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NC senator apologizes

Newsobserver. com reports a Republican state senator apologized Feb. 25 for comments he reportedly made to a GOP gathering about gays and blacks.

North Carolina Sen. Jim Forrester said he didn’t mean to offend anyone when he told an audience on Feb. 23 that “slick city lawyers and homosexual lobbies and African-American lobbies are running Raleigh,” a reference to state government.

“I didn’t certainly mean to offend anybody in what I said,” Forrester said. “And I apologize if somebody took it the wrong way. I was just stating that, when I started off 18 years ago, we had a rather conservative legislature and it’s just becoming more and more liberal.”

Hundreds rally in Austin reports hundreds of people in Austin marched Feb. 27 behind a banner that read “Austin March Against Hate” as they walked from a downtown gay bar to City Hall.

The route retraced the path two gay men, Emmanuel Winston and Matthew Morgan, took recently when they were attacked in what appears to be an antigay assault. The men said they were wearing jerseys from the “Shady Ladies” gay softball team and that the attackers used slurs about their sexual orientation.

Police chief Art Acevedo, who attended the rally, said it was up to prosecutors to decide if there was enough evidence to charge the four suspects with a hate crime. No arrests have been made.

Advocates share stories of antigay housing bias

Illinois’ KWQC reports more than a dozen members of the gay community, fair-housing advocates and officials have weighed in on the first proposed national survey of antigay housing discrimination.

The U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department held a listening session Feb. 25 at Chicago’s City Hall. Sessions will be held soon in New York and San Francisco.

HUD is gathering input about how best to design the survey. Several-dozen people attended the meeting.

Advocates shared stories of discrimination from clients, including transgender people repeatedly turned away from apartments because of their gender identity.

Raphael Bostic, HUD’s assistant secretary for policy development and research, said the meeting was substantive, thoughtful and provocative.

— Larry Nichols

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