Friday, August 11, 2006
Who's Guilty of 'Petty Partisanship'?
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Friday, August 11, 2006; A19
Oh my goodness, as Don Rumsfeld might say. Support for the Iraq war hits a record low, and all the president's hit men decide that it's time to smear their opponents as defeatists who give aid and comfort to the enemy.
Of course they didn't mention the poll on Iraq released by CNN on Wednesday. As a basis for their guilt-by-association campaign, they used the fact that Democratic voters in Tuesday's Connecticut primary favored antiwar businessman Ned Lamont over Sen. Joe Lieberman.
The gentlemen who have gotten us into a mess in Iraq prefer not to explain how they'll fix things. They would rather use national security for partisan purposes, and they were all out there on Wednesday, spewing incendiary talking points. Hey, they may not have sent enough troops to win a war, but they sure know how to win midterm elections.
If you plan to fly, here's what you need to know
August 11, 2006
You cannot put liquids or gels of any size in carry-on luggage. These include beverages, shampoo, suntan lotion, toiletries, creams, cosmetics, lipstick, toothpaste and hair gel. Such items should be in checked bagged. For more information, go to the Transportation Security Administration Web site, www.tsa.gov. Or call 866-289-9673.
Any beverage purchased beyond the security checkpoint must be consumed before boarding.
Formula, breast milk and juice are allowed if a child is traveling. Baby formula, however, must be submitted to security officers for inspection, and security personnel may ask parents to sample other fluids.
Prescription medicine and insulin carrying a name that matches the passenger's ticket are allowed on board.
Bush backers may abandon Republicans
By Donna Cassata, Associated Press Writer | August 11, 2006
WASHINGTON --Republicans determined to win in November are up against a troublesome trend -- growing opposition to President Bush.
An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted this week found the president's approval rating has dropped to 33 percent, matching his low in May. His handling of nearly every issue, from the Iraq war to foreign policy, contributed to the president's decline around the nation, even in the Republican-friendly South.
More sobering for the GOP are the number of voters who backed Bush in 2004 who are ready to vote Democratic in the fall's congressional elections -- 19 percent. These one-time Bush voters are more likely to be female, self-described moderates, low- to middle-income and from the Northeast and Midwest.
Two years after giving the Republican president another term, more than half of these voters -- 57 percent -- disapprove of the job Bush is doing.
"The signs now point to the most likely outcome of Democrats gaining control of the House," said Robert Erikson, a Columbia University political science professor.
The London Plot
For almost five years now, we have carried around the legacy of Sept. 11. There is no sunny morning that does not revive its memory. The news of a terrorist plot against America-bound airliners yesterday called up feelings
that are never all that far below the surface.
There is nothing Americans want more than to win the war on terror, to come to a place where people no longer feel it is a fine thing to forfeit their own lives and the lives of innocents in order to make the world notice their
anger and frustration. It is a point on which the country is absolutely undivided. It is one matter about which subway commuters, airline passengers and mall shoppers feel no irony or cynicism whatsoever.
It comes like a punch to the gut, at times like these, when our leaders blatantly use the nation’s trauma for political gain. We never get used to this. It never feels like business as usual.
When Politicians Outrun Themselves
Having done nothing to rein in the influence-peddling culture of Congress, Republican leaders apparently hope to contain the scandal as an election issue by pushing Representative Bob Ney of Ohio into retirement. But Mr. Ney’s sudden withdrawal from the re-election campaign is only another reminder to skeptical voters of the Capitol’s craven preoccupation with easy-money
politics underwritten by special interests and power lobbyists.
Mr. Ney became a target of investigators after his notorious golf junket to Scotland at the bidding of Jack Abramoff, the disgraced superlobbyist who bilked Indian casino tribes of millions by promising access to pliant lawmakers. Mr. Ney’s chief of staff pleaded guilty to being a principal in the schemes, leaving the congressman a prime target.
The Ney affair was a reminder of the fate of another Abramoff crony, former Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, who has tried to disappear from public judgment as a candidate on the November ballot.
By ALAN I. ABRAMOWITZ , MOSHE HASPEL
Published on: 08/11/06
A surge in voter turnout in largely white north DeKalb County and the inability of U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney to mobilize voters in largely black south DeKalb County led to her overwhelming defeat at the hands of former DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson in Tuesday's Democratic runoff election in Georgia's 4th Congressional District.
According to an analysis of precinct returns provided by the DeKalb County Board of Elections, McKinney received about 75 percent of the African-American vote and less than 5 percent of the white vote in both the primary and the runoff. The racial divide in the two elections was almost identical. The major difference between the two contests was that white voters made up a significantly larger share of the electorate in the runoff than in the primary.
Overall, turnout in DeKalb County, which comprises the vast majority of the 4th District, increased from 21 percent of registered voters in the primary to 25 percent of registered voters in the runoff. That in itself was highly unusual, as turnout generally falls between a primary and a runoff.
Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Pain
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 11, 2006; A19
With the defeat of Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary in Connecticut, antiwar forces are poised for a takeover of the Democratic Party. Tuesday's exhilarating victory, and the elan and electoral legitimacy gained, may carry the newly energized Democratic left to considerable success in November.
But for the Democratic Party it will be an expensive and short-lived indulgence. The Iraq war will end, as will the Bush presidency.
But the larger conflict that defines our times -- war on Islamic radicalism, more politely known as the war on terrorism -- will continue, as the just-foiled London airliner plot unmistakably reminds us. And the reflexive antiwar sentiments underlying Ned Lamont's victory in Connecticut will prove disastrous for the Democrats in the long run -- the long run beginning as early as November '08.
Tarring the majority
August 11, 2006
EVERYONE IN Washington supports democracy -- until they don't like the results. US Senator Joseph Lieberman's defeat by the antiwar challenger Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Democratic primary this week has provoked a dark response from prominent Republicans, who have gone so far as to say that it could encourage America's enemies.
Trying to change the subject from what was clearly a referendum on Bush administration policies in Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney said of the Lieberman upset: ``. . . from the standpoint of our adversaries, if you will, in this conflict, and the Al Qaeda types, they clearly are betting on the proposition that ultimately they can break the will of the American people."
Lieberman also is refusing to accept the verdict of the majority, vowing to run again as an independent in November and telling Connecticut voters they made a big mistake. ``For the sake of our state, our country, and my party I cannot, I will not let this result stand," he said on Tuesday night.
The Only Option Is to Win
By Newt Gingrich
Friday, August 11, 2006; A19
Yesterday on this page, in a serious and thoughtful survey of a world in crisis, Richard Holbrooke listed 13 countries that could be involved in violence in the near future: Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Uzbekistan, Somalia. And in addition, of course, the United States.
With those 14 nations Holbrooke could make the case for what I describe as "an emerging third world war" -- a long-running conflict whose latest manifestation was brought home to Americans yesterday with the disclosure in London of yet another ghastly terrorist plot -- this one intended to destroy a number of airliners en route to America.
The War Bush Isn't Fighting
By Eugene Robinson
Friday, August 11, 2006; A19
When unsmiling agents at the airport take away your contact lens solution, your toothpaste, and your cologne or after-shave, remember Osama bin Laden. Remember the real war on terrorism that the Bush administration and its allies decided not to fight, preferring cowboy-style military adventures.
