Friday, December 15, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - December 15, 2006


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It takes a village
Report shows that members of Congress, senior aides and reporters were allcomplicit in Mark Foley's stalking of teenage pages.

Dec. 15, 2006

THE FINDINGS OF the House subcommittee charged with investigating the MarkFoley page scandal reveal yet another example of how the closet leads peopleinto unethical behavior.

And I'm not talking about Foley, but rather his aides and fellow members ofCongress who repeatedly looked the other way as details about hisinappropriate communications with pages came to light as far back as 10years ago.

Rather than confront Foley or demand to see copies of the much-discussede-mails and IMs, several senior staffers ignored the obviously unethicalbehavior because it seems they feared exposing Foley's sexual orientation,which was widely known on the Hill from the time he was first sworn in in1995.


Report: Homelessness among U.S. gay youth an 'epidemic'
Up to 42 percent of homeless or runaway youth are gay
NEW YORK (AP) | Dec 15, 12:01 AM

When Angelika Santiago was 18 and changing her identity from male to female,her mother issued an ultimatum: Cut her hair and dress as a boy or leavetheir apartment.

Santiago left their Manhattan home and ended up in a shelter for lesbian,gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, youths.

"She wanted me to be a boy, deny who I was inside," Santiago recalled.

Santiago eventually gained her independence, landing a receptionist job andrenting a room for $165 a week. But after losing the job and the room a fewweeks ago, she found herself staying at another shelter.


Government shouldn't make our personal decisions for us

I stand corrected. Gays should be allowed to marry. They have that right ascitizens of this country.

But whether a company selling insurance wants to recognize them as a coupleis that company's prerogative. Whether they will be married by a preacher orpriest is that church's prerogative.

What this argument boils down to in plain English is their rights. I, noranyone else, has the right to decide what is good for them if it in no wayharms us as a collective. Sexual orientation cannot be mandated. Maybe itcan be changed through therapy or drugs at some future date, but as of nowit cannot.

Government does not have the right to decide on issues such as abortion, gaymarriage, smoking or trans fat content in food. These are personal decisionsto be made by the individual. We can seek to educate and assist people tomake informed decisions but to legislate behavior is assuming the role ofGod issuing Commandments.


The current issue of The Express Gay News is online


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

New Congress expected to consider gay bills in '07
ENDA, hate crimes most likely to see a vote

Dec. 15, 2006

The Democratic-controlled Congress is expected to take up legislation in2007 aimed at protecting gays and transgender people from job discriminationand hate crimes, but the prospects for bills dealing with other sexualorientation-related issues are less certain, according to activists andCapitol Hill observers.

Supportive members of Congress have introduced at least 10 gay- orAIDS-related bills during the past several years, including a measure torepeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Other bills call forallowing foreign nationals who are domestic partners of U.S. citizens toenjoy the same immigration rights as married spouses and call for domesticpartnership benefits for federal employees.


Faeroe Islands legislators vote to ban discrimination against homosexuals

December 15, 2006 - 8:50

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - The Faeroe Islands on Friday voted to bandiscrimination against homosexuals on the Danish semi-autonomous territorybetween Scotland and Iceland.

In a 17-15 vote, Faeroese legislators included the words "sexualorientation" in the islands' anti-discrimination law.

The issue had been under heated debate on the islands after the 32-memberLagtinget last year turned down a similar proposal. Those who opposed thebill argued that homosexuality was against the Bible.

"We're very, very happy. To us it has been a matter of human rights," saidAnnita a Fridriksmoerk, who proposed the bill together with a Republicanparty colleague. "The Faeroese law was limping behind other modernsocieties."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Closet to blame for Foley scandal?
House report suggests aides didn't intervene because they feared outing gaycongressman

Dec. 15, 2006

Former Rep. Mark Foley's status as a closeted gay man may have dissuadedaides and fellow members of Congress from confronting him over hisinappropriate contact with teenage male pages, according to a Housesubcommittee report released last week.

The report suggests that those in the know feared an outing "could haveadversely affected him both personally and politically."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Activists to scrutinize impact of Va. amendment
New watchdog group to create legal defense network

Dec. 15, 2006

With the Marshall-Newman amendment set to go into effect on Jan. 1, aVirginia gay rights organization is hoping the state attorney general isright in his opinion that the gay marriage ban will not undermine the rightsof unmarried same-sex couples.

Just in case, the Equality Virginia Education Fund, which serves as thecharitable research and education arm of Equality Virginia, has launched anew program called "Amendment Watch," designed to keep an eye on the impactof the marriage amendment when it goes into effect. Members are concernedabout the amendment's potential ramifications, which could affect more thana gay or lesbian couple's right to wed.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Bush 'happy' for pregnant Mary Cheney

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Vice President Dick Cheney's pregnant lesbiandaughter Mary will make a "fine mom," President Bush said, sidestepping hispast comment that a child ideally would be raised by a mother and father.

Mary Cheney, 37, and her longtime partner, Heather Poe, are expecting theirfirst child, which would be the sixth grandchild for the vice president.Cheney was hired last year as an executive for America Online -- whoseparent company Time Warner also owns People as well as CNN.

"I think Mary is going to be a loving soul to her child. And I'm happy forher," Bush said in an interview with People magazine.

The Washington Post reported that the baby was due in late spring.

In a 2005 interview with The New York Times, Bush said: "I believe childrencan receive love from gay couples. But the ideal is -- and studies haveshown that --the ideal is where a child is raised in a married family with aman and a woman."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

December 14, 2006

I wrote the following article for Gay City News -- New York's largest gayweekly:

A vicious and violent police attack a week ago Monday on four transgenderedyouth in El Salvador, which hospitalized one of them with serious injuries,is only the latest in an unending wave of violent attacks that continues toinundate the Central American nation's LGBT community.

"It is almost impossible to describe all the physical attacks on gay peoplehere-both by police and by anti-gay vigilantes and homophobic thugs-becausethere are so many," said William Hernandez (right), the head of thecountry's national gay group, Entre Amigos (Among Friends). As the spokesmanfor Entre Amigos and the most visible gay person in El Salvador, Hernandezis himself the target of constant death threats.

"Every day brings not only abuse and harassment, but killings andbeatings-this year alone four LGBT people have been killed, with the kind ofexcessive force that we have not seen since the civil war here," Hernandeztold Gay City News.


The New York Times

December 15, 2006
N.J. Civil Unions Bill Goes to Governor
Filed at 5:15 a.m. ET

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- For more than four years, Saundra Toby-Heath has waitedfor the state of New Jersey to recognize her partner as her wife.

She moved a step closer Thursday when the Legislature approved a bill thatwill create civil unions. Upon the governor's signature, New Jersey willbecome the third state to allow civil unions between same-sex couples.

''We acknowledge this is a huge step forward,'' said Toby-Heath, 53, whoalong with her partner were among seven gay couples who sued the state forthe right to marry.

Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine said he would sign the measure, which wouldextend to same-sex couples all the rights and privileges available understate law to married people. The bill passed the Assembly 56-19 and theSenate 23-12.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Dec. 15, 2006
At Large

My freedom linked to others -- including gays

By Leonard Pitts Jr.

This is for a reader who demands to know why I write about gay issues. Hisconclusion is that I must secretly be gay myself.

Actually, he doesn't express himself quite that civilly. To the contrary,his e-mails -- which, until recently, were arriving at the rate of about onea week -- evince a juvenility that would embarrass a reasonably intelligentfifth grader. The most recent one, for example, carried a salutationreading, ``Hi Mrs. Pitts.''

We're talking about the kind of thing for which delete buttons wereinvented. So you may wonder why I bring it to your attention, especiallysince acknowledging a person like this only encourages him. It's simple,actually: He raises an interesting question that deserves an answer.


If from that you conclude (or fear) you're about to read a stirring defenseof my manly male masculinity, no. The guy is free to believe what he wishes;I really don't care. And here, let me digress to confess that, though Irefer to him using masculine pronouns, I actually don't know if he's a hebecause his notes have been anonymous. Still, I assume it's a guy becausethe level of sexual insecurity the e-mails suggest strikes me as -- boy, amI going to get in trouble for this -- rather guy-specific.

Anyway, to get back to the point, I'm not here to argue sexuality. I justfind myself intrigued by the idea that if you're not gay, you shouldn't careabout gay rights.

The most concise answer I can give is cribbed from what a white kid saidsome 40 or so years ago, as white college students were risking their livesto travel south and register black people to vote. Somebody asked why. Hesaid he acted from an understanding that his freedom was bound up with thefreedom of every other man.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Free Condoms for Prisoners?
Barrier Contraception Could Stem High Levels of HIV Infection inCorrectional Facilities, Experts Say


ABC News Medical Unit
Dec. 14, 2006 - - Behind high prison walls, the concept of safe sex may beas foreign as that of freedom.

But some say this situation must change, especially because studies suggestthat the prevalence of HIV infection in U.S. prisons and jails is six to 10times higher than that seen in the general free population.

Recently, the National Minority AIDS Council, an AIDS advocacy group,recommended that prisons curb the spread of the virus by distributingcondoms to prisoners.

The idea is not a new one.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
12:29 p.m. ET Dec. 13, 2006

WARSAW - A Polish political party is severing all ties with its youth wingafter members were alleged to have burned swastika torches and givenNazi-style salutes.

Krzysztof Bosak, a member of parliament for the right-wing League of PolishFamilies, told reporters on Wednesday he had decided to step down aschairman of the party's junior branch, All PolishYouth.

On Tuesday League head Roman Giertych announced his party, a junior memberof the ruling coalition, was breaking its political links with the youthwing. Giertych, a lawyer, had reactivated the organization in 1989.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List>

Sign the Petition Asking TIME Magazine to Check Dobson's Facts About LGBTFamilies

Dobson's Article in TIME Magazine titled Two Mommies is One Too Many
<> In the
December 18th issue of TIME Magazine, James Dobson responds to the news ofMary Cheney's pregnancy by once again invoking "30 years of social-scienceevidence" to support his claim that children do best "when raised by theirmarried mother and father."

Dobson's views on lesbian and gay parenting do not reflect the mainstream ofAmerican professional organizations concerned with researching and promotingchildren's well-being. In a 2004 policy statement, the American Associationof Marriage and Family Therapy reported "no evidence that same-sex couplesor family units vary significantly from heterosexual couples or family unitsin terms of aspirations, hopes and goals, or in outcomes for children."

In response to Dobson's editorial, Soulforce contacted Dr. Christopher R.Martell, President of the American Psychological Association's Society forthe Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues. According toDr. Martell:


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Ireland: Lesbian couple lose marriage case

Last Updated: 14/12/2006 11:39
Lesbian couple lose marriage case

The High Court has rejected a landmark action by a lesbian couple aimed athaving their marriage in Canada recognised as valid under Irish law orsecuring the right to marry in Ireland.

Dr Katherine Zappone and Dr Anne Louise Gilligan were married in Canada inSeptember 2003 and, the following year, began moves to have theirrelationship officially accepted under Irish law.

But Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne today dismissed their case, insisting therewas no provision for same-sex marriage in the Constitution.

Dr Zappone, a public policy consultant, and DrGilligan, an academic, hadtaken the case against the Revenue Commissioners and the State.

The case, which ran for eight days last October, raised significant issuesabout the meaning of marriage under the Constitution and issues concerningthe entitlements of same-sex couples under the tax acts.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Gay couples wonder: Get hitched now or wait for marriage?

Associated Press Writer

December 14, 2006, 6:28 PM EST

NEWARK, N.J. -- Saundra Toby-Heath has been waiting more than four years forthe state of New Jersey to recognize her partner as her wife.

She moved a step closer Thursday when the state Legislature approved a billthat will create civil unions. Upon the governor's signature, New Jerseywill become the third state to allow civil unions between same-sex couples.

"We acknowledge is a huge step forward," said Toby-Heath, 53, who along withher partner were among seven gay couples who sued the state for the right tomarry.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Murders of Gender Non-Conforming Youth Documented in New Report12.13.06

The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GenderPAC) Wednesday released a newhuman rights report called "50 Under 30: Masculinity and the War onAmerica's Youth," which documents more than 50 murders of young people under30 who were targeted because they did not fit stereo types of masculinityand femininity. The report reveals a unique vulnerability at theintersection of age, race, and gender non-conformity that makes a fatalassault exponentially more likely.

"While many youth who don't fit gender stereotypes for masculinity orfemininity face harassment or bullying, when it comes to gender-based murderthe victims are specific and consistent," said Riki Wilchins, GenderPACExecutive Director.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Two Mommies or Two Daddies Will Do Fine, Thanks

An advocate for gay families says James Dobson misuses science to discreditsame-sex parenting By JENNIFER CHRISLER,8599,1569797,00.html

Viewpoint: Two Mommies Is One Too Many
Posted Thursday, Dec. 14, 2006

The strategies of religious and political extremists like James Dobson ofFocus on the Family have become more nuanced of late. They have adjustedtheir language so that it is less vitriolic. They now utilize terms andapproaches that often have a scientific-sounding overlay and are designed toappear more reasonable than those of their earlier efforts. They use thelanguage of "concern" instead of the language of direct condemnation. Theyhave had to make these adjustments because - as the lives of gay people andtheir families have gained visibility - the previous methods of attack losttheir effectiveness. Nevertheless, the science they wield, if not unsound,is misconstrued. Responding to the news of the pregnancy of Mary Cheney, thelesbian daughter of the Vice President, Dobson, writing in a viewpoint inTIME magazine, put to work the time-worn tools of lies and distortion tomake his argument that lesbian and gay parents are not able to provideenvironments for their children comparable in quality to those created byheterosexual parents.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,8816,1568485,00.html

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2006
Two Mommies Is One Too Many
Mary Cheney is starting a family. Let's hope she doesn't start a trend

A number of social conservatives, myself included, have recently been askedto respond to the news that Mary Cheney, the Vice President's daughter, ispregnant with a child she intends to raise with her lesbian partner.Implicit in this issue is an effort to get us to criticize the BushAdministration or the Cheney family. But the concern here has nothing to dowith politics. It is about what kind of family environment is best for thehealth and development of children, and, by extension, the nation at large.

With all due respect to Cheney and her partner, Heather Poe, the majority ofmore than 30 years of social-science evidence indicates that children dobest on every measure of well-being when raised by their married mother andfather. That is not to say Cheney and Poe will not love their child. Butlove alone is not enough to guarantee healthy growth and development. Thetwo most loving women in the world cannot provide a daddy for a littleboy--any more than the two most loving men can be complete role models for alittle girl.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, Dec. 14, 2006

Evangelist's gay escort signs for explicit tell-all


Gay ex-escort Mike Jones has signed to write a sexually explicit memoirabout his relationship with fallen evangelist Ted Haggard.

''It's going to review my encounters with Ted and other people who aresimilar,'' Jones told The Miami Herald today from New York.

''It's not a book about bashing Ted at all. It's humanizing him as a personwith feelings and emotions and desires,'' Jones said. ``I'm going to beexplicit as far as what happened in our encounters, but not to rip him apartor be mean to him. He's a man who has faults like all of us.''

Jones, 49, won't say how much the book deal is worth.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Anti-Gay Church Must Pay Marine's Family

POSTED: 10:15 am EST December 12, 2006

BALTIMORE -- A Kansas church has been ordered to pay $3,150 for costs andfees associated with a summons and complaint filed by the father of a Marinewhose funeral was picketed by the extremist group.

Albert Snyder, of York, Pa., is suing the Rev. Fred Phelps and WestboroBaptist Church after church members demonstrated at the funeral of LanceCpl. Matthew Snyder, of Westminster, and posted pictures of the protest ontheir Web site.

