Tuesday, August 08, 2006

GLBT DIGEST August 8, 2006


The New York Times
August 6, 2006

Some Parts of Military Still Hostile to Gays

Filed at 9:47 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Gays in the U.S. military face regular hostility on some bases and ships where commanders fail to prohibit harassment more than a decade after the ``Don't Ask, Don't Tell'' law was enacted, although seeds of greater tolerance may be taking root, advocates and witnesses report.

While some leaders have created environments where harassment is not tolerated, others have not and the evidence, according to witnesses, is both verbal and visual.

On the Navy's USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, for example, anti-gay statements and jokes are on display and have been incorporated into a video about the F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft, recently shown to reporters on the carrier.

The New York Times
August 8, 2006

Saudi Arabia Begins to Face Hidden AIDS Problem

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia —He lives virtually in hiding, his real life a secret from his family and some of his closest friends.

Being gay in Saudi Arabia is hard enough. But for a growing number of Saudis like Feisal, middle-aged, gay and H.I.V.-positive, life is a tangle of regret and fear.

“You live in constant fear of being found out and attacked,” said Feisal, who spoke on condition that only his middle name be used, for fear of discrimination. “I’m sure a lot of people would think I deserve what I have if they knew about it.”

If not for a mixture of Saudi doctors, social workers and advocates for AIDS patients who have pushed the government to tackle the disease more openly and encouraged patients to fight for their rights, Feisal’s situation would be even more dire. But change is slowly taking place.



Beyond Same-Sex Marriage

Over 250 LGBT activists and leaders, writers and artists, organizers and lawyers, allies and celebrities have signed a document, BEYOND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, which offers a challenge to the current strategies employed by LGBT organizations that are pursuing marriage equality.

The statement is below, and can also be found at www.BeyondMarriage.org, where others can sign on, after reading a short Executive Summary, as well as the full document.

Plans for the document began in April 2006, when a diverse group of nearly twenty LGBT and queer activists - some organizers, some scholars and educators, some funders, some writers and cultural workers - came together to discuss marriage and family politics as they exist in the United States today.

We met over the course of two days for lively conversations in which there was often spirited disagreement. However, we do all stand in agreement with the statement entitled "Beyond Same Sex Marriage".



Anything But Straight
by Wayne Besen
August 8, 2006
To Read Online CLICK HERE


After a brutal summer of judicial defeats, the future of gay marriage looks about as healthy as Fidel Castro. The high courts in New York and Washington turned their backs on justice, while the court jesters in Georgia and Nebraska ruled to reinstate constitutional amendments that prohibit gay couples from marrying.

Instead of rallying to revive the patient, however, 250 respected activists took it upon themselves to pull the plug on equal marriage rights. In a Kevorkian document titled, "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage," these activists call on the GLBT community to trade in white wedding gowns for a white flag.



Gays flee Iraq as Shia death squads find a new target

Evidence shows increase in number of executions as homosexuals plead for asylum in Britain

Jennifer Copestake
Sunday August 6, 2006

The Observer

Hardline Islamic insurgent groups in Iraq are targeting a new type of victim with the full protection of Iraqi law, The Observer can reveal. The country is seeing a sudden escalation of brutal attacks on what are being called the 'immorals' - homosexual men and children as young as 11 who have been forced into same-sex prostitution.

There is growing evidence that Shia militias have been killing men suspected of being gay and children who have been sold to criminal gangs to be sexually abused. The threat has led to a rapid increase in the numbers of Iraqi homosexuals now seeking asylum in the UK because it has become impossible for them to live safely in their own country.



Christian Democrats call for gay pride parade ban

Aug 08, 2006
TBT Staff

Estonia’s Christian Democrats, a party with no seats in the parliament, have asked the Tallinn government to prohibit a gay pride parade in the old city planned for Aug. 12.

#By promoting an unnatural lifestyle homosexuals are putting at risk minors, whom it is not possible to protect against the destructive impact of their propaganda in the densely populated Old City space,# the chairman of the Christian Democrats, Aldo Vinkel, told BNS.

#The laws oblige sellers to keep porn and sex publications away from display areas that can be viewed by children. It is evident that live models conveying the same message pose a significantly bigger threat to children,# he said.
In co-operation with BNS


The New York Times
August 8, 2006
Guest Columnist

The Culture Crusade of Kansas

The nation breathed a sigh of relief last week after the conservative majority on the Kansas school board, world famous for its war on the theory of evolution, went down to defeat in Republican primary elections.

Conservative candidates for several state government posts foundered as well (but others won). It seemed as though moderation had finally returned to this middlemost of American places. Even better: perhaps the country itself had turned the corner in its long and frustrating war over culture.

I was as pleased as anyone else to hear the news. Could the conservative uprising in my home state finally have run its course? Fourteen years ago, the armies of the right came pouring out of Kansas’ evangelical churches to protest abortion and all the other liberal plagues upon the culture, and they’ve had a big role in the state’s Republican Party ever since. But it must be difficult to stay angry that long, especially when the crusade you signed up for is now a hairsplitting fight that your leaders have picked with the biology professors of the entire world. Could the faction’s rank and file simply have given up, grown disgusted with the absurdity that their grand cause has become?



From the Los Angeles Times
Gay Marriage Gets Even

Keep the confetti handy, because the tide has turned on same-sex unions.

By David Ehrenstein
DAVID EHRENSTEIN maintains a blog at www.fablog.ehrensteinland.com .

August 8, 2006

GAY MARRIAGE in the United States is on the ropes and fighting for its legaland political life. In the last year alone, Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggervetoed a same-sex marriage bill in California; the supreme courts of New
York, Washington and Georgia upheld marriage bans; and at least a dozenstates have passed, or are working on, anti-gay-marriage laws.

True, gay and lesbian couples residing in Massachusetts can get hitched, butgone are the heady days of 2004 when scores of male and female couplesdashed up the steps of San Francisco's City Hall to say their respective "I do's."

But take heart. Lance Bass, a singer with the now-defunct boy band N'Sync,has come out of the closet, disclosing to People magazine two weeks ago thathe's in a "very stable relationship" with actor/model and reality televisionstar Reichen Lehmkuhl. Upon hearing this news, the first word that poppedinto my head was "even!"



Calif. Legislature scales back bill to promote gays in textbooks

Negative portrayals of gays will be barred
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) | Aug 8, 12:01 AM

The state Assembly on Monday gutted a bill that would have required California textbooks to include the historical contributions of gay people,amending it to say only that school material should not be discriminatory
toward gays.

Openly gay state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, the author of a bill that would haverequired California textbooks to include the historical contributions of gaypeople, amended it to avoid a veto by Gov. Schwarzenneger. (File photo by

Lawmakers voted 56-2 to delete the provision at the request of the bill's author, Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), who had feared a gubernatorial veto.


Forwarded from Ken's List <Kenneth.Sherrill@hunter.cuny.edu>
To: kenslist@groups.queernet.org


Marriage battle takes new shape in Colorado

Gay rights groups push to define status of domestic partners

By Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer, Monday, August 7, 2006

Denver -- A new strategy to win legal recognition for same-sex couples isemerging in Colorado, a state that is a bulwark of the conservativeChristian movement.

At least one constitutional amendment to ban marriage for same-sex couplesis expected to be submitted here today for the statewide November ballot.But some gay rights organizations in the state are not fighting it.

Instead, they are supporting an initiative to define the rights of people indomestic partnerships, rights that largely parallel those of married couplesunder Colorado law. Nowhere has such a measure been put to a statewide vote.


Forwarded from Ken's List <Kenneth.Sherrill@hunter.cuny.edu>
To: kenslist@groups.queernet.org

AUGUST 7, 2006

CONTACT: Dannie Tillman,

Director of Communications & Coalitions
PHONE: (323) 217-8875 EMAIL: <mailto:media@eqca.org>


Sacramento, CA - The California Legislature resumed today with nine billssponsored by Equality California (EQCA) slated for final consideration. Thenine bills address a diverse array of issues affecting the lesbian, gay,bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, including new protections andsecurity for youth and seniors.

"We are optimistic about the prospects for these bills thanks to grassrootssupport from EQCA members and the incredible leadership of each of the billauthors," said Executive Director Geoffrey Kors. "We are in communicationwith the Governor's office to make sure he understands the importance ofthese bills and see no reason he should not support all of them."


365Gay.com, August 7, 2006


FOF Funding Colorado Anti-Gay Amendment Drive
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

(Colorado Springs, Colorado) The Colorado Family Action Council - the organization behind a proposed amendment to the state constitution thatwould outlaw same-sex marriage - has been found to be a front for Focus onthe Family, the Colorado Springs group that fights LGBT issues across thecountry.

Since its founding this year the Colorado Family Action Council has had onecontributor - FOF - to the tune of a half million dollars, according todocuments obtained under freedom of information laws by the Rocky Mountain