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New York State

The Episcopal bishop in Albany has come out as the only one fighting a church policy adopted in July that allows for same-sex marriage in every diocese. Individual priests are not required to perform them, but if one refuses then another has to be found who will. Comment
It was “an electoral earthquake that reverberated all the way to Syracuse.” Comment

Cuomo Unveils Monument, Trans Protections

On the morning of Sunday, June 24, before he marched in the annual LGBTQ Pride Parade in Manhattan, Governor Andrew Cuomo made two stops — in the West Village and in Chelsea — to unveil a memorial to LGBTQ victims of violence and hatred and to announce strengthened health and nondiscrimination protections for the state’s LGBTQ community. Comment

Second Chance For Ex-Partner’s Parenting Claim

In just the latest in a series of cases dating back more than a quarter century grappling with questions about parental standing within unmarried same-sex couples, a New York State appellate court has revived a lawsuit by Kelly Gunn, who is seeking joint custody of a child adopted by her former partner, Circe Hamilton. Comment
Breaking News

Dick Leitsch, Pre-Stonewall Gay Activist, Has Died

Dick Leitsch, who was president of the gay rights Mattachine Society of New York at the time of the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969 and provided an essential on-the-scene report for Mattachine’s newsletter, died on June 22. His death followed a year-long battle with multiple melanoma that was first diagnosed in his eye and spread to his liver and kidneys. Leitsch, a longtime resident of the Upper West Side, was 83 and died in Comment

The Face of Pride is the Future

Ja’asriel Bishop is a 22-year-old who came to New York from Guyana in 2016. Describing himself as “gender non-conforming or fluid,” he explained he saw no future for himself in his homeland. Comments (5)

Remembering How Gay Lawyers Became Legal

The panelists in the ornate rotunda of the New York County Supreme Court were out gay and lesbian legal scholars, advocates, and judges at the highest echelons of the courts. But at the June 19 forum sponsored by th Comments (1)

Protecting Trans People Without Saying So

Talk about hiding the ball! On June 6, a unanimous four-judge panel of the New York Appellate Division’s Second Department, based in Brooklyn, confirmed a State Division of Human Rights (SDHR) order that had adopted a decision by an administrative law judge ruling that a Port Jervis employer violated the law when it discharged a transgender employee. Comment
Breaking News

In Final Budget, City Ups Its Youth Shelter Commitment

Advocates for homeless youth are praising a surprise breakthrough that came as Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council reached final agreement June 11 on an $89.2 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 — an increase in a new city commitment to fund she Comments (2)

New Homeless Youth Beds, But Concerns Too

In a highly choreographed event in City Hall’s Blue Room on May 30, First Lady Chirlane McCray and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced a three-year, $9.5 million investment in the de Blasio administration’s ongoing NYC Unity Project focused on the needs of LGBTQ youth. Comment

Nixon Outflanks Guv on Safer Consumption Spaces

While Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio dance around harm reduction measures to reduce the record-high number of overdose deaths, Cynthia Nixon is embracing Safer Consumption Spaces at events in the city and upstate. Comment
Breaking News

Sheltering Homeless Youth 21-24 Gets $1MM in New City Budget

In the eight years since former Mayor Michael Bloomberg convened a special commission to study the hurdles facing runaway and homeless youth (RHY) in New York City, advocates organized as the Campaign for Youth Shelter have pushed the city to expand eligibility for New Yorkers without stable housing to Comments (3)

Albany LGBTQI Advocacy Day Draws 250

Armed with a new, detailed, seven-page State Legislative Platform — which out gay Manhattan State Senator Brad Hoylman admiringly termed the “new LGBTQI agenda for New York State” — roughly 250 activists from across the st Comments (23)

A Seismic Shift on Legal Pot

Call it shop for pot, adult use, or tax and regulate, legalization makes a boast that Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio would never utter — use by youth 12 to 17 years will decli Comment

