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Gay & Lesbian


Britain to posthumously pardon thousands of gay, bisexual men

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:49:56 UT

The decision comes nearly three years after Queen Elizabeth II formally pardoned Alan Turing, the British mathematician regarded as one of the central figures in the development of the computer, who was convicted on charges of homosexuality in 1952. The government apologized in 2009 for its treatment of Turing, who made a major contribution to Britain in World War II by cracking Germany’s Enigma coding machine, and the head of Britain’s signals intelligence agency, GCHQ, apologized in April for past discrimination against gays. Under a proposal that some have called the Turing Law, deceased people convicted of sexual acts that are no longer criminalized will receive an automatic pardon.

Wayne Friday, major force in key era for SF’s gay community, dies

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 05:12:40 UT

Wayne Friday, major force in key era for SF’s gay community, dies Wayne Friday, a former city police commissioner, bartender, and a political columnist who chronicled the coming-of-age of San Francisco’s gay community, died Wednesday. Mr. Friday, who had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease, took his own life, said San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, a longtime friend who was notified by the city’s emergency services department of his death. Mayor Ed Lee ordered flags flown at half-staff Friday at City Hall and police stations in honor of Mr. Friday, whom he called “a true representation of the free spirit of San Francisco.” A native of Michigan, Mr. Friday worked for a brokerage firm in New York, then come to San Francisco in 1970 and soon began tending bar at taverns that catered to gays and lesbians. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who became mayor after White killed Milk and Mayor George Moscone, recalled the increasing tension between police and the gay community. Mr. Friday also worked for many years as an investigator for the district attorney’s office, then spent about a decade as one of five members of the city Police Commission, appointed by Mayors Frank Jordan and Willie Brown.

Bishop’s firing of gay worker shows confusion over pope’s words

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 20:47:09 UT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — An ideological tug-of-war over the firing of a Rhode Island church music director for marrying his same-sex partner illustrates the confusion that permeates some U.S. Roman Catholic parishes over Pope Francis’ words on homosexuality. The pope has upheld Catholic teaching on homosexuality, reiterating the church’s opposition to same-sex relationships. “Pope Francis has not said, ‘Here’s what you should do in a parish where you have a music director who has married his partner of the same sex,’” said the Rev. James T. Bretzke, a professor of moral theology at Boston College. The pastor, appointed in July, told him someone had sent him a 2015 article that included details about Templeton’s wedding. Tobin issued a statement to the Providence Journal saying church employees and volunteers are “expected to live in a way that is fully consistent” with church teachings.

Court says unmarried lesbian can seek full parental rights

Tue, 4 Oct 2016 22:21:35 UT

BOSTON — The same court that paved the way for same-sex marriage in the United States ruled Tuesday that an unmarried lesbian whose former girlfriend gave birth to two children through artificial insemination can seek the same parental rights as their biological mother. “The plain language of the provisions, then, may be construed to apply to children born to same-sex couples, even though at least one member of the couple may well lack biological ties to the children,” Justice Barbara Lenk wrote for the court in the unanimous decision. Mary Bonauto, civil rights project director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, called the ruling “a major victory for contemporary families.”

Alabama judge’s defiance on gay marriage leads to removal

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 22:15:19 UT

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was removed from the bench Friday for defying the U.S. Supreme Court on gay marriage, more than a decade after he got in trouble for refusing federal orders to move a Ten Commandments monument. The outspoken Christian conservative was ousted from office in 2013 for his stand in defense of the monument he had installed in the state judicial building, but voters later re-elected him. Hodges ruling when he told Alabama’s probate judges six months later that they were still bound by a 2015 state court order to deny marriage licenses to gays and lesbians. The Republican speaker of the state House of Representatives was removed from office this summer for criminal ethics violations. The president of the civil rights organization that filed the ethics complaint against Moore praised the decision as a victory for the state.

SF supes limit business with firms in states with anti-LGBT laws

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 01:11:30 UT

San Francisco would no longer enter into contracts with companies based in states that bar civil-rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, under legislation passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. The legislation is an effort to increase pressure on three states with laws that limit transgender rights: When the legislation was proposed in April, it told The Chronicle, “We understand the concerns expressed by the city and county of San Francisco, and Bank of America has been very clear in calling for the repeal of North Carolina’s (law) based on concerns about the impact of the legislation on our employees and our customers.” A North Carolina law, HB 2, bans people from using restrooms in schools and other public buildings that don’t match their birth sex, even if it matches their gender identity. A Mississippi law, HB1523, allows private businesses and religious groups to deny services to LGBT people if doing so would violate their religious beliefs. The North Carolina law has generated the most backlash, including the announcement earlier this month that the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Atlantic Coast Conference were moving championship games out of the state in opposition. [...] on Tuesday, Supervisor Jane Kim introduced a resolution urging the city to explore the possibility of annexing 684 acres in Brisbane scheduled for a massive commercial development because it includes no new housing. Kim said she believes the real reason behind the housing prohibition is that Brisbane doesn’t want new residents voting in the city. [...] on Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved a nearly $5 million settlement with a motorcyclist who was badly injured in 2013 when a fire truck driven by a city firefighter suspected of being drunk slammed into him. The $4.99 million settlement with Jack Frazier caps an embarrassing episode that ensnared the Fire Department and the Police Department that botched the investigation.

Folsom Street Fair lives up to its leather-clad reputation

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 02:08:57 UT

In the city to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary, the couple from Massachusetts, sporting T-shirts and shorts, stuck out like a big, straight thumb amidst the hundreds of thousands of nude or near-naked passersby who hung leather whips from spiky necklaces and yanked one another around by G-strings at this year’s Folsom Street Fair. A man with pointy devil horns, his shirtless chest glistening with sweat under a cloudless sky as temperatures eclipsed 90 degrees, rolled by on a motorized scooter. A group of naked middle-aged men, some modestly donning strategically placed beaded contraptions depicting a parrot or a dragon draped over a certain body part, followed close behind. “I want my old-lady friends at the garden club to still like me when I get back,” Bonin said, laughing. Organizers expected to raise more than $300,000 for nonprofit LGBT groups, including the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, said Edwin Morales, the president of the board of directors of the nonprofit that organizes the event. Morales, who kicked off the planning for this year’s fair back in January, said organizers worked with the San Francisco Police Department to beef up security this year after the massacre at the Orlando gay nightclub Pulse and the bomb threat at a Los Angeles pride parade in June. Two gay tourists in town from Manhattan for the Folsom Street Fair were pepper-sprayed Saturday night in the Western Addition in a possible hate crime, but Morales said such incidents are rare at Folsom, as it’s affectionately nicknamed by veterans. The event has gotten “more straight” over the years from its explicitly gay roots, Frank said, as he typed out a text to a straight female friend who planned to meet up, her boyfriend in tow. [...] the sex-charged freedom of it all hasn’t changed a bit, said a nearby man — who gave his name as Rocky Angel — with an orange-and-blue painted face, a chunky metal choker and absolutely nothing below the belt.

Ugandan police stop gay pride parade deemed illegal

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 20:49:05 UT

Ugandan police stop gay pride parade deemed illegal ENTEBBE, Uganda — Ugandan police prevented organizers from holding a gay pride parade Saturday on the orders of a government minister who said such an event is illegal. In August, Ugandan police briefly arrested about 20 people attending a gay pride event at a nightclub in Kampala. On Wednesday, Simon Lokodo, the Ugandan minister in charge of ethics and integrity, issued a strong statement condemning public activities of homosexuals and urged police to arrest them if they went ahead with the parade.

25th annual Leather Walk kicks off Leather Week in SF

Sun, 18 Sep 2016 21:59:51 UT

The smell of sunscreen filled the air as the 200 partially clad participants of the 25th annual Leather Walk gathered under cloudless skies in the Castro neighborhood Sunday to celebrate community and kinky fetishes. “This is an opportunity for the leather community to come together outside a bar setting,” said Demetri Moshoyannis, executive director of Folsom Street Events, which sponsors the Leather Walk, the fair and other events over the next week. The event celebrates the leather community, which includes a wide range of personal choices in attire and sexual activities, said Edwin Morales, 35. While leather — in the form of vests, pants, hats, harnesses, straps and G-strings — was the most popular choice, there was also neoprene, denim and fur. For Vicente Montoya, 37, who wore imitation leather shorts over a pleather wrestling singlet, the event offered a space “to let your freak flag fly, whatever that is.” A member of the Rubber Men of San Francisco club, he chose a full catsuit, with see-through sections on his chest, back and legs. While fun was the order of the day, the annual event is also a fundraiser for the AIDS Emergency Fund and Breast Cancer Emergency Fund. “The leather community is at the heart of the LGBT community,” a group of people deeply affected by the AIDS epidemic.

