Friday, January 12, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - January 12, 2007

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The Express Gay News

More National News
Spitzer promises to push gay marriage this year
Friday, January 12, 2007

ALBANY, N.Y. - By the one-year mark of his term, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzerwill propose legislation legalizing gay marriage in the state, a top aide tothe governor told the New York Sun last week. Though the issue wasn'taddressed in a recent "State of the State" address, Darren Dopp, Spitzer'scommunication's director, said the governor "made a commitment to advancingit this year and he will do so." He also told the Sun that gay marriage
a "day one" issue. Spitzer is more urgently concerned with advancing hisethics and economic agenda and is keeping gay marriage off the front burner.In Spitzer's address, he called New York a "state that understands that thecivil rights movement still has chapters to be written." Some gay activistswere concerned that marriage wasn't mentioned in the address and isn't asmuch a priority for Spitzer as he claimed while campaigning, when Spitzersaid same-sex marriage should be legal and that he would draft legislationthat would make New York the second state in the nation - afterMassachusetts - to extend marriage to same-sex couples.


The Express Gay News

Religion News
Sex, drug allegations could derail Haggard's writing career
Friday, January 12, 2007

DENVER (AP) - Former megachurch leader Ted Haggard's book-writing careercould be on the line after losing his pulpit and reputation last year amidaccusations that he patronized a male prostitute and bought drugs. Haggard's12 titles, which counseled readers on marital faithfulness and warnedagainst sexual activities like pornography and prostitutes, have been takenoff the shelves at the bookstore at New Life Church, which he founded 21years ago in Colorado Springs, Colo. Haggard was fired as senior pastor ofthe 14,000-member church in November, shortly after allegations surfacedthat he maintained a three-year sexual relationship with a gay prostituteand had purchased methamphetamine. "We haven't thought through plans forfuture works, but the fact of Ted's moral failure and dismissal doesn'tnecessarily negate the value of all his teachings," associate pastor RobBrendle said recently. Other booksellers are still carrying Haggard's works,even though the titles have traditionally seen unspectacular sales and havenever made it to the international Christian Bookseller's Association's top50 list. The future of Haggard's books outside his former church isuncertain.


Southern Voice

Savannah passes gay-inclusive resolution

Jan. 12, 2007

In keeping with a 2006 agreement with Georgia's largest gay rightsorganization, the Savannah City Council passed a resolution stating itscommitment to fair treatment for gay men and lesbians, among other minoritygroups.

The legislation, titled " A resolution to re-affirm Savannah's commitment tobe an inclusive community," passed Jan. 4 by a unanimous vote of theSavannah City Council, which is comprised of eight aldermen and SavannahMayor Otis Johnson.

The resolution condemns "individual and collective acts" of abuse anddiscrimination "directed toward any resident or visitor" based on race,religion, sexual orientation and other categories.


The New York Times

January 11, 2007
Mexican State Near Texas Passes Gay Union Law
Filed at 11:35 p.m. ET

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The northern state of Coahuila, a mining andranching region south of Texas, approved gay civil union on Thursday,becoming the second area in Mexico to give legal status to homosexualpartnerships.

Legislators in the state Congress voted 20-13 for a bill that gives gaysgreater rights than a similar law backed by Mexico City last November.

``It is more like a civil marriage,'' said Silvia Solis, a gay rightsactivist in the capital. She said Coahuila would grant social securitybenefits to both members of a homosexual union, an important demand of gaycampaigners.

The law was promoted by Coahuila's Institutional Revolutionary Party, whichrules the state.


The current issue of The Express Gay News is online


National Stonewall Democrats

Las Vegas National Training
We are thrilled to announce our Western National Training this March in LasVegas! Join us at the Riviera Hotel & Casino, smack-dab in the middle of thefamous Las Vegas Strip.

Of course, we're going to have a good time. No, we're going to have a greattime. But, we're also going to change our Party. This training is for anyonewho is interested in getting involved in presidential campaigns, becoming adelegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, sitting on importantparty committees, or simply organizing LGBT Democrats in your neighborhood.

Early-bird registration is open.

Las Vegas has it ALL!


Giuliani dismisses pro-gay views as irrelevant to presidential bid

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani on Thursday dismissed his liberal socialviews, including his support for gay rights, as irrelevant to a presidentialbid.

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani on Thursday dismissed his liberal socialviews-including support for gay rights-his divorces, and his former aide'simbroglio as irrelevant to a presidential bid. Asked about a leakedpolitical strategy memo that cited such issues as potentially insurmountableobstacles to a campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination,Giuliani said, ''That is not going to be the issue.''

