News

Acting GLCCB director announces departure as search for replacement continues

Acting GLCCB director announces departure as search for replacement continues

The acting executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore has dropped her bid to become the organization's permanent head, even as the search to fill the spot continues.  Read more

Looking Out: Judge says LGBT foster summit a success

Looking Out: Judge says LGBT foster summit a success

A Harford County judge who helped lead this week's Maryland Judiciary summit on care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in the state's foster care system said the event was a success and could lead to substantive improvements in the future.  Read more

Former health secretary to accept award at LGBT medical conference in Baltimore

Former health secretary to accept award at LGBT medical conference in Baltimore

Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will be on hand in Baltimore this week to receive an award for improving federal health policy for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, according to a national association of LGBT and allied medical professionals.  Read more

Looking Out: O'Malley to be honored for support of LGBT community

Looking Out: O'Malley to be honored for support of LGBT community

It's no doubt a sign of the end when people start talking about honoring your "legacy" -- and we've apparently come to that point for Gov. Martin O'Malley.  Read more

Equality Maryland head arrested at immigration reform rally

Equality Maryland head arrested at immigration reform rally

Carrie Evans, the executive director of Equality Maryland, was arrested at an immigration reform rally in Washington on Thursday afternoon, the state's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organization said.  Read more

Looking Out: Is Horseshoe Casino Baltimore's newest LGBT ally?

Looking Out: Is Horseshoe Casino Baltimore's newest LGBT ally?

Looks like Baltimore's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community could have a big, flashy, deep-pocketed new ally in town in Horseshoe Casino on Russell Street, which opened Tuesday.  Read more

Looking Out: Free State Legal seeking new leader as Merki departs

Looking Out: Free State Legal seeking new leader as Merki departs

Free State Legal, which provides legal services to low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents in the Baltimore area, is seeking a "passionate and visionary" new leader following the announced departure of its executive director.  Read more

LGBT Americans less likely to be religious, poll finds

LGBT Americans less likely to be religious, poll finds

Americans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender are less likely to be religious than their non-LGBT peers, according to a new Gallup poll.  Read more

Looking Out: Quest Bar in Highlandtown to close this weekend, after last hurrah

Looking Out: Quest Bar in Highlandtown to close this weekend, after last hurrah

If you're a fan of The Quest Bar on Fleet Street in East Baltimore, the good news is there's a big party there this Saturday.  Read more

Following criticism, GLCCB to hold first public board meeting in years

Following criticism, GLCCB to hold first public board meeting in years

The board of directors of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore has scheduled their first public board meeting in years, following a wave of criticism about its transparency in recent weeks.  Read more

Looking Out: Hopkins expanding space for LGBTQ Life program

Looking Out: Hopkins expanding space for LGBTQ Life program

The LGBTQ Life program at Johns Hopkins University may have just finished its first year on the school's Homewood campus, but it's already outgrown its digs and is expanding into a new space this coming semester.  Read more

Looking Out: Marylander's LGBT history app marks first anniversary

Looking Out: Marylander's LGBT history app marks first anniversary

A Maryland woman's simple smartphone app that chronicles major LGBT moments in history has reached a milestone of its own: Its one-year anniversary.  Read more

Baltimore Pride on shaky ground as organizers, community members point fingers

Baltimore Pride on shaky ground as organizers, community members point fingers

In the three months leading up to Baltimore Pride this summer, organizers anxiously scrambled to cobble together an event that usually takes them a full year to plan.  Read more

Maryland shifts insurance policy to cover transition-related care of transgender employees

Maryland shifts insurance policy to cover transition-related care of transgender employees

In a reversal of state healthcare policy, transgender state employees in Maryland can now access gender reassignment surgery, hormone therapy and other transition-related care under their state-provided health insurance plans.  Read more

Looking Out: Killing of Baltimore transgender woman, sister of NBA player, makes international news

Looking Out: Killing of Baltimore transgender woman, sister of NBA player, makes international news

Yesterday, in the wake of the second murder of a transgender woman in Baltimore in the last two months, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts held a press conference to convey a commitment to solving the crime and improving police relations with the transgender community.  Read more

GLCCB to host post-Pride town hall meeting to discuss changes

GLCCB to host post-Pride town hall meeting to discuss changes

Organizers of Baltimore Pride, which occurred last month in a new location for the first time in years, will host a town hall meeting to hear feedback on the changes from members of the public.  Read more

Looking Out: 'Normal Heart,' 'Orange' snag Emmy nods in big year for LGBT productions

Looking Out: 'Normal Heart,' 'Orange' snag Emmy nods in big year for LGBT productions

Two television productions that pushed the LGBT envelope on the small screen this year were big winners Thursday, as the 2014 Emmy nominations were announced.  Read more

Looking Out: Proud Whoppers, rainbow-clad Boy Scouts and more

Looking Out: Proud Whoppers, rainbow-clad Boy Scouts and more

Regular Gay Matters blogger Kevin Rector is on vacation, so I'll be filling in on this week's Looking Out and will do my best to bring you all the important LGBT news of the week. Comment below if I've left anything out.  Read more

Looking Out: 89 percent of Equality Maryland's endorsed candidates win primaries

Looking Out: 89 percent of Equality Maryland's endorsed candidates win primaries

The results of primary elections in Maryland on Tuesday bode well for LGBT rights -- at least according to Equality Maryland, the state's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights organization.  Read more

Gay Morgan student says fraternity case left him 'broken,' yet stronger

Gay Morgan student says fraternity case left him 'broken,' yet stronger

When Brian Stewart accused a local fraternity chapter at Morgan State University of discriminating against him for being gay late last year, the university stressed its commitment to diversity and began investigating.  Read more

Mayor, candidate for governor to join Baltimore Pride Parade

Mayor, candidate for governor to join Baltimore Pride Parade

Among the participants in this year's Baltimore Pride Parade will be Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur and Ken Ulman, who is gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's running mate.  Read more

Looking Out: Hero of local HIV fight named Baltimore Pride grand marshal

Looking Out: Hero of local HIV fight named Baltimore Pride grand marshal

In the early days of the AIDS epidemic, when nobody knew what HIV was or how it was spread, few people in Baltimore were willing to go out of their way to help those dying of the disease.  Read more

Black and gay in Baltimore

Black and gay in Baltimore

Larry Harris and Leonard Martin grew up around the block from each other but never knew it at the time, caught up as they were in regular childhood concerns and in keeping their heads down in the men-are-macho environment of West Baltimore.  Read more

Looking Out: Charm City Cakes makes sweet gesture for Pride

Looking Out: Charm City Cakes makes sweet gesture for Pride

Baltimore's favorite cake makers have added a little rainbow coloring to their logo for a batch of T-shirts they cooked up for this year's Pride celebrations.  Read more

Looking Out: Baltimore author releases debut novel about 3 gay friends

Looking Out: Baltimore author releases debut novel about 3 gay friends

The debut novel of a 30-year-old author born in the Baltimore area and now living in Owings Mills is landing higher and higher on Amazon.com's list of top-selling new releases in gay paperback fiction.  Read more

DOMA plaintiff, attorney receive honorary degrees, applause at Hopkins commencement

DOMA plaintiff, attorney receive honorary degrees, applause at Hopkins commencement

The two women who successfully challenged the constitutionality of the federal law banning same-sex marriage received honorary degrees during Johns Hopkins University's commencement ceremonies in Baltimore on Thursday.  Read more

In city 'crack down,' drinking at Pride to be limited to fenced-in areas

In city 'crack down,' drinking at Pride to be limited to fenced-in areas

The consumption of alcohol at this year's Baltimore Pride festivities will be confined to two designated beer gardens within the larger event footprint, organizers said Thursday.  Read more

Looking Out: Gay Eagle Scout from Md. petitions Amazon to halt donations to Boy Scouts

Looking Out: Gay Eagle Scout from Md. petitions Amazon to halt donations to Boy Scouts

Pascal Tessier, 17, of Maryland, became one of the first out Eagle Scouts in the history of the Boy Scouts of America earlier this year, after the organization lifted its ban on gay scouts.  Read more

Looking Out: Baltimore to receive award for LGBT equality ranking

Looking Out: Baltimore to receive award for LGBT equality ranking

Back in November, we reported that Baltimore was among just 25 cities across the country to receive top marks for LGBT equality in municipal policies, according to an analysis by the Human Rights Campaign.  Read more

Therapy to change sexual orientation at center of debate in Maryland

Therapy to change sexual orientation at center of debate in Maryland

Christopher Doyle says he doesn't think there is anything wrong with being gay, but he also believes he can help children and others rid themselves of "unwanted same-sex attractions" through therapy sessions in a tidy suburban home in Bowie.  Read more

Looking Out: Facing challenge to transgender protections, advocates make funding push

Looking Out: Facing challenge to transgender protections, advocates make funding push

The board of directors of the state's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization has put its money where its mouth is when it comes to raising funds to defend the transgender protections legislation that passed the General Assembly this legislative session.  Read more

In shift from tradition, Pride events to be held in Artscape location

In shift from tradition, Pride events to be held in Artscape location

For years, Baltimore Pride tradition has held that the Saturday parade turns into a rowdy block party in the heart of Mount Vernon, while the Sunday festival in Druid Hill Park attracts families and kids.  Read more

Looking Out: 'Walking while trans' isn't a crime, protesters say

Looking Out: 'Walking while trans' isn't a crime, protesters say

A rally is scheduled in the Charles North neighborhood of Baltimore on Friday night as part of a nationwide campaign to protest police profiling of transgender women.  Read more

Gallaudet diversity official's discrimination lawsuit against school dismissed

Gallaudet diversity official's discrimination lawsuit against school dismissed

A federal judge in Washington has dismissed the high-profile discrimination lawsuit of a Gallaudet University official who claimed she was unfairly demoted for signing a petition to put Maryland's same-sex marriage law to referendum.  Read more

Hopkins to give honorary degrees to DOMA plaintiff, attorney

Hopkins to give honorary degrees to DOMA plaintiff, attorney

Johns Hopkins University will bestow an honorary degree next month on Edith "Edie" Windsor, the woman who successfully challenged the constitutionality of the federal law banning same-sex marriage.  Read more

Looking Out: Coalition launches campaign to promote Maryland's new transgender protections

Looking Out: Coalition launches campaign to promote Maryland's new transgender protections

Advocates in Maryland who backed the successful passage of the first statewide legal protections for transgender citizens in housing, employment and public accommodations this legislative session don't consider their work complete.  Read more

Batts says 'culture change' needed to improve interactions with LGBT community

Batts says 'culture change' needed to improve interactions with LGBT community

Monica Yorkman has been harassed by police more times than she can count, she says -- and it's always been about her identity.  Read more

Equality Maryland endorses Frosh for attorney general

Equality Maryland endorses Frosh for attorney general

Equality Maryland has endorsed Sen. Brian Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat, for attorney general, calling him a "firm ally" of the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.  Read more

GLCCB organizing 'Orioles Outings' for LGBT baseball fans this summer

GLCCB organizing 'Orioles Outings' for LGBT baseball fans this summer

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore is organizing to bring LGBT baseball fans together at Oriole Park at Camden Yards this summer.  Read more

The GLCCB's 2014 LGBT Baltimore Visitors Guide is here

The GLCCB's 2014 LGBT Baltimore Visitors Guide is here

For the third year in a row, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore has released a guide of the city for LGBT visitors.  Read more

Looking Out: Same-sex marriage is on the march again

Looking Out: Same-sex marriage is on the march again

That pesky question of whether marriage is a fundamental right under the Constitution? It's back.  Read more

GLCCB to host forum on pre-exposure HIV treatment for at-risk populations

GLCCB to host forum on pre-exposure HIV treatment for at-risk populations

Local medical professionals will gather with members of Baltimore's gay community later this month to discuss a new medical treatment that involves HIV-negative patients taking a daily pill to avoid becoming infected.  Read more

Looking Out: Tom Daley is gay. Don't say, 'I told you so.'

Looking Out: Tom Daley is gay. Don't say, 'I told you so.'

Don't say, "I told you so," but British diver Tom Daley is gay.  Read more

Second LGBT forum with Baltimore police commissioner planned

Second LGBT forum with Baltimore police commissioner planned

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts will meet with members of the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community this month to answer questions, address concerns and share progress that has been made within the department in the last year.  Read more

Del Shores, of 'Sordid Lives' fame, to host Baltimore double billing of films

Del Shores, of 'Sordid Lives' fame, to host Baltimore double billing of films

Playwright, film director and LGBT cult favorite Del Shores will be in Baltimore on Sunday for a meet-and-greet with fans, a costume contest and a double billing of two of his films: "Sordid Lives" and "Southern Baptist Sissies."  Read more

Looking Out: Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps dead at 84

Looking Out: Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps dead at 84

The founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas institution that stages anti-LGB¬†protests across the country, died Thursday, according to multiple reports.  Read more

Marylanders in favor of transgender rights bill, poll says

Marylanders in favor of transgender rights bill, poll says

A new poll found that Maryland residents overwhelmingly support a proposed bill that would ban discrimination based against transgender individuals.  Read more

Maryland lawmakers urge Obama to issue LGBT employment protections

Maryland lawmakers urge Obama to issue LGBT employment protections

More than half of the members of Maryland's congressional delegation signed a letter dated March 18 to President Barack Obama asking him to issue an executive order to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers.  Read more

New partnership houses gay center's archives at University of Baltimore

New partnership houses gay center's archives at University of Baltimore

Ben Blake envisions a future where academics from New York and Boston will catch Amtrak trains to Baltimore's Penn Station with the singular purpose of becoming immersed in one of the country's most compelling archives on the gay rights movement.  Read more

Gay 'conversion therapy' bill withdrawn as advocates pursue regulatory oversight

Gay 'conversion therapy' bill withdrawn as advocates pursue regulatory oversight

Gay rights advocates and the state legislator who introduced legislation this session to ban so-called "gay conversion therapy" in Maryland have withdrawn the bill, saying they will instead pursue regulatory oversight of the controversial practice.  Read more

