Big Gay News – February 23, 2012
Court Rules Prop. 8 Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down California’s Prop. 8, the statewide ban on same-sex marriage. The 2-1 decision by the three judge panel found the ballot measure violated the U.S. Constitution. In its decision, the court said, “Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.” Supporters of Prop 8 have promised to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Washington Governor Signs Gay Marriage Bill
The Associated Press reports that Washington’s Democratic Governor, Chris Gregoire, signed historic legislation in February, legalizing same-sex marriage in the state. Gregoire’s signature makes Washington state the seventh in the U.S. to allow gay couples to wed. The law is scheduled to take effect June 7th. Opponents of the legislation have vowed to force a referendum in November and plan to file a petition in the meantime that would put the law on hold until after the election.
Des Moines Church is Site of Gay Rights Protest
The Des Moines Register reports that more than 100 people protested outside a church in Februrary in support of the GLBT community. The group was protesting a sign the church erected saying “Gay is not okay.” While the group protested, Rev. Michael Demastus gave a sermon inside the church addressing the protest, saying “You cannot be God-fearing and disobey God at the same time.”
New Jersey Senate Approves Gay Marriage; Veto Looms
Reuters reports that New Jersey’s Democratic-controlled state senate approved same-sex marriage legislation in February, in spite of Republican Governor Chris Christie’s promise to veto the measure. The state Assembly was expected to pass the measure, then send it to the governor The state legislature is unlikely to have the two-thirds majority necessary to overturn a veto.
Fargo Gay Couple Refused Marriage License
The Associated Press reports that a gay couple in Fargo, North Dakota went to a county courthouse in February to apply for a marriage license. They were refused a license, based on the state’s constitution which bans same-sex marriage. Lenny Tweeden and Wayne Rosell have been together for 25 years.
Atlanta Police ID 3rd Man in Anti-Gay Beating
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Atlanta police have identified a third man alleged to have beaten a 20 year old gay man in February while yelling anti-gay slurs at him. Video of the beating made its way to the Internet. Police Chief George Turner told reporters that the first two men have already been identified and arrest warrants were being sought.
UK Christian Hotel Owners Lose Gay Couple Appeal
The BBC reports that the owners of a B&B in the UK have lost their appeal against ruling that found they acted unlawfully by turning away a gay couple. Peter and Hazelmary Bull had argued their Christian beliefs exempted them from equality legislation, but the court rejected their challenge.
Uganda Anti-Gay Bill ‘Not Backed by Government’
The BBC reports that Uganda’s government says it does not officially support the anti-gay bill recently re-introduced in Parliament. M.P. David Bahati who supports the bill, said the death penalty would be removed from the legislation. Foreign governments continue to criticize the legislation, but Bahati says they should understand cultural attitudes in Africa are “very different.”
Roland Martin to Meet with GLAAD
Former CNN analyst Roland Martin, who was suspended in February after anti-gay comments he made on Twitter during the Super Bowl, announced he would meet with the GLAAD. “I look forward to meeting with GLAAD in the near future and having a productive dialogue.” GLAAD issued a statement saying, in part, “We look forward to hearing from CNN and Roland Martin to discuss how we can work together as allies and achieve our common goal of reducing anti- LGBT violence as well as the language that contributes to it.”
Pastor Calls for Nationwide Starbucks Boycott Over Gay Marriage
KING-5 news reports that Pastor Steven Andrew of U.S.A. Christian Ministries is calling for a nationwide boycott of Starbucks after the company announced its support of same-sex marriage legislation in Washington state. Andrew wrote a post online called, “Christians Boycott Starbucks – Because Romans 1 Explains Starbucks Hates God.” Starbucks is one of more than 100 companies who supported the legislation.