Friday, February 16, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - February 16, 2007

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To Our Subscribers on Ray's List,

Ray's List will publish only the 3 Ray's List Daily Digests [GLBT News,National/World News, and Florida News] on Saturday and Sunday - February17-18. We will not send the individual articles this weekend.

In an attempt to streamline our production of Ray's List, we anticipate thatwe will eliminate mailing full articles in the near future and focus only onthe 3 daily digests. As always, you are invited to request a full articlefrom us if it is unavailable through the attached link or if the link is notavailable.

We are in a state of transition and request feedback so that we can makeRay's List a valuable tool in the quest for full human rights for ALLpeople.

This week's news including the disgusting and dangerous comments from TimHardaway, the frightening attack by a large mob against gay men in Jamaica,and the collusion with Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola by a number ofright-wing break-away Episcopal congregations should serve as notice to usin the U.S. that our safety, security and well-being are seriouslychallenged by groups that have no intention of giving up their fight againstour dignity as human beings. Their intentions are not benign.

Even though statistics show Americans are growing more tolerant of gays, weare a long way from security for GLBT people. For those of us in S.Florida, life is pretty nice. Even though we have one of the largestpopulations of gay people in the U.S. our leadership and activism on thenational and world stage is sorely lacking. South-Floridian gays love toparty, but it is very difficult to gain the attention of the majority ofGLBT persons for more sober issues.

We publish Ray's List in the hope that our daily reminders of the news froma world-wide perspective will motivate and provide the links for actionwithin our community. We frequently feel we are only "singing to thechoir." But, we know that each time you forward a Ray's List article toyour contacts, you provide a great service and make it more difficult forbigotry and hatred to flourish.

Knowledge is power.

Best wishes - and thanks for your work as activists!

Ray and Michael
Ray's List
The digests are on the web at


The Jamaica Observer

Cops save three alleged homosexuals from angry crowd
KARYL WALKER, Observer staff reporter

Thursday, February 15, 2007

THREE men branded as homosexuals were yesterday rescued by the police froman angry mob outside a pharmacy in Tropical Plaza, where they had been holedup for almost an hour.

But even after the police managed to take the young men from the MonarchPharmacy, one of the three was hit with a stone, forcing officers to firetear gas on the crowd which included men, women, teenagers and smallchildren.

The approximately 2,000 people gathered outside the Kingston pharmacy hurledinsults at the three men, with some calling for them to be killed.

The crowd grew larger as the minutes ticked by and the three men and staffinside the pharmacy were visibly terrified as the mob demanded that they besent out so they could administer their brand of justice. "Send them out!"shouted one man.


Moscow official nixes gay rights parade

Feb. 14, 2007, 2:41PM
The Associated Press

MOSCOW - A top Moscow official repeated Wednesday that the city will notallow a gay rights parade, echoing the mayor's vocal criticism and sayingthat homosexuality is bad for your health, the RIA-Novosti news agencyreported.

"There is the hard line of the city authorities and the position of our mainfaith, the Russian Orthodox Church ... of the inadmissibility of such anevent in Moscow," RIA-Novosti quoted the head of the city's internationalrelations department, Georgy Muradov, as saying.

Mayor Yuri Luzhkov and city authorities barred gay rights activists fromstaging a parade last year, citing the threat of violence, but activistsignored the ban and were attacked by right-wing protesters and detained bypolice. Last month, Luzhkov vowed never to allow a gay rights parade,calling such events "satanic."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Hidden Homosexuality in Senegal Presents Challenge to HIV Prevention
By Phuong Tran
15 February 2007

Across Africa, HIV infection is significantly higher in some groups. InSenegal, homosexual men are 10 times more likely to be HIV positive than therest of the population. Phuong Tran reports from Dakar on the challenges ofpreventing HIV in a mostly hidden community.

In Senegal, homosexuality is considered a moral crime punishable by up tofive years in prison and a $3,000 fine.

Abdou Houdia Diop - a doctor at a sexually-transmitted disease clinic run bythe Senegalese Ministry of Health - says societal, religious and legaldisapproval of homosexuality drives many underground.

"Since homosexuals are a hidden group, it is difficult to treat them, and itmakes it difficult to manage their treatment because they may not want toget tested or to come for their test results," he said.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gays and alcoholics the same, says Moscow

15th February 2007 12:45
Ben Leung

A high-ranking official in Moscow has joined in the growing debate over thecity's refusal to allow a gay rights parade this year.

