Wednesday, March 28, 2007

GLBT DIGEST March 28, 2007

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay Atlanta's next generation
Meet 20 young leaders already making their marks on our city

Mar. 23, 2007

If you ever wonder about the future of gay Atlanta, look no further - it'shere.

As we launch the next generation of Southern Voice and start our 20th year,we begin a two-part series saluting 20 young people in Atlanta who are thenext generation of this city's leaders.

They represent fields as diverse as politics, activism, nightlife, businessand the arts, but they have one thing in common: They are already makingtheir voices heard.

Rachael Smith, an event planner by day, is "The Donna" of Atlanta's ownFemme Mafia,, during just about every other waking hour.

Founded by Smith in January 2005 with a handful of members, the groupdedicated to honoring the queer feminine identity - including their love forglitter heels, makeup, sexy dresses - has grown to more than 100 memberslocally.

Atlanta's Femme Mafia spurred the formation of chapters in Chicago,Milwaukee, Mississippi, Los Angeles, New Jersey and even Stockholm, Sweden."Some of our original members had a lot of stories of feeling ostracized bythe queer community," said Smith, who has lived in Atlanta since 2003. "Wewould go to My Sisters Room and have cigarettes thrown at us and womenasking us if we got lost on our way to Buckhead and where are ourboyfriends." But as the Femme Mafia made a name for itself in Atlanta,through its annual Masquerade Ball and participation in Pride and Black GayPride, Smith said she noticed a definite change in attitude.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

03/20/2007 20:26:32
Two Heterosexuals From Politics on Moscow Gay Pride 2007 OrganisingCommittee
Second Moscow Gay Pride march date confirmed for Sunday, May, 27

The organising committee for this year's Moscow Gay Pride, to be held in theRussian capital between May 25 and 27, includes two heterosexuals from thepolitical arena.

The committee members, announced yesterday, include politicians EdwardMurzin, a parliamentarian from the Bashkortostan region of Russia, andNikolai Khramov, leader of the democratic political movement RussianRadicals, among the seven-strong group, the other five are from the Russiangay community.

Also serving on the organising committee are Vlad Ortanov, publisher of oneof the first Russian gay magazines ARGO; Alexey Davydov, the coordinator ofthe Russian LGBT Rights group; Evgenia Debryanskaya, leader of the Russianlesbian movement; and Nikolai Baev and Nikolai Alekseev of GayRussia.Ru.

"Last year there were only three of us, this year the organising committeeincludes seven people, and not only homosexuals but also heterosexuals whichunderlines the importance of our event for the society as a whole anddevelopment of democracy in Russia," said Mr. Alekseev.

He added that the official notification of the proposed Pride march onSunday May 27 - the14th Anniversary of the decriminalisation of malehomosexuality in Russia - will be sent to the Moscow Mayor within thelaid-down time frame of 10 to 15 days prior to the event.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Loving Us into Extinction
A Baptist leader says we're 'equally made in the image of God.' Yet heusurps God's authority when he advocates eliminating gays

By Jeff Lutes
Religion News Service

I have fond memories of growing up in my Southern Baptist church inLexington, Ky. My father was a deacon, my mother taught Sunday school for 14years, and -- like all good Southern Baptists -- we attended services onWednesday nights and twice on Sunday. Several of our church leadersgraduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in nearbyLouisville.

As a result, I was horrified -- as all fair-minded Americans should be -- toread the recent comments of Albert Mohler, the current president of thatseminary and a board member of Focus on the Family.

In his blog on March 2, Mohler explores the mounting body of scientificresearch suggesting that sexual orientation is shaped by biological factors.In doing so, he alludes to the Religious Right's slow and reluctantconcession that sexual orientation is an innate human characteristic, not abehavioral choice. The argument that homosexuality is simply a behavioralissue is the foundation for the Religious Right's arguments against equalcivil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.

Mohler goes on to state, "If a biological basis is found, and if a prenataltest is developed, and if successful treatment to reverse sexual orientationto heterosexual is developed, we would support its use as we shouldunapologetically support the use of any appropriate means to avoid sexualtemptation and the inevitable effects of sin."

