Thursday, September 07, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - September 7, 2006


September 7, 2006

California: Veto of Textbook Bias Measure

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill intended to forbid any negative portrayal of lesbians and gay men in state textbooks or educationalmaterials, saying state law already prevents discrimination based on sex,race, religion or nationality. In his veto statement, Mr. Schwarzenegger, aRepublican, said no teacher or textbook "should ever intentionally demean or
disparage any group, including discrimination based on sexual orientation."But he said the bill was vague and "potentially confusing." The bill'sauthor, Senator Sheila Kuehl, a Democrat, called the veto "inexplicable."


Church Leaders Advocate Improved Acceptance For PWAs But Can't Agree On Condoms
by The Associated Press
September 6, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(Geneva) Church representatives from around the world pledged Wednesday to step up the battle against the spread of HIV and AIDS and called onChristian communities to foster a new spirit of acceptance for victims ofthe disease.

``While the churches have been on the front line of care and support forpeople affected by the pandemic, many of us have also been complicit instigmatizing and marginalizing people living with HIV and AIDS,'' the WorldCouncil of Churches' central committee said in a statement.

The council urged Christian leaders and congregations ``to promote greaterand more meaningful involvement and participation of people living with HIVand AIDS,'' and said those infected are ``precious members of thecommunity.


State's Top Lawyers Oppose Wisconsin Anti-Gay Amendment
by Newscenter Staff
September 7, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Madison, Wisconsin) Seventeen former presidents of the Wisconsin BarAssociation on Wednesday announced their opposition to a proposedconstitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, civil unions andpossibly be used to deny partner benefits.

In an open letter the group said they were speaking as individual lawyersand not for the bar association, but their prominence in the state adds to agrowing list of Wisconsin notables voicing their concerns over the measure.

In the letter they site three key concerns: the purpose of the state
constitution, existing law limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples, and
the adverse consequences passage of the proposal would have on the children
of same-sex couples.

"Our founding fathers drafted our Constitution to embrace rights andfreedoms which were to stand firm through all time and through all politicalchanges. Wisconsin's Constitution, like the United States Constitution, isa document which grants rights to citizens. It is not, has not been, andshould not be used as a political means to restrict the rights of anycitizens," the lawyers said.


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Australia: Census head confirms same-sex marriage count

SX News, Australia, September 7, 2006

Census head confirms same-sex marriage count Bureau of Statistics fulfilssame-sex marriage commitment; new Census battle develops Peter HackneyThe Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has confirmed that legal same-sexmarriages will be counted in this year's Census.

As previously reported (SX # 291), Paul Williams, Head of Census, gave "inprinciple" support to counting same-sex marriages performed in countrieswhere same-sex marriage is legal, in the wake of a sit-in protest at the ABSSydney office by Australian Marriage Equality (AME) convenor Peter Furnessand his partner Theo Phillip.


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To:, September 5, 2006

Gays Join Marches For Immigration Rights
by Newscenter Staff

(Washington) Gays and lesbians joined marchers nationwide calling for amassive overhaul of immigration laws.

Congress has been grappling with dueling immigration bills amid calls forgranting legal status to illegal immigrants to throwing them out of thecountry altogether.

For LGBT activists the issue is compounded by the refusal of the governmentto recognize binational same-sex couples.

"In my case, I'm an immigrant. I've been here for 8 years under a work visa.
My partner 'cause she's female, cannot sponsor me to stay here."
said Belinda Ryan who marched in San Francisco. "If I were a man she could
sponsor me."


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Record 14 LGBT Bills Pass CA Legislature

Equality California
September 5, 2006

CONTACT: Dannie Tillman, Director of Communications & Coalitions, Equality
PHONE: (323) 217-8875 EMAIL:


Sacramento, CA - The 2005-2006 California Legislature session came to aclose on August 31 having passed an unprecedented fourteen bills and oneresolution sponsored by Equality California (EQCA). Governor Schwarzeneggerhas signed four of the bills, vetoed two and has eight bills still underconsideration.

"The 2005-2006 legislative session in California broke the record for themost lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights bills ever passedby a state legislature in our nation's history," said Geoff Kors, EQCA
executive director. "The legislature came down on the side of fairness and
equality by passing each of the fourteen pieces of legislation and one
resolution proposed and sponsored by Equality California-from marriage
equality to school safety to transgender health insurance to tax andinsurance equity. We applaud the bi-partisan group of legislators who votedin support of our bills."


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National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Announces Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Membership Monday, August 21, 2006

Partnership includes executive council appointment and program support

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) announced today a partnership with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. as part of thecompany's ongoing commitment to advancing diversity among all of itsassociate, supplier and customer bases. This partnership will includeexecutive representation on the NGLCC's Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) andsponsorship of the organization's 2006 events and initiatives.

As part of Wal-Mart's involvement with NGLCC, Dee Breazeale, vice presidentof divisional merchandise, SAM'S CLUB Jewelry, will serve on theorganization's Corporate Advisory Council (CAC). The CAC is composed ofNGLCC corporate partners whose mission is to discuss issues upon whichmembers of the NGLCC and CAC work together to educate Corporate America and
the public on the economic benefits of providing a diverse workplace andcreating mutually beneficial relationships with the LGBT and LGBT-friendlybusiness community.


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SABC News, South Africa, September 6, 2006,2172,134396,00.html

Civil Union Bill hits serious snag

The Civil Union Bill has been described as one of the most unique pieces oflegislation in the world and is intended to give legal recognition to peopleof the same sex. However, the State law advisor told Parliament's homeaffairs committee today that it is not satisfied with this piece of farreaching legislation.

The bill will change the definition of marriage and recognise partnershipsbetween same sex couples. The new draft follows a Constitutional Courtjudgment last year that the Marriage Act of 1961 was unconstitutional. TheCourt gave Parliament until the 1 December to sort it out.

And after months of debate, South Africans were given a choice of settingthem apart from countries like Belgium and the Netherlands.


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Rocky Mountain News, CO, September 5, 2006,2808,DRMN_24736_4968573,00.html

Marriage proponents seeking church support
By Myung Oak Kim, Rocky Mountain News

The campaign to ban gay marriage is moving toward the November election ontwo fronts.

The group sponsoring the ballot measure that would define marriage in theColorado Constitution as a heterosexual union is pushing a grass-roots planthat relies on volunteers and its strongest support base - the state's thousands of churches.

Coloradans for Marriage hopes to enlist church leaders to urge congregants to vote for Amendment 43 during "Marriage Sunday" services on the final twoweekends of October.


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To:, September 5, 2006

NJ Gays Anxiously Await Marriage Ruling
by Newscenter Staff

(Trenton, New Jersey) Will New Jersey's Supreme Court follow its counterpartin Massachusetts and legalize same-sex marriage or mirror the courts in thestates of Washington and New York and leave it to the legislatures? That isthe question same-sex couples in the Garden State have been asking formonths as they anxiously await the high court's ruling on the issue.

Arguments were made in the case seven months ago and couples eager to wedare wondering why it is taking so long for a decision. A ruling in the casecould come at any time and is expected before October 25, the day beforeChief Justice Deborah T. Poritz turns 70 and is required to retire.

New Jersey is one of only five states without a specific ban on gaymarriage. But when the topic of same-sex marriage first arose the stateAttorney General's Office said that same-sex marriage was not lawful, a movethat blocked municipal clerks in the state from issuing marriage licenses togay and lesbian couples.


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Latest antiporn target: hotel-room TV

A campaign urges prosecution of hotels under obscenity laws - and directspeople to smut-free lodging.

By Matt Bradley, Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor, September06, 2006

It's a business that has become quietly entrenched in America's corporateculture: pay-per-view pornography in hotel rooms. Most large chains providethe service, along with standard-issue films.

The pay-per-view service has brought hotels millions of dollars a year. But
these days, the US hotel business is also attracting moral outrage and
vitriol - on a scale that pornography insiders say amounts to one of the
largest organized assaults on the skin business in recent memory.

A consortium of 13 conservative groups has created, awebsite that provides listings and reservation services for US hotels wheretravelers can rest safe from taint or temptation. The conservative groupshave also run a series of full-page ads in USA Today, urging authorities toprosecute hoteliers under federal and local obscenity statutes.


HIV among blacks still high

A disparity continues to exist in the number of blacks and whites infectedwith the HIV virus in South Florida. However, experts say the gap isbecoming smaller.


Despite years of progress, blacks in South Florida are still more than threetimes as likely as whites to have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, accordingto a new report from the Florida Department of Health.

The disparity persists -- in Miami-Dade and Broward counties and throughoutFlorida -- even though the rate of HIV among blacks has steadily declinedfor several years.

''The gap has been closing,'' said Spencer Lieb, a senior stateepidemiologist and one of the authors of the report.

Statewide, the rate of HIV is six times as high among blacks as amongwhites, down from roughly 11 times as high in 1999, Lieb said.


August 31 - September 6, 2006

Refocusing on AIDS

With AIDSVote 2006, advocates press for election-time commitments onepidemic

As the fall elections approach, AIDSVote 2006 is gearing up to put theepidemic back on the political agenda across the country-not just for thisyear, but in preparation for the 2008 presidential contest, which is alreadygearing up.

The central demand of the non-partisan AIDSVote effort is "universal accessto prevention, treatment, care, and support for all people living withHIV/AIDS by 2010," both here at home and abroad.

Initiated by the Campaign to End AIDS (,AIDSVote-which made its first appearance on the political scene in 2004-hasthis year won important support from organizations like Jubilee USA, acoalition of 75 organizations that works to abolish Third World debt to theG-8 countries; the 65,000-member American Medical Students Association;
CHAMP, the Community HIV-AIDS Mobilization Project; Results, a non-profitgrassroots advocacy group working to end poverty and hunger worldwide; theNational Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA); Physicians for HumanRights; the Student Global AIDS Campaign; Advocates for Youth, a coalitionleading the fight for science-based sex education; the Center for Health and Gender Equality; and the Health Global Access Project (GAP).