January 20, 2011 | by Staff reports
National news in brief: Jan. 21

Lance Lundsten

Mystery lingers over Minn. gay high school senior’s death

MILTONA, Minn. — A high school senior who’d lived in Minnesota and was gay appears to have committed suicide, according to KSAX, a regional ABC news affiliate there. But his father said this week he died of a heart condition.

About 10 p.m. on Jan. 15, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded to an emergency call at the home of the teen in Miltona, Minn. They found 18-year-old Lance Lundsten in need of emergency medical care. He was taken to Douglas County Hospital where he died, KSAX reported. The sheriff’s office confirmed to KSAX that they believed Lundsten committed suicide but they would not say the nature of the emergency.

According to friends and his Facebook page, Lundsten was openly gay. On a Facebook memorial page, friends said he’d been bullied at school for his sexual orientation. Some students who knew Lundsten believed the bullying may have led to his suicide, KSAX reported.

No other details were available as of press time. An autopsy report will take weeks.

Gay history museum opens in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — A gay history museum, believed to be the first in the U.S. and only the second in the world, has opened in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood.

The GLBT History Museum, a project of the GLBT Historical Society (an archives and research center started in 1985), was slated to open this week at 4127 18th St. near Castro Street. The space includes two galleries, a reception area and a museum shop.

With assistance from Bevan Dufty, former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for the district, the Historical Society negotiated an agreement under which the master tenant for the storefront, Walgreen Company, constructed the 1,600-square-foot space to the society’s specifications. Funding from the City of San Francisco, Castro district merchants and other sponsors and donors covered the cost of custom fixtures and display cases, lighting and multimedia installations.

There are two debut exhibitions. One in the front shows memorabilia the Society has collected in its 25 years. In the main gallery, 450 items give an overview of gay life in San Francisco over nearly 100 years featuring items from the city’s Historical Society, many of which have never been displayed before.

The GLBT History Museum joins the Schwules Museum, the queer museum founded 25 years ago in Berlin, as one of only two stand-alone, full-scale museums devoted to LGBT history. Admission is $5.

New hospital visitation regulations take effect

WASHINGTON — New federal regulations regarding patients’ hospital visitation rights were scheduled to go into effect this week. These new regulations require all hospitals participating in Medicaid and Medicare programs – virtually every hospital in the country – to permit patients to designate visitors of their choosing and prohibit discrimination in visitation based on a number of factors, including sexual orientation and gender identity.

President Obama last April directed the Department of Health and Human Services to develop the regulations.

Facebook co-founder to wed his partner

NEW YORK — Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, 27, is planning to marry his long-term boyfriend, Sean Eldridge, the New York Post reported this week.

Hughes, a multi-millionaire, was a roommate of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard and served as the social networking site’s spokesman. He’s now the founder and director of jumo.com.

Eldridge is political director for Freedom to Marry, a same-sex marriage advocacy group. They announced their engagement at a Freedom to Marry reception at their SoHo loft.

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