Saturday, March 17, 2007

GLBT DIGEST March 17, 2007

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News;_ylt=Am.CXl6n6Aa.oAIGeHyJSF7Za7gF

Rabbi arrested at New York demo over gays in the military
Thu Mar 15, 2:38 PM ET

Two leading US gay rights activists, one of them a rabbi, were arrested in
New York Thursday at a demonstration to express outrage over a top USgeneral's comments that homosexuality was immoral.

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce chief MattForeman were detained after sitting down in the road to block trafficpassing a military recruiting station in the bustling Times Squareintersection.

The ad hoc group of around 50 demonstrators were protesting comments made by
the US military's top officer, General Peter Pace, who said in an interview
published Tuesday that homosexual acts were immoral.

Shouting "Pace is immoral, gays are fabulous" and "military bigots have got
to go," protesters, some wearing t-shirts saying "Queer Guerilla" and wavingplacards calling for Pace to quit, wrapped themselves in a giant rainbowflag.

Former New Jersey governor and gay activist Jim McGreevey condemned the USmilitary's official policy on gays in the military, known as "don't ask,don't tell," saying it treated homosexuals as second class citizens.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,1983,DRMN_23906_5418591_ARTICLE-DETAIL-PRINT,00.html

Rocky Mountain News

Boulder rep shares own story in 'second parent' adoption debate
By Alan Gathright, Rocky Mountain News
March 15, 2007

A Boulder lawmaker on Wednesday injected a strong dose of reality into thefierce ideological debate over whether cohabitating couples - includinggays - should be allowed to adopt.

Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, rose to cap two days of charged exchanges overthe "Second Parent Adoption Bill," including one Republican's insistencethat "these families" without a married man and woman "do not exist."

"I have three beautiful nieces," said Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, her voiceshaking. "They're gorgeous girls.

"They have two mothers - my sister and her partner. They live in . . . aloving, supportive family. It is everything anyone would want in a family."

Levy said that under state law, her sister and partner can't get married,and her sister's partner can't adopt their children.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Analysis: Beginning of the end for "Don't Ask Don't Tell"

16th March 2007 11:44

Marine General Peter Pace, the US military's chairman of the Joint Chiefs ofStaff, called homosexuality "immoral" on Tuesday and likened it to adultery.

Now military analysts said his comments suggest the armed forces have runout of rationales for banning known gays from service.

"This might be the beginning of the end," says Aaron Belkin, director of theMichael D. Palm Centre and associate professor of Political Science atUniversity of California, Santa Barbara.

"But it may be a long, drawn-out ending."

The policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," introduced in the United States ArmedForces in 1993 by then-President Bill Clinton.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Republicans Dodge Homosexuality Question
By: Jonathan Martin
March 16, 2007 06:33 AM EST

The Democratic candidates have all been pressed if they concur with JointChiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace's remark that homosexuality is immoral.But where do their GOP counterparts stand on the question? Notsurprisingly, few of the candidates are eager to rush in to this articularconversation.

I posed the question -- is homosexuality immoral -- to representatives ofall three of the top Republican candidates. None answered it directly.

Sen. John McCain: "The senator thinks such questions are a matter ofconscience and faith for people to decide for themselves. As a publicofficial, Senator McCain supports don't ask, don't tell." --McCainspokesman Danny Diaz. Per the AP, McCain was asked about the matter on thecampaign trail in Iowa yesterday and declined to answer.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani's campaign didn't respond to the question,instead citing comments the candidate made on FOX News last month when askedabout gay marriage. "We should be tolerant, fair, open, and we shouldunderstand the rights that all people have in our society."

Former Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign also declined to answer the question,rather pointing to the response their candidate gave earlier this week onthe campaign trail in Arizona. "I think General Pace has said that heregrets having said that, and I think he was wise to have issued an apology,or a withdrawal of that comment. I think that we, as a society, welcomepeople of all differences, whether there are differences in ethnicity, faithor sexual preference, and I think he was wise to correct his comment and tosuggest that that was an inappropriate point to have made."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Berlin's Harshly Felt Divide

A same-sex kiss is never simply a same-sex kiss.

The Danish and Norwegian duo of gay artists Michael Elmgreen and IngarDragset designed a memorial for the homosexual victims of the Nazi periodshowing a continuously running black and white film of two men kissingwithin a concrete sculpture. Many German lesbians as well as the feministmagazine EMMA objected to this depiction.

"A ghetto of clichés of male homosexuality," wrote Alice Schwarzer, thefounder and publisher of EMMA, a kind of Ms. Magazine for German women.

A more succinct rationale for Schwarzer's dissatisfaction with the memorialcan be found on the EMMA-initiated petition campaign waged in the summer of2006.

"I protest that the planned homosexual memorial in Berlin shows exclusivelymale homosexuality and demand that female homosexuality be adequatelyconsidered," reads the manifesto's opening sentence.

