Friday, February 23, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - February 23, 2007

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT rays.list@comcast.netand we'll be happy to send the full article.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

It's OK to Be "Anti-gay," as Long as You Don't Hate People

(Ken's note: articles like this are shared from time to time because we believe it's important to know what the "other side" is hearing and believing aboutvarious issues around the fundamental human right of sexual freedom)

It's OK to Be"Anti-Gay," as Long as You Don't Hate People

By Peter LaBarbera

Born "gay"? Oscar host and very "out" lesbian Ellen DeGeneres revealed thatshe was molested by her stepdad as a teenager.

It's OK to be "anti-gay," as long as you don't hate people. That is, as longas you understand that "gay" is not an innocuous, inborn trait but anadjective describing wrong and destructive behavior.

Sexual revolutionaries stole the real meaning of "gay" (merry, exuberant,according to Merriam-Webster's dictionary) decades ago, and it's long gonenow. So let's try to redeem it by making some sense of what "gay" is andwhat it is not:

"Gay" is not an unchangeable trait like skin color and it has a moralcomponent - unlike being left-handed or having blue eyes (to name twospurious analogies used by homosexual activists).

Nor is "being gay" "who you are," as homosexual activists claim, but rather"what you do." Even the word homosexual -- a Greek-Latin hybrid that datesback only to 1869 -- should be used only as an adjective, not a noun, as myfriend and <> AFA-Michigan leader Gary Glennreminds us (this is very hard to do, by the way).

The great news is that nobody has to be "gay." Homosexuality need not bepermanent in a person's life, as proved by the thousands of formerhomosexuals living contented lives today. There are no ex-Blacks orex-Latinos, while there are <> lots ofex-"gays" -- a fact that by itself should negate "gayness" as a civil rightscategory. (Strangely, many of the same liberals who lecture us aboutrespecting "gays" either ignore or ridicule ex-"gays.")


The Atlantic

by Andrew Sullivan

The Antidote to HRC
22 Feb 2007 08:52 am

There is hope for the gay rights movement - just don't expect it from thefailed Hillary cronies at the Human Rights Campaign. Here's a fascinatingpiece by Josh Green in the new Atlantic on the efforts of mega-wealthy TimGill, founder of Quark, to jump-start gay political organizing. Believe itor not, Gill's people are actually organizing in several states; they haveoutreach to ...

Republicans! And they are getting results. Money quote:

In 2000, [Gill] gave $300,000 in political donations, which grew to $800,000in 2002, $5 million in 2004, and a staggering $15 million last year, almostall of it to state and local campaigns... On Election Day, fifty of theseventy targeted candidates were defeated, Danny Carroll among them; and outof the thirteen states where Gill and his allies invested, four — Iowa,Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Washington — saw control of at least onelegislative chamber switch to the Democratic Party.

But Gill is too smart to believe that gay equality will be achieved throughthe Democratic party alone. He comes from a Republican family, has made somekey Republican hires, and hopes one day to give equally to both parties.

It's an obvious strategy - focused, bipartisan, local. Funny how the HumanRights Campaign has sucked millions out of gay wallets and never achievedanything like this success. Still, they have a big new building, morefundraisers than lobbyists, and lots of jobs lined up for the Hillaryadministration. By their own objectives, they're doing fine. But theirrecord in national legislation? Close to absolutely nothing.


The current issue of The Express Gay News is online


Express Blog

'Married' moms vs. 'unmarried' moms

Babytalk magazine is related to Parenting magazine, but oriented towardsparents of babies. (I know you’re shocked.) In the current issue ofBabytalk, there’s a survey: “Married Moms vs. Unmarried Moms.” Smackdown atthe playgroup!

There are so many things that trouble me about this concept that it’s hardto figure out where to begin my critique. But since most of my readers aregay, I’ll start with how the survey addresses moms like me.

Technically, the magazine has two surveys, one for “married moms” and onefor “unmarried moms.” They’re printed one on each side of the magazine page(and also available online as separate downloads here.

I originally thought that the survey completely ignored lesbian moms when Idecided to write this, but I was wrong. That’s because I think of myself asmore like a “married” mom than an “unmarried” one, although of course I amlegally unmarried. But Question 18 for unmarried moms is, “Do you have asame-sex partner who co-parents with you? Yes or No."

Why, yes I do! Well, OK Babytalk, I guess I’m unmarried. Let’s look at therest of the “unmarried moms” survey. (The questions are in regular font, myanswers and comments are in italics.)

Question 1: A child needs two parents. Yup, I agree.

Question 2: A child needs two parents who are married to each other. Um. Isthis a trick question, since I’ve now been declared unmarried, and under thelaw everywhere except Massachusetts, I can’t get married? I would havechecked “agree somewhat” but now I think I’m forced to “disagree.”


Fort Wayne News-Sentinel

Posted on Thu, Feb. 22, 2007

What? Some kids are gay?
Woodlan principal evidently lost perspective on sophomore’s column.

Woodlan High School journalism adviser Amy Sorrell and her students are in afight with Woodlan Principal Edwin Yoder. Unfortunately for them, Yoder hasthe law, school board policy and long precedent on his side. But Yoder’shitting the panic button over such an inoffensive expression of good willseems to be an overreaction. By extension, some people might look at theentire high school as a social backwater; if so, that would be the greatestharm to come from this episode.

