Thursday, January 18, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - January 18, 2007

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US and we'll be happy to send the full article.


Anything But Straight
Jan. 17, 2007

by Wayne Besen

The anti-gay groups, the American Family Association and Americans for Truthshould be immediately shut down for committing wanton and craven acts offraud. They are unabashed con artists duping their own members by selling aproduct both groups have admitted was misleading.

The merchandise in question is the AFA's anti-gay video "It's Not Gay,"which is described on the box as "former homosexuals tell a story few haveheard." Unfortunately, the story most Americans have not heard is thatMichael Johnston, the supposedly ex-gay star of the video, is a fake thatwitnesses claim participated in unethical and possibly illegal sexualbehavior.

In the late 1990's, Johnston was the founder of Kerusso Ministries andNational Coming Out of Homosexuality Day. He worked closely with Rev. JerryFalwell and filmed an anti-gay television commercial for Coral RidgeMinistries. In 1998, he appeared in an ex-gay ad campaign under theheadline, "From Innocence To AIDS." The ad discussed how he had contractedHIV while living out of the closet, only later to find spiritual restorationthough Jesus Christ.


Anything But Straight
by Wayne Besen

Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007


So-Called Miracle 'Cure' Did Not Endure, Yet Consumers Intentionally Kept InThe Dark About 'Ex-Gay' Leader's Failed Sexual Conversion

CHICAGO - Truth Wins Out filed a complaint today with Illinois AttorneyGeneral Lisa Madigan against the Naperville, Illinois-based non-profitorganization Americans For Truth and its president Peter LaBarbera forselling a misleading video on its web-site titled, "It's Not Gay." In aletter to Madigan, Truth Wins Out urged her to expeditiously pull thisfraudulent video from the marketplace, require a written apology fromLaBarbera and that refunds be offered to dissatisfied consumers.

"Nowhere does Americans for Truth inform potential viewers that Johnston's'cure' did not endure," wrote Truth Wins Out's Executive Director WayneBesen in the letter to Madigan. "This organization is undeniably peddlingfalse hope to vulnerable and desperate people and bilking them out of theirhard earned money. In doing so, Americans for Truth is unscrupulouslycapitalizing on the sincere and heartfelt religious convictions of itsfollowers and exploiting them for the organization's financial gain."


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Jan. 17, 2007

Madison OKs swearing-in statement protesting gay marriage ban

Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. - In the first protest of its kind in the U.S., Madisonleaders will be able to denounce the state's new constitutional ban on gaymarriage when they take their oath of office.

The city council voted 13-4 on Tuesday night to allow hundreds of electedand appointed officials to add a statement saying they are taking the oathunder protest because the amendment "besmirches our constitution." Thestatement also includes a promise to work to overturn the gay marriage banand prevent discrimination resulting from its passage.

Gay rights groups, including the Human Rights Campaign and Fair Wisconsin,believe it is the first such protest in the country.

Supporters on the council and Mayor Dave Cieslewicz say the protest willallow city leaders to take the oath of office - a pledge to uphold the stateand U.S. constitutions - with a clear conscience. Gays and lesbians also maybe more likely to serve in public office, they said.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Sex education needs to get real
Education needs to teach the good with the bad, not just one side of theissue.
Savannah Wiseman
Posted: 1/17/07

In "Mean Girls," Coach Carr lectures his high school gym class: "Don't havesex, because you will get pregnant and die. Don't have sex in the missionaryposition, don't have sex standing up, just don't do it, OK, promise? OK, noweverybody take some rubbers."

Although Coach Carr's view of sex seems silly, it is a realistic approach tosex education. Inform people of the risks - especially the potentiallydeadly risks, but also promote protection options for when people do decidethat those risks are worth it.

In June 2006, The New York Times reported that "by 2020, the total deathtoll from AIDS will reach 70 million - more than double that of the BlackDeath in Europe in the 14th century."

Battling the AIDS epidemic requires a collective effort from theinternational community. As a world superpower, the United States has anespecially important role in the fight against AIDS. And the currentadministration has taken this role extremely seriously. President Bush hasinvested more money in fighting AIDS than any other U.S. president by far.Unfortunately, many of his policies are misguided and unrealistic.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Two German Footballers Speak Out About Being Gay, but Refuse To Come Out
Sport Still Mired In Homophobia

After years of reassurance, two German footballers came out to Germany'sRund Magazine, yet refused to be identified for fear of "professionalsuicide". One player admitted to having an affair with a childhood friend,building a web of deception to cover his tracks. According to DeutscheWelle:

One player, who is married, said even his wife had no idea he was gay andthat he was involved in a long-term relationship with a childhood friend."But what am I to do? Coming out would mean death," he was quoted as sayingin the article.

The other gay player profiled said that a female friend in the know oftenaccompanied him to club celebrations and parties to give the impression thathe was straight.

Homophobia in soccer's nothing new and in recent years the sport's seen ashift in perception, joining the struggle to overcome stereotypes on and offthe pitch. While the UK has regulations on anti-gay jeering, Germany's yetto adopt such a strident stance.


The New York Times

January 18, 2007
Group Demands Apology From 'Grey's' Star
Filed at 7:03 a.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A gay and lesbian advocacy group demanded an apologyWednesday from ''Grey's Anatomy'' co-star Isaiah Washington for commentsmade following the Golden Globe Awards.

During a backstage interview Monday, Washington denied involvement in aheated on-set incident last year during which an anti-gay slur wasreportedly uttered.

''No, I did not call (co-star) T.R. (Knight) a faggot,'' Washington toldreporters. ''Never happened, never happened.''

On Wednesday, Neil Giuliano, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance AgainstDefamation, said he had contacted Washington's representatives in hopes ofmeeting the actor to discuss ''the destructive impact of these kinds ofanti-gay slurs.''

''Washington's repeated use of it on-set and in the media is simplyinexcusable,'' Giuliano said in a statement.


Same-Sex Weddings Shore Up Declining Canadian Marriage Rate
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 17, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(Ottawa) The percentage of Canadians marrying has dropped by half over thepast 60 years but had it not been for the legalization of same-sex marriagethe number would have been even lower according to new governmentstatistics.

The figures, released Wednesday by Statistics Canada, are for 2003, the yearthat same-sex marriage became legal in Ontario and British Columbia.

Stats Can says that A total of 147,391 couples tied the knot in 2003, only653 more than in 2002 and just 773 more than in 2001, according to vitalstatistics data from the provinces and the territories.

The agency says that the marriage rate in 2003 stayed at a three year recordlow of 4.7 marriages for every 1,000 population. This was less than half therate seen in the 1940s when the rate peaked at 10.9.

While Ontario does not keep statistics on whether marriage licenses weregiven to same-or opposite-sex couples British Columbia does.


Poland: Monument to Gay Victims of Nazi Death Camps Planned in Warsaw

Gays in Poland revealed Monday a plan to erect a monument in the centreof Warsaw that will be a permanent reminder of the "Pink Triangle" gays whowere slaughtered in the Nazi concentration camps during the Second WorldWar.
And the plan has already won the support of some city councillors in thelish capital.
"Warsaw should be a city of equal rights," said Councillor Bartosz
Dominiak of Lewica and Demokraci. "We will support the erection of the
Dominiak added that he will be urging councillors from PlatformaObywatelska to also support the scheme.
And Pawel Czekalski from the Platforma party did not dismiss the idea."We will consider it," he said.
The monument will be a meter and a half long and of the shape of a pinktriangle, the symbol that homosexuals were obliged to wear in Nazi Germanyand in concentration camps.


The New York Times
January 18, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

The Elusive Altar

If all the world were south of 96th Street, what a happy place it would be!If all the world were south of 96th Street, then we could greet withunalloyed joy the news that after decades of social change, more Americanwomen are living without husbands than with them.

We could revel in the stories of women - from Riverside Drive all the way toTriBeCa! - liberated from constraining marriages and no longer smothered byself-absorbed spouses. We could celebrate with those - the ad executives aswell as the law partners! - who now have the time and freedom to go back toschool and travel abroad, and who are choosing not to get remarried.

But alas, there are people in this country who do not live within five milesof MoMA, and for them, the fact that many more people are getting divorcedor never marrying at all is not such good news.


