Thursday, March 01, 2007

GLBT DIGEST - March 1, 2007

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US and we'll be happy to send the full article.


The New York Times

February 28, 2007
Church Head Attacks Impatience on Gays

Filed at 4:51 p.m. ET

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Anglican church leaders and others demanding the U.S.Episcopal Church harden its stand on gay issues may be yielding tounwarranted impatience instead of waiting for divine guidance, the head ofthe U.S. church said on Wednesday.

Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the 2.4-million-member, acknowledged ``we could lose our voice at the table'' of theWorldwide Anglican Communion by not complying with demands handed down byleading Anglican bishops when they met recently in Africa.

But in the face of possible schism within the 77-million-member worldwidechurch, she said, gays and lesbians in the U.S. church should be assured``We are about affirming the equal dignity of all human beings ... I see nodesire from anyone to retreat from this position.''

``We are being pushed toward a decision by impatient forces within andoutside this church who hunger for clarity,'' she said in a conferencebroadcast over the Internet from New York to church members worldwide, whowere allowed to pose questions.

``That hunger for clarity at all costs is an anxious response to discomfortin the face of change,'' she added. ``The impatience we are now experiencingis an idol, a false hope that is unwilling to wait on God for clarity, anidol that fails to ... expect that the spirit will lead us.''


The New York Times

February 28, 2007
Anglicans Lock Horns Over Gays as Rift Deepens

Filed at 11:04 a.m. ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Conservatives and liberals locked horns overhomosexuality at a Church of England synod on Wednesday as the worldwideAnglican communion faced the grim prospect of schism.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the world's 77million Anglicans, had warned the synod that people now think Anglicans are``obsessed with sex.''

After listening to a robust morning of soul-searching debate over the roleof gays and lesbians in the deeply divided church, few would argue with hisconclusion.

Speaker after speaker highlighted the divisions that have rent the450-year-old church, founded when Henry VIII broke with Rome so he coulddivorce his first wife.

Bishops succeeded in toning down a liberal motion on homosexuality, arguingthat this could have upset delicate negotiations.


The New York Times

February 28, 2007
Lawsuit Raises Questions About Putdown

Filed at 8:07 p.m. ET

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) -- When a few classmates razzed Rebekah Rice abouther Mormon upbringing with questions such as, ''Do you have 10 moms?'' sheshot back: ''That's so gay.''

Those three words landed the high school freshman in the principal's officeand resulted in a lawsuit that raises this question: When do playgroundinsults used every day all over America cross the line into hate speech thatmust be stamped out?

After Rice got a warning and a notation in her file, her parents sued,claiming officials at Santa Rosa's Maria Carillo High violated theirdaughter's First Amendment rights when they disciplined her for uttering aphrase ''which enjoys widespread currency in youth culture,'' according tocourt documents.

Testifying last week about the 2002 incident, Rice, now 18, said that whenshe uttered those words, she was not referring to anyone's sexualorientation. She said the phrase meant: ''That's so stupid, that's so silly,that's so dumb.''

But school officials say they took a strict stand against the putdown aftertwo boys were paid to beat up a gay student the year before.


The New York Times

February 28, 2007
Airman Gets 50 Years in Rape Case

Filed at 11:46 p.m. ET

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AP) -- A military jury ignored an Air Forcecaptain's plea for leniency Wednesday, sentencing him to 50 years in prisonfor raping four men and attempting to rape two others.

The sentence was delivered a day after nine Air Force officers serving onCapt. Devery L. Taylor's court-martial jury found him guilty of all chargesagainst him for drugging and kidnapping servicemen and others he met inbars. Taylor was dismissed from the Air Force and will not be eligible forparole for 20 years.

Earlier Wednesday, the 38-year-old former hospital administrator askedjurors to consider a sentence of 10 years. His civilian attorney, MartinRegan, said Taylor had no criminal history and an outstanding militaryrecord in his four years of service.

Taylor was convicted of two counts of attempted sodomy, four counts offorcible sodomy, two counts of kidnapping and one count of unlawful entry.

''Each of these victims met the accused only briefly, but they will sufferthe rest of their lives,'' said Capt. Eveylon Westbrook, a militaryprosecutor.



Gay Couples Can Live Together Virginia Court Rules
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: February 28, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Richmond, Virginia) The Virginia Court of Appeals has ruled that same-sexcouples can live together, reversing a lower court ruling that said the word"cohabit" only applies to opposite-sex couples because of the state's ban onsame-sex marriage.

The case involved a Fairfax county man who had divorced his wife wanted andwanted his support payments ended because she had entered into a domesticrelationship with another woman.

The marriage ended in 1994 with a settlement that required the man to payhis ex-wife $4,000 per month until either party died or the women entered amarriage or "cohabitation with any person in a situation analogous tomarriage."

Following the dissolution of the marriage the woman began a relationshipwith another woman and entered into agreements with her on jointchild-rearing and household duties.

The ex-husband went to court claiming the relationship amounted to "asituation analogous to marriage."



Mexican Soldiers With HIV Win Case Against Army
by The Associated Press
Posted: February 28, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Mexico City) Mexico's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the armed forcescannot kick out HIV-positive members because doing so is discriminatory andunconstitutional.

The court, with an 8-3 vote, ordered Mexico's Defense Department to returnto duty four soldiers who were expelled from the armed forces for testingHIV-positive.

The judges spent five sessions debating whether HIV-positive armed forcesmembers were "useless," as the military had argued.

The president of the court, Guillermo Ortiz, said the military can stillexpel members who have full-blown AIDS or who medically cannot completetheir duties.

The case rose to the Supreme Court after several soldiers appealed theDefense Department's decision to let them go.

A congressional commission has requested that Mexico's armed forces providethem with figures on the number of military personnel infected with the AIDSvirus and how many have been discharged because of their illness.



UK Anglicans Approve 'Compromise' Motions On Gay Christians
by The Associated Press
Posted: February 28, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(London) The Church of England's assembly on Wednesday affirmed existingteaching that homosexuality is no bar to full participation in the churchbut avoided the fractious debate within the Anglican Communion aboutaccepting gay sexual relationships.

A motion approved nearly unanimously by the governing General Synod disposedof language including a commitment to "respect the patterns of holy livingto which lesbian and gay Christians aspire," but affirmed "that homosexualorientation in itself is no bar to a faithful Christian life or in fullparticipation to lay and ordained ministry."

Bishop Michael Perham of Gloucester had urged the synod not to take a sidein the debate about whether people in gay relationships can be goodChristians or, as in the U.S. Episcopal Church, serve as a bishop.

"This is not the moment - it is very clearly the wrong moment - to shift ourformal position and give any sense of winners and losers on an issue onwhich we are finding it hard to reach consensus," Perham said.

John Ward, a gay member of the synod who supported the amended version, hadasked the assembly "to say explicitly that we can and should have an openand Godly dialogue with one another about human sexuality and that we shouldcreate a safe place for this to happen without fear."



Moscow Mayor's Gay Policy Condemned By Counterparts
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: February 28, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(London) The mayors of Europe's four largest cities met in London onWednesday for their annual summit and Moscow head Juri Lushkov was roundlycriticized for his outspoken condemnation of gays.

The mayors of London, Paris, Berlin and Moscow sit down yearly to discusscommon interests. Two of the mayors, Paris's Bertrand Delanoe and Berlin'sKlaus Wowereit are openly gay.London mayor Ken Livingstone has a long record as a gay advocate.

Lushkov has called gays "satanic", banned gay pride last year and hasthreatened to do the same this year.

A source close to one of the mayors said the issue of Lushkov and homophobiawas raised by Wowereit and Delanoe and Livingstone joined the discussionnoting that Lushkov's public statements make Russia appear backward andreactionary.

Lushkov is said to have dismissed the criticism.


The Advocate

March 01, 2007 Out former marine goes to Congress to fight "don't ask, don'ttell"

Eric Alva, the first American wounded in the Iraq War, has since come outand is working now to lift the ban on openly gay service members in the U.S.military.

