Friday, December 08, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - December 08, 2006

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The New York Times

December 7, 2006
Canada Upholds Law Allowing Same - Sex Marriage
Filed at 4:36 p.m. ET

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's Parliament upheld a 2005 law allowing same-sexmarriage on Thursday when it threw out a bid by the minority Conservativegovernment to revisit the contentious issue.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper put forward the motion after promising hissocially conservative backers that he would do so, but most observers hadexpected it to fail.

The Conservatives are set to fight an election next year and had legislatorsbacked the idea of revisiting the law it would have become a campaign issue.

``We made a promise to hold a free vote and we kept that promise. The resultwas decisive and we'll accept the democratic result,'' Harper toldreporters.


The New York Times

December 8, 2006

A Civil Union Bill Advances Amid Criticism by All Involved

TRENTON, Dec. 7 - One man objected to a bill that would give same-sexcouples in New Jersey the same rights as heterosexual spouses because "Idon'twant my grandchildren taught the techniques of homosexuality."

On the other side of the ideological spectrum, a pastor objected to the billbecause she said she thought that establishing civil unions for gay coupleswould amount to "sanctioning bigotry" and create a layer of second-classcitizens.

Even the sponsor of the legislation, Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo, aDemocrat from Essex County, acknowledged having "mixed feelings," though hesaid he could not "allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good."


The Express Gay News

Rosie says she's not leaving 'The View'
Lesbian star's presence boosts ratings
NEW YORK (AP) | Dec 8, 8:06 AM

She's only been on "The View" for three months and already there arepublished rumors that Rosie O'Donnell wants out. She tried to shoot themdown on Thursday.

O'Donnell, during Thursday's show, said she had answered an audiencemember's question during a commercial break the day before and mentioned howshe would like to work on FX's "Nip/Tuck." She noted that it filmed duringthe summer, during "The View" vacation break.

"Don't anybody worry where Rosie's going," she said. "She's right here."


Posted on Fri, Dec. 08, 2006

Ethics panel could soon issue Foley page report

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The House ethics committee could be close to finishing itsreport on ex-Rep. Mark Foley's improper conduct with former pages.

Committee members would not comment on when they would issue their findings.Committee leaders said in early October the investigation would be finishedin weeks, not months, and members have said privately they did not want tocarry the matter over until next year.

The findings would have far greater impact if Republicans had retainedcontrol of Congress because questions were raised over the lack of strongaction by Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and his top aides.

Foley, R-Fla., became overly friendly with male pages when they served aserrand-runners for lawmakers and - after they left Congress - sent some ofthem inappropriate e-mails and lurid instant messages.


The Express Gay News

'Lance' them all
Celebrities are like companies: If you don't want the scrutiny, then don'tgo public to begin with.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A FEW WEEKS ago, the term "lanced" made the rounds on the internet. "Lanced"refers to when a celebrity or public person is outed as gay or lesbian inthe media. As a public person,I am often asked my opinion on outing.

As a businessperson, I look at the outing debate the way you might look at apublic company versus a private company.

A "public company" is one that has decided to list its shares on the stockexchange, so that the general public can invest and make money as the shareprice rises, the stock splits or the company pays dividends.


The Washington Post

Canadian Prime Minister Loses Bid to Revisit Gay Marriage Law

By Doug Struck
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, December 8, 2006; A23

TORONTO, Dec. 7 -- Canada's House of Commons rejected a move Thursday byConservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reopen debate on a nationallaw permitting same-sex marriages.

The House, by a vote of 175 to 123, defeated the motion brought by Harper tofulfill a campaign promise to opponents of same-sex marriage. Thirteenmembers of his Conservative Party voted against the motion, reflecting adesire by Parliament not to reopen the issue.

"Times have changed. We've moved on. The House has moved on," Bill Graham, aLiberal Party member, said Wednesday in debate on the proposal.


The Express Gay News

Former Log Cabin chair admits to tax evasion
Gay GOP figure faces 25 years in prison

Friday, December 08, 2006

A prominent gay Republican leader who met with George W. Bush during the2000 presidential election campaign faces a possible 25-year prison sentenceafter admitting in federal court on Dec. 1 that he cheated New Jerseytaxpayers and the IRS out of as much as $1 million.

Robert Stears, 51, who served as chair of the national gay group Log CabinRepublicans from 1999 to 2002, pleaded guilty to one count each of mailfraud and tax evasion charges.

"We are saddened and disappointed by this news," said Patrick Sammon,executive vice president of Log Cabin Republicans, based in Washington."Clearly, Mr. Stears will have to take full responsibility for his illegalactions."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


TRENTON: A state Assembly committee approved a bill Thursday that wouldallow gay couples the benefits of marriage but not the title in a move thatplaces the measure on a fast track for possible approval by the end of theyear.

The 4-2 approval of the civil unions bill came over the objections of everysingle person who testified in an emotional three-hour hearing today beforethe Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Lawmakers see the civil unions as a compromise, which four recentindependent polls have shown the state's voters approve.

The measure comes in reaction to a landmark October state Supreme Courtruling that required lawmakers to grant gay couples access to the samerights as married couples. The court left it up to the Legislature to decidewhether to call the unions marriage.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Baltimore Examiner, MD, December 5, 2006

Why are gay Americans different from others?
Kelly Carson, The Examiner

BALTIMORE - Borrowing words from New Jersey's former governor, JamesMcGreevey, "I am a gay American."

As Maryland's Court of Appeals begins this week to debate the merits of aBaltimore Circuit Court ruling making unconstitutional the state's lawdefining marriage as only between a man and a woman, I believe there aresome issues that readers should consider.

Yes, it's an emotional issue - one that challenges the core belief of somepeople and rattles the faith of others.

My question is simple. Why?


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Catholic archbishop forced us out: gay couple

Thursday, December 7, 2006 | 1:29 PM AT CBC News

A Roman Catholic couple has joined the United Church after the Catholicarchbishop denied them communion because of their same-sex wedding.

Daniel Poirier and Jack Murphy, of Meteghan Centre, were married last springand announced their wedding with a photograph in the newspaper.

Murphy and Poirier, both 69, have been together for seven years. They sayresidents and parishioners at Stella Maris church accept them as a couple.

But that wedding photo caught the attention of Archbishop TerrencePrendergast, who they believe forced them out of the church.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


New national survey by Harris Interactive, Travel Industry Association, andWiteck-Combs Communications also includes consumer rankings on gay-friendlydestinations

WASHINGTON, DC -- Nearly half of all gay men (48%) and lesbians (47%)surveyed in the U.S. say that a destination's gay-friendliness is importantto them when making leisure travel choices. In fact, over one-quarter of gaymen (27%) and lesbians (28%) say gay-friendliness is "extremely" or "veryimportant" as a consideration in travel planning, according to a newnational survey conducted by the Travel Industry Association (TIA) inpartnership with Harris Interactive® and Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc.and released today at a news conference held in Washington, D.C.'s NationalPress Club.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Mitt's secret gay history II

Laura Kiritsy

Given his recent obsession with fighting marriage equality, slashing fundsfor every LGBT program in the state budget and generally characterizing gaypeople as aliens ("Some of them are even having children born to them," hefretted incredulously last year to a group of South Carolina Republicans),it's kind of funny that back when Mitt Romney was looking to unseat TedKennedy from the U.S. Senate he just loooooved the gays. Or at least hepretended to, since he certainly hasn't shown this side of his personalitysince he collected that endorsement donation from the Log Cabin Republicansback in his 2002 gubernatorial campaign. Here are a few excerpts fromRomney's Aug. 25, 1994 interview with Bay Windows.

On how he feels about gays and lesbians:


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Death Squads Rounding Up Baghdad Gays British Rights Monitor Says
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: December 6, 2006 5:00 pm ET

(London) The situation for gays in Iraq continues to worsen the British LGBTrights group Outrage, which has has been supporting an underground gay groupin Baghdad, said Wednesday.

Five gay activists were abducted at gun-point by Iraqi police in Baghdad on9 November. Nothing has been heard of them since then, Outrage said. It isfeared they may have been murdered by death squads operating under the coverof the Iraqi police.

The men, ranging in age from 19 to 27 were identified only by their firstnames - Amjad, Rafid, Hassan, Ayman and Ali. All were members of Iraq'sclandestine gay rights movement, Iraqi LGBT.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Wednesday, December 6, 2006 ·
Last updated 6:41 p.m. PT
Education board sworn in, includes transgender member


HONOLULU -- Five new state Board of Education members were sworn in onWednesday, including a civil rights lawyer believed to be thehighest-ranking elected transgender official in the country.

Kim Coco Iwamoto, Eileen Clarke, Mary Cochran, Donna Ikeda and JohnPenebacker officially joined the 14-member board, which governs the islands'285 public schools with more than 180,000 students.

