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Religious Tolerance logo

News items affecting gays, lesbians, bisexuals & transsexuals

2009-January, February, March

Sponsored link.

In the following, "SSM" refers to "same-sex marriage."

See also January's events demonstrating a culture
shift towards acceptance of sexual minorities.

News during 2009-JAN:

bullet2009-JAN-27: GLAAD media awards announced: The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, (GLAAD) announced 185 nominees for the 20th annual GLAAD Media Awards. They recognize fair and inclusive portrayals of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and issues affecting them. As in the previous two years, ABC leads the other networks; they have six nominations including Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty. CBS received four nominations; NBC earned two.

GLAAD president, Neil G. Giuliano commented: "The nominees this year prove that the stories of LGBT Americans are interesting, compelling and will touch not only LGBT audiences, but broader audiences as well. ... How our lives are portrayed in the media doesn't make a bit of difference it makes all the difference."

Nominees for feature film in wide release include Brideshead Revisited, Milk, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, RocknRolla, and Vicky Christina Barcelona. 1 More info.

See also February's events demonstrating a culture shift towards acceptance of sexual minorities.

bullet2009-FEB-03: CA: California Supreme Court to hear oral arguments on Prop. 8: The court has decided on an expedited schedule; they agreed to hear the oral arguments on the constitutionality of Prop. 8 during MAR-05. The court must issue its ruling within 90 days of the oral argument: i.e. 2009-MAY-04. 2

bullet2009-FEB-06: NJ: Judge permits divorce of same-sex couple: Mary Jacobson, a New Jersey state judge ruled that the state recognizes same-sex marriages performed outside of the state for the purpose of divorce. A lesbian couple had married in Canada and sought a divorce in New Jersey. 4

bullet2009-FEB-06: WY: House defeats constitutional amendment: The Wyoming House overwhelmingly defeated a joint resolution that would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman in the state constitution. More details

bullet2009-FEB 16 & 17: CA: Rallies to be held at the state capitol, Sacramento: On 2009-FEB-16, Equality California, Equality Action NOW, Marriage Equality USA, and California Outreach will sponsor a rally at the State Capitol in Sacramento, CA in support of resolutions SR 7 and HR5. If passed, these resolutions would place the Senate and House on record as rejecting the validity of Prop. 8 -- the proposition to terminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.

Equality California also sponsored a Lobby Day on FEB-17 to "... bring together diverse civil rights and faith leaders, community members and allies from across the state and a number of elected officials ..." in support of SR 7 and HR 5. More details

bullet2009-FEB-22: CA: "Milk" wins two Oscars: "Milk", the movie about the life and assassination of Harvey Milk, won two Oscars. According to the Reconciling Ministries Network: "Many of the stars wore white ribbons to the Oscars to advocate for marriage equality in the wake of Proposition 8."

Sean Penn won an Oscar for Actor in a Leading Role. During his acceptance speech he said:

"And finally, for those, two last finallies, for those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that way of support."

Dustin Lance Black won an Oscar for Writing (Original Screenplay). During his acceptance speech, he said:

"When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life. It gave me the hope one day I could live my life openly as who I am and then maybe even I could even fall in love and one day get married."

"I wanna thank my mom, who has always loved me for who I am even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he'd want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than [sic] by their churches, by the government or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally, across this great nation of ours. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you, God, for giving us Harvey Milk." 8

bullet2009-FEB-24: WV: Hate group posts ad depicting gays as snipers: In mid-February, a Mormon politician in Utah compared gay people to fundamentalist radical Muslims. A week later, an evangelical Christian social action group, the Family Policy Council of West Virginia took the hate campaign to new depths. They released an online video ad that depicts gays as snipers. It portrayed an opposite-sex couple and their small children in the crosshairs of a rifle scope. It appears to be part of their drive to involve hundreds of churches in West Virginia to participate in a "Stand4Marriage Sunday" on MAR-01.

Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out (TWO), has called on the hate group to remove the ad. {Truth Wins Out describes themselves as a gay-positive group that "...counters right-wing disinformation campaigns, debunks the ex-gay myth, and provides accurate information about the lives of GLBT people.") Besen said:

"This kind of overheated rhetoric creates a climate where hate crimes can occur. We demand that The Family Policy Council of West Virginia apologize and take down this violent ad. This video is reckless, wrongheaded and irresponsible."

An Associated Press story said that both of the Council's web sites were created with the help of CampaignSecrets.org, a Georgia firm that says it is "... focused exclusively on electing Republicans to local office."

