Yay! We get a gesture from the President! Barack Obama nominated his first openly LGBTQ ambassador, GLAAD’s General Counsel David Huebner, who will work on his tan whilst representing the US in New Zealand and Samoa. Less-critical ambassadorships like this tend to go to a president’s political supporters and successful fund-raisers who want a vacation. (The Washington Blade)

Exquisite timing, this. On Saturday, Obama will be addressing the Human Rights Campaign’s biggest annual fundraising dinner, presumably to make his “gay rights speech.” This is, of course, the night before the big National Equality March, when thousands of LGBTQA Americans will descend on D.C. to pressure the Administration to take a bigger leadership role on queer rights issues. Needless to say, there’s a tad bit of skepticism that Obama will do more than decry things like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and promise his action…at some point in the future.

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(h/t Andrew Sullivan)

Elsewhere…

Washington D.C. – The Matthew Shepherd and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act seems to have survived the conference committee process, minus its controversial provision that would have required the death penalty for certain hate crimes. It’s not clear when the final version of the bill will come before the House and the Senate for an up-or-down vote before it’s sent to President Obama’s desk for signing. Obama has promised he will sign the provision into law. (The Washington Blade)

Alaska – Levi Johnson, the father of Sara Palin’s granddaughter with Palin’s 18-year-old unmarried daughter Bristol, will posed naked for Playgirl magazine. Johnson says he’s trying to build a modeling and acting career. (Towleroad)

Washington State – A TV ad paid for by the conservative group Protect Marriage Washington as part of their push against same-gender marriage in Washington makes heavy use of imagery copyrighted by the Mormon Church. (Box Turtle Bulletin)

The Internet – The Advocate reports that anti-HIV drugs tailored to an individual’s genetic make-up are on the way. Also, Barney Frank thinks the National Equality March is a waste of time, and we should all be nice to Obama because “he doesn’t need the pressure.” (The Advocate, Michaelangelo Signorile)

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James Sanna is the Assistant Editor.

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