Friday, January 19, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - January 19, 2007

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Catholic pedophilia scandals rattled parents of altar servers, butcommitment prevails

By Lois K. Solomon
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

January 19, 2007

As they wait for the procession to begin, they try to remember their manyresponsibilities.

Walk with the proper gait: not too fast, not too slow. When the priest bows,you bow. Otherwise, stay still!

The Rev. Paul Vuturo of St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Miramar knowssome preteens feel pressure to be perfect as they assist him at Mass. But hetries to reduce the stress with gentle talk and jokes.

"Everybody makes mistakes. It's no big deal," Vuturo said. "When I was analtar server, we had to learn the prayers in Latin. We didn't know what wewere saying."

Altar servers were known as "altar boys" until 1994, when the Vaticanyielded to social pressures and said girls also could assist the priests atMass. They carry the cross in the opening and ending processional, hold theMass book so the priest's hands are free, give water to the priest so he canwash his hands, and perform other duties.


Romney vs. Romney
By Scot Lehigh | January 19, 2007

LADIES AND gentlemen, welcome to the first virtual debate of the newpolitical season, a mock matchup to help take the true measure of two menlocked in ideological conflict.

Our first candidate is Mitt Romney.

Candidate number two? Why, that's Mitt Romney as well.

The first Romney is the man who ran for the US Senate in 1994 and forgovernor in 2002.

Let's label him Moderate Mitt, or MM for short.

Romney number two is the conservative Romney has become since catchingPotomac Fever. We'll call him Romney2008.

A note on the proceedings: While our forum is fanciful, the words inquotation marks are real.

Let's begin.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,4967439,print.story

Episcopalians Readying Legal Challenge

Associated Press Writer

January 18, 2007, 9:34 PM EST

RICHMOND, Va. -- Episcopalian leaders on Thursday said they are donenegotiating and plan to take legal action for the return of property held by11 parishes that broke away because of the church's tolerance of gay clergyand relationships.

Bishop Peter Lee and the executive board of the Diocese of Virginia declaredthe land and buildings held by the churches "abandoned" and said they meanto go to court to recover or protect diocesan property.

Lee wrote Thursday that he had tried unsuccessfully to find ways to resolvethe dispute without taking it to court.


The New York Times

January 19, 2007
Controversy Grows Over Anti - Gay Remark
Filed at 8:36 a.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The heated controversy at ABC's top show, ''Grey'sAnatomy,'' boiled over Thursday as the network rebuked co-star IsaiahWashington for an anti-gay comment and Washington issued a lengthy apology.

''We are greatly dismayed that Mr. Washington chose to use suchinappropriate language at the Golden Globes, language that he himself deemed`unfortunate' in his previous public apology,'' the network said in astatement.

''His actions are unacceptable and are being addressed,'' the statementconclude.

During a backstage interview Monday at the Globes gala, Washington deniedinvolvement in a heated on-set incident in October during which an anti-gayremark was reportedly uttered.


Group Expands To Provide Legal Aid To Low-Income LGBT Families Nationwide
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 18, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(San Francisco, California) The National Center for Lesbian Rights islaunching a new project to provide access to family law services forlow-income same-sex parent families.

NCLR already has a track record representing same-sex couples in legalbattles for marriage rights.

Existing legal services for poor and low-income families generally lack thespecialized knowledge and expertise to effectively serve clients the SanFrancisco-based organization said in a statement.

Called the Family Protection Project, NCLR said it intends to fill this gapby providing specialized training and materials to legal services programsin selected states, beginning with California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas,and Wisconsin.


Australian Political Party Probed For Anti-Gay Flyer
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 18, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Hobart, Tasmania) A human rights board will examine campaign materialdistributed by the Tasmanian Liberal Party following allegations that itcontained gay-hate statements.

The investigation will be conducted by a state Anti-Discrimination Tribunal.

The flyer, distributed during last year's election, attacked the Green Partywhich advocated same-sex marriage calling the policy "socially destructive".

A Hobart transsexual, Martine Delaney, filed a complaint last year withstate Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sarah Bolt but it was rejected. Atthe time Bolt said there was no substance to the complaint.

Delaney persisted and this week the Tribunal overruled Bolt, calling for afull investigation.


Nigeria Prepares To Vote On Bill To Outlaw Meeting Gays
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 18, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Lagos) Legislation that would strip gays and lesbians of all civil rightshas passed its final hurdle and is set for a vote in Nigeria's Parliament.

The bill started out as a ban on same-sex marriage and has been revised tomake it a crime for more than two gay people to be in the same venue at thesame time.

It prohibits LGBT social or civil rights groups from forming. It would beillegal to sell or rent property to same-sex couples, watch a gay film orvideo, visit an LGBT web site, or express same-sex love in a letter to one'spartner.

The legislation goes so far as to make it a criminal offense to impartinformation of HIV/AIDS to gays or for non-gays to meet with any group ofgays for any purpose.


Iraq Slams UN Report On Death Squad Victims Because Gays Included
by The Associated Press

Posted: January 18, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Baghdad) Iraq's government on Thursday strongly criticized a U.N. report onhuman rights that put its civilian death toll in 2006 at 34,452, saying itis "superficial" and discussed subjects that are taboo in Iraqi society suchas homosexuality.

The government did not reject the casualty figure but said the U.N.Assistance Mission report was "not professional or neutral as we wouldexpect from the missions of the international organization. The report wassuperficial in dealing with several points," spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said.

A compilation of Iraqi government figures from three agencies put the numberof civilians killed last year at some 12,357.


Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment Revived In New Mexico
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 18, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Santa Fe, New Mexico) A New Mexico lawmaker who spearheaded the push for aso-called Defense of Marriage Act two years ago is now pressing for thepassage of an amendment to the state constitution to bar same-sex marriage.

Rep. Gloria Vaughn (R) introduced the resolution Wednesday.

It would amend the New Mexico Constitution to define marriage as beingbetween a man and a woman.

Vaughan's 2005 attempt to pass the DOMA failed and now she says it is up tothe people.

But before it gets to the electorate it is in for rough going in thelegislature.

House Speaker Ben Lujan (D) has assigned the bill to three committees,including House Consumer and Public Affairs - which in 2005 killed DOMA.


Joshua Miller loses his religion

Shunned by their former religion, Nemesis Rising's gay twin brothers Jacoband Joshua Miller are looking for answers.

By Michelle Garcia

An exclusive posted January 16, 2007

Jacob and Joshua Miller of the pop rock band Nemesis Rising defied theirJehovah's Witness past by coming out together on national television.Unfortunately, their risky yet entertaining venture caused the Witnesses todisfellowship, or excommunicate, the duo in late December. Joshua, the "freespirit," elaborated about his ordeal.

Coming out on national TV was risky, knowing that the Jehovah's Witnesseswould not be very accepting. Why did you do it?

We knew that they wouldn't be accepting going into it. I had already decidedI wasn't a Jehovah's Witness, and that at some point you either have to stepup or shut up. I wasn't that concerned about that because I knew therepercussions of coming out and the possible repercussions with my family..It wasn't that I was worried in that way, but I was worried as far as themusic industry, and making sure that Jacob and I would be able to find anaudience that would be willing to listen to our music even though they sawthat we were gay.



A National Plan for Protection against Discrimination was passed todayon a Council of Ministers' session.

What is extraordinary in the National Plan is that apart from all thegrounds of discrimination featured in the Bulgarian Law for Protectionagainst Discrimination, which include sexual orientation, the new Planalso features "gender expression" .

Bulgaria's engagement with issues concerning transsexual andtransgender people has once again put Bulgaria a step ahead all theother countries in the European Union as very few countries areengaged with this sort of issues in their National Plans andLegislation.

The National Plan for Protection against Discrimination was preparedby a work group of experts from the national institution andnon-profit organizations, including Desislava Petrova from BulgarianGay Organization "Gemini" with Resolution N: P - 63 from 2nd August2006 of Counsil of Ministers. The initiative was undertaken byCouncil of Ethnic and Demographic Matters.



Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

San Francisco Bay Times, CA, January 18, 2007

The Democratization of HRC
By Chris Crain

What happens when we put all the gay movement's marbles in one party'sbasket?
We're about to find out.

The Human Rights Campaign has finally shed any semblance of stayingnon-partisan in the fight for gay civil rights. Leaders of the D.C.-basedHRC told the Boston Globe in a story published last week that their newstrategy is to "become a steady source of funds and grass-roots support forDemocrats-more akin to a labor union than a single-issue activist group."

The "new HRC" isn't just belaboring the obvious-that the Democratic Party isclearly better on gay issues than the GOP. HRC's head honchos have gone muchfurther, deciding that the fate of the movement lies inexorably with thefate of Democrats generally, which means throwing money and support whereverDems say it's needed, even if it means pulling money out of actual pitchedbattles over our civil rights.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Wisconsin State Journal, WI, January 17, 2007
Editorial--Officials should reject anti-oath

The Madison City Council was wrong to invite city officials to modify theiroath of office by adding a protest against Wisconsin's new constitutionalban on gay marriage. It's now up to officials to correct the mistake.

They should not sign the anti-oath.

The Wisconsin State Journal editorial board is proud of its record insupport of gay and lesbian rights and in opposition to the ban on gaymarriages and civil unions. But as we explained in an editorial on Sunday,the anti-oath is anti-democratic, arrogant and shortsighted.