Later he adds, "We can and must insist that no scientific finding can changethe basic sinfulness of all homosexual behavior."


"Estonia and UK take lead in supporting written declaration on combatinghomophobic bullying"

Half of all Estonian MEPs have signed the declaration

The Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights has released a progress report onthe adoption of the written declaration on combating homophobic bullying,unveiled on Valentine's Day this year in a joint meeting of the Intergroupon Gay and Lesbian Rights and the Trade Unions Coordination Group. Thewritten declaration calls for renewed effort in combating bullying motivatedby sexual orientation and asks for the Commission and the Member States toimprove research and engage in campaigns that will seek to eradicate thisplight faced by more than half of LGBT young Europeans and theirheterosexual peers who are considered to be LGBT.

The progress report reveals that half of Estonia's 6 MEPs have signed thewritten declaration making it the Member State with the highest percentagesupport. It is followed by Sweden (36,5%), and Denmark (35,5%).

The United Kingdom is the Member State with the most signatories - 23British MEPs from all of the UK's largest parties have signed thedeclaration highlighting the cross-party support for the text. France hassecond most signatories (18), followed by Italy (16).

"We've collected 147 signatures in favour of the declaration in the shortspace of 1 month. It's an excellent start but we've still got some work todo to get this written declaration adopted," Michael Cashman, President ofthe Intergroup continued, "I'm optimistic, we need to make the most of thenext plenary sessions. We have until the 30th April 2007 to get therequisite 393 signatures. I call upon all NGOs who wish to put a stop to allforms of bullying in schools to contact their local MEPs asking them tosupport this declaration by signing it."

Contact for the full article.

= .

'Yogyakarta Principles' a Milestone for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, andTransgender Rights

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 rights

"These principles establish basic standards for how governments shouldtreat people whose rights are too often denied and whose dignity is toooften reviled," said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, ndTransgender 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.


Join the Guardian debate. Click on the link below and add your comment

Jamaica's police shame

Bob Woolmer's murder gets police attention, but not the murder gay Jamaicans

By Peter Tatchell

The Guardian - Comment Is Free - 26 March 2007

The on-going Jamaican police investigation into the tragic murder ofPakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer has shown that the island's constabularyis capable of taking violent crime seriously - when it wants to.

For ordinary working class Jamaican murder victims, however, adequate policeinvestigations are rare. Three or four Jamaicans are murdered every day (outof a population of only 2.6 million). Kingston is one of the murder capitalsof the world. Most of the victims are poor. Police inquiries are oftenperfunctory. The killers are rarely bought to trial.

The chances of getting justice in Jamaica are even lower if you are gay.Homophobic violence is widespread on the island; fuelled by the anti-gayhatred that is daily spewed from church pulpits, newspaper columns,dancehall music and radio stations.

On the one hand, many Jamaicans are proud of their homophobia. They defend
it as part of their culture. On the other hand, the Jamaican government andpolice are in full-scale denial about the massive scale of queer-bashingviolence.

Last month, a huge lynch mob cornered four allegedly gay men in a pharmacystore in Kingston and demanded they be handed over to be beaten to death inthe street. Who were these people? Just ordinary shoppers. Word spread aboutthe presence of some "batty men" (faggots, queers, benders, poofs) andhundreds of shoppers descended on the store hell-bent on killing them.

The police eventually turned up and took the victims to safety, but notbefore allegedly subjecting them to a stream of homophobic abuse and bashingone with a gun butt. The mob was threatening to kill the four men. No onewas arrested. They never are.

Some black Jamaicans in the UK, and their white friends, protested to theJamaican High Commissioner in London, Burchell Whiteman. They urged Jamaicangovernment action to remedy the culture of socially-sanctioned homophobicviolence. The High Commissioner's reply illustrates the problem. He wrote:



TEL AND FAX 01926 858450

Affiliated to Amnesty International &the International Humanist & Ethical Union

27 March 2007


Such is the level of homophobia in the Catholic Church that its schoolsshould be taken from it and returned to the community sector, says the UKGayand Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA).