Georgy Muradov, head of the city's international relations department,yesterday likened homosexuality to alcoholism and argued that both are "badfor one's health."

His remarks came as he tried to fend off criticisms from the Swedishambassador to the Russian Federation who had protested that the city'sdecision to ban a Pride march for the second year in a row.

Muradov said the ban on the parade was aimed to protect the health andwell-being of society.

"As you know, the sale of alcohol is restricted in many Scandinaviancountries.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Monday, February 12, 2007
GLBT Americans Are Declaring Our Independence

After a disappointing decade in the political scene for gay people, many gayAmericans decided to change their strategies.

After Bill Clinton signed DOMA and banned gay people from serving openly inthe military, we realized that we weren't going to get our rights throughthe Democratic president -- who viewed gay Americans as an ATM machine thatcould be attacked in "pro family" campaign ads later. . . ads paid for withgay campaign contributions.

Still, gay Americans maintained some hope in the Democratic Party. Afterall, we reasoned, Bill Clinton was just one man -- and the larger party waswith us, right?

Maybe not.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

80% of Italians defy Vatican over partnership rights

15th February 2007 17:24
Tony Grew

A poll has revealed that an overwhelming majority of Italians approve of thegovernment's proposed legislation that will grant some rights to unmarriedcouples.

Last week the Cabinet unanimously approved the new legislation, which alsogrants rights to unmarried heterosexual couples.

Now a survey for newspaper La Repubblica has found strong support for themeasures.

67% of practising Catholics support protections for heterosexualco-habitees, a number which falls to 35% who think gay and lesbians shouldget legal protection.

Overall, 80% of Italians are in favour.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Nigerian Primate has unexpected Valentines Day gay encounter

Archbishop Peter Akinola, scourge of lesbian and gay people and theirsupporters in the worldwide Anglican Communion, had an unexpected ValentinesDay encounter today – with the head of an organization that embodies theconcerns of a group he has previously suggested do not exist, gay Christiansin Nigeria.

This afternoon (14 February 2007), following the first press briefing priorto the official start of the Anglican Primates meeting on Thursday 15February, Mr Davis Mac-Iyalla, director of Changing Attitude Nigeria andArchbishop Peter Akinola, Primate of All Nigeria, met for the first time.

As Mr Mac-Iyalla left the hotel lobby with the Rev Caro Denton Hall (fromIntegrity, USA), he found the Archbishop in the company of Bishop MartynMinns (head of a breakaway group of US Episcopal parishes now under Nigeriancontrol) and his wife, plus Canon Chris Sugden from the conservative groupAnglican Mainstream.

Mr Mac-Iyalla went straight to the Archbishop to introduce himself andDenton Hall, from the network of lesbian and gay Episcopalians.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

U.S. Clout Raises Worries for World Health Agency
Run Date: 02/13/07
By Bojana Stoparic

WeNews correspondent

The new director of the World Health Organization has made maternal andreproductive health issues a top priority for the global health agency. Butcritics say that U.S. policies hinder those efforts and funding still fallsshort of ambitions.

(WOMENSENEWS)--Some women's and global health experts are beginning toquestion whether Dr. Margaret Chan, the new director-general of the WorldHealth Organization, can stand up to the historical interference from itsbiggest donor, the United States. The Bush administration has been pushing apro-abstinence, anti-abortion agenda at WHO and has cut its funding forcomprehensive sexual and reproductive health services worldwide.

"The U.S. has pressured WHO behind the scenes not to address unsafeabortions and to remove references to sexual and reproductive rights," saysJodi Jacobson, executive director of Center for Health and Gender Equity inTakoma Park, Md.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Safe sex in the city

By James Hossack

New York - With branded condoms and lesbian weddings, Americans markedValentine's Day in ever more inventive ways on Wednesday, even if chocolatesand flowers remained the most popular way to say "I love you".

In New York, health authorities unveiled the country's first city-themedcondom in an effort to spark a bit of passion amid a winter blizzard.

The subway-styled condoms, which are being promoted with the slogan "NewYork we've got you covered", and the provocative "NYC condoms - get some",are part of a serious drive by the city to
tackle sexually transmitted diseases.

The one-size-fits-all condoms come in black packaging featuring colouredcircles that spell out "NYC Condom" in the style of the city's subway.Another suggested design that ended on thecutting-room floor featured skyscrapers.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Speaker discusses difficulties as a homosexual Muslim
Emily Koruda
Posted: 2/8/07

"I knew I was an outsider, and I was reminded of it everyday," said FaisalAlam of his experiences growing up in a small, rural Connecticut town asboth a devout Muslim and a conflicted homosexual.

