Thursday, January 11, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - January 11, 2007

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Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Cambridge Chronicle, MA, January 9, 2007

Cambridge pols work to prohibit gay marriage ban By Priscilla Yeon/StateHouse News Service

Two lawmakers who are strong backers of same-sex marriage plan to filelegislation that would amend the constitution by prohibiting initiativepetitions that limit civil rights.

According to Rep. Alice Wolf (D-Cambridge), she plans to file the proposalwith Rep. Byron Rushing (D-Boston). Wolf said the citizen petition banninggay marriage, which was signed by 170,000 people, was the initial reason forfiling the measure.

"We never want to put something in our Constitution that limits people'scivil rights," Wolf told the News Service during a bill-signing event hostedby the Caucus of Women Legislators.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

NYC Independent Media Center, NY, January 9, 2007

Till Deportation Do Us Part

A bill in Congress could give Americans the right to extend citizenship tosame-sex partners.
By Rebecca DeRosa

Now that the Republicans have lost control of Congress, perhaps legislationsuch as the Uniting American Families Act will finally get passed. This billwould give U.S. citizens the right to give their loved ones citizenship.

Yes, this is a right that already exists, but only if you marry someone ofthe opposite sex.

Currently, U.S. citizens cannot extend citizenship rights to their same-sex,foreign-born partners. While some people want to "defend marriage," theydon't seem concerned with defending the rights of real people who considertheir relationships as valid as the latest 24-hour tabloid marriage or mailorder bride.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Duke develops test for drug-resistant HIV

Associated Press, Tuesday, January 9, 2007

SUMMARY: It's hoped the new test, which detects even small amounts ofdrug-resistant HIV, will more accurately predict which drugs will work forpatients.

Detecting whether patients with HIV/AIDS are infected with even smallamounts of drug-resistant forms of the virus can be done with a testdeveloped by researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

While other tests only pick up drug-resistant strains when they represent asignificant portion of the virus in a person's bloodstream, the testdeveloped at Duke may enable doctors to more accurately predict whichmedicines will work for patients and which drugs will ultimately fail.

"This can be huge," said Dr. Feng Gao, a Duke HIV/AIDS researcher andco-author of the article published online Sunday in the journal NatureMethods.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

18-25s more pink, more blue, more happy

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

SUMMARY: Americans 18-25 poll far gay-friendlier, more optimistic and morelikely to vote Democratic than their predecessors -- if, that is, they voteat all.

The young adults of Generation Next are more optimistic, more tolerant andmore likely Democratic voters than their predecessors, according to a newstudy.

The group's tilt toward the Democratic Party is far different from theprevious younger generation, known as Generation X, which grew up during theReagan administration of the 1980s and was more inclined to supportRepublicans.

"This portends a significant political impact as they get more engaged,"said Scott Keeter, a researcher from the Pew Research Center. "If they carrytheir party leanings with them, that will make a big difference."

Forty-eight percent of young adults age 18 to 25 said they were Democrats orleaned that direction while 35 percent said they were Republican or leanedthat way in 2006, according to Pew polling.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Seattle Times, WA, January 10, 2007

Bills' goal: "marriage equality"
By Andrew Garber, Seattle Times Olympia bureau

OLYMPIA - A coalition of gay lawmakers in the state House and Senate plansto introduce legislation that would extend the right to marry to gay andlesbian couples.

Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, and four lawmakers in the House said they'llrelease details Thursday. They've announced plans to introduce what theycall the "marriage-equality" bill and a measure that would grantdomestic-partnership benefits to same-sex couples.

"The goal is marriage equality," Murray said Tuesday, a day after theLegislature went into session. "It's an important statement that our eyesare on the prize, and the prize is marriage."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Wisconsin State Journal, WI , January 10, 2007

City may let officials, appointees protest marriage ban in oath PATRICIA

The city of Madison may provide people elected to public office or who serveon city boards and commissions with a way to officially protest Wisconsin'snew constitutional ban against gay marriage through their oath of office.

State law requires such people to take an oath to support the state andfederal constitutions, said Cindy Wick, executive assistant at Madison'sEqual Opportunities Commission. On Tuesday, the City Council is expected totake up a proposal that would allow them to add to that oath that it wastaken under protest and promise to "work to eliminate this section from theConstitution and work to prevent any discriminatory impacts from itsapplication."


The Express Gay News

Ga. school district settles lawsuit over gay club
White County to train staff on preventing anti-gay harassment
By DYANA BAGBY | Jan 10, 7:07 PM

The ACLU announced Jan. 10 it reached a settlement agreement with WhiteCounty school administrators who were sued in federal court last year afterbanning all so-called non-curricular clubs as a way to keep out agay-straight alliance.

According to court documents, the settlement agreement includes a $10,000payment by the White County school district to be disseminated amongst theplaintiffs in the suit, including the GSA, named Peers Rising in DiverseEducation. The agreement also orders the school district to pay $168,000 tothe ACLU in attorneys' fees.


The Advocate

Georgia school officials settle with ACLU to allow GSA

A settlement has been reached between the American Civil Liberties Union andofficials in White County, Ga., who had refused to permit a gay-straightalliance club to meet at White County High School.

A settlement has been reached between the American Civil LibertiesUnion--representing students in a gay-straight alliance--and officials inWhite County, Ga., who had refused to permit the club to meet at WhiteCounty High School, the ACLU announced Wednesday.

Local media reported December 26 that a settlement had been tentativelyreached, but Wednesday's announcement makes it official.

"I'm just so happy this is all over and that our school is doing the rightthing," Charlene Hammersen, one of the founders of the alliance, calledPeers Rising in Diverse Education (PRIDE), told the ACLU. "It's taken almosttwo years to get here, but we're as determined as we've always been topromote diversity and fight harassment against gay students at our school.This is really great for every student that goes to White County High."


Shoplifting Leads To Trans-Woman's Murder
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 10, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(Washington) A man detained for shoplifting has been charged with theslaying of a Washington transsexual woman.

Police say the man was detained after being caught shoplifting at a 7-Elevenstore. While officers were questioning the man information they obtainedled them to go to a Kansas Avenue NW apartment.

There they found the body of Diamond Person, 42. The body was taken to themedical examiner's office, where she was pronounced dead.

The DC Police Department's Gay and Lesbian Unit said that an autopsy showedPerson had been beaten in the head with a hammer, choked and then had aplastic bag over her head.


Review Of Gay Penguin Book Nixed
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 10, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(Charlotte, North Carolina) A planned formal review by theCharlotte-Mecklenburg school board of a children's book about a gay penguincouple has been overturned by the board's own lawyer.

The book, "And Tango Makes Three" has been at the center of an internalboard squabble for the better part of a month.

Schools superintendent Peter Gorman first order the book to be removed,because it focuses on homosexuality, was too controversial, and was notvital to primary school students. Gorman cited complaints about the subjectmatter.

But when the The Charlotte Observer asked for copies of the complaintsGorman told the paper he realized he had not followed the district's ownpolicy - an error he blames on miscommunication with staff. (story)


Yale Singers Attacked In San Francisco
by The Associated Press

Posted: January 10, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(San Francisco, California) Members of an all-male singing group from YaleUniversity say they were taunted with anti-gay slurs, attacked and beatenafter singing "The Star Stangled Banner" at a New Year's Eve party in SanFrancisco.

At least three members of the Baker's Dozen a cappella group were hurt. Onesuffered a broken jaw.

No arrests have been made. Police said they are investigating.

The trouble started when a couple of partygoers began mocking the 16 studentsingers _ who wore sports jackets and ties _ as preppies, witnesses said.

"You're not welcome here," Sharyar Aziz Jr., an 18-year-old Baker's Dozenmember whose jaw was broken, quoted one partygoer as saying. "He called afew members of the group, whether it was fag or homo, very, I would say,juvenile taunting."

Reno Rapagnani, a retired San Francisco police officer whose daughter hostedthe event, shut down the party. As the singers headed back to a nearby homewhere they were staying, another group of young men got out of a van andjumped them, according to Rapagnani.


Ex-Gays Threaten New Curriculum At Embattled Md. School System
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 10, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Rockville, Maryland) The Montgomery County school board has approved a newsex education curriculum to replace one thrown out by the courts when anex-gay group complained.

