Thursday, February 01, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - February 1, 2007

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Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Victory! Governor Spitzer Provides Historic Funding for LGBT Health & HumanServices

Today, Governor Spitzer provided a record $6.0 million in his ExecutiveBudget for non-HIV health and human services targeting New York State's LGBTcommunities. This is more than double the amount provided last year($2.373) through the governor's budget and is a great victory for ourcommunity!

Pride Agenda Executive Director Alan Van Capelle said, "The Governor made apromise that he would better address the needs of the LGBT community in thiscritical area and today he followed through on his promise. This budgetshows that Governor Spitzer understands the need to support programs thateffectively deliver critical health and human services to LGBT New Yorkersand is willing to invest state funding to make that happen. We thank him asdo more than 500,000 people that use these services."

The Pride Agenda coordinates the NYS LGBT Health and Human Services Network,a group of community-based organizations that provide services that includemental health treatment, alcohol and substance abuse treatment, and homelessyouth services. The Pride Agenda thanks Network members for the effectivework they do all across the state that laid the groundwork for today'sfunding increase.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

UK/Latvia: London and Riga unite to promote equality


London and Riga unite to promote equality

The gay and lesbian communities of London and Riga are to come together in aunique twinning partnership to support equality and tolerance in bothcapital cities.

Pride London and the Mayor of London will sign a statement of unity withRiga Pride at a ceremony in the Latvian capital next month.

As over half a million Londoners from all backgrounds came together in thelargest Pride parade the city has ever seen last summer, the gay and lesbiancommunity in Riga were banned from celebrating Pride and suffered violentoppression from homophobic mobs.


The Washington Post

Diocese Sues 11 Seceding Congregations Over Property Ownership

By Michelle Boorstein and Jacqueline L. Salmon
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, February 1, 2007; B04

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia filed lawsuits yesterday against 11conservative congregations that voted to leave the U.S. church and arefighting to keep their parish properties and assets.

The Circuit Court lawsuits, almost all in Northern Virginia, ask the courtto declare the diocese the rightful owner of all property, which is worthwell into the tens of millions of dollars. The suits also ask the court toforce the breakaway congregations off the 11 properties, which they haveoccupied since the votes in December and January.

The legal move was not unexpected because the two sides have met only once,in December, and have spoken publicly about finding no middle ground.

"This is just the next step in moving forward," said Patrick Getlein,spokesman for the diocese.


The New York Times

January 31, 2007
Lawmakers Push for Gay Marriage in Connecticut
Filed at 9:13 p.m. ET

HARTFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - Gay rights advocates in Connecticut saidon Wednesday they would introduce legislation that aims to make the statethe second in the United States to legalize same-sex marriage, but they facetough opposition.

Democratic state Sen. Andrew McDonald and Rep. Michael Lawlor said theywould file the bill before a February 14 deadline for new legislation.``We'll treat same-sex couples exactly the same way we'll treat opposite-sexcouples,'' said Lawlor, also a Democrat.

Neighboring Massachusetts is the only U.S. state where gay marriage islegal.

Vermont, New Jersey and Connecticut recognize same-sex civil unions, givinggay and lesbian couples largely the same rights as married couples -- frominsurance coverage to tax benefits and hospital visiting rights.


January 31, 2007

The Pentagon sings a different tune

Recent statements by retired general John Shalikashvili are a sure sign thatattitudes inside the Pentagon are changing and that the military's exclusionof out lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans will soon end.

By Steve Ralls

A recent New York Times op-ed by Gen. John Shalikashvili, the retiredchairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, quickly became the shot heard roundthe world in the debate over gays in the military. Shalikashvili, who was astaunch supporter of the ban in 1993, wrote that he now believes "that ifgay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they wouldnot undermine the efficacy of the armed forces" and concludes that "we mustwelcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job."

The general's remarks were not just a refreshing change of pace in thebattle to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." They were a sure sign thatattitudes inside the Pentagon are changing and that the military's exclusionof out lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans will soon end.


Majority In Conservative Judaism Support Gay Ordinations Survey Finds
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 31, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(New York City) A national survey of Conservative Jews has found a majoritysupport a ruling last month that permits the ordination of gay rabbis andblessing ceremonies for same-sex couples.

The poll was commissioned by The Jewish Theological Seminary in cooperationwith the United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism and the RabbinicalAssembly.

There are an estimated 750 North American synagogues in the UnitedSynagogues of Conservative Judaism.

The survey found that rabbis across the country support the move to ordaingay rabbis by a two-to-one margin and the spread was greater among layleaders where nearly 70 percent support gay rabbis.


Putin Speaks Publicly on Moscow Gay Pride

MOSCOW, February 1, 2007 ( – Russian President Vladimir Putintoday made his first public statement on gay rights. It is said to be thefirst-ever such statement in Russian history.

Speaking at a Kremlin press conference, President Putin was asked by AgenceFrance Press if he agreed with the view of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov thatgay parades were ‘Satanic’.

“I respect – and will respect – freedom of people in all theirmanifestations,” the President said.

But he added that he would not be drawn on “statements made by religiousleaders”.

“My attitude to sexual minorities is simple,” he continued. “It isconnected with my fulfilling of my official obligations.

“One of the main problems of the country is demographic,” he admitted


Lesbian Couple Have Mexico's First Civil Union
by The Associated Press

Posted: February 1, 2007 - 12:01 am ET

(Piedras Negras, Mexico) A lesbian couple registered what officials calledMexico's first gay civil union on Wednesday in the northern city ofSaltillo.

The couple, Karina Almaguer and Karla Lopez, traveled to Saltillo from theirhome state of Tamaulipas to register as a "civil solidarity union" under anewly passed law that made Coahuila the first of Mexico's 31 states to grantrecognition to such unions.

Television footage showed the couple smiling broadly and shaking hands withofficials after the simple ceremony at a registrar's office.

Coahuila State Assemblywoman Julieta Lopez Fuentes, who served as anofficial witness, said the law passed earlier this month allows people fromother states to register such unions in Coahuila.

"The object of this law is that unions of people of the same sex be legallyregulated and recognized, so that they can have some security in theirfuture," she said.


Outrage in Africa: gay rights campaigners target Tatchell
By Oliver Duff
Published: 01 February 2007
* Peter Tatchell's human rights activism has led to some memorable tangles.Archbishops dislike his stance on the "outing" of gay religious leaders.Robert Mugabe called Tatchell a "gay gangster", after he attempted acitizen's arrest on the Zimbabwean president. And the Daily Mail, no less,called him a "homosexual terrorist" (whatever that is).

This time I hear of disagreement within the brotherhood, however: Tatchellis at the centre of an unseemly row with fellow gay rights campaigners.

A group calling itself the African Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender andIntersex Human Rights Defenders has mailed Tatchell a furious letter.

Its members warn him: "Stay out of African LGBTI issues. You have proventhat you have no respect for... consulting [us] before carrying outcampaigns that have severe consequences in our countries. This isneocolonialism and it has no place in our struggle." They worry that hisrecent comments on Nigeria could prompt a crackdown on same-sex couplesthere.

Tatchell denies that there is any "gay civil war", and comments: "This isobviously very distressing. It's one-sided. The criticism is about the useof different tactics by different groups in different countries. We havealways been willing to work with many different groups, but this seems tohave caused resentment.


The Express Gay News


Mary Cheney: apologist for her father

What planet is Mary Cheney from?

Here's what she said in response to a question about her pregnancy, the N.Y.Times reported today:

When Heather and I decided to have a baby, I knew it wasn't going to be themost popular decision," Ms. Cheney said, referring to her partner of 15years, Heather Poe. She then gestured to her middle - any bulge disguised bya boxy jacket - and asserted: "This is a baby. This is a blessing from God.It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate, oneither side of a political issue. It is my child."

Sorry, Mary, but no dice.

You don't work to elect an anti-gay administration that uses same-sexmarriage as a wedge issue to ensure victory, and then get to complain abouthow having a baby with your same-sex partner is somehow not a legitimatesubject.


Monthly Review, New York

31/01/07 (trying to figure out the way the date is expressed - Americanswould put 01/31/07)

African LGBTI Human Rights Defenders Warn Public against Participation inCampaigns Concerning LGBTI Issues in Africa Led by Peter Tatchell andOutrage!


In order to prevent Peter Tatchell and Outrage! from causing further damagethrough their unfounded campaigns and press releases, we issue this publicstatement of warning.

As Human Rights Defenders from across Africa, we strongly discourage thepublic from taking part in any LGBTI campaigns or calls to action concerningAfrica that are led by Peter Tatchell or Outrage!

Collaboration across continents is both important and valuable. We arewilling to work with those who respect our advice and expertise regardingour continent.

However, Outrage! has been acting in contempt and disregard of the wishesand lives of African Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex(LGBTI) Human Rights Defenders. We have made every attempt to address thismatter with Outrage!, personally, and they have refused to listen. We nowtake this matter to the public, requesting you not to take part in any ofPeter Tatchell or Outrage!'s campaigns regarding Africa, as they are notfactually-based and are harmful to African activists.


Multi Million Dollar Campaign To Combat AIDS In Australian Gays
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 31, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(Sydney, Australia) The Australian government is proposing a mayor campaignaimed at combating HIV/AIDS transmission among men who have sex with men.

Health ministry statistics show that the number of HIV infections inAustralia increased by 41 per cent between 2000 and 2005 and that 80 percentof that is among gay and bisexual men.

A federal taskforce is calling for a $8 (US) ad campaign specificallytargeting gays. The money would be spent over a four year period HealthMinister Tony Abbott said.

"It seems that the people susceptible to HIV infection are male homosexuals,so what the committee is recommending is a new national [campaign] to try toensure that people don't do the sorts of things which might lead to HIVinfection, or certainly don't do them without taking appropriate safetyprecautions," he told ABC radio.


My Turn: One Son's Choice: Love or Country?

Our reluctance to accept gay marriage forces people to move away from theirhomes and their families.

By Nadine Chaffee

Feb. 5, 2007 issue - My son Cameron is a model American citizen. He is ahardworking, tax-paying, law-abiding young man. An honor student, a NationalMerit Scholar, a dean's list mainstay. He is liked by his teachers,co-workers and bosses; he's kind to cats, dogs and little old ladies. He isan environmental engineer because he believes we need to save our planet. Heis wildly in love with the first and only person he ever dated and theirmonogamous relationship is an example of what it means to be soulmates.Except for a brief interlude with hideous pink hair, he has led an exemplarylife. My son will be an asset to his employer, his community and hiscountry, but unfortunately for us, his country will not be the UnitedStates.

Cameron is moving to Canada. As soon as he graduates from school, he says,he is packing his bags and leaving.

Why is my son compelled to leave the only country he has ever known? Cameronis leaving because he is gay and because he wants what heterosexual Americancitizens take for granted.


Washington Returns To 'Grey's Anatomy'
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 31, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Los Angeles, California) Isaiah Washington will reportedly return to theset of "Grey's Anatomy" to resume work on Thursday.

People Magazine, quoting sources at ABC, reports that Washington has aThursday call time for shooting on the set and has confirmed that he will bethere.

Washington entered rehab last week for anger management following twohomophobic outbursts where he used the word "faggot" - one at theprestigious Golden Globe Awards. The other occurring during a dispute onthe set of the ABC series and was aimed at costar T.R. Knight.

Knight publicly came out and announced he was gay as news of the disputecirculated.

Washington was asked about the dispute during a backstage interview at theGolden Globes and denied involvement in the incident.


Anti-Gay Amendment Advances In Indiana
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 31, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Indianapolis, Indiana) A group of gays and lesbians was ejected from anIndiana Senate committee room Wednesday when they began singing "We ShallOvercome" after the committee voted to advance a proposed amendment thatwould ban same-sex marriage in the state.

The group continued to sing the hallway outside the committee room.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-4 along party lines to send theresolution on the full Senate. All seven Republicans voted for the measureand all four Democrats voted against it.

Prior to the vote the committee heard from supporters and opponents of theamendment.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Cleveland Traveling Guide To Target Gays, Lesbians

POSTED: 6:19 am EST January 31, 2007
UPDATED: 7:21 am EST January 31, 2007

CLEVELAND -- Tourism officials hope to bring gay visitors to the city bydesigning a travel guide that features gay-owned businesses, along withother attractions.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland has asked theLesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center of Greater Cleveland forhelp with content, design and distribution. The guide should be finishedthis year.

"When I travel, I want to make sure that where I stay is a gay and lesbianfriendly place," said Sue Doerfer, the center's executive director. "I wantto make sure I'm not going to be given a hard time."

About 65 cities have made a noticeable effort to attract tourists who aregay, said Ed Salvato, editor of The Out Traveler magazine.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,,329701115-103681,00.html

Priests leave Pope's doctrines outside confessional

John Hooper in Rome
Wednesday January 31, 2007


A yawning gulf between the stern doctrines preached by Pope Benedict and theadvice offered by ordinary Roman Catholic priests has been exposed by anItalian magazine which dispatched reporters to 24 churches around Italywhere, in the confessional, they sought rulings on various moral dilemmas.One reporter for L'espresso claimed to have let a doctor switch off therespirator that kept her father alive. "Don't think any more about it," shewas told by a friar in Naples. "I myself, if I had a father, a wife or achild who had lived for years only because of artificial means, would pullout [the plug]."

Another journalist posed as a researcher who had received a lucrative offerto work abroad on embryonic stem cells. With the extra cash, he said, he andhis wife could think about starting a family. So should he take up the post?

"Yes. Yes. Of course," came the reply.


Scholarships Available

PFLAG's (Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) National Officeoffers $1,000 and $2,500 scholarships.

In order to be eligible for these funds, applicants must be graduating highschool seniors entering higher education for the first time in fall 2007(students who graduated in 2006 and took a year off before going to collegeare also eligible to apply); self identify as either a gay, lesbian,bisexual, transgender person, or as a supporter of gay, lesbian, bisexual ortransgender people; demonstrate an interest in service to the LGBTcommunity; and have applied to an accredited higher education institution inpursuit of either an associate's degree leading to transfer credits towardsa bachelor's degree, or a bachelor's degree program at a four-year college.

This year, new awards are available for students with one or more GLBTparents/guardians.

Applications must be postmarked by 2/14/07

For more information visit www.pflag. org

You may download instructions and application forms from the website or youcan email them as an attachment to Danielle Flink at

NOTE: Some local PFLAG chapters also offer scholarships and may havedifferent qualifications. See:


Anything But Straight
by Wayne Besen
January 31, 2007
To Read online CLICK HERE

Too Hard On Viagra

There are recreational drugs, such as pot and alcohol and then there arewhat I call "wreck-reational" drugs such as crack and crystalmethamphetamine. The latter has become somewhat of a plague in the gay partyscene and a ubiquitous shadow in gay online pickup sites where users areoften looking to PNP (party and play) or "ski."

Like all club drugs, crystal has a cute nickname - Tina - and has a powerfulallure. Users can dance or socialize for hours without feeling fatigued andit greatly enhances one's sex drive. The downside is that users can stay upfor days, become irritable and the toxin is highly addictive. Another sideeffect is stupidity, as users are prone to post "covert" online ads in flat,sun-drenched sandbars like Miami Beach looking to "ski." Yeah, that ought tofool the cops!

Male consumers of Tina often have a difficult time maintaining erections.Enter Viagra, the miracle drug that not only helped Bob Dole, but currentlykeeps drug-crazed nights from becoming dull. Today's modern druggie can nowinflate, mate and gyrate with ease, all while enjoying Meth's speedyeuphoria.

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