The revelation yesterday of the elaborate plot to blow up airliners over the Atlantic Ocean with liquid explosives reminds us of the real threats we face -- as opposed to the phantom threats that George W. Bush and Tony Blair have conjured to justify their disastrous war in Iraq.
The airliner conspiracy seems to have all the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda extravaganza: careful and sophisticated planning, the intent to shock the world with simultaneous detonations, cold-blooded determination to murder innocents by the hundreds, and a timeline that comes suspiciously close to the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Clearer Signals for Faster Phone Downloads
New technology for mobile devices is being designed to cut through traffic-jamming interference to improve downloads.
By Kate Greene
Cell-phone service providers are running into a jam. More and more people are signing up for smart phones that can download large amounts of data in the form of Web pages, music, and video. And with more data traveling the wireless pathways, bandwidth -- the data-carrying capacity of wireless channels -- is decreasing, slowing download speeds and causing more calls to get dropped from the network.
To help eke out more bandwidth, TensorComm, a Westminster, CO-based telecommunications startup, has developed and tested a set of algorithms that can efficiently cancel out the signal interference from voice and data streams caused by multiple cell-phone signals, thereby freeing up more capacity.
Forwarded from Ken's List <Kenneth.Sherrill@hunter.cuny.edu>
An open letter to the signers of 'Beyond Same-Sex Marriage'
Rob and Clay Calhoun
Issue Date: 8/10/2006, Posted On: 8/9/2006
We are the Calhoun family from the Atlanta, Ga. area, and we are writing toyou in response to your group's "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage:A New Strategic Vision For All Our Families And Relationships." We are atwo-daddy family with two beloved children, our three-year-old daughterRainey and seven-month-old son Jimmy, both of whom we jointly adopted from the same birthmother in an independent and open adoption at birth.
We've been a couple for 14 years. We met when we were 23 and 24; we're now37 and 38 years old. From day one, we've been family-,adoption- and marriage-equality activists as a couple and family. In theearly 1990s, we were inspired about marriage equality from the marriage casein Hawaii. We met and fell in love as street activists in 1992 in QueerNation/Atlanta, fighting the bigoted employment practices of Cracker Barrelrestaurants for firing LGBT employees.
The Morning After the Morning After
With every war there are two days to keep in mind when the guns fall silent: the morning after, and the morning after the morning after. America, Israel and all those who want to see Lebanon’s democracy revived need to keep their eyes focused on the morning after the morning after.
The only way that the fighting in south Lebanon will be brought to a close is if all the parties accept a cease-fire and the imposition of a robust international peacekeeping force, led by France, along the Israel-Lebanon border — supplanting Hezbollah.
Study Finds Immigrants Don't Hurt U.S. Jobs
Pew Detects No Link To Unemployment
By Kim Hart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 11, 2006; D01
High levels of immigration in the past 15 years do not appear to have hurt employment opportunities for American workers, according to a new report.
The Pew Hispanic Center analyzed immigration state by state using U.S. Census data, evaluating it against unemployment levels. No clear correlation between the two could be found.
Other factors, such as economic growth, have likely played a larger role in influencing the American job market, said Rakesh Kochhar, principal author of the report and an economist at the Pew Hispanic Center in the District.
"We are simply looking for a pattern across 50 states, and we did not find one," Kochhar said. "We cannot say with certainty that growth in the foreign population has hurt or helped American jobs."
Inconvenience is inconsequential in flight safety
BY LEONARD PITTS JR.
Well, that was close.
Wednesday morning, I flew home out of London's Heathrow. Thursday morning, British authorities announced they had broken up a terrorist plot to blow up U.S.-bound flights out of Heathrow using bombs in carry-on bags.
Needless to say, I am happier than usual to be home.
The word from London as this is written is that passengers leaving Heathrow should expect long delays and restrictions on carry-on luggage so stringent that not even iPods and paperbacks will get by. Those few items that are allowed through -- glasses, medicines, passports -- will have to be carried in see-though packaging.
Nonsense and Sensibility
After Ned Lamont’s victory in Connecticut, I saw a number of commentaries describing Joe Lieberman not just as a “centrist” — a word that has come to mean “someone who makes excuses for the Bush administration” — but as “sensible.” But on what planet would Mr. Lieberman be considered sensible?
Take a look at Thomas Ricks’s “Fiasco,” the best account yet of how the U.S. occupation of Iraq was mismanaged. The prime villain in that book is Donald Rumsfeld, whose delusional thinking and penchant for power games undermined whatever chances for success the United States might have had. Then read Mr. Lieberman’s May 2004 op-ed article in The Wall Street Journal, “Let Us Have Faith,” in which he urged Mr. Rumsfeld not to resign over the Abu Ghraib scandal, because his removal “would delight foreign and domestic opponents of America’s presence in Iraq.”
And that’s just one example of Mr. Lieberman’s bad judgment. He has been wrong at every step of the march into the Iraq quagmire — all the while accusing anyone who disagreed with him of endangering national security. Again, on what planet would Mr. Lieberman be considered “sensible”? But I know the answer: on Planet Beltway.
Liquid as Weapon? For Many, a Scary Thought
The dread was in the details.
The scheme, the authorities reported, was to transform ordinary things — like energy drink bottles and medicine jars and MP3 players — into the weaponry of mass death. No one had to learn to fly a giant airplane, and just about everyone owns something that could hold a liquid or deliver a small but cataclysmic electrical charge.
With so many foiled plots fading into a blur of alarms, this one penetrated, people said in interviews across the country.
The familiar had become sinister, just as when a man boarded an airplane with explosives hidden in his shoe five years ago.
“I thought, oh, my God, people can carry cans of what appears to be soda and blow up a plane,” said Marcy Scott Lynn, 34, a recent business school graduate in San Francisco. “Who doesn’t walk onto an airplane with a bottle of water? It’s a staple because drinks at the airport cost like a thousand dollars and the airlines no longer serve food.”
Tip Followed '05 Attacks on London Transit
By Craig Whitlock and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, August 11, 2006; A01
It all began with a tip: In the aftermath of the July 7, 2005, suicide bombings on London's transit system, British authorities received a call from a worried member of the Muslim community, reporting general suspicions about an acquaintance.
From that vague but vital piece of information, according to a senior European intelligence official, British authorities opened the investigation into what they said turned out to be a well-coordinated and long-planned plot to bomb multiple transatlantic flights heading toward the United States -- an assault designed to rival the scope and lethality of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackings.
By late 2005, the probe had expanded to involve several hundred investigators on three continents. They kept dozens of suspects under close surveillance for months, even as some of the plotters traveled between Britain and Pakistan to raise money, find recruits and refine their scheme, according to interviews with U.S. and European counterterrorism officials.
I Was Afraid To Speak Out About Iran
BY LAWRENCE D. MASS
I have a confession to make regarding my attendance at the vigil held July 19 in front of the Iranian Embassy to the United Nations in Midtown, to protest the persecution of gay people in Iran by its totalitarian government. Because of the withdrawal of the vigil's original sponsors, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, the event was smaller than it might otherwise have been. There were about 50 of us there.
The vigil and a competing forum sponsored by IGLHRC and Human Rights Watch held at the same time at the LGBT Community Center to debate the controversies regarding protests over Iran's policies were covered in stories in Gay City News (Jul. 20-26) by editor Paul Schindler and associate editor Duncan Osborne.
Poll Shows Conservative South Dakota Likely To Reject Anti-Gay Amendment
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
August 10, 2006 - 3:00 pm ET
(Sioux Falls, South Dakota) A survey of 800 South Dakota voters shows that a proposed amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships would likely fail.
The poll shows that 49 percent of voters oppose the amendment with 41 percent supporting it and the rest undecided.
The results startled even LGBT rights groups which noted the state supported President Bush in 2004 by a margin of 60 percent to 40.
The marriage measure, called Amendment C, is scheduled to appear on the ballot this November.
The Mason-Dixon poll was taken for the Argus Leader newspaper and KELO television.
Few Problems As Gays Hold Jerusalem WorldPride Rally
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
August 10, 2006 - 5:00 pm ET
(Jerusalem) Several hundred gays and lesbians held a rally and vigil Thursday night marking WorldPride in Jerusalem despite the refusal by police to issue a permit.
Jerusalem Open House, the LGBT group that organized WorldPride, said it would hold the vigil without police cooperation.
The gays gathered at Liberty Bell Park as a large number of police looked on. Police later said that they decided to allow the vigil to go on when they realized the numbers were far fewer than originally expected.
Under banners reading "Jerusalem is for all," and "The Path to God is not always straight" speakers at the vigil denounced homophobia and called for the recognition of same-sex relationships.
The vigil was organized after a pride parade was banned by police fearing they did not have enough officers to provide security because of the war with Hezbollah.
WorldPride incurred the wrath of conservative religious groups - Jews, Christians and Moslems - but threatened protests failed to materialize. A small Orthodox sect demonstrated near the park but its American leader, Rabbi Yehuda Levin was prevented from getting close to the vigil.
Conservatives Worried About Crist
By Joe Follick
Ledger Tallahassee Bureau
TALLAHASSEE -- Republican Tom Gallagher is betting his political life on an appeal to Christian and social conservatives. And at least one of his supporters in those groups say their own future is at stake in Gallagher's quest to be governor. Gallagher has earned the endorsement of Florida Right to Life, as well as vocal support of most social conservative leaders in the state. His goal: Win the hearts of Republicans most likely to get out and vote Sept. 5.
His method: Staunch stances like increased restrictions on abortions and a strict ban on gay adoptions and gay civil unions.
Charlie Crist, Gallagher's GOP primary opponent who has led Gallagher in fundraising and in polls for most of the year, supports more moderate views, including the status quo on abortion laws and allowing gay civil unions. He has been ambivalent on reversing the state's ban on gay adoption, recently saying he supports its continuation.
Atlanta Gay Lutheran Pastor Faces Dismissal
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
August 10, 2006 - 7:00 pm ET
(Atlanta, Georgia) An openly gay pastor faces a church trial after telling his bishop that he is in a same-sex relationship.
The Rev. Bradley E. Schmeling could be disciplined or removed from his church.
Schmeling, of St. John's Lutheran Church in Atlanta, says that he never kept his sexuality a secret and made it clear when he came to the diocese six years ago that he opposed a ban on non celibate gay clergy.
This week, after he informed Bishop Ronald B. Warren that he was in a committed relationship with another man, Warren began proceedings against Schmeling.
"The policy isn't working," Schmeling told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"Good and qualified people are being excluded from the ministry. In a congregation likes ours, this is not a divisive ministry."
Last year the denomination voted to leave it up to individual bishops whether to maintain the ban on clergy in same-sex relationships.
Measure Plugs Gap In Calif. Equality Laws
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
August 10, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET
(Sacramento, California) The California Assembly on Thursday passed legislation banning discrimination in state operated or funded programs on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Assembly voted 43-25. The bill has already passed the senate.
"This bill will close an important gap in California's nondiscrimination laws," said Senator Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), the measure's author.
The legislation is designed to protect from discrimination, Californians who utilize public services such as police and fire protection, financial aid, social services and food stamps.
The measure would also include protections for those associated with a person receiving services who has, or is perceived to have, any characteristic covered by the bill.
"I am very pleased that my colleagues passed this measure and supported the principle that everyone should have equal access to the programs and services provided by our government,” said Kuehl.
Gays Thwarted In Third Enlistment Attempt
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
August 10, 2006 - 1:00 pm ET
(Charlottesville, Virginia) Two gay 19 year olds brought the national "Right To Serve" campaign to Charlottesville and were immediately rejected when they attempted to enlist in the military.
Wyatt Fore and Rachel Miller walked into the Recruitment Center at a local shopping center under a media spotlight. It took two attempts to get to talk with a recruiter though. At the first attempt they discovered he was at lunch.
In the second attempt Fore and Miller emerged after a few minutes to tell reporters that Sgt. Alfred Withrow refused to allow them to fill out applications.
"My sexual orientation doesn’t have anything to do with my ability to serve in the military,” Fore said, noting that he would liked to have joined the Navy because his father and grandfather had both been sailors.
"It’s very difficult for straight people to understand what life in the closet is about."
Withrow asked by the media about the rejection and his refusal to allow the pair to fill out applications said that there would be no point under "Don't Ask, Dont Tell" because "it would be the same as saying ‘Yes, I just got out of jail for five years.’ - It’s not that extreme … [but] there was no reason to probe any further."
By Ben Blanchard and Tan Ee Lyn
Friday, August 11, 2006; 8:25 AM
BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Lexy Zhang laughs nervously as he talks about his first experiences picking up men for sex in a country where condoms are widely available for family planning but not always promoted to prevent AIDS.
"I was just having unsafe sex all the time," said the 26-year-old, sitting in a fashionable Beijing bar frequented by gay men.
"Lots of gay Chinese think it's great that you don't have to worry about pregnancy but have no idea about sexually transmitted diseases," said Zhang, adding he now would never consider having unsafe sex.
"There are just not enough organizations paying attention to this community. The government thinks it doesn't exist."
How to prevent the spread of AIDS in places like China will be a major focus of researchers and policymakers at the 16th International AIDS Conference, which opens on Sunday in Toronto.
by Libby Post
I’m back from my two weeks of working for OutGames in Montreal.
I learned a lot and met some really good people. But what stays with me when I come away from a major LGBT event like OutGames is the comfort and pleasure of being in the majority. It is so rare for us-and there’s nothing like it.
Walking down the street or riding the Metro, we’d be all over the place-out and proud LGBT people wearing our OutGames credentials for all to see. Besides identifying ourselves as most likely a visiting athlete, it also announced us as gay men, lesbians, transgendered or bisexual.
Being in the majority, even if just for a weekend during the national marches in Washington, D.C. - or longer-as was the case in Montreal and during vacations in Provincetown or South Beach - is at once rejuvenating and relaxing.
We walk hand in hand without having to worry about a gay-bashing right winger coming up to us with a baseball bat-which happened at this year’s San Diego Pride celebration. We can be affectionate in public which our straight counterparts take for granted. We can look around and see hundreds, even thousands, of people just like us. We can be who we are.
Ga. school's students face new hurdle for gay-straight club
Permission slips required under new state law
DYANA BAGBY | Aug 11, 7:48 AM
White County High School senior Charlene Hammersen said returning to school
this week has been uneventful so far, after she and other students
successfully won a federal lawsuit allowing them to form a gay-straight
alliance on campus.
A U.S. District judge ruled July 14 that White County High School
administrators violated the federal Equal Access Act when they banned all
non-curricular clubs in 2005 as a way to keep out the GSA, named Peers
Rising in Diverse Education, or PRIDE.
White County School Superintendent Paul Shaw said that while PRIDE is now
able to meet on campus, it was not part of the school’s listing of
extracurricular activities when the 2006-2007 student handbook was created
and is considered a new club.
announcing the forthcoming performance of Beenie Man in New York. (He has a
website - www.beenieman.net). The concert is scheduled for August 29. I
wanted to tear the poster down but there were too many people around, so I
did not. :-)
Is there anything that could be done to prevent him from performing in NYC?
U.S. News & World Report
August 14, 2006 Issue
For Gays, New Math
Rethinking tactics after a series of setbacks nationwide
By Scott Michels
After the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legalized gay marriage in2003, and gay and lesbian couples began to wed in San Francisco andPortland, Ore., soon after, it seemed to Lisa Stone that a new era was
sweeping the country. In 2004, Stone, a Seattle gay-rights advocate, sued tooverturn Washington's 1998 gay-marriage ban. "There was a youthful optimismabout what was ahead of us," she says.
Now, though, "nobody's swept up anymore," says Stone. For advocates ofsame-sex marriage, the outlook is dark, that early enthusiasm tempered by awave of anti-gay-marriage voter initiatives and a string of courtroom
losses. And more court decisions and initiatives expected this year couldresult in devastating setbacks. "We may face a reality by the end of thisyear that is so radically different ... that we may have to completely
rethink and rework how we're going to move forward," says Ed Murray, a gayWashington State representative. Jordan Lorence of the conservative AllianceDefense Fund is more blunt: "One side is clearly prevailing, and one is
afrol News - The majority of Muslim countries outlaw same-sex relationships. The seven countries in the world that carry the death penalty for persons presumed guilty of homosexual acts, justify this punishment with the Shari'a. Culture is not, however, always "against us and there are positive examples of same-sex relationships to be found in different Muslim cultures," she writes.
By Anissa Helie - I was born and raised in Algiers, of a French father and an Algerian mother. Having access to both cultures made me realize early on that racism as well as sexism were all-pervasive on both sides of the Mediterranean. It took me a few more years to come to the conclusion that homophobia was just as widespread.
Amnesty International counts at least 83 countries where homosexuality is explicitly condemned in the criminal code. Twenty-six of these are Muslim. This means that the majority of Muslim countries, including supposedly 'liberal' ones like Tunisia as well as dictatorships like Sudan, outlaw same-sex relationships. The seven countries in the world that carry the death penalty for persons presumed guilty of homosexual acts, justify this punishment with the Shari'a, or standard interpretation of Muslim jurisprudence. Though not always applied, the existence of the death penalty makes sexual minorities extremely vulnerable.
Condensed from El País.
A 36-year-old Portuguese woman, who works as a chef in Madrid, has
encountered major problems in attempting to marry her female partner in
When she applied at the Portuguese consulate for her birth certificate
(which she needs in order to marry in Spain) she mentioned that she was
getting married, etc. The clerk then presented her with a document which
said that he was prohibited from facilitating the procedure.
When contacted by El País a vice consul confirmed that the protocol was
correct. According to him same-sex marriage is "a contract which is not
considered valid in Portuguese judicial procedure."
Without her birth certificate she cannot marry, but if she changes her
citizenship to a Spanish one, she will then be able to do so. The
Portuguese have no objection to giving her a copy of her birth certificate
for this procedure.
Study Finds Decrease in Online Sexual Solicitations of Teens
By Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) -- Fewer youths are receiving sexual solicitations over the Internet as they become smarter about where they hang out and with whom they communicate online, researchers said Wednesday.
The findings, from a telephone-based survey sponsored by the government-funded National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, run counter to recent media reports and congressional hearings suggesting a
growing danger of online predators as more youths turn to social-networking sites like MySpace.com.
''It may be signs people are paying (attention) to warnings they receive about online dangers,'' said Janis Wolak, one of the study's authors and a professor at the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children
Research Center. ''They are being more cautious about who they are interacting with online.''
08/11/2006 | 11:39
Iceland Review Online
Iceland's Gay Pride festival officially gets underway today with openingceremonies at Reykjavík's Loftkastalinn, where the mayor of Reykjavík willaddress guests. Festivities will culminate in the Gay Pride parade tomorrow
at 2pm on Reykjavík's Laugavegur, ending in stage performances andcelebration in the downtown core.
The Gay Pride festival began four years ago in Reykjavík, and drew a crowdof some 1,500 people. Since then it has become one of the major festivals ofthe summer, with an estimated 50,000 people taking part in the festivities last year.
Western Australia conservatives say yes to gay marriage
In a radical demonstration of changing attitudes, the Western Australianbranch of the National Party has voted in support of same- sex civil unions.
A motion supporting gay 'marriage' won the backing of delegates at theirannual state conference.
The National Party are often portrayed as deeply rural and conservative,representing farming interests. Younger members of the party have hailed themove as indicative of their desire to question established prejudices and
begin a 'new era.'
Last week a federal Senator from the party said gay Australian Big Brother contestant David Graham would be welcome in the party.
State Nationals leader Brendon Grylls said his party would be making thesame-sex marriage policy a manifesto commitment when Western Australians goto the polls to elect the state government in three years time, but that
they would not be campaigning for partnerships before then.
Lesbian Porn Images Used To Discredit GOP Candidate
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
August 10, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET
(Las Vegas, Nevada) Images from a lesbian adult video are being used to discredit Barbara Lee Woollen who is seeking the Republican nomination to run for lieutenant governor.
This week a Las Vegas judge refused to grant Woollen an injunction barring the broadcast of the commercial.
District Judge Valerie Adair said the ad's claims might be exaggerated but political speech must be protected.
"Many political ads are exaggerated and they are misleading and I myself have been a victim of one of those ads," Adair said in her ruling.
"The bottom line however, is that this is not something that is based in an absolute falsehood. Whether it is exaggerated or not, there is some truth here."
Thursday, August 10, 2006
August 10, 2006
Voter Suppression in Missouri
Missouri is the latest front in the Republican Party’s campaign to use photo ID requirements to suppress voting. The Republican legislators who pushed through Missouri’s ID law earlier this year said they wanted to deter fraud, but that claim falls apart on close inspection. Missouri’s new ID rules — and similar ones adopted last year in Indiana and Georgia — are intended to deter voting by blacks, poor people and other groups that are less likely to have driver’s licenses. Georgia’s law has been blocked by the courts, and the others should be too.
Even before Missouri passed its new law, it had tougher ID requirements than many states. Voters were required, with limited exceptions, to bring ID with them to the polls, but university ID cards, bank statements mailed to a voter’s address, and similar documents were acceptable. The new law requires a government-issued photo ID, which as many as 200,000 Missourians do not have.
Missourians who have driver’s licenses will have little trouble voting, but many who do not will have to go to considerable trouble to get special ID’s. The supporting documents needed to get these, like birth certificates, often have fees attached, so some Missourians will have to pay to keep voting. It is likely that many people will not jump all of the bureaucratic hurdles to get the special ID, and will become ineligible to vote.
August 10, 2006
Lieberman Seizes on Terror Arrests to Attack Rival
By PATRICK HEALY and JENNIFER MEDINA
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman seized on the terror arrests in Britain today to attack his Democratic rival, Ned Lamont, saying that Mr. Lamont’s goals for ending the war in Iraq would constitute a “victory” for extremists, including those accused of plotting to blow up airliners traveling between Britain and the United States.
“If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England,” Mr. Lieberman said at a campaign event at lunchtime in Waterbury, Conn. “It will strengthen them and they will strike again.”
Mr. Lamont, who rode an antiwar message to beat Mr. Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary on Tuesday, has called for a firm deadline to remove front-line American troops from Iraq, and he endorsed a Democratic-sponsored amendment in the Senate to set that deadline for next July. Mr. Lieberman opposed setting a deadline.
In a telephone interview from his vacation home in Maine, Mr. Lamont said he was disappointed with the personal tone Mr. Lieberman’s remarks, and questioned the connection between the Iraq war and the new terrorist plot. He also continued his strategy of trying to link Mr. Lieberman’s views with those of the Bush administration, whose approach the senator has tended to support in the fight against terrorism.
The Washington Post
The Guns Of August
By Richard Holbrooke
Thursday, August 10, 2006; A23
Two full-blown crises, in Lebanon and Iraq, are merging into a single emergency. A chain reaction could spread quickly almost anywhere between Cairo and Bombay. Turkey is talking openly of invading northern Iraq to deal with Kurdish terrorists based there.
The only beneficiaries of this chaos are Iran, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and the Iraqi Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr, who last week held the largest anti-American, anti-Israel demonstration in the world in the very heart of Baghdad, even as 6,000 additional U.S. troops were rushing into the city to "prevent" a civil war that has already begun.
The Death of Triangulation
By Eli Pariser
Thursday, August 10, 2006; A23
Ned Lamont's victory Tuesday night in Connecticut's U.S. Senate primary is great news for Democrats. And it's a watershed moment for the growing majority of Americans, in red states and blue, who want change.
For months, polls have warned that across the political spectrum people are fed up -- with the no-end-in-sight occupation of Iraq; with an energy policy that caters to oil giants while gasoline prices soar; with a health-care system that leaves more behind with every passing day. Lamont's victory is evidence that a long-awaited wave of voter sentiment on those issues has materialized.
It's certainly understandable that Republicans would prefer to see Democrats continue to run the temporizing candidates whom they've had little trouble trouncing for the past decade. But you'd think Democratic strategists would be jumping for joy -- after all, they should be able to ride the anti-incumbent feeling to victory in November. Instead, we hear the perennial pundit nattering about moving the party too far to the left. And Marshall Wittmann of the Democratic Leadership Council -- who stubbornly refuses to address the real civil war in Iraq -- invokes the specter of a domestic civil war within the party.
Voter Anger That Cuts Both Ways
By David S. Broder
Thursday, August 10, 2006; A23
The usual political torpor of August was shattered this week by the news that three congressional incumbents had lost their races in a single day. There were special forces at work in the contests in which two Democrats -- Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia -- and Michigan Republican Rep. Joe Schwarz were defeated. But taken together they are the strongest signal yet of voter dissatisfaction with the status quo in Washington.
McKinney, a combative politician, lost (for the second time in her career) largely because of her unpleasant personality. Schwarz, a physician and freshman House member who had headed the John McCain forces in Michigan, fell victim to a heavily financed right-wing effort to punish him for his support of stem cell research.
The "shake up Washington" theme was explicit in millionaire businessman Ned Lamont's 52 to 48 percent defeat of Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, in the headline event of the day, the Connecticut Democratic primary. Lieberman could claim 18 years of Senate seniority and long service in state government, a reputation for personal integrity, prominence on both foreign and domestic issues, and the active support of his party leaders from Bill Clinton on down.
Jury Out on Lieberman Effect
Independent Run Could Hurt, Help Democrats Seeking House
By Jonathan Weisman and Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 10, 2006; A04
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's decision to run as an independent against Ned Lamont, Connecticut's new Democratic nominee for Senate, will mean that three marquee U.S. House races in the state will have to share top billing in November with a bitter rematch that could divert money and publicity from those critical contests.
That could complicate Democrats' designs to win those races as part of an effort to seize control of the House. But by keeping the state's electorate focused on President Bush and the war in Iraq, the Lamont-Lieberman rematch will keep voters energized, and may ultimately bolster the House challengers, Democrats and some independent analysts said.
"Lieberman will do more for Democratic House candidates by being in the race than by not being in the race," said Ken Dautrich, a professor of public policy at the University of Connecticut. "It's plausible that all three [GOP House incumbents] will fall, and it's more likely if Lieberman is running as an independent."
THE OPPENHEIMER REPORT
World community in no hurry to seek democracy in Cuba
BY ANDRES OPPENHEIMER
BUENOS AIRES -- Watching the latest events in Cuba from this part of the world, one gets the sense that the international community -- perhaps including the United States -- will be in no great hurry to seek a rapid transition to democracy on the island.
While many countries say they would like to see an economic and political opening in Cuba following Fidel Castro's July 31 decision to cede power to his brother Raúl, most governments may be more dominated by fear of chaotic change than motivated by the desire for democracy in Cuba.
• Mercosur, the left-leaning regional bloc made up of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela, is increasingly dependent on Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, the staunchest supporter of the Cuban dictatorship in the region. Because of oil-rich Venezuela's growing influence, and because most presidents in the region don't want to antagonize their leftist supporters at home, Mercosur is not likely to press for swift democratic changes.
In the Argentine press, Castro is affectionately referred to by his first name, ''Fidel,'' a deference made to very few world leaders. In second reference, he is always referred to as ''the Cuban leader'' (a generous title that, by the way, is also used by most U.S. media, despite the fact that no dictionary has a definition of ''dictator'' that wouldn't fit Castro).
Vote — or Else
By NORMAN ORNSTEIN
EVEN with all the attention devoted to Connecticut’s Democratic primary, in which Ned Lamont upset Senator Joseph Lieberman, turnout was an anemic 43 percent. It was arguably the most important race in the nation and not even half of registered Democrats bothered to vote. This group in turn made up barely 15 percent of the voting-age population of the state.
The unhappy effects of low turnout are clear: ever-greater polarization in the country and in Washington, which in turn has led to ever-more rancor and ever-less legislative progress.
Here’s why. With participation rates of about 10 percent or less of the eligible electorate in many primaries to 35 percent or so in midterm general elections to 50 percent or 60 percent in presidential contests, the name of the game for parties is turnout — and the key to success is turning out one’s ideological base. Whichever party does a better job getting its base to the polls reaps the rewards of majority status.
And what’s the best way to get your base to show up at the polls? Focus on divisive issues that underscore the differences between the parties.
The Independent Gay News
From The Editor: Phishing Around
By Michael James
Most people have heard the term “phishing” on the news in the past couple of years, but many have no idea what it is. Lately, I’ve been getting several such e-mail attempts and readers need to be aware of how to handle it.
Most Phishing experts send out e-mails that appear to be from legitimate ﬁnancial institutions. Even the web address appears to be correct. However, upon closer inspection you will ﬁnd a very minor difference.
In the graphic on this page you can see what appears to be an authentic request from Bank of America seeking to “verify” information. First off, I am not aware of any bank that will request veriﬁcation via e-mail. If there is a problem with an account they will ask you to come into their ofﬁce.
The link looks virtually identical to BOA’s real login site. However, if you look closely, you will see that it starts with “https” rather that “http.” A very subtle variation that can easily trick people if they are not aware of the difference.
The New York Times
August 10, 2006
90 Miles and Light-Years Away
President Bush and his top aides have said repeatedly in recent days that they haven’t a clue what’s going on inside Cuba. With Fidel Castro’s health faltering, they need to start figuring it out.
Cuba is a closed, repressive society. But the Bush administration has gone out of its way to ensure that the United States has neither access nor the slightest chance to influence events there.
In the name of tightening the failed embargo — a bipartisan policy for more than four decades — Mr. Bush has made it much harder for academics, artists, religious people and anyone else who might spread the good word about America to travel to Cuba, and much harder for Cubans to travel here. In a decidedly un-family-values move, the administration has also limited visits to Cuba by Cuban-Americans to once every three years.
Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, a would-be Castro, has helped make up any lost cash with cheap oil exports. And Cuban officials who might be tempted to the side of reform have been given more reason to believe Mr. Castro’s claims of unremitting American hostility. In the same cut- off-your- nose spirit, the administration canceled migration talks with Havana — intended to prevent a repeat of earlier boatlifts — that were the only regular high-level sit-downs between the two governments. American diplomats in Havana know their wisest career path is to keep their contacts to the bare minimum.
The New York Times
August 10, 2006
Party No. 3
By DAVID BROOKS
There are two major parties on the ballot, but there are three major parties in America. There is the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and the McCain-Lieberman Party.
All were on display Tuesday night.
The Democratic Party was represented by its rising force — Ned Lamont on a victory platform with the net roots exulting before him and Al Sharpton smiling just behind. The Republican Party was represented by its collapsing old guard — scandal-tainted Tom DeLay trying to get his name removed from the November ballot. And the McCain-Lieberman Party was represented by Joe Lieberman himself, giving a concession speech that explained why polarized primary voters shouldn’t be allowed to define the choices in American politics.
Posted on Thu, Aug. 10, 2006
How real Cubans, both rich and poor, live
By ENRIQUE FERNANDEZ
Coffee-table books on Cuban architecture are by now a minor industry, easily dismissed as eye candy or, worse, falsehood. Yes, Cuba is full of stunning buildings, far more serious and imposing than anything found in the Caribbean. But, as any visitor to the island knows, it's not all a pretty picture.
Havana, a city that was spared the devastation of the Cuban War of Independence in the 19th century and where most of the island's grand architecture is located, has long been a city in ruins, a city of ruins. That some buildings have been restored -- and every single one photographed for a coffee-table book -- does not reduce the abjectness of a city that in its heyday, as those old enough remember, literally glittered.
Inside Cuba (Taschen, $49.99) is more honest than most books of its ilk, in that it shows dwellings where the grandeur has lost the war against decay, where leather upholstery seems to have exploded and exposed a lava-like outpouring of its insides, where makeshift wiring hangs exposed. And it also shows the humble homes of Cuban peasants.
In short, this is a project that has photographed where real Cubans live.
British Arrest 21 in Airline Terror Plot
By DANICA KIRKA
Associated Press Writer
August 10, 2006, 9:14 AM EDT
LONDON -- British authorities said Thursday they had thwarted a terrorist plot to simultaneously blow up several aircraft heading to the U.S. using explosives smuggled in carry-on luggage. Heathrow was closed to most flights from Europe, and British Airways canceled all its flights Thursday between the airport and points in Britain, Europe and Libya.
Britain's Home Secretary John Reid said 21 people had been arrested in London, its suburbs and in Birmingham following a lengthy investigation, including the alleged "main players" in the plot.
Officials raised security to its highest level in Britain and banned carry-on luggage on all trans-Atlantic flights. Huge crowds formed at security barriers at London's Heathrow airport as officials searching for explosives barred nearly every form of liquid outside of baby formula.
The extreme measures at a major international aviation hub sent ripple effects throughout the world. Washington raised its threat alert to its highest level for commercial flights from Britain to the United States amid fears the plot had not been completely crushed. The alert for all flights coming or going from the United States was also raised slightly.
Forwarded from Ken's List
9th Circuit Rules No Right to Computer Privacy at Work
Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
(08-08) 17:27 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- If you think the Web sites you access onyour workplace computer are nobody else's business, think again.
That was the message today from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals inSan Francisco, which upheld a Montana man's conviction for receiving obscenematerial that his employer found on his computer during a late-night raid."Social norms suggest that employees are not entitled to privacy in the useof workplace computers, which belong to their employers and pose significant
dangers in terms of diminished productivity and even employer liability,''said Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain in the 3-0 ruling.
He said other courts have consistently ruled that employers are entitled tomonitor their workers' use of computers as long as they had disclosed thatpolicy to their workforce.
That may reflect current societal views but it's still troubling, saidAssistant Federal Defender David Ness, the defense lawyer in the case."It seems like it's one more intrusion on people's privacy rights,'' hesaid. "There may be some things on my computer that I wouldn't necessarily mind someone at my office looking at, but I wouldn't want to share them with(law enforcement agents) or even the community at large.''
If you would like to read the entire article, contact us at email@example.com
The New York Times
August 9, 2006
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
With promises of money and personal campaign appearances, Democratic leaders rallied today behind the campaign of Ned Lamont, the anti-Iraq war challenger who defeated Senator Joseph I. Lieberman in the Connecticut primary, leaving Mr. Lieberman increasingly isolated as he pledged to forge ahead as an independent candidate.
At the same time, Republicans began a concerted effort to use Mr. Lieberman’s defeat to portray Democrats as weak on national defense, reprising a theme that they made central to the last two national campaigns. The attacks often came in searing remarks from, among others, Ken Mehlman, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Vice President Dick Cheney, who went so far as to suggest that the ouster of Mr. Lieberman might embolden Al Qaeda terrorists.
“It’s an unfortunate development, I think, from the standpoint of the Democratic Party, to see a man like Lieberman pushed aside because of his willingness to support an aggressive posture in terms of our national security strategy,’’ Mr. Cheney said in a telephone interview with news agency reporters.
The New York Times
August 9, 2006
Ill. Gov. Backs Emergency Contraception
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 9:22 p.m. ET
CHICAGO (AP) -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he would find a way to make emergency contraception available in Illinois without a prescription if the federal government keeps its strict guidelines for the morning-after pill.
Blagojevich urged approval of over-the-counter sales in a letter Wednesday to the Food and Drug Administration, which has said it would consider nonprescription sales of the Plan B pill only for women 18 and older.
If the FDA fails to act, Blagojevich pledged to introduce legislation in the fall that would allow Illinois pharmacies to dispense it. Nine states already allow pharmacists to sell the pills over-the-counter under certain conditions.
Blagojevich said he might issue an executive order that would circumvent legislative approval if lawmakers dump his proposal.
''The evidence is clear and overwhelming that making Plan B available over-the-counter is the right thing to do,'' he said in the two-page letter to the FDA.
The New York Times
Rice’s Hurdles on Middle East Begin at Home
By HELENE COOPER
Published: August 10, 2006
WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 — As fighting was breaking out last month between Hezbollah and Israel, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice worked through the night at her guest quarters on Russia’s Baltic coast to draft America’s response to the unfolding crisis.
2006 Election Guide
With the 2006 Election Guide, you can analyze over 500 races for the Senate, House and governor seats and paint the political map yourself. Go to Guide »
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board
August 8, 2006
ISSUE: Washington tries to usurp states regarding National Guard authority.
Whatever happened to states' rights?
A Congress controlled by a Republican Party that for decades has made "states' rights" one of the pillars of its political ideology now seems poised to strip states of one of their most important rights: the right to protect their own citizens.
It's not just a right, it's a duty. And the way states have always fulfilled their duty to protect their citizens from natural disasters and other threats is to call up the National Guard.
Now a sneaky House of Representatives is trying to deny governors authority over their states' National Guard units. In a defense bill that is headed for a conference committee with the Senate, a provision passed by the House would give the president authority to assume control over the Guard when "a serious natural or manmade disaster, accident or catastrophe" occurs. Lawmakers didn't even bother to tell the states what they were up to.
From Travelocity Regarding Airline Travel:
Due to the current air travel alerts issued by the Department of Homeland Security, there are a number of changes to screening procedures at airports around the country. If you are traveling anywhere in the U.S. or UK, the following changes will affect you.
Travelers are advised to get to the airport 3 hours ahead of their departure time, due to significant delays and new security procedures. If you are planning to travel to or from the United Kingdom, there may also be some schedule changes. Travelers should check online or call the airlines before heading to the airport. All travelers are being advised to travel light. Laptops, mobile phones, and iPods are among the electronic items banned in carry-on luggage on British flights. We recommend checking the TSA website at www.tsa.gov for the most up-to-date information on changing security procedures, including permitted and prohibited items. Liquids are no longer permitted on board any aircraft within the U.S. and UK (including all pastes, gels, and liquid cosmetics, such as toothpaste). Exceptions are being made for baby formula and medications (names on prescriptions must match ID names).
If you are traveling within the UK, you will have to check ALL of your belongings. Wallets, IDs, and necessary medications are the exceptions, and must be carried in a plastic bag (clear bags are recommended). Laptops, mobile phones
Proactive Customer Care
Gay City News, Volume 5, Number 32 | August 10 - 16, 2006
Crackdown on Turkey's Gays
Gay magazine seized, anti-gay thugs besiege Bursa LGBT center
BY DOUG IRELANDVolume 5, Number 32 | August 10 - 16, 2006
This past week has seen Turkish gays the target of multiple attacks, by boththe government and an organized homophobic mob.
Last Friday, the entire press run of Turkey's only gay and lesbian magazine,published by the Ankara-based gay organization Kaos GL, was confiscated bypolice before it could be distributed to bookstores and kiosks. The 28thissue of the quarterly magazine, which bears the same name as theassociation that sponsors it and has been continuously published since 1994,was seized on a court order sought by the national government's prosecutorin Ankara, Turkey's capital, under a law for "protection of generalmorality."
AIDS Groups Battle Over Federal Funding
Filed at 3:57 p.m. ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A proposal in Congress to require that more of the federal money spent on uninsured AIDS patients go to drugs and doctor visits is drawing criticism from some AIDS groups, who say it will force cuts in basic services like meals and housing.
Opponents, including the Gay Men's Health Crisis and New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton, say it would undermine care of the nation's most vulnerable patients.
Support for the main Senate bill on the issue, sponsored by Republican Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Democrat Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, is coming from many health-care providers who want to establish national care standards and increase access to life-saving drugs.
The bill would mandate that three-fourths of the funds from the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources EmergencyAct, the nation's largest HIV-specific federal grant program, be used for medical services.
By Donald Cavanaugh
I have been chided by a number of people about my position on the Democrat Party. At a recent PFLAG meeting, friend Charles Scheitler harangued me for several minutes. “You can’t not vote for the Democrat just because he isn’t 100% in support of gay rights,” he shouted at me. “That’s like giving another vote to the Republicans!”
“Well if it is, it’s the Dem’s own fault,” I replied. “They’re not doing anything to win my vote except pussy-footing around about how less awful they are than their Republican opponents. That doesn’t cut it.”
We didn’t agree but I’m not giving my vote to any Democrat who isn’t 100% committed to the cause of full equality for all citizens. To me, civil equality is fundamental to our Constitution and to everything we have stood for as a nation. The Republicans have said they no longer care about civil rights but the Dems haven’t stood up and claimed the issue for their own – primarily because the “dreaded homosexuals” are the most discriminated class of citizens in the country today, and they’re afraid they’ll lose votes if they do the right thing. Pfaugh! They should lose votes for not doing the right thing.
Thursday, August 10, 2006; A22
In its Aug. 7 editorial "When Students Speak," The Post led readers to believe that the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's Day of Silence is a school-sponsored event, when it is a student-led day of action aimed at making bullying and harassment unacceptable in schools. More important, The Post confused the nature of this event with the nature of a California student's hateful protest "speech" that judges have constrained.
Students conceived of the Day of Silence a decade ago to address the endemic harassment in school life that 75 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students experience "frequently" or "often," a survey found. The creators saw it as a way to highlight and solve a problem, making it far different than the T-shirt that Judge Stephen Reinhardt rightly ruled "strikes at the very core of . . . dignity and worth."
It is completely appropriate for schools to support speech that reduces harassment to create a better learning environment for all, as the Day of Silence does, and equally appropriate to constrain harassing speech that denigrates others and creates a climate of fear that inhibits learning, as the T-shirt did. The former is within the court-prescribed rational interest of school officials in maintaining a disciplined educational environment, while the latter is not.
Founder and Executive Director
Gay, Lesbian and Straight
Married Gay Men (1 Letter)
To the Editor:
You describe vividly and accurately the pain of married gay men as they try to deal with the conflict of loving their wives and wanting to satisfy their same-sex attractions in “When the Beard Is Too Painful to Remove” (Thursday Styles, Aug. 3). I have heard many similar stories as I studied spouses in such mixed-orientation marriages over the last 20 years.
To grasp the whole picture, however, the gay husbands’ struggle needs to be matched by the later turmoil of their wives as they sense that something is not right in their marriages, discover that they have been deceived, and in most cases, find themselves in a divorce situation.
From the straight spouse’s perspective, the article is a powerful argument for allowing gay men who want lifelong partners to seek a marital union with other gay men, rather than struggle to fit the mold of a heterosexual marriage in which everyone involved gets hurt.
Codifying marriage as legal only if it is between a man and a woman, as has been proposed or passed in constitutional amendments across the country, will perpetuate these kinds of tragedies for gay husbands (and lesbian wives), straight spouses and their children.
Amity P. Buxton
Adding to what's becoming a breakthrough primary season for openly gay state legislators, Jolie Justus won the Democratic primary for Missouri's 10th district state senate seat Tuesday—which, since the district is heavily Democratic, virtually ensures that she will become Missouri's first openly gay state senator this November.
"In Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and now Missouri, excellent candidates are winning historic races," Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which backed Justus, said in a statement. "Jolie's win is a testament to her courage, commitment, and skill, but it also confirms that fair-minded voters everywhere care more about good government than they do about whether their representatives are gay or lesbian."