Last month, Woodlan’s newspaper, The Tomahawk, published an opinion piece byMegan Chase, which we reprint today as a guest column elsewhere on thispage. After Yoder saw Chase’s commentary, he ordered Sorrell to submitfuture issues of The Tomahawk to him for his review before they werepublished.

This tussle over a gentle call for greater acceptance of gay and lesbianstudents should reinforce a few points about high school press freedom. It’slikely that many disputes between school administrators and newspaper staffsand advisers arise because the folks who produce the newspapers look atprincipals as if they were the government and principals’ “prior review”equals the “prior restraint” of government barring the publication of anewspaper.

That’s a flawed comparison. A principal is much more like a publisher. Apublisher is entitled to use his judgment in deciding what a newspaper willor will not print. A publisher is responsible not only to readers and tomembers of the newspaper staff, but also to the owners of a newspaper.

In the case of a high school paper, that means being responsible totaxpayers who support the school system. In the worst case – one that isn’thard to imagine – a school system could be sued because a student newspaperhad libeled someone. If only to protect the integrity and financialinterests of a school district, a principal has good cause to review studentpublications before they are distributed.


Pam's House Blend - Blog

Nigerian professor: gay relationships create mental retardation by: pam

Thu Feb 22, 2007 at 14:00:00 PM EST

I'm sorry, this is deranged. As the Nigerian goverment debates a bill todemonize gays, Friday Okonofua is the kind of "expert" showing up at publichearings.

(The Tide Online [Nigeria]):
" About four per cent of Nigerians are involved in same sex relationship,Special Adviser to the President, Prof Friday Okonofua, has said.Okonofa disclosed this at a public hearing on a bill to prohibit same sexmarriage and relationship, organised by the House of RepresentativesCommittee on Women Affairs, in Abuja.

...Such relationship, he said, had exposed those engaged in it to highrisk of contacting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), HIV/AIDS and cancer.

The same sex relationships, he said, caused mental retardation, depressionand high tendency to commit suicide.

With this sort of logic at play, Matt at Political Spaghetti points out,there is almost zero chance of any rational discussion occurring in Nigeriaabout homosexuality and civil rights at this stage in the game over thisbill."

The level of misunderstanding of homosexuality is so extensive in Nigeriathat most lack even the basic tools to debate the subject intelligently.It's quite one thing to have firm religious convictions against homosexualpractice (I have no problem with their beliefs), but it's quite another toplay fast and loose with the facts when the speech, assembly, press, freeexpression of religion rights of "4%" of Nigeria's population are on theline. (For all you islamophobes out there who like to point to Shar'iya whenjustifying Akinola's support of this bill -- notice NO MENTION OF ISLAM inThe Tide's coverage.)


Bad News For Gay Atheists
Posted by Brian Montopoli

According to a recent Gallup poll, a large majority of Americans – 95, 94and 92 percent, respectively – would vote for a presidential candidate whois Catholic, black or Jewish. There is slightly more opposition to a femalecandidate, but 88 percent of Americans still say they would have no problemvoting for a woman. Below that, the list gets a little more interesting.

Twenty four percent of Americans say they wouldn't vote for a Mormon – whichis a pretty big number, and presumably bad news for Mitt "Mormon!" Romney.

But 30 percent say they wouldn't vote for someone who was "married for thethird time" – here's looking at you, Rudy. And 42 percent say they wouldn'tvote for someone who is 72 years old, which happens to be the age that acertain Arizona Senator will be on inauguration day. Gay candidates fareeven worse, with 43 percent opposition, though not as bad as atheists, whom53 percent of Americans say they wouldn't vote for.

Of course, your age and marriages are only a problem if the press corpsdiscusses them. So far, there has been much more focus on Romney's religionthan Giuliani's past or McCain's age. That's starting to change – Romney isstarting to get a lot of (bad) press for his, um, evolving positions onsocial issues – but polls like this underline how important it is forcandidates to control their media coverage. McCain, for example, canprobably win the Republican nomination. But a generic "72-year-old"candidate apparently can't. So McCain needs to limit the degree to which thepress corps talks about him in those terms.


The Express Gay News

Are rules changing for gays in pro sports?
Hardaway fouls out after anti-gay rant, but sports world may be turning moregay friendly

Friday, February 23, 2007

Former pro basketball player Tim Hardaway has lost his job after stating ona Miami radio show that he hates gay people. While the story has renewedmedia interest in the treatment of gay athletes, at least one gay sportsauthority, Outsports website founder Cyd Zeigler, thinks Hardaway’s hatefulcomments are an aberration rather than the norm in the pro sports worldtoday.

Trinity Sports, a company that owns two teams in the Continental BasketballAssociation, fired Hardaway the day after the former Miami Heat playerstated on “the Ticket” radio show that he hated gay people. CBA officialsalso issued a statement on the league’s website denouncing Hardaway’scomments and disassociating the league from him.

Trinity Sports owns the CBA’s Indiana Alley Cats and Miami Majesty.Hardaway was an investor in the company and served as its chief basketballoperations advisor, according to Dennis Truax, director of operations forthe CBA.


The Express Gay News

Supporting generation next
The best way to advance gay rights is to ensure we sit at the table of allpolitical organizations.

Friday, February 23, 2007

THERE IS NO way better way to move the gay rights movement forward than toensure that we sit at the table in every political organization and everylegislative body.

We have another opportunity in the near future to have a qualified member ofour community sit at the table as a leader of what I consider an importantpolitical organization. Jonathan Looper, a bright young Oklahoma native whois openly gay, is running for executive vice president of the YoungDemocrats of America (YDA). He is currently a student at GeorgetownUniversity having transferred there from the University of Tulsa. Jonathanis not only a member of one minority by dint of his being gay, but he isalso a member of the Cherokee Nation.

The Young Democrats of America has been an official arm of the DemocraticParty since 1932. Since 2002, the YDA has operated separately from theDemocratic National Committee as a nonfederal 527 political organization.


The Express Gay News

A glass half full
The fight for trans equality isn’t over by a long shot, but the progress we’vemade is undeniable.

Friday, February 23, 2007

IT BECOMES VERY easy, when writing about transgender issues, to fall into a“glass half empty” mindset. There is simply so much that one would like tosee happen and so much one has to continually deal with, that it becomeshard to find a moment to stop and smell the roses.

You want struggles with media representation, a lack of legal protection orjust good old-fashioned discrimination? You’ll find stories every daycovering each of the above. The struggle for rights lives up to its name,and we are always having to watch for the next big fight.

But it isn’t all bad.

Although I have disparaged the Zarf/Zoe character on “All My Children” as anincorrect representation of a transgender person largely built to try tobring in viewers hungry for oddities, it does remain a sizable daytime soapthat is including a transgender character — and that is notable regardlessof any issues with the character. Zoe is also not alone, with a recurringcharacter on “Boston Legal” now enjoying regular billing.



Macho men, get over yourselves!

By William Butte
February 23, 2007

As a gay man, I have three words for retired Miami Heat point guard TimHardaway: Get over yourself.

Hardaway's fear and ignorance of gays came through loud and clear last weekwhile being questioned on sports radio about his feelings concerning gayplayers in the NBA, in light of retired Utah Jazz center John Amaechi'srecent revelation of his homosexuality.

After replying that he wouldn't want a gay man on his team or in the lockerroom, Hardaway said, "I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't thinkthat's right. I don't like gay people. I don't like to be around gay people.Yeah, I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world for thator in the United States for it. So I don't like it."

Hardaway's homophobia is hardly unique among heterosexual men. Internetmessage boards show numerous postings from men thanking Hardaway for givingvoice to their thoughts. But countering them are numerous postings fromself-identified straight men who've castigated Hardaway for his irrationalfear of anyone who happens to be gay.

Hardaway spoke to that irrational fear when at one point he said thatbasketball players wouldn't be able to concentrate if they were "alwaysworried about [a gay teammate] in the locker room or on the court orwhatever."


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Feb. 23, 2007

Episcopalians' choice: back gays or conform

Under pressure from Anglican leaders, Episcopalians must choose betweenworldwide fellowship and support for gays.
Associated Press


Three years of emergency summits, nuanced apologies and behind-the-scenesnegotiating failed. Anglican leaders this week gave the U.S. EpiscopalChurch an ultimatum: Halt your march toward full acceptance of gays or loseyour place in the global Anglican family.

Now, Episcopalians are asking themselves whether the cost of membership hasbecome too high.

'We made our `yes' to gays and lesbians,'' wrote the Rev. Ann Fontaine ofthe Diocese of Wyoming, in an examination of the Anglican demands. ``Let itstand.''

The global Anglican Communion, represented in the United States by theEpiscopal Church, has spent years debating how its 77 million members shouldinterpret Scripture on salvation, truth and sexuality.

But for theological conservatives, the time for talk ended in 2003 when theU.S. denomination consecrated its first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinsonof New Hampshire. To them, the confirmation was beyond the bounds of trueChristianity.


Forwarded from Euro-Queer

Dear Colleagues,

Here is a response I received today from the High Commissioner of Jamaica:

Dear Mr. Haines

Thank you very much for your e-mail below.

Like you I abhor abuse of any kind, but I am not about to pass judgment in asituation where there are charges and counter-charges and there is, as yet,no substantiation of claims.

Yours sincerely
Burchell Whiteman
High Commissioner


Report on the Situation of Homosexuals in Ukraine in 2006

I. Introduction
II. Society
III. The Churches
IV. Media
V. Authorities
VI. Rights of homosexuals
VII. LGBT community
VIII. Other issues

Download in WinWord format from


Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, has issued a statement of support of theWritten Declaration by the European Parliament which was drafted by themembers of the European Parliament from the Intergroup on Gay and LesbianRights and supported by ILGA-Europe and IGLYO:

“I welcome and strongly support this European Parliament declaration andits call for urgent action by EU states to tackle homophobic bullying in allits forms.

As Mayor of London, I am committed to fighting for lesbian and gay equality,challenging homophobia and celebrating the contribution of the LGBTcommunity to London’s rich and varied life.

Pupils should not be bullied because of their sexual orientation or becauseof their perceived sexual orientation. However, despite the hard work ofmany teachers we still have a very long way to go to eliminate homophobicbullying from schools.

