Wednesday, January 10, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - January 10, 2007

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As rights group shuts down, chairman says Czech gays and lesbians must catchup with the tolerant society around them

[09-01-2007] By Ilya Marritz

After seventeen years in the movement, Jiri Hromada is moving on. Last weekhe announced that Gay Iniciativa, the lesbian and gay rights group he hasled for the past seven years, is closing down. Already, the little alcoveoff of his bedroom, which once served as Gay Iniciativa's main office, hasbeen tidied up and is beginning to look more like an ordinary study.

But my main colleague, my deputy who knows everything about computers satdown there at the desk with the computer, and I sat at this other desk tothe right. Here are some interesting mementoes: I got these medals at thegay games. This one I got in Amsterdam, and then this was from Sydney in2002. In my years working in gay rights, I became an honorary member of manyorganizations, and these plaques and certificates are from that time."


Tel Aviv, the final gay frontier

These are the voyages of the British gay journalist in his continuingmission to explore strange new worlds
Chas Newkey Burden

Tel Aviv resident Justin Rudzki was strolling across the city's busyDizengoff Square one day when he spotted an Arab man. Their eyes met and thetwo men approached one another.

But this wasn't to be yet another moment of conflict between Jew and Arab inthe Middle East. The pair instead swapped phone numbers and arranged a date.You might not expect such an encounter to be able to occur in Israel. Butthen the more you look into gay life in this country, the more surprises youuncover.

When I told friends I was visiting Israel, the common response was "Becareful, make sure you don't get killed." In fact, such is the level ofsecurity there, I felt far, far safer in Israel than I do in London.Similarly, when I told friends I was visiting Israel to write a feature fora gay magazine, the common response was: "Be careful, I bet it's a reallyhomophobic country."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List, January 8, 2007

Another homosexual activist cuts bisexuals out of wedding march
By Janet M. LaRue

It turns out that some are more equal than others.

Another nationally-known homosexual activist, Michaelangelo Signorile,dismissed the prospect of legalized polygamy as a scare tactic and went onrecord against a "married" ménage-a-trois, which is the topic of my recentcolumn. Even so, I'm guessing that Signorile and friends are applaudingWednesday's ruling by a Canadian appeals court that a five-year-old boy hasa legal right to two mommies and a daddy. If the ruling isn't the Tour deLuge to polygamy, what is?

Wednesday night, Bill O'Reilly interviewed Signorile on the subject of "gaymarriage." O'Reilly says if homosexuals can marry, you can't stop polygamy.Signorile essentially dismissed polygamy as a "ploy," saying it "isn'twithin the scheme of marriage."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

'Sheep have a right to be gay'

By Johann Hari

London - Whatever happens in 2007, we already have the most surreal headlineof the year: "Sheep have right to be gay, says Martina Navratilova". Butbehind this headline and buried beneath the battery of baa-aad jokes itseems to beckon, there is a strange and serious story that will ripple outthrough the 21st century in ways we cannot predict.

For the past five years, a team of researchers at Orgeon State Universityhas been investigating the sexuality of sheep. Early on, they proved whatevery sheep farmer knows: about 8 percent of rams are gay. When it comes tosex, these woolly homosexuals shun ewes and engage exclusively in ram-on-ramaction.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Policy on gays divides veterans

'don't ask, don't tell': With troop deployments straining resources, somepush for changes.

09:21 AM PST on Tuesday, January 9, 2007
The Press-Enterprise

Retired Army Gen. John Shalikashvili, in comments published last week by TheNew York Times, said America is now more accepting of gays and lesbiansserving in uniform.

Shalikashvili presided over the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1993 when thecurrent "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, which allows gays to serve only ifthey keep private their sexual orientation, went into effect.

At that time, Shalikashvili said allowing gays to serve openly would crippletroop morale. But he now says most servicemen and women can accept gay andlesbian peers. He said he changed his mind after talking with gays andlesbians in uniform.


A note from Ray:
Congrats to UF. However, it is ironic that UF felt the need to excel firstin football, before moving toward a first place in academic excellence. Isthere any evidence of a positive relationship between athletic focus on auniversity campus and academic excellence?


Rights Group Names Best LGBT Workplaces
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 9, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Washington) A record 142 major companies made this year's Best Places ToWork List put out by the Human Rights Campaign. The number is an increase of41 over 2005.

