Briefly Noted

Jim Burroway

August 24th, 2006

The GOP finds a tax cut they don’t like • Traditional Values Candidate lobbyist fired from California GOP • Unmarried straights in Washington state want domestic partner benefits • A Utah state senator considers Brown v. Board of Ed. a mistake • Gay bashing in St. Maartin is “not good promotion”.

  • A debate over a bill that would allow registered domestic partners in California to file joint state tax returns broke down in a volley of personal attacks. The bill finally passed the state House 44-28, mostly along party lines. Gay Republican Boifromtroy laments that Republicans finally found a tax cut they didn’t like.
  • Speaking of California Republicans, the California GOP fired Ben Lopez, who had been the chief lobbyist for the Traditional Values Coalition before being hired by the state GOP to do evangelical outreach. He was let go following calls from progressives to cut all ties to the virulently anti-gay organization. Some in the Schwarzenegger camp put it this way: “Why would they want to give the Democratic Party and Phil Angelides a gift on a silver platter?” Lopez, by the way, denies he was fired. He claims he was told his job was “complete.”
  • An unmarried straight couple in Washington state filed a lawsuit claiming that the state’s new gay civil rights law discriminates against unmarried heterosexuals. They claim that straight people should be entitled to the same domestic partner benefits as straight people (who, it should be pointed out, are actually allowed to get married if they want those benefits so badly).
  • Utah state senator Chris Buttars, who had co-sponsored that state’s gay marriage ban, claimed that court intervention to end school segregation was wrong. “I think Brown v. Board of Education is wrong to begin with,” he said on a radio talk show interview. He later clarified “I don’t think there’s a racial [sic] bone in my body. … I don’t see black and white. I see people. I always have.” Uh huh. And some of his best friends are gay.
  • The gay-bashing trial in St Maartin will be postponed, giving the government time to fly Ryan Smith, one of the victims, to the island to testify. He and Richard Jefferson, both CBS employees, were severely beaten after leaving a bar April 6. Because Smith cannot afford to fly to St. Maartin to testify, the prosecutor’s office will help foot the bill. “The government of St. Maarten has also stated its willingness to assist. After all, this case was not good promotion for the island.”

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