ÒYou weasel your way out of it while trying not to be offensive. If that had been my inclination, I couldÕve been a great trophy boyfriend. A kept man, a cabana boy. Alas, thatÕs not how I was made.Ó
– Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional on being hit on by guys, in Blender
ÒAs so many of you have given me your heart and soul over the past 10 years I thought it only fitting that I too return the respect and inform you of the most significant event in my life. On June 19th 2006 I married my boyfriend of two years, Richard, in a civil partnership ceremony in London. I can honestly say it was the happiest day of my life. I feel lucky to live in an era where my relationship can be considered legally legitimate and I commend the U.K. government for embracing this very basic civil liberty.Ó
– Darren Hayes, lead singer of the group Savage Garden, who came out by announcing his marriage on his Web site
Detroit City Council President Maryann Mahaffey, longtime civil rights activist and LGBT rights supporter, died at age 81 July 27.
Architect and Detroit preservationist Doug McIntosh, 44, died July 11 after suffering from a pulmonary embolism.
National Stonewall Democrats announced the appointment of Jo Wyrick as their new executive director.
Lauren Beach, a Michigan State University student, won the 2006 Point Scholarship, which is granted to students marginalized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Beach, 22, will graduate in May 2007 with degrees in both Social Relations and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.
John Waters follows strict routine
Evidence legal pads.
Waters starts his workday two and a half hours before McDonaldÕs stops serving breakfast: at 8 a.m. Over the last year, Waters, 60, has been compiling notes for a film, but he wonÕt reveal details.
ÒIf youÕre working on something and you talk about it before it happens itÕs like trying to get pregnant when you donÕt; not that I would know,Ó he said.
More online: Issue 1427, ÒOne pedal at a time,Ó by Chris Azzopardi
Ikea draws record crowd
After scoring one of MichiganÕs largest grand openings – 5,000 people rushed into the department store before 11 a.m. on opening day – Canton Ikea store manager Mark McCaslin didnÕt know what to expect.
ÒItÕs a nice, steady business,Ó said McCaslin. McCaslin, who worked previously for four years at Ikea in Long Island, N.Y., said moms with their strollers shop during the day and more furniture buyers come in the evening.
More online: Issue 1427, ÒIkea business still booming,Ó by Chris Azzopardi
Indigo Girls notice social change
When the Indigo Girls first hit the folk scene in the late Ô80s, people were hushed about homosexuality.
ÒThey were scared to talk about it, record companies were scared to have people write about it,Ó said Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls during a phone interview from California. ÒIt was kind of stumbling in the dark a little bit to find your way through it.Ó
More online: Issue 1428, ÒSoul sisters,Ó by Chris Azzopardi
11th Annual Hotter Than July sizzled with diverse entertainment, health awareness
About 9,000 people celebrated DetroitÕs 11th Annual Hotter Than July picnic, a pride celebration for African American GLBTs in Palmer Park. The HTJ theme was ÒEyes Wide Open,Ó and included a film shorts festival, poetry slams, as well as comedy. The City of Detroit Health Department conducted HIV/AIDS testing making the event more than just a party, but an event focused on health awareness. HTJ, July 28-30, concluded with a Sunday jazz brunch.
Beating, shooting mar HTJ festivities
At least one gay man and one transgender woman were victims of alleged hate crimes the weekend of the Hotter than July festivities. Julia Lynn Marsh, 19, was robbed and assaulted by three men within sight of her home at the Ruth Ellis CenterÕs transitional living facility. Detroit gay man, who asked that his name not be used, was shot in the stomach during a robbery outside of the Woodward.
Ferndale body builder wins two gold medals, Gay Games VII close at Wrigley Field
Ferndale bodybuilder Sandi Forrest, 45, won two gold medals in body building at the Gay Games in Chicago.
Attendees slapped hands and patted the backs of an estimated 12,000 Gay Games VII athletic participants as they walked through Wrigley Field and into the stands as the weeklong Games closed on July 22.
Near the end of the three-hour ceremony, music sensation and LGBT activist Cyndi Lauper drew the biggest applause. Dressed as the Statue of Liberty in a long, rainbow-colored gown, Lauper sang two songs, including her hit ÒTrue Colors.Ó
ÒStand tall and together pass the flame on,Ó Lauper said.
Lesbian cop sues RO Dept.
Karyn Risch filed suit against the Royal Oak Police Department, alleging that she was passed over for promotion because an Òold boysÕ networkÓ headed by current Chief of Police Theodore Quisenberry. Risch claimed that she was passed over for a promotion six times despite having seniority and better test scores than male candidates who received promotions.
AFA attacks MSU benefits
On July 5, the American Family Association of Michigan, through the Thomas More Law Center, filed a lawsuit against Michigan State University, asking the Ingham County Circuit to declare that MSUÕs provision of domestic partner benefits violates MichiganÕs constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, and requesting the court prohibit MSU from offering such benefits in the future.
Michigan town bills PhelpsÕ church over protest no-show
Mundy Township in Genesee County billed members of Fred PhelpÕs Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. $5,000 for seeking police protection for a protest at the funeral of a Marine killed in Iraq, then failing to show up.
ÒThey didnÕt even give me a courtesy call to say they werenÕt coming,Ó township police Chief David Guigear told The Flint Journal.
PFLAG Downriver takes place in July 4 parade
This year marked the seventh time that PFLAG Downriver marched in the annual Wyandotte Independence Day parade. The PFLAG group was nestled between two churches, and just eight units ahead of former Amway president and Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos who marched with the massive Downriver Republicans contingent, which featured a mammoth elephant float named Ike.
HOPE Fund grants reach $1 million mark
On July 10 the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan announced grants totaling $44,735 from The Hope Fund to assist agencies and organizations that support the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and communities. The July grants brought the total number of grants awarded from the inception of the HOPE fund in 1994 to over $1 million.
Anti-marriage amendment fails Congressional vote
The U.S. House of Representatives rebuffed the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have banned equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in the U.S. Constitution.
The 236-187 vote for the proposal to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman was 47 short of the two-thirds majority needed to advance a constitutional amendment. It followed six weeks after the Senate also decisively defeated the amendment.
Nebraska court reinstates anti-marriage amendment
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals July 14 overturned a judgeÕs 2005 ruling that the ban was too broad and deprived gays and lesbians of participation in the political process.
Ten-year vet discharged for attending pro-marriage rally
The United States Navy initiated discharge proceedings against a 10-year veteran who attended a June 3 rally in support of equal marriage on New YorkÕs Brooklyn Bridge. Rhonda Davis said she endorsed equal marriage and that she was looking forward to someday marrying her partner.
South Bend defeats anti-discrimination measure
The City Council in south Bend, IN voted 5-4to turn down a measure that would have protected gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people under the cityÕs anti-discrimination code.
Soulforce marches; confronts Focus
On July 17, Soulforce accused the founder of Focus on the Family of manipulating research data to say gays and lesbians are not good parents. The Virginia-based Soulforce marched 65 miles to Focus on the Family founder James DobsonÕs Colorado Springs headquarters to confront him.
Federal judge rules school canÕt deny gay club equal access
A federal judge in Gainesville, GA ruled school canÕt deny gay club equal access or a fair opportunity to conduct meetings on school premises during noninstructional time.
Single-pill treatment for HIV becomes a reality
The quest for a single-pill once-a-day treatment for HIV became a reality when the FDA approved Atripla on July 12.