Thursday, May 17, 2007

GLBT DIGEST May 16, 2007

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Former President Jimmy Carter Calls on Congress to Revisit 'Don't Ask,
Don't Tell'

'Those Who Defend Our Liberties Deserve Better,' Says Nobel Peace Prize

WASHINGTON, May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former President Jimmy
Carter, recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, has called on Congress to
revisit the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on lesbian, gay andbisexual personnel. In an exclusive statement to Servicemembers LegalDefense Network (SLDN), Carter says that, "It is my long-held belief thatevery human being deserves dignity and respect. I often heard that phraseduring my years at the United States Naval Academy, I carried it out asCommander-in-Chief, and it continues to animate my human rights work aroundthe globe today. The nation's commitment to human rights requires thatlawmakers revisit 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' the current policy that preventslesbians, gays and bisexuals from serving openly in our armed forces."=


New York City

Heritage of Pride Denied Permit for Annual PRIDEfestFORCED to Cancel

"Why is PRIDEfest 2007 being cancelled this year? "

Heritage of Pride's (HOP) decision to cancel PRIDEfest (PF) is grounded onour belief that we must provide a SAFE, ACCESSIBLE festival for the ENTIRECommunity.

Canceling PF was decided after much discussion and voting in favor ofcancellation at the PRIDEfest Event Committee-level and HOP ExecutiveBoard-level. A motion was then presented to HOP's General Membership who isour final decision-making body, and who after more discussion, voted 14 (infavor), 4 (against), and 1 (abstention) to cancel this year's PF event.

In making this decision we heard from some individuals who expressed theirsadness and anger about HOP's proposal to cancel this particular Pride event(1 out of 5 events which we produce) this year. Others expressed theiroutrage that The City was denying a permit less than 2 months before theevent was to happen. These individuals voiced support of cancellation,seeking massive, angry public protests, as well as continuedbehind-the-scenes negotiations. HOP was also advised by our Treasurer andBusiness Manager about how the cancellation of PF would effect HOP and allthe events we produce financially, while still expressing their personalsupport for cancellation.

HOP and our partnering organizations and businesses plan to mobilize allLGBT, Chelsea, political, media and other community resources available insupport of PF leading up to Pride Week, during Pride Week, and after PrideWeek to insure that we get a permit for a day and location where we want ourPF festival to be. Please note: We have been told that HOP's canceling ofthis year's PF will not keep us from applying for a permit for this year(which we do not plan to use) or next year.

Given an ultimatum by The Mayor's Office that PF would only be given apermit for Sunday, June 24th for Washington Street in the West Village (i.e.the day of the LGBT Pride March), HOP had no other choice but to cancel PFfor the following reasons:


National Gay News.Com

ACLU Gives Tennessee High School an F
in Civics for Censoring Gay and Gay-Supportive Students

Demands School Apologize
and Promise Not to Censor in the Future

Jonesborough, TN -- After a high school principal suspended a student forparticipating in a silent demonstration to raise awareness about anti-gayviolence, the American Civil Liberties Union demanded today that DavidCrockett High School apologize to the student and promise not to punishstudents who take part in such actions in the future. "I just wanted to dosomething positive about the harassment I've had to deal with every day atthis school," said Curtis Walsh, a senior who says that he has been afrequent target of anti-gay harassment at the school. "I'm graduating in afew days, but I want things to be better for future gay students than theywere for me. It's pretty ironic that my principal decided to silence me fortaking part in a protest in which I was planning to be silent all day."

Walsh and other students were called into Principal David Henry Marable'soffice within minutes of arriving at school on April 18 for participating inNational Day of Silence, an annual nationwide student action in whichstudents take a daylong vow of silence to illustrate the silence in whichlesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender people often suffer discriminationand violence. Walsh was sent home for three days for participating in thesilent protest. According to the students, Marable claimed that he wastrying to protect them from other students who might react badly to theirdemonstration.

"I'm really proud of my son for wanting to do something so other studentsdon't have to suffer the kind of harassment he's had to endure at school forall these years," said Zina Owens, Walsh's mother. "Where was all thisconcern about harassment when other students were calling Curtis names andthreatening him every day? Why should he be punished for something otherstudents might do? That doesn't make any sense at all."


From Arsham Parsi:

Urgent Release about the arrest of 80 young men in Esfahan - Iran

According to new information from Iran, the 80 young men arrested are undersevere torture and pressure by Iranian authorities but have not beenofficially charged yet. Right now, they are held on the account ofparticipation in a party where alcohol beverages were found, music wasplaying and young people were dancing. Further, they found 16 young men whowere wearing cross-gender outfits. It is worth to note that in Iran it isvery common for young people to participate in costume parties whereindividuals wear different outfits.

Obviously this crackdown is yet another systematic violation of humanrights, along with brutal suppression of women's and labor's movements inIran and must be strongly protested by all human rights organizations as yetanother violation of people's private rights and liberties. This means thatfor now, what is urgently needed is to strongly object to this grossviolation of human rights and the invasion of young people's lives anddignity.

Since these young men are still waiting to be officially charged, it isimperative that interested organizations, for now, avoid naming thesearrests as gay crackdown until further notification. We strongly urge you tobe vigilant and alert for the next few days and we are immensely gratefulfor your concerned follow up until the fate of these individuals isdetermined. In the next few days we will do everything in our power to relayinformation to all of you especially if and when these young men areofficially charged and sentenced by Iran's judicial authorities.

Arsham Parsi
Executive Director
IRanian Queer Organization - IRQO
Formerly Persian Gay & Lesbian Organization - PGLO


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

A growing number of Americans are taking their private struggles with theiridentities into the public realm. How those who believe they were born withthe wrong bodies are forcing us to re-examine what it means to be male andfemale.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Making a Difference
A former Air Force sergeant (and former man) on running for office as atransgender candidate.
Web Exclusive

By Pam Bennett
Updated: 2:21 p.m. ET May 14, 2007

May 13, 2007 - Pam Bennett is 5 feet 10 inches, sports a blonde bob and isthe only transgender running for city council in the United States. Bennett,who is running for a seat in Aurora, Col., transitioned from Bruce DennisBennett to Pam four years ago at the age of 52. The former Air Forcesergeant and aerodefense engineer has no problem telling potential votersabout her past so "there's no guesswork involved."

There's not much about me that isn't known. I've been involved in politicsfor many years-from supporting candidates to raising money-but when you filefor office, you are no longer a citizen. You are a public figure. Thatchanges the dynamics of everything in your life. I had to accept that once Ifiled to run for Aurora City Council, I would immediately become not only oflocal interest, but of international interest too.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

05/14/2007 11:26:20
Moscow Gay Pride Officially Notifies Mayor and Russian President of May 27March
Deputy Alexey Mitrofanov to attend Pride press conference

Organisers of MoscowGay Pride have this morning submitted the official documents in relation tothe Pride march scheduled for Sunday May 27.

And yesterday the Russian State Duma deputy Alexey Mitrofanov, who last weeksensationally said that the Gay Pride march should be permitted, will beattending a press conference tomorrow where Moscow Pride organisers willreveal the plans for the event to speak in support of the event.

Official notification of the proposed march in the city centre was deliveredthis morning to the office of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

The march, from 3 to 5pm, is planned to start close to Moscow¡¯s main PostOffice and pass along Myasnitskaya Street to Lubyanka Square.

A separate application has been sent to the office of Russian PresidentVladimir Putin, in accordance with the law and President¡¯s decree of 1992concerning the conduct of public event of the territory of Kremlin.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

"Mom! I'm homosexual" book supported by the World Bank

Monday, May 14, 2007
Turkish Daily News

Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Organization (KaosGL) has published a book titled "Stories from My Dearest Family: Mom! Dad!I'm homosexual" with the support of World Bank. The book, which was preparedfor the Mothers' Day, is based on the experiences of homosexuals -- both whohave discussed their sexuality openly with their families and those who havenot.

"Mothers' Day has always been seen as an event for heterosexual families,but homosexuals have parents, too," said Ali Erol, one of the founders ofKaos GL. "We aim to make peace between families and homosexuals."

According to Erol, the book aims to make parents ask themselves if theirchildren could come out in case they were homosexual. The World Bank donated$5,000 to Kaos GL last year for the protection and promotion of marginalgroups. The funds covered half of the book's costs. Second agreement withWorld Bank on a project on discrimination in universities is reportedly onthe way.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Lithuanian bus drivers protest gay ads

May 14, 2007
From wire reports
The Baltic News

Concerns about gay rights in the Baltics flared again when Lithuaniantrolleybus drivers refused to drive vehicles carrying advertisementsencouraging sexual tolerance.

The Leituyos Rytas daily newspaper on May 12 reported that theadvertisements, placed by the Lithuanian Gay League, were removed from thesides of trolleybuses.

Drivers were offended by the advertisements, which carried slogans such as"A gay (person) can serve in the police," "A lesbian can work at school,"and "Homosexual employees can be frank."

Similar advertisements are due to be placed on buses in Vilnius next week.

The president of the LGL, Vladimir Simonko, said the group paid 17,000 litas(5,000 euro) for the ads to improve social cohesion.

The money was granted by the European Union and the Lithuanian government.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Gay activists to hold pride parade in St. Petersburg late May

16:40 | 14/ 05/ 2007

ST. PETERSBURG, May 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russian homosexuals rights activistssaid Monday some 2,000 people are expected to take part in a gay prideparade in St. Petersburg later this month despite authorities' opposition toevents celebrating gay culture.

Organizers of the parade said they had notified municipal authorities oftheir intention to stage a march along the city's main thoroughfare, NevskyProspekt, May 26. Officials at City Hall, however, said they had not yetreceived any notification.

Last May, gay parades in St. Petersburg and Moscow took place despiteauthorities' refusal to give the go-ahead, but many of its participants weredetained by police and attacked by neo-Nazi groups.

