Friday, December 22, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - December 22, 2006

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Gay rights objectors lose action

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/12/21 15:27:23 GMT

Objectors to new sexual orientation regulations have lost a court action tostop them becoming law on New Year's Day.

The legislation, which will ban discrimination against homosexuals, is beingchallenged by the Christian Institute and a number of churches.

A High Court judge has refused to make an order postponing the introductionof the regulations.

However, he set a date in March for a full hearing.

It will examine the legislation and the Christian groups' contention thatthe government's six-week consultation period was too short.

A lawyer appearing for the Christian Institute and a number of churchesasked Mr Justice Deeny to make an order postponing the introduction of theregulations.


The current issue of The Express Gay News is online


Express Gay News

Coming out didn't hurt career, Kolbe says
Retiring gay GOP congress-man says speaking out changed his life

Dec. 22, 2006

By his own admission, retiring U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe is an unusual Republican.

A congressman from southeastern Arizona, Kolbe favored abortion rights,backed stem cell research and even tried to kill the coin bearing PresidentLincoln's mug because the penny costs more to produce than it's worth.

But it was his status as an openly gay Republican that made Kolbe trulyunique among his congressional peers. After he came out in 1996, Kolbebucked many in his party to become a strong supporter of gay rightsinitiatives.

"My strongest contributions were simply standing up and talking about theseissues on the floor, in caucuses and when it came up for debate," he says."There's something to be said for speaking up for equality."


The New York Times

December 22, 2006
Senator Brownback and the Judge

If most people were asked to list the qualities they want in a federaljudge, few would include "has not attended a same-sex commitment ceremony."But that was the outrageous litmus test that Senator Sam Brownback,Republican of Kansas, applied to Janet Neff, whose nomination he has beenblocking. Mr. Brownback - who has presidential ambitions - now says he willallow a vote on her nomination. We hope that is a sign that gay-baiting isbecoming less tolerable, even to Republican primary voters.

Judge Neff, a Michigan state court judge, attended the commitment ceremonyof the daughter of a family who had lived next door to her for 26 years. Shesaid that attending and delivering a homily was like joining in an importantevent in the life of one of her own daughters.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Study: Premarital sex normal for most

The Associated Press

NEW YORK - More than nine of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have hadpremarital sex, according to a new study. The high rates extend even towomen born in the 1940s, challenging perceptions that people were morechaste in the past.

"This is reality-check research," said the study's author, Lawrence Finer."Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, andhas been for decades."

Finer is a research director at the Guttmacher Institute, a private NewYork-based think tank that studies sexual and reproductive issues and whichdisagrees with government-funded programs that rely primarily onabstinence-only teachings. The study, released Tuesday, appears in the newissue of Public Health Reports.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,0,5688143.story?track=tothtml

Christian leaders seek to help pastors battle desires
Gay-sex controversies have led not to new theology but to a call for thechurch to help pastors fight their urges.
By Stephanie Simon
Times Staff Writer

December 21, 2006

DENVER - Recent gay-sex scandals involving evangelical pastors have promptedmuch soul-searching among conservative Christian leaders.

No one has proposed rethinking the theology that homosexuality is a sin.Instead, there's a growing consensus that the church must do a better job ofhelping pastors resist all immoral desires, such as a lust for pornography,an addiction to drugs or a lifelong same-sex attraction.

Seminary professors, Christian counselors and veteran clergy say the bestway to help pastors fight temptation is to get them talking - even abouttheir most shameful secrets. They don't want a sordid tell-all from thepulpit each Sunday. But they would like pastors to bare their weaknesses andadmit their lapses before a small group of "accountability partners" -friends committed to listen with empathy, then rebuke or advise as needed.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Posted on Wed, Dec. 20, 2006

Charlotte schools ban book on gay penguins

McClatchy Newspapers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Superintendent Peter Gorman and his top lieutenants haveordered a picture book about presumably gay penguins removed from schoollibraries, the first time Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has banned a book inmore than a decade.

