This Week’s Best Links: Congress heats up, Sarah Palin Tweets, insurance companies cover SRS, Navy video sinks and more

It’s a new year and Stuff Queer People Need To Know is adding a new weekly post. Check in every Friday for a roundup of all the best queer news the web has to offer.

Glenn Close in drag | New York Daily News

Actress Glenn Close was photographed in drag on the set of her new movie Albert Nobbs. She plays a woman who cross-dresses as a man in order to join the workforce in 19th century Ireland.

Ohio swore in its 129th General Assembly Monday, killing the Equal Housing and Employment Act. The legislation would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to existing non-discrimination legislation for employment, housing and public accommodations. The good news? Ohio also inaugurated its first lesbian member of the Ohio House, Rep. Nickie Antonio.

The 112th U.S. Congress convened for the first time Wednesday, and the Senate may review the filibuster, used 139 times by the 111th U.S. Congress. Potential reforms include reducing the threshold number of votes required to override a filibuster and requiring senators who invoke a filibuster to remain on the Senate floor for the entire filibuster.

The U.S. House elected a new speaker, John Boehner, who has one big New Year’s resolution: to nix health care reform. The Ohio Republican has declared war on “Obamacare,” looking to vote on a repeal of the legislation as early as Jan. 12. The National Women’s Law Center is asking Americans to contact their members of Congress and urge them to vote no on a repeal of health care reform.

The woman who inspired the “We Can Do It!” poster passed away. The poster was later dubbed “Rosie the Riveter” and was revived by the feminist movement during the ’80s.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which will weigh in on Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, filed an order Tuesday asking the California Supreme Court to decide if the backers of ballot propositions can step in to defend voter-approved measures in court when state officials refuse to do so.

The U.S. Navy is investigating a series of sexually suggestive and anti-gay videos, broadcast to the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. Capt. Owen Honors, who was the executive officer of the vessel when the video was made, has been identified as the man featured on the video and has been temporarily relieved of duty. Check out clips of the video below:

Sarah Palin tweeted this, Tuesday, in response to the videos:

It is a retweet of conservative pundit Tammy Bruce, and there’s speculation abound as to what it really means.

And while we’re on the subject of the armed forces,  new social networking website Out Military is setting itself up to be the “gay military Facebook.” Literally:

Another new website,, launched this week. The site is a nonprofit online magazine dedicated to gay news in the Cincinnati area.

Two people are charged with breaking into The Dock, a long-standing gay bar in Cincinnati. The pair made off with $15,000 in liquor, and one of them is still at large.

The Great American Condom Campaign, a program that sends condoms to college offices and students to distribute for free, has extended its safe site application deadline to Jan. 10.

More employers are adding sexual reassignment surgery to their health insurance coverage, but procedures such as facial feminization surgery could still be deemed as cosmetic and not covered. And as with any insurance plan, patients will still have to deal with red tape, paperwork, referrals, in-network physicians, mandatory procedure delays and co-pays, in addition to obtaining pre-authorization forms from a mental health professional.

Chicago-based activist group, the Video Action League, celebrated the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” by interviewing gay veterans and chronicling the history of the military’s policy. Watch the results below:

From the Archives: University of Cincinnati students created a video for the It Get’s Better Project that was featured on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

Keep up with the latest queer news by following Stuff Queer People Need To Know on Twitter and Facebook.

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