Germany's Gay Soccer Players Stuck Firmly in the Closet

Deutsche Welle,2144,2312541,00.html

Politicians, pop stars and artists coming out of the closet hardly raiseeyebrows in Germany. But it's an entirely different ballgame on the soccerfield, where being openly gay remains strictly taboo.

German professional soccer hasn't seen a gay player to date. At least notofficially. That isn't because there aren't any, but because they've decidedkeeping their sexuality hidden is preferable to the career-ending scorn,ridicule and even physical danger they would face if they came out of thecloset.

That was the bottom line of a cover story by the popular German soccermagazine RUND last month which interviewed players who kept theirhomosexuality tightly under wraps.

"Soccer is still unbelievably backward when it comes to homosexuality. Gayson the pitch remain a huge taboo," said Rainer Schäfer, chief editor atRUND, who spent two years researching the topic and winning the trust of twogay players in the two highest German soccer leagues. They eventually agreedto tell their stories provided they remained anonymous.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Associated Press via WCSH6, January 17, 2007

RI Supreme Court Sends Gay Marriage Case Back To Lower Court

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has questions about what is believed to bethat state's first gay divorce case. Margaret Chambers and CassandraOrmiston were married in Massachusetts. They filed for divorce last year inRhode Island, where the law is silent on gay marriage.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court says it needs more information beforedeciding whether state courts have jurisdiction over the case.

Among their questions: they want know where the couple lived when they gotmarried and whether the marriage license is valid.

An attorney for Chambers says he believes the court wants to make sure thecase is legitimate, and isn't being used as a way to legalize same-sexmarriage in Rhode Island.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Blue Diamond Society, Nepal's only LGBT Organization, Receives InternationalRecognition for their LGBT Human Rights Work

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Hossein Alizadeh 212-430-6016

(New York, NY, January 17, 2007) - The International Gay and Lesbian HumanRights Commission (IGLHRC) proudly announced today the selection of the BlueDiamond Society (BDS) as the recipient of its internationally recognizedFelipa de Souza Award. BDS is a community-based organization working forsexual minorities in Nepal. The 2007 Felipa Award will be presented to SunilPant, the Founder and Director of BDS, at two awards ceremonies to be heldon May 1, 2007 in New York and on May 3, 2007 in San Francisco.

Since 1994, the Felipa Award has acknowledged the courage and impact ofgrassroots groups and leaders dedicated to improving the human rights oflesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and other individuals stigmatizedand abused because of their sexuality or HIV status.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


January 17, 2007 -- The popularity of Ellen DeGeneres and the Fab Five onQueer Eye might make people think that it's easy being out. But has thisgay-and-proud-of-it attitude rubbed off on the real world? To help answerthat question, we polled more than 100 gay and lesbian members.The question? Whether it matters how two influential people in their lives -their parents - feel about their sexual orientation. While 20% ofrespondents felt strongly that their parents' opinion matters, 28% care onlya little, and 39% said they don't care a whit about mom's and dad'sreaction.

For some - like Lindsay Valentin, 21 - coming out was important because"otherwise I would have never been able to bring a partner home, plus Ididn't want to have to tip-toe around the subject of relationships," sheexplains. "I had to put the truth out there. I wasn't going to live withlies."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

The Centralia Chronicle, WA, January 13, 2007

Editorial: Put Marriage Issue to a Vote of the People

With the Democrats in overwhelming control of both houses of the Legislatureand with a Democratic governor, odds have increased significantly in favorof at least some form of domestic partnership law being enacted in thisstate.

Democratic legislative leaders and fellow Democrat Gov. Christine Gregoireare sounding favorable or open to legislation being introduced this sessionthat would provide domestic partnership benefits for same-sex couples.

But the homosexual rights lobby isn't stopping there, viewing the domesticpartnership legislation as just a step toward full civil marriage rights forsame-sex couples. The Legislature's five openly homosexual members, allDemocrats, are also pushing legislation to allow same-sex marriage.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

The Vancouver Columbian, WA January 15, 2007

Editorial--Grant rights, hold off on marriage [Online version did not have aheadline; this one supplied by the poster of this item.] by Columbian Staff

Two bills pertaining to same-sex marriage were introduced last week inOlympia.

One would legalize same-sex marriages. Although we endorsed that concept inan editorial two years ago, we acknowledge that much of the public rejectsit and, of greater legal consequence, it was struck down by a 5-4 ruling ofthe state Supreme Court last July.

The second bill would create domestic partnerships and allow people in suchrelationships to make health-care and end-of-life decisions for each other.That approach is reasonable and worth pursuing. The same-sex-marriage debatecan resume at another time, as public sentiment shifts more in support of,or in opposition to, such a radical change.

State Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, offered a practical perspective in aFriday story by The Columbian's Kathie Durbin. He favors proceedingincrementally on this issue. "The goal is marriage equality," he said, butadded that passing a domestic partnership bill would be an incremental step.We suspect it would be viewed by many as a compromise.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Norton Mirror, MA, January 14, 2007

Wrong decision
By Bill Gouveia

Congratulations are in order for State Representatives Betty Poirier and JayBarrows, as well as former representatives Virginia Coppola and Phil Travis.At long last, these fine representatives have achieved their goal - theyhave helped give hatred and discrimination a possible foothold in ourConstitution.

Thanks to the hard work and high moral fiber of these fine folks, and/ormany others like them, the right of gay people to marry in this state isunder attack. For perhaps the first time in our state's long and glorioushistory, the civil rights of an entire group of people may be subjected tothe whim of public opinion rather than the principles of law.

After 62 of the 200 Massachusetts legislators voted to allow a citizen'spetition to move one step closer to the ballot two weeks ago, many eruptedin celebration. One woman was so happy she tried to drop and kiss the feetof retiring legislator and anti-gay marriage leader Phil Travis.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Policy Updates - December 2006
National Institutes of Health Halts Two Studies on Male Circumcision and HIV

On Wednesday, December 13, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announcedit was stopping two clinical trials in Kenya and Uganda examining potentialprotective effects of male circumcision against HIV infection.1 Accordingto data released by NIH, male circumcision was found to reduce a man's riskof acquiring HIV by up to 50%. Over 6,000 previously uncircumcised men ages15-49 from Uganda and Kenya were enrolled in the study; half of theparticipants were randomly assigned to be circumcised and the other halfacted as a control group, remaining uncircumcised. The results of the studywere so significant that researchers halted the study early and offeredcircumcision to all participants.

The results of the Kenyan and Ugandan studies were similar to results of anearlier South African study which found that risk of contracting HIV throughsexual intercourse with a woman was reduced by up to 60% for men randomlyassigned to be circumcised. In fact, the South African study was alsostopped early because researchers felt it was unethical to proceed given thestrong risk reduction offered by circumcision.2


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

The Advocate January 30, 2007

Spanish lessons

How did Spain, a country with a long Catholic tradition, manage to implementmarriage equality? A year after same-sex weddings became legal, anon-the-ground analysis of how it happened-and what Americans can learn.

By Chris Rovzar

Last fall a Catholic priest invited me to my very first same-sex wedding. Iwas thrilled. The wedding was between an Episcopal deacon and his long-termboyfriend. The rites were Christian with the priest presiding. Soundunorthodox?

What if I told you the priest was openly gay? And sexually active? And thathe identifies as a bear?

¡Hola y bienvenidos! to gay Spain, where the citizens have been strugglingto reconcile their country's Christian underpinnings with a liberal attitudetoward gay rights ever since same-sex marriage became legal over a year ago.On June 30, 2005, you were probably as surprised as I was when the Spanishgovernment under President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, a Socialist,granted equal marriage rights to gays. After all, the country has a longRoman Catholic tradition, with 80% of its people at least nominally a Friendof Benedict, and homosexuality itself became legal only in 1978. And hello,Spanish Inquisition, anyone?


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

IOL, South Africa, January 15, 2007

South Africa: Trickle of same-sex couples wed


Only slightly more than 80 same-sex couples have tied the knot at HomeAffairs departments across the country since the implementation of the CivilUnion Bill on December 1.

This is tiny compared with the estimated 5 000 heterosexual couples amonth that wed at Home Affairs offices.
. . .
"People take their time and it is up to the individual when they areready.
What is important is that the option is open to them. This is a veryimportant development for the country that is in line with theconstitution."


A government official in the above article is quoted as saying they don'twant to speculate "why so few couples were taking advantage of the recentlyimplemented act."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Eugene Register-Guard, OR, January 16, 2007

Debate: Baptist minister will meet members of gay community By Jeff Wright,The Register-Guard

Before he leaves town today, the Rev. Walter Fauntroy plans to meet with aselect group of local gays and lesbians, and what will he tell them?

"I want them to know I am one of gay rights' strongest advocates - that noone should be denied their fundamental rights on the basis of sexualpreference," Fauntroy said in a Monday morning interview.

"But I will also tell them I believe it's a serious mistake to redefinemarriage as anything other than an institution between a man and a woman,"he said.

"Marriage is what provides two essential functions for civil society:procreation and properly socializing the young."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

EDGE Boston, January 17, 2007

Many U.S. Newspapers Print Gay Unions Announcements

Almost 60 percent of all daily U.S. newspapers now accept wedding andcommitment ceremony announcements for gay and lesbian couples.

The number of papers running such announcements--883--represents a 584percent increase since it was first measured in 2002, when only 129newspapers said they would print such announcements.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation announced the figures Jan. 16in relaunching and expanding its Announcing Equality campaign.

"In cities and small towns all over the country, communities are seeing thelives of their [GLBT] family members, friends and neighbors reflected intheir media outlets," said Neil Giuliano, GLAAD president. "The presence ofthese stories humanizes and personalizes the experiences of our community.The fact that these announcements for celebrations of gay and lesbiancouples appear alongside announcements for their straight neighbors has thepower to spur the kinds of everyday conversations that will change heartsand minds."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Latvian alliance Mozaika identifies priorities for 2007

Latvia: Mozaika identifies main priorities for 2007: partnership law, RigaPride and strengthening of LGBT community

On 13 January 2007, the first General Assembly of "Mozaika", the LatvianAlliance of LGBT People and Their Friends took place in Riga. Day before theGeneral Assembly Mozaika organised an informal seminar for its members andother NGOs on legal recognition of same-sex partnerships. Mozaika wasestablished in February 2006.

Such issues as same-sex registered partnership, strengthening of LGBTcommunity and organisation of the Riga Pride/Friendship Days 2007 were amongthe main priorities for this year discussed during the Assembly. During theAssembly, Mozaika members and supporters elected a new board and discussedthe 2007 priorities and activities plan. Representatives from other NGOswith whom Mozaika has established good working and partnership relationshipstook part in the Assembly.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Jan. 17, 2007

Atlanta pastor's trial rekindles debates over gay clergy

Associated Press

ATLANTA - When the congregation at St. John's, Atlanta's oldest Lutheranchurch, chose a gay pastor in 2000, some worried it could complicate itsrelations with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and bringunwelcome notoriety.

By the time the Rev. Bradley Schmeling announced last year that he had founda lifelong companion, he had impressed most in the 350-member congregation.They rejoiced for him, and threw the couple a party.

When told of the relationship, the bishop of the ELCA's southeastern synoddidn't celebrate. Instead, Bishop Ronald Warren asked the 44-year-old pastorto resign. When Schmeling refused, Warren started disciplinary proceedingsagainst him for violating church rules barring sex outside of marriage,which the church defines as only between a man and woman.

On Friday, Schmeling will face a disciplinary hearing - structured much likea trial - where a committee of 12 ELCA members will decide whether he canremain an ordained minister in the church.


The Express Gay News

Gay legislator becomes issue in Alabama Democratic Party race
Vice chair believes support of lesbian is reason for challenge
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) | Jan 18, 8:36 AM

A three-way race is developing for vice chairman of the state DemocraticParty, with former Secretary of State Nancy Worley trying to make apolitical comeback and Alabama's first openly gay legislator becoming anissue in the contest.

State Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) said Joe Reed, leader of the party'sblack wing, is trying to oust the party's longtime vice chairman, Amy Burksof Decatur. The reason, Todd said, is because Burks supported her when Reedtried unsuccessfully to deny her the Democratic Party's nomination lastyear.

Reed disputes her claim, saying he hasn't even decided who he will supportwhen the State Democratic Executive Committee meets Saturday to electofficers for the next four years.

[Send your comments about articles to]


No comments: