Tuesday, January 02, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - January 2, 2007

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


To: Ray's List Subscribers

For the past 2 days QueerNet has been "stopped" by Yahoo. As you may know,our Ray's List mailings use QueerNet and have been sporadic at best.

Yahoo and AOL's antics are not only a great inconvenience to groups likeours, they threaten the freedom and security of the internet. These two"giants" are attempting to extract extra fees for their services from"senders." They like to frame the discussion that this is about "securityfor their subscribers." But, it is a blatant attempt to control theinternet to their advantage.

Those of us who care about the free internet must stop supporting AOL andYahoo!

Best to you in 2007!

Ray and Michael
Ray's List


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


British Air Force Searches For Gay Pilots
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: December 31, 2006 4:00 pm ET

(London) While openly gay men and women are barred from serving in the USmilitary, Britain's Royal Air Force is going out of its way to attract gaysto the service.

So anxious is the RAF to boost the number of gays in its ranks it hasenlisted the help of the United Kingdom's largest LGBT rights group,Stonewall.

The air force has hired Stonewall to help create a major advertisingcampaign aimed at gays and lesbians. As part of the deal, worth accordingto some reports in excess of $100,000, the RAF has guaranteed to enforce a"zero tolerance" policy towards homophobia in the service.



Mass. lawmakers reconsider vote to advance gay marriage ban
By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press Writer | January 2, 2007

BOSTON --Lawmakers in Massachusetts on Tuesday advanced a proposedconstitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, a critical step toward puttingthe measure the 2008 ballot, then within two hours voted to reconsider, amove that could undo the earlier vote.

The proposed amendment, which would define marriage as between one man andone woman but ban future gay marriages, needs approval in two consecutivelegislative sessions before it can go onto the ballot.

The first vote Tuesday in the constitutional convention came without debate,immediately after Senate President Robert Travaglini officially opened thejoint session. Gay marriage supporters called for an hour recess duringwhich they tried to muster support for reconsideration.


The Miami


Posted on Tue, Jan. 02, 2007


Gay teen draws scorn for proposed club at school
The teen's effort to establish a Gay-Straight Alliance at Okeechobee HighSchool has sparked a federal lawsuit.

Associated Press

OKEECHOBEE - The message to gays in this rural cattle town is spokenpolitely, sometimes with a drawl, sometimes quoting the Bible, but themeaning is anything but a hospitable Southern welcome.

High school senior Yasmin Gonzalez has been hearing it a lot lately -- fromkids hanging out bus windows shouting, ''Are you the one that's gay?'' tothe teacher who said homosexuals should die.

Gonzalez, 17, has become something of a target since November, when theAmerican Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit on her behalf againstthe Okeechobee High School principal and school board for refusing to lether establish a Gay-Straight Alliance, an after-school club that promotesdialogue and tolerance.


The New York Times


January 2, 2007
Op-Ed Contributor
Second Thoughts on Gays in the Military
Steilacoom, Wash.

TWO weeks ago, President Bush called for a long-term plan to increase thesize of the armed forces. As our leaders consider various options forcarrying out Mr. Bush’s vision, one issue likely to generate fierce debateis “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the policy that bars openly gay service membersfrom the military. Indeed, leaders in the new Congress are planning tore-introduce a bill to repeal the policy next year.

As was the case in 1993 — the last time the American people thoroughlydebated the question of whether openly gay men and lesbians should serve inthe military — the issue will give rise to passionate feelings on bothsides. The debate must be conducted with sensitivity, but it must alsoconsider the evidence that has emerged over the last 14 years.

When I was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I supported the currentpolicy because I believed that implementing a change in the rules at thattime would have been too burdensome for our troops and commanders. I stillbelieve that to have been true. The concern among many in the military wasthat given the longstanding view that homosexuality was incompatible withservice, letting people who were openly gay serve would lower morale, harmrecruitment and undermine unit cohesion.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Transgender bill being redrafted

By Lauren Ober
Free Press Staff Writer

January 2, 2007

After Gov. Jim Douglas' veto last year of a bill that would have protectedthe state's transgender population from discrimination, proponents of themeasure began work to reintroduce similar legislation this legislative term.

The Gender Identity and Expression Non-Discrimination Act was introduced inthe House Judiciary Committee in the spring of 2005. In spring 2006, theHouse passed the bill 88-47 and the Senate approved it with a voice vote.Douglas vetoed the measure, saying the language was vague, specificallyrelating to the word "expression."

Transgender advocates vowed to reintroduce the bill in 2007 and have beenworking with the governor's office to address his concerns, said KaraDeLeonardis, executive director of R.U.1.2? Queer Community Center.

Those redrafting the bill are looking for another legislative sponsor andhope to have it passed by the Senate by early to mid-February. Eight states,17 U.S. cities and the District of Columbia have transgender-inclusiveanti-discrimination laws.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

John and Elizabeth Edwards on 'This Week'


Stephanopoulos: You got a few boos in New Hampshire. The issue is gaymarriage.

Edwards: There were no boos.

Stephanopoulos: OK, well, that's what I read. We can go back to thevideotape. But when you say..

Edwards: I'll be honest, I didn't hear them, if there were.

Stephanopoulos: But more important, more important, at that time, you saidit's the single hardest issue for you.

Edwards: It is.

Stephanopoulos: Why?

Edwards: Because I'm 53 years old. I grew up in a small town in the ruralsouth. I was raised in the southern Baptist church. And so I have a beliefsystem that arises from that.

It's part of who I am. I can't make it disappear. And what I said when I wasasked about this in Portsmouth, New Hampshire//




Same-sex benefits took seven years
LAW: Juneau woman who sued now needs coverage for partner.

Juneau Empire

(Published: January 2, 2007)

JUNEAU -- The Capitol was almost deserted as members of the AlaskaLegislature struggled through an early November snowstorm to convene aspecial session on the question of providing family benefits to the partnersof gay and lesbian government employees.

The session began with a prayer. Then Sen. Kim Elton, D-Juneau, introducedone of his constituents, Lin Davis. Few legislators appeared to notice, andalmost no one looked back to the public gallery.

Had they looked, they'd have seen the reason they were there.

While senators and others in the audience had been waiting for theweather-delayed session to begin for two days, Davis had been waiting fornearly seven years. She is one of several state workers who sued in 1999through the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska, trying to win forthemselves the same benefits their married co-workers received.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Anglican Journal, Canada, January 1, 2007

Unity service hits snag

For a second year in a row, Anglicans, Lutherans and Roman Catholics willnot gather to renew their baptismal vows during this month's Week of Prayerfor Christian Unity; differences over the thorny issue of homosexuality werecited as the reason.

Bishop Ralph Spence of the Anglican diocese of Niagara said, however, thatgatherings of clergy and bishops from the three churches in the area areongoing.

Last year, the Roman Catholic diocese of Hamilton in southern Ontario optednot to take part in an annual gathering of Christian churches in the areafollowing a decision by the diocese of Niagara's synod to approve same-sexblessings.

(Despite the vote, however, diocesan policy regarding same-sex blessings didnot change since Bishop Spence did not endorse the decision.)


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

KY: Tackling domestic partner benefits;


Lexington Herald-Leader, KY, January 1, 2007

Tackling domestic partner benefits

For more than 20 years, Joan Callahan has been the most outspoken proponentfor domestic partner benefits at the University of Kentucky.

But as she battles with a recurrence of cancer -- her prognosis for recoveryis guarded -- Callahan, 60, isn't sure she'll live to see what she's foughtfor.

Her partner of 18 years, Jennifer Crossen, has "lousy insurance," andCallahan fears that domestic partner benefits won't arrive at UK in time tobenefit Crossen, said the philosophy professor and director of the programin gender and women's studies.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

OR: Couples see hope for civil union law;

Legislature - Democrats draft bills that would give Oregon'ssame-sex couplesmost benefitsof marriage

The Oregonian, OR, January 1, 2007
Couples see hope for civil union law
Legislature - Democrats draft bills that would give Oregon's same-sexcouples most benefits of marriage BILL GRAVES, The Oregonian

Marriage slipped out of their grasp, but Linda Duchek and Marte Sheeran seethe benefits of marriage may be within their reach through a civil union lawin 2007.

Oregonians understand issues of equality, said Sheeran, 53, partner ofDuchek, 57, in Southeast Portland for 11 years. "They want people to betreated fairly."

The couple got a taste of marriage when Multnomah County issued marriagelicenses to 3,000 same-sex couples in the spring of 2004. Then voters passedMeasure 36, which amended the Oregon Constitution to declare marriagelegally valid only between a man and a woman. Following that, the OregonSupreme Court ruled that the Multnomah marriages were illegal and null.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Drag queens, giant shoe drop signals new year in Key West
Key West's New Year's Eve tradition, involving a drag queen named Sushi andan eight-foot-tall shoe, is a TV network staple each year.


KEY WEST - Sushi used to drink several vodka cocktails before her New Year'sEve tradition of climbing into an 8-foot, red high-heel shoe that sways overa sea of revelers on Duval Street.

But now the drag queen -- born Gary Marion -- delays her wild celebratinguntil the shoe drops at the stroke of midnight.

''Because we've been on CNN the last few years, they don't want me tootipsy,'' Sushi said last week. ``They want me to be sober for [CNN anchor]Anderson Cooper.''

Tonight marks the 10th Sushi dropping and the fourth time the internationalnews network will make the 39-year-old drag queen and Key West part of itslive worldwide coverage to ring in the new year.

CNN correspondent John Zarrella said many eyebrows were raised four yearsago when the idea was first pitched.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

US: Struggling with John Edwards on Marriage Equality

Huffington Post (blog), January 1, 2007


Struggling with John Edwards on Marriage Equality John R. Bohrer

A question from the John Edwards event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire lastweek, on marriage equality:

QUESTION: Given that there's so much dissension in the country about gaymarriage, what is your view, or what would you tell your gay supporters inthe country what your view is on -- not gay marriage in a religious sense,but gay marriage as a civil right and as being able to get a civil licenseto marry your same sex partner?

EDWARDS: Single hardest social issue for me, personally -- and there arelots of them -- but most of the others, I don't have a lot of personalstruggle with. I have a lot of personal struggle with this one.... Becausethe issue is, from my perspective, I think it is right and fair and just inAmerica that men and women who want to live with their partner should betreated with dignity and respect and should have civil rights, as you referto them. And the question becomes, 'Can you accomplish that through civilunions or partnership recognition and support of partnership benefits? Doesthat provide the level of dignity and respect that gay Americans areentitled to? Or do you have to cross the bridge into the issue of gaymarriage?' I personally feel great conflict about that. I don't know theanswer. Wish I did.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Pride and prejudice
2006 has been a monumental year for South African gay rights. DavidBeresford looks back to where the fight began

David Beresford
Tuesday January 2, 2007

Guardian Unlimited

The year 2006 can now be seen as the year of liberation for South Africa'sgay population, the year in which single-sex marriages were given thego-ahead (there may still be some squabbles over the legislative smallprint). With it came the principle, at least, of sexual equality.Considering that the gay liberation struggle has only been going on for 16years, that is quite an achievement.

To the extent that any social movement could be said to have had abeginning, South Africa's gay people started their bid for freedom inJohannesburg on October 13 1990. This was the date when South Africa's firstgay pride march, with all the accompanying razzmatazz, passed through thestreets of the country's commercial capital.


London Independent

Northern Ireland divided over new rights for gays

By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor

Published: 01 January 2007

Twenty-five years after Northern Ireland's gay rights campaigners firstdefeated Rev Ian Paisley's infamous quest to "Save Ulster from Sodomy", anew war against homosexuality is being waged on the streets of Belfast.

In 1982 Rev Paisley and his Free Presbyterian Church tried to stop theintroduction of a gay age of consent. This time the church and its politicalallies are attempting to block new laws that will protect gay and lesbianpeople from discrimination by hoteliers and guesthouse owners.

Under changes that come into force today Northern Ireland is to trailblazeregulations which make it unlawful to refuse goods and services to people ongrounds of sexual orientation.


The New York Times


December 31, 2006
Sports of The Times
Hard-Nosed League Sends a Message of Acceptance

Has the N.H.L.'s neutral zone become code for bi-curious?

Is its blue line simply a subtle hue in a larger rainbow?

No, but what you'll find amid the N.H.L.'s macho lore of goons and bruisersis an enlightened league comfortable with its manhood.

In a decision small, but not insignificant, the N.H.L. and the Toronto MapleLeafs have delivered a fissure to a homophobic culture of sports, becomingthe first major pro league and team known to lend its logos to a movie witha homosexual theme.

"Unbelievable," said David Kopay, who, after retiring from the N.F.L. in1972, wrote a best-selling book describing his life as a gay player. "Iguess progressive is the new buzzword, but I'd say this is a breakthroughagainst the stigma that still exists in sports."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Prince is out but not down

In India, where being gay is a crime, a royal son was shunned when he toldhis secret. Now he fights to change the law and public mind-set.

By Henry Chu
Times Staff Writer

10:48 AM PST, January 2, 2007

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 a 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 — albeit one that has touchedoff a scandal in the royal house of Rajpipla, one of India's former princelystates. Last March, he revealed a lifelong secret to a local newspaper,which promptly splashed it on the front 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."

[Send your comments about articles to Rays.List@Comcast.net]

No comments: