Wednesday, May 09, 2007

GLBT DIGEST May 9, 2007

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The New York Times

May 9, 2007
Pope on Mission to Win Back Latin American Catholics
Filed at 1:25 a.m. ET

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Huge crowds will welcome Pope Benedict on his firstvisit to Latin America starting on Wednesday but their fervor will not hideconcern in the Vatican that the Roman Catholic church is losing its grip inthe region.

The Pope's official business is to canonize Brazil's first saint and makethe keynote address at a conference of bishops from Latin America and theCaribbean -- home to nearly half the world's Roman Catholics.

The greater mission, churchmen and experts say, is to reaffirm churchteaching and stem the loss of millions who have turned away from the faithto embrace Protestant groups.

``The key issue is the need for the church to re-evangelize fallen awayCatholics but also those who remain so they won't leave,'' said Luis Lugo,director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a research group inWashington.

``They are also very concerned about the inroads that secular values arehaving in Latin America. Things like abortion, gay marriage,contraception.''


The New York Times

May 9, 2007
Coulter: Obama Poll Lead Helps al - Qaida
Filed at 1:19 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A recent Newsweek poll showing Democrat Barack Obamaleading top Republican presidential hopefuls could have been made up andmight help al-Qaida, conservative commentator Ann Coulter said in her latestverbal broadside.

Coulter, a best-selling author known for outrageous and often controversialstatements, was asked Sunday on Fox News' ''At Large'' what she thoughtabout the survey results.

''I think this is Newsweek doing more push polling for al-Qaida,'' she said,referring to campaign-season telephone calls to voters masquerading asneutral surveys but designed to build opposition to targeted candidates.

Asked by host Geraldo Rivera whether she thought Newsweek would make up theresults, Coulter said, ''Yes, I do,'' adding, ''In polls where people areactually allowed to vote, Republicans do a lot better.''

Coulter did not explain how the poll might help the terrorist group. Sincethe attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, some Republicans have argued that their partywould do a better job of protecting the U.S. against terrorism thanDemocrats.


The New York Times

May 9, 2007
World Briefing | Americas
Canada: Quebec Separatist Leader Quits Party After Election Loss

André Boisclair, left, the leader of the separatist Parti Québécois,resigned, further destabilizing an independence movement that was left inshambles after a third-place finish in provincial elections in March. "Thecurrent conditions don't allow me to do this anymore," he said. The partywas poised to have a strong showing in the elections, with some evenpredicting a win for the separatists, who want Quebec to be a nation. Butinstead they had their worst showing in decades. When he was elected partyleader in November 2005, Mr. Boisclair, 41, made headlines for being openlygay and for admitting to having used cocaine while a cabinet minister. Hisrelative youth also marked a departure from previous sovereignty leaders,most of whom traced their roots to the party's founding in the late 1960s.

He fought back tears as he announced his resignation, ending it with afamiliar rallying cry among separatists: "Vive le Quebec!"


The Washington Post

Pope warns Catholic politicians who back abortion

By Philip Pullella
Wednesday, May 9, 2007; 8:46 AM

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Wednesday warnedCatholic politicians they risked excommunication from the Church and shouldnot receive communion if they support abortion.

It was the first time that the Pope, speaking to reporters aboard the planetaking him on a trip to Brazil, dealt in depth with a controversial topicthat has come up in many countries, including the United States, Mexico, andItaly.

The Pope was asked whether he supported Mexican Church leaders threatening0to excommunicate leftist parliamentarians who last month voted to legalizeabortion in Mexico City.

"Yes, this excommunication was not an arbitrary one but is allowed by Canon(church) law which says that the killing of an innocent child isincompatible with receiving communion, which is receiving the body ofChrist," he said.

"They (Mexican Church leaders) did nothing new, surprising or arbitrary.They simply announced publicly what is contained in the law of the Church...which expresses our appreciation for life and that human individuality,human personality is present from the first moment (of life)."


Third Of Vancouver Females Living On The Street Are Lesbians
by The Canadian Press

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

(Vancouver, British Columbia) Many marginalized and street youth are workinghard, including attending school or holding down jobs, despite overwhelmingodds, says a newly released report.

In the report, Against All Odds, conducted by a group dedicated to improvingthe health of B.C. youth, the investigators made several interesting andsometimes startling findings.

``There are many misconceptions and stereotypes about marginalized andstreet-involved youth in our society,'' says the report.

``Many youth , despite overwhelming odds, are working hard, attending schooland looking for ways to not only survive, but thrive.''

The report's key findings include:

_ One in three youth still attended school while staying in an abandonedbuilding, care, tent, squat or on the street;


Second N.J. School District Blasted For Not Doing Enough To Stop Anti-GayBullying
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: May 9, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(Trenton, New Jersey) New Jersey's Division of Civil Rights is submitting acase alleging the Jackson Township school district failed to do enough tostop the bullying of a student who identifies as bisexual.

In a probable cause hearing, J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo, the director of theDivision said there is enough evidence for the case to proceed. He hassubmitted the complaint to conciliation in an attempt to resolve the casewithout going to trial.

"Despite repeatedly calling it to the attention of school authorities, thecomplainant in this case appears to have been exposed to a harassingenvironment that was, over a period of years, both severe and persuasive,"Vespa-Papaleo said in a statement.

In his complaint to the Division, the student who has not been named but isidentified as having come from Honduras, said that taunting and bullyingwent on from September 2002 until June 2006.

An investigation found that officials at Jackson Memorial High Schoollearned the student was being harassed as early as 2003. Administratorsverbally warned a number of students, and required sensitivity training forthree students.


The Advocate

May 09, 2007
U.S. social conservatives organize social-issues congress in Poland, NA

Many prominent U.S. conservative groups are shifting their attentionoverseas this week, organizing a conference in Poland that will decryEurope's liberal social policies and portray the host nation as a valiantholdout bucking those trends.

Many prominent U.S. conservative groups are shifting their attentionoverseas this week, organizing a conference in Poland that will decryEurope's liberal social policies and portray the host nation as a valiantholdout bucking those trends.

The World Congress of Families is expected to draw more than 2,500 peoplefrom dozens of countries to Warsaw's Palace of Culture and Science fromFriday through Sunday.

Co-sponsors of the congress include the American Family Association,Concerned Women For America, the Family Research Council, Focus on theFamily, the Heritage Foundation and the Seattle-based Discovery Institute,which promotes the ''intelligent design'' concept of the universe's origins.The U.S. groups are allied in opposition to abortion, gay marriage and otherpolicies they blame for weakening traditional families in Western Europe.

The chief organizer is a Rockford, Illinois-based conservative think tank,the Howard Center. ''Europe is almost lost - to demographic winter and tothe secularists,'' says a planning document for the congress. ''If Europegoes, much of the world will go with it. Almost alone, Poland has maintainedstrong faith and strong families.''


The Advocate

May 09, 2007
Giuliani defends Planned Parenthood donations

Rudy Giuliani defended his long-standing support for abortion rights anewTuesday after a report surfaced that the Republican donated to PlannedParenthood in the 1990s.

''Planned Parenthood makes information available,'' the former New York Citymayor said on conservative commentator Laura Ingraham's radio show. ''It'sconsistent with my position.''

On abortion, Giuliani said: ''I disagree with it. I think it's wrong. Ithink there should be a choice. If there is going to be a choice there areorganizations that are going to give people information about that choice. Ijust as strongly support the idea that a woman should have information aboutadoption at that time.''

The Politico reported that Giuliani and his then-wife, Donna Hanover, madesix contributions totaling $900 to the group that supports abortion rights,according to federal tax returns that the couple filed jointly and that havebeen public for years.

As he seeks to court conservatives, Giuliani has been dogged by his supportfor abortion rights. Last week, Giuliani was the only Republican among 10during a debate who waffled when asked whether it would be a good day if theSupreme Court overturned a 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion.


Gay rights taking two historic steps
Oregon laws - Protection against bias is statewide, and partnerships aregranted

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Kurt Koester was a groundskeeper at Lewis & Clark College in SouthwestPortland when his supervisor said something about gays that scared him.

"Where I come from, we string those people up and hang them," the supervisorsaid, according to Koester, who is gay.

Public records show that Koester complained to the college, whichinvestigated and disciplined the supervisor by placing him on unpaid leave.When college officials later questioned Koester about his employmentapplication, he suspected retaliation -- so he pursued a claim with stateinvestigators.

Until now, laws that allow gays and lesbians in Oregon to seek protectionfrom discrimination have been limited to residents of 10 cities, includingPortland, and two counties, including Multnomah. In those two jurisdictions,such laws enabled Koester to take his claim to a higher authority.

But such limitations on gay and lesbian Oregonians will dissolve after Gov.Ted Kulongoski signs into law two bills that gay-rights advocates praise ashistoric. One grants domestic partnerships. The other protects individualsfrom discrimination based on sexual orientation at work, in housing or inpublic places -- no matter where in the state they live.


The Argus

Gay hate crime on the increase

Attacks on members of the gay community have gone up by almost 50 per cent.

Homophobic crime in Brighton and Hove rose from 135 offences in 2005-06 to184 in 2006-07.

The majority of the crimes reported were assaults followed by harassment andpublic order offences.

The city is commonly regarded as one of the most "gay friendly" in the worldand has one of the largest gay populations in the country.

Perry French, Sussex regional manager of the Terence Higgins Trust, said:"The great thing about Brighton is people can live their lives the way theway they want to.

"As the community are more visible they are a more visible target.


AIDS ignorance revealed by Chinese gay hotline

8th May 2007 12:32

In another sign of relaxing attitudes to homosexuality in the world's mostpopulous country, the state-controlled Chinese press has reported on theproblems faced by gay people.

China Daily has highlighted the work of a Guangzhou-based free hotline forhomosexuals.

However, the paper emphasises that 56% of the 2,336 calls it has receivedare about psychological problems.

Ignorance about AIDS is the other striking factor.

Wang Ye, a doctor with the Guangdong provincial disease control andprevention center's AIDS research institute, told China Daily.


Gay Media Express

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 16, 2003--Gay men and women areamong the first to adopt new devices and online tools, making them animportant demographic for online marketers. For the first time, ForresterResearch, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) asked respondents to its annual ConsumerTechnographics(R) Benchmark Study of 60,000 households to indicate theirsexual orientation. "Gays Are The Technology Early Adopters You Want"includes data on device adoption and online behavior by gay men and women,as well as recommendations on how to best market to this influential group.

"Gay men and women are tech-savvy consumers who use the Internet and techdevices at significantly higher rates than their heterosexual counterpartsfor shopping, banking, entertainment, and community building," said JedKolko, principal analyst at Forrester. "Marketers need to take a close lookat the consumer behavior of gay men and women to determine a strategy intargeting a group of consumers who have been consistently overlooked."

In addition to being wealthier and better educated, gay men and women areavid internet users. Eighty percent of gay men and 76 percent of lesbiansare online, compared with 70 percent of straight men and 69 percent ofstraight women. Gays are also one-third more likely to have broadbandconnections and have been online longer than heterosexuals. Twenty-ninepercent of gay men and women have been online for more than seven years,versus 18% of heterosexuals.

Although any group of higher-income, more highly educated consumers will beearlier adopters of technology, significant differences in gays' technologybehavior emerged after adjusting statistically for online tenure anddemographic differences. Gay men, for example, are more likely to ownportable MP3 players and browser-enabled phones, and they are more than twotimes likelier to own a personal video recorder (PVR) device like TiVo. Gaymen and women also turn to the Internet in higher numbers for entertainmentand community-building activities. The Internet makes it easier for gays tomeet online without the pressures of losing one's anonymity and provides alink to the gay community through tools like text chat, instant messaging,and personal Web pages.

In an effort to reach gay consumers, Forrester recommends that marketerstarget gay audiences directly by advertising in gay publications and at gayevents. Additionally, because gay men and women differ from heterosexuals inmany of the same ways when it comes to consumer behavior, marketers cantreat the gay market as a single audience. It may be best, however, to avoidasking consumers about their sexual orientation for direct marketingpurposes. Twenty percent of respondents did not answer Forrester's sexualorientation question - for the time being, inquiring about consumers'sexuality may not be worth the effort and potential of alienating consumers.


Pew Research Center

Are Americans Ready to Elect a Female President?
Past Statewide Elections Suggest Gender Is Not an Obstacle -- at Least forDemocratic Candidates
by Andrew Kohut, President, Pew Research Center
May 9, 2007

When evaluating Sen. Hillary Clinton's 2008 prospects, one question remainsinescapable: Are voters ready to elect a female president? On one level, thequestion would appear to be settled. In February, Gallup found 88% sayingthey would vote for a well-qualified woman for president. Contrast this withpublic opinion in 1969, the year Clinton graduated from Wellesley College.At that time, just 53% said they would support a well-qualified femalepresidential candidate.

As to opinion of Clinton herself, surveys by the Pew Research Center for thePeople & the Press and other national polling organizations show aconsistent gender gap in her support. Recent Newsweek surveys show that in ahypothetical contest against Republican frontrunner Rudolph Giuliani, halfof female voters, compared with just 44% of male voters, said they wouldvote for Sen. Clinton.


Egypt's 'Dr. Ruth': Let's talk sex in the Arab world

By Aneesh Raman

Dr. Heba Kotb runs "The Big Talk" show in Cairoand is speaking openly in the Arab world about having more sex.

CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- Dr. Heba Kotb is tackling a taboo in the Arab worldunlike anyone else: She's talking about sex openly on a show broadcast allover the Middle East.

It's a big first in these parts of the world, and Kotb leaves littleuncovered.

"We talk about masturbation ... sex over the Internet. We talk about sex andRamadan. We talk about the wedding night," said Kotb. Entitled "The BigTalk," the show is broadcast once a week over a satellite channel fromCairo, Egypt.

It took the 39-year-old mother three years of negotiations to get her showon the air. And a main reason she succeeded is that she talks only about sexallowed in the Quran -- sex between husband and wife. (Watch sexologistdescribe why sex is goodVideo)

But even with that guideline, it's no easy sell.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

New York Sun

Gay Rites Will Help Families, Spitzer Says
New Memo Discloses Governor's Case

BY JACOB GERSHMAN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
May 8, 2007

ALBANY - Legalizing gay marriage would "only strengthen New York'sfamilies," according to Governor Spitzer, who laid forth his mostdetailed argument in favor of recognizing same-sex relationships in alegislative memo.

Mr. Spitzer, who late last month became the nation's first governor topropose legislation legalizing gay marriage, articulated a legal andmoral argument in defense of the bill in a two-page "statement insupport" that is being distributed to lawmakers.

The governor's forceful language adds even more contrast between hisposition and that of the major Democratic candidates for president,including Senator Clinton, all of whom oppose gay marriage but favorcivil unions.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Wrongful Psychoanalysis
By Steve Weinstein

From The Advocate May 22, 2007

Wrongful psychoanalysis

It probably was inevitable that someone in the media would try to connectSeung-Hui Cho's rampage at Virginia Tech to homosexuality. Sure enough,within days of the shootings, forensic psychiatrist Helen Morrison appearedon CNN and opined about Cho's supposed gay desires.

Cho fit the "typical profile of a mass murderer," Morrison said, adding, "Ifyou read his plays, you see a tremendous amount of warped thinking, evenmore warped sexuality-what appears to be tremendous fears of his ownsame-sex urges that he projected onto other people."

But conclusions by such long-distance psychoanalysis are dismissed out ofhand by many psychiatrists.

"The American Psychological Association [[sic, that's the AmericanPsychiatric Association] says it's not wise to speculate about a person youhave not personally examined," says Jack Drescher, a New York Citypsychiatrist and author of Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Gay Man. "Anyonewho does that is only projecting themselves-their theories or their ownpsychology."

Jeffrey Montgomery has been following antigay violence and the "gay panic"defense for years as the executive director of the Triangle Foundation inDetroit, and he was in Wyoming during the Matthew Shepard murder trial.About Cho he says, "I haven't seen or heard anything that indicatesinternalized homophobia."


