HUD Seeks Help with Antigay Discrimination Study
The US Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) is asking the residents of Chicago, New York, and San Francisco to help design a study aimed at antigay discrimination in housing. It would be the first national study of its kind. HUD’s effort to collect data is seen as a possible first step in obtaining legal protections for gay and lesbian people in the area of housing. According to The Washington Post, a recent study found that nearly 30 percent of same-sex couples were treated differently when trying to buy or rent a home.
Citibank Apologizes for Blocking Funds of Gay Social Networking Site
The Wall Street Journal reports Citibank apologized to a gay social networking site that claimed the bank blocked its account for “objectionable content.” Jason Goldberg, whose site fabulis just received $625,000 in funding, alleged he was unable to access his funds. He says bank officials informed him that the content of the site was not in compliance with Citibank policies. Currently, fabulis features videos from visitors describing why they think they are fabulous. Goldberg posted Citibank’s apology online. The bank stated that it “sincerely apologizes to [Jason] Goldberg for this misunderstanding. This situation had nothing to do with the content of his website, and any comments by our staff to the contrary were incorrect; we are reviewing what happened.” Goldberg told The Wall Street Journal he thought the apology was sincere.
Study Says Gay Soldiers Don’t Cause Disruption
A new study from the Palm Center shows that foreign militaries did not find a swift transition to allow openly gay and lesbian service members to be disruptive. It directly contradicts the views of Pentagon leaders who say repealing the US ban on openly gay service members should take a year or more. It includes data from Australia, Britain, Canada, South Africa, and other countries that allow openly gay soldiers. It found “there were no instances of increased harassment” as a result of the bans being lifted in any of those countries. In addition, the study indicates that most of them made the transition within a matter of months.
Senior Anglican Bishops Want Gay Weddings in Churches
The Telegraph reports that senior bishops of the Church of England sent a letter to The Times supporting a relaxation of the ban preventing same-sex civil partnerships from being performed on religious premises, including churches, synagogues, and mosques. They said they were in favor of allowing religious denominations themselves the option to choose whether civil partnerships are registered on their premises. The bishops stated in their letter, “Straight couples have the choice between civil marriage and religious marriage. Gay couples are denied a similar choice. To deny people of faith the opportunity of registering the most important promise of their lives in their willing church or synagogue, according to its liturgy, is plainly discriminatory.” An amendment to the country’s Equality Bill is scheduled to be taken up shortly. The government has yet to say whether it supports the measure.
Thousands Celebrate Australia’s Gay Mardi Gras
According to the Associated Press, hundreds of thousands of people recently participated in Australia’s annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney. It boasted some 9,400 participants and 135 floats celebrating the theme “history of the world,” looking at gay and lesbian history. This year’s parade was led by transsexual model Amanda Lepore. The event began as a protest march in 1978.