Judge Didn’t Bar Antigay Activist from Pride Festival
A federal judge ruled in June that Twin Cities Pride could not prevent Brian Johnson, an antigay, born-again Christian, from handing out Bibles during the Pride Festival in Loring Park, Minneapolis. Organizers had asked for a temporary restraining order against him. They argued that their lease of park space allowed them to determine who can hand out literature. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board decided previously that Johnson could attend, as long as he didn’t disrupt the event or harass participants.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Ban
The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions. A lawsuit had challenged the way the 2006 constitutional amendment was put before voters. The court ruled 7-0 that the amendment properly was placed on the ballot.
Wisconsin Court Says Gay Parents Do Not Have Equal Rights
A Wisconsin state appeals court decided in June that not all gay parents have full parental rights of their adopted children. It ruled against a woman who was seeking guardianship of two adopted children she helped raise with her former partner. Under Wisconsin law, only one person can become an adopted child’s legal guardian. Even though the woman was the children’s stay-at-home mother for years, the appeals court held that she is not a parent under state law.
US Supreme Court Says Christian Group Can’t Ban Gays
The US Supreme Court ruled against a Christian student group that refused to allow openly gay and lesbian members. The Christian Legal Society at Hastings College of the Law in California required its members to sign a statement of faith that regarded “unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle” as unacceptable. The college revoked the society’s charter, saying it would not recognize a group that excludes people based on religious belief or sexual orientation. A lower court decided that the college did not violate the society’s free-speech rights. The high court upheld that decision 5-4.
Joan Rivers Urges Gay Stars to “Stay in the Closet”
In a recent interview with The Advocate, comedian Joan Rivers urged gay stars to stay in the closet. She noted that show business is still difficult for them. She thinks they’d be better off keeping their sexual orientation hidden. Rivers said, “If you’re going to be a romantic idol, and try to get every teenage girl to love you, then you’d be an ass to come out, and say you’re gay.” She went on to praise singer Ricky Martin for waiting to come out until after he was financially successful.
Hawaii Governor Vetoes Same-Sex Civil Unions Bill
In July, Hawaii Republican Governor Linda Lingle vetoed legislation that would have legalized same-sex civil unions in the state. She said at a news conference that the bill was “essentially same-sex marriage by another name.” She added that citizens, not their elected representatives, should vote directly on the issue.
Uganda Gay Activist Found Beheaded
The severed head of gay-rights activist Pasikali Kashusbe was found in a latrine on a farm in Uganda. A youth worker for Integrity Uganda, a GLBT rights group, he had been missing for almost a month. Police say they also discovered what is likely Pasikali’s mutilated torso about half a kilometer from the farm where his head was found. A number of suspects have been arrested and questioned about the murder.
Iceland’s Prime Minister Marries Lesbian Partner
Iceland’s openly lesbian Prime Minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir, married her longtime partner, writer Jonina Leosdottir, in June. The marriage took place on the first day same-sex marriage became legal in Iceland. The couple, who have been in a registered partnership since 2002, did not celebrate the occasion with a formal ceremony.