Reacting to a House of Commons Select Committee report, published today,which shows that the Catholic Church is refusing to tackle homophobicbullying in its schools, GALHA's secretary George Broadhead said: "We'veseen homophobia in Catholic circles rising at a terrifying rate over thepast few months. The Pope is almost hysterical on the topic and the BritishCatholic hierarchy is constantly agitating to retard gay rights. What chancehave gay pupils got in schools which are run by an organisation that hatesthem?

"For the sake of these children and for the community at large which shouldbe protected from the promotion of bigotry in schools, the Catholic Churchshould be stripped of its educational establishments. Let us not forget thatthese schools are paid for entirely by the taxpayer - in effect, we are allfunding the unchecked bullying of gay children. Well, that's not how I wantmy tax contributions spent."


Slaves, gays and Anglicans

The Anglican Church spent much of the weekendtrumpeting loudly about the abolition of theslave trade. Sunday was the 200th anniversary ofUK legislation abolishing the slave trade.

Dr Williams and the Archbishop of York, Dr JohnSentamu, led a procession through London on Saturday to mark thebicentenary.

The Church dragged its heels on the issue oflaves, only freeing the last captors in 1833, 26years after the abolition of the slave trade inthe British Empire. The entire House of Bishopswas originally opposed to the abolition of theslave trade, and William Wilberforce and hiscolleagues had an uphill struggle over nearly 3decades to convince the Church of the rightness of their cause.

As if that's not bad enough, the Church receivedgovernment compensation for the loss of slavelabour to the tune of almost £9,000.

Observers have noted that the Church is currentlyprocrastinating on another human rights issue inthe 21st century- namely the persecution of gays and lesbians in Nigeria.



WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, the Williams Institute and the Urban Institutereleased a major study on adoption and foster care by lesbian and gayparents.

The study uses census data and other government surveys to estimate for thefirst time the number of adopted and fostered children living with lesbianand gay parents in the United States and to provide a demographic portraitof these families. The research team also estimates the economic and socialcosts of banning such adoptions and foster care, a prospect under debate inlegislatures and courts in several states.

Findings from the study include:

. More than 1 in 3 lesbians have given birth and 1 in 6 gay men havefathered or adopted a child.
. More than 50% of gay men and 41% of lesbians want to have a child.
. An estimated 2 million GLB people are interested in adopting.
. An estimated 65,500 adopted children are living with a lesbian or gayparent.
. Gay and lesbian parents are raising 4% of all adopted children in theUnited States.
. An estimated 14,100 foster children are living with lesbian or gayparents.
. Gay and lesbian parents are raising 3% of foster children in the UnitedStates.
. A national ban on GLB foster care could cost from $87 to $130 million.
. Costs to individual states could range from $100,000 to $27 million

"Our study documents that a significant number of GLB individuals andcouples are raising adopted and fostered children and two million GLB peoplewould consider adopting a child," said Gary J. Gates, Senior Research Fellowat the Williams Institute, "GLB people appear to be an under-utilizedresource for child welfare agencies desperately in need of families willingto foster and perhaps adopt children who have had a rough start in life,"Gates continued.


March 28, 2007
Iowa senate passes LGBT rights bill

Iowa's state senate passed a bill Monday to extend civil rights protectionsto gay, lesbian, and transgender people in the state, despite oppositionfrom business interests.

The bill adds sexual orientation and gender identity to a list of protectedcharacteristics under Iowa's Civil Rights Act. Democrats have long supportedexpanded protections, and they now control the senate, the house, and thegovernor's office.

The chamber passed the bill on a bipartisan 32-17 vote. It moves now to thestate house of representatives, where Iowa Equality board president SandyVopalka expects it to have a tougher time.

Among the civil rights bill's opponents of record were the Iowa Associationof Business and Industry and Meredith Corp., the Des Moines-based owner of12 TV stations and publisher of 26 subscription magazines, including FamilyCircle, Ladies' Home Journal, and Better Homes and Gardens.

Meredith lobbyist Jim Carney told on Tuesday that that stance was "amistake" arising from miscommunication, and that Meredith, going forward,will take a "monitoring or neutral" stance on the bill.


