Wednesday, March 14, 2007

GLBT DIGEST March 14, 2007

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The New York Times

March 14, 2007
Mexico's Capital Plans to Legalize Abortion
Filed at 1:17 a.m. ET

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico City is preparing to legalize abortion -- thefirst region to do so in heavily Roman Catholic Mexico -- a move theinfluential church has vowed to challenge.

A bill that would allow abortions in the first three months of pregnancy ismaking its way through the capital city's assembly and supporters say theyhave well over the majority needed to pass it despite threats of protests bythe Catholic Church. The measure is expected to pass within months and thefirst legal abortions could happen later this year.

``No church, no religion can impose its vision of the world in this city,''said assembly leader Victor Hugo Cirigo, whose leftist Party of theDemocratic Revolution runs City Hall and holds 34 of 66 city legislativeseats.

The assembly battled with the Catholic Church in December, allowing gaycivil unions to begin in Mexico City on Friday. The northern state ofCoahuila followed suit and has already begun allowing such ceremonies,holding its first in January.

Special laws in Mexico City already permit abortion when a mother's life isthreatened, but the rest of the country allows it only in case of rape, saidMaria Luisa Sanchez, president of leading Mexican abortion rights groupGIRE.


The New York Times

March 14, 2007
Lauper, Erasure Headline Gay - Themed Tour

Filed at 4:56 a.m. ET

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Cyndi Lauper, Erasure and Debbie Harry will anchor asummer tour of 15 North American cities designed to raise awareness ofgay-rights issues.

The True Colors trek, which begins June 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas,will also include the Dresden Dolls, the Gossip and the Misshapes, alongwith host Margaret Cho.

``This tour was created to celebrate our differences by raising awarenessfor liberty, fairness and dignity for everyone -- not just some of us,''Lauper said in a statement. ''Our fans can come out to celebrate a greatcause while also hearing some great music.''

Rufus Wainwright, the Indigo Girls and Rosie O'Donnell will make specialappearances throughout the tour, which is sponsored by gay/lesbian TVnetwork Logo.

Stops include Chicago's Auditorium Theater (June 12), Boston's Bank ofAmerica Pavilion (June 16), New York's Radio City Music Hall (June 18),Toronto's Molson Amphitheatre (June 19) and Berkeley's Greek Theater (June29). It ends the next day at the Greek in Los Angeles.


The New York Times

March 14, 2007
No Apology From Gen. Pace for Gay Stance

Filed at 4:55 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon's top general said Tuesday he should nothave voiced his personal view that homosexuality is immoral and should havejust stated his support for the military's ''don't ask, don't tell'' policyin an interview that has drawn criticism from lawmakers and gay-rightsgroups.

The written statement by Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the JointChiefs of Staff, did not apologize for his stance on homosexuality. In anewspaper interview Monday, Pace likened homosexual acts to adultery andsaid the military should not condone it by allowing gays to serve openly inthe armed forces.

After a flurry of condemnation Tuesday, Pace issued a statementacknowledging that the Defense Department's ''don't ask, don't tell'' policyon gays is a sensitive subject and said: ''I should have focused more on mysupport of the policy and less on my personal moral views.''

The military lets gay men and lesbians serve if they keep their sexualorientation private. Commanders may not ask, and service members may nottell. More than 10,000 troops, including more than 50 specialists in Arabic,have been discharged since President Clinton signed it into law in 1994.

In an interview with the Pentagon Channel, the military's in-housetelevision station, Defense Secretary Robert Gates declined to answer aquestion on his opinion of the policy but made what seemed to be a mildrebuke of Pace.


The New York Times

March 14, 2007

Adoption: Not Just for Children
Filed at 4:03 a.m. ET

CHICAGO (AP) -- Linc Morris admits it took him a while to get used to theidea of eing adopted -- which probably explains why he was 42 years old bythe time it appened.

Morris' mother and father divorced when he was young, and he grew up withoth parents and their new spouses, spending the bulk of his formative yearswith his mother and stepfather.

He and his stepfather talked about adoption on and off for years, but''never pulled the trigger,'' he said. It was his biological father's deaththree years ago that led Morris to the realization that he finally wasready. The adoption was finalized in 2005.

''It made me evaluate a lot of things that were happening in my life, thingsthat had happened in my life,'' Morris said. ''It occurred to me that thiswas the right thing to do.''

Morris' story might not be the adoption scenario most people imagine, but itisn't unique. Adoption lawyers say adults adopt other adults more often thanone might think.


The New York Times

March 14, 2007

Pope Reaffirms View Opposing Gay Marriage and Abortion

BOLOGNA, Italy, March 13 - Pope Benedict XVI strongly reasserted on Tuesdaythe church's opposition to abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage, sayingthat Roman Catholic politicians were "especially" obligated to defend thechurch's beliefs in their public duties.

"These values are non-negotiable," the pope wrote in a 130-page "apostolic exhortation," a distillation of opinion from a worldwide meeting of bishopsat the Vatican in 2005.

"Consequently, Catholic politicians and legislators, conscious of theirgrave responsibility before society, must feel particularly bound, on thebasis of a properly formed conscience, to introduce laws inspired by valuesgrounded in human nature."

In the meantime on Tuesday, the pope met at the Vatican with PresidentVladimir V. Putin of Russia, in their first encounter since Benedict becamepope in April 2005.

A Vatican statement said the men discussed improving relations betweenCatholics and Orthodox - an issue that Benedict has put near the center ofhis papacy. They spoke in the papal residence, mostly in German, the pope'snative language.


The New York Times

March 14, 2007
World Briefing | Europe

France: High Court Voids First Gay Marriage

The Court of Cassation, France's highest appeals court, rejected as unlawfulthe first marriage by a gay couple in France and annulled the men's union.Stéphane Chapin, at left in photo, 36, and Bertrand Charpentier, 33, weremarried by the mayor of Bègles in the southwest in June 2004. The governmentimmediately said the union was outside the law, and a series of courtdecisions unfavorable to the couple has followed. In the latest decision,the court ruled that "under French law, marriage is a union between a manand a woman." No other gay couple has married in France.


The New York Times

Gays in Nigeria (1 Letter)

Published: March 14, 2007
To the Editor:

Re "Denying Rights in Nigeria" (editorial, March 8):

I am embarrassed to learn that an archbishop of the Anglican Communion, theMost Rev. Peter J. Akinola, is a major supporter of the odious Nigerianlegislation designed to deny basic human rights to gay and lesbian people.

What deeply saddens me is that he is a well-regarded leader to many of themost conservative Episcopalians in this country. But what puzzles me is theapparent willingness of the archbishop of Canterbury and other primates ofthe Anglican Communion to appease him in his insistence that the EpiscopalChurch's welcome of gay and lesbian people is somehow un-Christian.

As your editorial rightly concludes, this proposed legislation, and hissupport of it, are a chilling reminder of the profound dangers to whichbigotry can open us.

Supine complicity with such a view, as you rightly stated, "sets atreacherous example for the region and the world."

(Rt. Rev.) Mark S. Sisk
New York, March 9, 2007
The writer is bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.


The New York Times

March 13, 2007
Moderate Stances Not Hindering Giuliani
Filed at 2:04 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Presidential contender Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor ofultraliberal New York City, supports a woman's right to choose an abortion,domestic partnership benefits for gay couples and gun-control measures -- and he's a Republican.

Strikingly, such moderate positions haven't thus far impeded his efforts towin the GOP nomination.

But his rivals still have hope they will.

''We don't all agree on everything. I don't agree with myself oneverything,'' Giuliani says at nearly every campaign appearance, astump-speech line that allows him to allude to -- and then dismiss -- hisdifferences with cultural and religious conservatives on social issues.

''We do believe in many of the same things,'' he assures his audiences.


The New York Times

March 13, 2007
McGreevey Seeks Custody of Daughter

Filed at 10:40 p.m. ET

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) -- Former Gov. James McGreevey, who resigned fromoffice after revealing that he was gay and had an affair with a malestaffer, is seeking custody of his 5-year-old daughter and child supportfrom his estranged wife.

The revised divorce lawsuit by McGreevey, who resigned in November 2004,does not mention the ''matrimonial settlement agreement'' that McGreeveyoriginally said had resolved all custody and support issues concerning hisdaughter, Jacqueline.

McGreevey's wife, Dina Matos, has 35 days to respond to the revised filing.

The papers filed last month in Union County Superior Court ask the judge toassign McGreevey custody, to award visitation to the noncustodial parent andto award him ''suitable support and maintenance.''


The Washington Post

Bigotry That Hurts Our Military

By Alan K. Simpson
Wednesday, March 14, 2007; A15

As a lifelong Republican who served in the Army in Germany, I believe it iscritical that we review -- and overturn -- the ban on gay service in themilitary. I voted for "don't ask, don't tell." But much has changed since1993.

My thinking shifted when I read that the military was firing translatorsbecause they are gay. According to the Government Accountability Office,more than 300 language experts have been fired under "don't ask, don'ttell," including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. This when evenSecretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently acknowledged the nation's"foreign language deficit" and how much our government needs Farsi andArabic speakers. Is there a "straight" way to translate Arabic? Is there a"gay" Farsi? My God, we'd better start talking sense before it is too late.We need every able-bodied, smart patriot to help us win this war.

In today's perilous global security situation, the real question is whetherallowing homosexuals to serve openly would enhance or degrade our readiness.The best way to answer this is to reconsider the original points ofopposition to open service.

First, America's views on homosexuals serving openly in the military havechanged dramatically. The percentage of Americans in favor has grown from 57percent in 1993 to a whopping 91 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds surveyed ina Gallup poll in 2003.

Military attitudes have also shifted. Fully three-quarters of 500 vetsreturning from Iraq and Afghanistan said in a December Zogby poll that theywere comfortable interacting with gay people. Also last year, a Zogby pollshowed that a majority of service members who knew a gay member in theirunit said the person's presence had no negative impact on the unit orpersonal morale. Senior leaders such as retired Gen. John Shalikashvili andLt. Gen. Daniel Christman, a former West Point superintendent, are callingfor a second look.


The Washington Post

Sharp Drop in Gays Discharged From Military Tied to War Need

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 14, 2007; A03

The number of homosexuals discharged from the U.S. military under the "don'task, don't tell" policy dropped significantly in 2006, according to Pentagonfigures released yesterday -- continuing a sharp decline since theAfghanistan and Iraq conflicts began and leading critics to charge that themilitary is retaining gay men and lesbians because it needs them in a timeof war.

According to preliminary Pentagon data, 612 homosexuals were discharged infiscal 2006, fewer than half the 1,227 discharged in 2001. On average, morethan 1,000 service members were discharged each year from 1997 to 2001 -- cut in the past five years the average has fallen below 730. The data wereprovided to The Washington Post in response to a request.

"It is hypocritical that the Pentagon seems to retain gay and lesbianservice members when they need them most, and fires them when it believesthey are expendable," said Steve E. Ralls, a spokesman for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a nonprofit that opposes the policy.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sparked anoutcry among gay-advocacy groups on Monday when he said he considershomosexual acts "immoral" and therefore opposes lifting the "don't ask,don't tell" rule and allowing homosexuals to serve openly. "We should notcondone immoral acts," Pace told the Chicago Tribune in an interview.

Yesterday, Pace said it would have been better to refrain from offeringopinions. "I should have focused more on my support of the policy and lesson my personal moral views," he said in a statement, noting that the policyitself "does not make a judgment about the morality of individual acts."


The Sun-Sentinel,0,2563216,print.story?coll=sfla-news-health

New HIV cases decline again in South Florida

By Bob LaMendola
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

March 14, 2007

Partly because of one-on-one talks in barbershops and coin laundries, newcases of HIV infections fell by 8 to 13 percent last year in South Florida,health officials said.

Grassroots education campaigns by community groups and institutions appearto be making an impact on the spread of the virus in one of the nation'sepicenters for it, according to state figures released Tuesday.

"You can't know for sure but hopefully that's a result of preventionefforts," said David Begley, chairman of the Palm Beach County HIV CareCouncil. "Hopefully some of it is sinking in."

Broward reported 880 people newly infected with HIV, down 12 percent. PalmBeach County had 361, down eight percent. Miami-Dade had 1,203, down 13percent. Statewide, cases fell 5 percent.

The drop continues a downward trend since 2002, the peak for HIV cases inthe state and South Florida. The three counties for years have ranked in thenation's top 10 in HIV/AIDS cases per capita.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,7839631,print.story?coll=sfla-news-editorial

Gays in Military

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board

March 14, 2007

A general display of intolerance

The good news is Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs ofStaff, isn't afraid to speak his mind. The bad news is that what came out ofhis mouth was insulting and intolerant.

In an interview with The Chicago Tribune, Pace said homosexuality isimmoral, and said gays should not be allowed to serve openly in themilitary. The fact is, about 10,000 troops, including more than 50 Arabiclanguage specialists, have been discharged under the military'sdiscriminatory "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Also, an unknown number ofgays and lesbians are undoubtedly serving bravely in the military, riskingtheir lives daily.

After criticism poured in, Pace expressed regret about his remarks, butisn't apologizing. While he is reconsidering his remarks, he and the rest ofthe military should reconsider the need for the "don't ask, don't tell"policy.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Mar. 14, 2007
Whitaker, Hudson win NAACP awards

Oscar winners Forest Whitaker and Jennifer Hudson kept their winning streaksalive Friday, while "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington claimed a bestactor prize at the 38th annual NAACP Image Awards. "Ugly Betty" took toptelevision honors.

Hudson, a former "American Idol" finalist, garnered a best supportingactress award for her role in the musical "Dreamgirls," the same categoryshe won at the Academy Awards on Sunday.

"There is nothing like being recognized and honored by your own," saidHudson.

Whitaker, who won a best actor Oscar for "The Last King of Scotland," earnedthe same prize at Friday's ceremony, which honor projects and individualswho promote diversity in the arts.

"Doing this role gave me so many blessings," said Whitaker, who plays aUgandan dictator in the film. "One was being able to go back to Africa andtouch my roots."


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Mar. 14, 2007

Hardaway looking for second chance

A month ago today, Tim Hardaway uttered the toxic comments that created afirestorm and won't soon be forgotten.

Twice a day, the former Heat All-Star still asks himself: Why did I answerDan Le Batard's question on 790 The Ticket about how I would deal with a gayteammate? And why did I say, ``I hate gay people''?

''People have been trying to kick me when I'm down,'' he said this week,reflecting on everything that has happened. The reaction was ``very, veryshocking. People saying my wife left me -- that's not true. My family is OKand my finances are OK.

``. . . I'm looking for a second chance and trying to clean up my image. Ihaven't been in trouble with drugs or guns. I'm an upstanding citizen. LikeI told my children, life is not easy. This is a big bump I have to overcome.I'm going to deal with it like a champ. I've got to make sure people know Idon't hate gay people.''

Hardaway, who attended a Heat game last week, said he soon will speak with agay organization (he's considering three) to ''make them understand'' why hemade his comments -- which he apologized for -- and to gain a betterunderstanding of their perspective. He rejected an offer to spend a day withNorth Miami Mayor Kevin Burns, who is gay, ``because that was more forpublicity for him.''


