Cameron Monaghan is quite the TV boy. He’s appeared on Fox’s “Fringe,” FX’s “Terriers” (may it rest in peace), CBS’ “The Mentalist” and USA’s Monk … to name just a few. And he’s adding to the list. In the coming weeks, Monaghan can be seen on CBS’ “NCIS.” But for a steady fix of the red-haired actor, one need only look to his role on Showtime’s “Shameless.”
The 17-year-old (who will also appear in the upcoming Disney feature film “Prom”) plays Ian, the third eldest kid in the rambunctious Gallagher clan. He’s in Army ROTC at school and spends his nights stocking shelves at a local grocery store — oh, and he’s having a secret affair with the store owner. Only it doesn’t stay secret for long.
Here’s what Monaghan has to say about his initial thoughts on the show, what sets Ian apart from other gay characters on TV and which character he sympathizes with. …
What did you think of the show from reading the script?
When I first read the script, it was definitely a little shocking. It’s something that you don’t get handed on a normal basis. It’s raw; it can be crude. As I kept reading more and more of it, I realized what the show was trying to do: It’s being very truthful and to never hold back, to never hide anything.
What do you think is preventing Ian from coming out to his family?
I think that Frank could definitely have a problem with it. He’s very close-minded and set in his ways. And it’s the neighborhood too — it’s not really something you want known. And I think he thinks the family kind of has an idea of who he is and if he comes out to them, they’ll feel different about him.
What sets Ian apart from other gay characters on television right now?
He goes up against the negative stereotypes typical of gay characters out on TV right now. He’s smart and he’s tough and he’s brave and he’s really caring and responsible—and I think that’s not always shown in one character.
What do you think Frank thinks of Ian?
The relationship is definitely, I’d say, a little bit antagonistic. Frank doesn’t like Ian. It could be because he reminds him of his wife. You’ll see more of their dynamic as the series goes on.
How will we see your character develop?
I don’t want to give too much away. Ian is really responsible and really caring, and he’ll stick his neck out for people he cares about — and that can get him in trouble and maybe endanger him.
Do you think the family still has hope that Frank will change his ways?
Honestly, no. Perhaps Debbie does, since she’s the most optimistic of the siblings, but I think the rest of the family has lived with him as a drunk for so long, they wouldn’t be able to imagine him any other way. I can’t really speak for the other characters, but I think Ian would love Frank to be an honest, sober man. But I don’t think Ian would ever allow himself to expect or hope for that from him. The only consistent thing about Frank over the past years has been his constant relapse into alcoholism.
Is some of their tolerance toward Frank due to the fact that he?s stayed even when their mother left?
I suppose we give him some credit for not physically leaving. However, let’s face it, Frank checked out mentally a long time ago, escaping into a world of booze and whatever drugs he can get his hands on. I guess the kids just desperately want a parent, and even though Frank is a terrible one, at least he’s existent. He’s still their father, and they’ve grown to love him and want him around, for better or for worse.
We see the family deal with their struggles in different ways. What other character do you sympathize with and why?
I deﬁnitely feel bad for Debbie. She’s a sweet girl who has had to grow up without parenting, and she doesn’t get the attention she needs because her siblings are too busy trying to make ends meet. Because of this, she’s grown starved for affection, to the point where she’ll steal a baby for companionship!
Describe the dynamic between Ian and Lip. How might things be different if Ian had no strong male in his life?
Ian and Lip have a very close relationship. Being only a year apart, they’ve grown up looking out for and taking care of each other. One can always count on the other to watch his back, help him in times of need, or keep him from doing something stupid. If Ian grew up without Lip, he’d probably be in a lot of trouble, perhaps ?nding solace in serious crime or drugs, it’s hard to say. One thing is for sure, though: He would de?nitely be a very different person from the Ian we’ve come to know.
What has been the reaction from fans to your character?
Overwhelmingly positive. I’m excited to say, I’ve been receiving a lot of mail from fans, especially gay teens and young adults, via Facebook and Twitter saying how much they relate to and appreciate my character.
from The Los Angeles Times
Cameron Monaghan Plays Gay Teen In ‘Shameless’
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO — The guard hailed as a hero after the December 2007 shooting at New Life Church says the church indicated she was not welcome there after she informed church officials that she is gay.
In a speech last Saturday at the Pride Center’s annual masquerade ball, a fundraiser for the gay community, Jeanne Assam said that she had accepted her sexual identity after a long struggle but that church officials had pushed her away.
New Life Pastor Brady Boyd told Gazette columnist Barry Noreen that Assam’s account is “absolutely untrue.”
“We welcome everyone at New Life,” Boyd said. “We would never tell someone to leave because of their sexual orientation. Jeanne will always be a hero at New Life.”
Assam told The Associated Press on Friday night that Boyd and others never used the exact word “unwelcome.”
“They just made it very clear I was no longer welcome,” she said, declining to elaborate.
Assam was celebrated for ending a murderous rampage at New Life on Dec. 9, 2007. That morning, 24-year-old Matthew Murray shot and killed two parishioners after having killed two other people the night before at a training center for Christian missionaries in Arvada. Assam, a member of New Life serving as a volunteer security guard, fired repeatedly at Murray, wounding him and pinning him down. He then shot himself.
New Life made headlines in 2006, when Pastor Ted Haggard departed after acknowledging that he had a relationship with a male escort.
from The Denver Post
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - Father Jim St. George walked out to his mailbox Feb. 18 with his golden retriever Tucker. He opened a letter from Chestnut Hill College, where he has taught theology for about two years, expecting to find a new contract. Instead, the letter stated: “Your services are no longer needed.” He began to cry.
St. George, 44, said he would “hate to think” that his homosexuality was a factor in the school’s decision. “I don’t hide the fact that I’m openly gay,” he said.
But he can’t be sure, because Chestnut Hill College has not said anything to him regarding his termination.
“Be honest with me and say, ‘here’s why we had to let you go,’” St. George said. “I felt like a criminal, that I had done something so bad they couldn’t even meet with me.”
St. George has been the pastor of St. Miriam Catholic Church in Blue Bell for three years. St. Miriam is a part of the Old Catholic Apostolic Church of America, which allows its priests to be gay, straight, celibate or married. St. George said he has been in a relationship with his boyfriend for 15 years.
“Obviously [Chestnut Hill College] knew my parish, it was never hidden,” St. George said. “But I never sat down and put [that I’m gay] on paper.”
A Chestnut Hill College spokesperson said the school would release a statement on Monday.
St. George said he believed that an e-mail Blue Bell attorney James J. Pepper sent last week to Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, influenced his firing. Pepper forwarded the e-mail to Daily News columnist Ronnie Polaneczky, who reported that Pepper described St. George as “quite plainly a heretic” and that his teaching at a Catholic institution as a homosexual was “scandalous.”
Pepper is a former high school teacher in the Philadelphia Archdiocesan school system. Phone calls to his office were unanswered.
Archdiocesan spokesperson Donna Farrell confirmed that the Archdiocese had received the letter, but had not taken any action.
“The Archdiocese had no conversations with Chestnut Hill College regarding [St. George],” she said.
“Obviously this Jim Pepper has influence,” said St. George. “I think it has more to do with politics and money than with who I am as an individual.”
Since last week, St. George has been besieged with phone calls, e-mails and text messages from his students offering their support.
Chestnut Hill College senior Jessica Murray took one of St. George’s classes last fall. She found out about his firing on Tuesday.
“To find this school that claims to be more spiritual than religious has fired him without warning … is ridiculous,” Murray said in an e-mail to the Local. “I am disgusted with this school and will not be returning to this school for my master’s degree.”
St. George said he never shared his homosexuality with his students because it was “not relevant” to the coursework. But in the classroom, he did like to “peel back the onion and find the truth” on a wide array of controversial issues.
Murray has started a petition for Chestnut Hill College to rehire St. George.
“I would hope they would ask me back,” St. George said. “But my mission and the rules they state have to be lived out, and I don’t see that.”
Before his firing, St. George had been preparing for the start of one of his classes –“Theology and Justice.”
from Chestnut Hill Local
California’s Imperial County has renewed its effort to defend the state’s gay marriage ban in a federal lawsuit.
The sponsors of Proposition 8 so far have taken the lead in defending the voter-approved law in court, after former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to do so.
But the sponsors’ right to keep defending the law recently came under question, threatening the viability of the case before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
If successful, the move by Imperial County could salvage the appeal, allowing county officials to step in as the primary defendants if the sponsors are removed.
Imperial County officials claim they should be allowed to intervene as defendants, saying they are directly affected by the law because they would be forced to perform gay marriages.
But the appeals court dismissed the request last month, questioning why the head county clerk, who issues marriage licenses, wasn’t part of the case. Then Imperial County Clerk Dolores Provencio declined to join.
Now the county has elected a new clerk, Chuck Storey, who filed papers Friday seeking to join the defendants.
The 9th Circuit court currently is mulling the constitutionality of the 2008 ban that was struck down in August as a violation of gay Californians’ civil rights. But the three-judge panel said in January it can’t reach a decision until it knows if ballot proposition sponsors have legal standing to step in when the attorney general and governor refuse to defend voter-approved initiatives in court.
The California Supreme Court agreed last week to consider the standing issue and rule on the 9th Circuit question.
from The Associated Press
In a job typically filled by a woman, the White House has chosen the first-ever man to be the next White House Social Secretary.
Jeremy Bernard, who is openly-gay, will be named Special Assistant to the President and Social Secretary.
“Jeremy shares our vision for the White House as the People’s House, one that celebrates our history and culture in dynamic and inclusive ways,” President Obama said in a statement, “We look forward to Jeremy continuing to showcase America’s arts and culture to our nation and the world through the many events at the White House.”
Bernard comes to the White House from the US Embassy in Paris, where he served as Senior Advisor to the Ambassador. Prior to this role, he worked as the White House Liaison to the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The job of social secretary is a unique one, in charge of planning official White House social events. The White House Social Office, located in the East Wing, works closely with the First Lady to coordinate the events – choosing themes, menus, guest list, décor and overall character of White House events. The high-profile State Dinners, taking months of planning, are often the highlight of the Social Secretary’s work on display.
“I look forward to working with Jeremy to continue the great work of the Social Office, from fun and educational student workshops to elegant State Dinners that welcome world leaders to the White House,” Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama said in a statement, “Jeremy’s creativity, perspective and skills will be a welcome addition to our East Wing team, as we showcase the White House and celebrating America’s arts and culture.”
This marks Mrs. Obama’s third social secretary of the Obama administration, following the departure of Desiree Rogers and Julianna Smoot.
from ABC News
PALM COAST, FLORIDA – A Palm Coast mother has decided to pursue a lawsuit against the Flagler County School District.
This, after her 15-year-old son said one of his teachers singled him out for being gay.
Luke Herbert told News 13, “It hurts. I may be different, but I’m still human and for them to treat me like that is ridiculous.”
As a freshman at Flagler Palm Coast High School, Herbert said high school has been tough, especially since he’s gay.
“People haven’t been nice, let’s put it that way,” Herbert said.
Herbert said classmates have bullied him before, but now it’s gotten worse. One of his teachers has singled him out.
“He stood in front of the class and said ‘you can’t put Mountain Dew or Pepsi in the same fridge or they’ll turn gay’. He [also] came over to me and I was like ‘hi.’ He said hi, like he was imitating me or mocking me,” Herbert said.
Herbert and his mother said they went to school officials several times, but weren’t taken seriously.
“As a parent, it’s hard because you feel like you have to be there every day, begging them to please help. That’s how I felt,” Dorene Davenport said.
Recently, Herbert and his mom sat down with school officials, as well as the teacher himself. Herbert said the teacher apologized and officials promised to switch his classes, but that never happened.
“I don’t feel safe with him being there,” Dorene said.
A district spokeswoman told News 13 they are investigating the case, but said they can’t comment further than that.
For Herbert, he hopes what he went through can help other teens in his situation
“There are a thousand Luke’s out there and I’m not the only one out there and so I think this is something that should be heard,” Herbert said.
A school official told News 13 they take these cases very seriously and if the teacher is found guilty, he will be disciplined. Since they can’t release details, they won’t say if that has already happened.
Currently, Herbert has stopped going to school. He said after what his teacher said, and the reaction from his classmates, he can’t imagine going back. He is now looking into other options like home schooling.
from News 13
A group of gay Polish football fans are calling for a separate seating area to be provided for them during the 2012 European Championship.
Teczowa Trybuna 2012 say segregating fans in this way will stop possible aggression and prejudice from the traditionally heterosexual football crowds.
But other gay rights activists criticized the proposal today, saying separate seating would only single gay fans out and put them at even greater risk.
Teczowa Trybuna 2012, or Rainbow Stand 2012, calls itself the first-ever gay fan club for Poland’s national team.
It says on its website that its members fear aggression from other fans and want to feel safe during the tournament which will be held in Poland and neighboring Ukraine.
One match venue, the city of Gdansk, rejected the group’s call – saying it would only further stigmatize gays.
from The Daily Mail
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS — Local activists claim Flour Bluff High School’s principal is refusing to allow a club for gay and lesbian students and discriminating against homosexual students and their supporters.
The school has until Monday to approve a student club supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students or local advocates will demonstrate in front of the campus.
District officials issued a statement Wednesday that said it supports cultural diversity and reaffirmed a policy that gives school officials discretion on clubs.
Officials said the district, according to its policy approved in 2005, is not subject to the part of the Equal Access Act requiring the school to offer fair opportunities for students to form student-led extracurricular groups, regardless of their religious, political and philosophical leanings.
Non-curriculum student groups exist at Flour Bluff High School, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The Gay-Straight Alliance at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi intervened on behalf of Bianca “Nikki” Peet, 17, claiming the principal has rebuffed the senior girl’s attempts to set up a similar club at the school since November.
Peet said she has changed the name and broadened the club’s constitution to include issues other than those specific to homosexual students to address Principal James Crenshaw’s concerns. Crenshaw hasn’t approved her application, she said.
Paul Rodriguez, president of the A&M club, sent e-mails to the district demanding Crenshaw approve the club or Peet’s supporters will protest and possibly seek legal action. Rodriguez already urged supporters to inundate Crenshaw and Superintendent Julie Carbajal with letters of support for Peet’s proposed club.
Carbajal and Crenshaw could not be reached for comment despite repeated calls. District spokeswoman Lynn Kaylor said district officials would not comment beyond what was written in the prepared statement.
Rodriguez, 37, who is gay and the father of a gay son at Carroll High School, said these types of clubs give a haven to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students who face harassment and discrimination.
Denying Peet the chance to create a Gay-Straight Alliance violates the Equal Access Act, a law mandating that federally funded schools provide equal access to extracurricular clubs, Rodriguez said.
The legislation, approved in 1984, was seen then as an attempt to protect Bible study and other religious groups. The law has since been invoked by supporters of gay rights to protect the formation of Gay-Straight Alliances in schools.
“Denying the formation of this club is not the answer to ending and bullying and discrimination in our schools,” Rodriguez said in a letter sent Tuesday to Carbajal. “You are supposed to punish offenders of your bullying policy, not the members of the club.”
Under the Equal Access Act, schools with limited open forums allowing students to meet on campus during noninstructional time can’t deny access to students based on the content of the speech in those meetings.
Flour Bluff ISD’s policy does not have a limited open forum.
Peet said she wanted to start a Gay-Straight Alliance because she wanted to give Flour Bluff students an open place to talk about issues facing homosexual students. She said at least 15 students have signed a petition expressing interest in joining her club.
“I wanted to bring unity and raise awareness that we’re here and we should be OK with that,” she said.
She said she’s not aware of any widespread discrimination or harassment at school of gay and lesbian students aside from occasional name-calling.
from The Corpus Christi Caller Times
Lawyers challenging Proposition 8 urged a federal appeals court Wednesday to lift an order preventing gays from marrying and called on the California Supreme Court to speed up its review of a key issue in the case.
The legal team trying to overturn the 2008 ballot measure asked the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to lift its hold on a federal district court judge’s order declaring the ban on gay nuptials unconstitutional. The request is considered a long shot.
The challengers asked that the stay be removed on the grounds that the California Supreme Court is going to delay the case roughly another year and that even President Obama has said bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional.