Iraqi Gay Activist Arrested, Tortured


May 3, 2007

A key Iraqi gay activist was arrested and tortured in Baghdad on April 29,according to Ali Hili, the London-based coordinator of the all-volunteerIraqi LGBT group, which has a network of members and supporters throughoutIraq. Hani, a 34-year-old nurse whose last name cannot be given for securityreasons to protect him and his family, was in the Al Mansour neighborhood ofBaghdad, where he lives, searching for a taxi when he was stopped andarrested this past Sunday by five policemen riding in a police pickup truck,Hili told Gay City News by telephone from London. "Hani was in charge ofcommunications for our Baghdad group, and he's been a very important part ofour work in reporting and documenting the campaign of persecution and murdertargeting Iraqi LGBT people," Hili said. "When Hani - who is obviously gayand a bit effeminate - was stopped by the police, who demanded hisidentification papers. On seeing his name, one of the police said, 'Yes,it's him, he's one of them,' which is yet another piece of evidence that thepolice have a hit-list of some of our activists," recounted Hili. Hani washandcuffed, blindfolded, and taken to a police interrogation center. Whilehe was in custody, Hani was beaten and tortured for several hours. "Thepolice used a screwdriver, which they pounded into Hani's legs with ahammer - sometimes the police use electric drills for this sort of torture -and they also beat him badly," Hili said.


Gay troop proponent serves America honorably
Tuesday, 08 May 2007 11:02

Deb Price

Gay Troop Proponent Serves America Honorably
It was one of life's pinch-me-is-this-really-happening moments: DixonOsburn, co-founder of the nation's leading group to lift the ban on openlygay troops, was still at the office at 7 o'clock one evening and noticed afax coming through.

It read simply: "I am an admiral. I am gay. How can I help?"

It was one of life's pinch-me-is-this-really-happening moments: DixonOsburn, co-founder of the nation's leading group to lift the ban on openlygay troops, was still at the office at 7 o'clock one evening and noticed afax coming through.
It read simply: "I am an admiral. I am gay. How can I help?"

The executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Networkimmediately called the retired admiral. But unwilling to settle for just oneflag officer, Osburn approached two closeted generals about a battle plan tomark the 10th anniversary of Don't Ask, Don't Tell with some splashy news.

"What better way to break this huge myth that we don't exist?" recallsOsburn, who was determined to "show that there really are gay people atevery level of our military, and they do good jobs and are clearlysuccessful.

"I went to each of them and said, 'I don't want one of you to do this.I want all three of you to hold hands and jump.' "

And jump they did, making a big impact in the New York Times.

For 13 years, Osburn has steered the legal defense network throughhighs and lows in combating the 1993 law requiring gay Americans to servecloseted, celibate and in fear of being investigated. Big satisfaction, hetold me in a farewell interview, has come from "getting giants to dance" --getting the Pentagon brass to respond to his teensy group's investigations.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Amaechi: 'I underestimated America'

DENVER -- When John Amaechi told the world he was gay, he steeled himselffor a torrent of negativity that never really materialized, the former probasketball player told the GOP's largest gay organization Saturday.

"I underestimated America. I braced myself for the wrath of a nation underGod," Amaechi said at the Log Cabin Republicans' annual convention. "Iimagined that it would be a firestorm, that it would be some insane numberof letters demanding my deportation or my death.

"And in fact, 95 percent of the correspondence I've had have beenoverwhelmingly supportive and positive," Amaechi said. "But I will say thatthe 5 percent that I've had have been unbelievably, viscerally,frighteningly negative."

Amaechi is a psychologist who works with corporations and also withchildren, "and I worried what America would make of that," he said. "And itis not an issue."

Among the most vitriolic of critics was former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway,whose anti-gay remarks led to his disassociation with the league.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Africa's 'state-backed' homophobia

Gershwin Wanneburg | Johannesburg, South Africa

08 May 2007 10:57

African gay activists this week protested against "state-sponsored"homophobia, saying authorities tacitly condone their persecution across thecontinent.

The International Gay and Lesbian Association's (Ilga) firstpan-African conference in Johannesburg, which ended on Tuesday, drew about60 activists who say they have seen first-hand the consequences of laws thatbreed homophobia.

In some cases, possible sentences against gays include death bystoning.

Thirty-eight of 85 United Nations members who outlaw homosexuality arein Africa, according to an April 2007 Ilga report that notes: "Although manyof the countries ... do not systematically implement those laws, their mereexistence reinforces a culture where a significant portion of the citizensneed to hide from the rest of the population in fear ... A culture wherehatred and violence are somehow justified by the state and force people intoinvisibility or into denying who they truly are."

South Africa stands alone in Africa in its liberal attitude, last yearbecoming the first African nation to allow gay marriages.

