March 31, 2011 | by Staff reports
National news in brief: April 1

Farley Granger (left) plays a gay pianist opposite James Stewart in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rope.' Granger, who was bi, died this week in New York. (Photo courtesy of Universal/MCA)

Bi actor Farley Granger dies at 85

NEW YORK — Actor Farley Granger, a star of two Alfred Hitchcock films, died Sunday of natural causes in New York. He was 85. In his 2007 memoir “Include Me Out,” he wrote of affairs with both men and women and included several famous names like Shelley Winters, Ava Gardner, Leonard Bernstein and others. His long relationship with producer Robert Calhoun ended with Calhoun’s death in 2008. Granger starred in Hitchcock’s 1948 film “Rope” and in the 1951 classic “Strangers on a Train.” His other films included “Side Street,” “They Live By Night,” Edge of Doom” and “Our Very Own.” He also acted in many New York stage productions. Granger remembered “Strangers” fondly during a 2008 Blade interview. “It’s one of Hitch’s best really,” he said. “He knew just how to do it.” Granger was in town for a screening of the film at the AFI Silver.

Del. Senate introduces civil unions bill

DOVER, Del. — Gov. Jack Markell is backing a bill that would legally recognize same-sex civil unions in Delaware, the Associated Press and other news outlets reported this week. The bill unveiled Tuesday would make Delaware the seventh state in the nation permitting civil unions. The bill restricts civil unions to same-sex couples, keeping marriage under Delaware law limited to opposite-sex couples. Couples that enter into civil unions would have the same rights and obligations as married spouses, and most employers would have to extend the same benefits offered to spouses of workers to partners of employees in civil unions. The bill also calls for Family Court to have jurisdiction over the dissolution of civil unions. Same-sex couples moving to Delaware from states that allow same-sex marriages would have such a marriage recognized in Delaware only as a civil union, the AP reported.

New magazine debuts for gay service members

WASHINGTON — OutServe, a network of about 2,900 LGBT military personnel, this week launched a magazine for gay service members. It will be in print and available at select military bases and contain features about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal implementation, OutServe chapters and other gay news. “Our first objective with the magazine is to let all the gay, lesbian, bi and trans members currently serving know that they are not alone,” said OutServe’s co-director, an active-duty officer who goes by the pseudonym JD Smith. “And we also want to communicate to all troops that there are capable gay military members serving honorably, and that accepting that and moving on will make our military stronger.” The magazine can be downloaded online through outserve.org.

Anti-gay attack reported in New York

NEW YORK — Police in New York are investigating an alleged gay bias attack that happened last weekend outside a McDonald’s in Manhattan’s West Village. Damian Furtch, 26, and a friend had just finished shifts at the nearby Pink Tea Cup Restaurant in the West Village and were eating at the McDonald’s on Sixth Avenue early Sunday when two men began to hassle them, NBC News reported citing multiple sources. Furtch and his friend left but were followed and attacked, the report said. Furtch, who was wearing pink, suffered serious head and eye injuries; his friend wasn’t hurt, NBC said. He posted photos of his bruises on his Facebook page. Police are still looking for the alleged attackers. One of the suspects reportedly has a large tattoo of a Gothic cross under his left eye, NBC reported. Police have heightened their attention to potential hate-crime investigations after a spate of anti-gay attacks across the five boroughs in recent months. At least one teenager has died as a result of what investigators believe to be a hate-crime beating.

1 Comment
  • Besides accepting an Iranian nuclear weapons program even if Iran obtains ICBMS aimed at America, there are many many reasons besides Israel and Anti Semitism issues that make Chuck Hagel a very poor choice.

    Hagel's troglodyte record on gay rights is still an issue even though President Obama finds it very inconvenient as he would like to nominate Hagel tomorrow.

    I hope the President will not risk the political cost of loosing the confirmation battle on this terrible choice.

    It's not only about what he said many years ago, but that he has not come out for any specific or general commitment to equality for gay military families.

    In general for gays to accept Hagel, he must say that he would like to see DOMA overturned at the Supreme Court.

    But there are many ways a Secretary of Defense could help gay military families no matter how DOMA is decided and Hagel has not come out in favor of any of these.

    Reports to the contrary, LGBT equality is not yet a done deal in the military. There is still the matter of partner benefits. There still remain a handful of regulations that could be revised independent of the Defense of Marriage act that could bring some equity of compensation and benefits to gay and lesbian servicemembers. but remain denied due only to Department of Defense foot-dragging:

    Included in the discretionary benefits currently denied are spousal identication cards, cited in the Pentagon's own Working Group study as not requiring DOMA repeal to deliver.

    Presiident Obama should also condider.
    that besides the bad politics of alienating Democrats by not choosing, Flournoy, a great Democratic manager, many people familiar with Hagel say he is a poor manager.

    Hagel has drawn additional heat from insiders who claim he lacks the credentials needed to manage a department as large and essential as the Pentagon.

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