Thursday, February 22, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - February 22, 2007

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Suit Seeks Ex-Partner Rights
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: February 21, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(Portland, Oregon) A City of Portland Commissioner and his former partnerhave filed a civil rights lawsuit alleging RERS - the Public EmployeeRetirement System - is discriminating against them because it will notrecognize their breakup in the same-way it recognizes opposite-sex coupledivorces.

Commissioner Sam Adams and Greg Eddie were together for 11 years.

They owned a home, shared a joint bank account, and pooled their assets.

In 2004 the men ended their relationship and agreed to split their sharedassets 50-50.
But when Adams attempted to have his retirement account with PERS equallydivided the System refused saying the breakup was not a divorce in the legalsense.



Hepatitis Meds May Be Linked To Drug Resistant HIV Canadian Health AgencyWarns
by The Canadian Press
Posted: February 21, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(Ottawa) The manufacturer of the antiviral drug Baraclude says the drug maybe linked to the development of a treatment-resistant strain of HIV in onepatient with the disease.

Baraclude, the brand name for the drug entecavir, has been authorized foruse in Canada since June 2006 for the treatment of adults with activechronic hepatitis B infection.

But in an advisory issued Wednesday, Health Canada said the drug'smanufacturer informed the federal department that a U.S. patient _ infectedwith both HIV and hepatitis B _ became resistant to one of the more commonlyused HIV medications while taking Baraclude alone.

The report is one of three from the United States submitted by Bristol-MyersSquibb Canada concerning HIV patients who experienced a decrease in theirhuman immunodeficiency virus levels while using Baraclude, despite not beingtreated with HIV drugs.

To date, studies do not suggest that Baraclude has any activity against HIV.Drugs which have effects against HIV may be associated with an increasedrisk of developing treatment-resistant forms of the infection.



Italian Hospitals Transplant Organs From HIV-Positive Donor
by The Associated Press
Posted: February 21, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(Rome) Three patients at hospitals in Tuscany were mistakenly given organsfrom an HIV-positive donor, raising serious concerns about transplantprocedures in Italy.

A 41-year-old woman's kidneys and liver were taken after she died of a brainhemorrhage at Florence's Careggi hospital and were implanted due ``to atragic human error,'' the hospital said in a statement Monday. The directorof the regional transplants agency said the patients' chances of infectionare high.

The HIV test on the organs had come back positive, but ``unfortunately theexpert who did the report wrote down 'negative' for all the tests, includingthis one,'' said Careggi director Mauro Marabini.

The three patients have been told of the mistake and will undergo tests todetermine if they have been infected with the virus that causes AIDS. Thethree were receiving anti-retroviral drugs.

Franco Filipponi, director of the regional transplant agency, told the newsagency ANSA that the likelihood of infection is high. ``Even if theimplanted organs do not carry blood the virus can still be present in somecells and can therefore be transmitted,'' he said.



Italian Gov't Falls - Gay Unions Bill Appears Dead
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: February 21, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Rome) The teetering government of Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi(pictured) fell Wednesday likely spelling doom for legislation that wouldcreate civil partnerships for same-sex couples.

President Giorgio Napolitano accepted Prodi's resignation as Prime Ministerafter the government lost a key vote in the Senate on foreign policy,including Italy‘s military mission in Afghanistan.

The vote did not constitute a non confidence motion but earlier ForeignMinister Massimo D'Alema said that the government should resign if it didnot win the foreign policy vote.

Napolitano will hold talks with party leaders on Thursday to discuss a wayout. He could could order a general election, ask Prodi to form a newgovernment or negotiate a deal for a new coalition government.

Under parliamentary ruled legislation not enacted dies when the governmentfalls. The only thing that could save the civil partnership bill might beif Prodi were to form a new government.



NJ Supreme Court: Schools Must Protect Gay Students
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: February 21, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Trenton, New Jersey) The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Wednesday thatschools are legally obligated to protect LGBT students from discriminationand bullying in the same way employees are are protected in the workplace.

The court said that students, like workers, are covered by the state LawAgainst Discrimination.
"A contrary conclusion would be incongruous with the LAD's prohibition ofdiscrimination in other settings, including the workplace," Chief JusticeJames Zazzali wrote in the court's unanimous ruling.

"We do not suggest, however, that isolated schoolyard insults or classroomtaunts are actionable."

A student would have to complain to school officials that the bullying wasbased on his or her "perceived sexual orientation" and that the schooldistrict failed to reasonably address the problem the ruling said.



CBA Fires Hardaway

by Cyd Zeigler,

Tim Hardaway has been fired from his role with the Continental BasketballAssociation after the former NBA All-Star's anti-gay rant last week in whichhe said, "I hate gay people."

Ricardo A. Richardson, president and CEO of the CBA, told Outsports lateMonday night that Hardaway has been relieved of his duties as "ChiefBasketball Operations advisor for Trinity Sports, which was scheduled tohave a team in the CBA next season, [the] Miami Majesty." Hardaway was alsothe coach of the Majesty, which was formerly the Florida Pit Bulls of theAmerican Basketball Association.

Hardaway's hate-filled diatribe came during a Feb. 14 radio interview withDan Le Batard. Among other comments, Hardaway told Le Batard, "Well, youknow I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and Idon't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. Itshouldn't be in the world or in the United States. So yeah, I don't likeit.''

Hardaway made the comments in the midst of various appearances in Las Vegason behalf of the NBA in the week leading up to the NBA's All-Star Weekend.Within hours of Hardaway's anti-gay comments, the NBA dismissed the formerAll-Star from his role with the Association, and Hardaway left Las Vegas thenext day.

The day after Hardaway made his comments, Dennis Truax, Director ofBasketball Operations for the CBA, made the following statement:

“The CBA does not in any way condone or endorse the hateful comments made byMr. Hardaway to ESPN yesterday. Mr. Hardaway’s comments were unfortunate,hateful and are not the views of the CBA or any of its member teams. It isour fervent belief that any person should be allowed to participate in ourleague, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, politicalpreference or sexual orientation, without fear of reprisal ordiscrimination. The CBA is an equal opportunity employer, and Mr. Hardaway’scomments have no effect or bearing on our position now or in the future. Wedo not share his views or support his position regarding Mr. [John] Amaechiand his recent personnel revelations.”


The Advocate

Fact checking at Focus on the Family

Washington State couple Dotti Berry and Robynne Sapp walked into Focus onthe Family headquarters wanting to set the record straight on theconservative group's misinformation about gays. Instead they gotarrested—but made an important statement all the same.

By Michelle Garcia

On Monday, February 19, Dotti Berry and Robynne Sapp walked into Focus onthe Family headquarters in Colorado Springs and politely asked to talk tothe conservative group's leader, James C. Dobson. The Blaine, Wash., couplewanted to set some things straight.

Dobson, an antigay Christian fundamentalist and ardent foe of gay parenting,is fond of saying that "more than 10,000 studies" show children do best witha mom and a dad, a claim that has been discredited by the AmericanPsychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.This December, Dobson continued his misrepresentation of the facts in acontroversial Time op-ed piece in which he said, "The majority of more than30 years of social-science evidence indicates that children do best on everymeasure of well-being when raised by their married mother and father."

Berry and Sapp sought out Dobson as part of the new "Focus on the Facts"campaign started by gay rights organization Soulforce, which models itscivil disobedience campaigns after Gandhi's Satyagraha efforts in India.

The Advocate caught up with Sapp on Tuesday, after she and Berry leftflowers at Focus on the Family.

Why did you decide to infiltrate Focus on the Family and attempt to meetwith Dobson?

We've been involved with Soulforce for some years now. As a part of theorganization, we have sent many letters to Dr. Dobson with requests to haveconversations and dialogues, but he hasn't been willing to do so. After awhile we figured it was time to up the ante and...we decided to take action.It's what happened with the civil rights movement. It was time for us toperform civil disobedience.



Homophobic Attack Leaves 72-Year Old Paralyzed
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: February 22, 2007 - 12:01 am ET

(Detroit, Michigan) Detroit police are appealing for help in finding the manwho beat a 72-year old man senseless leaving him paralyzed and barely ableto speak.

Andrew Anthos was riding a city bus back to his apartment building on Feb.13 when another male passenger asked him if he was gay, Anthos's niece,Athena Fedenis tells WDIV-television.

She said that when Anthos got off the bus the man followed him and attackedhim on the street in front of his apartment.

Fedenis said that Anthos was repeatedly asked by the man if he were gay. Hewas beaten with a pipe and left on the sidewalk bleeding profusely.

Anthos is at Detroit Receiving Hospital. He is paralyzed from the neck downand barely able to speak above a whisper.

"It just doesn't make any sense," Magealine Hloros, another relative toldthe TV station. "Why do people have to hurt each other?"

Police say there were no witnesses to the attack but believe the attackermay have bragged about his crime to people who know them. Police areappealing for anyone with information to come forward.



Learning The Hardaway

by Wayne Besen

Grey’s Anatomy star Isaiah Washington called a co-star a faggot and ended upin rehab, while former basketball star Tim Haraway said he hated homosexualsand now his career as an ex-jock pitchman is on a cold slab. This will beremembered as the year the F-word became the new N-word and homophobiccomments were no longer considered acceptable in polite company. To be sure,America has not endorsed homosexuality, but the new rules do meancelebrities will lose endorsements if they gratuitously bash homosexuals.

Of course, careers have crashed before as a result of anti-gay antagonism.After Anita Bryant crusaded against a 1977 gay rights measure in Miami, aboycott was launched and the orange juice queen fell off her throne. Morerecently, Dr. Laura’s rampant homophobia, which included referring tohomosexuality as a biological error, cost her a television show after asuccessful web campaign ( was launched targetingadvertisers.

Unlike Anita Bryant, before angry GLBT advocates could spell boy…oh, boy wasHardaway tossed aside by the National Basketball Association. David Stern,the NBA’s commissioner, immediately banished Hardaway from participation inthe All-Star weekend activities. "We removed him from representing usbecause we didn't think his comments were consistent with having anything todo with us," Stern said. BaldGuyz, a company that makes grooming productsfor bald men, also scalped Hardaway by killing his endorsement deal.

Likewise, the Grey’s Anatomy actor was on a shrink’s couch examining theanatomy of his prejudice. Whereas gay people were once considered mentallyill, the world has been turned upside down and homophobes are seeking helpto deal with their neurosis.

As we have learned with racial and religious minorities, the new publicclimate will not eliminate the cold private chill of discrimination. Therewill be winks, nods, glass ceilings and new code words to decipher. However,moving hateful words behind closed doors opens the closet door even further,greatly benefiting the GLBT movement. As adolescents hear less overtanti-gay rhetoric, it lessens the consequences of coming out, bothemboldening and empowering the next generation. Ultimately, this translatesinto more out homosexuals, the number one defense against anti-gay bigotry.



Gay Rights Roulette

by Libby Post

In Florida, a gay couple had their HIV+ foster child taken away because theywere gay.

In Washington State, it looks like legislation creating a domesticpartnership registry for same-sex couples will pass.

In Michigan, the Supreme Court has ruled that state’s ban on same-sexmarriage also bans public universities, and state and local governments fromproviding health insurance to partners of gay or lesbian employees.

In New Hampshire, a bill giving same-sex couples the right to be co-parentsof the children of their partners has been introduced in the statelegislature

In Ohio, the state’s same-sex marriage ban has resulted in lesbian and gayvictims of domestic violence being unprotected by the law


Gay rights groups condemn Polish president

Gay rights groups and politicians in Ireland have condemned Polish presidentLech Kaczynski for antigay remarks he made on a recent state visit, reportsthe BBC-UK.

Kaczynski said the human race "would disappear if homosexuality was freelypromoted." One of Ireland's openly gay politicians, Sen. David Norris,called the president a "disgrace to the European community" and saidKacsynski's comments were "ignorant, unsophisticated, and a disgrace."

Kaczynski has come under fire in the past by gay rights groups for antigayremarks. He has said he opposes homosexuality being "freely promoted" or"treated as one of several choices." As mayor of Warsaw he banned gay pridemarches for two years. Kaczynski denies he is homophobic and says he has gayfriends.

Joan Burton, the Irish Labour Party's finance spokeswoman, said his remarkswere "a pity given people's efforts to remove crass and grossdiscrimination." (The Advocate)


Posted on Wed, Feb. 21, 2007

Evans courts gay and lesbian voters

By Michael Currie Schaffer
Inquirer Staff Writer

Mayoral candidate Dwight Evans yesterday launched his effort to win thesupport of one of the most influential - and up-for-grabs - groups of votersin the May 15 Philadelphia Democratic primary: gays and lesbians.

Evans, a state representative who is one of five major Democratic candidatesin the race, staged an event at his Center City campaign headquarters toendorse an openly gay judicial candidate, embrace an array of gay-friendlypolicy proposals, and tout his long record of support for gay causes.

"If we are to move Philadelphia forward, it is very important that everyonehave a seat at the table," Evans said. He spoke flanked by a pair of gayleaders, Malcolm Lazin, executive director of the nonprofit Equality Forum,and businessman Richard Keaveney.

