Monday, February 26, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - February 26, 2007

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The Express Gay News

Bishop apologizes for vote limiting gay ordinations
He says he's trying to keep Episcopalian Church together
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) | Feb 26, 8:00 AM

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky apologized to gay and lesbian church members after he voted last year not to consent to more ordinations of gay bishops.

In his annual report to the diocese's convention Saturday, Bishop Ted Gulick said he's trying to keep the Episcoplan Church together and to maintain ties with other churches overseas amid controversies over homosexuality, the Courier-Journal reported.

"I hereby publicly and deliberately apologize to our devoted gay and lesbian men and woman in our diocese for whom this (latest) vote causes pain and alienation," Gulick said.

Gulick generally supports greater church roles for homosexuals. In 2004, he apologized to conservatives upset over his vote the previous year for the appointment of an openly gay bishop of New Hampshire, V. Gene Robinson.

But last year he voted with other bishops at the Episcopal Church's General Convention not to support further ordinations of gay bishops.


The Los Angeles Times,1,4055603,print.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california

UCLA to establish unique law chair
A $1-million-plus gift from a gay couple will help fund the nation's first endowed professorship in sexual orientation law.
By Larry Gordon
Times Staff Writer

February 26, 2007

Thanks to a more than $1-million donation from a gay male couple who hope one day to marry in California, UCLA's law school is planning to establish what is described as the nation's first endowed academic chair in sexual orientation law.

The cash gift from John McDonald and Rob Wright will help fund the research of a still-to-be-named professor at UCLA Law School's Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy. That 5-year-old think tank investigates such topics as anti-homosexual discrimination, the impact of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policies and the demographics of same-sex couples who have adopted children.

"This is going to support legal scholarship, legal research and education that covers a whole area so fundamental to creating change," said McDonald, a retired businessman and attorney who earned his bachelor's degree at UCLA. "We just think this is one of the best things we've ever done."

The UC system recently approved an agreement to accept the money, but formal establishment of the chair awaits a review to ensure that it matches UC's research and teaching missions and is not too narrowly drawn, system officials said. Although the research topics may upset social conservatives, approval is expected.

The donation for the chair was announced publicly in connection with a Williams Institute conference Friday at the Westwood campus.


Gay couple asked to 'cover up' on flight

Edwin Naidu
February 25 2007 at 10:35AM

A British businessman and his South African partner have brought sexual discrimination claims against a major airline to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) after they were ordered by an air hostess to "cover up" while on a domestic flight earlier this month.

Jamie Robertson, the managing partner of Odgers Ray & Berndtson, which is affiliated to a global recruitment firm, told The Sunday Independent on Friday he and his partner, Francois van Tonder, were on a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg on February 11 when they were insulted by the cabin attendant over their alleged "amorous conduct".

Jody Kollapen, the chairperson of the rights body, confirmed that the commission was investigating the incident on flight BA6410 on February 11.

"During the flight he [Van Tonder] had his head on my shoulder and I had my arm around him.

"About 20 minutes before the end of the flight, one the stewardesses brought me a blanket and asked me if we would mind 'covering ourselves up'. I was outraged and told her to go away," Robertson said.


The Express Gay News

Ex-pastor defends solicitating sex from undercover policeman
ACLU brief claims arrest violates right to free speech
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) | Feb 25, 5:54 PM

The attorney for a former Baptist church leader who had spoken out against homosexuality said Thursday that the minister has a constitutional right to solicit sex from an undercover policeman.

Rev. Lonnie W. Latham had supported a resolution calling on gays and lesbians to reject their “sinful, destructive lifestyle” before his Jan. 3, 2006, arrest outside the Habana Inn in Oklahoma City.

Authorities allege that Latham asked the undercover policeman to come up to his hotel for oral sex.

Latham’s attorney, Mack Martin, filed a motion to have the misdemeanor lewdness charge thrown out, saying the Supreme Court ruled in the 2003 decision Lawrence v. Texas that it was not illegal for consenting adults to engage in private homosexual acts.

“Now, my client’s being prosecuted basically for having offered to engage in such an act, which basically makes it a crime to ask someone to do something that’s legal,” Martin said.


Pam's House Blend
Town Hall columnist is convinced he's not a homophobe
by: pam
Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 06:30:00 AM EST

For sheer ignorant homophobia being typed out on the keypads by a columnist, I didn't think Michael Medved's unhinged piece on Tim Hardaway and gays in the locker room/military could be topped. However, take a look at fellow Town Hall bleater Doug Giles, with I'm not Homophobic; I'm Chick-O-Centric.

Unlike Medved, who railed on fat, unattractive women and glossed over any dyke baiting specifics (he was too busy covering his privates thinking about gay men looking at him in the shower), Giles pulls no punches -- the lesbian-bashing and stereotyping is out of control.

I think I speak for most heterosexual males when I say I'm not homophobic but chick-o-centric. Let's keep it positive, okay? It's not that we dislike you, the gay guy; it's just that we really like girls. It seems no matter how long we compliantly spend in rehab undergoing the most stringent psychotherapy to rid ourselves of our knee-jerk to your mate choice, the simple fact is . . . heterosexual guys don't "get" gays. Period.

...It's the same thing with many lesbians. I don't get you. When I hear you speak, it's always "men suck, men are beasts, women rule," yet some of you "ladies" dress and act like men. You wear men's Dockers, men's Polos, you've got a short, man's hair cut, you're looking like Joe Pesci with breasts. You're an ugly version of us. I'm just thinking out loud here. What's-the-dillio? Please explain. It seems as if you would embrace femininity in all its glory like Carrot Top does red hair coloring. Where am I going wrong?

He goes on the completely trash and effeminate men.


Sex change reinforces Michigan wife's loving faith

W hen her husband told her he was a cross-dresser, Joanne Nemecek recalls feeling shocked, horrified, even sick.

A lifelong Christian and daily Scripture reader, Joanne immediately thought of Deuteronomy 22:5: "A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God."

The conflict that day in 2003 between her love for John, her husband of 32 years and an ordained Baptist minister, and her religious beliefs started Joanne on a life-changing faith journey.

That journey continues today: Even more committed to a faith that survived a great test, she stands by her husband, who came to feel his true hard-wired nature wasn't merely to wear women's clothes, but to physically conform to the woman he believes he has always been inside.

The Michigan couple's struggle has much to teach the rest of us about love, commitment, bravery and willingness to use one's mind and heart when life throws a curve ball that initially seems irreconcilable with our spiritual beliefs.

"I have grown in my understanding of what being a transsexual is. That hasn't changed my marriage vows," Joanne says.

"God has given me strength and love to go through what we have gone through already. Nothing will change my love for my husband."


Andrew Sullivan

Sunday, February 25, 2007
Capitalism and Gay Progress
25 Feb 2007 05:48 pm

Another blogger piles onto the irrelevance of the Human Rights Campaign. Why is HRC more closet-friendly than much of "conservative" corporate America? Money quote:

If current trends continue, gays and lesbians may well be the test case that proves that employment nondiscrimination laws aren't really necessary at all — take any sufficiently developed capitalist economy, free it from public or private coercion, and the profit motive may just be enough to end discrimination all by itself.

When I made that point in Virtually Normal, I got the usual brickbats. But a decade later, with HRC's beloved Employment Non-Discrimination Act still in limbo and marriage rights already here in one state, and all-but reality in several others, it doesn't look so outrageous. Some news reports say that ENDA and the hideous extension of the "hate" crimes law could pass in this session. I also hear that some HRC figures don't want these bills to pass too soon because they think they can use them against Republicans in 2008. Are they that cynical? My own sense is that HRC will be reluctant to move on ENDA and hate crimes because success omn these decades-long goals would leave them with nothing much else to do. And they just built a vast multi-million dollar office complex!



Equal Pay At Wimbledon

by Jim Allen,

To say that the All England Club, which runs the Wimbledon tennis tournament, are sticklers for tradition is to state the obvious. One of those traditions is undergoing change, however, and the women players will stand to benefit.

Last year, the men's champion, Roger Federer, took home a cool $1.27 million for winning the men's singles title.

Out lesbian Amelie Mauresmo took home a still not shabby $1.21 million. Not bad for a fortnight's work! The discrepancy rankled the women players, who rightly see that their part of the sport as a major profit generator; while Roger Federer basically romps through the men's side, the old cliche "on any given day, anyone can win" truly applies to the women's matches.

As befits Wimbledon, it's the last of the four majors to equalize pay for men and women singles champions.

Despite debates in Parliament about the issue and a vague threat of a boycott by major women's players, All England Club chairman Tim Phillips waved off such things as the sole reason for the change.


The New York Times

February 26, 2007
Music From Political Films Win Oscars

Filed at 6:52 a.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Music from politically themed films scored top Oscars on Sunday, while the winners used their moment of glory to push issues ranging from global warming to gay marriage.

Melissa Etheridge's global warming anthem, ``I Need to Wake Up,'' took home the gold at the 79th annual Academy Awards for best original song, beating out three separate nominations in that category from ``Dreamgirls,'' as well as Randy Newman's ``Our Town'' from the animated film, ``Cars.''


Backstage, Etheridge, who exchanged vows with girlfriend Tammy Lynn Michaels in a secret ceremony in September 2003, told reporters the ``Oscars is like a gay holiday.'' While Etheridge and Michaels consider themselves married, theirs is not a legal marriage because gay weddings are not legally binding in their home state California.

``There is no token gay. There is a real mix, a lot of diversity here,'' Etheridge said, referring to the Academy Awards. Indeed, Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres made TV history in April 1997 when her character, and DeGeneres herself, personally revealed that she was a lesbian.


DeGeneres drew big laughs during the show by declaring, ``If there weren't blacks, Jews and gays, there would be no Oscars ... or anyone named Oscar, when you think about that.''

When asked about kissing her wife on-screen after winning the Oscar on Sunday, Etheridge noted, ``I was kissing her because that is what you do when you win an Oscar'' and later joked about the gender of the Oscar statue.

``This is the only naked man who will ever be in my bedroom,'' she said.


The New York Times

February 26, 2007
Family Challenges Lesbian Adoption

Filed at 8:51 a.m. ET

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- In their 14-year relationship, Patricia Spado and Olive Watson spent only five nights apart. They lived in New York, spent summers in Maine, and shared the more practical pieces of a life together -- a home, a joint bank account.

But in a time long before civil unions or gay marriage, Watson wanted to ensure that her partner would be taken care of when she was no longer there. So, at a small courthouse in coastal Maine, she adopted Spado.

Fifteen years later, the adoption is being challenged in courts in Connecticut and Maine as Olive Watson's family parcels out the family fortune -- and contests their newfound heir.

The case, according to gay activists, is rare and offers an example of how far same-sex couples have gone to attain financial and inheritance protections that married couples take for granted.

''It shows what people are driven to when they don't have access to marriage and the conventional way of forming a family,'' said Mary Bonauto, an attorney with Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the Boston-based group that won the legal battle that introduced gay marriage to Massachusetts.

At stake is a share in multimillion-dollar trust funds that Olive Watson's father, Thomas Wa


The Independent

Strewth! Australia rocked by 'lesbian' koala revelation
By Roger Dobson
Published: 25 February 2007

Female koalas indulge in lesbian "sex sessions", rejecting male suitors and attempting to mate with each other, sometimes up to five at a time, according to researchers.

The furry, eucalyptus-eating creatures appear to develop this tendency for same-sex liaisons when they are in captivity. In the wild, they remain heterosexual.

Scientists monitoring the marsupials with digital cameras counted three homosexual interactions for every heterosexual one.

"Some females rejected the advances of males that were in their enclosures, only to become willing participants in homosexual encounters immediately after," say the researchers.

"On several occasions more than one pair of females shared the same pole, and multiple females mounted each other simultaneously. At least one multiple encounter involved five female koalas."


Mercury News,22884,21293914-5007221,00.html#

Gay developers under attack

February 27, 2007 12:00am

A COWARDLY gay hate campaign won't deter two Penguin men from plans for up to $50 million worth of developments in the town.

Stephen Roche and Keith Westerby have asked police to investigate a long-running campaign aimed at them.

The couple say a pamphlet distributed around Penguin at the weekend was the last straw.
It urges people to oppose an apartment development in the town and warns about an "influx of Sydney gay men".

Mr Roche yesterday challenged the person responsible to come forward."I would really like to debate them on the issue," he said.


The Express Gay News

Italian government's fall jeopardizes gay rights

Prime minister omits same-sex couple bill from revamped platform
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | Feb 26, 8:33 AM

Three days after the fall of his fragile, nine-party coalition government, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi agreed to reassemble his center-left coalition by demanding that all factions agree to a platform that omits legislation to provide rights to same-sex couples.

Prodi’s Union coalition narrowly defeated the rival center right House of Liberties coalition, headed by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, in Italy’s April 2006 national elections.

Proposed legislation to provide rights and benefits to unmarried domestic partners — both same-sex and opposite-sex — had been a key election position for the Union coalition, especially among its more liberal and progressive parties. Prodi embraced the proposal during the election campaign while Berlusconi opposed it.

Although Prodi’s coalition won a comfortable majority in Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, considered the lower house, the Union coalition won just one more seat than Berlusconi’s opposition coalition in the Italian Senate.

