News You Should Know August 1, 2014

BTL Staff

MINNESOTA AND RHODE ISLAND - One year ago today these two states changed their laws to allow for same-sex couples to wed. Celebrations today are a result of years of work by those who build the foundation for success as well as the trailblazers from decades ago who stood up for equality when it wasn't popular to do so. Openly gay State Senator Scott Dibble (D-MN) was not only the sponsor of the Senate bill but also spent countless hours convincing his colleagues to do the right thing. Rep. Arthur Handy and Senator Donna Nesselbush introduced legislation in Rhode Island in 2013. Governor Chafee signed the bill into law the same day the House passed the legislation.

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Five same-sex couples have been turned down for marriage licenses in Greenville County. The couples had expected their requests would be rejected Wednesday because South Carolina's ban on gay marriage still stands. The couples are part of Campaign for Southern Equality's "We Do" campaign, where supporters of gay marriage get together for a rally, and then request marriage licenses they know will be turned down. This was the third event in Greenville County, and similar events have been held in other Southern states. The Greenville event happened two days after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Virginia's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. South Carolina is in the same judicial circuit, but the state plans to continue fighting a lawsuit to overturn its gay marriage ban.

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A 2009 law creating a domestic partner registry that provides limited benefits to same-sex couples does not violate the state's ban on gay marriages, a unanimous Wisconsin Supreme Court said Thursday [Jul 31]. The ruling keeps the registry active but is likely to be overshadowed by a pending gay marriage case. A federal judge declared Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional last month, and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals plans to hear arguments in the state's appeal on Aug. 26. Katie Belanger, president and CEO of Fair Wisconsin, the state's largest gay rights group, said the court's decision ensured that couples would continue to have important protections provided by the registry while the gay marriage case was pending.

VANCOUVER ( - Shortly after coming out, dancer Tyler-Alan Jacobs was beaten so badly that his right eye was dislodged and the side of his face was caved in. Jacobs, 29, is one of a few hundred Vancouverites that identify as two-spirit - a First Nations term for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, other gendered, and third/fourth gendered individuals. The son of a prominent Squamish Nation councilor and artist, Jacobs says he had the support of his family as he pursued traditionally female crafts such as sewing and beadwork, and experimented with flamboyant fashion after puberty hit. Throughout the rest of his 4,000-person reserve, however, homophobia - a product of the historical trauma of colonization and residential schools - was rampant. According to the National Aboriginal Health Organization, two-spirited people are more likely to experience violence than heterosexual First Nations and they are twice as likely to experience assault (including physical assault, sexual assault, and assault with a weapon) than LGBT people in the general population. Read more about Jacob's story and that of two-spirit people here.

A Response To Cosmo's Lesbian Sex Tips - Cosmo published an article titled "28 Mind-Blowing Lesbian Sex Positions," that include positions such as "Defying Gravity," and "Tawdry Tire Swing." Huffington Post's writer Jenny Block says these positions were taken straight out of a frat boy's doodle pad. "The positions were all hetero-normative fantasies of lesbian sex at their worst and silly at their best." But she didn't realize how insane and impossible they were until she called upon her queer friends to act them out. It's no surprise that Como has a habit of offering sex advice littered with heteronormative and patriarchal practices mainly for the male gaze. But Block believes this to be total misinformation about lesbian sex and adds to the "male enjoyment" of "how real" lesbian sex looks. This is definitely more proof of how queer girls still have some myth-busting to do.

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