Tuesday, October 31, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - October 31, 2006

rays.list@comcast.net and we'll be happy to send the full article.




Abortion, gay marriage among ballot issues

By Jim Christie
Tuesday, October 31, 2006; 8:19 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apart from deciding whether Republicans keepcontrol of the U.S. Congress, Americans will vote next week on more than 200state measures many politicians consider too hot to handle.

They will cast ballots on explosive cultural issues like abortion, gaymarriage and illegal immigration. In some states, voters will decide whetherto raise the minimum wage, something the lawmakers in Washington have beenloath to do.

"The issues tend to have two things in common: a frustrated electorate andpoliticians who are afraid to touch the issue for fear of lasting politicaldamage," said Bill Whalen, a fellow at the Hoover Institution in California.

There will be more measures on the November ballot than in any year except1996 and 1914, according to the Rothenberg Political Report.

"You see action on the state level because of gridlock on the federallevel," said Jack Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont McKennaCollege.



Matthew Shepard's Mom Rallies Youth Vote

Associated Press Writer

October 31, 2006, 3:52 AM EST

CHICAGO -- Short in stature, Judy Shepard walks in and stands at the podium,only to be dwarfed by an unwieldy microphone.

"I'm not a professional speaker," she tells her audience. They number in thehundreds, mostly teens and young adults.

She is, she tells them, "a mom with a story." She's a social studiesteacher, a country girl from Wyoming who reluctantly became a politicalactivist after her 21-year-old son Matthew Shepard was beaten, tied to afence and left for dead on the prairie outside Laramie, Wyo.

Because Matthew was gay, his high-profile death eight years ago became arallying point for proponents of tougher hate crimes legislation.


The Sun-Sentinel


Bush Hits Hard at Gay Marriage

Associated Press Writer

October 31, 2006, 5:12 AM EST

STATESBORO, Ga. -- President Bush has for months cast the midterm electionsas a choice about just two issues: taxes and terrorism. Now, with pollspredicting bleak results for Republicans, he is trying to fire up his partyby decrying gay marriage.

"For decades, activist judges have tried to redefine America by courtorder," Bush said Monday. "Just this last week in New Jersey, anotheractivist court issued a ruling that raises doubt about the institution ofmarriage. We believe marriage is a union between a man and a woman, andshould be defended."

The line earned Bush by far his most sustained applause at a rally of 5,000people aimed at boosting former GOP Rep. Max Burns' effort to unseat aDemocratic incumbent.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Berkshire Eagle, MA, October 30, 2006


Date nearing for same-sex marriage vote
Constitutional convention set for Nov. 9

By Rebecca Fater, Eagle Boston Bureau

BOSTON - Thursday, Nov. 9, seemed like a faraway day back in July, whenlegislators agreed to postpone a controversial vote on whether to putsame-sex marriage on the ballot.

But now, with the flip of the calendar page less than a week away, all 200legislators are scheduled to assemble as a body in the House ofRepresentatives' chamber to call the joint constitutional convention toorder.

The question is whether legislators will decide to take a definitive stanceone way or the other.

Since the Supreme Judicial Court legalized same-sex marriage inMassachusetts in 2003, the state has seen many gay and lesbian couples tiethe knot while supporters and protesters looked on. Some opponents calledfor a ballot vote on whether an amendment should be added to theconstitution banning same-sex marriage.

But before a proposed constitutional amendment can be included on a ballot,one-quarter of the Legislature must approve it in two consecutiveconstitutional conventions.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Leonard Link (blog), October 30, 2006


Same-Sex Marriage and the Importance of Strategy
Arthur S. Leonard

The ruling by the NJ Supreme Court last week illustrates the importance ofcareful strategy in test-case litigation. I'll give the punchline first:During the current post-Hawaii wave of same-sex marriage litigation, we have"won" three cases: Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey. By no coincidence,these three are the carefully planned test cases that were filed before thefrenzied winter of 2004, when Gavin Newsome's San Francisco stunt ignited abrushfire of copycat marriage litigation that has so far eventuated inspectacular losses in New York and Washington State, as well as the cruelCalifornia Court of Appeal decision of a few weeks ago.

A bit of history... In the early 1970s, before we had national LGBT publicinterest law firms, same-sex couples in Washington State, Minnesota andKentucky filed their own same-sex marriage lawsuits and all failedspectacularly.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Australia: Gay couple refuses to lodge tax return

Australian Associated Press, October 30, 2006


Gay couple refuses to lodge tax return

A gay couple is refusing to lodge a tax return until their same-sex marriageis recognised.

The two Sydney men say they were married overseas earlier this year, howeverthe Australian Tax Office (ATO) will not recognise the union.

