Wyoming down, Mississippi to go (USA)
Gay marriages began at 10am in Wyoming as Attorney General Peter Michael filed a court notice saying the state will not appeal a District Court ruling. On Oct 17, US District Judge Scott Skavdahl struck down the state’s ban on gay marriage, joining judges in half a dozen other states, including Utah and Oklahoma. After other gay-marriage court victories, Michael said that the state had no other options and that “further legal process will result in delay but not a different result.”
Meanwhile, two gay couples filed the first federal challenge to gay marriage laws in Mississippi, where a legal challenge is expected to be much more difficult.
Kristin Beck: Trans soldiers can still kick ass (USA)
While the repeal of the US military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy has opened up the armed forces to gays and lesbians, trans people are still left behind, The Daily Beast reports. Military policy still bars those with “psychosexual conditions . . . including but not limited to transsexualism, exhibitionism, transvestism, voyeurism, and other paraphilias” from serving. That isn’t fair, argues Kristen Beck, a decorated Navy SEAL veteran who transitioned to female after she left the military. “I was in the middle of the toughest of the tough as a Navy SEAL. And I could still do that today, as a female. Females are strong. Females chew tobacco and smoke cigars. They lift weights.”
Trans New York firefighter draws spotlight (New York)
Brooke Guinan, New York’s only trans firefighter, is racking up retweets in an international equality campaign. The Vocal Organization for International Courage and Equality says that Guinan’s poster is the most popular of their So Gay So What campaign, at 6,000 retweets in the last month.
Australian ex-prime minister and gay rights supporter Gough Whitlam dies (Australia)
Gough Whitlam, the Australian prime minister responsible for decriminalizing homosexuality in that country, died Oct 21 at the age of 98. Whitlam, who was prime minister from 1972 to 1975, also campaigned for an end to discrimination against gay people in the federal government. Robert French, at the Gay News Network, writes, “With the death of Gough Whitlam we, the LGBTI community should remember just how much we owe to this man and his government.”
Washington Post: Pope’s loss on gay acceptance is really a win (Vatican City)
The Catholic synod on family life may have rejected inclusive new language on gay people, writes Jonathan Capehart at The Washington Post, but Pope Francis’s inclusive message will win out in the long game. Capehart points out that Francis chose to publish voting tallies for each new policy paragraph, effectively giving Catholics the go-ahead to discuss whether they think the bishops were right. “If the pope and the bishops can engage in a rational and respectful discussion about same-sex relationships, so can the rest of the flock. That’s the genie that is out of the bottle,” he writes.
Gawker: Don’t give $150,000 to bigoted bakers (Oregon)
Matt Stolhandske, a gay evangelical Christian, wants to give $150,000 to a couple who were fined and whose bakery was shut down after they refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay wedding. Stolhandske says raising the money is an act of love and forgiveness. Rich Juzwiak, at Gawker, says that’s stupid. “There’s forgiveness, and then there is rewarding bigotry,” he writes. “This post could have been LGBT Causes That Could Benefit from the Proposed $150,000 for the Kleins, Ranked, and it would have been 5,000 items long.”
Photo: Brooke Guinan, credit: So Gay So What