Tuesday, June 12, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 12, 2007

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Blood Brothers
The FDA should treat high-risk blood donors, gay or straight, equally.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007; A24

UNDER A 24-year-old FDA policy, men who have had gay sex, even once, since1977 are barred from donating blood for the rest of their lives. America'stop blood collection organizations, such as the American Red Cross, askedthe FDA to reconsider the ban last year, but the FDA reiterated the policyin a Web site posting last month.

The FDA says it is just being zealous about the safety of the U.S. bloodsupply, as men who've had sex with other men are much more likely than thegeneral population to have HIV-AIDS. All donated blood is tested twice.However, according to FDA experts, the majority of HIV-infected bloodtransfusions, which occur about 12 times per year, are not attributable tofalse negatives on these tests. They happen because of human or computererror, such as when personnel accidentally use the wrong donation. The FDAsays that allowing men who've had gay sex to donate blood would increase thenumber of accidental transfusions of HIV-infected blood, even if testing issupposed to weed out tainted blood.

Yet this donation policy is considerably stricter than that for at-riskheterosexual groups: A heterosexual who has had sex with a known carrier ofHIV, for example, must wait just a year before being able to donate blood.And so, despite the FDA's protestations, the appearance of prejudicepersists. Each year, healthy gay men are turned away, and college and highschool campuses around the country cancel blood drives to avoid endorsing anevent that appears discriminatory. This modestly threatens local bloodsupply in the short term and may prevent youths nationwide from developingthe habit of giving blood in the long term, as 85 percent of donations comefrom repeat donors.

The FDA should not do anything to jeopardize the safety of the U.S. bloodsupply. But the agency appears to have no evidence to justify itsdifferential treatment of at-risk categories.


The Sun-Sentinel



Giuliani retains GOP lead for presidential nomination as Fred Thompson gains
A Times/Bloomberg Poll shows conservatives embracing the former Tennesseesenator, who has yet to enter the race. Clinton still leads Democrats, buttrails Giuliani.

By Michael Finnegan
Times Staff Writer
June 12, 2007

WASHINGTON - Republicans antsy for a conservative standard-bearer in thepresidential race have begun to rally behind Fred Thompson, propelling theformer Tennessee senator to within hailing distance of the lead for theparty's nomination, a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll has found.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani holds first place in the survey,with upport from 27% of the Republicans and independents who said they planto vote in the party's 2008 primaries.

But Thompson, an actor who played a prosecutor on NBC's "Law & Order," runsjust behind, with 21%. Indications are he will join the race within the nextmonth.

The two other major GOP contenders, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, fall well short of the leaders and are in abattle for third place. McCain was backed by 12% of those polled, Romney by10%. The rest of the crowded field is mired in single digits.

Among the Democratic candidates, the race remains little changed from aTimes/Bloomberg poll in April.


The Miami Herald


Posted on Mon, Jun. 11, 2007
Maupin novel revisits aging `Tales' crew

Stretched out on a sofa next to his Australian shepherd, Sophie, ArmisteadMaupin says he never intended to write another installment of his popular"Tales of the City" series.

But thankfully for fans worldwide, Maupin's newest book, "Michael TolliverLives," revisits many of the same larger-than-life characters that propelled"Tales" from a weekly San Francisco Chronicle column to six books and aShowtime mini-soap opera.

The book debuts Tuesday, when Maupin kicks off a tour and Mayor Gavin Newsomdeclares "Michael Tolliver Day" in San Francisco.

Instead of randy hippies who smoke joints, as they did when the series beganin 1976, the aging lefties of "Michael Tolliver Lives" pop joint andarthritis pills. Instead of plotting nightly sexual conquests, as they didas 20-something singles, many profess shock at the level of promiscuousnesspracticed by today's youth.

The book - which would certainly earn the literary equivalent of an Rrating - centers on Michael Tolliver, the endearing Southern gay man whocame to San Francisco in 1971 and lived at 28 Barbary Lane. Now Michael isin his mid-50s, a mildly arthritic and HIV-positive landscape architectmarried to Ben, a handsome furniture designer and yogi 21 years younger.


The National Gay News


Tuesday, 12 June 2007 08:27
LGBT Protest on Gracie Mansion

Heritage of Pride, the producers of New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexualand Transgender (LGBT) Pride Events will be protesting in front of GracieMansion during Mayor Bloomberg's annual LGBT reception on Tuesday, June 12,at 5:30 p.m.

This action is to voice the disappointment and outrage felt by the LGBTCommunity because of the permit denial by the Mayor's Office for there-envisioned Pride street festival, know as PRIDEfest. All are encouragedto join us.

Gracie Mansion is located in Carl Schurz Park East End Avenue and 88thStreet in Manhattan

For more information on this matter, visit the website, HOPinc.org. You mayalso download the PDF Action Alert.


The Advocate


June 12, 2007
Attackers stone Romanian gay rights march

Police used tear gas against protesters who hurled stones at the annual gayrights parade in Bucharest, the Romanian capital, Saturday, officials said.

About 100 people were detained for throwing stones and fireworks at policeand about 400 participants in the gay rights march, said Christian Ciocan, apolice spokesman. Police responded with tear gas. Nobody was injured, hesaid.

''We regret that our opponents use violence.... Police only did their job toprotect an authorized march,'' said Florin Buhuceanu, one of the organizersof the gay rights march. ''It is our right to express our beliefs, and wewill not renounce in the face of violence.''

Romania decriminalized homosexuality in 2001.

On Tuesday two men leaving a Bucharest cinema that hosts the annual ''GayFest'' festival were beaten by eight attackers. Police stopped the attackand arrested several people. (AP)




Former UN AIDS Envoy Slams G-8 As Morally Bankrupt
by The Canadian Press

Posted: June 11, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Vancouver, British Columbia) The former UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS inAfrica is accusing the G-8 of abandoning its commitments to health andsocial equality in Africa, suggesting its leaders are having trouble findingtheir moral compass.

The leaders of the world's top industrialized nations have reneged onpromises to have-not nations, particularly those in Africa, to help improvethe health, social and equality conditions in those countries, said CanadianStephen Lewis.

Last week, at a summit in Heiligendam, Germany, the G-8 leaders announced aUS $60-billion commitment to fight disease in Africa, but Lewis said thatfunding did not come with a timeline.

Lewis said the leaders only committed the funds `over the coming years.'

``What in the world does that mean?'' Lewis asked.


The New York Times


June 12, 2007
The Sexually Exploited Ask for Change: Help, Not Jail

She identified herself as Patrice Waters, 18 years old. The name, sheallowed later, was an invention to protect herself. But the age was genuine,she said, and so was her story. They're what matter most.

Growing up in Brooklyn, she was mistreated badly. "At 12, I ran away," shesaid. "I got raped. I felt alone. I started in the life when I was 14."

"The life" was the world of a street hustler. Some life. "I thought that mypimp was going to protect me," she said. "All he did was abuse me."

That was the extent of her story, a skeletal account that begged fordetails. But it was enough to get the point. This young woman had done a lotof living in her 18 years, not much of it good.

It was the same deal with Tyesha Smith, 17: fake name, all-too-real story,about a drug addict mother in the Bronx who died when Tyesha was 12. Thenext major figure in the girl's life was a pimp. "He forced me into thegame," she said.

The game. The life. Call it what you will. It is sexual exploitation ofchildren too wounded and too vulnerable to protect themselves.


From Paul Harris - The Independent

Wilton Manors, Florida

In less than two weeks time - Sunday, June 24 - the Stonewall StreetFestival will be held again on Wilton Drive, when it will be blocked off totraffic. Thousands of people will come out to take in the stalls and watchthe entertainment. "The Independent," South Florida's leading gay newspaperwhich is normally published bi-weekly, will be bringing out a special issuefor that week which will be hitting the streets on Wednesday and Thursday,June 20 and 21, as well as being distributed at the festival on the dayitself.

We are offering gay-friendly businesses and organizations that serve theGLBT population the opportunity of advertising in that edition at HALF thenormal price. We are doing this as a way of introducing the paper as a wayof reaching future clients and customers to local businesses who up untilnow may not have seriously explored the gay press as a way to generate newleads. It also allows us to reward existing clients of "The Independent" and"Buzz" with a one-off advertisement at half-price as a way of thanking themfor their support over the years. For voluntary and sporting organizationsit offers them the opportunity of reaching potential new members andsupporters.

As you know Broward County has an enormous gay population. According to onestudy the zip code 33305 has the highest concentration of gay residents outof EVERY SINGLE zip code in the US with only two exceptions! Three of thefive people (the four commissioners and mayor) who run Wilton Manors aregay. In Oakland Park the figure is two out of five.

There is no better way of saying to potential future gay clients andcustomers that you want their business than to advertise in "TheIndependent." It says - "We want to work with you. We value yourpresence. We will treat you with the same respect as we do ALL our clientsand customers."

If you would like to be in the special "Stonewall Street Festival" editionof "The Independent" please either call me on 954 536 7786 any time - likeyou, I work seven days a week! - or alternatively e-mail me atPHARRIS@OurIndy.com with the number I should call you at, and the best timeto call. If you are already working with someone from either "Buzz" r "TheIndependent" please let them know that you want to take advantage of thespecial offer of the half-priced advertisement in the special issue.

I look forward to working with you to help you get all the business that youwant - including that of your gay neighbors.

With best wishes,

Paul Harris
The Independent
954 536 7786


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Record Breaking Nine EQCA-Sponsored LGBT Rights Bills Pass First LegislativeChamber

Legislation Giving Same-Sex Couples Option to Marry, Eight Other Measures
Move Toward Final Legislative Action

SACRAMENTO - Equality California's entire 2007 legislative package hascleared the first major hurdle in the Legislature. All nine EQCA-sponsoredmeasures have passed either the Assembly or the Senate. This marks the mostlesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights bills to ever pass theCalifornia Assembly or the Senate in a single calendar year.

All bills being considered by the Legislature were required to pass theirhouse of origin by June 8 in order to be sent to the second house forfurther consideration and an additional round of crucial votes later thissummer.

"By passing all nine EQCA-sponsored bills, the Assembly and the Senate arestanding up for fairness and equality under the law for the LGBT communityand all Californians," said EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors. "The numberof proactive LGBT rights bills passed this year is monumental anddemonstrates the political gains we have made in California over the lastseveral years."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Ex-Gay Survivor's Conference This Month

Recent events, including the nomination of James Holsinger for United StatesSurgeon General, have brought national attention to the continued growth of"ex-gay" ministries.

This summer, Soulforce invites YOU to participate in a powerful andunprecedented action to resist the ex-gay movement. On June 29 - July 1,concerned citizens, clergy, and mental health professionals will cometogether with ex-gay survivors in Irvine, California to strengthen ourcommunity, reflect on our experiences, and strategize about effective waysto resist the ex-gay movement in the future.

Perhaps most importantly, we will provide a bold and loving presence tocounter the Exodus International Freedom Conference, which will be in Irvinethat same weekend to promote the false message that gay, lesbian, bisexual,and transgender (LGBT) people are disordered, sinful, and in need of change.

The Ex-Gay Survivor's Conference is for everyone, not just survivors ofex-gay ministries. The conference will help attendees become a powerfulforce for social justice by creating a more honest picture of ex-gayprograms, revealing the societal pressures that influence people to seekchange, and exposing the cynical exploitation of ex-gay "change" stories forpolitical purposes.

To launch the conference, Soulforce is pleased to announce a pressconference on Wednesday, June 27, featuring Michael Bussee, co-founder ofExodus International, Darlene Bogle, a former director and speaker forExodus, and Jeremy Marks, founder of Courage UK. Michael, Darlene, andJeremy, who are now all welcoming and affirming, will share their deepconcern about the ex-gay programs they once helped create and operate.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research

Czechs Back Civil Unions, Not Same-Sex Marriage June 11, 2007


(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Many adults in the Czech Republic believe gayand lesbian couples should be allowed to form registered partnerships,according to a poll by CVVM. 69 per cent of respondents agree with thisconcept, up seven points in two years.

Still, 57 per cent of respondents are opposed to allowing same-sex couplesto get married, and 67 per cent reject the possibility of gay and lesbianpartners adopting children.

In 2005, both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate approved a bill thatsought to allow same-sex couples in the Czech Republic to form registeredpartnerships. In February 2006, Czech president Vaclav Klaus vetoed thelegislation. In March, the legislative branch overrode the veto. Thelaw-which provides inheritance, alimony and hospital rights to same-sexpartners-came into effect in July.

Former tennis champion Martina Navratilova-who was born in Czechoslovakiabut has been a U.S. citizen since 1981-discussed the current state ofaffairs, saying, "Even the Czech Republic now has same-sex unions. I havemore rights there than in the U.S."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List



Therapy aims to make 'ex-gays'

Backers say regimen, often religious-based, growing in popularity; criticssay it's harmful, amounts to self-hatred

By Sean D. Hamill
Special to the Tribune
June 11, 2007

GIBSONIA, Pa. -- Proponents say participation is surging in thecontroversial, often religious-based therapy that many call the "ex-gaymovement."

Christian therapist Warren Throckmorton points to a patient named Jeff as anexample of success for this therapy.

Jeff, 41, who asked that his last name not be used, said his life has alwaysbeen centered on family, church and work as a college administrator outsidePittsburgh. But every few months, to satisfy an urge that would well upinside him, it was all about gay bathhouses, clubs and anonymous sex withmen.

After a nearly lifelong struggle between his Christian beliefs and hishomosexual urges, Jeff believes he has finally conformed his life with hisvalues after 20 months of religious-tinged treatment that some callconversion, sexual reorientation or reparative therapy.

All the major medical and mental health organizations see such therapy aspotentially harmful and recommend against it. The gay and lesbian communitydenounces it as self-hatred. And even the most thorough studies say just afraction of the people who enter such treatment truly change theirorientation.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Now the Democrats Are Funding Abstinence?
By James Wagoner, TomPaine.com
Posted on June 11, 2007, Printed on June 11, 2007

Back in November of 2006, after the Democrats won control of the House, whatkind of odds do you think you would have gotten on the following scenario:With the Democrats in control, the appropriations cycle begins and the firstbig policy step the Democrats take on domestic reproductive health is topush through a 30 percent increase in abstinence-only-until-marriageprograms that prohibit information about condoms and birth control. Oh, andby the way, that increase (to $140 million) is larger than any put forwardin the last three years of the Republican-led Congress.

"Huh?" you might ask.

Now, let me make the scenario even better -- or worse. What if you were toldthat just six weeks before the Appropriations Committee met, a major 10-yearevaluation that Congress itself had mandated was released showing thatabstinence-only programs had no impact on teen behavior? On top of that,what if you were told that the Society of Adolescent Medicine had released areport in 2006 stating that abstinence-only-programs "threaten fundamentalhuman rights to health, information and life?"


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