News: Military academy graduates first openly gay soldiers, May 28, 2012

In yet another milestone since the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) late last year, gay students at America’s military academies are celebrating the end of the academic year by openly attending dances, graduation and other ceremonial events with their same-sex partners. Several gay students from the nation’s major military academies said the September repeal of DADT, an 18-year-old legal provision under which gays could serve as long as they didn’t openly acknowledge their sexual orientation, meant significant change.

“For the most part, it allows us to be a complete person, as opposed to compartmentalizing our lives into different types of boxes,” said newly commissioned Air Force 2nd Lt. Dan Dwyer.

For the first time, gay midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis were able to take a same-sex date to the academy’s Ring Dance for third-year midshipmen. The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs officially recognized a club for gay students this month, and gay cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point are relieved they no longer have to worry about revealing their sexuality.

The Air Force Academy held its commencement exercises on Wednesday; West Point on Saturday, and the Naval Academy’s graduation ceremonies are set for Tuesday.

“Sex in the City” actress weds
If it’s true that the flames of passion diminish after marriage, there may be a little less sex in the city for Emmy-winning actress Cynthia Nixon as she and her long-time partner Christine Marinoni tied the knot in New York on Sunday. Nixon, 46, and Marinoni, 45, have been together since 2004, were engaged at a rally to support same-sex marriage in 2009, and welcomed a son, Max, in 2011.

Both Nixon and Marinoni were vocal proponents in the push for marriage equality in New York and waited to marry until it was legal in the Empire State, which happened last summer. “I’m enjoying being engaged very much,” Nixon said in 2010. “I don’t mind a long engagement, which this one is surely turning out to be.”

Nixon’s representative told People magazine that she wore a custom dress by Carolina Herrera, but no other details regarding the nuptials were immediately available.

Gay pride activists arrested in Moscow
Approximately 40 people were arrested Sunday in Moscow after gay activists attempted to stage demonstrations to demand the right to hold a gay pride parade in the Russian capital.  The group was blocked first by Orthodox Christian opponents then by police who made arrests on both sides. Prominent gay-rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev is said to be among those arrested.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993 and activists have long petitioned the Moscow government for permission to stage such a parade, but have always been denied. Former Mayor Yuri Luzhkov described gay parades as “satanic,” while current Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said he disapproves of gay gatherings because they could offend the religious beliefs of many Russians.

Gay activist Galina Kaptur criticized city authorities for treating homosexuality as a contagious disease that would be spread through society if gays were allowed to hold a parade. “It’s as if they thought that if all left-handed people held a parade then afterward everyone would become left-handed. This is wrong,” said Kaptur, debunking the longstanding myth that being left-handed is a choice.

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