Wednesday, September 20, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - September 20, 2006


The Advocate

September 20, 2006
Colorado activists want Banton concert scrubbed

A group of Boulder, Colo., gay activists are calling for the cancellation ofa Wednesday night concert by Buju Banton, a vehemently homophobic reggaeartist who advocates the murder of gays.

Boulder Pride, the largest LGBT advocacy group in Boulder County, isplanning a protest if the concert at Boulder's Fox Theatre takes place.

According to a Boulder Pride press release, the group alerted Fox Theatre'sgeneral manager, John Caprio, this weekend of Banton's antigay past, whichincludes being charged with an attack on six gay men. Caprio intends to goahead with the concert, said Boulder Pride's interim executive directorMichael Mills.

"Our community will not tolerate this type of violent hate speech celebratedonstage," Mills said in the release.


Number of gay-friendly companies growing: study

By Ellen Wulfhorst
Tuesday, September 19, 2006; 12:12 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A record number of U.S. companies are trying to begay-friendly, according to a survey released on Tuesday showing a growingnumber offering benefits and protections to gay and lesbian employees andcustomers.

An unprecedented 138 major U.S. companies scored 100 percent in a CorporateEquality Index compiled by the Human Rights Campaign, a Washington-based gayrights advocacy group.

That number was up from 101 companies last year and was 10 times higher thanthe 13 companies with that score in 2002, said thecampaign, which conducts research and education programs and lobbies Congress.


The New York Times

September 20, 2006

Ex-Governor Is Back in Public, This Time as an Author


PLAINFIELD, N.J., Sept. 19 - Two years after a nationally televisedresignation in which he proclaimed himself "a gay American," former Gov.James E. McGreevey of New Jersey officially emerged from his self-imposedexile from public life today to release a memoir that chronicles his rise topower and fall from grace.

With a succession of newspaper interviews, an appearance Tuesday on "TheOprah Winfrey Show" and a book signing before a gay-rights group in the townwhere he once was mayor, Mr. McGreevey began a 60-day publicity campaign to promote his autobiography, "The Confession."

What Mr. McGreevey says in this explicit apologia is stunning for some,while to others, his confession is telling for what it omits.


The Advocate

September 20, 2006

Poland's president says his views on gays are misunderstood

Polish president Lech Kaczynski, a staunch Roman Catholic, said his viewslike traditional national values and gay people are misunderstood.Kaczynski, of the socially conservative Law and Justice Party, took officein December on pledges that included making sure that Poland's traditionalRoman Catholic values were not overwhelmed by the generally liberal European viewpoint. Poland, a former Soviet bloc country, joined the European Unionin 2004.

"I am aware that often the things I say are not in line with the Europeancorrectness," Kaczynski said in an interview Monday with the AssociatedPress in New York. "Even more, I am ascribed views that are not reallymine."

But he stressed the need to "verbalize our problems in Europe.... This ismuch more important than the hasty integration, a hasty killing of anational country that is an incomparably better center for consolidatingpeople than an anonymous, bureaucratic, and cold European Union."


The Advocate

September 20, 2006

American Airlines rebukes gay couple

An American Airlines captain reportedly threatened to divert a flight from Paris to New York after a gay couple complained about how they were treated by the flight crew, The New Yorker reported on Monday.

According to a "Talk of the Town" item in the magazine's September 25 issue, now posted on its Web site, TV journalist George Tsikhiseli and his boyfriend of four months, writer Stephan Varnier, were told by a stewardess to stop their "touching and the kissing" not long into American Airlines Flight 45 from Charles de Gaulle to JFK on August 22. The couple said they were doing nothing inappropriate-perhaps a peck on the cheek, a head on the other's shoulder-a story backed up by the two passengers seated behind them and another across the aisle.

When they asked to see the purser-whom the stewardess claimed had issued the order-the purser said she knew nothing about the incident and initially agreed that their behavior had not been inappropriate, the men and witnesses reported. But she returned later to say that other passengers had complained about the men's affectionate gestures. When the gay couple asked who had complained, asked to speak with an American Airlines representative upon landing, and asked for the stewardess's name and employee number, the purser told them to drop the matter or the flight would be diverted, the magazine reported.


It's actually voters who don't get it

Mitchell Rosenberg

September 20, 2006

Re Monday's letter, "President, rest of GOP don't get it" (some editions):I'm afraid it is the letter writer who doesn't get it. The president and theGOP "get it" perfectly, because after all of their indiscretions andcriminal acts, they continue to be the party in power.

The GOP can continue its agenda of robbing the treasury and destroying themiddle class indefinitely.

As long as they can spread fear and paranoia among the masses, as long asthey can rally their right-wing base and make issues like abortion and gaymarriage a priority, as long as they can link the war in Iraq to the attackon 9-11, as long as they can take credit for "keeping us safe," and as longas they can brand their critics as "appeasers," the GOP can and willcontinue to stay in power.

The letter writer says the public is fed up, and mad and angry. Again, thisis incorrect; the public has no time for anger. The public is too busyworking 60 hours a week or trying to Google photos of baby Suri to know orcare how the GOP has taken this country hostage. So they are re-electedanyway, because the public doesn't want to vote for those "weak liberalsthat hate our troops" or be "unpatriotic," or whatever soundbite the GOP canget the uninformed public to swallow. Then again, maybe they just hatehomosexuals.


Gay rights records improve in U.S.

In an annual survey of U.S. companies and law firms, the Human Rights

Campaign saw improvements in recognizing gay rights.

Cox News Service

WASHINGTON - Even as states have been passing constitutional amendments toban gay marriages in recent years, a soaring number of companies havebeenaddingdomestic-partnership benefits, a gay rights advocacy group saidTuesday.

In its fifth annual survey of 446 large U.S. companies and law firms, theHuman Rights Campaign, a Washington-based political organization, examinedbenefits and protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgenderemployees and customers.

HRC ranks companies on several policies, including those involvingdiscrimination, health benefits and family leave.



Here's how a selection of Florida companies rated on the Human RightsCampaign Foundations' Corporate Equality Index. The rating is for thecompanies' benefits and protections for their gay, lesbian, bisexual andtransgender employees and consumers.

Company, City Score
CSX Corp., Jacksonville 40
Darden Restaurants, Orlando 80
Office Depot, Delray Beach 60
Royal Caribbean, Miami 55
Ryder System Miami 93
Tech Data Corp., Clearwater 100

© 2006 and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.


Boston To House Nation's Biggest Gay Health Complex
by Newscenter Staff
September 20, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) When it is completed a community health center inBoston will be the largest clinic and research facility targeting gays inthe country.

The Fenway Community Health Center, already known as one of the bestfacilities of its kind, is planning a $55 million dollar expansion.

The addition will increase its size fivefold.

Fenway is associated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, one of anumber of teaching hospitals in the Boston area. The center is one of onlyseven health centers in the United States with a major focus on treating theLGBT community.

Since it was opened in 1992 the center's client load has steadily increasedto about 11,000 patients who make 56,000 clinic visits a year.

Fenway is the largest provider of outpatient HIV care in New England, withmore than 1,100 clients. Its HIV counseling, testing, and referral programconducts 2,000 HIV tests annually.


The New York Times

September 19, 2006

McGreevey Hopes Book Brings Acceptance
Filed at 9:56 p.m. ET

PLAINFIELD, N.J. (AP) -- Former New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey said he has no desire to return to politics since he left office two years ago amid a sex scandal but hopes his new tell-all book leads to public acceptance of his homosexuality.McGreevey, who announced his resignation in a televised speech on Aug. 12, 2004, said Tuesday that he felt he had to come clean about his personal and political life.

''The danger is when people have to act out in dark shadows,'' McGreevey said. ''If people can be who they are in the bright light of day, can celebrate their uniqueness ... that's what promotes a moral fabric in a society.''

He also said his book contains some ''messy, shameful, sinful'' passages, including details of his relationship with an Israeli that he says began when he was governor, then married and a brand new father.

McGreevey's estranged wife, Dina Matos McGreevey, moved into her own home in Springfield after her husband left office.''Over the past two years my focus has been on protecting my daughter and establishing our lives as private citizens, and I will continue to do so. I have no further comment at this time,'' she wrote in an e-mail to the AP on Tuesday.


The New York Times

September 19, 2006

Ex New Jersey Governor Publishes Gay Memoir
Filed at 4:14 p.m. ET

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - For disgraced Americans, memoirs can offer a path to rehabilitation, but for the New Jersey governor who announced he was gay when he resigned on national television, his book has led to even more polemics.

James McGreevey -- who stepped down in August, 2004 -- said he had a passionate affair that finally made him proud to be gay. But his purported lover calls the book a pack of lies and says McGreevey sexually assaulted him.

Critics are also not impressed at McGreevey's attempt to restore his reputation. Ken Auletta, media critic for The New Yorker, called the memoir ``a fraudulent book and a fake.''

``Essentially this book puts him forward as some sort of civil rights leader, which is ridiculous'' Auletta said.

``Let's not forget he was forced from office because he made some terrible errors of judgment which approach corruption, not because he had a homosexual affair,'' he said.

McGreevey was accused of hiring Golan Cipel as a security adviser on the basis of his relationship with the man, not on his qualifications.


Forwarded from Ken's List <>

VA: Editorial--The anti-family amendment

Roanoke Times, VA, September 19, 2006

The anti-family amendment

The amendment is meant to strengthen families. Instead it will strip manyVirginians of rights they enjoy and set the stage for family court battles.

When a state's attorney general interprets the marriage amendment one wayand a hundred-plus attorneys view it another, Virginians can be sure of onething: Much time, money and brainpower will clog the state's courts foryears to come if that amendment passes in November.

All those resources would be wasted on a measure that isn't even needed.Virginia law already clearly bans marriage between same-sex couples. Unlessthat law is repealed -- an extremely unlikely scenario-- the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman won'tchange.

Unfortunately, the full force of the law isn't comforting enough to theanti-gay crowd. They pushed for an amendment to Virginia's constitution thatwould not only bar same-sex marital unions but invalidate other legalarrangements by unmarried people, whether they are gay or straight.


Forwarded from Ken's List <>

South Africa: Allow us to marry -

Citizen, South Africa, September 19, 2006,1,22

Allow us to marry - gay star
By Vicky Somniso,

JOHANNESBURG - A gay socialite and member of award-winning music group 3Sum,Amstel Maboa, set to be married to a foreign Muslim man once the law allowsit, says Christians are promoting living in sin.

This follows Christian marches across the country against the amendment ofthe Marriage Act to include same-sex marriages.

The marches were organised by the Marriage Alliance of South Africa, andsupported by other Christian movements as well as the African ChristianDemocratic Party (ACDP).

Maboa yesterday said: "As Christians they are not supposed to judge, becausethat in a way is spreading a message of hatred and prostitution.


Forwarded from Ken's List <>

AK: Judge finds same-sex benefits too restrictive;Court--policy holds same-sex couples to higher standards

Juneau Empire, AK, September 19, 2006

Judge finds same-sex benefits too restrictive

Court: policy holds same-sex couples to higher standards


An Anchorage judge has found the state's proposed rules on benefits forsame-sex couples too stringent.

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Stephanie Joannides earlier this month alsofound the state's view of an Alaska Supreme Court decision on the types ofbenefits to be offered too narrow.

The Alaska Department of Administration will hold public hearings in Juneauand Anchorage next week to take comments on the proposed regulation.

The state has never had a policy extending partner benefits to same-sexcouples, but an Alaska Supreme Court ruling last fall required it establishone before the end of the year. Following an action filed by the AmericanCivil Liberties Union and nine Alaska couples, the high court ruled thatbecause the state prohibits same-sex couples from marrying, denying gay andlesbian couples rights extended to married couples deprives them of equalprotection guaranteed under the Alaska Constitution.


Forwarded from Ken's List <>

Costa Rica: Congress to Study Bill on Homosexual Civil Unions

Inter Press Service, Italy, September 19, 2006

SAN JOSÉ, Sep 19 (IPS) - The Diversity Movement in Costa Rica is sponsoring
a draft law on civil unions for same-sex couples which will be presentedformally to the legislature this week.

The civil unions initiative is aimed at ensuring equal rights for CostaRican homosexuals, granting each partner in stable same-sex couples theright to social security (if they are not economically self-sufficient), andthe right to inherit, among others..

More controversial issues, such as full marriage and adoption, have beenleft out of the bill. Abelardo Araya, president of the Diversity Movementwhich represents the homosexual and lesbian communities in the country, said that "these are issues that would create difficulties, rather than bringbenefits."


Forwarded from Ken's List <>

Associated Press, September 19, 2006

Liberal Evangelists: Ease Up On Gay Marriage by The Associated Press

(Washington) Liberal evangelicals, weary of a Republican-centric image,launched a campaign Monday to promote Christian values beyond the issues ofabortion and same-sex marriage.

Red Letter Christians, a project of Sojurners/Call to Renewal, announcedplans to establish a grass-roots network of 7,000 moderate and progressiveclergy members.

"A debate on moral issues should be central to American politics, but howshould we define religious values?" said Jim Wallis, an activist andexecutive director of the Christian ministry, which also publishes theliberal Sojourners Magazine.


Forwarded from Ken's List <>

New Zealand: Press Release--Civil union numbers steady (press release), New Zealand, September 19, 2006

The 600th civil union has been registered today. Civil union services havebeen available since April 2005. In the first year, till April2006 there was a total of 460 civil union registrations.

The Registrar General for Births Deaths and Marriages, Brian Clarke saysthere have been 226 civil unions between males, 264 between females and 109between males and females.

"The registrations show that couples from all over the country have chosencivil union, from Punakaiki to Kerikeri. Most civil unions were registeredin Auckland where there have been 128 in 18 months. I'm pleased with therole of the Department of Internal Affairs in delivering the smooth runningof this service."