Looking Out: South Carolina House votes to punish colleges for assigning LGBT-themed books

Looking Out: South Carolina House votes to punish colleges for assigning LGBT-themed books

Some South Carolina lawmakers weren't thrilled to learn that two public universities assigned books with gay and lesbian themes as reading for students. ¬†  Read more

Young Republicans support same-sex marriage

Young Republicans support same-sex marriage

The generation gap that many credit with moving the needle on same-sex marriage apparently crosses party lines.  Read more

Looking Out: Pope Francis says church must explore civil unions

Looking Out: Pope Francis says church must explore civil unions

In a wide-ranging interview published Wednesday, Pope Francis called on the Catholic Church to examine and evaluate civil unions.  Read more

Looking Out: Trans activist says she was arrested in Sochi

Looking Out: Trans activist says she was arrested in Sochi

Vladimir Luxuria, Europe's first openly transgender parliamentarian, was reportedly detained twice in Sochi this week for supporting LGBT rights at the Winter Olympics.  Read more

With Olympics underway, Russia's gay-rights record leaves some Marylanders uneasy

With Olympics underway, Russia's gay-rights record leaves some Marylanders uneasy

When Maryland first lady Catherine Curran O'Malley sits down to watch the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, she'll feel a little uneasy.  Read more

State, city to offer free HIV testing to push African American awareness

State, city to offer free HIV testing to push African American awareness

A broad coalition of government agencies and non-profit organizations will be offering free HIV testing in Baltimore on Friday — which is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.  Read more

Looking Out: Transgender advocate Janet Mock criticizes Piers Morgan over interview

Looking Out: Transgender advocate Janet Mock criticizes Piers Morgan over interview

Another month, another dispute over a misguided media effort to put transgender lives in the spotlight.  Read more

ACLU releases toolkit for protecting LGBT prisoners

ACLU releases toolkit for protecting LGBT prisoners

The American Civil Liberties Union released an online "toolkit" on Wednesday outlining ways local advocates can improve conditions for LGBT prisoners across the country.  Read more

City approves lease of senior center to LGBT group

City approves lease of senior center to LGBT group

Baltimore’s spending panel approved a lease agreement Wednesday for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore to take over the now-empty third floor of the Waxter Center.  Read more

New Facebook app includes LGBT 'Pride' section

New Facebook app includes LGBT 'Pride' section

The LGBT community got a pretty big nod from Facebook this week.  Read more

Senior center patrons protesting lease to LGBT center

Senior center patrons protesting lease to LGBT center

A panel of advisers to an established senior center on the edge of Mount Vernon is protesting a proposal to lease space in its city-owned building to Baltimore's gay community center.  Read more

Looking Out: Russian editor fined for printing that being gay is normal

Looking Out: Russian editor fined for printing that being gay is normal

A Russian newspaper editor was fined Wednesday for printing a quote indicating that being gay was normal.  Read more

Pop-up shop offering suits, other items for women, transgender men

Pop-up shop offering suits, other items for women, transgender men

Women and trans men in Baltimore looking for suits tailored to their body types might want to pop in to the Embassy Suites Baltimore in the Inner Harbor, Suite 2203, between now and Sunday.  Read more

GLCCB to move into city-owned Waxter Center

GLCCB to move into city-owned Waxter Center

After more than 30 years, the brick-and-mortar heart of Baltimore's gay activism and support network is moving.  Read more

Two LGBT candidates will go head-to-head in Md. Senate race

Two LGBT candidates will go head-to-head in Md. Senate race

Transgender rights advocate and Gender Rights Maryland Executive Director Dana Beyer announced Thursday she is challenging state senator Rich Madaleno in the upcoming Democratic primary.  Read more

Md. insurance carriers can't discriminate against transgender individuals, state says

Md. insurance carriers can't discriminate against transgender individuals, state says

Maryland's insurance regulator issued a bulletin Tuesday clarifying that while insurance policies in the state do not have to cover treatments related to gender reassignment, insurance carriers cannot discriminate against transgender Marylanders based on their gender identities.  Read more

Looking Out: Jurors can't be excluded based on sexual orientation, court says

Looking Out: Jurors can't be excluded based on sexual orientation, court says

In a decision with wide-reaching implications, a federal appeals court ruled this week that potential jurors cannot be left off of juries based on their sexual orientations.  Read more

New website offers resources for trans youth in Maryland

New website offers resources for trans youth in Maryland

Two organizations are collaborating to provide Maryland-specific resources for transgender youth and their families grappling with the legal system.  Read more

Low-income LGBT residents offered free tax preparation

Low-income LGBT residents offered free tax preparation

Two organizations in Baltimore have teamed up to offer free tax preparation help to low-income LGBT residents in Baltimore.  Read more

Notre Dame Prep rejects alumna's same-sex wedding announcement

Notre Dame Prep rejects alumna's same-sex wedding announcement

Sarah Rupert-Sullivan knew she shouldn't have been shocked her same-sex wedding was excluded from Notre Dame Prep's alumnae class notes. But she was.  Read more

Gansler says Maryland to recognize Utah same-sex marriages

Gansler says Maryland to recognize Utah same-sex marriages

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said Friday that same-sex marriages performed in Utah -- but thrown into question there amid a court battle -- will be recognized in Maryland.  Read more

Del. Cardin introduces bill to ban gay conversion therapy for children

Del. Cardin introduces bill to ban gay conversion therapy for children

Baltimore County Del. Jon Cardin introduced Wednesday a bill that would prohibit administering so-called "gay conversion therapy" to Maryland minors.  Read more

Supreme Court order halts same-sex marriages in Utah

Supreme Court order halts same-sex marriages in Utah

The Supreme Court halted same-sex marriages in Utah on Monday in the wake of a federal judge's ruling that would have made Utah the 18th state to allow same-sex marriages.  Read more

Looking Out: Uganda bill threatens life in prison for 'aggravated homosexuality'

Looking Out: Uganda bill threatens life in prison for 'aggravated homosexuality'

While you were making your Yuletide gay in the last seven days, Nigeria and Uganda passed legislation to strengthen already-on-the-books laws criminalizing homosexuality.  Read more

Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages held out of state, judge rules

Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages held out of state, judge rules

Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages held in other states on Ohio death certificates, a federal judge decided Monday in a case sparked by an Ohio couple's July wedding on the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport tarmac.  Read more

Lockheed Martin ends support of Boy Scouts over ban on gay leaders

Lockheed Martin ends support of Boy Scouts over ban on gay leaders

The Boy Scouts of America's ban on gay leaders is losing the organization more money -- this time from Maryland.  Read more

Looking Out: India re-criminalizes gay sex

Looking Out: India re-criminalizes gay sex

Gay sex is now illegal -- again -- in the second-most populous nation in the world.  Read more

Pope Francis beats out gay marriage activist Windsor for Time's Person of the Year

Pope Francis beats out gay marriage activist Windsor for Time's Person of the Year

Knocking down the barrier preventing federally-recognized same-sex marriages just doesn't have the same punch it used to.  Read more

Five Md. employers named best workplaces for LGBT equality

Five Md. employers named best workplaces for LGBT equality

A global law firm with origins in Baltimore was one of five Maryland-based businesses to make the Human Rights Campaign's 2014 "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality" list.  Read more

Looking Out: Russian LGBT activists become first to be convicted under country's anti-gay law

Looking Out: Russian LGBT activists become first to be convicted under country's anti-gay law

So while the Internet was going gaga over Tom Daley this week (more on that in a second), Russia reportedly made its first convictions under its controversial federal anti-gay law.  Read more

Is the LGBT community twisting Tom Daley's words?

Is the LGBT community twisting Tom Daley's words?

The gay world went all abuzz today with the news that British diver Tom Daley had announced in a YouTube video that he is gay.  Read more

FBI releases hate crime statistics for 2012

FBI releases hate crime statistics for 2012

A total of 7,164 people were the victim of a reported hate crime across the country in 2012, with 19.2 percent of them targeted because of their sexual orientation, according to new data released by the FBI on Monday.  Read more

LGBT, minority Amtrak riders offered new travel resources

LGBT, minority Amtrak riders offered new travel resources

In an effort to reach out to some of its "multicultural" riders -- namely those who identify as LGBT, black or Hispanic -- Amtrak has launched three new "microsites" where bloggers will be chronicling travel issues specifically relevant to those communities.  Read more

Baltimore remembers the lives of its transgender victims

Baltimore remembers the lives of its transgender victims

When Kelly Young was killed in East Baltimore in April, the well-liked transgender woman was mourned publicly, with friends and family asking for help bringing her still-unidentified killer to justice.  Read more

LGBT advocates offer advice on new health care law

LGBT advocates offer advice on new health care law

Advocates and health care providers for LGBT and HIV-positive residents in Maryland have been scrambling for months to gather information on how the Affordable Care Act will impact their clients -- and now they're looking to share the information.  Read more

Baltimore receives high marks in LGBT equality study

Baltimore receives high marks in LGBT equality study

Baltimore was among just 25 cities in the country to receive top marks for LGBT equality in a new study of municipalities released by the Human Rights Campaign on Tuesday.  Read more

Two Maryland teens make Out100 list

Two Maryland teens make Out100 list

Maryland connections are sprinkled through Out Magazine's 2013 Out100 list, a roll call of the year's most influential members of the LGBT community that has been gradually released online since last Tuesday.  Read more

7 questions about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act you needed answered

