NEWS: UT Gay Alumni Group Forms, Bloomberg Praises “Mayor” Quinn, Harvey Milk Park, And More

The University of Texas officially welcomed its gay alumni association at an event Wednesday night, when the Texas Exes LGBT Network gathered after a special “lavender” graduation ceremony. “UT has a proud tradition of LGBT student activism, and we should take a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come. Then we should get back to work, because there’s more to do,” said Gregory Vincent, UT’s Vice President of Diversity and Community Engagement. [Alcalde]

On May 22, what would have been his 82nd birthday, slain activist Harvey Milk will be honored with a park in Long Beach, CA. “Harvey Milk was a trailblazer for the LGBT community who battled against discrimination and unbelievable odds,” said Mayor Bob Foster. “I’m proud that Long Beach is the first city in the country to honor Harvey Milk by dedicating a park in his name.” The same day, the city of San Diego will name a street after Milk. [Long Beach Post]

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York stopped just short of endorsing openly gay City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in the 2013 mayoral election. (Bloomberg is in his final term). “I’ve always thought that Chris Quinn has done a very good job as the speaker, and it’s not for me to take sides, certainly not now…” he told the New York Daily News on Wednesday. “But [she] is very competent and would be a very good mayor.” Bloomberg also revealed he’d be making a sizable donation toward cancer research as a wedding present for Quinn and fiancee Kim Catullo, who are getting married on Saturday. [NYDN]

Cary Alan Johnson, who suddenly left his post as director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, says he departed to work on some “writing.” “After seven years on the IGLHRC staff and many others as a member of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board, I am moving on, and I will be working to finish a major writing project that has been on my agenda.” [IGLHRC]

The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee sent legislation providing benefits to same-sex partners of federal workers to the Senate this week. Committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) has introduced similar legislation four times already but the measure has failed to pass. The current version is not scheduled for a vote. [Washington Post]

Photos: Rubenstein, Texas Exes