Sunday, March 25, 2007

GLBT DIGEST March 25, 2007

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay Arab activists holding gathering in Israel
by diaa hadid

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

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

Aswat, an Arab lesbian group based in Haifa, a coastal city home to Jews andArabs, is organizing the conference.

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

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


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Who cares why gays are gay?
March 22, 2007

The "gay sheep" research on rams from the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station inIdaho set off a fire storm of controversy. In an effort to understand whatcauses homosexuality in rams (which inhibits breeding), scientists sought toproduce artificially same-sex preference behavior in male sheep. If theycould figure out how to make sheep gay, perhaps they could figure out how to
make them straight.

Their efforts failed, but the strong suggestion that sexual preference isbiologically determined in animals has again raised the question: Is sexualorientation a lifestyle that is chosen or a fact of life that isbiologically hard-wired?

According to Frank Kameny, a pioneer of the gay rights movement, the correctanswer is, and always has been: "Who cares!"

Before the Stonewall riots of 1969 that mark the beginning of the modern gayliberation movement, many gay men and lesbians earnestly debated amongthemselves the causes of homosexuality. Kameny held a minority position whenhe publicly maintained in the 1960s that the cause was not important.

Banned from government service

Some gay men and lesbians during the '60s accepted the conventional wisdomthat they were sick, and sought cures. Hormone injections, psychologicalcounseling and shock treatments were among the medically approvedcorrectives, despite their lack of tangible long-term results.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

The New York Blade

An Interview With Basketballer Amaechi
The F Word, the N Word and more

Friday, March 23, 2007

John Amaechi is a man with a plan. Nearly two decades ago, Amaechi pennedThe Plan, a personal blueprint of sorts for his career and life. Becoming aprofessional basketball player in the United States was part of plan. Hesucceeded. As to other aspects of The Plan, such as honesty, spiritualityand legacy, he's succeeding too.

Earlier this year, Amaechi became the first NBA player to come out; he's isnow promoting an autobiography, "Man in the Middle." He writes about growingup a fat, black and shy kid and finding his way through basketball. Nowretired from the NBA, he's touring the country as part of the Human RightsCampaign's Coming Out Project.

Amaechi will appear at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 27, at The LGBT Center. TheNew York Blade spoke with Amaechi beforehand.

At the same time you made headlines by coming out, another story was in the
news: Using the word "faggot," which many liken to the "N word." You've beencalled both. Do you see similarities and differences in the terms?

They're both very hurtful and demeaning-but that's what they're supposed todo. They're designed to emasculate people. The difference is when one isacceptable and one is not acceptable in so many different environments-haveyou even walked down a high school corridor lately? The F word flies everyfive seconds. The N word just wouldn't launch.

Though you've lived in the United States for several years, you're fromBritain. Your unique cross-cultural viewpoint comes across in the book whenyou address the prevalence of gun violence and religious fanaticism inAmerica. That's almost as controversial as gay rights. Has anyone brought upthose aspects?

A few people have, especially at the meetings. But in the press the mosttitillating thing is the gay angle, which is disappointing. But it's my jobto bridge from that to more important issues.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

New Mass. Senate Pres. To Allow Vote On Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 23, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) The new President of the Massachusetts Senate hasannounced she will not try to block a vote on a proposed amendment thatwould end same-sex marriage in the state.

Therese Murray was elected by Senate Democrats on Thursday to replace formerSen. Robert Travaglini.

An opponent of the amendment, Murray said she would work with state LGBTcivil rights groups to defeat the measure, but said she would not use herpower to prevent the issue from coming to a vote.

To amend the state constitution a joint session of the House and Senate mustapprove a proposed amendment in two consecutive sessions of the Legislaturethen put the issue to voters. Only 50 votes in the joint session are neededfor a proposed amendment to advance.

In 2005 Travaglini used a procedural maneuver to adjourn the joint sessionsbefore the amendment came up for a vote. But, following criticism from thestate's highest court allowed a vote in January, the final day of thelegislative session.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

The Express Gay News

Stanton trans bias case shows Largo city officials need educating
The right man for the job is a woman

Friday, March 23, 2007

SURE IT'S SHOCKING. Some would say freakish: A man who wants to be a woman.

Or, in the words of Largo, Fla., City Commissioner Mary Gray Black,"Causing distraction and work disruption." Black was reacting to news thatLargo City Manager Steve Stanton, who heretofore has had solid jobperformance reviews, was actively pursuing gender re-assignment surgery toeventually become Susan Stanton. So it was, suddenly Stanton ostensiblybecomes unfit to keep his $140,000-per-year position.

In truth, city commissioners and others just need a bit of education,that's all. Then they can work in concert with Steve and, ultimately, Susan.

What's happening is that these officials lack an understanding of apsychiatric classification known as gender-identity disorder. Those withGID, more commonly referred to as transgender, believe they were born intothe wrong gender, and their goal is to reconcile the incongruence bybecoming who they were born to be instead of "adapting" to what will makesociety feel comfortable.

In the case of someone like Stanton, reconciling his inner feelings andoutward appearance is not something that will necessarily affect jobperformance. Any disruption will not come from Steve, or even Susan for thatmatter. It will come from uninformed co-workers and citizens. It's importantto stay focused on who here is really confused, or at least uninformed.


The Express Gay News

The current issue of The Express Gay News is online


The Express Gay News

Bi health report challenges doctors
Better education, understanding sought for patients

Mar. 23, 2007

Brad Brownfield is willing to tell just about anyone he's bisexual - but nothis doctor.

The 36-year-old photographer living in Memphis, Tenn., said nine monthsafter he came out to his family and friends, he still hasn't told hisprimary care physician.

"I've concealed my orientation because although he is the best doctor I'vefound, he is still in the military reserves andI hesitate to reveal my orientation because I am afraid of compromising thelevel of care I may receive," Brownfield said.

A new report from the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force aims to help easethose jitters.

"Bisexual Health," written by Marshall Miller and other sexual healtheducators, challenges physicians across the country to better understandbisexual health issues.


The Irish Times

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Teen Times
The fashionable rising tide of homophobia in Europe
Mark Haughton

In a darkened hallway in one of the many identical buildings in theAuschwitz concentration camp, row upon of row of faces stare blankly atvisitors. For many of them, this is their final image - heads shaven, facessallowed, sporting the blue and white stripes of their uniform.

Their only crime was being Jewish, homosexual, Polish or falling within someother category the Third Reich deemed undesirable. Yet last year, just a fewhundred kilometres away in the Polish capital Warsaw, a gay-rights march wasattacked by protesters shouting: "Euthanasia for gays, concentration campsfor lesbians."

More than 60 years after the fall of the Nazi regime it seems its ideas arestill prevailing. The fact that many of the modern persecutors would havefaced the same fate under the Third Reich as those they taunt simplyheightens the irony.

Poland is a country that suffered greatly under the Nazis, with largenumbers of their citizens sent to camps such as Auschwitz. It would bereasonable to assume, therefore, that they would be a people who recognisethe importance of tolerance and keeping the oppression of ideas out ofgovernment policy. However, somewhere along the line, the opposite hasbecome the case.

The homophobic comments aired recently in Ireland by Lech Kaczynski, thepresident of Poland, served only to highlight what has become a growingepidemic in his home country. It is easy to become complacent, wrapped as weare in the cellophane of a liberal democracy, with gay couples gaining theright to marry and adopt seeming inevitable. The news of state-sanctionedhomophobia within our own continent seems bizarre by contrast. Yet that iswhat has come into public consciousness of late. And with it the dregs ofconservative Ireland have re-appeared.

We are obsessed with our appearance. Whether it is the latest fashion fromBrown Thomas or the newest gadget, there is always something that is amust-have. This is no different for political ideals, nor has it ever been.In September 1913, WB Yeats speaks of an Ireland where art and nationalityare no longer important. Three years later, however, all had changed -nationalism and art had become fashionable and desirable once again.Similarly, a majority of the world's population abhors the actions of theNazis, yet the same Nazis were ordinary people, swept up in the fashionableand acceptable ideals of their time. If we were all transported back in timeand set in that social context many of us would see no strong reason tospeak out.

Contact for the full article.


The Huffington Post

The GLAAD Media Awards - Gay Media Need Not Apply

Every year The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) hands outits Media Awards in a star-studded Hollywood gala that increasingly lookslike a gay Oscars. But this year a cloud hangs over GLAAD's red carpet. Anasty little secret has come to light that many in the industry were shockedto hear.

That secret is that Here! and Logo, the nation's two gay TV networks, arenot allowed to submit their programs for consideration to the GLAAD MediaAwards.

You heard that right. According to GLAAD's rules, programs made by and forthe nation's two gay TV networks are not eligible for GLAAD media awards.Precisely because those networks are run by - and targeted to - lesbians andgay men, and are therefore 'alternative.'

GLAAD might as well hang out a sign saying: Queer Networks Need Not Apply.

GLAAD's policy of anti-gay exclusion also applies to the lesbian and gayprint media, including respected national publications like Out and TheAdvocate. (Full disclosure: I received a GLAAD Media Award in the 90s, butit was for my work at NY Newsday, a mainstream newspaper.)


The New York Times

March 23, 2007
A Different Kind of Gay Marriage Debate

EDISON, N.J., March 21 - At first blush, the wedding show at the New JerseyConvention and Expo Center seemed pretty straight. Exhibitors as mainstreamas Macy's, Fortunoff's and Hilton presented place settings and room rates.Chocolate-covered strawberries were free for the taking. A video about anice couple named Michelle and Dan played near nuptial portraits of ppyheterosexuals.

But by the front door, a few items put a little gay in this gala. Twincandied apples iced to look like tuxedos stood on a table. There was abanner for that advertised videographers who can do "elegantand beautiful" - or "so camp and fabulous you'll be squealing with delighteach time you watch it."

And then there was Sheila Gay Gross, an ordained interfaith minister who hasjoined about a dozen New Jersey couples in civil unions. She was offering toofficiate at even more ceremonies using words like "I now pronounce you asone, united legally as you already are in mind, heart, body and soul."

The state's first Gay and Lesbian Wedding Expo, held here Wednesday night,came six months after the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that same-sexcouples deserve the same rights as heterosexual married ones. And thatevidently includes the right to a ride in a stretch Cadillac sport utilityvehicle.

Preliminary figures released Tuesday by the state showed that just 229 ofNew Jersey's estimated 22,000 same-sex couples had received licenses forcivil unions in the month since they became available Feb. 19.


The Dallas Voice

Fire destroys Denton bar
By David Webb Staff Writer
Mar 22, 2007, 22:26

Investigators say fire was deliberately set; owner says she might not beable to re-open 27-year-old nightclub

Denton's only gay bar was destroyed in a fire this week that fire officialshave classified as an arson.

Kelly Sanders, who has owned and operated Mable Peabody's Beauty Parlor andChainsaw Repair on East University Drive for 13 years, said the bar wasdestroyed by the fire on Wednesday, March 21. The bar has operated at thatlocation for 27 years, but it will probably not be reopened there again - ifit is ever opened at all, she said.

"I can't go back to that location because it is completely destroyed,"Sanders said. "I don't think my landlord would go to all of the trouble toget it back up to code."

Sanders said the fire started about 5:30 a.m. after someone broke into thebar's back door. Fire officials told her the arsonists spent a long timeusing crowbars or some other tool to break into the heavy door, she said.

After breaking in, the intruders vandalized the bar before setting multiplefires, Sanders said.


L.A. gay retirees get first low-cost housing units
Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:26PM EDT
By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The nation's first low-cost housing developmentaimed specifically at gay, lesbian and transgender retirees opened its doorsin Hollywood on Thursday with a promise to provide a dignified haven forelderly homosexuals to live out their days.

Calling it a historic day for the gay and lesbian community in both LosAngeles and the United States,officials opened the 104-unit affordable housing complex, built around apool and open courtyard and complete with an activity center and disabledfacilities.

About a third of the units will be set aside for low-income older Americanswith HIV/AIDS, those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

"All parties went into this development with the belief that regardless of asenior's income, race or sexual preference they are entitled to live in adecent, safe and friendly living environment," said Tony Salazar ofdevelopers McCormack Baron Salazar.

According to a recent study by the University of California, Los Angeles,the city has a gay population of 442,000 -- the second highest in the UnitedStates after New York. West Hollywood has a 40 percent gay or lesbianpopulation, making it one of the largest gay scenes in the world.


March 23, 2007
The Equality Ride II: Welcome to the jungle

Soulforce's second Equality Ride begins with 50 young adults in two busesstopping at 32 Christian colleges and universities in the pursuit of socialjustice for LGBT students. In the first two weeks the west bus logs 12arrests-and that's a good thing.

By Haven Herrin

A long, long time ago, when Christianity was still in its Jewish phase andits adherents were few and generally landless, hospitality was an issue ofmorality. The outsider was welcomed into the community and into the home asa guest because tribal warfare and the harsh climate meant anyone leftoutside the city wall could be dead by morning. Deny hospitality, and theoutsider's misfortune was on your conscience.

The notion of "welcome" is often on my mind because I'm on a bus travelingto the most inhospitable places in this country for LGBT people. Ascodirector of the west bus, one of two buses crossing the United States thisspring in the second annual Soulforce Equality Ride, I am leading 25 youngadults in the conversation of sexuality and faith on Christian collegecampuses from Indiana to California to Idaho.

All of these schools (14 on the west route and 18 on the east route) areantigay in policy and creed. Their handbooks indicate that LGBT students areto be expelled; they also engage in the dangerous practice of legislatingreligion. To use their words, these schools are strangling the Holy Spirit.Their policies communicate to the students that their faith journey cannotinvolve loving nor affirming LGBT people. It is a position that isantithetical to both religious freedom and academic freedom.

We have been on the road for only two weeks of our two-month journey, andthe responses have nearly given us whiplash.


Colleges Ditch Baptists
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 23, 2007 - 8:00 pm ET

(Raleigh, North Carolina) Five colleges and universities affiliated with theBaptist State Convention are preparing to leave, saying they restrictiverules of the denomination are preventing them from attracting the beststudents and faculty.

The convention voted last year to ban gay-friendly churches and severaluniversities in the South have been dropped over gay inclusion.

Campbell University, Chowan University, Gardner-Webb University, Mars HillCollege and Wingate University also say they want the freedom to picktrustees from other denominations and other states.

Under an agreement worked out between the schools and the convention thecolleges would begin choosing their own trustees in 2009.

Currently the state convention gives each school about $1.2 million a year.That will be phased out over a period of time ending in 2013.


Canadian Gay Marriage Foe To Retire From Politics
by The Canadian Press
Posted: March 23, 2007 - 8:00 pm ET

(Ottawa) Veteran Liberal MP Tom Wappel, whose outspoken form of socialconservatism often collided with his party's policies, says he won't reoffercome next federal election.

A member of Parliament since 1988, the Toronto-area lawyer, now 57, has beenknown for his vocalstands against abortion and gay rights - and for refusing to help a veteranin his riding whom he suspected of supporting a rival candidate in theprevious election.

Supported by members of the anti-abortion group Campaign Life, Wappel wonthe Scarborough West Liberal nomination in 1988 in an upset over PatrickJohnston, a star candidate personally recruited by party leader John Turner.

Wappel was the first declared candidate in the Liberals' 1990 leadershipconvention, finishing a distant fourth to Jean Chretien after voicing hisopposition to federal day-care programs and arguing Ottawa should promotestay-at-home parenting instead.

He also said he did not consider single-parent households or same-sexcouples to be families, and once called for abortion to be made a criminaloffence with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.


The New York Times

March 24, 2007
Transgender Fla. City Manager Loses Job

Filed at 8:05 a.m. ET

LARGO, Fla. (AP) -- City commissioners early Saturday finalized the firingof a city manager who is seeking a sex-change operation, despite pleas fromdozens of impassioned supporters to save his job.

After a six-hour hearing, the commissioners decided to fire 48-year-oldSteve Stanton after his announcement that he planned a new life as a woman.The move came after the commission voted 5-2 last month to suspend him withpay.

Commissioners contended Stanton was being fired because they lost confidencein him, not because he wants to be a woman.

''I think we're pretty well convinced,'' Commissioner Gay Gentry said. ''Youhave to believe us, you have to trust us, it is not about transgenderism.''

Stanton, 48, triggered the debate in the city of 76,000 west of Tampa lastmonth when he announced his plans at a news conference. Commissioners saidStanton's announcement caused turmoil and work disruption in the city. Hiscontract says he can be fired without cause at any time.


The New York Times

March 25, 2007
Election of Gay Candidate Would Be a First on S.I.

In a special election this week, voters on Staten Island could make historyby electing the first openly gay official in the borough, the city's mostconservative.

The election on Tuesday on the north shore of the island will choose thesuccessor to the late Assemblyman John W. Lavelle, who was also the chairmanof the borough's Democratic organization. Mr. Lavelle, who was 57, died of astroke in January.

The Staten Island contest is one of two special elections in the city onTuesday. The second is also on Staten Island, on the south shore, and willdetermine the successor to former Assemblyman Vincent M. Ignizio, who waselected to the City Council in a special election on Feb. 20.

Of the two, the race in the 61st Assembly District on the north shore, hascreated the most fireworks. Staten Island is the one borough in heavilyDemocratic New York City that usually elects Republicans - from Congress toCity Council. But the north shore is where Democrats typically do best.

For that reason, many island politicians expect the Democratic candidate inthe Assembly race, Matthew Titone, to win. Mr. Titone, 46, a lawyer who ranunsuccessfully for a State Senate seat last year, has been endorsed by mostprominent Democratic officials in the city and the borough. They contendthat the election of an openly gay candidate like Mr. Titone would be animportant milestone for the borough.


The New York Times

March 24, 2007
Guest Columnist

Advocacy and Teaching
Delray Beach, Fla.

When a bill before a state legislature bears a woman's name, it is usuallybecause someone has been abducted or raped or murdered. But in Missouri,House Bill 213, or the Emily Brooker Intellectual Diversity Act, is underconsideration because someone was given an assignment.

According to a complaint filed in the United States District Court inMissouri, Emily Brooker, a student at Missouri State University, wasrequired by her professor in a social-work class to participate in writing aletter supporting gay adoption. The letter was to be signed by every studentand forwarded to the state legislature. (It was never sent.)

Ms. Brooker declined to sign, saying that the position taken in the letterconflicted with her religious beliefs. A month later she was called before afaculty-student committee to respond to questions about her academicperformance and her fitness for social work. Nine months later (Sept. 17,2006), she filed her complaint, and on Nov. 8, 2006, the university settledout of court and agreed to pay Ms. Brooker a sum of $9,000, waive academicfees totaling another $12,000, clear her academic record and remove herprofessor from his administrative duties and the classroom. In short, aslam-dunk.

A story with a happy ending? Yes and no. Yes, because at least on thereported facts, she was obviously in the right. No, because no one involvedin this little drama got the issue right.


The New York Times

March 24, 2007
Legal Convolutions for Gay Couples

One consequence of denying gay couples the right to marry is that it forcespeople to resort to legal convolutions to protect their family's financialinterests. This problem is currently at the center of an intriguing lawsuitinvolving Olive Watson, a granddaughter of Thomas Watson Sr., the founder ofI.B.M., and Patricia Ann Spado, her former lesbian partner of 14 years.

Sixteen years ago, when she was 43, Ms. Watson adopted Ms. Spado, then 44,under a Maine law that allows one adult to adopt another. The purpose was toallow Ms. Spado to qualify as an heir to Ms. Watson's estate. It was a legalpath used over the years by an untold number of same-sex couples who hadbeen denied a straightforward way to establish inheritance rights throughmarriage.

Less than a year after the adoption, the pair broke up. Ms. Spado has fileda claim seeking to inherit a share of Mr. Watson's estate, contending thather adoption technically makes her one of Mr. Watson's grandchildren.

As Pam Belluck, Alison Leigh Cowan and Ariel Sabar reported in The Times,Watson trust lawyers are pursuing a variety of tactics to defeat Ms. Spado'sclaim, including trying to annul the adoption on the grounds that the lawwas not intended for same-sex partners. Ms. Spado convincingly argues thatan annulment would leave other adoptions on shaky ground, and that the"courts cannot unravel longstanding judgments based on third-party aversionsto personal lifestyles."


The Washington Post

Social Innovation: Not the Military's Job
Saturday, March 24, 2007; A16

Gay rights activists argue that "don't ask, don't tell" should be abandoned,as it is tantamount to discrimination. According to former senator Alan K.Simpson in "Bigotry That Hurts Our Military" (op-ed, March 14), thepercentage of Americans in favor of allowing gay men and lesbians to serveopenly "has grown from 57 percent in 1993 to a whopping 91 percent of 18- to29-year olds surveyed in a Gallup poll in 2003."

Opponents argue that the gay lifestyle is incompatible with militaryservice. Proponents counter this argument by noting the successfulintegration of minorities and women into the armed forces, which has notreduced combat effectiveness or significantly disrupted unit cohesion.

Many see the military as an innovator in American social engineering. Thisview, while flattering, is incorrect. Elected officials have always enactedthe policies that have pushed such integration, and they are now confrontedwith what appears to be overwhelming public approval. All they need to do isgive the armed forces the order, and the process can begin.

Gay rights, however, have not gained acceptance in larger society.Repeatedly, voters and legislators across the nation have rejected measuresthat would enable gay rights in the workplace, gay marriage, domesticpartnership and civil unions. If society at large has yet to come to termswith these issues, why should the military be directed to conduct socialengineering -- especially during wartime?



The Sun-Sentinel,0,4898489,print.story

Oakland Park
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board

March 25, 2007
Being a good mayor should be top priority

For a few days, maybe a few weeks, there will be a certain kind of notorietyfor Larry Gierer. As the new mayor of Oakland Park, he is the first openly HIV-positive mayor in Broward County, and the first openly gay mayor of hiscity.

But very soon, as it should be, Gierer will get attention, and praise, andcriticism, for the way he handles governance in Oakland Park.

Gay issues will be on his agenda, and Gierer says he feels a responsibilityto show that somebody with AIDS can live a productive life. But he will alsoget a chance to demonstrate his abilities at handling issues that affect allcitizens of Oakland Park.

Gierer has faced intimidation and bigotry, and the fact he has become mayorof a city of 40,000 is a testament to his determination. Eventually, ifpeople put his sexuality and health status in the background and just referto him as an effective public official, that will be the biggest complimentof all.


Clarion Ledger

March 24, 2007
Gay rights protest group alleges harassment
Soulforce Equality Ride sends letter to attorney general, mayor abouttreatment

By Elizabeth Crisp

Some members of Soulforce Equality Ride say they were intimidated by Clintonpolice after a gay rights protest at Mississippi College this week.

The allegation has drawn the attention of the nation's largest gay rightsorganizations, including the Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Gay &Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Clinton police Lt. Randy Ruffin said the department did nothing wrong and"bent over backward trying to accommodate" the Soulforce Equality Ride onThursday.

Soulforce, a group visiting Christian colleges throughout the nation toprotest inequality, faxed a letter to state Attorney General Jim Hood'soffice Friday, claiming police officers made the group move three times in10 minutes as it waited for the riders to meet at the bus.

The group also alleges one officer instructed the protesters to "get out oftown" and said the driver would be arrested if they did not leave, accordingto the letter.


The Atlantic

The editor of the Washington Blade weighs in. He makes some fair points. Buttwo questions remain unanswered, and they merit an answer. The first isabout Senator Clinton's speech to HRC. Pace Kevin Naff and John Aravosis, noone has claimed that Clinton was the only candidate invited to address HRC'sboard. The real question about the speech is: why was it not announcedbeforehand? Why was the press not told? Why was it not on the senator'spublic schedule?

The content was no secret - a video of the event appeared almost instantlyon the web. So why were the press thrown off the scent? You'd think HRCwould be thrilled with the attention. You think Focus on the Family wouldhide the fact that a leading Republican candidate addressed them? Please.The official explanation is that it was a Board Meeting and thus closed tothe public. The usual exclusiveness and secrecy. So why release the video?My fear is that either HRC (the group) or HRC (the senator) believes thatwide press coverage of Senator Clinton addressing HRC would be damaging toboth. So they did it on the downlow. They're intimidated by the far right.It's the same defensive crouch we saw when Clinton could not even rebutPeter Pace's comments on the "immorality" of homosexuality a couple of weekslater.

The implicit message is: Clinton will back us but only if we keep it quiet.This is a political version of the closet, and it simply won't wash. If HRC wants toendorse Clinton, fine. But welcome her and endorse her in the open in thelight of day. Have her address the group with the press present. Get clearpromises from her. Hold her accountable in office. Instead, we got a classicexample of HRC's dysfunctional secrecy, cravenness and partisanship. And werisk the same mug's game that we went through with her husband. If Clintonisn't comfortable standing up in public in front of the press defending gayrights to a gay group, then she has no business addressing it in the firstplace. Cut out the defensiveness. And cut out the secrecy.

The second question is one posed again by Naff. It's simple. How manymembers have paid the recommended minimum membership fee of $35 in the lastyear? HRC has the answer. They won't tell us. They feel contempt for thepress and for much of the gay movement. In Naff's words:HRC should answer the questions raised about its actual membership andresolve this distraction once and for all.

How about it?


The Advocate

March 24, 2007
Missouri gay group to protest IHOP

After four lesbians were asked to leave an International House of Pancakesin Grandview, Mo., for alleged public displays of affection, a gay rightsgroup is organizing a demonstration against the chain restaurant.

After four lesbians were asked to leave an International House of Pancakesin Grandview, Mo., a group is organizing a demonstration against the chainrestaurant.

Promo, the Missouri LGBT equality organization, is coordinating ademonstration to take place Friday at 5:30 p.m. Protesters plan to arrivewith brooms at the restaurant to "clean up the corporate brush-off," astatement read.

"This is a clear act of discrimination, even if IHOP does not understandthat it is," the Promo regional field organizer said in the press release."The couple of pecks that caused these individuals to be asked to leavewould not have been considered inappropriate if the couples wereheterosexual."

The four women-Toni and Jackie Smith, Blair Funk, and Eva Sandoval-weresharing a booth at the restaurant. There, Funk and Sandoval shared a shortkiss, which attracted the manager's attention.

Funk told Kansas City Star columnist Mike Hendricks that the manager said tothe four women, "I have to tell you, we've had some complaints about publicdisplays of affection, and we're a family restaurant.We can't accept it, and we won't accept it."


The Advocate

March 24, 2007
Dungy's stand on same-sex marriage reverberates

Tony Dungy is a deeply religious man who puts his faith first in his life,even above family and football.So his support of a proposed gay-marriage ban likely surprised few.

What was surprising is that the Indianapolis Colts' quiet coach shared hisposition publicly, sparking discussion about the impact of the Super Bowlwinner's comments.

Dungy caused a stir Tuesday when he accepted the "Friend of Family" awardfrom the conservative Indiana Family Institute.

The coach told the audience he supported the group's efforts to amend theIndiana constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

"I appreciate the stance they're taking, and I embrace that stance," Dungytold the crowd of about 700 people.


The Advocate

Maine man claims he was discriminated against by police for being gay

A Maine man is suing a local police department, alleging he wasdiscriminated against because he is gay. Jeffrey Davenport filed his lawsuitagainst the Caribou police department, claiming he was arrested unfairlylast year for drunken driving, the Associated Press reports.

Although Davenport admits that he was drinking last May when he was stoppedby olice, he asserts in his complaint that because he is gay, his vehiclewas searched without a warrant and the results from his breath alcohol testwere switched with another test, among other issues. The complaint allegesthat police "conspired to file erroneous police reports as a result ofpersonal animus towards the plaintiff for his sexual orientation," accordingto the AP.

The AP also reports that Davenport has been convicted twice before foroperating under the influence. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

West Hollywood swears in mayor and mayor pro tempore

West Hollywood, Calif., council member John Duran was sworn in Monday to thepost of mayor. Jeffery Prang officially took the spot as mayor pro temporethe same day. Duran, who was first elected to the city council in 2001, hasworked on several community boards and projects for the city. Prang has beenan active community leader, specifically in recreation, gay rights, andhealth. (The Advocate)


Abstinence Only Education Out In Ohio
by The Associated Press
Posted: March 24, 2007 - 6:00 pm ET

(Columbus, Ohio) Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's proposed budget strips fundingfor programs that focus on teaching schoolchildren abstinence from sex untilthey're married.

The removal of $1 million in state aid to abstinence-only education marks ashift in state support for programs that advocates say serve as a nationalmodel.

The administration says it also has no plans to apply for federal money forthe programs after the current funding ends Sept. 30.

"Quite frankly, I don't believe abstinence-only education programs work inthe long run," Strickland told the Dayton Daily News. "There is someevidence that they may delay the onset of sexual activity, but over the longterm there's not data there that show they prevent, in a statistical sense,sexual activity outside of marriage."

The governor could be headed toward a legislative showdown on the matter.


Gay Quebec Separatist Leader Gains Respect
by The Canadian Press
Posted: March 24, 2007 - 2:00 pm ET

(Montreal, Quebec) The cutthroat rabble behind the curtain at the PartiQuebecois was sharpening the daggers for leader Andre Boisclair as theQuebec election campaign began.

Many people believed that Boisclair, with his reputation of a lightweightwhose big-city air could turn off voters, was bound for a massive meltdownin a Liberal Leader Jean Charest romp.

The party, famous for taking down legendary leaders from Rene Levesque toLucien Bouchard, would fall upon Boisclair without pity.

The merciless band of hard-core Pequiste militants may have to sheathe theirknives after Monday's election.

Boisclair's campaign has been far from stellar but he has managed to winpraise for a relatively gaffe-free run, an aggressive debate performance anda little glimpse of his human side.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

DP in DC - Incremental Success

by New York Law School Professor Arthur S. Leonard, March 22, 2007 in LegalIssues

The District of Columbia's gay rights advocates have slowly but surely beenassembling an increasingly comprehensive domestic partnership legalstructure for residents of the District. Since enacting their domesticartnership ordinance years ago, they have gotten city council members tointroduce a series of bills adding narrowly focused features year by year.

The process has been quiet and effective, surviving the required waitingperiod between council enactment and effective date so that Congress canexercise its veto - but in contrast to earlier years when Congress regularlyvetoed or voted to restrict or defund pro-gay District legislation, theprocess of slowly expanding the scope of domestic partnership has proceededapace without notable stumbles.

According to a press release from the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance ofWashington, D.C., March 14 marked the effective date of the two most recentsuch enactments. The first, Bill 16-958, the Domestic Partnerships JointFiling Act of 2006, makes it possible for registered domestic partners inthe District to file a joint tax return for their local taxes. Prior tothis enactment, the District followed the practice common throughout thecountry of restricting joint filing on the local returns to those eligibleto file federal returns jointly. Of course, the feds do not extend thiscourtesy to domestic partners -- at least not yet. The other measure, Bill16-0671, the Domestic Partnership Property Equity Act of 2006, addresses arather narrow point, the joint liability of domestic partners for debts incommon; such liability is a logical consequence of being domestic partners,but it is accompanied by a provision excusing partners from joint liabilitywhere one partner incurs a debt without the knowledge of the other.


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Iceland: Reykjavík supports Gay Pride

Reykjavík supports Gay Pride

03/23/2007 | 11:46
Iceland Review

Mayor of Reykjavík Vilhjálmur Th. Vilhjálmsson and the representatives ofGay Pride in Reykjavík signed an agreement in the city hall yesterdayregarding the city's support of the celebration.

"The [drag] queen of Videy" attended the signing of the agreement and todemonstrate his support of Gay Pride, the mayor kissed her hand.Morgunbladid reports.

The city agreed to increase its support of "Hinsegin dagar," the Gay Pridecelebration in Reykjavík, to ISK 12 million (USD 180,000, EUR 135,000) forthe next three years.


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Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research

A Quarter of Americans Back Same-Sex Marriage

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Adults in the United States remain dividedover the legal recognition of same-sex partners, according to a poll byPrinceton Survey Research Associates released by Newsweek. 26 per cent ofrespondents think homosexual couples should have full marriage rights, while24 per cent support civil unions.

Conversely, 44 per cent of respondents think there should be no legalrecognition of a gay couple's relationship, up four points since October.

In 2004, marriage certificates were issued to same-sex couples by localgovernments in the states of California, Oregon, New Mexico and New York. InMay 2004, the state of Massachusetts allowed gay and lesbian partners toapply for marriage licenses, the first state-sanctioned homosexual weddingsin the U.S.

Civil union and domestic partnership laws in Vermont, Connecticut,California and New Jersey grant same-sex couples all state-level rights andobligations of marriage-in areas such as inheritance, income tax, insuranceand hospital visitation. Other forms of domestic partnership exist in theDistrict of Columbia, Hawaii and Maine. There are more than 1,000federal-level rights of marriage that cannot be granted by states.


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Ted Haggard's Hell on Earth
By Sarah Posner, AlterNet
Posted on March 23, 2007, Printed on March 23, 2007

According to Bishop Carlton Pearson, Ted Haggard isn't going to hell. He'salready in hell.

Pearson, 53, was a leading light of the contemporary Pentecostal -- orcharismatic -- movement until he rejected the concept of hell a few yearsago. Hell, Pearson says, does not exist. Salvation by Jesus, he maintains,is not required for eternal grace. Everyone is saved. The only hell is righthere on earth, a creation of fundamentalism, scriptural literalism and theterror that fills the hearts of fundamentalists at each impure thought, eachshameful moment of sexual longing. "I'm not trying to convert anybody,"Pearson told me recently. "I'm just trying to convince everybody thatthey're loved. Ultimately redeemed, whoever they are."

Pearson calls the notion that a supposedly merciful God would torture peoplein an eternal hell "absurd and vulgar." It's no wonder then, that Pearsonwas roundly condemned by his peers, including the pre-scandal Haggard, forhis radical views. Haggard, Pearson said, "denounced me and said, 'hell is aphysical place.' ... Well, he's right, and he's in that hell right now."

Pearson has known Haggard since they were classmates at Oral RobertsUniversity in Tulsa in the 1970s. ORU, founded in 1963 by the televangelistand faith healer Oral Roberts, demanded "holiness" and required students tosign an honor code pledging not to drink, smoke, dance, party, have sex, oreven think about sex.


Gay British men pay fertility clinic £33,000 for designer babies

Sarah-Kate Templeton, Health Correspondent

DOZENS of gay British men have paid about £33,000 to create a baby of theirchosen sex on an IVF programme for two-father families.

Nearly 20 male couples from this country have already taken part in thescheme, in which they pay for eggs from a university student which are thenimplanted in a different woman who bears the child.

The Fertility Institutes, the clinic in Los Angeles which runs theprogramme, said it had also received 25 inquiries by last week from malecouples in Britain thinking of paying for surrogate children.

The programme is thought to be the first specialist surrogacy schemededicated to "two-father" families.

