Sunday, July 23, 2006

GLBT NEWS DIGEST July 23, 2006


ACLU Sues for Anti-Gay Group That Pickets at Troops' Burials

By Garance Burke
Associated Press
Sunday, July 23, 2006; A02

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas church group that protests at military funerals
nationwide filed suit in federal court, saying a Missouri law banning such
picketing infringes on religious freedom and free speech.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit Friday in the U.S.
District Court in Jefferson City, Mo., on behalf of the fundamentalist
Westboro Baptist Church, which has outraged mourning communities by
picketing service members' funerals with signs condemning homosexuality.

The church and the Rev. Fred Phelps say God is allowing troops, coal miners
and others to be killed because the United States tolerates gay men and

Missouri lawmakers were spurred to action after members of the church
protested in St. Joseph, Mo., last August at the funeral of Army Spec.
Edward L. Myers.


Study recommends early treatment for transsexuals

22/07/2006 - 11:30:50

More than one in four transsexuals who go for therapy in this country have
been or are married, according to a new study on transsexuals.

The study, which is the first of its kind in Ireland, concludes that early
treatment for men and women with Gender Identity Disorder could help avoid
complications with spouses and children.

It is thought that one in 30,000 people suffer from some form of GID.

The study also warns about the lack of appropriate guidelines and services
for patients here.


The New York Times

July 22, 2006

Philadelphia May Evict Boy Scouts Council
Filed at 3:30 p.m. ET

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The city said it will evict a Boy Scout council from
its publicly owned headquarters or make the group pay a fair rent price
unless it changes its policy on gays.

The Boy Scouts' Cradle of Liberty Council, the country's third-largest, has
been battling with the city for more than three years over the policy, which
like the national Scouts organization forbids gays from being leaders.
City Solicitor Romulo L. Diaz Jr. wrote a letter to William T. Dwyer III,
president of the Cradle of Liberty Council, stating that the council's
''discriminatory policies'' violate city policy and law, and that city
officials have not been assured the group will not discriminate.

Unless the city gets a ''fair-market rent agreement,'' the council will be
evicted, the letter says.
The group has made its headquarters on a half-acre owned by the city in the
upscale Philadelphia Art Museum area since 1928, when the city council voted
to allow the Scouts to use the property rent-free ''in perpetuity.'' The
Scouts pay for building upkeep.


The New York Times

July 22, 2006

Former Spokane, Wash. Mayor West Dies

Filed at 1:59 p.m. ET

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Former Mayor James E. West, who opposed gay-rights
bills but was recalled from office over an Internet gay sex scandal, died
Saturday of complications from recent cancer surgery. He was 55.

The conservative former Republican state senate majority leader was
diagnosed in early 2003 with colon cancer that later spread to his liver. A
statement issued by University of Washington Medical Center said his family
and pastor were at his side at the Seattle hospital.

''As a family we wish to thank the caregivers at University of Washington
Medical Center, and the many friends of Jim for their support and prayers,''
the family said in their statement.

Seven months after The Spokesman-Review newspaper began publishing results
of a computer ''sting'' it conducted to track the mayor's online activities
in a gay chat room, West was ousted from office on Dec. 6, 2005, on a single
charge that he used his office for personal benefit.


The New York Times

July 22, 2006

Episcopal Bishop in Ark. OKs Gay Blessings
Filed at 10:43 a.m. ET

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Episcopal churches in Arkansas can offer blessing
ceremonies for gay couples, the state's bishop said in a letter to clergy.

''It is my belief that seeking ways of recognizing and blessing faithful,
monogamous same-sex relationships falls within the parameters of providing
pastoral concern and care for our gay and lesbian members,'' wrote the Right
Rev. Larry Maze, bishop of the 14,000-member Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas.

Maze noted in his letter sent to clergy Wednesday that no other national or
state Episcopal leaders have produced or approved official rites for the
blessings of same-sex unions.

He said the ceremonies will be local observances in each church, not
approved formal rites. Arkansas has banned gay marriage, so same-sex couples
will have no legal standing in the state.

Two churches -- St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Little Rock and St. Paul's
Episcopal Church in Fayetteville -- plan to offer the ceremonies.