The attempt to place pressure on the judges comes as the state’s high court considers whether initiative sponsors are entitled to defend a ballot measure when state officials refuse to do so. California officials declined to appeal the ruling last August by U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker overturning the measure.
The sponsors of Proposition 8, ProtectMarriage, did appeal, but the 9th Circuit has said it was uncertain whether they had the legal right to do so.
The 9th Circuit asked the state court to rule on the so-called “standing” question as it considers Walker’s ruling. But the involvement of the state court is expected to delay a decision in the case for many months.
The California court has said it would hold a hearing “as early as September,” which would delay a ruling until the end of the year. The state high court does not hold arguments in July or August. But lawyers fighting Proposition 8 say that gay men and lesbians are being hurt every day a decision in the case is delayed.
from The Los Angeles Times
On Tuesday, some fairly “incriminating” photos were released to the Internet showing that perhaps The King’s Speech was shot in the same location as a gay porn movie. It has been fairly well documented by the British press that the scenes in Lionel Logue’s (Oscar nominee Geoffrey Rush) office were shot at 33 Portland Place in London, but was that address used by adult film director Jonno when he shot Snookered? Movieline contacted Jonno to inquire about where and when the production was filmed.
According to Jonno, his video (which was done for the website UK Naked Men) was indeed shot in the exact same room as The King’s Speech at 33 Portland Place, though well before the King of England ever stepped foot onto the set. Snookered was filmed in August of 2008; The King’s Speech started filming in November of 2009.
Jonno also told Movieline that the video for Amy Winehouse’s smash hit “Rehab” was filmed at the address.
from Movie Line
WASHINGTON – In a major policy reversal, the Obama administration said Wednesday that it will no longer defend the constitutionality of a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage.
Attorney General Eric Holder said President Barack Obama has concluded that the administration cannot defend the federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. He noted that the congressional debate during passage of the Defense of Marriage Act “contains numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships – precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the (Constitution’s)Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against.”
The Justice Department had defended the act in court until now.
“Much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed” the Defense of Marriage Act, Holder said in a statement. He noted that the Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional and that Congress has repealed the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Holder wrote to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, that Obama has concluded the Defense of Marriage Act fails to meet a rigorous standard under which courts view with suspicion any laws targeting minority groups who have suffered a history of discrimination.
The attorney general said the Justice Department had defended the law in court until now because the government was able to advance reasonable arguments for the law based on a less strict standard.
At a December news conference, in response to a reporters’ question, Obama revealed that his position on gay marriage is “constantly evolving.” He has opposed such marriages and supported instead civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. The president said such civil unions are his baseline – at this point, as he put it.
“This is something that we’re going to continue to debate, and I personally am going to continue to wrestle with going forward,” he said.
from The Associated Press
WASHINGTON – The Attorney General made the following statement today about the Department’s course of action in two lawsuits, Pedersen v. OPM and Windsor v. United States, challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and a woman:
In the two years since this Administration took office, the Department of Justice has defended Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act on several occasions in federal court. Each of those cases evaluating Section 3 was considered in jurisdictions in which binding circuit court precedents hold that laws singling out people based on sexual orientation, as DOMA does, are constitutional if there is a rational basis for their enactment. While the President opposes DOMA and believes it should be repealed, the Department has defended it in court because we were able to advance reasonable arguments under that rational basis standard.
Section 3 of DOMA has now been challenged in the Second Circuit, however, which has no established or binding standard for how laws concerning sexual orientation should be treated. In these cases, the Administration faces for the first time the question of whether laws regarding sexual orientation are subject to the more permissive standard of review or whether a more rigorous standard, under which laws targeting minority groups with a history of discrimination are viewed with suspicion by the courts, should apply.
After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’s determination.
Consequently, the Department will not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA as applied to same-sex married couples in the two cases filed in the Second Circuit. We will, however, remain parties to the cases and continue to represent the interests of the United States throughout the litigation. I have informed Members of Congress of this decision, so Members who wish to defend the statute may pursue that option. The Department will also work closely with the courts to ensure that Congress has a full and fair opportunity to participate in pending litigation.