In his lecture entitled "Hidden Voices: Lives of Queer Muslims," sponsoredby Allies, Boston College's own recognized student organization promotingthe understanding and support of sexual orientation, Alam spoke of how therestrictions of Islam prevented him from expressing his own sexuality duringthe greater part of his life.

A graduate from Northeastern University and an activist for gay rights forMuslims, Alam has been traveling and speaking at various universities aroundthe country for nearly five years.

Alam began his lecture by stating that although many Americans holddisparaging views toward Islam as a religion, conversion in America hasactually increased in the past five years. More people have studied it forthe mere sake of gaining a better understanding. Sept. 11 marked the firsttime radical Islam was truly introduced in the United States.


The New York Times

February 16, 2007

A Move to Heal Anglican Rift, but Short of Conservatives’ Goal

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Feb. 15 — The Episcopal Church in the United Stateshas taken steps to heal a rift over homosexuality that threatens to fracturethe worldwide Anglican Church, but it has not compromised as much asconservative Anglican leaders have demanded, according to a report issued ata crucial meeting of the Anglican leadership here on Thursday.

The report said leaders of the Episcopal Church — the American branch of theAnglican Communion — have effectively stopped consecrating openly gaybishops. They have also apologized to Anglicans who were offended by theirliberal stance on homosexuality.

But the leaders have failed to explicitly forbid the blessing of same-sexunions, as representatives of the global church requested two years ago,according to the report. It called for urgent action by Episcopal leaders,saying bishops who defy the Anglican Church on the issue can not “be fullyincorporated” into it.


Condom giveaway wildly popular on love's special day

By Antigone Barton

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, February 15, 2007

BOCA RATON — If true romance combines passion with a desire to protect theobject of one's affections, then Planned Parenthood's Valentine's Day condomgiveaway brought out clinic visitors' romantic side.

"They've been flying out the door," said Boca Raton center office managerKerine Salmon, preparing to empty another thousand condoms into basketsplaced around the clinic waiting room. "Today is the perfect day," she said,because on Wednesday the center has walk-in clinic services requiring noappointments,

The organization's chapter for south Palm Beach and Broward Counties isgiving unlimited free condoms to all who come through its five centers inrecognition of National Condom Awareness Day, which coincides with the dayof love.

They will continue through the week, which is recognized by the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services as National Condom Week.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Feb. 16, 2007

The father counts, as more than a figure


I'll tell you when I decided -- apologies to Ricky Ricardo -- I had somesplainin' to do.

It was a few days ago, when I got an e-mail informing me that I am an''anti-gay bigot.'' Which would be a shock to the system at any time, butseems especially ironic coming as it does a few weeks before I am supposedto receive an award from PFLAG -- Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

The source of this ire? A column I wrote about Mary Cheney, who is alesbian, pregnant and the daughter of the vice president. I thought it was abad idea for Cheney and her life mate, Heather Poe, to have a baby, and Inoted that this is an opinion I share with Dr. James Dobson of Focus on theFamily fame.

Which caused a few folks to fire off scandalized notes wondering how Ifunction without benefit of a brain. Or a heart.


The Advocate

Febuary 16, 2007

Episcopal leader's pro-gay views won't waver, aide says

The head of the Episcopal Church, the U.S. wing of the Anglican Church, whosupports ordaining gays and allowing blessing ceremonies for same-sexcouples, will not soften her views even as the issues threaten to breakapart the Christian denomination, her aide said Thursday. The leaders of theworld's 77 million Anglicans, who are holding a closed meeting this week inDar Es Salaam, Tanzania, said they would discuss the U.S. response to a 2004report by an Anglican panel that called for a moratorium on consecrating gaybishops and blessing same-sex unions.

Splits between Anglicans have been growing for years but became a crisis in2003 when the Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly gay bishop, V.Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. The problems mounted last year with theelection of Katharine Jefferts Schori as head of the U.S. church.

"The spirit of Anglicanism will prevail here, and there will be a middle wayforward,'' said Jefferts Schori's aide, Robert Williams. But he said she''will not waver in her stand for justice and inclusion of all people in thebody of Christ.''


The Advocate

New Life to discuss Haggard scandal with congregation

Leaders of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., will hold whatthey're calling a ''day of hope'' Sunday to discuss the claims of drug useand gay sex that led to the downfall of founding pastor Ted Haggard.

''What we have in mind for that Sunday is to give some closure to ourcongregation from this difficult time and also some perspective on the roadahead for the Haggard family as they enter this season of restoration,''said Rob Brendle, an associate pastor.

Last year Haggard was forced out as senior pastor at the 14,000-member NewLife Church and resigned as head of the National Association of Evangelicalsafter a Denver man, Mike Jones, came forward alleging the pastor had paidhim for sex and sometimes used crystal meth when they were together.Haggard, who is married, has publicly admitted to ''sexual immorality'' andhas undergone intensive, Bible-based counseling.

Haggard told church members in a recent e-mail that his family planned toleave Colorado Springs and that he and his wife planned to pursue master'sdegrees in psychology.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Feb. 16, 2007

Hardaway's gay bashing brings swift rebuke

Former pro basketball player Tim Hardaway felt heat from all sides one dayafter making anti-gay comments.

A day after declaring ''I hate gay people'' on a South Florida radio show,former Miami Heat guard Tim Hardaway was banned from this weekend's NBAAll-Star Game activities, lost a national endorsement deal and drew intensecriticism from gay-rights advocates.

Five-time All-Star Hardaway, who apologized on WSVN-Fox 7 several hoursafter making the comments Wednesday, released another apology Thursdaythrough his agent, Henry Thomas.

''As an African American, I know all too well the negative thoughts andfeelings hatred and bigotry cause,'' Hardaway said in Thursday's apology.``I regret and apologize for the statements that I made that have certainlycaused the same kinds of feelings and reactions.

''I especially apologize to my fans, friends and family in Miami andChicago. I am committed to examining my feelings and will recognize,appreciate and respect the differences among people in our society,'' hesaid. ``I regret any embarrassment I have caused the league on the eve ofone of their greatest annual events.''


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Feb. 16, 2007

Hardaway has a right to spout his ignorance


Because we tend to focus on the negative, ''hate'' stands as the biggestfour-letter word you can use on ABC. People used to having their publiclyspoken words recorded or written for posterity know to handle that word asif it were a glass of nitroglycerin.

Which is just one reason to say ''please'' to any apology from former Heatguard Tim Hardaway's for saying, ''I hate gay people'' during a Wednesdayradio interview that also included Hardaway's admission that, basically, hecouldn't deal with a teammate known to be gay.

Thus did Hardaway give voice to the feelings shared by the majority ofprofessional athletes and by many in America. Nothing wrong with that. Atleast he was honest. In America, it's your right to be a bigot so long as itdoesn't infringe on someone else's right to just be. When we lose the rightto bigotry, we no longer live in America.


That's an America where capitalism holds a daily referendum in which thepeople's voice can be heard via the wallet. The NBA, conscious that gays andlesbians buy season tickets and LeBron James jerseys, too, distancedthemselves from Hardaway much quicker than its daughter, the WNBA, embracedthe lesbian presence in its fandom. The dress-coded NBA's reflex is to meanno offense to any potential paying customer.


From Scott Long
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program
Human Rights Watch

Nigeria - Anti-gay bill debated - AN UPDATE

Dorothy has gone to bed after an exhausting day, but she asked me to relaysome information to activists about the day’s events. After an initialhitch when the pro-LGBT-rights civil-society contingent were told they couldnot attend the “public” hearing without an invitation, they were able to getpast the guards at the National Assembly gates. The presence of EU andforeign embassy staff apparently helped in this.

The hearing itself was chaotic and packed, with representatives from theChristian Association of Nigeria and other Christian groups (not sure whichyet) as well as some Muslim associations. About 10-12 representatives ofthe civil society coalition, supported by Global Rights, were able to speak,including INCRESE and the Civil Liberties Organization. UNAIDS alsocondemned the bill on health grounds, and the Nigerian Human RightsCommission made a strong statement against it. INCRESE presented a letterfrom 20+ African human rights defenders condemning the bill; a letter fromUS representative Tammy Baldwin; the letter from HR organizations in andbeyond Africa from last year; documentation from HRW and Global Rights; anda letter from the International Lesbian and Gay Law Association, among otherdocuments.

