Saturday, July 29, 2006


A true champion for the LGBT community is running for for Broward County School Board and she needs our help.

Jennifer Gottlieb has stood with our community for years. She has been with us in Tallahassee in our campaign to pass a safe schools law that protects LGBT students. As the public policy director at the Broward Teachers union Jennifer was a tremendous ally. And she was by our side when extremists tried to ban the “We Are Family” diversity training video in Broward last year. You may also know Jennifer’s husband, State Representative Ken Gottlieb, who has been the lead sponsor of our safe schools bill in Florida every year it has been introduced.

Jennifer’s opponent, Darla Carter, has been an outspoken critic GLSEN (the gay, lesbian, straight education network) and has opposed many other support programs for our students.

Your support in the campaign will matter! Jennifer is running a great campaign – she has picked up many important endorsements and has raised more money than her opponent. But unseating an incumbent in a countywide race takes money. Jennifer needs our help to get her message out.

Please join us and Jennifer on Sunday, August 13th, at 5:00 at Storks on Las Olas, Ft. Lauderdale. She has been there for our community over and over again – now we need to be there for her.

We hope to see you on Sunday, the 13th at Storks on Las Olas!

Ray Rideout and Michael Cooper

FLORIDA DIGEST July 29, 2006


Attorney general race shows opposits attack
Skip Campbell and Bill McCollum are lawyers. Besides that, it's easy to tell them apart as they vie for attorney general.


Broward trial lawyer Walter ''Skip'' Campbell and Orlando area lobbyist Ira ''Bill'' McCollum, running for state attorney general, agree on this much:They both hate sexual predators.

But that's about all they agree on.

Campbell, a Democratic state senator, is a social liberal with aconservative streak. In the Legislature, he has supported the causes of thesocial-service community. He has also voted to restrict abortion anddeath-penalty appeals.

Republican McCollum is a conservative who served in Congress for 20 years.

He's most proud of his service on the Houseintelligence committee where, he says, he was ``at the forefront of unearthing the terrorist threat to this society and sounding the alarm.''


Panel says Gallagher may have violated ethics laws
Aaron Deslatte
News Journal capital bureau

TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Ethics Commission ruled Friday that Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Gallagher might have violated ethics laws byowning stock in two insurance companies he oversaw as the state's top insurance regulator.

But the commission threw out a range of other complaints alleging thestate's chief financial officer had misused his office by trading stocksonline while at work, as well as buying stocks in companies that did business with agencies that answer to the Cabinet on which he sits.

Gallagher's campaign called the ruling a victory.

"I'm pleased that the commission's investigation confirmed what I have said all along -- that I never misused my office and that I never gavepreferential treatment to any company," Gallagher, campaigning Friday in theFort Myers and Tampa areas, said in a statement.


Jeb High Executioner

Palm Beach Post Editorial
Saturday, July 29, 2006

How deep is Gov. Bush's capacity for revenge? Deep enough that the governor,who wants to bring Latinos into the Republican Party, would try to oust fromthe Legislature the man who not long ago stood to become the first Cuban-American president of the Florida Senate.

Unfortunately for Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, this year he crossed thegovernor on the class-size amendment and vouchers for private schools. He was correct on both. But when he cast the vote that kept repeal of theclass-size amendment off the November ballot, and then did not provide what would have been the deciding vote on another amendment to nullify the
Florida Supreme Court decision outlawing vouchers for religious schools,Sen. Villalobos lost his leadership position. A campaign that began lastyear to deny him the presidency picked up steam. Now, because the class-sizeand voucher issues were Gov. Bush's priorities, Sen. Villalobos also is in danger of losing his seat.


At Forum, Commission Candidates Asked About Gay Rights

Published: Jul 29, 2006

TAMPA - Hillsborough County Commission District 3 candidates stated their positions on gay and lesbian rights this week, with most saying there are more important issues.

"I'm not going to be sidetracked," said Democrat Chloe Coney, one of five candidates for the seat being vacated by term-limited Thomas Scott. "If we mgo and poll our community, [gay rights] would not be our top issue. We need to stay focused on what the community needs."

At the Tampa Heights Civic Association's candidate forum Thursday night, Coney said bigger issues include affordable housing and the county's growth.

Coney faces Kevin White and Dorothy "Nicolle" Admire in the Sept. 5 Democratic primary. The other candidates are Republican Ken Anthony and John Michael Craig, who has no party affiliation.


Record bond plan for Broward schools falls short on support
The $749 million loan would be largest in county history.

By Buddy Nevins
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

July 29, 2006

A majority of School Board members said Friday they were not ready to ask voters to approve the biggest government loan program in Broward County's history -- the sale of $749 million in bonds for new classrooms and other improvements.

"It's dead. We need to bury it," said board member Marty Rubinstein.

Five of nine board members reached by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel said after studying the plan released this week, they would not support it when it comes up for a vote Wednesday.

Two members decided the plan was too expensive for taxpayers when added to other government requests for taxes this year. Two others said taxpayers had not had a chance to comment on the proposal and it should not be passed without public hearings.


For More Information Phone (954) 564-9232

Congregation Etz Chaim holds prospective members open house August 27.

Congregation Etz Chaim, a Reform Synagogue for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Jews and their friends, is having an open house for prospectivemembers on Sunday, August 27, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Synagogue: 1881 N.E.26 Street in Wilton Manors. Rabbi Harold F. Caminker, DD will meetinformally with attendees, as will Cantorial Soloist Michael Greenspan and
Education Director Dr. Murray Lichtenstein. Guests will be able to learnmore about the upcoming High Holy Days services, the weekly Shabbat service,social and educational activities. Refreshments will be served. Etz Chaim is a welcoming and diverse congregation with members from all branches of Judaism including many interfaith couples, GLBT families and heterosexual

All are welcome!



Democrats Criticize Bolton as Ineffective
At Hearing on Extending His Term,
Republicans Defend U.N. Ambassador

By Charles Babington
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 28, 2006; A05

Senate Democrats unleashed a sharp volley of criticism of President Bush'sforeign policy yesterday, arguing that John R. Bolton has done more harmthan good as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and does not deserve anextended term. If Bolton's style were less divisive, they said, he mighthave achieved more reforms at the United Nations and tougher sanctions against Hezbollah and North Korea.

But Republicans defended Bolton and the administration and said it would beunwise to change ambassadors when the Middle East is in crisis and Iran andNorth Korea are threatening nuclear advances. Democrats said it was unclearwhether they would try to filibuster Bolton's nomination this fall, as they successfully did last year.


Al Franken Getting Celebrity Support

WASHINGTON, Jul. 28, 2006

(AP) The list of contributors to comedian Al Franken's political actioncommittee reads like a celebrity who's who: singer Barbra Streisand,writer-director Nora Ephron, actor-writer Larry David and actor Jimmy Smits.

Franken, who hosts a radio show on the liberal Air America Radio network, is considering challenging Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., in 2008. Franken movedhis show from New York City to Minneapolis earlier this year, fuelingspeculation of a possible bid.

His leadership PAC, Midwest Values PAC, raised $500,000, according to areview of campaign finance reports. Franken couldn't use the money for hisown race, but he can contribute to other candidates, engendering goodwill.

He has used the cash to contribute to national Democratic Party organizations, Minnesota Senate candidate Amy Klobuchar and House candidates Coleen Rowley, Tim Walz and Patty Wetterling,



Division of uncivil rights
By Derrick Z. Jackson | July 29, 2006

PRESIDENT BUSH bragged last week to the NAACP, ``I come from a familycommitted to civil rights." He said Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther KingJr. were part of America's ``second founding, the civil rights movement." Hetalked about his recent tour of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphiswith the prime minister of Japan. ``If you haven't been there, you ought to
go," he said.

Three days later, the Globe's Charlie Savage reported that Bush is guttingthe civil rights division of the Justice Department. Savage obtaineddocuments under the Freedom of Information act and found that just 19 of 45lawyers hired for the division's voting rights, employment litigation andappellate sections since 2003 have civil rights backgrounds and of the 19,Savage wrote that ``nine gained their experience either by defendingemployers against discrimination lawsuits or by fighting againstrace-conscious policies."


House Approves Minimum Wage Increase

WASHINGTON, Jul. 29, 2006

(AP) Republicans muscled the first minimum wage increase in a decade throughthe House early Saturday after pairing it with a cut in inheritance taxes onmultimillion-dollar estates.

Combining the two issues provoked protests from Democrats and was sure tocause problems in the Senate, where the minimum wage initiative was likelyto die at the hands of Democrats opposed to the costly estate tax cuts. TheSenate is expected to take up the legislation next week.

Still, GOP leaders saw combining the wage and tax issues as their bestchance for getting permanent cuts to the estate tax, a top GOP priorityfueled by intense lobbying by farmers, small business owners and super-wealthy families such as the Waltons, heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune.


Democrat who might have been vice president faces political abyss
By David Espo, AP Special Correspondent | July 29, 2006

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. --Anti-war Democrats bailed in droves. Teachers unionsleft over vouchers. Men are drawn to his challenger, and women aren't allthat crazy about the incumbent, either.

Once, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut seemed on the brink of the vicepresidency, a principled moderate in a party that didn't always warm tothem. Now, hewing to his support for the war in Iraq, he confronts apolitical abyss, abandoned by all groups but the poorer, older and less
educated Democrats in his state.

"The last three times I voted for him, but I will never vote for him again,"Cheryl Curtiss of West Hartford, Conn., said recently of Lieberman as shewaited for primary challenger Ned Lamont to speak at a campaign fundraiser.

"The war is the big piece," said Curtiss, 52. "I don't think it can beminimized. All of our tax dollars are going there. It's killing Americans. It's killing Iraqis. We went there on lies."


The New York Times

July 29, 2006

The Court Under Siege

One big thing we've learned from watching President Bush's assault on thebalance of powers is that the federal courts are the only line of defense.Congress not only lacks the spine to stand up to Mr. Bush, but is usuallyeager to accommodate him.

So it is especially frightening to see the administration use the debatesover the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay and domestic spying to mount a newoffensive against the courts.

Wiretapping: This campaign is most evident in the debate over Mr. Bush'sdecision to authorize the interception of Americans' international phonecalls and e-mail.

Mr. Bush and his legal advisers claim the president is free to ignore the1978 law requiring warrants for such wiretaps, as well as the Constitution,because the eternal war with Al Qaeda gives him commander-in-chiefsuperpowers. But the administration knows the Supreme Court is unlikely toendorse this nonsense. So it has agreed with the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter, on a bill that is a mockery of judicialprocess.


The New York Times

July 29, 2006

A Right Way to Help Israel

There is a difference between justified and smart. Israel's airstrikesagainst Hezbollah targets are legitimate so long as Hezbollah wages waragainst Israel and operates outside the control of the Lebanese government.But the air campaign is now doing Israel more harm than good.

A better answer to the Hezbollah problem would be an immediate cease-fire,paving the way for an international force to patrol Lebanon's southernborder. That is what Britain's prime minister, Tony Blair, was pushing forin Washington yesterday, and there were signs that President Bush may befinally coming around.


The New York Times

July 29, 2006

Guest Columnist

When the Parents Can't Know

Spring Adams, a 13-year-old sixth grader from Idaho, was impregnated by herfather. On the morning she was to have an abortion, he came into her room and shot her.

This awful story, which was brought to the Senate floor this week by Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat, isn't the kind of thing that most parents,fortunately, can relate to. Most parents, surely, love their children andbelieve that if they learned that a daughter was pregnant and seeking an abortion, they'd treat her with kindness and concern.

Love - blinding, misguided love - I would like to believe, is the chief reason why so many mothers and fathers support parental notification lawsfor girls seeking abortions and did not rise up and cry foul this week whena shockingly cruel and girl-hating piece of legislation passed in the


The New York Times

July 29, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

Fetch, Heel, Stall

Oops, they did it again. That pesky microphone problem that plagued GeorgeW. Bush and Tony Blair in St. Petersburg struck again at their White Housenews conference yesterday. The president told technicians to make sure hisreal thoughts would not be overheard this time, but somehow someone forgotto turn off the feed to my office. As a public service, I'd like to reprint
the candid under-their-breath mutterings they exchanged in between their public utterances.

THE PRESIDENT: "The prime minister and I have committed our governments to a plan to make every effort to achieve a lasting peace out of this crisis."

"Actually, we talked about our plan to keep using fancy phrases like'lasting peace' and 'sustainable cease-fire,' so we don't actually have tocease the fire. Condi had a great one! Didya hear it, Tony? She said, 'The fields of the Middle East are littered with broken cease-fires.' Man, can she talk, and she plays piano, too!"


The New York Times

July 29, 2006

Iranian President Bans Usage of Foreign Words
Filed at 9:31 a.m. ET

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has orderedgovernment and cultural bodies to use modified Persian words to replaceforeign words that have crept into the language, such as ''pizzas'' whichwill now be known as ''elastic loaves,'' state media reported Saturday.

The presidential decree, issued earlier this week, orders all governmentalagencies, newspapers and publications to use words deemed more appropriateby the official language watchdog, the Farhangestan Zaban e Farsi, orPersian Academy, the Irna official news agency reported.

The academy has introduced more than 2,000 words as alternatives for some ofthe foreign words that have become commonly used in Iran, mostly fromWestern languages. The government is less sensitive about Arabic words,because the Quran is written in Arabic.

Among other changes, a ''chat'' will become a ''short talk'' and a ''cabin'' will be renamed a ''small room,'' according to official Web site of the academy.


The Miami Herald
Posted on Sat, Jul. 29, 2006

There are limits to presidential power

Below are excerpts from a report by the American Bar Association's TaskForce on Presidential Signing Statements and the Separation of PowersDoctrine, chaired by Miami attorney Neal R. Sonnett. The report was issued on Monday and is available at

From the inception of the Republic until 2000, presidents produced signingstatements containing fewer than 600 challenges to the bills they signed. Inhis one-and-a-half terms so far, President Bush has produced more than 800. Perhaps the most prominent signing statements which conveyed refusals to carry out laws involved:

. Congressional requirements to report back to Congress on the use of
Patriot Act authority to secretly search homes and seize private papers;

. The McCain amendment forbidding any U.S. officials to use torture or
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on prisoners. . . .

More ....


Some Foreign Made Paints Pose High Risk
by The Associated Press

Some paints in Malaysia, China and India contain dangerously high levels of lead, as much as 300 times the legal limit in the United States, presentinga health risk to children, researchers said Friday.

With safer substitutes readily available, researchers from the University ofCincinnati in the state of Ohio called for better regulation of, or aworldwide ban on the sale of lead-based paints.

"There is a clear discrepancy in product safety outside the United States,"said professor Scott Clark who led the study published in the Septemberissue of Environmental Research, a peer-reviewed journal.

"In today's global economy, it would be irresponsible for us to ignore thepublic health threat for the citizens in the offending countries - as wellas the countries they do business with."


New York Court rules sexually explicit e-mails are legal without pics

BY ANN GIVENS, Newsday Staff Writer, July 27, 2006, 9:11 PM EDT

One of the strongest tools local law enforcement officials use to prosecute
pedophiles was snatched away from them this week when a state appeals court
ruled that sending children sexually explicit e-mails is only illegal if the
e-mails include photographs.

The decision by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, Second
Department, hung on the meaning of the word "depict." Jeffrey Koslow, a
Manhattan lawyer who was convicted last year of attempted disseminating
indecent material to a minor, appealed his case saying that his e-mails did
not "depict" sexual conduct because they contained only words, not pictures

GLBT DIGEST July 29, 2006


Transgender politician quietly makes waves in central Missouri
She's one of two openly transgender officeholders in country

CENTRALIA, Mo. (AP) | Jul 28, 1:08 PM

Politicians looking to launch high-profile careers awash in the cable newsklieg lights and the Sunday network gabfests should avoid this town's Boardof Aldermen.

Jessica Orsini didn't give up when she lost a 2004 election to a write-incandidate. Last April she was elected to the Centralia Board of Aldermanwithout opposition. (Photo by AP)

Around here, the agenda is more likely to involve street closings, stopsigns or a stern warning to go easy on the City Hall copier.The nuts and bolts of small-town government are hardly the stuff of headlines - which is exactly what Jessica Orsini prefers.


Rev. Dozier speaks out on gays, Islam
Preacher who called Koran 'evil' has also been leader in anti-gay marriage

Jul. 29, 2006

Rev. O'Neal Dozier, pastor of the Worldwide Christian Center in PompanoBeach, made national headlines recently when he publicly opposed therelocation of a mosque in his neighborhood. On a local radio show, Dozierdescribed Islam as a "cult" and a "dangerous religion" and the Koran as

The comments led to Dozier's removal from a state panel that recommendsjudicialappointments. Gov. Jeb Bush had appointed Dozier to the panel, andhis office sought to distance itself from the preacher after his anti-Muslim remarks.

But the mainstream coverage of Dozier paid little attention to the key rolehe has played in efforts to pass an anti-gay marriage amendment in Florida.

When the group launched its anti-gay marriagepetition drive in
February 2005, he spoke at a news conference in Orlandosupporting the effort to ban gay
marriage, as a bride and groom stood behind him as props.


Express Gay News

Medical Report
Gates Foundation gives $287 million for AIDS vaccine research
Jul. 29, 2006

SEATTLE (AP) - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced July 19 it'sawarding $287 million in grants over five years to create an internationalnetwork of scientists to speed up the development of an AIDS vaccine. Thecollaboration is critical to making HIV vaccine development more efficient,said the Gates Foundation's Dr. Nicholas Hellmann. "Unfortunately,
developing an effective HIV vaccine has proven to be tremendously difficult,and despite the committed efforts of many researchers around the world,progress simply has not been fast enough." Hellmann acknowledged that aneffective vaccine may still be 10 years away.

Each of 165 investigators in 19 countries to receive money agreed to sharefindings in real time and compare results - even if projects had beencompetitive in the past. Mitchell Warren, of the AIDS Vaccine AdvocacyCoalition, complimented the Gates Foundation on the approach but warnedagainst assuming the money is enough.


Latvian president defends gays and lesbians

Riga, July 28, Interfax - Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga has comeout in defense of sex minorities and called her fellow-citizens to showtolerance towards gays as one of the most important European values.

In an interview to the Austrian Die Presse published in part by the LativanChas on Friday, Vike-Freiberga said that at the time planned for a gayparade that never took place in Riga there were actions staged by somereligious circles and 'one Russian sect' who 'believe the non-traditionalorientation to be a sin and protest against advertising such way of life and relations'.

'I reminded our fellow-citizens that according to the Latvian Constitution,church is separated from state. The freedom of religion is certainlyimportant but it remains a private affair of each person', the Latvian president noted.


Above is a link to the clip of Hardball for those who could not open or find it.
Everyone should write to MSNBC about this.

On MSNBC, Coulter called Gore a "total fag," while Matthews said "we'd love
to have her back"

Summary: Chris Matthews asked pundit Ann Coulter, "How do you know that Bill Clinton is gay?" -- referring to her comment the night before on CNBC's The Big Idea that Clinton "show[s] some level of latent homosexuality." Coulter responded, "I don't know if he's gay. But Al Gore -- total fag." In concluding the interview, Matthews said of Coulter, "We'd love to have her back."

On the July 27 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews asked right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, "How do you know that [former President] Bill Clinton is gay?" -- referring to her comment the night before on CNBC's The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch that Clinton "show[s] some level of latent homosexuality." Coulter responded, "I don't know if he's gay. But [former
Vice President] Al Gore -- total fag." She went on to defend her theory about Clinton's sexuality by stating that "everyone has always known, widely promiscuous heterosexual men have, as I say, a whiff of the bathhouse about them." Coulter claimed she was "just kidding" about Gore, but said of her theory about Clinton, "It's not only not a joke, it's not even surprising."


Lesbian marriage - Judge decides Monday
High Court to rule on validity of same-sex marriage
British lesbians married in Canada want legal recognition in the UK

High Court, London, Monday 31 July 2006, 9.30am

London - 28 July 2006

The High Court in London will rule this Monday (31 July) whether aBritish lesbian couple lawfully married in Canada should have theirmarriage recognised in the UK.

"This case is a historic challenge to the UK's non-recognition ofsame-sex marriage. If Wilkinson and Kitzinger win in the High Court,it will pave the way for further legal action to strike down the banon lesbian and gay marriages in Britain," said Peter Tatchell of thegay human rights group OutRage!, which has backed the couple's testcase from the outset.


UK - Gay men earn less and are more likely to be jobless, survey shows

Angela Balakrishnan and Elizabeth Bauer
Friday July 28, 2006
The Guardian,,1831989,00.html

Gay men face considerably lower wages than their heterosexual colleagues andare less likely to be in work, despite the introduction of a law to preventdiscrimination against sexual orientation in the workplace more than two anda half years ago, a report says today.

Men in same-sex relationships were paid 6% less than their heterosexualcounterparts and were 3% less likely to be employed, according to an articlein the Centre for Economic Performance's CentrePiece magazine.

However, lesbian women in couples were paid about 11% more than heterosexualequivalents and were 12% more likely to be in work, partly down to childcare commitments heterosexual women might have, the report said.


Utah Polygamy Ban Challenged

SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 27, 2004

(AP) When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas' law against sodomy lastyear, at least one justice foresaw the likes of Brian Barnard.

Justice Antonin Scalia warned that the ruling would unleash a wave ofchallenges to state laws against "bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest,prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, andobscenity."

Sure enough, Barnard, a civil rights attorney, has brought a lawsuitchallenging Utah's ban on polygamy. And some legal experts say the casecould have a fighting chance because of the Supreme Court's gay-sex ruling.


Lithuania: Klaipeda authorities ban gay parade planned to coincide with the
city's anniversary

Vilnius, July 28, Interfax/BNS - Klaipeda mayor refused to issue permissionfor a march of sex minorities through the city during the celebrations tomark another anniversary of this port city.

Klaipeda is to celebrate its 754th anniversary on August 1. To mark thisoccasion,representatives of sex minorities requested Mayor RimantasTaraskevicius to permit a march of sex minorities through the city.

The initiators of the march, members of the League for Equal Opportunities,suggested that their event would underscore the historical and culturalidentity of the city and foster the public spirit of the Klaipeda people.

The mayor's office however, having considered the request, refused to issuea permission, Jolanta Braukyliene, press secretary of the Klaipedaself-government, informed the BNS agency. She said the mayor's officerefused the permission because of the failure of the request to indicate theaim of the march, its time and venue, its route and number of participants.


CZ Republic: First 49 same-sex couples register as partners

Prauge Daily Monitor;story=First-49-same-sex-couples-register-as-partners

Prague, July 27 (CTK) - The first 49 same-sex couples had their partnershipsofficially recognized in July, the first month after the law on registeredpartnerships took effect in the Czech Republic, the daily Pravo reportedThursday.

