Sunday, June 17, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 17, 2007

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The New York Times

Laugh Lines: Jay Leno
Published: June 17, 2007


The Pentagon has admitted they once tried to develop a gay bomb - a bombthat would turn enemy soldiers gay. They said their goal was to turn theIraq war into a musical.


The New York Times

June 16, 2007
Gay Candidate Loses Dallas Mayoral Election
Filed at 11:27 p.m. ET

DALLAS (Reuters) - An openly gay candidate lost his bid on Saturday tobecome mayor of Dallas in a race that attracted wide attention because ofhis sexual orientation.

Councilman Ed Oakley lost to businessman Tom Leppert, who took 58 percent ofthe vote to Oakley's 42 percent, according to official returns. Oakley hadthe endorsement of the Democratic Party, while Leppert ran a nonpartisancampaign.

A victory by Oakley would have made him the first openly gay mayor of amajor U.S. city, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, aWashington-based gay rights group.

Neither candidate made an issue of Oakley's sexual orientation, althoughsome outside groups did.

One conservative group mounted a phone campaign against Oakley, mostly onthe grounds of his sexual orientation, while gay rights groups cheered hiscandidacy.


The New York Times

June 16, 2007
N.J. Transgender Law to Go Into Effect
Filed at 2:21 p.m. ET

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. (AP) -- Starting Sunday, New Jersey joins eight otherstates in making it illegal for employers and landlords to discriminateagainst transgendered people.

The law, which sailed through the Legislature in December, has receivedlittle attention in a state that's gaining a reputation for being welcomingto lesbian, gay and transgendered people. Earlier this year, New Jerseybegan allowing same-sex couples to unite in civil unions.

Advocates hope the new law will lead to more acceptance and awareness ofpeople who are born one gender but live as the opposite gender. MaraKeisling, executive director of the National Center of Transgender Equalityin Washington, said she expects more states to follow, including a handfulin 2007 and 2008.

''It's really simply a reaction to there being more (transgender) people whoare out,'' Keisling said. ''As more people transition, it becomes safer totransition.''


The New York Times

June 16, 2007
Southern Baptist Split Over Politics
Filed at 1:32 p.m. ET

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Folded into the Rev. Frank Page's wallet is a yellowscrap of paper with the date and time he is to speak with yet anotherRepublican candidate for the White House.

He already has visited one GOP front-runner over breakfast at a country cluband met another at the headquarters of a car dealership in his home state.

The South Carolina pastor seems taken aback by the attention, but heshouldn't be: He leads a large congregation in a state with an early primaryand is president of the 16.3 million-strong Southern Baptist Convention,perhaps the largest single bloc of evangelical voters and a must-haveRepublican constituency.

Page, in an interview at his denomination's annual meeting here last week,said he offers his thoughts about salvation to candidates but never anendorsement. And he talks to Democrats, too. He sees the political courtshipas a duty: The nation's leaders need to hear a Christian viewpoint, hebelieves.

But some Southern Baptists would rather stay out of politics altogether. Asmall but vocal number of pastors believe the denomination is too cozy withRepublicans and too political in general. By flirting with the lineseparating good citizenship and a grab for power, they say, a denominationalready experiencing flat membership risks alienating more people.




News to use - Planning for partners
Legal issues especially important for ensuring gay families' legacies
By Marshall Loeb

June 17, 2007

Why is estate planning even more imperative for same-sex couples than forstraight spouses? "Gay couples don't have the tax and inheritance advantagesthat marriage conveys," says attorney Tanya Harvey, "so these benefits haveto be created through estate-planning documents."

Harvey, a Washington lawyer with the firm Bryan Cave, helps unmarriedcouples ensure that their partners and families will be provided for in theevent of illness or death. When it comes to estate planning, Harveyrecommends that gay families start by consulting a lawyer on three keyissues:

Power of attorney. Assigning your partner a power of attorney for healthcare is relatively simple, says lawyer Tanya Harvey, but it can save youmigraines in the long run. Most hospitals allow only family members relatedby blood or marriage to visit patients in critical care. If your companionhas a power of attorney, it guarantees admittance. It also gives him or hera voice in decisions about your care.

The pros and cons

of domestic partnership. Many couples living in states that recognizedomestic partners are eager to sign up, but Harvey cautions her clients toconsider the potential pitfalls. While domestic partnerships often convey avariety of inheritance, employment and tax benefits, they are difficult todissolve in some states. Disentangling yourself from a domestic partnershipis often as complicated and expensive as divorce.


The Express Gay News

Testing of people at high risk for AIDS suggested
Researcher says targeted testing would be more effective
BALTIMORE (AP) | Jun 15, 1:11 PM

Testing of high-risk people is the best way to find people who don't knowthey are infected with the AIDS virus, an epidemiologist at Hopkins said inan article published Friday.

Dr. David R. Holtgrave also says federal guidelines that call for routinetesting of all Americans ages 13-64 for the AIDS virus might not be aseffective.

Holtgrave is an epidemiologist with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School ofPublic Health. His article appears in PLoS Medicine, an online medicaljournal.

Under the government's new policy, Holtgrave estimated that $864 millionwould be spent in one year to diagnose nearly 57,000 new infections underthe government's new policy, assuming that one percent of those tested areinfected.

But 188,170 new infections could be identified for the same amount of moneyby focusing on drug treatment facilities, prisons and community healthcenters in high-risk neighborhoods. Those populations, Holtgrave wrote, havehigher risk of HIV than the population as a whole and less access to regularhealth care.


The Express Gay News

A gay dialogue

This month's Vanity Fair is dedicated to Africa - its struggles, itstriumphs, its beauty and its importance on the world stage in terms ofhistory (genetic and more modern), economics and human endurance. It's abrilliant premise for one of my favorite magazines, and I'm devouring ithungrily.

One of the articles is a conversation between Brad Pitt and Nobel PeacePrize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It's an engaging read, especiallybecause these two men, from such different places (age, ethnicity, culture,even continent), resonate in terms of their outlook on Africa, peace andhuman interaction.

Pitt slips in a wonderful bit about gay rights and Tutu responds as Ifigured he would - with grace, magnanimity and a call for peace.

"Pitt: So certainly discrimination has no place in Christianity. There's abig argument going on in America right now, on gay rights and equality.

Tutu: . I come from a situation where for a very long time people werediscriminated against, made to suffer for something about which they coulddo nothing - their ethnicity. We were made to suffer because we were notwhite. Then, for a very long time in our church, we didn't ordain women, andwe were penalizing a huge section of humanity for something about which theycould do nothing - their gender. And I'm glad that now the church haschanged all that. I'm glad that apartheid has ended. I could not for anypart of me be able to keep quiet, because people were being penalized,ostracized, treated as if they were less than human, because of somethingthey could do nothing to change - their sexual orientation. For me, I can'timagine the Lord that I worship, this Jesus Christ, actually concurring withthe persecution of a minority that is already being persecuted. The Jesuswho I worship is a Jesus who was forever on the side of those who were beingclobbered, and he got into trouble precisely because of that. Our church,the Anglican Church, is experiencing a very, very serious crisis. It is allto do with human sexuality. I think God is weeping. He is weeping that weshould be spending so much energy, time, resources on this subject at a timewhen the world is aching.

Pitt: I couldn't agree with you more. Thank you for saying that."

Finally, a voice of reason in a wilderness of insanity.


The Fact And Fiction Of Being Transgender
Courant Staff Writer
June 15 2007

A disgruntled playboy becomes a female fashion magazine editor. A rock starborn biologically male finds her true self. A boy is scripted freely addinga pair of girl's shoes to accessorize his outfit.

Transgender people have become the new go-to characters on television onsuch ABC shows as "Ugly Betty " and "All My Children" and the FX show "TheRiches." They also have become the topic of more news reports in recentmonths.

A Florida city manager is fired seemingly for disclosing he will have asex-change operation. A sports reporter in Los Angeles decides it's timeeveryone learns who she really is.

A sibling in the famous acting Arquette family has brought the strugglesthat a transgender person faces to the big screen in the documentary "AlexisArquette: She's My Brother," which made its debut this year at the TribecaFilm Festival. The documentary follows other indie favorites, such as "BoysDon't Cry" and "Transamerica," to bring lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender stories to the forefront.

Fiction and reality have mixed to bring an increasing presence in the mediaof transgender people in the past six months. This is all positive fortransgender individuals and society, say those who are active in thetransgender community.

Mara Keisling, executive director of National Center for TransgenderEquality, partially credits the Internet and medical advancements withallowing people to express themselves physically. That outlet, she says, hascreated a domino effect.


The Washington Post

More U.S. Episcopalians Look Abroad Amid Rift
Overseas Prelates Lead 200 to 250 Congregations

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 17, 2007; A03

The Anglican archbishop of Rwanda was first, then his counterpart inNigeria. Now Kenya's Anglican archbishop is taking a group of U.S. churchesunder his authority, and Uganda's archbishop may be next.

African and, to a lesser extent, Southeast Asian and Latin American prelatesare racing to appoint American bishops and to assume jurisdiction overcongregations that are leaving the Episcopal Church, particularly since itsconsecration of a gay bishop in New Hampshire in 2003.

So far, the heads, or primates, of Anglican provinces overseas have takenunder their wings 200 to 250 of the more than 7,000 congregations in theEpiscopal Church, the U.S. branch of Anglicanism. Among their gains are somelarge and wealthy congregations -- including several in Northern Virginia --that bring international prestige and a steady stream of donations.

The foreign influx is a consequence of the rift in the 2.3 million-memberU.S. church, and explanations of what it's really all about depend on whatside of that divide you're on, said the Rev. Ian T. Douglas, a professor ofworld mission and global Christianity at the Episcopal Divinity School inCambridge, Mass.

"It can either be read as the next step in a grand plan to replace theEpiscopal Church, or it can be read as a splintering of the conservativesand a competition for who is going to be the real leader of disaffected U.S.congregations," he said.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Should U.S. gay groups adopt a broader scope? GayRecent violence in Russia triggers criticism

Friday, June 15, 2007

Violence at Gay Pride parades in Russia, Romania and Poland has some U.S.activists questioning the role both domestic and international gay rightsgroups should play in responding to similar incidents abroad in the future.

The International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission, a U.S. basednon-profit, has issued press releases condemning the violence at Moscow GayPride protests for two years in a row and the most recent violence at aPride parade in Bucharest. It has also spoken out about numerousinternational incidents involving violence and discrimination directed atgays.

The group says it exists to provide assistance to gay rights groups invarious countries where discrimination persists through advocacy,documentation, coalition building, public education and technicalassistance, but some observers are questioning the effectiveness of thosemethods.

Moscow Pride organizer Nikolai Alekseev said he thinks IGLHRC will have noeffect on Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov's decision to ban parades there. He saidIGLHRC turned down invitations to observe the last two parades because itdid not meet its fundraising goals.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

New from DIRELAND, June 16
A Letter from Rome:

The hugely successful Rome Gay Pride March today, which drew at least100,000 people, received an official endorsement from Prime MinisterRomano Prodi's cabinet earlier this week -- or did it? For an on-the-scene report on today's Rome Pride -- and the politics behind it -- from DIRELAND's Rome correspondent, veteran ex-pat journalist JudyHarris, click on:


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Elton John gig divides Ukrainians

By Helen Fawkes
BBC News, Kiev
Published: 2007/06/16 07:16:45 GMT

It is being billed as the biggest social event of the year in Ukraine.

Elton John is set to play a free concert in the capital Kiev to raiseawareness about HIV/Aids.

But his show has attracted some critics as there is widespread homophobia inUkraine.

This former Soviet republic has one of the fastest growing infection ratesin Europe.

There is a new case every 10 minutes, according to Ukraine's Anti-AidsFoundation.

Mega-stars do not often come to Kiev, so thousands are expected at the eventon Saturday night.

'Religious hatred'

A religious group has urged Ukrainians to boycott the event, describing itas blasphemous.

"We believe that gay people are responsible for spreading Aids," saysSvyatoslav Domalevsky from The Union of Orthodox Citizens of Ukraine.

"Elton John is gay and we don't want him promoting that kind of lifestylehere."

Despite the Western outlook of Ukraine's leader, it is a conservative andpredominantly Orthodox Christian country.

"Religion is responsible for a lot of the hatred people feel towards peoplelike me," says Petro Polyantsev, an HIV-positive gay rights activist.

"We live with stigma, discrimination and homophobia. We constantly fear thatwe may be attacked just for being gay."

Soviet legacy


Gays demonstrate in Rome to demand rights for same-sex couples

The Associated Press / International Herald Tribune

Saturday, June 16, 2007

ROME: Tens of thousands of gay rights activists marched through the streetsof Rome Saturday to demand legal rights for same-sex couples.

Carrying rainbow-colored flags, the demonstrators held banners criticizingthe Vatican, which under Pope Benedict XVI has been conducting a fiercecampaign to protect traditional marriage.

"More Freedom, Less Vatican," read one flag featuring a crossed-out St.Peter's Basilica. "Love Equals Family," said another one.

The Italian government has proposed a bill that would grant some legalrights to unmarried and same-sex couples, such as hospital visits andinheritance rights. The bill, which has angered the Vatican, stops short oflegalizing gay marriage, as was done in other European countries, such asSpain. It is yet to be taken up by parliament.

The "Gay Pride" march ended up in the same Rome piazza where a massive rallyin defense of the traditional family was held weeks ago.


Commission approves Stonewall Library move
Gay library plans to relocate to ArtServe building on Sunrise by end of year

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Broward County Commission on June 12 unanimously approved StonewallLibrary's request to relocate to a building on Sunrise Boulevard thatcurrently houses ArtServe and a satellite branch of the county library.

