The Week: Most Recent Social Issues:Gay in America recent posts.en-usThu, 31 Jan 2013 09:22:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Social Issues:Gay in America from THE WEEKThu, 31 Jan 2013 09:22:00 -0500Will Tennessee teachers have to out gay students?<img src="" /></P><p>In 2011, Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) earned the ire of gay-rights supporters by authoring and championing a "don't say gay" bill, forbidding teachers to even mention homosexuality to kids from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The bill passed out of the relevant committees of both the state House and Senate, but expired at the end of the legislative session in 2012. Well, "it's back," says Katie McDonough at <em>Salon</em>. "And it's awful," even worse than the previous version. Why? This time, Campfield added new language in the bill that "would require teachers to tell parents when...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Thu, 31 Jan 2013 09:22:00 -05005 reasons the Boy Scouts might end its ban on gays<img src="" /></P><p>After years of outside pressure and legal challenges &mdash; including before the Supreme Court &mdash; the Boy Scouts of America is "actively considering an end to its decades-long policy of banning gay scouts or scout leaders," says Pete Williams at <em>NBC News</em>. If the iconic youth organization takes the plunge, it may announce the change as soon as next week, after a regularly scheduled national board meeting. The BSA wouldn't require that all regional councils or individual troops allow gay members and leaders; the change would just give them the option to do so. Still, that's a sharp reversal...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Tue, 29 Jan 2013 07:55:00 -0500The lesbian who allegedly faked her own hate crime<img src="" /></P><p>On July 22, former University of Nebraska women's basketball star Charlie Rogers, 33, crawled screaming from her Lincoln, Neb., house naked and bleeding with a cross cut in her chest, slashes all over her body, and anti-gay slurs carved on her arms and abdomen. Rogers, a lesbian, told police that three masked men had broken into her house and assaulted her. An outpouring of support rolled in from the community and gay rights supporters nationwide. Then, on Aug. 21, police arrested Rogers for allegedly&nbsp;staging the brutal "hate crime" herself. Rogers, through her lawyer, is sticking with her...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 23 Aug 2012 11:52:00 -0400Was Sally Ride an 'absent heroine' of the gay rights movement?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><span class="s1">This week, Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, died after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Ride made history when she shot into space aboard the Challenger shuttle in 1983, a feat she repeated in 1984 before retiring from NASA. Later, </span>she would be the only person to participate in probes of both the 1986 Challenger explosion and the 2003 Columbia crash, and in 2001 started a company, Sally Ride Science, to encourage young people, particularly girls, to pursue science and engineering. And she left a final mark on American history in the obituary her company provided, which says...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 24 Jul 2012 17:51:00 -0400Chick-fil-A's anti-gay-marriage confession: Bad for business?<img src="" /></P><p>Chick-fil-A has faced protests before over its support of conservative groups that oppose gay rights, but the company's top executives avoided spelling out where they stood... until now. The 1,600-restaurant chain's president, Dan Cathy, told <em>Baptist Press</em> that, as many suspected, Chick-fil-A's donations to groups such as Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council <em>do</em> mean that it's officially against gay marriage. "Guilty as charged," Cathy said. "We are very much supportive of the family &mdash; the biblical definition of the family unit." The backlash was immediate, with both supporters...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 19 Jul 2012 18:27:00 -04004 reasons the Boy Scouts may regret banning gays<img src="" /></P><p>The Boy Scouts of America announced on Tuesday that, after a confidential two-year review, the organization has decided to stick with its policy of excluding openly gay boys from becoming members and openly gay adults from serving as leaders. Despite public protests, BSA officials say that a broad internal review found extensive support for the ban. Two of the Boy Scouts' most powerful benefactors &mdash; the Catholic and Mormon churches &mdash; support the policy, which the Supreme Court upheld in 2000. Gay rights activists, however, say the controversy remains far from over, and argue that the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 18 Jul 2012 16:08:00 -0400Singer Frank Ocean comes out: A bigger deal than Anderson Cooper?<img src="" /></P><p>In a watershed year for same-sex marriage and celebrities casually coming out as gay &mdash; see, most recently, CNN icon Anderson Cooper &mdash; up-and-coming R&amp;B singer Frank Ocean's public&nbsp;stepping out of the closet is still big news. Ocean, who sings with the hip-hop collective Odd Future and is featured on the Jay-Z and Kanye West album <em>Watch the Throne</em>, came out indirectly by posting the story of his first love, a man, on his Tumblr page. Yes, Anderson Cooper is a household name, says&nbsp;Nekesa Mumbi Mood of <em>The Associated Press</em>, but because Ocean is a black denizen of the lyrically...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 06 Jul 2012 09:28:00 -0400Why Anderson Cooper came out as gay: 3 theories<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">"The fact is, I'm gay." With those words, Anderson Cooper, the popular CNN news anchor and host of the daytime talk show <em>Anderson</em>, formally came out of the closet as a gay man on Monday, after spending years as "an inhabitant of the 'glass closet'" &mdash; a term used when a celebrity is out in their personal life but avoids confirming their sexuality publicly. Cooper's revelation comes after <em>The Daily Beast </em>columnist Andrew Sullivan contacted Cooper to ask for a reaction to a recent <em>Entertainment Weekly</em> article about the trend of gay celebrities coming out in ways that are significantly more matter...