The first American soldier wounded in the Iraq War has since come out and isworking now to lift the ban on openly gay service members in the U.S.military. Retired marine staff sergeant Eric Alva on Wednesday accompaniedDemocratic representative Martin Meehan of Massachusetts and a bipartisangroup of representatives to Capitol Hill to reintroduce the Military ReadinessEnhancement Act, legislation that would repeal the Pentagon's "don't ask,don't tell" policy regarding gay service members.

Alva, who grew up in a military family, lost a leg on the first day ofcombat in Iraq in 2003 after stepping on a land mine. He told ABC News thatlosing his leg forced him to come out of the closet. "It made me realizeeverything that I had to actually speak up for," Alva said to ABC,"basically, the rights and privileges of what I as an individual have earnedin this country."

In an interview with The Washington Post, Alva said that his becoming vocalabout striking down "don't ask, don't tell" is also due to the fact thatthere are not enough service members to keep up a successful war effort.

“We're losing probably thousands of men and women that are skilled atcertain types of jobs, from air traffic controllers to linguists, because ofthis broken policy,” he told the Post.

The Pentagon has argued that the ban was enacted for the sake of maintainingunit cohesion.

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, an advocacy group for gay servicepersonnel, released data Wednesday showing that in 2005 the armed forcesdismissed more than 742 service members, including medics, intelligenceofficers, infantrymen, and seven nuclear, biological, and chemical warfarespecialists. Since the law’s implementation in 1993, more than 11,000military personnel have been dismissed.

A Zogby poll released in December showed that 23% of U.S. troops say theyknow someone in their unit who is gay or lesbian. (The Advocate)



Politics & Society
Church Hosts Conference on 'Ex-Gay' Therapy

All Things Considered, February 28, 2007 · The controversial idea thatcounseling and therapy can overcome homosexual tendencies is at the heart ofwhat's called the "ex-gay movement."Proponents of ways that gays and lesbians can be "cured" recently held aconference in Phoenix, Ariz.

The notion has been in the news recently, in connection with the formerpastor of the New Life Church in Colorado. Ted Haggard resigned from thechurch in November, after his relationship with a male prostitute becamepublic.

He has been meeting with leaders of the church, and one of them saidrecently that Haggard "is on the road to recovery."

Bethany Bible Church in Phoenix recently held an all-day event called LoveWon Out, sponsored by Focus on the Family. The essential message is thathomosexuality can be overcome through therapy and devotion to Jesus Christ.

That was the theme put forward by Alan Chambers, one of the speakers at theevent.


Miami News-Record

Former Grove student files lawsuit

Sunday, February 25, 2007 9:47 PM EST

TULSA - A former student of Grove Public Schools has filed a lawsuitalleging school officials did nothing to prevent beatings and harassment heallegedly received at the hands of other students.

Superintendent Tom Steen declined comment on the federal lawsuit Michaele D.Bullis filed seeking damages in excess of $75,000.

Beginning with his enrollment at Grove High School, during Bullis' sophomoreyear, the alleged verbal assaults escalated to sexual attacks and deaththreats, the lawsuit contends.

On Nov. 8, 2005, Bullis was attacked by another student during a lunchperiod at Grove High School. He was knocked unconscious, suffered cuts tohis face and his teeth were broken, the lawsuit indicates.

School teacher Dennis Millican was supervising students at the time of theincident.



Scientific evidence alone cannot prove liability in criminal HIV
transmission cases

Edwin J. Bernard, Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A briefing paper published today jointly by NAM and the National AIDS Trust(NAT) explains why criminal investigations of alleged sexual HIVtransmission cannot be proved conclusively by scientific evidence alone. HIVForensics: The use of phylogenetic analysis as evidence in criminalinvestigation of HIV transmission is aimed at virologists and otherpotential expert witnesses as well as people working in the criminal justicesystem, but may also be useful for those supporting HIV-positive individualsas either potential complainants or defendants.

(Information on how to download or order copies of this paper are at thebottom of the page)

Two expert virologists – Anne-Mieke Vandamme of Belgium’s Rega Institute forMedical Research, and Anna Maria Geretti of the Department of Virology,Royal Free Hospital, London – are co-authors of the paper, which focuses onhow and why phylogenetic analysis cannot be used as the main, or only, proofthat one person infected another in prosecutions for HIV transmission.

Dr Geretti served as an expert witness for the defence in the first – and sofar only – criminal HIV transmission trial to end with a ‘not guilty’verdict. The case collapsed after Dr Geretti explained the limitations ofthe phylogenetic analysis evidence presented by the prosecution as ‘proof’that the defendant infected the complainant.

Phylogenetic analysis is a complex scientific process used in molecularepidemiology. An individual strain of HIV can be examined in great detail byanalysing its genetic code (RNA). By examining very small differences indifferent parts of HIV’s RNA (obtained via gene sequencing), it is possibleestimate how these HIV strains are genetically related.


Top court to rule on expanding same-sex pension benefits

Last Updated: Thursday, March 1, 2007 | 9:22 AM ET
CBC News

The Supreme Court of Canada is to decide Thursday on a class-actionchallenge by surviving members of same-sex relationships who were deniedCanada Pension Plan benefits because their spouses died before 1998.

The case was launched by the legendary Toronto gay rights activist, GeorgeHislop, who took issue with Ottawa's decision to deny him survivors'benefits after the death of his partner of 28 years, Ron Shearer, in 1986.

Hislop died from inoperable cancer in 2005. He and several other men whowere also denied CPP survivors' benefits launched the class action in 2001under equality provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. More than1,500 people are now named as co-plaintiffs.

Hislop's lawyer argued that the plan was discriminating against certain gayand lesbian survivors of same-sex relationships because it only paidbenefits to people whose partners had died after Jan. 1, 1998.

That date was set in July 2000 when the Liberal government of the day passedlegislation that gave same-sex couples full pension rights, with benefits tobe paid to surviving spouses.



Argentina Moving Toward Gay Marriage Rights
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 1, 2007 - 12:01 am ET

(Buenos Aires) Legislation will be presented in Argentina's Parliament thisfall that would give same-sex couples all of the rights of marriage.

Currently the law limits marriage to opposite-sex couples. However thecountry does afford gay and lesbian couples some rights includinginheritance, adoption and survivor pensions.

Two regions of the country permit civil unions - the province of Río Negroand the federal district of Buenos Aires.

In 2003 Rio Negro became the first area in South America to permit civilunions.

A poll released this week shows that three-quarters of those surveyed in thecapital believe gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry. Only 25percent disagreed.


The New York Times

March 1, 2007
Op-Ed Contributor
A Divorce the Church Should Smile Upon

Los Angeles

THE decision of the global Anglican Communion to threaten the EpiscopalChurch, its American affiliate, with expulsion is about much more than theheadline issue of homosexuality. Yes, the impending divorce has beenprecipitated by the decision of the Episcopal Church to consecrate a gaybishop and to allow individual congregations to decide whether or not toallow gay marriages.
But as so often in religious history, the deeper issue is one of churchgovernance. In effect, the Episcopalians left the Church of England morethan two centuries ago.

The problem dates back to the time of the American Revolution, when theChurch of England in America was just what that name says: it was the Churchof England, merely in America. Since the 16th century, when King Henry VIIImade himself, in effect, the pope of England, the English king had been thesupreme church authority. Time had somewhat eroded this authority by 1776,thanks in part to the Puritan revolution in the mid-17th century.Nonetheless, the authority structure within the church remained officiallymonarchical.

So it was no surprise that after the newborn United States broke with thecrown in the political realm, the Church of England in the United States didso in the religious realm as well, establishing a democratic form ofself-governance under a “presiding bishop,” whose title echoed that of thechief executive of the new nation. The name the new church adopted — fromepiskopos, the ancient Greek word for bishop — signaled that its governancewould be neither by pope nor by king but, as in early Christianity, byelected bishops.


The New York Times

March 1, 2007
A Sandwich or Two, With a Row Over Gay Marriage on the Side

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., Feb. 28 — Dozens of colorful photos and drawingsdepicting families led by gay couples were rehung on the tan walls of asandwich shop here on Wednesday, ending a three-day dust-up over art,commerce and politics.

The artwork, called “The Family Album,” was hung on Sunday in the shop,Cosi, by Empire State Pride Agenda as part of an effort to push for thelegalization of same-sex marriage in New York. But on Tuesday, organizerswere told that the display was being taken down.

Pride Agenda and the LOFT, a service and advocacy center for gay andtransgender residents of the Lower Hudson Valley, said the decision was aknee-jerk reaction by company officials to complaints from patrons.

Cosi officials said their decision was based solely on company policy on theloan of corporate space to artists. They said the works had been hungwithout formal approval from a district manager.

“We don’t care about content,” said Robert Speirs, a regional vice presidentof Cosi. Mr. Speirs said a district manager must usually approve a display’scolor and symmetry before the works are hung. In this case, the store’smanager had given approval.


The Washington Post

Thursday, March 1, 2 p.m. ET
Life of a Gay Pro Athlete

John Amaechi
Author, former NBA player
Thursday, March 1, 2007; 2:00 PM

Former NBA player John Amaechi discusses his book, "Man in the Middle," andhis struggle to reconcile his sexuality with his life as a pro basketballplayer.

Amaechi will be online Thursday, March 1 at 2 p.m. to take your questionsand comments.
Submit your questions to:

any time before or during the discussion.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,426,print.story?coll=sfla-news-florida

Largo to oust city manager for pursuing sex-change operation
By Phil Davis
The Associated Press

March 1, 2007

LARGO -- Steve Stanton loved this city he ran for 14 years. This week, heasked the city to love him back, to accept his plans to pursue a sex-changeoperation and let him keep his $140,000 job as city manager.

It didn't.

Almost 500 people crowded City Hall on Tuesday night for a special meetingto decide whether they would accept Susan instead of Steve as their topofficial. While many spoke in his defense, more called for his ouster.

"If Jesus was here tonight, I can guarantee you he'd want him terminated,"said Pastor Ron Saunders of Largo's Lighthouse Baptist Church. "Make nomistake about it."

At the end of the 3 1/2-hour meeting, the City Commission voted 5-2 to beginthe legal process of firing Stanton, a week after he was forced to revealhis secret by a local newspaper. He is on paid leave and can appeal.

Transgender activists on Wednesday called Stanton's firing a "shamefuldisplay of ignorance and bias." But they said Largo's quick decision to firea respected government official may be the example they need to persuadeCongress to extend employment protections to gays, lesbians andtranssexuals.

"We think this is a really clear example of the type of employmentdiscrimination that transgendered people face every day," said SimonAronoff, deputy director of the National Center for Transgender Equality inWashington, D.C. "By all accounts, he was doing a good job. The only reasonhe was fired is because he made the brave decision to live openly."


Posted on Thu, Mar. 01, 2007
Anglicans vote on gay and lesbian issues

The Church of England's assembly on Wednesday affirmed existing teachingthat homosexuality is no bar to full participation in the church but avoidedthe fractious debate within the Anglican Communion about accepting gaysexual relationships.

A motion approved nearly unanimously by the governing General Synod disposedof language including a commitment to "respect the patterns of holy livingto which lesbian and gay Christians aspire," but affirmed "that homosexualorientation in itself is no bar to a faithful Christian life or in fullparticipation to lay and ordained ministry."

Bishop Michael Perham of Gloucester had urged the synod not to take a sidein the debate about whether people in gay relationships can be goodChristians or, as in the U.S. Episcopal Church, serve as a bishop.

"This is not the moment - it is very clearly the wrong moment - to shift ourformal position and give any sense of winners and losers on an issue onwhich we are finding it hard to reach consensus," Perham said.

John Ward, a gay member of the synod who supported the amended version, hadasked the assembly "to say explicitly that we can and should have an openand Godly dialogue with one another about human sexuality and that we shouldcreate a safe place for this to happen without fear."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Eric Alva Comes Out Against Don't Ask, Don't Tell

On March 21, 2003, my life changed forever.

Three hours into the Iraq War, I was in charge of 11 U.S. Marines on alogistical convoy when I stepped on an Iraqi landmine outside my Humveevehicle and became the first American wounded in the Iraq War. The explosionwas so powerful it blew me to the ground ten feet away and took off part ofmy right leg. I can still remember the ringing in my ears from the blast.

