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The 7 gayest Aaron Schock Instagram posts of 2013

Aaron Schock's not gay, but his Instagram account is.

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02
Jan
2014

Retired German soccer player Thomas Hitzlsperger comes out

Thomas Kitzlsperger, soccer, sports, gay news, Washington Blade

Thomas Kitzlsperger (Photo by Egghead06; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Recently retired soccer player Thomas Hitzlsperger has become the first German footballer to come out as gay.

“I am expressing my homosexuality because I want to promote the discussion of homosexuality among professional athletes,” he told the German newspaper Die Zeit that published excerpts of the interview on its website on Wednesday.

The Associated Press reported the 31-year-old midfielder played 52 games for Germany between 2004-2011 that included an appearance in the 2006 World Cup. Hitzlsperger also played for the English Premier League teams West Ham and Everton, Stuttgart and Wolfsburg in the German Bundesliga and the Italian soccer team Lazio.

Injuries forced the midfielder to retire last September.

“Homosexuality is not an issue in England, Germany or Italy, at least in the locker room,” Hitzlsperger told Die Zeit.

Hitzlsperger said he takes issue with stereotypes associated with gays.

The retired midfielder told Die Zeit while he has never been “ashamed” of who he is, he has struggled to cope with some of his teammates’ homophobic remarks.

“Think about it: There are 20 young men sitting around a table and drinking,” Hitzlsperger told Die Zeit. “You let the majority of it go, as long as the jokes are reasonably funny and the garbage about homosexuals is not massively offensive.”

Several of Hitzlsperger’s former teammates applauded him for coming out.

“Brave and right decision,” tweeted German forward Lukas Podolski. “His outing is an important sign in our time.”

Former England captain Gary Lineker on Twitter congratulated Hitzlsperger for “bravely being the first player to have played in the [English Premier League] to ‘come out.’” Former NBA center John Amaechi also applauded the retired German midfielder.

“It’s certainly too bad that he didn’t come out last year while he was still with Everton, but his coming out now is still another step,” wrote Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of Outsports.com, an LGBT sports website, after Die Zeit published excerpts of its interview with Hitzlsperger. “European soccer has long been the most homophobic corner of the Western sports world. It makes the NFL look like a local GLAAD chapter.”

Hitzlsperger came out nearly a year after Robbie Rogers of the Los Angeles Galaxy publicly declared his homosexuality.

Swedish footballer Anton Hysen came out as gay in 2011.

09
Jan
2014

IEEE adds LGBT support to ethics code

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, IEEE, gay news, Washington Blade

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers logo.

NEW YORK—The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Board of Directors on Jan. 8 announced it had approved the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in its ethics code.

Lynn Conway, professor emerita of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and Leandra Vicci of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill spearheaded the effort to spur the IEEE Board of Directors to include trans-specific protections in its Code of Ethics. The proposal was subsequently approved by more than two-thirds of the board members.

“It means that hundreds of thousands of engineers worldwide — including in Russia, Uganda and over 60 other nations where being gay or trans is considered a crime — are now honor bound to treat their colleagues with respect,” wrote Gender Rights Maryland Executive Director Dana Beyer in the Huffington Post.

The IEEE is the world’s largest professional body of engineers. It has more than 425,000 members from 160 countries.

15
Jan
2014

Virginia lawmakers kill two pro-LGBT bills

A. Donald McEachin, Henrico County, Virginia, Senate, Democratic Party, gay news, Washington Blade

Virginia Sen. A. Donald McEachin (D-HenricoCounty) introduced a bill that would have banned anti-LGBT discrimination against state employees. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Virginia lawmakers on Monday killed two bills that sought to extend rights to LGBT Virginians.

Members of the Virginia House of Delegates Civil Law Subcommittee in a 4-5 vote struck down a proposal that would have repealed the state’s statutory same-sex marriage ban.

State Dels. Gregory Habeeb (R-Salem), David Toscano (D-Charlottesville), Mark Keam (D-Fairfax County) and G. M. (Manoli) Loupassi (R-Richmond) voted for House Bill 939 that state Del Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax County) introduced earlier this month. State Dels. Randall Minchew (R-Loudoun County), Terry Kilgore (R-Scott County), A. Benton Chafin (R-Russell County), Jeffrey Campbell (R-Smyth County) and James Leftwich (R-Chesapeake) opposed the measure.

State Del. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) was not present for the vote due to a death in her family.

“We’re making progress in changing people’s opinion,” Surovell told the Washington Blade after the vote, noting two Republicans supported HB 939. “Five years ago I’m not sure Republicans would have felt comfortable voting for the bill.”

Members of the Virginia Senate General Laws and Technology Committee on Monday in a 7-7 vote struck down a bill state Sens. A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico County) and Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) introduced that would have banned discrimination against LGBT state employees.

Ebbin along with state Sens. George Barker (D-Alexandria), Charles Colgan (D-Manassas), Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), J. Chapman Petersen (D-Fairfax County), Creigh Deeds (D-Bath County) and Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Winchester) voted for Senate Bill 248. Committee Chair Frank Ruff (R-Mecklenburg County) voted against the measure alongside Walter Stosch (R-Henrico County,) Stephen Martin (R-Chesterfield County), Richard Stuart (R-Westmoreland County), Richard Black (R-Loudoun County), Bryce Reeves (R-Fredericksburg) and Thomas Garrett (R-Goochland County).

“These senators refuse to acknowledge what the Virginia public and business community have long understood: protecting LGBT employees is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense and will contribute to the overall success of the commonwealth,” said Equality Virginia Executive Director James Parrish in a statement after the SB 248 vote.

The House Constitutional Amendments Subcommittee last January killed Surovell’s proposed resolution that sought to repeal the state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. State Del Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg), chair of the House Privileges and Elections Committee, on Jan. 9 announced lawmakers will not consider any proposals seeking to repeal the state’s gay nuptials prohibition during the 2014 legislative session.

State Del. Rob Krupicka (D-Alexandria) earlier this month introduced a proposed resolution that sought to amend the state constitution to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples in Virginia. The Alexandria Democrat’s proposal would have also allowed the commonwealth to recognize gay nuptials legally performed in Maryland, D.C. and other jurisdictions.

A hearing in a federal lawsuit that challenges Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban is scheduled to take place in Norfolk on Jan. 30. The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Virginia in August filed a class action federal lawsuit on behalf of two lesbian couples from the Shenandoah Valley who are seeking marriage rights in the commonwealth.

It remains unclear whether Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Attorney General Mark Herring — both of whom publicly support nuptials for gays and lesbians — will defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban in court.

The first executive order that McAuliffe signed after taking office on Jan. 11 bans discrimination against state employees based on their sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

The Virginia Senate last January by a 24-16 vote margin approved McEachin’s bill that sought to ban anti-LGBT discrimination against state employees. A House subcommittee subsequently killed the proposal.

“Last year, a very similar bill passed the full Senate last year with bipartisan support,” said McEachin on Monday. “This year, Republicans wouldn’t even let it out of committee. I am bitterly disappointed to see us regressing. State employees — like all workers — deserve to know that they’re being judged on the merits, and not irrelevant details from their personal lives.”

State Dels. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church) and Ron Villanueva (R-Virginia Beach) have introduced measures that would ban anti-LGBT employment discrimination in the commonwealth. Simon has also put forth a bill that seeks to add sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to the Virginia Fair Housing Law.

20
Jan
2014

Haunting: That classic 1971 Coke commercial montaged with Russian gays being arrested

Coke is an official sponsor of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and perhaps now regretting it.

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24
Jan
2014

Russian newspaper editor fined for quoting gay person in article

Editor fined three-month's wages for daring to quote a gay person not criticizing his own orientation.

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30
Jan
2014

Video: Gays arrested in Moscow’s Red Square, singing national anthem

The 10 gay protesters were waving the rainbow flag and singing the Russian national anthem.

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07
Feb
2014

Dallas sportscaster: Wifebeaters are welcome in NFL, but not gays?

"You beat a woman, and drag her down a flight of stairs... you're the 4th guy taken in the NFL draft."

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13
Feb
2014

Study looks at HIV risk among black gay men

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, World AIDS Day, gay news, Washington Blade, black gay

(Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The D.C.-based LGBT advocacy group Center for Black Equity and the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health are joining forces on a new research project to determine the reasons for the higher risk of HIV infection among black men who have sex with men.

The project is being funded by a $3.2 million grant from the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Nursing Research.

According to a joint statement released Feb. 10 by the Center for Black Equity and the University of Pittsburgh, the project plans to enroll nearly 6,000 African-American men who have sex with men (MSM) who attend Black Gay Pride events throughout the country, including in D.C., to participate in the project.

“It has become clear in recent years that the major reason that African-American MSM have such high rates of HIV infection is not that these men have high rates of risk-taking behavior for infection,” said Ron Stall, director of Center for LGBT Health Research at University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health. “Rather, the reason for elevated infection has far more to do with lack of access to HIV testing and medical care,” he said in the statement.

The men to be recruited at Black Gay Pride events in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. will be asked questions as part of an anonymous survey “that will help researchers understand the barriers and facilitators to HIV testing and care,” the statement says.

20
Feb
2014

Buddy Cole gets to the bottom of gay life in Sochi, Russia (video)

"Just to get the story I bit the bullet, and some other stuff, and managed to penetrate Sochi's gay underground."

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26
Feb
2014