Tuesday, July 18, 2006

GLBT DIGEST July 18, 2006


Gays aren't at war with Christianity

Tom Oberly
Coral Springs

July 14, 2006

Re Friday's letter, "First Amendment meaning skewed": This writer was so far
out into right field, he deserves a response.

First, his assertion that homosexuals are in a war against Christianity is
unfounded. As a gay Christian, I take serious affront to this. It is, in
fact, the total opposite. As a Christian, we should all be following the
teachings of Jesus, and I liked what he said about homosexuality: absolutely

These right-wing, homophobic Christians use one phrase out of the Old
Testament to promote their bigotry. Theologians will tell you that at the
time it was believed that the man implanted a tiny seed baby into the
woman's womb. The woman was only a repository until birth. We all know that
not to be true. Therefore, it was as much a "sin" of murder to waste the
seed with a man as it was to practice coitus interruptus with a woman. Back
to the old Bible, due to the explanation above, Leviticus called the act an

Also, in Leviticus it states that eating a shellfish is an abomination. So
it appears that if the person who wrote this initial letter or
family/friends eat shellfish, then they fall into the same category as
homosexuals. Interesting.

I also challenge that writer, if he is going to use one phrase from the
Bible, then how can he defend its condoning slavery and selling one's
daughters? Also, I hope that he or his neighbors don't work on Sunday, for
you are morally obligated to be put to death. Don't you see the hypocrisy to
discriminate against a group of people based on such words with no
scientific credence?


The New York Times


July 17, 2006
Oprah Winfrey Says She Is Not Gay
Filed at 6:54 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. television talk show queen Oprah Winfrey on Monday
moved to quash rumors about her relationship with her best friend, saying
she is not gay.

In the August issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, the TV star says some people
misunderstand her close friendship of 30 years with Gayle King, an editor on
the magazine often seen with Winfrey in public.

``I understand why people think we're gay,'' Winfrey tells the magazine.
``There isn't a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between
women. So I get why people have to label it -- how can you be this close
without it being sexual?''

In the article, Winfrey and King, who is divorced with two children, discuss
their 30-year friendship and ''four-times-a-day phone calls.''

The friends say they would have no problem telling the public if they were
in a sexual relationship.

``The truth is, if we were gay, we would tell you, because there's nothing
wrong with being gay,'' says King.

King says the rumors used to bother her as ``it's hard enough to get a date
on Saturday night'' but said she doesn't care anymore. Winfrey, 52, who has
never been married, agrees.

``I've told nearly everything there is to tell. All my stuff is out there.
People think I'd be so ashamed of being gay that I wouldn't admit it? Oh,


The Washington Post


GOP Seeks Replay With Gay Marriage Vote

The Associated Press
Monday, July 17, 2006; 3:22 AM

WASHINGTON -- Undeterred by a decisive defeat in the Senate, House
Republicans are moving ahead with a vote on a constitutional amendment to
ban gay marriage, forcing lawmakers to take a stand just months before the

The vote, scheduled for Tuesday, will occur in a week devoted to several
priorities of social conservatives _ what House GOP leaders call their
"American values agenda." Also on tap are a pledge protection bill and
several Republican-backed stem cell bills.

President Bush, under some pressure from conservatives to take a more active
role in promoting their issues, spoke out for the gay marriage amendment
several times before it was rejected in the Senate last month.

Changing the Constitution is necessary, he said in one of his weekly radio
addresses, because "activist judges and some local officials have made an
aggressive attempt to redefine marriage in recent years."

Defeat of the amendment is once again a near-certainty. The Senate fell 11
votes short of the 60 votes needed just to advance the proposal to a
yes-or-no decision. Two years ago, just before another election, the House
came up some 40 votes shy of the two-thirds majority required to advance a
constitutional amendment.


The New York Times


July 17, 2006

Gay Rights Group: Dobson Manipulated Data
Filed at 11:05 p.m. ET

DENVER (AP) -- Members of a group supporting parental rights for gays and
lesbians accused Focus on the Family founder James Dobson of manipulating
research data to say gays and lesbians are not good parents, and began a
65-mile march Monday to confront him at his Colorado Springs headquarters.

