Though the District of Columbia just welcomed its first same-sex married couple under its new marriage equality law, neighboring Virginia is dealing with the possibility of further restrictions to GLBT residents. The newly-minted state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is advising (read: instructing) Virginia's public colleges and universities that, because the state assembly has refused to add sexuality to its classes of discrimination, that for public colleges and universities to use discrimination policies which include gays and lesbians would be beyond their authority. Gov. McDonnell rescinded previous executive orders from Govs. Kaine and Warner in order to remove sexuality from the list of discrimination protections, but today responded to the controversy by directing state agencies not to discriminate against gays. And it all has something to do with Fortune 500 Company Northrop Grumman.
When Washington D.C. began licensing same-sex marriages last week, this story came out on the paper edition of the Washington Post with this photo on the front page. (WARNING: the photo depicts two men kissing) The paper received complaints from upset readers, some of whom canceled their Post subscription. Andrew Alexander, the Post's ombudsman, responds: "There was a time, after court-ordered integration, when readers complained about front-page photos of blacks mixing with whites. Today, photo images of same-sex couples capture the same reality of societal change."
They've been rumoured to be an item for some time, but in X-Factor #45 Rictor and Shatterstar, formerly of X-Force (the most 90s comic of all time), finally kissed - giving the comics world two more confirmed gay superheroes and making the X-Men Universe Relationship Map out of date (Shatterstar creator Rob Liefeld has however vowed to undo it). Meanwhile over at DC flagship title Detective Comics is now fronted by the new lesbian Batwoman - ironically a character who was introduced to make Batman seem more hetro.
"And on the rare occasion when nonwhite heroes were included, names like Black Panther and Black Lightning telegraphed the difference" (NYT). Nonwhite and non-traditional superheroes aren't new, but a "lesbian socialite" Batwoman is. How about "The Great Ten," a "Chinese government controlled superteam" also to be featured in the ongoing "52" Series from DC comics (an alternate superverse bereft of A-league stars like Batman and Superman)? When I was a kid, it was pretty shocking to know of at least one gay superhero (and a Canadian to boot), but I wasn't aware that there were actually so many. Of course, the irrepressible Stan Lee claims he created the first gay superhero in the persona of Pvt. Percival Pinkerton. (Previous mefi discussion of Pavitr Prabhakar, the "Indian Spiderman" here.)
A Different Mission to Serve. The Washington Post (reg. required) is running a short series of mini-video documentaries of Sgt. Brett Parson, the head of the DC Police Department's Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit.