NEWS: Obama Staffer Dies, Jan Brewer Makes Bank, New York’s New Gay Mecca, And More!

Alex Okrent, a 29-year-old staffer on President Obama’s reelection team, died suddenly on Friday after collapsing suddenly at campaign headquarters in Chicago. “I worked with Alex during the successful 2008 Obama campaign and he was an incredible voice for LGBT issues with the President.”  said Stampp Corbin, 2008 National Co-Chair of the Obama LGBT Leadership Council. [LGBT Weekly]

If you’re a fan of football, get ready to root for whomever plays against the Arizona Cardinals this fall.  The NFL team gave $5,000 to Jan Brewer’s JAN PAC, the first time an pro football team has ever contributed to a federal Super PAC. Brewer opposes marriage equality and is petitioning the Supreme Court to rule against giving benefits to domestic partners of state and university employees—a position that led one member of Brewer’s Tourism Advisory Council to quit last week. [Politico]

The University of Louisiana has added a LGBT studies minor to its roster, a move that’s unsettled alumni like Republican Rep. Jeff Landry (right) who is asking the school to remove it. “The University’s web page for the new LGBT minor clearly omits facts and statistics which demonstrate the medical, physical, emotional and dangers of a lifestyle which is counter to Louisiana values,” read a statement of the website of the Louisiana Family Forum, which is backing Landry’s request. [LGBTQ Nation]

Sullivan County in New York’s Hudson Valley region is becoming a haven for the LGBT Community: the head of the Legislature is gay, as are the director of a local radio station, the chief of the Democratic Party and Ginny Apuzzo, a former Deputy Secretary of Labor who founded the Hudson Valley LGTBTQ Community Center in Kingston.  “It’s always been very easy to be here; it’s a crazy melting pot and crazily accepting of all people,” says  Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson, who married his partner last year and co-founded Out in the Catskills. “From day one, it’s never been an issue.  [Record Online]