More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
The GLAAD Daily: Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, Lt. Dan Choi Testifies, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and More
New Jersey's Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights goes into effect on Sept. 1 and is considered by some to be some of the “toughest legislation against bullying in the nation.” The New York Times wrote that the legislation was "[p]ropelled by public outcry over the suicide of a Rutgers University freshman, Tyler Clementi, nearly a year ago..." The law requires that all public schools adopt comprehensive anti-bullying policies, increase staff training and follow deadlines in reporting bullying.
Lt. Dan Choi testified on Tuesday in the case in which he is accused of ignoring police officers after he handcuffed himself to a White House fence while protesting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" last year. Choi said, "The right to speak on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves is more than a privilege. It's a moral responsibility and I take that seriously."
Metro Weekly is reporting that Choi rejected an offer for deferred prosecution in the case against him. Under the offer, the government would agree to dismiss the charge against Choi as long as he avoided arrest for four months. Choi on Friday sent a message from his Twitter saying, "My lead attorney, Robert J. Feldman, got a call today from the federal prosecutor's supervisor. They made us a new offer. We laughed." Feldman said that Choi wanted the charges dismissed and for the government, specifically the Department of Interior’s Randy Myers, to apologize to him on the record in open court.
In other military news, Leo Shane III wrote in Stars and Stripes about gay and lesbian military personnel who are deciding whether they will come out once the implementation of the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is complete.
Republican state legislators in North Carolina held a news conference on Tuesday about plans to pass legislation aiming to put a constitutional amendment banning marriage for same-sex couples on the state's ballot. The legislature returns for a week beginning Sept. 12.
The New York Daily News reported that LGBT advocates are planning a fundraiser for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo next month in Manhattan. Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry said, "I expect people will be very eager to support Gov. Cuomo and send a signal that this is the type of leadership that we'd like to see."
Transgender advocate Ja'briel Walthour wrote in the Huffington Post about violence against transgender people of color: "I am also hopeful that through education, faith, and fortitude, someone else will hear or see the stories of other brave trans-women and men of color, and choose to love and support them, rather than ridicule and reject."
Illinois state Rep. Deborah Mell (D) last week married Christin Baker in Iowa. Mell said, “I mean there was a time in our relationship where it just wasn’t right to call Christin my ‘partner’ or my ‘friend’ or even my ‘civil-unionized partner.’ You know she’s my wife [...]”