Saturday, July 22, 2006



The Washington Post

Ethanol's Promise Isn't False

By John Alejandro
Saturday, July 22, 2006; A17

The July 2 op-ed by James Jordan and James Powell, "The False Hope of
Biofuels," painted a bleak portrait of the potential for corn-based ethanol
as a long-term solution for meeting our future transportation fuel needs.
But although their piece contained various statistics and metrics that
appeared to be credible, the article overlooked other important factors that
contribute to ethanol's chances of becoming a viable, long-term alternative
fuel solution.

First and foremost, while domestic production may never meet total U.S.
demand for ethanol, importing ethanol from other countries such as Brazil
would bridge U.S. production shortfalls. Brazil's exports of ethanol in 2005
were valued at $600 million and are expected to rise to $1.3 billion by
2010. The United States imported 86 million gallons from Brazil in 2004,
about 5 percent of domestic production and 54 percent of all our imported


July 22, 2006

Inflation Crossroads

The stock market went a little manic last week. On Wednesday, prices surged,
buoyed by investors' belief that rising inflation would not (necessarily)
compel the Federal Reserve to continue in its two-year-old campaign to raise
interest rates. On Thursday and Friday, prices dropped, as those same
investors apparently changed their minds. But there's no such ambiguity when
it comes to the impact of inflation on consumers, especially middle- and
low-income people. It hurts.

The Labor Department reported this week that consumer prices rose 0.2
percent in June. That was half the pace of May, but the slowdown may be
short-lived, since the decrease last month was due largely to lower energy
prices, which have since risen. And even with June's relatively tame
cost-of-living figure, inflation over the past year came in at 4.3 percent.
Because middle- and low-income Americans spend a larger share of their
incomes on essentials that tend to rise the most - like gasoline, food, rent
and utilities - economists generally assume that inflation is more painful
for them than for more affluent Americans.


Bush and the NAACP: Too Much Left Unsaid

By Colbert I. King
Saturday, July 22, 2006; A17

It was good of President Bush to show up at the NAACP convention this week,
given his failure to make an appearance during the past five years. But to
listen to the speech Bush delivered on Thursday after Sunday's address by
NAACP Chairman Julian Bond was to hear a president playing his audience

It wasn't that Bond's speech was scintillating while the president's was
dull, ponderous or anything like that. Bush was, to no one's surprise,
appropriately self-deprecating -- a disarming tactic that often works with
an unfriendly audience. And he struck all the right notes about slavery,
racism, segregation and discrimination: "The record placed a stain on
America's founding, a stain that we have not yet wiped clean," and "I
understand that racism still lingers in America. It's a lot easier to change
a law than to change a human heart."

Bush even owned up to the GOP's back-of-the-hand to African Americans: "For
too long my party wrote off the African American vote, and many African
Americans wrote off the Republican Party."


Cheney uses Mideast as campaign issue

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. - Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday pointed to the fighting
between Israel and Hezbollah as fresh evidence of the ongoing battle against
terrorism that underscores the need to keep President Bush's Republican
allies in control of Congress.

"This conflict is a long way from over," Cheney said at a fundraising
appearance for a GOP congressional candidate. "It's going to be a battle
that will last for a very long time. It is absolutely essential that we stay
the course."

Cheney's visit to Tampa helped raise about $200,000 for the campaign of Gus
Bilirakis, a state legislator who is running for the Tampa Bay area
congressional seat his father, Michael, is vacating.

"Gus is going to remember that the first order of business is to protect the
American people and to support the men and women who defend us in time of
war," Cheney told the audience at a $500-a-ticket fundraising reception.
"There's still hard work ahead in the war on terror."


Senate debates parental consent for abortions

Bill targets evasion of home-state laws
By Laurie Kellman, Associated Press | July 22, 2006

WASHINGTON -- The Senate reopened the abortion debate yesterday in advance
of the midterm elections, this time over a bill that would make it a federal
crime to take a minor across state lines to end a pregnancy without a
parent's knowledge.

Supporters of the bill say such situations often occur when a teenage girl,
or the man involved, wants to evade home-state parental consent laws.
Opponents say the bill would make criminals of well-meaning confidants, such
as relatives and clergy members, who might help a pregnant teen whose
parents are abusive.

Much of the discussion yesterday concerned how to balance a parent's right
to know with a woman's right to end a pregnancy as spelled out by the 1973
Roe v. Wade decision.

``How would you feel as a parent in a situation like that?" asked the bill's
Senate sponsor, Nevada Republican John Ensign.



Bush doesn't measure up
By Derrick Z. Jackson | July 22, 2006

PRESIDENT BUSH broke his boycott of the NAACP by copying the speech he gave
to the nation's oldest civil rights group as a candidate in 2000.

On Thursday, Bush said: ``I understand that many African-Americans distrust
my political party. . . . I consider it a tragedy that the party of Abraham
Lincoln let go of its historic ties with the African-American community. . .
. We need to challenge the soft bigotry of low expectations. . . . I
understand that racism still lingers in America."

In 2000, Bush said: ``For my party, there is no escaping the reality that
the party of Lincoln has not always carried the mantle of Lincoln. . . .
While some in my party have avoided the NAACP and while some in the NAACP
have avoided my party, I'm proud to be here. . . . I will confront another
form of bias: the soft bigotry of low expectations. . . . Discrimination is
still a reality, even when it takes different forms. Instead of Jim Crow,
there's racial redlining and profiling. Instead of separate but equal, there
is separate and forgotten. Strong civil rights enforcement will be a
cornerstone of my administration."


Pose this dilemma to religious right

Barry Kirshner
Boca Raton

July 22, 2006

As a member of the "reality based" community, I recognize that the far right
often uses misleading or outright erroneous information to further its
political goals. It frequently misuses statistics, omits pertinent facts and
appeals to incendiary wedge issues. It has proven that it will do anything
to win. This is true on the issues of global warming, gay rights, flag
burning and freedom of choice. These issues seem to be important only when
an election is pending and there is a need to solidify its base.

President Bush's recent action against embryonic stem-cell research makes
this quite obvious. Despite widespread public and scientific support,
individuals on the far right absurdly state that stem cell research is
murder. Bush depicts this as the killing of "innocent human life" despite
the fact that many of these embryos are destined for the trash. The
potential to help people with severe illnesses and disabilities is ignored.
Those on the far right are much more interested in the pre-born and
individuals at the very end of their lives. They seem to ignore the living
in between. This is morally far-fetched logic.



Juvenile Justice

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board

July 22, 2006

ISSUE: Programs treat girls like boys.

They aren't just boys painted pink. That anyone might think so shows how far
we have to go before Florida's juvenile justice system recognizes that girls
are different from boys.

More girls than ever before are entering the system. Over the past five
years, girls' admissions to detention centers have increased by 10 percent
while the number of boys admitted has declined by 12 percent. One of every
five young people in the system today is a girl.

Yet according to a study by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency,
programs for girls are sorely lacking in the system run by the Florida
Department of Juvenile Justice. They are essentially "boys' programs painted
pink," in the words of council President Barry Krisberg, as quoted by Bill
Kaczor of the Associated Press. Krisberg added: "These programs by and large
don't work."


Using religion against reason

Jack Deitchman
Coconut Creek

July 22, 2006

I would like to denounce the vote of Sen. Mel Martinez against stem cell
research. This in the face of a bill that was going to use only those
embryos that would otherwise be destroyed that remain from in vitro

The bill would have required the permission of the embryo donor, and no
money would have been allowed to change hands. The president's mouthpiece
said that he vetoed the bill because it was murder. Really. Does that mean
that Nancy Reagan is a murderer? Or possibly Sens. Bill Frist and Orrin

What we have here is a group of senators led by Martinez who believe that to
allow people to die from horrible diseases is permissible, in lieu of using
matter that would be destroyed to save lives and suffering.

Where is Sen. Martinez's bill to deny the use of in vitro? Since 40 percent
to 80 percent of all -- yes, all -- embryos do not attach, where is the
senator's bill to ensure that all women are required to collect their
unattached embryos? Yes, I know it is stupid, but that is exactly the stance
of Martinez and his president.


Dozier's comments

Jim Buresch
Wilton manors

July 22, 2006

In regard to Wednesday's letter, "Why mosque makes us uneasy": The letter
writer states, "The problem is a lot of people feel the way the Rev. Dozier
feels but are afraid to say it." A lot of people felt the way Klansman David
Duke felt, too.

While both men are entitled to free speech, no one should let their venom
get credible attention in the media or get to the ears of our children or we
are all in trouble.


New shuttle service offered to gay visitors

Pride Ride seen as affordable alternative to drinking and driving
Saturday, July 22, 2006

David Collins says the No. 1 question he receives from visitors to his gay
travel website, Naked, is "where can I stay in Fort Lauderdale
where I can walk to everything?"

"The answer is nowhere," said Collins, a former resident of Key West who
said he misses being able to walk to the bars and restaurants along Duval

In recent years, Fort Lauderdale has become increasingly popular as a gay
travel and nightlife destination despite its lack of pedestrian

Drinking at Fort Lauderdale's many gay clubs and restaurants is a part of
many people's vacation experiences.

But when it's time to drive back to the hotel, alcohol and a lack of
familiarity with the area put many visitors at risk for an accident or DUI
charge, Collins noted. Taking cabs everywhere can be expensive, and having a
"designated driver" requires that someone be left out of the fun, he said.



Some tough questions for 2 Democrats


Remember Stuttering John, the verbally challenged comic on the Howard Stern
show who would put celebrities on the spot with painfully blunt questions?

Too bad he's not moderating tonight's debate in Fort Lauderdale between the
two leading Democratic contenders for governor.

A question he could toss at U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, who has racked up the
second-worst voting record in Congress since he started running for
governor: Why did you miss the vote Thursday condemning the attacks against

The resolution passed 410-8, so Davis' vote would not have changed the
outcome. But the vote was symbolically important to the Jewish community --
a key voting bloc in Democratic primaries.


Voters to face a busy ballot

While most incumbents drew challengers on the November ballot, one
newcomer -- the 28-year-old son of Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne -- strolled
unopposed into the state House.


November's ballot will be crowded and contentious in Broward, with dozens of
contested School Board, County Commission, judicial and state House races to
keep the summer political season hopping.

On Friday, the final day for state and local candidates to qualify for the
Nov. 7 ballot, it was clear that few incumbents got a free pass. All but one
of the Broward County commissioners up for re-election have an opponent, a
situation that's echoed on the School Board.

Other races are jampacked with candidates:


Pay teachers fairly

Miami-Dade County Public School teachers are negotiating with the School
Board for our next three-year contract. Our union, the United Teachers of
Dade, can be a relevant force in South Florida education if it is open and
transparent and doesn't settle for crumbs.

Our two most recent superintendents, Merrett Stierheim and Rudy Crew, have
done valuable work toward cleaning up the corrupt and dysfunctional mess
that they inherited. We have begun to right this sinking ship. I've taught
in Miami-Dade public schools for 19 years. This is the first time that I've
seen meaningful forward movement. Although today's salaries for top-tier
management boggle my mind, I give Stierheim and Crew credit for their work.

But everyone must realize that teachers are doing heavy lifting. We have
been carrying our schools throughout the process. We have taught, fought for
public education and put ourselves on the line for the students and
communities that we serve. As test scores and other indicators rise, we
should recognize that this is what teachers were capable of doing all along.
We simply needed to have some of the excess weight lifted off of our backs.

Now give us our due. Our salaries have fallen for two decades relative to
the cost of living. We must have the courage to correct past mistakes.


July 22, 2006
Governor's race swells to 19

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE -- The four major contenders for governor, two Democrats and two
Republicans, have been joined in the race by such political unknowns as
Richard Paul Dembinsky, John Wayne Smith and Karl Behm.

Each running without party affiliation, those three are among 19 candidates
who had qualified for governor by Friday's noon deadline.

Another political newcomer, Fort Lauderdale lawyer Merrilee Ehrlich, forced
state Sen. Walter "Skip" Campbell of Tamarac into a primary race for the
Democratic attorney general nomination by qualifying on the final day. The
winner will face former U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Winter Park, in November.

The list of gubernatorial candidates includes six write-in candidates, five
dark horses who are seeking major party nominations -- three Democrats and
two Republicans -- and Reform Party qualifier Max Linn, known for his
term-limit advocacy.

"There's an obvious leadership vacuum in Tallahassee, and that leaves the
door wide open to a third party challenge," Linn said in a qualifying


Smith, Davis a contrast of styles, not substance

Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - If you read what Rod Smith and Jim Davis have to say
about issues in the governor's race, there won't be much difference between
the Democrats.

Neither likes how Gov. Jeb Bush has used standardized testing to reward and
punish schools, both criticize Republicans for not doing enough to stabilize
the homeowners insurance market, they agree Republicans have passed too many
tax cuts that benefit too few people while schools and health care are
underfunded and they tout their efforts to keep government out of the Terri
Schiavo case.

But their styles and backgrounds are clearly different as they try to take
back the governor's mansion from Republicans. Saturday, when about 1,000
Democrats gather here for a state party fundraiser, Smith and Davis will
likely be trying hard to show those differences as they fight to win over a
large number of undecided voters.

"We are blessed that we have two very highly qualified candidates," said
Putnam County Democratic Chairwoman Rosemary Anderson. "Philosophically,
they're in the same boat. It will come down to who people are comfortable


Politicians weigh in on the insurance crisis

Lawmakers as well as this year's candidates are hearing from Floridians
about skyrocketing insurance costs and the lack of available coverage. The
Miami Herald asked what near-term solutions they could suggest to solve this
widening problem.

So far, Gov. Jeb Bush has said there will be no special session to deal with
the insurance crisis.

Republican candidate for governor
As to holding a special session, he said: ''I think it's premature. You
can't call a special session unless you have a game plan.'' But he said:
``We're going to have to look seriously at what to do. We're doing a survey
with Enterprise Florida across the state to see exactly what is available
and what isn't.''


55 legislative candidates win race without vote

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE - For the residents of nearly half of the state's legislative
districts, their representation in Tallahassee was decided on Friday without
a ballot ever being cast.

Friday was the deadline for candidates to get their names on the ballot for
this year's legislative elections, and for many who drew no opposition it
was the deciding day.

Out of 120 House seats, all of which are up for election every two years, 55
will have only one candidate on the ballot - in most cases the incumbent. In
nine of 20 state Senate races, the choice will be the same: candidate A or

And in many other districts, the election will be decided in the primary
election on Sept. 5, with only one party choosing to field candidates.


Democrats angered by reach to right
Gubernatorial candidate sent envoy to Christian Coalition

By Anthony Man
Political writer

July 22, 2006

Vote-rich South Florida is so important to Rod Smith's hopes of winning the
Democratic nomination for governor that he's taken an apartment and set up
his campaign headquarters in Broward County.

Yet leaders of some key Democratic voting blocs in the most liberal region
of the state are still smarting over Smith's decision to send his son-in-law
to meet with the Christian Family Coalition, an organization that espouses
views at odds with many party principles.

The group's Web site explains it's dedicated to "winning the culture war one
battle at a time." It strongly opposes abortion, pushed for an anti-gay
marriage amendment to the state Constitution, and fought legislation to
allow gays and lesbians to adopt children.

The organization's executive director refers to public schools as
"government schools."


This Sunday, starting at 7pm, Jackhammer will host a fundraiser to launch
AIDS Vote; sponsored by Campaign to End AIDS, to the Broward County

At 8:00 PM Rev. Charles King will speak briefly on why we need to remobilize
our community to action. Rev. King is Co-Founder/President of Housing Works
in New York City (the nation's largest Community Based AIDS Service
Organization) and Co-Chair of Campaign to End AIDS. Rev. King received his
Masters in Divinity and Law Degree from Yale University.

There is no cover charge, donations are accepted at the door. It's time we
remobilize the gay community in a "call to action" to End AIDS! Please come
support this event as these funds will allow us to travel throughout the
state and organize AIDS advocacy training's.

Your support has never been needed more!

Michael Emanuel Rajner
Secretary, National Executive Committee
Campaign To End AIDS
Tel: (954) 272-8131 or (305) 677-3506
Fax: (954) 566-0144
Cell: (954) 288-1999

GLBT NEWS DIGEST - July 22, 2006


Religion News

Top Anglican dean attacks anti-gay 'witch-hunt'
Jul. 22, 2006

LONDON - The dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, one of the most influential
leaders of the Church of England, has attacked conservatives in the
worldwide Anglican Communion for conducting a "witch-hunt" against gays.
"The thought that anybody should be shown the door by the church, I just
find deeply offensive," said Very Rev. Dr. John Moses, BBC News reported
July 12.

Moses made the comments on the eve of his last service at St. Paul's before
his retirement. Moses said the Anglican church must adapt to global
conditions. "It has to be recognized that we live in different cultural
contexts, and pastoral questions which are deeply sensitive might have
different solutions in different places," said Moses, BBC News reported. The
Anglican Communion has been bitterly divided over the issue of gay and
female bishops. Moses conceded that he had no answer for the dispute but
"hated" the idea of exclusion from the Church.


The current issue of The Express Gay News is online


The Express Gay News

Let's have a real debate on marriage

The Congressional debate on gay marriage was about as substance-free as most
discussions about abortion. Behind the slogans, the real issue is there

Jul. 22, 2006

THE CONGRESS CONSIDERS itself the world's most important deliberative
body, but you wouldn't know it from the recent debates in the SEnate and
House on a constitutional amendment banning gays from marrying.

President Bush was right about one thing. The issue is one of "great
significance" about which "opinions are strong and emotions run deep."

Whether because of those emotions or the depressing state of political
discourse generally these days, the real issues got precious little
attention in Congress and even less from mainstream media.

Instead, encouraged by Democrats and their gay activist allies, the focus
was predictably on the horserace, and whether the amendment was a really
diversionary tactic designed to shore up the conservative base in time for
the fall elections.


Hate can be colorblind

Today's religion-based bigotry against gays is a direct descendent of the
white Southern side of the civil rights era.

Jul. 22, 2006

WHITE EVANGELICAL LEADERS have entered into a sordid marriage of convenience
with a few like-minded black preachers.

This unholy alliance is not a beacon of true diversity, but rather a
diversity of ways to attack people who are different or hold divergent

In a perverse way, these ministers have advanced equality in that they have
proven, if nothing else, that hate can be colorblind.

Earlier this month, Rev. O'Neal Dozier, a leading conservative black
preacher, spewed bigoted remarks about Muslims on a right wing radio show.
He said he was leading the charge to block an Islamic center from being
built in a Fort Lauderdale suburb because
"Islam is a dangerous religion."


July 21, 2006, 7:51PM

One pill

New AIDS pill is revolutionary, but it should not supplant prevention as the
best means of fighting HIV.

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

THE treatment of AIDS and HIV took a great leap forward with the
announcement by the Food and Drug Administration that it has approved a
single daily pill that is expected to simplify patients' struggle to keep
the disease at bay. The breakthrough, while a boon for sufferers, won't be a
panacea: Even with the one-a-day pill, AIDS will remain deadly for millions
of victims around the world well into the foreseeable future.

Development of the pill, which is to be marketed under the brand name
Atripla, combines three drugs - known as Viread, Sustiva and Emtriva. AIDS
experts say the combination drug, while vastly simplifying what is for many
an arduous treatment regimen, has the potential to extend AIDS sufferers'
lives. Some patients will have normal lifespans. Being able to take one pill
instead of the typical prescription of two to 15 medicines consumed over the
course of the day should extend life by increasing treatment compliance.


Gay Rights Group Completes 65-Mile Protest

Associated Press Writer

July 21, 2006, 11:18 PM EDT

DENVER -- Advocates of parental rights for gays and lesbians finished a
65-mile relay march Friday to protest what they said was Focus on the
Family's manipulation of research data on the issue.

More than 100 people walked about 4-mile sections of the route from Denver
to the Focus headquarters in Colorado Springs, said Richard Lindsay,
spokesman for the Virginia-based group called Soulforce.

Organizers of the march said they hoped to put a public face on the issue
and open a dialogue with Focus about its portrayal of gay families.

Soulforce has accused Focus founder James Dobson of misusing research data
to say gays and lesbians are not good parents -- a charge the Christian
group has denied.

To end its protest, Soulforce planned a concert and vigil Saturday night at
Focus' headquarters. Focus on the Family also planned a news conference
Saturday night to address the group's charges.


WorldPride Parade Cancelled
by Newscenter Staff
July 21 2006 - 1:00 pm ET

(Jerusalem) Organizers of WorldPride to be held next month in Jerusalem on
Friday cancelled the pride parade but say other events will go ahead as

WorldPride is scheduled to be held in Jerusalem from August 6 - 12.

Police denied Jerusalem Open House a parade permit saying that they are
unable to provide a safe environment for the march in light of the current
hostilities in the region and the excessive stress it puts on the police's

"We feel it would be neither responsible nor appropriate to hold the march
until such time that circumstances allow for a safe and peaceful gathering
for all," said a statement from Open House co-chair Hagai El-Ad.

El-Ad said though that the cultural aspects of WorldPride are going ahead.


Romney Abolishes Gay Youth Commission
by Newscenter Staff
July 21 2006 - 5:00 pm ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney issued an executive
order Friday abolishing the state's 14-year old governor's commission on gay
and lesbian youth.

The moves comes after a long protracted battle with legislators over the

In May he attempted to kill the body over its support for gay pride parades
in the state but quickly reversed himself.

The attempt to disband the commission sparked an uproar from lawmakers and
supporters of the commission. The legislature then passed a bill a bill
creating a new commission out of the reach of the governor's office.

Romney vetoed the bill and lawmakers countered by overriding it.


Canada Ends OutGames Visa Delay
by Newscenter Staff
July 21, 2006 - 7:00 pm ET

(Montreal, Quebec) Visas have finally been granted to all 315 delegates to
an LGBT civil rights conference to be held next week in conjunction with the
first Outgames in Montreal.

The Canadian government had held up approval of 250 visas and rejected about
a dozen other applicants from the 60 countries being represented.

Ironically, the conference is being sponsored by the Canadian government's
International Development Agency.

Outgames officials in a letter to federal Citizenship and Immigration
Minister Monte Solberg were careful not to accuse the
government of discrimination. The opposition Liberals were quick, however,
to pounce on the issue demanding answers.

Solberg denied allegations that the applicant's sexuality had anything to do
with the delay, citing a backlog in applications because of the peak summer
tourist season.


Gay Survivor Behind Bars In Oklahoma Federal Pen
by Newscenter Staff
July 21 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(Okalahoma City, Oklahoma) Richard Hatch the gay man who won a million
dollars winning the first season of "Survivor" has been moved from a low
security Massachusetts county facility to the Federal Transfer Center In
Oklahoma, his first stop to a federal penitentiary.

Hatch was sentenced to 51 months behind bars in May for evading taxes on his
$1 million Survivor winnings, on $327,000 he earned for co-hosting a radio
show and $28,000 in rent on property he owned.

However, he was acquitted of seven charges of bank, mail and wire fraud.

He could have been sentenced for up to 13 years in prison and a fine of

How long he will remain in the Oklahoma facility is not know. Federal
officials declined to comment on Friday.

Hatch has appealed his sentence and reportedly has been working with his
lawyers on the case.


Feds Leave Cross Burning At Gay Home To Tennessee To Solve
by Newscenter Staff
July 22, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Athens, Tennessee) The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has been called in
to help solve a cross-burning at the home of a gay man three weeks ago.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation briefly checked into the case but left
after determining the attack was homophobic. Gays are not protected under
hate crime laws.

This week Meigs County Sheriff Walter Hickman asked the TBI to become
involved since hate crimes against gays are included in the Tennessee.

District Attorney General Scott McCluen considers the June 29th attack to be
hate crime.

Under the state law if the person or persons involved in the cross burning
are convicted a judge could enhance the sentences.


Some computer dating sites are organizing -- gasp! -- live events


A handful of online dating services -- once the go-to places for finding
that significant other -- are realizing that the best way to meet is by
actually -- meeting.

At last count there were 26 million people searching the Web for love, like
or lust. But nowadays more social networking websites are determined to get
their subscribers to log out and get out. Of the house, that is.

''We use the Internet to get people off the Internet,'' says Myles
Weissleder, vice president of public affairs for, an online
social networking service that boasts a membership of more than two million.

The creators of Meetup know that people are relying on the Internet more and
communicating face-to-face less -- so much so that they've developed an
entire online community to help people find others with like interests.


Gay U.S. athletes still struggle with 'coming out'

By Ros Krasny

CHICAGO, July 21 (Reuters) - As a 340-pound (154-kg) nose tackle in the
National Football League, Esera Tuaolo was a pretty tough guy. But as a
closeted gay athlete he recalls living in constant fear.

"I felt like if I had come out while still in the NFL I would have been
in physical danger," Tuaolo told Reuters this week. "They would have taken
me out -- gone after my knees, or tried to paralyze me."

Hawaiian-born Tuaolo, who played for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1999
Super Bowl game, was in Chicago to participate in the weeklong Gay Games VII
sports festival, and appeared on a panel called "Brokeback Locker Room,"
about the challenges facing gay and lesbian athletes.

Panelists agreed that although homosexuals now enjoy increased
acceptance in public life, the sports arena has been a tough nut to crack.

"Sports is the last frontier in terms of homophobia," said Helen
Carroll, sports project coordinator with the National Center for Lesbian
Rights in San Francisco.

The Battle Over Iran

Severity, nature of anti-gay persecution divide rights groups, activists,



(Paul Schindler is the Editor of Gay City News, New York City's largest gay
weekly newspaper)

One year ago this week, two young men, variously reported to be between 16
and 18, were hanged in Mashad, Iran. The initial reporting stated that the
youths, Ayaz Marhoni and Mahmoud Asgari, were gay lovers executed for their
homosexuality. Quickly, however, human rights groups, most prominently Human
Rights Watch (HRW), pointed to evidence that the two may in fact have been
punished for the rape of a 13-year-old boy. While condemning the death
penalty, particularly for minors, HRW and other groups cautioned against
turning a case of child rape into an international gay rights cause célèbre.

A year later, as dozens of cities worldwide, including New York, held vigils
July 19 to mark the anniversary of the executions, HRW has hardened in its
insistence that there is no support for the charge that the Mashad men were
killed because of their sexuality. The International Gay and Lesbian Human
Rights Commission (IGLHRC) offers a more agnostic assessment, saying that
Iran must clear the air but also warning against inflammatory actions by
LGBT activists that could worsen conditions for gays there.


Berlin revelers mark Christopher Street Day

July 22, 2006, 9:20 AM EDT

BERLIN -- Tens of thousands of gays, lesbians and other revelers packed
downtown Berlin on Saturday for the German capital's annual gay pride
celebration, which draws its name from a street in New York.

An estimated 150,000 people turned out for the city's colorful Christopher
Street Day parade, as several dozen floats carrying dancers _ some bedecked
in feathered, rainbow costumes, others wearing almost nothing at all _ wove
through the heart of the city.

Berlin's openly gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit praised the peaceful party mood,
stressing it was a "true chance to really fight for tolerance."

Christopher Street Day commemorates the start of the gay rights movement in
New York's Greenwich Village in 1969. The parade generally draws large
crowds in Berlin, which has a history as a gay metropolis that goes back as
far as the 19th century.


Gay and Christian police in row
By John McManus

Two staff associations within the UK's police forces are at the
centre of an increasingly bitter dispute.

The row between the Gay Police Association and the Christian Police
Association has been simmering for a while.

A newspaper advertisement taken out by the GPA coincided with
London's Europride event a fortnight ago. -- [Advert on 29th June;
EuroPride on 1st July]

The ad featured a Bible next to a pool of blood under the heading "in
the name of the father", and claimed that religion was the sole or
primary motivation behind most of the homophobic incidents logged by
the GPA's staff helpline.

A minister, Reverend George Hargreaves, complained about the advert
and said its claim was nonsense.


Gay group postpones WorldPride amid war talk

Marc Shoffman

The Jerusalem WorldPride parade has been postponed until "after the war."

The organisers of the event, Jerusalem Open House (JOH), announced last
night that the rally will no longer take place due to the demands it would
be making on security which is currently caught up in escalating tension in
Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

A JOH statement said: "This is not the time for celebrations.

"The parade, which requires extensive security, will not take place due to
the situation."

A JOH spokesman told "The week of events will go ahead, from
6-12 August, but will be toned down to suit the situation in Israel.

"All the conferences and congresses will go ahead as usual and there will
also be some form of demonstration in favour of pluralism in Jerusalem."


More - Riga, Latvia from Nicolas at

As the speeches of local politicians and foriegne politicians are coming to
an end at the Reval Hotel in a romm where 100 gays and lesbians came to
celebrate what should have been Riga's 2nd Gay Pride, protesters started to
attack those going out of the hotel.

The modern 4 stars hotel is not coordinated with the police to assure the
safety of the participants. The police is very slowly reacting to the

The first taxi that was trying to take one of the organizers, was attacked
by the protesters who pushed the cars, through eggs under the eyes the

Journalist were also attacked with eggs and water on them and on their
cameras. Protesters targetting anyone going out of the hotel.

An old woman holding an icon in her hands lied on the car with a bottle that
she called "sacred water".

Taxi are now left and protesters are waiting for the next group.

Speeches continues inside the hotel quietly, as planned.

It is not yet clear how gays, lesbians and their friends will evacuate the


Forwarded from

Riga gay pride under siege by fascists (UPDATE)

UPDATE - Riga-22 July 13.30 hours

The press conference of the Latvian LGBT group Mozaika in central Riga is
under siege by a mob of 70 fascists who have assaulted people as they try to
leave. The police presence is merely symbolic, being small and inadequate.

One of those assaulted was the openly gay pastor Rev Maris Sants. The Police
refused him protection as he went to his car, where he was attacked.

"People attending the press conference had to be rushed out into waiting
vans to be ferried away from the baying homophobic ñrowd, " said eye-witness
Peter Tatchell of OutRage.

"Earlier at 1100 hours today, the church service Rev Sants held in support
of Riga Gay Pride was attacked by a dozen neo-nazis. Worshippers were pelted
with shit and rotten fruit. Despite previously requesting police protection,
no police were present to protect the congregation. Dutch MEP Sophie In't
Veld was one of the worshippers prevented from leaving the church by the
homophobic vigilantes.

Friday, July 21, 2006



Forwarded from the Sierra Club:

My name is Curt Levine and I am the Chair of the Sierra Club's Political
PAC. Earlier this month, I was pleased to announce that Jim Davis has
earned the Sierra Club's endorsement for governor in the Democratic primary.
In addition to recognizing his consistent record of standing up to the
special interests to protect our environment, this endorsement means our
33,000-member organization will lend important financial and volunteer
support to his bid to become the next governor of Florida.

The difference between the two Democratic candidates on environmental issues
could not be clearer. In 2003, the Florida legislature - with the support
of Jim's primary opponent -- passed legislation to relax pollution standards
in the Everglades. This bill threatened the historic state-federal
partnership, brokered by President Clinton, to clean up this national
treasure. Jim went to work with members of the Florida Congressional
delegation in Washington to make sure the federal government continued to
support the Everglades, even though the state legislature backed away from
that commitment. In other words, Jim was fighting in Tallahassee and in
Washington, DC to keep our promise to the Everglades. That's the kind of
leadership we need in the governor's office.

{Please contact us if you would like the full article - ]

Teen on beating: 'It was funny'

At a bond hearing, a prosecutor read aloud gut-wrenching excerpts from a
statement given by a Broward teen charged in the beatings of three homeless


Beating a homeless man with a golf club was like ''teeing off,'' William
''Billy'' Ammons told police shortly before he was arrested in the January
attacks on three men who lived on the streets.

``It was funny.''

Parts of Ammons' statement to Fort Lauderdale police on Jan. 16 came out in
court Thursday during a hearing to determine whether he could return home to
await trial. The 18-year-old has been charged -- along with Thomas
Daugherty, 17, and Brian Hooks, 18 -- with first-degree murder in the Jan.
12 killing of Norris Gaynor, 45, and the beatings of two other homeless men.

After hearing several hours of emotional testimony, Broward Circuit Judge
Cynthia Imperato denied the youth's request for bond.


Politicos Turn Out In Force

West Palm Beach Gay Event Draws Many Candidates

By Paul Harris

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC) held an event last
weekend at the Grandview Gardens Bed and Breakfast owned by Peter Emmerich
and Rick Rose that was attended by about 160 people and many candidates
running for political of?ce. According to Rand Hoch, the founder of the
organization, between nearly 12,000 was raised.

Rand Hoch said, "The purpose of the event was not only to get our supporters
and the elected of?cials and candidates together, but also to raise the
money we need to do two 5,000-piece mailings - one for the primary in
September and one for the general election in November. We have been doing
these mailings since 1988, and in each letter, we include a dozen of our
lavender colored palm cards so we can get out the GLBT vote."


Gay Day At Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

By Paul Harris

Next month, while the Gay World Series is taking place, the Seminole Hard
Rock Hotel and Casino will host an AIDS fundraiser in the form of a talent
show held on Wednesday, August 16 from 8 to 11pm.

The talent show has been held at each World Series that has taken place over
the last 20 years. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased from softball team
members or at the door on the night at the Seminole Hard Rock Live Theater,
in the Paradise shopping/eating area. The Seminole Hard Rock is making
August 16 a "Gay Day" that night at the "Paradise."

For those who have never been to the casino it is at 1 Seminole Way,
Hollywood, Florida 33314. There are entrances to the property off 441 and
Stirling Road.


Smith: I can win where Democrats have lost out

Associated Press

NAPLES - Rod Smith wants Floridians to make him governor because he thinks
Republicans are making the wrong decisions on issues like education, health
care and homeowners insurance.

But first he has to win the Democratic nomination against U.S. Rep. Jim
Davis, and he has another argument for people voting in that race: He's more

"Folks, it's not going to do us any good to just win the Democrats we've
been winning," Smith told a group of party activists in this Republican
stronghold Thursday. "We've got to have a messenger who can take our message
all over the state effectively. I can win in those places where we've been
losing. I can hold the Democrats who are with us, but I'll bring back the
one's that have left us."


Pinellas activist joins governor's race

Max Linn is the Reform Party candidate.
By STEVE BOUSQUET, Times Staff Writer
Published July 21, 2006

TALLAHASSEE - Max Linn, a Pinellas County political activist best known for
his advocacy of eight-year term limits, will run for governor of Florida in
November as a Reform Party candidate.

Linn filed qualifying papers Thursday and announced he has hired two
strategists: Doug Friedline, who worked on Jesse Ventura's victory as
Minnesota governor, and Russell Verney, who managed Ross Perot's Reform
Party presidential bids in 1992 and 1996.

Linn said his travels around the state have revealed "deep frustration with
the mainstream political parties." As president of Florida Citizens for Term
Limits, Linn opposed a legislative effort in 2005 to ask voters to extend
term limits from eight to 12 years.

Lawmakers reversed themselves and voted in May to strike the proposal from
the 2006 ballot.


Small-town roots could entangle governor candidate

With a smaller political base and fundraising network, gubernatorial
candidate Rod Smith of Alachua is the underdog at a time when Democrats are
desperate for victory.


Small-town roots could entangle Democrat

As he campaigns for governor of the nation's fourth largest state,
Democratic state Sen. Rod Smith often jokes about his stagnant hometown of
Alachua, population 6,098.

''When someone got pregnant, someone else left town,'' he says.

His statewide bus tour this week showed that his small-town, North-Central
Florida roots are a large part of his popular appeal -- and his potential

He's a different kind of Democrat, supporters say, who can win over parts of
the state where other Democrats have failed. From the Gadsden County
Courthouse to the Live Oak train depot to a Pensacola diner that vows ''no
grits, no glory,'' supporters gushed over his folksy demeanor and
sensitivity to small-town and rural issues.


Smith ends state tour with big endorsement


DELRAY BEACH -- The combination of Smith and Jones has worked before.

There was a popular 1970s television show called "Alias Smith and Jones"
that paired two likable outlaws who were trying to get on the right side of
the law.

That name combination may emerge again in this year's gubernatorial race,
although it's a little too early to tell.

State Sen. Rod Smith on Thursday wrapped up a three-day, 1,129-mile bus trip
across the state that was intended to raise the profile of his gubernatorial
campaign by winning the support of a former Senate colleague, Daryl Jones of

Jones' endorsement is significant in that he is seen as a potential running
mate for Smith, an Alachua County lawyer and lawmaker who is running in the
Sept. 5 Democratic primary against U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa.


Work on giant Everglades reservoir to start next month

Associated Press

July 20, 2006, 2:10 PM EDT

IN THE EVERGLADES -- Engineers next month will begin building one of the
world's largest manmade reservoirs -- the size of a small city -- as efforts
continue to restore natural water flow to the Everglades.

The reservoir, roughly 25 square miles in area, is set for completion in
2010. It will hold 62 billion gallons of water, equivalent to about 5.1
million residential swimming pools, and will be seven miles across at its
widest point.

Most reservoirs are built amid mountains and valleys or where a natural
water source feeds the pool. In this case, 30 million tons of earth will be
dug from flat land and surrounded by a 26-foot high, 21-mile long levee,
making it larger than any other reservoir not connected to a natural source,
according to state officials.

The Independent Gay News, Inc.

Who is Rod Smith?
Palm Beach Ponderings
By Donald Cavanaugh

A couple of weeks before I met Jim Davis in Wilton Manors, a friend of mine
had attended a campaign rally for Rod Smith, the Florida senator vying with
Davis for the Democratic nomination for governor. Again, the candidate spoke
but didn't take questions from the floor. My friend spoke with Smith
afterward and asked him if he would sign a gay marriage bill if it was
passed by the legislature. My friend said not only did Smith say yes, he
would sign it, he added words to the effect of "Why wouldn't I sign it? I
support equality for everyone."

A quick visit to Smith's website ( ) was totally
unenlightening. In fact the website said little about anything at that time
but it did have a phone number for the campaign headquarters and I called

Smith's press contact wasn't available but the charming woman who answered
asked if she could help me. I told her about Smith's conversation with my
friend and asked, "So does Senator Smith support same-sex marriage?"


July 20. 2006 10:10PM

Sarasota Republicans reject Harris endorsement

It's no secret that Katherine Harris has struggled for most of the last 12
months to win acceptance from state and national leaders in her bid for a
U.S. Senate seat.

But back home in Sarasota, local Republicans would surely get behind the
Longboat Key Republican, right?

Not quite.

Republican Party Chairman Bob Waechter on Thursday night blocked a vote on
the proposal to endorse Harris in the GOP Primary, saying the person who
made the motion didn't state the time, date and place he intended to make
his recommendation prior to the party's regular monthly meeting.

Waechter said he had no choice but to rule the attempt to endorse Harris out
of order.

Party vice chairman Eric Robinson had proposed making the endorsement even
though Harris faces three other Republicans in the Sept. 5 primary. Two of
those opponents, Will McBride and LeRoy Collins Jr., were among those in the

'Hope' on oil drilling not enough for Florida

Palm Beach Post Editorial
Friday, July 21, 2006

The deal Republican Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., negotiated to protect the
state's coastline from oil and gas drilling could offer many of the
protections in a bill the state's other senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, filed
in February. But Sen. Martinez threw away guaranteed protection through
2012, banking on the hope that fellow Republicans who are tight with the
energy industry won't hijack his deal.

