Wednesday, November 15, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - November 15, 2006

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November 15, 2006

South African Parliament Approves Same-Sex Marriages

JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 14 - Parliament on Tuesday voted resoundingly to legalizesame-sex marriages in South Africa, making the nation the first in Africaand the fifth in the world to remove legal barriers to them, according toadvocates.

The nation's highest court ruled last December that South Africa's marriagestatute violated the Constitution's guarantee of equal rights. The courtgave the government a year to alter the legal definition of marriage.

That left the government with three choices: legalize same-sex marriages,let the court change the law by fiat or alter the Constitution, whichprohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.


November 15, 2006

African Children Often Lack Available AIDS Treatment

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon - Five-year-old Anastasia Enongo lies curled like a fetusin a hospital bunk here, coughing weakly, intravenous medicine dripping intoher arm. Born to a mother who died of AIDS, the girl has always been sick,her relatives said, her life a parade of doctors' visits for fevers, coughsand diarrhea.

It was not until February that Anastasia was tested for AIDS. The resultexplained her maladies, but even then she was not treated, and when shearrived at the Chantal Biya Foundation Hospital here in October, she wasnearly unconscious. Often, the children of Africa are still not getting AIDSprevention or treatment drugs, experts say, even though the drugs havebecome affordable and available.


San Francisco Drops School ROTC Program
by The Associated Press

November 15, 2006 - 9:00 am ET

(San Francisco, California) High schools across the city soon will no longerhave Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs after officialsdecided to eliminate them because of the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell"policy regarding gay service members.

The Board of Education voted 4-2 late Tuesday to phase out the JROTC fromschools over the next two years, despite protest from hundreds of studentswho rallied outside the meeting.

The resolution passed says the military's ban on openly gay soldiersviolates the school district's equal rights policy for gays.

The school district and the military currently share the $1.6 million annualcost of the program. About 1,600 San Francisco students participate in JROTCat seven high schools across the district.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

AAP, Australia, November 14, 2006,22606,20755810-5006301,00.html

Same sex couples to get equal rights

LEGISLATION was introduced in Parliament today to give same-sex coupleslegal rights in South Australia.

Any two people who live together and present themselves as a couple will becovered under the proposed changes to partnership laws, Attorney-GeneralMichael Atkinson said.

Introducing the Domestic Partners Bill to parliament today, Mr Atkinsonsaid he expected support from the majority of MPs.

The new legislation will allow same-sex couples to share property andfinancial affairs and take carer's leave to look after each other duringperiods of illness.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Legal Affairs
Gay Marriage Issue Resurfaces in N.J. Legislature
by Eugene Sonn

All Things Considered, November 13, 2006 . The focus of the gay-marriagedebate shifts to Trenton, N.J., where a state Supreme Court ruling declaredthat gay couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples. It is now upto state legislators to decide what form those rights will take. They couldopt for Vermont-style civil unions or approve gay marriage.

Gay-rights groups are holding meetings all over New Jersey to organize anarmy of lobbyists, enough for all 40 of the state's legislative districts.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Minnesota Daily, MN, November 14, 2006

Despite bans, gay rights support strong
New state and national support will shape the future of the issue.

Last week, Wisconsinites voted to pass a constitutional amendment banningsame-sex marriages and civil unions. The amendment also bans civil unionsbetween unmarried straight couples. Although gay marriage was alreadyillegal in the state, this new vote is symbolic of a nationwide trend totake a stand on the issue.

This election season, eight states had similar constitutional amendments ontheir ballots. Of these eight, seven states voted to pass the amendments inhopes of preventing a judge's rule from legalizing same-sex marriages.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Houston Chronicle, TX, November 14, 2006

Taking responsibility
Mexico's civil union bill allows more of its citizens to provide for theirloved ones.

To the surprise of many Mexicans, the government of Mexico City last weeklegalized civil unions between gay partners. The mayor, who supports thebill, is expected to sign it into law.

While not authorizing gay marriage, the legislation allows same-sex partnersto make medical decisions for each other, share financial responsibilitiesand inherit pensions and property.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

MI - School district policy headed to court | Ann Arbo News
|Nov. 14, 2006

School district policy headed to court Taxpayers' challenge to offeringbenefits to same-sex couples will be heard in January

Ann Arbor News | November 14, 2006

News Staff Reporter

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in January in alawsuit challenging the Ann Arbor school district's same-sex benefitspolicy.

But exactly what ground will be covered at the hearing depends on whichside's attorneys are talking.

The Thomas More Law Center, an Ann Arbor-based Christian-rights group,says that the issue to be argued includes the constitutionality of same-sexbenefits.

The school district's lawyers are asking the court for a clarification ofits intent but believe the only point at issue is whether 17 taxpayersfollowed the proper procedure in their attempt to stop the district fromoffering benefits to gay couples, said district spokeswoman Liz Margolis."That's the way we read the order.''


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

The American Prospect

Nov. 14, 2006

Gay Marriage Policy No Linchpin For GOP
by Ben Adler

Among the more initially puzzling results to emerge from Tuesday was thecase of the anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives. On the one hand,progressives had plenty of reason to be depressed - they passed in all butone state, including moderate swing states, like Wisconsin, where a seriousopposition movement had been active. On the other hand, there was theremarkable exception of Arizona, which became the first state in the unionto reject an anti-gay marriage referendum. But there's a larger silverlining to appreciate: the initiatives appeared to have no detrimentalelectoral effect on Democratic candidates.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

National Center for Transgender Equality Launches "Responding to HateCrimes" Manual

Transgender People Among Most Targeted Populations for Hate Violence

Useful Resource for Local "Transgender Day of Remembrance" Vigils

(WASHINGTON, DC) - On Tuesday, November 14, the National Center forTransgender Equality (NCTE) released a resource designed to help communitiesrespond effectively in the aftermath of hate crimes against transgenderpeople. "Responding to Hate Crimes: A Community ResourceManual"( will bewidelydistributed to local advocates organizing Transgender Day of Remembrancevigils around the country later this month. The Day of Remembrance isannually observed on or around November 20. NCTE's "Responding to HateCrimes" manual represents a holistic, community-based approach to respondingto hate violence in a way that aims to curb the number of attacks faced bytransgender people.


The New York Times

November 15, 2006
Bishops Adopt Gay Outreach Guidelines
Filed at 5:37 a.m. ET

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The nation's Roman Catholic bishops adopted new guidelinesfor gay outreach Tuesday that are meant to be welcoming, while also tellinggays to be celibate since the church considers their sexuality''disordered.''

Gay Catholic activists said the approach was so contorted and flawed that itwould alienate the very people it was trying to reach.

The statement, ''Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination,'' wasadopted by a 194-37 vote, with one abstention, at a meeting of the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The bishops also overwhelmingly adopted separate statements encouragingCatholics to obey the church's widely ignored ban on artificialcontraception, and directing parishioners to examine their consciences todecide if they are worthy of receiving Holy Communion.


Bishops Stress Obedience

AP Religion Writer

November 15, 2006, 4:51 AM EST

BALTIMORE -- America's Roman Catholic bishops are reminding waywardparishioners of their most basic spiritual obligations: confessing sin,attending Mass and limiting sex to marriage so they can be worthy ofreceiving Holy Communion.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops emphasized orthodoxy throughout twodays of public debate that ended Tuesday. They adopted statementsencouraging Catholics to obey the widely ignored church ban on artificialbirth control, and directing parishioners to examine their consciences anddecide if they should receive Communion.

Church leaders also overwhelmingly approved new guidelines on gay outreachthat say parishes should welcome lesbians and gays, while telling them to becelibate because the church considers their sexuality "disordered."


Posted on Wed, Nov. 15, 2006


The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina voted Tuesday to cutties with congregations that affirm or approve of gay sexual orientation,formally adopting a rigid anti-gay policy that allows the group toinvestigate whether member churches are gay-friendly.

The policy adopted in Greensboro by the North Carolina convention,which includes more than 4,000 member churches and 1.2 million members, iseven stricter than that of the national Southern Baptist Convention,according to a more liberal Baptist organization.

''It's not something that we wanted to do, but homosexuality is theonly sin that has its own advocacy group,'' said convention spokesman NormanJameson. ``Those advocacy groups are pushing us into this stance. Otherdenominations that waffle and waver on the issue year after year are gettingtorn apart.''


Posted on Wed, Nov. 15, 2006

Heterosexual flaunting

In his Nov. 13 column, A twisted view of 'flaunting' gay identity, LeonardPitts Jr. should have noted the most flamboyant example of heterosexualflaunting: the orgy of public events that commences with the conspicuousdisplay of the engagement ring and culminates in the spectacle of thewedding reception.



Gay Vets Appeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

By Associated Press

November 14, 2006, 12:42 PM EST

BOSTON -- Twelve gay and lesbian veterans appealed a federal judge'sdecision to throw out a lawsuit challenging the military's "don't ask, don'ttell" policy.

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network filed the plaintiffs' appeal Mondayin the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Boston, arguing the policy deniesgays' constitutional rights to privacy, free speech and equal protection.

U.S. District Judge George A. O'Toole had thrown out their lawsuit in April,ruling that Congress has the authority to establish the country's militarypolicy.

"Don't ask, don't tell" has been upheld by appeals courts in several otherjurisdictions, but the appeals court in Boston has never been asked to ruleon it.

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