Monday, February 19, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - February 19, 2007

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The New York Times

February 19, 2007
Archbishop of Canterbury Appears to Chide Faction of Anglicans

JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 18 — Facing a possible church fracture over the issue ofhomosexuality, the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion reminded bishopsof the need for humility as church leaders gathered Sunday for services onthe island of Zanzibar.

“There was a great saint who said God was evident when bishops are silent,”the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, told hundreds whopacked a 173-year-old stone cathedral. “There is one thing a bishop shouldsay to another bishop; that I am a great sinner and Christ is a greatsavior.”

Nearly three dozen leaders of the world’s 77 million Anglicans have gatheredin Tanzania in an attempt to resolve the long-simmering conflict overhomosexuality. The most conservative archbishops, led by Archbishop Peter J.Akinola of Nigeria, are demanding that the group take firm action againstthe Episcopal Church of the United States, which consecrated a gay bishop in2003 and has not banned blessings of same-sex unions.

On Friday, Archbishop Akinola and six other archbishops refused to celebratethe Holy Eucharist with Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of2.3 million members of the Episcopal Church, the American branch of theAnglican Communion. To celebrate communion with Bishop Jefferts Schori, whosupports gay clergy and church blessings of same-sex unions, “would be aviolation of Scriptural teaching and the traditional Anglican understanding,” said a statement on the Nigerian church Web site.

Some observers interpreted Archbishop Williams’s sermon as an implicitrebuke of those archbishops. If so, though, Archbishop Akinola was not thereto hear it.


The Washington Post

Surprising Unity on Va. Hospital Visit Bill
Conservatives Support Right That Includes Gays

By Amy Gardner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 19, 2007; B01

RICHMOND -- A measure championed by gay men and lesbians that would givehospital patients explicit authority to choose their visitors is quietlycoursing through the Virginia General Assembly.

The bill, sponsored by Del. David L. Englin (D-Alexandria), is not intendedspecifically to protect domestic partners. Its goal is to eliminate themessy family feuds that often occur when relatives of hospital patientsblock visitors they don't like, he said.

But the bill is being hailed by Equality Virginia, a gay and lesbian groupthat led an unsuccessful fight last year against a constitutional amendmentbanning same-sex marriage and civil unions. The fact that the measure wouldextend a protection to same-sex couples has eluded most state lawmakers,who, despite many deeply conservative members who adamantly supported lastyear's amendment, have voted unanimously in favor of the bill.

"Everybody had an opportunity to look at the bill and weigh in," Englinsaid. "There was nothing nefarious going on there. People understand thatthis bill helps a large number of people, including particular groups ofpeople like the gay community and the elderly, who are especially vulnerableto these hospital visitation situations."

Several lawmakers, including self-described conservatives, said they have noproblem protecting a patient's right to choose visitors, even if that meansextending protection to same-sex partners.

"I don't see why it would matter to anybody," said Sen. James K. "Jay"O'Brien Jr. (R-Fairfax). "Why would anybody say no to that?"



Pioneering Gay Activist Barbara Gittings Dies
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: February 19, 2007 - 12:01 am ET

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Gay rights pioneer Barbara Gittings has died atthe age of 75 from a lengthy and brave battle with breast cancer.

Gittings death was announced Sunday by fellow activist and Philadelphia GayNews publisher and friend Mark Segal announced today.

Gittings first came to the public spotlight in 1965 when she and a handfulof gay men and lesbians held demonstrations outside the White House andIndependence Hall seeking equal rights for homosexuals.

"These were the first such demonstrations in American history and began anera of gays coming out of the closet. Gitting involvement in the gay rightsmovement started in the late 1950s when she helped organize the New YorkCity chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis," said Segal.

It was there she met her life partner Kay Lahusen, who has been by her sidefor 46 years.



Science Body Told HIV Vaccine Likely Long Way Off
by The Associated Press
Posted: February 18, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(San Francisco, California) It may be possible to battle AIDS into alow-rate of infection, but it will take a long time and elimination of thedisease seems unlikely, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NationalInstitute of Allergy and Infectious Disease said Saturday.

It's a disease transmitted by sexual activity, which is a fundamentalcomponent of human behavior, "so it isn't going to be easy to shut it off,"Fauci said at the annual meeting of the American Association for theAdvancement of Science.

A quarter-century after doctors first began recording cases of the illness,AIDS gets fewer headlines now that drugs are available to keep it in checkin infected people, but the drugs don't eliminate the virus.

Currently there are 40,000 new infections in the United States each yearwith HIV _ the virus that causes AIDS _ and 4.3 million new infectionsaround the world, he said.

Fauci, a longtime AIDS researcher and the government's point man on thedisease, estimated that one in four Americans with HIV don't know they areinfected.


The Express Gay News

Hardaway apologizes again for anti-gay comments
Former NBA All-Star says he 'didn't mean' to say what he said
Feb 18, 8:51 PM

Former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway apologized again Sunday for his anti-gayremarks, telling a Miami television station that he "didn't mean" to saywhat he said in a South Florida radio interview last week.

Hardaway, in an interview at his home with CBS affiliate WFOR, acknowledgedhe made a major mistake by saying "I hate gay people" when asked how hewould react to having a gay teammate.

"I don't hate gay people," Hardaway said. "I'm a good-hearted person. Iinteract with people all the time. ... I respect people. For me to say'hate' was a bad word, and I didn't mean to use it."

Hardaway made the anti-gay comments Wednesday, a week after John Amaechibecame the first former NBA player to reveal his homosexuality. Hardawaysaid he didn't believe gay players should share a locker room withheterosexual players, then added, "I don't like gay people, and I don't liketo be around gay people."

His remarks quickly drew criticism from both the NBA and several gay andlesbian groups.


WFMY News 2

Greensboro, NC -- High school can be hard for any teenager struggling withself-identity and trying to fit in. One Greensboro senior is facing a veryunique challenge.

"My gender is female. People think that gender and sex are the same thing,but sex is like your physical whatever and gender is like your mind," saysDevon McCauley.

Devon started dressing like a girl last year, but always felt like oneinside.

"I wanted to be straight. I wanted to be normal. I didn't want all theseweird feelings. I didn't want to go to hell."

But the feelings didn't go away.


Posted on Thu, Feb. 15, 2007

Senate panel OKs limit on health benefits unmarried domestic partnersexcluded
By Jack Brammer

FRANKFORT - Universities and other public agencies should not be allowed tooffer health benefits to unmarried domestic partners of employees, a Senatecommittee said yesterday in approving a bill its sponsor said was not gaybashing.

Sen. Vernie McGaha, R-Russell Springs, said his Senate Bill 152 is needed to"clear up confusion" in state public agencies' health insurance plans.

The bill would require public agencies to allow their employees to selecthealth insurance coverage only for themselves and family members. It definespublic agencies as any participating in a state retirement system or healthinsurance plan or subject to state laws on higher education.

It was not clear whether McGaha's bill would apply to private colleges suchas Berea and Centre that offer domestic-partner benefits.


Civil Unions Set to Begin in N.J.
Plaintiffs watching with pride as civil unions for gay couples are set tobegin in N.J.

HADDONFIELD, N.J., Feb. 19, 2007
By GEOFF MULVIHILL Associated Press Writer

(AP) Diane Marini used to joke that she was always the bridesmaid and neverthe bride because, as a lesbian, she thought it was unlikely New Jerseywould ever approve same-sex marriage. Still, she and longtime partnerMarilyn Maneely campaigned for gay marriage. They were among seven coupleswho sued the state in 2002 demanding the right to marry. While their suitdidn't lead to a gay marriage law, it has led to New Jersey becoming thethird state to offer civil unions to same-sex couples.

The civil unions law took effect early Monday and some same-sex couplesplanned ceremonies later in the day. For couples who are not already incivil unions from other states, however, there is a 72-hour waiting periodafter applying for a license _ just like with marriages. A few town hallsaround the state opened at 12:01 a.m. Monday so couples could file theirapplications.

At least a few hundred of the state's estimated 20,000 gay couples _ thosewho have civil unions or marriages from other states or nations that allowthem _ were automatically considered to be in civil unions in New Jersey at12:01 a.m. Monday.

The ceremonies are bittersweet for Marini, because Maneely died of LouGehrig's disease in 2005, more than a year before the case was decided.


The New York Times

February 19, 2007
New Jersey Gays Make Midnight Dash for Civil Unions
Filed at 1:39 a.m. ET

TEANECK, New Jersey (Reuters) - Steven Goldstein and Daniel Gross were amongthe first gay couples in New Jersey to be joined together in a civil unionon Monday as a state law granting marriage rights to same-sex partners tookeffect at midnight.

``It's exciting to know that in the coming days and weeks so many couples inNew Jersey will get additional rights and protection that they couldn't havehad 15 minutes ago,'' Gross said. ``It's not enough but it's a step in theright direction.''

