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Sally Ride first woman astronaut comes out in obituary + Jennifer Carroll apologises
by, 07-27-2012 at 04:11 PM (3797 Views)
USA: Sally Ride first US woman astronaut comes out in obituary
27th July 2012
Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, has died of pancreatic cancer aged 61.
Her family have confirmed that Sally was in a relationship with a woman. Noted physicist and NASA astronaut Dr Ride first met her partner of 27 years, Dr Tam O’Shaugnessy, when they were 12 years old. The pair stayed in touch over the years and went on to co-found Sally Ride Science, an organisation dedicated to supporting children’s interest in science, maths and technology, in 2001.
Although Ride never came out beyond family and friends, the relationship was confirmed in a statement issued by Sally Ride Science after her death, and supported by her family.
Describing her sister as “a very private person”, Bear Ride told Buzzfeed.com that she hoped that it would “make it easier for kids growing up gay to know that another one of their heroes was like them”.
Ride was married to fellow astronaut Steven Hawley from 1982-1987. She joined NASA in 1978 and went into space on two missions, in 1983 and 1984. On her first mission she was, at 32, the youngest American astronaut as well as the first American woman in space. She received the NASA Space Flight Medal twice and was inducted into both the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Two US elementary schools are named after her.
USA: Target releases a gay-friendly ad
26th July 2012
Target is trying to appeal to gay couples
US retailer Target has been praised for advertising depicting a gay male couple on their wedding day.
The ad, highlighting the company’s wedding gift registry service, shows a male couple holding hands. The taglines say: “That’s Love” and “Be Yourself. Together.”
According to The New Civil Rights Movement, the advert was shown in June, although it received little attention at the time.
Target has had something of a controversial record on gay rights.
During the mid-term elections in 2010, the retailer was the subject of protests by gay rights activists over a $150,000 donation towards the election of Republican Tom Emmer, who harbours anti-gay views, as Minnesota’s governor.
Last year, an exclusive deal between Target and Lady Gaga over the sales of her album, Born this Way, broke down over the company’s perceived anti-gay stance.
But this year, the company seems to be trying hard to mend relations with the gay community. Last month, it began selling greetings cards for gay couples and in May, the store began selling t-shirts with gay Pride logos – to the anger of anti-gay organisations.
Australia: Gay dad in custody battle in Brisbane
27th July 2012
Man accuses ex-wife’s family of homophobia and racism
A bitter custody battle is raging in Brisbane Federal Magistrate’s court this week, with a gay dad saying his obese ex-wife has a ‘co-dependent relationship’ with their eldest son, ‘even to the point of joint comfort eating’.
The mother of the two boys, aged ten and eight, denies their father’s claims. She wants to take her sons to live with her in her hometown of Christchurch, New Zealand. But the boys’ father says his ex-wife’s family in Christchurch is ‘homophobic’ and ‘racist’ and he doesn’t want his sons to be influenced by them.
‘This whole thing is about (her) family feeling they are morally superior. I represent two things that family cannot stand - being gay and being in a mixed-race relationship.’
Magistrate Purdon-Sally has reserved her decision to grant custody to the mother or the father in the case.
USA: Florida: Jennifer Carroll apologises for ‘inexcusable’ lesbian affair comment
27th July 2012
Jennifer Carroll, Lieutenant Governor of the state of Florida, has apologised for saying black women who “look like [her]” don’t have lesbian relationships.
Ms Carroll has been part of a scandal after a former colleague, Carletha Cole, claimed she walked in on a sexual encounter between the lieutenant governor and her travel aide, Beatriz Ramos.
Ms Cole was fired from her job in Ms Carroll’s office last October after allegations that she passed illegal tape recordings of conversations to a reporter.
Responding to allegations of the lesbian affair, Ms Carroll had said: “The problem is that when you have these accusations that come out, it’s not just one person you’re attacking.
“It’s an entire family. My husband doesn’t want to hear that. He knows the type of woman I am. I mean, my kids know the type of woman I am. For 29 years – I’m the one that’s married for 29 years.
“The accuser is the one that’s been single for a long time. So usually black women that look like me don’t engage in relationships like that.”
Ms Carroll has now sent “sincerest apologies” for the comment to gay rights advocacy group Equality Florida, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Canada: Gay refugee rejection unreasonable, court rules
17th July 2012
A Federal Court judge has ruled that Canada's refugee adjudicators should not rely on stereotypes to determine if a person is gay in cases where applicants believe they will be persecuted if returned to their home countries.
The decision stems from the case of a gay Nigerian man, wanted by police in his home country for homosexual activities, who was refused refugee status.
A division of Canada’s refugee board ruled Aug 30, 2011, that Francis Ojo Ogunrinde had not proven he was gay, despite sworn affidavits.
Reviewing Judge James Russell ruled the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board did not give Ogunrinde’s affidavits enough weight in its 2010 decision.
Ogunrinde, 40, has been living in Canada since October 2007, when he arrived as a refugee claimant. He sought Canada’s protection because homosexuality is a crime in Nigeria.
The RPD decided that Ogunrinde is neither credible nor gay.
After the RPD decision, Ogunrinde applied for a pre-removal risk assessment. He provided two letters from people saying they know he is gay, as well as a letter from a man saying he and Ogunrinde were in a relationship. Ogunrinde also submitted documents from two Nigerians saying Nigerian police had been seeking him because of his homosexual activities.
The case has been returned to the RPD for a new pre-removal risk assessment before different staff.
It’s an important ruling, says gay Toronto immigration lawyer El-Farouk Khaki. It establishes a framework for assessing — and believing — refugee claimants about their sexual orientation.
It’s A Quote!
“I have no doubt that in the future, the laws that criminalise so many forms of human love and commitment will look the way the apartheid laws do to us now - so obviously wrong”
~ Desmond Tutu
It’s A Myth!
The number of gays and lesbians increases as more rights are given to gays and lesbians
The incidence of homosexuality is fairly constant regardless of new laws or social attitudes. Homosexuality is found in about ten percent of the population, a figure which is surprisingly constant across all cultures and in nature.