Sunday, 10 February 2013 08:00
Cynthia Nixon Honored for Gay Rights Advocacy
Actress Cynthia Nixon, who mesmerized television audiences for years as Miranda Hobbes in HBO’s “Sex and the City,” received Yale University’s first ever LGBT award.
The 46-year-old actress was given the “Artist for Equality” award on Feb. 8 as part of Yale University GALA Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Alumni Association’s Reunion Weekend.
Nixon is the first person to receive the accolade, which will be awarded every year to artists “who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” according to Yale University.
Mickey Dobbs, co-president of the Yale GALA, said Nixon was selected for the honor for “representing the LGBT community with humor, intelligence and enthusiasm.”
“From her political campaigning to her editorial in Newsweek to her many speaking engagements, she has been a vigorous defender of marriage equality who has kept such an important issue in the public eye,” Dobbs added.
In a statement, the actress, who married her partner Christine Marinoni last year in New York, said she was “incredibly honored” by the award.
Citizens United Files Brief in Support Of DOMA
Citizens United, the conservative nonprofit famous for a Supreme Court case decision that allowed for the creation of Super PACs, has filed an amicus brief in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act.
On its brief, the group claims DOMA, which defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman, is constitutional. The group’s argument centers on the “equal protection component” of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, which was solidified by landmark cases during the Civil Rights movement regarding desegregation.
Citizens United believes the decisions on those cases to grant equality to blacks were wrong; according to Think Progress.
The group writes that the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment doesn’t include any guarantees against discrimination — for racial minorities in the public school system, or for gays and lesbians attempting to get married.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Windsor v. United States starting March 27, and arguments on California’s Proposition 8 gay marriage ban on March 26.
‘Ex-Gay’ Therapist Jailed for Molesting Patients
A 74-year-old South African conversion therapist has been sentenced to five years in jail after sexually assaulting at least three patients in Canada.
Dr. Aubrey Levin was convicted on three counts of sexual assault on Jan. 28, Canada’s CBC News reports.
Levin’s trial began in 2010 soon after one of his patients recorded a video using a hidden camera during one of the sessions with the therapist. The video showed Levin undoing the man’s belt and jeans and appearing to fondle him.
“They came to you for help for their problems,” Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Donna Shelley said as quoted by the Canadian Press. “Instead you added to their problems.”
Levin initially faced nine counts of sexual assault involving male patients but the jury came to a decision on five counts and acquitted him on two.
He gained the nickname “Dr. Shock,” after allegedly subjecting hundreds of gay South African soldiers and many others to shock therapy during the country’s Apartheid, according to the Gay Star News.
Florida’s Tavares City Approves Domestic Partnerships
Tavares just became the first city in Central Florida’s Lake County to offer gay couples a chance at gaining some rights approaching marriage.
On Feb. 6, city council members voted 4-1 in favor of the registry, which will be set up by May 1, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
A domestic partnership gives unmarried couples rights to, among other things, hospital visitations in case the other one’s ill, funeral and burial arrangements, and child education decisions.
The Sentinel writes that about 100 people attended the council meeting to show their support for the measure.
Only one Tavares resident, conservative blogger Vance Jochim, spoke against the creation of the registry, arguing it will now attract a large number of gays.
“You might see a migration of people of more exhibitionist behavior,” Jochim said.
Broward, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, and Volusia counties, along with several cities, already offer domestic registries in Florida.
Obama Nominates Openly Gay Judge For Court Of Appeals
Justice Department Attorney Todd Hughes could become the first openly gay judge on the federal appeals court after President Obama’s nomination on Feb. 7.
In order for Hugues to become a federal judge, he would first have to be confirmed by the Senate.
LGBT rights groups like Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund issued responses praising the president’s choice.
“If confirmed, Todd Hughes would become the first openly gay federal appeals court judge in U.S. history. His nomination is a testament to the expanding opportunities for openly LGBT Americans who want to serve their country, and to the president’s respect for the depth of talent and experience within the LGBT community,” Victory Fund President Chuck Wolfe said in a statement. “We look forward to his confirmation by the U.S. Senate.”
This isn’t the first time Obama has nominated an openly gay person to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2010, the president nominated Deward DuMont, who after waiting more than 18 months for a confirmation hearing withdrew his nomination, according to Metro Weekly.
Last November, Obama nominated Miami-Dade Judge William Thomas, who could become the first openly gay black man to serve as a federal judge.
A 2010 Associated Press story states that since his first term, Obama has appointed more openly gay officials than any other president in history.
