The Most Popular Gay Stories of the Week
Neil Patrick Harris to Host Tony Awards
“How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris has been selected to host the the 67th annual Tony Awards, which honor excellence in Broadway theater.
The event is set to take place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 9. Harris is no stranger to the ceremony — he has hosted the Tony Awards three times.
“I’m very excited to be back hosting the Tony Awards at the legendary Radio City Music Hall. It’ll be more impressive than ever – if my math is correct, it will be 267 times bigger than last year,” said Harris as quoted by Broadway World. “Oh, wait. No, that can’t… hold on… carry the one… I’m awful at math. But rest assured, the show will rock!”
Beside hosting the Tonys, the actor has also hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards and in 2008 headed the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
Harris came out as gay in an interview with People magazine in 2006.
Bipartisan Reintroduction of Gay Adoption Bill
Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and John Lewis (D-Ga.) are set to reintroduced on May 7 a bill that would legalize adoptions by gay couples nationwide and remove many of the current restrictions on adopt or foster children.
The Every Child Deserves A Family Act would prohibit federally funded adoption and foster programs from discriminating families based on sexual orientation and gender identity, or marital status.
According to the Family Equality Council, LGBT people face hurdles when looking to adopt or foster children in 39 states.
“Why … should more than 400,000 children remain in foster care — 104,000 of whom are eligible for adoption — when they could receive this support from loving, capable, and qualified lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents?” PFLAG National Executive Director Jody M. Huckaby said in a statement.
The representatives hope the momentum of the gay rights movement will help them pass the bill. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen also co-introduced a nationwide anti-bullying bill last month.
Activists Launch Trans Visibility Campaign
In light of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Chinese activists have launched a campaign to increase the visibility of the trans community in the country.
Chinese gay rights group Queer Comrades will host an event on May 17 (the day IDAHO is celebrated) titled “lgbT – Increasing Transgender Visibility in China.”
The gathering will be hosted by the Netherlands Embassy in Beijing, and will feature the premiere of 30-minute film Brothers, the first documentary about trans men in China, the Gay Star News reports.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion on transgender issues.
“Chinese society is currently still largely unaware of the plight of transgendered people in China, who face stigma and discrimination on a daily basis,” Queer Comrades said in a statement.
The LGBT group is reaching out to media, educators and counselors “as they fulfill important firstline roles in the spreading of information and the providing of help regarding transgender issues.”
Miami Beach Passes Tax Ordinance for Same-Sex Couples
The Miami Beach City Commission unanimously passed a Tax Equity Ordinance on Thursday May 9 becoming, the fourth city behind West Palm Beach, Hallandale Beach and Bay Harbor Island to pass any such legislation.
The ordinance will reimburse City employees who are in domestic partnerships and are being taxed on the payments they make on their health insurance benefits.
C.J. Ortuno, executive director for SAVE Dade, hailed passage as a step in the right direction to providing the LGBT community the equal rights it deserves.
“Following a long tradition of Miami Beach’s support of LGBT equality, the Mayor and Commission have once again taken a bold step to ensure that all of their employees are treated equally and provided for,” Ortuno told SFGN. “Miami Beach is providing its people what the state and federal government has failed to.”
The ordinance, sponsored by Commissioner Michael Gongora, will take effect immediately thanks to an amendment submitted by Commissioner Jerry Libbin. Without Libbin’s provision, the ordinance would have come into effect the next fiscal year.
The final ordinance goes up for second reading and final passage on June 8.
Gay DJ Peter Rauhofer Loses Battle with Brain Cancer
Grammy-winning DJ and producer Peter Rauhofer died on May 7 after battling brain cancer that was diagnosed in mid-April, according to a post by his manager Angelo Russo on Rauhofer’s Facebook page.
Rauhofer, 48, is survived by his mother, Helga.
“[Helga] will transport Peter back home to his final resting place there, but to all that knew Peter, his heart will always be in New York City,” Russo wrote.
“It makes me sad, not only that I have lost a friend, but that the world has lost an amazing talent and that future generations will never get to understand the magic that Peter created night after night all over the world.”
A native of Vienna, Austria, Rauhofer rose to fame in the 1990s with his pulsating remixes of some of the most popular singers at that time. His Grammy award came by the way of 2000’s Best Remixer of the Year.
Rauhofer had played at many South Florida venues, including the Manor Complex in Wilton Manors
Close friend and promoter Ryan Work spoke with SFGN when Rauhofer was first diagnosed with cancer. A candle light vigil in Rauhofer’s honor was held on Friday, May 10 at the 12th Street beach in Miami Beach, Florida.
“As you stepped into the light, you left us with a legacy that will live forever, your events were like a family reunion for so many of us on that dance floor,” Work wrote on Facebook.
“A legend is lost but we will never forget what you left behind, how your dream was realized, and the way you and your music touched so many people’s lives- Those memories in which we will always cherish & hold dear.”
Amendment to Immigration Bill Seeks to Include Gay Bi-National Couples
Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy introduced legislation this week that would enable gays to sponsor their partners for legal residence in the U.S. under the new proposed immigration reform, according to Windy City Times.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider Leahy’s amendments as well as over 300 others starting on May 9.
The Defense of Marriage Act, which federally defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman, prohibits a gay U.S. citizen legally married to a foreign person from petitioning legal stay for his or her partner. Heterosexual couples, on the other hand, can sponsor their husbands or wives for legal U.S. residence.
Leahy, who is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is the only Senator to file amendments with language that addresses same-sex couples. The first amendment seeks to give citizenship to “permanent partners” of U.S. citizens. The second would treat as a “spouse” a person who has entered a marriage with a citizen that is “valid in the State in which the marriage was entered into.”
As Politico reports, some Republicans, like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, are against including gay bi-national couples. Rubio, born to Cuban immigrants, told Politico that adding any sort of language to allow foreign partners in same-sex relationships would “virtually guarantee” the bill’s failure.
Congress is expected to vote on the overall bill sometime in June.
New Social Site in Australia Launches for HIV Positive Men
Positive Outlook, a program developed by Monash University’s Human Research Ethics Committee in Melbourne, is seeking HIV positive gay men in Australia to participate in an online study aimed at determining how developing intimate online relationships with other people who are also HIV positive can improve one’s health.
The program requires the subjects, who can use assumed names on the site, to commit 90 minutes a week for seven weeks completing modules, activities and group discussions, according to Gay Star News.
Previous participants in the study have said that the program was “very useful” and chatting with people in similar situations was valuable.
“I can see that there is a me before the program and a me after the program,” one participant is quoted as saying. “I carry the stories that I heard with me.”
There is no restriction on how long a person has been living with HIV in order to participate in the program.
Florida Gay Man Struggles to Get Out of Illegal Marriage
In a strange twist of events, a Florida gay man whose marriage was illegally performed by a court clerk in Iowa is being told that he is married and needs to file for divorce in order to be separated from his partner.
Joab Penney was married to his partner Joseph Parker by Grundy County deputy clerk Brigitte Van Nice in October of last year, according to the Associated Press. Van Nice forged the witness’ signatures, duped the couple out of $150 and falsely claimed she had officiated the couple’s Valentine’s Day wedding. Van Nice pleaded guilty to perjury and forgery charges.
Penney has come under fire after he made comments to the AP that led other publications to assume he was denouncing his homosexuality.