We examined the Council's web site but was unable to find the ad. We emailed them asking for the URL if it as still online. We don't expect a response. 5,6,7


See also March's events demonstrating a culture shift towards acceptance of sexual minorities.

bullet2009-MAR-05: CA: California Supreme Court hears Proposition 8 oral arguments: Two items were argued. The first was whether Prop. 8 is constitutional. That proposition terminated the right of same-sex couples to marry in the state. The questions and comments of the justices seem to indicate that a substantial majority favor the constitutionality of Prop 8. The second item was whether the almost 40,000 homosexuals and bisexuals who married during 2008 would be forcibly divorced. Most -- perhaps all --  of the justices seemed to be leaning towards allowing the same-sex couples to remain married. The ruling is expected within 90 days. If Prop. 8 is upheld, we can expect a new proposition to be voted upon on election day in 2010-NOV to repeal Prop. 8. 9 More details
bullet2009-MAR-10: CA: Poll of California voters on possible future same-sex marriage proposition: The Field Poll conducted a survey of California voters during 2009-FEB. They asked how the subject would vote in the event a new proposition was on the ballot which, if passed, would allow same-sex couples to marry. Two of the most interesting results were:

Over all: 48% would vote yes to permit SSM; 47% would vote no; 5% are undecided. margin of error is ±3.6%


Voters who personally know or work with a gay or lesbian favor SSM 56% to 41%; other voters oppose SSM 66% to 27% More details.

bullet2009-MAR-19: World: The Game of Life™ has same-sex marriage option: This game was created by Mr. Milton Bradley in 1860. A computerized version is available online at Hasbro's Shockwave website. 10 It guides players to design a hypothetical path through their future life. Their website provides a free trial version. As originally written, the game included opposite-sex marriage or singlehood as options. It has recently been modified to allow the player to select a third option: same-sex marriage. WorldNetDaily, an evangelical news source, posted a negative review titled: "Game for 6-year-olds pushes same-sex marriage." 11 Customer reviewers rate the game at 4.15 points out of five. The response of media reviewers is mixed. Conservative religious outlets generally describe the game as "promoting" same-sex marriage; other outlets tend to refer to providing same-sex marriage as an "option."
bullet2009-MAR-20: VT: Activity in Vermont legislature:  On 2000-APR-26, Vermont legalized civil unions and thus became the first state in the U.S. to formally recognize loving, committed same-sex couples as more than roommates.

A bill to legalize SSM unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with a vote of 5 to 0. Sen. Kevin Mullin, (R-Rutland), the lone Republican on the committee may have committed political suicide by voting in favor of the bill.

On 2009-MAR-25, the Senate passed the bill with a vote of 26 to 4. The House is now considering similar legislation.

Also on 2009-MAR-25, Governor Jim Douglas (R) said that he would veto the bill if it is passed by the House. However, his veto could be overturned by the state legislature if there is a 2/3 majority in favor of the bill in both the House and Senate. 12 More details.

bullet2009-MAR-25: HI: Hawaii'an bill to legalize civil union fails in Senate: Bill 444 was unanimously approved by the House Judiciary Committee, and passed the full house by a vote of 33 to 17. However, it got stuck in the Senate Judiciary and Government Operations Committee An attempt by the Senate to force it out of the committee failed. More details.


The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "ABC leads nominees for GLAAD Media Awards," Associated Press, 2009-JAN-26, at: http://www.google.com/
  2. "Breaking news! California Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Prop 8 Legal Challenge on March 5," Equality California, 2008-FEB-03.
  3. "Wyoming House Kills Anti?Gay Marriage Bill," The Advocate, 2009-FEB-09, at: http://www.advocate.com/
  4. Michael Foust, "Wyo. House defeats marriage amendment," Baptist Press, 2009-FEB-09. at: http://www.bpnews.net/
  5. Jon Ponder, "West Virginia Hate Group Posts Ad Depicting Gays As Snipers," Pensito Review, 2009-FEB-26, at: http://www.pensitoreview.com/
  6. "TWO Demands Family Policy Council of West Virginia Take Down Sniper Ad," Truth Wins Out, 2009-FEB-24, at: http://www.truthwinsout.org/
  7. The Family Policy Council of West Virginia's web site is at: http://www.familypolicywv.com/
  8. "Flashnet... 2/25/2009," Reconciling Ministries Network," 2009-FEB-25, at: http://www.rmnetwork.org/
  9. "California Supreme Court signals mixed response to Proposition 8," Los Angeles Times, 2009-MAR-05, at: http://www.latimes.com/
  10. "The Game of Love," Shockwave, at: http://www.shockwave.com/
  11. Drew Zahn, "Game for 6-year-olds pushes same-sex marriage," WorldNetDaily, 2009-MAR-12, at: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/
  12. Kathleen Gilbert, "Vermont Gov. Will Veto Same-Sex "Marriage" Bill Passed in Senate," LifeSiteNews.com, 2009-MAR-25, at: http://www.lifesitenews.com/


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. sec 107: The news items contained in the above hyperlinks are provided without profit by the Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance, PO Box 128, Watertown, NY, 13601, USA., and are intended to be available to anyone interested in the topics included, for educational purposes only. Any editor, author, Webmaster, writer, publisher, news service, etc. that objects to being part of this listing may request that future works be excluded. We will also attempt to delete previous entries from the same source.

Site navigation: Home page > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > News > here

Copyright © 2009 by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2009-JAN-28
Latest update and review: 2009-MAR-26
Compiler: B.A. Robinson

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