New Jersey became the third U.S. state in December 2006 to provide equalrights for same-sex couples in committed relationships known as civilunions. The state Supreme Court deferred to the legislature a decision onwhether to call their relationships ``marriage'' and lawmakers opted to callthem ''civil unions.''

``Marriage is the only currency of commitment the world understands,'' saidGoldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality, a gay rights advocacy group,as he and Gross vowed to fight for actual marriage rights in the stateinstead of just civil unions.


The Washington Post

Benefits for Gay Couples Start in N.J.

The Associated Press
Monday, February 19, 2007; 7:02 AM

TEANECK, N.J. -- Hundreds of gay couples received the same legal protectionsas married couples early Monday when a law making New Jersey the third statein the nation to offer civil unions took effect.

The civil unions _ which offer the legal benefits but not the title ofmarriage _ were granted automatically to the hundreds of gay New Jerseycouples who have been joined in civil unions or married in other states ornations.

At least one couple held a ceremony at the first possible moment. StevenGoldstein and Daniel Gross reaffirmed their Vermont civil union shortlyafter midnight. They would have had the rights in New Jersey even withoutholding a midnight ceremony here.

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, a prime sponsor of the civil unions law whohosted ceremonies for couples including Goldstein and Gross in her office,called the day "a big giant step forward."

A handful of town halls across the state also opened at 12:01 a.m. to acceptcivil union license applications from couples who had not been so joinedpreviously. They must wait 72 hours before they can hold civil unionceremonies, and several plan to exchange vows early Thursday.


The Washington Post

Anglican Seeks to Ease Church's Conflict Over Gays

By Elizabeth A. Kennedy
Associated Press
Monday, February 19, 2007; A16

ZANZIBAR, Tanzania, Feb. 18 -- The Anglicans' spiritual leader, faced with adeepening rift over homosexuality and scripture in the worldwide AnglicanCommunion, called Sunday for humility among bishops as the conflictthreatened to fracture the church.

Leaders of the world's 77 million Anglicans, meeting in Tanzania for aconference that ends Monday, traveled by boat from the mainland for a HolyEucharist in Zanzibar, a predominantly Muslim archipelago in the IndianOcean.

The Anglican Communion is struggling with a rift over ordaining gays andblessing same-sex unions. The U.S. Episcopal Church, the American wing ofthe fellowship, consecrated its first gay bishop in 2003, and last yearelected its first female leader, Katharine Jefferts Schori, fueling thedivide.

Conspicuously absent from Sunday's service was Nigerian Archbishop PeterAkinola, who has called the acceptance of gay relationships a "satanicattack" on the church and who now leads a rival network formed byconservative Anglicans in the United States.

On Friday, Akinola led seven conservative archbishops in refusing to takecommunion with Jefferts Schori.


The Washington Post

Romney Supports 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

By John Solomon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 19, 2007; A04

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R), who once advocated allowinggays to serve openly in the military, said yesterday that he does not thinkthe Pentagon should change its "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the midstof the Iraq war.

" 'Don't ask, don't tell' has worked well. We're in the middle of aconflict. Now is not the time for a change in that regard, and I don't havea policy posture as to allowing gays in the military to serve there openly,"Romney, a presidential candidate, said on ABC's "This Week."

Romney also addressed his revised positions over the years on subjects keyto social conservatives and discussed his Mormon faith. Both are issues thathave emerged early in his presidential bid.

"I'm not running for pastor in chief. I'm running for commander in chief,"he said, dismissing concerns that his faith might affect his policies bysaying all religions share common values as "one family of humanity."


The Miami Herald

Posted on Mon, Feb. 19, 2007
At Large

Homophobic outburst may do some good


L ast week, Tim Hardaway declared his hatred of gay people. Gay peopleshould be thankful.

Let me tell you a story. It's about a man named Bull Connor. In 1963, he wasthe police commissioner of Birmingham, Ala. Back then, Birmingham waspleased to be considered the most segregated city in the South. Then civilrights demonstrators under the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. came totown. Connor directed the city's response.

When you see those famous images of dogs attacking unarmed marchers andfirefighters directing high-pressure hoses at men and women singing freedomsongs, you are seeing Connor's work. He was a hateful cuss, but there was auseful purity in his hate: The sheer violence of his response to the civilrights movement brought international condemnation and irresistible pressurefor change.

Segregation was, for many people, still socially respectable in that era.Politicians defended it with honeyed euphemisms like ''state's rights,'' andpreachers assured their flocks that it was God's will. So you could be asegregationist and still feel good about yourself, still feel moral.