HRC publishes the list annually. All 142 companies this year attained aperfect score on the organization's Corporate Equality Index, which measurespolicies and practices implemented to promote fairness and equality in theworkplace for LGBT employees.

"This is our version of the 'Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval' showingthat these 142 companies have a philosophy of inclusion and are committed tofairness and equality for all Americans," said Joe Solmonese, president ofthe Human Rights Campaign.

"Whether the seal is placed on recruiting materials used to attract newemployees or prominently displayed at the entrance of a company's store,this seal will act as a welcome mat for equality."


Bid Fails To Overturn UK Rights Law
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 9, 2007 - 6:00 pm ET

(London) A bid by gay foes to overturn a law banning discrimination againstgays and lesbians in goods and services failed Tuesday in the House of Lordsby a margin of three to one.

The new law came into force in Northern Ireland on Jan. 1, and is scheduledto be introduced in England, Wales and Scotland in April.

As the Lords began debate on a repeal measure hundreds of conservativereligious groups demonstrated across the street.

Leaders of the group also submitted a petition to the Queen.

Andrea Minichello Williams, a protest organizer, told the Associated Pressearlier on Tuesday that the petition had been signed by 10,000 BritishChristians and urges the monarch to use her "power and position" to demandthat the British government protect the freedom of Christians to liveaccording to the Bible's teaching.


Cars Vandalized At Houston Gay Night Spot
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 9, 2007 - 8:30 pm ET

(Houston, Texas) Houston police are searching for the person or personsresponsible for vandalizing dozens of cars early Tuesday morning outside apopular gay bar.

Patrons emerged from EJ's near closing time to find their tires slashed,windows smashed and paint scored with a key or knife.

All of the cars were in a parking lot at the rear of the bar on Ralph Streetnear Westheimer Road.

"I have two flat tires and a damaged windshield," one victim, Andre Wagner,told KPRC-television.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Antigay psychiatrist Charles Socarides dies
by Bob Roehr

A pillar of antigay psychiatry, Charles W. Socarides, died at his home inManhattan, Sunday, December 25. He was 83. Dr. Socarides provided much ofthe intellectual rationale for the discredited concept of "reparativetherapy" – that gays and lesbians could be cured of their sexual orientationand made straight.

Socarides's obsession with homosexuality resulted in a handful of books onthe topic, including The Overt Homosexual (1968), and Homosexuality: AFreedom Too Far (1995).

His central premise was that for gay men, homosexuality was a "neuroticadaptation" to a distant father and a smothering mother. He claimed to havecured about a third of those he treated and made them straight. He was avocal advocate for his positions and was frequently quoted in the media.


Express Gay News

Gay Montana cop asked to help train Afghans
Gay liason officer hopes to enlighten police about cultural diversity
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) | Jan 9, 7:58 AM

Scott Oak, the Missoula Police Department's gay liaison officer, is taking aone-year leave to help train the Afghan National Police force.

Oak said he was contacted by officials with the State Department, whoapparently became aware of him through news coverage he received as anopenly gay officer and Missoula's first police liaison to the gay community.

Oak said he was asked to carry that expertise abroad and conduct training inhuman and civil rights, ethics, diversity and basic police operations.

"I could be training police on everything from human rights to buildingsearches," he said.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Conservatives blame Shalikashvili's stroke for his support of Don't Ask,Don't Tell Repeal
by Michael Rogers

Agape Press, the news service of the American Family Association, hasreported on the response of the conservative military watchdog group, theCenter for Military Readiness, to a New York Times op-ed in which retiredChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shalikashvili called forthe repeal of the law which led to the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tellpolicy. The policy forces lesbians and gays to remain in the closet shouldthey wish to join or remain in the armed forces.

Conceding that the General's stance would assist efforts to repeal Don'tAsk, Don't Tell, Agape reported that Donnelly said Shalikashvili is"struggling" to keep his health. "She says it is 'really sad' to see someonelike the General being used by the homosexual propaganda machine as 'thelatest tool of a public relations campaign,'" reported Agape.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Survey: 1 in 4 troops knows gay colleague

By Teri Weaver, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Saturday, January 6, 2007

TOKYO — Nearly one in four servicemembers knows definitively that a memberof his or her unit is gay or lesbian, according to a survey released lastmonth.