Heavy security for gay pride march in Serbia

Sun, 18 Sep 2016 21:42:40 UT

BELGRADE, Serbia — Thousands of Serbian riot police cordoned off central Belgrade on Sunday to protect a gay pride march from possible attacks by extremist groups in the predominantly conservative Balkan country. Authorities have canceled several pride events after huge clashes with right-wing groups and soccer hooligans in 2010, when more than 100 police and extremists were injured and major damage was caused in central Belgrade. Serbia has since sought to boost gay rights as part of its bid to join the European Union, including appointing for the first time an openly gay minister in the government that was formed last month. Fueling fears of unrest before the pride march were clashes in Belgrade late Saturday between rival soccer fans — who are linked with right-wing extremists — and who also clashed with the police.

Oakland Pride celebration brings parade, music and more

Sun, 11 Sep 2016 22:35:25 UT

Members of Bike East Bay make their way down Broadway during the Oakland Pride parade in downtown Oakland, which also included a performance by the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band (inset).

New trial ordered in Rutgers suicide case

Sat, 10 Sep 2016 21:47:09 UT

NEWARK, N.J. — A new trial was ordered for a former Rutgers University student whose roommate killed himself after being captured on a webcam kissing another man, with a New Jersey appeals court throwing out his 15-count conviction. The judges on Friday ordered a new trial on other counts including invasion of privacy, tampering with evidence and hindering apprehension because, they wrote, the evidence prosecutors used to prove the bias charges “tainted the jury’s verdict on the remaining charges, depriving defendant of his constitutional right to a fair trial.” “The social environment that transformed a private act of sexual intimacy into a grotesque voyeuristic spectacle must be unequivocally condemned in the strongest possible way,” the judges wrote.

GLAAD looks to the future at annual gala

Fri, 9 Sep 2016 20:36:46 UT

Tyler was just as excited to meet Barbara, a singer who later took the stage with her classmates to perform “Ring of Keys” from the Broadway musical “Fun Home.” The wide-eyed singer received a standing ovation led by one guest whipping her dinner napkin in the air. “Until people started telling their stories in the LGBTQ movement, we were demonized and we were vilified,” said actor Wilson Cruz, former GLAAD national spokesman. Halfway through the gala, Cruz took the stage and told the story of his aunt, Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, who was murdered in the terrorist attack in June on Pulse, the gay nightclub in Orlando. Through ticket sales, an auction and directly asking guests for money, the organization hoped the gala would raise $1 million. Thanks to a promise by the night’s spotlight honoree, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, to match direct donations, Ellis probably hit the goal. Benioff received the organization’s Ric Weiland Award, which honors innovators who advance LGBTQ equality through tech and new media. Youth poets Melanie Harra, Cameron Sandal and Gabriela Martinez performed spoken-word pieces about the experiences of LGBTQ teens and LGBTQ teens of color, standing from their seats to recite their poetry. Later, writer and activist Monica Roberts was awarded special recognition for her work as the founder of TransGriot, a website focused on and for trans people of color.

Oakland Pride may be lesser known, but it’s no less fun

Tue, 6 Sep 2016 23:18:57 UT

Oakland Pride, now in its seventh year, might not get the sort of international attention that San Francisco Pride gets, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve it. The Pride Festival takes up several blocks in downtown Oakland and features four music stages, including a Latin stage, a community stage and a womyn’s stage. Venues like the Wild Horse Bar, the New Parish and Starline Social Club all have Pride parties scheduled throughout the weekend.

New York court expands definition of parenthood

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 21:36:31 UT

NEW YORK — Expanding the definition of what it means to be a parent — especially for same-sex couples — the New York State Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that a loving caretaker who is not related to, or the adoptive guardian of, a child could still be permitted to ask for custody and visitation rights. The ruling emerged from a dispute between a gay couple from Chautauqua County, known in family court papers only as Brooke S.B. and Elizabeth A. C.C. In 2008, Elizabeth became pregnant with the couple’s child through artificial insemination. Brooke sued for custody and visitation privileges, but was turned down by a lower court, which found that legal precedent under a state case called the Matter of Alison D. vs.