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Moscow's Gay Man of Action Visits New York

Nikolai Alexeyev, a leading Russian gay activist (profiled several times in Gay City News) who won a groundbreaking human rights legal challenge against the mayor of Moscow in the European Court of Human Rights last fall, appears at Columbia University. Comment

DOJ Withdraws Defense in Gill DOMA Case in Boston

In the wake of Attorney General Eric Holder’s February 23 announcement that President Barack Obama and the Department of Justice (DOJ) had concluded that disparate treatment under the law based on sexual orientation should be subject to heightened judicial scrutiny — a standard under which they view the federal Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional — the Boston-based 1st Circuit Court of Appeals has been notified that the government will “cease its defense” of the statute in two consolidated DOMA cases where it had previously participated. Comment

Gingrich Goes All Limbaugh on DOMA

Just as a consensus was emerging that Republicans would, for the time being at least, play down their reaction to the Obama administration’s decision to no longer defend the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act in court, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a likely 2012 GOP presidential candidate, has stoked the issue — big time. Comment

Obama, DOJ Walk Away from DOMA

Staking out significant new ground in the Obama administration’s legal posture toward the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Attorney General Eric Holder on February 23 informed Republican House Speaker John Boehner that the Justice Department (DOJ) has concluded that, in light of the standard by which the law’s constitutionality should be measured, its bar on federal recognition of marriages by same-sex couples violates their right to equal protection of the law. Comment

A 'Heightened Scrutiny' Breakthrough at DOJ

Facing a March 11 deadline to file either an answer or a motion to dismiss in two lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)— both of which require them to take a position on the level of judicial scrutiny applicable to a law that discriminates based on sexual orientation — the Justice Department (DOJ) and President Barack Obama have stated that a “heightened scrutiny” standard should apply, and that under this standard, Section 3 of the law is unconstitutional. Comment

Bittersweet Dreams

In his program bio, Walter Dundervill calls himself a dance artist, but that hardly begins to cover his creative contributions to his latest evening, “Aesthetic Destiny 1: Candy Mountain” (at Dance Theater Workshop, through February 19), for which he created the choreography and designed and made the set and costumes. Comment

California Surrogacy Decree Protects Both Dads, Texas Finds

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The Texas Court of Appeals ruled on February 10 that the Harris County District Court had properly ordered the registration in Texas of a California decree involving a Houston gay male couple who were “intended parents” under a 2005 gestational surrogacy agreement. Comment

Lesbian Co-Mother Win in Arkansas

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The Supreme Court of Arkansas –– a state that currently bars adoption by cohabitating gay and lesbian couples –– has affirmed a trial court’s ruling that a lesbian mother’s former partner is entitled to visitation with a child whose conception she helped plan and for whom she was a primary parent during infancy. Comment

Ugandan LGBT Groups Severely Underfunded

BY ANDY HUMM | If everyone who went to a vigil or memorial service here in the US for slain Ugandan gay leader David Kato over the past several weeks had given his Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) ten bucks, the group’s budget would have been doubled. Comment

Civil Unions Heading for Guv’s Signature in Hawai'i

With the Hawaii State Senate’s 18-5 final passage of a civil union bill, the measure now heads for signature to Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie, who won election last year on a platform advocating the new law. Comment

Waiting on New York

BY BRANDON BROCK | “So… do you think we should get married?” my boyfriend casually asked during dinner at our favorite restaurant in Astoria. Comment

Fraud Suit Aims at Advocate, Out, here! TV Parent Company

A lawsuit filed in California state court against Regent Entertainment, the parent company of the Advocate and Out magazine, is charging that business with fraud, while other suits filed in federal and New York state courts against Here Media, the subsidiary that operates the gay magazines, suggest that unit is struggling financially. Comment

A Gay Voice from Tahrir Square

If the ongoing Egyptian people’s revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak in just 18 days — after 30 years of dictatorship — quickly engulfed the whole country, its beating heart was always Cairo’s Tahrir Square (in Arabic, “Liberation Square”), for many years a gay cruising mecca. Comment

Does Nixon Ever Get Old?

BY ELI JACOBSON | Opera is obsessed with history but seldom with recent political history. When John Adams’ “Nixon in China” premiered in 1987, 15 years after the events depicted in the opera transpired, Richard and Pat Nixon and Chiang Ch’ing (Mme. Mao) were all still very much alive. Minimalism was the cutting-edge musical trend, and composer John Adams and choreographer Mark Morris were firebrands of the avant-garde. The director Peter Sellars was a brilliant wunderkind, barely 30 years old. Comment

An Egypt For Everyone

A Dyke Abroad: | By the end of it, they were all in Tahrir Square — young kids hoisted onto the shoulders of their parents, old men arguing in groups, women and girls screaming at the top of their lungs. Comment

AIDS Groups Cautiously Upbeat on Obama Budget

Against the backdrop of President Barack Obama’s call for a five-year freeze on domestic spending, several national AIDS groups reacted positively to the fiscal year 2012 budget blueprint the administration announced on February 14. Comment

Marriage Equality NY Stages Biggest Capitol Push

BY PAUL SCHINDLER | In its largest Albany effort to date, the grassroots group Marriage Equality New York (MENY) organized roughly 300 activists for its annual legislative lobby day on February 8. Comment

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