Monday, June 18, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 18, 2007

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Gay Australian Rugby Team Strips Down
By Dylan Vox

Australia's first gay Rugby Union team, the Sydney Convicts has found a newand highly exciting way to help them raise money to compete at the gay RugbyWorld Cup next year. The guys on the team have decided to strip down totheir bare butts and bits at the Rugger Bugger V party in Sydney and hope toraise enough money to make the trip to Dublin to defend their title.The convicts were formed in 2004 as a sort of make shift team with the goalof presenting an alternative image of gay men to both the mainstream and thegay community. They also hoped to make football accessible to those whowould otherwise be discouraged from playing rugby by perceived prejudice inthe mainstream football community.

Immediately the team took control of the field and began to win match aftermatch against established "straight" clubs and soon began to make a name orthemselves throughout the rugby community. They established the firstPurchas Cup named after Convicts founder Andrew "Fuzz" Purchas, which becamea successful competition in Australia.


National Gay News

Philharmonic, Ex-member Settle Anti-gay Complaint
Sunday, 17 June 2007 14:24

A discrimination complaint by a former Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestramusician who said he was fired after objecting to an anti-gay remark by afellow player has been settled.

Terms of the agreement between former second oboist J. Bud Roach andthe orchestra, which headed off a hearing scheduled for Monday at the stateDivision of Human Rights, were not disclosed.



National Gay News

Equality Forum Head Rebukes Dobbs
Lou Dobbs: The Pallor of Homophobia

By Malcolm Lazin

On his June 14 broadcast, CNN's Lou Dobbs claimed "a defeat for democracy"when the Massachusetts legislature decided not to authorize a voterreferendum on whether to ban same-sex marriage in the state's constitution.

As a regular viewer of Mr. Dobbs, I have not heard him opine when statelegislatures fail to approve other referenda as "a defeat for democracy."

Each state has a procedure to place a referendum on the ballot. This processprotects against an unfettered ability to have issues presented to votersthat lack adequate support. Under Massachusetts law, the support of 50legislators is required to place an issue before the voters. The vote inMassachusetts was 151 (77%) against this referendum and 45 (23%) in favor.

Contrary to Mr. Dobbs' belief, the vote was representative democracy inaction. The elected officials who cast ballots against the referendumincluded both Democrats and Republicans. Some legislators may have beenswayed by an April 2007 poll reported in The New York Times that found that56% of Massachusetts residents opposed amending the state constitution toprohibit same-sex marriage. In addition legislators may have found thereferendum divisive and a waste of time and resources.

Placing every issue before the voters for a referendum underminesrepresentative democracy. By making a stand for unfettered referendum, Mr.Dobbs's position is diminished by the pallor of homophobia.

Malcolm Lazin is the Executive Director of Equality Forum.


National Gay News

Gay Pub Slams John Travolta For Cross-Dressing Role
Sunday, 17 June 2007 13:44

A gay publication has called actor John Travolta a hypocrite for hiscross-dressing role in cult musical “Hairspray”, saying that it’s at oddswith his Scientologist beliefs.

According to Washington Blade journalist Kevin Naff, the “Pulp Fiction” actor's involvement with the movie is disingenuous.



The New York Times

June 18, 2007
Two Cheers on Global AIDS

Now that the Group of 8 industrialized nations has pledged to commit $60billion to combat AIDS and other diseases around the world in coming years —a substantial sum by any reckoning — Congress and other nationallegislatures ought to look hard for additional funds to close a looming gapbetween the funds committed and the needs of desperate patients.

The advanced nations — both the G-8 countries and other donor nations — havegreatly increased their funding for AIDS programs in recent years in belatedrecognition that the epidemic threatens to destroy not just its victims, butalso the social and economic fabric of many countries in sub-Saharan Africa.We are pleased that President Bush has proposed spending some $30 billion tocombat AIDS abroad over a five-year period, from 2009 to 2013, but in truththat represents only a modest increase from the spending trajectory we werealready on. At its recent summit meeting, the Group of 8 pledged to commit$60 billion to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria “over the coming years,”including the American contribution.