It should be a basic expectation that all pupils in our schools should beable to complete their studies without experiencing the problem of bullying.Many young people are denied the opportunity to achieve their academicpotential because of homophobic bullying, exclusion and harassment.

There are many extreme examples of violent and unpleasant homophobicbullying, but we also have a huge mountain to climb to eliminate theso-called low level abuse and prejudice, such as using terms like 'gay' asan insult, which only legitimize harassment and exclusion.

I gave a manifesto commitment to work with the teaching profession andlesbian and gay Londoners to tackle the problem of homophobic bullying inour schools. Last summer Stonewall and my office produced a DVD resourcepack for all London schools. The Spell It Out pack helps educationprofessionals to better understand homophobic bullying and provides a rangeof practical and effective strategies to challenge it. Anecdotal feedbackfrom school staff using the DVD has been very positive.

In the UK new laws outlawing discrimination against lesbian, gay andbisexual people in the provision of ‘goods and services’, and the right tochallenge discriminatory treatment, will come into force in April 2007.

Thankfully, this legislation will cover schools. In the European Year ofEqual Opportunities for All 2007, this sends a clear message that homophobicdiscrimination will not be tolerated in 21st century Britain.

Yours sincerely

Ken Livingstone
Mayor of London”


Unwise to promote homosexuality - Kaczynski
Deaglán de Bréadún, Political Correspondent
Irish Times

Homosexuals are entitled to the same rights as everyone else, but ifhomosexuality were "freely promoted" as a lifestyle the human race coulddisappear, Polish president Lech Kaczynski told the National Forum on Europeyesterday.

Dr Kaczynski was challenged by several forum delegates at Dublin Castleabout his controversial decisions when he was mayor of Warsaw to ban gayrights marches two years in a row, in 2004 and 2005.

Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins brought up Dr Kaczynski's stance on the"democratic rights of gay people" and added: "Do you still stand by yoursuppression of their rights when you were mayor of Warsaw?" Labour TD JoeCostello also brought up the issue of "homophobia".

He added: "I would like to elaborate on that in the context of our sharedEuropean values." Sinn Féin councillor Daithí Doolan also recalled theWarsaw march ban and urged the president to adopt a position of "tolerance,not bigoted homophobia".

Speaking through an interpreter, Dr Kaczynski said: "I am not a homophobe."Some of his "personal friends" were homosexuals, and "they enjoy fullrights". It was another matter to suggest that homosexuality could be"freely promoted" and "treated as one of several choices".


French court stops lesbian adopting partner's child

20 February 2007

PARIS - A French court ruled against allowing a lesbian woman to adopt herpartner's biological child on Tuesday, adding to a debate about gay rightstwo months ahead of a presidential election.

France's highest appeals court said that by letting her partner adopt thechild the biological mother would have to legally renounce her own parentalauthority, which would hurt the child.

The only means of adoption by which parental authority could be sharedwould be for the women to marry, the court said. But gay marriage is notlegal in France.

France's Socialist party has pledged in its election programme to allowsame-sex couples to marry and to adopt children. Its presidential candidateSegolene Royal has said she will guarantee 'equal rights for same-sexcouples'.


Two gay men from Kosovo (age 25 and 30), requested asylum in Slovenia on 9June 2006, on the ground of sexual orientation persecution in their countryof origin. They were victims of violence, raped, threatened to be killed bythe family members and other people, etc. because they were gay.

Their asylum application was rejected as irrelevant by Slovenian state, theanswer was negative. This decision appears to be against nationallegislation and international law, including the EU directive 2004/83/EC.

In order to support both asylum applicants and to help them to submit a
court appeal (with the help of a lawyer) we are now collecting evidence ofviolence and discrimination against GLBT people in Kosovo, official reportson human rights situation in Kosovo, and any other documents, which can beused in support of court procedure to illustrate dangerous and hostileenvironment for sexual minorities in Kosovo.

We are urgently asking for your help. If you have access to any documents,reports or other evidence with this regard, please send them to us as soonas possible.
Thank you!

dr.Tatjana Greif

Metelkova 6, Ljubljana
T +386 1 4327 306 & 4327 368
F +386 1 430 35 35
M +386 40 950 973


Jamaican gay leader escapes lynching

Police batter victim of homophobic mob

London and Kingston, Jamaica - 20 February 2007

Four men narrowly escaped being lynched by a homophobic mob inKingston, Jamaica, on Valentine's Day, last Wednesday, 14 February2007.

A crowd of around 200 people besieged the men in a pharmacy in theTropical Plaza shopping centre, abusing them with anti-gay taunts andthreats to kill them.

Fearing a possible Valentine's Day massacre, the pharmacy staff calledthe police. When officers arrived on the scene they homophobicallyabused the four men. One man - Gareth, a leader of the Jamaican gayrights group J-Flag - was struck with a gun butt and hit on the faceand head by the police.

As the police escorted the four men out of the pharmacy to be drivento safety, another of the four men was hit on the head by an objectthrown by the angry homophobic mob.

