National News Briefs

By |2006-03-30T09:00:00-05:00March 30th, 2006|News|

Compiled by Dawn Wolfe Gutterman

Marriage Rights

Poll shows equal marriage opposition declining
WASHINGTON – The public backlash over equal marriage has receded since the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Court decision recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry, says a poll released March 22.
A February 2004 poll by the Pew Research Center found 63 percent opposed to recognizing the marriage rights of same-sex couples. This month’s poll found opposition had dropped to 51 percent. The poll also found an increase in support for allowing adoptions by same-sex couples, from 38 percent in 1999 to 46 percent in this year’s report, and a large drop in opposition – from 57 to 48 percent.
For the full report visit


GLMA collecting stories of anti-gay medical discrimination
SAN FRANCISCO – The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association is working with a reporter from a national daily newspaper on a story about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients who have been turned away by healthcare providers who say that, because of their religious beliefs, they are unable to provide care or to perform particular procedures for these patients.
If you are or know of a patient or healthcare provider with any information about such a case, contact GLMA Executive Director Joel Ginsberg at [email protected] or 415-255-4547, ext 314. The reporter is looking only for cases of patients who are willing to speak on the record about their experience.

Civil Rights

Amnesty International: LGBTs abused by police
NEW YORK – Thousands of LGBT people across the United States are victims of a system that fuels discrimination and facilitates torture, ill-treatment and impunity, said Amnesty International as it launched a report on police abuses against people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The report is based on interviews conducted by AI between 2003 and 2005 with members of the LGBT community, victims of gender-based violence, survivors of police abuse, activists, lawyers and law enforcement officials across the country.
According to AI, “There are still some discriminatory laws; but the bigger problem is the discriminatory way in which many laws are applied, which often results in the arrest and detention of individuals just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Look for a complete report in the next issue of Between The Lines

Family Rights

National adoption organization says let gays adopt
NEW YORK – A major adoption institute says in a new report that it strongly supports the rights of gays and lesbians to adopt, and urges that remaining obstacles be removed.
“Laws and policies that preclude adoption by gay or lesbian parents disadvantage the tens of thousands of children mired in the foster care system who need permanent, loving homes,” the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute says in the report.
Adoption agencies should energetically recruit gays and lesbians, including them in outreach programs and parenting panels, the institute said.
The report was funded in part by the Human Rights Campaign.
For the complete report visit

SF archbishop: Gay adoptions conflict with church views
SAN FRANCISCO – Without barring adoptions by gay families outright, San Francisco’s new archbishop has made it clear he believes that placing children in same-sex households conflicts with Roman Catholic teachings on homosexuality.
Archbishop George Niederauer therefore has asked the social services arm of the Archdiocese of San Francisco to bring its adoption program “fully in sync” with the church’s views while continuing to find homes for hard-to-place youngsters.
The executive director of Catholic Charities of San Francisco said that he interpreted the new archbishop’s remarks as a guideline, not a ban.

Hate Crime Watch

Man sentenced to life for hate crime murder
SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced March 24 in California to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing a retired immigration agent who was found with a slur against gays written on his back.
Gregory Michael Pisarcik was convicted of first-degree murder last November for the 2002 slaying of 53-year-old Narciso Leggs Jr.
Leggs, who was gay, was found in his apartment in an unincorporated area of Santa Ana after his landlord called police because he hadn’t seen Leggs in several days. His ears had been cut off with scissors in what might have been an act of rage after the attacker was unable to find money.


Billie Jean King designing fitness center for gays
PALM SPRINGS – Former tennis great Billie Jean King plans to design a tennis and fitness center for the area’s first LGBT retirement community.
Plans for the community are expected to be submitted to the city in May, with groundbreaking to take place early next year.
King, who is openly lesbian, is the only woman to win U.S. singles titles on all four surfaces – grass, clay, carpet and hard – and was the first female athlete to earn at least $100,000 in prize money in a single season.
For more information visit

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.