But Gorman said Tuesday he'll let a committee review the decision afterCharlotte Observer questions revealed he and his staff sidestepped districtpolicy.

The ban came from a miscommunication between him and his chief of staff,Robert Avossa, Gorman said. "I screwed this one up."

"And Tango Makes Three," the real-life story of "the very first penguin inthe zoo to have two daddies," has drawn objections in schools or publiclibraries in seven states, including Shiloh Elementary School in themetro-east.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Issue Date: 12/21/2006, Posted On: 12/20/2006

Where's the outrage?

Susan Ryan-Vollmar

Imagine if MassEquality Campaign Director Marc Solomon had left the stage ofa pro-gay rally to push an anti-gay activist away from the front of hispodium. Imagine if he had knocked her down with such force that her headslammed against the ground. Imagine if he had left her laying there withouta word and simply turned his back on her and returned to the stage. Imagineif all of the pro-gay protesters surrounding her had stared at her as shelay on the ground and refused offers of help?

What do you suppose the reaction would be from the editorial pages of theBoston Globe? How about the Boston Herald and every other media outlet inthis state? What do you suppose talk show hosts like Howie Carr, Jay Severinand Michael Savage would be doing with the story?

They'd be handling it a lot differently than the way they're handling -ignoring would be a better description - the story of Catholic Citizenshipexecutive director Larry Cirignano's alleged assault on a pro-gay protesterat Saturday's anti-gay marriage rally in Worcester. Three witnesses - aminister, a journalist and a salesman - say they saw Cirignano push27-year-old Sarah Loy with such force that she fell to the ground, slammingher head against a concrete sidewalk.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


High court may take up question of Scouts' religious status
Ninth U.S. Circuit requests state review of federal case involving SanDiego's $1-a-year lease of parkland to group

- Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, December 21, 2006

Six years ago, the Boy Scouts convinced the U.S. Supreme Court that theirdeep-seated principles gave them a constitutional right to exclude gays andatheists. Now the California Supreme Court has been asked to look at theother side of that coin -- whether the Scouts are a religious organizationineligible for certain types of government aid, including dollar-a-yearleases of public land.

The request came this week from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals inSan Francisco, which is reviewing a federal judge's ruling striking down thecity of San Diego's lease of prized downtown parkland to the Boy Scouts.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

December 19, 2006

Most troops 'comfortable' with gays, poll finds

By Gordon Lubold
Staff writer

Most service members are accepting of gays and lesbians, a new poll shows.

The poll, conducted by Zogby International and released Tuesday, shows that73 percent of military members are "comfortable" with lesbians and gays, and23 percent "know for sure" that someone in their unit is homosexual,according to results of the poll of 545 service members.

The poll data was used by advocates to show decreasing negative attitudesabout gays in the military and to call once again for a change to the "don'task, don't tell" law enacted under President Clinton, which stipulates thatgays can serve only if they keep their sexual orientation private and do notengage in homosexual conduct.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Columbia Provides Coverage for Same-Sex Partners

COLUMBIA - In February, the city will start providing health insurance togay and live-in partners of municipal employees.

The head of the committee that suggested the changes, Jim Windsor, said thenew health policy ensures equal treatment among all city employees. ColumbiaMayor Darwin Hindman said more people could become interested in working forthe city because of those changes.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

December 21, 2006
The Donald and Rosie Escalate Their Feud
Filed at 6:05 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Things got even uglier Thursday in the bitter war of wordsbetween Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell. The Donald called the LosAngeles-based morning show ''Good Day L.A.'' to sound off on O'Donnell'sremarks about his near-firing of Miss USA Tara Conner.

''Maybe she wanted to put the crown back on Miss USA's head,'' thereal-estate mogul said of the openly gay O'Donnell, who has four childrenwith her partner, Kelli. ''I think she's very attracted to Miss USA so sheprobably wanted to put the crown on her head herself.''

