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News Briefs

Pentagon: Guard Units in Every State Now On Board with Same-Sex Benefits

In a December 13 written statement, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that every state is now complying with his order that National Guard units provide Department of Defense identification cards to all military spouses regardless of their sexual orientation. Comment

Trans Woman Can Pursue Bias Claim Against Residential Drug Program

Finding that a transgender woman sent to a residential drug treatment program under a plea agreement had stated sufficient grounds to make a claim of discrimination, a State Supreme Court judge in Brooklyn denied a motion to dismiss a housing bias lawsuit against the program under state and city law. Comment

Australian Capital’s Marriage Equality Law Nixed

Just days after same-sex couples began getting married in Canberra under a law passed by the Australian Capital Territory’s Assembly, the High Court of Australia, that nation’s highest bench, ruled that the territorial legislation was “inconsistent” with the federal Marriage Act of 1961 and was th Comment

Comic Relief

Who am I? A man? A woman? Gay? Straight? Am I normal? These are questions every transgender person likely asks themselves. Trans man Morgan Boecher attempts to answer these and more in his semi-autobiographical graphic novel, “What’s Normal Anyway?” Comments (6)

Tik Tik Boom

Britney Spears has said of her new album “Britney Jean,” “It is my most personal record yet. I poured my heart and soul into this album.” As deep confessionals go, this album barely scratches the surface. If anyone is expecting Britney to bare the dark inner recesses of her soul — not here. If, instead, you are looking for a fun pop dance record, then this collection delivers. Comments (1)

Always Elegant, By George!

Hollywood celebrates Ethel Barrymore’s 70th birthday at George Cukor’s palatial home, with (standing l. to r.) Billie Burke, Judy Garland, Lucile Watson, Katharine Hepburn, Constance Collier, […] Comments (3)

Dismissing “So-Called Rights of LGBT People,” Indian Supreme Court Revives Sodomy Law

A two-judge panel from the Supreme Court of India has ruled that a 2009 decision from the Delhi High Court striking down that nation’s colonial-era sodomy law is “legally unsustainable.” Comments (11)
Elections 2013

Meet the New Boss: Same as the Old Boss?

While Bill de Blasio’s choice of William Bratton to head the city’s police department likely reassured New Yorkers that the declines in crime seen over the last 20 years will be sustained, few are asking if the management techniques that Bratton first put in place in the early 1990s are responsible for some of the policing ills that advocates complain about today. Comments (4)

World AIDS Day Focus on Ending New York Epidemic by 2020

Tis the season — to talk about AIDS. Largely gone from public consciousness in the United States — even in New York, its epicenter in this country — AIDS gets a “Day” every December 1 and most of Comment

African LGBT Activists Tell West to Follow Their Lead

"Education, empowerment, investment, investment, investment” is what LGBT communities in Africa need assistance on, said Juliet Mphande, a human rights activist from Zambia, at a De Comment

Overturned Hate Crime Conviction Faces Review

Transgender rights advocates are hailing the request by the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest bench, for full briefing and oral arguments regarding an appeals court ruling that overturned a first-degree manslaughter hate crime conviction in the 2008 death of a transgender woman in Syracuse. Comment
News Briefs

Two Olympic Sponsors Respond to NYS Comptroller Letter

Two of 10 corporate sponsors of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia have responded to an investor effort led by the New York State comptroller calling on them –– in the wake of Russia's recent enactment of anti-gay legislation –– to “stand up Comments (3)
Kelly Jean Cogswell

New Times, New Tactics to Fight AIDS

I've got no new tactics to fighting HIV/ AIDS, but I know we have to look for them. Some of the things we'd assumed are just plain wrong. Like successful treatment programs would lead to a lessening of stigma. Well, I've heard from a friend in Burundi that the reverse is true. Before, HIV-positive people had to become activists to save their own lives and often found courage they never knew they had. They spoke out and changed people's attitudes. Now, with the new drugs, the newly diagnosed cower and run, and the drugs help them to. There are fewer activists, not more. And more silence. Comment
Nathan Riley

From Bratton, A New Direction Needed

For Bill de Blasio and William Bratton’s NYPD to make a clean break with the troubled recent past, there must be a fundamental redefinition of the crime problem in New York City. No doubt due in large measure to the massive focus on the abuses of stop and frisk, Commissioner Ray Kelly, despite his continued defense of the policy, has actually brought those numbers down dramatically since their high point in 2011. Comment
From the Editor