March 28, 2007
NYU allows gay fraternity

New York University's Inter-Greek Council has allowed Delta Lambda Phi, agay and bisexual fraternity, to be recognized on campus after athree-semester trial period. The New York Post reports that the fraternityhas worked on several public service projects, including running a benefitauction to raise money for abused women and children, and offering HIVtesting in the college's dorms.

"The NYU community has welcomed my group of 11 gay, bisexual, andprogressive fraternity men with open arms-and for good reason," MatthewMaggiacomo, the chapter's president, told the Post. (The Advocate)


Colorado Episcopal church votes to join Nigerian diocese

Colorado's largest Episcopal congregation was left in turmoil after leadersvoted to leave the denomination and the state's bishop responded bydismissing the parish's leadership.

Colorado's largest Episcopal congregation was left in turmoil after leadersvoted to leave the denomination and the state's bishop responded bydismissing the parish's leadership. The controversy at Colorado Springs'Grace Episcopal Church and St. Stephen's Parish is the latest in a tensedispute among Episcopalians and their fellow Anglicans worldwide over howthey should interpret what the Bible says about sexuality and other issues.

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

The Right Reverend Robert O'Neill, bishop of the diocese of Colorado,rejected the church's move, dismissing the local leaders and saying theColorado Springs parish would remain part of the Episcopal Church. ''Thefact is people may leave the Episcopal Church but parishes cannot,'' O'Neillsaid in a statement.

The church's longtime rector, the Reverend Donald Armstrong III, who wassuspended late last year, said O'Neill no longer has jurisdiction over theparish. ''He doesn't have an army. The courts will not interfere in aninternal church dispute,and the congregation is solidly behind us,''Armstrong said.


March 28, 2007
U.K. gays go stateside for in vitro babies

In the United Kingdom it's illegal to pay a surrogate mother or an eggdonor. But for about $65,000, gay British couples can create a baby-anddesignate its sex-in an American in vitro fertilization program fortwo-father families.

Nearly 20 male couples from the United Kingdom have signed up for theFertility Institute's program, in which they purchase a university student'seggs, which are then implanted in a paid surrogate, who bears the child.

With offices in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and another planned in New YorkCity, the Fertility Institute is one of the world's largest providers offertility services to gay people.

Of the $65,000 the clinic charges the couple, about $25,000 to $35,000 goesto the surrogate mother.

The program is thought to be the first surrogacy venture aimed at gay men.Couples can choose the sex of the baby, with 65% so far opting for malebabies. Sex selection of babies, though illegal in most countries, ispermitted in the United States as well as the United Kingdom.


Activists: Russia's rights climate is deteriorating, Soviet-stylerestrictions increasing

Russia's human rights climate is deteriorating and Soviet-style restrictionson freedom of speech and expression are multiplying, Russian andinternational activists warned Tuesday. Nina Tagankina of the MoscowHelsinki Group said there has been an ''overall worsening'' of the situation
in Russia and that authorities are prohibiting even peaceful protests andrallies.

She said a gay rights group in the Siberian city of Tyumen was deniedofficial registration after authorities said its advocacy work would nothelp prevent Russia's sharp population decline and thus posed a threat tothe county's national security.

The Vienna-based International Helsinki Federation said in a report thatRussian authorities have tightened restrictions on political pluralism andthe freedom of association and said officials were resorting to intimidationand abuse of opposition activists.

''The actions of the police...remind one of the intolerance of politicalpluralism that existed here in the Soviet Union,'' executive director AaronRhodes said in a statement. ''Russia is moving toward a one-party state.There is intolerance of political pluralism that is developing.''

Over the weekend police in the central city of Nizhny Novgorod violentlydispersed an antigovernment rally dubbed the March of Those Who Disagree.Three weeks earlier police clubbed protesters and dragged them into waitingbuses in St. Petersburg during a bold demonstration against PresidentVladimir Putin and Kremlin policies. An antigovernment protest in Moscow inDecember was similarly quashed by a massive police presence that dwarfed thedemonstrators.


Press Enterprise

Palm Springs' rival lesbian parties gear up for big crowds
10:00 PM PDT on Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Press-Enterprise

PALM SPRINGS - The annual Dinah Shore week is coming up, and organizers saythe lesbian party marathon is done playing kid sister to the city's morewell-known men's White Party.

Promoters for two competing Dinah events, which both begin Wednesday, saythey have been amping up their parties' marketing and star power to satisfya growing crowd of revelers. This week, celebrity performers include actressCarmen Electra, singer India.Arie, Lucy Lawless of "Xena: Warrior Princess,"comedian Sandra Bernhard and numerous TV actors.

"Getting really big names, that didn't really start till last year," saidSandy Sachs, co-founder of Girl Bar Dinah Shore Week. "It was sort of liketrying to create a 'wow' factor. We have more and more and more peoplecoming, so what do we do next?"

Partygoers flooded both events last year and in 2005 after the Dinah Shoreparties were featured on an episode of "The L Word," Showtime's series aboutthe lives of West Hollywood lesbians, organizers said.

In fact, cast members from the drama series will be among the manyattractions at one of the two events, The Dinah, which is hosted by ClubSkirts and PlanetOut.


98 shut-ins shut out of meal plan
G.M. Corrigan, The Examiner

Mar 27, 2007 3:00 AM (1 day ago)
Current rank: # 61 of 19,982

BALTIMORE - It could be the unkindest cut of all for those caught in thevicious cycle of sickness-induced poor appetite, physical weakness,isolation and meager means.

Reeling from a reallocation of federal Ryan White Treatment ModernizationAct funds allotted the Baltimore area, Moveable Feast, a Baltimore nonprofitthat prepares and delivers meals and groceries to area homeless and some 650homebound sick, has cut delivery to 98 HIV/AIDS Baltimore City patients dueto a diversion of $145,000 to other organizations.

"They took away half of our Ryan White funding for people in Baltimore City," Moveable Feast Executive Director Vic Basile said of the March 1development, which he said was imposed by the volunteer Greater BaltimoreHIV Planning Council. "So we're scrambling to try to find the money to[reinstate the recipients]."

Only about 50 of the organization's total recipients - mostly women withbreast cancer - are non-HIV/AIDS patients, Basile said.

"The service is great," said former client Harriet Johnson, a mother ofseven who now works for Moveable Feast. "It helped me mentally andphysically. I was too weak to get enough food for me and my children ... andthey gave us what we needed."


Appeal Filed In Colorado Gay Murder Sentence
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 27, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Montrose, Colorado) A Colorado man sentenced to 22-years in prison for themurder of a Montrose gay man is asking an appeals court to overturn hissentencing.

The public defender who represented Jason Fiske says in court documents thatthe sentence was too severe.

"The propriety of the sentence, the sufficiency and accuracy of theinformation on which the sentence was based, the constitutionality of thesentence and any other issues (Fiske) chooses to raise," the notice ofappeal says.

The appeal does not take issue with the plea bargain Fiske agreed to in the2005 strangling death of Kevin Hale.

Fiske pleaded guilty last December to charges of manslaughter and robbery.He originally was charged with murder


Man: Ex's Sex Change Should End Alimony
by The Associated Press
Posted: March 27, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Clearwater, Florida) Lawrence Roach agreed to pay alimony to the woman hedivorced, not the man she became after a sex change, his lawyers arguedTuesday in an effort to end the payments. But the ex-wife's attorneys saidthe operation doesn't alter the agreement.

The lawyers and Circuit Judge Jack R. St. Arnold agreed the case delves intorelatively unchartered legal territory. They found only a 2004 Ohio casethat addressed whether or not a transsexual could still collect alimonyafter a sex change.

"There is not a lot out there to help us," St. Arnold said.

Roach and his wife, Julia, divorced in 2004 after 18 years of marriage. The48-year-old utility worker agreed to pay her $1,250 a month in alimony.Since then, Julia Roach, 55, had a sex change and legally changed her nameto Julio Roberto Silverwolf.

"It's illegal for a man to marry a man and it should likewise be illegal fora man to pay alimony to a man," Roach's attorney John McGuire said. "Whenshe changed to man, I believe she terminated that alimony."


Conservative Activist: 'Take Children Out Of School On Day Of Silence'
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 27, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Washington) Conservative activist Linda Harvey is calling on parents totake their children out of school on The National Day of Silence - the dayLGBT students and their supporters draw awareness to homophobia inclassrooms by keeping silent in school.

This year The National Day of Silence will be observed on April 18.

"Teenagers deserve an opportunity to study English, history, math, andscience -- without being subjected to pro-homosexual proselytizingsanctioned by school authorities," Harvey said on a Web site she has openedto call for the boycott.

"Students shouldn't be forced to self-censor or adopt beliefs contrary tothose of their parents and places of worship," Linda Harvey said

"Even the strongest of our junior high and high school children are notequipped to serve as frontline soldiers in this culture war."


Setback for Ark. Gay Foster Parent Ban

The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 27, 2007; 9:49 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- An attempt to reinstate a ban on gays and unmarriedcouples adopting or fostering children faced a potentially lethal setbackTuesday after a legislative panel rejected it.

The Arkansas Supreme Court last year struck down a ban on gay fosterparents, but the Senate this month passed a bill to revive it _ and includeadoption and unmarried, heterosexual couples. That effort failed Tuesdaybefore the House Judiciary Committee when no one moved to pass it, and itlater was rejected by avoice vote.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Shawn Womack, said he probably wouldn'tbring the bill back for another vote if the session ended by the targetdate, Friday.

But it appeared Tuesday that the session might go longer.

The state Child Welfare Board instituted a ban on gay foster parents inMarch 1999, arguing that children should be in traditional, two-parent homeswhere it said they were more likely to thrive.


The Washington Post

WHO Urges Circumcisions to Curb AIDS

By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, March 28, 2007; 10:38 AM

JOHANNESBURG, March 28--The World Health Organization on Wednesday urgednations with rampant AIDS epidemics to begin offering free or subsidizedcircumcisions in hopes of preventing millions of new infections and deaths.

The new recommendations, endorsed also by the United Nation's AIDS agency,came in response to growing evidence that removing a man's foreskin lowershis risk of contracting HIV by 60 percent--a higher rate of protection thanthat offered by many vaccines.

Circumcision campaigns could prevent 5.7 million new infections in Africaover the next 20 years, the WHO said in a statement issued from Geneva.

"The recommendations represent a significant step forward in HIVprevention," Kevin M. De Cock, director of WHO's HIV-AIDS department, saidin the statement. "Scaling up male circumcision in such countries willresult in immediate benefit to individuals. However, it will be a number ofyears before we can expect to see an impact on the epidemic from suchinvestment."

The announcement capped a gradual reversal in attitudes about circumcision's benefits. A small group of researchers have been touting the value of theprocedure for more than a decade, producing dozens of studies showing thatregions with high HIV rates generally have low rates of circumcision. Threeexperiments, including two that reported results in December, have largelyquelled debate in the scientific community over the value of circumcision.


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


*** Call in Action Extended until next week ***

The National AIDS Housing Coalition (NAHC) is requesting your support in thefollowing call-in action to request that your representative sign-on to aletter demanding that Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) befunded at $454 million. President Bush is only increasing funding from $286million for FY07 to $300 million for FY08. To ensure affordable and safehousing for vulnerable persons living with AIDS, we must find this programat $454 million.

The action will only take about 3 minutes in order to protect housing forvulnerable populations.

As an individual, please follow these easy steps to request that yourRepresentative 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? Visit 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.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Ray's Note - Does this remind you of anything?

Polish ombudsperson wants professional restrictions for homosexuals

The Polish ombudsperson for children, Eva Sovinka, has expressed her wish toprevent homosexual teachers and sporttrainers from working. Homosexualsshould not be allowed to work in any way with children en young people inschools. There should be a list of professions that can not be exercised yhomosexuals, states Sovinka. 2 weeks ago the minister for Educationannounced a draft law that is to prohibit "homosexual propaganda" inschools.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Catholic schools promote bullying,,2043693,00.html

Bullying: calls for national inquiry
MPs fear victims not being protected

James Meikle, education correspondent

A national inquiry into the scale of bullying should be undertaken byministers because of fears that the problem is being downplayed by schoolsseeking to protect their reputations, a report demands today. New guidanceis also needed to ensure that victims who dare to fight back are notsuspended or expelled.