Lance Snyder was killed in Iraq in March. Members of the Topeka church claimU.S. soldiers are killed as God's punishment for America's tolerance ofhomosexuality.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Extremist Jewish Sect Opposed To Gays Embraces Iran Anti-HolocaustConference
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: December 14, 2006 12:01 am ET

(Jerusalem) Members of an ultra Orthodox Jewish sect that staged nightlyriots last month in Jerusalem to pressure the government into canceling agay pride march were front and center this week at an Iranian governmentforum sitting side by side with holocaust deniers.

The Haredi believe only in the strict interpretation of the Bible, disputethe authority of the Israeli government and disavow Zionism as anti-Jewish.

This week leaders and members of the sect flew to Tehran to take part in theholocaust conference set up by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whoclaims that the holocaust is a Zionist invention.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Brownback says room for gay rights backers among GOP
Potential presidential candidate calls Republicans a 'big-tent' party
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) | Dec 13, 8:09 PM

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, among the most conservative of the potentialRepublican presidential candidates, said Tuesday there's room in the GOP forcandidates who favor gay rights, but he warned that such politicianswouldn't be welcomed by the party's conservative base.

"It's a big-tent party and has been for a long period of time, particularlysince Ronald Reagan talked about this being a party of differentviewpoints," said Brownback. "If somebody agrees with you 80 percent of thetime, he's not your enemy."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,1,891937.story

AIDS group asks Viagra maker to halt ad campaign
Advocacy panel says the marketing effort promotes the drug's recreationaluse. Company denies claim.
By Rong-Gong Lin II
Times Staff Writer

December 14, 2006

A Los Angeles-based AIDS advocacy group is calling for the manufacturer ofViagra to halt a marketing campaign that the group says promotes the drug'srecreational use, increasing the risk of acquiring HIV or other sexuallytransmitted diseases.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation will run advertisements in publications inNew York, San Francisco and South Florida, with the first in SouthernCalifornia to run today in the L.A. Weekly. The group is particularlyconcerned that Viagra, manufactured by Pfizer Inc., has become popular amonggay and bisexual men who use methamphetamine, which has been associated withrisky sexual behavior and HIV infection.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Ryan White Deal May Avert AIDS Funding Cut
Bill passes Senate unanimously, held up in house

Dec. 11, 2006

A three-year reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act passed the Senatelast week after a deal was struck that satisfied the concerns of bothbig-city HIV/AIDS epicenters like New York as well as areas with emergingepidemics located mostly in the South. At press time, the bill awaitedapproval from the House.

The Ryan White CARE Act provides funding for local programs and services forpeople living with HIV and AIDS. The bill that passed the Senate extendsRyan White's annual budget of about $2.1 billion for three years and capsthe amount of funding cuts to any city or state currently receiving money at5 percent. The two provisions intended to mitigate cuts include a "holdharmless" clause that prevents any area from receiving less than 95 percentof its previous year's funding level, and an opportunity for areas that dosuffer cuts to apply for supplemental funding the following year.


$1,000 Scholarship Opportunity for Queer YouthfromQueer Foundation

The Queer Foundation Effective Writing and Scholarships Program is offeringthree $1,000 scholarships for queer US high school students.

Queer Scholars

Are out, proud, and activist
Have a social conscience
Will fight discrimination against queers
Are committed to social change
Believe in organization
Are of good will
The theme of the 2007 high school English essay contest is pink ink ("Wewrite not only about different things; we also write differently"-Brecht).

The following approaches are suggestions only.

1. We're Here and We're Queer: Interviews with Queer Teenagers and TheirFriends
2. Living Healthy as Queer Teenagers
3. Getting Smart: Education Issues of Queer Teenagers

Judges will award points based on creativity, accuracy, objectivity,effectiveness, and usefulness. Grammar, sentence structure, spelling, andpunctuation count. All entries become the property of the Queer Foundation.Winners must agree to permit the Queer Foundation to use their names,images, and biographical information in promotional efforts related to theQueer Foundation Effective Writing and Scholarships Program.


Click the links below for the application and more information.

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