The Advocate

Former Idol finalist Mario Vazquez accused of sexual harassment

Former American Idol finalist Mario Vazquez is being accused of sexualharassment by an assistant accountant for the company that produces theshow. Vazquez had made it to the final round of 12 contestants during Idol's2005 season before mysteriously dropping out.

Former American Idol finalist Mario Vazquez is being accused of sexualharassment by Magdaleno Olmos, the assistant accountant for Fremantle Media,which produces American Idol, reports

Vazquez is accused of masturbating in front of Olmos in a bathroom on theset of American Idol back in February 2005. Soon after the alleged incident,Vazquez suddenly dropped out of the final round of 12 contestants, citing"family reasons."

Olmos claims in the lawsuit that "Vazquez stared lasciviously, smiledlasciviously...and on one occasion followed him into a bathroom...knocked onthe door of the plaintiff's stall and made eye contact through the space inthe stall door." Vazquez then allegedly "started to rub his genitals overhis pants. Attempting to leave the bathroom, Olmos opened the door of thestall and saw Vasquez standing in front of him with his pants down."

Olmos claims Vazquez pushed him "further into the stall and continuedmasturbating with one hand and trying to pull down Olmos' pants with anotherhand," and that Vazquez touched his "chest and stomach underneath his shirt"and his genitals. Vazquez then allegedly "attempted to unzip" Olmos's pantsand asked "if he wanted oral sex."


The Advocate

Two arrested in Colorado hate slugfest

Two men have been arrested in connection with an attack early Sunday on agay pedestrian in Boulder, Colo., while assailants of a lesbian last monthremained at large and Boulder's top officials condemned hate violence theycalled "extremely troublesome" to their college town.

University of Colorado student Eric Schorling, 21, was arrested Monday oncharges of third-degree assault and bias-motivated crime in connection withthe attack, while Adam Perez, also 21, was arrested on charges ofsecond-degree assault and bias-motivated crime.

Police say the two men, reportedly drunk and shouting antigay slurs,confronted Justin King, 23, who was walking arm in arm after midnight withhis friend Anthony Loose. King ignored the first comment but turned toconfront the men when a second comment was made, the Boulder Daily Camerareported.

The suspects are accused of shoving King, then getting him in a headlock andtrying to kick him in the face. King's eyeglasses were broken as a crowd,more or less evenly divided between gay and antigay sympathies, gathered towatch.

"I felt like I couldn't swallow, couldn't talk," King told Fox 31 News.


The Advocate

Minister stops performing weddings to protest marriage ban

A Massachusetts Episcopal minister will refuse to perform weddings inprotest of the ban on same-sex unions. The Reverend Robert Hirschfeld,rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst, Mass., will be joined by twoother priests who will not perform any weddings.

"We are called to join the fast that our homosexual brothers and sisters inChrist have had to observe all their lives," he said, according to theAssociated Press.

"I am convinced that when gays and lesbians are baptized, they become fullmembers of the body of Christ," said the Reverend Margaret Bullitt-Jonas,who is also protesting. "They are not partial members or conditional membersor second-class members." (The Advocate)


The Advocate

March 14, 2007

Bill banning gay adoption advances in Arkansas senate

A bill barring gay and straight unmarried couples from adopting or fosteringchildren was advanced by an Arkansas state senate panel Monday. Last year,according to the Associated Press, the state supreme court overturned a banon gay foster parents that had been established by state policy rather thanby law.

Four people have sued the state government after the policy was put intoeffect in 1999 and then dropped in 2004.

The ban was put in place by the Arkansas Child Welfare Board in March 1999when it said children should be in a conventional two-parent home becausethey are more likely to thrive in that environment, the article said.

Gary Wheeler, a Little Rock pediatrician, told lawmakers that there is noevidence in proving the board's statement. "There's been a lot of confusionabout who's a homosexual and who's a pedophile. These are two large groupsthat hardly intersect," Wheeler said in the article.

Gov. Mike Beebe said that he would support the policy if it were proven tobe constitutionally sound. The ban would not be enforced against bloodrelatives who are cohabitation.


The Advocate

Transsexual regret

When you know someone who's undergone sex-reassignment surgery, thepossibility of regret may feel like the proverbial elephant in the room. Butwhat is the prevalence of regret, and why does regret occur?

By Joanne Herman

With the release of Renée Richards' latest book, No Way Renée: The SecondHalf of My Notorious Life, the topic of transsexual regret has once againcome out of the closet. Her book is primarily the story of her family,career, tennis, and social life. Yet in a pre-release interview with The NewYork Times, the reporter asked Richards if she regrets having hadsex-reassignment surgery. And even though Richards said no, the headline was"The Lady Regrets." Why is there such curiosity about whether post-optranssexuals regret their surgery?

As background, transsexual people are but one part of the very diverse groupunder the transgender umbrella. Many transgender people actually do notundergo a gender transition. But a transsexual person, on the other hand,feels so strongly about having a gender identity at odds with his or heranatomy that he or she seeks medical intervention or physical change. Sometranssexual people do not need sex-reassignment surgery (SRS) to resolve theincongruity, while others desire it but cannot afford it.

Renowned trans woman Lynn Conway, professor emerita at the University ofMichigan, estimates that one in 2,500 U.S. citizens has undergonemale-to-female SRS (there is no contemporary statistic available forfemale-to-male SRS). As one who is included in Conway's statistic, I am usedto fielding the question about "regret." Societal taboos about crossing thegender binary make any transition seem remarkable, and so the fact thatsomeone made a seemingly permanent change (i.e., surgery), then might haveregretted it, is positively tabloid news. (By the way, I don't regret mine.)

But how often does it happen that someone regrets having had SRS? Researchhas been scarce because of the stigma of studying transgenderism and becausemost of the necessary subjects (transsexual individuals) have been highlycloseted until only recently. The only contemporary research I could find, a2002 paper in the International Journal of Transgenderism citing a 1992study, observed that "the incidence of postoperative regret is generallyextremely low...less than 1% in female-to-males and 1-1.5% inmale-to-females." That's pretty low. Why the concern?

Some may view as an unmitigated disaster the possibility that anyone-evenone single person-had his penis "cut off" or her breasts removed and thenregretted it. Because of this, trans people must undergo one of the mostrigorous evaluations of any medical procedure in order to qualify for SRS.This evaluation, unfortunately, favors those who can best convince "thesystem" of their need; thereby it occasionally disqualifies some who needthe surgery while qualifying some who don't.


The Advocate

Lifetime to air teen HIV movie

The cable network Lifetime has green-lighted the television movieConsequences, which chronicles the life of a teen honor student whocontracts HIV. Variety reports that the film will star Desperate Housewivesactress Andrea Bowden as Rachel, a popular high school student who discoversthat a boy with whom she had sex has HIV. Panic and gossip envelop her aftershe finds out that she too has the disease.

Also cast in the film are Jennie Garth as a teacher who befriends the leadcharacter, as well as Eric Von Detten, who will play the boy with HIV. It isexpected to air in June. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

China AIDS activist feels failure despite award

Poised to receive an award for fighting HIV/AIDS in rural China, Chineseactivist Gao Yaojie said she feels like a failure.

Eighty years old, her face creased with wrinkles, Gao has spent the lastdecade of her life working to treat the sick, to slow the disease's spread,and to expose official complicity in its dispersal in her home province ofHenan in east-central China.

Thousands of poor farmers have become infected with the disease afterselling their blood in the 1990s at unsanitary, often state-run, clinics,making the province the center of China's AIDS epidemic.

Having handed out thousands of AIDS prevention pamphlets to passengers atbus depots, prostitutes in nightclubs and peasants in the countryside, theretired gynecologist said she felt she had not done enough.

"I constantly think that I am a failure because I have been at this work formore than 10 years, and yet AIDS is still rampant," the doctor said in aninterview on Monday in Washington, where she is to receive a "globalleadership" award on Wednesday from Vital Voices, a nonprofit thatrecognizes women leaders.


The Advocate

Finding the answers to hate crimes

Andy Marra had many questions when she was punched in the face for being transgender woman back in November 2006. But instead of giving her answers,her attackers fled. Now she has decided to tell her story, and she is makingan appeal for answers about hate crimes.

By Andy Marra

I had just exited my stop on the subway after a particularly long day at theoffice, and I was grateful to stretch my legs and enjoy the crisp Novemberair. I popped in my headphones, turned on some music, and began myfive-minute walk towards my apartment in the Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhoodwhere I live.

On my walk home I always pass a bodega. As I walked by, I noticed a group ofyoung men glaring menacingly at me. I didn't know who they were, and myheadphones muffled their voices. I decided to mind my business. I wanted toget home and put together a grocery list for the next day at the UnionSquare farmers market.

Then, out of nowhere, a fist flew towards my face, hitting me square in thejaw. I stopped dead in my tracks. Stunned for a moment, I finally turned tosee who it was and watched the three young men from the bodega laughing andrunning off. One of them looked back at me and shouted something I couldn'tfully make out, but it sounded like "she-male."

The cool air felt good on my swollen cheek. I slowly dialed 911. Theoperator reassured me that a police car was nearby and that officers wouldcome to my house and take a hate crime report. The operator promised theywere only five minutes away. When I made it home, my two roommates listenedwith horror as I quietly recounted my assault. I decided to call my parentsand a few close friends, and similarly they had the same reaction ofdisbelief. I placed some ice in a bag and headed to my bathroom. As I lookedat myself in the mirror, I finally broke down in sobs. The police never cameby my house to take a report.


The Express Gay News

Gay group wants apology from Gen. Pace for calling gays 'immoral'
Joint Chiefs chairman stands by 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
WASHINGTON (AP) | Mar 13, 9:35 AM

A gay advocacy group demanded an apology Tuesday from the Pentagon's topgeneral for calling homosexuality immoral.

In a newspaper interview Monday, Marine Gen. Peter Pace likened homosexuality to adultery and said the military should not condone it byallowing gays to serve openly in the military.

"General Pace's comments are outrageous, insensitive and disrespectful tothe 65,000 lesbian and gay troops now serving in our armed forces," theadvocacy group Servicemembers Legal Defense Network said in a statement onits website.

The group has represented some service members dismissed from the militaryfor their sexual orientation.

Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made his remarks in aninterview Monday with the Chicago Tribune. He was responding to a questionabout the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that allows gays and lesbians toserve if they keep their sexual orientation private and don't engage inhomosexual acts.


Story Created: Mar 12, 2007
Story Updated: Mar 13, 2007

Gay Rights Group Clashes with College
Tom Murray

MILWAUKEE - There is a clash between Wisconsin Lutheran College and a gayrights group. The group, called Soulforce, wanted to talk to students oncampus, and the college said no.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee senior Alisa Streets is gay. "I would loveto see the equality riders welcomed onto the campus," she said.

She stands with Soulforce, the gay rights group trying to bring its messageto Christian campuses. Wisconsin Lutheran is this week's stop. About 700students are enrolled at the campus on Milwaukee's west side.

Soulforce volunteer Brandon Kneeful, who is also openly gay, believesstudents may be afraid to come out.

"They're not speaking out because of fear," said Kneeful. "There are gaystudents, lesbian students, transgender and bisexual students who are livingcloseted."


The Dallas Voice

She Swoopes to conquer
By Arnold Wayne Jones Staff Writer
Mar 8, 2007, 19:12

WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes, who rocked pro athletics by coming out at theheight of her career, has some choice words for Tim Hardaway

More people have probably used the words "gay" and "basketball" in the samebreath in the last two months than at any other time in history. And it'snot because of March Madness. The discussion was stirred by retired NBAplayer Jon Amaechi's decision to come out, followed soon thereafter byex-star Tim Hardaway's proudly homophobic remarks that gay people shouldn'tbe allowed to exist.

But the dialogue over gay athletes in basketball really started more than ayear ago when WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes came out.

At the time of her admission to being lesbian in October 2005, Swoopesbecame (and still remains) the only player on a professional team sport tocome out as gay or lesbian while still active.

What made her announcement all the more remarkable was that it came not froma minor player or someone hawking a new memoir, but an acknowledgedsuperstar in her field with nothing to sell at all. No, the Texan-bredSwoopes - a three-time MVP with the Houston Comets, three-time Olympic goldmedalist and the first woman to have a Nike shoe named for her - had farmore to lose financially than to gain. Yet she came out anyway.

Prior to her appearance at several events in Dallas this weekend, Swoopesshared her thoughts about the Amaechi-Hardaway debacle, the state of prosports for gay athletes and why she chose to come out when she did.


The New York Observer

What's Pink, Green? Senator Clinton Hauling Gay Cash
Friends of Hillary lead; Team Barack profits from Bill's marriage act. Rudy:I won't ask, tell!

By: Jason Horowitz
Date: 3/19/2007
Page: 1

Speaking for the second time this month in front of a predominantly gayaudience, Hillary Clinton assured the crowd at a Gay Men's Health Crisisdinner at Chelsea Piers that help was on the way.

She guaranteed her support of their issues "when I'm President," andpointedly referred to a special AIDS grant she pushed through Congress forthe first time "since the end of the last Clinton administration."

The crowd laughed appreciatively at what was at once a well-worn bit aboutthe Clinton restoration, and an acknowledgement of the influence of the gayfund-raisers and activists who may put her in the White House.

But Mrs. Clinton has stiff competition in her pursuit of influential gayDemocrats. Unlike the election of 2004, when Howard Dean had the distinctionof having fought for a civil-unions bill when he was governor of Vermont,the three leading Democratic candidates have virtually identical stances onthe most visible gay issues. (Barack Obama, John Edwards and Mrs. Clintonare uniformly in favor of lifting a ban on gays openly serving in themilitary, but are all opposed to gay marriage.)

In a political climate in which Ann Coulter received applause for a "faggot"joke at a major conservative conference, and Rudy Giuliani's strong recordon gay rights is widely presumed to be one of his greatest liabilities,there seems to be a pragmatic contentment in gay circles with the topDemocratic tier.


Best Gay Week Ever

by Michael Jensen,


No, that's not the answer to the question, "Name an activist, an actor, andan abomination against nature." But all three have been in the news thisweek: Hattoy and Inman because they are dead, and Ann because shepersonifies the soulless, living dead. Actually, my favorite description ofAnn comes from my very own partner Brent who describes her as "a vinyl skinencasing a mass of writhing snakes and spiders" (he's not a novelist fornothing!).

Hattoy was the gay rights and AIDS activist who gave a stirring prime timespeech at the 1992 Democratic National Convention; Bill Clinton had askedhim to address being a gay man living with AIDS. This year Hattoy had beenhospitalized with pneumonia, but had returned home where he died suddenly.No cause of death has been determined, but cardiac arrest is suspected. Bobwill be greatly missed.

Many folks in the US are likely unfamiliar with openly gay British actorJohn Inman, but in the UK he starred in the sitcom Are You Being Served andwas one of those television fixtures that everyone knew. Think Don Knotts(The Andy Griffith Show) or Bob Denver (Gilligan's Island). Inman died thisweek from complications of Hepatitis A leaving behind his partner of thirtyfive years.

Inman played Mr. Humphries, a fussy, mincing character who worked in adepartment store. While Humphries was clearly written as gay, he was neverallowed to actually be gay (they even paired him up with a woman once), sohe was constantly played for stereotypically gay laughs. We wrote aboutInman's character in an article about campy British characters last yearwhich documented how Inman and others involved with the show tried to claimHumphries wasn't gay. Here is a clip for you to judge yourself:

Not too many folks bought that Humphries was straight, but I do think thereis some merit in the idea that back in the 70's and early 80's, any gayvisibility was an improvement. And it's not like any television shows today-
ough The Class cough -are trying to foist these same sort of gaycharacters- cough Perry Pearl cough -onto viewers. Here is one gay Brit'stake on what Inman's character was all about and whether it should becelebrated or not.


Gay Arabs Begin To Organize
by The Associated Press

Posted: March 11, 2007 - 8:00 pm ET

(Jerusalem) A rare gathering of openly gay Arab activists is slated to beheld in Israel this month, drawing the ire of religious conservatives.

Headlined "Home and Exile," the March 28 meeting is meant to sparkdiscussion of homosexuality among Israel's 1 million Arab citizens, saidRoula Deeb, a prominent Arab feminist and one of the scheduled speakers.

The conference is being organized by Aswat, an Arab lesbian group based inHaifa, a coastal city home to both Jews and Arabs.

Around 100 to 150 people are expected to show up, Deeb said. Withhomosexuality a taboo topic in much of the Arab world, the meeting isimportant simply because it is taking place.

Israel is generally tolerant of homosexuality, and the country's secularmetropolis, Tel Aviv, is home to a thriving gay community. But Israel'sArabs, who make up 20 percent of the population, live mostly in separatecommunities and homosexuality is still considered out of bounds.


Their Truth, Our Consequences

by Libby Post

Isaiah Washington, Tim Hardaway and Ann Coulter-together they have done whatlesbian and gay organizations have tried to do for decades-shine a brightlight on the verbal abuse LGBT people have to deal with every day.

The old school house adage-sticks and stones may break my bones but nameswill never hurt me-just doesn't cut it anymore. Washington and Coultercalling their targets faggots and Hardaway's invective that he "hates allgay people" is fuel for the homophobic fire of those who consider gaybashing-verbal and physical-an acceptable, even enjoyable, past time.

But shining such a bright light on homophobic hate speak has hadconsequences for each of them.

Washington came close to losing his job on the ABC hit "Grey's Anatomy" andhad to enter rehab to deal with his anger management and hate issues. He metwith gay leaders to discuss his outburst and find some redemption. Itremains to be seen how well he'll do. It is interesting to note that he'shired nationally known gay publicist, Howard Bragman, to help rehabilitatehis image. Expertly spinning the whole affair, Bragman's office saysWashington is "uniquely positioned to be the catalyst" for a nationaldialogue on diversity.

That remains to be seen.


The Advocate

Lesbian couple denied communion for denouncing marriage ban

A Wyoming lesbian couple has been denied communion at the church they haveattended for almost a decade, partially because they have publicly opposed abill that would bar the state from recognizing same-sex marriages.

When the Wyoming legislature considered a bill that would deny marriage tosame-sex couples, Leah Vader and Lynne Huskinson denounced the bill, sayingthat it amounted to discrimination.

The Associated Press reports that the pair, who were married in Canada two years ago, received a letter from the Reverend Cliff Jacobson of St. Matthew's Church in Gillette, Wyo. The letter said that they would be denied communionin part because of their public position on the bill.

Vader told the Associated Press that the pastor's rejection is an act ofdiscrimination and that the news is more difficult to cope with particularlybefore Easter. (The Advocate)



TEL AND FAX 01926 858450

Affiliated to Amnesty International & the International Humanist & Ethical Union

13 March 2007


The Catholic Church's obsessive homophobia is becoming a threat todemocracy, says the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA).

Commenting on the appeal from the pulpit by the Archbishop of BirminghamVincent Nichols to persuade his flock to oppose the Sexual OrientationRegulations and the announcement by the Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Devinethat he would not be voting for Labour in the May elections, GALHA'ssecretary George Broadhead said: "The Catholic Church is becoming much morepolitically active throughout Europe, not only in Britain, where it is stillfuming over the refusal of the government to exempt it from the SexualOrientation Regulations, but also in Italy, where the Vatican is agitatingvery hard to scupper civil partnership legislation, and in Spain where it isstill opposing the gay marriage laws as well as proposed changes to theeducation system that downgrade the importance of Catholic education inschools."

Mr Broadhead said that political parties and individual politicians shouldresist pressure from the Catholic Church. "When the Catholic Church speaks,the Scottish Executive usually jumps, but on this occasion it is importantthat the Labour Party calls the bluff of these theocrats. The world hasmoved on and the population at large, including many Catholics, ismuch more liberal than the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. They don't takeany notice of church teaching on contraception, abortion and women'srights so why should they take notice of it on homosexuality? Labour shouldstand firm and it will find that the Church cannot command the vote as itused to. Once they have discovered this, they will be free of the need tokow-tow to the many demands of the Vatican."


