The fight for marriage equality in Pennsylvania just got mighty interesting.
Despite the Keystone State's ban on same-sex marriage, at least five same-sex couples were issued marriage licenses in a suburban Philadelphia county where local Register of Wills Bruce Hanes said he would not enforce the state's law.
Opponents of same-sex marriage are predictably unhappy, with Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett's press secretary accruately pointing out that "individual elected officials cannot pick and choose which laws to enforce."
But I'm more interested in the response of LGBT advocacy group Equality Pennsylvania, which didn't really respond to Hanes' support in kind.
"We are unsure about the impact of his actions," the group's statement reads, later adding that it thinks "our best chance to win marriage equality in the commonwealth" is through a lawsuit recently filed by the ACLU. That might be true, and it seems clear that Hanes' move has limited (if any) legal impact. But why not attack Pennsylvania's unjust laws on both fronts?
In other brotherly love-related news...
- It turns out everyone wants to boycott everything this month, and so, predictably, you can add one more product ot the list this week: Stoli. In response to Russia's recently passed anti-gay law and a stunning BuzzFeed photo essay documenting anti-gay violence at St. Petersburg Pride, sex columnist and LGBT activist Dan Savage is launching a boycott of Russian vodka. Rallying behind the cry "Dump Russian Vodka," Savage asks folks to stop buying the iconic Russian spirit and ask their bartenders to do the same. So there you have it: An excuse to spring a few extra bucks for some Ketel One.
- Speaking of boycotts targeting Russia, both Cyd Zeigler at Outsports and You Can Play Project co-founder Patrick Burke have written pieces opposing a boycott over the Sochi Olympics in 2014. To sum up two points of view I agree with: When it comes to athletes making history, presence is more effective than absence -- just ask Jesse Owens.
- Education and Justice department officials have told school districts that discriminating against transgender students is a violation of federal law, BuzzFeed reports.
- Not too shortly after Alec Baldwin came under fire for making homophobic comments to a British reporter, the "30 Rock" alum has now drawn a little heat for calling Anderson Cooper a gay "sheriff" on Howard Stern. Funny, because I always thought the gay community's top cop was a member of the Village People.
- In what's either deeply sad or hilarious, noted "ex-gay" Robert Oscar Lopez has been writing cringeworthy gay fiction. Which, of course, you probably won't be able to search for on Tumblr.
- In much-needed lighter news, One Direction has released what is easily the gayest boy band video ever.
- And while this is on our own site, it would be remiss not to point out that Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake admitted to getting her makeup tips from RuPaul. Sashay, shantay, Stephanie -- now that your secret's out, you better work.
So, what news are you buzzing about this week?
- Crime, Law and Justice
- Laws and Legislation
- Social Issues
- Same-Sex Marriage
- Arts and Culture
- Justice System
- Advice Columns and Columnists
- American Civil Liberties Union
- Robert J. Lopez
- Alec Baldwin
- One Direction (music group)
- Howard Stern
- Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
- Tom Corbett