Gay USA - February 13-19, 2013

IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK ON “GAY USA” with Ann and Andy:  GBT issues and people make cameo appearances in President Obama’s State of the Union speech; Vive la France as the French Assembly opens marriage and adoption to same-sex couples; now it is on to the Senate; The Violence Against Women Act clears the US Senate with sexual orientation provisions intact; now it is on to the House; Pope Benedict XVI resigns in the midst of multiple scandals. His successor will be drawn from equally reactionary men he himself appointed; Defense Secretary Leon Panetta extends some benefits to the domestic partners of military personnel, but one servicemember dies without being able to win benefits for her widow; Civil unions advance in Colorado; marriage bill stalls in Hawaii; and the Illinois Senate looks to pass its marriage equality bill on Valentine’s Day' Indiana’s Republican-controlled legislature delays vote on anti-gay marriage amendment pending the US Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage; A mayor in Ohio resigns after insulting one of her police officers who is openly gay; A school board in Florida looks at banning ALL student clubs in order to keep a Gay-Straight Alliance out of a middle school; Police do not think the murders of three gay men in New York in recent weeks are related, You can read more about the murders in Gay City News here: http://gaycitynews.com/three-gay-murders-highlight-online-hook-up-risks/  You can read Online Dating and Hook-Up Safety tips at the website of the LGBT Anti-Violence Project here: http://avp.org/storage/documents/2013.1.16_online_datingsite_violence.pdf; Out gay athletes are worried about the winter Olympics in anti-gay Russia next year; Andy reviews the revival of David Ives’s “All in the Timing” at Primary Stages.

NOTE on ENDA: We discussed the history of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in Congress and here are some more details. It did almost pass the US Senate in 1996—losing 49-to-50—but there was no vote in the House. It passed the House in 2007 by a vote of 235-184 after dropping the transgender provision.  That provision was subsequently restored but it has not had a vote since. You can read the whole history here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employment_Non-Discrimination_Act

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