Congressmembers call on BSA to end discrimination against gays and lesbians
Twenty-six Members of Congress have urged the Boy Scouts of America to end its discriminatory policy of not accepting gays and lesbians in a letter sent to the Chief Scout Executive of the organization.
The correspondence, initiated by U.S. Representatives Gary Ackerman (D-NY) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), was sent in response to the Boy Scouts’ rejection of Cate and Elizabeth Wirth, a couple in Vermont who were told they could not volunteer for their 10 year old son’s Cub Scout pack after it was revealed that the women are lesbians.
Hawai'i Legislators Kill Civil Unions Bill
(Honolulu, February 1, 2010) —
The Hawai'i Legislature has failed to enact a law providing broad legal rights and duties to the state's lesbian and gay couples, tabling a Bill through an anonymous voice vote that had previously been approved by both houses of the Legislature.
The Hawai'i Senate had approved H.B. 444 — a bill to create "civil unions"— by a veto-proof 18 to 7 majority the week before, sending the bill back to the House for a conforming vote. Although the House had passed H.B. 444 by an emphatic 33 to 17 margin last year, House members used an anonymous voice vote to kill the bill on Friday, January, 29, a tactic that elicited calls of “cowards” from backers of the bill.
FPPC Complaint Filed Against Andy Pugno
Rick Jacobs, Chair of the Courage Campaign, has filed complaints with the California Fair Political Practices Commission and the Attorney General's office against Andy Pugno, General Counsel to the organization Protect Marriage and Republican candidate for State Assembly.
"The new and troubling disclosures appear to demonstrate willful disrespect for the laws and rules governing the conduct of public servants," Jacobs said in a released statement. "If he broke California law, how can he expect to be elected to office to make California law?"
Expected Executive Action Could Change 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Implementation
On Tuesday, Feb. 2, executive changes to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy are expected to be announced that could significantly impact the lives of gay troops. The expected statements from Defense Secretary Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen would protect some service members from investigations based on third-party allegations and set a new standard for what constitutes reliable sources and credible information that trigger a "don't ask, don't tell" investigation.
It is also expected that the military brass will announce changes to the adjudication of potential discharges, whose effect could be to require a flag officer to sign off on any discharge for it to move forward.
Gay American Heroes Foundation Adds New Board Members
The Gay American Heroes Foundation (GAHF) has announced the appointment of several new members to its various boards, including long time activist Dr. Phyllis Lyons, actor Christopher Salvatore and DADT Activist Lt. Dan Choi.
“The goal of the Gay American Heroes Foundation is to build a national traveling memorial to take to communities throughout the USA to honor the lives of LGBT people who have been murdered for simply being themselves,” said Scott Hall, Chairman and Founder of GAHF. “Theses new Board members bring a depth of experience and knowledge that will help us reach that goal.”
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