Sunday, May 13, 2007

GLBT DIGEST May 13, 2007

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The New York Times

May 13, 2007

Couples Enter New Terrain in Push for Gay Marriage in Connecticut

HARTFORD, May 11 — When the Connecticut legislature approved civil unionsthree years ago, gay rights advocates viewed it as only a half-victory, akind of pit stop in their quest for same-sex marriage.

On Monday, lawyers representing eight same-sex couples will take up thesecond half of the fight in oral arguments before the Connecticut SupremeCourt, where they will tell the judges that civil unions essentially createa “separate and unequal” status for gay men and lesbians.

With civil unions now legal in a handful of states and gay marriagepermitted in Massachusetts, advocates and scholars on both sides of thedebate are watching the case closely to see how judges navigate the newlegal terrain.

Last July, a Superior Court judge ruled against the plaintiffs, saying thatthe state’s civil unions already gave same-sex couples the rights andprotections of marriage. The couples are being represented by the Gay andLesbian Advocates and Defenders, the same group that successfully sued formarriage in Massachusetts.


The New York Times

May 12, 2007

Giuliani Takes On G.O.P. Orthodoxy on Social Issues

HOUSTON, May 11 — Rudolph W. Giuliani directly challenged Republicanorthodoxy on Friday, asserting that his support for abortion rights, guncontrol and gay rights should not disqualify him from winning the party’spresidential nomination.

He said that Republicans needed to be tolerant of dissenting views on thoseissues if they wanted to retain the White House.

In a forceful summation of the substantive and political case for hiscandidacy, delivered to a conservative audience at Houston BaptistUniversity, Mr. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, acknowledged thathis views on social issues were out of line with those of many Republicanprimary voters.

But he argued that there were even greater matters at stake in the election,starting with which party would better protect the nation from terrorism.Mr. Giuliani suggested that his record in New York, which included leadingthe city after the attacks of Sept. 11 and overseeing a decline in violentcrime during his eight years in office, made him the most electable of theRepublican candidates, no matter his stand on social issues like abortion.


The Washington Post

Romney Cites Scripture on Gay Marriage

The Associated Press

Friday, May 11, 2007; 7:57 PM

BOSTON -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is defending hisopposition to gay marriage by citing the Scriptures.

The former Massachusetts governor, who in his 1994 Senate bid pledged to bea more effective champion for gay causes than his Democratic rival,discussed gay marriage in an interview set to air Sunday on CBS' "60Minutes."

"This isn't just some temporary convenience here on Earth, but we're peoplethat are designed to live together as male and female and we're gonna havefamilies," he tells interviewer Mike Wallace, according to an excerpt CBSreleased Friday. "And that, there's a great line in the Bible that childrenare an inheritance of the Lord and happy is he who has or hath his quiverfull of them."

Romney, seeking to become the first Mormon president, also tries to allayany concerns about his religion.

"What's at the heart of my faith is a belief that there's a creator, thatwe're all children of the same God, and that fundamentally the relationshipyou have with your spouse is important and eternal," Romney said over thecourse of two interviews, one of which was taped at his vacation home inWolfeboro, N.H.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, May. 11, 2007

Paris Hilton finally paying overdue price

Are you heartbroken that Paris Hilton has been sentenced to jail? Meneither.

I take it as welcome evidence that occasionally karma gets it right and theuniverse slaps those most in need of slapping. Rarely has comeuppance beenmore desperately deserved.

Not just because she is a famous-for-nothing socialite, nor just because sheis an empty vessel inexplicably adored by people for whom vacuousness isapparently synonymous with worth. No, comeuppance is needed here because thewoman embodies such smug certainty that the rules do not apply to her. Moreto the point, because of the utter contempt she oozes for those who are notlike her, i.e. not monied, privileged, pretty, white and heedless.

I didn't get the depth of that contempt until the online release earlierthis year of a video that shows Hilton dancing at a party. At one point onthe clip, she describes some unnamed unfortunate as ''a f------ hoodlum,broke, poor public school bitch from, like, Compton.'' Compton is aworking-class city south of Los Angeles. At another point, Hilton describesherself and a friend as ''like two niggers.'' At yet another point, shecalls someone a ``faggot.''

Don Imus got fired for less.

But for Hilton, it was a one-day story. Fox did not cancel the ''reality''show she does with Nicole Richie. No sponsors are known to have pulled theirads. No coalition of blacks, gays and Comptonites demanded her head.


The Express Gay News

Gay mayor of North Miami re-elected
Burns survives negative campaign and ‘family values’ mailer

Friday, May 11, 2007

Kevin Burns, the first openly gay mayor of the city of North Miami, wasre-elected May 8, surviving what he referred to as a “negative campaign.”

Burns received 54 percent of the vote. His opponent, Jean Monestime,garnered 46 percent of the vote. Monestime was also Burns’ opponent in 2005.Burns won that race with 58 percent of the vote.

Another openly gay North Miami official, City Commissioner Scot Galvin, alsowon his bid for re-election.

Burns, who has a partner and an adopted daughter, said his opponent’scampaign made his sexual orientation an issue in subtle ways. Burns saidMonestime’s campaign sent out a “family values” direct-mail piece thatfeatured a picture of Monestime’s wife in her wedding gown and the couple inchurch. The direct-mail piece, which was titled “Get to Know My Family,”lso included photos of Monestime’s children.

Monestime’s campaign office did not return a phone call seeking comment, andthere was no home number listed for him in the phone directory. ButMonestime told the Miami Herald, “We ran a fair and upright campaign, and weare very disappointed with tonight’s results.”


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: 917-691-5118


'Bashing Back: Wayne Besen on GLBT People, Politics and Culture,' is anExplosive and Controversial Look at the World from a Unique ProgressiveViewpoint

NEW YORK - Author and activist Wayne Besen announced today he will launchhis latest book, "Bashing Back: Wayne Besen on GLBT People, Politics andCulture," at the Second Tuesday Lecture Series, at the LGBT Center in NewYork, on Thursday, May 17 (7PM). Bashing Back (Harrington Park Press) offersa powerful defense of secular and progressive values, while unsparinglyeviscerating religious charlatans and right wing hypocrites. It alsoprovides innovative approaches towards activism and practical advice forvictory. For more information on the event, please

Review copies are now available by contacting Margaret Tatich at Haworth

"Wayne Besen has powerfully proven once and for all that he is one of themost important voices in the progressive community," said author andadvocate David Mixner. "His unique insights, powerful outrage, anduncompromising commitment to real justice and equality make this book amust-read for those who care. He pulls no punches when it comes to theissues and people of our time. Finally, someone with the courage to call itas he sees it - how refreshing."

"Wayne Besen's comedic wit and knowledge base compels you to read throughthis book," said Joe Kort, MSW, author of '10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do Tofind Real Love.' "Like watching the Daily Show, Besen makes gay newsentertaining, enlightening and informing. This book is a valuable resourceboth currently and as time goes by - a great read for gay history inAmerica.


Express Gay News

Wayne Besen book makes case for revival of liberalism
South Florida author and columnist says conservatism is a ‘failed experiment’
By Jesse Monteagudo (Friday, May 11, 2007)

In a perfect world, Wayne R. Besen, a gay political commentator and authorof the new book “Bashing Back,” would be as well known as Andrew Sullivan.Sullivan writes articles on a variety of topics for Time magazine and TheNew Republic and makes periodic appearances on “The Chris Matthews Show” and“Real Time with Bill Maher.” Besen, the author of “Anything But Straight” —both the book and the syndicated column — makes occasional appearances onthe cable news channels, where he is mostly limited to discussing GLBTissues. Besen’s columns, though they also deal with a wide variety oftopics, appear mostly in GLBT publications.

The major difference between Besen and Sullivan: Besen is a liberal whileSullivan is a gay conservative. In fact, Besen’s unabashed liberalism isprobably why he does not have the status of an Andrew Sullivan, whose“conservative soul” makes him more acceptable to the mainstream, corporatemedia.

But while Besen’s books are currently ghettoized in the “alternativelifestyle” sections of chain bookstores, he hopes they will eventually beshelved among “mainstream” books on politics and public affairs.

“I think being ghettoized is a huge problem that limits sales,” Besenconcedes. “If “Bashing Back” is given the proper shelf space, it would be avery popular book. I think that is another form of activism, to createbetter shelf space for such books.”


The Express Gay news

State attorney drops charges against Nadine Smith
Florida activist says arrest was brutal and unjustified, demands apology

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office has dropped all charges againstFlorida gay rights activist Nadine Smith.

Smith, who is executive director of the statewide organization EqualityFlorida, was arrested at a public hearing in Largo, Fla., Feb. 27 after shehanded a flyer that said “Don’t Discriminate” to a supporter. According towitnesses, Smith was knocked to the floor and held down by four officers.She was charged with resisting arrest with violence and disrupting a publicassembly. She could have faced up to five years and 60 days in prison.

The state attorney’s office issued a statement this week saying that thecharges have been dropped.

“The state attorney, having taken testimony under oath at a state attorneyinvestigation, concludes that the facts and circumstances revealed do notwarrant prosecution at this time,” the statement says.

Smith’s arrest prompted statements of condemnation from a wide range ofgroups, including national gay rights organizations and civil libertiesgroups. It also prompted the creation of a website called Justice


The Express Gay News

Soulforce Ride tallies fines and 90 arrests
Bus tour advocated gay equality on Christian campuses

Friday, May 11, 2007

From the very moment they took off, the 50 gay rights activists who hit theroad on a tour of private, Christian college campuses with the 2007Soulforce Equality Ride made headlines.

The second Equality Ride, which kicked off with one bus traveling east andthe other traveling west on March 8, came to an end April 26. During thattime, riders racked up approximately 90 arrests and thousands of dollars inbail money and court fines, usually for little more than stepping onto theprivate property of the campuses they visited — though typically after beingwarned by college officials and local authorities.

The riders, most under age 25, volunteered their time and were not paid forthe trip. Each rider was tasked with raising about $4,000 from donations fortrip expenses, which included about $80,000 in hotel bills and $30,000 forfood, according to West Bus co-director Haven Herrin.

So far, Herrin said the fundraising efforts of the riders and Soulforce hadyielded about two-thirds of the $400,000 trip budget.

The riders coordinated each campus visit, some months in advance, andcontacted each school on the tour to ask for official permission to enterthe campuses and interact freely with willing students and teachers.


Express Gay News

A day to celebrate
Hate crimes vote in House is prelude to the real prize: passage of ENDA.
Friday, May 11, 2007

PRESIDENT BUSH AND the modern Republican Party have once again revealedtheir naked homophobia following last week’s House vote to approve hatecrimes legislation, marking the first time either body of Congress haspassed a freestanding gay civil rights bill.

Most opponents of the bill have failed to articulate an intellectuallyhonest reason for their disapproval. They invoke the usual fear mongeringabout the “gay agenda” and the supposed impact of the bill on churches. Butno one extends their rationale for opposing hate crimes laws to any of theother racial/ethnic/religious groups already covered; the double standard isglaring and telling.

Given that a wildly disproportionate number of hate crimes are committedagainst gays and lesbians, there can be no justification for excluding usfrom the law.


Mass. AG: Proposed Gay Marriage Ban Likely Illegal
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: May 12, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley saysthat a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is likelyunconstitutional and if it gets to voters and is approved her office willwork with gay rights groups to challenge it in court.

Coakley, a Democrat, made the announcement in a speech to the MassachusettsLesbian & Gay Bar Association.

"If that battle is necessary, you have my support," she said to thunderousapplause.

Coakley said that she has asked the civil rights division in her office tobegin preparing legal arguments if the measure is approved by theLegislature to go to voters next year.

"I think we can easily anticipate that if the proposed amendment wassuccessful, there would be protracted, hard-fought litigation about theconstitutionality of such a provision," Coakley said.

Since same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts in 2003 more than8,500 gay and lesbian couples have wed.



Anti-Gay Regime Likely To Head Key UN Body
by The Associated Press

Posted: May 12, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(New York City) Zimbabwe is likely to win approval to head a key U.N. bodycharged with promoting economic progress and environmental protectiondespite protests from some Western countries and human rights organizations.

The 53-member Commission on Sustainable Development is scheduled to voteFriday on its new chair, U.N. officials said. The chair traditionallyrotates among regions of the world, and it is Africa's choice this year. Thecontinent has chosen Zimbabwe as its candidate, and the government hasnominated Francis Nhema, the minister of environment and tourism for thepost.

"For Zimbabwe to lead any U.N. body is preposterous," said Jennifer Windsor,executive director of Freedom House, an independent nongovernmentalorganization that has monitored political rights and civil liberties inZimbabwe since 1980.


Priest Quits Rather Than Uphold Ban On Gay Marriages
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: May 11, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) An Anglican priest has resigned rather than submitto a directive from his bishop not to officiate at gay weddings.

The Rev. Shawn Sanford Beck of the Saskatoon Native Ministry announced lastmonth that he would marry gay couples if asked. Same-sex marriage is legalin Canada.

In an open letter, Sanford Beck said the Canadian church’s ban on same-sexmarriages and blessings "theologically problematic and fundamentallyunjust."

Bishop Rodney Andrews asked the priest to reconsider his position by March31 or risk losing his license to minister.

Andrews pointed to Anglican Church of Canada guidelines which prohibiteither blessing services or marriages for same-sex couples.

"To my knowledge, the Rev. Shawn Sanford Beck has not presided at a same-sexblessing or a same-sex marriage. Accordingly, I issued Shawn a short-termlicense effective April 1, 2007. Shawn has chosen not to accept licensingand has returned the license to me," Andrews said in a statement.

"He has subsequently resigned his position with the


Alabama Gay Hate Crime Bill Killed
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: May 11, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Montgomery, Alabama) For the second year in a row an attempt to addsexuality to the categories covered under Alabama's hate crime law has died.

The House voted Thursday not to consider the legislation which wouldincrease the sentence of anyone convicted under the law of attacking aperson because they were gay or lesbian.

The 45 - 43 vote came despite an impassioned plea from Rep. Patricia Todd,the only openly gay lawmaker at the Capitol.

Todd told the House that she has seen the effects of hate crimes againstgays and said she is often worried she will be assaulted because she is alesbian.

Republicans said the measure is unnecessary because Alabama law alreadymakes it a crime to kill or assault anyone regardless of the reason.

Rep. Alvin Holmes, the bill's sponsor said that he will reintroduce themeasure in the next session of the legislature.


National Gay News.Com

Pot Leads to Homo Erotic Kiss
Bizarre homoerotic anti-cannabis ad Runs on MTV Canada

According to Allen St. Pierre, the national director of NORML,( it has hundreds, if not more than a thousand anti-cannabisPSAs archived, many produced since the 1960s.

"However, this new homoerotic anti-cannabis ad from MTV Canada is one of thestrangest I've ever seen," says St. Pierre.

The ad is supposed to be a 'no cannabis and driving' ad directed at teens,however a major advertising agency, Saatch & Saatchi, would have the viewingaudience believe that cannabis use will cause such great impairment and lossof control, that two brothers post a bong hit, are so high that theyerotically kiss each other.


"I'll be the first to say that my brother and I have consumed a fair amountof cannabis together in our lives, but have failed to found our way into apassionate lip lock," added St. Pierre.


National Gay News.Com

A Case for Gay Liberals
Besen Publishes a Book of Columns

In a perfect world, Wayne R. Besen, a gay political commentator and authorof the new book “Bashing Back,” would be as well known as Andrew Sullivan.Sullivan writes articles on a variety of topics for Time magazine and TheNew Republic and makes periodic appearances on “The Chris Matthews Show” and“Real Time with Bill Maher.” Besen, the author of “Anything But Straight” —both the book and the syndicated column — makes occasional appearances onthe cable news channels, where he is mostly limited to discussing GLBTissues. Besen’s columns, though they also deal with a wide variety oftopics, appear mostly in GLBT publications.



Navratilova Acceptance Speech

Martina Navratilova received the 12th annual International Role Model Awardon May 5, 2007, at the National Constitution Center. Click HERE to watch heracceptance remarks.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Article published May 10, 2007

Gay couples reeling from ruling on health benefits
By Kristofer Karol

With a 2-year-old son battling a form of autism and requiring constantsupervision, Howell's Erin Otteman relies on her partner to bring home notonly income, but health-care benefits as well.

But if a state Court of Appeals' February decision is not reversed, Otteman;her partner, Rachel Rangel, and hundreds of other gay couples throughout thestate could be impacted in the wallet.

The decision reversed a lower court's ruling and said public employerscannot recognize same-sex unions for any purpose, including for healthbenefits.

Otteman, 26, and Rangel, 24, would be in a bind because the latter works asa custodian at the University of Michigan and Otteman's son, who is herbiological child from a previous relationship, goes to the doctor's officeseveral times a week.

"It's hard to think about it, it really is," said Otteman, who is alsotrying to pursue a college degree from home. "It's unfathomable for me tohave to go to work full time to get benefits."

The American Civil Liberties Union is currently trying to persuade the stateSupreme Court to take up the case. The case was initially filed by a groupcalled National Pride at Work Inc. against the city of Kalamazoo and thestate of Michigan. In January 2006, Kalamazoo stopped providing healthbenefits to its same-sex employees, based on the recently added amendment tothe Michigan Constitution.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

STATE: Congressional panel to grill Michigan judge on same-sex marriage
By Todd Spangler

When Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Janet Neff appears tomorrowbefore a Senate committee, there apparently will be questions – again –about her role in a 2002 commitment ceremony between two lesbians and herviews of same-sex marriage.

Last year, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, a strong opponent of gaymarriage and now a Republican candidate for president, blocked Neff’snomination to a seat on the U.S. District Court for Western Michigan, havingraised those same questions.

Tomorrow, she will come before the Senate Judiciary Committee with erconfirmation, which is back up for consideration, in the balance.

Brownback’s office didn’t return telephone calls to the Free Pressthis week – but Congressional Quarterly reported today that the senatorstill plans to ask Neff about her views.

“Let’s hear what she has to say.” CQ reported Brownback as saying.

For her part, Neff said today she hadn’t heard anything aboutBrownback’s questions until a reporter told her about the CQ article. Shealso said she wouldn’t discuss her nomination or the ceremony, which tookplace in Massachusetts.

She has said in the past she attended only as a friend of one of thewomen and that it wouldn’t influence her ability as a federal judge.

“It’s sort of a replay of what we went through last year,” she saidtoday. “I’ll do the best I can when he asks me tomorrow.”


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,0,3657882.story

Critics Complain About Romney Record

Associated Press Writer
Posted May 10 2007, 8:10 PM EDT

AGAWAM, Mass. -- Conservative activists criticized Mitt Romney overhis abortion record Thursday as the Republican presidential contenderreceived an award from an anti-abortion group that also used to complainabout his support for abortion rights.

A coalition including the leaders of the Pro-Life Federation, theMichigan Conservative Union and Massachusetts Resistance was especiallycritical of the revelation that Romney's wife, Ann, had donated $150 toPlanned Parenthood during her husband's 1994 U.S. Senate campaign.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Experts at work on effects of Ore. gay rights bills

01:18 PM PDT on Friday, May 4, 2007

Associated Press

Gays in Oregon may have some new questions to sort through as they considerforming domestic partnerships and their new protection from discriminationunder two bills Gov. Ted Kulongoski is expected to sign.

For example, domestic partners will be able to file joint returns in Oregon,but will have to file as singles on their federal forms.

A person who includes his or her domestic partner in an employer's healthcoverage would have to report the value of that insurance as income forfederal tax purposes -- but not for state taxes.

"Essentially, domestic partners will be the same as married couples underOregon law only, but not with regard to IRS or federal codes," said Portlandcertified public accountant Nola Wilken.

Failing to pay attention to the tax angle on health insurance could causeproblems at filing time. A partner who receives $400 in monthly healthcoverage through her partner's plan would add $4,800 to her partner'sincome -- an extra $1,200 tax hit in the 25 percent bracket.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Mike Gravel, 2008 Democratic presidential candidate, says he has no problemwith gay love.

by David Edwards and Mike Sheehan

(Via Raw Story) - Mike Gravel, 2008 Democratic presidential candidate, sayshe has no problem with gay love.

New Hampshire's WMUR TV hosted a conversation with Gravel in which theformer US senator, answering an audience question about gay marriage,replies, "If a couple of lesbians or gay men want to get married, and theylove each other, they should have the right to do that and enjoy all thelegalities in our society that go along with that. I have no problem withthat at all."

"I think that people who create these problems of homophobia and the likesof that do us a disservice," Gravel continues. "We are all human beings andone of the things that should motivate us, most of all, is love."

He blasts President Bush's "faith-based leadership," saying, "You can'tlegislate morality."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay People's Chronicle - Ohio

Almost a quarter of Ohio included;
TG measures will protect a third of U.S.

by Brian DeWitt

When the governors of three states sign new equal rights laws as expectedsoon, over half the people in the nation will be covered by one thatincludes sexual orientation.

Almost a quarter of Ohio’s population will be among them, although neitherstate nor federal nondiscrimination laws protect lesbians and gays here.

In addition, a third of the U.S. population will be covered by a measurethat includes transgendered people, including some Ohioans.

In the last few weeks, legislatures in Oregon, Iowa and Colorado have passedstatewide LGBT equal rights laws, bringing to 20 the number of states thathave done so. All three state governors have said they will sign.

Most of these are broad measures covering housing, public accommodations,loans, education and other areas. The Colorado law and one in Nevada arelimited to employment only.

Following the practice since the late 1990s, the three new state lawsinclude transgender people, either with the words “gender identity” or bydefining “sexual orientation” to include transgender status. With these, adozen states and the District of Columbia include transgender protectionsalong with sexual orientation.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

In Public Sector, GLBT Adoption and Foster Care Are Thriving

by Kimberly AbruzzoEDGE Boston Contributor
Thursday May 10, 2007

Adoptions in Massachusetts by GLBT families are on the rise. Thoughdifferent issues exist with private adoption, adoption internationally, orwith adopting infants from other states, in the public sector GLBT familiesstand as good a chance of being parents to any of the 600 children in thestate waiting to be adopted from foster care as traditional families.

Bridget Chiaruttini, a social worker with the Home for Little Wanderers,says about 40 percent of her foster care cases in the public sector end withadoption are into GLBT families. Her organization has done specific outreachto the GLBT community to recruit new homes for children in the Massachusettspublic system.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

MSU hate group put in the cross hairs by Michigan Democratic Party
By Todd A. Heywood

Originally printed 05/10/2007 (Issue 1519 - Between The Lines News)

Capitol Correspondent

LANSING- Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer is calling on a host ofwell-known Republicans to cut their ties to and condemn Michigan StateUniversity's chapter of Young Americans for Freedom because it is identifiedas a hate group.

"Republicans need to condemn the (MSU) YAF immediately for its hatefulstatements and actions. It is unacceptable that Republican leaders andelected officials are sitting on the sidelines as one of their youth groupsspread hate and discrimination. Republican leadership needs to take actionto end the bigotry of their youth groups," Brewer said in a press statement.

MSU YAF was officially listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty LawCenter on April 26 when SPLC posted its 2006 hate group listings on its website. MSU YAF is the first university recognized and affiliated hate groupthat SPLC is aware of. The group is led by Kyle Bristow.

Brewer and the state Democrats called on the Republicans to condemn MSU YAF.Specifically, he asks refutation from U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI Dist. 8),
Michigan Sec. of State Terri Lynn Land, State Attorney General Mike Cox,former Republican candidate for governor Dick DeVos and Republican StateChair Saul Anuzis, all of whom are pictured with Bristow on his web site,

But far from condemning him, on a radio show last week Saul Anuzis said,"This (Kyle Bristow) is exactly the type of young kid we want out there."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

The first person to tell America: 'Gay is Good'

When the Army fired Frank Kameny
50 years ago, he began an era

by Eric Resnick

Published April 27, 2007; Gay People's Chronicle (Cleveland)

Cleveland--“If I’m not remembered for anything else, I want to rememberedfor coining the slogan, ‘Gay is Good,’ ” said Dr. Franklin E. Kameny.

Kameny, 82, was interviewed by the Gay People’s Chronicle before he gave thekeynote address at the American Veterans for Equal Rights nationalconvention in Cleveland on April 21.

Kameny is one of the most important figures in the struggle for LGBTequality, having been the movement’s intellectual base, its conscience andits driving force.

After serving as a combat soldier in Europe during World War II, Kamenyfinished the Ph.D. in astronomy he started at Harvard at age 15. Afterteaching at Georgetown University, Kameny took a civil service job as anastronomer in the Army Map Service in Washington, D.C.

Shortly afterward, Kameny was investigated on a morals charge after beingdiscovered in Lafayette Park, a gay cruising area across the street from theWhite House.

Kameny was fired from the Army job in 1957, and in 1958 learned that he hadbeen barred by the Civil Service Commission any future employment with thegovernment.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Navy discharges Jason Knight - again
by: pam
Fri May 11, 2007 at 11:00:00 AM EDT

"I have now spent five years in the Navy, and I have lovedevery minute of it. It is unfortunate that in our country, which pridesitself on being a beacon of liberty to the world, discrimination is stillalive and well, even in our own government. I am proud to be among the onemillion gay veterans who have answered the call to duty, and I look forwardto working alongside them to topple this un-American and counter-productivelaw."
-- Jason Knight, commenting on the Navy's decision to give hima pink slip -- again.
The Navy, caught with its Don't Ask, Don't Tell pants down in apaperwork snafu, claims another trained and ready servicemember.
Petty Officer Second Class Jason Knight refused to stay in thecloset after he made headlines recently because he received recall orders toserve in Kuwait. He had been discharged before for coming out to his commandduring his last enlistment.

The insanity of this policy is out there for everyone to see inyet another embarrassment for this government straining to find qualifiedrecruits.

The United States Navy has informed Petty Officer Second Class Jason Knightthat it intends to fire him under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" lawjust weeks prior to completing his one-year commitment. Knight, an openlygay sailor, was recalled to active duty in June 2006 and recently completeda tour of duty in Kuwait, where he was open about his sexual orientationwith his command and fellow sailors. Knight told his story last weekend inthe newspaper Stars & Stripes and was notified yesterday that he will bereceiving an honorable discharge from the Navy based, in part, on his recentmedia interviews. Knight was scheduled to end his commitment on May 28,2007, but will face early dismissal because he chose to go public about hisexperience.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

My Response to the McCain Campaign's Attacks on Planned Parenthood

By Cecile Richards, Posted May 11, 2007.

A McCain staffer has called Planned Parenthood "one of the most radicalpro-abortion groups in the country." Here's Planned Parenthood presidentCecile Richards' response.

John McCain's presidential campaign has taken a troubling turn. This week,the Los Angeles Times reported that John Weaver, a strategist for JohnMcCain's presidential campaign, verbally attacked Planned Parenthood, thenation's leading reproductive health care advocate and provider. Weavercalled the 90-year old provider of birth control, cancer screenings, sexeducation and abortion services "one of the most radical pro-abortion groupsin the country."

For the record: Ninety seven percent of Planned Parenthood's services arefocused on prevention, including family planning, contraception, and testingand treatment for sexually transmitted infections. Three percent of PlannedParenthood services are abortion care. The remark was an attack driven bythe McCain campaign's need to score political points. So, I've fired off aletter to Senator McCain in response to his campaign's incendiary remarks:


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

The Gay Military Times

Presidential Candidates' Perspectives on Sodomy and DADT


Paul Schindler, Editor, Gay City News

Published in Gay City News (New York City) 04/18/2007

In the wake of Gay City News' story last week reporting that four of theDemocratic presidential hopefuls had gone on the record in opposition to theban on sodomy in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the party's currentfrontrunners, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, New York Senator Hillary RodhamClinton, and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards told this newspaperthat they too believe the policy must change.

Seven of the eight contenders for the 2008 Democratic presidentialnomination have in the past two weeks stepped up in support of the privacyrights of gay military personnel.

Article 125 of the UCMJ bars both oral and anal sodomy, even though theUnited States Supreme Court, in its 2003 Lawrence v. Texas ruling, threw outthe remaining state laws prohibiting any private, adult, consensual sexualbehavior.

In an April 16 e-mail to the newspaper, Jen Psaki, deputy press secretaryfor the Obama campaign, wrote, "Barack Obama agrees with the Supreme Court'sconclusion in Lawrence that our criminal laws should not target and demeanthe lives of gays and lesbians. He also believes that gay and lesbianAmericans who wish to serve their country should have the opportunity to doso with dignity and respect and supports the repeal of Don't Ask, Don'tTell. Particularly at a time of war, Barack Obama feels that our militaryshould be focusing on attracting patriotic individuals who are willing toserve, rather than excluding such individuals on the basis of their sexualorientation and their private, lawful conduct."

A day later, Jin Chon, a Clinton campaign spokesperson, wrote, also viae-mail, "During Senator Clinton's recent remarks to the Human RightsCampaign, she agreed with Justice [Anthony] Kennedy, who wrote in Lawrencev. Texas, that 'times can blind us to certain truths and later generationscan see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only tooppress.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,1,916827.story

Indianapolis church pushes boundaries for broader gay acceptance

Associated Press Writer
Published May 9, 2007, 3:08 PM CDT
INDIANAPOLIS -- Rev. Kevin Konkle used to see homosexuals as immoralhedonists with no concept of God. Yet he struggled with his own attractionto other men.

He sought counsel from pastor Jeff Miner at Jesus Metropolitan CommunityChurch and came out about his sexuality, starting his own congregation forgay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents in Indianapolis nearly ayear ago.

He credits the changes to Jesus MCC, which he says "makes (people)re-examine their stereotype and see that there are people who are moral andChristian and have a good concept of God and love and are gay or lesbian aswell."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay Consumer Market Advertising Not Looking So Good

2007-05-11 14:35:28 - As more brands target gay consumers the advertisingbeing used to reach the gay market is criticised in Variety magazine.Leading global gay marketing agency Out Now Consulting reveals whatmainstream marketing needs to learn about gay consumers to succeed.

In a leading article 'Same-sex ads swim into mainstream - Industry embracesbuying power of gay market' US entertainment and media bible, Variety, saysthe media and advertising industries are being shaken up by the emergence ofa strong gay consumer market.

Advertising agencies are scrambling to keep up with the demands of clientbrands to target the lesbian and gay consumer market.

According to Ian Johnson, CEO of Out Now Consulting, a global specialist gaymarketing agency quoted in the Variety magazine article, the advertisingindustry has a lot to learn about gay customers if they want their marketingefforts to succeed.

"For years advertising agencies thought just including a few gay mediaoutlets in a media buy was all they needed to do to target gay customers,"says Johnson.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Spring Arbor University cancels partnership with Lansing Community College
By Todd A. Heywood
(Issue 1519 - Between The Lines News)

Capitol Correspondent

LANSING-- Spring Arbor University has notified Lansing Community College totell the third largest community college in Michigan, that the partnershipbetween the two schools is over before it ever got off the ground.

"They felt, based on the language in the contract, they would have torelinquish some of their rights as a Christian institution," said Dr.Stephanie Shanblatt, chief operating officer for the University Center forstrategic partnerships at LCC.

SAU has been under pressure since it fired a transgender professor earlierthis year. In addition, the university has an antigay policy as well as apolicy allowing them to tell unwed pregnant students where they can live.

LCC has policies preventing discrimination on the basis of sexualorientation, as well as gender identity and expression. The college sent aletter to the SAU weeks ago laying out the legal expectations for SAU werethey to join in partnership with the college. This included followingLansing's Human Rights Ordinance, which prohibits discrimination on thebasis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Rand Hoch, President and Founder of PBCHRC


Merlene Reid, SPHR

Village of Tequesta Human Resource Manager

561-575-6200 ext. 256

(Tequesta, Florida) The Village Council of Tequesta (population: 5,273)unanimously voted this evening to amend four Village policies to protectVillage employees from discrimination and harassment based on sexualorientation, gender identity and expression.

Last February, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council ("PBCHRC")reviewed the Village's personnel policies, along with those of all otherpublic employers county-wide, as part of the organization's Public PolicyProject.

Following the review, PBCHRC President and Founder Rand Hoch, a labor andcivil rights attorney, contacted Village Manager Michael Couzzo, requestingspecific revisions to the Village's personnel policies to prohibitdiscrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation. Fortunately forPBCHRC, the Village was already in the process of updating its personnelpolicies.

Village Human Resources Manager Merlene Reid sent Hoch the drafts of policychanges proposed by the Village's labor attorneys and asked him to submitproposed revisions.


NEW from DIRELAND, May 11, 2006


In this exclusive interview with an Iranian transgendered activist, media mythsabout Iran being a welcoming place for the transgendered are dispelled; only20% of those who have sex reassignment surgery are truly transgendered, andthe others are gays who change sex to avoid persecution and execution orhomosexuality. Many candidates for surgery are raped by the doctors whoperform that surgery. To read this eye-opening interview, click on:


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List>

May 11, 2007

CONTACT: Ali Bay, Communications Manager
PHONE: (916) 284-9187 EMAIL:

Theresa Sparks Becomes First Transgender President of City's PoliceCommission

Statement by EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors

SAN FRANCISCO - On May 9, Theresa Sparks became the first elected and openlytransgender president of the San Francisco Police Commission. Sparks, aformer member of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, joined theCommission in 2004. She will assume her new position on June 1.

"Equality California is thrilled that the San Francisco Police Commissionmade history by electing Theresa Sparks as its president," said EQCAExecutive Director Geoff Kors. "Theresa is an outstanding and invaluableadvocate, not just for the entire lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendercommunity, but for all people. She is a true leader whose work will continueto create a better and more accepting world."

Sparks has worked to strengthen rights for transgender people in SanFrancisco for more than eight years. Her efforts to fight gender identitydiscrimination prompted then Mayor Willie Brown to appoint her to the city'sHuman Rights Commission in 2001. In 2004, she was recognized as one of thecity's trailblazers and named "Woman of the Year" by Assemblyman Mark Leno,D-San Francisco.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Luis Vizcaiño | Phone: 202/216.1547 | Cell: 310/869.5700

Brad Luna | Phone: 202/216.1514 | Cell: 202/812.8140

Civil Rights Leader Expresses Support for Hate Crimes Legislation

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) says, "This legislation allows local law enforcementofficers who want to uphold the law, the resources and the federal help theyneed to do so."

WASHINGTON - Today, civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) published aneditorial in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that expressed his support forfederal hate crimes legislation and debunked inaccurate arguments byopponents of the bill. The full text of today's editorial is below:

Hate crime victims need bill's insurance

by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)

May 11, 2007

"The nation's democratic foundations of fairness and equal protection are
shaken if one sector of society is treated differently from the others." Youmight think these are the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. or theRev. Joseph Lowery. Ironically, this is the wisdom of Jill "J.R." Labbetaken from an opinion column she wrote against a bill recently passed by theHouse that expands federal coverage of hate crimes ("Unequal justice: Hatecrime no excuse" @issue, May 9).

Labbe tows the opposition party line, saying this legislation is unnecessarybecause rape, murder, and assault are already criminal offenses. And shequotes President Bush, who believes there is "no persuasive demonstration ofany need to federalize" these crimes.

I wonder whether the family of Billy Ray Johnson would agree. In 2003,Johnson, a mentally challenged 44-year-old man, was lured to a party inLinden, Texas, ridiculed, beaten until he was unconscious and left in a poolof blood on the roadside to die.

He suffered severe, permanent brain damage. Unbelievably, a Texas juryrecommended suspended sentences for the perpetrators. The judge gave thedefendants 30- and 60-day jail terms. With the outcome of this case, theLinden courts are saying that assault is not so bad, brain damage is not sobad, brutality is not so bad when the victim is disabled.

The case of Kyle Skyock is another example. In 2001, after a night of heavydrinking, this 16-year-old was kicked by assailants, beaten with a baseballbat, and his head repeatedly banged against an SUV outside Rifle, Colo. He,too, was left on the roadside and discovered by a jogger the next morning.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Mayor of Madrid gives exclusive interview to leading Spanish gay magazine
By h.b.

May 11, 2007 - 8:09 PM
Typically Spanish

Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón appears on the cover of the Zero magazine whicharrives on the newstands on Monday

The Partido Popular Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, has followedthe example set by the I.U. left-wing leader Gaspar Llamazares and the PrimeMinister, José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, by being interviewed, and being puton the cover of Spain's leading gay magazine 'Zero'.

The magazine goes on sale on Monday, and it's the first time that a PPpolitician has been highlighted in this way.

Gallardón, a practicing Catholic, has officiated at gay weddings in the cityand by doing so has departed from the official party line which does notsupport gay marriage. The PP appealed to the Constitutional Court againstboth gay marriage and adoption.

The Zero editor, Miguel Ángel López, said the magazine was informed thatGallardón was prepared to be interviewed, and that they placed the conditionthat he appear on the cover thinking that he would not accept. The interviewtook place in his offices in the City Hall.

With the PP boycott of the Prisa media group still in place, the interviewis one remaining way that the PP politician can get his opinions across to agenerally left wing audience.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Cyndi Lauper, HRC, Matthew Shepard Foundation to Seek Grassroots Support forMatthew Shepard Act

WASHINGTON - Grammy Award winning artist Cyndi Lauper and Human RightsCampaign President Joe Solmonese will hold a press call on Tuesday, May 15that 12:30 pm (EST) to make an announcement about a grassroots effort seekingsupport for passage of the Matthew Shepard Act. Cyndi Lauper, the HumanRights Campaign and The Matthew Shepard Foundation will embark on agrassroots effort during the True Colors tour advocating for passage of theMatthew Shepard Act and calling on President Bush to sign it into law.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Babak Fled Iran to Turkey Again With Your Help

May 02, 2007

Babak, the Iranian Gay Blogger, who was deported to Iran from Turkey,managed to go back to Turkey after he was released on bail. He reported toUN and stayed in Turkey as an asylum seeker.

Babak worked as a translator/writer for Cheraq, the Iranian QueerOrganization's (IRQO) on-line monthly magazine for the past year.

He was taken to jail after Turkey's police deported him to Iran, and wasseverely beaten and tortured. A friend paid $1500 to release him on bail. Apasser took him back to Turkey but once there, kept him at the safe home andasked for extra money to let him go to the UN. We managed to pay the passerswith your donation. He was released and was able to register at the UnitedNations High Commissioner for Refugee in Turkey and he is safe now but needsmoney for food and shelter.

We are continuing our appeal on behalf of Babak and the other Iranian queerswho escaped Iran and are in Turkey now and in need of financial support tofor food and shelter. Please consider making donation to the IRQO to helpthe Iranian queers flee persecution. Your donations will also help supportother queer Iranian refugees who are residing in Turkey until they aregranted official refugee status by the UNHCR and find asylum in agay-friendly country.

Any donation will be extremely helpful. You can help them now by clicking onthe "Donate" button on our website at and using your creditcard via the secure PayPal system. Or, you can mail a cheque, made payableto Arsham Parsi and send it to:

"Gay Refugees"
Arsham Parsi
41 Waddington Cr.
Toronto, Ontario
M2J 2Z9


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Army recruiter reassigned over bigoted e-mails

Planet Out, Thursday, May 10, 2007

SUMMARY: The military won't comment on what punishment, if any, MarciaRamode received for her anti-gay and racist emails to a potential recruit.

After taunting a civilian with homophobic and racist e-mails, an Armyrecruiter in New Jersey is being reassigned and stripped of her recruitingduties.

In March, Sgt. Marcia Ramode sent a series of offensive e-mails to CoreyAndrew, an African-American gay man she had contacted through

When Andrew told her his open gayness precluded military service, in aseries of heated e-mail exchanges, Ramode told Andrew "to go back to Africaand do your gay voodoo limbo tango and wango dance and jump around andprance and run all over the place half-naked there and practice your gaymorals over there . . . "

Ramode also said "being gay is disgusting and immoral" and told him to"migrate to another country."

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a policy organization seeking toend "don't ask, don't tell," came to Andrew's defense and pushed for theArmy to punish Ramode.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Minnesota Supreme Court / Ruling says ex-partner has right to visitation

Implications go beyond lesbian couple's dispute

BY DAVID HANNERS, Pioneer Press, 05/10/2007

When it came to the two children she helped raise, Nancy SooHoo did thethings a parent does - took the kids to doctors' appointments, arranged playdates, helped with school projects and homework, took them on vacations andauthorized their immunizations.

And on Thursday, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that SooHoo, a lesbian,should have visitation rights even though she was not married to thecustodial parent.

In a ruling with wider implications for nontraditional families - and laudedin particular by lesbian and gay-rights groups - the court held that theMinnesota statute allowing "third-party" visitation rights wasconstitutional.

In the specific case before the court, the justices ruled SooHoo should havevisitation with the two children, now 7 and 11, who were adopted in 1997 and2001 by her former companion, Marilyn Johnson.

Johnson and SooHoo had been together 22 years before their relationship fellapart in 2003. While they were together, they adopted the two children fromChina and raised them as a family.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Civil unions law adds complexity to benefits plans

By John E. Rich Jr.
New Hampshire Business Review
Friday, May. 11, 2007

New Hampshire employers faced with already complex benefits and tax lawswill be confronted with a new level of complexity on Jan. 1, 2008, when, asexpected, the state's new civil union law becomes effective. In some cases,employers will have choices to make as to whether to provide coverage fordomestic partners.

After Gov. John Lynch fulfills his pledge to sign House Bill 437, NewHampshire will become the fourth state to recognize civil unions, joiningVermont, Connecticut and New Jersey.

The bill provides that parties who enter into civil unions "shall beentitled to all the rights" provided for in state law that apply to marriedcouples. Although HB 437 does not specifically refer to benefits, as theVermont and Connecticut laws do, it's presumed the New Hampshire Legislatureintended employees in civil unions to be entitled to the sameemployer-provided benefits as married employees.

But notwithstanding the Legislature's intent, because federal law governsemployer-provided benefits, employers should not assume that after the Jan.1, 2008, effective date of the measure, employees in civil unions will beentitled to the same benefits as married employees.

Instead, employers will need to analyze each benefit to determine how thelaw will apply.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

05/11/2007 15:14:30

Russian State Duma Deputy: "Gay Parade in Moscow Should Be Authorized"Alexey Mitrofanov warns Russian deputies they might be denied access toEuropean countries

Russian State Duma
deputy representing Liberal Democratic party and deputy head of the DumaCommittee on constitutional legislation Alexey Mitrofanov said on Fridaythat Moscow authorities should allow the public actions of sexual minoritiesplanned for the end of May because their banning will lead to very negativeconsequences for Russia as a country.

Alexey Mitrofanov said during morning debates in the Duma that "As becameknown to me, a notification for the conduct of the manifestation in supportfor tolerance towards sexual minorities will be filed shortly".

He stressed that at the level of emotions one can have various attitudestowards "these groups of our electors" but my personal attitude to them is"polite and balanced".

Alexey Mitrofanov suggested that "there are no reasons to ban suchmanifestations - we must acknowledge that".


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Posted on Wed, May. 09, 2007

Kansas revises sex education standards

Guidelines no longer specify that teachers emphasize abstinence untilmarriage.

The Star's Topeka correspondent

TOPEKA | The Kansas Board of Education voted Tuesday to replace year-oldabstinence-until-marriage sex education standards that recommended parentalpermission slips for the classes.

The new guidelines no longer specify that sex ed must stress abstinenceuntil marriage, and leave the question of permission slips to districtofficials. The standards do recommend that teachers stress the benefits ofabstinence and the risks of sexual activity.

In many ways the changes approved Tuesday are minor, amounting to only a fewwords in the 60-page document. But it represents a shift of focus that hasdivided the board for two years.

Tuesday's 6-3 vote represents the latest move by the new moderate majorityto rescind policy decisions made by the previous conservative majority. Thattrend will continue today, as the board is expected to name a new educationcommissioner.

The conservatives in 2005 chose as commissioner Bob Corkins, who resigned
shortly after moderates picked up board seats in last fall's elections.

The sex education standards are voluntary, and it's up to district officialsto choose their own curriculums. But the standards set the tone forcurriculums across the state.

Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups

International Herald Tribune

Thousands fill Rome piazza to protest bill giving rights to unmarried,same-sex couples

The Associated Press
Friday, May 11, 2007

ROME: Hundreds of thousands of people, including many families with theirchildren, packed a Rome piazza on Saturday to protest a government bill thatwould give many legal rights to unmarried couples, including homosexualpartners.

The proposed legislation, which awaits approval in Parliament, has been atthe center of a debate dividing Italians amid calls by Pope Benedict XVI todefend the traditional family.

The "Family Day" rally drew people from across Italy, who began pouring intothe massive St. John Lateran piazza in the morning. By midday, a colorfulcrowd waving balloons, with children looking at clowns and jugglers, hadfilled the square.


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups

NEW from DIRELAND, May 12

Poland's ultra-homophobic conservative government has been dealt two severerebukes by Europe's judicial and political institutions, including a courtdecision finding President Lech Kaczynski violated E.U. law in banningWarsaw's Gay Pride Parade, and the strongest pro-gay resolution ever passedby the Europarliament in Strasbourg. For the details, click on:


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups

Gay pride organizers urge Russian politicians to use sexual minorities'potential

Moscow, May 11, Interfax - Organizer of the Moscow Gay pride parade NikolayAlexeyev has urged politicians to use sexual minorities' potential, which heregards as 'grandiose.'

'LGBT community is a great electoral resource that has been used by nopolitical force in this country so far,' Alexeyev told journalists onFriday.

He noted that MP Alexey Mitrofanov from the Liberal Democratic Party ofRussia urged Russian State Duma not to ban the gay pride in Moscow. It was'a brave political step' of the politician who 'heads for the future andsees Russia democratic and free.'


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