Top Stories Today - 12.15.2008

National News:

Los Angeles Times: Putting the Episcopal Rift in a Historical Context
The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. says the current rift over the ordination of gay clergy mirrors past conflicts that the global church has managed to overcome: "The place of gay and lesbian people in the church is the latest expression of the ancient human struggle over who is 'the other.'"
Associated Press: Family of Fatally Beaten NY Immigrant Urges Action
A $27,000 reward is being offered for information on the murder of Jose Sucuzhanay, the Ecuadorian immigrant beaten to death in Brooklyn by assailants who shouted anti-gay and anti-Hispanic slurs.
Time Magazine: A Gay-Pride Revolution in Hong Kong
Time reports on Hong Kong's first official gay pride parade, which took place on Saturday and may become an annual event. The parade "emphasized celebrating diversity and equality, but also aired grievances with the Chinese government."
Associated Press: Palin's Church Badly Damaged by Fire
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's home church was badly damaged by arson Saturday. The evangelical church came under scrutiny during the election because of its promotion of a Focus on the Family "Love Won Out" conference for so-called "ex-gays" in Anchorage.
Los Angeles Times: COLUMN: A Life Thrown Into Turmoil by $100 Donation for Prop. 8
Steve Lopez claims that El Coyote manager Margie Christoffersen and others iwho donated to the Prop. 8 campaign are "being targeted for the crime of voting their conscience" by LGBT equality advocates who planned to boycott their businesses.
The New York Times: Nancy Sutley
A profile of Nancy Sutley, the openly lesbian deputy mayor for energy and environment in Los Angeles who President-elect Obama is considering for the position of chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Regional News:

The Columbus Dispatch (OH): Gender Identity on City's Agenda
The city council of Columbus, Ohio, will tonight vote on legislation that would add "gender identity" to the list of classes protected by local anti-discrimination and hate crime ordinances.
The Arizona Republic (AZ): Phoenix Domestic-Partner Registry In the Works
The Phoenix City Council on Wednesday will consider making the city the second in Arizona to offer its residents a domestic partner registry, which would would grant hospital visitation rights to unmarried gay or straight couples who live together.
The Detroit News (MI): COLUMN: Activists Pin Hopes on Obama Banning Transgender Bias
Deb Price discusses the need for federal employment protections for transgender individuals, noting that President-elect Barack Obama's transition team includes "gender identity" in its non-discrimination policy for appointment-level jobs in the next administration.
Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (NY): City Council to Vote on Human Rights Legislation
Binghamton, N.Y.'s, city council will tonight vote on a comprehensive anti-discrimination law that would protect transgender and other individuals from unequal treatment in housing, employment and public accommodations.
Associated Press (ME): Fight Over Gay Marriage Looms in Maine Legislature
Equality Maine has collected more than 33,000 signatures that it will send to state lawmakers in support of marriage for gay couples. In response to the call for marriage equality in Maine, the newly-formed Maine Marriage Alliance is pushing for an anti-gay marriage amendment.
Des Moines Register (IA): Sioux City Council to Vote on Gay Marriage
Sioux City, Iowa, Councilman Brent Hoffman is urging his colleagues to adopt a resolution stating the city council's opposition to marriage for gay couples and calling for a statewide vote on marriage equality.
Naples Daily News (FL): Lee County Man Claims He Was Fired for Being Gay
A man in Lee County, Fla., says he was fired from his job at Hess Express because of his sexual orientation. County officials say if the man's allegations are true, his termination was not illegal because federal, state and county laws do not protect gay people from employment discrimination.
Aurora Sentinel (CO): Council Revisiting Same-Sex Benefits for Spouses
A proposal to grant the domestic partners of gay city employees the same benefits as straight spouses will will undergo another round of discussion by the city council of Aurora, Colo., during its Dec. 15 session.

From the Blogs: