Sunday, January 14, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - January 14, 2007

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

January 14, 2007
Case Tests Handling of Gay Relationships
Filed at 5:57 p.m. ET

RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) -- A court has ordered a woman to pay $240 a month to herformer lesbian partner for child support in a case that is testing legalquestions on how states differ in their recognition of same-sexrelationships.

Last month's order by the Rutland Family Court comes amid a continuingcustody battle between Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller over a 4-year-old girl,Isabella.

Jenkins said Sunday that she has obeyed the child-support order. She saidshe has sent a check by certified mail, only to have it returned becauseMiller did not pick it up.

Miller did not immediately return a call for comment on Sunday.

Miller gave birth to the girl, who was conceived through artificialinsemination, after the two women were legally joined in a civil union in2002.

About a year later, Miller renounced her homosexuality, returned to Virginiaand denied Jenkins' demands for visitation rights.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Atlanta gay pastor faces Lutheran church trial
Hearing begins Jan. 19 on future of clergy leader

Friday, January 12, 2007

A gay Lutheran pastor who has been accused of violating church rules byremaining in a relationship with another man soon faces a trial for hisprofessional life.

Bradley Schmeling leads an Atlanta congregation of about 350 members aspastor of St. John's Lutheran Church, which is affiliated under thehierarchy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Southeastern Synod.

In August, synod Bishop Ronald Warren filed charges within the ELCA againstSchmeling after Schmeling told Warren about his ongoing relationship withDarin Easler, a former Lutheran pastor.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

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.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Jan. 14, 2007, 10:03AM

Pride parade weighs move
Some oppose any relocation from Montrose

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

Even as musicians, float owners and other performers race to secure primespots in this June's Pride Houston Parade, Houston's gay and lesbiancommunity is marching to a contentious showdown over whether the city'sbest-known homosexual celebration should next year abandon its longtimeroute through Montrose.

Pride Houston, whose directors will vote on that and other issues later thismonth, has called a public meeting for today to discuss the possible 2008move.

Speaking at a Thursday night meeting called by opponents of the move,longtime gay activist Ray Hill said Montrose was only "a run-down oldneighborhood" when gays began moving into the inner-city area almost 50years ago.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,0,1984935,print.column?coll=red-columnists

Does this mannerism make me look gay?
Jason Steele
Boy on Boystown

January 11 2007

Are gay men easy to identify, or do we just think we act "gayer" than wereally do?

My boyfriend Brad and I celebrated New Year's Eve at the LakeviewBroadcasting Company with a crowd of men and women both straight and gay. Atone point, as we were all preparing to ring in 2007, two straight women whoseemed to be drunk were dirty dancing with each other. They weren't going atit; they were just sort of sexy dancing in a playful way.

The women were trying to get our attention so we might join them. But Bradand I were watching a straight guy who in turn was gawking at the dancingwomen. This guy was clearly into what he was witnessing. We could tell byhis wide-eyed, amazed look and devilish smirk.

The guy then turned to us, nodded and gave a look as if to say, "These girlsare hot, don't you think?" It was evident from his demeanor that he thoughthe, Brad and I were all on the same team.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Tough times often await youths aging out of foster care system
By David Crary, AP National Writer | January 14, 2007

NEW YORK --Articulate and engaging, 20-year-old Shakhina Bellamy appears anunlikely fit in the ranks of New York City's homeless.

After hearing her story, told through tears and flashes of anger, her stateof limbo seems an almost inevitable result of an adolescence spent bouncingthrough a dozen group homes and foster families as a ward of New York'schild welfare agency.

She entered the system at 9 and walked away from it at 17.

"I didn't leave because I thought I was grown up -- I left because no onewas helping me," she said.

Across the country, child welfare advocates are increasingly aware of theproblems faced by young people like Bellamy -- 20,000 or so each year who"age out" of the foster care system with neither an adoptive nor ablood-relation family to support them. Scores of state and local initiativesare being launched to assist them; their plight may be addressed by the newDemocratic majority in Congress.

Front-line child welfare workers say even the best new programs won'tsuffice without the hard work of engaging foster children one-on-one as theyenter adolescence, soliciting their input and mentoring them in ways thatreplicate the best of a parent-child relationship. Bellamy agrees.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Getting an adoption in the United States
by Gena Hymowech
Thursday Jan 11, 2007

Foreign adoption has decreased, according to a recent article in the ChicagoTribune.

"Overall, according to the State Department, international adoptions byAmericans fell to 20,679 in the 2006 fiscal year from 22,728 in 2005--thefirst significant decline since 1992. Adoptions from China, the No. 1 sourceof children since 2000, fell 18 percent, from 7,906 to 6,493," the paperreported.