Connor inadvertently made that impossible. How moral can you feel when a guyis loosing dogs on children in your name? Connor stripped segregation naked.He made people face it for what it was.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sun, Feb. 18, 2007

Questions, answers about civil unions in New Jersey

Associated Press

At 12:01 a.m. Monday, the New Jersey's civil union law takes effect.

Here are some questions and answers about how it will work and what it willmean:

Q: What's a civil union?

A: A civil union, as defined in New Jersey, is a legal partnership thatallows gay couples all the protections and benefits of marriage that thestate can confer but stops short of calling their relationship "marriage."

Q: What are these benefits?

A: There are hundreds of them. Many come into play when tragedy strikes ormajor life changes occur. Some big ones deal with insurance, inheritance,taxes and child custody issues.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Irish Civil Union Bill - Labour press statement

The following is a press statement from the Irish Labour Party as the Dailprepares for this week's debate on the Civil Union Bill. It was issued inDublin today (Sunday).

Ireland - Labour's Civil Union Bill will give legal recognition to same-sexunions

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Spokesperson on Justice

The Dail will this week debate the Second Stage of a Labour Party PrivateMembers Bill designed to give full legal recognition to same sex unions. TheBill, the Civil Unions Bill, will be debated in the Dail in Private MembersTime on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Bill will create a status relationship equivalent to marriage for thebenefit of people who are of the same sex and who, under the currentconstitutional understanding of marriage, cannot marry each other. Itprovides that, in most respects, the rules of law applying to marriage willalso apply to civil unions.

The Labour Party Spokesperson on Justice, Deputy Brendan Howlin, said thatthe Bill represented a very significant step towards the provision of fullequality for gay and lesbian citizens and particular for those in same sexrelationships.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Hossein Alizadeh, 212-430-6016 ,

(New York, NY, February 17, 2007) - Nigerian lesbians, gay men, bisexualsand transgenders speak out against a proposed law in a new report by theInternational Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). The report,"Voices from Nigeria" provides personal accounts of homophobic attacks,arbitrary arrests and detentions, and increased levels of homophobia thathave already begun as a result of the introduction of the legislation,referred to as the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act.

Introduced to the Nigerian National Assembly in January 2006, the Actlaunches a vigorous attack on freedom of expression, assembly, andassociation in Africa's most populous nation. If passed, the law wouldcreate criminal penalties for engaging in same- sex marriages orrelationships and for advocating for the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexualsand transgenders. Simply taking part in a gay or lesbian club or supportgroup would be illegal. Public hearings on the bill were held on February14, 2007, by the Women's Committee of Nigeria's National Assembly and itcould be voted into law as early as next month.

"Ultimately, it is the lives of LGBT Nigerians that will be affected by thislaw," said Cary Alan Johnson, IGLHRC's Senior Specialist for Africa. "Thereport is meant to turn up the volume of those voices."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Cardinal's permission for gays' Mass dismays Catholic traditionalists

By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Sunday Telegraph 18/02/2007

Homosexual rights campaigners have gained permission from the head of theCatholic Church in England and Wales to hold Mass for gay parishioners.Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor will allow a gay group to hold fortnightly Massesin his Westminster diocese

While the Church has allowed celibate gays to receive holy communion,traditionalist Catholics believe that practising homosexuals should bebarred from the sacramental rite because their way of life defies Churchteaching.

Now, however, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has taken the controversialstep of allowing fortnightly Masses in his Westminster diocese specificallyfor homosexuals.

A statement from the diocese stressed that the move did not represent ashift in Church teaching, which says that homosexual practice is a sin andthat non-celibate gay people should not be given communion.


Detroit News

Amaechi's revelation shows sports welcomes gays

The huge media blitz following retired pro basketball player John Amaechi'sannouncement that he's gay reveals the refreshing change afoot in themale-dominated world of professional sports.

Reactions by players and officials show that their once thoroughly anti-gayculture is slowly but surely becoming welcoming.

That's encouraging, because equating being a manly jock with hating gayshurts everyone who loves sports, not just gay athletes like Amaechi, whodescribes living in the sports closet in "Man in the Middle." Amaechi playedcenter for five seasons with the Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz and ClevelandCavaliers.

In the most telling moment after Amaechi's bombshell, National BasketballAssociation Commissioner David Stern quickly denounced ex-Miami Heat playerTim Hardaway for saying "I hate gay people" and that he wouldn't want a gayteammate.

Dropping Hardaway from the NBA's All-Star activities, Stern said, "It isinappropriate for him to be representing us given the disparity between hisviews and ours."