Last week, the Prodi coalition lost a foreign policy vote in the Senate when two members of the coalition defected to the opposition. The two senators refused to support Prodi’s decision to keep Italian troops in Afghanistan and to uphold a decision by Berlusconi to allow the U.S. to expand its military base in the Italian city of Vincenzo. Prodi, saying he could not continue without the full confidence of his coalition in foreign policy issues, resigned, causing the fall of the Union government.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

From: APA Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns Office

Recent actions taken by APA Board and Council

I am forwarding the following note that I sent to the APA Committee onLesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns describing several recentactions by APA's Board of Directors and Council of Representatives.

Of particular interest to you may be a provision of the Resolution onOpposing Discriminatory Legislation and Initiatives Aimed at Lesbian, Gay,and Bisexual Persons that states

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that APA encourages the United States NationalCommittee for Psychology to develop and recommend to the International Unionof Psychological Science General Assembly an international policy forpsychology on sexual orientation discrimination;

Best regards,
Clinton W. Anderson, PhD
Director, APA Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns Office


NOW Magazine, Toronto, Iranian LGBTs

Terra terror for gays

Queers left in shadows at gay meet on Iran


As participants gather at U of T on a late-January Saturday for a symposium on gay rights in Iran, the clock is striking 7 pm in Tehran, where it's been a mild winter day, not too cold to go to Daneshjoo Park - site of many public events and just as much gay cruising.

But, as the world knows well, Iran is terra terror for gays and lesbians, as this conference in the splendour of the Hart House debates room hears in detail. Still, the proceedings tell as much about the Iranian diaspora here as about the queers over there.

This event is no small achievement for the main organizer, Arsham Parsi of the Iranian Queer Organization, who's been in Toronto only eight months after arriving via Turkey as a refugee from Iran. Significantly, it's attended by leading lights from the local Iranian community, many of whose members have brought their discomfort with homosexuality along with them to Canada.

Parsi tells me that he contacted the six Farsi-language publications in Toronto. "Five of them would not even talk to me,'' he says. However, the sixth - the weekly Shahrvand, the largest of the papers - was entirely supportive and ran ads for free.

Indeed, there are more non-gay members of the Iranian community than queers in attendance. Parsi says he knows about 30 Iranian gay refugees in T.O., but only one other is here today. "They're still afraid to be out, even here," he explains.

Contact for the full article



Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: 917-691-5118


Miami Beach, FLA. - Truth Wins Out unveiled a new campaign today encouragingscientists to report right wing distortions of their research on the Truth Wins Out will also join the gay right?sgroup SoulForce today in a media conference call featuring a panel ofexperts who will discuss how groups, such as Focus on the Family, manipulatesocial science to help justify discrimination.

"This website is a powerful response to the brazen and outrageous manner inwhich the far right has hijacked science to support their discriminatoryaims," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen. "Our goal is tomake it easier for legitimate researchers to fight back and demand theirwork be respected and not co-opted for an extreme political agenda."

"When people start spinning science you have to respond," said Dr. KylePruett, professor of child psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine."Journalism used to handle this, but not anymore. So it's bounced back tobecome increasingly the responsibility of the people doing the research."

In a new trend, several researchers have come forward this year to say thatFocus on the Family has distorted or exaggerated their features six such esteemed scientists who were"mortified" when they learned how Focus on the Family leader James Dobsoncravenly manipulated their findings. The new website contains exclusiveTruth Wins Out videos interviewing these professors. Letters fromscientists, obtained by Truth Wins Out, are also posted asking for Dobson toeither stop using their work or to accurately portray their studies.

"If 'Double-Talk Dobson' had been accused by only one professor ofmanipulating research, it might be a legitimate mistake," said Besen."However, when six researches in three countries have stepped forward inless than a year, I think it is fair to say that a disturbing pattern ofdeception has emerged. Unfortunately, Dobson has refused to address theconcerns of these researchers and continues to portray their reasonablerequests for scientific integrity as a liberal conspiracy."

Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization that counters right wingpropaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life.For more information, visit


Check out very funny video on the site.

Star Trek Actor's Satirical Response to Tim "I Hate Gay People" Hardaway
By Evan Derkacz
Posted on February 23, 2007, Printed on February 26, 2007

When former NBA star Tim Hardaway was asked about the recent coming out of another former player, John Amaechi, he replied: "I hate gay people... let it be known I don't like gay people. I'm homophobic."

After losing an endorsement, being scratched from events, and basically getting his ass chewed out by gay and lesbian groups he admitted that he shouldn't have used the word "hate," that his remarks were "very bad."

That has all the sincerity of a Mel Gibson apology.

Well, on the Jimmy Kimmel show this week, Star Trek's George Takei (Mr. Sulu), a gay man and a human being, responds with a hysterical and bold promise... watch upper right...

Evan Derkacz is an AlterNet editor. He writes and edits PEEK, the blog of blogs.

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