A Focus on the Family official denied the allegation.

Soulforce Executive Director Jeff Lutes said Dobson's statements have
brought rejection and ridicule on gay and lesbian parents, and the group
wants him to stop.

''That misinformation has real tragic results. It makes living for families
like ours much more difficult. We are rejected sometimes by loved ones, we
are shunned by churches and we are discriminated against in every state in
this country,'' Lutes said at a rally before the march.

Judith Stacey, a sociologist at New York University, said her work was
manipulated in an attempt to show gays and lesbians do not make good

''This is a direct misrepresentation of the research,'' she said.

Focus on the Family spokesman Glenn Stanton cited other research --
including an article co-authored by Mary Parke, a policy analyst at the
Center for Law and Social Policy, that shows that children need a mother and
a father, regardless of the parents' sexual orientation.

''We haven't said anything about sexual orientation,'' he said.

Another spokesman, Gary Schneeberger, said Focus on the Family declined to
meet privately with members of Virginia-based Soulforce last year but
offered to hold a public debate, which Soulforce refused.

''This is a public issue. We should have a public debate,'' he said.


The New York Times


July 18, 2006

A Conversation with Ben A. Barres
Dismissing 'Sexist Opinions' About Women's Place in Science

Perhaps it is inevitable that Ben A. Barres would have strong opinions on
the debate over the place of women in science. Dr. Barres has a degree in
biology from M.I.T., a medical degree from Dartmouth and a doctorate in
neurobiology from Harvard. He is a professor of neurobiology at Stanford.
And until his surgery a decade ago, his name was Barbara, and he was a

Now he has taken his unusual perspective to the current issue of the journal
Nature, in a commentary titled "Does Gender Matter?"

Dr. Barres (pronounced BARE-ess), 51, who grew up in West Orange, N.J., said
he had been thinking about the gender issue for over a year, since Lawrence
H. Summers, then the president of Harvard, gave a talk in which he suggested
that one explanation for women's relative absence at the upper ranks of
science might be innate intellectual deficiencies. Assertions of innate
differences by other researchers - "sexist opinions," Dr. Barres calls
them - fueled his anger, especially because they came from scientists.

Dr. Barres discussed his commentary, his career and sexism in science in a
telephone interview from his home in Stanford, Calif.

Q. What's your response to people who say you rely too much on your own
experience and should take scientific hypotheses less personally?

A. They should learn that scientific hypotheses require evidence. The bulk
of my commentary discusses the actual peer-reviewed data.

Q. Why do some people attribute differences in professional achievement to
innate ability?

A. One of the reasons is the belief by highly successful people that they
are successful because of their own innate abilities. I think as a professor
at Stanford I am lucky to be here. But I think Larry Summers thinks he is
successful because of his innate inner stuff.

Q. What about the idea that men and women differ in ways that give men an
advantage in science?


The New York Times


July 16, 2006
Modern Love

Married, but Certainly Not to Tradition

THE groom's mother wore a peach silk suit and an expression of mingled
happiness, anxiety and bemusement. The other groom's mother wore a
peacock-blue dress and a similar expression, one that seemed to combine "I
can't believe this is happening" with "What a beautiful day, what a lovely
chapel, what nice well-dressed people - just like a real wedding."

One groom's father needed to step outside and smoke a lot. The other groom's
father was dead. Nieces were in abundance, though - a bouquet of skinny
adorable girls, dressed in hot pink and giggling with excitement.

But I didn't have a lot of time to gawk at the family members because I was
a huppah holder at this gay Christian wedding, and our routine was
intricately choreographed.

The huppah, in the Jewish tradition, is a canopy, often made from a prayer
shawl, whose corners are held up on poles by four people close to the
wedding couple. But these grooms, Randy and Michael, were Catholic - super
Catholic in fact. Michael had been a seminarian, preparing for the Jesuit
priesthood in a former life, and Randy a Benedictine monk, deeply steeped in
prayer, contemplation and service.

So why, as my Brooklyn-raised father carefully asked, would they want a
huppah? The thing is, when you put "Catholic" and "gay wedding" together,
you come out with one inevitable conclusion: an extravaganza of rituals.

And that's what this was. We started in a circle of 100 people, holding
hands, blessing and thanking earth, sky and the four directions. We then
moved into some Christian sacred dance, all about breaking bread and feeding
one another. While the rest of the wedding party proceeded into the chapel,
wearing burgundy and orange ribbon stoles and holding long-stemmed gerbera
daisies, three fellow Jews and I struggled outside to mount the huppah.

In a typical Jewish wedding, our task would have been simple: Don't let the
huppah sag, and don't sneeze during the ceremony. But this huppah was not
just a huppah. First, it was a quilt, created by the grooms' families and
friends, with squares that read "Two Boys Dancing" and "I don't even know
how to think straight." Then it was to become a kind of medieval coat of
arms, which we were to carry folded to the altar where we would unfurl it
into a backdrop for the ceremony. And later it would become an altar cloth,
an anchor for the Bible and a robe.

Michael, a veteran actor and director, has had a lifelong love affair with
props. I met him six years before, when we did a children's play together,
and I quickly came to appreciate his wit and gallantry. But he was reserved
about his private life, so we didn't engage in the usual banter about
ex-lovers and current flings.

When he met Randy, who radiates the kind of sincerity that I had only before
seen in Jehovah's Witnesses, something came loose in Michael, and here, at
the wedding, it was on full display.

When the communion part of the ceremony rolled around, the priest in Michael
took over; he grabbed the plate of bread and held it aloft.


The New York Times


July 18, 2006

Gay Marriage Amendment Faces Uphill Battle
Filed at 4:06 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages
is expected to fail again in the House, frustrating conservatives who have
made it a legislative priority but also giving them an issue they can put
before voters in November.

The House vote scheduled for Tuesday has little legislative significance
because the Senate has already effectively killed the proposal for this
waning session of Congress. But President Bush has asked, and social
conservatives demanded, that gay marriage be on the agenda in the run-up to
the election.

Democratic opponents criticized the timing of the vote, which Rep. John
Conyers of Michigan, top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said was ''an
obvious ploy by the majority to play on the worst fears'' of voters before
an election.

The same-sex marriage debate mirrors that of the 2004 election year, when
both the House and Senate fell well short of the two-thirds majority needed
to send a constitutional amendment to the states. But the issue, in the form
of state referendums, helped bring conservative voters to the polls.

One result has been that, while Congress stayed on the sidelines, state
legislatures moved aggressively to define marriage as a union between a man
and a woman.

Forty-five states have either state constitutional amendments banning gay
marriage or state statutes outlawing same-sex weddings. Even in
Massachusetts, the only state that allows gay marriage, the state's high
court recently ruled that a proposed constitutional amendment to ban future
gay marriages can be placed on the ballot.

''Our momentum in the states is extremely strong and Washington is playing
catch-up,'' said Matt Daniels, president of the Alliance for Marriage.

Daniels, who was involved in drafting the amendment's language, said it was
essential that Congress eventually set a national standard. Members of
Congress are ''the only hope for seeing marriage protected in this country
and they should be on record.''


The New York Times


July 17, 2006

Dutch Court Rejects Ban of Pedophile Party
Filed at 9:26 a.m. ET

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch court said on Monday a political party formed
by pedophiles could not be banned as it had the same right to exist as any
other party and was protected by democratic freedoms.

The Brotherly Love, Freedom and Diversity party (PNVD) was launched in May
and campaigns for a cut in the age of consent from 16 to 12 and the
legalisation of child pornography and sex with animals, provoking widespread
outrage in the Netherlands.

The Solace group that campaigns against pedophiles sought a ban as it said
the party infringed the rights of children and its ideas were a threat to
social norms and values in a democratic state. But a court in The Hague
rejected the bid.

``The freedom of expression, the freedom of assembly and the freedom of
association ... should be seen as the foundations of the democratic rule of
law and the PNVD is also entitled to these freedoms,'' the court said in a

The court said these freedoms were not unlimited, but limits to them could
only apply to activities that undermined public order and judges could not
take lightly a decision to ban a political party.

``It is up to the voter to give a judgment on the arguments of political
parties,'' Judge H. Hofhuis told the court. It is not Dutch practice to
publish the first names of judges.

