April 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm EDT | by Phil Reese
National news in brief: April 27
Brian Sims, gay news, gay politics dc

With no Republican challenger, former Equality Pennsylvania Board Chair Brian Sims (center) will likely become Pennsylvania’s first openly gay state lawmaker. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Gay candidate wins primary in Pa.

PHILADELPHIA — Democrat Brian Sims is poised to become the first openly gay member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives after winning his primary Tuesday over 27-year incumbent Babette Josephs. There is no Republican challenger.

Sims is the former board president at Equality Pennsylvania, and a longtime civil rights attorney, according to the Victory Fund, which endorsed Sims and promoted his candidacy.

Josephs had been an ally of the LGBT community, and Sims previously worked as her campaign treasurer in the 2010 election cycle, but last year Sims told the Philadelphia Gay News “… there is no statistical substitute for having a gay person in a legislative body — no matter how strong the allies, no matter how many the allies, LGBT issues that can be affected by the legislature are affected most when there is an openly gay person serving.”

Poll finds shift against N.C. amendment

RALEIGH — Pam’s House Blend is reporting Public Policy Polling published numbers marking the most dramatic shift yet against a North Carolina amendment that would permanently ban any official recognition of same-sex couples in that state.

Six months ago the polling company found 61 percent of North Carolina voters supported the amendment, while 34 opposed it. However, with the vote just days away, the company now finds 54 percent of the voters plan to support the amendment while 40 percent are opposed.

The polling came just before the anti-amendment Coalition to Protect N.C. Families released several television commercials showing the effect Amendment One would have on several families, including a straight woman who survived domestic violence at the hands of an unmarried partner.

‘Ex-gay’ group founder dies suddenly

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Anthony Falzarano, founder of the “ex-gay” group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), died suddenly and unexpectedly this week, after a long career attacking the LGBT community.

According to blog Ex-Gay Watch, the Palm Beach coroner confirmed Tuesday, the death of the prominent anti-gay activist who had come to criticize the organization he’d founded, as well as another “ex-gay” organization, Exodus International, for being “too soft” on the LGBT community.

Falzarano once called Matthew Shepard a “predator” after the vicious attack that killed the young Wyoming college student. Falzarano is survived by his wife, and at least one daughter.

Gay GOP candidate’s video pulled from YouTube

LOS ANGELES — A video by gay Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger entitled “Sexy Frisbee” was pulled by YouTube for violating community standards, despite an absence of explicit content in the video, according to Fire Dog Lake blogger Lisa Derrick.

The video featuring Karger supporters in swimsuits playing Frisbee on a beach has been reposted with a parental advisory added to the first few frames. A brief scene in the video featuring two men kissing may have upset some viewers enough to report the video as explicit.


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