Bronx LGBTQ-Friendly Senior Housing Breaks Ground

In a May 17 ceremony that brought together officials from the state, city, and the Bronx as well as from SAGE, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders, and HELP USA, a housing developer that works in under-served communities, ground was broken on the Crotona Senior Residences, an 84-unit LGBTQ-friendly facility where 26 residences will be reserved for elders, 62 Comment

Despite Acquittal, Man Assigned Sex Offender Registry Status

In an April 26 ruling that received surprised comment from the media, the New York Court of Appeals affirmed by a 6-1 vote a decision by Kings County Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice to assign sufficient points under the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act to a man acquitted of all the felony sex crimes charges against him to place him in the category of a level 2 sex offender, which requires lifetime registration and other restrictions under SORA. Comments (1)
Breaking News

De Blasio Moves on Safer Consumption Spaces to Curb Overdoses

A multi-year push in New York City to offer drug users a safe place for consuming their drugs seems destined for success after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his support for “overdose prevention centers.” Comments (1)
Breaking News

Statewide Agenda Advances on Two Fronts

When the 25-year-old Empire State Pride Agenda, in late 2015, abruptly announced it was closing up shop — with only a vague pledge, that it never fulfilled, to keep its political action committee functioning — activists, advocates, and service providers in the LGBTQ commun Comment

Nixon’s Working Family Coup

It’s official, Cynthia Nixon is no longer merely the actress from “Sex in the City,” but now the official candidate of the Working Families Party, with the opportunity to stay on that ballot line in the November election. Comments (1)
Breaking News

Can Three Parents Make a Family in New York?

In an opinion issued on April 10, a New York Family Court judge confronted the question whether there can be a third parent — an adult with legal rights to seek custody and visitation of a child who already has two legal, biological parents. In a case involving a married gay male couple and the woman who agreed to have a child with them and share parenting, Judge Carol Goldstein concluded that the “non-biological father” in this triad has “standing” under New York’s Domestic Relations Law to seek custody and visitation of the child, but not necessarily to be designated as a “legal parent.” Comments (2)

Melissa Sklarz Dives into Queens Race

For the past several decades, Melissa Sklarz has amassed a wide-ranging portfolio in local LGBTQ and Democratic activism. An out transgender woman, Sklarz served on the Police Commissioner’s LGBT Advisory Committee that established standards for police interactions with the trans community; she’s been a co-president of the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City and a board member at the Comments (3)
Breaking News

Progressive Hell’s Kitchen Club Sticks with Cuomo

Right in Cynthia Nixon’s backyard, just weeks after the actor and activist announced her Democratic primary challenge to Andrew Cuomo, the Hell’s Kitchen Democrats — a progressive newcomer on the local political club scene — voted Thursday night to endorse the two-term governor for reelection. Comments (2)

Lesbians Locked in a “Qualifying” Round

Even among the 40 percent of New York State voters who say they know who Cynthia Nixon is, much of that recognition comes from her long-running role as Miranda Hobbes in the “Sex and the City” TV and film franchise. Theater aficionados will be familiar with her substantial body of work on stage, which has earned her two Tony Awards. She’s even won a Grammy for the album issued in tandem Comments (1)
Breaking News

Abel Cedeno Allegedly Menaced by Dead Youth’s Brother

As Abel Cedeno was leaving Bronx Criminal Court on March 6 with his family and a police escort, he was threatened by Kevon Dennis, 18, the brother of Matthew McCree, whom Cedeno fatally stabbed in their Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation classroom last September while, he has said, defending himself against pummeling by McCree and Ariane Laboy, a friend Comment
Breaking News

Council Votes to Shelter Homeless Youth Up to 24

By unanimous votes on March 7, the City Council approved three measures aimed at strengthening shelter options for homeless youth in New York, including a long contested move to raise the age limit for eligibility in youth shelters to include those 21 to 24 years old. Comments (4)

A Fist as Resistance

For Cassils, a “gender non-conforming trans masculine visual artist,” their submission to the LGBT Memorial Commission presented an exciting opportunity and a challenge. Comment

Rosenthal Takes On Insurers’ PrEP Blacklisting

Upper West Side Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal has introduced legislation to bar insurance companies from discriminating against people who take the anti-HIV treatment intended to prevent infection known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP. Comment

Another Victory for Married Lesbian Parents

Following a precedent set on January 25 by the State Appellate Division’s Albany-based Third Department, the Second Department, in Brooklyn, has dismissed a sperm donor’s attempt to establish legal parentage and win visitation rights with a child born to a married lesbian couple. The February 21 ruling from a four-judge panel was unanimous. Comment
Breaking News

Gay Against Guns Target Key NRA Funder and Its GOP Tools

In the wake of the latest US gun massacre that killed 17 students and teachers in Parkland, Florida, more than a hundred demonstrators joined Gays Against Guns (GAG) to march on Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater Thursday night, protesting the plutocrat who is one of the big funders of the NRA’s massive “dark money” political spending. Comments (5)

At HRC Gala, Resistance and an Informal 2020 Audition

At its annual New York City Gala this month, the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign presented a program that focused just enough attention on the dangers created since Donald Trump became president to press the urgent need for the community to engage in productive resistance to the now one-year old administration. Comments (2)

In Time For 2018?

In a process that one commissioner described as “efficient,” the consultants and 10 commissioners who were charged with presenting Governor Andrew Cuomo with a panel of choices for the LGBT Memorial to be erected in Hudson River Park in the West Comment

Drug Reformers Fault Cuomo’s Approach to Fentanyl

The End Overdose NY Campaign blasted Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to add fentanyl, a powerful opioid, to the list of controlled substances. Comment

Rosenthal Takes Lead in Drug Policy Rethinking

Upper West Side State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal is emerging as a principal player among legislators aiming to unravel New York’s decades-old, counterproductive War on Drugs. From her influential post as chair of the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Committee, she is lead sponsor on a bill offering care for drug users while they are using. “They need help, not Comment
Breaking News

Both Sides in Abel Cedeno Case Claim Vindication in New Video Evidence

A brief cell-phone video released two weeks ago captures (above) a harrowing September 27, 2017 assault on gay student Abel Cedeno in his Bronx high school class by Matthew McCree, joined by his friend Ariane Laboy, as Cedeno defends himself with a knife, fatally wounding McCree and slashing Laboy. Comment

Appeals Court Denies Sperm Donor Paternity Test

In a case showing the pressing need to update New York’s Domestic Relations Law to reflect modern-day family realities and take full account of the state’s Marriage Equality Act, the Albany-based Third Department of the Appellate Division ruled on January 25 that a sperm donor to a lesbian married couple could not seek a paternity determination regarding the child conceived using his sperm. The ruling countermanded one by Chemung County Family Court Judge Mary Tarantelli that genetic testing be done to confirm the plaintiff’s biological fatherhood. There was no dispute between the parties that the child was conceived using his sperm. Comment

NYS Trips to Beat the Winter Blues

With the holidays over and temperatures continuing to drop, winter in New York State provides terrific opportunities to fight off the cold weather doldrums. From outdoor winter fun to shopping for post-Christmas bargains and taking in art exhibits or one-of-a kind performances, the Empire State offers great destinations for a long weekend getaway o Comments (1)
Breaking News

Corey Johnson Faces the Daunting Budget Realities of Trump’s America

As Corey Johnson assumes the role of speaker of the City Council, he has made some important and expensive promises that multiple constituencies are expecting him to keep. But he is also facing the prospect of cuts in federal and state dollars that could make fulfilling those promises difficult. Comments (1)

Cuomo Appoints Elizabeth Garry Third Appellate Department Presiding Judge

In an historic January 1 appointment, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that State Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Garry, an out lesbian member of the Albany-based Third Department appellate court since 2009, would become the Department’s presiding judge. Garry becomes the first out LGBTQ person to serve as a presiding judge in any department of the State’s Appellate Division, comprised of the intermediate level courts just below the state’s highest benc Comments (1)


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