Big Gay News: 502
BigGayNews from Minnesota:
Target Signs Legal Brief Backing Gay Marriage
The Star Tribune reports that Target Corporation has, for the first time, come out publicly in support of gay marriage, as a growing number of high-profile businesses take positions on the divisive issue.
Jodee Kozlak, human resource chief for the company, posted “It is our belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes rights we believe individuals should have related to marriage.”
Target has been a longtime supporter of equal rights, offering benefits to same-sex partners of employees and attaining a perfect 100 score in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2014 Corporate Equality Index.
BigGayNews from Ohio:
Four States Face Gay Marriage Showdown In Cincinnati
USA Today reports that Michigan’s gay marriage ban is set for another legal showdown, only this one involves more players, more judges, and likely more drama.
The historic civil rights case will be brought before the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, and will involve three federal appeals judges reviewing and making decisions on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Marc Spindelman, a professor of constitutional and family law at Ohio State University, said that the judges’ decisions will hinge upon two key questions, namely “how do recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions involving lesbian and gay rights affect state-level bans on same sex marriage (and) what should happen to state laws that treat same-sex couples and their marriages different than their cross-sex counterparts?”
BigGayNews from Florida:
Broward Judge Overturns Florida’s Gay-Marriage Ban
The Orlando Sentinel reports that a state circuit judge in Broward County today made history, ordering the state of Florida to recognize gay marriages performed in another state.
The ruling by Circuit Judge Dale Cohen is the third such decision in as many weeks, but it is the first one in which the state is required to recognize a same-sex marriage that has been performed elsewhere than in the state of Florida.
Cohen’s ruling was based upon his determination that same-sex couples married in other states should be entitled to the same privileges as heterosexual couples in Florida. He then issued a stay in order to give Pam Bondi, the Attorney General, a chance to appeal.
BigGayNews from Wisconsin:
ACLU – Gay Marriage Ban Has No ‘Legitimate Purpose’
The Green Bay Press Gazette reports that Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban denies same-sex couples legal protections and serves no legitimate government purpose, the American Civil Liberties Union argued Monday in a brief asking a federal appeals court to preserve a ruling that struck down the prohibition.
The lawsuit, filed in February by the ACLU on behalf of eight gay couples, resulted in U.S. District Judge Barbara Cobb siding with them and ending the prohibition before the Attorney General asked that the ruling be reversed.
Attorneys for the ACLU argued Monday that the ban is only intended to “thwart same-sex couples’ aspirations and put them at a disadvantage”, thus stigmatizing “these couples and their families as unworthy of the opportunity to express and legally embody their commitment in the most profound way that society provides.”
BigGayNews from Florida:
Tampa Baptist Church Cancels Gay Man’s Funeral
The Tampa Bay Times reports that Julion Evans’ family was gathered beside his casket when they got the call that his memorial service, scheduled to take place the next day at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, was not going to happen.
Evans, who had passed away from a genetic disease at the age of 42, was gay and when members of the church saw his husband’s name listed in the newspaper, they pressured Pastor T.W. Jenkins to cancel the funeral, which he did, calling a funeral for a gay man “blasphemous”.
Evans’ husband, Kendall Capers, said that the rejection has devastated the already grieving family, and that they appreciated being able to hold the funeral service at Blount & Curry Funeral Home instead.
BigGayNews from Canada:
Zanele Muholi, Queer Artist, Showcasing ‘Faces and Phases’
The Huffington Post reports that a compelling new exhibit has hit the Ryerson Image Centre that addresses representation of queer, black female identity and its place in relation to post-apartheid South Africa.
Thirty-six black-and-white photographs out of a series of 240 taken by artist Zanele Muholi will be on display at the Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto until August 24th in a exhibit entitled “Faces and Phases”.
Curators of the exhibition hope that the visual statements will serve to “dignify the members of an often hidden, voiceless and marginalized population”.
BigGayNews from Kampala:
A Precarious End to Uganda’s Anti-Gay Act
The New Yorker reports that in Uganda, justice for the GLBT population has been rare, with small victories such as a court injunction to force a tabloid to stop outing gays, and the country’s first gay-pride parade two years later.
The anti-homosexuality bill was first proposed to parliament in 2009.
The act was signed into law in February by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni before a court overturned the law on the grounds that there was not a quorum in Parliament at the time of the vote.
A gay company manager named Devine said: “In Uganda, in Africa, if you’re gay, every day you have to watch out. The word ‘gay’ wasn’t even mentioned five years ago. Now people acknowledge that we are here. It has gotten better these days.”
BigGayNews from Kenya:
Kenya Considers Harsh Penalties Against Gays, Including Death By Stoning
LGBTQNation reports that lawmakers in Kenya are considering a new draft bill that proposes harsh penalties against gays, including death by stoning or life in prison.
The bill, know as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, was introduced by the Republican Liberty Party, and would prohibit any form of sexual relations between people of the same sex.
Kenyan nationals would be punished by life in prison, while foreigners and those found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” would be punished by being publicly stoned to death.