The men can even choose whether to have boys or girls, with three-quartersso far opting for male babies.

The clinic said it was meeting the demand from gay men who were desperate tobecome parents but were unable to start a family in Britain because of theshortage of donor eggs and surrogate mothers.


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IL: Bill to allow civil unions headed to House floor

Sauk Valley Newspapers
Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bill to allow civil unions headed to House floor

SPRINGFIELD (AP) - Gay Illinois couples would be allowed to enter civilunions with the same legal rights as marriage under legislation approvedWednesday by an Illinois House committee.

If the measure becomes law, Illinois would become only the fifth state tooffer civil unions, which would give couples rights to estate benefits,child custody or adoption, property ownership and others now enjoyed bymarried couples. Massachusetts is the only state that allows gay marriage.

"Illinois is ready now for civil unions," the sponsor, Rep. Greg Harris,D-Chicago, said at a Statehouse news conference. "The outpouring of publicsupport shows it's ready for civil unions, and I hope one day it will comearound to the concept of same-sex marriage."

After discussions with House colleagues, Harris abandoned his efforts tolegalize gay marriage, saying the idea faced too much resistance.Illinois just last year banned discrimination based on sexual orientationafter a decade of debate.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Eugene A. Sokoloff
Russia Office
Human Rights Watch

The regional legislature in Saratov is considering an amendment to theelectoral code, which would require prospective candidates to indicate theirsexual orientation and whether they were transgender. One legislator arguedthat, if candidates would lie about their sexual orientation, then what wasto say they wouldn't lie about something more serious. Another declared,"When people come to power, these [the slang term here is "pederasts"] don'twork; they look for a partner."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Sent on behalf of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network


Veterans & Activists to Rally in Washington for Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don'tTell'

March 26 Event Coincides with Lobby Day to Support Repeal Legislation

A Capitol Hill rally in Washington, D.C., to support legislative efforts torepeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on lesbian, gay andbisexual service members. The rally coincides with Servicemembers LegalDefense Network's (SLDN) fifth annual lobby days, organized to support theMilitary Readiness Enhancement Act (HR 1247), a Congressional bill to repealthe ban on open service.

Hundreds of veterans and activists from across the country will be joinedby a lineup of speakers including Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), Capt.Joan E. Darrah, USN (Ret.), Marine Sergeant and Iraq War Veteran BrianFricke, Patricia Kutteles, mother of slain PFC Barry Winchell, and C. DixonOsburn, executive director of SLDN. (A comprehensive list of speakers isavailable at

Since 1993, the Department of Defense has dismissed more than 11,600service personnel under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," including nearly 800 with'mission-critical' skills. Every day, another two service members are firedunder the law. The Military Readiness Enhancement Act would repeal the lawand allow lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans to serve openly in the U.S.Armed Forces.

WHEN: Monday, March 26, 2007 at 3pm

WHERE: U.S. Capitol - West Front Center Grassy Area


Red Orbit

Gay Christians Find Place to Connect
By Randy MyersSTAFF
Timothy Glynn wants to meet a good, Christian man.

The 51-year-old Floridian hopes to find Mr. Right this summer, when he plansto post a personal notice at, an onlinemeeting place for gay and lesbian Christians.

The site appeals to Glynn because he finds the postings refreshinglyrestrained compared with racier personals he has seen on sites such as

"I think a lot of straight people have the misconception that we're alllooking for that one-night stand.
And we're not. Many of us are looking for a spiritually grounded person," hesaid.

Even though he hasn't signed up yet, Glynn visits andhas engaged in e-mail exchanges with its founder, Justin Cannon, a studentat Berkeley's Church Divinity School of Religion.

He's also familiar with Cannon's Web site,which features Cannon's writings on what the Bible has to say abouthomosexuality. Those two Internet endeavors have caught the eye ofmainstream media and led the theology student to being named one of 2006'smost 100 influential gays and lesbians by Out, a gay magazine.


Forwarded from National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/;s=1;dm=ss;w=400&taf=ny

Slideshow Of Openly Gay Celebs

Catch up on your "Openly Gay Celebrity" knowledge by going through this listof 25 fabulous stars! You may be surprised by a couple of them.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

"Larry Kramer is Wrong.This Time"
By John Cepek and Jody M. Huckaby

Hate is a very strong word.

In his use of the word in an editorial yesterday, Larry Kramer certainly hadsome valid points. There are many people who do hate gay, lesbian, bisexualand transgender (GLBT) people. Sadly, such individuals are in places highand low, from the halls of Congress to people in our neighborhoods. Evenmore tragically, such people have had a disproportionate impact on the livesof our GLBT loved ones and ourselves.

However, we have to make a strong stand on this issue: Larry Kramer'sblanket assertions weren't just unfair - they were a monumental injustice tothe thousands of straight allies that we (and many people like us) encountereach day.

To be clear, Kramer has some valid points. The deafening silence of any ofthe presidential contenders on General Pace's comments is horrifying, andGLBT people and their allies should take them to task for it. Our votes mustnot be taken for granted. The massive inequality our loved ones face as aresult of the denial of equal protection is inexcusable, particularly for anation that boasts of its opportunity for all.


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