Justus, who faces token Republican opposition in the general election this fall, will join Jeanette Mott-Oxford, an openly gay incumbent Missouri house member, who also won her primary Tuesday. Other breakthrough out candidates this election cycle include Patricia Todd, the first openly gay elected official in Alabama history; Kathy Webb, the first openly gay elected official in Arkansas history; and Al McAffrey, the first openly gay state legislator in Oklahoma history. (The Advocate)
A San Francisco men's synchronized swimming team has been barred from a meet at Stanford University in California, reinforcing an International Olympics Committee decision designating the sport as women-only. The San Francisco Tsunami Swim Club's team was set to perform an exhibition at the FINA World Masters Championships, but the international governing body that oversees the meet scuttled those plans.
San Francisco Tsunami describes itself on its Web site as a gay and lesbian aquatics team that is open to all. More than 7,000 swimmers and divers from 70 countries are slated to compete in the meet at Stanford this week. (Sirius OutQ News)
Washington to halt publicly funded sex changes
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
SUMMARY: Washington state will soon stop publicly funded sex-change surgery,
but will continue to cover gender-identity hormone treatment and
Medicaid officials in the state of Washington are taking steps to end
publicly funded sex-change surgery. However, the state is required to pay
for at least two more operations and will continue to cover hormone
treatment and psychotherapy for low-income people diagnosed with
Homophobia called rampant in U.S. military
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
SUMMARY: Gays in the U.S. military face hostility on some bases and shipsmore than a decade after "don't ask, don't tell" was enacted.
Gays in the U.S. military face continuing hostility on some bases and shipswhere commanders fail to prohibit harassment more than a decade after "don'task, don't tell" was enacted, although seeds of greater tolerance may betaking root, a Reuters investigation reveals.
While some leaders have created environments in which harassment is nottolerated, others have not, and the evidence, according to witnesses, isboth verbal and visual.
On the Navy's USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, for example, anti-gaystatements and jokes are on display and have been incorporated into a videoabout the F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft, recently shown to reporters on thecarrier.
San Francisco Chronicle, CA, August 9, 2006
IN HIS VETO of the same-sex marriage bill last year, Gov. ArnoldSchwarzenegger went out of his way to stress his belief in equal rights forgays and lesbians. He promised to "vigorously defend and enforce theserights." He made it clear that he would not agree to "any rollback" ofdomestic-partnership rights.
The governor's support of a separate-but-equal system of marriage may soonbe put to the test.
The fact is, domestic partnerships are nowhere close to equality withmarriage under federal law, which conveys more than 1,000 rights andresponsibilities exclusively to married couples. The list includesimmigration consideration, the ability to file joint income-tax returns, Social Security benefits and status as next-of-kin for hospital visitation or life-and-death medical decisions.
I am sure there is no single answer to why Estonia and Latvia are reacting sodifferently to gay issues. And there are many various aspects and angles youneed to look into to understand the past and the current developments in thesetwo countries. In no way exhaustive, but just some of my thoughts on why thesituation is that different in Latvia and Estonia.
Latvia and Estonia has a lot in common historically up to the Soviet occupation.However during the Soviet time Estonians had a huge advantage in such a trivialbut hugely important way - many of them had access to the Finnish television. I know it might sound silly, but I believe it had a tremendous impact on an everyday Estonian person growing up during the Soviet period. Close linguistic linksbetween the Finnish and the Estonian languages made the flow of Westerninformation (and consequently life style and a general vision of world ad life)easily accessible to Estonians. Despite the fact the both Latvia and Estonia
were firmly separated from the natural social developments in the West by the'wall', the Estonians had a chance to access and digest a lot of thatdevelopment via Western television. Hence today the Estonians have less
confusion and easily incorporated into Western system of values.
By David Brown
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 10, 2006; A15
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation yesterday said it will give $500 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria over the next five years.
The contribution is by far the largest from a nongovernment source since the Global Fund was created in 2002.
"This very sizable and greatly appreciated additional commitment will help save millions of lives around the world. It is a very strong vote of confidence in the Global Fund," said the organization's director, Richard G.A. Feachem.
Based in Geneva, the fund provides financial support for programs in the developing world to prevent or treat the three named diseases. It was created at the suggestion of United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan but is not a U.N. agency. It is a key institution to bring optimal HIV/AIDS care to poor countries, and currently helps underwrite antiretroviral therapy for about 550,000 people.
Tests Probe if Pill a Day Can Keep AIDS at Bay
Filed at 8:46 a.m. ET
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Can the drugs that keep HIV-positive people alive also make it safer to enjoy carefree sex -- much as during the pre-AIDS 1970s?
Health officials in the United States, Thailand, Botswana and elsewhere are now trying to find out by conducting trials in which healthy people take drug cocktails that suppress the virus.
``The information that we have indicates that this is a very promising approach,'' said the University of California, San Francisco's Robert Grant, who is overseeing an upcoming study to be conducted in Peru.
``The use of anti-viral drugs for prevention has been evaluated in animal models, especially non-human primates. They have shown to be highly effective in preventing acquisition of viruses that are similar to HIV.''
Researchers have already completed one study in Ghana on the subject, known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (or PrEP), and will present the first findings on the topic next week at the International AIDS conference in Toronto.
Turkish Daily News
August 8, 2006
Angry crowd ensures gay march in Bursa is canceled after protests
Police have been forced to cancel a planned demonstration by gay rightsactivists in Bursa after anti-gayprotesters took to the streets toscupper the march.
Hundreds of football club Bursaspor supporters lined the route of theplanned demonstration and threw stones at the offices of the localhomosexual association, Gokkusagi (Rainbow).
Police ordered the demonstrators to remain inside the Gokkusagi buildinguntil the protestors dispersed. At first, the police said the march wasdelayed by one hour. Bursaspor supporters at first believed the march was
cancelled and dispersed, but when they realized it was just postponed,they returned. Police were forced to cancel the march.
Organizers claimed the police had failed to take adequate measures toensure the march could go ahead.
Showdown looms in Jerusalem as critics blast gay-pride demonstration
By: Brenda Gazzar JERUSALEM, Aug. 9 (JTA) — While Israel is gearing up for a wider military offensive against Hezbollah in Lebanon, another battle is coming to a head between gay-pride activists and their opponents in Jerusalem. Organizers of WorldPride 2006, an international gay pride event being held this week in Jerusalem, say they’ll protest hatred against their community Thursday near Liberty Bell Park in downtown Jerusalem, despite being denied a permit by police. In July, Jerusalem Open House organizers delayed a controversial parade in the streets of Jerusalem — the original centerpiece of the WorldPride week — largely due to the political and regional turmoil that has consumed Israel in recent weeks.
Organizers say they’ll reschedule the parade once Israel’s war with Hezbollah ends, but in the meantime have chosen to hold a protest in the parade’s place.“It’s a protest against hatred, a quiet, peaceful protest against ongoing violence and incitement against our community,” said Hagai El-Ad, executive director of Jerusalem Open House, a center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people that has organized the weeklong WorldPride event. It’s “expressing our voice in a democratic way, publicly in Jerusalem for human rights, tolerance and equality,” he said, “a voice that should be echoing in Jerusalem these days.”Jerusalem District Police officials say they refused to allow the protest after organizers could not guarantee control of the crowd or that participants would not block traffic.