Last August, EMMA reached out to Germany's most famous gay man, KlausWowereit, the mayor of Berlin, who responded to the magazine's request witha letter supporting the homosexual memorial as originally agreed upon.Nonetheless, EMMA placed Wowereit's name on its online petition as one ofthe first signatories to its protest.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

General Pace's Skewed Morality
David McReynolds
March 16, 2007

David McReynolds was on the staff of the War Resisters League for manyyears, and, as the Socialist Party candidate in 1980 and 2000, the firstopenly gay person to run for the U.S. presidency. He lives with two cats onManhattan's Lower East Side.

When General Peter Pace presented his view that homosexuality was immoral, Ithought, "Good heavens, there is a danger the military may be infused withmoral concerns-this could lead to mass desertions at the highest level."

Leaving to one side the question of whether homosexuality is immoral (thoughnot before noting that Jesus, who had clear views on many issues, neveruttered a single recorded word on this subject), if the general is to takeup moral issues, surely there should be a certain priority. If, in thecourse of his busy day, he gets a chance to think about it, which would bemore immoral: two soldiers making love or any soldier shooting people inanother country, at the order of the president, for the clear purpose ofgaining control over the oil in that country? If we learned anything fromNuremberg, it was that wars of aggression are a crime against humanity. Wealso know that torture violates international treaties, and yet torture hasbeen an intrinsic part of the U.S. misadventure in Iraq.

In my youth, then a devout believer and a member of the Baptist Church, Ihad serious struggles reconciling my homosexuality with the "socialcontrols" that taught me that I was trapped in sin. I long ago resolvedthose conflicts (and, in the process, became what might be called a"religious atheist"). Of course I believe that homosexuals and lesbians musthave the same rights as any other person to serve in the U.S. military.

The issue, however, is whether those of us who have had to go through thisintense struggle to gain self-knowledge-some sense of what is truly rightand wrong-should not also have learned that our very process of facingpainful decisions made us more aware than the average person of just what istruly immoral. The gay and lesbian struggle should focus-must focus-on thefact that the war in Iraq is a criminal adventure, in violation of theUnited Nations charter. There is not a question of this realization being"left" or "right"-rather, it is a question of right and wrong. If, on theone hand, we demand military service be open to our gay and lesbian brothersand sisters, surely, on the other hand, we must urge them to avoid suchservice when they may find themselves used as pawns of what the ruling classperceives as its interests. (And the interests of those who run a countryare usually quite different from the interests of the rest of us.)


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gays In The Military: Ask not, think not
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Why is it that when it comes to gay rights, it seems we take one stepforward, and three steps back? In a New York Times op-ed (published Jan. 5in the P-I), retired Army Gen. John Shalikashvili said that he no longerthinks the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy (a law since 1993) isneeded, as he doesn't think that having homosexuals in the armed forceswould damage troop morale. Several polls show that Americans -- includingthose serving -- think the same.

Too bad Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, didn't getthe memo. "Homosexual acts between individuals are immoral," he said Monday,adding that the military also opposes heterosexual adultery. "We prosecutethat kind of immoral behavior." Oh, please. Anyone who has ever lived on ornear a military base can attest to the rampant extra-marital lechery thattakes place, which is acceptable, we suppose, because we're talking aboutheterosexuals here. Pace has backtracked somewhat since, but the cat is outof the bag, and now we all know just where the top brass stand.

The foundation of the don't-ask-don't-tell law is flawed. A double standard,it mandates that in order to succeed, or just serve, in the military, gayswould have to lie about who they are, while straights could be open. It alsorequires that the government go along with the lie. It didn't make sense in1993, and it doesn't make sense now.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Why I'm Marching in Dublin This St. Patrick's Day

New Yorkers should feel proud that ours is one of the most diverse, open,and welcoming cities anywhere. We take pride in celebrating our differentcultures. It is no wonder that we have more ethnic parades than any othercity in the world - and they are amazing displays of culture and community.

In this spirit of diversity, all of New York City's parades should be trulyinclusive, and allow people to openly express all of who they are.

Since 1991, Irish lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered New Yorkers havebeen unable to march openly in our city's St. Patrick's Day parade.Unfortunately, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the group that organizes theParade, won a 1993 federal court ruling that gave them the right to includeor exclude groups from the parade.

The most extraordinary aspect of this ruling is that it was based on thenotion that by barring LGBT groups, the AOH was exercising its right tofreedom of expression. Ironic as this is, and illogical as it seems,successive court rulings have upheld the right of private groups like theAOH to select who can and cannot participate in parades they organize.And despite years of legal efforts and direct action by community activists,city officials, LGBT groups, and others over the years, the AOH has notbudged in its position.

Last year, my first as City Council speaker, I tried to find a way thatwould finally allow Irish LGBT New Yorkers to march openly, celebrating ouridentity and heritage. As the first Irish-American, openly gay speaker ofthe New York City Council, I hoped I could make things different.

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we did not make progress. Whenasked by a reporter last year why the AOH continued to prohibit LGBT peoplefrom marching openly, the Parade organizer said it was akin to "barring theKu Klux Klan from marching in Harlem, or Nazis from joining an Israeliparade."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gen. Pace's gift to gays
Timing of anti-gay remark helps shine a bright light on discriminatory anddoomed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.

Mar. 16, 2007

NOT MANY GAY rights supporters are lining up to thank Marine Gen. PeterPace, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, so let me be the first.

Sure, his anti-gay remarks made earlier this week are deplorable, but theensuing media attention is shining a very timely spotlight on the military'sdated and doomed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune Monday, Pace said he considershomosexual acts "immoral" and opposes lifting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

"I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that weshould not condone immoral acts," he said. "I do not believe the UnitedStates is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in anyway."

Pace said he based his views on his upbringing.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Published March 16, 2007

In commentary or teen culture, gay slurs are about bullying


When Ann Coulter, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Committeeconference last week, called presidential candidate John Edwards a faggot,she raised predictable tuttings from establishment conservatives who, onceagain, had "no idea she'd go that far."

A few more newspapers canceled her column, and she got a tremendous amountof attention from practically every media outlet in the country, whatevertheir politics.

Her word choice, which has since been taken up by several right-wingcommentators, most notably James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal and, ofcourse, Rush Limbaugh, might have seemed mysterious, considering Edwards'well-known record of public service, his wife and children, and his lack ofa Ted Haggard or even Newt Gingrich moment. It makes sense only if you knowthat George Bush and particularly Dick Cheney (yes, they are the presidentand vice president of our country) have been calling Edwards "the BreckGirl" since the summer of 2004, around the same time the Swiftboaters werebrought around to sink the Democrats' election chances.

So, for some, this is what politics has become: If you can't win on theissues - and Edwards has been right on domestic issues and foreign policyabout as often as anyone in the country - then you try to destroy thempersonally, by questioning their patriotism and, with increasing frequency,their sexuality.

Here in Iowa, our new Legislature has taken heat from some local bloggersfor passage of a schoolhouse anti-bullying bill that, along with banningracial and religious insults, specifically includes gay slurs. The idea isto inject some fairness into a teen culture where the most used put-down is"that's so gay" and where the perception of being gay, true or not, can andoften does lead to the adolescent version of gang violence.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay bishop says coming out is God at work

15th March 2007 17:37
Tony Grew

The openly gay bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, has robustly defendedhis position.

At a public meeting in Washington DC Bishop Robinson claimed that of thenearly 8000 parishes in the American Episcopal Church, only 47 have soughtguidance from outside bishops after his ordination.

"If you want to know my homosexual agenda, it's Jesus," Bishop Robinsonsaid, according to

"I feel that this is a real extension of what I've been called to do in thegospels.

"And I would propose to you that peoples' coming out - gay and lesbian folkbeing honest about who they are, what their lives are, what their familiesare like, their desire to contribute to this culture, to serve in themilitary, to take their place as full citizens of this country - is God atwork," he added.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Cardinal says Pope should stop giving orders

16th March 2007 17:43
Rachel Charman

An Italian cardinal has criticised other church leaders for opposing thelegal recognition of same-sex partnerships.

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini told Italian pilgrims in Bethlehem yesterdaythat, "The Church does not give orders."

His statement is seen by many as a clear rebuke to the Pope's stance in thecurrent Italian same-sex union row.

The retired cardinal was speaking at the basilica of the Nativity,celebrating mass with 1,300 visitors from Milan.

Cardinal Martini, 80, also believes that the Catholic church should activelytry to make Catholic beliefs attractive to the secular community.


Star Trek's Gay Episode Finally Gets Made
by Greg Hernandez,

Posted: March 16, 2007 - 6 pm ET

(New York) When David Gerrold left Star Trek: The Next Generation back in1988, it was with a bit of a broken heart. He had penned an episode called"Blood and Fire" which dealt with an epidemic caused by a blood-bornepathogen that was an allegory for AIDS. The episode was to have featured thefirst openly gay couple in Star Trek history, something that Star Trekcreator Gene Roddenberry was said to fully support.

Gerrold was with Roddenberry at a Star Trek convention when Roddenberry wasasked whether there would be gay characters in Next Generation. Gerroldrecalls him saying, "You're right, it's time we do that."

But Roddenberry was in fading health by that time, and he had less to dowith the show's day-to-day operations than he had on the original Star Trekseries that ran from 1966-69. So after reviewing Gerrold's completed script,the show's producers got cold feet.

"This script was written as a promise," says Gerrold, an associate produceron Next Generation who was largely credited with mapping out the new series."There was a subtext that they were gay, but we treated them like they werereally good friends. But someone does ask them: 'How long have you beentogether?' Well, a few people in the office went ballistic! A memo came downthat said, 'We don't want to risk the franchise by having mommies callingthe station because they saw gay people on Star Trek.'"

Frustrated by office politics and upset that the gay-themed episode had beenshelved, Gerrold left the franchise that had meant to much to him. "I walkedaway disappointed at the stories that weren't going to be told," he says. "Iwanted to recreate the spirit of the original series. The episode where youare up against some terrible threat [and] as long as you were fighting itand seeing [it] as an enemy, you were going the wrong way. The only way [tosucceed] was to stop resisting and learn how to be friends."


Survivor's Hatch on Prison: "Horrendous"
by the Associated Press

Posted: March 16, 2007 - 3:30 pm ET

(New York) Richard Hatch, who won $1 million on "Survivor," says being inprison for failing to pay taxes on his reality TV prize and other income isno day at the beach.

Hatch, who became known as the "naked fat guy" for refusing to wear clothesfor much of the CBS show, was convicted last year. He was sentenced to 51months in prison, and is at the Federal Correctional Institution inMorgantown, W.Va., a minimum security facility.

"Obviously, this is better than the county lockup," Hatch tells Peoplemagazine in its March 26 issue. "There's no fence here. But people thinkI've come to a country club. It's not. This is prison. Just because it's gota beautiful view of the countryside doesn't make it a resort. And it'shorrendous because I'm an innocent man in jail."

Following his conviction, Hatch says he spent "six horrendous months" at thePlymouth County Correctional Facility in Plymouth, Mass.

"We were all in a small room - 52 people: child molesters, murderers,rapists and me," he recalls. "For six months I never left that room. Therewere no doors, no privacy. There were two TVs in that room, so I lived allday long with 'Jerry Springer' blaring."


Retired Military Officers Come Out, Demand Apology from Gen. Pace
by 365gay Staff

Posted: March 16, 2007 - 11:30 am ET

(Washington) A group of seven high-ranking military veterans today respondedto recent remarks by General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs ofStaff, who earlier this week called lesbian, gay and bisexual servicemembers 'immoral' and re-iterated his support for the military's "Don't Ask,Don't Tell" ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual service members.

The officers, who are all lesbian or gay, called on Congress to repeal thelaw, and demanded that General Pace apologize for his remarks.

COL Stewart Bornhoft, USA (Ret.); CAPT Joan E. Darrah, USN (Ret.); CAPTRobert D. Dockendorff, USNR (Ret.); Chaplain (COL) Paul W. Dodd, USA (Ret.);CAPT Sandra Geiselman, USNR (Ret.); COL E. A. Leonard, USA (Ret.); and CAPTRobert Michael Rankin, USN (Ret.) issued their statement on Friday morning.

"Our community has a long history of serving our country in the armedforces," the group said. "Today, there are more than 65,000 lesbian and gaytroops on duty. Another one million gay and lesbian veterans, including theseven of us, have served in our fighting forces. General Pace's remarksdishonor that service, as does the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law. General Pacemust offer an immediate and unqualified apology for his remarks and Congressmust take action to repeal the ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual Americanswho want to serve our country."

The highly-decorated officers each served more than 20 years, and severalconsiderably longer. They have earned scores of awards, honors andcommendations during their careers. Four served in the Vietnam War. Theyhave served as company commanders, helicopter pilots, medical officers,commanding officers, psychologists, chaplains, combat engineers, platoonleaders, infantry officers, supply corps officers and intelligence officers.


New Mexico governor, presidential candidate Bill Richardson calls for end to"don't ask, don't tell"

Bill Richardson, the Democratic governor of New Mexico and 2008 presidentialcandidate, announced Thursday that he believes "don't ask, don't tell"should be repealed.

Bill Richardson, the Democratic governor of New Mexico and 2008 presidential candidate, announced Thursday that he believes "don't ask, don't tell"should be repealed. Responding to Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman PeterPace's antigay comments earlier this week, the onetime congressman said hedoesn't agree that homosexuality is immoral, instead saying discriminationagainst gay people in the U.S. military should end, the Associated Pressreports.

"I voted against it when I served in Congress," Richardson told the AP inSanta Fe, referring to the ban on openly gay service members, signed intolaw by then-president Bill Clinton in the 1990s. "People should not bejudged based on their sexual orientation. Throughout my entire career I havefought for equal rights and against discrimination of any kind."

Richardson added that Pace's remarks were "unfortunate" and called onPresident Bush to condemn them. In his interview with the AP he also pointedto his own pro-gay record: his support of civil unions and his signing intolaw a state measure that provides civil rights protections for gays andlesbians.

