Wednesday, October 25, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - October 25, 2006

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Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

NJ: Speculation on Gay Marriage Ruling Swirls in New Jersey

New York Times, October 23, 2006


TRENTON, Oct. 20 - The New Jersey Supreme Court is carrying muchconstitutional freight as it considers whether the state will be the secondin the nation to find that gay couples have the right to marry.

But for those watching the court, speculation has centered lately on smallerissues, like the chief justice's birthday and the re-election prospects ofSenator Robert Menendez.

Lawrence S. Lustberg, who argues frequently before the court and representsthe gay plaintiffs in the case at hand, said the decision in the case, Lewisv. Harris, "is the most eagerly anticipated opinion" he has ever seen.

Steven Goldstein, the chairman of the gay-rights advocacy group Garden StateEquality, concurred, saying, "Most of us in the gay community have nofingernails left."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

WI: Definition of marriage

The Reporter, WI, October 23, 2006

Definition of marriage

By Sharon Roznik, The Reporter,

Several people opposed to gay marriage got up and left an informationalmeeting last week hosted by Fond du Lac's League of Women Voters.

The league, known for it's non-partisan offering of facts on politicalissues, has come out in vocal opposition of an amendment that would changethe state Constitution.

Wisconsin voters are being asked to approve the definition of marriage asbetween one man and one woman on Nov. 7. The hotbed issue, one that againmixes politics with religious values, has opponents and proponents comingout of the woodwork as the election nears.

"What happens if you don't have a definition of marriage? It's to protectthe rights of individual citizens of this state," said James Kiser of Fonddu Lac before exiting the forum.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

South Africa: African leader backs gay marriage, UK, October 23, 2006
African leader backs gay marriage
Marc Shoffman

African National Congress Deputy Leader Jacob Zuma appears to be mending hisfledgling relationship with the country's gay community after backing samesex marriage.

Mr Zuma, who was criticised last month for calling the unions offensive toGod, has now pledged his support for the law ahead of a vote in the SouthAfrican Parliament.

In an interview with BBC World on Sunday, he said: ""With regard to thepeople who want to marry, I don't think one can be judgmental.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Canada: Commentary--Marriage vote turns back clock on rights

Calgary Sun, Canada, October 23, 2006

Marriage vote turns back clock on rights By Bill Kaufmann

It's either dark humour or a sure tip-off we've got a right-wing primeminister from Alberta.

Months after Parliament deigned to treat homosexual couples like theconsenting adults they are, a move's afoot to revoke that recognition.That's right -- after being as-sured they're human enough to wed and as-sumeresponsibilities conservatives so fondly embrace, our PM has vowed an-othervote on same-sex marriage -- because he'd previously made the commitment.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

VA: Opinion--Vote for love, families and commitments

Roanoke Times, VA, October 23, 2006

Vote for love, families and commitments

By Rosemary Wyman

Recently I attended a family wedding with my husband, my oldest daughter andher fiancé, and our youngest daughter, who prefers women.

We were missing sharing this significant occasion with our many sons who,for various reasons, could not be there. Although this was a traditional Catholic wedding Mass, it felt warm and inclusive.

The emphasis was certainly on loving and respecting one another across the board. The chill came when, during prayers offered for various intentionsaround the world, the priest asked that God guide our lawmakers to clearlydefine and preserve the sacrament of marriage.

When the moment came to respond "Lord, hear our prayer," I was silent.All the other prayers felt right, but this one felt small. Small like humanscowering as they have since the dawn of time before the unknown and the"other."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Government defends 1998 anti-porn law
By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press Writer

Eight years after Congress tried to criminalize material deemed "harmful tochildren," free speech advocates and Web site publishers took theirchallenge of the law to trial Monday., and other plaintiffs backed by the American CivilLiberties Union are suing over the 1998 Child Online Protection Act. Theybelieve the law could restrict legitimate material they publish online -exposing them to fines or even jail time.

The Justice Department argues that it is easier to stop online pornographyat the source than to keep children from viewing it.

The law, signed by then-President Clinton, requires adults to use some sortof access code, or perhaps a credit-card number, to view material that maybe considered "harmful to children." It would impose a $50,000 fine andsix-month prison term on commercial Web site operators that publish suchcontent, which is to be defined by "contemporary community standards."

