Friday, June 01, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 1, 2007

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The New York Times

June 1, 2007
New Hampshire Adopts Same-Sex Unions

BOSTON, May 31 - Civil unions for same-sex couples in New Hampshire will be legal starting in January under a bill signed into law Thursday by Gov. John Lynch.

In a ceremony in the governor's chambers at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Mr. Lynch, a second-term Democrat who has voiced opposition to same-sex marriage, said: "I do not believe that this bill threatens marriage. I believe that this is a matter of conscience and fairness."

New Hampshire becomes the fourth state to allow same-sex civil unions, joining Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey, and the first to do so without a court order or a pending lawsuit. Only Massachusetts allows same-sex marriage.

Bishop V. Gene Robinson, whose status as the openly gay Episcopal leader in New Hampshire has caused debate and division within the international Anglican Communion, attended the ceremony and said in an interview that he would enter into a civil union with his partner next year.

Bishop Robinson said he would allow other Episcopal priests in New Hampshire to decide individually whether to perform or approve of civil unions. Of the new law, he said: "I feel that it's a huge step forward for fairness and equality for all the citizens of New Hampshire and really is an affirmation of the very conservative values that we hold here. This will support gay and lesbian families the way marriage supports heterosexual families."

Paul Nagy, chairman of Conserve NH, a conservative group that had gathered 900 signatures on a petition urging Mr. Lynch not to sign the bill, said that throughout the process of enactment, the measure's opponents had not had enough opportunity to air their views.


The New York Times

June 1, 2007
N.H. Governor Signs Civil Unions Law
Filed at 8:14 a.m. ET

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- Gov. John Lynch has signed a law establishing civil unions for same-sex couples in New Hampshire, allowing them to apply for the same rights as married people as early as January.

New Hampshire has ''a long and proud tradition taking the lead in opposing iscrimination,'' Lynch said Thursday. ''Today that tradition continues.''

It will be the fourth state to offer civil unions and the first to do so without a court order or threat of one.

Couples who enter civil unions will have the same rights as married couples. Same-sex unions from other states also will be recognized if they were legal in the state where they were performed.

Lynch, a Democrat, called the measure a matter of conscience. ''How could any one of us look into the eyes of our neighbors, our friends or our loved ones if we continued to deny them these basic legal protections?'' he said.


The New York Times

June 1, 2007
Post - Falwell, U.S. Religious Right Remains A Force
Filed at 7:21 a.m. ET

DALLAS (Reuters) - U.S. evangelist Jerry Falwell has been laid to rest but it is premature to write the political obituary of the conservative Christian movement he once led.

They say the "Religious Right," a movement linked to the Republican Party that seeks to redraw U.S. public policy along evangelical Christian lines, remains a political force -- and doesn't need a unifying leader.

Falwell, who died in May at the age of 73, had been increasingly sidelined since 1989, when he disbanded the Moral Majority -- a group that drummed up support for conservative Republicans.

But the movement has moved from success to success over the years, even as Falwell's influence waned -- not least in playing an instrumental role in securing two White House terms for devout Christian George W. Bush.

"National-level leadership is less important than it was in the 1970s and 1980s when Falwell headed the Moral Majority because the movement has matured," said Matthew Wilson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist niversity.



Hardaway says that `stuff is over'

By Ira Winderman
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 1, 2007

LAKE BUENA VISTA · Former Heat point guard Tim Hardaway was among those issued an NBA credential during Thursday's workouts and scrimmages at the league's pre-draft camp.

The NBA had banned Hardaway from contact with league events after he offered anti-gay comments during a South Florida radio interview in February.

Hardaway was sent home by the league from All-Star Weekend in the wake of those remarks, with Commissioner David Stern saying, "It is inappropriate for him to be representing us given the disparity between his views and ours," but in ensuing media appearances, Stern noted the NBA was a forgiving league.

Hardaway, who chatted with former Warriors teammate Chris Mullin and other league executives Thursday, is attempting to find work on a team staff.

"All that other stuff is over with. That's history," Hardaway said at the gym that was closed to the public.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,3535913,print.story?coll=sfl-consumer-helpteam

IRS warns of new e-mail scam that tells victims they are under tax investigation
Associated Press
May 31, 2007, 4:12 PM EDT

WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service warned computer users not to fall for phony e-mails that scare people into believing they are under tax investigation _ then give scammers access to their computer hard drives.

The tax agency said Thursday that the e-mail claiming to be from IRS Criminal Investigation falsely states that the person is under a criminal probe for submitting a false tax return to the California Franchise Board. Opening up an attachment to learn more about the complaint allows those behind the scam to gain remote access to the computer.

The IRS stressed that it does not send out unsolicited e-mails or ask for detailed personal and financial information, including PIN numbers, passwords or other credit card and bank information.

It said that people receiving questionable e-mails should not open attachments or click on any links. Instead, they should forward the e-mails to It said that since that mail box was opened last year, the IRS has received more than 17,700 e-mails from taxpayers reporting more than 240 separate phishing or scam incidents hosted in at least 27 countries and the United States.

Other scams try to entice taxpayers to enter a fake IRS web site and ask for bank account numbers or tell taxpayers the IRS is holding a refund for them as a ruse to obtain financial account information.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Jun. 01, 2007
Woman sues eHarmony for discrimination

A Northern California woman sued the online dating service eHarmony on Thursday, alleging it discriminates against gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

Linda Carlson said she tried to use the Internet site in February to meet a woman but could not based on her sexual orientation. When Carlson wrote to eHarmony to complain, the company refused to change its policy, according to the lawsuit filed on her behalf in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The lawsuit claims that by only offering to find a compatible match for men seeking women or women seeking men, the company was violating state law barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

"Such outright discrimination is hurtful and disappointing for a business open to the public in this day and age," Carlson said in a statement.

The lawsuit names Pasadena-based Inc., company founder Neil Clark Warren and his wife Marylyn, the company's former vice president, as defendants. It seeks class-action status, a jury trial and unspecified damages.



Lawsuit challenges eHarmony's anti-gay policy

A lawsuit filed against popular dating site eHarmony is fast becoming a class action pitting gays, lesbians, and bisexuals against the site founded by a man with strong religious ties.
by Geoffrey Ramos

The lawsuit, which alleges that eHarmony's anti-gay policies are discriminatory under California law, was filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Linda Carlson who was barred from eHarmony for being gay.

Carlson's lawyers said, they believed other people, particularly gays and lesbians, would join the lawsuit against eHarmony, which was founded in 2000 by Neil Clark. Clark, an evangelical Christian, is said to have strong religious ties to the conservative group Focus on the Family.

"This lawsuit is about changing the landscape and making a statement out there that gay people, just like heterosexuals, have the right and desire to meet other people with whom they can fall in love," said lawyer Todd Schneider, who represents Carlson.

eHarmony, in a statement, said years of research into relationships have only been "based on the traits and personality patterns to match heterosexual marriages." The company may include same-sex matches in the future with more research.

eHarmony is one of the biggest Internet dating site in the U.S. with over 12 million members.


Friday, 01 June 2007 07:46
Lambda Literary Awards Announce Winners

May 31, 2007, 11:00 PM--Winners for the 19th annual Lambda Literary Awards were announced tonight by the Lambda Literary Foundation at a gala celebration attended by 300 people.

Awards were presented in 25 categories. Winners were chosen by a jury of judges who come from all walks of literary life: journalists, authors, booksellers, librarians, playwrights, illustrators. In all, 85 judges participated in the selection of winners from the pool of 381 books that were nominated by 147 publishers.

In addition, Marijane Meaker and Martin Duberman were recognized for their lifetime achievements by receiving the Pioneer Award from Lambda Literary Foundation.

