Monday, January 08, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - January 08, 2007

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Gays Among Earliest Nazi Victims Newly Released Documents Show
by The Associated Press

Posted: January 7, 2007 - 12:01 am ET

(Berlin) Within weeks of Hitler's 1933 rise to power, the iron gates slammedshut on inmates of the first Nazi concentration camps. It was the start ofan unparalleled experiment in persecution and genocide that expanded overthe next 12 years into a pyramid of ghettos, Gestapo prisons, slave laborcamps and, ultimately, extermination factories.

Holocaust historians are only now piecing together the scattered research inmany languages to understand the vast scope of the camps, prisons andpunishment centers that scarred German-ruled Europe, like a pox on thelandscape stretching from Greece to Norway and eastward into Russia.

Collecting and analyzing fragmented reports, researchers at the U.S.Holocaust Memorial Museum say they have pinpointed some 20,000 places ofdetention and persecution - three times more than they estimated just sixyears ago.


Jan. 7, 2007, 7:27PM
Marching orders

Retired general revered for his leadership fires salvo against antigaydiscrimination.

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

In the last six years, U.S. service members have been barraged with poordecisions made in Washington. They were fed false pretexts, leftunderstaffed and shipped into a conflict with no endgame. Yet at least oneunnecessary burden - the "don't ask, don't tell" policy about gayorientation - is a relic of the Clinton administration. Now one of theoriginal defenders of that policy is leading the charge to end the policyand the damage it does to the military.

Retired Gen. John Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff underPresident Bill Clinton, said last week in a New York Times opinion piecethat the time to end antigay discrimination in the military is nearing. Itwas a pathbreaking act of leadership that should embolden other militaryleaders who agree with him to speak out, too.


Military: Gays Need Not Apply, Dead Welcome
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 8, 2007 - 12:01 am ET

(Washington) As the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and other LGBTgroups fight for repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the ban on gays servingopenly in the military, the armed forces are frantic to attract people.

One method being used to bolster troops is re-upping - getting officers whohave served and left the military to reenlist.

The Army recently sent out more than 5,100 letters to former servicemembersurging them to return to active duty.

But, 75 of the letters were sent to soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistanand another 200 to servicemembers wounded in the war.

The mistake has left the military red-faced.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

South Coast Today, MA, January 7, 2007

Why gay marriage matters
Linda Rodriguez

As a lesbian who grew up in New York City, I was blessed to be activelyinvolved in the gay community. I'm too young to remember the 1969 Stonewallriots, but as AIDS permeated New York City and metropolitan areas throughoutthe world, the issue of gay rights became a priority in my life. AlthoughI'm no political activist by any means, I have experienced many emotionalmoments, from gay marches in Washington, D.C., to last month's rally at NewBedford City Hall to the Statehouse on Jan. 2, 2007.

My partner and I were two of the hundreds who appeared at the Statehouse onTuesday to rally to keep the issue of gay marriage off of the 2008 ballot.We listened to and chanted "This is what equality looks like" with a sea ofunified voices. The crowd held signs, held hands, wore stickers, waved flagsand banners, some political, some religious. My partner and I personallyspoke with one of our state representatives, and we made our presence knownto the others.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Washington Times, DC, January 7, 2007

Gay 'marriage' ballot measures running their course


The legislative approval of a marriage constitutional amendment inMassachusetts last week means that at least three states have a good chanceof having such measures on their 2008 ballots.

But this is a considerably smaller crop of amendments than in previouselections, and there are signs that the state amendment strategy may haverun its course.

The push to get voters to define marriage as the union of one man andone woman in state constitutions started in 1998, when traditional-valuesactivists in Hawaii and Alaska used the tactic to overrule state SupremeCourt decisions legalizing same-sex "marriage."

The amendment strategy took off after the Massachusetts Supreme JudicialCourt legalized same-sex "marriage" in November 2003, and now 27 states havevoter-approved marriage amendments.


