Big Gay News – March 8, 2012
GLAAD Commends Roland Martin
The Washington Post reports former CNN analyst Roland Martin, who was recently suspended over anti-gay comments he made during the Super Bowl on Twitter, has met with GLAAD. Martin told viewers of his Washington Watch program he met with GLAAD’s Herndon Graddick to talk about his actions. “Over breakfast for over 90 minutes, Herndon shared his thoughts with regards to my tweets and why he deemed them offensive to the LGBT community, and I reiterated my apology that — that if anyone who construed my comment[s] as being antigay or homophobic, or advancing violence, that was not my intent, and for that I was truly sorry.” GLAAD responded positively, commending Martin for his willingness to engage the organization.
Latino Group Seeks Federal Investigation Into Gay Arizona Sheriff
MSNBC reports that Latino rights organization Respect Respeto sent a request in February to the US Dept of Justice for a probe into the alleged abuse of power by a recently outed gay Sheriff in Arizona. The sherrif, Pinal County’s Paul Babeu, was outed by his Mexican migrant ex-lover after Babeu allegedly threatened to deport him. The letter, signed by the group’s director, Lydia Guzman, said in part, “These types of threats and acts of intimidation send a horrible message to the migrant community that they cannot look to their law enforcement agencies for protection when they are victims of a crime.”
UK Gay Police Officer Wins Discrimination Case
The BBC reports that black gay police detective Kevin Maxwell has won his discrimination lawsuit against Scotland Yard. The 33-year old Metropolitan Police officer, who serves on the force’s counter terrorism command, argued successfully that he was exposed to racist and homophobic comments from other officers. The tribunal found he was “subjected to direct discrimination, harassment and victimization.” Scotland Yard has said it has launched an internal investigation.
Gay Ugandans Flee Fearing for Their Lives
The BBC reports that gay men are fleeing Uganda following increased harassment as the parliament considers controversial anti-gay legislation. Uganda’s Minister for Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo told reporters, “We have never hurt or isolated persons of this particular sexual orientation.” A human rights group in Kenya has said dozens have crossed the border out of fear of persecution.
Rahm Emanuel Vows to Push for Legalizing Gay Marriage in Illinois
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel announced in February his support for legalizing gay marriage in Illinois, as well as extending benefits to the domestic partners of state employees. Currently, civil unions are legal in Illinois, but not marriage.
Liberia Ex-First Lady Proposes Tough Anti-Gay Bill
AFP reports that Liberia’s former first lady Jewel Taylor, now a senator, has introduced legislation that would make homosexuality punishable by death. Sodomy is already a crime that can result in up to three years imprisonment. Another senator supporting the bill told reporters, it aims “to prevent the parliament from talking about such an issue that is against our tradition and culture.”
Uganda Gay Workshop Raided by Ethics Minister
The BBC reports that Uganda’s Minister for Ethics, Simon Lokodo, raided a gay rights workshop in Entebbe. Mr. Lokodo told reporters, “I have closed this conference because it’s illegal. We do not accept homosexuality in Uganda. So go back home.” Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s secretary general, said in a statement “This is an outrageous attempt to prevent lawful and peaceful activities of human rights defenders in Uganda.”
Lesbian Couple Hijacks Radio Divorce
Auckland Now reports that a New Zealand lesbian couple hijacked a local radio station’s promotion that aimed to pay a couple’s divorce expenses if they had the conversation on air. The women, disgusted by the radio stunt, entered the contest and, unbeknownst to the hosts, won. When Sam called her supposed husband “Andy” on air, her wife Amber, launched an angry tirade on air chastising the station for the stunt.
Gay Couple Sets World Record for Longest Kiss
VOA reports that a gay couple in Thailand celebrated Valentine’s Day with a 50-hour, 25-minute and one second kiss, setting a new world’s record. The couple beat out six other couples who took part in an annual Ripley’s Believe it or Not longest kissing competition. The couple had to keep their lips touching, even while eating, drinking and going to the bathroom. They broke the previous record of 46 hours and 24 minutes.