May 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm EDT | by Staff reports
National news in brief: May 20

Wis. guv wants to stop defending D.P. registry law

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker has told a judge he wants to stop defending Wisconsin’s domestic partner registry in court because he doesn’t believe it’s constitutional, the AP reported this week.

Members of the conservative group Wisconsin Family Action filed a lawsuit last summer arguing the registry violates the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage. Former Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat who proposed the registry as a means of granting same-sex couples more legal rights, chose to defend the measure and had filed a motion asking Dane County Circuit Judge Daniel Moeser for summary judgment upholding it. Walker, a Republican, inherited the case from Doyle when he took office in January, the AP said. The governor filed a motion with Moeser May 13 asking to withdraw the defense because he believes the registry is unconstitutional. It was unclear when Moeser might rule on the motion.

The gay rights group Fair Wisconsin has joined the case as an intervener and will continue defending the registry, the AP report said.

Gay R.I. House speaker takes heat for marriage vote

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island’s openly gay House Speaker Gordon Fox is feeling the sting of abandoning same-sex marriage legislation there for what he considers a more politically feasible civil unions bill, but says “you have to be able to move votes,” the Associated Press reported this week.

“These folks were looking for a champion,” he told the AP. “It hurts me to think that I’m not quite their champion at this point. That bothers me.” He explains his decision on the vote as a calculated move designed to get gay couples real rights today. While he may have had the votes to get the measure through the House, the measure faced a battle in the Senate, where Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed opposed gay marriage but has indicated support for civil unions, the AP reported.

S.F. Giants agree to make anti-bullying video

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants will follow in the footsteps of President Barack Obama, pop star Janet Jackson and more than 10,000 others who have made videos for an anti-suicide campaign geared toward gay youth, the team said Tuesday according to an AP report. The World Series champions agreed to produce a YouTube spot for the “It Gets Better” campaign at the request of a fan who started an online petition signed by 6,000 people. British rugby star Gareth Thomas also made a video, but the Giants are thought to be the first professional team to participate, said Sean Chapin, the Giants fan who petitioned the team, the AP report said.

Va. considering banning anti-gay bias in adoptions

RICHMOND, Va. — A coalition of groups, including gay-rights advocates, wants the Virginia Board of Social Services to allow more public comment on whether the state should bar private adoption agencies from discriminating against prospective parents based on sexual orientation, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported this week. The social services board voted in April to remove language banning the discrimination from proposed rules governing the 81 private adoption agencies licensed in the state. Under state law, single people — gay or straight — and married couples may adopt, but unmarried couples cannot.

Phoenix Suns president comes out as gay

NEW YORK — Rick Welts, president and chief executive of the Phoenix Suns, an NBA pro basketball team, came out this week in a lengthy interview with the New York Times. The revelation makes him the first prominent male sports executive to come out. “This is one of the last industries where the subject is off limits,” Welts told the Times. “Nobody’s comfortable in engaging in a conversation.”

1 Comment
  • Between April 17 – May 17 (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) at least 11 high-level athletes and executives in various sports came out of the closet. This is all good, progressive news, but there’s still work to be done.

    This year, as in every year in recent memory, sports figures have also stepped forward to urge gay players to stay closeted (often framed as advice “for their own good”). This is ignorant and patronizing at best.

    As a recreational soccer player and fan I’m tired of this debate, which is why I started this petition at

    It deals with Croatian Football Federation president Vlatko Markovic’s homophobic comments made last November that while he was president of the CFF, there would be no homosexual players. Three months later, the UEFA and FIFA confirmed Markovic for a fourth term at his post. The confirmation happened within weeks of the UEFA “officially endorsing” The Justin Campaign — a campaign against homophobia in football.

    To everyone reading, please consider signing and sharing the petition.

    To the gay players: come out. There is nothing to fear.

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