It expresses contempt for the will of the majority. It holds individuals'personal beliefs above their obligation to carry out the laws. And it sets aprecedent that could lead to all sorts of additions and exceptions to oathsincluding the possibility that if the ban on gay marriages is overturned,opponents of gay marriage may ask for their own anti-oath.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,0,7003641

Lawmaker: Anti-Cohabitation Law Wrong
Associated Press Writer

January 18, 2007, 5:47 AM EST

BISMARCK, N.D. -- In North Dakota, a man and woman who live together withoutbeing married are committing a sex crime. It's right there in the law, astate senator says, alongside the prohibitions against adultery, incest andindecent exposure.

Tracy Potter, a freshman Democrat from Bismarck, is asking the stateLegislature to end North Dakota's status as one of seven states that haveanti-cohabitation laws on the books. It has rejected three such attemptssince 1990.

"Mark Twain expressed a simple view of people's personal relationships withgovernment ... that I think government should adopt. That is, I don't carewhat you do, as long as you don't scare the horses," Potter said Wednesdayduring a North Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his repealmeasure.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Pa. Court Withdraws Holding on Internet Viewing of Child Porn
By Asher Hawkins
The Legal Intelligencer

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has withdrawn its recent first-impressionholding that merely to look at child pornography on the Internet -- withoutintentionally saving or downloading any images viewed -- does not amount to"knowing possession" of child pornography as proscribed under state law. Thecourt also granted a prosecution request for an en banc re-argument.

Anthony Diodoro had admitted viewing several hundred photographs depictingchild pornography after intentionally visiting specific Web sites for thatpurpose, according to Judge Richard B. Klein's November opinion.

However, the prosecution in Commonwealth v. Diodoro was never able to putforward any evidence that the defendant had intentionally downloaded orsaved those images to his hard drive, or been aware that the images werebeing automatically added to his Internet browser's cache, Klein hadreasoned.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Sex, meth and Internet spark new AIDS fears

By Matthew Verrinder
Wed Jan 17, 4:28 PM ET

An hour after speaking at a Crystal Meth Anonymous meeting about thebenefits of sobriety to dozens of other recovering addicts, Charlie wasalone in his Chelsea apartment, logged onto the Web site

He cruised the site's profiles of muscular gay men who want to meet for sexwhile high on methamphetamine, and found his match: a 50-year-old man fromManhattan's Upper East Side who liked to "slam" the drug, or inject itdirectly into the bloodstream.

"I blew two-and-a-half years of sobriety in a few hours," said Charlie, whodid not want to give his last name. "All I had to do was log on, and it justso happens that it was right there."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Link: To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News - 13 newarticles -

1. Chris Crain Commentary--The Democratization of <> HRC
2. Canada: Gay marriage bolsters institute in <> Canada
3. Wisconsin: Editorial--Officials should reject <> anti-oath
4. McCain makes nice to James Dobson <>
5. RI Supreme Court Sends Gay Marriage Case Back To <> Lower Court
6. Atlanta Gay Lutheran Pastor Faces Dismissal <>
7. Bashkortostan is latest country to debate gay <> marriage
8. Washington state: Editorial--Put Marriage Issue <> to a Vote of thePeople
9. Commentary: ERA Has Nothing to Do With Same-Sex <> Marriage
10. New York: Tax break for same-sex couples <> thwarted
11. Many U.S. Newspapers Print Gay Unions <> Announcements
12. Madison Wisc. Approves Gay Marriage Protest <> Oath
13. Spanish lessons: A year after same-sex weddings <> became legal, anon-the-ground analysis of how it happenedâ?"and what Americans can learn.


Nigeria - Savage new anti-gay law

World's most sweeping, draconian homophobic legislation

Fear grips lesbian and gay community in Nigeria

Inaction by US, Britain and EU - Bill will soon become law

London - 18 January 2006

"Nigeria seems certain to legislate one of the world's most sweepingand repressive anti-gay laws, unless international pressure is boughtto bear on the Nigerian government in the next few weeks," said PeterTatchell of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human rightsgroup OutRage!.

"We appeal to gay and human rights groups worldwide to take urgentaction to press the Nigerian government to uphold international humanrights law and to drop this draconian legislation.

See protest information below.

"A new bill, currently being debated in the Nigerian parliament, isthe most comprehensively homophobic legislation ever proposed in anycountry in the world. Its extremism is rivalled only by the deathpenalty that exists for homosexuality in several Islamicfundamentalist states," added Mr Tatchell.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Tucson Citizen

Pearce reconsiders
Legislator won't sponsor same-sex marriage ban
The Arizona Republic
Published: 01.18.2007

A legislator who filed a bill calling for another vote on a stateconstitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage said Wednesday he hasreconsidered and will not sponsor the measure this session.

The bill filed by Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, in the state House ofRepresentatives would have asked voters to amend the Arizona Constitution todefine marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Voters rejected Proposition 107 in November, making Arizona the first statein the nation to reject a gay marriage ban at the ballot box.

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