No Kidding, a group campaigning for children's rights, said the right to
freedom of expression was not absolute and called on the Dutch government to
act against the PNVD.


The New York Times


July 16, 2006
In Transit

More Companies Chase Gay Travelers

Hilton Hotels unveiled a new ad campaign last month aimed at the gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. The ads will run in a variety
of gay publications through the summer with the tagline "Come as You Are ...

Big online travel agencies like Orbitz and Travelocity already have
dedicated Web pages with gay-friendly travel packages and destinations. (To
gain access to the sites, add "/gaytravel" to the domain name.) Travelocity,
which has offered a database of gay-friendly hotels for about a year at
Travelocity.com/gaytravel, recently updated the site to include properties
certified by Community Marketing, a gay-tourism marketing company. Certified
hotels must, among other things, enforce nondiscrimination policies.

It's all part of an effort by travel companies to get a piece of the growing
gay travel market, which, according to the Mintel International Group, a
market-research company in Britain, is expected to increase by more than $20
billion over the next five years,.

In May, PlanetOut, a gay online and magazine publishing company, presented
awards to bring attention to an industry increasingly opening doors to gay
travelers. Among the winners were American Airlines, Hyatt Hotels and
Resorts and Crystal Cruises.


The New York Times


July 15, 2006

In Nebraska and Tennessee, More Setbacks to Gay Rights

Opponents of same-sex marriage won victories yesterday in Nebraska and
Tennessee, with courts in both states siding with efforts to amend state
constitutions to prohibit such unions.

In Nebraska, a federal appeals court, the highest-level federal court to
take up the issue, reinstated a ban on same-sex marriage that had been
approved by voters in 2000. A federal district judge had overturned the ban
last year, saying it was discriminatory and punitive.

In Tennessee, the State Supreme Court ruled that a proposed constitutional
amendment against same-sex marriage could stay on the November ballot. The
American Civil Liberties Union had sued to block the measure on technical
grounds, saying the state had not met notification requirements. The court
dismissed the suit, saying the A.C.L.U. had no standing.

The rulings came a week after courts in New York and Georgia sided with
opponents of same-sex marriage. The New York Court of Appeals, the state's
highest court, ruled that the State Constitution did not require same-sex
marriage. The Georgia Supreme Court reinstated a constitutional amendment
banning same-sex marriage and legal benefits to same-sex couples in civil

This week, the highest court in Massachusetts, which ruled in 2003 that
same-sex marriage was legal, declined to block a ballot measure for a
constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. The legislature in
Massachusetts, the only state where gay men and lesbians can marry, will
vote on the measure in November. If the measure gets 50 lawmakers' votes
this year and again next year, it can appear on the ballot in November 2008.

"No doubt it's been a tough week," said Matt Foreman, executive director of
the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "But each one of these decisions
stands on its own. This isn't some tidal wave against us."


The Washington Post


The Numbers Game

Tuesday, July 18, 2006; HE03

22 Percentage of gay male couples that are raising children
34 Percentage of lesbian couples that are raising children
46 Percentage of married heterosexual couples that are raising children

Source: Census statistics cited in "The Effects of Marriage, Civil Union and
Domestic Partnership Laws on the Health and Well-Being of Children," in the
July edition of the journal Pediatrics


The New York Times


July 14, 2006

Gay Getaways: The New Wave

ED GREEN stood inside his gift shop on Center Street in Douglas, Mich.,
squinting through the glass storefront and pointing quickly left and right.
"The new flower shop - gay," he said. "The new gallery across the street,
that shop there, the gallery near the pizza place - all gay."

Mr. Green, who has owned the shop, called Thomas Greene, with his life and
business partner, John Thomas, for 15 years, was illustrating the gay
evolution of this tiny village. Though nearby Saugatuck, another Lake
Michigan beach town, gets national attention for being a gay getaway - it's
known as the Fire Island of the Midwest - it's tiny Douglas, population
1,200, that has really come out lately.

"There's been a real renaissance," Mr. Green said. "We still have people who
have been coming to the area for 20 years who make their way over here and
are like, 'Wow, I had no idea!' It's really still being discovered."

