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National News
Section One
ALL STORIES
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National News

by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Same-sex marriage begins in NH on January 1
New Hampshire becomes the fifth state where same-sex couples can marry starting January 1.

A bill opening marriage to Gay couples was passed by the General Court (legislature) and signed by the governor in June.

The bill also cancels New Hampshire's civil-union law. On January 1, 2011, all civil unions will convert into marriages.

There is no residency requirement for marriage in New Hampshire but there is a 1979 law that states, "No marriage shall be contracted in this state by a party residing and intending to continue to reside in another jurisdiction if such marriage would be void if contracted in such other jurisdiction, and every marriage contracted in this state in violation hereof shall be null and void."

No such restriction exists in the other U.S. states where same-sex marriage is legal: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa and Vermont.

GLAAD mad at Grammys over Buju Banton nod
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is mad at The Recording Academy for nominating Jamaican dancehall singer Buju Banton's album Rasta Got Soul for a Grammy.

GLAAD launched a petition to protest the nomination for Best Reggae Album.

"Banton's anti-Gay lyrics and the climate of hatred they create are a threat to the safety of Gay and Transgender people everywhere," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "It is deeply disappointing that The Recording Academy would choose to laud the work of a singer who has advocated violence against the Gay community."

The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center also has condemned the nomination.

According to GLAAD's translation, Banton's 1988 song "Boom Bye Bye" says that "faggots have to die" and that he will "shoot them in the head" or "burn them." The organization said the 1993 song "Batty Rider" also "glorifies the shooting of Gay men."

On December 10, The Recording Academy summarily dismissed GLAAD's protest: "The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Awards have a long history of supporting freedom of speech and creative expression, and of supporting artists and the music they create. Artists of a variety of political or cultural perspectives have been nominated or featured on the telecast, despite protests and backlash. The Academy acknowledges that there are very strong and diverse opinions on many issues and in many instances, we have helped initiate dialogue on matters that require education and further discussion. It takes tolerance to teach tolerance, and it is through dialogue and debate that social discovery may occur. The GRAMMY Awards is a celebration and recognition of outstanding musical achievement by music makers, regardless of politics, and that will continue to be our mission."

Barrios was not pleased.

"Advocating the murder of Gay people is not a 'political or cultural perspective,'" he fired back. "We urge Recording Academy members NOT to support Buju Banton's nomination. Ignoring his continued promotion of brutality against Gay people sends a message that violence against our community is OK."

For more information, see glaad.org/bujubantonpetition.

Banton is currently in federal custody in Miami after being arrested by Drug Enforcement Administration agents December 3 for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.

Calif. Assembly elects openly Gay speaker
Californians don't have Gay marriage anymore but they do now have an openly Gay speaker of the Assembly.

John A. PĂ©rez was selected unanimously by Democratic members of the house on December 10.

He is believed to be the first openly Gay person to head a state legislative house since Allan Spear's groundbreaking 1992-2000 tenure as Minnesota Senate president.

With assistance from Bill Kelley

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American and British Gay military attitudes
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HIV/AIDS funding for King County slashed in state budget crisis
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Uganda backing off anti-Gay law, Obama speaks out
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Gay Latino to lead California Assembly
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General Gayety: Famed mom a Lesbian - the rainbow and TV icons
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Light the Night event celebrates Gay Hannukah
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Joseph 'Joe' Eisenhauer, 1948-1999
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County Council fails to nominate Joe McDermott
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Pet Project for people with HIV/AIDS & pets
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Texas cheer - Lesbian elected mayor of Houston
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Connie Watts to leave ERW
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Puerto Rico murder suspect is psychotic, psychiatrist testifies
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DC continues toward marriage equality
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Gay activist Trochez murdered in Honduras
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Family and the holidays
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N.J. Senate same-sex marriage vote delayed
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BREAKING NEWS
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Gay rights activist Chai Feldblum nominated for EEOC
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MCC Seattle announces Christmas and Transgender days of worship
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A beautiful wedding warms a chilly Saturday
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Wales rugby great Gareth Thomas says he's gay
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Lambda Legal Blasts Feds for Again Denying Spousal Benefits to Federal Court Employee
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Out Gay Rugby Star Gareth Thomas: A Photo Retrospective
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Evangelical church opens doors fully to gays
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Quebec government launches battle against homophobia
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CNN Drafts a Gay Porn Star into Their Citizen Journalist (with video)
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US lawmakers condemn anti-gay Uganda legislation
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Lambda Legal Welcomes Dru Levasseur: New Transgender Rights Attorney
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Emmy-winning stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Eric McCormack encourage Americans to have 'Courageous Conversations'
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Lambda Rising To Close by Year's End
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