Top Stories Today - 11.21.2008

National News:

The New York Times: With Same-Sex Marriage, a Court Takes on the People's Voice The Times looks at the core legal questions the California Supreme Court will consider as it prepares to determine the validity of Prop. 8 next year. USA Today: Gay Activists Focusing on Rights Issues Other Than Marriage Some LGBT equality organizations are laying out a series of priorities for the near future, shifting their immediate focus to ENDA, education and hate crimes, while increasing public education around marriage. Associated Press: Anti-Gay Violence Is a Problem in Amsterdam A University of Amsterdam study commissioned by the city found that 67 anti-gay attacks were reported in Amsterdam in 2007, a number that, according to police, is about average for recent years and "is not decreasing." Reuters: Episcopal Church Dissidents Aim For New Church Socially conservative Episcopalians who left the national church over issues of biblical interpretation and the ordination of gay clergy are trying to form a separate church, which could lead to two branches of Anglicanism in the U.S. Associated Press: Tennessee: Ex-Officer Is Indicted A former Memphis police officer faces civil rights charges in the jailhouse beating of Duanna Johnson, the transgender woman who was recently murdered in Tenn.

Regional News:

Miami Herald (FL): Florida Gay Rights Activists Ready to Fight Threat to Benefits LGBT advocates in Fla. vow to fight attempts to invalidate domestic partnership benefit laws in the wake of Amendment 2. Groups such as the Florida Family Association are already planning attempts at restricting or eliminating local domestic partnership protections. Hartford Courant (CT): Same-Sex Couples First Must Find A Willing And Able Cleric Though marriage equality has come to Conn., the state's clergy have no legal obligation (nor, in some cases, authority from their churches), to perform gay couples' weddings. Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA): Watsonville Gathering Celebrates Transgender Lives Over 100 people gathered at Watsonville, Calif.'s, City Plaza Thursday to remember transgender victims of violence and celebrate the lives of transgender people who choose to live openly in spite of societal challenges. The Atlanta Journal Constitution (GA): Doraville Won't Discriminate Against Transgender Employees Doraville, Ga., has become the third city in the state to enact non-discrimination protections for its transgender employees: "Businesses have understood it for years, but it's important to see a city make the statement that, as a public entity, they will protect all of their citizens." [Ithaca] (NY): Transgender Remembrance Day A week after a transgender woman was murdered in Syracuse, advocates nationwide observed the Transgender Day of Remembrance yesterday, remembering those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence. Los Angeles Times (CA): The Mayor-Elect's New Clothes: Silverton, Oregon, Elects a Transgender Leader Residents of Silverton, Ore., recently elected the nation's first openly transgender mayor. The mayor still is known as Stu Rasmussen in Silverton, but goes by and writes under the name Carla Fong. Asssociated Press (VT): Lawmaker Threatened for Same-Sex Marriage Plan Vt. Senate Majority Leader John Campbell says he received a call from a woman threatening to blow up his house over his plan to introduce a bill in January to legalize marriage for gay couples in the state. Chicago Tribune (IL): Radical Gay Activist Group Plans More Disruptions A group called Bash Back!, which held confrontational protests against Prop. 8 at churches in Michigan and Washington this month, says it may plan similar protests in the future.

International News:

ABCNews (Australia): Trickle Feed Same-Sex Welfare Changes: Rights Group Australian welfare advocates want government moves to end discrimination against gay couples to be integrated into the welfare system gradually to protect gay people. Gay couples must soon declare if they are living in a de facto relationship, which could reduce their welfare payments.

From the Blogs: