September 9, 2010 | by Staff reports
National news in brief

Police inspector who raided Stonewall Inn dies

NEW YORK — Seymour Pine, the deputy police inspector who led the raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, on a hot summer night in 1969 — a moment that helped start the gay liberation movement — died Sept. 2 at an assisted living center in Whippany, N.J., according to a New York Times article. He was 91.

Pine, who later apologized for his role in the raid, was commander of the New York Police Department’s vice squad for Lower Manhattan when he led eight officers into the Inn, an illegal club frequented by transgender patrons, just after midnight on June 28, 1969.

During a 2004 appearance at the New York Historical Society, an audience member at a speech he was giving said he should apologize. He did. Author David Carter, who wrote a 2004 book about the riots, said Pine had typical hang-ups and preconceived ideas common at the time but that he wasn’t the homophobe he’s been remembered as.

Iowa study shows gay marriage caused no harm

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A new IowaWatch study on same-sex marriage in that state found that in the 18 months it has been legal there, the newly legalized institution has revealed striking similarities to traditional marriage and no discernible harm to the institution, according to a report by the Iowa City Press-Citizen newspaper.

The study found that similarities range from the way men and women often view marriage — gays compared to their straight counterparts — to the more mundane tasks of married life such as doing yard work. Like people in traditional marriages, same-sex couples also talk about raising children and shielding them from the verbal slings of peers, the stability and unit-strength of a family and the value of loving relationships among parents and children as well as legal necessities and financial security.

Thousands rally against gay marriage in Calif.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Thousands of Christian conservatives spent 12 hours last weekend praying and fasting in front of the California state Capitol at a gathering organizers described as spiritual repentance “when there is no hope for a nation.” The day-long event, called “The Call to Conscience,” was led by pastors who oppose same-sex marriage, pornography and abortion, according to an Associated Press report. Attendees jumped and danced between sermons and musical performances.

New York governor signs anti-bullying law

WASHINGTON — New York Gov. David Paterson (D) signed into law on Wednesday legislation intended to alleviate bullying and harassment against LGBT people in public schools.

The legislation, known as the Dignity for All Students Act, includes protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. According to the New York Times, the law will require school districts to report instances of bullying to the State Education Department.

It’s the first state law in New York to provide explicit protections for transgender people.

In a statement, Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, said Paterson’s signing of the bill is important because for many LGBT students “going to school is tantamount to a daily dose of torture.”

Charles Robbins, executive director of the Trevor Project, an organization devoted to suicide prevention for LGBT youth, also applauded Paterson’s action.

“Considering more than half of sexual minority youth in schools have been verbally harassed and one in ten is physically assaulted, the Dignity for All Students Act with the inclusion of gender identity and expression will be a giant step to reducing instances of self-harm and suicide that result from harassment by school peers,” Robbins said.

The new law makes New York one of more than 40 states with anti-bullying laws. Fourteen of these states and D.C. provide inclusive protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, according to the Trevor Project.

— Chris Johnson

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