Gay City News, Volume 5, Number 32 | August 10 - 16, 2006
Crackdown on Turkey's Gays
Gay magazine seized, anti-gay thugs besiege Bursa LGBT center
BY DOUG IRELANDVolume 5, Number 32 | August 10 - 16, 2006
This past week has seen Turkish gays the target of multiple attacks, by boththe government and an organized homophobic mob.
Last Friday, the entire press run of Turkey's only gay and lesbian magazine,published by the Ankara-based gay organization Kaos GL, was confiscated bypolice before it could be distributed to bookstores and kiosks. The 28thissue of the quarterly magazine, which bears the same name as theassociation that sponsors it and has been continuously published since 1994,was seized on a court order sought by the national government's prosecutorin Ankara, Turkey's capital, under a law for "protection of generalmorality."
AIDS Groups Battle Over Federal Funding
Filed at 3:57 p.m. ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A proposal in Congress to require that more of the federal money spent on uninsured AIDS patients go to drugs and doctor visits is drawing criticism from some AIDS groups, who say it will force cuts in basic services like meals and housing.
Opponents, including the Gay Men's Health Crisis and New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton, say it would undermine care of the nation's most vulnerable patients.
Support for the main Senate bill on the issue, sponsored by Republican Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Democrat Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, is coming from many health-care providers who want to establish national care standards and increase access to life-saving drugs.
The bill would mandate that three-fourths of the funds from the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources EmergencyAct, the nation's largest HIV-specific federal grant program, be used for medical services.
By Donald Cavanaugh
I have been chided by a number of people about my position on the Democrat Party. At a recent PFLAG meeting, friend Charles Scheitler harangued me for several minutes. “You can’t not vote for the Democrat just because he isn’t 100% in support of gay rights,” he shouted at me. “That’s like giving another vote to the Republicans!”
“Well if it is, it’s the Dem’s own fault,” I replied. “They’re not doing anything to win my vote except pussy-footing around about how less awful they are than their Republican opponents. That doesn’t cut it.”
We didn’t agree but I’m not giving my vote to any Democrat who isn’t 100% committed to the cause of full equality for all citizens. To me, civil equality is fundamental to our Constitution and to everything we have stood for as a nation. The Republicans have said they no longer care about civil rights but the Dems haven’t stood up and claimed the issue for their own – primarily because the “dreaded homosexuals” are the most discriminated class of citizens in the country today, and they’re afraid they’ll lose votes if they do the right thing. Pfaugh! They should lose votes for not doing the right thing.
Thursday, August 10, 2006; A22
In its Aug. 7 editorial "When Students Speak," The Post led readers to believe that the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's Day of Silence is a school-sponsored event, when it is a student-led day of action aimed at making bullying and harassment unacceptable in schools. More important, The Post confused the nature of this event with the nature of a California student's hateful protest "speech" that judges have constrained.
Students conceived of the Day of Silence a decade ago to address the endemic harassment in school life that 75 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students experience "frequently" or "often," a survey found. The creators saw it as a way to highlight and solve a problem, making it far different than the T-shirt that Judge Stephen Reinhardt rightly ruled "strikes at the very core of . . . dignity and worth."
It is completely appropriate for schools to support speech that reduces harassment to create a better learning environment for all, as the Day of Silence does, and equally appropriate to constrain harassing speech that denigrates others and creates a climate of fear that inhibits learning, as the T-shirt did. The former is within the court-prescribed rational interest of school officials in maintaining a disciplined educational environment, while the latter is not.
Founder and Executive Director
Gay, Lesbian and Straight
Married Gay Men (1 Letter)
To the Editor:
You describe vividly and accurately the pain of married gay men as they try to deal with the conflict of loving their wives and wanting to satisfy their same-sex attractions in “When the Beard Is Too Painful to Remove” (Thursday Styles, Aug. 3). I have heard many similar stories as I studied spouses in such mixed-orientation marriages over the last 20 years.
To grasp the whole picture, however, the gay husbands’ struggle needs to be matched by the later turmoil of their wives as they sense that something is not right in their marriages, discover that they have been deceived, and in most cases, find themselves in a divorce situation.
From the straight spouse’s perspective, the article is a powerful argument for allowing gay men who want lifelong partners to seek a marital union with other gay men, rather than struggle to fit the mold of a heterosexual marriage in which everyone involved gets hurt.
Codifying marriage as legal only if it is between a man and a woman, as has been proposed or passed in constitutional amendments across the country, will perpetuate these kinds of tragedies for gay husbands (and lesbian wives), straight spouses and their children.
Amity P. Buxton
Adding to what's becoming a breakthrough primary season for openly gay state legislators, Jolie Justus won the Democratic primary for Missouri's 10th district state senate seat Tuesday—which, since the district is heavily Democratic, virtually ensures that she will become Missouri's first openly gay state senator this November.
"In Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and now Missouri, excellent candidates are winning historic races," Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which backed Justus, said in a statement. "Jolie's win is a testament to her courage, commitment, and skill, but it also confirms that fair-minded voters everywhere care more about good government than they do about whether their representatives are gay or lesbian."
Justus, who faces token Republican opposition in the general election this fall, will join Jeanette Mott-Oxford, an openly gay incumbent Missouri house member, who also won her primary Tuesday. Other breakthrough out candidates this election cycle include Patricia Todd, the first openly gay elected official in Alabama history; Kathy Webb, the first openly gay elected official in Arkansas history; and Al McAffrey, the first openly gay state legislator in Oklahoma history. (The Advocate)
A San Francisco men's synchronized swimming team has been barred from a meet at Stanford University in California, reinforcing an International Olympics Committee decision designating the sport as women-only. The San Francisco Tsunami Swim Club's team was set to perform an exhibition at the FINA World Masters Championships, but the international governing body that oversees the meet scuttled those plans.
San Francisco Tsunami describes itself on its Web site as a gay and lesbian aquatics team that is open to all. More than 7,000 swimmers and divers from 70 countries are slated to compete in the meet at Stanford this week. (Sirius OutQ News)
Washington to halt publicly funded sex changes
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
SUMMARY: Washington state will soon stop publicly funded sex-change surgery,
but will continue to cover gender-identity hormone treatment and
Medicaid officials in the state of Washington are taking steps to end
publicly funded sex-change surgery. However, the state is required to pay
for at least two more operations and will continue to cover hormone
treatment and psychotherapy for low-income people diagnosed with
Homophobia called rampant in U.S. military
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
SUMMARY: Gays in the U.S. military face hostility on some bases and shipsmore than a decade after "don't ask, don't tell" was enacted.
Gays in the U.S. military face continuing hostility on some bases and shipswhere commanders fail to prohibit harassment more than a decade after "don'task, don't tell" was enacted, although seeds of greater tolerance may betaking root, a Reuters investigation reveals.
While some leaders have created environments in which harassment is nottolerated, others have not, and the evidence, according to witnesses, isboth verbal and visual.
On the Navy's USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, for example, anti-gaystatements and jokes are on display and have been incorporated into a videoabout the F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft, recently shown to reporters on thecarrier.
San Francisco Chronicle, CA, August 9, 2006
IN HIS VETO of the same-sex marriage bill last year, Gov. ArnoldSchwarzenegger went out of his way to stress his belief in equal rights forgays and lesbians. He promised to "vigorously defend and enforce theserights." He made it clear that he would not agree to "any rollback" ofdomestic-partnership rights.
The governor's support of a separate-but-equal system of marriage may soonbe put to the test.
The fact is, domestic partnerships are nowhere close to equality withmarriage under federal law, which conveys more than 1,000 rights andresponsibilities exclusively to married couples. The list includesimmigration consideration, the ability to file joint income-tax returns, Social Security benefits and status as next-of-kin for hospital visitation or life-and-death medical decisions.
I am sure there is no single answer to why Estonia and Latvia are reacting sodifferently to gay issues. And there are many various aspects and angles youneed to look into to understand the past and the current developments in thesetwo countries. In no way exhaustive, but just some of my thoughts on why thesituation is that different in Latvia and Estonia.
