LA Episcopal Diocese Elects Openly Lesbian Bishop
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles elected openly lesbian Reverend Canon Mary D. Glasspool, 55, to be its new Bishop. She is the first openly gay bishop to be elected since the national church lifted a ban preventing gay bishops. She is also the first woman to be elected to head the LA Diocese in its 114-year history.
US Supreme Court To Hear Case of Christian Group Barring Gay Members
According to The Christian Science Monitor, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear a case about a college organization that lost its official status because it violated a college’s nondiscrimination policy by barring gay and lesbian students. Christian Legal Society (CLS) at San Francisco’s Hastings College of Law required its members to sign a statement of Christian faith. In addition, the group adopted a policy position from its national parent organization that stated “unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle” would disqualify an individual from membership. CLS filed suit in federal court, claiming the college violated its members’ right to free speech, exercise of religion, and equal protection, but a judge upheld the college’s policy. The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals also upheld the ruling. The case likely will be argued before the high court next spring.
Gay House Members Say Gay-Friendly Bills Are Near
According to the Associated Press, openly gay US Representatives Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Jared Polis of Colorado told an international conference of gay politicians that they expect the US House to vote on bills providing same-sex partner benefits to federal employees and protections for gay and transgender employees by early 2010. They also said they were confident a provision to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would be part of the annual military spending bill next year. Baldwin remarked, “I’m hopeful we will see those three pieces of legislation make it all the way, or damn close.” The Obama Administration’s Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry stated that the President strongly supports each of these efforts.
McDonald’s Faces Complaint Over Transgender Row
Teenager Zikerria Bellamy claims McDonald’s managers twice refused her employment at an Orlando location because she is transgender, according to the BBC. She also claims one of the managers left an obscene message on her voicemail telling her she never would be hired. The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund has filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations. A spokeswoman for McDonald’s said in a statement that the employee who left the voicemail “acted outside the scope of his authority,” adding that the employee no longer works there.
Christian Leaders Oppose Uganda’s Gay Death Penalty Bill
A group of Christian leaders has signed a joint statement opposing Uganda’s proposed antigay legislation that calls for the death penalty in cases of “aggravated homosexuality,” according to USA Today. The statement reads in part, “Our Christian faith recognizes violence, harassment and unjust treatment of any human being as a betrayal of Jesus’ commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. As followers of the teachings of Christ, we must express profound dismay at a bill currently before the Parliament in Uganda.” The statement, signed by dozens of leaders, was organized by Faith in Public Life and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.
Spain Apologizes for Jailing Gay Man in 1970s
The Telegraph reports that 50-year-old Antoni Ruiz has become the first person in Spain to receive an official apology from the government for his imprisonment in the 1970s for being gay. He was jailed for three months when he was 17 after being tried for homosexuality, which was illegal in Spain until 1970. He received a formal letter of apology from Spain’s Justice Minister, in addition to financial compensation of about 4,000 euros.