Tuesday, June 19, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 19, 2007

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The New York Times


June 19, 2007
Erasure's Clarke And Bell Bask In "Light"
Filed at 2:13 a.m. ET

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Erasure has remained in the spotlight for more thantwo decades, beginning with the British duo's single "Who Needs Love (LikeThat)" in 1985.

In May, Erasure's longtime label, Mute Records, released the band's 13thstudio album, "Light at the End of the World." After the acoustic-leaningprevious set (2006's "Union Street"), "Light" finds bandmates Vince Clarke(a founding member of Depeche Mode) and Andy Bell returning to theirsynth-pop roots.

These days, Erasure is touring the United States as part of the monthlongTrue Colors tour, which was conceived by Cyndi Lauper, and features Lauper,Debbie Harry and the Gossip. The "equality for all" trek supports the HumanRights Campaign, which seeks to improve the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexualand transgender Americans.

When True Colors wraps June 30 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, Erasurewill take one week off and then commence its global Light at the End of theWorld tour July 6 in Tampa, Fla.

Q: Did you ever think Erasure would be actively recording and touring some20-plus years later?

Clarke: When you start out, you're really just looking to the next day orthe next week. In the beginning, we were really looking from gig to gig.That was as far as we could see. I can't believe we've been together for solong and that we've managed to sustain a fan base for this amount of time.It's amazing to me.


The New York Times


June 19, 2007
Judge Dissolves Civil Union in Custody Fight

A family court judge in Vermont on Friday dissolved a civil union betweentwo women whose fight over their daughter had attracted national attentionand for a time put a judge in Virginia at odds with one in Vermont overwhether a child can have two mothers.

The Vermont judge, William D. Cohen of Rutland Family Court, affirmed thatthe two women were legal parents of Isabella Miller-Jenkins, 5. But JudgeCohen awarded sole physical and legal custody of Isabella to her biologicalmother, Lisa Miller.

Judge Cohen ordered Ms. Miller, who now lives in Virginia, to allow herformer lesbian partner, Janet Jenkins, to spend alternate weekends and someholidays with Isabella.

The ruling was a relatively routine one, as higher courts had decided thelarger questions in the case. In August, the Vermont Supreme Court ruledthat the two women were legal parents. A few months later, an appeals courtin Virginia, reversing a lower court judge there, accepted that ruling. TheVirginia Supreme Court has not yet weighed in.

In April, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of theVermont decision.




How Far Can Your Dollar Stretch?
By Sally Squires
Tuesday, June 19, 2007; HE05

Several members of Congress recently made news when they tried to see ifthey could subsist on $21 per week -- the average amount that food stamprecipients receive to supplement their income.

Representatives Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.),co-sponsors of legislation to add $4 billion to the $33 billion food stampprogram, challenged their colleagues to join them in trying to eat for just$1 per meal.

McGovern struggled: "No organic foods, no fresh vegetables; we were lookingfor the cheapest of everything," he told The Washington Post as a food stamprecipient helped him shop. "We got spaghetti and hamburger meat that washigh in fat -- the fattiest meat on the shelf. I have high cholesterol andalways try to get the leanest, but it's expensive. It's almost impossible tomake healthy choices on a food-stamp diet."

No question: That's a tight budget. But with a few cooking skills and alittle basic nutrition knowledge, it's doable.

Food stamp benefits, which go to 26 million low-income Americans annually,are given out monthly, not weekly, allowing recipients to buy in bulk. Thataverage $21 per person per week becomes about $90 for the full month. Afamily of four can receive a maximum of $518 per month -- or about $120 perweek, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.




Witness says Curious George creator was targeted through ad in gay magazine
By Missy Diaz
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 19, 2007

The night he met his violent end, Alan Shalleck, the creator of CuriousGeorge children's books, had planned an evening of sex with two men he metthrough a gay magazine ad, according to a taped confession from VincentPuglisi, who with co-defendant Rex Ditto is charged with Shalleck's February2006 slaying.

Puglisi, an Oakland Park restaurant worker, told investigators that heresponded to the ad about a year before he and Ditto arrived at the76-year-old Shalleck's Boynton Beach mobile home for the purported three-waytryst. In reality, Puglisi said, Ditto planned to rob and murder Shalleck,who Ditto thought might have money.

Puglisi said he didn't want to participate in the crimes but went along withthe plot because he loved Ditto.

Circuit Judge Edward Garrison spent Monday afternoon listening to testimonyin Puglisi's attempt to have his statement to police suppressed. Puglisimaintains Boynton Beach police lacked probable cause to hold him forquestioning the night they showed up at his job at a Wilton Manors eatery.

Assistant Public Defenders Shari Vrod and Adrienne Ellis will further arguethat police failed to adequately advise their client of his Miranda rightsor get a proper waiver of those rights. They also accuse police of usingcoercive techniques to solicit the confession.


The Sun-Sentinel


Gay-Rights Groups Buoyed by Recent Gains
Associated Press Writer
June 18, 2007, 4:38 PM EDT

NEW YORK -- The latest twists in the gay marriage debate create an oddlydivided America, with only its Northeast corner and Pacific Coastrecognizing same-sex unions. But gay-rights leaders are encouraged byprogress on other parts of their agenda across the nation's heartland.

Three more states -- Oregon, Iowa and Colorado -- have enacted laws thisyear outlawing anti-gay discrimination, raising the total to 20 states thataccount for more than half the U.S. population. Twelve of those statesextend those protections to transgender people.

Elsewhere, politicians who became the first openly gay members of theirstate legislatures have had an impact, helping pass gay-rights bills orthwarting measures they viewed as anti-gay. In Arkansas, for example, stateRep. Kathy Webb's heartfelt arguments played a role in the rejection of abill to bar gays from adopting or foster-parenting.

"It makes a difference when it's personal," Webb said in a telephoneinterview. "It's harder to ignore the evidence when it's a friend andcolleague who's talking."

In Dallas, openly gay city councilman Ed Oakley emerged from an 11-candidatefield to reach Saturday's runoff election for mayor. Though he lost,activists were pleased by his 42 percent support in what traditionally hasbeen considered a conservative city.




Federal budget cuts mean S. Florida HIV/AIDS patients to lose services
By Bob LaMendola
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 19, 2007

Every week, Oakland Park HIV patient Peter Giraldo goes for acupuncture andtherapeutic massage to lessen severe nerve pain in his extremities caused byhis medications and diabetes.

But the therapies will vanish next month, and other services used bythousands of South Florida HIV/AIDS patients will shrink dramatically as aresult of federal budget cuts now coming to a head, county health officialssaid. Substance abuse treatment, nutritional counseling and other programsstand to be cut.

For a second straight year, local HIV budget planners said they arestruggling to stretch declining grants from the federal Ryan White Program.

"The money keeps getting smaller but the number of patients keeps gettinglarger," said Kathleen Cannon, a funding co-chairman on the Broward CountyHIV Health Services Planning Council, which allocates Ryan White money.

Broward is receiving a grant of $13.1 million, down from $15 million lastyear. Palm Beach County is getting $7.7 million, down from the sharply cut$8.3 million received last year. Each county hopes to get another milliondollars in a final allotment in August, but because more cities arecompeting for money this year, the amounts may be only a few hundredthousand, officials said.




It's Queer, It's Here, It's for Everyone
Across the country, LGBT theatre increasingly speaks to a wider audience.
June 18, 2007
By Gerard Raymond

Look at theatre fare across the country over the next two months: Lesbian,gay, bisexual, and transgender theatre is busting out all over. Well, ofcourse. It's June, and that means Pride Month - the traditional time tocelebrate all things queer and LGBT. Pride celebrations are now aninternational rite, with roots going back to the Stonewall riots in New YorkCity in 1969. But what happens the rest of the year? Back Stage spoke withseveral artistic directors responsible for running year-round,self-identified LGBT/queer theatres or special series, and we got responsesas diverse as the communities and cities from which they hail.

Still Speaking to the Community

Lesbian- and gay-identified theatre companies started springing up aroundthe country in the 1970s and '80s, when there was little or no gayrepresentation in mainstream culture. Some of these companies - notably SanFrancisco's Theatre Rhinoceros (founded in 1977), Celebration Theatre in LosAngeles (1982), and San Diego's Diversionary Theatre (1986) - are stillaround today; the granddaddy of them all, New York City's TOSOS (whichstands for "the other side of silence"), founded by playwright Doric Wilsonin 1974, went into hibernation in 1979 but re-emerged as TOSOS II in 2001.

Since the mid-1990s, however, the issue of lack of representation haschanged noticeably, as the landscape of mainstream culture has expanded toinclude the likes of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer-, Tony-, and Emmy-winningAngels in America and Terrence McNally's commercial hit Love! Valour!Compassion!, as well as the numerous gay and lesbian characters featuredregularly on network and cable television.