After all, there's no statute of limitations in undoing rights alreadygranted but apparently an acute shortage of shame.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Australia: Judge talks of gay marriage from another side of bench

Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, October 24, 2006

Bellinda Kontominas

JUSTICE Michael Kirby has used his experience as a gay man to highlight thelegal discrepancies unfolding as same-sex marriage spreads to severalcountries.

In a speech to the National Family Law Conference in Perth yesterday,Justice Kirby called for equal treatment under one law for homosexual andheterosexual unions.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Workplace Harassment Now a Teen Rite of Passage
By Debra Katz and Justine F. Andronici,
Ms. Magazine. Posted October 24,

Harasment has become a common experience for teens in the Americanworkforce -- not only those that work on Capitol Hill.

The partisan game of "gotcha" politics is in full swing with the Mark Foleyscandal occupying center stage. Unfortunately, in this political drama thathas overtaken Washington, an issue of critical importance has beenoverlooked. Republican leaders who were given strong indications thatsomething was gravely amiss in the interactions between Congressman Foleyand the Congressional pages, failed miserably in their legal obligations toprotect their young employees from sexual harassment. In this respect,Congress joins the ranks of many of the nation's leading retail and foodservice establishments -- workplaces where teens have been subjected toharassment with impunity in what has increasingly become a vile rite ofpassage for youth joining the American workforce.


Anything But Straight
by Wayne Besen

Oct. 24, 2006

The Caliphate Cab and the Biblical Bus

When a devout Muslim taxi driver refuses to take you where you want to gobecause you have luggage containing alcohol, the only appropriate responseis, "shut up and drive."

Such a situation recently occurred at the Minneapolis International airport,with the driver transforming his cab into a mini-caliphate. Following thisincident, in the same city, a Christian bus driver demanded that she onlydrive busses without ads for the GLBT magazine Lavender that read: "UnleashYour Inner Gay." Initially, the Metro Transit acquiesced to the absurdrequest, but soon reversed course and said that they were "not persuadedthat advertising, per se, infringes on religious practices."

We have also seen busybody pharmacists who think they can interfere with theprivate doctor/patient relationship by refusing to fill contraceptiveprescriptions. These puffed-up pill dispensers call this a "conscienceclause." Yet, no one forced these nosey nabobs to ingest the pills, thus notviolating their personal beliefs.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Departing church gives up land
By Julia Duin
Published October 24, 2006

An Episcopal congregation in Woodbridge whose members were unhappy withliberal trends in the Episcopal Church suddenly dissolved itself last week,leaving the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia with a $420,000 bill from theproperty's mortgage.

The members of Christ Our Lord Episcopal Church, a mission congregationfounded in 1992, has since reconstituted under the Anglican Diocese of NorthKigezi in Uganda as Christ Our Lord Anglican Church. It is the third missionto leave the diocese because of the 2003 consecration of New HampshireBishop V. Gene Robinson as the world's first openly homosexual bishop, butthe first to abandon its property.

"I am saddened by this departure and by the mission's apparent failureto thrive," Virginia Bishop Peter J. Lee said. "I am also disappointed tonot have heard of plans for this action directly from the leadership of thecongregation prior to their taking this action."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Transwoman celebrates N.Y. rights victory
published Monday, October 23, 2006

In a small but significant victory for transgender rights, the TransgenderLegal Defense & Education Fund announced Monday that it has reached anagreement with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York thatallows people to use MTA public restroom in accordance with their genderexpression.

The agreement arose from a complaint filed by the rights group and the NewYork City Commission on Human rights on behalf of Helena Stone, 70, atransgender woman who had been arrested and continually harassed by MTApolice officers over her gender identity.

Stone had been assigned to repair pay telephones at Grand Central Station in2005 by her employer, Verizon. MTA police arrested her three times -- oncein December 2005, and again in February, when surveillance footage showedher entering the women's restroom.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Growing up gay in Jamaica

The homophobic lyrics of Jamaican reggae stars have hit the headlines, butwhat is the reality of being gay in a society where it is illegal topractise your sexuality?

Michael is verbally abused, threatened and spat at every time he leaves hishome in Kingston, Jamaica, but the 20-year-old student considers himselflucky.

He has friends who have been beaten and stabbed because they are gay but, asyet, he has not been attacked. He knows it could happen anytime.

