After Obama’s rousing speech, Richard Blanco became the first Hispanic and openly gay man to read the inaugural poem. Blanco wrote “One Today” just for the inauguration, and contains sweeping imagery of the United States that everyone can relate to in some way. For more background on Blanco, listen to his interview on NPR’s Morning Edition.
A little history, the first inaugural poet was Robert Frost was the first inaugural poet in 1961 for the inauguration of John F. Kennedy. Frost recited ”The Gift Outright” because he couldn’t read the poem he prepared due to the glaring sun.
Read the text of “One Today” after the jump: Continue reading
If Andres Duque at Blabeando is correct, the answer is yes. That would mean Mexico beat Canada, the USA, and several other countries to putting this old, homophobic, insulting ban to rest.
A little noticed Mexican health norm first approved in August and then published in the country’s regulatory Official Federation Diary on October 26th has gone into effect today essentially doing away with a two-decade ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, reports Animal Político.
…The new norm (NOM 253) eliminates specific bans on gay and bisexual men and instead bans blood donations from people with HIV or hepatitis and their partners and people who engage in “risky sexual practices” regardless of their sexual identity.
Sign Nikolai Alexeyev was holding when arrested April 12th
Our favorite Russian activist Nikolai Alexeyev has won the honor of being the first person
charged under St. Petersburg’s “Gay Propaganda” ban. He was convicted Friday, and sentenced a fine of 5,000 rubles ($170).
On April 12th, Alexeyev was arrested for holding a sign that said “Homosexuality Is Not a Perversion” at St. Petersburg’s City Hall. The “proof” the judge used to convict Alexeyev under the ban, were ”statements from several people who had expressed concern to the court that Alexeyev’s actions might harm their children,” reports Interfax.
[Insert sarcasm here] Yeah, that totally sounds legit.
Alexeyev of course rightfully denied these idiotic claims, saying “I do not know what it means to promote homosexuality, and I do not admit my guilt” and promised to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights if need be.
We’re with you Nikolai!
Photo and source: Moscow Times
In a semi-close victory, Pennsylvania elected it’s first openly gay legislator, Brian Sims! The 33 year-old hunk-a-doodle-do won the hearts of Pennsylvania’s City of Brotherly Love by focusing on direct mail and good old fashioned pavement-pounding, and beating Reagan era Democratic state Rep. Babette Josephs in the process.
Sims had a lot of support from out-of-state contributors, people looking for an out and proud gay man to become a state Representative in the same state that made Santorum a Senator. Sims described his strategy in an interview with Newsworks. ”We set out from the very beginning to run the largest, cleanest, most involved campaign that we could. We reached out to all four corners of this district for volunteers, for support, for help, and we were blessed to get it.”
And for those who didn’t know, Brian Sims also told Outsports about his experience as the openly gay captain of his college football team.
Well well, now who would’ve thunk it? Indiana is the first state to produce license plates with the logo of a LGBT organization on it!
WXIN Fox 59 reports the license plates will sport the logo of the Indiana Youth Group, an organization that advocates tolerance in schools and the community and provides a safe environment for the LGBT youngsters of Indiana. For those who donate to the Indiana Youth Group, they will be given low number plates as a ‘thank you’.
So if you’re prouder than a peacock and from the Hoosier State, be sure to show your support by getting a new license plate!
And any bets on when California or New York will hop on the bandwagon?
Hugh Walsh and Berry Dignam
Ireland Barry Dignam and Hugh Walsh are history as the first official gay couple to tie the knot. Six other civil partnerships were already registered with the State, but they were subject to an exemption order. Dignam and Walsh’s wedding is the first not to require the exemption order.
Barry Dignam and Hugh Walsh have been together for 17 years and are more than happy to be face of the civil partnership movement in Ireland.
Dignam told the Irish Times that the historic nature of their union did prompt some soul searching. “We feel a certain amount of responsibility that this is a big step which Ireland is taking and that we’re going to be a part of that,”.
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