Thursday, December 28, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - December 28, 2006

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Rapist Preys On Men In Suburban Houston
At Least Five Young Men Attacked

POSTED: 8:40 am EST December 28, 2006

BAYTOWN, Texas -- A rapist who has struck at least five times since April inand around Baytown has not only spread fear in this working-class communitybut also piqued the interest of those who study the criminal mind.

The reason: He preys on other men.

That makes him something of a rarity in the world of crime.

"It's the least prevalent kind of serial rape, and largely underreported,"said Jack Levin, a leading criminologist and director of the Brudnick Centeron Violence at Northeastern University in Boston.


The New York Times

December 28, 2006
In the Heartland and Out of the Closet

KANSANS, as they will tell you, are not generally ones for trading inpersonal biography with neighbors and cubicle mates. The Midwesternconsciousness has long placed a premium on reserve. Even as American societygrew easier discussing gay and lesbian issues during the past decade, Kansaslagged behind, a place where the closet was well populated and the planet of"Will and Grace" seemed to spin very far away.

So it was with Cathy Jambrosic, a native Kansan, who divorced her husband inthe late 1970s because she was gay (as was he, it turned out). Even as shebuilt and moved into a house with a woman she planned to spend her lifewith, Ms. Jambrosic never discussed her orientation with her family orfriends.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

News on Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Couples

by New York Law School Professor Arthur S. Leonard, December 20, 2006 inLegal Issues

Two new State Supreme Court actions in the continuing struggles over legalrecognition for same-sex partners in the U.S.

In Alaska, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the regulations the statepersonnel department had issued to govern eligibility of same-sex partnersof state employees for spousal benefits were presumptively constitutionaland should be treated as in effect 30 days after issuance. The Courtrejected a request by the legislature (through an amicus brief) for anextension of time to comply with last year's decision ruling that same-sexpartners of state employees have an equal protection right to benefitscomparable to spouses of state employees. And it said that the trial court,to which the matter had been remanded last spring to monitor compliance, didnot have authority to reject the proposed regulations on constitutionalgrounds. The court said that it could have been clearer in its remand orderlast spring; if the ACLU (which is representing plaintiffs in the case)thinks there are problems with the regulations, they can bring a new actionto challenge their constitutionality.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Phoenix Sex Club Owner Strikes Out on Privacy Appeal

by New York Law School Professor Arthur S. Leonard, December 25, 2006 in
Legal Issues

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has rejected an attempt by thecorporate owner of a gay sex club in Phoenix, Arizona, to assert the privacyrights of its patrons in an effort to invalidate a city law that may be usedto shut down the club. Ruling on December 22 in Fleck and Associates v.Phoenix, 2006 WL 3755201, court held that corporations do not themselveshave privacy rights, and that the club cannot bring suit to vindicate theprivacy rights of its "members."

In 1998, Phoenix enacted an ordinance banning "live sex act businesses,"which it defined as those "in which one or more persons may view, or mayparticipate in, a live sex act for a consideration." This presents a problemfor Fleck & Associates, a corporation that owns Flex, described by JudgeDorothy Nelson in the court's opinion as "a gay men's social club" inPhoenix that "limits access to adults who have purchased 'memberships' on ayearly, semi-yearly, or daily basis."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List, December 26, 2006

Oz Gov't Threatens New Attempt To Pass Civil Unions Bill
Newscenter Staff

(Canberra) A renewed attempt to pass legislation creating civil partnershipsin the Australian Capital Territory could be destined for the same federalveto as befell the last bill six months ago.

Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock says he still is not satisfied thatthe new legislation conforms with the ban on gay marriage.

Ruddock said some of the government's concerns have been addressed by thenew bill but several key issues remain.

"I don't think the ACT Government demonstrated goodwill by essentiallyintroducing legislation without talking to us about it first," he said.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Log Cabin Republicans Mourn the Death of President Gerald Ford


Contact: Scott Tucker

Log Cabin Republicans Mourn the Death of President Gerald Ford

President Ford Advocated Freedom and Fairness for All Families

(Washington, DC) - Log Cabin Republicans mourn the death of former PresidentGerald Ford and send condolences to Mrs. Ford and their entire family."President Ford was a great man called to lead our country during one of itsmost difficult hours," said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. "He will beremembered for helping to heal a wounded nation and for acting as a forcefor tolerance and common sense American values."

In 2001, President Ford joined the advisory board of the Republican UnityCoalition, a gay-straight alliance which was formed to advocate for gay andlesbian issues within the Republican Party. Ford's decision to join thatboard marked the first time a past or current U.S. president had joined anorganization advocating for gay equality.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Angus Reid Global Monitor, Canada, December 27, 2006

Mexicans Flatly Reject Same-Sex Marriage

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Many adults in Mexico believe homosexualpartners should not be allowed to enter wedlock, according to a poll byParametría. 61 per cent of respondents oppose a constitutional amendmentthat would permit same-sex marriage.

In addition, only 28 per cent of respondents are in favour of a law thatwould allow homosexual partners to legally register and obtain some benefitsand rights.

In November, Mexico City became the first municipality in the Latin Americancountry to legally recognize same-sex partners. The local legislature,dominated by the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), voted 43-17 to grantspecific pension and inheritance rights to gay and lesbian couples. Thesesame-sex unions will not be called marriage, and homosexual partners willremain unable to adopt children.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List, December 27, 2006

Marriage Oath In Ohio County Asks If Person Is Transsexual
Newscenter Staff

(Springfield, Ohio) Couples planning to marry in Clark County, Ohio areasked if either person is transsexual. It is believed to be the onlyjurisdiction in the country where people are asked to swear they are nottransgendered before receiving a marriage license.

