Speed Read: Tuesday 26 November 2013

  1. DROP IN HATE CRIMES: The U.S. Justice Department on Monday released its annual report on hate crime statistics gathered around the country, showing the number reported in 2012 overall was a seven percent drop compared to the number reported in 2011. But the number of hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation bias was down 12 percent –from 1,572 in 2011 to 1,376 in 2012. While the majority (48.5 percent) of reported hate crimes were targeted because of their race, 1,376 (19.2 percent) were targeted because of their sexual orientation.
  2. EMERGENCY LICENSE: A Cook County court judge Monday ordered the state to issue a marriage license to a Chicago same-sex couple immediately, even though the state’s marriage equality law does not take effect until June. According to Lambda Legal, which represented the couple, the women have been together for five years and one of them has cancer that “imminently threatens her life.” Lambda and the ACLU filed a motion seeking a court order for a license.
  3. GLAAD HIRES NEW PRESIDENT: Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced Monday that its board has elected Sarah Kate Ellis as the media watchdog organization’s new president. Ellis comes from a marketing career, most recently from a global digital firm and previously at such nationally known magazines as Real Simple, Vogue, and InStyle. She and spouse Kristen Ellis-Henderson have been featured in several high profile interviews featuring same-sex couples. They shared an intimate kiss on the cover of Time magazine in April for a cover story on the growing acceptance of same-sex couples marrying.
  4. MICHAUD APPEARANCE: U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine), who just came out as gay this month in his gubernatorial campaign, will be one of the keynote speakers at the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund’s annual Leadership Conference. The conference this year takes place in Denver, December 5-8.
  5. NIKE HELPS OREGON EFFORT: The Nike footwear giant announced its support this month for a 2014 ballot measure seeking marriage equality in Oregon. The company gave $100,000 to its start-up Nike Equality PAC to help raise funds for the initiative and, according to the Portland Business Journal, Nike executives kicked in another $180,000. The PAC’s website states, “Nike is fully supportive of the initiative to create marriage equality so all our employees are treated fairly and with respect in the workplace and the community. “

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