Tuesday, May 29, 2007

GLBT DIGEST May 29, 2007

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Fort Lauderdale church faces furor for starting gay congregation in Jamaica
By Alva James-Johnson
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
May 29, 2007

The Rev. Grant Lynn Ford appeared on a recent Caribbean radio program hopingto improve relations between Jamaicans in South Florida and the gay andlesbian community.

Instead, the pastor from Sunshine Cathedral, which recently started a gayand lesbian congregation in Jamaica, endured a hostile radio audience.

Jamaican callers chastised him for promoting homosexuality in their country.One caller said Ford would get a bullet through his head if he set foot onthe island.

"What surprised me was the violence of it, and saying it on public radio,"Ford said. "I probably wouldn't invite any of them to my next family picnic.I might be the roasted pig."

The incident highlights a clash of cultures between gays and lesbians inSouth Florida and some in the Jamaican-American community as reports ofhomophobic violence flow from the Caribbean island. The tension is furtherfueled by anti-gay lyrics found in popular reggae music, which many gay andlesbians find offensive.


Join South Florida Social Circle & lots of Others on Peter Burke's TeaCruise

South Florida Social Circle sets sail Sunday, July 1st for a 3 hour cruise

Deadline to get the for 2 for 1 South Florida Social Circle Special Priceis: Friday, June 1st

South Florida Social Circle is joining Peter Burke's Tea Cruise on Sunday,July 1st at 3PM. Boarding starts at 2:30PM and anchors away at 3PM. Alltickets 2-4-1 with reservation No later than Friday, June 1st, In order toget the 2 for 1 price of 2 tickets for $30, Call Peter directly at (954)649-1107, otherwise the cost is $25 per person with a reservation in advanceand $30 at the pier if space is still available (people have been turnedaway at the pier). Free parking, Free food, Hot dancers and D.J. Marcio! &cash bar, ---And of Course A FABULOUS Time with South Florida Social Circle.For Reservations Call Peter @ (954) 649-1107(credit cards accepted).


The New York Times


May 29, 2007
Gay Marriage in New York (1 Letter)
To the Editor:

Re "Legal Status Brings Security to Some Same-Sex Marriages" (news article,May 22):

It is heartening to learn that a judge in Massachusetts has ruled in favorof same-sex couples from New York who went to the state in pursuit oflegally recognized unions.

As one of five plaintiff couples in Hernandez v. Robles, Lambda Legal'shistoric lawsuit seeking marriage equality for same-sex couples in New YorkState, we are acutely aware of the importance of any level of legal sanctionfor gay and lesbian relationships.

Same-sex couples in New York seek nothing more than the same recognition andrights as those available to our counterparts in Massachusetts and thatheterosexuals take for granted. This will involve, in no small part, workingto change hearts and minds.

Let's hope that the State Legislature does what the Court of Appeals failedto do: grant equal civil marriage protections for all New Yorkers.

Jo-Ann Shain
May Jo Kennedy
Brooklyn, May 22, 2007


The New York Times


May 29, 2007
Alone in a City's AIDS Battle, Hoping for Backup

WASHINGTON, May 28 - The nation's capital is the only city in the countrybarred by federal law from using local tax money to finance needle exchangeprograms. It is also the city with the fastest-growing number of new AIDScases.

These two facts keep Ron Daniels on the move, tirelessly driving his ricketyWinnebago from drug corner to drug corner across the rougher parts of thiscity, counseling the addicted and swapping clean needles for dirty ones.

Faced with an AIDS problem growing here at a rate 10 times the nationalaverage, Mr. Daniels, the director of Prevention Works, the city's onlyneedle exchange program, is armed with a shoestring budget of $385,000 inprivate donations, a small fraction of what programs in other major citiesreceive in state and local money.

Since Washington is not part of a state, Congress controls the city's localsystem of government, and for nearly a decade members of the House, citingconcerns about worsening drug abuse, have inserted language into the billapproving the city's budget to prohibit financing such programs.

That may soon change.


The New York Times


May 29, 2007
World Briefing | Europe
Poland: Tinky Winky Outed Again

The government-appointed children's rights watchdog, Ewa Sowinska, told thenewsmagazine Wprost that she was concerned that the children's televisionseries "Teletubbies" promoted homosexuality. She said she had noticed thatthe purple Teletubby, Tinky Winky, had "a lady's purse, but I didn't realizehe's a boy." When she did, she continued: "I thought the purse would be aburden. Later I learned that this may have a homosexual undertone." Poland'sconservative government has drawn criticism within the European Union forapparent discrimination against homosexuals. Rev. Jerry Falwell, theAmerican fundamentalist, was ridiculed for suggesting in 1999 that the show's
creators intended Tinky Winky to be a gay role model. He also made the pointthat the bag, described by the characters' licenser as a magic bag,resembled a purse.




Losing Focus
Why Does This Presidential Field Seem So Blurry?
By Eugene Robinson
Tuesday, May 29, 2007; A13

The presidential candidates of both parties have been campaigning for monthsnow, introducing themselves to the nation. So why do so many of them seem toget progressively fuzzier and less distinct, like photographs left out inthe sun? Is it the process that's causing this steady attenuation, or doesthe problem lie with the candidates themselves?

There are two major exceptions to the general rule I've just posited.Hillary Clinton and John McCain are as vivid as the subjects of the artistChuck Close's hyperrealist portraits, in which you can see every wrinkle,every blotch, every pore. The problem is that when people know exactly whoyou are, or think they do, they tend to form hard and fast opinions. Thereare so many Democrats who "just don't like Hillary Clinton" and so manyRepublicans who "just don't like John McCain" that the two candidates onceconsidered presumptive favorites to win the major-party nominations couldboth fall short.

By contrast, the images of their opponents range from gauzy to blurry topractically incorporeal.

Barack Obama's phenomenal rise as a candidate came as he was brilliantlysketching the outlines of who he is and what he believes. His identity andphilosophy are based on inclusiveness, which is a soothing message for anation bleeding from wedge-issue politics as practiced by George W. Bush,Karl Rove and the like. But not all either/or propositions are falsechoices -- some are real choices, with real consequences. While we know muchabout who Obama is and how he thinks, the question of precisely what hewould do in a given situation is like the bottom line on an eye chart -- youcan almost make it out, but not quite.

Obama's sudden prominence lowered a scrim in front of John Edwards'scandidacy -- he was going to be the anti-Hillary, but that role is nowtaken. Joe Biden certainly speaks his mind clearly enough, but it has beenhard to persuade people to see him and Chris Dodd as anything other thancreatures of the Senate -- unlike Clinton and Obama, two senators who areblessed with escape-velocity star power.




Alabama Lists Gays Among Terrorist Groups
by The Associated Press
Posted: May 28, 2007 - 8:00 am ET

(Montgomery, Alabama) The Alabama Department of Homeland Security has takendown a Web site it operated that included gay rights and anti-warorganizations in a list of groups that could include terrorists.

The Web site identified different types of terrorists, and included a listof groups it believed could spawn terrorists. The list also includedenvironmentalists, animal rights advocates and abortion opponents.

The director of the department, Jim Walker, said his agency received anumber of calls and e-mails from people who said they felt the site unfairlytargeted certain people just because of their beliefs. He said he plans toput the Web site back on the Internet, but will no longer identify specifictypes of groups.

Howard Bayliss, chairman of the gay and lesbian advocacy group EqualityAlabama, said he doesn't understand why gay rights advocates would be on thelist.

"Our group has only had peaceful demonstrations. I'm deeply concerned we'vebeen profiled in this discriminatory matter," Bayliss said.




Russian Gay Leaders Released From Jail
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: May 28, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET

(Moscow) Nikolai Alekseev and two other Moscow Gay Pride organizers werereleased from jail Monday afternoon but ordered to appear back in court onJune 9 for a hearing on criminal charges they were staging an illegaldemonstration.

Three European lawmakers and British LGBT rights advocate Peter Tatchellwere released on Sunday, hours after they were detained.

In all about 20 people were arrested by heavily armed riot police as gayrights campaigners attempted to deliver to Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov apetition which had been signed by about 40 members of the EuropeanParliament supporting a gay pride parade. (story)

The governments of Germany and Italy have officially protested the arrestsof their representatives to the European Parliament.