Rowland Jide Macaulay, a gay cleric, breaking with African traditionthat regards homosexuality as a taboo, launched a gay-friendly church in hisnative Nigeria last year to counter negative messages from officials andchurch leaders in a country where laws render homosexuality punishable bystoning to death.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

National gay-rights campaign kicks off in Ames

May 6, 2007

A North Carolina group dedicated to gaining equal rights for gays andlesbians has chosen Ames to launch a nationwide grass-roots campaign ithopes will counter efforts of religious conservatives during the 2008presidential election.

Faith in America's "Call to Courage" campaign is intended to educate thepublic about misuse of religious teachings against homosexuality and raiseawareness of historical precedents of religion-based bigotry.

"For the last six years, fundamentalist Christians have attacked the gaycommunity through the Republican Party, and the Democrats have not done sucha great job defending my rights" said Mitchell Gold, a furnituremanufacturer and gay man who is bankrolling the campaign. "Today, theloudest voices against full and equal rights for gay Americans use theirbiblical interpretations to justify legalized discrimination. Enough isenough."


Navy Recalls Gay Sailor
by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Boston Contributor
Monday May 7, 2007

When Petty Officer Jason Knight came out the first time, the Navy lost notime in discharging him and rescinding his $13,000 sign-up bonus. After ninemonths, however, the Navy sent Knight orders that he was to report foractive duty for a year-long tour, according to an article in the militarynewspaper Stars & Stripes.

"Did I accept despite everything that happened? Of course I did, and I woulddo it again. Because I love the Navy and I love my country. And despite[Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine General Peter] Pace's opinion,my shipmates support me," Knight wrote in a letter he sent to the newspaper,which ran the story in its Pacific Edition.

It was those comments by Pace that prompted Knight to disclose, for thesecond time, his status as a gay service member. Pace went on record a fewmonths ago saying that homosexuality is "immoral."

Referring to his recall orders, Knight said, "I thought it was a joke atfirst." But having been discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" did notstop him rom answering the call to duty. "It was the ultimate kick in theass. But then I thought, there isn't much they can do to me they haven'tdone the first time."


Giuliani's bid is favored by many in gay GOP group

By Colleen Slevin, Associated Press
May 5, 2007

Rudy Giuliani emerged as a favorite among many members of the GOP's largestgay organization; they cited his record on social issues, taxes and defense.However, delegates to the Log Cabin Republicans annual convention in Denversaid Friday they also fear that the former New York mayor, in his bid tocapture the Republican presidential nomination, might be waffling as hereaches out to the more conservative GOP voters who hold sway in theprimaries.

"Mainstream Republican voters and moderate voters are going to vote for you.Don't tilt to the right," said Frank Ricchiazzi, who helped found the LogCabin group 30 years ago.

Ricchiazzi, who wore an "I Love Rudy" button, cited Giuliani's remarks onabortion during the GOP presidential candidates' debate Thursday night.


Gay? It's OK ... unless you're the boss

From Monday's Globe and Mail

May 7, 2007 at 8:53 AM EDT

Bruce Goudy spent his early years at Ernst & Young in fear.

With his career in its fledgling stages, he attended company functions soloand only conversed with co-workers in guarded disclosures.

"I was very cautious about who I told and who I didn't tell," says Mr.Goudy, a Toronto-based partner with the global audit firm. "It was a fear ofthe unknown. Can I really trust that my bosses' view of me will not changeonce they know that I'm gay?"

Mr. Goudy probably wasn't the only executive whose mind flickered back tothose closet days last week, when BP CEO John Browne announced hisresignation, after a British court determined he had lied about a four-yearrelationship with a Canadian man.


Gay beauty pageant defies Maoists
[8 May, 2007 l 0002 hrs ISTlIANS]

SMS NEWS to 8888 for latest updates

KATHMANDU: Less than a month after the controversial staging of the MissNepal pageant, the country's gay community has held a Miss Transgendercontest - in a double defiance of the Maoist opposition to beauty pageantsas well as homosexuality.

Wearing an embroidered and sequinned red sari, 21-one-year-old Ria, alsoknown as Raju Gurung, wore the Miss Transgender crown at a gay pageantSunday in Pokhara city - a popular tourist destination. Though initiallyover a dozen people signed up to take part in the contest organised by NGOSunaulo Bihani, many of them backed out at the last minute due to familypressure and the social stigma surrounding homosexuality in Nepal, a localdaily said.

The pageant consisted of an introduction round, a talent contest and aquestion-answer session. Ria, who professed a penchant for dancing andswimming, currently works for the organising NGO. This year, after theMaoist guerrillas joined the government it was alleged that rebel cadreswere cracking down on homosexuals.


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups


POLAND: Hands off Human Rights

The President of the Republic of Poland
Lech Kaczynski
ul. Wiejska 10
00-902 Warszawa, Poland

Dear President Kaczynski,

We urge you and your government to stop your attacks on the human rights oflesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Such attacks betrayPoland's long, proud record of struggling for human rights. Upholding equalrights for all will help build a freer future.

Your government has declared it will fire gay teachers, and impose criminalpenalties on "anyone who promotes homosexuality or any other deviance of asexual nature in education establishments." This blatant violation of basicrights could deprive students of potentially life-saving information aboutsexuality and about HIV/AIDS. Members of your government have accusedorganizations working on LGBT people's human rights of "pedophilia," andthreatened them with criminal investigations. A legislator in your governingcoalition said that gays who demonstrate "should be bashed with a baton." In2004 and 2005, when mayor of Warsaw, you yourself tried to ban Gay Pridemarches, saying that "public promotion of homosexuality will not be allowed." Your words and actions have contributed to a climate whereviolence against LGBT people is tolerated-or even encouraged.

Such words and acts threaten democracy.

This month, the European Court of Human Rights condemned your attempts toban Gay Pride marches in Warsaw. The court praised a "pluralism . built onthe genuine recognition of, and respect for, diversity"-including "genuineand effective respect for freedom of association and assembly."


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups

Ritdiena, week of 8 May 2007

Defending family values

Open letter from Roman Catholic Cardinal Janis Pujats

Introduction by Andis Sedlenieks

The views of a spiritual person: Cardinal Janis Pujats says that it wouldbe evil "if the Cabinet of Ministers or Saeima were to use the rule of lawto start national defence and propaganda" of the idea of homosexuals. Thehead of Latvia's Roman Catholics has also proposed a referendum in whichpeople would be asked to answer a clearly formulated question: "Do yousupport marriage between persons of the same gender?

Text of the cardinal's letter:

We cannot keep quiet. One month from now, there will once again be theissue of tolerance against homosexuality in the context of yet anotherattempt to organise a Pride march on June 3 of this year. Homosexuality istotal corruption in the sexual arena, and it is an unnatural form of

The organisers of the Pride event essentially are demanding that people betolerant toward this moral corruption. Even more! They are demanding notjust tolerance, but also that sexual corruption be protected by law andpopularised on the basis of special programmes in schools and otherorganised events. There would be no opportunity to object against legalevents, because that would be seen as a manifestation of hatred. That's howcorruption grows into dictatorship.


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups

Italian lawmakers protest barring gays from family conference

Catholic World News

Rome, May. 8, 2007 ( - An Italian government minister hasannounced that he will not attend a government-sponsored conference on thefamily, because homosexual groups have not been invited to participate.

Paolo Ferrero, the minister of social solidarity, said that he would notparticipate in a conference to be held in Florence later this months,because "I do not share the decision of Minister Rosy Bindi not to invitehomosexual organizations to the conference on the family."

Bindi, the government's family minister, responded by saying, "I know wellthat this will cause many difficulties, but those subject to the pendingbill on homosexual civil unions are not allowed to participate."

The parliamentary head of the Communist Refoundation Party, GennaroMigliore, has announced his party's support for the decision made byFerrero. "If the government does not invite gay associations to theFlorentine conference on the family, our party will not participate inprotest," he said.


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups

This year, Amnesty International will participate in the Riga Pride march on3 June 2007 with a delegation of between 50-100 persons from at least elevendifferent countries. Amnesty International is taking this action as ademonstration of solidarity with Latvian LGBT people. We would like to takethis opportunity to thank Latvian LGBT organization Mozaika for theirfantastic work and to say that we look forward to meeting Latvian andEuropean LGBT activists alike in Riga in early June.

For further information on Amnesty international's participation in thisyear's Riga Pride, please click on the link below:

Best regards,

Anders Dahlbeck
Researcher - EU team
Amnesty International


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