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Top Stories Today - 12.10.2008

National News:

Associated Press: NJ Commission Says State Should Allow Gay Marriage

N.J.'s Civil Union Review Commission concluded in its final report that the state's two-year-old civil union law is inadequate in providing gay couples the same protections as their straight counterparts, recommending marriage equality as a solution.

The New York Times: Iowa Justices Hear Same-Sex Marriage Case

During opening arguments in Iowa's marriage equality case yesterday, the state's Supreme Court justices repeatedly pressed lawyers on both sides with questions on topics such as the history of marriage, religious and government definitions of the institution, and adoption by gay couples.

The New York Times: Gay Marriage Ban Inspires New Wave of Activists

Prop. 8's passage has motivated a new crop of LGBT advocates using "freshly minted grass-roots groups and embracing not only new technologies but also old-school methods like sit-ins and sickouts" in their work towards equality.

Los Angeles Times: EDITORIAL: Prop. 8 - Boycott, or Blacklist?

The Los Angeles Times editorial board writes, "[B]oycotts against corporations or organizations are a time-honored method of expressing opinions and pushing for social or political change. But in the superheated Proposition 8 debate, this venerable tactic has occasionally been used in ugly ways."

Associated Press: New York Beating Victim Dies, Police Say

Police opened a homicide investigation Tuesday into the NYC attack on an Ecuadorean immigrant whose assailants beat him while shouting anti-gay and anti-Latino slurs. A law enforcement official said the victim had been taken off life support, but his relatives held a news conference saying he was clinging to life.

Los Angeles Times: L.A. Deputy Mayor Reportedly Sought for Obama Environment Team

President-elect Obama is reportedly preparing to name Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Nancy Sutley - who was a member of Hillary Rodham Clinton's California Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender steering committee during the 2008 presidential race - as a top member of his environmental protection team.

Regional News:

Chicago Tribune (IL): Illinois Civil-Union Bill Appears To Be Stalled

A proposed bill that would allow civil unions for gay couples in Illinois has been stalled in the state legislature as the lawmakers prepare to address the state's budget crisis during the final days of the legislative session.

The Charlotte News & Observer (NC): Vote Supports Rights of Same-Sex Couples

The town council of Chapel Hill, N.C., has unanimously voted to endorse a resolution that will be sent to state and federal lawmakers supporting "the rights of same-sex couples to share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities and commitments of civil marriage."

The Salt Lake Tribune (UT): 'Call in Gay' in Utah? You Could Be Fired

Utah residents who choose to participate in today's national "Day Without a Gay" protest by "calling in gay" to work could risk losing their jobs, as employees can be fired in the state based solely on their sexual orientation.

The New York Times (NY): Family Keeps Vigil for Beaten Brooklyn Man

The family of an Ecuadorean immigrant who was brutally beaten last weekend (possibly because his attackers thought he was gay) must decide whether to donate his organs after the man was declared brain-dead on Tuesday.

Chicago Tribune (IL): Chicago Settles Suit over Police Treatment of Gay Man

Lawyers for the city of Chicago reached a settlement Tuesday with a man accusing Chicago police of arresting and beating him because he was gay.

The Morning Call (PA): Man Blames Abuse in Assaults

An Allentown, Pa., man told a judge that past abuse led him to hold a knife to the throat of another man after they watched gay pornography together and later assault an officer who arrested him.

Daily News (NY): Police Taunt Subway Accuser, Who Blows Kisses At Them

A Brooklyn man was berated with an anti-gay slur by supporters of his alleged attackers during the arraignment of the three NYPD officers accused of sexually assaulting him.

The Salt Lake Tribune (UT): Queer Lounge Returns to Sundance

Queer Lounge will return to the Sundance Film Festival in Utah this year despite calls for a boycott of the state over Mormon involvement in the Prop. 8 campaign: "For many [LGBT] filmmakers, Sundance is their single most important opportunity to ensure their stories about our community reach a broad audience."

International News:

Times of India (India): Mayor Lends an Ear to Transgender Woes

Rajlaxmi Bhosale, mayor of the city of Pune in India, promised Tuesday to look into how to better address issues facing the Pune's community of over 5,000 transgender people.

The Toronto Star (Canada): No Hate Crimes Charges in Lesbian Assault

A man charged with assaulting two lesbians outside an Oshawa, Ontario, school will not be charged with a hate crime, despite urgings from community agencies.

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