One of the most moving episodes of the evening was an In Memoriam tribute, a 6 minute video recognizing eleven LGBT literary heroes who have passed away during the last 18 months, including Sarah Aldridge, Sybille Bedford, Betty Berzon, Tee Corinne, Hanns Ebensten, Aleta Fenceroy, Barbara Gittings, Sterling Houston, Dr. Fritz Klein, Art "Cassandra" Polansky, and Eric Rofes.

Another highlight of the evening was a raffle of a "Fun Home" Triptych, created by Alison Bechdel and featuring artwork from her award-winning memoir, FUN HOME, also named TIME Magazine's Book of the Year for 2006. All proceeds of the raffle benefited the Lambda Literary Foundation, the presenter of the Lambda Literary Awards.


June 01, 2007
Mormon and gay: One man's journey

When he was a teenager, Connell O'Donovan opened up to his Mormon seminary teacher and said that he was gay.

O'Donovan was greeted with kindness-and a prescription to chart the frequency of his sexual thoughts; fasting and praying when the urges came were suggested as a means of willing them away.

''He didn't know what to do,'' O'Donovan said of his teacher, who is now a church elder. ''He was a super-nice guy but just misinformed, and all he had was the church handbook to go by.''

Raised a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, O'Donovan, a writer and historian, served as a church missionary and married in the church's Salt Lake City Temple. He came out in 1985 and eventually left the faith, unable to reconcile his gay identity with the teachings of the church.

''I had to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I started from scratch and rebuilt myself,'' he said in an interview with the Associated Press last week. ''I decided that I can use the word 'grace,' but in a different way.''


Popular Dating Site Sued For Gay Discrimination
by The Associated Press
Posted: June 1, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Los Angeles, California) A Northern California woman is suing the online dating service eHarmony, alleging it discriminates against gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

Linda Carlson said she tried to use the Internet site in February to meet a woman but could not based on her sexual orientation. When Carlson wrote to eHarmony to complain, the company refused to change its policy, according to the lawsuit filed on her behalf in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The lawsuit claims that by only offering to find a compatible match for men seeking women or women seeking men, the company was violating state law barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

"Such outright discrimination is hurtful and disappointing for a business open to the public in this day and age," Carlson said in a statement.

The lawsuit names Pasadena-based Inc., company founder Neil Clark Warren and his wife Marylyn, the company's former vice president, as efendants. It seeks class-action status, a jury trial and unspecified damages.


Court to Reconsider Verdict In Dog Mauling Death Of SF Lesbian
by The Associated Press
Posted: May 31, 2007 - 8:00 pm ET

(San Francisco, California) A woman whose dogs fatally mauled a neighbor could get more prison time, after the California Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a trial judge to consider convicting her of second-degree murder rather than involuntary manslaughter.

A jury had first found Marjorie Knoller guilty of second-degree murder in the 2001 death of 33-year-old Diane Whipple. (story)

However, the presiding judge ruled that Knoller wasn't aware her two leashed Presa Canario dogs, each weighing more than 100 pounds, would escape her control and kill Whipple. The judge lowered the conviction to involuntary anslaughter.

An appeals court later reinstated the second-degree murder conviction, saying Knoller should have known the dogs were at risk to cause "great bodily harm."

The state Supreme Court said the trial judge set too lenient a standard, while the appeals court set too harsh a standard. It said "the awareness of engaging in conduct that endangers the life of another - no more, and no less" is what's needed to obtain a second-degree murder conviction.


Gay Pride and the Putin Soprano State
by Wayne Besen

The first sign that Russia's march toward freedom was on a downward spiral came on June 16, 2001, when George W. Bush said of Russian President Vladimir Putin, "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight-forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul."

It turns out that Bush's judgment on Putin was only eclipsed by his decision that fateful summer to add "My Pet Goat" to his reading list at the exclusion of a memorandum titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States."

Sixteen years after the collapse of communism and only seven years after Putin's coming to power, Russia is headed in the wrong direction. Putin's crooked authoritarianism threatens to set off a new Cold War and erase the hard-won era of peace. Indeed, Alexei Bayer, a guest columnist in the St. Petersburg Times, said Putin's rule is noted for its "endemic corruption, rollback of democracy, blatant confiscation of private property and murky political murders."

The Committee to Protect Journalists described Russia as one of the 10 countries that had seen the greatest decline in media freedoms during the past several years. Since Putin came to power, at least 13 journalists have been whacked, turning Russia into a "Soprano-state."

In any dictator's playbook, the way to justify grotesque abuses of power and gain legitimacy is to wrap oneself in the flag and claim to be the great defender of traditional morality. Thus, it is perfectly logical that gay pride marchers were met with deplorable state-sanctioned (or at least supported) violence last week in Moscow.


No Bond For Accused Falwell Bomb Plotter
by The Associated Press
Posted: May 31, 2007 - 8:00 pm ET

(Roanoke, Virginia) A federal judge on Thursday refused to release from jail a Liberty University student charged with possessing a bomb the night before the Rev. Jerry Falwell's funeral, saying there was compelling evidence he could pose a danger.

Michael David Uhl told authorities he did not intend to hurt anyone, according to testimony from a special agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

But the agent, R.A. Davidson, also testified that the 19-year-old had other plans for violence, including a plot with a friend to disrupt a prom at his former high school in northern Virginia with heated homemade pepper spray.

A search of Uhl's computer turned up photographs of Adolf Hitler and young adults giving a Nazi salute, with one caption that said "I love Hitler," the agent said. Other photographs showed Uhl and others giving what is considered a gang sign, the agent said.

"All of this is very, very, very troubling," U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Urbanski said in ordering continued incarceration for Uhl. He sent the charge of possessing an unlawful destructive device against Uhl to a federal grand jury, which will decide whether to return an indictment against him.


Nod Highlights Growing Importance Of Hispanic Vote
by The Associated Press
Posted: May 31, 2007 - 6:00 pm ET

(Los Angeles, California) Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's political courtship of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa landed her an early, influential endorsement this week that highlights the intense competition among presidential candidates for support within the growing Hispanic population.

Candidates in both major parties are reaching out to Hispanic voters with an ntensity that speaks to the importance of the nation's largest and fastest-growing minority group in the 2008 campaign.

Republican Mitt Romney has hired a Spanish-language media adviser in Florida. Democrat Bill Richardson, whose mother is Mexican, has made overt appeals to Hispanic voters, including announcing his candidacy in English and Spanish.

Sen. Barack Obama and John Edwards are among the candidates devoting parts of their Web sites to Spanish speakers. And next week, Sen. John McCain will travel to Miami to deliver a speech on immigration, a site chosen in part because of the city's large Hispanic population.

"As we've seen in the last few elections, the Hispanic vote has become a ritical ... part of the Republican coalition," said Romney aide Alex Burgos. With large Hispanic populations in early voting states like Florida, alifornia and New York, "it takes on even more importance," he said.


The Express Gay News

Dutch police arrest 4 men in bizarre sex-crime investigation
Suspects all have HIV
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) | May 31, 12:13 PM

Dutch authorities arrested four men in a sex-crime investigation in the northern city of Groningen, with at least two of the men suspected of intentionally infecting others with HIV, a prosecution spokesman said Thursday.

Three of the men were suspected of drugging male victims and abusing them uring "sex parties," district police chief Ronald Zwarter said at a news conference Wednesday.

"The suspicion is that, at these parties, they had unsafe sex with people they had drugged, and also that these people were injected with infected blood," Zwarter said. The four suspects - all of whom have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS - were arrested May 13, he said.

Two of the suspects have confessed to injecting the victims, he said.

"The motive to do this was the 'kick,' and the feeling that unsafe sex is 'pure,'" Zwarter said.


