Wednesday, June 20, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 20, 2007

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The New York Times

June 20, 2007
To Commit a Hate Crime, Must the Criminal Truly Hate the Victim?

In her courtroom on the 21st floor of State Supreme Court in Brooklynyesterday, Justice Jill Konviser-Levine sat and pondered the question ofhate.

"Bottom line," Justice Konviser-Levine ruminated aloud, "is animus anelement of the crime?"

The crime in question was the killing of Michael J. Sandy, 29, a gay man whowas lured to a parking area in Sheepshead Bay last October, beaten andchased into traffic. He later died in the hospital.

Prosecutors have said a group of young men contacted Mr. Sandy through anonline gay chat room, selecting him as a robbery victim in the belief that agay man would be unwilling or unable to put up a fight and unlikely toreport the crime.

The defendants - John Fox, 20; Ilya Shurov, 21; and Anthony Fortunato, 21 -have been charged not just with murder, but with murder under the state HateCrimes Act of 2000, which provides longer prison sentences for crimesmotivated "in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or perceptionregarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion,religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person."


The New York Times

June 20, 2007
Drunken Drivers May Face Two New Felony Charges

ALBANY, June 19 - Gov. Eliot Spitzer and top lawmakers agreed Tuesday totoughen penalties for driving while intoxicated and to create a homicidecharge aimed specifically at drunken drivers.

The legislation was spurred by the grisly death two years ago of a7-year-old girl who was returning from her aunt's wedding in a limousinewhen it was hit by a pickup truck whose driver was drunk and traveling thewrong way on a Long Island parkway.

The Democratic-led Assembly also passed a bill Tuesday night, by an 85-to-61vote, to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York just the second statein which a legislative chamber has done so. Both houses of the CaliforniaLegislature passed a same-sex marriage bill last year, but it was vetoed byGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Joseph L. Bruno, the Senate majority leader and New York's top Republican,reiterated his opposition to the bill and said it would not come up for avote in the Senate.

"We're not going to take a vote; we have too many other issues," Mr. Brunosaid at a news conference when asked about gay marriage. "We're not going tospend hours debating an issue that, you know, is not going to be ofconsequence."


The New York Times

June 20, 2007
Bloomberg Severs G.O.P. Ties, Fueling Talk of '08 Bid

LOS ANGELES, June 19 - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced Tuesday that hewas dropping his Republican affiliation, a step that could clear the way forhim to make an independent bid for the presidency.

The announcement was released during a campaign-style swing throughCalifornia, during which Mr. Bloomberg, 65, a billionaire businessman, usedincreasingly sharp language to criticize both parties in Washington as tootimid to take on big problems and too locked into petty squabbling to worktogether.

"I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led andwill continue to lead my city," Mr. Bloomberg's statement read. "Anysuccessful elected executive knows that real results are more important thanpartisan battles, and that good ideas should take precedence over rigidadherence to any particular political ideology."

Even as Mr. Bloomberg continues to say that he has no plans to run forpresident, his announcement has set off a storm of interest in politicalcircles across the country, where it is being viewed as a signal of hisserious contemplation of a campaign. His ability to self-finance a campaignpresents him with obvious advantages, including the option of delaying evenuntil next year a decision on whether to run.

Mr. Bloomberg's aides are working intensely behind the scenes promoting theidea of the mayor's candidacy and exploring the mechanics of starting anindependent campaign.


The New York Times

June 20, 2007
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg Leaves GOP
Filed at 5:06 a.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Speculation that Mayor Michael Bloomberg was interested ina third-party presidential run was merely simmering last summer when he wasasked about the idea of leaving the GOP and becoming an independent.

The billionaire mayor pointed out that the Republican Party had given him anopportunity to get elected in 2001, when he switched his lifelong Democraticregistration to avoid a crowded primary.

''There's no reason for me to change my party at the moment,'' Bloombergsaid then.

Apparently the moment has come.

After some six years as a Republican, the 65-year-old former CEO announcedTuesday that he has left the Republican Party and become unaffiliated inwhat many believe could be a step toward entering the 2008 race forpresident.


The Washington Post

BOGOTA, Colombia -- A landmark gay rights bill passed by Colombia'sCongress last week was thrown out when a group of senators used a proceduralvote to change their minds on the measure.

Despite minimal differences in the lower house and Senate texts, a handfulof senators used Tuesday's vote to back away from the measure, opposed byColombia's powerful Roman Catholic church.


The Washington Post

Relocated Adult Club Is Facing Shutdown in NE
City Officials Say Owner Misrepresented Plans

By Yolanda Woodlee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 20, 2007; B01

District regulatory officials have ordered the shutdown of 2120, a sexuallyoriented club for gay men in Northeast Washington that has been a target ofprotests by neighborhood residents.

The club's certificate of occupancy will be revoked next week, according toa letter from Zoning Administrator Bill Crews. The owner, Robert Siegel,will not be able to operate in the District without it after June 26.

In the letter, Crews said the certificate of occupancy was being revokedbecause Siegel had applied to open "office space" at the location, which wasformerly used by a limousine company. The application stated that Siegelwould be the property's new owner but implied that he would use it for thesame purpose. Crews said the club cannot be categorized as office space.

"You erroneously submitted an application solely for a change of ownershipwithout indicating a change of use from 'office space' to asexually-oriented business," Crews wrote. The D.C. Department of Consumerand Regulatory Affairs "relied on your agent's representation that thereason for the application was a change of ownership without a change ofuse. Rather than office space, you are using the premises as asexually-oriented business."

Siegel, who did not return several telephone calls, was served the orderlast week, an official said. He was given 10 business days to close, and hehas 60 days to appeal the administrator's decision to the Board of ZoningAdjustment.


The Washington Post

Sharing a Police Resource
Wednesday, June 20, 2007; A18

After reading the June 15 Metro article "D.C. Chief Breaking Up Latino, GayPolice Units," I have to speak out about Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier'sdecision to evenly disperse the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgenderliaison unit throughout the city.

I support her decision 100 percent.

It seems to be a common misunderstanding that only gay people live in DupontCircle and that it is the only place we live within the city. I thank ChiefLanier for having a true vision of the enormous diversity of the GLBTcommunity and for understanding reality enough to make bold changes.

Chief Lanier understands that equal protection for GLBT individuals involvesbringing an officer trained to work with the community into each district.

A few people with overinflated egos and checkbooks are trying to preventpositive changes for the entire community citywide. They do not see theforest for the trees.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,7748589,print.story

Evolution of gay rights focus of panel discussion
The Stonewall Library & Archives will host a panel discussion, "Gay Rights:
30 Years and Counting," at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Broward County Main
Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave.

Participants will discuss how the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendermovement has evolved from the days of Anita Bryant's anti-gay campaign totoday.

Among the participants will be by Dr. Fred Fejes, professor at FloridaAtlantic University; Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida;and Heddy Pena, executive director of Save Dade.

The discussion is in conjunction with the new exhibition, "Days WithoutSunshine: Anita Bryant's Anti-Gay Crusade," currently on view at thelibrary. It is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 954-763-8565.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,320015,print.story?coll=sfla-news-palm

Palm Beach County: Judge declines to suppress confession in 2006 death
June 20, 2007

Vincent Puglisi freely and voluntarily confessed his involvement in the 2006killing of Curious George children's book creator Alan Shalleck, CircuitJudge Edward Garrison ruled Tuesday.

Puglisi sought to suppress his statement to police on the grounds that theyhad no probable cause to hold him for questioning and that coercivetechniques were used. He also alleged that police failed to properly advisehim of his rights.

Puglisi, 55, and his lover, 31-year-old Rex Ditto, are facing a possibledeath sentence if convicted as charged with Shalleck's murder. The76-year-old purportedly met Puglisi through an ad in a gay magazine. Puglisiand Ditto are accused of attacking Shalleck during sex, stabbing himhundreds of times inside his Boynton Beach mobile home.


The Advocate

June 20, 2007
Mothers, transsexuals now eligible in Miss Spain pageant

Organizers of the national Miss Spain beauty pageant have decided to permitmothers and transsexuals for eligibility, Agence France-Presse reports.

The rule change was prompted by controversy surrounding the pageant'sdethroning of 22-year-old Anna Bustillo, who won the regional title of MissCantabria, after organizers discovered that she had a young son. Bustilloclaimed she was discriminated against, citing the eligibility of fathers inthe Mister Spain pageant.

Though organizers initially defended Bustillo's dethroning, arguing thatmotherhood could hinder a winner from travel duties, they overturned therule as well as another that barred transsexuals from the competition.Following a new law passed in March that grants transsexuals the right tochange their official name and gender without the requirement of surgicaloperation, transsexuals will now be eligible in both the Miss and Misterpageants.

"Of course, their morphology must match their civil status," a pageantorganizer told the AFP. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

June 20, 2007
Gay teacher jailed for relationship with student

A gay British teacher who had a relationship with one of his students wasgiven what some children's charities are calling a lenient prison termyesterday. David LeBrocq was sentenced to a year in prison after a six-monthsexual relationship with a 15-year-old student.

The pair was caught having sex in LeBrocq's apartment, but the teenager wasgiven permission to engage in the relationship by his mother, according toThe Times of London.

"It does not matter if it was consensual: The point is that when you are ateacher you are in a position of authority over a pupil and you do not havesexual relationships with them," said Michele Elliott, the director of thechildren's charity Kidscape. "Given that he could be out in six months, itseems to me that he has got off very lightly."

The student, Karl Donaldson, now 19, revealed his identity to the press andin court.

"I have not been in touch with him since we broke up and just want to forgetabout what happened and get on with the next chapter in my life," he toldThe Times. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

IOWA - January 14 (32 delegates)

Romney has emerged as the one to beat, and his strategy calls for winning
the caucuses to ride a momentum wave to New Hampshire. Unknown here before2007, he's spent $1 million in TV ads and direct mail to introduce himself,visited 11 times, and hired veteran operatives. McCain is vigorouslycampaigning here after skipping Iowa in 2000 and has built an organizationthat rivals Romney's. The 70-year-old senator is trying to overcome hisunpopular support for immigration legislation, the perception that he isyesterday's candidate, and doubts that he'll be a loyal Republican. Giulianihas sent mixed signals about how hard he plans to compete here. His supportfor abortion rights and gay rights alienates some conservatives. BothGiuliani and McCain bowed out of a high-profile straw poll in August.

Thompson could find success in Iowa. Lesser-knowns pinning their hopes onthe state haven't broken through. Brownback may have the best chance and iscourting the religious right.


The Advocate

June 20, 2007
Tracking Hillary's stance on DOMA, distance from Bill on LGBT issues

Sen. Hillary Clinton went a long way this month toward neutralizing her onelingering Achilles' heel with LGBT voters when she shifted her stance on theDefense of Marriage Act, the 1996 bill signed into law by her husband thatgrants state governments the right not to recognize same-sex marriages orcivil unions performed in other states.

Clinton's new stance on DOMA may also be an attempt to establish a separateidentity from that of husband Bill Clinton, whose presidency left somewhatof a best-of-times, worst-of-times aftertaste in the mouths of LGBTAmericans. While the gay population's historic role in electing Bill Clintonlaunched us on to the national political stage, his statutory legacies to uswere the military's antigay "don't ask, don't tell" policy and DOMA.

Senator Clinton's change on DOMA came to light when her advisers releasedthe text of her candidate questionnaire for the Human Rights Campaign.

DOMA contains two provisions: one that gives states autonomy on marriage andone that prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages. With theprecision of a neurosurgeon, Clinton cut herself free of the second plank ofthe law while continuing to embrace the first plank, essentially saying thatshe would let states decide their own destiny on marriage but leave the dooropen for federal recognition of same-sex unions.

"Senator Clinton believes that each state should make its own decisionsregarding marriage or civil unions, but once a state legalizes suchrelationships, these relationships should receive full federal recognitionand benefits," Ethan Geto, senior national adviser to Senator Clinton onLGBT Issues, explained in an e-mail to The Advocate. "As several states havelegalized gay marriage or civil unions, Senator Clinton has come to believethat the restrictions imposed by DOMA on federal government recognition ofsame-sex relationships are unfair."


Study: 28 Percent Of LGBT Workers Harassed
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: June 19, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(New York City) A study of diversity in the workplace has found that 28percent of LGBT employees have suffered harassment in the workplace withnearly half describing it as severe.

The survey was taken by Harris Interactive for, an onlineemployment service, and and Kelly Services. It focused on workers in sevengroups - African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Females, LGBT workers andpeople in the workforce over the age of 50.

CareerBuilder said it ordered the survey to gauge the frequency and severityof discrimination or unfair treatment in the workplace, whether employeediversity is valued and how diversity impacts hiring decisions, compensationand career advancement.

A total of 23 percent of diverse workers said they have been discriminatedagainst or treated unfairly in the workplace.

The highest incidence was 44 percent for people with disabilities whileAsian workers and mature workers reported the lowest incidence at 21 percenteach.


Orchestra Settles Gay Discrimination Case
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: June 19, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Buffalo, New York) A civil rights complaint filed by an oboist against theBuffalo Philharmonic Orchestra over his firing has been settled.

J. Bud Roach said he was fired after complaining about homophobia by afellow player. The The New York state Division of Human Rights began anactive investigation in May.

Roach, who is gay and was at the time the orchestra's former second oboist,alleged that in February 2003 first oboist Pierre Roy remarked during anaudition for new musicians for the orchestra that, "We wouldn't want anymore fags in the orchestra."

Roach's complaint said that when he complained to Music Director JoAnnFalletta he was urged drop the matter because "these things can get messy."

Roach said in his filing that when nothing was done he filed a complaintwith the Division and that following that, in the following year he wasdismissed.


Canadian Anglicans Prepare To Vote On Same-Sex Blessings
by The Canadian Press

Posted: June 19, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Winnipeg, Manitoba) Planning a wedding is usually complicated, takingmonths to sort out a seemingly endless parade of details.

For Frank Kajfes, 60, the months leading up to the big day with BryanWannop, his partner of 30 years, were difficult for another reason.

As Anglicans, it was important to Kajfes and Wannop, 70, to have a religiouscomponent to their wedding. Since the church doesn't allow its priests tobless same-sex unions, having Kajfes and Wannop at the altar on theirwedding day was a delicate matter.

Church leaders came up with a clever compromise.

Before they were legally married by a Federal Court judge at the end of aregular Sunday mass, they were prayed for by the entire congregation of St.John the Evangelist in Ottawa _ instead of just the priest.


Boston College Students Raising Tuition Participating In HIV, Other Drug &
Research Studies
by The Associated Press

Posted: June 19, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) College students are known for finding creative waysto earn money, but few can compete with Boston University senior AllisonYochim - who once earned cash watching dueling images of sea turtles andhardcore pornography.

Yochim, a self-described "lab rat," says she has made more than $3,000 byparticipating in more than 30 medical studies at Boston's world-classresearch hospitals.

Researchers here can tap into a pool of about a quarter-million collegestudents to find willing participants for scientific studies.

For some students, including Yochim, taking part can almost be a full-timesummer job.

During one recent study on female sexuality, Yochim answered a survey ofdeeply personal questions. Then researchers measured her body's responsewhile she watched a computer screen flashing a sequence of NationalGeographic-like nature images spliced with graphic sexual pictures.


New Signs Bloomberg Planning Independent Run
by The Associated Press

Posted: June 19, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(New York City) New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg left the Republican Partyon Tuesday and switched to unaffiliated, a move certain to be seen as aprelude to an independent presidential bid that would upend the 2008 race.

The billionaire former CEO, who was a lifelong Democrat before he switchedto the Republican Party in 2001 for his first mayoral run, said the changein his voter registration does not mean he is running for president.

"Although my plans for the future haven't changed, I believe this brings myaffiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead ourcity," Bloomberg said.