"Yes, you can't turn on the TV without getting gay characters - I get thatfrom my dad and my aunts and uncles," says David Zak, artistic director ofChicago's Bailiwick Repertory Theatre, with a laugh. So how does that affectBailiwick's annual Pride Series, a fixture for the past two decades? "To beperfectly frank, as things get more and more mainstream, we always debatewhether our Pride Series is necessary," Zak acknowledges. "And every year wecome back and say yes. There are still a lot of things to explore in the gaycommunity in terms of our politics, and so many of the behaviors are eithernew to this generation or are the same behaviors that have been around inthe community from the beginning."

Dan Kirsch, executive and artistic director of Diversionary Theatre, echoesthat thought. "We know that people come out every day and that it's still ajourney that has to be taken," he says. Kirsch points to Diversionary'supcoming production of Harvey Fierstein's landmark Torch Song Trilogy,slated for November. "Most people have only seen it as a movie," heexplains. "Even though it's 25 years after the Broadway production, it'sstill timely and contemporary, and it's important to share that culture andcommunity memory, as it were, with our audience." Diversionary's slate fornext season also includes McNally's Corpus Christi. "We don't want to losepart of our culture because LGBT culture is being mainstreamed," Kirschsays.

"As long as we exist and we have our own culture, there's going to be aneed, especially in cities that are not as culturally diverse as, say, LosAngeles or New York," observes Bill Kaiser, who for the past 15 years hasperformed a unique service by maintaining a national directory of LGBT/queertheatres and productions. His website, On the Purple Circuit, lists theatresacross the country and provides valuable information for playwrights andproducers. To Kaiser's point, we also found different approaches to gaytheatre programming in the two major cultural capitals.


The Miami Herald


June 19, 2007
Ultra-Orthodox protests against Israeli gay pride parade fall flat
From Haaretz:
By Yair Ettinger, Haaretz Correspondent

Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox community is showing reluctance to participate inHaredi protests against the Jerusalem gay pride parade slated to take placeon Thursday.

Religious activists leading the struggle to cancel the parade are nearingthe last round of their fight, but despite their efforts, it the campaignseems not to be getting off the ground.

For example, organizers of Sunday's mass protest rally on Bar-Ilan Street inthe capital called it in advance "the 100,000-strong demonstration."

Police estimated the crowd at 10,000, but even that figure was exaggerated.In reality, the demonstration that was meant to "shake the ground for thesanctity of Jerusalem" attracted no more than several thousand protesters.

The heads of Sephardi and Lithuanian yeshivas in Jerusalem have instructedtheir students to stay away from the protests. Their decision is not due tosupport for the gay parade, but because the general ultra-Orthodoxpopulation is no longer willing to expose its children to the existence of astrict sexual taboo.


The Advocate


June 19, 2007
Gay groups call for homophobic lawmaker's job

A Florida legislator who allegedly told a group of HIV/AIDS activists andlobbyists that his gay cousin deserved to die after contracting AIDS hassparked an outcry.

Gay and AIDS activists have called for everything from a formal censure ofRepublican representative D. Alan Hays to his being removed from the statehouse of representatives.

Minutes after a Friday press conference with many groups, Hays released astatement denying the alleged comments.

"I am known for being plain-spoken and for speaking my mind, but I amoutraged that this group is making these claims against me," Hays wrote in astatement. "I have spent a lifetime as a health-care professional and havecompassionately cared for several patients afflicted with AIDS."

According to the Florida Sentinel, this is Hays's second antigay outburstthis year. In March he told a group of students, at a debate over anantibullying bill, that they needed psychological treatment because they aregay. Hays is a member of the house health care general committee. Accordingto his bio, Hays was elected to the house in 2004 and is affiliated with theFlorida Medical Association Council, is a retired dentist, and won ChristianCoalition Faith & Family awards in 2005 and 2006. He has also been honoredby the state Association of Health Plans and the Florida Chamber ofCommerce.


The Advocate


June 19, 2007
New Jersey becomes ninth state to protect transgender people

Starting Sunday, New Jersey joined eight other U.S. states in making itillegal for employers and landlords to discriminate against transgenderpeople.

The law, which sailed through the legislature in December, has receivedlittle attention in a state that is gaining a reputation for being welcomingto lesbian, gay, and transgender people. Earlier this year, New Jersey beganallowing 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 law makes it illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant because of his orher gender status, and companies cannot refuse to hire people because theyare transsexual, 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 Advocate


June 19, 2007
Lesbian moms custody dispute finally settled in Vermont

A Vermont judge has dissolved the civil union of two lesbian former loversand awarded custody of their 5-year-old daughter to one, with regularvisitation for the other.

For three years, the girl's biological mother, Lisa Miller, who now claimsshe is heterosexual, has been fighting efforts by her former partner, JanetJenkins, to maintain contact with the girl, Isabella.

The courts have consistently ruled in Jenkins's favor. In April, the U.S.Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a decision by the Vermont supremecourt awarding Jenkins visitation rights.

In his decision, Rutland County family court judge William Cohen awardedcustody of Isabella to Miller, who lives in Winchester, Va. He also grantedregular visitation to Jenkins, who lives in Fair Haven, Vt.

Starting in August, Jenkins and Isabella are to spend every other weekendtogether, alternating between Vermont and Virginia.




Pride and Guts
by Libby Post

So, it's June--Pride Month for us lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgenderfolks.

Thousands of us gathered in Albany's Washington Park this past Sunday forthe annual Capital Pride Parade and Festival. We got there around 2 p.m.,after the parade but in the middle of the festival, and were pleasantlysurprised to see so many people celebrating their sexual orientation andgender identity.

Millions throughout the country and the world celebrate their pridethroughout June. It is estimated that two million people converged on SaoPaolo, Brazil for what organizers say was the largest Pride Parade in theworld. This logistical feat was pulled off in a country that ranks first inviolence against gays and where, according to organizers, "a homosexual ismurdered here every two days-just for being homosexual."

All this jubilation is just a drop in the proverbial bucket compared to whathappened in Massachusetts last week. The state legislature did the rightthing-it said no to a measure that would have asked voters to amend thestate constitution and ban same-sex marriage in that state. Amending thatstate's constitution means you have to have two successive sittinglegislatures vote on the measure. It only needs one-quarter of themembers-or 50 lawmakers-to say yes to get the measure passed and on theballot. They said yes last year. They said hell no this year.

Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick spent a lot of political capital todefeat the measure. He ran on a platform of equality for all in the BayState and he hasn't stepped away, backed down or given in one centimeter,let alone an inch. Patrick, the state's first African American governor,understands that civil rights shouldn't be something an electorate can voteup or down. Civil rights are for all of our nation's citizens-what is sofrustrating is that we have to fight so hard to get them.


The Two-Faced "Love" of Exodus International

"Ex-gay" group Exodus International swears they love gay people when infront of the mainstream media. When talking to their right wing base orChristian media, however, they don't sound quite so loving.

Truth Wins Out's latest video, "The Two-Faced Love of Exodus International"shows a series of mean-spirited clips from Exodus International's TV show"Pure Passion."

Within the first fifteen minutes of the show, the hosts repeatedly denigratethe lives and families of GLBT people - referring to them as perverse orsexually broken. Exodus may talk a good game, but the truth is, theirdisdain for openly gay people does not lie far below their surfaceprofessions of love. In essence, when they say they "love" gay people, theyare bearing false witness.



The Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance 2007: An Update for our Friends
and Supporters
To: pride@joh.org.il

This week, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community andour supporters will again struggle for our freedom of expression and civilrights in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem March for Pride and Tolerance is apersonal, social and community effort aimed at creating a more tolerancesocialety where all people are accepted and respected for who they are. Bycreating a public space for members of the LGBT community and its allies,Jerusalem Pride aims to enable Jerusalemites at different stages of thecoming-out process to find a meaningful existence in the Holy City.

In Jerusalem homophobia is an unquestionable fact of life in manycommunities. Pride questions the abuse of "religious" values used to justify discrimination and brings the struggle for univeral humanism to the mostsacred front- Israel. Internationally, Pride leverages Jerusalem'suniversal status to capture the attention of the world and share its messagewith a global audience.

Last November´s violent and intimidating events only served as proof that wemust assure that our rights as citizens of Jerusalem. This summer as inpast years, all Jerusalemites who value their freedom will march with us inDowntown Jerusalem. Our community will take to the streets with Pride andbring tolerance to Jerusalem. This summer's march will put Jerusalem, Israeland our leaders to the true test of democracy and civil rights. We will notlet the threats of violence silence us or challenge Israeli democracy. Thishistoric battle on the forefront of human rights in Jerusalem has alreadymet with considerable challenges in past year and this year has not beeneasier.


The Detroit News


by Deb Price
Conflicting tales raise questions on surgeon general nominee

Has President Bush nominated a Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Homophobe to be America'sdoctor, surgeon general of the United States?

The man that past associates of Kentucky physician James Holsinger describesounds like two very different doctors -- one professional and respectful indealing with gay people; the other monstrously prejudiced.

Phyllis Nash, a professor of behavioral medicine, paints a reassuringportrait of the Holsinger she worked with at the University of Kentucky fornine years. In the late 1990s, she says, Holsinger helped a gay universitylawyer and his partner cope with terminal cancer. "The morning after he wasdiagnosed, Dr. Holsinger was there in his living room with him and hispartner, offering support and guidance and counsel."

Later, Holsinger helped a lesbian employee of the university become amother. "She wanted to have a baby, and Dr. Holsinger intervened and helpedher to a sperm bank," says Nash, adding that the woman told her the story.

Then in 2002, several Kentucky lawmakers went into a tizzy because theuniversity medical center intended to host a panel on lesbian health. Nashalerted Holsinger, the center's chancellor.

"He was unflinching," she says. "He said, 'We have an absoluteresponsibility to help health care practitioners meet the health care needsof lesbian patients.'" The panel met.

Other portraits paint a scary Holsinger, one not above using his M.D.credentials to try to cow nonphysicians into echoing his hostility tohomosexuality.

The Rev. J. Philip Wogaman has unpleasant memories of serving with Holsingeron a Methodist Church committee that studied homosexuality. With a "childishdisplay of anger," Holsinger resigned, Wogaman says, because most of thecommittee favored being respectful toward faithful gay couples.

Before quitting, Holsinger, then chief medical director of the VeteransHealth Administration, volunteered to share his expertise. The result was a1991 paper he titled "The Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality" -- gay malesex is unnaturally creepy.




June 15, 2007

'Censors end' drag artist's show
By Syed Shoaib Hasan
BBC News, Islamabad

Pakistan's first and only television chat show hosted by atransvestite is being taken off air after falling foul of the state censor,the host says.

Ali Saleem, who dresses up as Begum Nawazish Ali for the show, saidits last broadcast will be on 1 July.

The popular late night programme features politicians and celebritiesin frank conversations.

It is believed to have aggravated feelings in the army with itsremarks about the military.

Referring to pressure from the censors, Ali Saleem told the BBC: "Myshow was being slaughtered and the channel was helpless to do anything aboutit."

He said that some members of the army were particularly offended thatthe character of Begum Nawazish Ali is supposed to be the widow of an armycolonel.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

SLDN Salutes New Advocacy Film about 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' from Brave NewFoundation Film, Featuring Dismissed Gay Arabic Linguist, Debuts at TakeBack America Conference

Washington, D.C. - Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) joinedrepresentatives of the Brave New Foundation at the Take Back AmericaConference in Washington today for the debut of a new film and web advocacycampaign aimed at building grassroots support for repeal of "Don't Ask,Don't Tell," the military's ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual personnel. Thefilm, also available online at www.lifttheban.org , features Stephen Benjamin, a former Arabiclinguist and SLDN client dismissed under the law. SLDN, along with otherorganizations, has joined the Foundation in launching an online petition toCongress and an aggressive outreach and education program about the issue ofgays in the military.

"This dynamic new project from the Brave New Foundation showcases the impact'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' continues to exact on our armed forces," said SteveRalls, director of communications for SLDN. "Stephen Benjamin's storyreminds us that discrimination has a very real price. Since 1993, at least58 Arabic speakers have been dismissed under the law, as well as countlessother specialists who bring much-needed skills to our national defense. Withthis new campaign, the public can speak out against the ban and join ourcoalition partners in building support for repeal. We are proud to beworking alongside Brave New Foundation to build grassroots support fortoppling 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'"


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Iran: Death Penalty For Making Porn

TEHRAN, Iran (AP)-- Iran's parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of a billthat could lead to the death penalty for persons convicted of working in theproduction of pornographic movies.

In a 148-5 vote, lawmakers approved a measure saying "producers ofpornographic works and main elements in their production are consideredcorruptors of the world and could be sentenced to punishment as corruptorsof the world."

The term, "corruptor of the world" is taken from the Quran, the Muslim holybook, and ranks among the highest on the scale of an individual's criminaloffenses. Under Iran's Islamic Penal Code, it carries a death penalty.

The "main elements" referred to in the draft include producers, directors,cameramen and actors involved in making a pornographic video.

Besides videos, the bill covers all electronic visual material, such as DVDsand CDs. Other material, such as pornographic magazines and books arealready banned under Iranian law.

To become law, the bill requires approval from the Guardian Council, aconstitutional watchdog in this conservative Islamic country.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Police Terror Directed Towards Gay Venues in Istanbul
Where are the Turkish police headed for?

On the night of June 17, Saturday, Turkish police has raided a gay bar inTaksim area. Gay men were forced to leave the place with the threat ofpepper gas and batons and some of them were harassed physically andmaltreated.

During the incident that took place on Saturday night around 2:30 am at thegay bar called "Tekyon", the police went into the bar and yelled at thecustomers in a very rude fashion, used words like "out!", "clear the area!","leave ulan!" (a Turkish insult word). As the attitude was outrageous, apart of the crowd wanted to show a reaction but the police attacked themwith pepper gas and batons.

Bar owners commented: "Police has raided the bar without showing anyparticular reason and they were harsh and homophobic. There couldn't havebeen this kind of interference before but it is not surprising that this ishappening as a result of the excessive authority given to the policeforces". It has also been stated that physical violence was used in theincident and that it was not hard to imagine what would have happened, ifthe prosecutor, though late, had not stepped in.

One of the gay men who was at the scene, Deniz Kar (23), said: "Cops haveclearly attempted a lynch with their eyes full of hatred and homophobia andwe were so shocked that we did not know what to do. One of the cops pushedme and attacked me. He threatened us with his baton and pepper gas and if Ihad resisted I would have certainly faced physical violence. This is againsthuman rights and I want to know where the police are taking this powerfrom!"

The police yelled to disperse the crowd that had gathered in front of thebar after they were forced to leave the place and they threatened the crowdwith their batons. When the crowd started clapping to protest, they wereattacked by the police again.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

New York Magazine:
The Science of Gaydar
By David France

Some scientists believe gay men and lesbians share a number of biologicalcharacteristics, including the length of fingers, density of fingerprintridges, direction of hair whorl and other traits.


This article appears in the June 25, 2007 issue of New York Magazine.

If sexual orientation is biological, are the traits that make people seemgay innate, too? The new research on everything from voice pitch to hairwhorl.

As a presence in the world-a body hanging from a subway strap or pressedinto an elevator, a figure crossing the street-I am neither markedlymasculine nor notably effeminate. Nor am I typically perceived asandrogynous, not in my uniform of Diesels and boots, not even when I wasyounger and favored dangling earrings and bright Jack Purcells. But mostpeople immediately read me (correctly) as gay. It takes only a glance tomake my truth obvious. I know this from strangers who find gay peopleoffensive enough to elicit a remark-catcalls from cab windows, to use arecent example-as well as from countless casual social engagements in whichpeople easily assume my orientation, no sensitive gaydar necessary. I'm notso much out-of-the-closet as "self-evident," to use Quentin Crisp's phrase,although being of a younger generation, I can't subscribe to his belief thatit is a kind of disfigurement requiring lavender hair rinse.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


From the Los Angeles Times
New ground in debate on 'curing' gays

Christian ministries who see homosexuality as a treatable disorder arestarting to think that choice may not be a factor.
By Stephanie Simon
Times Staff Writer

June 18, 2007

Alan Chambers directs Exodus International, widely described as the nation'slargest ex-gay ministry. But when he addresses the group's FreedomConference at Concordia University in Irvine this month, Chambers won'tcelebrate successful "ex-gays."

Truth is, he's not sure he's ever met one.

With years of therapy, Chambers says, he has mostly conquered his ownattraction to men; he's a husband and a father, and he identifies asstraight. But lately, he's come to resent the term "ex-gay": It's too neat,implying a clean break with the past, when he still struggles at times withhomosexual temptation. "By no means would we ever say change can be suddenor complete," Chambers said.

His personal denunciation of the term "ex-gay" - his organization has yet tofollow suit - is just one example of shifting ground in the polarizingdebate on homosexuality.

Despite the fundamental gulf that divides them, gay-rights activists andthose who see homosexuality as a sinful disorder are starting to reachagreement on some practical points.


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