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Top Stories Today - 11.19.2008

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National News:

Associated Press: Vote on Anti-Bullying Chicago High School Delayed

After a plan for an LGBT Chicago high school was altered to focus more heavily on all bullied students, gay or straight, backers of the proposal decided hours before a scheduled vote that they want to spend another year finalizing their plans.

Associated Press: Admirals, Generals: Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Over 100 retired generals and admirals issued a statement Monday calling for a repeal of DADT: "Our service members are professionals who are able to work together effectively despite differences in race, gender, religion, and sexuality."

The New York Times: Murder of Transgender Woman Revives Scrutiny

Transgender woman Duanna Johnson was beaten by police while in custody last Feb., then fatally shot in Memphis last week, bringing scrutiny to "a culture of violence against transgender people that must be addressed."

Los Angeles Times: EDITORIAL: Healing the Gay/Black Divide

The Los Angeles Times editorial board discusses a letter written by a coalition of LGBT equality leaders calling for an end to tensions between some members of the LGBT and African American communities over the passage of Prop. 8.

The New York Times: Queen Sofia Unamused by a Book Quoting Her

A new book on Queen Sofia of Spain has given Spaniards "an uncomfortably close look" at the monarch's socially conservative views on gay people and marriage equality, among other topics. A royal spokesperson said the queen's comments were reflected inaccurately by the book.

CNN.com: Lawmaker: 'Don't Ask-Don't Tell' Can Be Repealed in Year

Calif. Rep. Ellen Tauscher, a lead sponsor of the bill that would repeal DADT, said she believes the military ban could possibly be overturned in the first year of Barack Obama's presidency.

 

Regional News:

Hartford Courant (CT): EDITORIAL: Sentiments Shift

The Hartford Courant editorial board says that public sentiment is shifting in favor of LGBT equality, referring to gay visibility in popular culture, companies' diversity policies, anti-discrimination laws, and recent polling showing support for marriage in Conn. and the repeal of DADT.

Los Angeles Times (CA): Recall Specter Hangs Over High Court As It Considers Prop. 8 Challenges

Supporters of Prop. 8 claim they will target any justices who vote to overturn the ban. Legal scholars say Calif.'s Supreme Court has no clear path in how to handle the legal challenges facing the amendment.

The Salt Lake Tribune (UT): Push for Utah Gay-Rights Laws Gets Its First Test Today

The first in a series of six bills proposed by lawmakers and endorsed by LGBT equality groups that would promote LGBT equality in the state of Utah faces the state's Senate Judiciary Interim Committee today.

Associated Press (VT): Vermont Lawmaker to Introduce Gay Marriage Bill

Vermont state Sen. John Campbell said he plans to introduce a bill in January that would bring marriage equality to his state, though he said the bill "probably wouldn't go far unless it were supported by Gov. Jim Douglas."

San Jose Mercury News (CA): Santa Cruz County Joins S.F. Suit Against Gay-Marriage Ban

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to join the San Francisco lawsuit challenging Prop. 8.

Associated Press (NH): Group Wants Gay Marriage To Be Legal

The Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders announced a campaign Tuesday to work towards achieving marriage equality by 2012 in the remaining four New England states where gay couples cannot yet marry.

The New Yorker: Soup With Prince

In an interview with The New Yorker, pop star Prince makes controversial statements about gay people: "God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, ‘Enough.'"

Detroit Free Press (MI): Radical Church to Protest in Michigan

Fred Phelps' anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church has expanded its plans to protest this weekend's Grosse Pointe, Mich., high school production of The Laramie Project. The group now says it will protest Christ Church in Grosse Pointe Farms and both the Canadian and Mexican consulates in Detroit.

Newsday (NY): Islip Task Force Tackles Incidents of Hate

A task force of about 20 community leaders gathered yesterday in Islip, N.Y., to discuss programs to combat bias in light of recent anti-gay and racially motivated hate crimes.

Des Moines Register (IA): Gay Marriage Supporters, Opponents Prep for Case

Opponents and supporters of marriage equality in Iowa are preparing for Varnum V. Brien, a landmark case the state Supreme Court will hear next month that will decide whether Iowa's gay couples can marry.

Sacramento Bee (CA): EDITORIAL: Court Should Act Soon on Prop. 8

The Sacramento Bee editorial board writes that the Calif. Supreme Court needs to address the lawsuits challenging Prop. 8 quickly because "a delay would leave supporters, opponents and couples in limbo."

The Tampa Tribune (FL): Swearing In Of Gay Commissioner Draws Crowd In Tampa

Observers at Tuesday's swearing-in ceremony Kevin Beckner as Hillsborough County, Fla.'s first openly gay county commissioner was historic: ""It's people opening their minds. They're welcoming change, so it is Obama-like."

San Jose Mercury News (CA): Attorney General Urges State Supreme Court to Act Quickly on Prop. 8

Calif. Attorney General Jerry Brown asked the state Supreme Court to quickly rule on the legality of Prop. 8, though he also argued the court should not stay the ban in the meantime. NCLR's Shannon Minter: "We're very pleased he's so strongly urging the court to take the case."

San Jose Mercury News (CA): Prop. 8 Battle Enters New Stage

In the wake of Saturday's national protests, "supporters of Proposition 8 are also preparing for more legal and political battles in 2010 and beyond," including meetings and further ballot initiatives and challenges planned by both supporters and opponents of marriage equality.

Minneapolis Star Tribune (MN): Gay Marriage and Doing 'Whatever You Want' Is Wrong, Says Prince

When asked about marriage equality during a New Yorker interview, Prince is quoted as saying, ""God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, 'Enough.' "

The Dallas Morning News (TX): COLUMN: Gays Renew Vow to Fight for Marriage

Jacquielynn Floyd writes about the backlash over Prop. 8. She says that after the election, many gay Americans have been "left with the sense that they're the last disenfranchised class standing. So buckle up. We could be opening a long, loud, interesting chapter in the evolution of our nation's civil liberties."

San Jose Mercury News (CA): COLUMN: Prop. 8 Foes Are Wrong on Boycott

Scott Herhold criticizes boycott threats against Prop. 8 donors as likely to backfire: "It divides people in a needlessly abrasive way. It says that if you oppose us on the issue of gay marriage, we need never talk again."

Salt Lake Tribune (UT): PFLAG Enters Prop 8 Fallout Fray, Seeks LDS Church Support

Local PFLAG parents held a Salt Lake City news conference to support the Common Ground Initiative, five pro-equality bills that Equality Utah is calling on the Mormon church to back based on leaders' past comments about supporting issues other than marriage.

Chicago Sun-Times (IL): COLUMN: Anti-Gay Bias Puts Blacks in Bad Company

African American Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell discusses California's Prop. 8: "We have the right to believe whatever we like. We don't have the right to stop others from living out their lives on their own terms."

Issues: