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by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Milk sculpture to be unveiled at S.F. City Hall
A sculpture of slain Gay legend Harvey Milk will be unveiled at San Francisco City Hall on May 22, which would have been his 78th birthday.

Fundraising for the sculpture began in 2003, under the auspices of The Harvey Milk City Hall Memorial Committee. A competition was launched in 2006 to select an artist and, last month, the San Francisco Arts Commission formally approved the placement of the sculpture in City Hall's Ceremonial Rotunda.

"This tribute to Harvey Milk is long overdue," said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "It is indeed time for his legacy to be commemorated with a place of honor and distinction in San Francisco's City Hall."

"Harvey would be very proud of the consortium of people who came together to make this dream a reality," said Milk's close friend Daniel Nicoletta, co-chair of the memorial committee. "It [is] a great honor to help to give voice and vision to this enduring tribute to someone who gave so much to us."

Milk settled in the Castro district in 1972 and opened a camera store. He went on to pioneer a populist Gay-rights movement in the city and, in 1977, was elected to the Board of Supervisors, the equivalent of a city council, becoming the third openly Gay candidate elected in U.S. history.

He and Mayor George Moscone were shot to death inside City Hall on Nov. 27, 1978, by then recently resigned city Supervisor Dan White, who was angry that Moscone wouldn't let him un-resign and that Milk had lobbied Moscone not to reappoint White.

White's lenient sentence for the killings (seven years and eight months with parole) led to the famed White Night Riots in San Francisco on May 21, 1979.

Gay bishop to enter civil union
Openly Gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire will enter an official civil union with his partner of 20 years, Mark Andrew, in June.

Robinson's 2003 consecration as bishop caused a serious rupture that continues to grow in the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch.

Robinson, who has received death threats, said he wants to get formally partnered to protect Andrew before going to August's Anglican Communion Lambeth Conference in England. The gathering of some 800 bishops from around the globe happens only once a decade.

Robinson has been banned from the conference's official sessions by the Anglican spiritual leader, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. He plans to take part in auxiliary events.

Conservative Anglican bishops and laity also are upset that the U.S. and Canadian branches of the communion have refused to block local churches from conducting blessings of same-sex couples.

Soap opera Gay kiss distresses "family" group
Boyfriends Luke Snyder and Noah Mayer, characters on the TV soap opera As The World Turns, kissed for eight seconds on the April 23 episode, thrilling some Gay fans who had complained that the characters hadn't kissed for 211 days.

But the American Family Association was mortified and mobilized its members to blast Procter & Gamble Productions with complaints.

"Gay activists are hopeful that the P&G effort will desensitize viewers to the homosexual lifestyle and help make the unhealthy and immoral lifestyle more acceptable to society, especially to children and youth," AFA founder Donald Wildmon said in an action alert in which he called the kisses "repulsive."

But in a statement to AfterElton.com, the program's producers called the latest smooching "the natural evolution of the relationship between Luke and Noah."

"We continue to tell this and all our stories based on what we think is best creatively," they said.

YouTube has the clip. See tinyurl.com/4huk27.

GLAAD Awards to air on Bravo
A compilation of this year's four GLAAD Awards ceremonies - held in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and South Florida - will air on the Bravo cable channel June 27 at 7 p.m. EDT/PDT.

"The broadcast & marks two historic milestones: the first televised airing of the celebration on a fully distributed national cable network, and the most widely broadcast Gay-specific event in television history," GLAAD said in a statement.

The Bravo channel reaches 84 million U.S. residences.

The awards broadcast will be followed by an airing of the Academy Award-winning Gay cowboy movie Brokeback Mountain.

Presbyterian minister cleared in weddings case
The top court of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ruled April 29 that a Lesbian minister who married Gay couples didn't violate church law.

The General Assembly's Permanent Judicial Commission let California minister Jane Spahr off the hook because, it said, the weddings did not amount to legal or ecclesiastical marriages.

Spahr had previously been "rebuked" over the ceremonies by a regional judicial committee.

The denomination's ministers are allowed to bless same-sex unions as long as the ceremonies are not called marriages and don't closely resemble a traditional wedding.

With assistance from Bill Kelley
pictures: top - ATWT gay kiss
bottom: Ellen Portia
 

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