Lots of stuff happened to gay people this week! Mostly good, some bad! It's only Tuesday, but so far, the future is bright.
More Gay Marriage
A lawsuit to legalize gay marriage in Minnesota has reached the court of appeals after its dismissal was overturned Monday on procedural grounds. Minnesota is holding a state-wide vote to ban gay marriage this fall. Activists and haters alike believe the suit will be tricky -- if it makes it to the state high court, there is a chance that a 1971 ruling against gay marriage will be used as precedent, and if all goes well but the amendment to ban gay marriage passes, then the case will be moot.
A lesbian couple in Detroit is suing over a state law that prevents unmarried couples from adopting. April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, and their lawyers, approached a federal judge to prevent state judges from enforcing the law, though a government spokesperson said that any changes would have to come through legislature.
Malta Violence and Aftermath
A 16-year-old lesbian in Malta has been attacked, and aside from being horrific, the incident has prompted discussion of adding homophobia and transphobia to the definition of hate crimes. Following the incident, "Amy" (a pseudonym) ended up at a health centre with a fractured nose, scraped face, and bruises. Her girlfriend's head was bruised, and she was scratched. The person who committed the crime has not yet been arrested. According to a joint statement from the Malta Gay Rights Movement and an Aditus-based human rights lobby, "Violence on lesbian, gay and transexual people is not an uncommon occurrence although most incidents do not get reported to the police or featured in newspapers. Trust in the police force is an essential factor in encouraging and enabling LGBT victims to come forward and report such crimes. For this reason, how the police react to this assault also has an effect on the reporting of other similar incidents."
High School GSAs:
Bailee Webb, the president of a Gay-Straight Alliance at her high school in Kansas, tried to print club T-shirts reading "Why is it that as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" and was unable to after the owner of a sporting goods store refused to print them because of his own homophobia. Webb has since organized a school-wide boycott of the store. The school is also re-examining its bullying policy.
Students at Pepperdine University, a religiously affiliated university in California, are protesting after the administration refused to recognize a gay and lesbian support group on campus for the fourth time. Nearly 4,000 students have signed an online petition against the decision, arguing that the school's atmosphere is alienating to gay students.
Lesbians in Power
Carina Vance Mafla has been appointed Ecuador's new Health Minister. And she's a lesbian! Mafla was appointed after the previous minister resigned due to allegations that he had not modernized the health system. Mafla was also a driving force behind a movement to close the nearly 200 underground ex-gay clinics across Ecuador, which previously held hundreds of women against their wills and physically, sexually, and emotionally abused them to try to "cure" them of being gay. The Ministry of Health committed to helping to close the clinics yesterday after years of outcry.
Gay Men in Power
The first openly gay (and third black) man has been nominated to New Jersey's Supreme Court. Also named: the first Asian and immigrant man. Despite this (and while standing next to Bruce Harris and his partner of three decades), Governor Chris Christie has said that he has not changed his mind about opposing same-sex marriage: "I’m not someone who changes positions with the grace of a ballerina. I wouldn’t be all atwitter in expectation."