With an estimated worth of more than $5 billion, he easily could finance anindependent presidential bid.

The 65-year-old mayor has increasingly been the subject of speculation thathe will run as an independent in 2008, despite his repeated promises toleave politics after the end of his term in 2009. He has fueled the buzzwith increasing out-of-state travel, a greater focus on national issues andrepeated criticism of the partisan politics that dominate Washington.


Gay Foe Frist To Teach At Princeton
by The Associated Press

Posted: June 19, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Trenton, New Jersey) Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R) isreturning to his alma mater, Princeton University, to teach courses ongovernment health policy, the university said Tuesday.

He was a key sponsor of two failed attempts to amend the Constitution to bansame-sex marriage.

Frist, a practicing physician, has been appointed as a visiting professorfor the 2007-08 academic year, and will serve as a lecturer at Princeton'sWoodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

The 55-year-old Frist will teach a graduate course at the Wilson School onhealth policy during the fall semester, and an undergraduate course on asimilar subject in the spring.

"His years of experience in public service as a doctor and as a leader inthe U.S. Senate make him an ideal practitioner-professor," said Anne-MarieSlaughter, dean of the Wilson School.


Cities, Schools Look For Way Around Mich. Anti-Gay Amendment
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: June 19, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Kalamazoo, Michigan) The city of Kalamazoo, Michigan State University andthe University of Michigan are looking at a way of providing health andinsurance benefits to the same-sex partners of workers without making itappear to be gay couple benefits.

All three had domestic partner benefits plans in place when a three-judgeCourt of Appeal panel ruled the state's constitutional amendment barringsame-sex marriage made it illegal to offer same-sex domestic partnerbenefits for public employees.

The constitutional amendment defines marriage as the union between a man anda woman and is the only agreement that can be recognized as a marriage "orsimilar union for any purpose."

The ruling is under appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court but the justicessaid that until it renders a decision the appellate ruling must go intoeffect.

As a result Kalamazoo became the first public employer in the state to striphealth benefits from the domestic partners of its gay and lesbian employees.


Conn. Medical Pot Bill Vetoed
by The Associated Press
Posted: June 20, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Hartford, Connecticut) Connecticut's governor, a cancer survivor, vetoed abill that would have allowed people with certain serious illnesses to usemarijuana, saying it was fraught with problems and sent a mixed message tochildren.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell said Tuesday that she struggled with the decision.

"I am not unfamiliar with the incredible pain and heartbreak associated withbattling cancer," the Republican said. Rell was diagnosed with breast cancerin 2004, a few months after taking office, and she underwent a mastectomy.

The bill she vetoed would have allowed people older than 18 with medicalconditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and AIDS to grow and use fourmarijuana plants after getting written permission from a doctor andregistering with the state.

The issue pits broader patients' rights against concerns of legalized accessto an illicit drug. Twelve states let some patients use marijuana despitefederal laws against it.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Alan Chambers on CNN Situation Room Transcript (excerpt)
CNN-Situation Room
June 18, 2007

BLITZER: His ministry is called Exodus International. And he's been on amission to help gays and lesbians, and I'm quoting him now, "leavehomosexuality". But is this evangelical leader of the ex-gay movement nowsending a slightly different message? Let's go to CNN's Mary Snow. She'swatching this story for us.

What is this man now saying?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT, Wolf, Allen Chambers is gaining notice foredging closer to the middle in a debate that's often pitted gay rightsgroups against ex-gay ministries.


SNOW (voice over): It bills itself as the largest evangelical ministry topromote what it calls freedom from homosexuality. Exodus InternationalPresident Allen Chambers says he has overcome his attraction to men, and isnow married with two children. But he is now speaking out against the term"ex-gay". ALLEN CHAMBERS, PRESIDENT, EXODUS INT'L.: For someone to simplythink that going from straight to gay is like flipping a light switch,that's something we want to correct at every turn.

SNOW: The shift in language may sound subtle, but it's being welcomed bysome long-time critics of the ex-gay movement, which offers therapy forindividuals who want to, quote, "recover from homosexuality".

DR. JACK DRESCHER, DISTINGUISHED FELLOW, AMERICAN PSYCH. ASSN.: To say topeople before they come in the door, well, you might not change entirely isnot usually the way they market these treatments.

SNOW: The American Psychiatric Association does not view homosexuality as adisorder. And, therefore, doesn't see the need for treatment. Ministrieslike Exodus believe homosexuality is treatable. But unlike many staunchChristian conservatives, the group's president is leaving open thepossibility that homosexuality may not be a choice, but be genetic.

CHAMBERS: Certainly we are body, soul and spirit, and a part of being body,I believe is wrapped up in genetics, and biology and things that are inborn.

SNOW: And that is where some Christian groups part ways.

MATT BARBER, CONCERNED WOMEN FOR AMERICA: There's no credible evidence tosuggest that people are born homosexual. In fact, there's a great deal ofevidence that would suggest the exact opposite.

SNOW: That is at the heart of a heated debate that's pit God against sciencewhen it comes to controversial therapy to so-called convert gays.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Hard times for the NAACP
June 18, 2007 - 8:35am.
Oldest civil rights group faces a crisis

The recent announcement by the NAACP of a major retrenchment due to fundingshortfalls received brief coverage and got scant attention.

But I think it is an important story that should get attention, because itis a story as much about the real challenges facing our country today as itis about the NAACP.

The NAACP announced that it will cut its national staff by 40 percent andthat seven regional offices will be cut -- at least temporarily. Severalweeks before this the organization announced a delay of plans to move fromBaltimore to fancy new headquarters in Washington.

It should be of interest to everyone why the nation's oldest and mostprestigious civil-rights organization is faltering and on shaky ground.

The last headlines generated by the organization came with the departureearlier in the year of its president of only 18 months, Bruce Gordon.Gordon's hire was an attention-getter because he was not acivil-rights-movement veteran, but one of the nation's most prominent blackcorporate executives.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

'Don't ask, don't tell' battle brews
Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau
Thursday, June 14, 2007

(06-14) 04:00 PDT Washington -- Democrats plan to lead an assault this yearon the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" ban on gay and lesbian conduct,which is emerging as a clear partisan fault line in next year's presidentialelection.

Democratic Rep. Ellen Tauscher of Walnut Creek will lead the effort inCongress, but described an uphill struggle to end the 14-year-old policy,despite Democratic control of the House and Senate.

Even with the Iraq war straining military capacity, Tauscher said Republicanopposition was made evident at last month's presidential debates in NewHampshire, where all 10 Republican candidates indicated they would opposelifting the ban, and all eight Democrats said they would repeal it.

Tauscher is seeking hearings in the House Armed Services Committee, whereshe chairs a subcommittee, and is looking for a Senate sponsor for theMilitary Readiness Enhancement Act. The bill was introduced in the lastsession of Congress with 122 co-sponsors, but just five Republicans.Tauscher said the bill does not yet have majority support in the House, butshe is trying to persuade her colleagues the ban should be lifted because offairness and national security needs.

"I don't think this is going to be in the end a tough fight, and we don'twant it to be," Tauscher said. "We want this to be a very broad coalition,if we can stay on the fact that this is about military readiness andequality, and that the American people are ahead of us on this."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Peaceful and proud: Gay parade goes on
Of The Gazette Staff

For all practical purposes, it was a regular parade through Billings.

A color guard led the group, the grand marshals sat in a convertible, peoplehanded out candy, and the Al Bedoo Shrine brass band played "Montana." Therewas laughter, waves and cheering from the kids in strollers, families andcouples who lined the sidewalk.

The Pride Celebration 2007 parade stretched about eight blocks throughdowntown Billings on Saturday morning. The three-day celebration is hostedby the Montana Pride Network with the theme "From silence to celebration!"

Parade organizer Mary Horvath estimated that 500 people joined the parade.The parade had dozens of entries, including groups and businesses, and abunch of people joined in along the way.

Roars from crowd could be heard along the final blocks of the parade routeon Second Avenue North as spectators responded to the Montana Pride Networkchanting "Two. Four. Six. Eight. Let's Celebrate!"

With sparkling green fake eyelashes, and wearing a monochrome purple outfitof a glittering blouse over a fluffy tutu and fishnet stockings, C.C.Deveroux was likely the most flamboyant parade entry.

It was Deveroux's first Pride parade and, as the tiara suggested, part ofDeveroux's reign as Miss Gay Missoula 17, a title crowned in March.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

June 15, 2007
Gays protest changes in Scottsdale proclamation
Ari Cohn, Tribune

Mayor Mary Manross watered down a proclamation meant to honor Scottsdale'sgay residents until it became an "insult" and a "slap in the face," membersof the homosexual community charged Thursday.

The city's Human Relations Commission, working with the Arizona Human RightsFund gay rights group, drafted a proclamation to designate June as GayAwareness Month in Scottsdale.

But what they received from Manross on Monday was a proclamation thatcelebrated the work of the commission, but made no reference to gay peopleor issues. Instead, the commission had to settle for a generalized "HumanRelations Diversity Observance Month."

"What the mayor did essentially is to make the lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgendered community invisible, which is an insult to those citizens ofScottsdale," said Sam Holdren, Arizona Human Rights Fund field organizer."It's an embarrassment to the city."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Proposed reform would give Cuban gay couples equal rights
by Dalia Acosta

HAVANA, Cuba, June 18, 2007 - Cuba could become the first Caribbean islandnation to recognise the civil and inheritance rights of gay and lesbiancouples, if a proposed reform of the Family Code is approved.

"I can't guarantee that it will reach parliament this year," said sexologistMariela Castro, director of the governmental National Centre for SexEducation (CENESEX). "That is our hope, but it does not depend on us, and ofcourse, it is facing a great deal of resistance," she told IPS.

Opponents of the measure set forth arguments like "Cuban society is notprepared" or "this is not the right time." Castro, meanwhile, recognisesthat "laws by themselves are not sufficient to bring about real change,"although they are indispensable for the design of public policies.

Drawn up by the non-governmental Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) withsupport from CENESEX, the draft reform of the Family Code has been presentedto the Political Bureau, the highest body of the ruling Communist Party. "Weare waiting for approval in order to introduce it to parliament as a draftlaw," said Castro.

The proposal would give homosexual couples the same civil and inheritancerights as heterosexual couples. However, it does not mention gay marriage,because a change of that magnitude would require a lengthy process ofreforming the constitution, which was last amended in 1992.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Colombia set to recognize gay couples
Sunday, June 17, 2007
BOGOTA, Colombia, AP

Colombia is set to become the first Latin American country to giveestablished gay couples full rights to health insurance, inheritance andsocial security under a bill passed by its Congress.The measure approved Thursday is expected to take effect soon. It is backedby the country's conservative President Alvaro Uribe.

The measure would allow gay couples in long-term relationships to have thesame health insurance and social security benefits as heterosexual couples.It also guarantees that assets accumulated during the relationship will bedivided between the two, and in the case of death, inherited by thesurvivor.

Previously, possessions were passed on to blood relations.

Some states and cities in Latin America have passed similar laws, but noother country in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic region has done so at anational level, said Marcela Sanchez, director of the gay rights groupColombia Diversa. She said as many as 300,000 gay couples in Colombia standto benefit.

"I'm elated," said Catalina Gomez, an English teacher, who said she plans touse the new legal status to take out health insurance for her partnerMonica, a self-employed designer and disc jockey. "It validates our unionbefore the law so we no longer have to going around lying about ourrelationship." Congress' lower house passed the bill 62-43 following aheated debate in which Alfredo Cuello Baute, the president of the chamber,accused gay lawmakers of a conflict of interest.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Majority of Tory MPs reject gay rights
19th June 2007 14:30
Tony Grew

A survey of attitudes of MPs has found that many Conservative members have amarkedly different social outlook from leader David Cameron.

The poll, carried out by Populus, spoke to 128 MPs overall, 39 of whom wereTories.

54% of the Conservatives did not think that gay people should have equalrights with heterosexual people.

83% of the 70 Labour MPs and 92% of the 13 Lib Dems polled supported gayrights.

Tory leader David Cameron has spoken of his support for civil partnershipsand the party frontbench supported recent gay rights legislation.

However, in March Tory MPs in the House of Commons forced a vote on theSexual Orientation Regulations. The regulations passed by 310 votes to 100.

29 Tory MPs voted in favour of the regulations, 85 against.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,_Increasingly_Acknowledged.htm

Americans Show More Openness to Gay Therapy
Tue, Jun. 19, 2007 Posted: 08:46:14 AM EST

Change from a homosexual to a heterosexual lifestyle doesn't happenovernight. And when change does occur, some opt not to use the term"ex-gay."

"For too long, many have gotten the impression that transformation is anovernight process," said Alan Chambers, head of Exodus International, thenation's largest Christian organization that promotes the message of freedomfrom homosexuality. "In reality, it is an extremely difficult journey."

For the most part, former homosexuals have conquered their same-sex desiresbut admit they are not completely rid of the homosexual attraction even whenhappily married and with kids, like Chambers.

"By no means would we ever say change can be sudden or complete," saidChambers, a former homosexual, in an interview with The Los Angeles Times.

Although Exodus is often referred to as the nation's largest ex-gayministry, Chambers denounces the term "ex-gay," according to the LA Times.He has said that to never be attracted to men again or never be temptedagain would mean "I'm not human."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Ex-gay or just exploited?
Dueling conferences this month in Irvine explore whether homosexuals can gostraight.
The Orange County Register

IRVINE- The commercial airing on Christian talk radio promises "sudden,radical, complete change. Through Christ, freedom is possible for those whostruggle with same-gender attraction."

The radio spot is advertising the Exodus International conference this monthin Irvine, where evangelical Christian ministers pledge to help reform gaysand lesbians into living the straight life.

The controversial topic has attracted picketing by gay rights groups duringExodus' annual conferences in the past. This year, activists are doingsomething different: They are holding a competing conference the sameweekend, a mile away at UC Irvine.

"This time, we decided instead of having a protest, why not just have analternative conference?" said Michael Bussee, a co-founder of the Exodusmovement who later recanted and now lives as a gay man.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Born Gay? Ex-Gay Leader Offers CNN An Elliptical Response
Posted on June 18th, 2007 by Mike Airhart

Inspired by an LA Times article about an upcoming professional conventionthat will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of ex-gay "therapies," CNN'sSituation Room aired an interview this afternoon with Alan Chambers,president of Exodus International, and Jack Drescher, distinguished fellowof the American Psychiatric Association.

Correspondent Mary Snow inaccurately states that "Exodus International_President Alan Chambers says he has overcome his attraction to men," whileChambers repeats something that he has said before, albeit not often enoughnor among the audiences that most need to hear it: that so-called "change"is not instantaneous.

From the CNN transcript:

For one for someone to simply think that going from straight to gay islike flipping a light switch, that's something that we want to correct atevery turn.

Snow connects Chambers' elliptical comments about biology to the debate overthe roots and causes of sexual orientation. Chambers tells CNN:


National Gay News

Gay Activist Petitions for
Washington's Return to Grey's Anatomy

Former Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington is getting some surprising support from a prominent activist in the Gay/Lesbian community. According to various internet reports, as well as the Associated Press, prominent Gay / Lesbian activist Jasmyne Cannick, who has previously worked with Washington, is petitioning for the actor to be reinstated to Grey's Anatomy, and is countering the charges of homophobia on Washington's behalf by firing claims of racism at ABC.



National Gay News

Ryan White Cuts Will Impact
South Florida HIV Population

Every week, Oakland Park HIV patient Peter Giraldo goes for acupuncture and herapeutic massage to lessen severe nerve pain in his extremities caused by his medications and diabetes. But the therapies will vanish next month, and other services used by thousands of South Florida HIV/AIDS patients will shrink dramatically as a result of federal budget cuts now coming to a head, county health officials said. Substance abuse treatment, nutritional counseling and other programs stand to be cut.



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