Tuesday, March 27, 2007

GLBT DIGEST March 27, 2007

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Survey: Americans more accepting of openly gay athletes

According to a recent national survey conducted by Witeck-CombsCommunications and Harris Interactive, 72% of heterosexual adults say their
feelings toward their favorite male professional athlete would not change if
the player revealed he is gay.

According to a recent national survey conducted by Witeck-Combs
Communications and Harris Interactive, 72% of heterosexual adults say their
feelings toward their favorite male professional athlete would not change if
the player revealed he is gay.

The results demonstrate an increase from August 2002, when heterosexual
adults were asked the same question and 66% responded that their feelings
wouldn't change if a player came out.

Additionally, the participants of the survey were asked what "other sports
fans would feel" toward an openly gay athlete. Results showed that 72%
believe that other sports fans would have a less favorable opinion.

However, these findings are a decrease from 2002, when 80% of the
participants said they felt other sports fans would have a less favorable




March 27, 2007

Georgia lesbian's child-custody suit argues gays don't have legal right to

Sara Wheeler's life has become a contradiction. Once a proud lesbian, she's
now a pariah among gays. Once in a committed relationship with a female
partner, she's rethinking her sexuality. And now she's doing something she
once would have considered unthinkable: arguing that gays don't have the
legal right to adopt children.

Sara Wheeler's life has become a contradiction. Once a proud lesbian, she's
now a pariah among gays. Once in a committed relationship with a female
partner, she's rethinking her sexuality. And now she's doing something she
once would have considered unthinkable: arguing that gays don't have the
legal right to adopt children.

Wheeler is coming to grips with the fact that she's become an outcast for
taking this step in a custody fight for her child. But she says that isn't
what her fight is about: ''It's about motherly rights.''

Wheeler, 36, and her partner, Missy, decided to start a family together and
share the Wheeler last name. In 2000, Sara gave birth to a son, Gavin,
through artificial insemination. Two years later, they decided Missy should
adopt the child and legally become his second parent.

Georgia law doesn't specifically say whether gay parents can adopt a child,
so the decision was up to a judge in the Atlanta area's DeKalb County. After
an adoption investigator determined that both partners were committed to the
child, the judge cleared the request.




March 27, 2007
Army sends gay job candidate bigoted e-mails

A man who posted his résumé on the job-seeking Web site CareerBuilder.com
became involved in a spiteful e-mail exchange with an Army recruiter who was
interested in hiring him before finding out he was gay. The Jersey Journal
of Jersey City, N.J., reported Monday that recruiting sergeant Marcia Ramode
fired off several messages to New Jersey resident Corey Andrew for three
days after he told her he was not interested in joining the military because
of its "don't ask, don't tell" policy against gays serving openly in the

She told Andrew, who is black, "Go back to Africa and do your gay voodoo
limbo tango and wango dance and jump around and prance and run all over the
place half naked there."
She also told Andrew, using her military e-mail address, that being gay is
immoral and that he must be "a total idiot and so stupid to presume that you
do not know what gender you are."
Andrew fired back, according to the article, criticizing her poor grammar
and spelling. He also took a jab at her admitted Native American heritage,
writing, "So take that to your next rain dance." Ramode's actions are under
review by the Army Recruiting Command's staff judge advocate. (The Advocate)




March 27, 2007
Iowa senate may extend civil rights protections to gays

Iowa senate Democrats intend to move forward this week with a bill to extend
state civil rights protections to gay and lesbian Iowans. The bill would add
the words ''sexual orientation'' and ''gender identity'' to a list of
protected characteristics under Iowa's Civil Rights Act. Democrats have long
supported expanded protections, and they now control the senate, house, and
governor's office. (AP)




Aussie Idol singer comes out

Australian Idol contestant Anthony Callea publicly announced he is gay to
the Melbourne Herald Sun on Monday.

"I have no issue with my sexuality now, but it's taken time to become
confident with who I am and happy with who I am," he told the Aussie
newspaper. "I'm looking forward to living a life with no barriers and not
having to worry about saying the right thing."

Callea, 24, was outed earlier this month by a radio DJ, though he said he
planned to come out publicly before the incident. He described it as a
weight off his shoulders, especially since he had denied being gay inearlier interviews. He told the Herald Sun that he didn't want to be knownas the "gay contestant from Idol."