None of the new board members spoke at the ceremony in the State SupremeCourt chambers.

But Iwamoto, 38, said, when asked about her achievement, "I've never triedto obtain any highest position. I've always just tried to be the best atwhat I do."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Outing is In Again
Did Bill Maher break the Barney Frank Rule?
By John Ireland

Over the past year, gay sex scandals have rocked right-wing political andreligious circles in the United States. Jim West (mayor of Spokane, Wash.),Mark Foley (congressman from Florida), and the Rev. Ted Haggard (presidentof the National Association of Evangelicals) all learned the sting of apublic flogging. The first two men were "outed" when their homosexualorientation was involuntarily exposed publicly by investigative journalists,while Haggard was outed by a gay male escort who claimed to have had sexwith him. Historically, the press has been hesitant to give a voice toallegations of hypocrisy if they relate to hidden homosexuality, but thetide is beginning to turn, if only slightly.

On Nov. 8, comedian Bill Maher appeared on CNN's "Larry King Live" and toldthe world that Ken Mehlman, head of the Republican National Committee, isgay. Here is what transpired:


From the Pink Paper UK - December 5, 2006

Iraq police abduct gays at gunpoint

BY Tris Reid-Smith

Ten gay men have been abducted in Iraq and it is feared all of them may havebeen murdered.

Five young activists from Iraqi LGBT, Amjad 27, Rafid 29, Hassan 24, Ayman19 and Ali 21 were seized at gunpoint by Iraqi police while holding a secretmeeting in the al-Shaab district of Baghdad on 9 November.

They were communicating with Ali Hili, a British-based gay Iraqi Muslim whoheads Iraqi LGBT and is Middle East spokesman for UK queer rights groupOutrage.

Hili said: "For the last few months they had been documenting the killing oflesbians and gays, relaying details of homophobic executions to our officein London, and providing safe houses and support to queers fleeing the deathsquads.


Five gay activists kidnapped in Baghdad

Gay fashion store owner disappears

Two lesbians and child murdered in Najaf

Four barbers abducted from shop popular with gays

Fundamentalist death squads target queers

London and Baghdad - 6 December 2006

Five gay activists were abducted at gun-point by Iraqi police inBaghdad on 9 November. Nothing has been heard of them since then. Itis feared they may have been murdered by death squads operating underthe cover of the Iraqi police.

The kidnapped men are Amjad 27, Rafid 29, Hassan 24, Ayman 19 and Ali21. All were members of Iraq's clandestine gay rights movement, IraqiLGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender).


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Issue Date: 12/07/2006, Posted On: 12/6/2006

Romney is a big fat liar

Laura Kiritsy

The fact that there's intense interest in a letter Mitt Romney wrote to theMassachusetts Log Cabin Club 12 years ago in which he pledged to be a moreardent advocate for gay rights than U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy isn't a surprise.(See "Follow That Trail," page 15.) Romney is an all-but-declared candidatefor president who's staked his candidacy on social conservatism. Any hint ofhypocrisy on Romney's part with regard to LGBT issues is of great use forpolitical reporters, GOP primary opponents and LGBT activists alike. What issurprising, though, is the depth of Romney's hypocrisy.

In 1994, when Romney was running for U.S. Senate against Ted Kennedy, heengaged in a lengthy interview with Bay Windows during which he discussedhis views on employment nondiscrimination legislation, the military's "Don'tAsk, Don't Tell" policy - and civil marriage rights for same-sex couples(see "Mitt's secret gay history II," page 10). The interview was publishedAug. 25, 1994. His views on gay issues in 1994 are largely at odds with hisstated views today.


The current issue of The Express Gay News is online


The Washington Post

It's a Cheney!
Reality Is a Blessed Event

By Ruth Marcus
Friday, December 8, 2006; A39

My only regret about Mary Cheney's pregnancy is that it didn't happenearlier -- say, during the 2004 presidential race, when Cheney was workingfor her father's campaign and his running mate was busy trying to writediscrimination against people like her into the Constitution.

Imagine a hugely pregnant Mary Cheney sitting in the vice president's box atthe convention. Imagine Cheney and her partner, Heather Poe, cuddling theirnewborn onstage at the victory celebration.

How perfectly that would have illustrated the clanging disconnect betweenthe Republican Party's outmoded intolerance and the benign reality of gayfamilies today.

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