Thursday, December 14, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - December 14, 2006

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Gay retirement community is a first

11:05 PM CST on Monday, December 11, 2006

By BOB MOOS / The Dallas Morning News

SANTA FE, N.M. - Jan Gaynor and Barbara Cohn have decided to spend theirretirement years in this city of art and culture, not just because it'ssteeped in 400 years of history, but also because it offers something new.

The sixtysomething couple wanted to live in the nation's first full-fledgedretirement community for gays and lesbians. They sold their house inCalifornia and moved into a condominium at Rainbow Vision Santa Fe thissummer.

"We've been together for 16 years, and we were looking to retire someplacewhere we could be ourselves," Ms. Cohn said. "Here, we can hold hands andgive each other a kiss without someone raising an eyebrow."


The Detroit News

Allies make slow advance for gays in military

F or those of us who're gay, it initially held out the promise of"equality." But most military leaders and their chief congressional alliestook it as meaning "a threat to military readiness."

As often happens with big family fights, a tensecompromise resulted: the"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, allowing gays to serve but only if closeted andcelibate. While leaving each side feeling sore and misunderstood, the lawproduced some semblance of peace, unity and begrudging recognition thatfurther wrangling would be deferred until some undefined "later."

Finally, "later" is fast approaching as Democrats prepare to take control ofCongress.

The passage of time has rubbed away the shock that many heterosexuals feltat the notion of gays serving openly and has taught gay Americans that towin this battle we need battalions of friends in high places.


The New York Times

December 14, 2006
Rare Good News About AIDS

The announcement yesterday about the results in two African studies of malecircumcision may be the most important development in AIDS research sincethe debut of antiretroviral drugs more than a decade ago. The NationalInstitutes of Health halted studies in Uganda and Kenya when it becameoverwhelmingly clear that circumcision significantly reduces men's chancesof catching H.I.V.

The studies recruited men willing to be circumcised and randomly assignedthem to immediate surgery or to a control group. In both studies, thecircumcised men acquired half the number of H.I.V. infections as theiruncircumcised counterparts did. The studies confirm the results of a trialthat ended last year in South Africa, in which circumcision prevented 60 to70 percent of new AIDS infections.


The New York Times

December 14, 2006
Doubts Persist as N.J. Lawmakers Move Forward on Civil Union

TRENTON, Dec. 13 - With New Jersey's Legislature set to vote Thursday toestablish civil unions rather than same-sex marriages, it remains unclearwhether this approach can actually fulfill the mandate from the state'sSupreme Court to guarantee the same rights and benefits for gay and straightcouples.

The New Jersey State Bar Association is one of several organizations thathave criticized the proposed civil union law, saying in a statement that it"will create a separate, unequal and unnecessarily complex legal scheme"that does not satisfy the Supreme Court's directive.

Advocates on both sides of the gay marriage debate are uneasy about thelegislation, which was introduced just nine days ago and has seen littlescrutiny, with only two committee hearings before the scheduled floordebate. And among gay couples who plan to obtain civil unions, as well aslawyers who work on civil rights issues, questions about a new, parallelinstitution are piling up.


The New York Times

December 14, 2006

Circumcision Halves H.I.V. Risk, U.S. Agency Finds

Circumcision appears to reduce a man's risk of contracting AIDS fromheterosexual sex by half, United States government health officials saidyesterday, and the directors of the two largest funds for fighting thedisease said they would consider paying for circumcisions in high-riskcountries.

The announcement was made by officials of the National Institutes of Healthas they halted two clinical trials, in Kenya and Uganda, on the ground thatnot offering circumcision to all the men taking part would be unethical. Thesuccess of the trials confirmed a study done last year in South Africa.

AIDS experts immediately hailed the finding. "This is very exciting news,"said Daniel Halperin, an H.I.V. specialist at the Harvard Center forPopulation and Development, who has argued that circumcision slows thespread of AIDS in the parts of Africa where it is common.


Thursday, Dec. 14, 2006

Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: 917-691-5118


'I was mortified to learn that you had distorted my work,' NYU ProfessorCarol Gilligan Tells Focus on the Family Leader in Blistering Letter

Miami Beach, FLA. - New York University educational psychologist CarolGilligan, PhD, today slammed Focus on the Family leader, James C. Dobson,for "twisting" and "distorting" her research in a guest column he wrote inthis week's issue of Time Magazine. Dobson misrepresented her work in aneffort to smear gay families while discussing Mary Cheney's pregnancy. In apointed letter to Dobson, Gilligan demanded that he apologize and "cease anddesist" from quoting her work in the future.


Article: Gay Nigerians Speak Out; Community Threatened By PendingLegislation Outlawing Any Form of Association

From the Associated Press
Tuesday 12 December, 2006

Gay Nigerians speak out

By Katharine Houreld, AP

In the Muslim north of Nigeria, Bisi Alimi could be stoned to death forbeing having gay sex.

In the south, he could face three years in prison. Now, a proposed law wouldmake it illegal just to share a meal at a cafe with gay friends.

The proposal under debate in Nigeria's House of Representatives would outlawnot just gay marriages, but any form of association between gay people,social or otherwise, and publication of any materials deemed to promote a"same-sex amorous relationship".

Anyone attending a meeting between gay people, even two friends in a privatehouse, could receive a sentence of five years under the act.


From: Al-Fatiha - LGBTIQ Muslims

Turkish Gay Activist Faces Prison
December 9, 2006

A criminal court case has been filed in Ankara, Turkey against the chiefeditor and owner of Kaos GL Magazine which is the only LGBT Turkishmagazine that has been published since 1994.

Umut Guner, who is the owner of the magazine on behalf of Kaos GL and vicepresident of Kaos GL Association, is being accused of publishingpornographic issues based on Turkish Penal Code, Article 226. If he isconvicted, he may face up to three years of jail sentence.

Turkish Penal Code, Article 226, Part 2 says: A person who broadcasts orpublishes obscene images, printed or audio material or who acts as anintermediary for this purpose shall be sentenced to imprisonment for aterm of six months to three years.


Issues with Daley CHICAGO FREE PRESS, 13 Dec 06,

p 9

Last week's Chicago Free Press was strikingly contradictory. On theone hand, an excellent editorial calling for LGBT people to stop providingcover for gutless politicians who gladly take our support while opposing ourlegal equality, including our right to marry. As the editorial stated, it'snot enough for pols to oppose the other party's constitutional amendmentsand then stab us in the back by also opposing marriage equality (hear that,Blago, Obama, Durbin, et al?).

In trying to understand gay backing to anti-gay politicians, is itself-hatred that induces some LGBT people to support people who think we don't deserve the same rights that other citizens enjoy? Are we pathetic doormatswho fawn over politicians who simply deign to acknowledge our existence? Whyis it that politicians who oppose legal equality for gay people are invitedto march at the front of the gay "pride" parade?


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Newark Star Ledger, NJ, December 13, 2006

Senate bans pastor after he condemns same-sex marriage

Star-Ledger Staff

The Rev. Vincent Fields says he didn't plan to speak out against same-sexmarriage when he offered the invocation at the opening of the Senate sessionon Monday.

At first, he prayed for wisdom and understanding for the senators. But then,the Absecon pastor recalled yesterday, "the Holy Spirit took over, and I hadto pray what he said."

What Fields said next -- on a day a Senate committee advanced a billallowing civil unions for same- sex couples -- has gotten the pastor bannedfrom giving future Senate invocations.

"We curse the spirit that would come to bring about same-sex marriage,"Fields said in the Senate chamber. "We ask you to just look over this placetoday, cause them to be shaken in their very heart in uprightness, Lord, todo that is right before you."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Michigan high court again will hear Ann Arbor same-sex benefits case

The Detroit News | December 13, 2006

Associated Press

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

But the justices won't focus on the constitutionality of providing healthinsurance and other benefits to workers' gay partners.

The case involves whether 17 taxpayers followed the proper procedure tostop Ann Arbor Public Schools from offering benefits to gay couples.

