In case you missed it, it’s June. And in much of the U.S., that means LGBTQ Pride Month. There’s been lots of gay happenings this month — some good, some bad.
NLGJA was invited to attend the “off the record” conversations between Attorney General Eric Holder and media outlets; other groups invited to the June 3 meeting included the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Native American Journalists Association and the Asian American Journalists Association. Of these, only NAHJ — and the interim executive director of UNITY — attended the meeting. The three groups that declined the invitation cited the off-the-record requirement as reason for their decision. Several large media outlets had been invited to an earlier meeting with Holder, including the Associated Press, the Washington Post and NPR.
Earlier this month, Michelle Obama was heckled at a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., by a lesbian asking when the president was going to sign an executive order banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity by federal contractors. The first lady wasn’t entertaining hecklers that day. (Here’s LZ Granderson’s take on the situation.)
The Supreme Court is expected to issue its rulings on the Proposition 8 and Defense of Marriage cases before it goes into summer recess at the end of this month. Stay tuned …
In case you missed it, President Obama nominated Daniel Baer, Department of State assistant secretary for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, to be the next ambassador for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Baer, the highest-ranking openly gay State employee and a speaker at the 2011 NLGJA convention in Philadelphia, would be the fourth openly gay U.S. ambassador.
In Illinois, marriage-equality supporters got a setback May 31 when the state House opted to not hold a vote on legislation that would have provided marriage for same-sex couples, citing a lack of supportive votes. The Illinois Senate passed the bill in February by a vote of 34-21. The House has until Aug. 31 to take up the legislation again.
There’s also plenty of coverage of gay pride events around the country, with the accompanying kudos and criticisms of what the media opts to portray: drag queens, gay men in tiny swimsuits, butch lesbians on motorcycles or the more tame and mainstream (and often less sensational images). It can be a hard call for an editor: Pick the photo that represents a better cross-section of the population or the photo that is sure to draw the eye and the attention because it is an outlier and not something you see every day? What coverage have you seen that you love/hate?
And finally, NLGJA President Jen Christensen and longtime member Holly Crenshaw will attend the White House LGBT Pride Month reception June 13. We expect pictures …