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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.

Here's the goods (and maybe some mehs): 

In what is surely the tastiest news of the week, Burger King celebrates San Francisco Pride by wrapping its Whoppers in rainbows, the message (and the words on the inside of the wrapper) being "We are all the same inside." If you're in San Francisco, you have through the end of the day to get one. Sales of the burger go toward scholarships benefiting graduating LGBT high school seniors. So, nice gesture BK.  

In other "Things being decked out in rainbows for Pride celebrations" news, Boy Scouts showed up Sunday at New York's Gay Pride Parade wearing striped neckerchiefs, combining a fashion statement with a political one. That was the only added flair, though, as they marched in the parade in full khaki uniform. Kudos to the Scouts for accessorizing with a conscience. 

This week's unintentional outing award goes to CNBC. The network may have outed Apple CEO Tim Cook. During a "Squawk on the Street" segment, co-anchor Simon Hobbs said, "I think Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact that he's gay at the head of Apple, isn't he?" But, is he or isn't he? Apparently, Cook has never discussed his sexuality, though Out Magazine named him the most powerful LGBT person in 2013 and Cook has given a speech to the United Nations on gay rights and discrimination. So, that happened. 

Colorado, Florida and Kentucky all had movement on the same-sex marriage front this week.

  • In Colorado, the attorney general's office filed a motion "seeking an injunction to suspend same-sex marriage litigation" until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the issue. A clerk in Boulder County had been issuing same-sex marriage licenses even after the attorney general's office had asked the clerk to stop.
  • Florida court heard a case brought by half a dozen same-sex couples suing Miami-Dade County for the right to marry, asking Florida to follow the Supreme Court precedent. The cities of Miami Beach and Orlando expressed support in court filings.
  • And, in Kentucky, a federal judge struck down a ban on same-sex marriage as a violation of the U.S. Constitution and its equal protection clause.

Locally, Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Columbia-Howard will host a debate between Howard County Executive candidates Democrat Courtney Watson and Republican Allan Kittleman July 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center. According to a news release, questions will cover a wide range of topics including LGBT issues, economic development, the environment and health. Questions will be solicited online in advance through PFLAG Columbia-Howard County's website (pflagmd.org) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/groups/2253889903/). So, submit some topics if you're in Howard County.

And, finally. In, Equality's struggles, Sun reporter Julie Scharper writes about the 50th anniversary of the passage of America's Civil Rights Act: "President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964, the culmination of decades of struggle for racial equality. The act, which banned discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national identity, had first been proposed by President John F. Kennedy several months before his assassination. Johnson urged Congress to speed passage of the law, which he said would honor Kennedy 'more eloquently' than any 'memorial oration or eulogy.'"

We need to at least mention that this act helped pave the way for equal rights for LGBT citizens and the movement toward the end of LGBT discrimination. Though battles are still being fought in several arenas, props to LBJ on this anniversary.

OK, that's all I've got. What else do you know?

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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