"Dwight has been a constant supporter," Lazin said.

Evans noted that he was one of a small number of legislators to opposeefforts to define marriage in a way that would exclude gays, and was part ofa slightly larger minority to oppose a constitutional amendment against gaymarriage.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,4748881,print.story

Why Amaechi's coming-out story was front-page news
David Scott Drane
Delray Beach

February 22, 2007

Re the Friday letter, "Athletes out": I will not address the author'sobvious views on "worldly behavior" or the coming out process specifically.I would, however, like to explain to the author why, in fact, thisparticular coming-out story is newsworthy.

It is newsworthy because it is so rare. How many gay or lesbian professionalathletes can even the most informed person name?

It is newsworthy because it powerfully challenges stereotypes about what/whoa professional athlete, let alone a former National Basketball Associationstar, is. Professional athletes are assumed to be heterosexual (which, ofcourse, obviates the need to have their heterosexuality printed on the frontpage … besides, they're already there most days and, in fact, they even havetheir own section in newspapers nationwide).

It is newsworthy because of the reaction it engenders. It provokes peoplelike former Miami Heat player Tim Hardaway into betraying his true feelingsin the national media, which in turn requires national organizations likethe NBA and coaches like Pat Riley to repudiate views like Mr. Hardaway's,which further promotes the debate to which this letter seeks to contribute.Like racism, anti-Semitism and other phobias, society is slowly learningthat there is a price to be paid for announcing hatred of another group ofhuman beings.

Ultimately and most importantly, it is newsworthy because there are unknownnumbers of adolescents out there either struggling with their own sexualityor struggling with their fear of others' sexuality or simply difference whowatch for and listen to news like this. Can we know how many suicidessomeone like Mr. Amaechi may have stopped by his courage to come out? Can weknow how many lives have been affected by the NBA publicly stating that Mr.Hardaway's views are incompatible with the views of that organization? Howmany people who privately might feel the way Mr. Hardaway does now feel alittle embarrassed and might think again before saying something similar …or, at the very least, have learned to keep their feelings to themselves.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Nigeria: World's Worst Anti-Gay Law May Pass Soon

NEW from DIRELAND, February 21


One of the most sweeping anti-gay bills ever introduced in anyparliament in the world is in danger of rapid passage in Nigeria in thecoming weeks. Although billed as a ban on same-sex marriage, theproposed law includes provisions that would make any expression ofhomosexuality - not only sexual conduct but any homosexual inclinationor reference, including any gay association or socializing - in publicor in private, a crime. For all the details, click on:


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Lambda Literary Launches 1st LGBTQ Writers Retreat

August 5 -12, 2007

February 21, 2007--Lambda Literary Foundation is launching the first programof its kind ever offered to LGBTQ writers: a one-week intensive immersion infiction, nonfiction, or poetry. An unparalleled opportunity to learn fromthe very best writers in the LGBTQ community, the Lambda Literary FoundationWriters Retreat is open to emerging LGBTQ writers of any age.

"Our intent is to take talented emerging writers out of isolation and helpthem learn their craft and connect them with the tangible world ofpublishing," said Katherine V. Forrest, president of the Lambda LiteraryFoundation, who will serve as faculty on the retreat. "Our generation ofwriters, through this Retreat, can give emerging LGBT writers what none ofus (or at least very few) ever had: mentors and a peer group. For oneintensive week we can provide them with the hardest element for any emergingwriter to find, credible, detailed feedback for their work."

The Writers Retreat will take place August 5 -12, 2007, in Los Angeles atthe Conference Center at the University of Judaism. Other faculty includeDorothy Allison, Fenton Johnson, and Eloise Klein Healy. Other writers,including Michael Nava, John Rechy, and Bernard Cooper, will give readingsor lectures.

To insure the quality of the Lambda Literary Foundation Writers Retreat,applicants will be screened. Space is limited to 21 students.

Applications and scholarship requests should be postmarked by April 15,2007.

For more information, visit Writers Retreat
<> for an Application
<> .

Any questions should be directed to


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Gay Parents by Estoppel in New York?

by New York Law School Professor Arthur S. Leonard, February 20, 2007 inLegal Issues

I was just catching up on the last week's worth of New York Law Journals andcame across a fascinating article published on last Tuesday, February 13, byMarion T.D. Lewis, titled "Equitable Paternity: 'Shondel' and Same-SexCouples." The article examines the New York Court of Appeals decision inShondel J. v. Mark D., 7 N.Y.3d 320, 853 N.E.2d 610, 820 N.Y.S.2d 199 (July6, 2006), which was issued the same day as the court's same-sex marriageruling, Hernandez v. Robles. Not surprisingly, Hernandez received most ofthe attention that day and Shondel seems to have been ignored, but it is aninteresting and surprising case.

Mark D., an American, was visiting in Guyana where he had dated and had sexwith Shondel J. and then returned to the U.S. Shondel contacted him to tellhim she was pregnant and that he was the father. The child's birthcertificate named Mark D. as the father. Although he continued to live inNY and Shondel and the child continued to reside in Guyana, Mark D. sentmoney and maintained telephone contact, but when the money slacked off,Shondel filed an action in New York Family Court for a filiation order and achild support order. Mark, who initially did not challenge custody, filedhis own action seeking visitation, stating he was the child's father, lovedher, and wanted to spend regular quality time with her.


NEW from DIRELAND, February 21


On St. Valentine's day, a homophobic lynch mob of over 200 Jamaicans pursuedthree men for being gayand threatened a fourth, Jamaican gay leader Gareth Williams of J-FLAG(Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays) when he went to helpthem. Williams was then badly beaten by Jamaican police for trying torestore calm. For all the details, click on:


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Philadelphia Inquirer Obit for Barbara Gittings

Posted on Tue, Feb. 20, 2007

Barbara Gittings, 75, leader in the fight for gay rights

By Sally A. Downey
Inquirer Staff Writer

Barbara Gittings, 75, formerly of Philadelphia and Wilmington, a gay-rightspioneer, died Sunday at Kendal at Longwood, a retirement community inKennett Square, after a seven-year struggle with breast cancer.

On July 4, 1965, Ms. Gittings helped organize a march at Independence Hallto support homosexual civil rights. "It was both scary and exhilarating,"she said later. "We knew we were doing something that hadn't been donebefore. It was our first in-your-face street picketing."

The demonstrators dressed conservatively. "We were fighting for federalemployment," said Ms. Gittings' partner, Kay Tobin Lahusen. "We wanted tolook employable."

Ms. Gittings continued to march on July Fourth at Independence Hall forthree more years, and in 1972 she helped organize the city's first major gaypride parade. In 1990, she was grand marshal of a parade that included10,000 participants in a crosstown march from Rittenhouse Square to Penn'sLanding. "Barbara was a real pioneer who fought tirelessly in the name ofhuman decency and human dignity," Gov. Rendell said.

"She is our Rosa Parks," said Malcolm Lazin, executive director of theEquality Forum in Philadelphia.

"Barbara gave a face to the gay community when it was deeply in the closet,"said Mark Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Irish Independent, Wednesday February 21st 2007, page 1

Fury at Polish president gay threat warning

by Michael Brennan and Ciaran Byrne

POLISH President Lech Kaczynski was last night described as ignorant and adisgrace to Europe after he suggested that widespread homosexuality wouldlead to the disappearance of the human race.

He made his remarks just hours before Justice Minister Michael McDowell saidin a key Dail debate that Ireland cherished gay people as "equal citizens".

Speaking in Dublin yesterday on the last day of a three-day state visit, thePolish president shocked a large audience by saying "homosexual culture" andsexual orientation should not be promoted as an alternative.

His comments were condemned by gay-rights groups and politicians as"shocking", "inflammatory" and "ignorant".

After launching his tirade against gay culture, the president was treated tolunch by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and a civic reception hosted by Dublin LordMayor Vincent Jackson.


The New York Times

February 21, 2007
R.I. May Recognize Gay Unions From Mass.
Filed at 10:54 p.m. ET

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island should recognize state employees' gaymarriages that are performed in neighboring Massachusetts and extendbenefits to their partners, the state's attorney general said in an opinionreleased Wednesday.

Rhode Island prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and alsoextends benefits such as health insurance to domestic partners of stateemployees, Attorney General Patrick Lynch noted in the opinion, requested bya state department.

He said that with the absence of a law banning gay marriage, there's nostrong reason to deny recognition to gay marriages performed inMassachusetts, the only state where such unions are legal.

Lynch said the advisory opinion, requested by the state Board of Governorsfor Higher Education, was not binding, and that the board or other agenciescould disregard it.

''It's essentially guidance. It's my interpretation of the law,'' he said.


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