Latvia and Estonia has a lot in common historically up to the Soviet occupation.However during the Soviet time Estonians had a huge advantage in such a trivialbut hugely important way - many of them had access to the Finnish television. I know it might sound silly, but I believe it had a tremendous impact on an everyday Estonian person growing up during the Soviet period. Close linguistic linksbetween the Finnish and the Estonian languages made the flow of Westerninformation (and consequently life style and a general vision of world ad life)easily accessible to Estonians. Despite the fact the both Latvia and Estonia
were firmly separated from the natural social developments in the West by the'wall', the Estonians had a chance to access and digest a lot of thatdevelopment via Western television. Hence today the Estonians have less
confusion and easily incorporated into Western system of values.
By David Brown
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 10, 2006; A15
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation yesterday said it will give $500 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria over the next five years.
The contribution is by far the largest from a nongovernment source since the Global Fund was created in 2002.
"This very sizable and greatly appreciated additional commitment will help save millions of lives around the world. It is a very strong vote of confidence in the Global Fund," said the organization's director, Richard G.A. Feachem.
Based in Geneva, the fund provides financial support for programs in the developing world to prevent or treat the three named diseases. It was created at the suggestion of United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan but is not a U.N. agency. It is a key institution to bring optimal HIV/AIDS care to poor countries, and currently helps underwrite antiretroviral therapy for about 550,000 people.
Tests Probe if Pill a Day Can Keep AIDS at Bay
Filed at 8:46 a.m. ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Can the drugs that keep HIV-positive people alive also make it safer to enjoy carefree sex -- much as during the pre-AIDS 1970s?
Health officials in the United States, Thailand, Botswana and elsewhere are now trying to find out by conducting trials in which healthy people take drug cocktails that suppress the virus.
``The information that we have indicates that this is a very promising approach,'' said the University of California, San Francisco's Robert Grant, who is overseeing an upcoming study to be conducted in Peru.
``The use of anti-viral drugs for prevention has been evaluated in animal models, especially non-human primates. They have shown to be highly effective in preventing acquisition of viruses that are similar to HIV.''
Researchers have already completed one study in Ghana on the subject, known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (or PrEP), and will present the first findings on the topic next week at the International AIDS conference in Toronto.
Turkish Daily News
August 8, 2006
Angry crowd ensures gay march in Bursa is canceled after protests
Police have been forced to cancel a planned demonstration by gay rightsactivists in Bursa after anti-gayprotesters took to the streets toscupper the march.
Hundreds of football club Bursaspor supporters lined the route of theplanned demonstration and threw stones at the offices of the localhomosexual association, Gokkusagi (Rainbow).
Police ordered the demonstrators to remain inside the Gokkusagi buildinguntil the protestors dispersed. At first, the police said the march wasdelayed by one hour. Bursaspor supporters at first believed the march was
cancelled and dispersed, but when they realized it was just postponed,they returned. Police were forced to cancel the march.
Organizers claimed the police had failed to take adequate measures toensure the march could go ahead.
Showdown looms in Jerusalem as critics blast gay-pride demonstration
By: Brenda Gazzar JERUSALEM, Aug. 9 (JTA) — While Israel is gearing up for a wider military offensive against Hezbollah in Lebanon, another battle is coming to a head between gay-pride activists and their opponents in Jerusalem. Organizers of WorldPride 2006, an international gay pride event being held this week in Jerusalem, say they’ll protest hatred against their community Thursday near Liberty Bell Park in downtown Jerusalem, despite being denied a permit by police. In July, Jerusalem Open House organizers delayed a controversial parade in the streets of Jerusalem — the original centerpiece of the WorldPride week — largely due to the political and regional turmoil that has consumed Israel in recent weeks.
Organizers say they’ll reschedule the parade once Israel’s war with Hezbollah ends, but in the meantime have chosen to hold a protest in the parade’s place.“It’s a protest against hatred, a quiet, peaceful protest against ongoing violence and incitement against our community,” said Hagai El-Ad, executive director of Jerusalem Open House, a center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people that has organized the weeklong WorldPride event. It’s “expressing our voice in a democratic way, publicly in Jerusalem for human rights, tolerance and equality,” he said, “a voice that should be echoing in Jerusalem these days.”Jerusalem District Police officials say they refused to allow the protest after organizers could not guarantee control of the crowd or that participants would not block traffic.