Friday, March 16, 2007

GLBT DIGEST March 16, 2007

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The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Mar. 16, 2007
Don't ask this general about morality


I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that weshould not condone immoral acts. I do not believe the United States is wellserved by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way.

-- Gen. PETER PACE, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

In other words, it's wrong because it's wrong.

Boil down Gen. Pace's controversial comments in a recent interview with theChicago Tribune to their essence, and that's what you get. Bypass intellect,detour around critical reasoning, and there you are: wrong because it'swrong. No other explanation necessary.

That, says the general, is why he opposes repeal of the military's ''don'task, don't tell'' policy. He doesn't want homosexuals to serve openly -- they already serve clandestinely -- in the armed forces.

People like the general -- in other words, bigots -- often wrap up theirobjections in claims of fundamental right and wrong where sexual orientationis concerned: I have a moral objection to homosexuality, they will say,loftily.

I've always thought ''visceral'' would be a better and truer adjective. Asin, a gut-level objection to people of the same sex engaging in physical oremotional intimacy.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Americal Chronicle

Gay Rights Find an Unlikely Champion, and Face an Old Foe

Steve Shives
March 14, 2007

In the past month the gay rights movement won a minor victory behind theefforts of an unexpected hero, and was dealt a public blow by one of itslongest-standing opponents.

The victory came in the Wyoming state legislature the last week of February,when 27 year-old Republican Representative Dan Zwonitzer spoke passionatelybefore the House Rules Committee in opposition to a bill that would havedenied legal recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states.Zwonitzer, who is heterosexual, told the Jackson Hole Star Tribune on March6 that he didn't care if his stand cost him his seat in the legislature.

"I tell myself that there are some issues that are greater than me, and Ibelieve this is one of them," he said. "And if standing up for equal rightscosts me my seat, so be it. I will let history be my judge, and I can goback to my constituents and say I stood up for basic rights. I will tell mychildren that when this debate went on, I stood up for basic rights forpeople." The crusade for gay equality, Rep. Zwonitzer told the RulesCommittee, is the civil rights struggle of his generation.[1][2]

The blow came from the United States military in the person of Joint ChiefsChairman General Peter Pace, who told the Chicago Tribune during a telephoneinterview this past Monday, "[Allowing gays to serve openly in the military]to me says that we, by policy, would be condoning what I believe is immoralactivity, and therefore, as an individual, I would not want that to be ourpolicy." In case that wasn't clear enough, Pace later reiterated, "I believethat military members who sleep with other military members' wives areimmoral in their conduct, and that we should not tolerate that. I believethat homosexual acts between individuals are immoral, and that we should notcondone immoral acts."[3]

Pace issued a statement through the Defense Department the next dayattempting to soften his words to the Tribune, saying "In expressing mysupport for the current policy, I also offered some personal opinions aboutmoral conduct. I should have focused more on my support of the policy andless on my personal moral views." At least Pace is sticking to his guns, andnot compounding bigotry with cowardice.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

NY Mayor slams St Patrick's Day parade gay ban

15th March 2007 14:57
Tony Grew

The Mayor of New York City has criticised the organising committee of thecity's famous St Patrick's Day parade for banning gay and lesbians fromparticipating.

Michael Bloomberg, the city's leader since 2002, will march in the parade.

"I think all parades in this city should be open to everybody, no matterwhat your orientation or ethnicity or anything else is," Mr. Bloomberg saidyesterday.

New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn, who is openly gay, hasannounced she will march in Dublin's St. Patrick's Day parade this year.

The move is a direct snub to organisers of the New York City parade who haveagain banned gay and lesbian groups from participating in the event.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Thursday, March 15, 2007 · Last updated 8:02 p.m. PT

Brownback supports Pace's remark on gays


WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback is backing thePentagon's top general over his remarks that homosexual acts are immoral.The Kansas senator planned to send a letter on Thursday to President Bushsupporting Marine Gen. Peter Pace, who earlier this week likenedhomosexuality to adultery and said the military should not condone it byallowing gay personnel to serve openly.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs also said in an interview with the hicagoTribune: "I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral andthat we should not condone immoral acts. I do not believe the United Statesis well-served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way."

Lawmakers of both parties criticized the remarks, but Brownback's lettercalled the criticism "both unfair and unfortunate."

"We should not expect someone as qualified, accomplished and articulate asGeneral Pace to lack personal views on important moral issues," Brownbacksaid. "In fact, we should expect that anyone entrusted with such greatresponsibility will have strong moral views."

Asked whether he agreed with Pace's comments, Brownback said: "I do notbelieve being a homosexual is immoral, but I do believe homosexual acts are.I'm a Catholic and the church has clear teachings on this."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Ghana's secret gay community
By Orla Ryan
BBC News, Accra

When Patrick Williams told his mother he was gay, she packed his bags andthrew him out of the house, disowning her son for what she saw as an evilact.

The 21-year-old Ghanaian had known he was gay since he was 13, but hadhesitated to tell anyone.

"I was scared and I knew in our society, it was not accepted. It was bestfor me to keep it inside until I saw someone who was similar," he said.

When a schoolmate told his mother of rumours that the 18-year-old Patrickwas having sex with another boy, he admitted he was gay.

"She said because of what I chose to be, I was no longer her son. Was thewhole world against me? This was the biggest question in my mind. My ownmother sometimes says she wishes I was dead," he said.