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has vowed to stop any attempt by homosexuals tomarch through the Russian capital, publicly branding gay pride parades a"satanic act."

Two gay rights activists filed a lawsuit against Luzhkov, demanding that heretract his remark and pay a nominal fine of 1,000 rubles ($39) in moraldamages to each, but a Russian court refused to qualify the mayor's words aslibel.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

From: Illinois Family Institute

Illinois Librarians Fight Porn Filters with Internet Shutdown

Smith and Varenhorst decry a planned protest by Illinois librarians againstHB 1727 that will use public funds and facilities to advance privatepolitical goals.

Contact: David E. Smith, 773-858-6602,; Denise Varenhorst, 770-932-9994,

GLEN ELLYN, Ill., May 14 /Christian Newswire/ -- Taxpayers are footing thebill for a planned protest by Illinois librarians against a proposedinternet filtering bill. On May 8th, the Illinois Library Association (ILA)issued an "action request" calling for a coordinated protest against theInternet filtering bill, HB 1727, recommending that all public libraries inthe state to obstruct Internet access on Monday, May 14th.

The American Library Association (ALA) and its state chapter, the ILA, areprivate organizations with no governing authority over local libraries.Despite this, many local library directors have pledged publicly to carryout the protest, posting details of their plans on a message board at

"This is a denial of service to the taxpayer public for an extremist agendathat the public does not support," said David E. Smith, executive directorof the Illinois Family Institute and a leading proponent of HB 1727.

According to the message board, Danville, Flora, Brookfield, Chillicothe,Walnut, Palestine, Sheffield, and Wyoming public libraries in Illinois haveall announced their intention to disconnect Internet access on May 14th.Other libraries appear to be using taxpayer resources, including staff time,printers, fax machines, paper, and library computers to lobby against thelegislation within library branches.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Brady for mayor

Philadelphia Gay News

Last month, PGN published interviews with all of the major Democraticcandidates for mayor. In a campaign in which all five candidates support gaymarriage, it says something about the caliber of the candidates. And, itreally shows how important the GLBT vote is in this election.

So, whom to elect as the next potential mayor of Philadelphia?As the name of this newspaper makes clear, our first concern is for ourcommunity, and using that as our yardstick, we look at those five candidateswho not only currently say the right thing in the heat of a campaign, buthave a proven record and a pragmatic chance of winning. Businessman Tom Knoxhas no record. Which brings us down to four candidates.

State Rep. Dwight Evans (203rd Dist.) is by far the brightest star in thisfield, but unfortunately his campaign has floundered. Which leaves threecandidates.

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (Second Dist.) ran a good early campaign.

Unfortunately he peaked too early and was left with no funds to get hismessage through in the closing weeks. To make matters worse, JannieBlackwell, a major force of his base in West Philadelphia, defected. We'renow down to two candidates.

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (First Dist.) or former City Councilman Michael Nutter.
Both would change the office of mayor, both have the ability to win. One
with momentum. The other with an incredible organization. But we don't get
the luxury of voting for both.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Southern Oregon group files to refer gay-rights laws
Posted by The Oregonian May 14, 2007 12:03PM
Categories: Breaking News

Three Southern Oregon men, including the chairman of the Constitution Partyof Oregon, filed with the Oregon secretary of state this morning to refertwo recently adopted gay-rights laws to the voters in the fall of 2008.

The petitioners will have to collect 55,179 signatures from registeredvoters within 90 days after the Legislature adjourns to refer laws thatprotect gays against discrimination and grant them many benefits of marriagethrough domestic partnerships.

If petitioners collect the required signatures, the effective date of thetwo laws will be delayed from Jan. 1, 2008, until Oregonians vote on them inthe election on Nov. 4, 2008.

Basic Rights Oregon, the state's largest gay-rights group, assumes thepetitioners will get the signatures they need but also expects voters touphold the laws, said spokeswoman Melissa Chernaik.



Governor appoints Jim Roth to Corporation Commission seat

by: Staff reports
5/14/2007 3:08 PM

Oklahoma City - Gov. Brad Henry today appointed two-term Oklahoma CountyCommissioner Jim Roth to the state Corporation Commission.

Roth succeeds Denise Bode, who is resigning the seat for a job in theprivate sector, and becomes the first openly gay man to hold a statewideoffice.

Gov. Henry called the 38-year-old Roth an ideal choice to serve on thecommission, which regulates oil and gas drilling, utilities andtelecommunications in Oklahoma.

"Jim Roth has the intellect, the integrity and the dedication to publicservice needed to be an outstanding Corporation Commissioner," Gov. Henrysaid. "Not only does he exemplify the highest ethical standards, but he is aconsensus-builder who recognizes the importance of bipartisanship andworking ogether. I am confident that Jim's fair-mindedness, honesty andattention to detail will make him an excellent addition to the commission."

Roth was first elected county commissioner in 2002 and won reelection in2006 with more than 63 percent of the vote. Prior to his term in office, heserved eight years as a chief deputy and attorney to the Oklahoma CountyClerk and a previous administration for District One of the countycommission.


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