Saturday, January 22, 2005

Daily News Round Up (1/22/05)

Legislation Would Target Gay Parents
by The Associated Press

(Salem, Oregon) A bill that would require Oregon adoption agencies to give opposite-sex, married couples preference over same-sex couples or single people is being attacked as "outrageous" by a gay rights organization.

Basic Rights Oregon pledges to fight the measure that was introduced by Rep. John Lim (R-Gresham).

Lim said Friday that he has no intention of discriminating against gay or single parents with the measure, House Bill 2401.

SpongeBob Anti-Gay Attack Brings Shock And Ridicule

by Newscenter Staff

The producer of a pro-tolerance music video for kids, featuring scores of their TV heroes ranging from the Muppets to SpongeBob SquarePants, says he is astounded that the project has been assailed by some conservatives as a cunning attempt to advocate homosexuality.

"The only response is, 'Wow,'" said Nile Rodgers, a veteran musician and producer whose We Are Family Foundation plans to give away 60,000 copies of the video after it is aired next month on several television networks.

The video itself involves a rendition of the 1979 hit song "We Are Family," that Rodgers co-wrote, and contains no reference to gay rights or sexual orientation.

Mass. Gay Couples Face Tax Filing Nightmare

by The Associated Press

(Boston, Massachusetts) As if tax season isn't stressful enough, gay newlyweds in Massachusetts are pondering what should be a simple question: Do they check ``married'' or ``single'' on tax forms for the federal government that doesn't recognize their union?

A landmark court ruling made Massachusetts the first state to sanction same-sex weddings nearly a year ago, but gays and lesbians will have to untie the knot, on paper, by declaring themselves ``single'' to the IRS.

Or not, in some cases.

Gay Student Disciplined Over Shirt

by The Associated Press

(Longview, Washington) An openly gay high school student was sent home to change after he wore a shirt that said "Too Gay To Function" during homecoming week.

Billy Zepeda, a senior at R.A. Long High School, decorated the lime green shirt with marker-drawn rainbows and wrote the phrase from the teen movie "Mean Girls" on the front. He wore it Thursday during the school's make-your-own-shirt day.

A teacher told him the shirt was inappropriate and offensive to homosexuals, said Zepeda, 17.

Gene scan suggests homosexuality origin

David Ryan Alexander, PlanetOut Network

A new genetic study released Jan. 12 claims to "help explain why some men are gay and other men are heterosexual." The study, published in the biomedical journal Human Genetics, analyzed 456 individuals from 146 unrelated families with two or more gay brothers and claims to be the first full genome scan of sexual orientation in men.

"We found three chromosomal regions that are likely to have genes within them that influence sexual orientation," said Brian Mustanski of the University of Illinois, one of the six scientists from a number of institutions who conducted the study.

"I think we essentially found these regions that are likely to influence sexual orientation," Mustanski said. "We found some genes that influence hormones and brain development. The next step is to look at specific genes in a new family sample to see if those are the exact genes that affect sexual orientation."


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