Monday, January 29, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - January 29, 2007

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The New York Times

January 28, 2007

Pushing Back at Bullying

THIS past November, the Greenwich High School principal, Alan J. Capasso,greeted an early morning assembly of more than 800 freshmen about to begin amandatory anti-bias, anti-bullying program called "Names Can Really Hurt Us." He told them, "This is the most important day of your school year."

In Greenwich, where diverse doesn't begin to describe the pan-cultural buzzanimating the school's hangar-size cafeteria, "Names," as the program isknown, is cool - as in "Hey, you doing 'Names' this year? It rocks." Afterfive years, "Names" day is assured a place on the school calendar, alongwith homecoming, SAT prep and the prom.

Farther north at New Milford High School, Jonathan Henion, a senior, stoodbefore a "Names" assembly of sophomores to share a story he insisted was nobig deal, except that it suggested how one small action could make adifference:


Civil Unions Bill Filed In Hawaii
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 29, 2007 - 12:01 am ET

(Honolulu, Hawaii) Legislation to legalize civil unions has been filed inthe Hawaii state legislature. but how far it will advance is unknown. Thebill, written by local LGBT civil rights activist Bill Woods-Bateman, doesnot have a sponsor. At the moment it is sitting on the desk of HouseJudiciary Chair, Representative Tommy Waters (D).

But the measure does have one key supporter - Debi Hartmann and that hassurprised a lot of people in the state. In 1998 she led a successfulcampaign that resulted in the state banning gay marriage.

The citizens referendum pushed at the time by Hartmann gay the legislaturethe sole power to define marriage in Hawaii. Lawmakers then passed a billlimiting marriage to a man and a women.

Since then Woods-Bateman has held a series of "educational" meetings withHartmann.


Organizers of Moscow gay pride parade want compensation from Russia

Moscow, January 29, Interfax - Organizers of the Moscow gay pride paradehave filed a suit with the European Court of Human Rights against Russiademanding 20,000 Euros in damages, Nikolay Alexeyev, chief organizer of theaction, told Interfax on Monday.

"Finally, one will stop considering us as second-class citizens without anyrights. Thanks to the authorities we have the image of people who cannotprotect their rights," he said.

In particular, Russia, through its state agencies, violated Articles 11, 13and 14 of the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights, whichrelate to the right to peaceful actions, the right to effective legalrepresentation and ban discrimination, respectively, the organizers arguedin their suit.

The ban imposed on the parade also violates Russian legislation andprovisions of the European convention ratified by Russia, the claim reads.


Moscow mayor dead set against gay parade, calling it "Satanic"

14:04 | 29/ 01/ 2007

MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov said Monday hewould never allow a gay parade to take place in Moscow despite pressure fromthe West.

"Last year, Moscow came under unprecedented pressure to sanction the gayparade, which can be described in no other way than as Satanic," Luzhkovsaid at the 15th Christmas educational readings in the Kremlin Palace.

"We did not let the parade take place then, and we are not going to allow itin the future," said Luzhkov who has been in office since 1992.

The conservative 70-year-old mayor of the Russian capital also bannedPortuguese bullfights in Moscow in 2001 for their violence and did not letthe St. Petersburg-based rock group Leningrad perform in the city because oftheir explicit lyrics.


Russian gays plan to stage another pride parade in May in Moscow

Moscow, January 29, Interfax -

Russian gay activists plan to stage another parade in support of the rightsof sexual minorities on May 27, 2007, a year after the failed attempt,Nikolay Alexeyev, the organizer of the action, has informed Interfax.

'The parade will take place notwithstanding any decision the authoritiesmake. However, should the action be banned again we will go to the Strasburgcourt. The authorities should obey the law, which they demand of people,' hesaid.

On Monday the organizers of the first gay parade in Moscow have filed a suitwith the European Court of Human Rights against Russia demanding 20,000Euros in damages.

Alexeyev stressed that with regard to the holding of a gay parade in Moscow'the situation this year is unique' in that 'no state in the Council ofEurope member countries has faced complaints in the European Court againstits ban on a gay parade for two years in a row'.


The Washington Post

Congregants in Legal Limbo Over Who Gets the House

By Alan Cooperman and Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, January 29, 2007; B03

As 15 Virginia congregations voted to leave the Episcopal Church in recentmonths, both their leaders and the Episcopal bishop of Virginia, Peter Lee,said they hoped to avoid costly, bitter lawsuits over control of theirproperty.

That hope is disappearing fast.

In recent days, Lee prohibited the departing congregations' priests fromofficiating at worship services, declared their churches abandoned propertyand filed legal motions opposing the congregations' claims to the land andbuildings, collectively worth tens of millions of dollars.

Two of the departing congregations, in turn, threatened in a Jan. 16 letterto charge diocesan officials with trespassing if they "set foot on eithercongregation's property without express permission from that congregation'svestry." The churches have filed formal reports on their votes in court, astep toward seeking clear title to the properties. And they have refused toallow the losing side in the votes -- the congregants who want to stay inthe Episcopal Church -- to hold services in their sanctuaries.


The New York Times

January 29, 2007

France United and Divided Over Activist Priest
Filed at 6:00 a.m. ET

PARIS (Reuters Life!) - France spent all of last week united in mourning forthe revered Abbe Pierre, a lifelong campaigner for the homeless and thepoor, but divided over who the frail old man in a beret really was.

No sooner was his death announced last Monday than politicians, anti-povertyactivists and the media intoned a unanimous chorus of praise for thecrusader who shamed successive governments into helping people they oftenignored.

Tributes to him on television showed him organizing shelters for thehomeless, lobbying presidents and prime ministers and blocking police fromdriving squatters out of an old remind mourners in Notre DameCathedral of a key fact many commentators overlooked about one of France'smost revered men.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

The New York Times

Op-Ed Contributor - City Section Opinion Pages

For Gays, Read the Fine Print
Published: January 28, 2007

THE news earlier this month about how a New York court treated thedissolution of a gay relationship demonstrates how far gays have come in thestruggle for marriage equality and how far we have yet to go. The court heldthat a separation agreement between two men was binding even though theywere not married.

This is an advance over earlier cases in which such agreements weresometimes deemed unenforceable. At the same time, it falls far short ofmarriage.

The case sounds like a contracts question on the New York Bar Exam. StevenGreen and David Gonzalez moved in together in 2001. Over the course of theirrelationship, Mr. Green, whom the court describes as "a person ofconsiderable assets and income," showered Mr. Gonzalez with gifts, includingcars and a ski house.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Kenya: Backlash against gays and lesbians starts

Nation Media Group
Backlash against gays and lesbians starts

Publication Date: 1/28/2007

Even before the week in which Kenyan gay and lesbian issues came to the foreat the just-concluded World Social Forum (WSF) was over, the backlashagainst the homosexual community had begun.

Some of the first reactions came from the Council of Imams and Preachers ofKenya (CIPK) meeting in Mombasa.

CIPK secretary-general Sheikh Mohamed Dor was reported to have asked theGovernment to clamp down on homosexuals beginning with those speaking at thethe forum, whom he said should be arrested by police.

Said the statement in part: "The Muslim community is against homosexualitybecause the vice is ungodly. Both the Koran and the Bible condemn the vice."

The Kenya Anti-Rape Movement founder, Ms Fatma Anyanzwa, said calls for therecognition of same-sex relationships should be ignored, and instead effortsmade to counsel those practising it.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

UK: Suffer the children |

Suffer the children


IF I were gay and wanted to give a child a home, my first thought would notbe to head off to a Catholic adoption agency. Any more than if I were a man,I would take my medical problems to a well-women clinic. Not unless I waslooking for confrontation; not unless I was more concerned about making astatement than achieving my goal.

But then gesture politics is at the heart of the escalating row over whetheror not Catholic adoption agencies should be exempt from anti-discriminationlegislation. It's not really about the best interests of a handful ofvulnerable children. It's not even about protecting the rights of minoritiesto access services. It's about two mutually hostile lobby groups resumingtheir entrenched positions in a long-running power struggle that takes noprisoners.

With the Section 28 skirmish now a fading memory, the old enemies have founda new battleground for their opposing value systems. And this time round,the standoff threatens to undermine First Minister Jack McConnell andjeopardise the future of the very children both parties insist they aretrying to protect.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

UK: This 'right' for gays is an injustice to children

Telegraph Media Group Limited

This 'right' for gays is an injustice to children

By Roger Scruton
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 28/01/2007

Western societies have, in recent decades, undergone a radical change intheir attitudes to homosexuality. What was once regarded as an intolerablevice is now regarded as an "orientation", no different in kind, thoughdifferent in direction, from the inclinations that lead men to unite withwomen, and children to be born. This radical change began with thedecriminalisation of homosexual conduct, and with a growing readiness notjust to tolerate homosexuality in private, but to talk about it in public.

We saw the emergence of the "public homosexual", the flamboyant propagandistfor that "other" way of life who, like Quentin Crisp, tried to persuade usthat "gay" is after all the right description. There followed the movementfor "gay pride" and the "coming out" of public figures -to the point whereit is no longer very interesting to know whether someone is or is not of theother persuasion.

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