Under Ohio law a person's birth gender is the only one considered legal. Itdoes not bar transsexuals from marrying but means that a male to femaletranssexual can only marry a woman.

The practice in Clark County came to light when the Springfield News Sunasked county clerks across the state for copies of the oaths they use whenissuing marriage licenses.

"Do you solemnly swear you are not a transsexual..." the Clark clerk askspeople when they apply for a marriage license.

Applicants must also swear they are not related closer than second cousins,are under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance orinfected with syphilis.


2006 - Best Moments in Queer Culture

The best and the worst of everything gay in 2006

by John Polly

For the last few weeks LogoOnline has been celebrating 2006: The Queer Yearby asking visitors to vote in their fun polls to rate the best (andoccasionally not-so-best) moments in queer culture in this past year. Youcan sound off on gay reality shows, sexy movie stars, flashy pop icons, gayjocks, and celebs who came out.

So, to clue you in to the voting so far, here's a rundown of some of theleaders in more than a few of the questions... (I'm gonna serve up the topthree vote-getters for each question.) If there's a trend, it's worth notingthat there seem to be lots of women voting, as any female nominees aregarnering masses of votes. Check 'em out!

And if you wanna vote and be heard, head here to put in your gay two cents.



Gerald Ford supported gays and the end of sodomy laws

In a 2003 letter obtained exclusively by The Advocate, the late presidentGerald Ford (pictured) wrote to his friend and colleague Charles Francisthat he supported the pro-gay side in the Texas case that ultimately led theU.S. Supreme Court to abolish sodomy laws nationwide.

In a 2003 letter obtained exclusively by The Advocate, the late presidentGerald Ford wrote to his friend and colleague Charles Francis that hesupported the pro-gay side in the Texas case that ultimately led the U.S.Supreme Court to abolish sodomy laws nationwide. The letter was in responseto a request by Francis, cochair of the gay-inclusive GOP group RepublicanUnity Coalition-which Ford advised-asking Ford to sign an op-ed piececalling for an end to sodomy laws.

"Dear Charles," Ford wrote, "I thank you for your letter of March 3 withenclosures. I deeply appreciate Senator Alan Simpson's personal comments onthe Supreme Court case and his public support. I fully concur with Al andyou on 'gay equality before the law.' I sincerely hope that you prevail inthe case of Lawrence v. Texas. At this point, however, I am not signing theproposed op-ed piece for The New York Times. Several months ago I did anop-ed piece for The New York Times in the University of Michigan cases onstudent admission policies. Subsequently I joined with several otherspublicly supporting the university's position. I feel that it might beunwise to dilute my influence on the Michigan case by authorizing an op-edpiece. The same dilution would be true if I became active in the Texaslawsuit."



The New York Times

December 27, 2006
Court Won't Force Massachusetts Gay Marriage Vote
Filed at 4:09 p.m. ET

BOSTON (Reuters) - In a setback to gay marriage opponents, Massachusetts'highest court said on Wednesday it would not require lawmakers to vote on aproposal that could ban gay marriage in the only U.S. state where it islegal.

Responding to a lawsuit spearheaded by Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, thestate's Supreme Judicial Court said it could not force another branch ofgovernment to act after lawmakers recessed last month without deciding toput the gay marriage issue on a 2008 statewide ballot.

``I certainly hope we do move on,'' said Lee Swislow, executive director ofGay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, which successfully sued in 2003 forsame-sex marriage in Massachusetts. ``The court cannot force a vote.''


It's not easy being a gay pop star
By Ari Gold

An exclusive posted December 21, 2006

I’m having a blast being a full time "Homofessional Gaylebrity." When Ifirst started, everyone told me I couldn’t do it. Gay people, straightpeople, friends, family, music industry professionals, all said to me, “Whydo you have to make being gay an issue? It should be about the music.” Butits not just about the music. All the great music I can think of has beeninspired by political and social issues. The great artists write to changethe world. So I set out to do just that.

Growing up an Orthodox Jew in the Bronx, N.Y., I learned in yeshiva aboutthe way Jews throughout history were forced to hide their beliefs, rituals,and practices for fear of being killed. I learned this on the days that Iwasn't taken out of class to sing jingles on TV for Toys 'R' Us or My Buddy(the “butch” doll for boys.) I was the only yeshiva boy in show business. Idid my own share of hiding during this time by taking off my yarmulke andtucking in my tzitzit while I sang backup for Diana Ross when she needed achildren's choir. While I was considered “too ethnic” to be on camera, offcamera I was a huge success. I particularly enjoyed doing girls' voices forthe cartoon series Jem and the Holograms and for Cabbage Patch Kids—youcould dial me up on the Cabbage Patch Kid talking telephone and hear me say,“Hi,I’m Sybil Sadie, want to come play with me?” Playing girls' voices was notsomething I wanted to brag about in gym class, though, so the hidingcontinued in grade school as well.


Important Message from Founder of Al-Fatiha - Help Iranian Refugees &Sustain Al-Fatiha's Work in 2007

December 27, 2006
Dhul-Hijjah 5, 1427

Dear friends and colleagues,

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!

I'll keep this brief and to the point. I need your help and your support!

Since the attacks on 9/11, Muslims in the United States have come underincreased attack. Hate crimes, racial bias, ethnic discrimination, policeharrassment, bigoted op-eds in the press... you name it... it's happening -each and every day. And there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.

As most of you know Al-Fatiha, the only national organization dedicated tosupporting and empowering queer Muslims in this country, has been the onlyplace where LGBT Muslims can turn to - for spiritual counseling, asylumsupport, and a place where folks can come together in spirit and faith -without being judged for who they are.

In the last 5 years Al-Fatiha's work has become more important than everbefore. But under the constant attacks faced within the queer media andLGBT community, our small organization and its leaders have had to turninward and recuperate.


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