In the interview Callea said that he went thought depression during his teenyears and eventually went to a psychologist. He said that his parents werenot privy to why he was in a state of deep depression. Since then, he hasmet his current partner, Paul, during the show, who he said has been verysupportive. While coming out publicly has been cathartic for him, Calleasaid, he worries about his family, who live in a Melbourne suburb.

"I'm strong enough to cop any flak that might come my way, but I care aboutthe comments that might come to my family and friends," he said.

According to the article his single "The Prayer," is the highest-sellingsingle in Australian history. (The Advocate)




No "Empty Garden" for Elton John, now 60

Elton John may have sung ''Empty Garden,'' but as usual, he was not in one.The singer celebrated his 60th birthday Sunday night with a performance atNew York City's Madison Square Garden-not coincidentally, his record-setting60th performance there.

A star-studded audience surrounded him, including former president Clinton.Welcoming him to the ''60-year-old club,'' Clinton paid tribute to John'swork helping people with AIDS.

His three-hour, 33-song set included contributions from the Brooklyn YouthChorus Academy. Robin Williams, and Whoopi Goldberg briefly joined himonstage, with Williams saying the tuxedoed John ''used to make Liberace lookAmish.''

John extended his own record for most performances at the Manhattan venue.The Grateful Dead, with 52 shows there, is second.

Michael Caine, Rosie O'Donnell, Barbara Walters, k.d. lang, KieferSutherland, Kid Rock, Liv Tyler, and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne also attended.

John's lyricist, Bernie Taupin, led the audience in singing happy-birthdaywishes.

''Without Bernie Taupin none of us would be here tonight,'' John said.''Because the words have always come first.'' (AP)


The Advocate


George Michael to perform to help five Bulgarian nurses on death row

Out pop star George Michael will perform in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Wednesday insupport of five Bulgarian nurses jailed in Libya, according to the SofiaNews Agency. The nurses have been sentenced to death on charges that theyintentionally infected more than 400 children with HIV. He has dedicated theperformance of the song "Freedom" to them.

The concert will take place in the Lokomotiv stadium Wednesday evening. (TheAdvocate)




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.

Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind., refused to negotiate a SoulforceEquality Ride visit in any way. My calls were never returned, and my variousletters, e-mails, and faxes were similarly ignored time and again. Theassistant to my contact at Notre Dame expressed her confusion that I wouldkeep trying when I had already been told "no." These administrators, I havefound, have been heeded for so many years that they are confounded whensomeone my age, looking and sounding like a college student, does not take"no" for an answer.


Detroit News


March 26, 2007
Deb Price
Gays survive exorcism, find love, urge change

M eet the Vinces.

Or, as friends call them, Vince C. -- short for Cervantes -- and Vince P. --for Pancucci.

Talking to the young couple, it's hard to imagine that less than a year agoeach underwent exorcisms or other religious "treatments" intended to de-gaythem while they were students at the same Christian college in California.

"I was about ready to end my life," recalls Cervantes, 19. "No matter howmany exorcisms I went through, no matter how many times I cried and askedGod to change me, I wasn't changing."

Wrestling with being gay fundamentalist Christians, their paths merged lastAugust. Through prayer, Scripture reading and listening to their hearts,they came to understand their sexual orientation is a God-given identity.And they soon fell in love. Or, as Cervantes describes it,"I felt God opened a door for me."

At school, they bravely posted testimonials about how it hurt to hear beinggay called "sinful" and "immoral" in chapel. School administrators rippeddown their testimonials and threatened expulsion.

Refusing to abandon their relationship, the couple left school and becamedomestic partners under California law, gaining nearly all the state-levelrights and responsibilities of married heterosexuals.


The Advocate


Behind the gay-friendly faces

No, they're not for same-sex marriage, but Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama-the 2008 Democratic presidential front-runners-are good for gays ingeneral, right? Or are they? An insider's view.

