July 15, 2014

Photo: Jose Antonio Vargas arrested in Texas

Pulitzer-winning undocumented journalist Jose Antonio Vargas arrested in Texas airport

Tweeted by Ryan Grim of Huffington Post:

Pulitzer-winning undocumented journalist Jose Antonio Vargas arrested in Texas airport

Photo: Jose Antonio Vargas arrested in Texas

Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer-winning journalist who came out as undocumented, has just been arrested in McAllen, Texas, going through airport security, according to the immigration group United We Dream.

From Christopher Sherman of Associated Press:

McALLEN, Texas -- A prominent immigration activist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has lived and worked in the U.S. without legal documentation for years has been detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents at a South Texas airport.

Border Patrol spokesman Omar Zamora says Jose Antonio Vargas was in custody Tuesday morning, but he had no other details.

Vargas had been in the border city of McAllen for several days as part of a vigil drawing attention to the plight of unaccompanied immigrant children and families coming into the U.S. illegally.

On Tuesday morning, Vargas tweeted: "About to go thru security at McAllen Airport. I don't know what's going to happen."

At the McAllen airport, Border Patrol agents stand beside Transportation Security Administration agents checking documentation, even for domestic flights.

Click here for Associated Press updates.

Vargas recently screened his new documentary, Documented, in Miami Shores. He’s been traveling the United States promoting the film.

PFLAG parents project posts ‘A Letter to the World from Debi about Her Trans Kid’ (with video)

From PFLAG’s A Note to My Kid project:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Letter to the World from Debi about Her Trans Kid

We received, via Facebook, a note in the form of a video link, asking us to take a watch and a listen as a woman took on the myths about transgender kids.

We watched and, well needless to say, we were absolutely blown away by this mom, Debi Jackson, whose letter to her transgender child comes in the form of an open speech to a crowd of people, addressing the inaccuracies that she and her family face every day.

Simply put: this is one rockin' mom. Thanks to her transgender daughter, she has become a fierce political activist for LGBT rights and acceptance. She has also recently started a website for parents of transgender and gender nonconforming children: trans-parenting.com.
Most important? She swiftly blows away the stereotypes that the parents and allies of LGBTQ people are a one-size fits all group: same race, same religion, same political beliefs.  No, there is no catch-all. Because every family is different, every parent  is different, and every child is different.

And that's good enough.

July 14, 2014

Christian Family Coalition founder: Will Judge Zabel's gay marriage ruling 'throw out 8 million votes?'

Miami Herald Letter to the Editor from Anthony Verdugo, founder and executive director of the Christian Family Coalition of Florida:

In light of last year’s U.S. v. Windsor Supreme Court ruling that states have the “historic and essential authority” to regulate marital relations within their borders, and the federal government should not disrespect this authority by ignoring state’s marriage laws, plaintiffs’ claim to a constitutional “right” to homosexual “marriage” is untenable.

Florida voters, including plaintiffs, got the chance to rule on the issue of marriage in the historic 2008 elections that ordained marriage as the union of one man, one woman.

Those disagreeing with how Florida voters ruled, can always gather the required number of signatures and let Florida voters decide again in a democratic election. What they cannot do is to come around, nearly six years later, and ask one judge to throw out 8 million votes.

Yes, rogue judges in other states have denied citizens their constitutional rights. But does this justify the possibility of Judge Sarah Zabel denying Floridians due process, equal protection and voter rights?

Wasn’t Florida’s attorney general clear when she informed Zabel that she is legally bound by the Windsor ruling and, therefore, precluded from overruling the will of Florida’s voters? Surely Zabel doesn’t think she’s above the law, does she?

Comic-book Archie to die taking bullet for gay best friend


LOS ANGELES -- Archie Andrews will die taking a bullet for his gay best friend.

The famous freckle-faced comic book icon is meeting his demise in Wednesday's installment of "Life with Archie" when he intervenes in an assassination attempt on Kevin Keller, Archie Comics' first openly gay character. Andrews' death, which was first announced in April, will mark the conclusion of the series that focuses on grown-up renditions of Andrews and his Riverdale pals.