Australian Marriage Equality (AME) said the situation was unfair and thegroup backed the couple in their fight against the ATO.

"Same-sex couples should receive the same treatment as opposite-sexcouples", said AME national convener, Sharon Dane.

"This couple are simply standing up for their rights as Australian citizens


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

OR: Editorial--Pushing -- and pulling -- to middle ground; The latesthigh-court ruling on same-sex marriage finds no goodreason for unequaltreatment

The Oregonian, OR, October 30, 2006


Pushing -- and pulling -- to middle ground The latest high-court ruling onsame-sex marriage finds no good reason for unequal treatment

You can quibble all you want over the words, but doing equations isfundamentally about getting the numbers right. That's one way to sum up theNew Jersey Supreme Court's masterfully middle-of-the-road ruling last weekon same-sex marriage.

Masterful, we say, because the ruling didn't satisfy extremists on eitherside of the same-sex marriage debate. And although it pushed for equaltreatment of gays and lesbians, it didn't push much beyond the place wheremost Americans have already arrived. Most do not favor same-sex marriage,but the overwhelming majority do want to see their gay and lesbiancolleagues, neighbors and family members treated equally.



The Boston Globe

Bishops push for a vote on marriage
Want action on ban of same-sex weddings

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff | October 31, 2006

Saying they are concerned that a walkout by legislators could scuttle a voteon a bill to ban same-sex marriage, the four Roman Catholic bishops ofMassachusetts are exhorting the state's 3 million Catholics to demandaction.

The bishops, including Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, are also urgingCatholics to go to the State House Nov. 9, the date the vote is scheduled,to voice their support for restricting marriage to heterosexual couples. Theletter asks Catholics to "pray for success on this critical vote."

But religious supporters of same-sex marriage are fighting back. They haveprinted thousands of copies of a brochure titled, "Why We Don't Vote onCivil Rights," for distribution in churches and synagogues. They are alsopreparing to publish newspaper ads signed by a group of lay Catholicsdeclaring that O'Malley doesn't speak for them on the issue of marriage.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Berkshire Eagle, MA, October 30, 2006


Date nearing for same-sex marriage vote
Constitutional convention set for Nov. 9

By Rebecca Fater, Eagle Boston Bureau

BOSTON - Thursday, Nov. 9, seemed like a faraway day back in July, whenlegislators agreed to postpone a controversial vote on whether to putsame-sex marriage on the ballot.

But now, with the flip of the calendar page less than a week away, all 200legislators are scheduled to assemble as a body in the House ofRepresentatives' chamber to call the joint constitutional convention toorder.

The question is whether legislators will decide to take a definitive stanceone way or the other.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

NJ: New gay rights leave Catholics with questions; Church struggles foranswers

Newark Star Ledger, NJ, October 30, 2006


Monday, October 30, 2006 BY CLAIRE HEININGER, Star-Ledger Staff

As a seminarian, the Rev. Frank Agresti played devil's advocate with thequestion of what the Catholic Church would say to a faithful same-sex couplewho had won recognition from the government but craved the same from thechurch.

Now the Parsippany priest who once posed that problem to his teacher needsto be the one with the answers. And he doesn't pretend to have them.

"It's a tough one. It's a really tough one," he said yesterday aftercelebrating Mass at St. Peter the Apostle Church. "Their love for each otheris a valid love. ... How does that fit in with God's plan? I don't know."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

VA: Marriage amendment - a lose-lose-lose situation?

Augusta Free Press, VA, October 30, 2006


Chris Graham, chris@augustafreepress.com

It's politics to some people - the debate over a proposed amendment to theVirginia Constitution that would prohibit gays and lesbians from being ableto enter into a state-recognized marriage or civil union.

For those whose lives would be impacted directly by the much-talked-aboutchange to the oldest Bill of Rights in the world, though, it's about morethan vote totals on Election Day - a lot more.

"These bans are not just gay-marriage bans - they're bans on gay marriageand civil unions. And that's a very big problem for gay couples. We don'thave gay marriage now - except in Massachusetts. And I really don't think wehave much of a prospect of gay marriage anywhere except Massachusetts andmaybe New Jersey. But a majority of the public - 60 percent of the public -supports either gay marriage or civil unions.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

CO: Editorial--Ref. I offers Colorado a path to civil unions

Denver Post, CO, October 30, 2006


Ref. I offers Colorado a path to civil unions The state can avoid NewJersey's court-ordered approach to protect the rights of same-sex couples byapproving a sensible ballot measure Nov. 7.

Last week's unanimous ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court that the GardenState cannot legally discriminate against same-sex couples is the strongestreason yet to vote for Referendum I on Colorado's ballot.

Referendum I doesn't allow "gay marriage," but it does stop thediscriminatory treatment that same-sex couples now receive from their ownstate government. Ending such discrimination is the best way to forestalllitigation that might lead to a court order requiring same-sex marriage inColorado or any other state.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

National Post via Vancouver Sun, Canada, October 30, 2006


Don't force clergy to marry gays: majority Same-sex marriage poll
Chris Wattie, cwattie@nationalpost.com

A majority of Canadians believe marriage commissioners should be allowed torefuse to perform a same-sex marriage if it is against their religiousbeliefs, according to a new public opinion poll.

A COMPAS poll conducted last week found 57% of those surveyed said officialswho conduct generally secular wedding ceremonies should be allowed to "notofficiate at gay marriages," provided there are enough marriagecommissioners available for same-sex unions.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

NY: Domestic partnerships mostly straight couples

Newsday, NY, October 30, 2006

Domestic partnerships mostly straight couples By Chuck Bennett, amNewYorkStaff Writer

The data tells it straight -- three quarters of domestic partnerships in NewYork City are heterosexual couples.

"So far this year, 27% of overall domestic partnership registrations aresame- sex couples. We are on par percentage-wise with last year,"saidMichael McSweeney, first deputy at the Office of the City Clerk.

For the first 10 months of this year, there were 2,863 domestic partnershipregistrations, of which only 767 were homosexual couples. In 2005, therewere 815 same-sex domestic partnerships out of 3,066.


Faroe Islands petitionIn connection with this appeal, members of the listmay be interested to know that the UK Gay and Lesbian Huimanist Association(GALHA) has learnt that Sidmennt, the Islandic Ethical Humanist Association,which fully supports Iceland's LGBT rights group Samtokin 78, has written aletter in both Icelandic and Faroese to every member of parliament in theFaroe Islands, as well as their Prime Minister, an open letter in theirlargest newspaper, and a letter to the Icelandic minister in NordicCooperation, urging the Faroese parliament to pass the anti-discriminationlaw.

According to Sidmennt, the Faroese people are very religious, which(surprise! surprise!) is a large part of the problem. They have receivedsome responses from MPs there thanking them for their support of humanrights in the Faroes.


From: Kurt Krickler
To: Euro-queer
Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 7:55 AM
Subject: [euro-queer] Faroe Islands petition

Please, sign this petition (see letter from Iceland to the European PrideOrganisers Association below)!

Kurt Krickler
EPOA Human Rights Co-ordinator
Generalsekretär, Homosexuelle Initiative (HOSI) Wien - 1. Lesben- undSchwulenverband Österreichs
Novaragasse 40, 1020 Wien

Phone private: (01) 545 13 10; 0664 57 67 466

Friends in EPOA

As you may know, the Faroe Islands (Føroyar/Færøerne) are the only areain the Nordic community which lacks a law on registered partnership and alaw against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.

Last December a proposal was presented to the Faroese parliament to putthe Danish law prohibiting discrimination on grounds of sexual orientationin force in the Faroes, but the proposal was defeated with 20 votesagainst 12. Now the same proposal has been presented again, because ofrecent events.

On the 23rd of September, a 26-year-old rock guitarist and the host of apopular radio show, Rasmus Rasmussen, was insulted and beaten in aTórshavn bar, because of him being openly gay. He appeared in thenewspaper, and after that he and his family were threatened by anonymoustelephone calls. Soon after this there were other incidents of homophobicviolence in Tórshavn.

All this has sparked a debate in the Faroes. The prime minister has spokenout against homophobia and the newspapers are full of articles and lettersto the editor deploring the homophobic climate in the Faroes. It remainsto be seen if the initiative to introduce the anti-discrimination law willsucceed. One of the opponents to the law declares that he is against itbecause this is only one step towards the registered partnership.Due to this recent gay-violence and the vehement homophobia in the FaroeIslands, our allies in Denmark have started a signature campaign that willbe sent to the Faroese government before the voting for antidiscriminationlaw regarding homosexuality on 7th of November. The address is:

Please forward this to as many people as possible. When contactingparlamentary representatives in your respective countries, ask them to addMP after their last name

With kind regards

Guðjón R. Jónasson


The Palm Beach Post


Marriage not in danger, but basic civil rights are
Palm Beach Post Editorial

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

As the New Jersey Supreme Court last week ruled for equality, giving gaycouples the same civil rights as married couples, President Bush led GOPcandidates in further hypocrisy.

At a rally in Indiana, the president predictably called Wednesday's rulingthe result of "activist" judges, and insisted that he "will continue toappoint judges who strictly interpret the law."

