Sara’s News Roundup, 2/19/2012: Whitney Houston against bullying
Whitney Houston against bullying, contraception & anti-LGBT rhetoric in Republican presidential politics, marriage equality in New Jersey and Maryland, Don’t Say Gay in Tennessee, and other recent LGBTQ news selected by Sara Boesser in Juneau, Alaska.
1) Whitney Was to Shoot Antibullying Campaign on Last Day
Advocate, February 17, 2012
Us Weekly reports that a photographer for the Stop Bullying Now campaign was waiting for Houston February 11 and that her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, offered to stand in for her mother to set up the lighting. After becoming concerned over her mother’s failure to show up at the shoot, Brown checked on Houston and was informed of the tragic news by the star’s staffers.
The campaign is officially titled “Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil” and is described in a press release as “an initiative that will reach parents and children, while providing tools needed to successfully cope with bullying.”
2) Cynthia Nixon: Bald and gay by choice, bisexual by birth
Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2012
Cynthia Nixon would like to clarify: She might be choosing to partner currently with a woman rather than a man, but she had no choice in the matter when it came to being bisexual in the first place.
3) Bill Maher: For Santorum, “Life Begins at Erection”
Advocate, February 16, 2012
Maher says Santorum is stuck in a time warp to 2004, when he says Republicans used the specter of same-sex marriage to drive evangelical voters to the polls.
4) Armistead Maupin: ‘We Give Our Families Too Much Slack When They Vote for Homophobes’
OUT, February 15, 2012
“I’m outraged that there are currently major candidates for President of the United States who are using homophobia to rally their base,” said the Tales of the City author. “I’m pissed off at my Republican family back in North Carolina, several of whom came to my wedding, but who went right back and are voting for homophobes and acting like it doesn’t matter. It does matter and it’s time for the queers in this country to start saying so to their families. I think we’ve all cut them too much slack for far too long.”
5) Is the Transgender Person’s Transition Process Selfish?
Huffington Post, February 15, 2012
Those who do reject the transitioning person often feel that the decision to transition was selfish. But could it not be said that the person rejecting the transitioning transgender person is actually the selfish one, concerned more with how society will view them for being associated with the person in transition than with the mental and physical health of the person they once called family or friend?
6) ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill advances: As students protest, House subcommittee reignites debate
Tennessee, Tennessean, February 16, 2012
A bill to restrict teaching about homosexuality before high school cleared its first hurdle in the [Tennessee] House of Representatives, setting the stage for a second year of debate on the appropriate way to handle discussion about gays and lesbians with schoolchildren.
7) 80 pct of young Chinese “non-discriminatory” toward homosexuality: survey
Beijing, Beijing Time, Xinhua English, February 13, 2012
More than 80 percent of Chinese people born after the 1980s hold no discriminatory beliefs regarding homosexuality, according to a survey on marriage perspectives conducted by jiayuan.com, a major Chinese dating website.
8) A Promising Trial: Using the same methods used to vaccinate against polio, researchers in Canada may be leading a path toward an HIV vaccine
HIV Plus Magazine, March/April 2012 issue
While an estimated 30 HIV vaccines are being tested around the world, one trial in Canada promises to be unique. After decades of research, development, and high hopes, scientists at the University of Western Ontario are ready to test a new type of vaccine known as SAV001 that they hope will prevent HIV infections.
9) BREAKING: Obama DOJ Won’t Defend Constitutionality Of Denying Military Benefits To Same-Sex Couples
Washington, Think Progress, February 17, 2012
The Obama administration has announced that it will not defend laws that prevent married same-sex couples from obtaining military benefits. In a letter to Congress today, Attorney General Eric Holder argued, “[t]he legislative record of these provisions contains no rationale for providing veterans’ benefits to opposite-sex couples of veterans but not to legally married same-sex spouses of veterans … Neither the Department of Defense nor the Department of Veterans Affairs identified any justifications for that distinction that would warrant treating these provisions differently from Section 3 of DOMA.”
10) N.J. governor issues “conditional veto” of gay marriage
New Jersey, Reuters, February 17, 2012
Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage on Friday, one day after the state Assembly voted in favor of the measure that had been previously approved by the Senate.
11) Maryland House passes gay marriage bill
Annapolis, Md., CBS News, February 17, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Maryland appears ready to become one of a handful of states in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage after the bill to allow it passed a long-standing hurdle in the Maryland House of Delegates on Friday.
After courting the votes of a couple delegates initially opposed to the measure, House members voted 72-67 to pass the bill. Next up is the Senate, which handily passed a similar bill last year, and Gov. Martin O’Malley has said he would sign it. Approval would make Maryland the eight state plus the District of Columbia to legalize the marriages.
12) Wallis Simpson Intersex? Doctor Refutes New Biography
ABC News, February 2012
And now, a new biography, “That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor,” suggests that the “mannish” social climber with the “beautiful dark sapphire blue eyes, full of sparkle and nice mischief” may have been intersex.