Below is a firsthand eye-witness account of what happened, narrated byGareth, who was present throughout the incident. Gareth is a leader ofthe Jamaican lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) humanrights group, J-Flag. His full name cannot be revealed because thiswould enable him to be tracked down and make it likely that he wouldbe targeted for assassination.


A lesson in why it's cool to be gay

Hip hop artist QBoy is going back to school to teach kids there's no shamein coming out. Julie Bindel reports
Julie Bindel
Tuesday February 20, 2007

The Guardian

When I came out at school as a lesbian, almost 30 years ago, it was notout of choice. Bullies forced me out of the closet. Homophobia in schoolsin the 1970s was not recognised as such, and there was absolutely no supportfor me and my gay peers.

Wandering around an east London school only recently, I heard the word"gay" bandied around as an insult - "Your trainers are gay", or "What haveyou done to your hair? It's gay".

But in many ways, things have changed for the better. Young gays andlesbians seem to be coming out while still at school - which is a real shiftfrom QBoy's days. Now 28, QBoy is the UK's first openly gay hip hop artist.Known as Marcos Brito to his family and friends, he was the victim ofhomophobic bullying at school, which he left 12 years ago. As part of aChannel 4 documentary on being gay at school, Coming Out to Class, he talkedto schoolchildren about homophobia.

One of them was Jamie, now 16, who came out three years ago. "I havebad memories of school," says Jamie. "I was called Batty Boy, and they usedto run their fingers across their throats, threatening to cut me." Jamiesuffered a fractured skull after he was thrown down the stairs. His parentsregularly complained to the school, but little was done. "Mum used to sayto me: 'Can't I have a normal son?'"

"The problem for gay teenagers," says Brito, "is that if they don't havesupport at school, and are experiencing homophobia, they often can't talk totheir parents about it either, which means they are totally alone."


Forwarded from Euro-Queer

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.

Contact for full article.


The New York Times

DeGeneres Brings Gentler Tone to Oscars as Host

February 22, 2007
Filed at 8:10 p.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After two years of ceremonies emceed byanti-establishment provocateurs, the Oscars on Sunday turn to a kinder,gentler comic and TV talk show host with a flair for putting those aroundher at ease.

Ellen DeGeneres, who made broadcast history 10 years ago as the first openlygay lead character on U.S. prime-time television, is headed for one ofHollywood's most prestigious assignments as only the second woman to be solohost of the Academy Awards.

She follows in the footsteps of Whoopi Goldberg, who broke the Oscar-hostinggender barrier with emcee turns in 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2002.

But in terms of style, the easy-going DeGeneres, host of the weekday talkshow ``Ellen,'' could not be more different from Goldberg or her twoimmediate Oscar predecessors, Jon Stewart and Chris Rock, all of whom areknown for a more edgy, irreverent brand of humor.

``It's the same thing I do when I do my show,'' DeGeneres, 49, told TV Guidemagazine recently.

``It's really just setting that tone, and for me, being funny without beingcondescending or mean-spirited.''


The New York Times

February 23, 2007
Studies: Circumcision Reduces HIV Risk
Filed at 3:38 a.m. ET

LONDON (AP) -- In an ''extraordinary development'' in the fight againstAIDS, a medical journal article published Friday says that conclusive datashows there is no question circumcision reduces men's chances of catchingHIV by up to 60 percent.

The question now is how to put that fact to work to combat AIDS acrossAfrica.

The findings were first announced in December, when initial results from twomajor trials -- in Kenya and Uganda -- showed promising links betweencircumcision and HIV transmission. However, those trials were deemed sodefinitive that the tests were halted early.

The full data from the trials, carried out by the U.S. National Institutesof Health, were published Friday in The Lancet.

''This is an extraordinary development,'' said Dr. Kevin de Cock, directorof the World Health Organization's AIDS department. ''Circumcision is themost potent intervention in HIV prevention that has been described.''


The New York Times

February 23, 2007

Official in Furor on AIDS Policy in South Africa Is Hospitalized

JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 22 — Dr. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, the South Africanminister of health whose promotion of garlic and beetroot as protectionagainst AIDS came to symbolize her nation’s slow response to the H.I.V.epidemic, is in a Johannesburg hospital with severe anemia and a lunginfection, the government said Thursday.

Dr. Tshabalala-Msimang, 66, was hospitalized for three weeks in October foran unspecified lung infection and had returned to her post full-time onlylast month. Her readmission, on Tuesday evening, followed an appearance at apress briefing last week in which she appeared weak and sometimesdisoriented.

A spokesman for the Health Ministry, Sibani Mngadi, said in a telephoneinterview that Dr. Tshabalala-Msimang was suffering from anemia and residualpleural effusion, a condition in which fluid accumulates in the lining ofthe lungs and inhibits breathing. He said it was not clear how long shewould be hospitalized.


The Washington Post

Gay Marriage Debate Comes to Annapolis

[The following posting comes from Washington Post Staff Writer Lisa Rein,who covers Maryland politics.]

A new caucus is being born in the Maryland General Assembly: The MarriageProtection Caucus.

Opponents of gay marriage gathered in the House Office Building this morningto discuss strategy with a leader of the Alliance for Marriage, aWashington-based group that supports a federal Constitutional amendmentbanning same-sex marriage.

With no action by Congress on this issue, the Alliance is now turning tostate legislatures across the country to organize sympathetic lawmakers.

Why Maryland? A pending case in the state's highest court, which is beingurged by nine same-sex couples and a gay man to toss out the state's gaymarriage ban.

"Maryland is a big blip on the radar screen," Bob Adams of the Alliance tolda group of nine lawmakers and aides. "It's very close to Washington. Adecision will have national fallout."


The Washington Post

For Gays in China, 'Fake Marriage' Eases Pressure

By Maureen Fan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, February 23, 2007; A12

BEIJING -- It is Saturday afternoon in a half-empty restaurant on the fourthfloor of a modern shopping mall. Two young women kiss slowly andcontinuously, one permed head of hair poised above another, arms entwined,as other customers ignore them completely.

This is the weekly gathering of Tongyu, a lesbian group that meets publiclyto socialize, watch gay movies and discuss important issues, such as whetherto come out of the closet and how. Most nearby patrons are gay, butcustomers at the front of the restaurant are straight. The owner doesn'tseem to care about the public displays of affection, as long as the youngwomen of Tongyu keep buying drinks.

The two women kissing are not yet out to their families, and they wouldn'ttry this at home, said Xu Bin, 34, founder of Tongyu. Their parents wouldn'tstand for it.

Ten years after China decriminalized homosexuality and six years afterofficials removed it from a state list of mental disorders, gay men andlesbians say one of their biggest obstacles is parental pressure to getmarried.

Coming out isn't easy anywhere in the world, they say, but in a culture thatstill emphasizes Confucian family ideals, such as obeying one's parents andbearing children, the pressure to conform is enormous. It is compounded bythe fact that parents of younger gay Chinese came of age during the CulturalRevolution, from 1966 to 1976. During those years of social upheaval,failure to conform could mean death.



Irish Parliament Rejects Gay Unions Bill
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: February 22, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(Dublin) The Irish Parliament has voted down a bill that would have givengay and lesbian couples all of the rights of marriage. The private membersbill was introduced by Labor Party justice critic Brendan Howlin was modeledafter Britain's civil unions law.

In voting against the measure the government of Prime Minister Bertie Ahernsaid it went too far.

The government is preparing its own legislation which it said would bebrought in later this year.

The bill is expected to provide some recognition of same-sex relationshipsin property and inheritance rights but deny gay couples adoption rights.

A government committee set up late last year to study ways of providingrights to same-sex couples has yet to make its recommendations.

Howlin said he was tired of foot dragging by the government.

Justice Minister Michael McDowell said the Howlin bill would beunconstitutional because it equated civil partnerships with marriage. Theconstitution says the government is obligated to defend the institution ofmarriage, but it does not define it.

Howlin's bill was defeated by a wide margin among government and oppositionbackbenchers.

Recent public opinion polls show that 84 percent are in favor of somerecognition of same-sex couples while 53 percent would allow gay couples tomarry.

Last December the high court ruled that a couple wed in Canada cannot havethat marriage recognized in Ireland.

In a 138 page judgment the court ruled that there was no provision forsame-sex marriage in the Irish constitution.



Gay Quebec Opposition Leader Scoffs At Criticism As Election Campaign GetsUnder Way
by The Canadian Press
Posted: February 22, 2007 - 9:00 pm ET

(Montreal) Lightweight. Thin-skinned. Cocaine user. Gaffe-prone.

Not the first descriptions people go for when they're choosing a leader. Allhave been applied to Andre Boisclair, who admitted to taking coke as acabinet minister in the 1990s.

He sees himself another way. As early as 2001, he aimed for anotherdescription when he said, ``I have the ambition to be premier of Quebec.''

Now the 40-year-old, who has been Parti Quebecois leader since 2005, sayshe's ready to take on Premier Jean Charest's Liberals in the run-up to theMarch 26 election.

``We have the knives between our teeth in the Parti Quebecois,'' adetermined Boisclair said recently.

It wasn't so long ago that the knives were at his back.



Gay Marriage Bill Filed In Illinois
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: February 22, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Springfield, Illinois) Illinois state Rep. Greg Harris filed legislationThursday that would permit same-sex couples in the state to marry.

Harris (D-Chicago), who is gay and represents a district with a large LGBTcommunity admits he faces an uphill battle. Still he believes it is amatter of basic civil rights and that the people of Illinois are behind him.

"From my community, we believe we should have the full, equal rights as ourheterosexual siblings to marry who we choose, and we should call itmarriage. We should not call it civil union," Harris said.

The legislation would do three things. First, it would repeal the state lawlimiting marriage to opposite-sex couples. Second it would give same-sexcouples the right to marry. And thirdly it would allow clergy opposed togay marriage the right to refuse to conduct a same-sex wedding.

"We want to make it very clear we are not forcing any faith-basedorganization to act outside of their faith and traditions," he said. "Ifyour faith did not believe in same-sex marriage, you would not be requiredto consecrate those."

How far the bill will advance is unclear. A conservative group - theIllinois Family Institute - failed last year to gather the required numberof signatures to have a proposed constitutional amendment banning gaymarriage placed on the ballot.

A public opinion poll taken while the signature drive was under way foundthat 51 percent of likely voters would reject the amendment while 40 percentwould vote for it.

"We are heartened to see that legislators in our state recognize the realharm and unfairness faced by loving, committed same sex couples," John A.Knight, Director of the ACLU of Illinois LGBT Rights Project said in astatement Thursday.



Georgia Hockey Goalie Comes Out

by Cyd Zeigler,

Depending on whom you ask, it's debatable whether it should be harder tocome out at the University of Georgia or on a hockey team. Joey Fisher didboth.

This past summer, the University of Georgia hockey goaltender, who has knownsince he was in middle school that he was gay, came out to his team. And theteam's reaction may surprise some more than Fisher's courage.

Fisher came to sports just about as late as any collegiate athlete possiblycould. In high school, he had no interest in sports whatsoever. He didn'tlike running, didn't like gym class, and was, according to him, pretty badat any sport he attempted in said gym class. In fact, he had never evenconsidered playing a sport until just before his 18th birthday when heaccidentally downloaded an ice hockey video game to his computer, and hefigured he'd give it a try.

The accidental video game piqued his interest in hockey so much that he soonattended an Atlanta Thrashers game. And after that one game, he said, he washooked.

Then in his senior year in high school, he had already missed hisopportunity to play organized ice hockey at that level. So, he opted to playfor half a semester as a defenseman for a neighboring high school's rollerhockey team. It wasn't on the ice where he wanted to be, but it was enoughto wet his appetite and drove him to hit the ice when he entered college.


The Express Gay News

Wisconsin high court takes gay rights case

Issue is whether cities can intervene in lawsuit on D.P. benefits
MADISON, Wis. (AP) | Feb 22, 11:33 AM

The state Supreme Court said Wednesday it will take up a politically chargedand complicated gay rights case.

The court said it will decide whether the city of Green Bay and otherWisconsin municipalities, including the town of Cottage Grove, can intervenein a lawsuit in which gay and lesbian state employees are seeking healthinsurance benefits for their partners.

State employees backed by the American Civil Liberties Union sued the stategovernment in 2005 to obtain health insurance and sick leave benefits.

The municipalities have tried to intervene in the case, saying they could beforced to provide similar benefits for their employees if the state loses.

Republicans who controlled the Legislature until the fall election made asimilar argument in trying to intervene.


Website calling for gay executions hosted by Google

23rd February 2007 12:01
Tony Grew

The internet company Google is hosting a blog that calls for gaypeople to be killed.

The weblog, called killbattyman, originates in Jamaica.

The site carries images of last week's incident in Kingston when a mobsurrounded a shop where three allegedly gay men had taken refuge,under the headline: "Bring Out The Gays."

The site, which has been on Google's service since March2006, features numerous slurs against gay people, including gayactivist Peter Tatchell.

The author also libels numerous heterosexual people, such as actorsChristopher Reeve and John Travolta.


The Advocate

February 23, 2007

Poll: 55% of Americans would vote for gay man or lesbian for president

A new poll indicates that a majority of Americans would vote for a gayperson for president. The Gallup survey finds that 55% of respondents wouldvote for a gay candidate if he or she were "generally well-qualified."

Given the wide range of backgrounds among the current field of 2008presidential contenders, the poll asked how willing Americans would be tovote for them, and it included hypothetical candidates for good measure. Theresults, released earlier this week, reveal that 95% of those polled wouldvote for a Catholic (the religion of Republican hopeful Rudy Giuliani), 94%would vote for an African-American (Democratic contender Barack Obama), 88%would vote for a woman (Hillary Rodham Clinton), and 72% would vote for aMormon (Mitt Romney, Republican former governor of Massachusetts).

The only category to poll below 50% was atheist. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

February 23, 2007

Presbyterian leaders issue plea to keep denomination unified

The threat of churches departing from the Presbyterian Church (USA) hasbecome so serious that leaders have issued a letter asking them to stay.

The Presbyterian Church, like other mainline Protestant groups, has beenstruggling for years to reconcile members who disagree over how to interpretScripture. At least eight churches have left since a Presbyterian GeneralAssembly last summer, which voted to give leeway to install partnered gayclergy and allowed church officials to propose experimental phrasings forthe divine Trinity in place of "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."

The Reverend Clifton Kirkpatrick, a denominational leader, wrote in theJanuary 29 letter that ''there's no question that the vast majority ofPresbyterian churches are going to stay,'' adding, however, ''I think anyexodus is too many.''

''Any church's departure is difficult and painful for the congregationsinvolved and the wider church,'' Kirkpatrick wrote. ''Fractures within thebody of Christ diminish our witness of God's grace and mercy to theworld—unfortunate in these already divisive times. And, the [denomination]will miss the gifts and perspectives of these brothers and sisters inChrist.''


The Advocate

February 23, 2007

Investigation urged into child sexual abuse in the Baptist Church

The victims' advocates who dogged the Roman Catholic Church over sex abuseby its clergy have now turned their attention to the Southern Baptists,accusing America's largest Protestant denomination of also failing to rootout molesters.

The Chicago-based Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests has started acampaign to call attention to alleged sex abuse committed by SouthernBaptist ministers and concealed by churches. SNAP presented a letter Mondayto Southern Baptist Convention executive committee members in Nashville,asking the group to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on sex abuse and to createan independent review board to investigate molestation reports.

