Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Summer That Was

The summer of 2007 is unofficially over. Fire Island's seasonal residents once again have their pristine sands to themselves. The city's annual Fashion Week kicks off this week while I finally rode the Cyclone at Coney Island this past weekend before developers erect condos at the possible expense of Astroland. Summer, especially August, remains a relatively slow news cycle. Journalists and their editors and producers often scrape the bottom of the barrel to fill their newscasts, broadcasts or issues. This summer, however, generated a number of LGBT headlines that kept the movement for LGBT rights on its. Below are five stories which kept this blogger and others busy this year.

1) Former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig [R-Idaho] resigned over Labor Day weekend after a Washington political newspaper reported the socially conservative lawmaker, who repeatedly voted for the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment and other anti-LGBT legislation, plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge after Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport police arrested him in a bathroom for alleged leud conduct in June. Craig repeatedly maintained he is 'not gay' but the broader movement for LGBT rights, which by and large ran far away from this story, certainly thinks otherwise.

2) The majority of Democratic presidential candidates participated in a largely historic forum sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign and Logo last month in Los Angeles. Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson stunned the audience with his initial assertion that sexual orientation remains a choice while the majority of his counterparts who participated in the forum stuck to their talking points and sound bites about equality and fairness for all Americans. Many activists questioned the lack of journalists from LGBT media outlets in the confab while others blasted the forum's overall format and even content.

3) New York City activists expressed outrage in various manifestations after the city denied Pride Fest's permit applications to relocate its annual street fair to Chelsea. The Radical Homosexual Agenda and other LGBT organizations staged a protest at the New York City Council's annual LGBT Pride commemoration in June. New York's annual Pride march attracted more than half a million people despite the controversy surrounding Pride Fest's cancellation.

4) An Iowa court ruled late last month the prohibition of marriage for gay and lesbian couples violated the Hawkeye State's Constitution. Tim McQuillan and Sean Fritz remain the only same-sex couple to tie the knot before Polk County District Judge Robert Hanson suspended his own decision on August 31. Iowa continues to draw both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates ahead of its first-in-the-nation caucuses early next year [or later this year]. The impact of this ruling should remain minuscule outside of social conservative circles despite the fact it remains the latest salvo in the broader initiative to secure marriage for same-sex couples.

5) The ejection of a lesbian from a popular New York restaurant following the city's LGBT Pride parade in June sparked widespread outrage among local activists. Khadijah Farmer, 27, said a bouncer at the Caliente Cab Company in the West Village ejected her from the women's restroom after he said she was actually a man. The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund joined Farmer, her parents and others in a press conference outside the eatery on July 2. The Queer Justice League and other activists boycotted Caliente Cab Company following the alleged incident.

What do you think are the top LGBT news stories from the summer of 2007?

No comments: