A judge in New York ruled that the surviving partner of a civil union created in Vermont may file a wrongful death suit against the hospital in which his partner died, according to the Washington Times. Justice John P. Dunne, of the state Supreme Court in Nassau County, likened a civil union to a common-law marriage in the case of wrongful death suits. Dunne stopped short of acknowledging the union was a valid marriage in New York.
The City Commission of Covington, Ky. thought they had a human rights ordinance that would be embraced by local residents and businesses, according to the Kentucky Post. They were wrong. Citizens for Community Values (CCV), a group based just over the border in Ohio, spent $10,000 to alert community members about the 'gay agenda.' The booklet CCV mailed to 20,000 citizens focuses on the harm they say homosexual lifestyles cause to children. If passed, the human-rights ordinance will add age, sexual orientation, and others to the list of protected classes.
Colorado Springs was expected to drop domestic-partner benefits for city employees at last night's town council meeting, reports the Colorado Springs Gazette. The council gave benefits to same sex partners in December by a 5-4 vote, noting that they expected the benefits to cost the city $58,000. After a public outcry, six of the seven council members elected this month vowed to yank the benefits that actually cost the city $6,700.
This weekend's White Party in Palm Springs was expected to be a big success with 30,000 visitors, but health officials worry that the recent syphilis outbreak would be spread at the party and brought back to gay communities around the country, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. While syphilis rates are rising in many metropolitan areas, the per capita rate in Palm Springs is among the highest in the nation.
After a year of discussions, the Chancellor of Jesuit Boston College, granted recognition to the gay student group, 'Allies.' Allies will be eligible for funding and space in the student union, reports the Boston Globe. The Allies' constitution states that the group will not contradict school and church positions on homosexuality.
Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn., is on the side of Texas in the anti-gay sodomy case now before the U.S. Supreme Court, according to AP. Santorum says he filters all moral questions of law through one question: 'What's best for the American family?' He said that allowing gay sex would require states to allow bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery.
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While Santorum may not welcome gays and lesbians in American society, one of the largest cities in his state, Philadelphia, does. According to AP, Philly is marketing itself as a gay-friendly tourist destination. PrideFest attracts nearly 75,000 visitors.
Michael Mosman, the Portland, Ore., U.S. Attorney, is the frontrunner for appointment to the bench as federal district judge, reports the Oregonian. But Mosman, the Bush Administration frontrunner, may have an uphill battle if gay-rights activists get their way. Democrat Ron Wyden could be the deciding factor if the Democratic minority in the Senate decides to filibuster the appointment. Mosman came under fire when it was found that he, as a U.S. Supreme Court clerk, recommended upholding Georgia's anti-gay sodomy law.
An unlikely advocate, Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, is hoping the gay vote will help him win re-election. The mayor, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, lost a congressional bid in part because of his liberal views on gays. He spoke to a group at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Utah about his pride in a city that reaches out to gays and lesbians. Anderson praised the police department's outreach program to GLBT residents, and said he would join a coalition to remove the state's restrictions on gays and lesbians becoming adoptive and foster parents.
Lesbians are most likely to have sexual relations with men first, according to American studies and a new study from Great Britain, reports Health Central. The new study, reported in the April issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections, indicates nearly 85 percent of British lesbians had their first sexual encounters with men. UCLA professor Susan Cochran says similar numbers, though dropping, will be found in America.
The Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken of Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati will face church charges for performing gay weddings. The Presbyterian Church allows ministers to bless gay unions but does not allow ministers to perform gay weddings. He is also charged with ordaining gay deacons and church elders. The practice of ordaining gay deacons and elders has been in effect since Van Kuiken's predecessor, the Rev. Harold Porter, began such acts more than 12 years ago.
After hotel billionaire Leona Helmsley won a welcome reduction in her payment to a gay ex-manager, she was hit with another big bill. A Manhattan judge ordered Helmsley to pay $600,000 in legal fees and costs to the attorneys of Charles Bell, according to 365gay.com. Bell's jury award of more than $11 million was reduced earlier to just over $500,000 by a state supreme court justice.
Colorado is poised to take another stab at calling gay rights 'special rights' by allowing doctors and healthcare workers to refuse treatment to gays and lesbians, reports the Rocky Mountain News. Colorado Senate Bill 88, a bill that outlines regulations and punishments for medical workers, was amended to allow doctors, paramedics, and other healthcare workers to refuse care to homosexuals without fear of discipline. State Rep. Don Lee said outlining punishment for healthcare workers' refusal to care for gays and lesbians would give special rights not allowed in Colorado.
'Ex-gay' spokesman John Paulk is reportedly stepping down from his leadership role in Focus on the Family's campaign to 'convert' gay people to heterosexuality. Paulk plans to move his wife and sons to the Pacific Northwest from Colorado to be with extended family. He will leave his post as manager of the Homosexuality and Gender Department at FoF, based in Colorado Springs, May 6. Both he and his wife claim to be 'former' gays.
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network has released an updated edition of its 'Survival Guide,' a legal guide about the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law. It answers frequently asked questions about the military's ban, including information on coming out, reporting harassment, investigations and discharge. The revised guide also includes information for HIV-positive and transgender military personnel as well as information on veterans' benefits. See www.sldn.org , or e-mail email@example.com ; (202) 328-FAIR.
PlanetOut reports that entertainment journalist and Wall Street Journal reporter Tom King, 39, 'who wrote what many consider the authoritative biography of Hollywood mogul David Geffen, died suddenly ... while vacationing with friends.'
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