Sunday, December 27, 2009

GLBT News Briefs: Iowa, D.C. and North Wales

Here is a roundup of some glbt stories that are making news this weekend.


The Associated Press in Iowa voted the April state Supreme Court ruling that allowed gay marriage as the #1 story of the year in the Hawkeye State.

Meanwhile, anti-gay opponents are planning a rally on January 12th to start a process that will try and overturn gay marriage.

Unlike in California, or Maine, Iowa requires approval of the state General Assembly, before the question could be brought to the ballot, which is what gay marriage opponents are seeking.

Washington D.C.

Stand Up For Marriage, D.C., a leading anti-gay marriage voice in the nation's capital, is creating quite a stir, by placing ads on metrobuses that are lobbying against the recently passed legislation allowing gays to marry.

The ads read "Let The People Vote On Marriage," and were obviously created to submit the civil rights question to a majority vote.

While the D.C. glbt community are not happy with the bus ads, groups such as the ACLU have come to the defense of the ads as a free speech issue.

As I posted on a Washington Post forum on the subject, I suggested some of our advocacy groups can put the money they raised to good use, by creating ads to counter the ones that are currently being used by those who seek to deny us civil rights.

The African-American Washington Post columnist that I responded to, Colvert I. King, was bemoaning the fact that gays apparently had a problem with free speech. While I support free speech and proposed a counter ad campaign, I also questioned whether he would have felt the same had the rights for blacks to vote, or the end of slavery, been subjected to majority vote.

(note: for reference, since I cannot link to it, my forum comment was posted at 4:22PM on 12/26 in the comments section)

North Wales

From North Wales, comes news that hate crimes are up to about 1 per day, on average over the past 3 years, prompting a police crackdown.

While the majority of crimes were racial in nature, there were 166 homophobic incidents and 7 attacks on transgendered persons during that same period.

There is currently a discussion in North Wales about possibly imposing tougher penalties on hate crimes, in particular for crimes against the glbt community.

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