Thursday, May 24, 2007

GLBT DIGEST May 24, 2007

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The New York Times

May 24, 2007
Drug Agency Reaffirms Ban on Gay Men Giving Blood

WASHINGTON, May 23 (AP) - Gay men remain barred from donating blood, thegovernment said Wednesday, leaving in place a 1983 prohibition meant toprevent the spread of H.I.V. through transfusions.

The Food and Drug Administration reaffirmed the policy on its Web site onWednesday, more than a year after the Red Cross and two other blood groupscriticized the ban as "medically and scientifically unwarranted."

"I am disappointed, I must confess," said Dr. Celso Bianco, executive vicepresident of America's Blood Centers, whose members provide nearly half thenation's blood supply.

Before giving blood, all men are asked if they have had sex, even once, withanother man since 1977, when the AIDS epidemic began in the United States,according to the drug agency. Those who say they have are barred fromdonating. The drug agency says those men are at increased risk of infectionby H.I.V., which can be transmitted by blood transfusion. Anyone who hasused intravenous drugs or been paid for sex is also permanently barred fromdonating blood.

In March 2006, the Red Cross, the international blood association AABB andAmerica's Blood Centers proposed replacing the lifetime ban with a one-yeardeferral after male-to-male sexual contact. New and improved tests, whichcan detect H.I.V.-positive donors within 10 to 21 days of infection, makethe lifetime ban unnecessary, the blood groups told the F.D.A.

In a document posted Wednesday, the drug agency said it would change itspolicy if it received data proving that doing so would not pose a"significant and preventable" risk to blood recipients.


The New York Times

May 23, 2007

Hearing Sought Over Linguists' Discharge
Filed at 11:18 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lawmakers who say the military has kicked out 58 Arabiclanguage experts because they were gay want the Pentagon to explain how itcan afford to let the valuable specialists go.

Seizing on the latest discharge, involving three specialists, House memberswrote the House Armed Services Committee chairman on Wednesday that thecontinued loss of such ''capable, highly skilled Arabic linguists continuesto compromise our national security during time of war.''

Former Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Benjamin said his supervisortried to keep him on the job and urged him to sign a statement saying he wasnot gay. Benjamin said his lawyer advised against signing because thestatement could be used against him later if other evidence surfaced.


The New York Times

May 23, 2007

Gay and Dissident Bishops Excluded From '08 Meeting

The archbishop of Canterbury sent out more than 800 invitations yesterday toa once-a-decade global gathering of Anglican bishops. But he did not invitethe openly gay Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire and the bishop in Virginiawho heads a conservative cluster of disaffected American churches affiliatedwith the archbishop of Nigeria.

The exclusions offended liberals and conservatives in the worldwide AnglicanCommunion, which has been threatened by schism since the election in 2003 ofthe bishop of New Hampshire, V. Gene Robinson, who lives with his gaypartner.


The Washington Post

The Reliable Source

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Thursday, May 24, 2007; Page C01

Baby Cheney, Weighed on Political Scale, Too

Mary Cheney gave birth yesterday to perhaps the most anticipated baby incontemporary U.S. politics -- her first child, Samuel David Cheney , whomshe will raise with her longtime partner, Heather Poe .

The 8-pound 6-ounce boy is the sixth grandchild for Dick Cheney . The vicepresident and his wife, Lynne , both beaming, posed for a photo with himjust hours after his 9:46 a.m. birth at Washington's Sibley Hospital.


The Washington Post

Liberty Student Arrested on Bomb Charges

The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 23, 2007; 7:13 AM

LYNCHBURG, Va. -- A Liberty University student who told a family member hehad made bombs and planned to attend the funeral of the Rev. Jerry Falwellwas apparently upset about an anti-gay fringe group that protested at thefuneral, authorities said.

Officials were still trying to figure out what Mark David Uhl planned to dowith the bombs. Police do not believe he intended to disrupt the funeralTuesday or harm the Falwell family, Campbell County Sheriff Terry Gaddysaid.

Uhl, 19, was being held without bond in the Campbell County Adult DetentionCenter on charges of manufacturing an explosive device. It was not known ifhe had a lawyer, and messages seeking comment left at numbers believed tobelong to his family were not returned.


May 17, 2007

Gay Youths Find Place to Call Home in Specialty Shelters

DETROIT - One girl said she started living on the streets after her motherbeat her for dressing like a boy. Another said she ran away from home afterher father pulled a gun on her for hanging around with so many "tomboys." Athird said she left home after a family acquaintance raped her because shewas a lesbian and he wanted to "straighten her out."

But gathered at Ruth's House, a 10-bed emergency shelter for gay homelessyouths here in east Detroit, they all said that for the first time they feltsafe.

Ruth's House is one of a small number of shelters for gay youths that haveopened around the nation in the past four years, reflecting an increasingawareness among child welfare advocates of the disproportionately highnumber of gay youths in the homeless population and the special problemsthey face.

Five years ago, such shelters were rare, but now there are more than 25nationwide.

Many experts estimate that while gay men and lesbians make up 3 percent to 5percent of the general population, more than 20 percent of homeless youthsunder age 21 in many urban areas are gay, according to recent surveys ofstreet youths and shelter workers published in peer-reviewed academicjournals, and a study released in January by the National Gay and LesbianTask Force and the National Coalition for the Homeless.


Thinking smaller to get larger
Tourist council member a new voice for the little guy
By Tom Stieghorst
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

May 24, 2007

When Richard Gray moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1991, the city's tourism wasstill foundering after the demise of Spring Break.

An auction of hotels several years earlier had drawn only tepid interest.Small hotels were available starting at about $500,000. So Gray, aninvestment banker, opened a 12-room property called the Royal Palms Resort,aimed at attracting gay tourists.

Sixteen years later, Fort Lauderdale is bustling with luxury hoteldevelopment. And Gray is set to take a seat on the nine-member TouristDevelopment Council, which approves the budget for Broward County tourismpromotion.

Gray's appointment brings some fresh perspective to the council, a mix ofpoliticians and hospitality business types. He will be the first member whois openly gay, and the first to represent such a small hotel.

Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter, who chose Gray for the job, saidit will help diversify the group beyond the longtime tourism establishment.


Vt. gov. signs non-discrimination bill into law
Gender identity now included
MONTPELIER, Vt. | May 23, 2:17 PM

According to the Human Rights Campaign, on May 22, 2007, Governor JimDouglas (R-VT) signed into law a bill which will broaden the state'santi-discrimination laws and include the prohibition of discrimination onthe basis of gender identity. Employment, public accommodations, housing,insurance and credit services are included in the law.

In the Vermont legislature, the Senate voted 27 to 1 and the House ofRepresentatives voted 118 to 28 to pass the bill.

The law will become effective on July 1, 2007, making Vermont the 9th U.S.state to ban workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity.Workplace protection laws exist in California, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota,New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Washington State, as well asWashington, D.C.


Okla. gov. appoints Jim Roth to State Corporation Commission
Openly gay Roth has been county commissioner since 2002

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) | May 23, 11:52 AM

Gov. Brad Henry appointed Oklahoma County Commissioner Jim Roth on Monday toreplace Denise Bode on the three-member state agency that regulatesutilities and oil companies.

Henry called Roth a man of unquestioned integrity who had been ``acontinuing voice of reason' as one of Oklahoma County's three commissioners.

"Not only does he exemplify the highest ethical standards, but he is aconsensus-builder who recognizes the importance of bipartisanship andworking together. I am confident that Jim's fair-mindedness, honesty andattention to detail will make him an excellent addition to the commission.'

Bode announced last month that she is resigning effective May 31 from theOklahoma Corporation Commission to launch a new foundation promoting the useof natural gas.

Henry announced the appointment of the Democratic county commissioner at anews conference attended by Oklahoma County officials, including Ray Vaughn,a fellow commissioner. Vaughn, a Republican, has sided with Roth on someissues against Republican Brent Rinehart, the third commissioner.

Roth, who is openly gay, has been county commissioner since 2002. He wasre-elected with 63 percent in 2006.


Shame on the Chronicle

On Monday the San Francisco Chronicle reported on a local initiative torecruit same-sex couples as foster parents. As part of a goal to remain"balanced" on the issue, reporter Ilene Lelchuk quoted Paul Cameron,director of the Family Research Institute, in the story for an opposingview.

The Family Research Institute says its goal is to work for the preservationof the traditional family, and it generates "empirical research" to showthat, for instance, gays make unfit parents and die younger thanheterosexuals. The research for the latter consisted of Cameron poring overobituaries in gay newspapers. Talk about flawed methodology.

Thanks to the keen eyes at Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, America Blog,and even the Human Rights Campaign, the Chronicle posted a clarification onits website today. It reads: "In an article about San Francisco's campaignto get more gays and lesbians to adopt foster children - as well as anopposing evangelical campaign to get more Christian families to adopt - theChronicle quoted Paul Cameron, director of the Family Research Institute.The article should have noted that Cameron, who believes gays make unfitparents and self-published dozens of articles he said were based on hisresearch, was expelled from the American Psychological Association in 1983when he refused to subject his work to peer review. The article also shouldhave reported that his Family Research Institute was named a hate group in2006 by the Southern Poverty Law Center."



Gay couple win lawsuit against adoption Web site
Service in Arizona posts profiles only of married pairs
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 23, 2007

An out-of-state Internet service will no longer post profiles of Californiaresidents seeking to adopt children as a result of a settlement with a gaycouple from San Jose who sued after their information was barred from theWeb site, attorneys in the case said Tuesday.

Michael and Rich Butler, domestic partners since 2000, filed a federal civilrights suit against of Arizona in 2004 after the company toldthe men it posted profiles only of married, opposite-sex couples.

The adoption company had argued that it was governed by Arizona law, whichdoes not prohibit discrimination against people on the basis of maritalstatus or sexual orientation. It said requiring it to post profiles ofsame-sex couples would violate its freedom of speech.

But in a March ruling, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in San Franciscosaid California law applies to the defendants and allowed the suit to goforward.

Report: Murder Rate Rises For Transgender Women
POSTED: 11:24 am PDT May 22, 2007

While discrimination and hate crimes against gays, lesbians and transgenderindividuals plummeted in 2006, severe violence has spiked around NorthernCalifornia, according to a report released Tuesday morning.

Transgender women of color are particularly at risk, according to CommunityUnited Against Violence, the San Francisco-based organization that releasedthe Report of Anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Violence.

The overall murder rate for gays, lesbians and transgender people inNorthern California doubled from 2005 to 2006, from two to four cases. Halfof those victims were transgender women of color, according to the report.

The count does not include transgender murder victim Ruby Ordenana, alsoknown as Ruby Rodriguez, whose body was found near a freeway off-ramp in SanFrancisco on March 16. Police have made no arrests in her murder, SanFrancisco police Sgt. Steve Mannina said Tuesday.


National AIDS Walk New York Raises Record-Setting $6.857 Million
May 22, 2007 - 4:09:40 PM

AIDS Walk New York Raises Record-Setting $6.857 Million

World's Largest AIDS Fundraiser Draws 45,000 Participants, Host ofCelebrities

( - NEW YORK, -- The 22nd Annual AIDS Walk New York, onSunday May 20, was the largest and most successful AIDS Walk ever held,setting records for both participation and fundraising. Organizers announcedthat 45,000 walkers helped to raise a grand total of $6,857,527.

"New York showed its strong support for Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC),"said AIDS Walk Founder and Producer Craig R. Miller. "We all took to thestreets to raise a record-setting $6.8 million to support people living withHIV/AIDS in New York City and to fund the critical HIV prevention programsneeded to stop new infections."

"The phenomenal success of AIDS Walk represents teamwork at its essence.None of us walks alone, and the success of AIDS Walk is a testament to ourability to work, walk, and succeed together," said Marjorie J. Hill, ChiefExecutive Officer of GMHC. "AIDS Walk is proof that New Yorkers care verydeeply about AIDS here in New York City, the epicenter of the AIDS epidemicin the U.S."


Activists celebrate legislative wins across country
Majority of U.S. now covered by non-discrimination laws: report
Friday, May 18, 2007

A majority of U.S. residents now live in areas that bar employmentdiscrimination based on sexual orientation, according to findings reportedby the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force.

The analysis also shows that 37 percent of the U.S. population lives inareas that bar discrimination against transgender people and 20 percent ofresidents live in states that offer same-sex couples broad protections.

"I think the tide is shifting," said Matt Foreman, executive director of theTask Force. "We are going to continue to face both pushback and challengesin moving forward, but this legislative session has been unprecedented andshows just how much momentum there is in our case all across the country."