Pro-Gay LAPD Ex-Cop Goes on Killing Spree
California authorities are searching for Christopher Dorner, a former LAPD officer, in connection with multiple shootings that left at least three dead in the past week.
USA Today reports that Dorner, 33, was named a suspect in the slaying of Monica Quan, 28, an assistant basketball coach at California State University-Fullerton, and her fiancé, Keith Lawrence, a University of Southern California campus security officer; both shot to death on their car on Feb. 3.
Monica Quan’s father, Randy Quan, a retired LAPD captain, was allegedly involved in the review process that led to Dorner’s dismissal from the force in 2008.
Dorner is also the main suspect in two overnight shootings of other LAPD officers that left one officer killed and two wounded. Police say Dorner implicated himself in the killings in a “manifesto” that threatened several people including members of the LAPD force.
“LAPD is a specific target but all law enforcement is targeted,’”Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement, adding that Dorner had “a vendetta against all Southern California law enforcement.”
The suspect was part of the LAPD department from 2005 to 2008.
In part of his manifesto, Dorner leaves messages for several people, including celebrities like Charlie Sheen and Ellen DeGeneres, according to TMZ.
Adult Trayvon Martin Would’ve Been a Gay Crack Whore, Republican Said
The former executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party has received death threats following a series of racially-charged tweets during the Super Bowl on Sunday.
“This Super Bowl sucks more dick than adult Trayvon Martin would have for drug money,” read one of Todd Kincannon’s tweets sent out on Feb. 3 at around 6 p.m.
Martin was an unarmed black teenager who was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida last year. The shooter, George Zimmerman, argued he defended himself. The case, which is still ongoing, revived issues of race and questions about Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
Kincannon went on Huffington Post on Feb. 4 to defend himself, saying the tweets were “nothing more than satire.”
“The left has decided that Trayvon Martin was just this perfect little angel,” he told HuffPost. “He was a thug. He tweeted about drug use. This guy, he was a criminal, and the left has decided to make him some sort of martyr. That is what I don’t understand.”
Some LGBT media outlets, like Queerty, fired back against the outspoken politician.
“It’s like, who goes there One minute we’re all grumbling about the blackout and the next you’re throwing shade at a murdered black youth. Way to be a buzzkill, Sir Buzz Killington … What a thug,” wrote Queerty’s Dan Avery.
According to Wonkette, Kincannon got busted sexting pictures of his penis to young ladies last October.
“I stand for free speech and I stand for honest speech, and I think more people need to use it,” Kincannon added.
‘Ex-Gay’ Christian Blogger Exposed On Grindr
The powers of religion may not have been enough to veer an “ex-gay” Christian advocate away from gay hook-up app Grindr.
Matt Moore, a blogger for the Christian Post who has said Christianity helped him to turn away from his homosexual tendencies, was exposed actively using his Grindr account, according to Freethought blog writer Zinnia Jones.
The “ex-gay” promoter admitted to using Grindr: “I am wrong in having been on grindr. I haven’t changed my views on homosexuality, the bible, etc.,” he told Jones.
He promised that this will be his last time using the gay hook-up app: “Thankfully, I believe that He forgives me for this disobedience. I believe the blood of Christ covers this disobedience. And I won’t be on grindr again….ever.”
The “ex-gay” Christian advocate had gone as far as doing interviews with Christian websites on how his homosexuality was cured through religion.
Rutgers University to Open Center in Memory of Tyler Clementi
New Jersey’s Rutgers University announced today (Feb. 4) the creation of a center in honor of Tyler Clementi, a gay student who jumped to his death of off a bridge after he was filmed by his roommate kissing another man.
The center will serve to create programs to help students transition to college. It will also offer lectures and training on social media, youth suicide—particularly aimed at LGBT students—bullying and cyberbullying , and understanding and promoting safe and inclusive social environments, according to the university’s website.
The New York Times reports the center will kick off its programs in March with a lecture on “growing up digital,” followed up by a conference on transgender issues in April.
“It’s bittersweet,” Jane Clementi, Tyler’s mother, told the Times. “It calls up a lot of pain and sadness, but at the same time it gives me some hope that I can be part of a better future for someone else. There are other Tylers out there, but they won’t have to go through what Tyler went through.”
In 2010, Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate, Dharun Ravi, spied on him using a webcam as Clementi, who was still in the closet, kissed another man. The video was seen by at least half a dozen other students.
Days later, Clementi posted on Facebook: “Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry.”