Saturday, December 02, 2006


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The Express Gay News

'Happy holidays' suits me fine
The ridiculous 'War on Christmas' campaign illustrates the unwelcomeinfluence of the religious right.

Nov. 24, 2006

LEAVE IT TO the religious right to turn Santa Claus into a wedge issue andexchange the gift of seasonal cheer for a box of holiday fear. Thanks totheir histrionic "War on Christmas" campaign, major retailers, includingWal-Mart and Walgreen Co., are now dumping "Happy Holidays" for "MerryChristmas" and piping in religious Christmas carols."They're all trying toget the spirit back," industry analyst Marshal Cohentold the Los Angeles Times.

Is he talking about the universal Christmas spirit or the sectarian HolySpirit? This sudden change of heart was due to an intensive lobbyingcampaign last year by right wing organizations, such as the American FamilyAssociation and Liberty Counsel, and conservative pundits like Sean Hannityand Ann Coulter. While mainstream Americans went to the store with ashopping list, conservatives showed up with a political agenda, checkingstores once and twice to see if they were naughty or nice.


The Washington Post

Warnings, Worship Mark World AIDS Day

The Associated Press
Friday, December 1, 2006; 10:53 AM

BERLIN -- World AIDS Day was marked around the globe Friday by somberreligious services, boisterous demonstrations and warnings that far moreneeds to be done to treat and prevent the disease in order to avert millionsof additional deaths.

Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko conceded his country was losing groundin the race to curb one of Europe's fastest growing epidemics, saying100,000 people have been officially registered as HIV-positive. Every day,40 citizens of the former Soviet nation are diagnosed with HIV, and eightdie from AIDS, Yushchenko said.

"Such figures are shocking," Yushchenko said in a published address timed tocoincide with World AIDS Day. "We can't be indifferent to them."

UNICEF officials are warning of a public health catastrophe in EasternEurope and Central Asia, where 270,000 people are infected, some 90 percentof them through intravenous drug use.


Mormon political clout grows
Posted 12/1/2006 5:43 PM ET
By Diana Marrero, Gannett News Service

WASHINGTON - When Sen. Harry Reid becomes Senate majority leader next year,he will be the most powerful Mormon in Washington.

But that reign could be short-lived if Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney makesa bid for the presidency in 2008 and wins. Romney is considering a run inwhat is expected to be a wide-open field.

Reid is a Democrat from Nevada and Romney is a Republican. Though they havechosen different political stripes, they are bonded in a faith whose leadersencourage members to become active in public life.

Mormons are heeding the call. Typically conservative, they are morepolitically active than average Americans, according to a recent study. Andthe 15 Mormons in Congress is a slightly greater representation than thereligious group's percentage of the general population.


CBS News

Obama Shares AIDS Views With Evangelicals

LAKE FOREST, California, Dec. 1, 2006

(AP) Potential presidential candidate Barack Obama stood before one of theUnited States' largest evangelical churches Friday for a frank discussion ofsexuality and spirituality that included the declaration that condoms shouldbe made more widely available to fight AIDS.

The Democratic senator's appearance at the Saddleback megachurch was asource of dispute among evangelical leaders, with some of the mostconservative saying that a politician who supports abortion rights shouldnot have been allowed to speak at such a prominent church.


The New York Times

November 29, 2006
Spanish Woman Prompts Euthanasia Debate
Filed at 5:12 a.m. ET

GRANADA, Spain (AP) -- Inmaculada Echevarria has spent much of her lifewatching muscular dystrophy ruin her body. She's been in a hospital bed for20 years, her movements are now reduced to wiggling her fingers and toes andshe wants to die.

''For me, life stopped having meaning a long time ago. I want them to helpme die because I have spent my whole life suffering,'' said 51-year-oldEchevarria, whose case has triggered debate in Spain on the rights of peoplewith incurable diseases to seek help in dying.

Euthanasia is illegal in Spain and people who help someone else die can bepunished with at least six months in prison. But Spain's Socialistgovernment wants to legalize it as part of a wave of liberal reforms thathave largely transformed this traditionally Roman Catholic country.

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