His experience is by no means unusual in the West African country, wherehomosexuality is seen as an unnatural sexual act and, as such, is illegal.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

End discrimination, cost of 'don't ask, don't tell'

During a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, Gen. Peter Pace,chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said homosexuality is "immoral" andthe military should continue its "don't ask, don't tell" policy, whichallows gays to serve as long as they keep quiet about being gay. The nextday, he said he regretted sharing his personal views on the subject andshould have stuck to just supporting the policy.

In other words, it's fine to harbor homophobic views as long as you keepthem under wraps. Of course, the government's own homophobic, discriminatorypolicy seems to condone that.

Congress is planning hearings on a bill that would repeal "don't ask, don'ttell," and lawmakers should finally do exactly that.

The policy is not only legalized discrimination, but also an expensiveundertaking.

According to a 2005 report from the Government Accountability Office, from1994 through 2003, 9,488 troops were discharged from the armed forcesbecause of the policy. Recruiting and training replacements cost nearly $200million.

Of the soldiers discharged, 757 held occupations important enough that theywarranted special re-enlistment bonuses. These included voice interceptors,data-processing technicians and interpreter/translators. Also, 322 members"had some skills in an important foreign language such as Arabic, Farsi andKorean," according to the GAO.

The military is stretched thin, fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.Military recruiters are trying to attract new soldiers, offering big signingbonuses in some cases. Meanwhile, the military continues a policy thatresults in kicking out thousands of competent soldiers.

It makes discrimination not only unacceptable, but downright unaffordable.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Boost work force, reverse brain drain by passing law on sexual orientation


Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have historically andpervasively been singled out for discrimination and harassment based onsexual orientation or gender identity.

Now, the Iowa Legislature is considering legislation to prohibitdiscrimination in employment, housing, credit, public accommodations andeducation based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Passage of this legislation would help ensure an opportunity to apply for ajob, rent an apartment and enjoy a quality of life that many of us take forgranted.

There is an economic imperative to strengthen and increase the size of ourwork force. We are competing in a global market. Any waste of talent is aloss in productivity, innovation and wealth that we cannot permit. Simplyput, Iowa cannot afford to lose the contributions of any Iowan.

Passage of this law will help reverse the brain drain, in which many of ouryoung people leave for more diverse cities, such as Minneapolis and Chicago,in states with inclusive policies. We need to make sure that Iowa is seen asa welcoming state. Adding sexual orientation and gender identity to Iowacivil-rights law is a piece of the solution to the work-force shortage andbrain-drain problems.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Comment: Does religion breed homophobia?

15th March 2007 13:53

There is no debate about the acceptance of homosexuality in Britain. It isuseless to try and create a religious one, argues Balaji Ravichandran.

So, the Sexual Orientations Regulations, which outlaw discrimination on thebasis of sexual orientation when accessing goods and services, will finallycome to effect this April.

It seems like only yesterday that anti-gay lobbies took to the streets tohold a torch-lit demonstration protesting these same regulations.

Funnily enough, religious groups that otherwise go head-to-head on greatmany issues stood united in their opposition to homosexuality.

Thankfully, their opposition was in vain.

Unlike the United States, religious fundamentalists are a minority in theUK, but just as vociferous.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Lesbian activist set free in Christ

By Kelly Boggs
Mar 9, 2007

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)--Imagine a prominent conservative Christian publiclyannouncing that he has renounced heterosexuality and will henceforth andforever be homosexual. Add to the scenario the leader declaring he isdedicated to promoting the glory of gayness and encouraging others to becomehomosexual. Now try to imagine the mainstream media ignoring such anannouncement.

Try as I might, I cannot, for the life of me, imagine the mainstream pressfailing to report such news. Instead, there would be a media firestorm. Thenews would spread fast and furious from sea to shining sea -- even if theleader was prominent only on a regional or state level.

If the mainstream media types would be quick to pounce on the news of aChristian leader coming out of the closet, and I believe they would, do youthink they would be as eager to cover a prominent homosexual activist whoembraced Christianity and renounced his or her homosexuality?

You need not ponder the aforementioned question very long. A prominenthomosexual activist has become a Christian. She has also become anevangelist pointing homosexuals to a way out of their aberrant lifestyles.And, thus far, the mainstream media has completely ignored the story.

Charlene E. Cothran, a prominent homosexual activist and publisher andeditor-in-chief of the black homosexual-oriented publication "VenusMagazine," recently announced that she had embraced Christianity andrenounced homosexuality.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Controversy Over Deerfield Gay Panel

By Charlsie Dewey

Deerfield High School has recently come under attack from a small group ofparents seeking the termination of a panel that includes a presentation bythe Straight and Gay Alliance as part of a diversity unit.

Lora Sue Hauser, head of North Shore Student Advocacy, the group pressingfor the panel's end, declined to speak with Windy City Times about why hergroup so adamantly wants the program canceled, but she did recently tell theChicago Tribune, "The school makes heterosexuality and homosexualityequivalent, and our country is deeply divided on that."

Suzan Hebson, assistant superintendent for human resources for Township HighSchool District 113, says that there is a misunderstanding regarding thepurpose of the panel and what exactly the Straight and Gay Alliancepresentation's focus is.

"The class covers issues pertaining to student safety and the overallclimate of the school, so that's why this particular panel happens to bespeaking," Hebson said. "It's part of a diversity unit. Others who speak aremembers of our minority report group-students of different races are on apanel as part of that club, and we also have students who have disabilities,physical and intellectual disabilities. So, the unit overall is a diversityunit."

Hebson said that parents are upset that the students openly state theirsexuality: "They [ the parents ] believe that that's inappropriate, and theyhave the misperception that students on the panel are speaking about sexualissues, but they're not."


The Express Gay News

HRC paid former leader $160,000 last year
New headquarters building cost $26.4 million
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | Mar 15, 11:59 AM

The Human Rights Campaign disclosed for the first time this week that thetotal cost for buying and renovating its headquarters building in Washingtoncame to $26.4 million. HRC also paid a former executive director who leftthe organization in 2004 nearly $160,000 last year.

According to IRS 990 forms for fiscal year 2006 (April 1, 2005 to March 31,2006), HRC Inc. paid its former executive director, Cheryl Jacques, $117,652during that period. Jacques received additional compensation of $41,590 fromthe HRC Foundation for a total of $159,242.

Jacques abruptly resigned on Nov. 30, 2004, just weeks after that year'selections in which 11 states voted to ban same-sex marriage and PresidentBush was re-elected. She served as executive director for just 11 months.

Jim Rinefierd, HRC's vice president for finance and operations, declined tocomment on the payments to Jacques, citing a confidentiality agreement. Buthe said those 2006 payments were the last to be made to Jacques under termsof her departure.

HRC also released new details about the cost of its headquarters buildingand the financing arrangement at the request of the Washington Bladefollowing criticism by gay commentator and blogger Andrew Sullivan that thebuilding was too expensive and detracted from resources that should havebeen used to advance gay rights causes.


The Express Gay News

Gay marriage gains support in N.H.
Governor is opposed to bill granting marriage equality
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) | Mar 16, 7:23 AM

Gay marriage supporters made a strong showing Wednesday, but the outcome isfar from certain.

Supporters far outnumbered opponents at a hearing on same sex marriage. Samesex couples, parents of gay and lesbian children and the State EmployeesAssociation were among those asking the House Judiciary to endorse themarriage bill; 142 people signed sheets supporting gay marriage and 27 wereagainst.

Even the sponsor of a competing civil unions bill threw his support behindDemocratic Rep. Mo Baxley's bill for marriage equality, asking legislatorsto choose her proposal over his.

But it is a long way before New Hampshire can add its name to the short listof states giving gays legal unions. The marriage bill must survive asubcommittee review and votes in the House and Senate, and faces anuncertain future with Gov. John Lynch, who opposes gay marriage but supportsproviding health care benefits to state workers' same sex partners.

Lynch avoided a question Wednesday from a reporter who asked why he opposesgay marriage.


The Express Gay News

Governor says comments on gay foster ban did not address adoptionBeebe won't say if he'll veto bill banning adoptions by gaysLITTLE ROCK (AP) | Mar 15, 3:24 PM

Gov. Mike Beebe said Wednesday his comments last year supporting a ban ongay foster parents did not include banning homosexuals from adoptingchildren, as a bill that has passed the Senate would do.

Beebe would not tell reporters whether he supports a bill that has passedthe Senate that would ban gays and other unmarried couples living togetherfrom fostering or adopting children.

The bill by Sen. Shawn Womack (R-Mountain Home) is a response to a stateSupreme Court ruling that overturned Arkansas' ban on gay foster parents.

During the gubernatorial campaign, Beebe said he would support reinstatingthe ban if it were constitutional. Beebe said he's continuing to reviewWomack's bill, but said it goes beyond the ban discussed last year.

"What I said was limited to the foster-care situation," Beebe said at a newsconference at the state Capitol.


The Washington Blade


HRC hits back at blogger criticisms
Group says Sullivan's accusations could hurt efforts to pass gay rightsbills

Mar. 16, 2007

Gay conservative commentator and author Andrew Sullivan unleashed a seriesof attacks during the past two weeks against the Human Rights Campaign, thenation's largest gay political group, calling it a "racket" that raiseslarge sums of money while failing to use its resources effectively for gayrights causes.

In an entry earlier this month on his popular blog, the Daily Dish, Sullivandescribed HRC as a "corporation designed to milk the gay market to hire morefund-raisers and marketers to milk more gay pockets."

"It's a racket with a plush new multi-million dollar headquarters andsalaries that would make corporate America blush," he said.

HRC officials called Sullivan's attacks inaccurate and unfair. They quicklyaccused him of seeking to weaken the Washington-based gay rights group - which generated $34.6 million in revenue in 2006 - just as it is expected tolead efforts to advance two important gay rights bills pending in Congress.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which calls for banningemployment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,and a hate crimes bill, which covers gays and transgender persons, areexpected to come up for a vote in late summer or early fall.


The Denver Post

House votes for same-sex adoptions
Critics call it an end-run around voters who rejected Referendum I.

By Jeri Clausing
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated:03/14/2007 06:23:19 AM MDT

The Colorado House on Tuesday endorsed a plan to let same-sex and otherunmarried couples adopt the children of their partners - a directcontradiction, opponents said, of voters who rejected Referendum I inNovember.

"Referendum I created civil unions. This bill does not," said House MajorityLeader Alice Madden, a Boulder Democrat who sponsored the measure.

