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posted Friday, January 7, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 01

National News
by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Dan Choi hospitalized
Leading Don't Ask, Don't Tell activist Dan Choi said Dec. 14 that he was committed to a veterans hospital psychiatric ward on Dec. 10, the day after the U.S. Senate again refused to authorize repeal of the DADT ban on open Gays in the military.

On Dec. 18, the Senate reversed course and voted 65-31 to authorize the repeal. (See separate story.)

In an on-the-record e-mail sent from his iPhone, Choi said he had experienced "a breakdown and anxiety attack."

"(T)he failures of government and national lobbying carry consequences far beyond the careers and reputations of corporate leaders, elected officials, high powered lobbyists or political elites," Choi wrote. "They ruin lives. My breakdown was a result of a cumulative array of stressors but there is no doubt that the composite betrayals felt on Thursday, by elected leaders and Gay organizations as well as many who have exploited my name for their marketing purposes, have added to the result."

Choi was released from the hospital several days later and sounded like himself in a telephone interview with CNN on Dec. 18.

Lesbian becomes Colorado Supreme Court justice
Monica Marquez became the first openly Gay or Lesbian member of the Colorado Supreme Court when she was sworn in Dec. 10. Her partner, Sheila Barthel, helped her put on her black robe at the ceremony.

Marquez, 41, previously served as deputy attorney general.

Spacey won't discuss sexual orientation
Actor Kevin Spacey told The Daily Beast on Dec. 15 that he's not interested in discussing his sexual orientation.

"I have not given up my right to privacy," Spacey said. "People have different reasons for the way they live their lives. You cannot put everyone's reasons in the same box. It's just a line I've never crossed and never will."

"You have to understand that people who choose not to discuss their personal lives are not living a lie," he continued. "That is a presumption that people jump to. ... I just don't buy into that the personal can be political. I just think that's horseshit."

Activists hope to force teaching of Gay history
A bill introduced in the California Legislature by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would require that LGBT people be fairly and accurately included in school teaching material.

The measure is sponsored by Equality California and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.

The bill also prohibits the State Board of Education from using instructional material that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

EQCA said that if enacted, the law "would add LGBT to the existing list of underrepresented cultural and ethnic groups (that) are covered by current law related to inclusion in textbooks and other instructional materials in schools."

"LGBT people should not be pushed into the closet when it comes to what students learn about history," said EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors. "Educating youth about the contributions of LGBT Californians and our state's rich diversity will help foster true acceptance of LGBT students and will ultimately create a safe school environment for all students."

GSA Network Executive Director Carolyn Laub added, "LGBT youth are denied a fair education when they are exposed to harmful stereotypes in classroom materials and are excluded from learning about their history."

Leno said that "most textbooks don't include any historical information about the LGBT movement."

"Our collective silence on this issue perpetuates negative stereotypes of LGBT people and leads to increased bullying of young people," he said. "We can't simultaneously tell youth that it's OK to be yourself and live an honest, open life when we aren't even teaching students about historical LGBT figures or the LGBT equal rights movement."

With assistance from Bill Kelley.



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