News Bites for October 21, 2015

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender news bites.

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Lesbian

Supreme Court’s Sotomayor Officiates Lesbian Wedding

(SFGN) Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor officiated the wedding of Ingrid Duran and Catherine Pino last Saturday in Washington D.C. the Washington Blade reports.

The two women are also business partners, the founders of D & P Creative Strategies, an organization that addresses corporate, legislative and philanthropic concerns of Latinos, women, and LGBT individuals.

Photos throughout social media highlight what appeared to be a Mexican themed wedding and a cake decorated with pink sugar skulls. Sources close to the event say it took place at the Potomac View Terrace, and among the guests were U.S. Treasurer Rosa Gumataotao Rios, Rep. Xavier Beccera (D-Calif.), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.).

According to Out magazine, two other justices have officiated same sex marriages.

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg has officiated at least two same-sex when she presided over the ceremony for a former student of hers from Columbia Law School, and this year when she renewed the vows of U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius and his husband, Clayton Bond. Justice Elena Kagan officiated a ceremony in Maryland of a former law clerk in 2014. Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor presided over a marriage in 2013 at the Supreme Court.”

Gay

Report: 'Ex-Gay' Therapy is Harmful

(EDGE) A new report from the government says conversion therapy for youth is harmful, recommending the controversial "treatment" be stopped.

The report criticizing the "ex-gay" therapy comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration (SAMHSA)this week, stating the practice should not be used on children. The research's panel consisted of practitioners in child and adolescent mental health, family therapy, ethics and the psychology of religion. 

Researchers said they "found that variations in sexual orientation and gender identity are normal, and that conversion therapies or other efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity are not effective, are harmful, and are not appropriate therapeutic practices."

"When dealing with a sensitive topic such as gender identity or sexual orientation in young people, it is essential that families, educators, caregivers, and providers seek the best available information and advice," said SAMHSA acting administrator Kana Enomoto.

As Pink News points out, the condemning report from the government agency shouldn't be that surprising as President Barack Obama called for an end of conversion therapy earlier this year, when an adviser said, "We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer youth. The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy, especially when it is practiced on young people, is neither medically nor ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm."

Washington D.C. became the third jurisdiction to ban conversion therapy. Both California and New Jersey have also banned the practice for minors.

http://thebea.st/1GFRkC2

Bisexual

Yoko Ono Addresses Lennon’s Bi Rumors

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Beast, Yoko Ono talks about her relationship with John Lennon, and rumors of their bisexuality.

“John and I had a big talk about it, saying, basically, all of us must be bisexual. And we were sort of in a situation of thinking that we’re not [bisexual] because of society. So we are hiding the other side of ourselves, which is less acceptable,” Ono said.

“I think he had a desire to [have sex with men], but I think he was too inhibited,” said Ono, then clarifying: “No, not inhibited. He said, ‘I don’t mind if there’s an incredibly attractive guy.’ It’s very difficult: They would have to be not just physically attractive, but mentally very advanced too. And you can’t find people like that.”

When asked whether or not Lennon had had a sexual relationship with another man, Ono answered no.

“The beginning of the year he was killed, he said to me, ‘I could have done it, but I can’t because I just never found somebody that was that attractive,’” she added. “Both John and I were into attractiveness — you know — beauty.”

On LGBT equality Ono said, “LGBTs should have true equality, Ono says, “and you’ll get it. Equality is people having to create their own future. That’s what they’re [gay people] doing. They should be very, very positive.”

“Equality under the law and equality in real life is slightly different,” says Ono. “People are different from how the law can control them. We have a very complex life called the human life. There’s more than equality in life.”

Transgender

“Becoming Nicole” Follows Trans Teen’s Journey

(SFGN) Published this week, “Becoming Nicole: the Transformation of an American Family” follows the true story of trans teen Nicole Maines, her identical brother Wyatt, and their family’s journey to acceptance over the course of the last four years.

Author Amy Ellis Nutt, writer for the Washington Post, discusses her reasons for choosing this story and this family to pursue in an interview with Out magazine.

“There were several aspects to the story and the Maines family that hooked me right away. First of all, Nicole and her brother Jonas were still young teenagers and, in many ways, the family’s journey was still unfolding. As a journalist, that was exciting. Because the science of gender identity is still being learned, I also felt that Nicole and Jonas being identical twins gave me a perfect opportunity to explore the importance of this intermediate territory between nature and nurture called epigenetics: how our environment (even the environment of the womb), contributes to who we are, even when our DNA is identical, as it is in the case of Nicole and Jonas.”

When asked what she hopes to achieve with this book, Ellis has a broad scope.

I think the lessons of “Becoming Nicole” cross many boundaries, not just gender. How much are we willing to listen to our children, to our spouses? How much are we willing to change? What does it take to survive as a family, to understand differences and accept difficult truths? All of us are more than just our names, or the words others use to describe us. There will always be a conflict between our need to know who we are as individuals, and society’s need to categorize and classify us. How we respond to that conflict – as individuals, as a family – is what this book is really all about.

 


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