Two of his competitors for the Democratic presidential nod, senators HillaryClinton and Barack Obama, also disavowed Pace's comment's Thursday,according to the AP, finally saying that they disagree that homosexuality isimmoral after avoiding the issue earlier in the week. (The Advocate)


March 17, 2007
Desmond Tutu likens antigay discrimination to apartheid

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican archbishop ofCape Town, South Africa, warned African churches against focusing too muchon homosexuality while ignoring major issues, reports the Episcopal NewsService.

"I am deeply, deeply distressed that in the face of the most horrendousproblems-we've got poverty, we've got conflict and war, we've gotHIV/AIDS-and what do we concentrate on? We concentrate on what you are doingin bed," Tutu told journalists in Nairobi, Kenya, during the World SocialForum.

Tutu went on to compare discrimination against gays to what black peoplesuffered under South Africa's apartheid. "To penalize someone because oftheir sexual orientation is like what used to happen to us; to be penalizedfor something which we could do nothing [about]-our ethnicity, our race,"said Tutu, according to the Associated Press. "I would find it quiteunacceptable to condemn, persecute a minority that has already beenpersecuted."

The worldwide Anglican Communion has been divided by the issue ofhomosexuality, with some dioceses cutting links with the U.S. EpiscopalChurch. But three days after the close of the WSF, the Reverend SamuelNjoroge of the Anglican Church in Kenya expressed hope that tolerance shownby Christian leaders could woo back gay and lesbian parishioners.

"We need to reexamine our doctrine on sexual matters," Tutu told EcumenicalNews International on January 29. "We have to find how we approach theissue, but not throw them [gays] out. As pastors, we are supposed tominister to the good, bad, and ugly."

Sheikh Mohammed Dor, leader of the Islamic Preachers of Kenya, took adifferent position, demanding that the government crack down on gays. "TheMuslim community is against homosexuality because the vice is ungodly. Boththe Quran and the Bible condemn it," Dor told Kenya's Daily Nation newspaperon January 28. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

March 17, 2007
New Mexico mulls domestic partnerships

New Mexico's senate was poised to vote Friday on a bill to legalize same-sexpartnerships in the state, and equality advocates expect a fight as the 2007legislative session counted down to its final hours.

HB 603, the Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act, would create aregistry in which two adults in a committed relationship could becomedomestic partners, gaining access to basic health care coverage and familyleave as well as presumption of parentage, inheritance rights, and decisionmaking in case of a partner's incapacity. It would apply to both same-sexand unmarried heterosexual partners.

The bill, carried by Democratic representative Mimi Stewart of Albuquerque,passed New Mexico's house in February by an unexpectedly strong 33-24 vote.It faces a tougher battle in the state senate, where it is among more than300 bills to be acted upon before the legislative session ends Saturday.

"We strongly believe that all New Mexicans deserve full equality under thelaw," Equality New Mexico said in a statement on its Web site. "However, webelieve that domestic-partner legislation has the best chance of passingthis session. As the statewide LGBT advocacy organization, we are committedto obtaining the maximum rights and benefits for as many as possible, assoon as possible."

New Mexico is one of only four states that has not defined marriage as theunion of a man and a woman, though efforts to make the marriage applicationgender-neutral have failed. A so-called defense of marriage bill was killedin the house this year. (Barbara Wilcox, The Advocate)


The Advocate

March 16, 2007
If Edwards is the f word, what word is Coulter?

Ann Coulter tried to explain away her antigay remark about Democraticpresidential candidate John Edwards as a mere "schoolyard taunt." But ascomedian Jim David points out, the calculating blond pressmonger knewexactly what she was doing-and her deliberate verbal gaffe betrays theconservative spirit at its most vile.

By Jim David

Just when you thought we were all safe from the f word, Little MissSunshine, a.k.a. Ann Coulter, shows up at the Conservative Political ActionConference, a.k.a. the Reichstag, and knocks Anna Nicole's baby off the newsby calling John Edwards a "faggot." "C'mon, it's just a joke," she said ofthis brilliant bit of Swiftian satire, explaining that she was trying topoke fun at the Isaiah Washington controversy. The f word, she said, was a"schoolyard taunt" that means "wuss" or "sissy" and has nothing to do withgay people.

Golly, I seem to remember a remarkably similar schoolyard taunt directed atme by similar satirists in the ninth grade, which resulted in a black eyeand a sprained wrist. It was accompanied by the brilliant lampoon "gay boy"(another ribald retort Coulter has used), but since my face was beingsmashed in at the time, the humor escaped me. It's nice to know-at last-thatit had nothing to do with my being gay and that the guys were justpracticing their budding stand-up skills.

Even though I'm out, maybe I don't get out enough. I've heard "wuss" used todescribe, well, a wuss, but any moron knows that "faggot," if not directlymeant as antigay, is pretty freakin' close. I guess I wasn't brought up inthe right place. In England, a "fag" is a cigarette, and "bitch" refers to afemale dog. That goes for Merican canine, too, though it's more commonlyused as a slur against women. To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield, if you lookup "bitch" in the dictionary, there's Ann's picture. C'mon, it's just ajoke.

Coulter has the right to call a presidential candidate a faggot in public orto say that liberals should worry about being killed, as she previously has,as long as I retain the right to call her proof of the need for retroactiveabortion. C'mon, it's just a joke. Oh, wait, she got me-I've been draggeddown to her level. Not only that, I'm talking about her, again. Who said,"There's no such thing as bad publicity?" Coulter should buy them aMercedes.

But why even go there, for heaven's sake? Why swim in all that negativeenergy? Because Coulter and her comrades Limbaugh, Hannity, and Savage havelowered the tenor of the debate to the point that the only response isanother "schoolyard taunt" or the actual threat of physical violence. Youcan't reason with these people. The only thing you can do, to preserve yoursanity, is ignore them completely or express your displeasure to theorganizations that promote them.


The Advocate

March 17, 2007
Elton stirs up controversy in Trinidad and Tobago

Elton John concerts are usually greeted by cheers, but not this time.

The pop legend is set to play at Plymouth Jazz Festival on the Caribbeanisland of Tobago next month, but local church leaders are condemning hisvisit because he's gay. Philip Issac, archdeacon of Trinidad and Tobago,doesn't want John to come, saying his orientation didn't conform to theBible and that he could cause people to turn gay.

"The artist is one of God's children, and while his lifestyle isquestionable, he needs to be ministered unto," Isaac told the U.K. DailyMail. "His visit to the island can open the country to be tempted towardpursuing his lifestyle."

Trinidad and Tobago has laws, though rarely enforced, that can prevent gaypeople from entering the nation. Concert promoters are saying John is stillcoming. (The Advocate)


The Local

Swedish bishops say yes to gay church weddings
Published: 16th March 2007 15:12 CET

The Church of Sweden's leaders have said that they are willing to allow gaypeople to marry in church on the same basis as heterosexual couples,although bishops are unsure whether to call the unions marriage.

"We are prepared to carry out partnerships for homosexuals that have theforce of law," said Bishop Claes-Bertil Ytterberg of the church's Västeråsdiocese.

Ytterberg said the decision will make the church the first majordenomination in the world to allow full gay church marriage in practice.However, the United Church of Canada, the second largest Canadiandenomination, already carries out gay marriages.

An official government report proposing changes to marriage laws is to bepresented next week. The report is expected to call for all couples, gay orstraight, to be given equal marriage rights.

Under the system proposed in the report, churches would retain the right toperform marriages but each individual priest would be forced to seek amarriage licence independently. Today's move means that the church isaccepting the proposals.


St. Petersburg Times

With no transition plan, Stanton wrote one

Many companies have policies to protect transgender employees, but the city
of Largo didn't.
Published March 16, 2007

LARGO - Transgender people are a tiny fraction of the population, but theirpresence in the workplace increasingly is catching the attention of theirbosses.

By one count, 469 employers, including a quarter of the Fortune 500, haveantidiscrimination policies protecting transgender employees.

Some also have guidelines to ease their transition at work.

Largo has an internal antidiscrimination policy for city employees, butuntil recently it had nothing like a transition plan for transgenderworkers.

Then City Manager Steve Stanton started to write one.


The New York Times

March 16, 2007
Gay Couple Tie Knot in First Mexico City Civil Unions
Filed at 8:18 p.m. ET

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Two gay lawyers celebrated a civil union in MexicoCity on Friday, becoming the first legally recognized homosexual couple inthe traditionally macho capital of one of the world's most Catholiccountries.

Dressed in somber suits, Alejandro Diaz and Rafael Ramirez tied the knot ina short ceremony held in a city council building, the first since the cityapproved a law permitting civil unions in November.

After signing papers and listening to a short speech from a local councilor,Diaz, 27, said ``Married.'' Ramirez, 31, said ''My husband.'' They huggedbut declined to kiss.

``The era of plurality and diversity is permeating Mexico City,'' JulioCesar Moreno, the local councilor who oversaw the ceremony, told dozens ofwellwishers and journalists.

Throughout the day, around 10 gay couples exchanged vows in the city.


Social Justice in Action:

HeartStrong Outreach Trip Embarks on 19th Trip in Ten Years

HeartStrong needs your financial support for this landmark outreach trip.

Want to help HS raise the $10,000 needed for this trip?

Make a donation here.. or mail yourdonation to HeartStrong, PO Box 2051, Seattle WA 98111.

Your gift is tax deductible and goes a long way to helpingHeartStrong reach persecuted GLBT students and others inreligious educational institutions.

