Wednesday, January 31, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - January 31, 2007

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Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Solitary Confinement for Intersexual

by New York Law School Professor Arthur S. Leonard, January 27, 2007, LegalIssues

Despite finding that Wyoming prison officials could have done a better jobof dealing with the unprecedented problem of figuring out how to safelyconfine an intersexual inmate, a federal appeals court based in Denver ruledon January 24 in DiMarco v. Wyoming Department of Corrections, 2007 WL172189, that the state did not violate Miki Ann DiMarco's rights by holdingher in spartan solitary confinement for fourteen months when she was sent tothe state prison for violating the terms of her probation for a non-violentoffense. The decision for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals was written byCircuit Judge Tim Tymkovich, a former Colorado Attorney General appointed byPresident George W. Bush who had argued in defense of the infamous anti-gayColorado Amendment 2 before the U.S. Supreme Court in Romer v. Evans (1996).

DiMarco, genetically male, was characterized by the court as an"intersexual" or "hermaphrodite," a person born with ambiguous genitals, whowas living as a woman despite having a tiny penis. (She had her testiclessurgically removed, but there was no indication in the court's opinion aboutwhether she had undergone hormonal treatments to feminize her body.)DiMarco was arrested in 1998 on a bad check charge, and placed on probationby a Wyoming state judge. Probation includes drug testing. She flunked aroutine drug test, had her probation suspended, and was sentenced to 2-4years in the state prison system.


Radio Iowa News

Iowa Senate passes anti-bullying bill
Tuesday, January 30, 2007, 8:11 PM
By O.Kay Henderson

The Iowa Senate has passed a bill that directs Iowa schools to implementanti-bullying policies.

"It's carefully crafted to get safe schools in Iowa, like 29 other states,"said Senator Mike Connolly, a Democrat from Dubuque.

But many Republicans, like Senator Nancy Boettger of Harlan, objected to thebill because it says students shouldn't be harassed because of certaintraits like their race, their gender, or their sexual orientation. "We arenot protecting all kids equally because we are giving special protection tothose," Boettger said.

Senator Matt McCoy, a Democrat from Des Moines who is openly gay, spoke infavor of the bill. "We know that more than 45 to 50 percent of those kidsthat are perceived gay or are actually gay are being harassed verbally andphysically," McCoy said. "...If you happen to be one in 10 -- one in 10 thatwas born gay -- your world is a completely different world and the thingsthat you experience and the feelings that you go through on a daily basisare different than anyone else's."


Iowa Court Asked To Find Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 30, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(Des Moines, Iowa) A Des Moines judge was told Tuesday that preventingsame-sex couples from marrying violates the Iowa state constitution.

In a case filed more than a year ago in Polk County Court and which has yetto go to trial, Lambda Legal Tuesday submitted a brief calling for a summaryjudgment for six-same-sex couples.

The brief outlines the protections and security that only marriage provides.

In December 2005, the six couples, represented by Lambda, filed suit seekingto have Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act struck down. (story)


Gay Civil Rights Bill Filed In Florida
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 31, 2007 - 12:01 am ET

(Tallahassee, Florida) Legislation that would prohibit anti-gaydiscrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations has beenintroduced in the Florida legislature.

Currently, the Florida Civil Rights Act protects against discrimination inemployment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age,handicap, or marital status The Deutch/Skidmore Civil Rights Bill wouldadd "sexual orientation" and "familial status" as additional protectedclasses.

Florida's Fair Housing Act currently protects against discrimination inhousing and public accommodations based on race, color, national origin,sex, handicap, familial status, or religion.


Final Anti-Gay Marriage Measure Falls In Canada
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 30, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(Ottawa) The Canadian government has removed an immigration directive thatprevented people who married their same-sex partners abroad from sponsoringtheir spouse to immigrate to Canada.

Couples who married in Canada and where one partner was Canadian and theother foreign could sponsor that person to immigrate. But in 2004 thegovernment amended the rules to prevent foreign gay marriages from beingused for immigration purposes.

At the time the government said it feared people who were not gay could usethe immigration rules as a ruse to gain entry to the country.

New Democratic Party member Bill Siksay has been fighting the provision formonths.


Tennessee Gay Shakedown?
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 30, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Nashville, Tennessee) The former state lawmaker who spearheaded the driveto amend Tennessee's constitution has told the state's largest LGBT civilrights organization it should hire him as a lobbyist.

In a letter to the Tennessee Equality Project former Sen. Jeff Miller(pictured) says the group should consider him as its representative at theCapitol.

"I have worked closely with and become dear friends with many holding officeand those who keep the wheels turning behind the scenes," wrote Miller. Theletter was one of an unknown number the former Republican lawmaker sent toorganizations throughout Tennessee.

"I am more than happy to offer you any advice you may need regarding thelegislative process, potentially applicable rules of law and procedure,steps utilized in making policy decisions, or simply to be a go-to person ona particular issue," the letter said.

"I suppose he thinks helping pass discriminatory bills would make him aneffective advocate for the gay, lesbian and transgender community," ChrisSanders, Equality Project president told the Times Free Press newspaper.


The Washington Post

Sami Moubayed
Damascus, Syria

Sexual Repression in Syria

I often tell my students that there is not a single question in life thatcannot be asked or debated, then accepted or discarded by the human mind. Ilearned that many years ago as a student at the American University ofBeirut (AUB). Today, the weekly question at the forum of The Washington Postis about prostitution and whether it should be legalized. I am asked tospeak my point of view on Syria. By no means do I support the act ofprostitution, nor do I think, however, that it can be eliminated. It is theoldest surviving "profession" in the world and outlawing it will only makeit flourish in the Arab underground.

For years, many in the Arab World have been sexually deprived. This isbecause of social restrictions, seclusion, bad education, poverty, etc. Somewould argue that Islam is the reason for sexual deprivation, but I standagainst such an argument. True, Islam limits interaction between sexes andcalls for modesty in dress and conduct, but so does Christianity andJudaism. The other factors -- mainly seclusion, lack of education education,and poverty -- lead to a permanent psychological disorder. In many cases,people become obsessed with sex in its most primitive form.


Senator Presses Gates On DADT
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 30, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Washington) Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) wants an answer and he wants it byMarch 16. The question: What is new Defense Secretary Robert Gates' positionon "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the ban on gays serving openly in the military.

In a letter to Gates (pictured), Wyden said he found Under Secretary ofDefense Michael Dominguez's position that he "sees no need to change" to be"extremely troubling.

The letter refers to a growing call to repeal the ban, imposed during theClinton presidency.

"For instance, retired General John M. Shalikashvili stated in a January 2,2007 New York Times oped (story) that the time has come to reexamine DADT.According to the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 'if gay menand lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would notundermine the efficacy of the armed forces. Our military has been stretchedthin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the serviceof any American who is willing and able to do the job.'"


January 31, 2007
LGBT-friendly retirement home waiting on final approval in Boston

Boston Redevelopment Authority has approved construction on one of the firstLGBT-friendly retirement homes in the nation. However, the development,called Stonewall at Audubon, is still awaiting the OK from the city's zoningboard of appeal before it can proceed, reports The Boston Globe .

The project was recently approved by the residents of the neighborhood afterresidents clashed with developers over the building's height. JackCreighton, president of the Audubon Circle Neighborhood Association, assuredthe Globe that any qualms with construction had nothing to do with thesexual orientation of Stonewall's potential residents.

"This was a development project like any other, and we wanted it to fit inlike any other," Creighton said. He further told the Globe that condo ownersin the area saw the proposed height of the building as "way out of scale"and merely wanted it to follow the neighborhood's zoning law.


Tutu equates homophobia with apartheid

Gay people have become accustomed to attacks from religious leaders,especially those hailing from Africa, so it's heartening to hear thatDesmond Tutu has questioned the continent's treatment of gay men andlesbians.

The Nobel Peace laureate and former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, SouthAfrica, has warned that a hysterical obsession with gay sex leaves Africanchurches in danger of ignoring more pressing issues facing the continent. Ona rather more contentious note, he suggested that the mistreatment oflesbian and gay people is akin to apartheid.

"I am deeply, deeply distressed that in the face of the most horrendousproblems-we've got poverty, we've got conflict and war, we've gotHIV/AIDS-and what do we concentrate on? We concentrate on what you are doingin bed," Tutu told journalists in Nairobi for the World Social Forum lastweek.


Advocacy groups call for action on homeless gay youths

Two national advocacy groups on Tuesday accused the federal government ofneglecting what they described as an epidemic of homeless gay and lesbianyouths.

Two national advocacy groups Tuesday accused the federal government ofneglecting what they described as an epidemic of homelessness affecting tensof thousands of gay and lesbian youths, many of whom leave home because ofconflicts with their parents.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Coalition for theHomeless said gay, lesbian, and transgender youths make up at least20%-possibly as much as 40%-of the total number of homeless and runawayyouth, a fluid population that experts have estimated at 575,000 to 1.6million each year. ''The national response to this epidemic has been nothingshort of disgraceful,'' Matt Foreman, NGLTF executive director, toldreporters during a teleconference.


Gay Chat Line Killer Sentenced To 48 Years In Prison
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 30, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(Seattle, Washington) A 24-year old man convicted of killing of a gaySeattle businessman he met on a gay chat phone line has been sentenced to 48years behind bars.

"The crime here was an unprovoked, cruel, completely in this court'sopinion, senseless murder of a man who by all accounts was really a lovelyperson," Judge Theresa Doyle said in sentencing Michael Maiava.

But why Maiava killed Kevin Shaw, 44, in October 2004 remains a mystery.

Shaw, who ran an executive recruiting service and was involved in accountingfirms and a home-building business had been stabbed to death. A pathologistat Maiava's trial said the weapon may have been an ice pick.


The New York Times

January 31, 2007

Gay Man From Mexico Wins U.S. Asylum
Filed at 12:35 a.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- An immigration judge who previously denied a gay man'sasylum bid on the grounds that he could conceal his sexual orientation if hereturned to his native Mexico reversed the decision Tuesday.

In allowing Jorge Sota Vega to remain in the United States, Judge John D.Taylor said that gays should not be required to dress or act a certain wayto avoid persecution and that Vega's lawyers proved he would be at risk ifhe were deported to Mexico.

Vega's case attracted attention from national gay rights groups when Taylordenied his application and said that Vega could live safely in Mexicobecause he did not look gay and could hide the fact that he was.

''It seemed to us this is a real double standard,'' said Jon W. Davidson,legal director of Lambda Legal. ''Courts don't deny asylum to someone basedon their political beliefs by saying, 'If you just didn't tell other peoplewhat you believed, you would be fine.'''


The New York Times

January 30, 2007

More Help Urged for Homeless Gay Youth
Filed at 4:14 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Two national advocacy groups Tuesday accused the federalgovernment of neglecting what they described as an epidemic of homelessnessaffecting tens of thousands of gay and lesbian youth, many of whom leavehome because of conflicts with their parents.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Coalition for theHomeless said gay, lesbian and transgender youth make up at least 20percent -- possibly as much as 40 percent -- of the total number of homelessand runaway youth, a fluid population which experts have estimated at575,000 to 1.6 million each year.

''The national response to this epidemic has been nothing short ofdisgraceful,'' Matt Foreman, executive director of the task force, toldreporters during a teleconference.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,0,1663932,print.story

Bass says love song is over

January 30, 2007

Lance Bass says that he and Reichen Lehmkuhl have called it quits once andfor all.

"We broke up last week," Bass told People magazine. "But we're really goodfriends. Nothing bad at all - nothing bad at all to say."

The couple had announced in early December that they were splitting up,though trying to work on their relationship.

Former 'N Sync star Bass, 27, first revealed his relationship withmodel-actor-"Amazing Race" winner Lehmkuhl, 33, when he declared on thecover of People in July that he was gay.

"I'm more liberated and happy than I've been my whole life," Bass said atthe time. "I'm just happy."


The New York Times

January 31, 2007

Hawaii Lawmakers Mull Civil Unions Bill
Filed at 5:30 a.m. ET

HONOLULU (AP) -- Trying to avoid a heated battle over gay marriage, Hawaiilawmakers are considering a renewed push to grant same-sex couples similarbenefits through civil unions.

Democratic legislators, who hold overwhelming majorities in both the stateHouse and Senate, are supporting a proposed civil union bill as one of theparty's top priorities for this year's legislative session. If it passes,Hawaii would become only the fifth state to recognize either civil unions orgay marriage.

''Committed couples, regardless of their sexual preference or orientation,should have the same rights. That's the bottom line -- we should treatpeople equally,'' said Gary Hooser, the state senate majority leader.''There's broad support among Democratic party members.''


The New York Times

January 31, 2007

A Changing Battle on AIDS Is Reflected in a Quilt
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 30 - It has been 20 years since Cleve Jones started theAIDS Memorial Quilt here, painting the name of a friend who had died fromthe disease on a simple piece of fabric.

During the next two decades the quilt became the largest piece of communityfolk art in the world, a 54-ton collage affixed with the names of 91,000victims of AIDS, a tapestry of grief that was one of the earliest and mosteffective tools in raising awareness of the disease.

Now Mr. Jones is locked in a legal tug of war with the quilt's caretaker,the Names Project Foundation, over custody of 35 of its 6,000 panels. Thedispute is not just about the relatively small swatch of the quilt, or eventhe simmering personality clash between Mr. Jones, a founder of the group,and his successors. More broadly, the battle reflects the changing symbolismand purpose of one of the most recognizable symbols of the AIDS crisis asthe crisis itself has changed.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Published on NDP (
Created 2007-01-30 11:49

Siksay claims victory on Canadian recognition of gay and lesbian marriagesperformed outside Canada
Conservatives moved to recognize legal gay and lesbian marriages in otherjurisdictions

OTTAWA: NDP Spokesperson for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Rights,Bill Siksay MP (Burnaby-Douglas), today claimed a further victory in thefight for the equal recognition of gay and lesbian marriages.

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley has informed theStanding Committee of Citizenship and Immigration that her department'sinterim policy on same sex marriage, which did not recognize legal marriagesperformed in The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, South Africa, and theCommonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States for immigration purposes,has been annulled. Last December, on a motion proposed by Siksay, theStanding Committee had called on the government to take this action.

"This is another important victory towards full equality of gay and lesbianCanadians", noted Siksay. "The failure of the Department of Citizenship andImmigration to treat legal gay and lesbian marriages performed injurisdictions outside Canada was clearly discriminatory."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Training helps gay families win hearts
- Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, January 29, 2007

Armed with a slick 162-page handbook and coaching from daylong seminars, gayand lesbian parents across the country are learning to present the mostconvincing case that their families are normal, even mainstream.

A national training campaign, started in 2005 by Family Pride in Washington,D.C., and ramped up in the past few months, prepares gay parents to bespokespeople and counter critics of the growth in families led by same-sexcouples. About 30 parents and other supporters of gay, lesbian, bisexual andtransgender civil rights -- plus about 15 children -- attended a trainingsession in San Francisco over the weekend. Los Angeles and San Diego arenext.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,2777,DRMN_23906_5314861,00.html

Fetus measure rejected
Bills advance on gay rights, guns, contraception
By April M. Washington, Rocky Mountain News
January 30, 2007

Erin Hanson came to the Capitol on Monday asking that her unborn grandson'skilling count.

The Colorado Springs woman's 15-year-old pregnant daughter and her unborngrandson were murdered in 2002 by a friend who thought she defiled herselfby becoming pregnant.

"The killer knew he was taking two lives," said Hanson, who tattooed herdaughter's and grandson's names on her right arm, one surrounded by angelswings and the other cradled in a pair of hands. "The only charge the killerreceived for my unborn grandchild was criminal abortion because he wasn'tconsidered a person. The law needs to be changed. It's not enough."

Hanson was among the members of two grief-stricken families who testified onbehalf of a bill mandating that anyone who causes the death of a fetus as aresult of an attack on a pregnant woman be charged with first-degree murder.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Posted on Wed, Jan. 24, 2007

Same-sex diversity video roils Evesham district
Third-grade parents are upset. Now a gay-rights group has entered the fray.
By Troy Graham
Inquirer Staff Writer

New Jersey's preeminent gay rights group came to the defense yesterday ofEvesham's school district, which is facing questions from some parents forshowing a diversity video that includes families headed by same-sex couples.

The video, called "That's a Family!," depicts children being raised in avariety of family structures, including those headed by divorced and singleparents, grandparents, guardians, and gay and lesbian couples.

The video is used around the state, and the New Jersey Department ofEducation provides training on incorporating "That's a Family!" into theclassroom.

Evesham elementary schools began showing the video this year to thirdgraders as part of their health curriculum.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,22049,21143096-5007132,00.html#

Sydney gays come out fighting
Exclusive by Lillian Saleh

January 31, 2007 12:00

GAYS and lesbians will be singled out for special self-defence classes toprotect them from violence on one of Sydney's most popular party strips.

Sydney City Council will offer the classes and increase the number of "safeplaces'' for gays and lesbians as part of a strategy to improve safety alongOxford St.

Council rangers will increase patrols of the strip, while security staff atlocal clubs and pubs will be encouraged to take a greater role in respondingto crime.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the ideas are contained in a draft Oxford StSafety Strategy which aims to improve on a $24 million face-lift completedlast year.

Upgrades already completed include widening of footpaths, additionallighting and street furniture.


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