Yet even these pledges will not be enough to keep up with the devastatingepidemics. Tens of billions of dollars more will be needed to providetreatment, care and preventive services for AIDS alone over the next fiveyears.


The New York Times

June 14, 2007, 10:53 pm
Who’s for Hillary. And Who Isn’t.
Tags: authenticity, Hillary Clinton, the election

According to a Washington Post – ABC News poll published earlier this week,Hillary Rodham Clinton’s most consistent and enthusiastic female support isnow coming from high school graduates with incomes of less than $50,000 ayear. Young women like her best. Over age 45, college-educated,higher-earning women like her least. In fact, asked who they found most“honest,” “trustworthy” and “inspiring,” these women – Clinton’s peers –expressed more of a kinship with Barack Obama.

In a sense, none of this should really come as a surprise. Back in 2000,Clinton bonded like glue with middle class women in upstate New York – theyliked the way she came to speak with them and learned about their lives –but was a hard sell in the wealthy suburbs downstate.

“Non-college-educated women really like that she’s smart, that she’s a womanwho has worked for what she has, supported her family, kept her family lifeprivate and handled her marriage the way that she has; they’ve often madesimilar choices in their own lives,” says Celinda Lake, who has doneextensive polling on women’s attitudes toward Clinton since the time ofHillary’s first Senate race. “Upper-middle-class women are more judgmental.They see her as polarizing; they second-guess how she handled her personalissues. Non-college women react to this argument with: ‘They always say thisabout women. They always try to drag the woman down.’”


The New York Times

June 17, 2007
Romney Builds Support in Early States
Filed at 5:45 p.m. ET

BOSTON (AP) -- Forget the national polls for Mitt Romney.

Slowly, methodically, the Republican presidential contender has seized theadvantage in the early states that count, relying on a solid organization,$4 million in advertising and an aggressive approach.

It's propelled him to the top of polls in the caucus and primary sites ofIowa and New Hampshire, and laid the foundation for what some analysts argueis greater success.

''Mitt Romney is now positioned as the front-runner for the nomination,''said Scott Reed, who managed Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign.''There's a long way to go, but to date he's running the most logical,thought-out, structured campaign. He's marching in the right cadence, he'sraising the money, he's spending it wiser and he seems to be on track.''

Romney continues to trail former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. JohnMcCain of Arizona and even former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee -- who hasyet to formally declare his candidacy -- in national polls of the Republicancontenders.


The Washington Post

We've Lost. Here's How To Handle It.

By Steven Simon and Ray Takeyh
Sunday, June 17, 2007; Page B01

Last week's bloodshed in Iraq and the bombing of what remained of thehistoric Shiite shrine in Samarra and of two Sunni mosques in Basra weremore reminders of a terrible truth: The war in Iraq is lost. The onlyquestion that remains -- for our gallant troops and our blinkeredpolicymakers -- is how to manage the inevitable. What the United Statesneeds now is a guide to how to lose -- how to start thinking aboutminimizing the damage done to American interests, saving lives andultimately wresting some good from this fiasco.

No longer can we avoid this bitter conclusion. Iraq's winner-take-allpolitics are increasingly vicious; there will be no open, pluralistic Iraqistate to take over from the United States. Iraq has no credible centralgovernment that U.S. forces can assist and no national army for them tofight alongside. U.S. troops can't beat the insurgency on their own; ourforces are too few and too isolated to compete with the insurgents for thepublic's support. Meanwhile, the country's militias have become a law untothemselves, and ethnic cleansing gallops forward.

But the most crucial reason why the war is lost is that the American peopledecisively rejected continuing U.S. military involvement last November.


The Advocate

Teen cites "gay panic" in Brooklyn slaying

A Brooklyn, N.Y., teenager has been indicted on murder charges for fatallystabbing a man because he was gay, Kings County prosecutors said Thursday.

Roberto Duncanson, 20, also of Brooklyn, died soon after the May 12 attack.

Alleged killer Omar Willock, 17, faces 25 years to life if convicted.

Willock and Duncanson passed each other on St. Marks Avenue in CrownHeights, and Willock became enraged, accusing Duncanson of looking at him,prosecutors said in a written statement. Duncanson continued walking to afriend's house as Willock shouted antigay remarks. It's unclear how Willockknew Duncanson was gay, prosecutors told the New York Daily News.

On his way home Duncanson again passed Willock, and Willock again beratedhim for his sexual orientation. Duncanson tried to walk away, but Willockcame after him, first with his fists and then with a knife.



Law protects transgendered
New Jersey is 9th state banning discrimination.
By Geoff Mulvihill
The Associated Press
June 17, 2007

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. · Starting today, New Jersey joins eight other states inmaking it illegal for employers and landlords to discriminate againsttransgendered 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.

"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 law makes it illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant because of genderstatus, and companies cannot refuse to hire people because they aretranssexual, cross-dressers, asexual, of ambiguous gender or simply nottraditionally feminine or masculine. The law also bans discrimination incredit, business contracts and public accommodations such as stores orrestaurants.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Mon, Jun. 18, 2007
Florida's ex-felons get help on civil rights

Concerned that thousands of former felons will miss out on Florida's newclemency rules, the ACLU of Florida and several community groups will hostJuneteenth events around the state to reach out to men and women who mayqualify for accelerated restoration of their civil rights.

Juneteenth, observed in several U.S. states, is an unofficial holiday tomark June 19, 1865, when legend says slaves in Texas belatedly learned aboutPresident Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation -- morethan two years earlier.

Leaders of the ACLU's civil rights restoration project see a connectionbetween Juneteenth and their civil rights campaign. The reason: Just likethe Texas slaves, Florida ex-felons may learn of the clemency changes toolate.

Juneteenth volunteers will tell ex-felons how important it is to get theircurrent address to the corrections department. South Florida events arescheduled through the end of the month in Miami, Dania Beach, Belle Gladeand Fort Lauderdale.

So far, the state has granted restoration of rights without a hearing tomore than 15,500 former felons. But advocates fear many others who also areeligible don't know it because the state does not have up-to-date

The new rules approved in April by Gov. Charlie Crist and the state ClemencyBoard set up a three-tiered classification system based on the severity ofthe crime.

Felons who have committed less violent crimes, like felony drug possession,will be able to avoid the cumbersome paperwork and lengthy hearing processnow in place.



Jerusalem Anti-Gay Demonstration Turns Violent
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: June 18, 2007 - 7:00 am ET

(Jerusalem) Seven police officers were injured when members of anultra-Orthodox sect staging a rally Sunday night to protest this week's gaypride parade in Jerusalem began throwing rocks and stones at them.

More than 10,000 haredi took part in the rally, far fewer than the 100,000organizers had predicted would turn out. The sect had been given a policepermit for the rally - to let sect members vent their anger over a decisionto allow the gay parade to take place on Thursday.

An estimated 15,000 police were assigned to the haredi protest to ensurepublic safety.

Haredi rabbis reportedly whipped the crowd into a frenzy, calling gays eviland warning that the gay march would bring disaster on the holy city.

"Anyone who helps the evil will be judged," one rabbi told the crowd.

As the rally was dispersing younger haredi began throwing rocks and stonesat police.


Toronto Aims To Be Gay Tourism Capital
by The Canadian Press

Posted: June 17, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET

(Toronto, Ontario) Just days before Toronto kicks off its annual Pride Weekcelebrations the city's tourism board has announced it's going all out in aneffort to attract gay travelers from the United States.

Tourism Toronto said Friday it has launched a ``Gay Marketing AdvisoryGroup'' comprised of 12 local community leaders that will help sell the cityto foreigners.

``The gay travel market is one of the fastest-growing segments and is a $55billion industry. This represents a major opportunity for Toronto,'' saidDavid Whitaker, president and CEO of Tourism Toronto.

``Toronto offers a great deal to gay visitors, who tend to travel moreoften, stay longer and spend more in a destination.''

The tourism board said it has boosted its marketing budget designated to gaytravelers by 50 per cent to $300,000, targeting cities like New York,Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Plans include buying advertising in restaurants, bars and local gaypublications, as well as sponsoring events.


Is Price Right For Rosie?
by The Associated Press

Posted: June 16, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Los Angeles, California) Bob Barker endorsed his friend Rosie O'Donnell asa possible successor on "The Price Is Right," although the newly retiredhost isn't sure CBS wants a woman to take over the game show.

"I believe they're going to have a meeting with Rosie," Barker saidbackstage Friday night at the Daytime Emmy Awards, where he won his 19thtrophy.

"She knows the show," he said. "There's no doubt in my mind she could do theshow. Now, whether they want a lady host, I don't know. I've never heardthat discussed. As far as I know, they've only auditioned men."

Barker said his friendship with O'Donnell goes back several years, when shehad him as a guest on her old daytime talk show.

"She told me she loved `The Price Is Right' and wanted to host it one day,"he recalled.

Among those mentioned as possible replacement hosts have been Todd Newton ofthe E! network, Mark Steines of "Entertainment Tonight," George Hamilton andJohn O'Hurley.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Daughter's adultery rocks moral crusader
By Hilary Davies, in Warsaw, Sunday Telegraph

A promise by Poland's president to restore Catholic values and purgecommunists from positions of power has been undermined by the revelationthat his married daughter became pregnant after an affair with the son of a communist spy.

The apparent gulf between President Lech Kaczynski's strict publicpronouncements and the relaxed behaviour of his daughter raised eyebrowsamong critics of his stern conservative administration.

The government, headed by the president's twin brother, Jaroslaw, alsostands accused of attempting to manipulate news coverage of the crisis."This shows an obvious dissonance between the kind of behaviour governmentexpects from its citizens and what is actually going on within their closestfamily," said Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka, a member of the reformed communistparty, the SLD. "All those proclaimed Catholic 'truths' and sermons we'veheard from the government about how we should live, what marriage is, howmany children we should have, have taken a big slap from reality. Real lifeis much more complicated."


Wilton Manors

“The Indy Lunch” series continues on Thursday, June 21 with Judge RobertLee, one of the first ‘out’ gay appointed judges in the State of Florida, asour speaker. The lunch will take place at Tropics Restaurant (2000 WiltonDrive, Wilton Manors) beginning at 12 Noon. The lunch will include a choiceof four courses (beef, chicken, veal, and a vegetarian alternative), a visitto the salad bar, a beverage, tax and gratuity and costs $25. If you wouldlike to attend call 954 536 7786 and please have your credit card to handwhen you call.

Robert Lee's life is truly an American success story. When his father walkedout on his Mexican-born mother Robert was seven years of age and his motherand grandmother were left to raise five children alone as well run theirMexican restaurants in Jacksonville. The whole family worked hard. By thetime Robert was eight or nine years of age he was preparing tortillas in therestaurants’ kitchens. After studying for a degree in education atJacksonville University he went on to study law in Gainesville. He old “TheIndependent” for a profile written about him some years ago that until hewent to law school he had never actually met a lawyer! After working atvarious jobs as a lawyer he applied to become a judge while still in histhirties. Lee was chosen from 40 applicants.

In 2000 Lee was thrown into the national spotlight when he chaired theElection Commission in Broward County at the time of the PresidentialElection and the result in Florida was on a knife edge.

Apart from his work on the bench he is active volunteering with theStonewall Library, he has taught Constitutional Law at Florida MetropolitanUniversity, and has seen more than 300 of his decisions published in “TheFlorida Law Weekly Supplement.” He also admits to being a Gators fan.

Dean Trantalis, a former Vice-Mayor of Fort Lauderdale and himself a awyer,described Robert Lee to "The Indy" as “a wonderful role model for ourcommunity. We’re very proud of him.”

If you would like to attend the lunch on Thursday, June 21 please call 954536 7786 ASAP. We look forward to having you join us.

Paul Harris


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