Pending final approval from the Fort Lauderdale city attorney, the gaylibrary will be moving into a 4,300-square-foot space at 1300 E. SunriseBlvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Rutland said Stonewall officials are hoping tocomplete the move by the end of the year.

Rutland said he was encouraged by the nine-member county commission's strongendorsement of the move.

"It was quite a good meeting," Rutland said. "The commissioners spoke aboutthe value of Stonewall to the community."


Ft. Lauderdale

Light University awards first degrees
School affiliated with Sunshine Cathedral has grown and received state recognition

Friday, June 15, 2007

Light University, a school affiliated with the local Metropolitan CommunityChurch in Fort Lauderdale, awarded its first degrees on Sunday, June 10, ina ceremony at the MCC's Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale.

The commencement exercises were held as a part of the regular 11 a.m.worship service at the predominately gay and lesbian church. They wereattended by leaders in the progressive religious movement, includingPatricia Mathis, a former cabinet official under President Jimmy Carter, whopresented an award to Express Editor Phil LaPadula at the event.

Four Light University graduates received degrees at various levels. Rev.Deacon Joel Slotnick and Jean Johnson received associates of appliedreligious studies, and the Rev. Deacon Marian Cavagnaro received a master'sof religious studies. The Right Rev. Grant Lynn Ford, who is pastor of theSunshine Cathedral, received a bachelor of religious studies and an honorarydoctor of humane letters for his services to the Sunshine Cathedral and toSouth Florida's gay and lesbian Christian community.


'Multiple Choice' Mitt
GOP candidate is the worst kind of enemy: soulless and without ideology.

By Rod McCullom
Friday, June 15, 2007

NEW HAMPSHIRE'S SEASONED and no-nonsense voters have become a challenge toMitt Romney's presidential aspirations. First, the obvious: His poll numbershave flat-lined and there is a substantial lack of traction around theformer Republican governor from neighboring Massachusetts.

Compare this to the conservative man-crush that has engulfed fellow has-been(and official non-candidate) Fred Thompson. Second - and this is key -Romney's anti-gay credentials have gained some currency among so-called"values voters" outside of New England. Unfortunately for the airbrushedgazillionaire, the timing couldn't be worse in New Hampshire, which recentlybecame the first state to approve same-sex civil unions without the threatof a court order.

Case in point: Cynthia Fishi. Last week, when almost everyone else wastransfixed by the Paris Hilton three-ring circus, the New Hampshire motherconfronted Romney on the campaign trail.


Republicans show their disrespect for gay soldiers
Friday, June 15, 2007

At the CNN debate on June 3rd, every single one of the Democratic candidatesfor President said that it was time to join our ally, Great Britain, andallow gay men and women to serve openly in the military.

Two days later at their debate, every Republican said they want to maintainthe status quo of the federal government continuing to discriminate againstgay soldiers with the policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." When asked thequestion, Gov. Mike Huckabee couldn't change the subject fast enough. Gov.Mitt Romney said there were "much bigger issues" than taking a few momentsto discuss the current lack of respect and dignity afforded to the gay menand women who put their lives on the line for their country.

Sen. John McCain was eloquent when he defended his immigration bill byfocusing on the Spanish-speaking soldiers who had died for our nation inboth Vietnam and Iraq. It's a shame he could not find the same compassionwhen discussing the military expulsions and forced closets for soldiers likeMarine Sgt. Eric Alva, who was one of the first American soldiers wounded inthe Iraq war, losing his right leg on March 21, 2003, the first day ofOperation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt. Alva revealed in a news conference earlierthis year that he is also a gay man.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.



S.F. Lutheran church to ordain noncelibate lesbian

A Lutheran congregation in San Francisco is scheduled to ordain an openlygay minister June 16 who is not celibate-a move that directly challenges theEvangelical Lutheran Church in America's policy of requiring lifelongcelibacy of its gay and lesbian clergy while imposing no such restrictionson heterosexuals. The ceremony will mark the third such challenge to thepolicy in eight months.

Dawn Roginski will be ordained at St. Francis Lutheran Church in an"extraordinary ordination" service. The ceremonies, which run outside theusual guidelines of Lutheran ordinations by certifying the credentials ofopenly identified sexual minorities, have been fashioned by the LutheranLesbian and Gay Ministries. Fourteen ECLA and two independent Lutherancongregations are now served by openly gay pastors who have gone through the"extraordinary candidacy project."

As it faces increased pressure to overturn the policy, ELCA will revisit theissue at its biennial assembly August 6-11 in Chicago. (The Advocate)


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