Express Gay News

Mahathir says gays should not rule mostly Muslim Malaysia
Ex-P.M. defends reason for firing former deputy
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) | Jan 8, 8:56 AM

Gays should not govern mostly Muslim Malaysia, ex-Prime Minister MahathirMohamad said in a court filing, challenging a lawsuit by his former deputywho was sacked amid allegations of sodomy.

"I strongly believe we cannot have a prime minister who is homosexual,"Mahathir said in the 48-page statement seen Saturday by The AssociatedPress. "Malaysia is officially an Islamic country."

Mahathir fired his deputy Anwar Ibrahim in 1998 alleging he was involved incorruption and had engaged in sodomy - an illegal act in Malaysia - afterAnwar publicly denounced Mahathir's economic policies during the Asianfinancial crisis.

Anwar was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of corruption andsodomy in 1998. A successful appeal in Malaysia's top court against thesodomy conviction set him free in 2004.


Detroit News

Deb Price

Gay soldiers don't disrupt U.S. military

While serving in Iraq and South Korea during his five-year Army career,Specialist Patrick English came out to about 50 fellow soldiers.

The enlisted man never had a problem, even in group showers -- which areincreasingly uncommon -- with heterosexual military men who knew he was gay.

"The people I served with and went to combat with, we grew close. They knowif you are hiding something," said the intelligence and Korean-languagespecialist, now 24. "I decided to be honest. And every time I came out, Iwas always met with support.

"In this generation, most people already know someone gay. They just careabout how you do your job."

English's message: Gays can serve openly without endangering themselves ortheir unit's effectiveness. A year ago, English told his story to someoneextraordinary -- and something extraordinary happened.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Boston Globe, MA, January 7, 2007

Gay, newly married, and home -- hopefully
By Dave Demerjian

"What would your neighbors think if they knew you guys got married?" myfriend asked shortly after Ethan and I returned last fall from ourhoneymoon. I told her I wasn't sure. As far as I know, we're one of only afew same-sex couples on our Jamaica Plain street, and the only ones who arelegally married. I'm curious, though, because how our neighbors view us willplay a major role in whether we choose to stay in our little corner of HydeSquare and someday raise a family here.

Without exception, our neighbors are friendly and respectful. They makesmall talk when we see them on the street, give a wave when we walk by. Eventhe tough-looking group that hangs on the corner acknowledges us with aquick "What's up?" -- as if simply living on their street entitles us to agrudging respect.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Kodiak Daily Mirror, AK, January 5, 2007

Guest Opinion: Why should same-sex partners pay for being gay?

Alaska's Supreme Court has ordered granting spousal benefits to same-sexpartners of state workers. Our Legislature seems determined to figure a wayout of it. Instead, they should be working on how to do it.

Benefits should not be handed out like backstage passes to "same-sexpartners, family members or roommates," as John Coghill suggests, nor shouldthere be a two-tiered system by which a "partner" would have to pay forbenefits that a "spouse" would not.

Instead, every state employee should be able to designate one partnereligible for benefits. Basically, it's the person most likely to be standingnext to his hospital bed when he's dying. This partner would satisfy thecriteria for common law marriage. Like jointly held bank accounts and realproperty, common assumption of debt and liability: all the aspects of a lifepartnership that a rational person would expect. This designated partnershould qualify for all the benefits now being given to spouses - period.That's what's fair.


'Homophobic' Orkney under attack for ban on civil partnership

By Andrew Johnson

Published: 08 January 2007
The Independent

Gay rights campaigners have called for a tourist boycott of Orkney after oneof the world's leading composers was banned from forming a civil partnershipwith his lover on the remote island of Sanday.

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, who is master of the Queen's Music, and ColinParkinson, 52, planned to hold their ceremony next month on Sanday, wherethey have lived for the past nine years.

Sir Peter, 72, had even composed a piece of music for the event, which wasto be attended by stars from the classical and pop music worlds.

But their plans were put on hold after officials at Orkney Islands Councilunexpectedly said the registrar, a friend of the couple, was not authorisedto preside over the civil partnership. Instead, they would have to travel toKirkwall on Orkney mainland for the ceremony.


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