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 02 Jul 2012 17:33:00 -0400The Oreo gay-pride cookie: Good for business?<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The image:</strong> Nabisco, the company behind Oreo cookies, has&nbsp;stirred up a Facebook debate after posting a photo of a radically reimagined Oreo in which the iconic white filling has been replaced with six rainbow-colored layers to support Gay Pride month. (See the photo at right and below.) As of Wednesday morning, the post &mdash; which says, in part, "Proudly support love!" &mdash; had received some 220,000 likes and over 36,000 comments, both positive and negative. The pointedly flamboyant cookie, created soley as a P.R. statement, won't be available in stores.<br /><br /><strong>The reaction:</strong> It's pretty clear...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 27 Jun 2012 13:00:00 -0400Gays 'should die': A timeline of the Salvation Army's anti-gay flare-ups<img src="" /></P><p>Between the Salvation Army's bell-ringing Santas and thrift-store empire, people often forget that the international group "is actually a Christian church organization with many conservative tenets and a military-style structure," says Zach Ford at <em>Think Progress</em>. And recently, Maj. Andrew Craibe, the media relations officer for Australia's southern territory, reminded us of that fact by agreeing on-air with two gay radio hosts that the Salvation Army believes gay people "should die." The group quickly scrambled to clarify Craibe's remark &mdash; after all, the Salvation Army's mission is to "preach...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Tue, 26 Jun 2012 10:05:00 -0400LGBT pride month: The global celebrations in pictures<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">This weekend, thousands of people took part in LGBT pride parades in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York, where celebrants, including Cyndi Lauper (left), marked the one-year anniversary of landmark legislation that legalized gay marriage in New York. The merrymaking capped a string of global celebrations in June, which is the official month of LGBT pride. Here, a pictorial guide to pride parades around the world:&nbsp;</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 25 Jun 2012 14:03:00 -0400Father's Day: JC Penney's gay-dads ad<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The image:</strong> JCPenney is charging into the debate over gay rights &mdash; again &mdash; with a Father's Day ad featuring a same-sex couple laughing and playing with their children. (See the full ad below.) The spread is an apparent response to a boycott launched by the group One Million Moms, which is closely associated with the conservative American Family Association. In February, the group tried to steer customers away from JCPenney after the retailer started running ads featuring talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, who is openly gay. JCPenney stuck with DeGeneres, calling her a "perfect" spokesperson...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 01 Jun 2012 15:25:00 -0400California's historic ban on 'gay therapy' for kids<img src="" /></P><p>It's been a rough few weeks for "gay conversion" therapy. On May 17, the World Health Organization issued a report calling gay-to-straght therapy "a serious threat to the health and well-being &mdash; even the lives &mdash; of affected people." The next day, <em>The New York Times</em> reported that Dr. Robert Spitzer, a towering figure in psychiatry and one of the main intellectual sources underpinning such therapy &mdash; also called "reparative therapy" or "sexual reorientation" &mdash; is recanting his landmark 2003 study. And on Wednesday night, California took a big step toward becoming the first...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 01 Jun 2012 14:44:00 -0400Gay celebrities and the decline of the 'mega-outing'<img src="" /></P><p>When Jim Parsons, the Emmy-winning star of CBS' hit comedy <em>The Big Bang Theory</em>, publicly confirmed that he is gay this week, he didn't announce it in a hyped TV interview, or declare "Yep, I'm gay" on the cover of <em>Time</em> magazine. Instead, the 39-year-old actor casually shared the information with <em>The New York Times</em>' Patrick Healy, who mentioned Parsons' sexuality and his 10-year relationship with a man almost in passing, near the end of a lengthy article on Parson's role in a Broadway revival of <em>Harvey</em>. It was the kind of low-key coming out that's becoming increasingly common. Here, a chronological...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 24 May 2012 16:04:00 -0400The surprising rise of gay comic book characters: A visual history<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Marvel's&nbsp;<em>Astonishing X-Men</em> mutant superhero Northstar made history in 1992 when he declared, "I am gay." He'll do so again by proposing to his boyfriend Kyle in an upcoming issue. Meanwhile, DC Comics announces that one of its "major iconic" superheroes will also come out of the closet this June. "This is a <em>huge</em> deal," says <em>Entertainment Weekly</em>. Here's a look at the growing number of gay comic book characters:</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 24 May 2012 07:53:00 -0400Tyler Clementi case: Is Dharun Ravi's jail sentence too lenient?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">In 2010, gay Rutgers student Tyler Clementi committed suicide by leaping off the George Washington Bridge after learning that fellow student Dharun Ravi had used a webcam to record him kissing another man. The case thrust the bullying epidemic and the suicide trend among gay teens into the national spotlight. Now, Ravi, convicted in March of "bias intimidation and invasion of privacy," has been sentenced to 30 days in jail, far less than the maximum of 10 years. The judge ruled that, while he believes Ravi acted out of "colossal insensitivity," he does not believe that "he hated Tyler Clementi...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 21 May 2012 15:47:00 -0400