Under Fire

Posted on: September 5th, 2013 by Todd Heywood 6 Comments

On a Tuesday in August, Georgia Southern University issued an alarming “health alert” to its students. A “dominant” black man was “intentionally and knowingly” transmitting HIV. School officials warned the press, too. But weeks later, amid denials by state health officials that they authorized or distributed the alert, the school has quietly removed it from its website. A lot of people are demanding to know why it was posted in the first place. (more…)

Ban on LGBT Discrimination in Jury Service Added to Appropriations Bill

Posted on: July 26th, 2013 by Andy Birkey 1 Comment

A measure to ban discrimination against LGBT jurors was approved by a U.S. Senate committee on Thursday, marking the first time the issue has come to a vote in Congress.

The Jury Access for Capable Citizens and Equality in Service Selection (ACCESS) Act was included in a financial services appropriations bill passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The American Independent first reported on the issue of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in jury service last year, prompting legislation in both the Senate and the House where the issue has quietly gained bipartisan support.

While it is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin and economic status in jury service, no protections exist for sexual orientation or gender identity. In some cases, LGBT people have been removed as potential jurors in cases that involve gay rights issues, most recently in San Diego where a gay juror was removed from a panel that would decide the fate of marriage equality protesters.

Only three states ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in jury service; California and Oregon passed legislation several years ago, and Minnesota’s Gov. Mark Dayton signed such a bill into law in May.

Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, as well as Republican Susan Collins of Maine have been advancing the issue in the Senate.

“Jury service is an important public service, and I am pleased that the committee has adopted our language that would prohibit potential jurors from being dismissed for service in federal trials based solely on sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Sen. Collins in a statement on Thursday.

Sen. Whitehouse added, “The justice system only can provide fair trials if juries accurately represent our communities,” said Senator Whitehouse. “I’m glad the Appropriations Committee has advanced this legislation to help ensure that no potential juror is blocked from serving solely based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.”

In Wake of Supreme Court Marriage Decisions, Gay-Rights Mecca Braces for Celebration

Posted on: June 26th, 2013 by Todd Heywood 16 Comments

SAN FRANCISCO – The city where the battle for marriage equality in California began in 2004 is bracing for massive celebrations in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings involving same-sex marriage on Wednesday.

Activists celebrate the Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage in San Francisco Wednesday morning, June 26, 2013 (THE AMERICAN INDEPENDENT/Todd Heywood)

Activists celebrate the Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage in San Francisco Wednesday morning, June 26, 2013 (THE AMERICAN INDEPENDENT/Todd Heywood)


After new policy, Boy Scouts still losing money, sponsors

Posted on: June 26th, 2013 by Andy Birkey 2 Comments

When Boy Scouts of America delegates voted at last month’s National Council meeting to allow gay youth to become Scouts but to continue banning gay and lesbian adults, the organization put itself in a precarious position. (more…)

Amendment to National Defense bill would require feds to review HIV crimes

Posted on: June 13th, 2013 by Todd Heywood 2 Comments

This article has been updated.

A bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act would require the Department of Defense to conduct an internal review of policies and prosecutions related to military members living with HIV. (more…)

Michigan Supreme Court upholds partner benefits for unmarried state workers

Posted on: May 6th, 2013 by Todd Heywood 1 Comment

LANSING – State employees in Michigan can continue to receive health benefits for their significant others, even if they’re not married, and even if they’re gay. That’s because the Michigan Supreme Court on Thursday declined to hear an appeal from the attorney general’s office, which has been challenging a local body’s decision to offer health-care benefits to unmarried state employees, saying it violates the state’s anti-gay-marriage statute. According to Attorney General Bill Schuette, the policy treats married and unmarried couples differently. (more…)

Journalist sues University of Central Florida for docs on publication of flawed parenting study

Posted on: April 16th, 2013 by Sofia Resnick No Comments

In a quest for more answers surrounding the swift publication of sociologist Mark Regnerus’ paper on the controversial “New Family Structures Study” in the sociology journal Social Science Research, independent journalist John Becker filed a lawsuit Monday, seeking access to public records from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where the sociology journal is housed and where the journal’s editor, James Wright, serves on the faculty. The suit alleges that the state school has violated the state’s public records law by failing to produce documents related to the study’s publication. (more…)

Family Research Council finally scrubs Nazi reference from sermon used to fight marriage equality

Posted on: April 15th, 2013 by Andy Birkey 9 Comments

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Opponents of marriage equality in Minnesota recently came under fire for comparing the campaign tactics of gay-rights supporters to the tactics of Germany’s Nazi Party in the lead-up to the extermination of approximately 6 million Jews and thousands of gay people and others during World War II. This is the second time in six months that such a comparison has been drawn during this campaign. (more…)