7 questions about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act you needed answered

Republican Senator Dean Heller, the junior Senator from Nevada, announced Monday his support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which likely makes him the crucial 60th vote in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's attempt to get the bill approved by the Senate.  Read more

Looking Out: Harry Reid moving Employment Non-Discrimination Act toward a vote

Looking Out: Harry Reid moving Employment Non-Discrimination Act toward a vote

Happy Halloween! Let's talk about something truly terrifying: LGBT discrimination in hiring.  Read more

Post-football, Ayanbadejo is reshaping LGBT advocacy in sports world

Post-football, Ayanbadejo is reshaping LGBT advocacy in sports world

Growing up as a mixed-race kid in Chicago and in his father's native Nigeria, where he really stood out, Brendon Ayanbadejo became attuned to issues of identity from a very young age.  Read more

Baltimore's gay community to name Pelosi a 'Hometown Hero'

Baltimore's gay community to name Pelosi a 'Hometown Hero'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Baltimore native, will next month receive a "lifetime achievement award for her longtime dedication to LGBT rights and her work to fight HIV/AIDS in Congress," gay leaders in Baltimore said Friday.  Read more

Rawlings-Blake 'extremely honored' to receive Black Pride ICON award

Rawlings-Blake 'extremely honored' to receive Black Pride ICON award

When the first gay and lesbian couples legally allowed to marry in Baltimore began preparing for their big moment at City Hall in the first minutes of 2013, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was there to officiate.  Read more

Batts offers open hand to LGBT community at hate-crime forum

Batts offers open hand to LGBT community at hate-crime forum

Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts offered an open hand to the LGBT community at a hate-crime forum in Mount Vernon on Thursday night, saying he wants to stand "shoulder-to-shoulder" with community members to improve officers' interactions with them on the ground.  Read more

At JHU, a 'confluence' of LGBT outreach efforts

At JHU, a 'confluence' of LGBT outreach efforts

The LGBT community at Johns Hopkins University seems to be getting more organized by the minute.  Read more

Looking Out: Poll finds overwhelming support for LGBT employment nondiscrimination law

Looking Out: Poll finds overwhelming support for LGBT employment nondiscrimination law

Due to the government shutdown, progress on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) -- which would ban discrimination in hiring based on gender identity or sexual orientation -- has stalled. But when things get back to normal in Washington, LGBT rights advocates seeking to get the act passed by the end of the year now have numbers on their side.  Read more

Special military leave for same-sex marriages often denied

Special military leave for same-sex marriages often denied

When the Department of Defense announced it would begin offering benefits to same-sex spouses, it also announced its intention to grant up to 10 days of special leave for military personnel who needed to travel more than 100 miles to a locale where same-sex marriages were legally recognized.  Read more

Baltimore Black Pride events underway

Baltimore Black Pride events underway

From a ballroom performance show to a discussion on hate crimes with Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, the next two weeks are packed with a wide variety of Baltimore Black Pride events.  Read more

For LGBT History Month, It Gets Better partners with Maryland-based Quist

For LGBT History Month, It Gets Better partners with Maryland-based Quist

The LGBT-supportive It Gets Better Project will partner this month -- LGBT History Month -- with the Maryland-based Quist app to boost awareness of gay history.  Read more

Candlelight march held as 'Wall of Courage' moved to new home

Candlelight march held as 'Wall of Courage' moved to new home

In the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis, when diagnoses were far more likely to kill than they are today, those in Baltimore who lost their fight with the dreaded disease were memorialized with small tiles mounted in the lobby of Chase Brexton Health Care in Mount Vernon.  Read more

Looking Out: Pa. judge orders clerk to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Looking Out: Pa. judge orders clerk to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses

A Pennsylvania judge ordered Thursday a suburban Philadelphia official to cease granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples in violation of state law.  Read more

Married same-sex couples still not eligible for veterans' benefits

Married same-sex couples still not eligible for veterans' benefits

A recent Pentagon announcement made it clear that same-sex spouses of U.S. military personnel will begin receiving full benefits immediately. But once military service ends, they may be out of luck.  Read more

'Blade' sports issue edited by Ayanbadejo hits newsstands

'Blade' sports issue edited by Ayanbadejo hits newsstands

Remember a couple months back when the Washington Blade promised an issue dedicated to sports and edited by former Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo?  Read more

The tragedy of Chelsea Manning

The tragedy of Chelsea Manning

One day after being sentenced to 35 years in prison for espionage in the largest breach of classified documents in the nation's history, U.S. soldier Bradley Manning made a request of all of us: to stop calling him Brad, and start calling her Chelsea.  Read more

U. of Md. makes Campus Pride's list of top 25 LGBT-friendly schools

U. of Md. makes Campus Pride's list of top 25 LGBT-friendly schools

The University of Maryland, College Park was included on a list of the "Top 25 LGBT-Friendly Colleges and Universities" released by national advocacy group Campus Pride Tuesday.  Read more

App maker petitions Apple to remove 'bisexual' from flagged list

App maker petitions Apple to remove 'bisexual' from flagged list

Update: Quist owner Sarah Prager received a phone call from an Apple representative Tuesday telling her that the use of "bisexual" is no longer flagged in the company's App Store.  Read more

Obama has 'no patience' for Russia's anti-gay stance

Obama has 'no patience' for Russia's anti-gay stance

In a broad-ranging interview on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama addressed Russia's recently passed anti-gay laws by saying he has "no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them."  Read more

Top 20 most LGBT-friendly colleges ranked by Princeton Review

Top 20 most LGBT-friendly colleges ranked by Princeton Review

Mixed news for Maryland's LGBT high schoolers looking to attend one of the nation's most LGBT-friendly colleges: They'll have to head out of state.  Read more

Looking Out: Russia's anti-gay law will be enforced at Sochi, minister says

Looking Out: Russia's anti-gay law will be enforced at Sochi, minister says

Despite previous assurances from the International Olympic Committee, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that athletes and spectators at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics could be arrested for violating Russia's anti-LGBT propaganda law.  Read more

Commentary: Why boycotting Winter Olympics in anti-gay Russia isn't the right move

Commentary: Why boycotting Winter Olympics in anti-gay Russia isn't the right move

Those suggesting a boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia due to the country’s recent passage of draconian anti-gay laws should reconsider.  Read more

New app 'Quist' delivers LGBT history on the go

New app 'Quist' delivers LGBT history on the go

Thirty-two years ago this week, tennis pro Martina Navratilova was outed in a New York Daily News article. Ten years before that, lesbians picketed outside a lesbian-oriented bar whose owner was reportedly hostile to the growing gay liberation movement.  Read more

GLCCB, Baltimore Black Pride announce partnership

GLCCB, Baltimore Black Pride announce partnership

Baltimore Black Pride and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore (GLCCB) -- two of Baltimore's LGBT advocacy groups -- have formed a partnership to provide joint LGBT outreach and services, they announced in a statement Tuesday.  Read more

Looking Out: Pa. county defies state's same-sex marriage ban

Looking Out: Pa. county defies state's same-sex marriage ban

The fight for marriage equality in Pennsylvania just got mighty interesting.  Read more

Tumblr bans in-app searches of 'gay' and 'lesbian,' but not gay slurs

Tumblr bans in-app searches of 'gay' and 'lesbian,' but not gay slurs

In the latest move by an Internet company to crack down on the inevitable proliferation of porn, blogging site Tumblr has banned its Apple iOS app users from searching the tags "gay," "lesbian" and "bisexual."  Read more

Judge rules gay Ohio couple's Maryland marriage should be recognized

Judge rules gay Ohio couple's Maryland marriage should be recognized

When John Arthur and Jim Obergefell chartered a private medical jet to Maryland last month to get married — the only safe means of transport for Arthur, who is terminally ill with Lou Gehrig’s disease — the gay couple fulfilled a last wish and set out to leave a lasting legacy. They returned with their Maryland marriage license to Ohio, which doesn’t recognize same-sex nuptials, and sued. This week U.S. District Judge Timothy S. Black sided with Arthur and Obergefell, granting a temporary restraining order against Ohio’s 2004 law banning the recognition of same-sex marriages. The immediate practical impact, lawyers said, is that death records would reflect the marriage should Arthur die. But gay rights leaders as well as same-sex marriage opponents say the ruling could have broader implications. The ruling comes as activists stage a national effort to strike down state bans on gay marriages — an effort that opponents contend tramples on states’ rights. Marriage is governed by state law, but states have traditionally recognized marriages performed elsewhere. “It’s a powerful decision,” said Brian Moulton, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay advocacy organization, of the Ohio court ruling. Mathew Staver, chairman and founder of the Liberty Counsel, a conservative legal group that has argued against same-sex marriage laws across the country, said his group will “definitely be involved” in the Ohio case if it moves forward. “It certainly does interfere with the state’s rights in terms of their marriage policy,” said Staver, who is also dean of the law school at the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. “Not every marriage is required to be recognized by every state.” Obergefell and Arthur, for their part, say they are happy to be married and proud to be fighting to ensure other couples won’t face similar struggles in the future. They have been buoyed by Judge Black’s decision. “It was like the universe saying, ‘Yeah, this needs to happen,’” Obergefell said. “It means that we exist.” They know their struggle has hit home for many people, something gay rights leaders have noticed as well. As the Ohio case moves forward — the state is expected to appeal Black’s ruling — it could rise to national prominence, just as a New York woman’s lawsuit against the federal government’s taxing her inheritance from her deceased wife rose all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. That case led to last month’s decision that a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, allowing for federal recognition of same-sex marriages for the purpose of providing federal benefits. “With litigation, you want the most compelling story, and this is a really compelling story,” said Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland. Arthur and Obergefell, who have been together for more than 20 years, wed in a special medical jet on a tarmac at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport on July 11. Arthur suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and can't travel without such medical support. Family and friends helped fund the expensive flight, pitching in to provide the bulk of the $13,600 it cost to charter the jet. Local media covered the couple’s journey, and news of their story spread. Soon after, a friend put them in touch with a civil rights attorney, and they began considering litigation, Obergefell said. “It was very quick,” he said in an interview Tuesday. In their lawsuit against Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Cincinnati Vital Statistics Registrar Camille Jones, the couple acknowledged that Arthur is likely to die soon and claimed that the state's refusal to recognize their marriage in Maryland, including on Arthur's death certificate, would cause them severe harm. In his decision, Black wrote that his order restraining the state from enforcing its laws applied to Arthur and Obergefell only, through Aug. 5 or as extended by the court, and said in that limited scope it would not have an affect on Ohio or its other citizens. However, Black also took aim at the state's current law, saying Arthur and Obergefell “are not currently accorded the same dignity and recognition as similarly situated opposite-sex couples” in Ohio. Black referred to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, and challenged the notion that Ohio could pick and choose which out-of-state marriages to recognize — even among those that would be illegal in Ohio. Black found that Ohio already recognizes opposite-sex marriages between first cousins and minors that are legal in other states but not in Ohio. “How then can Ohio, especially given the historical status of Ohio law, single out same-sex marriages as ones it will not recognize?” Black wrote. “The short answer is that Ohio cannot ... at least not under the circumstances here.” The argument is one that is likely to appear in more cases across the country in coming months, said Evans of Equality Maryland. With the Supreme Court case erasing the federal government’s refusal to acknowledge same-sex marriages, such couples have a much stronger 14th Amendment case when they return to their home states and challenge bans there, she said. “The 14th Amendment states that you cannot treat similarly situated individuals differently,” Evans said. State Sen. Jamie Raskin, a constitutional law professor at American University who helped lead the push for same-sex marriage in Maryland, said cases like the one in Ohio will continue to appear as gay-rights advocates consider the findings in the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling, which found “no conceivable reason” for the nation’s block on federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples. “That holding is the wind behind the sails of the Ohio judge, because it tells him that Ohio needs to demonstrate some valid purpose for withholding recognition,” Raskin said. Evans said she believes Arthur and Obergefell’s case is the first in which a Maryland marriage license has been used to challenge another state’s laws. In part because of its possible implications on state marriage laws, same-sex marriage opponents like Staver of the Liberty Counsel have reacted to the Supreme Court’s decision with sharp criticism. They’ve reacted the same way to Black’s decision in Ohio. Still, state officials have not indicated whether they will appeal Black’s order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Robert Nichols, a spokesman for Kasich, said the governor’s office doesn’t “comment on pending litigation except to say that the governor believes that marriage is between a man and a woman.” DeWine, the state’s attorney general, had argued in his own response in the case that any ruling in favor of the couple would set a bad precedent — threatening the state's constitutional amendment banning recognition of same-sex marriages that was supported by Ohio's voters. “Just as Maryland is free to choose to recognize same-sex marriage, Ohio is free to follow tradition,” he wrote. Not everyone named in the lawsuit is on board with that stance, though. John P. Curp, the city solicitor in Cincinnati, said the city “will not defend Ohio's discriminatory ban on same-sex marriages.” In fact, Cincinnati officials named July 11, the day Obergefell and Arthur were married in Maryland, as “John Arthur and James Obergefell Day” in the city, which has a record of passing broader legal protections for gay and lesbian citizens than the state. For Arthur and Obergefell, the widespread attention to their case has come as a bit of a shock, Obergefell said. But the support they have received from people all across the country — including from a man in Frederick who lost his father to Lou Gehrig’s disease and thanked the couple for sharing their story — has been a source of strength. “We’re blown away. We’re thrilled,” Obergefell said.  Read more

ABOUT THE BLOGGER

Kevin Rector joined The Sun as a breaking news and general assignment reporter in 2012, after working for years as a reporter in Baltimore's suburbs. An Ellicott City native, Rector attended high school at Loyola Blakefield in Towson and graduated in 2007 from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he also pursued a concentration in LGBT Studies and participated in the university's LGBT Speaker's Bureau. He also spent a summer learning about grassroots advocacy as an intern at Equality Maryland, and has written often on LGBT issues. In 2010, Rector spent a year away from journalism in rural southern Africa, as a fellow with a nonprofit fighting childhood HIV/AIDS and malnutrition.

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