Archive for September 2009
The 2014 Gay Games will be held in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Federation of Gay Games announced Cleveland as the games’ 2014 host city – at a news conference in Cologne, Germany – site of next year’s Gay Games. Read the rest of this entry »
President Obama this week delivered a proclamation declaring Monday to be “Family Day” – in which he acknowledged families headed by gay parents. Read the rest of this entry »
A raid on a Fort Worth gay bar on the 40th anniversary of Stonewall last summer has ushered in a new relationship between the city and the gay community unimaginable just a few years ago.
A California gay rights activist says an anti-gay marriage group is trying to silence him, by subpoenaing his group’s financial and communication records. Read the rest of this entry »
The LGBT community knows little about man chosen to fill the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s seat in the U.S. Senate and what is known is mixed.
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Paul Kirk was appointed Thursday to the seat vacated last month when Massachusetts’ Senator Ted Kennedy died of brain cancer.
Kirk was a close friend and associate of Kennedy, who was the Senate’s strongest champion on LGBT civil rights and HIV matters. And Kirk’s appointment came by way of another staunch gay civil rights supporter – Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
Few LGBT leaders know much about Kirk himself. Some remember that, in 1985, as chairman of the Democratic Party, he vowed not to let gay civil rights matters become a priority for the party –characterizing them as “frivolous” issues. In an Advocate story from 1985, what was then the Human Rights Campaign Foundation charged that Kirk was “scapegoating” gays for Walter Mondale’s landslide defeat in the 1984 Presidential Election.
But long-time gay Democratic activist David Mixner says now that Kirk was “instrumental, along with Kennedy, in fighting many of the” hostile amendments proffered by then Senator Jesse Helms. And, Mixner said, Kirk was “fantastic” on ENDA.”
Kirk has pledged to hold the seat only until Massachusetts voters elect a new senator, during a special election in January. His appointment helps the Democrats hold onto an important filibuster-proof majority of 60 in the Senate.
Kirk’s office did not return a call for comment.
A new study released by the nation’s largest gay rights group shows that more than half of LGBT workers in America are closeted at their jobs. Human Rights Campaign released a report this week, called “Degrees of Equality.” The group found, through series of focus groups and interviews, that 51 percent of LGBT employees hide their identity from most or all of their co-workers.
According to the research, almost 60 percent of gay employees say co-workers or supervisors make jokes or derogatory comments about gay people at least some of the time. Eric Bloem is deputy director of HRC’s workplace project. He says this is a large reason so many LGBT workers stay closeted.
Bloem: “Hearing something whether it be at the water cooler or in the break room, or wherever it might be – something derogatory about LGBT people, and you being LGBT, it definitely does have an effect on how you percieve the climate around you. Whether or not you feel that you can be open and it’s okay.”
42 percent of LGBT workers said they’ve had to lie about their personal lives, which could leading to trust issues. More than a quarter said they’ve been distracted by an unfriendly workplace, and more than one in ten say they’ve had to stay home from work. Bloem says that’s just bad for business.
Bloem: “It does have a profound effect on the bottom line of an organization, whether or not someone is able to come to work every day, to contribute fully, without having concerns about them being open.”
A coalition of grassroots groups seeking to repeal Prop 8 in California next year filed an initiative with the state Attorney General Thursday morning. But there is still no consensus on strategy or ballot language.