"It's about parental responsibility ... the economic and emotional stabilityof these children."

The bill faces a final vote in the House before it can go to the Senate.

The debate about the will of voters came right after House members gavepreliminary approval to a proposal to let voters clarify the intent of asecond November ballot measure, the broad Amendment 41 ethics measure thatbans gifts to elected officials and government workers.


Posted on Thu, Mar. 15, 2007

Tattle | Garrison's take on gay marriage

By LAURIE T. CONRAD 215-854-2270

GARRISON Keillor's never hesitated to tell the world how he really feels.Writing in defense of the traditional family unit in an article, the radio host didn't mince words.

Definitely no mincing.

On the subject of gay marriage and its suitability as an environment forchild-rearing, our (thrice-married) man in Lake Wobegon, Minn., had this tosay:

"The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men - sardonic fellowswith fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofaand a small weird dog and who worship campy performers and go in forflamboyance now and then themselves. If they want to be accepted as couplesand daddies, however, the flamboyance may have to be brought under control.Parents are supposed to stand in back and not wear chartreuse pants andblack polka-dot shirts. That's for the kids. It's their show."

What could we add to that?

Except that we first learned of the story through, which filed itunder the irresistible heading, "A Prairie Homophobic Companion?"


The Washington Blade

Debunking the 'Bible defense'

Posted by Greg Marzullo, Washington Blade Features Editor
Mar. 13 at 5:45 PM

I am sick of what I call "the Bible defense." The latest installment of thistiresome trope comes courtesy of actor Terrence Howard. According to thePost Chronicle, an online news source, the actor said, "Do I agree withhomosexuality? No, I'm a Bible-based young man. But I know the Bible alsospeaks about homosexuality with liars, adulterers, thieves. I've lied, I'vecheated on my wife, I've stolen. So how can I judge somebody for somethingthat's mentioned in the same exact scripture?"

This is all in response to a conversation about the appalling misogyny andhomophobia evidenced in hip-hop music and the culture it's spawned. Howardtops it off with, "I believe we're all sinners."

This kind of homophobia needs to be pursued with the same aggressive energyas gay groups have with the recent usage of the word "faggot." In fact, Ifind the Bible defense to be more insidious and dangerous than simple namecalling.

As with much of current religious trends, falling back on the Bible allowsthe individual to abdicate him or herself (witness Jennifer Hudson orallegedly Carol Channing) of any responsibility about hateful rhetoric.Well, if the Bible says it's a sin, then A) it must be a sin B) it can belumped together with other sins to which I am party and C) (here comes thetrump card) you can't challenge my relationship with and belief in God.

I suggest, however, that's exactly what queer people need to do. Americanstend to shrink from religious discussion partly because it's such acontentious and hot-button issue (especially in the midst of what is, inshort, an executive branch run by Christian fundamentalists or at the veryleast Machiavellian wannabes).


The Express Gay News

Drop the charges against Nadine Smith now
Arrest of activist at public hearing raises chilling First Amendmentconcerns

Mar. 16, 2007

In about a year and a half, the Democratic and Republican conventions willdominate our TV screens with their weeklong propaganda festivals. Theconvention halls will be filled with signs, placards, fliers and buttonspromoting just about every political viewpoint and interest group on theplanet. Now, imagine what would happen if the host city of one of theconventions decided to prohibit placards and fliers in the convention hall.

That's exactly what happened in Largo, Fla., Feb. 27 when cityofficials and the police department decided to prohibit the distribution offliers and the display of signs at a public hearing on the firing of CityManager Steve Stanton. Police gave a variety of reasons for prohibitingfliers in the meeting room, including their potential to be disruptive, firecode issues and the possibility of someone slipping on a dropped flier. Idon't know why these issues have never surfaced in all the years that theDemocratic and Republican national conventions have been held.

As most of you probably know by now, the Largo Police Department'sdecision to ban fliers in the hearing room led to the arrest of NadineSmith, executive director of Equality Florida. She has been charged withresisting arrest with violence and disturbing an assembly. She could face upto five years in prison on the felony resisting arrest charge.

According to witnesses, Sgt. Butch Ward of the Largo Police Departmentconfronted Smith and ordered her to take back a flier that she had given toa supporter. When Smith asked why, Ward forced her into a side room whereseveral officers shoved her to the floor and arrested her, according tomedia reports.

As is always the case with news stories printed in the Express, we wentout of our way to get both sides of the story. In fact, Matt McMullen, thespokesperson for the Largo Police Department, was cooperative in conveyingthe police side of the story. His full comments were included in the storyin the exact context that they were presented. After hearing all sides, the
problem I have is that not even the police version of events seems tojustify the abusive treatment of Ms. Smith.


Express Gay News

Rethinking the marriage fight
Why are gays buying into an institution that everyone else seems to beabandoning?

Mar. 16, 2007

I READ WITH interest Blaine Harden's recent article in The Washington Poston a fundamental change in American life. It confirmed for me that gays andlesbians haven't actually ruined the institution of marriage but that it hasbeen falling apart as an institution without our help for decades.

It was fascinating to read that the 1950s ideal of Ozzie and Harriet withtheir 2.3 kids and a white picket fence has long since been just that, anideal in the minds of the right wing. The facts are that married coupleswith children now occupy fewer than one in every four households. That isless than half of the number in 1960 and is the lowest ever recorded by thecensus.

