February 8, 2012 at 4:22 pm EDT | by Phil Reese
National news in brief: Feb. 10
Christine Gregoire, gay news, gay politics dc

‘Washington State stood up for what is right and told all families in our state that they are equal and that the state cannot be in the business of discrimination,’ said Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire. (photo by Evan Derickson)

Wash. State legislature passes same-sex marriage

OLYMPIA — The Washington State House of Representatives on Wednesday was poised to pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, which the governor has promised to sign.

The Senate passed the bill 28-21 last week and floor debate on the bill was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in the lower house where the bill was expected to find wide support, according to media reports.

After the bill’s success in the Senate, Gov. Christine Gregoire declared, “tonight Washington State stood up for what is right and told all families in our state that they are equal and that the state cannot be in the business of discrimination.”

The vote was scheduled after Blade print deadline. For more on results of the vote, visit washingtonblade.com.

Jewish paper under attack for pro-gay piece

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Watchdog group Truth Wins Out has taken to the Change.org petition platform to enlist support for The Jewish Press, which has been under attack for publishing an op-ed critical of “ex-gay” therapy.

After publishing an editorial written by Orthodox Jewish former “ex-gay” therapy recipient, Chaim Levin, proponents of reparative therapy allegedly pushed the paper’s advertisers to pull ads from the publication. The Jewish Press responded by publishing an editorial board piece defending Levin’s piece titled “The Jewish Press Won’t Be Silenced.”

“Following the publication of this op-ed, a number of Jewish Press advertisers were approached and threatened,” the editors wrote. “The Jewish Press won’t give in to threats and we won’t be silenced. We thank our advertisers who have notified us that they plan to continue with us despite the threatening letters and that they won’t give into threats either, particularly when an article like this one may have very well have saved a Jewish life.”

Victory Fund staffer appointed to advisory board

WASHINGTON — Rev. George B. Walker, Jr., vice president of strategic partnerships at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Victory Institute, was named to President Obama’s Board of Advisers on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, according to a White House press release.

“I am proud that such experienced and committed individuals have agreed to serve the American people in these important roles,” said President Obama, upon naming Walker and six others to key administration positions. “I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

Victory Fund President and CEO Chuck Wolfe expressed excitement at the appointment.

“We’re thrilled for our friend and colleague, George, a deeply committed and passionate advocate for equality, diversity and education,” Wolfe told the Blade. “With George’s appointment, President Obama continues to ensure LGBT voices are well-represented among the talented Americans who serve him and his administration.”

Paul Harris, respected gay journalist, dies

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Freelance writer and publisher of a guide to gay media and publications, Paul Harris, died last month, according to South Florida Gay News. He was 53.

The actor and writer was born and raised in England, and educated at the London School of Economics. Harris veered from a trajectory in the business and politics field in favor of the arts. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, before immigrating to the United States where he split his time between South Florida and New York City, operating his own publishing company, Upstart Press.

“You can’t overestimate Paul Harris’ contribution to our community. He was out before it was cool, he quietly mentored many writers, myself included,” writer Paul Gallotta told the South Florida Gay News upon Harris’ death.


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