The high court first heard the case in October and last month orderedadditional briefing on whether the taxpayers had standing to sue. Oralarguments are scheduled for January.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Dec. 13, 2006

Discrimination complaint filed on behalf of former superintendent

Associated Press

CHICAGO - Lambda Legal filed a discrimination complaint Wednesday against asuburban school district and its board, saying they fired the formersuperintendent because he is openly gay.

Bremen High School District 228 has insisted Rich Mitchell was fired lastmonth for other reasons, including a joke video that portrayed teachers askillers, strippers and drug users.

Members of the school board "tried to keep Rich Mitchell from being hiredbecause he is gay, and when they failed to do that, they stopped him fromdoing his job - all at the expense of the students of Bremen," Lambda staffattorney James P. Madigan said Wednesday in a statement.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,2275446.story


Something about Mary gets to right-wingers

By William ButteDecember 14, 2006

When Lea Anne McBride, the vice president's spokeswoman, made thesurprisingannouncementlast week that the vice president and Mrs. Cheneywere "lookingforward with eager anticipation"to the birth of their lesbiandaughter Mary's first child in late spring, you could almost hearthecollective gasp of revulsion from right-wing Republicans.

The condemnation came quickly.Within hours, the "family values" crowd claimed Cheney'spregnancy was an"in-your-face action," and "an appallingexample." There was even a claimthatCheney "conceived with the expresspurpose of denying it (the baby) afather," as if Cheney andHeather Poe,who've been together for 15 years,looked lovingly into each others 'eyesafterthoroughly discussing the matterand said in unison, "

Let's have ababy so it will be fatherless."Concerned Women for America's Janice Crousesummed up the criticism whenshesaid that with Cheney's pregnancy, "she continues torepudiate the worktowhich her father has devoted his life."


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Dec. 13, 2006

Study: NJ firms would make big money if gay marriage is allowed
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - New Jersey florists, caterers, hotels and otherbusinesses would bring in morethan $100 million in additional revenue peryear if the state allowed gay couples to marry there,according to a studyby researchers at UCLA. The study was released Wednesday andappears to be on the verge ofmaking a moot point.

Both houses of the New Jersey state Legislature wereexpected to pass a bill Thursday allowingcivil unions, giving gay couplesin the state all the legal protections of marriage without callingitmarriage.

The study's author, M.V. Lee Badgett, of the Williams Institute forSexual Orientation Law andPublic Policy, figured that half of New Jersey's16,600 gay couples, plus more than 16,000 fromneighboring New York and Pennsylvania and nearly 43,000 from around the country would tiethe knot inthe Garden State over three years.


Irish Times, 13 December 2006

Concept of same-sex marriage has a long history

Current insistence that marriage can only mean union between a man and awoman does nothave an echo throughout history, writes Jim Duffy.Medieval documents and artefacts suggestthat marriage has not always beenstrictly heterosexual. Since 1989 23 countries (includingSouth Africa as ofDecember 2006) have introduced some form of legal recognition ofsame-sexrelationships, with some allowing full same-sex marriage.

Regions in Brazil, Italy and Australia and 10 states in the United States also recognise gayrelationships, while Taiwan has announced that it will do so. With opinion polls showing climbingsupport for recognition; a Swissreferendum endorsing the move; the election of an openly gayman as head ofa leading Canadian political party; and a gay man heading Germany'sFreeDemocrats, the evidence suggests that public acceptance of gayrelationships, and the rightto legal recognition of them, is growing inmuch of the world.

Though homosexuality has existed for millenniums, the word itself, from theGreek homomeaning "same" and the Latin root sex, was coined by Karl-MariaKertbeny only in 1869. Formost of the last millennium, Christianity, notstate law, controlled marriages, making Christianattitudes to homosexualrelationships important historically.

That attitude has been curiouslyambiguous. A grave slab titled "Tomb Slab of an EnglishCouple" in a museumcontains all the standard iconic symbols representing a maritalcouple.Theslab names them as Sir William Neville and Sir John Clanvoe (died October1391).

It was found during renovations in a Dominican church in Istanbul,its existence, location andsymbolism contradicting official teaching onsame-sex relationships.

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