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Illinois nears civil unions for same-sex couples

CHICAGO — Lawmakers in President Barack Obama’s adopted home state of Illinois approved legal civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, and sent the measure Wednesday to Governor Pat Quinn who was expected to sign it. Civil unions give gay couples some legal rights enjoyed by married couples, such as…

Court allows continued enforcement of ‘Don’t Ask’ policy, at least until mid-2011

The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which forces gay, lesbian and trans-gender members of the military to hide their personal lives or face expulsion from the service, will continue being enforced until mid-2011 thanks to a Monday ruling by an appeals court in San Francisco. The extension, granted by the…

Ark. school official accused of anti-gay screed

Ark. school board member accused of writing he’d wear purple only if gays ‘commit suicide’ A member of a northern Arkansas school board, commenting on campaign to get people to wear purple to show support for bullied gay and lesbian youth, purportedly posted on Facebook that the only way he…

Maddow ‘outs’ herself as a ‘lesbian vampire’

Ever see a newscaster wear fangs? Last night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow took a few moments to feature the comedy of a character named Billy Bob Neck, a right-wing, tea party extremist invented by liberal jokester Paul Day. He’d recently brought a dire message to the Internet: the shocking revelation…

California judge: Gay marriages to go forward on Aug. 18

The California judge who struck down the state\’s same-sex marriage ban ruled on Thursday that gay and lesbian couples may begin marrying on Aug. 18 at 5 p.m., unless supporters of Proposition 8 can convince the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to issue a stay. When Judge Vaughn Walker…

Pentagon ‘Don’t Ask’ survey for troops stokes ‘homophobia,’ group claims

Pentagon: Allegations of bias in survey are ‘absolutely, unequivocally, nonsense’ America’s largest group of gay and lesbian troops and veterans on Friday harshly criticized a Pentagon survey asking soldiers about the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, charging that the survey “stokes the fires of homophobia.” It prompted a forceful…

Obama US Attorney expected to stand behind federal gay marriage ban, plaintiffs say

White House declines comment; Political implications could be enormous The gay rights law group that convinced a federal district court judge Thursday to strike down a federal ban on gay marriage has told the New York Times they “fully expect” the Justice Department to appeal the decision — a move…

Mississippi schools: No proms, no yearbook pics for lesbians

Mississippi schools are developing quite a reputation for battling their lesbian students. Just weeks after an Oxford-area high school made national news by canceling its prom rather than allowing a lesbian student to attend with a same-sex date, a Jackson-area lesbian high school senior who had been fighting for the…

Obama grants hospital visitation, power of attorney rights to gay and lesbian couples

The White House issued a memo Thursday directing all hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid to end discrimination against same-sex couples, thereby granting full visitation and medical power of attorney rights to gay and lesbian partners at the vast majority of hospitals nation-wide. The President’s order directed the Department of…

ACLU demands school reinstate prom canceled over lesbian date

A lesbian student in Mississippi has joined forces with the American Civil Liberties Union to compel her high school to reinstate its senior prom, which the school canceled after the student announced she would be bringing a same-sex date. In a lawsuit (PDF) filed in a federal court in Oxford,…

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