A report from the Commons education select committee singles out Catholicschools, which, it says, should be forced to make public their commitment tostop gay pupils being bullied. The Catholic church has refused to followgovernment guidelines urging schools to set up specific policies againsthomophobic bullying.

The MPs also raise concerns over what is being done to tacklecyber-bullying, with studies showing it is on the rise.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Bullying 'hidden to save reputations of schools'

By Liz Lightfoot, Education Editor

Victims of bullying are being told to stay at home for their own safety andschools are hushing up serious incidents to protect their reputations, MPssay today.

Some schools try to tackle the problem by attempting to change the victim'sbehaviour when they should be tackling the bully, according to the report bythe Commons education committee.

Failure to implement anti-bullying policies is leading to many problems,from general unhappiness to depression, self-harm or suicide.

The committee says all incidents of bullying should be recorded and theGovernment must require all schools, including Catholic ones, to developspecific policies against homophobic bullying. Thes incidents should belogged separately, as should bullying based on disability or race because ofevidence that attacks relating to things people cannot change are the mostharmful.

The Catholic Education Service has argued that bullying is bullying andthere is no need for separate categories. Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop ofBirmingham, told the inquiry that a robust general policy was the bestaction.

Minimum standards for anti-bullying policies should apply to "allstate-funded schools, including those with a faith-based ethos", the MPssay.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

"Yogyakarta Principles" Call for Action Worldwide
Against Discrimination and Abuse

(New York, NY, March 26, 2007)- The Yogyakarta Principles on the Applicationof International Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation andGender Identity, released today by a group of 29 international human rightsexperts, is a collection of groundbreaking international legal principles onsexual orientation, gender identity, and international law that charts a wayforward for both the United Nations and governments to ensure the universalreach of human rights protections.

The Principles affirm binding legal standards with which all States mustcomply. They were adopted by a group of distinguished experts ininternational law following a meeting in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Among thegroup of experts are a former United Nations High Commissioner for HumanRights, UN independent experts, current and former members of human rightstreaty bodies, judges, academics and human rights defenders.

"Human rights are for everyone, without reservation," said Sonia OnuferCorrĂȘa, a Research Associate at the Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDSAssociation (ABIA), who co-chaired the experts' group. "Yet women, men andpersons whose sexuality does not conform with dominant norms face rape,torture, murder, violence, and abuse because of their sexual orientation orgender identity. These Principles affirm that human rights admit noexceptions."

The full text at


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List News-Sentinel

Capitol Eye Column
Debate widens on same-sex ban
Major health insurance companies, others are now weighing in over the impactof a proposed state constitutional amendment.

By Mike Smith
of The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS - After three hours of debate over a proposed stateconstitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, state Rep. Scott Pelathlooked genuinely perplexed.

No vote was taken after the hearing in the House Rules Committee he chairs,and he said he did not know what the next step would be.

There was a "pretty strong chance" the panel would vote on the amendment, hesaid, but he left open the possibility of trying to change its wordingfirst. Proponents say doing that would start the lengthy amendment processfrom scratch, but Pelath wasn't sure about that, either.

"I can tell you that we are going to deal with this issue in one way oranother, in one form or another," said Pelath, D-Michigan City.

Try reading clarity into that.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List,0,7919638.story?coll=hc-big-headlines-breaking

The Hartford Courant

Gay Marriage Debated

Hundreds of people on both sides of the gay marriage issue came to theCapitol this afternoon to hear testimony on a bill that would permit gaycouples to marry.

Supporters said the state's civil unions law, while providing many tangiblebenefits, does not go far enough. "Why can I not have the same rights asother people have?" Hartford city councilman Pedro Segarra asked members ofthe legislature's judiciary committee.

In 2005, Connecticut became the second state to allow civil unions, whichprovide same-sex couples with all of the rights and responsibilities ofmarriage under state law. Vermont and New Jersey also allow civil unions;Massachusetts is the only state that permits gay marriage.

"We already have same-sex marriage," said committee co-chairman MichaelLawlor, D-East Haven. "We just call it civil union."


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