"My friends have been chopped up and all of that, you'd think they were apiece of meat in the slaughter house. It is terrible," he says.

Every time he goes out he is called a "battyman" - an abusive term for a gayman - and says the general attitude in Kingston is if you are homosexual youmay as well be dead.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay Marriage Ban Prompts Supreme Court to Consider Domestic Violence Law

Oct 23, 2006 07:16 AM

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Ohio Supreme Court will have the final say on whetherthe state's domestic violence law is in conflict with a constitutionalamendment that restricts marriage to one man and one woman.

In 2004 Ohioans passed an amendment intended to ban gay marriage. It alsoprohibits the state from giving the legal rights of marriage to couples whoaren't married.

The domestic violence law says you can't harm a family member, spouse or aperson living as a spouse. Some judges say the words "living as a spouse"violate the amendment because it gives a legal status to unmarried couples.

Charges have been dismissed as a result.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Comment: Israeli 'gay bashing' bad for the country


When Israel argues its case as the "only democracy in the Middle East" itsattitude to gay rights in often quoted in contrast to the plight of gays andlesbians in Arabic cultures such as in nearby Iran, but Israeli gaycampaigner Yoav Sivan says growing political opposition to the upcoming WorldPride march suggests the country still has a way to go.

Writing for Ynet News the LGBT Coordinator of the International Union ofSocialist Youth and Young Meretz calls for gay rights to be embraced in allparts of Israel.

"There are two genders - men and women, actually there is another one which you are not allowed to mention," Lieutenant. General Dan Halutz said in a public speech, coolly referring to gays and lesbians.

His clumsy slip of the tongue, by no means his worst act of public relationsrecently, has secured him a place in the ever-growing camp of opponents tothe lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Israel.

The statement itself is hardly interesting; even its derogatory lingo isbanal and outdated. Nevertheless, it does have a double context which is worthwhile examining.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Hillary Clinton's Republican Senate opponent questions her sexuality

After first disparaging her looks, Hillary Clinton's Republican opponent forthe U.S. Senate has now questioned her sexuality. In an interview with alocal Westchester County, N.Y., newspaper, John Spencer suggested the NewYork senator and Democratic star is a lesbian, The New York Times reports.

A columnist for the paper, The Journal News, said that Spencer made theinsinuation last week in a telephone interview in response to a questionabout whether he would attempt to portray Clinton as a liberal in two recentdebates. "He said words to the effect of, 'Well, you know me, words slipout, but I won't call her a lesbian or anything,'" Phil Reisman, thecolumnist, told the Times. "He was definitely joking-he laughed after hesaid it."

Spencer's camp did not deny the remark, but offered a lukewarm apology. "AsJohn Spencer said this afternoon, if he offended anyone, he apologizes," RobRyan, Spencer's spokesman, said.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Germay: Bavarian Conservatives Inch Towards Acceptance of Gays

Deutsche Welle, Germany, October 24, 2006,2144,2212860,00.html

Bavarian Conservatives Inch Towards Acceptance of Gays Kyle James

The majority party of Bavaria, the Christian Social Union, has for the firsttime recognized that some gay relationships have value, although equatingthem with traditional marriage remains out of the question.

The recognition, which is seen by some as a long-overdue wake-up to realityand by others as a danger to the traditional family, comes in the form of adraft policy statement released by the Christian Social Union (CSU) onMonday.

In the eight-page section on family policy, the party in power for decadesin largely Catholic, widely conservative Bavaria rejects the idea of giving
same-sex partnerships the same legal foundation as a marriage between a manand a women, or allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. But itdoes say the party "acknowledges (same-sex relationships), when people inthese partnerships can rely on each other to take responsibility and carefor one another."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Ambassadors Open European Gays, Lesbians Forum in Bulgaria's Capital

On EU Doorstep: 24 October 2006, Tuesday.
Sofia News Agency

Foreign ambassadors in Bulgaria will inaugurate the 28th Annual Conferenceof International Association of Gays and Lesbians for Europe, which will beheld from 26 to 29 October 2006 in Sofia, organizers announced.

This year's conference will welcome about 300 delegates from all overEurope, including representatives of leading human rights organizations,OSCE, the European Council, MPs from European Parliament, the Council ofEurope.