When it comes to emerging gay vacation towns, Douglas is not alone. Sure,
gay men and lesbians can vacation openly almost anywhere these days. But
that cultural shift hasn't meant the dissolution of traditional gay-getaway
enclaves - small towns equipped with gay-owned bed-and-breakfasts, a
nightclub or two, relaxing settings like beaches or mountains and a
rainbow-clad reputation.

Such places are thriving, and, like Douglas, growing, in unexpected
locations all across the country.
And there are "Fire Islands" in just about every region of the States, from
Maine and North Carolina to Puna, Hawaii, and upstate New York.

"The big gay Meccas used to be Provincetown, Palm Springs and Southern
Florida, period," said Scott Coatsworth, who has operated an online guide to
gay-owned inns, PurpleRoofs.com, since 1998. "Over the last few years,
though, we've seen several other up-and-coming destinations develop - most
notably Ogunquit in Maine, the Saugatuck area in Michigan, Eureka Springs in
Arkansas, and Guerneville, Calif. Many of these places have historically
been gay friendly, but they've become more widely known in the last few
years, in large part because of the Internet."


The Washington Post


Optimism on Both Sides of Gay-Marriage Debate
State Votes Will Show Whether Bans Are Losing Steam or Gaining Ground

By T.R. Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 18, 2006; A04

DENVER -- The safest bet in American politics in recent years has been a
state ban on same-sex marriage. Since 1998, proposals to outlaw such unions
have appeared on the ballot in 20 states, both red and blue, and they have
passed everywhere by big margins.

Accordingly, opponents of same-sex marriage -- who prefer to call the issue
"protection of marriage" -- are confident these days as they look ahead to
the eight (or possibly nine) states in which the ban is expected to be on
the ballot in November.

"It costs some time and money to collect the signatures to put it on the
ballot," said Bill Moeller of the Arlington-based citizens group American
Values. "But once it's there, it tends to win with large numbers."

And yet, supporters of same-sex marriage -- who prefer to call the issue
"marriage equality" -- are also optimistic as they look forward to this
fall's campaigns. "Attitudes are changing, as people come to see this as a
civil rights issue," said Brad Luna, of the Human Rights Campaign. "All the
indicators show Americans are moving in the direction of marriage equality."

Among other things, proponents of same-sex marriage think they have a chance
this November, for the first time, to defeat a ban on a state ballot. A
nonpartisan poll in Wisconsin last month showed voters evenly split on the
issue, with 49 percent favoring such a ban and 48 percent opposed. Gov. Jim
Doyle (D) and four former governors from both parties have come out against
the amendment.

Polling in Arizona and Colorado also suggests fairly close divisions. But
opponents of same-sex marriage note that polls usually understate the actual
vote for such a ban.

Beyond that, efforts to put a ban on state ballots are starting to fall
short, both in the legislatures and in citizens' initiatives. In eight
states, including Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, proposals
calling for a ballot referendum banning same-sex marriage failed to pass the
legislature this year. In California and Florida, opponents of same-sex
marriage were unable to collect enough signatures to put an initiative on
the ballot this fall.


Of Human Rights Watch and the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights

From Peter Tatchell, OutRage! London

14 July 2006

Dear Scott and Paula,

While I have great respect for your human rights work and that of your
respective organisations, I am totally baffled by the decision of HRW
and IGLHRC to not support the 19 July protests against the Iranian
regime's persecution of LGBT people.

The 19 July protests were initiated by OutRage! and IDAHO (the
International Day Against Homophobia), with the support of the main
Iranian LGBT group, the Persian Gay & Lesbian Organisation (PGLO).

You say you support the PGLO. But you appear to not trust their
judgement that the 19 July protests deserve support.

The agreed common, universal demand of all the 19 July protests
worldwide is:

Iran: Stop Killing Gays! Stop Killing Kids!

OutRage! has proposed an additional five demands for the 19 July
protests, which local protests are free to adopt or not. These five
demands have been endorsed by PGLO. They are:

1. End all executions in Iran, especially the execution of minors.

2. Stop the arrest, torture and imprisonment of Iranian lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender people and repeal the Iranian penal code's
criminalisation of same-sex relationships.