''I sure have strengths and weaknesses,'' Giuliani said on ABC's GoodMorning America. ''I think that sort of puts me in the same category as justabout everybody else that's running. Are my strengths greater or myweaknesses worse? I don't know. You have to sort of examine that. That won'tbe the issue.''


Get The Message

by Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director, Lambda Legal

Today we're sending Condoleezza Rice a World AIDS Day message. We're askingher to put an end to the U.S. State Department's discriminatory policy ofnot hiring people with HIV to serve in the Foreign Service. We've got thebacking of many health experts and a petition signed by 17,000 people acrossthe country asking Rice to change this policy. We hope she'll get themessage.

Lambda Legal began the campaign to shed light on the State Department'sdiscriminatory policy last summer after we filed our case on behalf ofLorenzo Taylor, who was turned away from the Foreign Service simply becausehe has HIV. For the record, Taylor is more than qualified to serve in theForeign Service. He's fluent in three languages, has a decade of diplomaticwork experience and easily passed the rigorous job-application process tofulfill the State Department's requirements. In April, we launched an onlineaction campaign and took Lorenzo's story out into the streets at Pridecelebrations throughout the country. Within a month we received more than4,600 signatures, which we hand-delivered to the State Department.


The Express Gay News

Marine Ordered To Stand Trial In Gay Murder
by Newscenter Staff

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

(San Diego, California) A San Diego judge has ruled there is enough evidenceagainst a U.S. Marine for him to stand trial for murder with a hate crimeenhancement in the slaying of a gay man in 2006.

James Hardy, 19, was ordered to remain in jail in lieu of a million dollarbond until the trial.

The body of Raymund Catolico, 39, was found in his San Diego apartment onFebruary 9. A pathologist testified at this week's preliminary hearing thatCatolico had been dead two days.

Hardy was absent without leave from the Marine Corps at the time of thekilling.


Homophobia On Ice

by Jim Buzinski.,

Homophobia is sports is sad. It's even sadder when it's practiced by anopenly gay person. But that's what has happened to American figure skaterJohnny Weir.

Weir was slammed on a recent cable TV skating show called "Nancy Kerrigan'sWorld of Figure Skating." The culprit was Mark Lund, the openly gay founderof "International Figure Skating" magazine and most recently a judge onFox's "Skating With Celebrities."

In discussing the upcoming U.S. men's figure skating nationals, the showfeatured a segment on Weir, a three-time defending champion. As usual, Weirwas his flamboyant self, discussing part of his long program "loosely basedon Jesus Christ." That was enough for Lund to crucify him a segment laterwith Kerrigan and host Lou Tilley.


National Stonewall Democrats

Stonewall Congratulates City of Denver
Thursday, January 11, 2007)

Washington, DC - Today, the National Stonewall Democrats congratulated thecity of Denver for being selected as the host for the 2008 DemocraticNational Convention. The announcement was made today by the DemocraticNational Convention.

"The City of Denver has long been a welcoming home for LGBT Coloradoans,"said Jo Wyrick, NSD Executive Director. "Stonewall will use the attentionthat Denver will gain from its selection to work with Colorado Democrats tobuild on their recent electoral gains and to again help them passnon-discrimination legislation at the statehouse.

In 2005, the Democratically-controlled statehouse passed legislation that
would bar employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Thelegislation was vetoed by Republican Governor Bill Owens. This week, Owenswas replaced as Governor by Democrat Bill Ritter. Stonewall is committed toworking with Colorado Democrats to pass into law an inclusivenon-discrimination bill that bars employment discrimination on the basis ofsexual orientation and gender identity.


Houston, We Have A Problem

by Libby Post

Houston has a problem when it comes to the LGBT community.

Early Tuesday morning, many patrons of the popular gay bar, EJ's, wereleaving to drive home only to find their cars vandalized. Tires wereslashed, windows smashed and finishes ruined by being keyed-scoring a car'spaint job with a key or knife.

Gay activists called the incident a hate crime. The cops took statements butsince there was no surveillance in the parking lot and no witnesses, they'renot putting a lot of time into finding the people who did these deeds.

Further, had any of these folks asked a local Houston landscaper, GardenGuy, to do some work for them, their request would have fallen on homophobicears. It seems that Garden Guy refuses to work for gays and lesbians.

This past fall, a gay couple, Michael Lord and Gary Lackey, requestedlandscaping bids for their new home in Houston. After agreeing to meet,Garden Guy's co-owner, Sabrina Farber, e-mailed Lackey back saying "I needto tell you that we cannot meet with you because we choose not to work forhomosexuals."


The New York Times

January 11, 2007
African Anglicans to Snub Pro - Gay Rights U.S. Bishop
Filed at 12:09 p.m. ET

JOHANNSEBURG (Reuters) - Africa's leading Anglican archbishops plan to snubtheir pro-gay rights U.S. counterpart at a key summit next month as a bitterbattle over homosexuality intensifies in a world church on the brink ofschism.

Several African leaders have blasted Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, thefirst woman to head the U.S. Episcopal Church, for backing gay clergy andsame-sex unions. They have urged Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams notto invite her to a global meeting of Anglican primates in Tanzania.

Williams, who admitted this week he was losing control over the divisivedebate, insisted Jefferts Schori meet her critics ''face to face'' butsought to appease traditionalists by inviting conservative U.S. churchleaders too.


The Express Gay News

Judge rules former lawmaker violated law with 'homosexual agenda' calls
Message failed to indicate calling group's identity
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) | Jan 11, 8:07 AM

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a political consultant who is a formerstate House member violated the law by initiating 20,000 automated,prerecorded telephone calls targeting an Oklahoma County commissioner, theattorney general's office said.

U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron ruled that the phone calls initiatedby Tim Pope violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act because they didnot identify the organization placing the call.

Commissioner Jim Roth had asked state officials to check whether any lawshad been broken by the calls, in which a female caller said Roth was"advancing a homosexual agenda in Oklahoma County."


The New York Times

January 12, 2007
Report Blasts Romney's Political Record
Filed at 2:33 a.m. ET

BOSTON (AP) -- Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's politicalrecord is relatively brief -- four years as Massachusetts governor and afailed campaign for the U.S. Senate. That's enough, however, for BrianCamenker, a conservative gadfly and longtime thorn in Romney's side, towrite a 28-page report that portrays Romney as sympathetic to gay rights andsexual behavior that clashes with his burnished image as a defender oftraditional values.

Camenker's report, which has been making the rounds of conservative blogsand Web sites, threatens to undermine Romney's carefully crafted image,portraying him as far more liberal on social issues, particularly gayrights.


The New York Times

January 12, 2007

New Jersey Says Clerics Aren't Required to Unite Gay Couples

Allaying the fears of some clergy members, the New Jersey attorney generalannounced yesterday that the state would not require clerics to unitesame-sex couples in civil unions.

In a letter to the state registrar, Joseph A. Komosinski, Attorney GeneralStuart Rabner wrote that clergy members could decline to perform civil unionceremonies without violating the law, if performing such ceremonies would goagainst their "sincerely held religious beliefs."

Last month, New Jersey became the third state - after Vermont andConnecticut - to offer gay couples civil unions. Massachusetts permits gaycouples to marry.

New Jersey couples can begin applying for civil union licenses on Feb. 19.


Religious right defeated in the Lords

Take a bow, your Lordships

Last night's victory for gay rights was a setback for the zealous,authoritarian tactics of US-style Christian fundamentalism.

Peter Tatchell

The Guardian - Comment Is Free - 10 January 2007

religious right was trounced last night. An attempt to neuter new lawsprotecting gay people against discrimination was defeated, 199 votesto 68.

This stunning three to one victory happened in the House of Lords -the traditional stomping ground of religious, conservative andhomophobic parliamentarians. Only a few years ago, the Lordsrepeatedly blocked attempts to equalise the age consent, with criesthat it was a "paedophiles charter."

How times have changed. And so quickly. The vast majority of theirlordships are now, it seems, the steadfast defenders of lesbian, gayand bisexual human rights. They backed the government's new sexualorientation regulations, which extend to gay people theanti-discrimination laws that currently protect women, black, disabledand religious people.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

AFP via Yahoo! News, January 10, 2007

Italian Senate begins deliberations on civil unions

The Italian Senate's justice committee began examining proposals forlegalizing civil unions, a divisive election pledge of the center-leftgovernment in socially conservative Italy.

The committee is beginning with proposals by individual lawmakers, since thegovernment, a coalition ranging from far-left communists and libertarians tocentrist Christians, has not yet finalized its own proposal.

"We decided not to wait for the government's draft bill," said committeechairman Cesare Salvi, adding that he has consulted in recent days with hiscounterpart in the lower house, Pino Pisicchio, the ANSA news agencyreported.

Family Minister Rosy Bindi and Equality and Rights Minister BarbaraPollastrini are drafting separate proposals and have yet to consult eachother on the subject, according to the Corriere della Sera daily onWednesday.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Portuguese slow to accept gay adoptions and marriages

Updated: 11 January 2007
The Portugal Residant

PORTUGUESE SOCIETY is among the most conservative and intolerant in theEuropean Union when it comes to issues such as gay marriages and adoption bygay couples.

According to the latest research by Eurobarometer in 25 European Unioncountries, the vast majority of Portuguese are against adoption by gaycouples.

When asked if they thought that gay couples should be allowed to adoptchildren only 19 per cent thought they should - well below the Europeanaverage of 32 per cent.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Thursday, January 11, 2007
Gay City News



Talented gay tennis player Habib Mukasa (knownas "Habeeb") was the sole Ugandan to participate in the Gay Games in Chicagothis past July, when he decided to defect to the U.S. and applied for asylumfrom persecution as a sexual refugee.

Habeeb has played in tennis tournaments for the Gay & Lesbian TennisAssociation for the last few years, in 2006 rising to fifth in the world inthe GLTA Men's Singles ranking.

Unfortunately, Habeeb's father, a strict Muslim who did not know he is gay,saw the rankings online and found other evidence on the Internet of hisparticipation in gay tennis tournaments around the globe-and reported hisson's homosexuality to Ugandan authorities. Homosexuality is a crime inUganda punishable by seven years in prison-and the country is in the throesof an anti-gay crusade (see this reporter's article, "Uganda Witch-HuntEscalates," in Gay City News, September 14-20, 2006). Not too long agoUganda's president, Yoweri Museveni, ordered all gays and lesbians arrestedfor engaging in "abominable acts."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

New era for gay rights movement

Advocates call for changes in recently passed partnership law

By Hilda Hoy
Staff Writer, The Prague Post
January 10th, 2007

Six months after the country adopted historic legislation legalizingregistered partnerships for same-sex couples, the Czech Republic isscrambling to adapt to a new era in the gay rights movement.

Since last July, when the bill went into effect - the first, and mostsweeping, adopted in the former Eastern bloc - more than 200 couples haveregistered their unions, gaining many of the same rights as marriedheterosexual couples.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

AIDS Project L.A. launches black outreach

Planet Out, January 10, 2007

SUMMARY: The campaign called "Let's Flip the Script" aims to encourage opendiscussion about HIV/AIDS among gay and bisexual African-American men.

AIDS Project Los Angeles is launching a new campaign -- complete willbillboards spread across the City of Angels -- to turn the tide against thehigh HIV rates among black men who sleep with men.

The campaign is called "Let's Flip the Script" and hopes to encourage opendiscussion about HIV/AIDS among gay and bisexual African-American men, aswell as their family members and friends.

Seven billboards throughout South Los Angeles, Hollywood, West Hollywood andalong Wilshire Boulevard will depict groups of men in several environmentscentral to black communities, including a barbershop and a park. More than5,000 bookmarks with art from the campaign were printed for distributionthroughout the city.


The Express Gay News

On Dr. King's mountaintop
To live up to Martin Luther King's example, the gay rights movement mustseek justice, not just equality.

By H. Alexander Robinson
Friday, January 12, 2007

LEADERS OF THE modern gay equality movement are quick to invoke the words ofthe late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King,when demonstrating themselves as bona fide scions to the justice movementfor which Dr. King will be finally honored with a memorial on the NationalMall.

As we reflect upon Dr. King's contributions on the national holidaydedicated to his memory, it is fitting that we examine our claim as heirs tohis legacy. Just how true to Dr. King's dream of the mountaintop is the LGBTequality movement?

In Dr. King's vision, we as a nation would heal the wounds of our treatmentof native peoples, the betrayal of slavery, our subjugation of women, ouraddiction to war and the injustices to our economy. Even more, we wouldovercome our notions of race altogether. Indeed Dr. King was a visionary -as the findings of the Human Genome Project attest, there are no clearscientific categories that truly separate humans by the color of their skin.


The Express Gay News

A dream deferred
Anti-gay religious leaders should heed the words of Martin Luther King andend their bigoted, hypocritical attacks.

Friday, January 12, 2007

IF MARTIN LUTHER King Jr. had lived to see the gay rights chapter in thiscountry's ongoing civil rights movement, there is no doubt he would bedismayed at what fellow religious folk have wrought.

King's talk of compassion, his dream of equality for all and his poetic useof language are gone, replaced by demagoguery, calls for legalized andconstitutional discrimination and hate-filled rhetoric, often spewed fromthe pulpits of black churches.

Last spring, Bishop Alfred A. Owens Jr., the black pastor of Greater MountCalvary Church in Northeast, used the slurs "faggot" and "sissy" to describegay men. Incredibly, Owens served on former Mayor Anthony Williams'Interfaith Council and stubbornly refused to offer a sincere apology for theremarks. Williams never removed Owens from the council. Let's hope new MayorAdrian Fenty has more of a backbone when it comes to standing up to suchblatant bigotry.

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