May 24, 2007
R.I. court to take up gay divorce case

The Rhode Island state supreme court has agreed to hear arguments on whethera gay couple who wed in Massachusetts can get divorced in Rhode Island,where the law is silent on the legality of same-sex marriages.

The justices said they would decide only whether a lower court can recognizea same-sex marriage performed in another state for the purpose of handling adivorce petition. Lawyers for both sides say the divorce case won't decidewhether gay couples can get married in Rhode Island.

Cassandra Ormiston and Margaret Chambers were married in 2004 after same-sexmarriage became legal in Massachusetts. Last year, the couple filed fordivorce in Rhode Island, where they live, citing irreconcilable differences.

In December, chief family court judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah Jr. asked theRhode Island supreme court to decide whether he had jurisdiction to handlewhat is believed to be the state's first same-sex divorce case.


May 24, 2007
Clinton campaign hires HRC marketing whiz

Luis Vizcaino, a marketing director with the gay rights group Human RightsCampaign, has been tapped to head up communications efforts in Californiafor the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

Vizcaino currently serves as communications and marketing director for HRC.As of June 1, Vizcaino will help Clinton make inroads in the Golden State asthe New York senator's California communications director and spokesperson.

"Luis is a seasoned communications expert that brings a wealth of experienceand knowledge to my team," Clinton said in a press release. "I am confidentthat his skills will help us reach more communities and engage individualson the issues that matter most."

White at HRC, Vizcaino managed the group's messaging and strategy, workingto increase the HRC's presence within the Latino community. Vizcaino alsofunctioned as the HRC's spokesperson in the press.


May 24, 2007
Cadillac vies for gay consumers in new ad campaign

General Motors is raising its visibility to LGBT consumers as it unleashesits newest ad push targeted to the demographic. In its first gay-specificprint ad, GM will run a spot showing a male couple together in the CadillacDTS.

"We wanted to put a face on the brand," John Gasloli, national advertisingmanager for Cadillac, told Commercial, a Web site concerned withLGBT advertising. "We previously focused on the product and wanted to pullin more of the emotional." This ad is part of their general "Life. Liberty.And the Pursuit" campaign, which features a larger cross section of Americancar buyers.

"I was on the shoot looking ahead to our print buy, knowing we'd be in Out,The Advocate, and Instinct," Gasloli said in the article.

This new spot continues a three-year effort for GM to advertise ingay-focused media. (The Advocate)


May 24, 2007
Dr. Laura takes a break from column

Laura Schlessinger, known for her biting, conservative, antigay views,announced she is "taking a break from her column" that she writes for theSanta Barbara News-Press. The decision follows a rough month for the pundit,according to the Santa Barbara Independent.

First, there are reports that the Pentagon is investigating the MySpace pageof Schlessinger's son, Deryk, now a soldier based in Afghanistan, because itcontains images of rape, murder, torture, and child molestation.

Then Schlessinger stirred angry debate with a comment she made in a story byMatthew LaPlante for The Salt Lake Tribune. "He could come back withoutarms, legs, or eyeballs, and you're bitching?" Schlessigner said in responseto military wives bemoaning the absence of their husbands deployed in Iraq."You're not dodging bullets, so I don't want to hear any whining-that's mymessage to them."

In her latest blog entry, posted May 14, Dr. Laura, as she is known,defended the statement, claiming that LaPlante pulled the quote out ofcontext.

"I am a military mom," she later wrote. "I whine to my husband every dayabout how scared I am for my son and how helpless I feel to protect his bodyand soul. However, I never whine to my son when he is able to call betweenmissions." (The Advocate)


May 24, 2007
South Africa criminalizes male rape

South African lawmakers Tuesday approved major reforms to the country's rapelaws, including extending the definition of rape to include men.

The Sexual Offences Bill was passed less than two weeks after a separatechallenge was turned down by South Africa's highest court, which said theissue should be decided by legislators.

The bill must go to the National Council of Provinces before it can besigned into law, the South African Press Association reported.

Among other changes, it equalizes treatment of male and female victims andlabels many more types of assaults, including forced oral sex, as "rape."Previously, forced anal penetration of men or boys was prosecuted as an"indecent act" and given much lighter sentencing.

