Zach Wahls Delivers a Touching Speech on Being Raised by Lesbian Parents

This is a bit dated, but it is well worth viewing. This is University of Iowa student Zach Wals delivering a speech to the Iowa House of Representatives last Monday to explain that being raised by a lesbian couple had no effect on the content of his character. The House passed the bill 62-37.


Maryland Marriage Hearing Underway

Over 140 witnesses were registered to testify at the Maryland Senate hearing today on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

Of course, Maggie Gallagher, the leader of the National Organization for Marriage, was there to testify in opposition.

Thankfully, a majority of the members of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee support the bill, so it will make it to the full Senate very soon.

And a (7-Year-Old) Child Shall Lead Them (to Marriage Equality)

After he heard a radio story about the mistreatment of gays and lesbians, 7-year-old Malcolm decided to donate to two LGBT charities (The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center and the Human Rights Campaign).

He had been given $140 to donate to the charity of his choice in an effort to teach him the importance of improving the world around him. Along with his donation, Malcolm included a note: “I’m sending this money because I don’t think it’s fair that gay people are not treated equally.” And, his mother included a note that challenged the LA Gay and Lesbian Center to raise $27,000 in her son’s name.

Click here for more info on donating.

Florida court throws out case of lesbian banned from seeing dying partner

From PinkNews:langbehnpond

A lesbian who was banned by a hospital from visiting her dying partner has had her case thrown out of court.

Janice Langbehn sued Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami for not allowing her to see Lisa Pond, 39, her partner of 17 years.

Pond suffered a fatal brain aneurysm on February 18th, 2007. Langbehn says a social worker would not let her see her partner, who died alone the next day.

The couple, who had three adopted children, were on holiday on a gay-friendly Caribbean cruise when Pond became ill.

Langbehn and her children were not allowed to be with Pond in her final hours and hospital officials allegedly told Langbehn she was in an anti-gay city and state.

After waiting eight hours, she was eventually allowed to see Pond for five minutes as a priest performed the last rites.

Langbehn and gay charity Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit against Jackson Memorial Hospital but this was thrown out of court this week.

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled that the case should be dismissed because the hospital had no obligation to allow visitors to see patients.

It also ruled that there was no obligation to provide patients’ families, healthcare surrogates, or visitors with access to patients in their trauma unit.

The court has given the Langbehn-Pond family until October 16th to review the ruling and consider all legal options.

Beth Littrell, staff attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office in Atlanta, said: “The court’s decision paints a tragically stark picture of how vulnerable same-sex couples and their families really are during times of crisis.

“We hope that because of Janice’s courage to seek justice for her family in this case that more people better understand the costs of anti-gay discrimination. This should never happen to anyone.”

The DC Center Announces First HIV/AIDS Grant

All I can say is, YAY!!

From The D.C. Center HIV Working Group:fighthivindcsquare

The Board of Directors of the Metro DC Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Community Center (The DC Center) are pleased to announce their first HIV/AIDS grant.

The National HIV Vaccine Research and Education Initiative Grant is designed to create a supportive local environment for HIV vaccine research by educating key communities about this research in areas where HIV vaccine clinical trials are ongoing or planned. The DC Center is one of several organizations that will be funded under this grant.

David Mariner, Executive Director of the DC Center stated: “This grant provides a unique opportunity to educate the GLBT community about the importance of HIV Vaccine research. We’ll be coordinating activities of this grant closely with our HIV Working Group.”

The DC Center will continue to work with the local community advisory board for HIV Vaccine Research, the Capital Area Vaccine Effort, and the Vaccine Research Center at the NIH. This partnership first began when The DC Center organized an educational event on vaccine research on October 1st, 2007 at Dakota Cowgirl/Titan Bar. More recently, the groups collaborated on a community update on HIV prevention research, under the direction of The DC Center’s Crystal Meth Working Group, which was held at the HRC Equality Center on May 14th of this year.

NYT: Psychologists Reject Gay ‘Therapy’

The American Psychological Association has adopted a resolution as well as published a report that so-called ‘ex-gay’ therapy is ineffective and often harmful….

Duh!  That is because you cannot make someone stop being gay, because being gay is not a choice.  Although I am glad the APA released this report, it is just pathetic that such a report even needs to be published.

From the New York Times:

The American Psychological Association declared Wednesday that mental health professionals should not tell gay clients they can become straight through therapy or other treatments.

In a resolution adopted by the association’s governing council, and in an accompanying report, the association issued its most comprehensive repudiation of so-called reparative therapy, a concept espoused by a small but persistent group of therapists, often allied with religious conservatives, who maintain that gay men and lesbians can change.

No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the resolution, adopted by a 125-to-4 vote. The association said some research suggested that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.

Instead of seeking such change, the association urged therapists to consider multiple options, which could include celibacy and switching churches, for helping clients live spiritually rewarding lives in instances where their sexual orientation and religious faith conflict.

The association has criticized reparative therapy in the past, but a six-member panel added weight to that position by examining 83 studies on sexual orientation change conducted since 1960. Its report was endorsed by the association’s governing council in Toronto, where the association’s annual meeting is being held this weekend.

The report breaks ground in its detailed and nuanced assessment of how therapists should deal with gay clients struggling to remain loyal to a religious faith that disapproves of homosexuality.

Judith Glassgold, a psychologist in Highland Park, N.J., who led the panel, said she hoped the document could help calm the polarized debate between religious conservatives who believe in the possibility of changing sexual orientation and the many mental health professionals who reject that option.

“Both sides have to educate themselves better,” Ms. Glassgold said. “The religious psychotherapists have to open up their eyes to the potential positive aspects of being gay or lesbian. Secular therapists have to recognize that some people will choose their faith over their sexuality.”

One of the largest organizations promoting the possibility of changing sexual orientation is Exodus International, a network of ministries whose core message is “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ.”

Its president, Alan Chambers, describes himself as someone who “overcame unwanted same-sex attraction.” Mr. Chambers and other evangelicals met with association representatives after the panel was formed in 2007, and he expressed satisfaction with parts of the report that emerged.