In the News

Bills on ‘Religious Freedom’ Upset Capitols in Arkansas and Indiana
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/31/15
The Arkansas legislature on Tuesday passed its version of a bill described by proponents as a religious freedom law, even as Indiana’s political leaders struggled to gain control over a growing backlash that has led to calls to boycott the state because of criticism that its law could be a vehicle for discrimination against gay couples.

The Arkansas bill now goes to the state’s Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, who expressed reservations about an earlier version but more recently said he

Off the Dribble and Into a Firestorm in Indiana
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/29/15
In an interview with The Indianapolis Star on Sunday, Mike Pence, the Republican governor of Indiana, tried to extricate himself from a cage of intolerance and divisiveness into which he had put himself and his state. After coming under ferocious criticism from around the country, he said that he would now support legislation to “clarify” that the state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which he signed into law last week, would not discriminate against gays and lesbians.

Supporters of

Tech Executives Pressure Indiana After Passage of Controversial Law
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/27/15
The tech industry is applying its economic muscle well outside of Silicon Valley.

On Thursday, Marc Benioff, the chief executive of, announced he would cancel all company events in Indiana, following passage of law that many in the Valley and elsewhere see as discriminatory against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people.

“Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination,” Mr. Benioff wrote in a T

Controversial Indiana Law Puts Pressure on N.C.A.A. and Other Leagues
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/26/15
A new law in Indiana allowing businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples in the name of religious freedom has put sports officials under pressure to evaluate whether to hold major events in Indianapolis.

The law’s passing comes as the N.C.A.A., the Indianapolis-based governing body of college sports, prepares to hold one of the most visible events on the college sports calendar, the Final Four, next week in the Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium.

Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, signed the bill

An Update: A Voice for Gay Marriage, Now Wed
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/26/15
In 2012, I wrote a column about Bob Page, a lonely voice against a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in North Carolina. Mr. Page’s company, Replacements Ltd., a used china and tableware retailer, was the only one in the state to take a public stand against the ban.

Despite his efforts, the amendment easily passed. Mr. Page, who is gay, fielded angry letters from customers saying they’d never return. A Baptist minister in a nearby town called for gays and lesbians to be quarantined

California Seeks to Head Off Initiative to Execute Gays
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/25/15
The California attorney general, Kamala D. Harris, moved Wednesday to block a proposed voter initiative that would mandate the execution of sexually active gay men and women, calling it “patently unconstitutional” and a threat to public safety.

Ms. Harris said she would ask the state Superior Court in Sacramento to relieve her of having to write the title and summary for the Sodomite Suppression Act.

That action would clear the way for the author, Matthew G. McLaughlin, a lawyer in Hunting

Same-Sex Benefits Survive a Vote
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/24/15
An attempt by Russia to annul an expansion of benefits to United Nations employees who are spouses in same-sex marriages failed Tuesday in an 80-to-43 vote of the General Assembly committee responsible for the budget. The United States joined the effort to defeat a Russian proposal that would have invalidated the benefits expansion, which Secretary General Ban Ki-moon approved last July. Under the expansion, gay and lesbian employees are entitled to the same marriage benefits as heterosexual emp

Gays Targeted in a California Initiative
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/24/15
Even in a state known for its far-reaching and sometimes outlandish voter initiatives, the one proposed by a Huntington Beach lawyer seems stunning: the “Sodomite Suppression Act,” mandating, among other things, that any person who has sexual relations with someone of the same gender be “put to death by bullets to the head.”

It appears highly unlikely that the lawyer, Matthew G. McLaughlin, can collect the 365,880 signatures of registered voters — 5 percent of the total who voted for governo

Indiana: Exemption for Service to Gays Advances
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/23/15
The House passed a bill Monday to protect business owners who do not want to provide services for same-sex couples. A version was previously passed by the Republican-controlled Senate, and Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, has indicated support for it. Supporters say it will prevent people such as bakers and florists from being forced to act contrary to their religious beliers. Opponents called it a “religious discrimination bill” that would allow discrimination against gay people and others on rel

Dolce & Gabbana Comments Trigger Public Outrage ... and Uncomfortable Silence
source: The New York Times
posted: 3/18/15
Over the last 30 years, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have dressed Madonna, designed costumes for Baz Luhrmann movies and fended off one of the most convoluted tax evasion cases in recent business history.

Well before same-sex marriage became widely recognized around the world (though not in Italy), the two were openly living together as lovers, unapologetic as they showed up in their tight white T-shirts at gay clubs like the Sound Factory. A recent ad campaign for their fashion line, D