On the other side, the cultural argument that homosexuality is “un-African”was raised, and pressure from foreign homosexuals was cited as an indicatorof why the bill is necessary. The South African marriage bill was alsocited in warning. Health arguments were also used in the legislation’sfavor. An MD who is President Obasanjo’s assistant on health issues arguedthat the bill was needed to prevent HIV/AIDS (to keep gays from infectingtheir wives and children). He also said it would help in preventing breastand womb cancer, to which he said lesbians are particularly vulnerable, andpreventing depression and suicide.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Issue Date: 2/15/2007, Posted On: 2/14/2007

The lesbians love Hillary

Laura Kiritsy

KEENE, N.H. — Oh, the downside of being the reporter for an LGBT newspaper:In the never-ending quest for the requisite “gay angle” one often findsoneself shuttling off to cover mainstream political events hoping to highheaven that the candidate will say or do something — anything — gay-relatedfrom which you can then wring a few lines of interesting copy. Sometimes youget a direct hit and the juicy headline “John Edwards Gets Hit With MarriageQuestion” (Bay Windows, Jan. 1). Other times you get bupkis, hence a lessenticing header along the lines of, “Rudy Giuliani Is Spared Any QuestionsOn Gay Issues” (Bay Windows, Jan. 4). Should the latter headline be yourfate, you desperately scan the crowds for some LGBT bystanders willing tooffer up their interpretations on the absence of gayness. At least you gotsomething.

Thus, it was with the usual trepidation that I made the two-and-a-half hourtrek to Keene, N.H., on Feb. 12 for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s first foray ontothe Democratic presidential primary scene. After all, despite all thosetabloid headlines of a few years ago and her Wellesley pedigree, there’snothing inherently gay about Clinton or her campaign. As I headed norththere was the customary fretting: Would she broach the topic of LGBT rightsin her stump speech? Would someone ask a gay question? Please, someone, saysomething gay. How would I find the lesbians if all of the women weresporting turtlenecks, boots and ski parkas? After all, this was NewHampshire.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gays 60 percent more prone to domestic abuse: survey
Tajikistan News.Net
Thursday 15th February, 2007 (IANS)

Gay people are 60 percent more likely than heterosexuals to suffer domesticviolence at the hands of their partners, a Hong Kong survey said Thursday.

Sixteen per cent of gay people are beaten up by their partners, comparedwith 9.6 percent of heterosexual people in comparable surveys, the study bya coalition of gay-rights groups found.

A third of gay people questioned said they suffered some form of domesticabuse, with many complaining of verbal abuse and threats, according to thestudy based on interviews with 236 people.

Among the most common forms of non-physical abuse reported by intervieweeswere threats to disclose a partner's sexual preferences to parents, friendsor employers.

However, social-welfare groups in the city of 6.8 million are not equippedto deal with gay people suffering from abuse and ignored appeals for helpfrom victims, the coalition complained.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Some licensing clerks join same-sex marriage debate
Dozens in Yolo County protest effort to legalize gay unions

Lisa Leff
The Associated Press
February 15, 2007 February 15, 2007

WOODLAND - For a decade, it's been a predictable Valentine's Day ritual:Same-sex couples across the nation show up at local government officesseeking marriage licenses only to be turned down - sometimes politely,sometimes not.

But the annual Freedom to Marry protests took on a slightly more hopeful hueWednesday in some parts of Northern California, where gay and lesbianpartners gained outspoken support from elected county clerks who lamentedthat state law forced them to say no.

"It's been on my conscience for a while, and I won't stand for it anymore,"said Yolo County Clerk-Recorder Freddie Oakley, who decided to give a"Certificate of Inequality" to each same-sex couple who came to her counterthis year. "This time, I'm standing up."

The strongly worded documents left no doubt on whose side Oakley stood.


The New York Times

February 16, 2007

China Covers Up Detention of AIDS Doctor

BEIJING, Feb. 15 — The photograph and article in Tuesday’s Henan Daily couldhave been headlined “Happy Holidays.” Three highranking Henan Provinceofficials, beaming and clapping as if presenting a lottery check, weremaking an early Lunar New Year visit to the apartment of a renowned AIDSdoctor, Gao Yaojie.

They gave her flowers. Dr. Gao, 80, squinted toward the camera, surelyunderstanding that pictures can lie. She was under house arrest to preventher from getting a visa to accept an honor in Washington. Her detentionattracted international attention, and the photo op was a sham, apparentlyintended to say, “Look, she’s fine and free as a bird.”

On Thursday, Dr. Gao said in a telephone interview, a handful of policeofficers remained stationed outside her apartment building in the centralChinese city of Zhengzhou.

“I just can’t simply swallow it all,” she said. “I want to know two things.First, who has made the decision? I am an 80-year-old lady, and what crimeshave I committed to deserve this? Second, they must find out who has beenslandering my name on the Internet.”


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