Monday, July 24, 2006

GLBT NEWS DIGEST July 24, 2006


Same Coast, Different Worlds on Same Sex Marriage

By Andrew Cohen
Special to
Monday, July 24, 2006; 12:00 AM

In an important new book, Jeffrey Rosen, the law professor and influential legal author and commentator, argues that judges serve America best by maintaining their legitimacy and authority and that they do that when they hew close to popular sentiment on the most controversial issues of our time. The judiciary is at its worst and most vulnerable, Rosen contends, when it strikes down a federal or state law "in the name of a constitutional
principle that is being actively and intensely contested by a majority of the American people." Rosen was talking about federal judges -- the Supreme Court in particular -- but let's run through his provocative thesis anyway using two controversial state court rulings, several years apart, in two Blue-State venues which dealt differently with the issue of the legality of same-sex marriage. In Massachusetts, in 2004, the answer was yes, same-sex couples could legally
marry. In New York, earlier this month, the answer was no, they could not.


Boston Herald, MA, July 23, 2006

Gay-wed split hurts cause, proves no guarantees in love
By Margery Eagan,
Boston Herald Columnist

Just two years ago Julie and Hillary Goodridge - with their girl-next-door good looks and adorable child - became the perfect poster family for gay marriage in Massachusetts. They were the lead plaintiffs, in fact, in the case Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health. But now the couple so publicly wed is separating. And that private, personal decision has become, like their decision to marry, a subject of contentious public debate.



AMA Growing Receptive to LGBT Needs


At its annual meeting held in Chicago June 10-14, the American Medical Association ( AMA ) discussed a number of LGBT-related issues. New policieswere adopted, reports were submitted and an informational session exploring the pseudo-scientific claims of "reparative therapy" was presented. A resolution calling on the AMA to recognize National HIV Testing Day (June 27 ) and to encourage its members to promote patients" participation in voluntary testing was adopted without any opposition. However, one entitled "Anonymous HIV Testing on Undergraduate Campuses" generated considerable debate between the different state and specialty delegations. Several groups were against endorsing anonymous testing because it precludes reporting, counseling and treating of HIV-positive individuals. They argued that the AMA should recommend confidential testing instead. Representatives of the Medical Student Section, who introduced the resolution, insisted that in a campus environment where young people are often reluctant to seek medical care, testing is more likely to be accepted if students know their identity will remain protected. In the end, the assembly voted to support confidential testing.


Boston Globe, MA, July 23, 2006

A heavy, symbolic load
By Eileen McNamara, Globe Columnist

No married couple is meant to live under a microscope. Not Brad and Jen, not
Charles and Diana, not Julie and Hillary Goodridge.

The separation of the Jamaica Plain couple would be a private family matter had the Goodridges not lent their name to the lawsuit that led to the state Supreme Judicial Court's landmark decision legalizing gay marriage in Massachusetts. Because they invited us to the wedding, we feel entitled to the details of any possible divorce. A place in history has a price, and that price in modern America is privacy. This is what happens when a nation, shaped by complex ideas, devolves into a tabloid culture preoccupied with personal narratives. A social movement gains legitimacy only when it can be personified on the cover of People magazine.


July 17, 2006
by Rex Wockner

Moscow pride organizer says church paid protesters

The co-organizer of Moscow's ill-fated first gay pride parade says the Russian Orthodox Church paid some of the old women and neofascists who protested against and attacked the marchers.
Nikolai Alekseev says the church gave "10 euros [each] to 50 babushkas to demonstrate against us in the streets" and gave "a few Big Mac meals to the young boys who were running after us."
As the marchers attempted to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier then walk a few blocks for a rally across from City Hall, they were attacked repeatedly by neofascists, skinheads, militant Christians and riot police. Several marchers were injured and about 120 people from
both sides were arrested.

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The New York Times

It's Not California Dreaming
Carbon-Policy Fixes and Biofuel: The Right Engine Mix

By Sebastian Mallaby
Monday, July 24, 2006; A19

Reasonable people say they'd like to tax or regulate carbon, but alas it's politically impossible. They invoke President Bill Clinton's humiliating failure to secure an energy tax in 1993. They declare that carbon taxes or regulations would cripple the economy. These reasonable defeatists should meet Vinod Khosla, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist who bet big and early on Google and Amazon. Khosla's current bet is on next-generation ethanol. He believes, with all the passion of a techno-evangelist, that we can get most of our vehicle fuel from the Midwest rather than the Middle East, and we can do so simply by growing it. He shows doubters a photograph of a bamboo-like crop that sprouts 11 feet in just one year. If South Dakota were planted with this
stuff, our dependence on Saudi fundamentalists would fall -- and so would our output of climate-warming carbon.


The New York Times

July 24, 2006

A Warning About AIDS in Prison

The American prison system houses 1.4 million inmates - in cramped, unsanitary conditions, with little medical care to speak of - and has an H.I.V. infection rate nearly five times that of the general, nonprison population. With inmates who participate in unprotected sex or share needles
while using illicit drugs, the prisons are perfect incubators for deadly diseases, including AIDS.
Foreign governments and international health organizations have long recognized the need to use the same AIDS prevention programs within the prisons as on the outside. At the very least, that means providing inmates information about AIDS and access to condoms. The situation is quite different in the United States, where the vast majority of corrections systems either decline to distribute condoms or bar them outright, on the grounds that sex behind bars is against prison rules. Discomfort with the idea of men having sex with men has led a few prison
officials to suggest that sex between prisoners behind bars doesn't happen all that often. Despite denials to the contrary, the C.D.C. reports, "sex among inmates occurs,'' and laws or policies prohibiting it have been "difficult to implement or enforce.''


Gay Group Takes Protest To Home Of Focus On The Family
by Newscenter Staff
July 23, 2006 - 11:00 am ET

(Colorado Springs, Colorado) Hundreds of gays, lesbians and their supporters ringed the headquarters Saturday evening of the conservative Focus on the Family. Most of the gays came with their partners, many with their children. They held hands as they walked around the perimeter of the complex. The protest, organized by the nondenominational group Soulforce, began last week in front of the state Capitol in Denver. Over the five days groups of same-sex couples and their kids marched in relay-style to Colorado Springs, picking up more and more people along the way. Openly gay actor Chad Allen and Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard who was murdered because he was gay, led the final 2-mile march from Rampart
Park in Colorado Springs to the FOF headquarters.


Los Angeles Times, CA, July 23, 2006
Times Staff Writer

Gay marriage came roaring back into the headlines this month with a series of court decisions and a congressional vote. Here's a look at what happened. Question: What did all the court rulings mean? Answer: Opponents of gay marriage won six cases in July. However, they
acknowledged that only two of them were substantive. The most important victory came in New York on July 6, when the state's highest court ruled that same-sex couples do not have a right to marry. Another key victory came in Nebraska on July 14 when a federal court upheld that state's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The amendment was the broadest and most restrictive in the nation, so both sides considered it the most vulnerable to a court challenge. "If Nebraska cansurvive, they all will," said Jordan Lorence, a senior attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, which opposes gay marriage.


Neighbors Rally To Support Lesbian Hate Crime Victims
by Newscenter Staff
July 24, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Portland, Maine) More than 200 people including the governor of Maine, a Congressman and the state Attorney General rallied in Monument Square on the weekend to condemn a homophobic attack in which the home of a lesbian couple was left in ruins. Keri Fuchs and Linda Boutaugh say they are overwhelmed by the support they have been by neighbors and people they never knew. "I came to the rally today to show my support on this issue," said Gov. John
Baldacci. "What happened here is not indicative of Maine people or Maine values.'' Two juveniles aged 12 and 14 have been charged in connection with the attack which left the small trailer home the couple shared destroyed.