Local, national, and international news bites...
Homophobia Rising In Cameroon
Human rights organizations are coming together to condemn the rising tide of violence towards LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) individuals in the West African country of Cameroon. In a report presented in the country’s capital city of Douala, human rights activists claim “Justice, which is suppose to respect the principle of equality for all before the law is actually supporting the repression of LGBTI persons and their defenders.” Under the umbrella organization The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, activists claim at least 28 people have been convicted in Cameroon because of their sexual orientation whether true or presumed.
Justice Department To File Brief Opposing Marriage Bans:
Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, in an op-ed for USA Today, stated the U.S. Department of Justice will be filing a brief with the Supreme Court opposing statewide bans on marriage equality as a matter of equal protection. “It is clear the time has come to recognize that gay and lesbian people deserve robust protection from discrimination,” Holder writes. The Supreme Court will hear the case in April with a decision expected by June.
MSNBC Moves Gay Anchorman To Afternoons
MSNBC is moving gay anchorman Thomas Roberts to a midday two-hour program on the cable television network. Roberts, 42, had been anchoring “Way Too Early” — a 5:30 a.m. lead in to MSNBC’s popular “Morning Joe” show. His new program will be from 1 to 3 p.m., a slot that should bode well for the experienced newsman. “With Roberts MSNBC is making a commitment to covering more breaking news during the day,” noted the Los Angeles Times. Roberts has hosted the last two Miss Universe pageants. He came out in 2006 and married his partner, Patrick Abner, in New York in 2012.
Men in ShortsComing To ABC:
The network has closed a deal for the single-camera comedy inspired by professional soccer player Robbie Rogers, the first openly gay man to play in a major North American professional sports league. Jordon Nardino and showrunner Claudia Lonow are the screen writers for the comedy, which follows a young pro soccer player who takes 'one small step out of the closet and one giant leap into the spotlight.’
Duck Dynasty Star Rails Against STDs:
Phil Robertson, an actor on the cable television program “Duck Dynasty,” was awarded the Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award at last week’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. Robertson, who was suspended from the show in 2013 for making anti-gay comments, told the CPAC audience the only way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases is “one man, one woman, married for life.”
United for Care Spokesman Blasts Congresswoman
John Morgan, an Orlando trial attorney, is continuing his attacks on Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston. Under the auspices of United for Care, a pro-medical marijuana organization, Morgan delivered harsh criticism of Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee Chair. “I don’t believe she is well loved or personally has much influence in this state,” Morgan stated in an email. Speculation swirls around the Wasserman Schultz’s future with some mentioning a possible U.S. Senate candidacy. Morgan, however, told the Sun Sentinel the rest of Florida does not warm well to outspoken liberal Democrats from Broward County.
Boynton Beach Enacts LGBT Inclusive Ordinance
Boynton Beach City Commissioners voted to enact a civil rights ordinance establishing, as matter of public policy, that the city opposes discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, pregnancy, familial status or age. The ordinance was proposed by the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, a local nonprofit organization which is dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.”Boynton Beach has gone on the record opposing all forms of discriminatory activity," said Palm Beach County Human Rights Council President Rand Hoch.
West Palm Beach PD Appoints LGBT Liaison
Gregory Babcock, a lieutenant in the West Palm Beach Police Department, has been appointed the department’s LGBT liaison by Police Chief Bryan Kummerlen. Babcock is a supervisor assigned to the department’s criminal investigations unit. The West Palm Beach Police Department reached out to gay and lesbian business owners to jointly develop solutions to address anti-LGBT hate crimes, said Palm Beach County Human Rights Council President Rand Hoch. “As the result of these cooperative efforts, gay, lesbian business owners and police officers began working together to address hate crimes,” Hoch said. In 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated West Palm Beach to have a p