The Viral Infection Sapping Journalism’s Lifeblood

“We assume a certain level of sophistication and skepticism of our readers,” said John Cook, editor in chief of Gawker, according to a December 10 article in the New York Times. In an increasingly dumbed-down media world, it’s refreshing to hear a leading industry figure speak up for the intelligence of his audience. Comment


Thank you for this very sweet, nostalgic story, seeing J.F.K.'s killing from the eyes of a nine-year-old (“That Sad Thanksgiving,” by Paul Schindler, Nov. 27). I was 16 that year and a senior at Savannah High School. It was the year that my high school, the largest high school in the state of Georgia, was integrated. When the news came on, some kids cheered — but others were deeply moved. My favorite teacher was a Yankee and a Catholic, raised in upstate New York. I will never forget her breaking down at the window of her classroom as the two of us watched the flag in front of the school being lowered to half mast. Comment


This is a well written article about Christopher Rice’s “The Heavens Rise” by one of New Orleans’ own (“Heavens Rise, New Orleans May Fall,” by Michael Shirey, Nov. 13). Comment


December 7, 2013 Comment


I called the law firm phone of Jim Silkenat and read the law firm’s support of gay lawyers and how the firm supports gay rights and fights LGBT discrimination and asked him on his phone service how he could participate in such hate at the New York City event. (“ABA President Withdraws from NYC Russian Investment Forum,” by Andy Humm, online on Nov. 8). I left my number. I then emailed Jim Silkenat with the email address his office gave me. I’m glad my contribution helped get him to resign from the Russia Forum event in New York. Comment

Seasonal Enticements

Disarming young talent has recently been ruling at 54 Below. On November 25, I caught adorable two- Comment

Word Play, Rough Play

Playwright and filmmaker Neil LaBute has crafted an absorbing, albeit stagy two-hander in “Some Velvet Morning.” The drama unfolds entirely in a Brooklyn residence owned by Velvet (Alice Eve). One morning, her ex-lover Fred (Stanley Tucci) arrives at her doorstep, lugga Comment

Kill Me Now

There are going to be two diametrically opposed responses to the new musical “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.” There will be those charmed by the merry mayhem of a serial murderer finding ingenious ways of knocking off everyone who stands between him and a lordship in Edwa Comment

Autumn in New York

Audiences faced this October and November, two of the busiest months on the opera and vocal calendar, with City Opera sadly a thing of the past and Opera Orchestra of New York still silent about the current season Comment
Breaking News

NYS Comptroller to Olympic Sponsors: Condemn Russian Anti-Gay Laws

Ten major Olympic sponsors from Coke to Dow Chemical –– none of which has acceded to calls that they speak out forcefully against Russia’s laws making it a crime to be gay in public –– are now being pressured by the $161 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, led by Comptroller Thomas D Comments (7)

Trans Woman Can Proceed with Bias Claim Against NYC for Bureaucratic Hostility

A Manhattan State Supreme Court judge has ruled that a transgender Jane Doe plaintiff can proceed with her discrimination claim against New York City based on the treatment she received when requesting that the HIV/ AIDS Services Administration (HASA) issue her a new benefits ID card correctly identifying her name and gender. Comments (1)
Breaking News

Johnny Weir Says Gay Protestors Are “Idiots”

Former Olympic skater Johnny Weir was picketed by Queer Nation outside his talk at Barnard College December 2 for his position that “the Olympics are not the place to make a political statement” about Russia’s anti-gay laws and “you have to respect the culture of a country you are visiting.” Comments (32)

Taking Control… Maybe 

If Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs and subsequent nude appearance in her “Wrecking Ball” video showed anything, it’s that our culture has no consensus on what constitutes healthy sexuality for teenage girls and young women. While some accused her of objectifying her African-American dancers, her white privilege didn’t pr Comment

US Ninth Circuit Revives Russian Gay Asylum Seeker’s Bid

A US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel has granted a gay Russian asylum seeker’s petition for review, finding that there must be a determination of whether the government met its burden of showing that conditions for LGBT people in Russia have improved sufficiently to overcome the presumption that the applicant has a well-founded fear of persecution if required to return there. Comment
News Briefs

Tom Daley, British Olympian, Comes Out

Tom Daley, the 19-year-old Olympic Bronze Medal Winner from Britain who shot to fame at 13 when he won that nation’s men’s national diving championship, ended longstanding speculation when he acknowledged in a December 2 YouTube video that he has been in a relationship with another man since last spring. Comments (2)


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