Wednesday, September 06, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - September 6, 2006


Democrats launch Christian Web site
Group hopes to dent advantage for GOP

By Frank James
Washington Bureau

September 6, 2006

WASHINGTON -- A group of Christian Democrats seeking to compete againstRepublicans for the vote of religious Americans has started a Web site meantto serve as a forum for like thinkers and a political tool to raise moneyand volunteers for Democratic candidates who share their values.

The new site,, is partly the brainchild of DavidWilhelm, a former Democratic National Committee chairman who also managedcampaigns for Mayor Richard M. Daley and President Bill Clinton.

Jesse Lava, another co-founder who worked for Wilhelm at the DNC and is anEvanston native, is the site's executive director.

"The seed was planted after '04 when there was a lot of hand-wringing goingon and a lot of people were wondering how on Earth Democrats failed toconvey a sense of faith and values in that election," Lava told reporters ina Tuesday teleconference.


The Washington Post

ABC's 'View' Is Looking A Whole Lot Rosier

By Darragh Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 6, 2006; C01

Rosie O'Donnell is giving daytime talk TV a whole new view. Or, in this case, an entirely new "View."

O'Donnell debuted on the ABC morning chat show yesterday, and if there was any question which Rosie would show up -- the "Queen of Nice" whose old talk show ran counter to the cruder "Jerry Springer"-type programming, or the opinionated, polarizing figure who emerged after her show ended in 2002 -- viewers didn't have to wait long for an answer.

Barbara Walters, in her bright-red power suit, might have taken O'Donnell's arm and led her across the studio to her place at the table. But once all four co-hosts were seated -- and the studio audience's standing ovation and cheers finally quieted down -- the sassy, electrifying, show-stealing Rosie took over.

O'Donnell was funny and unpredictable and charismatic. And her facial expressions -- the stop-you-dead smile, the giddy eyebrow waggles, the self-deprecating and manic eye-blinking -- were so varied that she herself seemed to be playing several co-hosts. Although her chubbiness has often relegated her to being the "funny sidekick" in film and onstage, she glowed with leading-role glamour.

Inviting O'Donnell to co-host "The View" was like buying an expensive, Corian counter that makes everything else in the kitchen seem drab or shabby or in need of an overhaul. (Rosie replaced longtime host Meredith Vieira, and her hiring sparked speculation about the job security of Star Jones Reynolds, who was dropped from the show in June.)


The Washington Post
Hands Off Constitutions
This Isn't the Way to Ban Same-Sex Marriage

By J. Harvie Wilkinson III
Tuesday, September 5, 2006; A19

The chief casualty in the struggle over same-sex marriage has been the American constitutional tradition. Liberals and conservatives -- judges and legislators -- bear responsibility for this sad state of affairs.

Twenty states have constitutional amendments banning gay marriages; many more are in the offing. On the ballot this fall in Virginia and five other states will be proposed constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Passage of the amendments is all but foreordained, but the first principles of American law will be further endangered.

Judges began the rush to constitutionalize. The Massachusetts Supreme Court concocted a state constitutional right to marry persons of the same sex. The court went on to say that opposing views lacked so much as a rational basis. In other words, centuries of common-law tradition, legislative sanction and human experience with marriage as a bond between one man and one woman were deemed by that court unworthy to the point of irrationality.


Religious extremists want censorship (again)

The Gay Police Association is under police investigation, after itexposed a big increase in homophobic hate crimes perpetrated byreligious extremists.

By Peter Tatchell

The Guardian - Comment Is Free - 6 September 2006


of the Gay Police Association (GPA) have been receiving death threatsafter their organisation published an advert exposing a 75% increasein homophobic hate crimes perpetrated by religious extremists.

The death threats appear to be coming from faith fanatics. One of thethreats was sent to the Chair of the GPA, Inspector Paul Cahill. Itsaid: "Be on notice that your days left on this earth are
limited.Homosexuals everywhere will tremble at this powerful messageand repent of their perverted lives."

The GPA advert has reportedly prompted thousands complaints to theMetropolitan Police by supporters of religious pressure groups, aswell as by die-hard fundamentalists. They have expressed no concernabout the death threats but they want the ad banned and are demanding
the prosecution of the GPA. The Met is now investigating whether theGPA advertisement constitutes an anti-religious hate crime. It hasreferred the complaints to the Crown Prosecution Service.


Forwarded from Ken's List <>

Huffington Post, September 4, 2006

The Closets of Karl and Ken
James Moore

In July of 2004, Karl Rove was concluding a trip to Palm Springs, Californiaand heading off to manage the reelection campaign of George W. Bush. Thepresident's senior political advisor had settled on a strategy that he wasconvinced would increase turnout of the conservative Republican base as wellas appeal to fundamentalist Christians in the African-American community.

Rove and his lieutenant Ken Mehlman, who ran the Republican National
Committee, had targeted eleven swing states as locales to play out the wedge
issue of gay marriage. Although they would work closely with the GOP state
operations, Rove and Mehlman denied any coordination or involvement. They
were, as they often are, lying.

Rove had left a secret behind in the Southern California desert that madebizarrely cynical his decision to use gay issues to motivate GOP voters. Hisfather, who had just died, was gay. Louis Rove had been a prolific smokerand died of lung diseases but he had loved his son and was very proud of hisachievements. Although he was not Karl's biological father, Louis was theonly father he had ever known because Karl's mother Reba had divorced veryearly in her son's life. In an interview with Wayne Slater and myself afterhe had guided the first Bush victory, Rove emphasized that he did notconsider Louis his stepfather. "I don't call him Louis," he explained. "He's my father, my adopted father."


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Islamic Clerics: Ban Freddie Mercury Birthday
by Newscenter Staff

August 29, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Zanzibar) He may be Zanzibar's most famous son but religious leaders onthe mostly Islamic island are demanding the government block aninternational party to mark what would have been Freddie Mercury's 60thbirthday.

The mullahs say that the openly gay Queen frontman who died of complicationsfrom AIDS in 1991 brought shame on the island because of "his lifestyle".

"Associating Mercury with Zanzibar degrades our island as a place of Islam,"the islands' Association for Islamic Mobilization and Propagation said in aletter to the culture Ministry.


Forwarded from Ken's List <>

South Africa: MPs to begin bill for same sex marriages

Independent Online, South Africa, September 5, 2006

MPs to begin bill for same sex marriages By Angela Quintal

Members of parliament will meet on Wednesday to set the ball rolling interms of one of the most contentious bills ever to be processed by thecountry's democratic parliament.

The National Assembly's home affairs committee is expected to decide on thepublic participation process for the Civil Union Bill which recognises samesex marriages, as well as domestic partnerships for those of the same sex oropposite sex who opt to live together.

It is understood that it will involve an opportunity for writtensubmissions, as well as public hearings in parliament, with wider publicparticipation in at least two provinces.


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A Time to Speak: Why Progressive Religious Leaders Must Find Their Voice on Sexual Justice
by Rev. Debra W. Haffner
June 9, 2006

There's a growing recognition of an organized progressive religious voice inthis country. Collaborative efforts by mainstream and progressive religiousleaders to address such issues as the budget, poverty, the war in Iraq, andimmigration are now recognized and featured in prominent publications suchas the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Newsweek.

We are beginning to counter the perception that the religious right speaksfor religion in America. Many of us are also working to address what I havelabeled the "religiophobia" of secular progressive organizations, or a fearof religion that keeps organizations from reaching out to faith communitiesand from articulating a moral vision.


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Md. could see nation's first black gay state legislators

Victory Fund endorses Washington, McCarthy in Baltimore races

By JOSHUA LYNSEN, Sep. 01, 2006

Anthony McCarthy and Mary Washington, candidates for Maryland House ofDelegates, could become the nation's first openly gay black statelegislators.

Officials at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which recently endorsed bothcandidates, said a win by either candidate would be an unprecedented event.No openly gay black candidate has yet been elected to any state legislature,according to the Victory Fund.

"I think it's incredibly exciting," said Robin Brand, Victory Fund's seniorvice president of politics and strategy. "Both Anthony and Mary have verystrong credentials, are very well qualified, and have a very good shot atwinning in their districts."

McCarthy, a pastor and radio commentator running in District 44 (Baltimore),said the campaigns come at a pivotal time for gay Marylanders.


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Nevada Passes Regulation Forbidding Porn in Workplace

By Gretchen Gallen, September 2, 2006

CARSON CITY, Nev. - Joining California and other states in their standagainst porn in the workplace, Nevada officials have passed a regulationthat makes viewing pornography on the job an offense worthy of immediate dismissal.

The state Personnel Commission approved the new regulation unanimously inresponse to a growing demand from corporations for more control overinstances of employee Internet abuse.

The new regulation is aimed at Internet content that features anydescription or representation of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitementor sadomasochistic abuse.

Nevada employees found viewing this type of Internet content can be fired.The new regulation also makes having sex on the job or sexual harassmentgrounds for immediate dismissal.

All firings are now considered legally justified after the first offense,whereas previously, employers had to follow several steps before being ableto execute a legal firing that would stand up in court.


Forwarded from Ken's List <>
To:, September 5, 2006

Opposition Growing To Virginia Anti-Gay Amendment
by Newscenter Staff

(Richmond, Virginia) Opponents of a proposed sweeping gay marriage amendment in Virginia believe they are gaining momentum as business and church leadersclimb on board to help defeat the measure.

The only concern is time - is there enough of it between now and electionday to win the hearts and minds of voters.

If passed the amendment would ban same-sex marriage, civil unions andpossibly be used to void domestic partner benefits.

The most recent poll, taken in July, showed that 56 percent of likely voterssaid they would vote in favor of amending the state constitution, while 38percent of voters said they would vote against it. Only six percent of thosesurveyed remain undecided.

The poll, taken four months before election day, had the lowest support inthe same time frame of any state in recent history where a gay marriage referendum was put to voters.