The Most Popular Gay Stories of the Week
APA Names Gay Man as New Leader
Fifty years ago Saul Levin wouldn’t have been considered fit to run the American Psychiatric Association, in fact, he would have been considered mentally ill.
Levin is openly gay. And he was recently named as the new CEO of the psychology association, as first reported by the Washington Blade.
Just 40 years ago, the APA declared homosexuality was not a mental disorder. Now, Levin becomes the first out gay person to head the organization, which was founded in 1844 and represents over 30,000 psychiatric physicians.
Levin will take over the position this fall, when current CEO James Scully Jr. retires.
“I have known Saul for over 20 years,” Scully said in a statement. “He brings extraordinary intelligence, vision and great energy to the challenges ahead for our profession. I look forward to working together with him as we transition to new leadership.”
Before his new position, the South Africa native was the first openly gay head of the Washington, D.C’s department of health.
Peace Corps Allow Couples to Serve Together
Those looking to embark on a volunteering journey around the world can now do so — with their partners alongside.
The Peace Corps announced it would extend benefits to gay couples to allow them to serve as volunteers together overseas, according to NBC News.
The government-run volunteering program, started by President Kennedy, will open up the application process for gay couples on June 3.
“Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining leadership experience for Americans who want to make a difference around the world,” said Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “I am proud that the agency is taking this important step forward to allow same-sex domestic partners to serve overseas together.”
Gay couples do not have to be married to apply to serve together. However, they will be required to sign an affidavit as evidence of their domestic partnership.
Since its establishment in 1961, more than 210,000 Americans in 71 countries have volunteered for the Peace Corps.
Canada Lifts Gay Blood Ban
Gay men in Canada can now donate blood, but there’s a catch: you must not have had sex with another man in the last five years.
The Canadian Blood Services have approved the measure, and are hoping to implement it as soon as mid-summer.
“We recognize that many people will feel that this change does not go far enough, but given the history of the blood system in Canada, we see this as a first and prudent step forward on this policy,” Dr. Dana Devine, vice president of Medical, Scientific and Research Affairs at Canadian Blood Services said in a statement.
Canada currently has blood donation laws similar to those in the U.S., which exclude potential male donors who have had sex with another man since 1977 — when the AIDS epidemic first emerged.
The U.S. federal government enacted the blood ban in 1985, when the risk of AIDS from transfusion was first recognized. Despite public pressure, there have been to amendments to the law.
Bone Thugs Claim Hip-Hop Ignores Eazy-E Because of AIDS
Members of the 90s hip-hop group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony told TMZ that they believe their mentor Eazy-E’s accomplishments have been forgotten because he died of AIDS. Called the “Godfather of Gangster Rap,” Eazy-E died in March of 1995 from AIDS-related complications.
Some people seem like they are afraid to commemorate him due to how he died,” Bizzy Bone told TMZ. “But Bone never once has – nor will stop – commemorating him.”
Billed as a “gay disease,” Bone Thugs members felt Eazy-E is falling victim to that stigma and is “being unfairly painted with that brush.” Krayzie Bone told TMZ he thinks some people in the hip-hop community believe an AIDS death is an inferior or less-manly way to die than a shooting death – like Biggie Smalls and Tupac.
“They died being known as gangsta heroes,” Krayzie said. “Eazy died from a disease so many look at that differently.”
A cloud of conspiracy has surrounded the death of Eazy-E with many saying someone injected him with the AIDS virus or purposefully placed him with a prostitute who was HIV positive.
Village Voice Fires Michael Musto, Others a Week After Editors Quit
Just one week after the Village Voice’s Editor-in-Chief Will Bourne and Deputy Editor Jessica Lustig’s swift resignations after refusing to lay-off staff, Christine Brennan, executive editor of the Village Voice Media Group, has fired veteran writers Michael Musto, Robert Sietsema and Michael Feingold, according to Gawker.
Musto told Gawker that people have come out to offer him their love and opportunities.
“I’ll update you on all my new beginnings,” Musto said. “My brand will be feistier than ever.”
Gawker was also told that the paper’s remaining staff is “devastated” and in “uproar.”
According to a statement from Village Voice Media, the restructuring will allow the Voice to continue offering “superior content and products to its New York audience – specifically film, music, restaurant, and breaking news easily accessible across both print and digital platforms – while also ensuring the sustainability of the publication.”
In other news: The Village Voice is now hiring.
Reddit Users Lash Out at Anti-Gay Event Offering Free Chick-fil-A, Speaker
Cornerstone Baptist Temple in Dayton, Ohio took an ad out in their local paper offering $25 Chick-fil-A gift cards to married straight couples that attended an event honoring what the church called “Biblical marriage.”
In a statement to The Huffington Post, Chick-fil-A said the event was not sponsored by Chick-fil-A or any of its Dayton restaurants. The gift cards were purchased by a local restaurant and donated to the church for their Sunday event.
The ad, which was first posted to social network Reddit, has sparked a conversation that seems to be aimed more at the guest speaker, Tom Raper, than at the anti-gay theme of the event. The post ranged from poking fun at Raper’s last name, to pointing out the fact he apparently runs an organization to help promote his religious beliefs in Richmond, Indiana.
“He’s a devout fundy, and has formed the Tom Raper Foundation to spread his beliefs,” says Reddit user gwok2. “When you actually get to the Richmond, Indiana area most of the billboards along I-70 are either for the world’s largest camper/RV dealer (Tom Raper) or his religious foundation.”
Raper sold his RV business in 2002, but the company still bears his name.
Right Winger Wants Obama to Come Out
A Christian commentator wants President Obama to be the first openly gay president in history, according to the right-wing watchdog website, Right Wing Watch.
In a video on the News with Views YouTube page, “Coach” David Daubenmire pleads Obama to come out of the closet and admit he’s gay, or at least bisexual.
“I think it’s time for President Obama to come out of the closet,” Daubenmire said. “How about he come out and admit he’s the first openly gay president or, better yet, openly bisexual president.”
Daubenmire then goes on to say it’s obvious the first black President is gay because of the way he reacts to gay issues.
“President Obama, his face seems to really light up when he begins to talk about the gay agenda,” he said. “[Obama] was so proud when that Jason Collins came out of the closet.”
Not only does Daubenmire want the President to admit he’s gay, he implores the Commander-in-Chief to admit he’s a socialist despite the stock market being at its highest level in history.
Gay Marriage Opponent Commits Suicide in Notre Dame Cathedral
The famed Note Dame cathedral in Paris was evacuated on May 21 after Catholic activist Dominique Venner committed suicide at the altar in an apparent protest of the county’s new marriage equality law, according to the Daily Mail.
The incident took place around 4 p.m. Paris time when the cathedral was full of visitors. One witness told the Mail panic set in before first responders arrive to clear the church out.
“There was screaming and lot so shouting following a loud bang,” the witness said. “People were naturally very scared and began to run out in panic. Police and other emergency workers including firemen got here very quickly, and then the whole cathedral was evacuated.”
According to blogger John Becker, Venner, 78, published a post on his blog where he condemned marriage equality and possibly hinted at his actions today.
“[Preventing marriage equality] certainly will require new, spectacular, and symbolic actions to wake up the sleep walkers, shake the anaesthetized consciousness, and awaken the memory of our origins,” Venner wrote. “We are entering a time when words must be authenticated by acts.”