By Rod McCullom

Excerpted from The Advocate April 10, 2007

The opening battle in the war between 2008 Democratic presidentialfront-runners Hillary Rodham Clinton, the junior senator from New York, andBarack Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, was surely fought the lastweek in February, after David Geffen-the out billionaire, entertainmentmogul, and onetime friend of Bill-told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowdthat Republicans thought Clinton was the "easiest to beat" and that she andher husband "lie with such ease it's troubling." The scorching interview waspublished February 21, the day after Geffen hosted a star-filled fund-raiserfor Obama in Los Angeles, as he had in years past for Bill Clinton.

But now the tables had turned, and Geffen's statements triggered a rapidresponse from Team Hillary, which decried the "politics of personaldestruction" (remember that old chestnut?) and demanded that Obama distancehimself from the comments and return the $1.3 million he had raised thenight before.


The Express Gay News


Museum director says gay co-workers created hostile workplace
Straight woman claims she was shown photos from gay website
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) | Mar 27, 8:20 AM

The director of a museum where "The Stepford Wives" was filmed is allegingthat her gay colleagues created a hostile work environment, including onewho poked her in the eye and another who showed her graphic pictures from agay website.

Marjorie St. Aubyn, executive director of the Lockwood-Mathews MansionMuseum in Norwalk, says the incidents were part of a campaign to force herto resign. She also said her car was vandalized and she was threatened withpoisoning.

St. Aubyn filed a discrimination complaint last month. The museum's boardvoted this month not to renew her contract, which ends Saturday.

"What appears to have happened is that once my client had some problems withone of the gay members of the staff, they all took umbrage at it," CraigDickinson, St. Aubyn's attorney,said Monday. "It got very ugly."

Christopher Cooke, chairman of the museum's board of directors, denied theallegations.




LaBelle, Hudson shine at U.S. gay media awards
Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:56AM EDT
By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bravo network's hit show "Project Runway" and theindependent film "Quinceanera" won honors at the gay media watchdog GLADD'sannual awards on Monday, but it was singer Patti LaBelle and Oscar-winning"Dreamgirl" Jennifer Hudson who stole the show.

R&B diva LaBelle received a special achievement award, presented by Hudson,for championing gay and lesbian rights and participation in the fightagainst AIDS.

"I didn't know you were this nice," LaBelle told Hudson at the Gay andLesbian Alliance Against Defamation's 18th annual media awards. "I thoughtyou were a bitch," she joked, noting that she had never met Hudson beforetheir joint appearance.

LaBelle spent most of her acceptance speech praising Hudson, a losing"American Idol" contestant won an Oscar last month for her debut portrayalof a pop singer in the musical "Dreamgirls."

In a passing-of-the-torch moment that brought a cheering audience to itsfeet, the pair launched into an a cappella rendition of "Nobody Knows theTrouble I've Seen." Hudson appeared astonished by LaBelle's tribute, saying"You are who I idolize."




Gay PQ Head Leads Party To Stunning Defeat
by The Canadian Press
Posted: March 27, 2007 - 8:00 am ET

(Montreal, Quebec Many people had low expectations for Andre Boisclair inthe Quebec election. On Monday night, he met them.

Boisclair, the Parti Quebecois' youngest leader and a member of thelegislature at the age of23, now has the dubious distinction of leading the PQ to one of its moststunning defeats.

The PQ won just 36 of the province's 125 seats to finish in third place onMonday night, effectively stopping the clock on any timing for anothersovereignty referendum.

But it likely started it ticking away on how long Boisclair will keep thePQ's top job.

A crestfallen Boisclair didn't address his political future when headdressed supporters Monday night.




Kansas Lawmakers Mull Banning Gay Partner Registries
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 26, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Topeka, Kansas) The Kansas legislature is considering a bill that would barlocal municipalities from creating domestic partner registries to recognizesame- and opposite-sex couples.

The city of Lawrence is the first local government to propose a domesticpartner registry. An ordinance to set up the registry has not been dealtwith by city council, but state Republicans want to kill the idea before itcan come to a vote.

Rep. Lance Kinzer (R) says a partner registry would violate the state'sconstitutional ban on gay marriage.

His proposed legislation would prevent any city or county from establishinga domestic partner registry that "recognizes any domestic partnership notrecognized under state law."

Last week during a committee hearing on the bill lawmakers were told withoutsame-sex marriage a domestic partnership registry would help same-sexcouples receive health insurance coverage from companies that extendbenefits to their employees' partners.