Florida has been here before with Sen. Martinez, and the result wasn't good.
Last year, he broke the Florida congressional delegation's solidarity to
negotiate with then-Interior Secretary Gale Norton and the Bush
administration to move drill rigs from more than 200 miles offshore to 100
miles, closer than ever before. Public outcry stopped him, and Sen. Martinez
shifted to backing Sen. Nelson and other Florida lawmakers defending the
state's beach-based economy.


Article published Jul 21, 2006
Jul 21, 2006

A Smith-Jones governor ticket?

Sun Tallahassee Bureau

DELRAY BEACH - The combination of Smith and Jones has worked before.

There was a popular 1970s television show called Alias Smith and Jones that
paired two likable outlaws who were trying to get on the right side of the

That name combination may emerge again in this year's gubernatorial race,
although it's a little too early to tell.

State Sen. Rod Smith on Thursday wrapped up a three-day, 1,129-mile bus trip
across the state that was intended to raise the profile of his gubernatorial
campaign by winning the support of a former Senate colleague, Daryl Jones of


Are You Registered To Vote?
By Paul Harris

On page 22 of this issue of The Independent you will find that we have
published the Florida Voter Registration form as a courtesy to our readers,
and to encourage you to take part in the democratic process. Underneath the
form are the addresses of the different offces of the Supervisors of
Elections for the three counties where our newspaper is distributed. Cut the
form out of the paper. Complete it and mail it to Supervisor of Elections
for your county.

Elections can sometimes be close. The impact of perhaps just a couple of
handfuls of votes can make a difference. Readers living in Florida in 2000
will remember that because George W. Bush carried the state by 537 votes he
won the state's Electoral College votes and became president of the United
States. Readers will have their own opinions as to whether the country is in
a better place as a result of his presidency.


[TheDolphinDemocrats] Walk With America! Sat. July 29 11:00am


When: Saturday July 29 at 11:00 AM
Where: Klein for Congress Campaign Office
1440 N. Federal Highway
Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Call Donna Greenberg at 954-941-2965 or e-mail at
for more info!



Posted on Fri, Jul. 21, 2006

The cost of waning U.S. influence


Latin America's much discussed swing to the left has been paralleled by the relative decline of U.S. power and influence in the region. Specifically, China, with its insatiable demand for energy, food and other raw materials, has become a major hemispheric player. Within the region, high energy prices have enabled Venezuela to use its newfound oil wealth to challenge Washington's policies and attempt to create and lead an anti-American power bloc.

These developments have important implications for Latin America. In the short term, Latin America is benefiting economically from the surge in its exports to China in particular. There is also the expectation, not yet a reality, that China will invest heavily in creating and improving the region's infrastructure. The Chinese government also has promised to increase its investment in industries that will enhance its ability to extract Latin America's resources.

July 21, 2006

More Than a Cease-Fire Needed

Lebanon needs more than U.S. marines to evacuate Americans. It needs the fighting to stop and the international community to step in and guarantee the security of Israel and Lebanon. That will require not only a cease-fire and peacekeepers but also a guarantee that Hezbollah will be forced to halt its attacks on Israel permanently and disband its militia.

Israeli officials, with strong backing from Washington, are saying privately that it could take days or even weeks more of pounding to destroy Hezbollah’s huge missile stocks, cut off its supply lines from Syria and Iran, and prove to the Lebanese people the high cost of sheltering the terrorist group. It’s doubtful that air power will ever be able to achieve those goals, and Israel should not repeat the mistake of occupying Lebanon.

More fighting will mean more suffering on both sides of the border, more anger toward Israel in the Arab world, and more problems for those Sunni Arab leaders who have been trying to distance themselves from Hezbollah.


The Washington Post

The Injustice Bill Cosby Won't See

By Michael E. Dyson
Friday, July 21, 2006; A17

Ever since he battered poor blacks two years ago in his infamous remarks on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education , Bill Cosby has been taking to the road to spread his bitter gospel to all who will listen. In rigged town-hall meetings, Cosby assembles community folk and experts who agree with his take on black poverty: that it's the fault of the poor themselves.

It's often difficult to point out just how harmful that sentiment is, because most black folk do believe strongly in taking their destiny into their own hands. They believe in hard work and moral decency. They affirm the need for education and personal discipline. When they hear Cosby say that poor black folk should go to work, stay out of jail, raise their children properly and make sure they go to school, they nod their heads in agreement.

But it's one thing to say that personal responsibility is crucial to our survival. It's another to pretend that it's the only thing that matters. The confusion between the two positions is what makes Cosby's blame-the-poor tour so destructive. By convincing poor blacks that their lot in life is purely of their own making, Cosby draws on harsh conservative ideas that overlook the big social factors that continue to reinforce poverty: dramatic shifts in the economy, low wages, chronic underemployment, job and capital flight, downsizing and outsourcing, and crumbling inner-city schools.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Jul. 21, 2006

Secret NSA program needs more oversight

It seemed like good news at first when Sen. Arlen Specter announced that the White House had agreed to allow judicial oversight of the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance of phone calls by U.S. citizens. However, a closer look suggests that the deal is a legislative fig leaf that allows Congress to abdicate its oversight responsibility and weakens Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable intrusions on civil liberty.

No unrestricted power

Sen. Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, has been a vocal opponent of the secrecy surrounding the program and the administration's failure to keep Congress duly informed. In one instance, he wrote a letter to Vice President Dick Cheney accusing him of meddling with the committee's efforts to deal with the surveillance program by preventing telephone company witnesses from testifying about their role in the program. In his determination to get the administration to make a deal, however, Mr. Specter has given away too much in exchange for little.

July 21, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

Order vs. Disorder
Tel Aviv

There was a small item in The Jerusalem Post the other day that caught my eye. It said that the Israeli telephone company, Bezeq, was installing high-speed Internet lines in bomb shelters in northern Israel so Israelis could surf the Web while waiting out Hezbollah rocket attacks.

I read that story two ways. One, as symbol of Israeli resilience, a boundless ability to adapt to any kind of warfare. But, two, as an unconscious expression of what I sense people here are just starting to feel: this is no ordinary war, and it probably won’t end soon. At a time when most Arab states have reconciled to Israel and their dispute is now about where the borders should be, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah Shiite militia, armed with 12,000 rockets, says borders are irrelevant; it is Israel that should be erased.

That’s why I find in talking to Israeli friends a near total support for their government’s actions — and almost a relief at the clarity of this confrontation and Israel’s right to defend itself. Yet, at the same time, I find a gnawing sense of anxiety that Israel is facing in Hezbollah an enemy that is unabashedly determined to transform this conflict into a religious war — from a war over territory — and wants to do it in a way that threatens not only Israel but the foundations of global stability.


The New York Times

July 21, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

The Price of Fantasy

Today we call them neoconservatives, but when the first George Bush was president, those who believed that America could remake the world to its liking with a series of splendid little wars — people like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld — were known within the administration as “the crazies.” Grown-ups in both parties rejected their vision as a dangerous fantasy.

But in 2000 the Supreme Court delivered the White House to a man who, although he may be 60, doesn’t act like a grown-up. The second President Bush obviously confuses swagger with strength, and prefers tough talkers like the crazies to people who actually think things through. He got the chance to implement the crazies’ vision after 9/11, which created a climate in which few people in Congress or the news media dared to ask hard questions. And the result is the bloody mess we’re now in.

This isn’t a case of 20-20 hindsight. It was clear from the beginning that the United States didn’t have remotely enough troops to carry out the crazies’ agenda — and Mr. Bush never asked for a bigger army.


The New York Times

July 21, 2006

Young Latinas and a Cry for Help

A recent series in the Spanish-language New York newspaper El Diario/La Prensa sheds some light on a mostly overlooked national phenomenon, the misunderstood and endangered young Latina, who represents one of the fastest-growing segments of the American population. Hispanic teenage girls attempt suicide more often than any other group. They become mothers at younger ages. They tend not to complete their education. They are plagued by rising drug use and other social problems.

