PHOTO OF THE DAY: The New Yorker celebrates gay moms for Mother's Day.
BY SAM GREISMAN
A look back at today's top stories
Fantastic news in Delaware where the state senate has approved a same-sex marriage bill, making it the 11th state in the nation (+ D.C.) to legalize gay marriage. Buzzfeed sat down with Senator Rob Portman yesterday and spent a great deal of time discussing marriage equality and other gay rights issues. Tennis great Martina Navratilova appeared on MSNBC over the weekend and discussed how Jason Collins' coming out will impact LGBT youth. And the captain of the Texas A&M swim team (and a member of the Tongan Olympic Team) has announced that he is gay and says that his school is not homophobic.
Former Westboro Baptist Church member Libby Phelps Alvarez appeared on Anderson Cooper's daytime show today and gave a tearful apology to the mother of a soldier whose funeral was picketed by the WBC. New York Police have released a photo of the suspect in that shocking anti-gay attack outside of Sunday's Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. Look out for this creep if you are gonna be at Game 2 tonight.
Jon Stewart takes a look at the looney bin that is otherwise known as the NRA convention. Also the story of how a neighbor rescued three Cleveland women who had missing for 10 years is just beyond belief.
Rest in peace to pioneering DJ and producer Peter Rauhofer who tragically lost his battle with a brain tumor today. He was just 48.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
As expected, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has formally submitted two amendments to the "Gang of Eight" immigration bill that would provide equal treatment for same-sex couples.
Read the amendments, AFTER THE JUMP...
Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner reports:
Among Leahy's amendments is one that is modeled after the Uniting American Families Act, a bill that would create a new category of "permanent partners" to enable a U.S. citizen in a same-sex couple to sponsor a foreign partner. A second amendment, according to a news release from Leahy's office, "provides equal protection to lawfully married bi-national same sex couples that other spouses receive under existing immigration law."
Lavi Soloway, an immigration rights lawyer who represents same-sex couples and co-founded The DOMA Project, told BuzzFeed the second amendment was "nothing short of a strategic master stroke."
Explaining, he said, "It would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act so that all marriages of gay and lesbian binational couples would be recognized for immigration purposes only, thus creating the first ever 'carve out' or exception to DOMA under federal law."
Said Leahy in a statement:
"For immigration reform to be truly comprehensive, it must include protections for all families. We must end the discrimination that gay and lesbian families face in our immigration law."
Read the amendments, AFTER THE JUMP...
The Human Rights Campaign released a statement to Towleroad this afternoon regarding the expected amendments:
This afternoon is the deadline for members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to file amendments to the Immigration Reform bill the committee will start marking up on Thursday. LGBT advocates have every expectation that an amendment will be filed adding bi-national same-sex couples to the bill. The four Republican members of the “Gang of Eight” have threatened to derail the immigration bill if gay couples are included in it suggesting that protecting this group, currently left out of our broken immigration system, is somehow different than the other important fixes contemplated. It’s not.
If they end up doing that, they should just own it and call it what it is: homophobia. Labeling the inclusion of bi-national couples in the immigration bill as toxic is nothing more than a tired, insulting ruse designed to distract attention from their own failure to represent all Americans.
Senators can look to the recent overwhelmingly bipartisan passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization as their guide. There, Congress took an existing federal law and improved upon it to ensure that more vulnerable populations, including LGBT people, are protected. It can be done.
There is a jarring disconnect between the American public and these senators when it comes to issues of LGBT equality. It’s pretty dated to consider LGBT equality as a controversial, hot-button issue like these senators are portraying it to be. In fact, a strong and diverse majority of Americans support equality. These senators are towing a tired line that no longer represents mainstream opinion, and they’re throwing same-sex couples under the bus in the process.
The UAFA amendment:
The marriage amendment:
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced plans to introduce legislation prohibiting discrimination against gay couples looking to adopt, the Washington Blade reports:
The legislation, known as the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, would restrict federal funds for public child welfare agencies if they have laws or practices allowing for discrimination in adoption on the basis of marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill would also prohibit discrimination against LGBT children seeking families.