Insult No. 2: ''She is a very, very unattractive woman who really is abully.''


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

The Patriot Ledger, MA, December 20, 2006

Showdown on gay wed vote: Both sides agree legislators violated constitutionby refusing to vote on marriage ban By SUE REINERT, The Patriot Ledger

Backers and opponents of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gaymarriage agreed at a hearing today that legislators violated the stateconstitution by not voting on the measure, but split on whether the state'shighest court has the power to do anything about it.

A court ruling is still awaited.

Assistant Attorney General Peter Sacks said the Supreme Judicial Courtcannot force the Legislature to vote.

Justice Roderick Ireland asked Sacks, ''So what do you say to the man andwoman on the street who signed the petition?''


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Associated Press, December 20, 2006

Alaska governor says state will provide benefits to same-sex partners

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Gov. Sarah Palin said the state will abide by an AlaskaSupreme Court order to provide benefits to same-sex partners of stateemployees as of Jan. 1.

Palin's decision came one day after the Alaska Supreme Court told the stateto stop dragging its feet and implement benefits for their same-sexpartners, first ordered 14 months ago.

"We believe we have no more judicial options," Palin said.

Palin said she still wants voters in a special April election to considerthe prospect of a constitutional amendment designed to prohibit suchbenefits, signing into law a bill passed by state lawmakers in a Novemberspecial session calling for voters to weigh in.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Take Log Cabin in 'New Direction,' Analysts Tell GOP Group's New Leader

By Randy Hall Staff Writer/Editor
December 20, 2006
Cybercast News Service

( - The new president of the Log Cabin Republicans shouldtake the GOP homosexual advocacy group in a "new direction" thatwould respect "the fundamental First Amendment right" of freedom ofreligion, a conservative analyst said Tuesday.

A day after Patrick Sammon was named new leader of the group,Concerned Women for America President Wendy Wright said she hopesSammon will take the organization in a "new direction."

"We hope he will respect a fundamental freedom and right that theFounding Fathers of America held in such high regard that they put itin the very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution," Wright toldCybercast News Service.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Federal Judges Have Hard Questions for FCC Censors

Federal Judges Have Hard Questions for FCC Censors

(December 20, 2006) - Three federal judges today expressed skepticism about the legitimacy of the Federal Communications Commission's "indecency" censorship regime. In what may have been a first for the federal courts, two of the three judges also did not shy away from uttering the word "fuck," which the FCC says is almost always indecent and profane, and therefore banned from broadcast TV and radio, in the course of the appellate argument.

This case arose after the FCC issued an "Omnibus Order" in March 2006, finding "apparent liability" for indecency and profanity against ten broadcasters, including a small PBS station in California that had aired Martin Scorsese's documentary, "The Blues." Four of the rulings were unaccompanied by fines, thereby allowing the broadcasters to appeal directly to the federal courts rather than filing an "opposition" within the agency.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

The Sins of Exclusion and Hypocrisy
Joe Solomonese

Is loving someone of the same sex a bigger sin than hypocrisy? Is it abigger sin than willfully demonizing members of your own flock? What abouthating yourself? Is that what God asks of his followers?

Rev. Paul Barnes, former pastor of a Denver evangelical mega-church, surelygrappled with these questions as he resigned his position on December 10thafter confessing to having sex with other men.

The Rev. Ted Haggard, former President of the National Association ofEvangelicals and pastor of a Colorado Springs mega-church probably askedhimself the same questions, when, in early November, a male escort'ssalacious allegations revealed him to be an adulterous hypocrite.

The Episcopal Church U.S.A. has been grappling with these questions for acouple of years now. Ever since the ordination of Bishop Gene Robinson, manyconservatives in the church have been seeking to splinter a small minorityaway from the majority's clear support for full inclusion. Unfortunately,this week several Episcopal churches in Virginia made the decision to divideinstead of unite, to give into fear instead of love and to turn away fromwelcoming all of God's children to take part in his communion.

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