3. Halt the deportation to Iran of LGBT asylum seekers and other
victims of Tehran's persecution.

4. Support Iranians struggling for democracy, social justice and human

5. Oppose foreign military intervention in Iran; regime change must
come from within - by and for the Iranian people themselves.

You were both advised of these demands in a news release issued by
OutRage! on 26 June.


July 03, 2006
by Rex Wockner

6,800 couples get hitched in U.K.

More than 6,800 same-sex couples have gotten married under the United
Kingdom's Civil Partnership Act since it took effect in December.

The law grants civil partners all the rights and obligations of
traditional marriage.

In England and Wales, male couples tying the knot have vastly
outnumbered female couples -- 4,311 to 2,205.

In Scotland, 343 ceremonies have taken place. Male couples lead there
also -- 220 to 123.

"Local registrars have been exemplary in introducing this new
legislation, helping same-sex partners to have a relaxed and happy
experience on their important day," said Scottish Registrar General
Duncan Macniven.

In Exeter, England, Member of Parliament Ben Bradshaw married his
longtime partner, BBC journalist Neal Dalgleish, on June 24.

Bradshaw told the BBC: "The sort of things I worried about were things
like being able to visit my partner in hospital, being treated as next
of kin, not being clobbered for inheritance tax, which were some of the
things that were inflicted on same-sex couples before we had civil

Korea OKs gender change in official records



Same-sex lessons are new slight to Vatican
By Fiona Govan in Madrid

The gulf between Spain and the Vatican deepened yesterday when it was
announced that pupils in the Catholic country are to be taught about
same-sex relationships. Only days after the Pope's visit to Valencia,
the socialist government unveiled plans for homosexuality to be part
of a new school curriculum.

Pupils from the age of 10 will be taught about tolerating and
respecting the diversity that exists within society. Alejandro Tiana,
general secretary for education, said such teaching was necessary
because "children need to learn there are various types of families".

The government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has infuriated the
Catholic hierarchy in Spain and at the Vatican by bringing in
marriage and adoption rights for homosexuals and relaxing divorce
laws. It has also announced an end to mandatory Catholic education in
schools and chipped away at state funding for Catholic clergy


Neo-Nazis threaten Riga Gay Pride

Tatchell to join Latvia march & defy threats

London - 18 July 2006

Latvia's Gay Pride march in Riga this Saturday faces threats of
violence from Christians, nationalists and neo-Nazis. They have vowed
to stop it taking place.

Responding to these homophobic threats, the Latvian authorities are
threatening to ban the Riga Pride march on public order grounds,
claiming it is the "biggest security risk" since Latvia won its
independence from the USSR. So far, they have refused to grant a
permit for the march.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage! will join
Saturday's march in solidarity with Latvia's beleaguered but defiant
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities.

"It is scandalous that a member state of the EU is giving in to
threats and blackmail by religious fundamentalists and the far right,"
said Mr Tatchell.

He was commenting on the failure of the Latvian authorities to issue a
march permit to the Riga Pride organisers.

"It echoes the bad old days of Soviet tyranny," added Mr Tatchell.

"The government of Latvia has a duty to resist threats of homophobic
violence, protect its gay citizens and safeguard the right to peaceful

"Riga Pride is a litmus test of Latvian democracy," he concluded.


Iranian gay group backs 19 July protests

PGLO rejects view that hanged teens were rapists

Support for OutRage!'s five demands

24 cities protest against Iran's homophobic persecution

London - 14 July 2006

"The Persian Gay and Lesbian Organisation endorses the worldwide 19
July protests, which commemorate the execution of gay lovers Mahmoud
Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni and condemn the Iranian regime's persecution
of its gay and lesbian citizens," said Arsham Parsi, secretary of
Iran's leading gay organisation, the PGLO.

New information obtained from sources inside Iran by Afdhere Jama,
editor of the queer Muslim magazine Huriyah, confirm that the Mahmoud
and Ayaz were lovers not rapists, and that they were hanged because of
their homosexuality (see below).

"We urge cities all over the world to show solidarity with our freedom
struggle. Your solidarity is tremendously important and effective,"
added Mr Parsi.

"It is very distressing to witness the way some leading human rights
groups have been hood-winked by the homophobic culture both inside and
outside Iran. They have chosen to believe the propaganda waged against
gay human rights, rather than gay victims and gay groups like PGLO.

"We feel great pain when we see human rights advocates ignoring the
evidence and failing to speak out against the torture and execution of
gay people in our country.

"We know first-hand, from the violent abuse of our members and
supporters, that the jailing, flogging and hanging of gay people is
official state law and policy.

"Sources in Iran have confirmed that the two youths executed in
Mashhad last July were lovers, not child rapists. We are convinced
they were hanged because they were gay.

"We are very disappointed that some people prefer to believe the story
of Iranian officials about these two teens that is geared towards
defaming the character of the murdered boys.


Russia to lift Gay Blood ban says Ministry of Health

At the initiative of Project GayRussia, Russian gays will be allowed
to donate their blood

Moscow - 17 July 2006

Russia is going to lift the gay blood ban said the Office of the
General Prosecutor and the Ministry of Health in a joint answer to a
request sent last May by Russian gay activists, Nikolai Alekseev and
Nikolai Baev, of Project GayRussia.

"The General Prosecutor recognised that there is nothing in the law
which prevents gays from donating their blood. As a result, his office
has asked the Ministry of Health to cancel its instruction, made in
2001, which forbids blood donations by gays," explained Nikolai

According to the instruction on blood donors released by the Minister
of Health on September 14th, 2001, homosexuals, drug addicts and
prostitutes are considered to belong to a HIV high risk group. "The
Ministry of Health has informed us that this instruction will be
shortly amended and gays will not be forbidden anymore to give their
blood," said Nikolai Baev.

"A symbolic discrimination will end. This is probably the first
positive gain for gay Russians since 1993, which saw the
decriminalisation of male homosexuality," added Nikolai Alekseev.

Although the answer to their claim came two weeks before the G8 Summit
in Saint Petersburg, Alekseev and Baev refuse to see this reform as a
way for President Putin's administration to erase the negative effects
of the banned and suppressed Gay Pride march last May. The authorities
did not publicise this change in blood donation policy.


Law against homophobia: "tramples legitimate moral freedoms
and imposes values without rational and sociological merit"
-- Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Catholic church in Scotland


Church: gay law 'is threat to freedom'
Camillo Fracassini

LEADERS of the Catholic church in Scotland have branded new
legislation banning denominational schools from teaching that
homosexuality is a sin "totalitarian", claiming it amounts to
"thought control".

Cardinal Keith O'Brien said the new sexual orientation regulations in
the Equality Act were a "threat to religious freedom".

The changes, due to be introduced next year, will make it illegal for
businesses or public bodies to discriminate against gay people in the
provision of goods, facilities or services.

They will outlaw sexual orientation discrimination in the classroom
by forcing schools to give lessons about homosexuality and
heterosexuality equal prominence.

The Catholic church in Scotland is demanding an exemption that would
allow it to conduct sex and relationship classes in line with its
beliefs and deny homosexuals the use of its premises, such as church halls.

The move threatens to reignite the bitter row that surrounded the
repeal of section 28, the law that banned the promotion of
homosexuality in schools.

O'Brien said the new legislation, which is being drawn up by the
Department for Communities and Local Government at Westminster, would
"force people of faith to approve and co-operate with values that
they can never in conscience accept".


From Marc Paige

From the July 12 Washington Post:

The proposed route would take the marchers from Independence Park in west
Jerusalem toward the Israeli parliament, keeping them miles away from the
Old City, which holds the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock and the Church
of the Holy Sepulchre, three of the city's holiest sites.

Mr Crain:
I asked that your paper, the Express South Florida, print a correction for
an article that stated that, "Jerusalem, like the rest of the West Bank, is
occupied territory." I am now repeating that request.

If the Sun-Sentinel called the whole of Jerusalem occupied territory, I
would expect a correction, stating that East Jerusalem is considered
occupied territory by most international standards, but not West Jerusalem,
not where the Israeli parliament is housed, not Jerusalem's Independence
Park, and not anywhere where the gay march will take place. I ask again that
your paper correct the impression that Jerusalem's World Pride will be
taking place on "occupied territory."

Thanks and regards,
Marc Paige
6359 Bay Club Dr. #1
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308

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