Luzhkov earlier had banned the pride celebration and rights groups said theywould march anyway. The petition was to have been a last ditch effort toavoid a confrontation with city authorities.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Washington Blade
May 25, 2007

Gay candidates faring well in big city racesDallas mayoral hopeful in historic campaign

Openly gay political candidates and elected officials are making noticeablestrides - and in some cases making history - around the country inhigh-profile races.

Three of the most prominent gay and transgender political players - a SanFrancisco Police Commission president, a Pittsburgh City Councilmember and aDallas mayoral candidate - took time to chat with the Blade about why theygot involved and what it's like to campaign as openly gay in majormetropolitan areas today.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Iowa City Press Citizen
May 25, 2007

Culver signs civil rights expansion into law

By the Associated Press

DES MOINES - Gays and lesbians in Iowa will get new protections fromdiscrimination in housing, education and a host of other areas underlegislation Gov. Chet Culver signed into law today.

``The civil rights struggle has defined our country for generations,'' saidCulver. ``This has been a nearly 20-year fight up at the Legislature. We arehere to celebrate one more victory.''

The measure Culver signed adds sexual orientation and gender identity to thelist of traits included in Iowa's civil rights law, which already banneddiscrimination based on such factors as race and ethnicity.

Culver signed the measure at the downtown offices of Principal FinancialGroup, a powerhouse business that supported the new rules. Principal hasbanned discrimination of gays and lesbians since 1991.

``It's a good day for Iowa,'' said Ralph Rosenberg, head of the Iowa CivilRights Commission, which also had supported the legislation. ``I feel goodbeing an Iowan today.''


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] Moscow Pride '08 will take place on Saturday May 31

The Moscow Pride Committee has decided tonight that next Moscow Pride willtake place Saturday May 31st.

"The 27th of May will be on tuesday. We will celebrate the 15th anniversaryof decriminalization of male homosexuality on the next saturday" declaredtonight Nikolai Alekseev.

"In between, I am planing to run next december for the upcoming Doumaelection. This could really change the course of next year pride" he added.

The 4 veterans MPs and MEPs of this year and past year will invite theircolleagues to join them for the event and make the trip to Moscow.

"Last year, we were 2 MPs. This year we were 4. If we could be 20 next yearof at least 10 different countries, the event would really be different. Thepressure would be important and the pride would be more secure" declaredVolker Beck from Moscow tonight.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

May 28, 2007

Officers and Counterprotesters Disrupt Gay Rights Rally in Russia


MOSCOW, May 27 - Police officers and riot troops quashed a gay rights rallyin Moscow on Sunday, detaining organizers as well as at least two Europeanlawmakers, while members of Orthodox Christian and nationalist groupsbadgered the demonstrators with insults, eggs and fists.

Barely had Nikolai A. Alekseyev, the event's main organizer, appeared infront of City Hall when the police pushed him and several otherdemonstrators into a police bus.

Skirmishes between gay rights protesters and counterprotesters broke outacross from City Hall along Tverskaya Street, Moscow's main thoroughfare.The general disorder made it hard to determine the number of people actuallyparticipating in the demonstration. Mr. Alekseyev had predicted that 200people would participate.

A man in camouflage clothing struck Peter Tatchell, a British gay rightscampaigner, in the face as he tried to speak to the news media. Officersarrested the man who threw the punch and took Mr. Tatchell to a police vanfor his protection, a police spokesman said.


ABC to Debut Isaiah Washington PSA Today


Thursday, May 24, 2007

ABC Debuts Isaiah Washington PSA Today

Isaiah Washington appears in a public service announcement (PSA) intended to combat intolerance based on sexual orientation, race and gender that debuts tonight on ABC during two back-to-back episodes of Grey's Anatomy.

The PSA is the result of a January meeting with Neil G. Giuliano, president of GLAAD, and Kevin Jennings, founder and executive director of GLSEN, during which the actor apologized for use of an anti-gay slur. At the January meeting, Washington acknowledged the harm he had caused by his use of the epithet and expressed an interest in taking steps, such as appearing in this PSA, to combat prejudice and intolerance faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The PSA was produced by ABC.


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