In fact, New Jersey's justices did follow the state's law, which is howAssociate Justice Barry T. Albin concluded for the majority that the"unequal distribution of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partnerscan no longer be tolerated under our state constitution." The Legislaturenow must decide whether to call homosexual partnerships marriage or useanother term such as civil union.



Gay Marriage Ban Vote Looms In Mass.
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

October 31, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) Two days after voters go to the polls members of theMassachusetts legislature will meet in a joint session to consider a measurethat would end same-sex marriage in the only state where they are legal.

Called a Constitutional Convention it will convene on November 9.

The legislature last year rejected an amendment put forward by lawmakersthat would have banned gay marriage but permitted civil unions.

Following that a conservative group began a so-called citizens initiative,collecting 120-thousand signatures almost double the number of voters neededto force the issue back to the legislature.

A citizen based referendum the amendment needs the support of only 50lawmakers - 25 percent of the House and Senate - in two constitutionalconventions for it to be put to voters in 2008.



Jerusalem Police Mull Canceling Gay Pride Permit
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

October 30, 2006 - 5:00 pm ET

(Jerusalem) Jerusalem's police department said Monday it is reconsideringits approval of a parade permit for next month's gay pride celebration.

The parade has been under increasing condemnation by religious extremistsand conservative members of Israel's Parliament. Orthodox rabbis, Muslimsand conservative Christians have reignited the firestorm of criticism theymounted over World Pride events held over the summer in Jerusalem. Theiropposition resulted in the refusal to grant a parade permit.

The city's gay pride parade also was met with a parade permit refusal whenJerusalem Open House sought to hold it on September 21, the day before Jewsaround the world begin celebrating the High Holidays.


The Washington Post


Va. Marriage Debate A Hotbed of Irony

By Marc Fisher
Tuesday, October 31, 2006; B01

Somehow, whether there's a war on or Americans are trying to figure out howto pay for gas or health care, election campaigns manage to be about sex.

Oh, and religion, too.

In Virginia, where Sen. George Allen apparently believes voters' mainconcern is the explicit nature of the sex scenes in challenger Jim Webb'snovels, next week's ballot includes a proposal to amend the stateconstitution to make triple-sure that marriage is defined as one man livingwith one woman. The state already has two laws that say this, but BobMarshall, the state delegate from Prince William County who proposed theamendment, says laws are not enough.

Here's the curious thing about Virginia's marriage debate: The folks frommore strictly religious backgrounds -- people who believe most fervently inthe need to protect marriage in its traditional form -- are the onesclamoring for a strong government role in marriage. The more secularfolks -- those who are more open to allowing other adult livingarrangements--are the ones saying that religious faiths should be left todefine marriage for themselves.



Gays In Military Warned Pentagon Snooping On Internet Usage
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

October 30, 2006 - 1:00 pm ET

(Washington) LGBT military personnel are being cautioned about divulgingpersonal information on the Internet following reports the Pentagon ismonitoring what enlisted people do online.

The Army Web Risk Assessment Cell is monitoring official and unofficialblogs and other websites for anything that may compromise security. The teamscans for official documents, personal contact information and pictures ofweapons or entrances to camps.

But, warns the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the informationobtained could also be used under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" the ban on gaysserving openly in the military.


Large rise in HIV rates among gay men

October 30, 2006 - 8:35 PM

swissinfo with agencies
URL of this story:

The number of new HIV infections among gay and bisexual men in Switzerlandhas almost doubled over the past three years.

In a report published on Monday, the Federal Health Office said it wasconcerned by this trend and intended to focus greater efforts on itsHIV/Aids prevention programmes.

In Switzerland three out of every 1,000 people are living with HIV/Aids.Over the years better prevention has reduced infection rates among drugusers and immigrants, but since 2000 new HIV infection rates among gay andbisexual men have continued to rise.

In 2005, 49.3 per cent of all men diagnosed as HIV-positive were gay orbisexual, whereas they represented 36.5 per cent in 2004. And by the end of2006, the Federal Health Office expects 300 new cases, most of who areSwiss.



A note from Ray about about Yahoo blocking e-mails. (see below)

If you use Yahoo for your e-mails, please note!

Yahoo and AOL feels free to block messages without notice to theirsubscribers. The policies of these internet providers need challenging bytheir subscribers if the internet is to remain a reliable source ofinformation.

Ray's List


Dennis Brumm wrote:
> Is there any update on Yahoo? I'm still hearing that people are> receiving nothing, even after 12-24 hours, etc.

Yahoo has not replied to repeated attempts to contact them and find outwhy they are suddenly blocking us. There are over 150,000 deliverieswaiting in our queues to Yahoo subscribers.

I would suggest those Yahoo subscribers complain to their serviceprovider and demand to know why mail from our service is being blockedand why they won't respond to our inquiries.


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