Please distribute the below release to anyone you wish. We needeveryone's help!


Seattle WA - On April 3, 2007, the most extensive grassroots outreacheffort in the history of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgenderedmovement continues with its 19th outreach trip. HeartStrong, Inc., is anon-profit educational organization hich provides support to GLBTstudents in religious educational institutions and ducates the publicabout the legalized persecution of GLBT students and others in heseinstitutions.

"With the frightening growth in religious schools over the past decade,our work is more vital than ever," executive director Marc Adams says."There have only been increases in the numbers of students coming to usfor help. Fortunately for them, HeartStrong is now well into its eleventhyear of outreach."

Like most countries, religious schools in the United States utilizereligious freedom to expel any student for any reason. This includes,Adams states, the persecution of students and others who are perceived tobe or actually are GLBT. "It's not a question of whether or not theseschools have the right to treat students so horrifically, they do. But ashistory has always proven, having the right to do something, doesn'talways make it right to do."

Students who come to HeartStrong for assistance share stories of publicoutings, brutal restorative therapy, exorcisms, and continuous attempts torecruit them into simulated heterosexual lifestyles. Many students havereported the use of the common religious theology of 'death for sin'proposed to them as divine punishment for their thoughts and actions.

Since October, 1996, more than 950 students have come to HeartStrong forhelp. The journey to self-acceptance begins with any one of HeartStrong's14 outreach programs. Many of those programs are put into action by theOutreach Team during their outreach trips.

Founded in 1996 by author/activist Marc Adams, Todd Tuttle and ClintKendrick, the HeartStrong Outreach Team has embarked on 18 previousoutreach trips throughout the United States and parts of Canada.Additionally, HeartStrong's outreach has spanned the globe, assistingstudents in places like the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, SouthAfrica, Indonesia, India, and Scotland.

The HeartStrong Outreach Team first began traveling the road by car inOctober, 1996. Since then the team has self-driven more than 336,000miles around the United States holding educational forums and reaching outto students in need.

The Spring 2007 Outreach Trip takes the team through Texas, Oklahoma,Florida, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Georgia. The trip will also includethe annual HeartStrong Board of Directors meeting in Miami hosted byHeartStrong President, Shelley Craig, LCSW.

In addition to outreach efforts, more than 20 educational forums arescheduled through May 31, 2007. HeartStrong is an all volunteerorganization and relies on the tax deductible donations of supporters tocontinue its life-saving work.


The New York Times

March 17, 2007
Former N.J. Governor Discusses Sexuality
Filed at 3:37 a.m. ET

SANTA FE (AP) -- Former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, who resigned afterrevealing that he was gay, says culture is outpacing politics in theacceptance of homosexuality.

McGreevey, who is in Santa Fe this weekend to speak at a fundraiser for theHuman Rights Alliance, called his decision to come out ''one of the mostpainful but honest decisions of my life.''

Even though the revelation of being gay can hurt family and friends,McGreevey said Friday that people must learn at an early age to be openabout their sexuality.

''Hopefully, this generation will be the last generation of American youththat has to choose between their heart and their career, between love andacceptance,'' he said.

McGreevey also addressed comments made earlier this week by the Pentagon'stop general. Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs,remarked that homosexual acts are immoral and said the military should notcondone homosexuality by allowing gay personnel to serve openly.


The New York Times

March 17, 2007
Statehouse Journal

Utah Sets Rigorous Rules for School Clubs, and Gay Ones May Be Target

SALT LAKE CITY, March 16 - Most people would probably not consider theaverage high school chess club to be a hotbed of disorder or immorality. Buta club is a club, and Utah has decided that student groups need some sternpolicing and regulation.

Next month, a 17-page law will take effect governing just about every nuanceof public school extracurricular clubs, from kindergarten jump rope to highschool drama. How groups can form, what they can discuss in their meetings,who can join, and what a principal must do if rules are violated areaddressed.

But the school clubs law, signed last week by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., was notreally intended to rein in the rowdies down at the audio-visual club, somelawmakers said. The real target was homosexuality.

"This is all about gay-straight alliance clubs, and anybody who tells youdifferent is lying," said State Senator Scott D. McCoy, Democrat from SaltLake City, who voted against the law.

State Senator D. Chris Buttars, a Republican from the Salt Lake City suburbsand the law's co-sponsor, said in an interview that he saw the need for themeasure after parents from a high school in Provo, Utah, protested theformation of a gay-straight club in 2005.


The Washington Post

On Asking, Telling and Serving the Country

Saturday, March 17, 2007; A18

Regarding the coverage of the remarks of Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of theJoint Chiefs of Staff [news story, editorial, and op-ed, March 14]:

There is a general misimpression that the military gay ban, colloquially termed "don't ask, don't tell," was created in 1993. Actually, that ismerely when statutory law incorporated an exclusionary policy that has beenferociously enforced for at least six decades.

I ran into the ban firsthand when, as a gay American, I enlisted in the Armyon May 18, 1943, at the height of World War II, three days before my 18thbirthday. I saw combat in Europe and am proud of my service, but I haveresented for 64 years that, in order to serve in a war effort I stronglysupported, I had to lie to my government in response to questions about myhomosexuality.

As a gay activist, I have vigorously fought this policy for 45 years. I haveseen its administration gradually and significantly softened; I discoveredgay men and lesbians now get honorable discharges instead of dishonorableones accompanied by imprisonment, which was our fate in past decades.

Still, "don't ask, don't tell" is a disgrace to America. Let us move now torid ourselves of this shameful relic of a benighted past.




I will always be proud of the fact that I served in the U.S. military, asdid my father before me and his before him. I was a Russian interpreterduring the Cold War. I am also gay.

My commander knew of my sexual orientation. When someone confronted him withthe fact that there were several gay men and lesbians in his unit, hepointed out that we were the backbone of his unit. His response was, "If Iget rid of them, who will run my battalion?" The vast majority of peopleunder his command knew who the gays were; they also knew who had brown eyes.And to most of them the two facts were of equalimportance.

But that was 20 years ago. Today we have "don't ask, don't tell," aridiculous policy that has cost taxpayers almost $200 million. It's time tostop wasting money. It's time to honor all our veterans.


Salt Lake City


When a staunch conservative such as former Wyoming senator Alan K. Simpson[op-ed, March 14] says it's okay to have gays in the military, you know,happily, that the tide has turned.




Gen. Peter Pace owes no one an apology for voicing his opinion.

Moreover, I think Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has nerve to take a manof Gen. Pace's stature to task for exercising his right to free speech [newsstory, March 14]. If a person, based on his or her values and beliefs, indssomething offensive or immoral, he or she should be able to say so withoutfear of retaliation or reprimand merely because someone else believesotherwise.

I'm with the general all the way on this one.


Dearborn Heights , Mich.


The New York Times

March 17, 2007
Pace Needn't Apologize
To the Editor:

Re "General Pace and Gay Soldiers" (editorial, March 15):

Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, owes no one anapology for stating his personal view that homosexuality is an intolerableimmoral act. His is a view shared by a large, mostly religious plurality ofmilitary personnel and their families.

Lifting the ban on homosexuals to serve openly would alienate that pool ofreligious conservatives who have demonstrated a proclivity to serve in thevolunteer military. There is zero evidence that eliminating the ban wouldinduce avowed homosexuals to flock to the armed forces.

General Pace has good standing to defend the ban from a militaryeffectiveness point of view as well. There is longstanding evidence thatsoldier performance in combat is based on unit cohesion - trust andconfidence - and readiness.

In 1993, the Army's surgeon general declared homosexual behavior to be areadiness detractor and further concluded that same-sex tensions in forcedintimate situations undermine the unit cohesion necessary for a soldier'ssuccess in combat.

Robert L. Maginnis

Woodbridge, Va., March 15, 2007

The writer, a retired United States Army lieutenant colonel, advised the1993 Pentagon task force that wrote the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.


The Washington Post

Gay couple tie knot in first Mexico City civil unions

By Gunther Hamm
Friday, March 16, 2007; 8:18 PM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Two gay lawyers celebrated a civil union in MexicoCity on Friday, becoming the first legally recognized homosexual couple inthe traditionally macho capital of one of the world's most Catholiccountries.

Dressed in somber suits, Alejandro Diaz and Rafael Ramirez tied the knot ina short ceremony held in a city council building, the first since the cityapproved a law permitting civil unions in November.

After signing papers and listening to a short speech from a local councilor,Diaz, 27, said "Married." Ramirez, 31, said "My husband." They hugged butdeclined to kiss.

"The era of plurality and diversity is permeating Mexico City," Julio CesarMoreno, the local councilor who oversaw the ceremony, told dozens ofwellwishers and journalists.

Throughout the day, around 10 gay couples exchanged vows in the city.


The Desert Sun

Commission clears way for gay club for Latinos

Nelsy Rodriguez and Xochitl Peña
The Indio Sun
March 16, 2007

Indio's destination gay club is one step closer to opening.

The city's Planning Commission approved a provisional-use permit for theland at the corner of Indio Boulevard and Civic Center Drive to be used by aclub called El Destino. The vote Wednesday was unanimous.

The club, which is expected to open in mid-April, will cater to the gayLatinos in the valley and Southern California.

"Hopefully, it will help jump start the area," Commissioner Glenn Millersaid about the project.

For years, the city has worked on the revitalization of Old Town and hadmentioned the desire for more restaurants and businesses that will promotefoot traffic and bring people to the downtown.


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