It allows victims to obtain a court order for alleged offenders to undergocompulsory HIV testing and for the results to be revealed to them. Itentitles victims to PEP, post-exposure prophylaxis in the form ofantiretroviral drugs, at state expense, provided that they press criminalcharges against their attackers-an amendment that had been fought byactivists.


Illinois School To Recognize Religious Group That Bars Gays
by The Associated Press
Posted: May 23, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Carbondale, Illinois) Southern Illinois University will again recognize areligious group whose student organization status had been revoked becauseits members must pledge to adhere to Christian beliefs.

Tuesday's announcement came 10 months after the 7th U.S. Circuit Court ofAppeals granted an injunction re-establishing the Christian Legal Society'sstatus while its lawsuit against the university proceeded.

As part of the settlement, the university said it will officially recognizethe group and its membership and leadership policies. Southern Illinois alsowill establish a $10,000 scholarship fund that the society will administer.

"Every student group has the right to ensure that its leaders and memberssupport its mission; religious student groups should be treated nodifferently," said Casey Mattox, litigation counsel for the society's Centerfor Law and Religious Freedom.


Military Discharges More Linguists For Being Gay
by The Associated Press
Posted: May 23, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Washington) Lawmakers who say the military has kicked out 58 Arabiclanguage experts because they were gay want the Pentagon to explain how itcan afford to let the valuable specialists go.

Seizing on the latest discharge, involving three specialists, House memberswrote the House Armed Services Committee chairman on Wednesday that thecontinued loss of such "capable, highly skilled Arabic linguists continuesto compromise our national security during time of war."

Former Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Benjamin, said his supervisortried to keep him on the job and urged him to sign a statement saying he wasnot gay.

Benjamin said his lawyer advised against signing because the statement couldbe used against him later if other evidence surfaced.


Nebraska Defeats Gay Civil Rights Bill
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: May 23, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Lincoln, Nebraska) If nothing Nebraska lawmakers are consistent, continuinga 14 year tradition of voting down attempts to add sexuality to thecategories protected under the state's anti-discrimination law.

The Senate voted 24-15 to kill the most recent bill, introduced by Sen.Ernie Chambers (D-Omaha).

Prior to the vote Chambers said the legislation would give gays and lesbians"what all of us take for granted: the right to earn an honest living. We'renot talking about anything other than the right to get a job."

Two Republicans led the attack on the bill. Sen. Tony Fulton (R-Lincoln)said it would give special rights to homosexuals and said it could lead toprotections for to pedophiles and transvestites.

Sen. Tom Carlson (R-Holdrege) said gays don't need workplace protections aslong as they keep their sex lives in the closet.


Teen Charged Over Anti-Gay Fliers Ordered Held In Custody
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: May 23, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Woodstock, Illinois) A judge has ordered a 16 year girl charged with hatecrimes after posting fliers containing a picture of a male student andhomophobic statements in an area high school to be be held in custody at ajuvenile detention center until her trial.

A second girl charged in the same incident has had her 24-hour curfewcancelled and has been placed in home detention, allowed to leave only forcourt approved purposes and required to wear an ankle bracelet monitoringdevice.

The fliers were found scattered around the parking lot of Crystal Lake SouthHigh School.

The names of both teens are being withheld because they are minors.

The pair are charged with committing a hate crime, disorderly conduct, andobstructing justice. The state's hate crime law includes sexuality orperceived sexuality.

In ordering the first girl held in custody Judge Michael Chmiel told theteenager's mother that he is "m very nervous about your daughter being homewithout supervision," noting that the girl has had about a dozen otherrun-ins with police over recent years, the Northwest Herald reported.


Mass. Senate To Lose Key Gay Marriage Supporter
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: May 22, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) Massachusetts state Sen. Jarrett Barrios (D)announced Tuesday he will step down to enter private business.

The openly gay Barrios said he will leave the State House in early July tobecome president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation. What effect thatwill have on the battle over a proposed amendment to the state constitutionto bar same-sex marriage remains to be seen.

The proposed amendment is the result of a petition drive by conservativegroups. Amending the Constitution requires just 50 votes in two consecutivejoint sessions of the House and Senate, called a Constitutional Convention,in order to put the measure on the ballot.