Conference investigates faith and homophobia

Delegates 'deplore' religious prejudice

LONDON – 19 February 2007

"We deplore the internalised homophobia within religious institutionsthat fails to confront prejudice and hate. We encourage and supportthose faith organisations, which express their commitment to diversityand equality in practice and policy. We believe that full civil rightsfor LGBT individuals are not only consistent with the right toreligious freedom, but are rooted in the best and fundamentalteachings of all major faiths; love, justice, compassion, and mercy,such values being shared by all who seek the common good."

This statement was ratified by the 250 delegates from over 50organisations who attended the one-day conference on Faith, Homophobiaand Human Rights held in London this weekend, 17 February 2007, whichwas opened by Cllr Brian Coleman, chair of the London Assembly. Theopening speech was delivered by Lord (Chris) Smith, former Secretaryof State for Culture, Media & Sport, chairman-designate AdvertisingStandards Authority.

The full conference declaration follows below.

Conference organiser, Revd Richard Kirker of the Lesbian & GayChristian Movement explained: "Members of the world's six largestreligions, as well as humanists, secularists, agnostics, and atheists,from a wide variety of political parties, trade unions, and communitygroups drawn from the whole of Britain, showed they wanted to workmore closely together in the face of threats from religiousfundamentalists."


Iraq death squads government sanctioned

Iraqi government ministers collude with the killers of gays

US and UK condemned for refusing asylum to gay Iraqis

London - 19 February 2007

The leader of the gay rights group Iraqi LGBT, Ali Hili, received astanding ovation from 250 delegates when he addressed the "Faith,Homophobia and Human Rights" conference in London on Saturday 17February 2007.

Mr Hili, a gay refugee from Iraq, is also Middle East Affairsspokesperson for the UK-based LGBT human rights group, OutRage!. Hetold the conference that some ministers in the US and UK-backed Iraqigovernment were colluding with death squads responsible for the"sexual cleansing" of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT)Iraqis:

"Iraqi LGBTs are at daily risk of execution by the Shia death squadsof the Badr and Sadr militias.

"Members of these militias have infiltrated the Iraqi police and areabusing their police authority to pursue a plan to eliminate allhomosexuals in Iraq.

"This is happening with the collusion of key ministers in the Iraqigovernment.



TEL AND FAX 01926 858450


Affiliated to Amnesty International &the International Humanist & Ethical Union

18 February 2007


A Nigerian Humanist was repeatedly jeered during his statement opposing theproposed new anti-gay legislation in Nigeria.

Leo Igwe, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Humanist Movement, madehis statement at a public hearing to gather views from the public before acommittee examines it and sends a final version to Parliament for voting.

Mr Igwe said that law should not be made to oppress people. It should bemade to serve the interests of all the people.

Reacting to the outrageous statement made by an Islamic law professor whosaid that sometimes the minority should be destroyed in order to protect themajority. He said that that was exactly what the bill was meant to achieveand that it was unhealthy for the country and its democracy. "One of thehallmarks of a true democracy is not only upholding the will of the majoritybut recognizing and respecting the rights of minorities."

In response to the contention that same-sex marriage should be bannedbecause it was alien to Nigeria, Mr Igwe replied by saying that Christianityand Islam, the Bible and Koran, were all alien to Nigeria and if they wantedto ban same-sex marriage they should also ban Christianity and Islam andtheir holy books.

When the religious groups also said that banning same sex marriage was toprotect public interest, good and morality. He said: "The term 'public' wasall inclusive and included gay and lesbian people and therefore theirinterest and good should not be excluded or undermined."

However, the vast majority of those who spoke agreed with Jonathan Adamu ofthe Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria who said: "Western Society isdecaying, We cannot use Western Society as a model for moral values.


Anglican Church on verge of schism

By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent in Zanzibar 19/02/2007

The worldwide Anglican Church was battling tosurvive last night after talks broke down amidacrimony during the final stages of the primates' meeting in Tanzania.

A group of leading conservatives may issue aminority statement today separating themselvesfrom the rest of the Church if they do not win significant concessions.

Such a development would be a disaster for theCommunion, and it would be difficult to see howthe Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams,could prevent it becoming a schism.

But a breakthrough might still be achieved if theprimates can devise a compromise that theybelieve will protect conservatives in America whohave rejected the leadership of their liberalPresiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori.



We're glad to inform you the 23st Bulletin of the International LGBTQ Youthand Student Organization (IGLYO) has just been released.

Please click on the following link to access the Bulletin:

Best regards,
Fabio SaccĂ  - IGLYO Communication Officer


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