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NATIONAL ROUNDUP
Special to the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Andrews Davis and Amy Wooten
2008-11-19


Thomas Beatie, the transgender man who made national headlines last year when he became pregnant, announced during an interview with Barbara Walters that he and his wife are expecting their second child.

Beatie gave birth to a daughter, Susan, this summer. He told Walters that after giving birth, he continued to stay off hormones so that they could have a second child. He revealed that he is in his first trimester. The couple is expecting their baby in June 2009.

On Nov. 15, activists across the nation marched in protest of the passage of California's Proposition 8, which reversed the state supreme court's decision that legalized same-sex marriage. Several cities across the United States, including Chicago, have organized rallies and marches. ( See the cover article in this issue. ) For example, an estimated 16,000 people attended the New York rally Nov. 12.

Scott Eckern stepped down from his position as artistic director of the California Musical Theater after gay-rights activists protested his $1,000 donation in favor of Proposition 8, according to the Associated Press. He elected to leave "after prayerful consideration to protect the organization and to help the healing in the local theatergoing and creative community."

Many same-sex marriage advocates have been targeting Mormons during recent rallies and marches protesting the passage of California's Proposition 8. The Church of Latter Day Saints played a pivotal role in its passage. According to the Associated Press, Mormons started plotting a game plan to fight against the legalization of gay marriage a decade ago. A Salt Lake City TV station obtained internal church documents that show that The Church of Latter Day Saints started planning to fight same-sex marriage 10 years ago.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI ) has concluded that a white powder mailed to Mormon headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, is harmless, The Deseret News reported. On Nov. 13, the Mormon temples in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, Calif., and the Knights of Columbus in Columbus, Ohio, received packets containing powder-like material. The FBI suspected a link between the letters, but stressed that nothing connects the items to the proposition.

Read more story below....

Speaking of Utah, The Salt Lake City Weekly has stopped running "Savage Love," the popular column by out writer Dan Savage, according to The Village Voice. The weekly retaliated against Savage, a vocal foe of Prop 8, after he recently stated, "Fuck you, Utah— [ my boyfriend and I are ] going to big, blue Colorado." In its response, the publication said, among other things, " [ A ] ll Utahns aren't to blame, nor are all Mormons."

Investigators are looking into whether a North Carolina man's home was set on fire because he is gay. According to the Observer News Enterprise, arsonists set a Newton man's home on fire while he was at work. According to reports, firefighters and investigators found anti-gay slurs spray painted on the back of the home. An investigation into the cause of the fire is still underway. Unfortunately, North Carolina does not have a hate-crime law on its books that includes LGBT people, so if a suspect is caught for the blaze, they will only be charged with arson.

National Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Sammon is leaving his post, The Washington Blade reported. According to a statement Sammon released, he will leave at the end of January 2009—after slightly more than two years—"to tackle new challenges. I'll be doing documentary filmmaking, which is what I did before joining Log Cabin's staff."

A small Oregon city elected the nation's first transgender mayor. Voters in Silverton, a small city almost 50 miles outside of Portland, elected Stu Rasmussen. Rasmussen unseated incumbent Ken Hector. The new mayor-elect served as mayor of Silverton for two terms in the past, but that was before Rasmussen started transitioning. Rasmussen, who has breast implants and dresses as a woman, identifies as a "heterosexual male who appears to be female."

In Oregon, a young woman said that a man attacked her after she told him she is lesbian, according to The Seattle Times. The man allegedly beat the woman with his fists and a rock, and then ran away.

A Wisconsin gay arts group is making a federal case over of the temporary shutdown of the musical revue Naked Boys Singing. Three years ago, Milwaukee officials forced the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center to halt performances of "Naked Boys Singing" while it reviewed the group's theater permit application. With the help of the ACLU, the arts group is now suing the city of Milwaukee in federal court for violating its right to free speech.

In a recent interview with Harper's Bazaar magazine, actress Lindsay Lohan, who recently publicly acknowledged her romantic relationship with a woman, opened up a little more about her sexuality. Lohan said that she is "maybe" bisexual, but added that she doesn't want to be defined. "I don't want to classify myself," she said. "I appreciate people, and it doesn't matter who they are, and I feel blessed to be able to feel comfortable enough with myself that I can say that," she continued.

British actor Rob Pattison, who is starring in the upcoming vampire movie based on a very popular novel, Twilight, is going to go gay for a new film about the surrealist artist Salvador Dali, titled Little Ashes. In the bio flick, Pattison will play a love scene with Javier Beltran, who will play the role of writer Federico Garcia Lorca. The film will be released in the U.S. March 27.

Comic book guru Stan Lee, best known for his creation of Spiderman, is teaming up with Showtime to produce a gay superhero TV series. The new drama is based off of Perry Moore's novel, Hero. Hero is a young adult book about a closeted gay high school kid, Thom, and his secret superpower of healing people.

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