Assault victim says attack was anti-gay
By TRISTAN SCOTT of the Missoulian

The victim of a recent assault has characterized the brutal attack ashomophobic, and said his two assailants uttered anti-gay epithets whilebeating him inside his downtown Missoula apartment.

"They literally left me hogtied on the floor to die, and I'm sure the factthat I'm gay made it easier for them to do it," said Stevenpaul Richey, 51,who spent nine days in the hospital with a collapsed lung and numerous otherinjuries following the May 8 assault.

Michael Daniel Lemay, 20, and Christopher Lance Newrider, also 20, are incustody at the Missoula County jail on charges of aggravated assault andaggravated kidnapping, both felonies for which they face maximum penaltiesof life in prison.

Both men remain in jail on $100,000 bail.

They're accused of binding Richey's hands and ankles together with rope,then punching and kicking the man, shattering bones in his face, breakingtwo ribs and puncturing a lung.

Staff at St. Patrick Hospital told police that Richey would have died if afriend hadn't found him just two hours after the assault occurred, accordingto court records.

"They spent the first two days just trying to keep me alive," Richey saidTuesday. "My head was so swollen I couldn't get my glasses on."

Missoula Police Detective Dean Chrestenson said he couldn't provide detailsabout some aspects of the investigation, which is still active and ongoing.However, Chrestenson confirmed he is investigating the possibility of abias-based crime.

"That is one of the angles I'm investigating," Chrestenson said. "It's onedirection this investigation is going."


Lesbian alleges shelter left her out in the cold
Pastor denies any discrimination

By Matt O'Connor
Tribune staff reporter
Published May 21, 2007, 5:57 AM CDT

The staffer for the homeless shelter didn't seem to understand MichelleWang's explanation why she needed a place to stay. Wang offered again overthe telephone how she had broken up with her girlfriend and moved out of theapartment they shared. The staffer appeared to become agitated, raised hervoice and continued to profess confusion, Wang said.

Finally, Wang blurted out that she was a lesbian. The staffer immediatelyput her on hold. After a long wait, Wang got the word she feared: There wereno beds available. She would have to fend for herself for another night inthe unseasonably cold fall weather. In complaints with city and stateofficials and in an expected lawsuit, the 27-year-old Wang alleges New LifeInterim Housing, a homeless shelter in Chicago's Rogers Park eighborhood,discriminated against her on the basis of sexual orientation.


Forwarded from Wayne Besen

Weekly Column: Anything But Straight
May 22, 2007
The Right's Crisis in Confidence

In sports, it is known that confidence is the main ingredient that separatesgreat players from those who are merely good. A legend, such as MichaelJordan, could miss ten shots in a row, but he would still expect theeleventh shot to fall. The average player, on the other hand, would starthaving doubts after a few missed baskets, even if he has the same physicaltalents as the star.

After tossing a generous number of political bricks, the religious right isin the midst of a crisis in confidence that will determine whether it willbe remembered as a great movement or merely an ugly historical footnote. Thedeath of Rev. Jerry Falwell, combined with the upcoming presidentialelection and the implosion of Bush's legacy has left the right rudderless.

Much of the malaise comes from the embarrassing fact that evangelicals linedup behind Bush for years and spoke of him as if he were a prophet. Now thatBush has transformed from Baby Jesus to idiot child - social conservativesare deservedly getting most of the blame for the Bush debacle.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,+07:10+AM

New Brochure Available to Help LGBTQ Teens 'Being Out, Being Safe'

CHICAGO, May 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Being a teenager isn't easy.Being a teenager who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning(LGBTQ) can be increasingly challenging.

A new brochure developed by the National Runaway Switchboard (NRS),"Being Out, Being Safe," is now available to help LGBTQ teens deal withissues such as hiding their sexuality, lack of family support,understanding and accepting their sexual and gender identity, or dealingwith teasing and bullying.

"Research shows that LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to exhibitthe symptoms of major depression than heterosexual youth -- which may leadto a runaway episode," said Maureen Blaha, NRS executive director. "Thisnew brochure will educate and help all LGBTQ youth get the assistance theyneed to be safe."

