Welcome to The Morning Pride, ThinkProgress LGBT’s daily round-up of the latest in LGBT policy, politics, and some culture too! Here’s what we’re reading this morning, but please let us know what stories you’re following as well. Follow us all day on Twitter at @TPEquality.
– The World Congress of Families, a coalition of anti-gay groups that notably has been exporting homophobia to Russia, was planning to hold a symposium in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, but Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) revoked the space because he “doesn’t affiliate with groups that discriminate.”
– According to The Transgender Murder Monitoring Project, at least 238 trans people were murdered across the globe over the past year, but that only accounts for murders that were publicly documented.
– The lawsuit challenging Illinois’ ban on same-sex marriage has been put on hold until the state’s new marriage equality takes effect next June.
– Ball State University is the latest school in Indiana to come out against a proposed amendment banning same-sex marriage.
– Harris County, Texas (Houston area) has adopted a sweeping policy to protect LGBT prison inmates from mistreatment.
– A Catholic hospital in Indiana has banned a woman from visiting her incapacitated same-sex partner because the partner’s mother prohibited her from doing so.
– The Russian government openly aired recordings it had secretly made of LGBT activists discussing the 2014 Olympics, claiming there will be a “homosexualist invasion” from the West.
– The newly crowned Miss Universe, Gabriela Isler of Venezuela, does not think transgender contestants should be allowed to compete; instead, she says, they should have their own pageants.
– Here’s how 7th-grader Whitney Strickland of Lake City, Florida wrote her persuasive essay on marriage equality:
I believe in marriage equality. I think everyone should have the right to be married to who they love no matter what gender. I have learned a lot about this topic from my parents. How would a straight couple like to be told that they can’t be married? I can bet they wouldn’t be happy about it. I know my parents would be very mad if they were told they couldn’t marry each other. People keep using the Bible as an excuse to not allow it. I don’t think that is a good argument because religion can’t make our laws and not everyone has the same religion. My parents have friends that are with the same sex. I want them to be happy and to be allowed to be married. Honestly, marriage equality isn’t going to affect our lives. But it will make a great impact of couples that are the same sex and would love to be married. It will make a great and wonderful impact. Everyone is supposed to have equal rights in this county. I believe that everyone doesn’t mean only certain people. Everyone means everyone and that’s all there is to it. To say they can have civil unions and not marriage wouldn’t be right either. A civil union is similar to a marriage but it is not the same. It still would not be equal. I’d be willing to bet that if this country had marriage equality in every state the divorce rates would look much better than what they do now. Many people would be happier too. Like the one saying goes, “marriage is about love not about gender.”