Washington's House of Representatives has passed a bill that would ban 'gay conversion therapy' for minors, the AP reports:
House Bill 2451, which passed on a 94-4 vote, would make it an act of unprofessional conduct to try to change the sexual orientation of a patient under 18. That would include efforts to change behaviors, gender expressions or to reduce sexual or romantic attractions toward people of the same sex. The lawmakers who opposed the measure were: Reps. Mark Hargrove, R-Covington; Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick; Jason Overstreet, R-Lynden; and Elizabeth Scott, R-Monroe.
Ugandan President Museveni plans to sign the anti-homosexuality bill into law, according to tweets from Ofwono Opondo, a government spokesperson.
"Pres Museveni has told NRM MPs he will assent the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law...This comes after 14 medical experts presented a report that homosexuality is not genetic but a social behaviour...The NRM caucus has welcomed the development as a measure to protect Ugandans from social deviants...Ugandan traditionalists, religious leaders & politicians have been urging Museveni to sign the Bill."
Museveni had objected to the way parliament had forced the bill through in December and refused to sign it, saying he intended to ask 'scientists' if being gay is a choice or not. Museveni's 'scientists' have reportedly concluded that it is a choice.
The bill penalizes anyone who aids or abets a known homosexual, and punishes homosexuality with life imprisonment.
Mark Betterson, a student at East Lee County High School in Lehigh Acres, Florida who was suspended after trying to stop another student from beating a gay student, has now been allowed to return to school. The news came after Betterson attended a punishment hearing Monday morning, NBC2 reports:
Betterson says he got into the fight with another student after that student hit another kid for being gay, and he says -- given the choice -- he would defend the victim again.
"Bullying isn't called for, and everyone should be respected for what they want to be and what they want to do," Betterson said.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral
Ellen today welcomed WFAA sports anchor Dale Hansen, whose rant in support of gay college football player Michael Sam went viral this week.
Says Hansen: "I just wanted to slam the hypocrisy of the NFL!"
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
If you are one the two people who missed Hansen's amazing speech, check it out HERE.
BY NAVEEN KUMAR
You don’t have to be married (or straight) to appreciate the compelling insights into intimacy and all manner of relationships revealed by Donald Margulies in his 2000 Pulitzer Prize winning play Dinner With Friends, which opened Off Broadway last night in a revival at Roundabout Theatre Company’s Laura Pels Theatre.
In fact, anyone in a rush to reach the altar might do well to consider Margulies’ provocative questions about the coveted social institution. Nearly 15 years after its New York premiere, the play takes on a sort of fresh relevance given marriage is a novel (and hard won) right for a growing segment of the population.
For the two couples on stage, marriage is not so much a choice as a matter of course—which is perhaps part of the problem. The play opens with Gabe (Jeremy Shamos) and Karen (Marin Hinkle), an almost gratingly perfect couple, tripping to finish each other’s sentences while describing a recent dream trip to Rome for their distracted friend and dinner guest Beth (Heather Burns).
The meal has just been cleared (Gabe and Karen aren’t just foodies, they’re food writers), the kids are upstairs with ice cream and a movie, when Beth finally spills a confession—her husband Tom (Darren Pettie) is leaving her for another woman. Beth and Tom aren’t just their best friends; Gabe and Karen set them up 12 years earlier (a scene we’ll see later), so the news strikes a particular blow.
What follows is the swift unraveling of one relationship and a slow burning, penetrating examination of another. More than the minutia of what makes some relationships succeed or fail, Margulies uncovers the subconscious roles in which we cast friends and loved ones in the interest of self-preservation.
Gabe was counting on Tom to be his partner in expanding waistlines and matrimonial bellyaching. Karen counts on Beth to be a mess she can help clean up. Any shift in these roles feels like a free fall, raising unnerving questions about their own life choices that Gabe and Karen seem at a loss to answer.
Direction by Pam MacKinnon (Tony winner for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), though markedly staid in physical action, brings out fine performances from the cast of four. Shamos (The Assembled Parties) is a particular standout, his affluent New England intellectual the perfect blend of undisclosed yearning and neurotic ennui.
Scenic design by Allen Moyer emphasizes the beige of middle age with blank canvas walls, which fill with vibrant color for the play’s single flashback to Martha’s Vineyard, where newly wed Gabe and Karen introduce their ill-fated friends. Though fitting, the broad-stroaked design is hardly necessary, the play's subtle brilliance speaks clearly on its own.
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Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos: jeremy daniel)
President Obama invited DOMA plaintiff Edie Windsor to the France State Dinner this week and thanked her in the Oval Office at a separate meeting, reports Valerie Jarrett on the White House blog:
"The thanks expressed by the President that day have been echoed by millions of Americans, including thousands of legally married couples who can now live their lives with greater justice and dignity – thanks to heroes like Edie Windsor who have been willing to stand up and fight for equality under the law."
(official White House photo by Pete Souza)