I spent months in rehabilitation where I was visited by President Bush,First Lady Laura Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. I wasrecognized by the military for my service and received a Purple Heart award.I was also interviewed by several major newspapers and magazines and I madenumerous TV appearances, including on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Yet despiteall the attention and focus on my life, today is the first time I havepublicly talked about my sexuality in relation to my military service.

To be honest, each time I was commended on my courage, I couldn't help butremember how scared I was that I would be found out as gay and kicked out ofthe military. I remember the fear I felt when people around me in themilitary started debating the new "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy even beforeit became law. Still, my proudest moments during my 13 years in themilitary came when I would confide in one of my friends about my sexualorientation and they would still treat me with the same respect as before.

Although I'm no longer wearing the uniform of the U.S. Marine Corp, mymission continues to be protecting the rights and freedoms of all Americans.

Contact for the full article.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

From Human Rights Campaign

In Violation of Public Employment
Non-Discrimination Policy, City of Largo Moves to Fire City Manager

For Immediate Release: February 28, 2007
Luis Vizcaiño | Phone: 202/216.1547 | Cell: 310/869.5700
Brad Luna | Phone: 202/216.1514 | Cell: 202/812.8140

In Violation of Public Employment Non-Discrimination Policy, City of LargoMoves to Fire City Manager

Move by Commissioners to Fire City Manager Steve Stanton 'A Shameful Displayof Ignorance and Bias'

WASHINGTON - Last night, the city commissioners of Largo, Fla., moved tofire long-time City Manager Steve Stanton because he disclosed that he wouldbegin the process of transitioning from male to female. The commissionersvoted 5 to 2 to end Stanton's career. The mayor of Largo and one othercommissioner voted in dissent.

The move by the city commissioners is in direct violation of the citygovernment's own internal non-discrimination policy. In 2003, the town ofLargo, Fla., adopted a policy that explicitly prohibits discrimination inpublic employment on the basis of gender identity and expression. To viewthe minutes of the meeting adopting the new policy and to read the languageof the policy, please visit:


For full article contact


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

February 28, 2007

Cameroon High Court Orders Release of Man Jailed on Sodomy Charges


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Hossein Alizadeh, 212-430-6016,

(New York, NY, February 28, 2007) - On February 17, 2007, the High Court inthe Cameroonian capital of Yaounde ordered the immediate release ofAlexandre D., detained for more than two years without charge or trial onallegations of homosexuality.

The ruling was received with relief by the Cameroonian gay and lesbiancommunity, represented by Alternatives-Cameroun, Inter-LGBT in Paris and theInternational Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) in New York.

The three organizations hired human rights attorney Michel Togue torepresent Alexandre in a habeas corpus hearing in which the judge ruled thatthe state had presented no relevant evidence.

Alexandre expressed gratitude to those who worked for his release. "I amreally happy to be free and wish to thank those organizations who have beenfighting for the protection of my fundamental rights," he said upon exitingKondegui Central Prison.

Alexandre was only twenty two years old when he was arrested. He had had nolegal representation or external support until his case was discovered bynoted human rights attorney Alice Nkom.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Log Cabin Republicans-Washington, DC Office
(202) 347-5306 <> org

Log Cabin Applauds Re-Introduction of Legislation to Repeal "Don't Ask,Don't Tell"

Log Cabin Working to Gain GOP Support for Ending Ban

(Washington, DC) - Log Cabin Republicans applaud the re-introduction oflegislation to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The MilitaryReadiness Enhancement Act, re-introduced by Congressman Marty Meehan (D-MA),has three Republican co-sponsors-Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), Rep. IleanaRos-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT).

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell is weakening our national security," said Log CabinPresident Patrick Sammon. "Committed military personnel with valuableskills are being dismissed simply because they are gay or lesbian. As ourtroops bravely fight on the front lines of the war on terror, we need themost qualified and competent service members, regardless of their sexualorientation."