Furthermore, pursuant to the President ’ s instructions, and upon further notification to Congress, I will instruct Department attorneys to advise courts in other pending DOMA litigation of the President’s and my conclusions that a heightened standard should apply, that Section 3 is unconstitutional under that standard and that the Department will cease defense of Section 3.
The Department has a longstanding practice of defending the constitutionality of duly-enacted statutes if reasonable arguments can be made in their defense. At the same time, the Department in the past has declined to defend statutes despite the availability of professionally responsible arguments, in part because – as here – the Department does not consider every such argument to be a “reasonable” one. Moreover, the Department has declined to defend a statute in cases, like this one, where the President has concluded that the statute is unconstitutional.
Much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since Congress passed DOMA. The Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing homosexual conduct are unconstitutional. Congress has repealed the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Several lower courts have ruled DOMA itself to be unconstitutional. Section 3 of DOMA will continue to remain in effect unless Congress repeals it or there is a final judicial finding that strikes it down, and the President has informed me that the Executive Branch will continue to enforce the law. But while both the wisdom and the legality of Section 3 of DOMA will continue to be the subject of both extensive litigation and public debate, this Administration will no longer assert its constitutionality in court.
from The Department Of Justice
PHILADELPHIA – Republican stalwart Newt Gingrich, speaking in Philadelphia, avoided a direct answer on how his extramarital affairs square with his conservative values.
After he finished his speech at the University of Pennsylvania Tuesday, the first questioner asked how Gingrich reconciled having three affairs with his defense of religious values, Politico reported.
“You adamantly oppose gay rights … but you’ve also been married three times and admitted to having an affair with your current wife while you were still married to your second,” Isabel Friedman, president of the Penn Democrats, said to Gingrich. “As a successful politician who’s considering running for president — who would set the bar for moral conduct and be the voice of the American people — how do you reconcile this hypocritical interpretation of the religious values that you so vigorously defend?”
The former House speaker told Friedman he hoped “I hope you feel better about yourself,” then said his life “on occasion, has had problems” and believed in a “forgiving God,” but voters would have to decide whether his past was relevant to his future.
“If the primary concern of the American people is my past, my candidacy would be irrelevant,” Gingrich said. “If the primary concern of the American people is the future … that’s a debate I’ll be happy to have with your candidate or any other candidate if I decide to run.”
Other students, critical about Gingrich’s lack of commitment to AIDS research funding, waved posters saying “Global AIDS Budget Cuts Kill” and yelled as they left while he was still speaking.
Gingrich, in an interview with Politico, said he expects to announce in early March a final decision about whether to seek the Republican presidential nomination.
from United Press International
Lisa Buchanan spent four-and-a-half months with the San Francisco Police Department and the University of California last year.
She will start giving presentations on her research later this month.
Ms Buchanan studied San Francisco’s Bay area because of its culture of lesbian, gay and bisexual communities.
The strategic diversity advisor told Northern Constabulary’s e-magazine that she was drawn to the story of US gay rights leader Harvey Milk, who was assassinated in 1978.
He was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 and is credited with being the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in a major US city.
Ms Buchanan, who secured an award for her study, said she wanted to research how police relations with gay and lesbian communities had developed since the 1970s.
She said: “In terms of investigating homophobic hate incidents, their approach is comparable to ours, yet there are much fewer victims coming forward and I think this is a reflection of the strategic approach to community engagement.
“In Scotland, and in the north, I think we enjoy much better community relations than they do in San Francisco.”
Northern Constabulary’s chief constable Ian Latimer said in 2009 that combating hate crimes and the abuse of people because of prejudices against them would be at the heart of Scottish policing.
His comments were made as the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos) launched a strategy promoting equality and diversity in police forces.
Mr Latimer said the move had nothing to with what “some still regard as political correctness”.
He said at the time: “The police cannot work in isolation. Reducing crime and building safe and confident communities requires the assistance, trust and co-operation of everyone.”
Northern Constabulary also launched Acpos’s Diversity Handbook in 2009.
It provides officers with advice on dealing with honour crimes, forced marriages, disability, gender, faith and religion, race and sexual orientation.
from The BBC