5 LGBT things you need to know about today, Feb. 26

1. Oh, heavens. One-third of young people who left organized religion did so because of anti-gay teachings or treatment within their churches, according to this MSNBC report. “A full 31% of young people (ages 18 to 33) who left organized religion said ‘negative teachings’ or ‘negative treatment’ of gay people was a ‘somewhat important’ or ‘very important’ factor in their departure,” the story says. The story also references the trend of young people leaving the Republican party for similar reasons.

2. All eyes are out west, as Arizona governor Jan Brewer continues to deliberate whether to veto or sign into law an anti-gay bill very similar to the ones being proposed in Georgia, which allows businesses to refuse service to LGBT people on the grounds of religious freedom. As the protests outside the Capitol rage on, Gov. Brewer has until the end of the day Saturday to decide whether or not to veto SB 1062.

3. Sad news out of New York. Roy Simmons, a former lineman for the Giants and Washington Redskins and one of only a handful of NFL players to say they were gay, died Thursday in his Bronx apartment of complications related to pneumonia. Simmons was HIV-positive and had other health problems, according to his brother. The 57-year-old starred at Georgia Tech before moving onto the pros in 1979. He came out in 1992, several years after he retired from the NFL.

4. Someone’s making the most of their final years in office. Attorney General Eric Holder attracted attention yesterday when he stated in an interview that state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws that they believe are discriminatory. It’s a highly unlikely move for a sitting Attorney General to advise his state counterparts on how and when to refuse to defend state laws.

5. Coming on the heels of a vicious anti-gay law being signed into law, a Ugandan tabloid printed the names of what it called “the country’s top homosexuals.” “EXPOSED! Uganda’s 200 Top Homos Named,” read the cover of the Red Pepper newspaper, which included several photographs next to the headline.

psaunders@thegavoice.com | @patricksaunders