Thursday, December 10, 2009

News and updates....

1. It's almost official: Juan Perez has become the first openly gay speaker of a state legislative body.  His fellow Democrats elected him today with the official, public vote to take place in January.

2. Austria has passed a civil unions bill, allowing many of the same rights and responsibilities as straight couple.  There is, however, a pretty distasteful caveat: the bill forbids adoption or artificial insemination for gay couples.

3. According to some bloggers, the mayoral race in Houston has come down to a battle over homophobia, with Annise Parker's opponent refusing to shun the endorsement of one of Houston's best known anti-gay activists who proposed a "straight slate" some years back to counter gay candidates.

4. An anti-bullying program that had been specific to anti-gay harassment has been nixed by a San Francisco Bay Area school.  The Alameda Board of Education this week to opt for a more generic anti-bully curriculum has done little to ease tensions in the school district.  Gay parents had pressed for the more specific curriculum to combat bullying while other parents thought elementary school was too early to discuss such matters. (Of course, if anti-gay bullying is taking place in elementary schools, isn't the issue already being discussed by elementary schoolers?)  The 45 minute, once-a-year lessson regarding anti-gay harassment sparked a lawsuit.

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