NM Senate Refuses To Take Up Domestic Partner Bill
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 26, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Santa Fe, New Mexico) New Mexico Republicans have sent Gov. Bill Richardsona harsh message on LGBT rights just as he was preparing to trumpet successin pushing through a domestic partner bill in speeches to gay rights groupsin Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Richardson, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for President, hadhoped to use passage of the partner legislation to garner LGBT support. Herecalled the legislature and last week the measure passed the House. (story)

But on the weekend the Senate refused to deal with it and six other billsthe governor wanted passed. As soon as the Senate was called to order inspecial session on Saturday Republicans immediately moved to adjourn. Withthe help of three Democrats the motion was accepted and the Senate rose.

The Senate is scheduled to reconvene on Thursday but only if the Houseremains in session. Since the lower house has completed its work in thespecial session it is unknown if representatives will decide to stay insession in an attempt to force the Senate to act.

But even then, the Senate could continue to adjourn itself without taking upany of the bills.




Conservative Jewish Seminary To Admit Gay Rabbinical Students

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 26, 2007 - 12:00 pm ET

(New York City) The Jewish Theological Seminary announced Monday that itwill begin accepting LGBT students into its rabbinical and cantorialschools.

The decision comes three months after a panel of scholars who interpretJewish law for the Conservative branch of Judaism voted to allow theseminaries to decide on their own whether to admit openly gay students.

But the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards left enough leeway to allowsynagogues that consider same-sex relations contrary to Jewish law to bargay clergy from their pulpits.

The decision also comes two weeks after the Ziegler School of RabbinicStudies, based at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, admitted a gayman and a lesbian for the fall semester.

The Jewish Theological Seminary, based in New York City, is the movement'sflagship rabbinical school.


National Gay News



Experts Set Out Global Standards for Sexual Rights and Gender Equality

(Geneva, March 26, 2007) - A groundbreaking set of principles on sexualorientation, gender identity, and international law is a landmark advance inthe struggle for basic human rights as well as gender equality, Human RightsWatch and the Center for Women's Global Leadership said today. The document,known as the Yogyakarta Principles after the city where it was adopted, waslaunched today in Geneva by a group of 29 international human rightsexperts.

"These principles establish basic standards for how governments should treatpeople whose rights are too often denied and whose dignity is too oftenreviled," said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, andTransgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "Firmly grounded in lawand precedent, they enshrine a simple idea: human rights do not admitexceptions."

The "Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Law inrelation to Issues of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity" were adoptedby a meeting of experts in international law in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, inNovember 2006. They confirm legal standards for how governments and otheractors should end violence, abuse, and discrimination against lesbian, gay,bisexual, and transgender people, and ensure full equality.

The experts launching the principles include a former United Nations HighCommissioner for Human Rights, as well as UN independent experts, members ofUN treaty bodies, judges, activists, and academics. Human Rights Watch waspart of a secretariat supporting the work of the experts who developed theprinciples. The Center for Women's Global Leadership was a member of theadvisory committee to the secretariat.


Bible Belt Blogger


Why Jewish Theological Seminary is admitting gays
The school's chancellor-elect, Arnold Eisen, explains the decision.
March 26, 2007

To the JTS Community:

I write to announce that, effective immediately, The Jewish TheologicalSeminary will accept qualified gay and lesbian students to our rabbinicaland cantorial schools.

This matter has aroused thoughtful introspection about the nature and futureof both JTS and the Conservative Movement to a degree not seen in ourcommunity since the decision to admit women to The Rabbinical School nearlytwenty-five years ago. Convictions and feelings are strong on both sides.Some will cheer this decision as justice long overdue.

Others will condemn it as a departure from Jewish law and age-old Jewishcustom. One thing is abundantly clear: after years of discussion and debate,heartfelt and thoughtful division on the matter is evident among JTSfaculty, students, and administration. The same is true of professionals andlay leaders of the Conservative Movement. For many of us, the issue runsdeep inside ourselves.

Those of us who undertook the ordination discussion at JTS acted not asposkim, or legal adjudicators - that responsibility fell to the Committee onJewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly (CJLS) - but aseducators charged with setting standards for our unique academicinstitution. From the outset, as we set about considering what JTS should doon this matter, three steps seemed necessary.

First, our decision would be preceded by a deliberate and careful process inwhich the views of all constituencies would be respectfully heard andpatiently considered. The positions of both sides would be thought throughand the likely consequences weighed. This process is now complete. I willreview its elements below.

Second, the announcement of JTS's decision would lay out our thinking on thematter in detail commensurate with the gravity and complexity of thedecision.


The New York Times


March 27, 2007
Colo. Episcopal Church Battles Diocese

Filed at 9:29 a.m. ET

DENVER (AP) -- Colorado's largest Episcopal congregation was left in turmoilafter leaders voted to leave the denomination and the bishop responded bydismissing the parish's leadership.

The controversy at Colorado Springs' Grace Episcopal Church and St.Stephen's Parish is the latest to roil the Episcopal Church following thenational denomination's acceptance of homosexuality.

The vestry of Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish on Monday voted to boltfrom the national church and instead join a conservative Anglican churchbased in Nigeria. The move came three months after its pastor was placed onsuspension amid an investigation of church finances.

Bishop Robert O'Neill rejected the church's move, dismissing the localleaders and saying the Colorado Springs parish would remain part of theEpiscopal Church.

''The fact is people may leave the Episcopal Church but parishes cannot,''O'Neill said in a statement.


The New York Times


March 27, 2007
Mindful of Past, Clinton Cultivates the Military

Of all the early problems Bill Clinton faced as president, few stand out toSenator Hillary Rodham Clinton as more frustrating and avoidable than hisrocky relationship with the military, her advisers say.

During his 1992 campaign, Mr. Clinton was attacked for avoiding the Vietnamdraft and organizing antiwar marches in the 1960s. After taking office, hisearly focus on gay men and lesbians in the military drew sharp criticismfrom the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin L. Powell, and otherofficers. Even his ability to salute properly was called into question.

Mrs. Clinton, to use a phrase, has been practicing her salute. As a senatorand now as a presidential candidate, she has cultivated relationships withgenerals and admirals, prepped herself on wartime needs and strategy, andtraveled to Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I think eight years in the White House, traveling the world and seeing theUnited States military doing the nation's business, and now her time in theSenate, has given her a significant appreciation of the military that maybeher husband didn't have before the White House," said Jack Keane, theretired general and former Army vice chief of staff who has become close tothe senator.

For Mrs. Clinton, exhibiting a command of military matters is not just aboutlearning from her husband's experience. It could be vital to her, as a womanseeking to become a wartime commander in chief, to show the public that sheis comfortable with military policy and culture - and with the weight ofresponsibility that accompanies life-and-death decisions.


The New York Times


March 27, 2007
For Some Black Pastors, Accepting Gay Members Means Losing Others

ATLANTA - When the Rev. Dennis Meredith of Tabernacle Baptist Church herebegan preaching acceptance of gay men and lesbians a few years ago, heattracted some gay people who were on the brink of suicide and some who hadleft the Baptist faith of their childhoods but wanted badly to return.

At the same time, Tabernacle Baptist, an African-American congregation, lostmany of its most loyal, generous parishioners, who could not accept amessage that contradicted what they saw as the Bible's condemnation ofsame-sex relations. Over the last three years, Tabernacle's Sundayattendance shrank to 800, from 1,100.

The debate about homosexuality that has roiled predominantly white mainlinechurches for years has gradually seeped into African-American ongregations,threatening their unity, finances and, in some cases, their existence.

In St. Paul, the Rev. Oliver White, senior minister of Grace CommunityChurch, lost nearly all his 70 congregants after he voted in 2005 to supportthe blessing of same-sex unions in his denomination, the United Church ofChrist.

In the Atlanta area, a hub of African-American life, only a few blackchurches have preached acceptance of gay men and lesbians, Mr. Meredithsaid. At one of those congregations, Victory Church in Stone Mountain,attendance on Sundays has fallen to 3,000 people, from about 6,000 four orfive years ago, said the Rev. Kenneth L. Samuel, the senior pastor.


The Washington Post


Gays Arrested at Ky. Seminary Sit-In

The Associated Press
Monday, March 26, 2007; 8:19 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Members of a gay rights group were arrested Monday afterstaging a sit-in at a Baptist seminary whose president is drawing criticismfor his comments on prenatal treatments that would influence a child'ssexual orientation.

The group, Soulforce, attempted to meet with the Southern BaptistTheological Seminary's president, the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., aninfluential evangelical leader.

Twelve were charged with criminal trespassing _ a misdemeanor _ and bookedinto jail, Louisville police said.

The sit-in in front of Mohler's office lasted about two hours, said JarrettLucas, a co-director of a Soulforce tour that is visiting Christiancolleges.

The group did not contact officials at the private campus in advance of thevisit, said Lawrence Smith, the seminary's vice president of communications.Smith said a small group left when they were asked by police to leave, butthe others stayed.




Faith and work collide in Minneapolis
Somalian immigrants create a stir by declaring certain jobs offensive toIslam.

By Stephanie Simon
Times Staff Writer
March 27, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS - "GET OVER IT," urged the posting on an online bulletin board,"you are in America act like an American!!"

The anger was directed at Somalian immigrants who have roiled this city bydeclaring certain jobs offensive to their Muslim faith. Many Somaliancabdrivers - who dominate the airport taxi business - refuse to transportpassengers carrying alcohol. Some Somalian cashiers will not handle porkproducts; instead, they've begun asking customers to scan their own bacon.

To the immigrants, it's a question of religious freedom - and protectingthemselves from sin.

"This is not something we are choosing to do. It's part of our religion,"said cabdriver King Osman, 37. "It's forbidden to carry drink. Forbidden!"

This attitude has outraged many longtime Minnesotans. The widespreadresponse: This is America, and you're free to practice your faith. You'renot free to inconvenience others because of those beliefs.


A Special Message from the Executive Director of Soulforce

It's been a powerful and challenging week for Soulforce and our young adultdivision (Soulforce Q).

Today, the East bus of the Equality Ride visited Albert Mohler, the currentpresident of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, chairman of theSouthern Baptist Convention's Council of Seminary Presidents, and boardmember of Focus on the Family.


In his March 2nd blog, Mohler acknowledged that a mounting body ofscientific research suggests that sexual orientation is shaped by biologicalfactors and is not a behavioral choice. However, he went on to say, "If abiological basis is found, and if a prenatal test is developed, and ifsuccessful treatment to reverse sexual orientation to heterosexual isdeveloped, we would support its use as we should unapologetically supportthe use of any appropriate means to avoid sexual temptation and theinevitable effects of sin." Later he adds, "We can and must insist that noscientific finding can change the basic sinfulness of all homosexualbehavior."

Translation: Straight people have a "sexual orientation" - LGBT people, evenin utero, have a "sinful temptation."

Today, twenty-two brave Equality Riders entered the Southern BaptistTheological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, sat down in a peaceful act ofcivil disobedience, and calmly demanded that Mohler publicly retract andapologize for his outrageous statement - a statement which essentially callsall Christians to support homosexual genocide if the science to do so isdeveloped in the future.

Riders were told that Mohler was not available to talk to them, so JarrettLucas, co-director of the East bus, read the following statement during thesit-in:

Contact rays.list@comcast.net for the full message.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

IGLHRC Supports Free Expression for ASWAT

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Hossein Alizadeh, 212-430-6016, halizadeh@iglhrc.org

(New York, NY, March 26, 2007) - The International Gay and Lesbian HumanRights Commission (IGLHRC) today called on political and religious leadersin Israel to ensure the safety of all participants in the March 28, 2007ASWAT conference in Haifa by speaking out in support of free expression andassembly.

ASWAT, the only Palestinian lesbian organization in Israel, plans tocelebrate its 5th anniversary with a book launch to call attention to thediversity and needs of their community. Since its founding, ASWAT has beendevoted to providing a safe space for women with non-conforming sexual andgender identities and to combating discrimination against them. IGLHRChonored ASWAT and its leader, Rauda Morcos, in 2006 with the Felipa de Souzaaward for their courage, leadership and accomplishment as an important voicefor human rights.

ASWAT's conference and book launch has drawn threats from Islamic leadersthat could severely threaten the rights and safety of conferenceparticipants. These leaders have called for the cancellation of the event,describing ASWAT as a "fatal cancer that should be forbidden from spreadingout within the Arab society and from eliminating the Arab culture."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

HRC Campaign College--please help

This year, HRC is starting "Campaign College". Participants will solely befocused on drumming up grassroots support for HRC's top legislative priorityfor the year - ENDA. You can be eligible to apply if you are 18 yrs old andup. It will occur in this year (a non-election year), but it is the bestexperience if you are interested in politics.

What will HRC do:

-Pay for your transportation (to any city we need you to drum up support)
-Pay for your training (here in DC, 4 day training)
-Pay a stipend and gas allowance

What you have to do:

-Be prepared to work the summer (no exceptions)
-Be required to have a car for the duration of the program (summer)
-Have the time of your life

Applications for this program are due April 9. Please pass this email alongto your network, and encourage your associates, friends, or others you thinkmay be interested to apply.


In 2007, the Human Rights Campaigns top priority is working to banworkplace discrimination and passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.HRC will place great importance on getting messages to Congress from theirfair-minded constituents, including mobilizing and engaging HRC membershipand the GLBT community, town hall meetings, phone banking, letter writingcampaigns, etc

HRC will select 10-15 Campaign College participants, bring them to DC inearly June to participate in a four-day training, then place them in thefield for the summer. No prior experience is necessary, but some campaignactivity is a plus. HRC will pay for transportation, the training, astipend and a gas allowance; participants are required to have a car for theduration of the program. Applications are due April 9, 2007.

You can find more information on HRCs Campaign College 2007 at http://www.hrc.org/campaigncollege. Any questions can be directed tocampaigncollege@hrc.org.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Lesbian Domestic Violence Research

I am a graduate student at California State University, San Bernardinoconducting research on lesbian domestic violence. I would appreciate anyassistance you can provide in getting this message out to victims of lesbiandomestic violence. I have attached a copy of the flyer and a post card I amusing to get participants to complete the survey. Please feel free todistribute this flyer to any outlet in your area that would have an interestin this subject matter. If you would like some post cards to distribute,please let me know and I can send some to your facility.

This study is being conducted by Kathy Dart to meet the requirements for aMasters in Criminal Justice under the supervision of Dr. Deborah Parsons,professor of Criminal Justice, at California State University, SanBernardino. If you have any questions regarding this research, please feelfree to contact Dr. Deborah Parsons at (909- 537-7364). E-mail:parsons@csusb.edu. The Institutional Review Board at California StateUniversity, San Bernardino has approved this study.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

HeartStrong NEWS

A message from Marc Adams
Executive Director

One week until we begin our 19th outreach trip. It's absolutely amazing
that we are at this point in our work.

We are still WAY behind in the money needed to cover expenses. If you canhelp with that you can mail a donation to us at HeartStrong, PO Box 2051, Seattle WA 98111 or make your donation online at

During this trip we have scheduled three silent auction fundraisers forHeartStrong. We are hoping to raise an additional $5000.00 at thesefundraisers. But in order to raise that kind of money, we need items forthe auction.

The easiest way for you to help is to donate a gift card or two. Prettymuch every major department store, restaurant chain etc., has gift cardsavailable for purchase in the store or from their websites.

We already have some giftcards from Blockbuster video but we need more.This is an easy way for you to help HeartStrong!

We already have autographed items from Melissa Etheridge, KD Lang, LillyAllen, Betty White and others. Be watching for our April newsletter formore information about the auctions and items available.

Either way, whether it is a monetary donation or a contribution for theauctions or both, I'd love to hear from you!

For those of you in Texas and Oklahoma, we will see you in the next twoweeks!




Nigeria: Homosexuality ban 'risks democracy'
Sat. March 03, 2007 07:16 am.- By Bonny Apunyu.

(SomaliNet) A proposed Nigerian law banning same-sex marriages is a threatto democracy, says Human Rights Watch.

In a letter to Nigerian Senate, they said the legislation, "contravenes thebasic rights to freedom of expression, conscience, association, andassembly."

The rights group urges the Nigerian National Assembly to reject the bill.

If the proposed law is approved, anyone who speaks out or forms a groupsupporting gay and lesbian rights could be imprisoned.

The bill has divided both chambers of the Nigerian parliament as some MPssee legislation as a move to save Nigerian morals and cultural values.Others legislators who reject it say it say it is anti-freedom and portraysNigeria's democracy in bad light.

