Sunday, March 11, 2007

GLBT DIGEST March 11, 2007

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The New York Times

March 11, 2007
In Transit

Au Naturel Is the Fashion on Some Gay Cruises

Gay cruises are nothing new, but a gay cruise on a five-star luxury sailingship, on which the staterooms are outfitted with fine linens, flat-screentelevisions and iPods, and the guests are outfitted in, well, nothing, couldbe the latest trend to hit the seas.

Source Events, a gay travel company, is offering the first gay nude luxurycruise this May in connection with Gay Naturists International, a nonprofitsocial organization. The trip, on a Wind Star yacht that sleeps 148 guests,will sail to Italy and Greece, with stops in Rome; Athens; Sorrento, Italy;and the island of Mykonos.

"We have discovered a fusion between two growth markets: naturist travel andthe boutique luxury experience," said Craig Smith, founder of Source Events,which has sold all but seven of the cabins. "It began when guests on one ofour earlier cruises began asking if they could nude sunbath. We made one ofthe top decks clothing optional and noticed it was extremely popular."

"This is a cruise for people who like adventure and nature," said RobertSandla Jr., the president of Gay Naturists International, which began 23years ago and now has more than 1,300 men who are members. "Our society isalways judging people by their watch, car or job. This is about bodyacceptance and finding out who you really are. Many people find they get intouch with their spiritual side while on naturist vacations."

Although this is the company's first gay nude cruise, Donna Kurtz, asupervisor at Wind Star Cruises, said it has been in the nude-cruisingbusiness for the last 10 years. "Even the big ships like Holland America arenow doing nude cruising, which shows you there is demand," she said. Ms.Kurtz also said that some rules were enforced, like partial clothing in thedining room as well as in port. "Also, we ask that people carry a towelaround with them at all times while on deck," she said.

Mr. Smith said that more nude cruises were planned for next year.

Staterooms on the cruise start at $3,199, not including airfare and porttaxes. Information:, (888) 768-7238.


Forwarded from Marc Adams
Executive Director, HeartStrong

Thanks to everyone who has already signed and submitted the online lettersto Christ Academy, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and to Spring ArborUniversity. As many letters as we have already received, we still needmore. So please take a moment and go to andclick on the two top news items to be taken to the page where you can signand submit your letters. Your support is greatly appreciated!

AN UPDATE ABOUT DR. NEMECEK... After a 7.5 hour mediation this pastTuesday, the mediation between Dr. Nemecek and Spring Arbor University washalted and will continue this coming Monday.

The mediation is a result of the EEOC discrimination complaint filed byDr. Nemecek.

So, head over to our site and sign and submityour letters. In doing that you are supporting someone who has sacrificednearly everything to be herself and take a stand against discrimination.

We have received all but $300.00 of the $1800.00 that we still needed forlast year's expenses. Thanks so much to Christy and Landa for theirgifts.

In the next few days you will receive some exciting news about ourupcoming outreach/educational trip. This is our NINETEENTHoutreach/educational trip in eleven years. It is only because of yourconsistent support that we have been able to come this far and help somany people.

This trip will cost about $10,000.00 as was projected a couple months ago. Now that we are nearly finished with covering that last amount from lastyear, we need to raise this money.

If you are able to help us with this you may make your donation online at or you may mail your donation to HeartStrong POBox 2051, Seattle WA 98111.

You can always call me to discuss your donation at 206-388-3894.

Remember, if you reply to this email list post, your email goes to a deadmailbox. You can reach HeartStrong at

Looking forward to hearing from ALL of you!
Marc Adams



Posted on Sat, Mar. 10, 2007

Schools work to eliminate `gay' as an offensive taunt

By Susie Pakoua Vang and Christina Vance

McClatchy Newspapers


FRESNO, Calif. - Saying "that's so gay" is a common way for kids to dismisssomething as silly or weird.

At one Fresno elementary school, it also could lead to punishment.

Gibson Elementary sent a letter home Feb. 26 asking parents to talk to theirchildren about using inappropriate language on school grounds.

Some Gibson students have been throwing the phrase "that's gay" around, andit violates the school's teaching on respect, Principal Helen Cabe said.Consequences could include detention or other discipline.

"We're trying to get it stopped," she said.

Although the letter appears to prohibit Gibson students from even using theword "gay," Cabe said, the school is not trying to ban the word. "We're justtrying to stop the inappropriate use of it," she said.

Lena Fisher's son, a Gibson fourth-grader, was suspended for one day on Jan.30 for saying "that's gay" during a soccer game on the playground.

When Fisher was asked to pick up her 9-year-old in the middle of a schoolday, "I was kind of surprised, because my son never gets in trouble."