"I´m surprised by this number, which seems high to me, since one week beforeJuly 1 the registry offices had not yet had enough information on how toproceed," Gay and Lesbian League spokesman Martin Strachon told the paper.

Men prevailed among the first same-sex couples. Nine couples were registeredin Prague, and eight in Ostrava, north Moravia, and Usti nad Labem, north Bohemia.


ACLU and Lambda Legal Urge Federal Appeals Court to Reconsider Ruling
Upholding Nebraska's Extreme Anti-Gay Family Law (7/28/2006)


July 28, 2006

ST LOUIS - The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal today asked afederal appeals court to reconsider its July 14th ruling upholding anextreme Nebraska law that bans all protections for same- sex couples.

"The federal appeals court panel that decided this case just ignored theU.S. Supreme Court, which has ruled that states can't pass laws just todiscriminate against gay people," said Matt Coles, Director of the ACLU'sLesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project. "We are hopeful that the courtwill recognize this decision simply can't be squared with Constitutional guarantees of equality."

The motion for rehearing comes after a three-member panel of the FederalCourt of Appeals for the 8th Circuit reversed a district court rulingstriking down Nebraska's extreme anti-gay family law.


Volume 5, Number 30 | July 27 - August 2, 2006

Debating Iran

Is there a battle over Iran? In Washington and London, yes. Nations with immense military machines at their disposal argue the merits of peace and war.

So why do the differences of a few lesbian and gay activists in New Yorkmatter? Because lesbian and gay Iranians are not abstractions, shelteredfrom politics-or missiles. Their lives should not be reduced to the agendasof well-meaning strangers in the West.

For eight months, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has researched a report on abusesbased on sexual orientation and gender identity in Iran, interviewing dozensin Iran and the diaspora, trying to separate fact from rhetoric and rumor.As a prominent Iranian dissident said last week, "We need cases!"-documentation, not speculation.


Gay for Boycott on Waffle House

No waffling on Reed (Gay)
Anti-gay leader's bid aided by Waffle House

Friday, July 28, 2006

A GEORGIA STATE SENATOR who wanted to help his friend Ralph Reed win the GOP lieutenant governor primary this month may have put the embattled politicianin more hot water with ethics investigators.

Georgia state Sen. Dan Balfour (R-Snellville), is also a vice president ofWaffle House Inc., and in that capacity he sent a July 7 internal companymemo to nearly 400 Waffle House locations in the state instructingrestaurant employees to display a Ralph Reed campaign sign. The memo barscampaign displays from any other candidate in any other political race.

"Waffle House Inc. has given Ralph Reed permission to put a yard sign atevery Waffle House in the state of Georgia," Balfour wrote.


Mending court fences


By Terence P. Jeffrey
Published July 28, 2006

Rep. John Hostettler, Indiana Republican, is a mechanical engineer, who made it his mission to serve among the lawyers on the House Judiciary Committee. Before he came to Congress, he worked on maximizing the efficiency of coal-burning power plants.

But listening to Dr. D. James Kennedy's radio show on his homewardcommute inspired him to start studying the facts behind constitutionalcontroversies. He soon discovered our national charter was itself anexquisite mechanism, calibrated by its Framers to maintain a working balancebetween the branches of government.

Unfortunately, some of its parts had grown rusty from lack of use, allowingfederal courts to usurp authority from Congress and the states. Mr. Hostettler ran for Congress in 1994, intending to do somethingabout that. He was elected. Eventually, he secured a seat on the Judiciary Committee.


Boston mayor joins ad campaign for same-sex marriage

The Advocate

July 28, 2006
Boston's mayor, Democrat Thomas Menino, is joining a growing cadre ofinfluential leaders taking part in an advertising campaign promotingsame-sex marriage.

The campaign, which will run in 50 newspapers across the country, isspearheaded by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Gay and LesbianAlliance Against Defamation, and the Freedom to Marry group.The campaign will feature five pictures of committed gay couples.

Menino's participation includes an endorsement and recognition of thecampaign. Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and San Francisco mayorGavin Newsom are also lending their names to the campaign, as are sixadditional mayors and 11 religious leaders.


Opposition Research: Bauer State Marriage Victories No Guarantee the Battle Is Won

2006-07-27 -- WDC Media

(via AgapePress) - New York ... Nebraska ... Georgia ...

Connecticut ... and now Washington. Defenders of traditional marriage havecelebrated several court victories of late as state courts have ruled thatexisting statutes -- enacted via legislation or voter initiative -- areconstitutional. Marriage traditionalists, however, are cautioning that the
battle to preserve marriage is not over.

A homosexual lawmaker from Seattle told Associated Press there were "a lotof tears and anger" in the homosexual community after the Washington stateSupreme Court upheld that state's Defense of Marriage Act this week. Ed Murray says he could not describe "how hurt people in the gay and lesbiancommunity are." But Josh Friedes of Equal Rights Washington said his group
is not giving up the fight.


The current issue of The Express Gay News is online


S.C. Episcopal bishop who opposed gay clergy retiring

Another conservative will replace him
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) | Jul 28, 6:56 PM

Bishop Edward L. Salmon Jr. of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, avocal opponent of ordination of gay clergy, is retiring and three clergymenhave been nominated to replace him, the church said Friday.

Salmon, who turns 72 in January, was elected bishop in 1989. The diocese iscomprised of 75 parishes in the lower and eastern part of South Carolina.

Last month, the diocese and two others opposing consecrating gay bishopsvoted to reject the authority of the national church's presiding bishop, butstopped short of a full break with the church.

Friday, July 28, 2006

FLORIDA DIGEST July 28, 2006


2 attorney general candidates debate Schiavo case
'Skip' Campbell and Bill McCollum differ on Jeb Bush's role, with a slight
shift by McCollum.

Christopher Sherman
Sentinel Staff Writer

July 28, 2006

The leading Democratic contender to be the state's next attorney generalaccused Republican Bill McCollum of changing his position on the polarizingTerri Schiavo case after a debate in Orlando on Thursday.State Sen. Walter "Skip" Campbell's campaign said the former Central Florida
congressman was repositioning himself for the general election since thelast of his competitors for the Republican nomination dropped out last week.McCollum's explanation of his position Thursday seemed to straddle theissue, illustrating what a touchy subject it remains for Republicans tryingo maintain a conservative base yet not take a position polls show most
Floridians disagree with.


Poll: Harris leads GOP rivals but trails far behind Nelson

The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE - U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris of Sarasota holds a double-digitlead in her bid to win the Republican Senate nomination in September, butshe trails incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Melbourne by 37 points in ageneral election matchup, a new poll shows.Nelson, who is completing his first Senate term, was favored by 61 percent,while Harris had 24 percent and 11 percent were undecided in the surveyreleased Thursday by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.''It would be hard to come up with a reasonable scenario in which Sen.Nelson has anything to worry about,'' Quinnipiac's Peter Brown said.The results were similar to a Mason -Dixon poll announced Wednesday thatshowed Nelson with 57 percent and Harris with 29 percent.



Crist's populist theme charms state's voters
John Kennedy
Tallahassee Bureau Chief

July 28, 2006

TAMPA -- Charlie Crist had been dodging summer thunderstorms as his campaignplane passed over Tampa Bay, but the clouds parted by the time he stoodbefore a friendly crowd at a landmark restaurant.But then, it's almost always sunny in Crist's political world."It's great what's happening in our state," Crist tells 200 supportersgathered for breakfast at La Teresita Restaurant on Tampa's working-classwest side. "You know, Ronald Reagan used to talk about America being theshining city on the hill. He's right. But if that's true, then Florida isthe shining state on the mountaintop."Crist, Florida's attorney general and Republican front-runner in the racefor governor, is packaging himself as a feel-good optimist who easily evokesthe names and imagery of Reagan, former Florida U.S. Sen. Connie Mack andGov. Jeb Bush as he campaigns across the state.


Article published Jul 28, 2006
Jul 28, 2006

Nelson backs drilling bill after senators vow to protect it during talks with House

Sun Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - Sen. Bill Nelson said Thursday he would vote for legislationopening waters near Florida to offshore oil and gas drilling - disappointinghis environmental allies but not necessarily defeating them.The Florida Democrat made his decision after receiving written assurancesfrom the majority leader, Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee, and the Democratic leader, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, that they would protect the bill duringnegotiations with the House. Reid further promised to lead a filibuster ifthe measure returns altered.Given the gap between the House and Senate, these pledges to Nelson cloudthe prospect of a bill reaching President Bush's desk this year. The Senateis expected to pass its version of the bill next week.


July 28, 2006
Gov. Bush signs intangibles tax repeal into law

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE -- A tax on stocks, bonds and other intangible property thatGov. Jeb Bush repeatedly has labeled "insidious" will be repealed by a billhe signed into law Thursday. Only about 300,000 people, some of Florida's wealthiest citizens, will share in annual savings totaling more than $131 million. That's because exemptions have steadily increased since 1999. Just those individuals with more than $370,000 in taxable assets and couples with more than $620,000 still are required to pay the tax."The repeal of this tax eliminates a penalty on Floridians who takeresponsibility for their own retirement by saving and investing over a lifetime," Bush said in a statement. "It is a bad tax." The Republican-sponsored legislation won easy passage 100-20 in the House and 30-9 in the Senate.


Crist receives $225K from auto dealers

AutoNation and other car dealers have given substantial financial support to
Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist's gubernatorial campaign.


While the general election for the next governor of Florida is more thanthree months away, there's no doubt who car dealers and other businesses inthe auto industry want to succeed Jeb Bush.

Republican Charlie Crist, Florida's attorney general, has received 465contributions totaling about $225,000 from executives and companies in theautomotive industry. That's by far the most the industry has contributed toany candidate in the race.

Among the biggest contributors is Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation, thenation's largest auto retailer. About 115 AutoNation dealerships in 10states, as well as a handful of company executives, have given more than acombined $60,000 to Crist's campaign.


South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board

July 28, 2006

ISSUE: District considers borrowing millions for construction.

The Broward County School District has a problem. Actually three problems.It will take a lot of hard work and honest public service to overcome them.

The district needs money. That's the first problem. But the other two may beworse, because they'll impede the district's ability to solve the first one.

The School Board is considering whether to ask voters to approve a $749million bond issue to pay for school construction projects. But the timingcouldn't be worse. That's the second problem.

The loan would be paid back through substantial increases in property taxesover a 20-year period. But county residents are already overwhelmed byrising property taxes and insurance costs.


Governor hopefuls try to make religion an issue

By Anthony Man
Political writer

July 28, 2006

One of the last places a Democratic candidate for governor wants to beassociated with Christian conservatives is in the voter-rich liberal Jewishcondominiums of South Florida.

That's why Democrat Rod Smith hopes to draw attention away from hisson-in-law's appearance this spring before the Miami-based Christian FamilyCoalition by reminding voters that his opponent, Jim Davis, voted in favorof school prayer 10 years ago.

With five weeks before the Sept. 5 primary, the collision of religiousideologies and politics is being watched closely for its possible effects oncondo voters.



Voters unsure about Cabinet

About a third of Florida voters haven't settled on candidates for attorney general, chief financial officer or agriculture commissioner,a new Mason-Dixon poll found.


In a sign that Democrats have a shot at regaining a toehold in Tallahassee, a new poll says three candidates for the Florida Cabinet aren't far behind their Republican rivals.

The Democratic Party hasn't had one of its own in statewide office in the Capitol since former Attorney General Bob Butterworth stepped down in 2002. All four members of the Cabinet -- including the governor -- are Republicans.

But the climate may be more favorable for Democrats this year, with a fairly strong slate of candidates and two open seats up for grabs -- incumbents Charlie Crist, the attorney general, and Tom Gallagher, the chief financial officer, are running for governor.

On average, about one-third of Florida voters haven't made up their minds about the races for attorney general, chief financial officer and agriculture commissioner, according to the Mason-Dixon survey of 625 voters who say they vote regularly.



Bush Signs Child Predator Law

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2006

(AP) President Bush, joined by "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh,signed a new law Thursday that requires convicted child molesters to belisted on a national Internet database and face a felony charge for failingto update their whereabouts."Our nation grieves with every family that's suffered the unbearable pain ofa child whose been abducted or abused," Mr. Bush said in a bill-signingceremony in the Rose Garden. "This law takes an important step forward inthis country's efforts to protect those who cannot protect themselves."


Reynolds Fights Anti-Tobacco Initiatives
Associated Press Writer

2:21 PM PDT, July 27, 2006

RALEIGH, N.C. - In Arizona, they're called the Non-Smoker ProtectionCommittee. In Ohio, it's simply Smoke Less Ohio. Anti-smoking advocates? Hardly. Both are staunchly pro-tobacco and supported in part by North Carolina-basedcigarette maker Reynolds American Inc., which is working hard this year todefeat proposed smoking bans in those states, as well as ballot efforts to raise cigarette taxes in California and Missouri. The nation's second-largest cigarette maker plans to spend $40 million todefeat all four measures, enough that company officials have warned investors the campaigns will affect the company's earnings in the second-half of 2006.


House GOP Pressing Vote on Minimum Wage

WASHINGTON, Jul. 28, 2006

(AP) House Republican leaders, giving in to political reality, plan a voteto raise the $5.15 minimum wage before leaving Washington this weekend for afive-week recess."Whether people like it or not, we need to go ahead with it," said Rep. MikeCastle, R-Del., who supports the idea. "There's a general agreement amongRepublicans (opposing the raise) that "maybe we don't like it much, but weneed to move forward with it just for political reasons."The No. 3 House GOP leader, Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri, said theplan was to have a vote before week's end. But Majority Leader John Boehner,R-Ohio, said Republicans leaders were working to pass the increase but that"no decisions have been made."


The Miami Herald
Posted on Fri, Jul. 28, 2006

Ned Lamont a true Democrat


During much of the 20th century, Democratic Senate whips never hesitated to use the lash to ensure party discipline on crucial votes. Unfortunately, the current Democratic whip, Dick Durbin of Illinois, is no Captain Bligh.A prime example has been Durbin's failure to crack the whip on Sen. Joe Lieberman after the Connecticut Democrat's repeated votes supporting
President Bush's failed -- or failing -- policies in Iraq.As the Democratic whip, Durbin long ago should have demanded that Lieberman hew to the party line rather than creating even more fissures in a heavily fractured party.While intestinal fortitude is AWOL among the current Democratic leadership these days, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee showed a little spine by saying it would ''likely'' back the winner of the Aug. 8 Connecticut primary -- either Lieberman or his more progressive, Ned Lamont.


The New York Times

July 28, 2006

With $3 Gas, Detroit Pays for Its Past

Four years ago, when Detroit's designers and engineers were working on new vehicles for the middle of the decade, they had only to look out their windows to see what was selling: sport utility vehicles and big pickup trucks.And little wonder, given gasoline prices of $1.36 a gallon on average. It seemed an easy choice for Detroit to stick with these vehicles - which, with their big profit margins, had become its economic underpinning.But in Japan, where engineers and designers were pulling up to gas stations that sometimes charged four times as much for fuel, the answer was to focus on fuel-efficient vehicles.


