Monday, September 04, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - September 4, 2006


Forwarded from Ron Mills


Released 9/01 - 9/03

MI-Gov | Seltzer & Co
Granholm (D) 46%
DeVos (R) 44%
KS-Gov | Rasmussen
Kathleen Sebelius (D) 48%
Jim Barnett (R) 37%
IL-Gov | Research 2000
Blagojevich (D) 47%
Topinka (R) 39%
MO-Sen | Research 2000
McCaskill (D) 47%
Talent (R) 46%
IA-Gov | Rasmussen
Chet Culver (D) 42%
Jim Nussle (R) 40%
PA-Sen | USA Today/Gallup
Casey (D) 56%
Santorum (R) 38%
MN-Sen | USA Today/Gallup
Klobuchar (D) 50%
Kennedy (R) 40%
MO-Sen | USA Today/Gallup
McCaskill (D) 44%
Talent (R) 50%
MT-Sen | USA Today/Gallup
Tester (D) 48%
Burns (R) 45%
OH-Sen | USA Today/Gallup
Brown (D) 46%
DeWine (R) 40%
OH-Gov | USA Today/Gallup
Strickland (D) 52%
Blackwell (R) 36%
MN-Sen | Rasmussen
Klobuchar (D) 47%
Kennedy (R) 40%

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Homophobic terror: The Talibanisation of Iraq

Peter Tatchell reveals the targeted execution of gay Iraqis by
Islamist death squads

Tribune - London, UK - 1 September 2006

Parts of Iraq, including some Baghdad neighbourhoods, are now underthe de facto control of Taliban-style fundamentalist militias. Theyenforce a savage interpretation of Sharia law, summarily executingpeople for 'crimes' like listening to western pop music, wearingshorts or jeans, drinking alcohol, selling videos, working in abarber's shop, homosexuality, dancing, having a Sunni name, adulteryand, in the case of women, not being veiled or walking in the street
unaccompanied by a male relative.

Iraq is sliding fast towards theocracy and is likely to end up similarto Iran. The power and influence of fundamentalist militias is growingrapidly. Two militias are doing most of the killing. They are thearmed wings of major parties in the Blair-backed Iraqi government.Madhi is the militia of Muqtada al-Sadr, and Badr is the militia ofthe Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which isthe leading political force in Baghdad's ruling coalition. Bothmilitias want to establish an Iranian-style religious dictatorship.

Please contact us at for the entire article.


Forwarded from Ken's List

Italy's Summer of Anti-Gay Violence (DIRELAND)

September 02, 2006

Letter from Rome: BERLUSCONI--THE PARTY'S OVER (plus, The Pope's NewTheological Offensive & Italy's Summer of Anti-Gay Violence) Here's thelatest in a series of Letters from Rome on the politics of Italy fromDIRELAND's correspondent in Italy, Judy Harris -- a veteran expat journalistand former Italy staffer for the Wall Street Journal and TIMEmagazine:

ROME -- ­ For women in particular, this has been Italy's summer of violence.

First, a Muslim girl was brutally murdered by her father and brotherbecause, as her mother put it, "she was not a good Muslim."

On August 18, some days after a Gay Pride event, an Italian Lesbian woman of35 identified only as "Paola" was attacked and raped by two men at theTuscan town of Torre del Lago. Meeting yesterday with journalists at thenational gay and lesbian association ArciGay's headquarters in Florence,Paola, who was flanked by the national president of ArciLesbica, Titti deSimone (right), who is also a member of Parliament from RifondazioneComunista, said she was convinced that the two men had noticed her at a GayPride event and planned a punitive assault.


Ghanaian gay conference banned

Ghana's government has banned a conference for gay men and lesbians due to take place there later this month.

Information Minister Kwamena Bartels said as homosexuality was illegal in Ghana the gathering was not permitted.

"Government does not condone any such activity which violently offends the culture, morality and heritage of the entire people of Ghana," he said.

He warned that disciplinary action would be taken if anyone was found to have contravened the law.The BBC's Kwaku Sakyi-Addo in the capital, Accra, says the conference was reportedly scheduled to take place on Monday at the Accra International Conference Centre and at a venue in the city of Koforidua.It has been difficult to establish precisely who was organising the
conference, and whether it had received any prior approval from any official quarter, he says.

But in an unequivocal statement, Mr Bartels laid out the government's position.

"Government would like to make it absolutely clear that it shall not permit the proposed conference anywhere in Ghana.

"Unnatural carnal knowledge is illegal under our criminal code. Homosexuality, lesbianism and bestiality are therefore offences under the laws of Ghana," he said.


Forwarded from Ken's List

AIDS isn't ours anymore

WORLD POLITICS / Global forum aims to put gay men back on agendaPaul Gallant / Xtra / Thursday, August 31, 2006

Old school fags might find it hard to believe. Young fags may not care(which is part of the problem). But one of the starkest truths to come outof the International AIDS Conference, held in Toronto this month, is thatgay men aren't really part of the plans to eradicate the disease worldwide.

The people who once were at the front of the fight against what used to becalled "gay cancer" are now bringing up the rear - despite increasinginfection rates amongst gay men in countries from Thailand to Canada. Celebleaders like Bill and Melinda Gates, Bill Clinton and Richard Gere don'tseem to care for us.


School Board Asks Students If They're Gay
by Newscenter Staff
September 2, 2006 - 11:00 am ET

(New York City) As high school students head back to classes for the startof a new year districts across the country face a patchwork of policiesregarding LGBT students. While the number of Gay-Straight clubs growsnationwide some school boards have dug in their heels to block LGBT studentsfrom organizing.

Students returning to classes in the Rowan-Salisbury School System in NorthCarolina will face what is described as the most repressive regulations inthe country. The school board voted last month to bar what it calledsex-based clubs at the school and to declare the Gay-Straight Alliance fitthat criterion. (story)

The recommendation to amend the policy and define the GSA as a sex club wasbased on the school district's existing mandate for abstinence-only sexeducation.


Rainbow Flag To Rise For First Time Over Taiwan
by Newscenter Staff
September 2, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Taipei) For the very first time the Rainbow Flag will be raised in anofficial ceremony in Taiwan an indication that the island off mainland Chinais growing more tolerant of gays.

The flag will go up in front of Taipei City Hall on September 17, markingthe start of "Queer Friendly Taipei" and in another first the city'sDepartment of Civil Affairs is a major sponsor of the event.

LGBT groups have been holding the celebration for the past seven years, andeach year until now the city has rebuffed efforts to hoist the flag at cityhall.

This year LGBT leaders were expecting another letdown, but the citysurprised them by agreeing to the flag raising and funding.When the festival turned up in the civil affairs budget some city councilorsand conservative groups were outraged.


Colorado Dem. Gubernatorial Candidate Flip-Flops On Gay Marriage
by Newscenter Staff
September 3, 2006 - 11:00 am ET

(Denver, Colorado) In an apparent flip-flop on the issue of same-sexmarriage, Democrat Bill Ritter now says he opposes it, but would be open tocivil unions.

A day earlier, though, the gubernatorial candidate suggested to the DenverPost's editorial board that he would support gay marriage."You know, if a bill came to my desk to change that statute, though, I wouldsign it - that changes the definition of it," the Post reports Ritter assaying on Friday.

When pressed if that specifically included gay marriage Ritter declined toanswer "a hypothetical question" but added that, "It depends on what thebill says. I would entertain changing it, is what I'm saying."


The New York Times

September 4, 2006

California's Condom Bill

The United States will never control the spread of H.I.V. until it takes stronger measures in prison, where unprotected sex and intravenous drug use are commonplace - and the AIDS infection rate is nearly five times that of the general population. The first step is to use the same AIDS prevention techniques within the prisons that have been proved effective on the outside. That means emulating condom distribution programs that have long been employed in prisons abroad but that are still barred in about 95 percent of this country's institutions.

The need for condom programs behind bars was underscored last spring in a bulletin from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that documented the cases of 88 men who became H.I.V. positive while serving time in George state prisons. The C.D.C. concluded that unprotected sex among prison inmates was indeed taking place - despite denials by prison officials and rules forbidding it - and urged states without condom programs to investigate the feasibility of starting them.

The California State Legislature took the C.D.C. at its word last month, passing a landmark condom distribution bill that clearly deserves Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's signature. The bill, spearheaded by Assemblyman Paul Koretz, Democrat of West Hollywood, would allow public health agencies to enter the prisons and hand out condoms to inmates who want then.


Labor Day 2006: Gays Mark Year Of Successes
by Newscenter Staff
September 4, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(New York City) Gays in trade unions will march under their own banners inLabor Day parades across the country today, a sign of the growing visibilityof LGBT workers.

More and more unions are requiring equality for gay and transsexual workersin contracts. But, legislation on both the state and national level issorely lacking.

In 34 states, it is legal to fire someone based on their sexual orientation.In 44 states, it is legal to do so based on gender identity.While lawmakers have been slow, or in many cases reluctant, to extendemployment rights to members of the LGBT community, labor and business havenot.

As of this year 92 percent of the Fortune 500 companies include sexualorientation protection and a May Gallup Poll found that approximately 89% ofprospective voters believe that gays and lesbians should have workplacenondiscrimination protection.


Policy wastes skills, costs millions

By William Butte

September 4, 2006

As we find ourselves stuck in the Vietnam-like quagmire of Iraq, with ourarmed forces stretched thin, the Army has become so desperate to meetenlistment goals that it has lowered recruiting standards to include themiddle-aged, the unintelligent and the criminal.

So it might be surprising to learn, even with the Clintonian compromiseknown as "don't ask, don't tell" that prohibits openly gay servicepersonnel, that just-released Defense Department figures reveal dischargesof gay service members increased 11 percent from 2004 to 2005, the firstincrease since 9-11. And 53 percent of those discharged came from the Army.

Given our increasingly unpopular involvement in Iraq, the Army missed itsenlistment goal by 7,000 last year. So, in an unsuccessful effort to fillits ranks, enlistment standards were lowered to such a degree thatrecruitment figures for last year reveal 630 recruits received waivers for
"serious criminal misconduct," a category that reportedly includesaggravated assault, robbery, vehicular manslaughter, receiving stolenproperty and even making terrorist threats, according to published reportsquoting Douglas Smith, spokesman for the Army Recruiting Command at FortKnox, Ky.


Iranians taste freedoms on own terms
Dissidents shun US assistance

By Anne Barnard, Globe Staff | August 30, 2006

TEHRAN -- Emad Baghi is a human rights activist who spent three years inprison for his writings. Shadi Vatanparast is a promoter of undergroundIranian rock bands who, in the semi-privacy of her office, throws off hergovernment-mandated headscarf. And Fazel Mehbadi is a mullah who preaches amessage that's dangerously dissident in the theocratic Islamic Republic ofIran: Religion should be separate from government.

These Iranians, in large ways and small, want more democracy and pluralismin their country, and they have taken risks to change their society. Theyare the kind of people whom US officials say they want to support. Yet theyall agree that the last thing they need is help from the United States.

``The best thing the Americans can do for democracy in Iran is not tosupport it," Baghi, the activist, said recently in his office, next to astack of his politically risky published books -- ``The Tragedy of Democracyin Iran," ``Clerics and Power," and a study that criticizes the government
on its own terms, using Islamic teachings to indict Iran's justice systemand its arbitrary arrests and executions.