Twenty-three percent of the 545 servicemembers surveyed online over threedays in October said they knew “for certain” they were serving with someonewho is gay, according to a Zogby International poll. The poll wascommissioned by and designed in conjunction with the Michael D. Palm Center,a research institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara, thatwas formerly the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military.

The institute’s main goal includes studying the U.S. military’s “don’t ask,don’t tell” policy. According to its Web site, the institute “promotes theinterdisciplinary analysis of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and othermarginalized sexual identities in the armed forces.”


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


A deepening challenge for America's gay men
New movement looks for more in identity, relationships
- Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, January 8, 2007

Meet the new players in the great American debate about values: Ryan, a25-year-old newlywed, who is helping other men find husbands; Doug, 50, whois helping gay men in San Francisco create their ideal community; and Chris,36, whose pursuit of happiness has switched from chasing New York hotties toseeking down-home enlightenment.

They and others across the country are engaging gay men in conversationsabout their goals and values -- both personal and collective -- andchallenging the sense of who gay men are and what makes their community.This introspection is happening as gay men are able to move away from theAIDS crisis, which had demanded their full attention for two decades, andnow have the time and energy to look inward, these leaders say.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Hungary's Largest Lesbigay Club Not in Budapest!

January 9, 2007 Filed Under: Culture

Although it may not always feel like it, according to the UK's leadinglesbian and gay newspaper, the Gay Times, "Hungary has always been one ofEastern Europe's more liberal countries." The article continues, "The gayscene in Budapest is vibrant and the city makes an excellent destination forgay and lesbian visitors. Since 1997 there has been a gay pride day heldeach year in the summer." Unfortunately, for those Hungarians living outsidethe capital, life can be tough, and nightlife options limited. UntilDecember 9, that is, when the Kék Osztriga ("Blue Oyster") opened its doorsin Székesfehérvár, half way between Budapest and Lake Balaton.

"People who are gay and unfortunate enough to be born outside Budapest allend up in the capital after a while because leading a gay life isintolerable everywhere else. I hear this from everyone," says Pestisidecontributing editor Noémi Szádeczky-Kardoss. "I am not a big fan ofclubbing, but the Blue Oyster sends out an important message and is a stepin the right direction."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List via EDGE Boston, January 8, 2007

Getting Married? Take your time

The moment you've been waiting for is here. Your special guy (or girl) looksdeep into your eyes and says, "Let's do it. Let's get married." After youget over the shock and agree, you ask your partner when he or she thinksmight be a good day to have the wedding or commitment ceremony.

"Oh, I don't know," he or she says. "Why don't we say a year, maybe two?"

A year? Maybe two? But this is the biggest day of your life, the one you'vebeen waiting for since you were a child. Granted, you want to take some timeto prepare, but shouldn't the wedding follow the engagement in a relativelytimely manner?

Not necessarily.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


By CARL CAMPANILE, January 8, 2007

"Fun City" is getting sexier - and safer.

Mayor Bloomberg is about to unveil the city's own "NYC" brand of freecondoms - in packets with a variety of colors representing the differentsubway lines, The Post has learned.

Gotham will be the first city to have its own signature municipal condoms,officials believe.

The distribution of millions of NYC condoms - made of standard, lubricatedlatex - will help promote safe sex to prevent AIDS and other sexuallytransmitted diseases.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

San Jose Mercury News, CA, January 8, 2007

California court can bring reason to marriage debate Mercury News Editorial

This could be the year California turns a corner on gay marriage: The stateSupreme Court has voted unanimously to consider whether the voter-imposedban that's been in effect for the past six years is constitutional.

If the justices strike down Proposition 22, as we hope, it will mean gay andlesbian couples have the same legal rights as others to inheritance, childcustody and countless other protections that married heterosexual couplesvalue.

No matter how the court rules, the institution of marriage will endure. It'sonly a matter of time before its legal protections will extend to all.

Equal treatment of gay couples will be a hallmark of the 21st century, justas racial equality before the law was a sea change in 20th-century America.Someday we'll look back and wonder what all the fuss was about, the same waywe now shake our heads at laws that once banned inter-racial marriage.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Gay parents issues top social agenda for 2007 session

By Doug Thompson
The Morning News

FAYETTEVILLE -- Lawmakers can expect several contentious social issues to beraised in the coming session including gay foster parents, abortion, homeschooling and Internet predators.

The Arkansas Supreme Court struck down a state rule last year excludedingcouples from consideration as foster parents on the basis of sexualorientation. The ruling prompted some lawmakers to make campaign pledges towrite such a ban into state law.

The Family Council, a social conservative organization, and other groupssupporting such a ban will have little trouble finding a sponsor and mayhave several bills to choose from, Family Council Director Jerry Cox said.

Similar laws in other states have withstood constitutional challenges, Coxsaid. For instance, a law could forbid placing children in homes that thecouple "cohabits" without marriage.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,7324344.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

Broward schools chief wants cheaper, two-building administration complex inSunrise

By Buddy Nevins
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

January 10, 2007

In his first major, multimillion dollar business decision since takingoffice two months ago, interim Broward County School Superintendent JimNotter recommended Tuesday sharply cutting the size of a new west Browardadministration complex.

Notter proposes spending $26 million to buy two existing office buildings inSunrise rather than paying $44 million for three buildings, as was proposedlast year.

While that's a savings of $18 million, School Board members Robin Bartlemanand Phyllis Hope expressed reservations about spending about the cost of twoelementary schools on offices.

"You are talking about a lot of money ... money that could be spent forclassrooms," Bartleman told Notter.

Notter said the new center was needed because one administration building inFort Lauderdale was deteriorating rapidly and another on a high schoolcampus had to be closed to make room for long-delayed construction.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Media Contact:
Cathy Renna, 917.757.6123,
Syd Peterson, 917.621.6411,



January 8, 2007, Los Angeles CA-- Point Foundation, the national non-profitfoundation supporting academic achievement in higher education amonglesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, announced the openingof its 2007 application season. Students who will be enrolled inundergraduate or graduate programs for the 2007-08 school year are eligibleto apply for the prestigious, multi-year scholarships. The applicationdeadline for this year's scholarships is March 1, 2007.

Point Foundation Board Chair Bruce Lindstrom (who founded the organizationwith his partner, Carl Strickland in 2001) is looking forward to theselection process, which begins with written on-line applications andconcludes with face-to-face interviews with selected finalists in April."The application and selection process is rigorous but rewarding," he said."It's quite inspiring to meet so many outstanding LGBT students whorepresent this community's future leaders. Our staff, trustees and directorslook forward to the process with great anticipation. To be a part of thisprocess is both a great honor and a great responsibility," he concluded.


Diocese Won't Extend Pledge Not to Sue
Announcement Dims Hopes for Amicable Deal Over Property in BreakawayParishes

By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 10, 2007; B02

Hopes for a peaceful settlement between the Episcopal Diocese of Virginiaand nine breakaway congregations suffered a blow yesterday when the dioceseannounced it would not renew a mutual promise to avoid litigation overproperty.

Attorneys for the two sides have met once since the majority of members atthe nine congregations voted last month to leave the Episcopal Church, whichthey think has strayed seriously from Scripture on such issues ashomosexuality and the role of Jesus in salvation. Both sides had also agreedafter the votes to honor a 30-day "standstill" period for discussions,during which no one would initiate a lawsuit.


The New York Times

January 9, 2007
Married or Not, Gay Couple Are Ruled Legally Separated

A gay couple may have been mistaken in thinking they were legally married,but they still have to honor the terms of their separation agreement, whichis the equivalent of any other type of contract, a judge in New York Cityhas ruled.

The couple, Steven Green, 41, a real estate developer, and David Gonzalez,29, now a lawyer but a student at the time they met, began living togetherin 2001, a decision last week in State Supreme Court in Manhattan indicated.

They shared Mr. Green's house in Westchester County and a pied-à-terre onCentral Park South, according to the court papers and to Mr. Green, whoresponded to questions about the case by e-mail. Mr. Green, who said he alsoowns a home on Nantucket, produces independent films and runs "a smallcharter airline," was the wealthier of the two men, and showered his partnerwith gifts, including a ski house and two cars, according to court papers.


The New York Times

January 9, 2007
British Christians Protest Gay Rights
Filed at 9:16 p.m. ET

LONDON (AP) -- Christian activists submitted a petition to Queen ElizabethII on Tuesday protesting a gay rights law that they contend will force themto promote and condone gay sex.

The activists, who said such laws violate Biblical teaching, held acandlelit vigil outside Parliament as the House of Lords debated the new lawTuesday night. The body voted 199-68 against a motion calling for theregulation to be scrapped.

The section of the Equality Act 2006 banning businesses from discriminatingagainst gay people in the provision of goods and services took effect inNorthern Ireland on Jan. 1 and is scheduled to be introduced in England,Wales and Scotland in April.

In March, Britain's High Court will hear an attempt by a Christian group,the Christian Institute, to overturn the legislation.


The New York Times

January 9, 2007
Alan Cumming, Boyfriend Make It Official
Filed at 2:46 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Alan Cumming married illustrator Grant Shaffer in a civilceremony outside London over the weekend, the actor's spokeswoman, BiancaBianconi, said Tuesday.

''Not only are we so happy to be able to celebrate our love for each other,but also to be able to do it in a country that properly recognizes therights of same sex couples,'' Cumming, 41, said in a statement released byBianconi.

''As residents of America we would have loved to marry there, but we hopethat soon the civil rights that we have been afforded in the U.K. will beavailable to all gay Americans, and we look forward to celebrating not onlyour marriage, but the end of prejudice.''


Board of Education Approves New Sex-Ed Curriculum

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 10, 2007; B02

The Montgomery County Board of Education approved new sex-education lessonsyesterday for the eighth and 10th grades that teach what it means to behomosexual but say little about how people become gay, resisting pressurefrom a divided community to define homosexuality as nature or nurture, rightor wrong.

Approved by a unanimous vote, the lessons mark the first time Montgomeryschools will introduce the topics of sexual orientation and homosexuality.The materials, including a new 10th-grade condom-demonstration DVD, will befield-tested in a handful of middle and high schools in spring, barringintervention by the courts.

Some school board members said they expect a lawsuit from the same communitygroups that persuaded a federal judge to halt a version of the curriculum inspring 2005. U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams Jr. found that thecurriculum presented one view of homosexuality, "that homosexuality is anatural and morally correct lifestyle," to the exclusion of all others.


The New York Times

January 10, 2007

Dead UTexas Pledge's Body Defaced
Filed at 12:42 a.m. ET

HOUSTON (AP) -- The body of an 18-year-old fraternity pledge who died ofalcohol poisoning was defaced with numerous anti-gay epithets and obscenedrawings, according to a medical examiner's report.

Phanta ''Jack'' Phoummarath, a freshman at the University of Texas atAustin, died after ingesting large amounts of alcohol at a pledge party atLambda Phi Epsilon house in December 2005, authorities said. Phoumarrath'sbody was found the day after.

A grand jury indicted three members of the fraternity last month on hazingcharges following a yearlong investigation into Phoummarath's death.

The Travis County medical examiner's office reported that partygoers usedgreen and black markers to write ''FAG,'' ''I'm gay'' and ''I AM FAT'' onPhoummarath's head, face, torso, legs and feet. Someone also added drawingsdepicting naked men and women and blackened his toenails.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Formative years as gay teen spurs 'Talk'
Tucson Citizen

Coming of age can be traumatic for lots of reasons. But when a boy discovershis new body belongs to a homosexual, the trauma can become overwhelming.Childhood friends stop being friends. Even parents act disappointed.

Life takes on a completely new set of dimensions the boy can either embraceor deny. Playwright and college professor Paul Bonin-Rodriguez has capturedthe poignancy and delicacy of these formative years in "Talk of the Town," amemory play performed as a fully-staged monologue.

"To refer to this play as just a monologue is demeaning," said Tucson actorBrandon Kosters, talking about the special staging and all the characters heplays as a gay teen desperate to find reasons to be proud of himself.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Anti-HIV Condom Planned
Run Date: 01/06/07 By WeNews Staff


CheersUniversity of Utah scientists have developed a "molecular condom" that mayhelp women protect themselves from HIV infection. Made up of three differentchemicals, the condom works like a gel coating when put on the skin, thenturns into a liquid microbicide when exposed to semen and prevents the virusfrom spreading.

The development was announced in the Dec. 11 issue of the Journal ofPharmaceutical Science. The molecular condom is not ready for testing inwomen and researchers predicted it will take five to 10 years to bring it tomarket.

"Millions of women currently have little control over their sexual health,and microbicides could put the power of preventing HIV into women's hands,"Yusef Azad of the London-based National Aids Trust told the BBC Dec. 31. "Itis vitally important that women have a range of options of products such asgels, liquids and creams that could provide a barrier to contracting HIVduring sex."

More than 17 million women worldwide are infected with HIV, according to theUnited Nations.

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