The New York Times

July 28, 2006

For Hussein, a Long, Raucous Trial Ends in His Absence

BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 27 - The trial of Saddam Hussein and seven other former officials on charges of crimes against humanity ended after nine months on Thursday with closing arguments from the final two defendants. The chief judge, Raouf Abdel-Rahman, said he and four other judges would announce their verdict, which could carry the possibility of death by hanging for Mr. Hussein, on Oct. 16.The former Iraqi dictator and the seven others, mostly high-ranking officials of his Sunni Arab-led government and military apparatus, are charged with orchestrating the execution of 148 men and boys in the mostly Shiite village of Dujail in 1982.


The New York Times
July 28, 2006

Bush and Blair to Hold Talks Today

LONDON, July 27 - When Prime Minister Tony Blair visits Washington on Friday, he will find himself in a familiar position - a statesman abroad, and assailed at home as what his harshest critics call America's "poodle."Mr. Blair's journey will be his second in two months and his third direct encounter with President Bush in the same period, including an ill-starred conversation over an open microphone at the Group of 8 summit meeting in Russia. As in earlier crises since 9/11, Mr. Blair has stood resolutely with Mr. Bush on the current Middle East conflict, refusing to endorse calls in his own Parliament, in Europe and at the United Nations for an immediate
cease-fire.But his unequivocal support for the White House has left him open to growing
criticism. In an opinion survey in The Guardian on Tuesday, a majority of Britons polled said he should show more independence from the United States - mimicking the "Love Actually" moment from the movie of that name starring Hugh Grant as a British prime minister who breaks publicly with an American president.


Courageous Democrat, proven leader


The antiwar insurgency behind Ned Lamont's challenge to Joe Lieberman makes no sense on policy or political grounds and, if successful, would haunt theDemocratic Party for years to come.
Lieberman is a proven leader who stands with his party on core economic,health, education and environmental issues and brings vital federal funds toConnecticut.Lamont is a political novice who has already shifted positions on hissignature issue (the war in Iraq), voted against families as a localofficial in Greenwich, and, in that capacity, sided with Republicans 80percent of the time.


Gerald Eisman
July 26, 2006

In A Word - Bogeyman: Yes Virginia, there is such a thing. It's called the religious left.

Bogeyman: A terrifying specter; a hobgoblin.

Just when you think you have the moral high ground, up pops the most awful of specters, a ghost of unknown proportions, materialized to bring thebattle for moral high ground to those who felt they had the monopoly. Thereligious right, those wonderful people who decried gay marriage andabortion and vilified those cursed Democrats and Liberals as Godless, has come under a hail of brimstone of their own.Now it is they who are being attacked. Their enemy, the religious left.Bearing their own brand of a faith-based agenda, clergy from alldenominations are lobbying Congressmen and Senators, rallying for moderation and change and making their positions known to the public.


The Washington Post

A War of Her Own

By Eugene Robinson
Friday, July 28, 2006; A25

Lebanon has now become Condi's war.

You can argue whether legal title to the tragic mess in Iraq properly belongs to Rummy or Cheney or to the Decider himself, but as far as Lebanon is concerned, it's Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who has stepped front and center to handle the crisis and show the world who's boss.It was Rice who waited more than a week, giving Israel time to pound the daylights out of Lebanon, before finding time to visit Beirut and Tel Aviv and attend a crisis summit in Rome. It was Rice who spent her trip categorically ruling out a quick cease-fire, which made one wonder if she really needed to travel at all, since she could have just thumbed out a text
message: "2 soon 2 stop boom boom."


The Washington Post

Pander and Run
By Peter Beinart
Friday, July 28, 2006; A25

After years of struggling to define their own approach to post-Sept. 11 foreign policy, Democrats seem finally to have hit on one. It's called pandering. In those rare cases when George W. Bush shows genuine sensitivity to America's allies and propounds a broader, more enlightened view of the national interest, Democrats will make him pay. It's jingoism with a liberal face. The latest example came this week when Democratic senators and House members demanded that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki either retract his criticisms of Israel or forfeit his chance to address Congress. Great idea.


The Washington Post

Detainee Abuse Charges Feared
Shield Sought From '96 War Crimes Act

By R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 28, 2006; A01

An obscure law approved by a Republican-controlled Congress a decade ago has made the Bush administration nervous that officials and troops involved in handling detainee matters might be accused of committing war crimes, and prosecuted at some point in U.S. courts.Senior officials have responded by drafting legislation that would grant U.S. personnel involved in the terrorism fight new protections against prosecution for past violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996. That law criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions governing conduct in war and threatens the death penalty if U.S.-held detainees die in custody from abusive treatment.In light of a recent Supreme Court ruling that the international Conventions apply to the treatment of such detainees, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales has spoken privately with Republican lawmakers about the need for such "protections," according to someone who heard his remarks last week.


The New York Times

July 28, 2006
News Analysis

2 Steps Back: Rice's Careful Diplomacy Falters Under Renewed Assertiveness
by the U.S.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Friday, July 28 - For the past year, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has worked assiduously to resurrect the importance of traditional diplomacy and building consensus among world leaders after America's go-it-alone approach to Iraq.She has managed to hold together a fragile coalition of countries seeking to curb Iran's nuclear program by offering to end America's three-decade-long refusal to talk to Tehran if it suspends its uranium -enrichment program. And she has a similar coalition holding together on North Korea's nuclear efforts.But in the space of one hour in Rome on Wednesday, the public rewards of that hard work - the view around the world that the United States may now be more willing to play nice with others - may have been undone. Once again, it seemed, the United States had reverted to its my-way-or-the-highway approach, and Ms. Rice was on the defensive.


The New York Times

July 28, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

Reign of Error

Amid everything else that's going wrong in the world, here's one more piece of depressing news: a few days ago the Harris Poll reported that 50 percent of Americans now believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when we invaded, up from 36 percent in February 2005. Meanwhile, 64 percent still believe that Saddam had strong links with Al Qaeda.At one level, this shouldn't be all that surprising. The people now running America never accept inconvenient truths. Long after facts they don't like have been established, whether it's the absence of any wrongdoing by the Clintons in the Whitewater affair or the absence of W.M.D. in Iraq, the
propaganda machine that supports the current administration is still at work, seeking to flush those facts down the memory hole.But it's dismaying to realize that the machine remains so effective. Here's how the process works.


The New York Times
July 28, 2006

Chicago's Message

The anti-Wal-Mart movement collided with the growing national debate about minimum wages in Chicago this week. The city council passed an ordinance requiring big retailers to pay higher wages and benefits than other businesses must. Legal challenges are bound to follow, but the council's action should be taken as another sign that while Washington ignores the problem of living wages for workers, the rest of the country is growing very concerned.We sympathize with the frustration of local officials, whether in Chicago or Maryland, where state efforts to compel better health benefits from Wal-Mart were recently struck down by a federal judge. While the company's obsession with the bottom line has made it a huge international success, its meager
health benefits often leave public hospitals and government programs for the poor paying the bill instead. And as the giant retailer begins to saturate suburban neighborhoods and turn its attention toward cities, it is important to point out that urban residents cannot survive on the company's traditional low wages.


The New York Times

July 28, 2006

Still a Bad Deal

Many on Capitol Hill complained last year that the Bush administration got taken to the cleaners when it negotiated a nuclear cooperation deal with India. But with so much pro-India lobbying money sloshing around up there, hopes are fast fading that Congress will do anything to fix it.
The agreement will allow the United States to sell civilian nuclear technology and fuel to India for the first time since the mid-1970's, when India diverted civil technology to a secret weapons program. Bringing the world's most populous democracy - and 12th-largest economy - in from the nuclear cold isn't necessarily a bad idea. The problem is that the United States got very little for it. No Indian promise to stop producing bomb-making material. No promise not to expand its arsenal. And no binding promise not to resume nuclear testing. (The White House won't promise that either.)


The New York Times

July 28, 2006

Changing Reaction
Tide of Arab Opinion Turns to Support for Hezbollah

DAMASCUS, Syria, July 27 - At the onset of the Lebanese crisis, Arab governments, starting with Saudi Arabia, slammed Hezbollah for recklessly provoking a war, providing what the United States and Israel took as a wink and a nod to continue the fight.Now, with hundreds of Lebanese dead and Hezbollah holding out against the vaunted Israeli military for 15 days, the tide of public opinion across the Arab world is surging behind the organization, transforming the Shiite group's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, into a folk hero and forcing a change in official statements.The Saudi royal family and King Abdullah II of Jordan, who were initially more worried about the rising power of Shiite Iran, Hezbollah's main sponsor, are scrambling to distance themselves from Washington.


Poll Suggests GOP Control of House Is Tenuous

GLBT DIGEST July 28, 2006


Forwarded from Paul Krantz:

Have you seen the video "Anne Coulter Defends Herself" currently on MSNBC's

In the footage from Chris Matthew's show, there are no attempt to edit or censor Coulter's hate language and homophobic jokes ("Bill Clinton's not gay, but Al gore: total fag. I'm only kidding... hahaha") made in front of a crowd of laughing college students.Matthews, who previously made homophobic jokes with Imus on Imus's show, took no issue with the gaybashing.


Forwarded from Ken's List <>

Download ILGA's new magazine for free

Dear Friends,

The latest issue of ILGA's magazine, Campaigning, is now available online! To browse the articles, visit


Rational Lampoon: How to make a
thorny constitutional question disappear

Slate, July 26, 2006

Rational Lampoon
How to make a thorny constitutional question disappear.
By Dahlia Lithwick

Let's say you're a justice on the Washington State Supreme Court. You have anice life, a quiet life. Cozy chambers. Huggable clerks. And then in Marchof 2005, you hear oral arguments in a case about the state ban on gay marriage.Eighteen months later, the dumb decision is still pending. You've tossed.You've turned. What to do?If you vote to strike down the ban, the president will take your name invain. You'll be vilified as an "activist" in the national media.
Bloggers will publish photos of your children and pets. You'll have toapologize for the courage of your convictions for the rest of your career.


Revenge of the anti-conjugalists

Window Media Newspapers (blog)
(Washington Blade, Southern Voice, Houston Voice, New York Blade),
July 26, 2006

Revenge of the anti-conjugalists
Chris Crain, Editor

Brace yourself. They've come up with a new "-ism," and you're more thanlikely one of the "-ists." It's not that we've conquered racism or sexism and now have free time toaddress some heretofore unexposed privilege given over to some but notothers. To the contrary, there's still much work to be done against allsorts of "-isms" and "-phobias," according to the mostly gay left-wing signatories to the "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage" manifesto released this week.



Seattle Post-Intelligencer, WA, July 27, 2006

Ruling doesn't respect equality

More than a century ago, a U.S. Supreme Court justice dissented when amajority declared that our federal Constitution permitted citizens ofAfrican descent to be made to ride in "separate but equal" railway cars.That was wrong, Justice John Harlan said in Plessy v. Ferguson, because the
Constitution "neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens." As KingCounty Executive Ron Sims said Wednesday, Harlan's lesson is one we mustlearn again and again and again.Just as the plaintiffs in Plessy did, our plaintiffs looked to theWashington Supreme Court for vindication of their rights, and, just as in Plessy, the court failed them. Their disappointment, their outrage, theirgrief are beyond what words can measure. Though a majority of the court,seven justices in all, acknowledged the hardships our couples and those likethem are forced to endure as second-class citizens, the plurality shrankfrom its duty to uphold that most fundamental of democratic values:equality. The court left them and their families without the basicprotections that all other families in Washington enjoy.


Seattle Post Intelligencer, WA, July 27, 2006

Supreme Court: I do's to do

The Washington Supreme Court's decision refusing to legalize same-sexmarriage casts a challenge before the people of this state to make better laws.We can do better than to treat some neighbors as more worthy than others intheir ability to love, to share all life's experiences and to visit oneanother in hospital rooms. Our lawmakers should quickly create civil unions
that offer same-sex couples legal recognition and practical benefits.Unlike same-sex marriage, civil unions ought to be politically possible in ashort time. The public should demand of this year's legislative candidates what they are prepared to do to improve the treatment of committed, same-sexpartners. In ways both overt and implied, the court's 5-4 ruling on
Wednesday and the justices' legal opinions amount to a call for political action.


Gay Leaders Admonished For Marriage Tunnel Vision
by Newscenter Staff
July 27, 2006 - 11:00 am ET

(New York City) Some of the nation's leading gay scholars, writers and activists say there is too much focus on the issue of same-sex marriage.The group - some 260 national gay leaders - calls for a broader vision ingaining rights for gay families.Signatories of the statement include writer Armistead Maupin, Columbia lawprofessor Kendall Thomas, American University Law Professor Nancy Polikoff,Terry Boggis the director of the family program at the New York LGBT Community Center, and Joseph DeFilippis of Queers for Economic Justice.While the document supports efforts to secure marriage equality for LGBTcouples, it also states that "marriage is not the only worthy form of familyor relationship, and it should not be legally and economically privileged above all others".


Dems Have a Plan to Counter Growing Success of State Marriage Initiatives
Jody Brown July 27, 2006

Opposition Research: Agape Press

(AgapePress) - The Democratic Party has apparently decided to take adifferent tack in its efforts to bring legalized homosexual "marriage" toevery state in the country. Determined to provide more coordinated supportto advocates of same-sex unions, the Democratic National Committee (DNC)recently announced it has adopted a five- point plan for fighting state ballot measures defining marriage as between one man and one woman. In 2004, the Democratic Party made it clear it stood opposite President George W. Bush on defending traditional marriage. "We repudiate President Bush's divisive effort to politicize the Constitution by pursuing a 'FederalMarriage Amendment,'" it says on page 38 of The 2004 Democratic National
Platform for America. In the statement prior to that, the party says such an issue should be left to the states. "In our country, marriage has been defined at the state level for 200 years, and we believe it should continue to be defined there," it says.


Top Md. court takes up gay marriage case,0,2896249.story?coll=bal-home-headlines

Appeal challenging ruling that ban is unconstitutional to be heard in Dec.


Originally published July 27, 2006, 1:24 PM EDT Maryland's highest court hasagreed to hear a challenge to the ruling by a Baltimore Circuit Court judgein January that the state law banning same-sex marriages isunconstitutional.In a brief order dated Wednesday and issued today, the Court of Appealsgranted a motion to bypass the Court of Special Appeals and put the case on
the docket for arguments in December. That means there will be no action onthe politically explosive issue until after the November election.The decision to bypass the intermediate appeals court was not a surprise since the Court of Appeals sometimes takes cases directly when new and important legal questions are at stake.


UK Lords Value Biology Over Correct Behavior

by Prof. Art Leonard

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A unanimous five-judge panel of the U.K. House of Lords Law Committee(Britain's highest appellate court) ruled on July 26 that biological tiestrump bad behavior in a residential custody dispute between a birth motherand her former same-sex partner, the lesbian co-parent of her children. Thecase is In re G (Children)(FC), [2006] UKHL 43 (July 26, 2006).The parties are referred to by their initials. CG and CW lived together asa couple from 1995 until 2002. They were raising CW's biological son,conceived using donor insemination from a prior relationship. They decidedto have children together, and CG, by far the younger of the two, bore two
daughters through donor insemination.


Alternative to same-sex union
- Wyatt Buchanan, SF Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights movement has become toonarrowly focused on marriage and needs a broader vision, a coalition of 260gay leaders and straight allies said. A statement the coalition released Wednesday -- "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: ANew Strategic Vision for All Our Families & Relationships" -- offers "a newvision for securing governmental and private institutional recognition ofdiverse kinds of partnerships, households, kinship relationships andfamilies."Current and former leaders of national gay rights organizations, such as theNational Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, signed the 25-page statement, along with the likes of scholarCornel West, Ms. Magazine founder Gloria Steinem, essayist Barbara Ehrenreich and novelist Armistead Maupin.


San Francisco Chronicle

Broad opposition to World Pride in Jerusalem
Religious, gay leaders criticize international event;
crisis in Lebanon ends parade plans

Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 26, 2006

An international gay pride event scheduled to take place in Jerusalem inless than two weeks is facing unprecedented opposition not only fromreligious leaders in the city, but from elements of the gay, lesbian,bisexual and transgender communities worldwide.Already, the violence between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon has led to thecancellation of a planned parade, the centerpiece of the five-day WorldPride Week. With many of the security personnel needed to guarantee the
safety of marchers diverted to northern Israel, city police denied theparade a permit.





Join AIDS advocates and activists from around the country for a one-hourconference call to learn more about and the 2006 AIDSVotecampaign. National conference calls to explain how and why it's legal - andimportant - for nonprofit groups to get involved in election-related issue advocacy.

When: TUESDAY, AUGUST 1 at 4:00 PM (ET);
3:00 PM (CT); 2:00 PM (MT); 1:00 PM (PT)
Call-in Number: 888-765-3648
Access code: 903358#

AIDSVote is a candidate education and voter education project working tomake sure candidates for public office know what it takes to end AIDS.Voters who care about ending AIDS know where the candidates stand on ourissues.AIDSVote tools at include:
-Simple demands and a model "gold standard" platform that can be adapted tofederal, state and local elections-"How-to" brochures to help local activists meet with candidates and educate
them on the issues and measure their commitment and publicize theresults -Model questionnaires for candidates


Latvian democracy trashed, Riga Gay Pride march suppressed

Peter Tatchell

Guardian - Comment Is Free - 25 July 2006

Shades of the bad old days

The Riga Pride march was a litmus test of Latvian democracy - and theformer Soviet state failed it miserably.

Having successfully intimidated Latvia's judges and politicians into banningthe Riga Gay Pride march, a violent homophobic alliance of neo-Nazis,Christian fundamentalists and extreme nationalists were given analmost free hand by the police to terrorise an indoor gay rights rally
in the Latvian capital last Saturday, 22 July.Private armed guards had to be drafted in to provide security, afterthe Latvian police repeatedly failed to halt the aggression of the
homophobic mob.I was there and witnessed the hate, abuse, threats, intimidation and violence first-hand, in the heart of an EU member state, where Latvianand European law was trampled into the ground by politicians, judges and police.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

NPR Poll Suggests GOP Control of House Is Tenuous


Poll Suggests GOP Control of House Is Tenuous

Listen to this story... by

Approval of President Bush
Jeremy VanderKnyff, NPR

The latest NPR poll took the pulse of likely voters in the 50 most competitive House districts across the country. In these largely Republican districts, a majority of voters polled said they disapproved of the job President Bush is doing.

Poll results: How voters felt about incumbents
Jeremy VanderKnyff, NPR

In 50 largely Republican, competitive House districts, only 29 percent of likely voters said they planned to vote for the incumbent.

Morning Edition, July 27, 2006 · With Election Day just a little more than three months away, the Morning Edition polling team was asked to take the pulse of likely voters in the most competitive districts across the country.

Democrat Stan Greenberg and Republican Glenn Bolger found that, while republicans do a little bit better with these voters than they do in a nationwide sample, the numbers still point to trouble for the party in power.

Midterm congressional elections aren't conducted nationally, district by district, so this poll ignores the districts where the incumbent is safe, and looks only at districts where either party might win.

"This one is different than any of our prior polls and is different than any of the national polls you get through the national media," says Democrat pollster Stan Greenberg. "This is a poll only done in the 50 competitive House races where, in fact, control of the House of Representatives will be decided."

Forty of those seats are currently held by republicans; 10 by democrats. And those contests are where both parties will be concentrating their resources come fall, says Republican pollster Glenn Bolger.

"This is where the effort's going to be made," Bolger says. "This is where the money's going to be spent, and this is where the messages are going to be sharpest …This is where the House hangs in the balance."

In 2004, the total vote in these 50 districts went republican by about 12 points. In our current survey, voters in these same districts say they would vote for the Democrat over the Republican by about six points.

We asked the question about a generic Democrat or Republican, then we plugged in the names of actual incumbents and challengers. The numbers didn't change much and the voters seemed pretty firm about their choices.

Only 18 percent of those favoring a Democrat said there was any chance they'd change their minds. Only 16 percent of those favoring a Republican said they might switch.

Tracie Galla is a music teacher who is at home on maternity leave.

She lives in the 4th District of Connecticut and plans to vote for Democrat challenger Diane Farrell over the Republican incumbent Chris Shays.

"I'm afraid that, nationally, there've been a lot of things over the past years that haven't gone in the right direction, in my opinion," Galla says. "So I'm concerned about everything going on in the Middle East, and I just think we need a change. I think that unfortunately the Republicans, you know, for the most part, support what Bush has done, and I just don't agree with it."

But Republicans will be working hard to turn out voters like Julius Brown, who is retired and living in South Carolina's 5th District. Brown favors the Republican challenger Ralph Norman over Democratic incumbent John Spratt.

"Well, first thing, I don't approve of the general abortion stand that … Democrats hold," Brown says. "Second, I believe the tax breaks that Republicans give, even though I didn't benefit much by them, I believe the country did."

Then there are undecided voters like Peggy Beekler, a retired social worker who lives in the 3rd District of Kentucky, represented by Ann Northup.

"Well, I'm rather disappointed in the Republicans," Beekler says. "I think they've made a mess of things, even though I've been a Republican."

Beekler is not happy about the war, but she's also unhappy about the so-called values issues that Republicans have counted on to get their voters to the polls.

"I think to do an amendment on burning the flag would be totally ridiculous," Beekler says. "I also think when Bush vetoed the stem-cell research … I feel like that's ridiculous because they're just going to destroy all those embryos anyway, so even though I am for life, I think that shouldn't have been vetoed. I think that was a really bad thing."

Beekler represents one of our most surprising findings: On the question of which party would do a better job on "values issues," like stem-cell research, flag-burning and gay marriage, Democrats prevailed by their biggest margin in the entire poll: 51 percent to 37 percent.

"And when we list values issues like stem-cell research, flag-burning and gay marriage, these are the issues that Republicans took the initiative, used their control in Congress to get on the air to be voting on, to be talking about," Greenberg says. "What this says: By 13 points, voters say they are more likely to vote Democratic because of hearing about these issues. Which suggests that the strategy of using the Congress to get out the base is one that's driving away a lot of voters."

On other issues like the war in Iraq, or the state of the economy, Democrats have a smaller advantage.

Only on the issue of illegal immigration are the parties tied -- in the view of likely voters in the most competitive districts.

All of which leaves Republican Glenn Bolger hoping that Republicans will be able to rely on what, in the past, has been a superior effort at fundraising and mobilizing voters.

"Again, this is going to come down to: Is it an election where national political environment determines the outcome, or is it an election where what happens on the ground in the individual campaigns is what happens?" Bolger says. "And we won't know that, obviously, until they count the votes."