What’s Brewing: Boehner defends House hearing on ‘defending marriage’; civil unions in Delaware

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. A U.S. House subcommittee is holding a hearing this morning on “defending marriage.” Republican House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday defended the hearing as a “legitimate” use of government resources. Those scheduled to testify include anti-gay activist Maggie Gallagher, chair of the National Organization for Marriage.

2. The Delaware House on Thursday voted 26-15 to approve a measure that would legalize civil unions. The bill, which already cleared the Senate, now goes to Gov. Jack Markell, who has said he will sign it. Delaware would be the eighth state to allow civil unions or domestic partnerships.

3. Today is the Day of Silence.

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Kobe Bryant fined $100,000 for anti-gay slur; Laura Miller to endorse Kunkle

Kobe Bryant

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 for using an anti-gay slur against a referee on Tuesday night. Bryant was caught on video calling ref Bennie Adams a “fucking faggot” after Adams gave him a technical foul. Bryant apologized before the fine was handed down Wednesday, and he later reportedly phoned Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese personally. In case you’re wondering, Bryant earns about $25 million a year in salary (not counting endorsements). If you earn $50,000 annually, Bryant’s $100,000 fine would be the equivalent of a $200 speeding ticket. Even though Bryant wasn’t suspended, we suppose the fine is progress as the NBA moves to become more gay-friendly. On the same day that Bryant used the slur, Phoenix Suns player Grant Hill taped an ad that will air during the NBA Finals for GLSEN’s “Think Before You Speak” campaign.

2. Former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller will endorse ex-Police Chief David Kunkle for mayor tonight, The Dallas Morning News reports (subscription required). Miller’s endorsement could hurt Kunkle in South Dallas, where she wasn’t particularly popular, but will help him in other parts of the city. It will almost certainly help Kunkle among LGBT voters, who view Miller as an icon. Kunkle has already received the endorsement of Stonewall Democrats.

3. Delaware is poised to legalize civil unions and become the eighth state to offer same-sex couples a comprehensive legal status short of marriage. The Delaware House is expected to vote today on the civil unions bill, which already cleared the Senate and has the support of Gov. Jack Markell.

—  John Wright