The Associated Press reports that the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco tossed out the lawsuit challenging the military’s now-repealed ban on openly gay servicemembers. The decision dismisses last year’s ruling by a California trial judge that the ban was unconstitutional. The court said, “This suit became moot when the repeal of section 654 took effect on Sept. 20th.” The Log Cabin Republicans, who brought the case, had argued that an unconstitutional ruling was necessary in order to prevent a future congress or president from reinstating the ban.
Obama Administration Blocks Full Severance for DADT Service Members
Politico reports that following the official repeal of DADT in September, the Obama administration is trying to block full severance pay for service members dismissed under the ban. The ACLU filed suit, seeking full compensation for 142 service members who only received partial severance when they were dismissed. The Justice Department argued that the Defense Secretary has sole discretion over separation pay and the courts have no ability to determine otherwise.
Google Pulls ‘Is My Son Gay?’ Android App
CNET reports that, following complaints from consumers and gay rights groups, Google has pulled the “Is My Son Gay” app from its Android Market. A company spokesman told CNET, “We remove apps that violate our policies.” The app was commissioned by openly gay author Christophe de Baran to help promote his upcoming humorous novel, “Is My Son Gay.” The app’s developers released a statement saying, “This app was conceived with a playful approach.”
California Teen to Be Retried in Gay Student Murder
CNN reports that 17-year old Brandon McInerney, who is accused of killing gay classmate Lawrence King in 2008, will face a retrial. The Ventura Country District Attorney’s office announced the retrial in early October. McInerney’s first trial was declared a mistrial in September after jurors said they were deadlocked. McInerney faces a first-degree murder charge, a special allegation of use of a handgun, and a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait.
Gay Congressman Announces Birth Of Son
Colorado Congressman, Democrat Jared Polis, and his partner, Marlon Reis, have announced the birth of their son Caspian Julius. Caspian was born in October, weighing 8 pounds 12 ounces. Polis becomes the only openly gay member of Congress to be a parent.
British Passport Forms to Get Same-Sex Parents Option
The BBC reports that Britain’s Home Office has announced UK passport forms are being updated to include options for same-sex parents. Instead of mother and father, passport applicants will see “parent one” and “parent two.” A change is also expected that includes the option for a gender free passport, allowing transgender people to opt-out of gender identification on their passport.
Serial Killer May Be Stalking South African Gay Men
IOL News reports that South African police are investigating the possibility that a serial killer is targeting Johannesburg’s gay community. Four gay men have been found bound and strangled to death in the last 10 months. Each of the victims was found tied up and strangled inside his home with no signs of forced entry. Police are urging gay men who share the victims’ profiles to avoid letting strangers into their homes.
Teacher Who Sent Student to Office for Homosexuality Remark Off Leave
NBC reports that high school teacher Kristopher Franks, who was placed on leave in October after disciplining a student who said homosexuality was wrong has returned to the classroom. Although the district has not commented on the case, freshman student Dakota Ary told reporters he was given an in-school suspension after telling a friend during German class that gay people were not allowed in Christianity. “I didn’t say it to be rude to anyone.”
Gay Pastor Under Fire After Man Dies at His Home
The Royal Oak Daily Tribune reports that Rev. Mark Bidwell, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church in Ferndale, Michigan has been removed from his volunteer position as a chaplain with the Ferndale Police dept. after an emergency call to his home in September. Police found 43 year old Steven Michael Fitch unresponsive after he and Bidwell allegedly injected themselves with crystal meth. Fitch was later pronounced dead. His official cause of death has not yet been determined and police say charges are unlikely in the case.