A Lesbian Becomes A Senator, More States Legalize Gay Marriage, and Everything Else This Week In LGBT News

By now you must have heard: President Obama was re-elected for a second term on Election Day, beating out Republican candidate Mitt Romney. In case you need a refresher, Obama became the first sitting president to publicly come out in favor of same-sex marriages back in May, while Mitt Romney has made it exceedingly clear he is in no way an ally to the LGBT community. (Think back to when it was revealed he rejected birth certificates for gay parents.)

On the same Election Day in Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay U.S. senator—and the state’s first female to hold the position—when she beat out Tommy Thompson for the seat.

Of course, the biggest Election Day news is three states – Maine, Maryland and Washington – voted in favor of same-sex marriage and Minnesota rejected a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. This brings the total number of states that permit same-sex marriage up to nine, as well as the District of Columbia. According to the Washington Post, come January close to 15 percent of Americans will live in states where same-sex marriages are allowed.

Equally historic, Stacie Laughton won a seat in New Hampshire’s House of Representatives, becoming the state’s first transgender legislator, and in Texas, the Dallas County Commissioners Court voted to approve a medical insurance subsidy, for which both heterosexual and homosexual couples would be eligible.

Internationally, on Tuesday the highest court in Spain rejected an appeal of the nation’s gay marriage law by the conservative Popular Party. In France, draft legislation that would permit same-sex marriages and adoption was approved. In response to this, Senator Serge Dassault said in an interview, “We’ll have a land of homos,” and claiming same-sex marriage would wipe out the population in 10 years.

Despite these monumental gains in LGBT rights in America, France and Spain, the Vatican Church firmly believes they are not losing the fight against gay marriage. By opposing LGBT-friendly referenda, the church sees itself as an institution protecting religious liberty.

In Malawi, Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara said last week police have been ordered not to arrest persons accused or suspected of engaging in homosexuality. Kasambara said if the country’s notoriously harsh anti-gay laws – those convicted can be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison with hard labor – were still in practice and were later judged to be unconstitutional, “it would be an embarrassment to government.” The parliament is expected to discuss the laws soon, Kasambara said.

This week’s ridiculous LGBT-tinted news comes from Gorham, Maine, where a middle school’s annual Diversity Day turned sexual. Last month, the Pride Rainbow Youth of Southern Maine gave a presentation about discrimination and gender diversity but in response to a student’s question, the middle schoolers were treated to a description of homosexual sex and foreplay. Gorham Middle School Principal Robert Riley sent a note home to parents apologizing and followed up with a blog post on the school’s website, writing “There is no excuse for what happened.”


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About Stephen Autar

Stephen Autar is a journalism student in the last years of teenagehood. Originally from the Bronx, New York, he's been writing for almost all of his life and a homosexual for even longer. He's written personal essays for The Huffington Post, politics and culture for PolicyMic, and is currently a managing editor at NU Intel, amongst other things. Tweet him at @stephenautar, find him on Facebook, or maybe you'll run into his OkCupid profile. In any case, be sure to say hi! He's always looking for more friends.

One Response to A Lesbian Becomes A Senator, More States Legalize Gay Marriage, and Everything Else This Week In LGBT News

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