Queen Elizabeth Honors Politician Who Blamed Hurricane Katrina On Gays: Today In Gay

maurice mills katrina

Queen Elizabeth announced her New Year’s Honours this week—including the awarding of an MBE to North Ireland politician Maurice Mills, who has publicly blamed Hurricane Katrina and AIDS on gay people.

“The media failed to report that the hurricane occurred just two days prior to the annual homosexual event called the Southern Decadence festival which the previous year had attracted an estimated 125,000 people,” said Mills in 2006. “There is a principle at stake here and that is homosexuality is a sin before almighty God.”

Of the AIDS crisis in Africa, Mills declared, “this abominable and filthy practice of sodomy has resulted in the great continent of Africa being riddled with AIDS.”

A Change.org petition has been started to retract Mills’ honor.

luxumbourgThe first same-sex couple was married in Luxembourg on January 1: Jean Paul Olinger and Henri Lorenzo Huber were able to marry at the town hall in Differdange, which opened especially for the occasion and Mayor Roberto Traversini officiating the ceremony.

Luxembourg granted gay couples the right to marry and adopt, in 2014.

gay blood banThe FDA just revised its regulations governing blood donation by gay men, downgraded from a lifetime ban to a year of celibacy.

But it says it can’t develop a policy based on personal risk assessment because it “would be highly burdensome on blood donation establishments and potentially offensive to donors.”

As America Blog writes:

The FDA believes that a total stranger asking a man if he’s gay — a highly personal, and for some embarrassing, admission that could get you fired from your job, and disowned by your family — is not ’offensive.’

Nor is it offensive to ask a gay man when the last time is he screwed another guy.

But if you ask a straight man whether he’s monogamous, how non-monogamous he is (how many different partners he’s had), and whether he use condoms during intercourse, suddenly the FDA becomes a collective prude.

gay military proposal

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his wife Lilibet released a holiday video to the men and women of the Armed Forces, and including a number of photos of military families—including an image of naval machinist Jerrel Revels proposing to boyfriend Dylan Kirchner in 2013.

When nominated for the post in 2012, Hagel was criticized for comments about openly gay ambassador James Hormel, but the Secretary has proven to be supportive of gays in the military and supports a review of the ban on transgender servicemembers.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.