The Express Gay News

We've come a long way
Stonewall Library exhibit recalls how Bryant campaign attracted nationwide attention
Friday, June 01, 2007

Pride festivals and other events in June have tended to focus on the fun, ntertaining side in recent year. But Stonewall Library & Archives has brought a more serious and educational focus to Pride month this year with its exhibit "Days Without Sunshine: Anita Bryant's Anti-Gay Crusade."

The 20-panel exhibit takes viewers on a journey back to the 1970s, when the Save Our Children campaign repealed a 1977 Miami-Dade ordinance that outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodation. The crusade was started by an unlikely source - singer Anita Bryant.

The historical event took place in South Florida 30 years ago. Bryant's crusade sparked a backlash against the gay and lesbian population, which, at the time, was becoming more vocal in the world. The drama attracted a lot of ttention from the media and motivated the gay and lesbian community to come ogether and fight for their rights. The struggle between Bryant and Dade County gays and lesbians was featured in Newsweek and Time magazines. It was also all over the TV news programs and newspapers.

"It was probably the first time gay and lesbian news was covered by the national media," said exhibit curator John Coppola.

He said that many younger gays and lesbians don't know about this historic moment, and he is hoping that will change.


The Express Gay News

War stirs passions at GLCC town hall event
Big crowd turns out for meeting hosted by U.S. Rep. Wasserman Schultz

Jun. 01, 2007

A town hall meeting called by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz drew an overflow, and sometimes raucous, crowd to the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of South Florida on Wednesday, May 30. Hundreds of people, including most of the leaders of the local gay and lesbian community, showed up for the event, filling up the parking lot and adjacent areas.

The war in Iraq dominated the meeting, but residents also voiced their concerns about the rising cost of living in South Florida and health care. Since the meeting was a constituent gathering for Wasserman Schultz's district, it drew a wide range of people, including members of two national anti-war groups, the Raging Grannies and Code Pink, as well as local veterans and even some members of the Christian Coalition.

As the meeting was about to begin, a short scuffle broke out between two Fort Lauderdale police officers and a woman who was holding anti-war placards in the front of the room near the congresswoman. Police apparently wanted the woman to move or put down her signs, but she refused. She was eventually allowed to continue holding the signs in the front of the room.

Wasserman Schultz started the meeting by defending her recent vote for an ppropriations bill that will fund the war in Iraq for the next four months. She acknowledged that the vote had disappointed some of her more liberal onstituents. But she asserted that even if the funds for the war were cut off, President Bush would not bring the troops home. She sought to assure people that Democrats have "begun to end this war."

But some of her constituents expressed their frustration over the Democrats' nability to force President Bush to change course on Iraq after taking control of Congress in November.


The Express Gay News

Gay nude go-go bar forced to close in W. Palm
County's Code Enforcement Division ends Cupid's unique entertainment
Jun. 01, 2007

Cupids Cabaret, the only gay male go-go club in mainland South Florida that features totally nude dancers, is closing, the bar's owner confirmed this week.

The West Palm Beach club will stop featuring nude go-go dancers and will reopen under a new name, Lifestylez, on July 3, said Brandy Powell, owner of Cupids. Powell said she had no choice but to shut down Cupids after Palm Beach County's Code Enforcement Division issued a ruling earlier this year stating that the club's nude dancing was in violation of a county ordinance. She said she had spent $50,000 fighting the county to try to retain Cupid's unique entertainment.

"I could have continued to fight, but I don't have the money to do so," Powell said.

Cupids has operated as a gay nude go-go bar for seven years. The club was called before the county's Code Enforcement Division back in 1999 and charged with operating an adult club without an adult license. At the time, Cupids lawyers argued that it was exempt from the county's nudity restrictions because it was operating as a private club. After a hearing and review, the county dropped the charges against Cupids. Powell provided the Express with a copy of a document signed by Terry Verner, director of the county's Code Enforcement Division. The document, which is dated Feb. 4, 2000, states that the charges against Cupids were dropped.

Powell said she didn't know why the county decided to revisit the issue since nothing has changed at the club.


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