"The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie," said Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO. "He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us. It's what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years."

Click here to read more.

July 13, 2014

Small SC town rallies for fired lesbian police chief


LATTA, S.C. -- When openly gay police chief Crystal Moore was fired by a mayor who condemned her lifestyle as "questionable," she expected her two decade career in law enforcement was over.

Then, this conservative, small town rebelled.

The people of Latta, who voted overwhelmingly for a state amendment banning gay marriage eight years ago, turned against the mayor, stripped him of his powers and rehired Moore. They said her dedication to the town mattered more than her sexual orientation.

Residents remembered Moore's civic spirit from as far back as 1989, when Hurricane Hugo tore through Latta. She was a high school student working part time as a police dispatcher, and helped cut downed tree limbs to clean up the debris. This February, when an ice storm crippled the town and left it without power for days, Moore piled her officers in her SUV and checked on as many people as she could.

"That's Crystal. All she does is help people. I don't get why he fired her. Maybe it's the ignorant people who talk the loudest. She was the same great Crystal yesterday as she is today, and she'll be the same person tomorrow," said lifelong Latta resident Dottie Walters.

Mayor Earl Bullard vehemently denied that he fired Moore because she was gay. Instead, he said she was dismissed for "sheer insubordination" during the three months he was her boss.

Click here to read more.

July 12, 2014

Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe comes out


Several Australian newspapers are reporting that Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe will come out as gay in a Sunday night television interview.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

After years of dismissing speculation about his sexuality, Ian Thorpe has revealed he is gay.

Thorpe made the admission in a tell-all interview with Sir Michael Parkinson, News Corp reports.

From the Daily Telegraph:

It’s understood the interview, which Parkinson has described as one of the best he has ever conducted, includes a full admission from Thorpe that he is gay despite having dated women in the past.

Click here for the tenplay.com.au website.

July 11, 2014

ACLU asks Attorney General Eric Holder about Indiana not recognizing gay marriages


INDIANAPOLIS -- Attorneys are asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to step in on behalf of hundreds of same-sex couples who were wed before a federal appeals court stayed an order striking down Indiana's gay marriage ban.

Friday's move by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana comes the same week that Gov. Mike Pence's office said the state wouldn't recognize the same marriages.

ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk says in a letter to Holder that the marriages performed from June 25 to June 27 are valid and can't be retroactively voided by the state.

Falk also asks Holder to issue a statement that the federal government will recognize the marriages as he did in Utah and Michigan, which would make Indiana's couples eligible for federal benefits for married couples.

Listen now: Steve Rothaus discusses gay-marriage lawsuits The Florida Roundup, WLRN 91.3FM

Florida-RoundupI appeared noon Friday, July 11, 2014, on WLRN 91.3FM's The Florida Roundup.

Among the hot topics discussed: South Florida's gay-marriage cases, Miami-Dade County's "worst-case scenario" budget and whether Florida's prison system is covering up prisoner abuse by guards.

Host: Tom Hudson of WLRN-Miami Herald News.

Guests: Miami Herald journalists Steve Rothaus (@SteveRothaus), Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) and Casey Frank, Michael Mayo (@heymikemayo) of the Sun-Sentinel, and Tim Padgett (@TimPadgett2) of WLRN-Miami Herald News.

Click here to listen to the broadcast.

Judge: Gay couples can keep marrying in Colorado


DENVER -- Gay couples can keep getting married in Colorado, even though the state's gay marriage ban is still in effect, a judge ruled Thursday.

The decision added to the national confusion over same-sex marriage, as the judge said a county clerk can continue giving marriage licenses to gay couples despite what the state's attorney general calls "legal chaos" as the issue makes its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

An hour after the ruling, Denver's clerk said she would join her counterpart in the liberal college town of Boulder in providing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Pueblo County's clerk said he will begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses Friday morning.

Couples began trickling into Denver City Hall to tie the knot Thursday afternoon.

Anna and Fran Simon rushed to city hall with their 7-year-old son, Jeremy, to wed. "We feel like this marriage license is valid, and that's how were going to act," said Fran Simon, 45.

Click here to read more.