Now with these facts in mind, the next time you hear a right wing bigot likeGary Bauer finding a way to blame us for everything that goes wrong in theworld, we need to counter that anyone with a brain will find it hard toequate that our right to marry in Massachusetts has had any great impact onmarriage.

These numbers didn't just drop precipitously in the last two years since afew gays and lesbians in Massachusetts married. Actually marriage has beencollapsing for years without our help, and the greatest decrease seems tohave occurred in the 1980s during Ronald Reagan's presidency.

It appears that married couples having children now are overwhelmingly thosewho are more educated and have more money. I guess that is where we fit in.I think if you look at those gays and lesbians who are the most concernedabout marriage and wanting to have children it is those who are bettereducated and richer (the Mary Cheney types). The Post article stated that ascohabitation and out-of-wedlock births increase among the broaderpopulation, social scientists predict that marriage with children willcontinue its decades-long retreat into relatively high-income exclusivity.It went on to quote Peter Francese, a demographic trends analyst for Ogilvy& Mather, who said, "We seem to be reverting to a much older pattern, whenelites marry and a great many others live together and have kids."


The current issue of The Express Gay News is online


The current issue of The Independent is online


The Independent

Today's Date: March 16, 2007
Ray's Roundup
By Ray Rideout and Michael Cooper

A cash gift of $1-million from John McDonald and Rob Wright to UCLA LawSchool will establish the nation's first endowed professorship in sexualorientation law. The school's Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Lawand Public Policy investigates such topics as anti-homosexualdiscrimination, the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policies and thedemographics of same-sex couples who have adopted children.

James Dobson and Focus on the Family are taking heat from an on-going civildisobedience campaign conducted by gay activists with SoulForce.. Dobsonmisrepresents research by New York University and Yale social scientistsregarding gay parenting. Wayne Besen, founder of Truth Wins Out, joinedSoulForce announcing a new website,, with acollection of videos showing social scientists refuting James Dobson'sdishonest claims.

Florida has received negative national publicity due to a 5 to 3 decision bythe Largo City Commission to fire its city manager, Steve Stanton. With thecity 14 years, Stanton announced he is transgender and plans sexualreassignment surgery. The decision violates city policy which includesgender identity protections. "If Jesus was here tonight, I can guarantee youhe'd want him terminated," said Pastor Ron Saunders of Largo's LighthouseBaptist Church.

A disciplinary committee of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ruledthat a gay pastor in Atlanta must give up his pulpit, saying it wasreluctantly enforcing a "bad policy." Rev. Bradley E. Schmeling endured a4-day church trial after announcing he is in a committed relationship with aformer Lutheran pastor. The church's current standards allow gay pastors,but bar them from same-gender relationships. Schmeling holds the fullsupport of his congregation.

What is it about a transgender person in a wig and a dress that sets off thefundamentalists? Spring Arbor University, a private Christian school, fireda male faculty member, now living as a woman, three days after learning shehad changed her name from "John" to "Julie." Nemecek, an ordained Baptistminister, has been with the University for 16 years as an associate dean ofadult studies. She said she is heterosexual and is attracted to only onewoman, Joanne, to whom she has been married for 35 years. Nemecek wears ablond wig and dresses as a woman but has no plans to undergo sex-changesurgery.



The Advocate

Would Pace call Turing "immoral"?

Would Alan Turing, who helped win World War II for the Allies by crackingNazi codes, be considered too "immoral" to serve in the U.S. military?That's a question posed by Republican former U.S. senator Alan Simpson.

Simpson cited the late gay British mathematician in his criticism of therecent "homosexuality is immoral" comment from Marine Corps general PeterPace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In a op-ed for The Washington Post printed Wednesday, Simpson, of Wyoming,cited the accomplishments of Turing, who committed suicide in 1954 after hewas convicted of "gross indecency" for having a same-sex relationship.

"In World War II, a British mathematician named Alan Turing led the effortto crack the Nazis' communication code," Simpson wrote. "[Turing] masteredthe complex German enciphering machine, helping to save the world, and hiswork laid the basis for modern computer science. Does it matter that Turingwas gay? Would Pace call Turing 'immoral'?"

On Monday, Pace told a Chicago Tribune reporter that he considershomosexuality to be "immoral" and that the military should not condone it byallowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve openly.


The Advocate

L.A. seminary admits gay and lesbian applicants

A West Coast seminary for Conservative Judaism has accepted its first openlygay and lesbian applicants since the movement decided to ease its ban onordination of gays.The Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, based at theUniversity of Judaism in Los Angeles, has admitted a gay man and a lesbianfor the fall semester, a school spokeswoman said Tuesday. The New YorkCity-based Jewish Theological Seminary, the movement's flagship school, isstill debating its policy. In December a panel of scholars who interpretJewish law for the movement voted to allow the seminaries to decide on theirown whether to admit openly gay students.But the Committee on Jewish Law andStandards left enough leeway to allow synagogues that consider same-sexrelations contrary to Jewish law to bar gay clergy from their pulpits.Conservative Judaism holds the middle ground in American Judaism, adheringto tradition while allowing some change for modern circumstances.

The larger and more liberal Reform Jewish branch and the smallerReconstructionist wing allow gays to become rabbis; the Orthodox bar gaysand women from ordination. (AP)


Conservative Episcopal Bishop Rejected
by the Associated Press

Posted: March 16, 2007 - 1 am ET

(South Carolina) Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori tookthe highly unusual step Thursday of invalidating the election of a bishop inthe tradition-minded Diocese of South Carolina, which has rejected herauthority because of her liberal theological outlook.

The elevation of the Very Rev. Mark Lawrence had become a flash point in thedenomination's struggle over whether parishioners with conflicting views ofthe Bible on gays and other issues could stay in the same denomination. Thelast time the Episcopal Church threw out a bishop's election was more thanseven decades ago.

Jefferts Schori made the decision on the eve of a key private meeting inTexas involving all Episcopal bishops. The church leaders must decide bySept. 30 whether they should meet demands from Anglican archbishops to rollback their support for gays or lose their place as the U.S. wing of theworld Anglican family.

In the South Carolina case, Jefferts Schori concluded that several Episcopaldioceses had failed to submit proper written consent for the election asrequired by church law, according to the Rev. J. Haden McCormick, head ofthe committee that administers the South Carolina Diocese.

A majority of Episcopal dioceses must approve an election before a bishopcan be consecrated and installed. The diocese said it had received 57diocesan consents - one more than required. But McCormick said in astatement that some dioceses wrongly "thought that electronic permission wassufficient as had been their past accepted practice."


A Chat With Rosie O'Donnell
by Kim Ficera, Contributing Writer
March 15, 2007

Last January I argued in my column, Don't Quote Me, that the rancoroussituation between Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell is not, as the media soinnocently calls it, a "feud," but rather a very public display of Trump'smisogyny and homophobia. Despite Trump's many efforts to make O'Donnell lookbad, all he did was make himself look worse. His eagerness to expose a sideof his character that most people would try to hide proved that he not onlylacks a mental edit function, but that he lacks a conscience, as well.

It's been a few months since Trump made the worst of his remarks. So when Ilearned yesterday that he had emerged from his gold-plated sewer just longenough to share with Entertainment Tonight his insensitive views onO'Donnell and her methods of dealing with depression, I thought, "Yippee!Three more months of lesbian-bashing!"

Oh, no. I'm sorry. That was my Trumpified alter ego speaking fromInsaneland. The real me fired off a passionate email to O'Donnell,requesting an interview. Although she doesn't normally give interviews, sheagreed to take a few questions by email, which she answered in typicalblogworthy Rosie fashion. You haven't agreed to an interview on the Donald Trumpsituation until now. What changed your mind?

Rosie O'Donnell: i don't do interviews as i have a blogu asked nicelyso i said yes

AE: Why do you think that a man who has nothing valuable to say won't shutup?
RO: he is showing his true self


The New York Times

March 16, 2007
2 Democrats Clarify Beliefs About Gays

Under pressure from gay rights groups, two rivals for the Democraticpresidential nomination, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama,issued statements yesterday saying they believed homosexuality was notimmoral.

Mrs. Clinton, who has particularly cultivated gay voters and donors, foundherself under the most intense fire yesterday after she said on Wednesdaythat the morality of homosexuality was for "others to conclude." Later thatday, after complaints from gay rights groups, she put out a statementindicating she thought homosexuality was not immoral, though she did not usethose words.

Her remarks left some gay donors and advocates angry; several said yesterdaythat they believed she was afraid to say the words "moral" or "immoral"because Republicans might use them against her.

The issue arose this week after Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the JointChiefs of Staff, said in published remarks that he believed homosexualitywas immoral.

Officials from the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization, saidthey had a conference call with Clinton campaign officials yesterday toargue for a clearer statement; they did not speak to Mrs. Clinton directly.Other gay advocates, including the Empire State Pride Agenda, also lodgedcomplaints. Blogs about gay politics and culture, too, excoriated Mrs.Clinton for raising money from gay donors yet being unable to reject theidea that homosexuality was immoral.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,3587698,print.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

Fort Lauderdale lawyer launches online gay national newspaper

March 16, 2007

Fort Lauderdale lawyer Norm Kent announced this week the launch of an onlinedaily gay national electronic newspaper,

The Web site will include daily news updates, links to national gay andlesbian advocacy groups. It also will offer interactive features forreaders' to submit their favorite photos and links to their favorite Websites.

In 1999, Kent founded and served as the original publisher of the ExpressGay News, a weekly newspaper that serves the gay and lesbian community inSouth Florida. He sold that publication in Dec. 2003 to WashingtonD.C.-based Unite Media, which is affiliated with Window Media, publisher ofother gay and lesbian newspapers and magazines around the country. Kent willbe the online newspaper's publisher.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,7368093,print.story?coll=sfla-news-nationworld

Gonorrhea rates soar in 8 states, report says

Staff and wire reports

March 16, 2007

The rate of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea rose 42 percent infive years in eight western U.S. states, while other regions reporteddeclines, a new report says.

The states -- Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utahand Washington -- had historically seen lower rates than other regions, saidthe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a report releasedThursday.

Florida ranked 17th nationally in the number of gonorrhea cases per capitain 2005, but last year saw a renewed surge in new cases, led by SouthFlorida. New infections jumped statewide by 15 percent last year, to 23,247,state figures show, with cases up 22 percent in Palm Beach County and 18percent in Broward County.

Local health officials have attributed the rise in gonorrhea to laxattitudes toward unsafe sex practices, especially among some gay men, thatbegan pushing up the numbers of some sexually transmitted diseases startingin 2000.

The rate in the South overall declined 22 percent, the Northeast rate fell16 percent and the Midwest rate dropped 5 percent during the periodsurveyed.

Staff Writer Bob LaMendola contributed to this report, which includesinformation from Bloomberg News.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List,,2033173,00.html

It's all over for homophobia

When gay-bashing is the preserve of mealy-mouthed euphemism, its death knellhas sounded

Zoe Williams
Wednesday March 14, 2007
The Guardian

The idea is straightforward - fairytales covering homosexual themes will beintroduced into primary schools for pupils aged between four and 11. I balkat the notion of a "homosexual theme", since what theme worthy of the namecould be pinned down to a sexual preference? Love? Death? Sex? There is nosuch thing as a homosexual theme beyond "non-conformity".

But I am nit-picking. The aim is to normalise homosexuality in the eyes ofchildren. Fourteen schools and one local authority have taken up the scheme."Church groups" disapprove, or at least are credited as so doing innewspapers trying to stir up disapproval. John Humphrys disapproves, or atleast made a valiant stab at pretending to on the Today programme yesterday.In conversation with Elizabeth Atkinson, from the organisation No Outsiders,he kicked off gruffly: "This is propaganda, isn't it?" "No more so thanCinderella," Atkinson started. Double-gruffly, Humphrys rejoined, "Wellthey're fairytales. That's quite different." But close analysts of theprogramme, and his voice in particular, will know his heart wasn't in it.

Nobody's heart really seems to be into homophobia any more. The classictemples of gay hate - the Daily Mail, "middle England", the Tory party - arestill happy to call organisations like No Outsiders "controversial". Theywill still refer obliquely to opposition from "church groups", as if thiswere a warrior class that they could line up behind, without having tocommit themselves. But you cannot borrow Christianity, or any other faith,for its homophobia. If you were a Tory grandee today, and you wanted tobring back section 28, you would not be able to do so under the banner of"some church groups think ..." or "some faiths object ...". You would need acase beyond "because God exists, and he says so", otherwise you might justas well start legislating against adultery. That movement, gratifyingly, haslost its muscle. While there is still a spectrum of tolerance for themulish, malicious homophobia on the edges of faith groups, there seems to beno stomach at all for secular gay hate.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Stonewall Democrats respond to Clinton/Obama

Stonewall Democrats Satement on Comments by Senators Clinton and ObamaDemocrats Must be Clear in Speaking of Morality and American Families


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Washington, DC - Today, the National Stonewall Democrats issued thefollowing statement in response to remarks made by Senators Hillary Clinton(D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL) when each was asked to clarify if a same-sexsexual orientation made someone immoral. Both Senators have refused toanswer the question which followed comments made by Marine General PeterPace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the editorial board of theChicago Tribune in which called American service personnel immoral:

"Most Democrats understand, and should understand, that morality isn'tderived from sexual orientation or gender identity. Morality is how youtreat your neighbor, support your community and sacrifice for your familyand country. When I tuck my daughter into bed at night, those are the valuesI teach her. We expect Democratic candidates and elected officials toreaffirm those same values, to speak up when families or individuals arescapegoated or maligned for political gain, and to proactively argue thebenefits of treating all Americans equally under the law without regard totheir sexual orientation or gender identity.

Morality is also embodied in action. Our Democratic presidential candidatessupport employment non-discrimination legislation, the extension of healthcare benefits to our families, and oppose constitutional amendments thatattack lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for political gain.Those are moral actions and positions that each candidate should be proud tocampaign on.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Let's get some more now on the controversy regarding Attorney GeneralAlberto Gonzales and the controversy over those words from the chairman ofthe joint chiefs of staff.

How is one presidential candidate responding?

AndSenator Edwards, thanks very much for coming in.


BLITZER: Let's talk about General Peter Pace, the chairman of the jointchiefs. He suggested today, his own personal opinion, homosexuality, hesaid, was immoral. As a result, don't change the don't ask, don't tellpolicy.

First of all, in your opinion, is homosexuality immoral?

EDWARDS: I don't -- don't share that view. And I would go -- go further thanthat, Wolf. I think the don't ask, don't tell is not working. And aspresident of the United States I would change that policy.

BLITZER: Is the don't ask, don't tell policy immoral?

EDWARDS: I think the don't ask, don't tell policy is wrong. It's notworking. I think what it's done, effectively, is kept us from having some ofthe most talented people we could have in our military. It's caused --caused more problems than it's solved. And it ought to be changed.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Polish teachers who promote gay rights risk being fired


Warsaw (dpa) - Teachers who promote gay rights in schools risk losing theirjobs under draft regulations currently being drawn up by Poland's Ministryof Education, Polish Radio reported Thursday.

Poland's Deputy Education Minister Miroslaw Orzechowski told Polish Radiothe proposed regulations do not sanction the firing of homosexual teachers.Only teachers who present homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle tostudents could lose their jobs.

Teachers who promote or have been convicted of paedophilia will also befired should the proposed legislation be approved.

The controversial news comes on the heels of news that the Polish Ministryof Education is also preparing legislation to sanction school principals

who allow members of gay rights organisations to speak with pupils.

Both moves are being masterminded by Roman Giertych, Poland'sCatholic-nationalist Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education.

Giertych recently sparked outrage in Heidelberg, Germany, during a meetingof EU education ministers when he openly criticized abortion rights and whathe termed "homosexual propaganda."

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


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List,_Sodomy_and_the_Lash

By Andrew Sullivan

"Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy andthe lash."

But, as always, it's worth considering the argument. Pace makes a clearanalogy in an attempt to argue that he is not being prejudiced toward agroup, just punctilious in enforcing his view of morality. He says excludingopenly gay servicemembers is morally equivalent to excluding servicemembers whocommit adultery with the wives of other servicemembers. But those are twodifferent issues, right? We're not talking merely about gay servicemembers who haveaffairs with other servicemembers, are we? That would fall into the categoryof conduct obviously detrimental to morale and cohesion. We're talkingmerely about gay servicemembers who may or may not have relationships orsex withpeople off-base or in their private lives. If the military threw out everystraight servicemember who has ever had a sexual indiscretion or failingoff-base or in their private lives, how many people would be left in themilitary?

So the analogy falls apart upon inspection.

The question to ask Pace now is: why does he think a homosexual act isimmoral? Is it because such a sexual act cannot procreate, as the Catholichierarchy argues?


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List,0,410469.story?coll=la-opinion-center

The immorality of 'don't ask, don't tell'

A general's disparagement of gays runs counter to public good and theevidence.

By Nathaniel Frank, NATHANIEL FRANK is senior research fellow at the MichaelD. Palm Center at UC Santa Barbara.
March 15, 2007

WHEN MARINE Gen. Peter Pace said this week that he opposed letting gaysserve openly in the military because homosexuality is "immoral," he raisedimportant questions about the role of individual moral codes in shapingbroad social policy. But even more elementary is the question of what"morality" actually is. For a concept that's thrown around in discussionsincluding abortion, global warming and the war in Iraq, there's often verylittle reflection about what it truly means to call a person or an actimmoral.

The word "moral" shares a Latin root with "mores," which refers to generallyaccepted norms and customs. But this gives us only limited insight into howmost people use the word "morality" today. After all, some cultures andhistorical eras found acceptable behaviors that most people now findgrotesque, such as genocide in Nazi Germany or slavery in the Old South.

The modern meaning of "moral" is broader than this, referring to standardsof goodness and rightness in character and conduct. To put it simply,something that is moral is beneficial to society, and something that'simmoral causes society harm.


Polish President to Serve as Honorary Patron and Open World Congress ofFamilies IV

Posted on : 2007-03-15 | Author : World Congress of Families,75543.shtml

ROCKFORD, Ill., March 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Allan Carlson, founderand chairman of The World Congress of Families, announced today that PolishPresident Lech Kaczynski will give the opening address at World Congress ofFamilies IV in Warsaw, May 11-13.

Poland's president has also agreed to serve as Honorary Patron of theCongress, which is expected to bring more than 3,500 pro-family leaders,activists, scholars and parliamentarians to Warsaw in May.

Carlson expressed his delight with Kaczynski's involvement. "We are honored
to have President Kaczynski as the keynote speaker and Patron of theCongress," Carlson declared. "His well-known commitment to the family isvery much in keeping with the theme of World Congress of Families IV -- beyond Demographic Winter: The Natural Family And The Springtime forNations."


Russian society must oppose gay pride parade - Metropolitan Kirill

Moscow, March 15, Interfax - The idea of conducting a gay pride parade inMoscow is directed against the majority of Russian society, chairman of theMoscow Patriarchate Department of External Church Relations MetropolitanKirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad told the Vesti-24 TV Channel.

"We believe that the law should not interfere in citizens' private lives.You can sin if you want to, but you will answer to God. However, if you aretrying to propagate your sin by seducing and degrading people, society mustoppose it," Kirill said.

If a gay pride parade is staged in central Moscow, then it would "meansomething is wrong with democracy. Democracy should be for everyone, but itappears that we have double standards," he said.

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The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States(SIECUS) is pleased to announce the release of our report, Who's Who atWorld Congress of Families IV: The Natural Family, Social Belonging and theFuture of Nations.

The World Congress of Families (WCF) brings together many United States andInternational organizations whose work focuses on denying sexual andreproductive health and rights by pushing a radical right-wing, anti-choice,and "pro-family" agenda. The first World Congress was held in Prague in1997, followed by the World Congress of Families II in Geneva, and the WorldCongress of Families III in Mexico. This year's World Congress of Familieswill be held in Poland in May 2007.

In this report, we provide detailed information about the mission, areas offocus, and key leadership of the organizations involved. The first sectionof our report includes information about those organizations listed asco-sponsors of the conference on the WCF IV website ( ). The second section looks at thoseorganizations that were listed as having attended planning sessions for theconference held in the United States and Poland. The final section of thisreport contains a list of confirmed speakers for the upcoming conference.Many of these speakers are employees, board members, or founders of theco-sponsoring or planning organizations.

We believe that this document will be useful in building the foundation forefforts to monitor and potentially counter the Congress and we hope thatthis publication will be equally useful for advocates and policy-makersalike as they monitor, strategize and potentially plan activities inopposition to the WCF.

If you would like to receive this publication and be placed on our emaillist to receive our monthly International Right Wing Watch publication,please email


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