"Supporters of the same-sex marriage in Nigeria don't know what they aresaying. As far as we are concerned, gay marriage is not allowed in Africa,"says Emmanuel Onwubiko, a senior commissioner at Nigeria's Human RightsCommission.


Forwarded from Richard Kinz

The Audacity of Deviants

Daily Trust (Abuja)
March 22, 2007

Posted to the web March 22, 2007
By Idanga Alibi

Last Monday, ThisDay newspaper carried a story on its foreign page entitled,'Anti-Gay Bill May Lead to Gay Genocide'. Although the newspaper did notindicate the source of the story, it is obvious that it was from a foreignnewsagency. To make our point, we will quote the story very extensively.

The story says, "The 'anti-gay' bill pending in the legislature of Nigeriacould result in the country running foul of international treaties, whichoutlaw genocide, according to a statement issued on Wednesday by the GayHomelandFoundation (GHF)."

"Nigerian politicians and high officials of the Anglican Church in Nigeriapushing for the anti-gay bill in their country might themselves becomesubjectto international prosecution, GHF suggests. The Foundation states theproposed legislation, if implemented, will undoubtedly have catastrophiceffects ongay people in Nigeria."

"The group cites the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment ofGenocide which characterizes genocide as: acts committed with intent todestroy,in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:
Killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm tomembersof the group; Deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bringabout the group's physical destruction, in whole or in part; Imposingmeasures intended to prevent births within the group; and or, Forcible
transfer ofchildren of the group to another group."

For the full article contact rays.list@comcast.net


Forwarded from Michael Emanuel Rajner
National Secretary - Campaign to End AIDS
Founding Member - Campaign to End AIDS-FLORIDA

Letter Asking for Funding Increase Closes This Wednesday

Call your Representative right away and ask that he or she sign on to aprogrammatic funding increase letter for HOPWA -- LETTER CLOSES WEDNESDAY,MARCH 28

Today, Representatives Nadler (D-NY), Crowley (D-NY) and Murphy (D-CT)released a programmatic sign-on letter (see below) to the Chair and RankingMember of the House HUD Appropriations Subcommittee requesting NAHC'srecommended funding level for the Housing Opportunities for Persons WithAIDS (HOPWA) program for FY2008 -- $454 million. The President included $300million for HOPWA in his FY08 budget request - a welcome increase over theFY07 appropriated level of $286 million, but -- far below the amountrequired to meet actual need.

Here is the challenge: Sign-ons from members of Congress are urgentlyneeded. The deadline for him or her to sign on to this critical letter isWednesday, March 28, 2007. Immediate action is needed from AIDS housingproviders, consumers and advocates to urge your member of Congress to signon to the letter.

Follow these easy steps to request that your Representative sign on:

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121 and ask to be transferred toyour Representative's office. (Don't know who your Rep. is? Visitwww.house.gov to find out.)

Ask to speak to the person on your Representative's staff that handleshousing funding issues.

Tell the staffer that you are a constituent and that you urge theRepresentative to sign on to Representatives Nadler, Crowley and ChrisMurphy's letter to the Appropriators asking for $454 million dollars for theHOPWA program in FY08. He or she can sign on by contacting JillianYoungblood of Rep. Nadler's staff.

Below is the letters to Appropriators requesting an increase for HOPWA aswell as the "Dear Colleague" letter from Representatives Nadler, Crowley,and Murphy asking their fellow Reps. to sign on...

Contact rays.list@comcast.net for the full article




Nigerian gay group claim new law could create exodus

19th March 2007 14:17
Christopher Hayes

A gay rights pressure group has condemned Nigeria's anti-gay marriage bill,warning that its passing would cause significant problems for othercountries.

Changing Attitudes Nigeria (CAN), an Anglican Church pressure group on LGBTrights, attacked a bill that would ban same-sex marriage and imprison anyoneassociated with promoting gay rights.

Davis Mac-Iyalla, head of Changing Attitudes Nigeria, warned that acceptanceof the bill would see vast numbers of Nigerians fleeing to other countriesto escape persecution.

"Already we are seeing an increase in homophobic behaviour and attacks,because people feel they can get away with it. The climate is alreadybecoming intolerable", said Mac-Iyalla.


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