Church leaders concede there have been some incidents of abuse in SouthernBaptist congregations but say their hands are tied when it comes toinvestigating complaints across the denomination. Unlike the CatholicChurch, with its rigid hierarchy, Baptist churches are independent. Theymake their own decisions about hiring ministers and conductinginvestigations, Baptist leaders say.

''They don't want to see this problem,'' said Christa Brown, a SNAP memberfrom Austin, Texas, who says she was sexually abused as a child by aSouthern Baptist minister. ''That's tragic, because they're imitating thesame mistakes made by Catholic bishops.''


The Advocate

February 23, 2007

Detroit patriot clings to life after hate attack

A gay senior citizen whose passion was to get the Michigan State capitoldome lit up in red, white, and blue clings to life Thursday after a hateattack.

The attack in Detroit left 72-year-old Andrew Anthos paralyzed from the neckdown and virtually without speech.

Anthos, who lives on a disability check, was riding the bus from the publiclibrary back to his apartment February 13 when another male passengerapproached him and asked if he was gay Anthos's niece Athena Fedenis Anthos left the bus only to be followed by the man, who hit him inthe back of the head with a metal pipe, then fled.

Detroit police are investigating, as is the Triangle Foundation, but werehampered partly because Anthos arrived at the hospital unable to speak andneeding emergency surgery. A fellow passenger, an acquaintance of Anthos'swho uses a wheelchair, was able to give police a description of theattacker.

Anthos was unconscious Thursday at Detroit Receiving Hospital."This is a hate crime against someone who never had a bad thought againstanybody," a sobbing Fedenis said Thursday at his bedside. "He sangangelically, he spoke eloquently, he didn't care what anyone said aboutDetroit--he thought it was a great place to live."


The Advocate

February 23, 2007

Brokeback scribes developing show for Fox

The Oscar-winning writers of 2005's Brokeback Mountain are in talks with Foxtelevision to develop a drama for the network.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Larry McMurty and Diana Ossana willwrite and executive-produce the untitled drama. Currently the writing teamis developing a show for ABC called Sheriff Luke. They are also adaptingMcMurty's novel Boone's Lick for a feature film that will star Tom Hanks.McMurty and Ossana are also wrapping a six-hour miniseries for CBS thatstars Steve Zahn, Karl Urban, Val Kilmer, and Rachel Griffiths. (TheAdvocate)


Amnesty International "breaks the silence"

GAY.COM/ Network
Friday 23 February, 2007 16:22

On February 27th Amnesty International will be celebrating ten years sincethe publication of the ground-breaking book 'Breaking the Silence', whichwas the first to research and expose the abuse of lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender people's rights all over the world, and the tenth birthday ofAmnesty's LGBT Network, set up to campaign for gay people's human rights.

The celebration will include special guests Lynda Baron and Ali Hili, of gayIraqi support group Abu Nawas, who will talk about the persecution now beingfaced by LGBT people in Iraq.

Ben Bradshaw MP and representatives from the London Mayor's Office will joinfriends and supporters at this celebration.

While Amnesty International had already begun campaigning on behalf ofpeople who were persecuted for their sexuality, the publication of Breakingthe Silence ten years ago and founding of the LGBT Network led to astep-change in Amnesty's work in this area.

For the full article, contact rays.list@comcast.


Merck's HPV vaccine in demand among UK gay men

Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:13 PM GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - Homosexual men in Britain are requesting treatment withMerck & Co Inc's new HPV vaccine Gardasil, with dozens immunized in recentweeks, a London clinic said on Friday.

Gardasil was licensed for use last year against human papillomavirus (HPV)-- a leading cause of cervical cancer in women -- but the sexuallytransmitted virus can also trigger anal and penile cancers.

"We started offering vaccination to gay men in January and recently we'vebeen giving about 10 a week," said Dr Sean Cummings of the Freedomhealthclinic in London's Harley Street.

Since many sexually active people are already contaminated with HPV,patients are swabbed before vaccination to determine which, if any,sub-types of HPV they may be carrying.

"If you've got a full house (of HPV sub-types) then there is no point inimmunizing," Cummings said.


Independent UN experts express serious concern over draft Nigerian Billoutlawing same sex relations



23 February 2007

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human RightsDefenders, Hina Jilani; the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms ofracism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, DoudouDiène; the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes andconsequences, Yakin Ertürk; and the Special Rapporteur on the right ofeveryone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical andmental health, Paul Hunt issued the following statement today:

"We express our deep concern about the draft "Bill for an Act to MakeProvisions for the Prohibition of Relationship between Persons of the SameSex, Celebration of Marriage by Them, and for Other Matters ConnectedTherewith" which was heard before the Judiciary Committee of the NigerianHouse of Representatives on Wednesday 14 February 2007. Provisions of thedraft Bill discriminate against a section of society, are an absolutelyunjustified intrusion of an individual's right to privacy and contraveneArticle 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that '(a)ll humanbeings are born equal in dignity and rights'.

The Bill, as currently drafted, heightens the potential for stigmatization,discrimination and intolerance against individuals for their actual andimputed sexual orientation or their gender identity, raising seriousconcerns regarding their protection.


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