The delegates will debate topics under the motto "We are Family - Ourfamilies in Europe and the European family".

Sofia mayor Boyko Borrissov, who has turned into the epitome of manliness inBulgaria's political life, has also been invited to the forum, but appearsunwilling to face the challenge.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

South Africa: Jesus supports gay rights,say S.African Anglicans

Reuters via Washington Post, DC, October 24, 2006

Jesus supports gay rights, say S.African Anglicans

By Rebecca Harrison and
Itumeleng Seakamela

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters Life!) - When Anglican priest Jo Mdhlela preached hisfirst sermon espousing equal rights for gays and lesbians, he was met withpuzzled frowns by many in his conservative African congregation.

But despite opposition in his mostly black church near Johannesburg, Mdhlelahopes to persuade his flock that being Christian does not mean rejectinggays -- contrasting with most clergy on the continent, who believehomosexuality is sinful and un-African.

"Jesus is challenging churches," the green-robed cleric told hiscongregation in English, helped by an interpreter at his side who translatedhis message into the local Zulu and Sotho languages.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

New Voter Guide for Transgender People

Quick Tips for Voters:

1. Register to vote.

2. If you have changed your name, make sure your new name is correctly recorded on the voting rolls.

3. It is always a good idea to bring enough ID to prove that you arethe person who is registered to vote.

4. Photo ID is often NOT a requirement to be able to vote.

5. Just because your name does not match your physical expression does not mean you cannot vote.

6. If you encounter dificulties ask for a provisional ballot. It's your right.

7. If you encounter difficulties call 1-800-OUR-VOTE for assistance.


The Miami Herald

Alleged victim of priest who fondled Foley sues Miami Archdiocese


A Catholic priest who admitted fondling former Congressman MarkFoley four decades ago has another alleged victim: A former altar boy whowill sue the Archdiocese of Miami today.

The accuser, identified as ''John Doe No. 26'' in his lawsuit,claims the Rev. Anthony Mercieca allegedly performed oral sex on him in thelate 1970s at St. James Church in North Miami. At the time, the accuser said he was between 12 and 13.

Now 40, he alleges the sex-abuse incident occurred in a room atthe parish on a Saturday after altar boy practice and a bike ride withMercieca, according to his lawyer, Jeffrey Herman.

''The priest told him not to talk about it with anyone,'' saidHerman, who is holding a press conference at 11:30 a.m. today at his lawoffice in Aventura. When Mercieca asked him on another occasion to go foranother bike ride, the boy said no and never returned to the church, hesaid.


Forwarded from Marc Adams - HeartStrong

Gay Author Speaks at Federated Church in Placerville
by Charlotte Sanchez-Rose/ Mountain Democrat

Marc Adams, founder of HeartStrong, a group to help gay, lesbian,bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) students deal with religiousschools, will be speaking in Placerville on Sunday, starting at 6:30p.m. at the Federated Church on Thompson Way.

Adams grew up as the son of a fundamentalist Baptist minister in ruralPennsylvania. He said that it is difficult for all preacher's kids andthat being gay added to the burden, including daily Bible readings andpraying at home and school.

In an email, Adams, who is currently on tour, described hisexperiences while growing up.

"We were additionally forced to memorize gigantic portions of theBible (for when the Communists took over the United States and tookaway the Bibles)," he said. "We were taught the New Testamenttheology that there was a 'sin unto death' so we live in constant fearthat we would commit this sin (that was not specifically described inthe Bible) and God would kill us. Growing up in that and being partof entire life revolved around church, my 'spirituality' andrecruiting other people to my religion, or 'witnessing' as wedisguised it."

Contact us at for full article


The New York Times

New Jersey Ruling on Gay Marriage Is Due

TRENTON, Oct. 24 - The New Jersey Supreme Court will release itslong-awaited ruling on Wednesday on whether the state must allow gay couplesthe full legal right to marry, court officials said on Tuesday.

Massachusetts is the only state to recognize a constitutional right to gaymarriage.

The case has drawn national interest, especially after high courts in thestates of New York and Washington issued rulings this summer rejectingconstitutional claims to a right to same-sex marriage. In August, aCalifornia appellate court also upheld the state's ban on gay marriage, andthat case is now before the State Supreme Court. Nineteen states havewritten such bans into their constitutions.