March 31, 2011 at 4:07 pm EDT | 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.

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