Adoption by gay people in China is "virtually forbidden," according to a2002 Advocate article, but many gays and lesbians get around the rule byhiding their sexuality from the government. China's new rules will make iteven more difficult for gay parents to adopt. The new guidelines arescheduled to be enforced starting May 1st. "They give priority to stablemarried couples between 30 and 50. Single people, and those suffering fromobesity or depression, will lose out," the Tribune said. Obviously, thisaffects gay people who are not allowed to get married, and must remainsingle by their state's law.


Spain's bishops in legal battle to keep flock
By Graham Keeley in Barcelona, Sunday Telegraph 14/01/2007

Once they used the Inquisition to forceunbelievers to worship, but now Spanish bishopsare adopting more conventional means to keep their flock true to the faith.The Pope greets a bishop on his visit to Valencia

In the face of steadily falling attendance atchurches in this once devoutly Catholic country,religious leaders have gone to court to stop parishioners deserting.

Thousands of Spaniards are seeking apostasy - aformal request to leave the Roman Catholic Churchand revoke all the Christian vows that they oncemade. They are demanding that the church canceltheir baptism records, in order to annulofficially any connection with Catholicism.

The Spanish Church, alarmed at this growingmovement away from its teachings, is refusing toallow its former followers to sever their linksso easily. Archbishops in Madrid and Valencia arefighting in the courts to try to prevent lapsedbelievers from formally leaving the faith.


Gay vote - House of Lords defeat for fundamentalism

"Victory for tolerance and human rights"

Muslim Council of Britain refuses to join anti-gay campaign

London - 10 January 2007

"The House of Lords vote was a huge defeat for religiousfundamentalism and a significant victory for gay rights and humanrights in general," said Brett Lock of gay human rights groupOutRage!

Mr Lock was commenting on the 199 - 68 vote in the House of Lords lastnight, 9 January 2007, in favour of the new sexual orientationregulations which outlaw discrimination against lesbian and gay peoplein the provision of goods and services.

"It demonstrates that liberal Britain can defeat the forces ofreligious fanaticism.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
Cherry Hill Courier Post, NJ, January 13, 2007
Editorial-- Rabner wise to issue opinion on civil unions

The state attorney general is correct that clergy members shouldn't beforced to perform civil union ceremonies that go against their religiousbeliefs. State Attorney General Stuart Rabner was smart to issue a legalopinion Thursday which makes clear that members of the clergy are notrequired to perform civil union ceremonies under the state's civil unionslaw that goes into effect next month.

Marriage, and now the "civil union" for gay couples, is a tricky thing. In asociety where church and state are separate in almost every way, it is aninstitution that is both a government and religious function. Most peopleget married by a clergy member, and many in a church. Yet their marriagelicense and legal recognition as a married couple comes from the government.

For obvious religious reasons, many churches and clergy members do not wantto perform what they see as marriage between gay couples. Performing a"marriage"ceremony for a gay couple would violate the tenets of their religion.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Boston Globe, MA, January 13, 2007

Gay rights group hailed for election role Democrats say work key to partygains

By Susan Milligan, Globe Staff

WASHINGTON -- The Human Rights Campaign, one of the nation's leading gaypolitical organizations, played a quiet but pivotal role electing Democratsat the federal and local level in November, a startling turnaround for agroup whose demands for gay marriage helped defeat Democratic candidates in2004, according to party leaders and lawmakers.

Playing down its support for gay marriage, the HRC mobilized its 650,000members to staff phone banks, raise money, and participate inget-out-the-vote campaigns to elect candidates sympathetic to gay issues,even if they didn't support gay marriage. The group was the single biggestdonor to Democratic state Senate races in New Hampshire, helping the partytake control of both chambers of the Legislature for the first time since1874.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Loiusville Courier-Journal, KY, January 13, 2007

Domestic partner health benefits backed
UK panel urges their approval
By Deborah Yetter,

The University of Kentucky should offer health insurance coverage fordomestic partners of employees in same-sex and opposite-sex relationships, aUK committee said in a report released yesterday.

The proposal still must go through several layers of administrative reviewbefore reaching UK President Lee Todd, who said he will consider it.

Todd remained non-committal yesterday, saying in a written statement onlythat he appreciated the committee's work and looked forward to reading thefindings.

Todd doesn't want to appear to "pre-judge the process," UK spokesman JayBlanton said.


Vatican Protest Denounces Papal Stand On Gay Marriage
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 13, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET

(Vatican City) Gay rights protestors took the fight for same-sex marriage tothe Pope's front door on Saturday.

About 150 members of the Italian LGBT civil rights group Arcigay held thedemonstration on the ninth anniversary of the suicide of a gay man in StPeter's Square.

Some members of the group carried Rainbow flags while other held placardscondemning the stand taken by Pope Benedict on same-sex marriage. OtherArcigay protestors carried signs calling for the legalization of gaymarriage in Italy.

On Thursday the Pope warned Italian lawmakers that the Vatican will use allof its influence to defeat planned legislation to create civil partnerships.

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