"Being Out, Being Safe," explains the realities facing LGBTQ teens,tips for youth and adults on how to become an ally of LGBTQ youth,resources where LGBTQ teens can find additional services and support, andstaggering statistics such as:


May 21, 2007
ACLU Wins Return of Seven-Year-Old to Lesbian Mother in Georgia

ATLANTA - After almost three months, a seven-year-old girl has beenreunited with the woman in whose care she'd thrived for almost a year beforebeing sent to live in a crowded foster home. The child had been held infoster care by the Wilkinson County Division of Family and Children Services(DFCS) since February 20, when a judge took her away from her home after helearned that she was being raised by a lesbian.

"Emma and I missed each other so much while we were separated, and I hopeshe can put this painful experience behind her quickly. But I'm grateful toDFCS for recognizing that Emma's biological mother always had her bestinterests at heart in wanting her to live with me," said Elizabeth Hadaway,a 28-year-old paramedic who first took in the little girl when the child'sbiological mother asked her to raise and adopt Emma. "Emma and I are justso glad she's finally home."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay man seeks asylum in the UK

BY VAUGHN DAVIS Sunday Observer staff reporter
Sunday, May 20, 2007

THE scars have long healed, but 28-year-old Asher's wounds go much deeperthan the physical. Asher, who declined to give his surname, said he wasbeaten by men who didn't like his 'walk'.

"People [always] tell me that I walk like a girl," remarked Asher, who saida group of men recently attacked him as he was walking on Windward Road inKingston. They had accused him of being a homosexual, he said.

"What happened is that a group of men drew me into St Michael's Church, andthey used a stone and started knocking me in the head," he said.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Iran: End Arrests on Immorality Charges
Mass Detentions, Home Raids Are Assaults on Privacy

(New York, May 17, 2007) - Iran's arbitrary arrests of thousands of men andwomen in recent weeks under the banner of "countering immoral behavior"threaten basic rights to privacy, Human Rights Watch said today. HumanRights Watch called for the immediate release of all those detained as partof this campaign, including more than 80 people seized in a raid on aprivate gathering in the city of Esfahan on May 10, 2007.

"In Iran, the walls of homes are transparent and the halls of justice areopaque," said Joe Stork, deputy director of the Middle East division ofHuman Rights Watch. "This 'morality' campaign shows how fragile respect forprivacy and personal dignity is in Iran today."

Since early April 2007, Iranian police and militia known as basiji havelaunched a nationwide crackdown against people they accuse of deviating fromofficial standards of dress or behavior. On April 14, Iran's Supreme Courtoverturned murder sentences against six basiji who had killed five people in2002 whom they considered "morally corrupt," contributing to a climate ofimpunity for the militia forces.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Majority of Brits back gay rights laws
Wed May 23, 2007 9:57 AM BST
By Astrid Zweynert

LONDON (Reuters) - The vast majority of Britons support new legislation toprotect gays from discrimination and would not mind if a member of theirfamily was homosexual, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The survey, commissioned by gay rights group Stonewall, found 85 percent ofthose questioned were in favour of laws brought in last month making itillegal to refuse gay people services such as medical treatment or hotelrooms because of their sexual orientation.

The legislation, a cornerstone of government efforts to promote equalrights, had been fiercely opposed by some religious leaders who said itwould threaten their freedom of conscience.

But the "Living Together" survey of just over 2,000 people painted a pictureof growing tolerance in Britain, most respondents saying they wanted actionto stop discrimination against gays.

Some 92 percent said they would be happy if a relative, their boss, or afootballer in the team they support was gay and three out of four said theywould be comfortable if their child's teacher was homosexual.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

London Tory leader announces civil partnership
23rd May 2007 13:20
Tony Grew

The head of one of London's leading local authorities has publicly come outand announced he is to enter into a civil partnership.

Sir Simon Milton is the leader of Westminster council and close toConservative leader David Cameron.

He is expected to be offered a seat in the Lords and possibly a job ingovernment if the Tories win the next election.

His partner is Robert Davis, 49, is a former mayor of Westminster andcurrent cabinet member for planning.

They have been together ten years.

They will hold their partnership ceremony next month at The Ritz hotel inLondon. It is not known if Mr Cameron will attend.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Beyond Ex-Gay hold a Survivors Conference [June 29-July 1 - UC Irvine, CA]
Beyond Ex-Gay

Recent events have brought national attention to the existence of programsintended to modify same-sex desires. While much of that attention hasfocused on whether sexual orientation is subject to change, beyondexgay.comand The Ex-Gay Survivor's Conference are the first efforts to move beyondthat debate in order to focus on the community of "survivors"-people whofeel they have experienced more harm than benefits from ex-gay programs.

"We use the term 'survivor' because we want to emphasize the very realpsychological trauma that these programs can cause, and also because we wantto highlight the strength of the men and women who, in spite of enormouspressures, come to accept themselves as they are," says Jeff Lutes, apracticing psychotherapist and Executive Director of Soulforce.

The creators of, Peterson Toscano and Christine Bakke,talked to hundreds of fellow ex-gay survivors. What they heard, again andagain, was that ex-gay experiences brought inner turmoil, confusion andshame.


Gay pride parade to attract international audience

May 23, 2007
By Talis Saule Archdeacon
The Baltic Times

RIGA - With the 2007 Friendship Days fast approaching, debate surroundingthe pride parade, the culmination of the Friendship Days events to takeplace in Vermanes Park in downtown Riga, is heating up. The event, scheduledfor June 3, is expected to draw hundreds of participants from all overEurope, as well as a crowd of protesters who will likely try to disrupt theevent.

Last year's gay and lesbian event in Riga was canceled - a decision laterruled to be unconstitutional - though a group of sexual rights activistsdecided to meet informally. For their efforts, they were pelted by eggs andexcrement, which sparked a wave of indignation among equal rights activistsand gays and lesbians throughout Europe.


May 23, 2007

Arrested 'same-sex' couple seek Musharraf's intervention
From our ANI Correspondent

Lahore, May 23: A same-sex couple in Pakistan, who were arrested formarrying each other, have sought the help of 'broadminded' President GeneralPervez Musharraf.

The couple-- Shumail Raj and Shahzina Tariq --termed their arrest asunjust and said Musharraf should help them, as he believed in a liberalisingsociety.

Raj and Tariq also said that they would also seek help from theinternational community, who would support their decision and let them livetheir lives in peace, reports the Daily Times.

Stating that physical boundaries were not strong enough to break theiremotional bond, the couple vowed to carry on their relationship, come whatmay.

They were arrested on Sunday for going through with a same-sexmarriage, which is against Islam. The arrest came after a Pakistani courtruled that the husband was actually a woman and had a sex change operation,which was not done properly.


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups

New from DIRELAND, May 23, 2006


Sickening new photos of a young gay couple tortured by Iran's police lastmonth for being gay have just been released. Plus, an up-to-date account ofthe violent police raid in the Iranian city of Esfahan on a birthday partyauthorities suspected was gay, and what has happened since to the 87 partyguests arrested and beaten by police. For the photos and details, click on:


Ft. Lauderdale


On Thursday, May 24, at 6:00, Stonewall Library & Archives, in associationwith Spiritus Institute, will present LGBT spiritual pioneer John J.McNeill. The event will be held in the Library's reading room, located at1717 North Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale.

McNeill, a psychotherapist, theologian, teacher, scholar and ordainedpriest, is the author of the groundbreaking 1976 book "The Church and theHomosexual" and he was a co-founder of the New York Chapter of Dignity,which in turn helped found the National Gay Task Force (known today at theNational Gay and Lesbian Task Force). He later published other major workson the subject of LGBT liberation, self-acceptance and spiritual maturityincluding "Taking a Chance on God: Liberating Theology for Gays, Lesbians,Their Lovers, Friends and Families" and "Freedom, Glorious Freedom: TheSpiritual Journey to the Fullness of Life for Gays, Lesbians, and EverybodyElse."

McNeill's latest work, "Sex as God Intended," continues his decades-longinvestigation of the intersection of spirituality and sexuality from an LGBTperspective.


Ft. Lauderdale

Join us Thursday, May 24th for a lovely evening of social networking forwomen who love women.

6:30pm to 8:30pm
Complimentary drinks and appetizersBring your business cards and your friends

Pelican Lounge at the Hyatt Regence Pierr 66 2301 S.E. 17th Street Causeway,Ft. Lauderdalevisit or call alison at 954.288.8691

sponsored by: the Aqua Foundation for Women, Lesbian Lounge, Express, NewMoon, Hyatt Pier 66, Crown Liquors, Ultra and Pandora Events, She Magazine,Chic Optique, Marks List

$5 suggested donation.


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