· It's official. This fall, Californians will vote on the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry after "the state supreme court denied a legal challenge by gay and civil rights groups to remove a proposed amendment to ban marriage for gay and lesbian couples, Proposition 8, from the November ballot." The court’s vote was unanimous.
· Los Angeles Times: "Scores of United Methodist pastors in California are putting their careers on the line in an open revolt against religious edicts that forbid them to conduct weddings for gay and lesbian couples. ... Pastors have been emboldened by United Methodist assemblies in California that declared their support last month for the state Supreme Court's recent ruling overturning a ban on same-sex marriage."
· ABC News features a report on LGBT youth and discrimination in middle schools. The Washington Post published a similar story Monday, on Saro Harvey, a 15-year-old black gay teen, which you can also watch. To add some context to the precarious position of gay youth, Pride Agenda reports "a North Carolina anti-bullying bill is stalled due to its inclusion of LGBT students."
· HIV/AIDS research is slowing. Swiss pharma giant Roche announces it will suspend its "HIV research because none of its pending medicines represents a significant improvement over existing drugs" and reassign its HIV research scientists to other projects. One recent advancement in HIV research is the announcement by pathologists at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston who believe they have found the Achilles Heel, the weakness that would keep the HIV virus from infecting new cells.
· The New England Blade: "Despite growing support for same-sex marriage in the United States as measured by several recent polls, black Americans remain steadfastly opposed to gay unions. According to research conducted by the National Black Justice Coalition and several other organizations, as many as two-thirds of black Americans are against gay marriage. Although the numbers vary by poll, research shows most blacks oppose both gay marriage and civil unions."
· Talk Left reports Rod 2.0 faves Pharrell Williams and Kanye West are among the hip-hop acts that will perform in Denver during the Democratic National Convention. Meanwhile, Pharrell and Kanye pushback against rumors on the internets that they employ ghost bloggers to publish their highly popular and frequently updated blogs. To squash the drama, Kanye publishes photos of himself at his computer and on his blog with some choice words (in all caps) for the haterz.
· Environmental Protection Agency says the value of an American life has decreased. Think Progress reports, "The EPA lowered its 'value of a statistical life' measure to $6.9 million in today’s dollars, which is 'a drop of nearly $1 million from just five years ago.' ... Critics say that the Bush administration is 'changing the value to avoid tougher [environmental] rules.' 'It’s hard to imagine that it has other than a political motivation,' said former senior EPA official Dan Esty."