Now the same group says may return to court over the new course approvedthis week for grades eight through ten.

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays filed suit last year accused theschool district of "denigrating" so-called former gays in the materials tobe used in the original course.


The New York Times

January 11, 2007

Romney Says He Was Wrong on 1994 Issues
Filed at 12:09 a.m. ET

BOSTON (AP) -- A 1994 videotape mysteriously posted on promptedRepublican Mitt Romney to declare Wednesday, ''I was wrong on some issuesback then,'' while also insisting to social conservatives key to hispresidential campaign that he is one of them.

The tape of a Senate debate between Romney and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy showedRomney defending a woman's right to abortion, saying he supported allowinggays in the Boy Scouts and distancing himself from former President Reaganby noting he was a registered independent during the period the conservativeicon was leading the nation.

All of the material has been previously published, but its presentation invideo form -- and on the easily shared YouTube medium -- prompted animmediate response from Romney, who formed a presidential exploratorycommittee last week.


The Nw York Times

January 11, 2007
AIDS Drug to Protect Fetus Is Safe for Infected Mothers, Study Finds

Women can take the anti-AIDS drug nevirapine to protect their unbornchildren without endangering their ability to undergo life-savingantiretroviral treatment later on, a new study has found.

The results are good news for poor women in Africa, Asia and Latin Americawho must take nevirapine, an inexpensive first-line drug that often preventsthe transmission of H.I.V. from mother to child.

The drug lingers in the blood up to three weeks, and if the mother has thevirus that causes AIDS, its presence encourages the growth ofnevirapine-resistant strains. That has led to fears that any antiretroviraldrug cocktail containing nevirapine would be useless.


Romney Can't Shake Old Gay Remarks
by The Associated Press

Posted: January 11, 2007 - 8:00 am ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) A 1994 videotape mysteriously posted on YouTube.comprompted Republican Mitt Romney to declare Wednesday, "I was wrong on someissues back then," while also insisting to social conservatives key to hispresidential campaign that he is one of them.

The tape of a Senate debate between Romney and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy showedRomney defending a woman's right to abortion, saying he supported allowinggays in the Boy Scouts and distancing himself from former President Reaganby noting he was a registered independent during the period the conservativeicon was leading the nation.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Tuesday, 01/09/07

Midstate briefs: Death outside Nashville club under investigation


Metro police were investigating the death of a man whose body was found at5:25 a.m. Sunday in a parking lot at a south Nashville club.

The victim, Nakia Ladelle Baker, 31, of Richardson Road in Murfreesboro hadtrauma to his head and was found next to his car at 3312-B Nolensville Road,behind Club Adventura & Billiards, Metro police said.

An autopsy was scheduled for Monday, police said.

Baker was found dressed in women's clothing, police said. Witnesses reportedseeing Baker in the club socializing with other men who were dressed aswomen, police said.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

By DAVID SEIFMAN City Hall Bureau Chief

January 8, 2007 -- City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has taken the firstconcrete step to enter the 2009 mayoral race by hiring a hot shotfund-raiser who previously worked for Gov. Spitzer, The Post has learned.

Sources said Quinn's campaign is bringing aboard Hilary Keller, a deputyfund-raiser in Spitzer's mighty operation, in a couple of weeks.

"I think it's pretty significant," said one source in the Quinn camp.

Unlike potential mayoral rivals, Quinn hasn't done much fund-raising sincebeing elected the first female - and openly gay - council speaker last year.

"She made the decision that she had enough to learn at City Hall that shedidn't want to be spending a large amount of time on political activities,"explained the source.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay Christians speak out against fundamentalists

Tony Grew

The head of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement has spoken out againstreligious fundamentalists ahead of today's House of Lords debate on theSexual Orientation Regulations.

Rev Richard Kirker, in a statement to, expressed his shame atsome Christian groups who have taken the position that they should beexempted from the regulations, which outlaw discrimination against LGBTpeople when accessing services.

"A small group of fundamentalist Christians have led a wicked campaign ofdisinformation about these regulations, making claims that anyone whobothered to read them could see were false," said Rev Kirker, the chiefexecutive of the LGCM.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Orkney hits back at unfair press coverage

8th January 2007 15:51
Tony Grew exclusive

Council staff on the islands of Orkney have spoken exclusively about the media storm that has engulfed the remote Scottishoutpost.

A communications officer for the island group's local authority spoke in an attempt to put right inaccurate reports in Londonnewspapers.

The row concerns the proposed civil partnership ceremony of the composer SirPeter Maxwell-Davies and his partner, Colin Parkinson.

The couple had wanted to have the ceremony on their home island of Sanday,conducted by their friend who is the 'home-based' registrar for that island.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

COMMENT: Congress should scrap "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

4th January 2007 16:10

A new United States Congress will be sworn in later today. In the Novemberelection, the Democratic party seized control of both the House and's Tony Grew considers whether the 110th Congress will be theone to finally allow gays and lesbians to serve in the US military.

It seems America is finally coming to terms with the fact that there are gaypeople in their Armed Forces, whether they ask or not.

The much-maligned compromise policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," wherebymilitary authorities promise not to ask servicemen and women if they aregay, as long as those same soldiers, sailors, marines, air force and coastguard personnel promise not to tell if they are, is rightly judged a failureby all but the most pig-headed commentators.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

A stir in India after prince comes out

By Henry Chu
Los Angeles Times

VADODARA, India - As a maharajah's son, Manvendra Singh Gohil grew up in abubble of prestige and privilege, surrounded by hangers-on who treated himso reverentially that he was 15 before he crossed the street by himself.

So the public snubs and rejection of the last nine months have been a newexperience. Yet the mild-mannered Gohil couldn't be more content.

At last, he says, he is living an honest life - in March, he revealed alifelong secret to a local newspaper, which promptly splashed it on thefront page.

"The headline was: 'The Prince of Rajpipla Declares That He's a Homosexual,'" Gohil said with a rueful chuckle. "The newspaper sold like hotcakes."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Our View: Racist history comes to fore

When it comes to racism, we Canadians like to point our self-righteousfingers south of the border, at overt examples of American indiscretions.

But we've got plenty of our own history to be embarrassed and ashamed about.

Our federal government has formally apologized to Canadians of Japanesedescent who were summarily evicted from their coastal B.C. homes andinterned in the interior and in Alberta. When the Second World War ended andthe "threat" had passed, many were left with little or nothing, and manyothers were offered one-way tickets out of the country.

More recently, after a long process that was embarrassing in itself, thefeds, led by successive prime ministers Paul Martin and Stephen Harper,finally got around to this country's atrociously racist policies againstChinese immigration.

Now, if NDP leader Jack Layton has his way in South Surrey today, it will beour Indo-Canadian brethren's turn. He plans to specifically centre on theKomagata Maru incident, in 1914, in which Indian emigrants were forced toendure hardships, and eventually return to India, where many were jailed orshot by the British.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

John Overall asks the Tough QuestionWhy are gay men banned from donating blood?

Jan 10, 2007 10:14 AM

The American Red Cross in Southern Arizona is still dangerously low on "O"positive and "B" negative blood types.

Despite the desperate situation the Red Cross cannot allow certain membersof society to donate.

Gay men are banned for life from donating according to the Food and DrugAdministration.

Matt Haynes of Tucson can't believe it. He's tried to donate over the yearsbut he's gay and he's on the do not donate list, "that really infuriates me,talk about blatant discrimination."


Anything But Straight
by Wayne Besen

January 10, 2007

Mitt Is Full of It

In my mind, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is the mostunacceptable presidential candidate in the 2008 race. He is a fair-weatherphony that will say or do anything to get elected. In short, he is aposter-boy for everything wrong with politics and represents the reason manypeople stay home instead of heading to the polls on Election Day.

On the surface, Romney appears to be a strong candidate. He is articulate,looks presidential and was elected governor of a liberal state. He turnedstate deficits into surpluses and helped pass an innovative healthcare planin Massachusetts.

Even with his impressive resume and stature, Romney has an uphill battle forthe Oval Office because he is a Mormon. Polls show that nearly 4 out of 10Americans would not vote for a person of this religious persuasion. In orderto offset this baggage, Romney’s strategy is to sandbag gay people.

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