The Chicago Tribune: Rhode Island's governor on Saturday signed into law a controversial bill legalizing same sex civil unions, but said it does not go far enough toward legalizing gay marriage. Governor Lincoln Chafee, an independent who supports gay marriage, nonetheless signed the measure with the promise that it would move Rhode Island closer to the ultimate goal of legalizing gay marriage. (How refreshing that the chief executive of a state would realize "separate" does not mean "equal." Here in Texas, GOP Governor Rick Perry not only rails against committed gay and lesbian couples, he yearns for the days when intimacy between consenting adults of the same gender was a crime.)
The tragic death of 13-year-old Seth Walsh was not in vain. California's Tehachapi Unified School District has agreed to revise its policies and start protecting gay students like Seth from the horrific bullying that can lead to suicide. From the blog LA Now: The investigation found the harassment -- which had escalated from verbal to physical and sexual harassment -- was so severe it inhibited his educational opportunities, and federal officials said the school district, located between Bakersfield and Mojave, violated the Civil Rights Act.
Reverend Albert Mohler, president of Kentucky's Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is trying to figure out how to condemn LGBT folks to eternal hellfire without, y'know, sounding like a bigot? (Good luck with that, Yer Worshipful.) Mohler's opinion piece on the Wall Street Journal is filled with faux expressions of 'brotherly love ' and 'we are all sinners' but it really boils down to these disingenuous talking points: "We cannot pretend as if we do not know that the Bible clearly teaches that all homosexual acts are sinful... (W)e cannot accept the seductive arguments that the liberal churches so readily adopt..." (Mohler refers to "seductive arguments" such as UCC's: 'Whoever you are, where ever you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.' Real sacrilegious stuff.) "Our greatest fear is not that homosexuality will be normalized and accepted, but that homosexuals will not come to know of their own need for Christ and the forgiveness of their sins." (If you believe that horseshit, I have a gay disco in Kampala to sell you.)
Ken Klukowski of the notorious hate group Family Research Council is less offended by "pedarastic Greeks" than he is by the thought of same-sex couples in committed relationships. Brian Tashman reports for Right Wing Watch, with audio.
Two middle-aged pagans in Warwickshire, England, are being terrorized by Christian zealots who want to "burn the witches" out of their small community. Stacks of wood have actually been placed on the couple's doorstep, a chilling reminder of the countless auto-da-fes that swept Christendom in centuries past. You can read about it at Mail Online.
On CNN's Belief Blog, Pastor Rick Warren (who once compared lifelong gay unions to incest) is now claiming that "church" is the world's "most powerful weapon" against AIDS. The Saddleback sage exults: "Out of the bubble that is American life, we sat with dying men and women, held newly orphaned babies in our arms, and cried with shattered family members." (Is this really how Warren remembers the early years of the AIDs epidemic? My partner and I were there - in the fucking middle of it - as our close friends sickened and died, caring for Art's younger brother until he passed away, volunteering in hospital wards that some nurses were reluctant to enter - and I can assure you, there was no outpouring of Christian compassion from the evangelical community. Warren is creating history from whole cloth. This shouldn't surprise us. You'll recall that the mega-church minister is bosom buddies with Uganda's head homophobe Martin Ssempa, the fundamentalist leader who promoted his government's "Kill the Gays" legislation. If you're able to read Warren's self-satisfied proclamation without feeling nauseous, you have a stronger stomach than I do.)
Houston's out-and-proud mayor Annise Parker has made sweet lemonade from a bitter, anti-gay missive composed by professional bigot Dave Wilson. Wilson mailed his venom-soaked tirade to precinct chairs and contributors to Parker's successful mayoral campaign. KHOU tells the tale, and provides video.
Bill Berkowitz writes on AlterNet: One might think that a private, decidedly conservative, and totally evangelical Christian University, that was founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, who was openly critical of government programs, would spurn federal dollars... Au contraire mon ami.
Chris Geidner reports for Metro Weekly: Today, the Department of Justice filed a brief in federal court employee Karen Golinski's federal court challenge, supporting her lawsuit seeking access to equal health benefits for her wife and arguing strongly that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional in terms unparalleled in previous administration statements. (This is, to date, the DOJ's most strongly-worded condemnation of the unconstitutional DOMA.)
New York State Senator Marty Golden recently voted against marriage equality, declaring that gay nuptials would result in the "destruction of the sacrament of marriage." He has referred to non-heterosexual orientation as "plain wrong." But he's not too pure to accept cash from gay and lesbian couples that decide to tie the knot. Via Think Progress.
Michelle Obama doesn't want anybody thinking that she supports marriage equality. Former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey suggested in an interview that she did - and a spokesperson for the First Lady hurriedly contradicted him. (I wonder if Michelle is "evolving" on the issue, as President Obama claims to be.) Via On Top Magazine.
Republican lawmakers in North Carolina are determined to write anti-gay discrimination in their state's constitution. Lucas Grindley supplies details for The Advocate.
According to Tanya Somanader at TP-LGBT, a Catholic bishop representing New York's Brooklyn diocese has banned state lawmakers who voted for gay marriage from attending parochial school events. (The church prelate in question is His Ass-Holiness Nicholas DiMarzio.)
Recommended: "Soldier Leaves Legacy Much Larger Than Being Gay" by Wayne Drash, for CNN's In America section.