There is growing support among Republicans and all Americans for repeal ofDon't Ask, Don't Tell. Republican former Defense Secretary and formerSenator William Cohen (R-ME) recently joined a growing number of leaderscalling for a review of the policy. "I think the policy is changing fromwithin because it's reflecting changes within society itself," he said.Cohen's comments came on the heels of an op-ed from former Joint Chiefs ofStaff Chairman John Shalikashvili calling for an end to the discriminatorypolicy.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Luis Vizcaiño | Phone: 202/216.1547 | Cell: 310/869.5700

Christopher Johnson | Phone: 202/216.1580 | Cell: 202/716.1628

First U.S. Military Service Member to Be Wounded in Iraq War Comes Out,

Urges Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Eric Alva Named Human Rights Campaign National Spokesperson

WASHINGTON - Today, the first U.S. military personnel wounded in the Iraqwar, retired Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, came out as a gay man. The HumanRights Campaign announced that Alva will serve as a national spokesperson inan effort to repeal the U.S. military's discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don'tTell" policy.

On March 21, 2003, Alva was in charge of 11 Marines in a supply unit in Iraqwhen he stepped on a landmine, losing his right leg. Alva spent months ofrehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Hospital where he was visited byPresident Bush, First Lady Laura Bush and former Defense Secretary DonaldRumsfeld. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his service and received amedical discharge from the military.

Alva publicly announced, for the first time, that he is gay today during aCapitol Hill press conference to reintroduce the Military ReadinessEnhancement Act, legislation to repeal the ban against openly gay andlesbian Americans serving in the military.


Huffington Post

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: From the Inside Out (37 comments )
READ MORE: United States, Iraq

Coming from a military family, I'm sure it was not much of a surprise when Itold my parents that I planned to join the military. After all, both mygrandfather and father had proudly served in the Army; my grandfather was aWorld War II and Korean War veteran and my father served in Vietnam.

I had graduated from high school in 1989, and after two unremarkablesemesters at community college, I knew the last thing I wanted was tocontinue living at home and working for a fast food restaurant chain.

Fortunately, I had witnessed other friends join the United States MarineCorps and return home from boot camp completely transformed into a militaryman with their short haircuts and crisp uniforms. I knew then that this waswhat I wanted. So on June 15, 1990 I was sworn into the U.S. Marine Corps. Iwas 19 years old.

As I began my career in the U.S. Marine Corps, I spent the early years of mymilitary career deployed in Somalia and was later stationed in Okinawa,Japan. Being a Marine and serving my country gave me sense of confidence andhonor that I relished. So in 2002, I reenlisted and found myself in Kuwaitand was ultimately called to serve in the Iraq war.

On March 21, 2003, my life changed forever.


From HRC

Contact Largo, Florida City Commissioners Today! Use the link, above.
Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Please Reinstate Steve Stanton
Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

Steve Stanton is a 14 year long, successful City Manager of Largo, and wasterminated for no other reason than that he has chosen to live his lifebeing the person he is. As a Floridian, I strongly urge you to pleaseReinstate Steve Stanton!

Steve Stanton is good at his job. It is wrong to fire a good employeebecause of their gender identity. I strongly urge you to stick by yournon-discrimination policy and REINSTATE STEVE STANTON.



CROI: Sexual transmission of HCV not limited to HIV-positive gay men

Edwin J. Bernard & Liz Highleyman, Thursday, March 01, 2007

Sexual transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is taking place inHIV-negative as well as HIV-positive gay men, according to data fromBrighton – the United Kingdom’s city of highest HIV prevalence – presentedon Wednesday to the Fourteenth Conference on Retroviruses and OpportunisticInfections in Los Angeles.

In recent years there have been a number of studies reporting sexualtransmission of HCV, primarily in HIV-positive gay men in western Europe.First observed in 2002in the UK, similar outbreaks have also been reportedin the Netherlands, Switzerland and France.

Outbreaks of acute HCV infection amongst HIV-positive gay men (and other menwho have sex with men [MSM] who may not identify as gay or bisexual) havebeen detected because HIV-positive people routinely undergo HCV antibodyscreening as well as regular liver function tests in order to monitorantiretroviral toxicity. However, HIV-negative gay men do not routinelyreceive such testing, so evidence of a possible parallel sexuallytransmitted HCV epidemic in this population has not been reported until now.Nevertheless, even the earliest reports from the UK included a small numberof HIV-negative men.

[Send your comments about articles to]


No comments: