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News Roundup: Active-Duty Gay Couple Marries at West Point

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From Associated Press reports

Same-sex active-duty couple marries at West Point

WEST POINT, N.Y. — Two Army captains who met at West Point returned there to be married, in what is believed to be the first same-sex marriage of active-duty personnel at the storied New York military academy.

The New York Times reported Captains Daniel Hall, 30, and Vincent Franchino, 26, both Apache helicopter pilots stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, were married at West Point’s Cadet Chapel on Jan. 13.

The men met at the school in August 2009, when Franchino was a freshman and Hall was a senior. Their first date was in February 2012 in Washington, some months after the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was repealed in September 2011.

That policy, in place since 1993, barred any gay person from disclosing their sexual orientation or talking about any same-sex relationship.

“It’s really frustrating when two people have feelings for each other but are not allowed to act on them,” Hall said. “We were serving under a policy that was telling all of us — perfectly capable soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines — to lie about ourselves.”

The men wore their uniforms during the ceremony, and left the chapel under an arch made up of sabers held aloft by several of their guests. They also used Hall’s officer saber, a graduation gift from his grandparents, to cut the cake.

Police probe racist, anti-gay banners found outside church

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Police are investigating after banners with racist and anti-gay messages were erected outside an Indiana church known for its progressive stands on racial and social justice issues.

West Lafayette police say the banners were found Sunday, Jan. 21 attached to a fence outside the Unitarian Universalist Church in the city about 70 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

One banner included a slur for gays and lesbians and the second had slurs against both racial minorities and gays and lesbians.

Police Chief Jason Dombkowski says police are investigating and the FBI has been alerted.

Parishioner Suzan Windnagel tells the Journal & Courier the banners’ messages “were sickening, hate-filled and threatening.”

The banners were found the morning after the church hosted a “Resistance Fair” that included left-leaning groups who oppose President Donald Trump’s agenda.

‘Call Me By Your Name,’ ‘Lady Bird’ land GLAAD nominations

LOS ANGELES — Five feature films including “The Shape of Water” and “Call Me By Your Name” have been nominated for GLAAD Media Awards, one year after it found only two films to honor for gay-inclusive story lines and characters.

The other wide-release films nominated Friday, Jan. 19 are “Battle of the Sexes,” “Lady Bird” and “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women.”

Last year’s nomination of only two films by the LGBTQ advocacy group was its fewest nominations for major releases since 2003. It is the 29th year GLAAD has bestowed awards for projects that provide “fair, accurate and multi-dimensional” depictions of LGBTQ characters.

GLAAD also nominates work in various other media, including television, music, journalism and comic books. Winner announcements are spread between two ceremonies: April 12 in Los Angeles and May 5 in New York.

Netflix led television nominees with seven nods. The networks ABC, CBS and NBC each received six nominations.

Miley Cyrus, Halsey, Kesha and Sam Smith are among 10 nominees for outstanding music artist.

Jay Z’s song and music video “Smile,” which featured his mother coming out as a lesbian, were singled out for a special honor.

GLAAD is also for the first time honoring children and family shows featuring inclusive programming, announcing nominations for episodes of the Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack” and “Doc McStuffins” as well as Amazon’s “Danger & Eggs,” Nickelodeon’s “The Loud House” and Cartoon Network’s “Steven Universe.”

“What people see in the media has a powerful impact on how they treat others and the GLAAD Media Awards raise the bar for media to tell LGBTQ stories that accelerate acceptance,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis wrote in a statement.

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The Associated Press is an American multinational nonprofit news agency headquartered in New York City.
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