The New York Times

March 10, 2007
Italians Rally for Gay and Unwed Couples' Rights

Filed at 11:49 a.m. ET

ROME (Reuters) - Thousands of Italians rallied on Saturday for legal rightsfor unmarried gay and heterosexual couples while Roman Catholics launched amovement against what many of them consider an attack on the ``traditional''family.

Demonstrators filled a Roman piazza in support of a bill to give unwedcouples rights in areas like inheritance.

Some wore bishops' mitres with slogans against the Vatican, which sees thebill as an attack on the idea that families are based on marriage betweenmen and women.

The rally included leftists from Prime Minister Romano Prodi's coalition,which is divided on the issue. Some coalition Catholics call homosexuals``deviant'' and promise to shoot down the bill, which is being studied by aparliamentary committee.

Prodi, a practicing Catholic, promised rights for de facto couples in his2006 election campaign.


The Washington Post

New Criticism for Episcopal Bishop
Her Liberal Allies Wonder Why She Signed Ultimatum on Gays

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 11, 2007; A05

Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first female presiding bishop of theEpiscopal Church, is used to hostility from the right wing of herdenomination. Now, she faces a rebellion among her longtime allies on theleft.

With more puzzlement than rancor, liberal Episcopalians are questioning whyJefferts Schori signed an international statement last month that, in theirview, demands a halt to 30 years of growing acceptance of gay men andlesbians.

"The overwhelming response I'm hearing is, 'Wait a minute! We're notprepared to turn back the clock,' " said the Rev. Ruth Meyers, academic deanof Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.

The bishops of all 111 Episcopal dioceses will meet this week at a churchretreat center near Houston to consider their response to an ultimatumissued in Tanzania on Feb. 19 by the primates, or heads, of the 38 nationalchurches that make up the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the 77million-member communion, which is still reeling from the consecration of anopenly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson, in New Hampshire in 2003.


UC Riverside offers gender-neutral housing for gay, transgender students

09:15 AM PST on Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Press-Enterprise

So-called gender-neutral housing was created in 2005 at UCR in response toconcerns expressed by gay and transgender students, who told universityhousing officials that they were uncomfortable rooming with students of thesame sex. Now, they can choose roommates regardless of biological sex orgender identity.

Gay and transgender students can benefit from a roommate of the oppositegender, particularly someone they know, because they have an instant supportnetwork regardless of where they are in the coming-out process, said CynthiaHurd, a Fort Collins, Colo.-based psychotherapist who focuses ongender-identity issues.

"It would take the pressure off," Hurd said.

Typically, more freshmen live on campus at UCR than any other class. Ofabout 3,000 freshmen living on campus this school year, 24 opted to live inthe suites. Each of the six suites accommodates up to eight students. Sofar, just one pair of roommates in the gender-neutral community are of theopposite sex.

"If living with someone of an opposite gender is going to make theirtransition to college easier, then we should have the option," said EmilySandoval, resident director of UCR's North Pentland Hills, where the housingis located.


The Observer,,2031106,00.html

Gay rights furore over MP's garter

An Italian senator who belongs to Opus Dei and is known for heranti-homosexual views admits wearing spiked metal chain

Tom Kington in Rome
Sunday March 11, 2007
The Observer

A battle over legal rights for gay couples in Italy has focused on agruesome-looking metal garter belt.

With Pope Benedict thundering against the demise of the family and laypoliticians fighting to keep religion out of politics, the debate took abizarre turn when a staunchly Catholic politician, renowned for denouncinghomosexuality as 'unnatural', admitted that she wears the spiked metal chainaround her thigh to recreate the suffering of Christ.

Paola Binetti, a government senator and member of the conservative Opus Dei organisation, has been labelled a 'sado-masochist' by gay rights campaignerFranco Grillini for wearing the steel cilice, despite her claim that it isno more painful than wearing high heels or training for an athletic event.Similar to a strip of chain-link fencing with added spikes, the cilice wasmade famous by the best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code.'People are free to do what they want and I don't object to the cilice, butBinetti should not in turn object to two people who want to live togetherpeacefully,' said transvestite MP Vladimir Luxuria, who also said Binettishould be thrown out of her centrist party if she refuses to back gayrights.

In addition to the cilice, senior members, or 'numeraries', of Opus Dei often use whips to 'discipline' themselves, sleep on hard mattresses and live inshared communities. Binetti, a trained child psychotherapist, donates herearnings to Opus Dei.

The grey-haired, matronly Binetti said the feeling of the spikes digginginto the flesh of her thigh reminded her of the hardships of life, but thatit was no more damaging to her health than going on a diet or walking aroundin winter with her belly button showing.


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