Sliska urges the West not to impose gay pride on Russia

Moscow, March 12, Interfax - Russian State Duma First Deputy Speaker LubovSliska wholly supported Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov in his recent dispute withsome European mayors concerning the gay parade banned in Moscow.

'We do not meddle with what they (Western politicians - IF) do in theirbeds, we do not gossip about their lovemaking rumors they spread to attractmore attention to their persons, so please you don't put your finger intoour life too, don't impose your standards upon us,' Sliska told the Channel3 as she commented the Western community's harsh criticism of Moscowgovernment's ban on gay pride.

She declared her 'absolute support' for Mayor Luzhkov in this issue. 'I wassomewhat uncomfortable to hear mayors of some large European cities tryingto blame Luzhkov with violating human rights,' she said.

'We violate nobody's rights but we also want nobody to violate ours,' thedeputy speaker noted.


Poland's Giertych to ban gay groups from schools

Mar 13, 2007

Poland's Giertych wants to ban gay groups from schools

Mar 13, 2007, 13:27 GMT

Warsaw - Roman Giertych, Poland's controversial Deputy Prime Minister andMinister of Education, is preparing legislation to sanction schoolprincipals who allow members of gay rights organisations to speak withpupils, a Polish education ministry spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

Giertych recently stirred controversy in Heidelberg, Germany, during ameeting of EU education ministers when he openly criticized abortion rightsand what he termed 'homosexual propaganda'.

The government of conservative Law and Justice (PIS) Prime Minister JaroslawKaczynski has distanced itself from the Giertych's comments, insisting theywere his personal opinions and did not reflect government policy.

'The propaganda of homosexuality is reaching ever younger children.'Giertych said in the Heidelberg speech.

Poland's mass-circulation Dziennik daily reported Tuesday, Minister Giertychwas overseeing the preparation of the draft legislation banning gay rightsgroups from schools, a move which appears to be unconstitutional.

Giertych, 36, is the leader of Poland's Catholic-nationalist League ofPolish Families (LPR), a junior partner in the three-partypopulist-conservative coalition government of Prime Minister Kaczynski.

Allegations which arose in the Polish media that some LPR party members mayhave had links to the far right and neo-Nazis are being probed by stateprosecutors.

Scott Long
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program
Human Rights Watch


EU parliament sanctions Polish MEP Giertych for xenophobic pamphlet

Mar 14, 2007, 10:43 GMT

Strasbourg - The president of the European Parliament on Wednesday said hehad sanctioned extreme right-wing Polish deputy Maciej Giertych forpublishing an anti-semitic pamphlet.

Giertych, an influential member of the nationalistic Catholic-based Leagueof Polish Families, received the reprimand for violating parliament'sprinciples on respect and tolerance.

It is the first time that a parliament president has invoked a rule of theEU assembly's procedures which provides for penalties against MEPs for'exceptionally serious' violations of the EU body's principles of mutualrespect and of the bloc's basic principles.

Parliament president Hans-Gert Poettering told the EU assembly in Strasbourgthat he 'deeply regretted what is objectively a serious breach of thefundamental rights and in particular the dignity of human beings to whichour institution so strongly adheres.'


Inside Higher Education

Spring Arbor and Transgender Dean Settle

A discrimination complaint filed by a transgender faculty member and formerdean against a Christian university in Michigan has been settled "to themutual satisfaction of both parties." Neither side provided details. ButJulie (formerly John) Nemecek said that though she is looking for work,"there's not an immediate urgency for it."

Nemecek filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment OpportunityCommission against Spring Arbor University, an institution affiliated withthe Free Methodist Church, after receiving a termination notice this winter.The notice came more than a year after she first alerted her supervisor toher diagnosis of gender identity disorder. Nemecek, an ordained Baptistminister, was subsequently demoted from her position as associate dean ofthe School of Adult Studies, restricted to online instruction, and presentedwith strict contract stipulations (including that she "refrain fromdiscussing his transgender situation with Spring Arbor University personnelor students").

Spring Arbor officials declined to elaborate on the terms of the settlementTuesday, but in a statement indicated that "[w]e are pleased to announcethat the charge of discrimination against Spring Arbor University has beenwithdrawn, and we have resolved this issue to the mutual satisfaction ofboth parties." The statement continued to express appreciation for theprayers and support directed the university's way, and said collegeofficials "are eager to get back to our focus on providing a world-classChristian liberal arts education."

Nemecek, who will remain on Spring Arbor's payroll through the end of May,expressed satisfaction with the outcome: "Our hope was probably two-fold.One was to get the word out and help people begin to understand transgenderissues. A lot of people are thinking about it and talking about it thatweren't before.... Our other goal was to be treated with justice andfairness and I think that has ultimately happened, too."

Nemecek has applied for jobs with some colleges and is looking into thepossibility of consulting work and advocacy for transgender rights. OnMonday night, she initiated a possible side career as a speaker, standingside by side with her wife, Joanne, as they told their story to about 100students at Eastern Michigan University.


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