Founded by moms Joyce Scher and Ellen Shelton, Mothers and Others of Virginia, has sponsored a billboard in Carytown, VA. “Both of my sons had been born in the Commonwealth of Virginia with the same equal rights as all other citizens, but on the day that my son Jon came out as a gay male at the age of 21, he lost many of those rights and became less a person in the eyes of  Virginia law. I have vowed to do all that I can to change this,” said Scher.  [MOVA]

The Velvet Rope, a gay nightclub in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, IL, was severly damaged in a fire over the weekend. Police have labeled the incident arson and owner Frank Elliott says “I’m making the assumption it was a hate crime.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

After a larger event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, President Obama was the guest of honor at a fund-raiser at home of out Glee creator Ryan Murphy (right) and his partner, photographer David Miller. Attendees included Murphy’s Eat Pray Love star Julia Roberts, actress Reese Witherspoon, Banana Republic/Gap Inc. president Jack Calhoun, Glee star Jane Lynch and HBO executive Michael Lombardo. “A whole lot of progress has been made but… you recognize that the journey we started in 2008 isn’t finished,” said the President. “The key in 2012 is going to be how badly do we want it. Are we willing to fight for that vision with even greater determination than we did in 2008?” [White House Office of Communications]

The new website allows visitors to learn what their rights are in all 50 states, including issues like workplace equality, marriage and adoption, and bullying and hate-crime laws. The work of  Philadelphia Gay News editor Sarah Blazucki and a team of activists and coders, the site won second place last month at BarCamp NewsInnovation’s hackathon, in which teams competed to create online tools to aid underserved communities. []





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