A federal study found that a startling one in six young Hispanic women had attempted suicide, a rate roughly one and a half times as high as that among non-Hispanic black and white teenage girls. If there was any good news, it was that these young women usually survived. A five-year study now in its second year in New York is being led by Dr. Luis Zayas, a professor of social work and psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis, who says the self-destructive behavior seems to affect Latinas of every origin and every region of the country.

El Diario tracked several young women and found that they faced particularly acute social pressures, especially if their parents were foreign-born. Dr. Zayas and other experts note that the suicide attempts trend higher for Latinas who are the first generation born in the United States.


The New York Times

July 21, 2006

Health Secretary Said to Benefit From Charity
Filed at 2:30 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt and his relatives created a charitable foundation that allowed them to claim millions of dollars in tax deductions yet provided little to charity, according to The Washington Post.

The Internal Revenue Service has called the tax structure used to create the Leavitt foundation a Type III supporting organization, one of its ''Dirty Dozen'' tax scams. Christina Pearson, an HHS spokeswoman, said the foundation's activities are ''totally legal and proper.''

Much of the money from the foundation -- set up in 2000 with nearly $9 million from Leavitt family assets -- went into investments or loans to the family's business interests and real estate holdings, the Post reported Friday.


The Washington Post
Deference Prevails Over Hostility

By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Thursday, July 20, 2006; 12:40 PM

President Bush made it unscathed through his visit to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People convention this morning, as the audience's deference to his office prevailed over its deep and abiding hostility toward his policies.

Bush's speech was light on substance but full of easy applause lines, and it earned him a polite if less than enthusiastic welcome from the group, with the exception of one persistent heckler.

Notably, Bush did not stick around to take questions.


The Washington Post

To Save a Revolution

By David Ignatius
Friday, July 21, 2006; A17

You could sense the hurt and anger as Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora pleaded this week to the U.S. ambassador and other diplomats in Beirut for a halt to Israeli attacks on Lebanese targets. "The country has been torn to shreds," he said. "I hope you will not let us down."

The challenge for the Bush administration as the Lebanon war explodes into its second week is just that -- to keep faith with Siniora and his Cedar Revolution, even as it stands by its close ally Israel. This isn't simply a question of appearances and public diplomacy. Unless Siniora's government can be strengthened, there is little hope for achieving the U.S. and Israeli goal of bringing Hezbollah's guerrillas under lasting control.

"America's role is to energize a political outcome that helps to satisfy Israeli military objectives by other means," says one administration official. The problem is that the American diplomatic timetable is so slow that by the time a cease-fire is reached -- more than a week off, by U.S. estimates -- Lebanon may be too broken to be put back together anytime soon.

The Washington Post

Reed and The End Of a Road
Redefining 'Values'

By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Friday, July 21, 2006; A17

AYNOR, S.C. -- A little more than six years ago, the voters in South Carolina's Republican presidential primary set the GOP on a clear course. The news of this week, particularly from neighboring Georgia, suggests that journey is reaching an end.

On Feb. 19, 2000, George W. Bush defeated John McCain here with an approach that was to mark his presidency. It emphasized the importance of rallying "the Republican base," particularly conservative Christians, and the imperative of attacking political opponents in times of trouble -- preferably through surrogates who could provide plausible deniability.

One of the architects of the Bush strategy was Ralph Reed, a brilliant political operative who built the Christian Coalition into a formidable force and then made serious money as a political consultant.


The New York Times

July 21, 2006
Guest Columnist

Look What Democratic Reform Dragged In
The United States is already at war with Iran; but for the time being the battle is being fought through surrogates.

That message was conveyed to me recently by a senior Jordanian intelligence official at his office in Amman. He spoke on the condition of anonymity, reflecting gloomily on the failure of the Bush administration’s various policies in the region.

He reserved his greatest contempt for the policy of encouraging democratic reform. “For the Islamic fundamentalists, democratic reform is like toilet paper,” he said. “You use it once and then you throw it away.”

Lest the point elude me, the official conducted a brief tour of recent democratic highlights in the region. Gaza and the West Bank, where Hamas, spurned by the State Department as a terrorist organization, was voted into power last spring and now represents the Palestinian government; Lebanon, where Hezbollah, similarly rejected by the United States, has become the most influential political entity in the country; and, of course, Iraq, where the Shiite majority has now, through elections, gained political power commensurate with its numbers.


Judge Declines to Dismiss Lawsuit Against AT& T

By Arshad Mohammed
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 21, 2006; A09

A federal judge yesterday rejected the government's effort to throw out a
lawsuit about its warrantless surveillance program, arguing that a dismissal
of the case would restrict civil liberties without strengthening national

The class-action suit against AT&T Inc., filed by the Electronic Frontier
Foundation in January, alleges that the nation's largest phone company
collaborated with the federal government in an illegal domestic spying
program to monitor Americans' phone calls and e-mails.

The government, which has defended the legality of what it has called a
"terrorist surveillance program" without revealing many details about its
workings, asked U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker to dismiss the case,
arguing that it would divulge state secrets and damage national security.


Voting Rights Act Headed to Bush's Desk
Associated Press Writer

July 21, 2006, 6:19 AM CDT

WASHINGTON -- The 1965 Voting Rights Act, which opened polls to millions of
black Americans, is on its way to President Bush's desk after winning a
25-year extension from Congress.

The president promised to sign it even before the 98-0 Senate vote, eager to
improve the GOP's standing with minorities.

"The Voting Rights Act is one of the most important pieces of legislation in
our nation's history," Bush said after the Senate approval on Thursday. "It
has been vital to guaranteeing the right to vote for generations of
Americans and has helped millions of our citizens enjoy the full promise of

A centerpiece of the 1960s civil rights movement, the law ended poll taxes,
literacy tests and other devices that had been used for decades to keep
blacks from voting.


Friday, July 21, 2006 - 12:00 AM
Ellen Goodman / Syndicated columnist

The right gives itself a wedgie

BOSTON - So once more we reach into the right-wing toolbox, a political
chest so spare that it holds almost nothing but a wide assortment of wedges.
Who would have believed that the wedges used so successfully to divide
America would end up dividing conservatives? That they would finally expose
the differences between the right and the, um, loony right?

The latest of these wedge issues is stem-cell research. But it's not the
only one. Over the past year, we've begun to see daylight emerge between
common sense and nonsense.

Wedge One: Abstinence or Death. Remember last October, when the vaccine
against HPV - the leading cause of cervical cancer - was first announced?
Pro-family groups were less than enthusiastic about this breakthrough.
Cervical cancer was, after all, a mainstay of the abstinence-only
miseducation textbooks. A vaccine, said the Family Research Council's Tony
Perkins, "sends the wrong message." The far-right message was that losing
your virginity could give you cancer.


Schwarzenegger Gives $150M Stem Cell Loan

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jul. 21, 2006

(AP) A day after President Bush vetoed expanded federal funding of embryonic
stem cell research, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday authorized a $150
million loan to fund California's stem cell institute, which has been
stalled by lawsuits.

Schwarzenegger, a Republican who has been trying to put distance between
himself and the unpopular president as he seeks re-election this year, said
the state cannot afford to wait to fund the critical science associated with
stem cells.

"I remain committed to advancing stem cell research in California, in the
promise it holds for millions of our citizens who suffer from chronic
diseases and injuries that could be helped as a result of stem cell
research," Schwarzenegger said in a letter to his finance director.

The state's voters created the California Institute for Regenerative
Medicine in 2004 when they passed a ballot measure that authorized $3
billion over 10 years for stem cell research.


Forwarded from Paul Harris:

Print them out, carry them around in your pocket, and the next time someone
begins quoting from a Republican talking points memo, take the list out and

1. What are the Top Seven best things that the Bush Administration has done?
2. Is the Iraq War going well?
3. After three years thus far, when do you think Iraq might be able to
"stand up" so that America can "stand down"?
4. For his part in the event, how would you rate the job the President did
protecting New Orleans from devastation?
5. How do you think the rebuilding of New Orleans is going?
6. When Dick Cheney and the oil company and energy executives met in private
to plan America's energy policy, how much of their goal was to benefit
7. Do you believe in the President's call for an Era of Personal
8. Since Republicans control the White House, Senate and House of
Representatives, how personally responsible are they for conditions in
America today?
9. Why do you think they haven't been able to find anyone who can verify
that George Bush ever showed up for National Guard duty in Alabama?
10. Would you want Donald Rumsfeld to plan your daughter's wedding?
[Please contact us at if you would like the remaining 40 questions on the list)

GLBT NEWS DIGEST July 21, 2006


Why we're losing gay marriage cases

July 20, 2006

Washington Blade

It's truly the dog days of summer in the battle for marriage equality. This
month alone, judges in six states - New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut,
Georgia, Nebraska and Tennessee - have ruled against lawsuits brought by gay
marriage supporters.

The worst defeat was in New York, where the state's highest court decided it
was constitutional to exclude gay couples from marrying because there are
rational reasons other than disapproval of gay relationships for doing so.

The justification cited by the court was protecting the welfare of children,
who Judge Robert S. Smith said would best be served by a mother and a
father. He acknowledged no research support for that conclusion, but argued
"intuition" was enough.


Its like theyre allergic to the truth: Focus on the Family answers Soulforce
criticism by taking more research out of context

"It's like they're allergic to the truth:" Focus on the Family answers
Soulforce criticism by taking more research out of context

Day three of march continues from Colorado state capitol to Focus on the
Family headquarters

For Immediate Release
Contact: Richard Lindsay, Interim Media Director
Cell: 646-258-7193

DENVER, CO - Responding to comments from NYU sociologist Dr. Judith Stacey
that Focus on the Family had twisted her research about the children of
same-sex parents to justify anti-gay discrimination, Focus on the Family
twisted the conclusions of another researcher. In an Associated Press report
published on Tuesday in newspapers across the nation, Focus on the Family
spokesperson and Bush administration advisor Glenn T. Stanton cited an
article by Mary Parke from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
which he said shows that children need a mother and a father.



Violence in Israel Caused by 'Gay' Event?
By Alex Traiman
Wednesday 07.19.06

Rabbis link troubles to approval of World Pride parade in Jerusalem

BEIT EL, Israel - Are Israel's troubles in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon and
the Hezbollah rockets slamming daily into major Israeli population centers
here a result of the Jewish state's tacit support for a homosexual parade
slated for next month in Jerusalem?

Some rabbis seem to think so, and they are attempting to block the event
from taking place in Judaism's holiest city.

"Why does this war break out this week, all of sudden with little warning?
Because this is the exact week the Jewish people are trying to decide
whether the gay pride parade should take place in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv,"
Pinchas Winston, a noted author, rabbi and lecturer based in Jerusalem told


Fox News correspondent Cameron falsely suggested
that polls show most Americans support amending U.S. Constitutionto ban
same-sex marriage

Media Matters for America, DC, July 19, 2006

Cameron falsely suggested that polls show most Americans support amending
U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage

Summary: On Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Carl Cameron falsely
suggested that public opinion polls show that most Americans support
amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. While some recent
polls indicate that a majority of Americans believe same-sex marriage should
be illegal, most polls that directly addressed a federal constitutional
amendment show that a plurality or even a majority of Americans oppose it.

On the July 18 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Fox News
chief political correspondent Carl Cameron falsely suggested that public
opinion polls show that most Americans support amending the U.S.
Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.



Gay police in anti-religion probe

The Gay Police Association (GPA) is being investigated after it claimed a
rise in homophobic attacks was due to religious belief.

An advert, showing a Bible next to a pool of blood under the heading "in
the name of the father", appeared in a national newspaper's supplement.

Scotland Yard said the inquiry "centres on whether the advert
constitutes a faith crime."


Judge Rules N.C. Anti-Cohabitation Law Unconstitutional

POSTED: 12:47 pm EDT July 20, 2006

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A state judge has ruled that North Carolina's 201-year-old
law barring unmarried couples from living together is unconstitutional.

A lawsuit challenging the law was brought last year by the state chapter of
the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a former Pender County
sheriff's dispatcher. Deborah Hobbs, who had been living with her boyfriend,
quit her job in 2004 after Sheriff Carson Smith demanded she marry her
boyfriend or move out if she wanted to work for him.

State Superior Court Judge Benjamin Alford issued the ruling late Wednesday,
saying the law violated Hobbs' constitutional right to liberty. He cited the
2003 U.S. Supreme Court case titled Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down a
Texas sodomy law.

"The Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas stands for the proposition
that the government has no business regulating relationships between two
consenting adults in the privacy of their own home," Jennifer Rudinger,
executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina, said in a statement.


Riga - 22 July 2006

The Administrative Court of Latvia has today upheld the decision of Riga
City Council to refuse a permit for the Riga Gay Pride march this Saturday
23 July.

"The court is believed to have made its decision based on threats against
Riga Pride and on 'security grounds,'" said UK gay campaigner Peter Tatchell
who was in the Riga court to hear the judgement.

"The court refused to disclose the nature of the threats against Riga Gay
Pride or who made these threats. The judges declared the nature of the
threats to be a "state secret" which must remain classified for five years.

[Please contact us at if you would like the full article]

A Lesbian Mother's Case Tests Chile's View of Human Rights

SANTIAGO, Chile, July 17 - As a young judge, inspired by the democratic glow
that followed the ouster of Gen. Augusto Pinochet and his dictatorship in
1990, Karen Atala had an unwavering faith in justice and the rule of law.
But that was all before Chile's Supreme Court stripped her of custody of her
three daughters two years ago because she had publicly identified herself as
a lesbian.

Now Judge Atala, 42, has become a symbol of what she and homosexual groups
that have emerged here in recent years, at first tentatively but now with
growing assertiveness, describe as a different kind of human rights


South Africa's Constitutional Court To Rule On Gay Estates
by Newscenter Staff
July 20, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(Pretoria) If one partner dies without leaving a will what happens to the
estate. It is a problem faced by same-sex couples wherever same-sex marriage
is not yet legal, and one which will be tackled next month by South Africa's
Constitutional Court.

The case involves a man whose partner's parents have fought him through the
courts challenging his claim to the estate.

Mark Gory and Henry Brooks met in 2003 and soon began a relationship. The
following year they purchased a house and moved in together. But, the house
and most of the couple's other joint possessions were in Brooks' name.

July 21, 2006

Same - Sex Marriage Pioneers Separate
Filed at 1:36 a.m. ET

BOSTON (AP) -- The lesbian couple whose lawsuit led to legal same-sex
marriage in Massachusetts have announced they have separated.

''Julie and Hillary Goodridge are amicably living apart,'' Mary Breslauer, a
local political consultant, said Thursday night on their behalf. Breslauer
declined to comment on how long they had been separated or whether the
couple planned to divorce.

The Goodridges were among seven gay couples whose lawsuit helped thrust
Massachusetts into the center of a nationwide debate on gay marriage. The
state's Supreme Judicial Court issued its narrow 4-3 ruling in November 2003
in their favor -- saying gays and lesbians had a right under the state
constitution to wed.


July 21, 2006

Lawyers Debate 'Gay Panic' Defense
Filed at 2:00 a.m. ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Prosecutors said Thursday they want to limit the use
of ''gay panic'' defenses -- where defendants claim their crimes were
justified because of fear or anger over their victims' sexual orientation.

''The suggestion that criminal conduct is mitigated by bias or prejudice is
inappropriate,'' said San Francisco District Attorney
Kamala Harris, who organized a two-day national conference on the issue.
''We can't outlaw it, but we can combat it.''

Lawmakers in California and New York are considering bills to deter the
common courtroom strategy of making a victim's sexual orientation central to
a criminal defense.

Both measures would require judges to remind jurors that bias toward the
victim cannot influence their deliberations.