Gillibrand emphasized the importance of the legislation on Tuesday during a news conference on Capitol Hill as a means to ensure LGBT families seeking to adopt can do so without fear of anti-gay bias.
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) are sheperding the bill in the House.
Gillibrand tells the Blade she's now working on co-sponsors and will attempt to pass the bill this year.
As noted by The Huffington Post, one potential supporter for the legislation in the House could be Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who said during a town hall that he supports adoption rights for gay couples, although he continues to oppose same-sex marriage.
“I do believe that if there are children who are orphans who do have a loving person or couple — I think if a person wants to love and raise a child they ought to be able to do that. Period. I would vote that way,” Ryan said.
Ryan’s office didn’t immediately respond to the Blade’s request to comment on whether he’d support the Every Child Deserves a Family Act.
INTERSPECIES FRIENDSHIPS: Rottweiler and deer are buddies.
BRYAN FISCHER: Niall Ferguson is right that the financial crisis is the fault of homosexuality.
MAKER VS MARKER: An animated battle.
SPOCK VS SPOCK: Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy shill for Audi.
For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.
After several hours of debate in which Senator Karen Peterson came out of the closet on the floor, the Delaware Senate voted 12-9 today to approve HB75, a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.
Governor Jack Markell will sign the bill at 5:30 pm today in Legislative Hall. On July 1, same-sex couples can begin applying for marriage licenses.
Delaware will become the 11th state (along with D.C.) to have marriage equality.
LISTEN to the roll call vote and celebration, AFTER THE JUMP...
UPDATE: THE BILL IS SIGNED!
(via good as you)
DOMA is 17 years old today.
WNBA's Brittney Griner on her mission to help all live in truth.
The NFL can't stop cutting its 'marginal' gay rights advocates.
Madonna at the Met Ball.
Jason Collins seeking book deal: "Officials at three publishing houses said Monday that they had been contacted about a planned memoir by Collins, the first active player in any of four major U.S. professional sports leagues to come out as gay. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the proceedings."
Zachary Quinto dyed his hair blue for the Met Ball.
David Furnish does the Dougie.
Downton Abbey creator wants many more seasons: "I would rather let the show run between four and 10 years, I imagine. I would rather that we picked the right year (to end) and that in 20 years time the show was loved rather than we went on a season too long and people fell out of love with it."
Our Ari Ezra Waldman sounds off on the injustice of HIV criminalization.
David Mixner has five questions for Harvey Fierstein.
Tom Daley hits Fort Lauderdale.
James Franco to star in new Wim Wenders film: "Franco will play a writer who accidentally causes the death of a child in the story that follows him over the next 12 years as he looks for the footprints of the accident on his life, as well as on the life of the child’s mother."
Grey hair soon to be a thing of the past? "Scientists found people who are going grey build up hydrogen peroxide in the hair follicle, which causes hair to bleach itself from the inside out. However this could be reversed by 'an antioxidant' cocktail that allows 're-pigmentation' of the hair."
Ex-Iowa court official pleads guilty to forgery of marriage license issued to same-sex couple from central Florida: "Van Nice was arrested and suspended from her job in October after investigators discovered that she issued a license last year to Penney and his then-boyfriend Joseph Parker, who had never set foot in Iowa. She was later fired for violating judicial branch policies, court administrator Linda Nilges said."
Ryan Gosling lifts, flexes.
Chris Evans bought a swanky $3.5 million Hollywood Hills home.
Volcano erupts in the Phillippines, killing at least five, injuring dozens of others.
"Ex-gay" activists invoke Jerry Sandusky at press conference opposing bill banning reparative therapy for minors.
Ohio's Notre Dame Academy revokes alumna's invitation to speak at even because of her marriage engagement to another woman.
Belize begins debate on decriminalizing homosexuality.
CNN allows FRC's Peter Sprigg to get away with claim that Christians are a "hated minority": "If Sprigg, or other anti-LGBT activists, are going to complain that they don't like being called 'bigot,' then they need to understand that LGBT people don't like being called 'abomination,' 'deviant,' or perhaps worst, 'child molester.' And yet this claim continues to be made without challenge."