Thursday, July 27, 2006

GLBT DIGEST July 27, 2006

Spitzer, Suozzi Clash Over Gay Marriage
by Newscenter Staff
July 26, 2006 - 5:00 pm ET

(New York City) The two candidates for the Democratic nod to run for New York governor butted heads in the first debate of the campaign. The moderator was clearly exasperated at times as the debate turned into averbal slugfest. Among the most electrifying parts of the session was a disagreement over same-sex marriage.Attorney General Elliot Spitzer said he would legalize gay marriage is he became governor. "I think same sex marriage should be legal. I will propose a bill to permit that to be the case in the state of New York," he said.


UN Rights Commissioner Calls For Worldwide Gay Rights
by Newscenter Staff
July 26, 2006 - 7:00 pm ET

(Montreal, Quebec) The United Nations Commissioner for Human RightsWednesday evening told an international conference on LGBT human rights thatgays have a fundamental right to privacy and the right to live free of violence.Louise Arbour was speaking at the opening of the first InternationalConference on LGBT Human Rights, a four day event associated with the firstOutgames in Montreal."[There is] a genuine public interest in preserving a space in which thestate must not intrude," said Arbour, a former CanadianSupreme Court Justice.

Acclaimed HIV Expert To Head Duke U. AIDS Institute
by The Associated Press
July 26, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(Raleigh, North Carolina) One of the country's top AIDS researchers and anexpert in international health will lead Duke University's new Global HealthInstitute, one of several recent moves that puts the school at the forefrontof HIV research.Dr. Michael H. Merson, former director of the World Health Organization'sAIDS program and a professor at Yale University, will take over as institute director Nov. 1.The university-wide program promises to go beyond medicine by bringingtogether students in engineering, business and other academic areas toaddress health issues worldwide.


Australian Human Rights Commission Investigates Government's Handling Of Gay Couples

by Newscenter Staff
July 26, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(Sydney, Australia) The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission hasbegun a six month inquiry into the effects of federal law banning same-sexmarriage and the refusal of the John Howard government to consider civilpartnerships."It's disappointing to learn that there are so many federal laws which makeit harder for gay and lesbian couples to manage their finances as comparedto heterosexual couples," said Commission President John Von Doussa as he opened the inquiry in Sydney."And we are very concerned by the stress and anguish caused by thesediscriminatory laws. The right to non-discrimination and the right to equality before the law are two of the most fundamental principles of human rights law."


One In Five Calif. Hate Crimes Against LGBT Community
by Newscenter Staff
July 27, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Sacramento, California) The number of hate crimes in California declined in2005 for the fourth year in a row according a new report issued by the stateAttorney General's office. But, still, nearly one in five hate crimes wasperpetrated against members of the LGBT community.The report, released by Attorney General Bill Lockyer shows that 18.3 percent of all reported hate crimes were against gays and the transgendered.The majority were against gay men - 11.5 percent of the total. Hate crimes against lesbians amounted to 2.9 percent of the total and 13 hate crimes were against transsexuals.

Making A Statement In the Pool
Jay Fisette's Return to the Gay Games Is About More Than Fun and Medals

By Leef Smith
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 27, 2006; VA12

In 1980, Jay Fisette was 24 years old, living in San Francisco and ready totell his parents that he was gay. It was an anxious moment."I want to explain to you why I came to live here," he recalled telling hisother.She interrupted, her tone full of disappointment."I know why. You went there to play water polo."As it turned out, his mother wasn't entirely wrong.It was in San Francisco that Fisette, an accomplished collegiate swimmer andwater polo player, would later participate in an upstart competition calledthe Gay Games. Although few of the athletes had world-class skills, theywere drawn to the games' message of inclusion and pride.


First openly gay candidate elected to Oklahoma legislature

With no opponent to face in the general election in November, an openly gaycandidate is poised to become a member of the Oklahoma legislature for thefirst time in state history. Democrat Al McAffrey, a grandfather of four,won his primary race for a state house seat Tuesday in Oklahoma City andwill not have to square off against a Republican, the Associated Press reports."I ran as a Democratic candidate in District 88, and I happen to be gay,"McAffrey, a local funeral director and Navy veteran, told the AP. "Healthcare, senior care, education, those are the things that really matter to thepeople. The people in Oklahoma want the government out of their sociallives, and let's take care of things that matter to Oklahomans."


Point Foundation names new executive director

The Point Foundation announced Wednesday in Los Angeles that its newexecutive director will be Jorge Valencia. He comes to the mentoring andscholarship organization for LGBT students from the Trevor Project, aprominent L.A.-based group that operates a suicide-prevention hotline forgay youths, where he's served as executive director since 2001."I could not be more thrilled at the selection of Jorge Valencia," BruceLindstrom, the foundation's founder and interim executive director, said ina statement. "His expertise in and passion for helping lesbian, gay,bisexual, and transgender youth-coupled with his demonstrated ability tomanage and grow nonprofit organizations-makes him an ideal leader for thePoint Foundation."


Soulforce Equality Riders plead guilty to trespassing at West Point

Twenty-two young gay rights activists pleaded guilty Tuesday to trespassingwhile protesting the ban on gays in the military at West Point. SoulforceEquality Ride codirector Jacob Reitan said he knew that members of theChristian gay rights group would "eventually be pleading guilty to something." In April the Equality Ride, a 51-day bus tour protesting bans on gay college students at religious universities and military academies, concluded itscross-country campaign at West Point, one of the nation's most prestigiousmilitary schools. When military police asked the 22 protesters to leave,they refused and were each handed a citation for trespassing.


Jesse's Journal

by Jesse Monteagudo

The Religious Left (Yes, It Exists.)

On May 22, at the height of the Senate debate over the Federal MarriageAmendment, an interfaith coalition of Jewish, Sikh, Protestant and UnitarianUniversalist clergy and laity got together to oppose the amendment. Thoughthe members of the newly-created Clergy For Fairness held different viewsabout homosexuality and same-sex marriage, they all agreed that the Federal Marriage Amendment was discriminatory. "When one group is singled out fordiscrimination, it's not long before other groups will be singled out, too,"said Rabbi Craig Asler, one of the organizers. "It's the first time we seethe Constitution in danger of enshrining discrimination against one party, tne class, and to remain silent as a Jew is unconscionable."

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= News
Tuesday, 25th July 2006

The Scotsman

Fire brigades target gay bars in drive to broaden recruitment


SCOTLAND'S fire service is attempting to shed its "macho" image in anationwide drive to recruit gay officers. Posters have been distributed in gay bars and clubs across the countryas part of the equality campaign.Four of Scotland's eight fire brigades are behind the move, which hasalso seen firefighters taking part in a series of gay fairs and paradeswhere they have tried to get the equal opportunities message across.


US: Gays Engaged in a Battle for Hearts, Minds

Los Angeles Times, CA, July 26, 2006,1,4662599.story?coll=la-news-politics-ational&track=crosspromo

Gays Engaged in a Battle for Hearts, Minds After a string of setbacks onsame-sex marriage, activists are trying to get the public to see that theirfamily matters are much like anyone else's.
By Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writer

In upholding bans on same-sex marriage this month, judges in New York andNebraska relied on the same legal argument: Gays and lesbians do not have aright to wed because their relationships are fundamentally different fromstraight relationships.Stung by that reasoning, gay and lesbian leaders have set out to convincethe public that it's not true.They are not giving up on the courts. Washington's highest state court isdue to decide today whether same-sex couples can marry. Similar cases arepending in California and several other states; gay advocates are especiallyoptimistic about their chances in New Jersey.


Worcester Telegram, MA, July 26, 2006

Commentary: Legislature's delay leaves same-sex marriage issue in a tangle
Kenneth J. Moynihan

Before you can tally up the score on the same-sex marriage front, you haveto untangle what the Supreme Judicial Court did this month, then what theLegislature did.The state's highest court on July 10 said it would be legal to place on theballot a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a manand a woman. This, of course, pleased the opponents of same-sex marriage,who had collected over 170,000 signatures asking the Legislature to do just that. Here comes a bump.


WA: Big day in long fight over same-sex marriage;
Court ruling could open state's doors to gay weddings

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, WA, July 26, 2006


By midmorning today, same-sex couples could be planning their weddings asWashington becomes the second state to legalize gay marriage.Or they could be planning the next step in their years-long fight, asreligious leaders and other same-sex marriage opponents celebrateaffirmation that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.Or all eyes could fall on the Legislature, which might be left to decidewhat to do.

=, July 26, 2006

Washington Lawmaker To Bring In Gay Marriage Bill
by Newscenter Staff

(Olympia, Washington) As same-sex couples expressed shock and anger atWednesday's Washington State Supreme Court ruling that upheld a ban on gaymarriage the state's only openly gay legislator announced he will introducea bill to legalize same-sex nuptials.In its ruling the court noted there are hardships for same-sex couples andsuggested that the legislature "may want to re-examine the impact of themarriage laws on all citizens of this state."Rep. Ed Murray (D-Seattle) said he would take that suggestion seriously.


Washington Blade

July 20, 2006

Gay candidates win big in Southern votes
Ala. gets first openly gay state rep; Ga. gay legislator re-elected

The first openly gay state legislator in the Deep South, Georgia's KarlaDrenner, won a fourth term July 18 in her first contested race since herhistoric 2000 election. The same day, voters in Alabama elected their firstopenly gay state lawmaker, Birmingham's Patricia Todd, and a second gaycandidate in Georgia advanced to a runoff in his state House race.The National Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund endorsed all three candidates andhailed their success as a sign of changing attitudes in the region.


The New York Times

July 27, 2006

Army Dismisses Gay Arabic Linguist
Filed at 7:36 a.m. ET

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) -- A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist was dismissed from the U.S. Army under the ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell'' policy, though he says he never told his superiors he was gay and his accuser was never identified.Bleu Copas, 30, told The Associated Press he is gay, but said he was ''outed'' by a stream of anonymous e-mails to his superiors in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.''I knew the policy going in,'' Copas said in an interview on the campus of East Tennessee State University, where he is pursuing a master's degree in counseling and working as a student adviser. ''I knew it was going to be
difficult.''An eight-month Army investigation culminated in Copas' honorable discharge on Jan. 30 -- less than four years after he enlisted, he said, out of a post-Sept. 11 sense of duty to his country.


Interior Minister defends handling of gay pride incidents

Jul 26, 2006
By TBT staff
The Baltic Times

A report from Latvian security services on the incidents that broke out onJuly 22 during gay pride festivities named suspected ringleaders of gaybashing incidents, Interior Minister Dzintars Jaundzeikars said in aninterview with LNT on July 26.The minister would not name anyone specifically and said it was premature tospeak about punishing those responsible for the incidents. "All organizerswill be made accountable," he said. "From both sides."The minister said he was satisfied with the work of the police during July22 events, as policemen had to endure intense psychological pressure. "Infact, they were the ones who suffered most. They were pelted with eggs andexcrements. The pressure was enormous, and it was hard to resist takingsides," the minister said.


The Washington Post

Wash. Court Upholds Gay Marriage Ban

The Associated Press
Wednesday, July 26, 2006; 3:28 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The Washington Supreme Court upheld the state's ban on gay marriage Wednesday, dealing the gay rights movement its second major defeat in less than a month in a liberal-leaning state that was regarded as an especially promising battleground.The ruling leaves Massachusetts as the only state to allow gays to wed.In a 5-4 decision, the court said lawmakers have the power to restrict marriage to a man and a woman, and it left intact the state's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act.Earlier this month, New York's high court dealt gay couples a similar blow when it upheld a state law against same-sex marriage.Wednesday's ruling surprised and delighted gay-marriage opponents, given Washington state's liberal politics, particularly in Seattle.


The New York Times

July 26, 2006

Washington Court Upholds Ban on Gay Marriage

In a 5-to-4 decision, the Washington Supreme Court upheld a state law banning same-sex marriages. The justices issued six opinions in the case, with some in the majority saying that the state legislature remained free to extend the right to marry to gay and lesbian couples.The four dissenting justices said the majority relied on speculation and circular reasoning to endorse discrimination against gay men and lesbians.Massachusetts remains the only state that sanctions gay marriage. New York's highest court upheld a law limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples earlier this month. The New Jersey Supreme Court is expected to rule on the legality of gay marriages there soon.The Washington decision consolidated two cases in which state trial courts had struck down a 1998 state law prohibiting same-sex marriages. The cases were brought by 19 gay and lesbian couples seeking the right to marry or to have their marriages from other jurisdictions recognized in Washington.


Friday, July 07, 2006 4:55 PM

Subject: [al-fatiha-news] Article: Britain's Gay Muslims Struggle with
Sexuality, Religion, and Discrimination - Homosexual & 'Passionate About

Gideon Mendel For
By Jennifer Carlile

July 6, 2006

LONDON - "Oh my god, I'm a sinner," Ubaid said he once thought of himself."I kept praying and wishing I weren't gay, hoping it was a phase, and that. f I kept praying I'd be saved," he said.Ubaid, who asked that his last name not be used, was born in London to aclose-knit and devoutly Muslim Pakistani family."I have always been passionate about Islam," the 30-year-old said,explaining how he struggled to resolve his religion with his sexuality.


Seattle Times

State Supreme Court upholds gay marriage ban
By Lornet Turnbull
Seattle Times staff reporter

The Washington Supreme Court today upheld the state's 1998 ban on same-sex marriage - a ruling decried by gay activists but heralded by supporters of traditional marriage.The 5-to-4 decision came as a sobering defeat for gays and their advocates, who'd hoped the court would strike down the so-named Defense of Marriage Act - DOMA - which restricts marriage to one man and one woman.Had the court struck down the law, Washington would have become only the second state in the nation, after Massachussets, to allow same-sex couples to marry. Washington passed DOMA in 1998, two years after the federal government passed such a law, defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Since then, a majority of states have passed similar gay-marriage bans.


Share your thoughts | What's your reaction to the court's decision?
Readers react to the state Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage.

As a gay man, I am disappointed by today's decision. But, the court is correct. It is now up to our elected officials to strike down DOMA. - Brian, Seattle
This is amazing. I totally expected this state to "legislate from the bench." I am very pleased the judges respected the wishes of Washington's voters. I was proven wrong to, and thankfully so.- Angelalois, Seattle
This decision is sad. I was really hoping for fairness and equality to win out. It will eventually...nothing lights a fire like a dream deferred!


Gay-hiring initiatives up

July 21, 2006 By: Leigh Jones

Dana Moore

Recruiting gay attorneys has become a big part of the initiatives launchedby large law firms to diversify their ranks. But advocates caution that itwill take much more than committees, brochures and networking to lure theseattorneys to the nation's top shops.With law school enrollment down and the legal market remaining strong,tapping into the talent pool of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgenderlawyers makes good business sense, firm leaders say. It also helps answerthe call from in-house counsel demanding more diversity from the firms they hire.But the historically conservative culture of big firms has not attractedlarge numbers of LGBT lawyers in the past, and transforming theirenvironments into desirable places to practice, say many LGBT attorneys, requires a change in firm culture from the inside out.


Kentucky Post

Gay couple benefits gaining
Business grapples with with what's fair

By Stephenie Steitzer
Post staff reporter

Almost half of the 10 largest employers in the region offer domestic partnerbenefits to same-sex couples -- even as public universities in Ohio andKentucky are grappling with the issue.Over the past 10 years, major Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentuckyemployers such as Procter & Gamble, Health Alliance, Toyota and CincinnatiChildren's Hospital Medical Center have begun extending their benefitspackages to include same-sex partners of employees.


For Immediate release: For more info contact:
July 25, 2006
Sean Kosofsky 313-537-3323 x 105

Unprecedented Coalition of GLBT Groups Solidify Opposition to Race/Sex Discrimination

(Detroit- MI) - Today, an unprecedented coalition of local, state andnational groups from the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT)community came together to declare their opposition to the ballot measurethat would ban affirmative action in Michigan.The ballot measure, which is expected to be certified as "Proposal 2" forthe November 7th general election has come under incredible criticism andalmost unanimous opposition from political, religious, labor, and civilrights leaders across Michigan. Today's announcement that fifty more organizations have joined the campaign to defeat the proposed ban onaffirmative action, is expected to be a major setback to the measure,because the coalition of organizations represents tens of thousands ofvoters across the state. Also, the base of opposition to the measure is continuing to grow because of how insidious and far reaching it is.


Support LGBT Groups' UN Accreditation

July 25, 2006

The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has deferred until this week avote on whether to accord UN consultative status to 3 NGOs addressing humanrights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.The 3 NGOs under consideration are: the Danish National Association for Gaysand Lesbians (LBL); the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD) andILGA-Europe.It is critical that LGBT groups have a voice at the UN. Some states are
doing every thing they can to stall the proceedings and avoid the issue even coming to a vote.
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Article Launched: 7/25/2006 01:00 AM

"Ex-gay" stood by to testify at Dobson vigil
By Cindy Rodríguez
Denver Post Staff Columnist

Colorado Springs - In the gay world, there are those in the closet, thosewho are out, those who can't admit to themselves they are gay, and thenthere are people like Mike Haley - an "ex-gay" who works for the anti-gayorganization Focus on the Family.As hundreds of people prayed during a peace vigil Saturday evening for Focusfounder James Dobson to stop promoting hate, Focus spokesman GarySchneeberger stood by a media tent waiting to make introductions to reporters.They had a tent, and it might as well have been a circus. ("Step right upand meet our amazing 'ex-gay' employees!") I was waiting for the bearded lady to show up.