Friday, June 22, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 22, 2007

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Forwarded from Wayne Besen
Weekly Column: Anything But Straight

Anything But Straight
June 19, 2007

Exodus' Tortured Chambers

Only a day before "ex-gay" leader Alan Chambers admitted that praying awaythe gay doesn't work, the Southern Baptist Convention was working to expandits ex-gay ministry program. The once slavery-loving church, hired Texaspastor Bob Stith as its National Strategist for Gender Issues, with the goalof promoting ex-gay programs within the denomination.

A church spokesperson told the Associated Baptist Press that the grandiosesounding strategist role "has been a culmination of many years of planningand praying." Well, as we are often reminded, God works in mysterious ways.The SBC press release barely cleared the media fax machines when ExodusInternational's President Alan Chambers told the Los Angeles Times, that hestill, at times, (like when he's awake or dreams) has attractions to men and"by no means would we ever say change can be sudden or complete."

This acknowledgment mirrored his infamous quote in my book, Anything ButStraight: "Put me in a bathhouse," said Chambers, "Would I find peopleattractive or would it stir me? It probably would."

If Exodus doesn't actually turn gay people straight, then what's the pointof the organization? How do they justify their million-dollar budget andstaff of twelve when the church money might be better spent on helping thepoor?

At its root, the ex-gay ministries are support groups designed to offerstrategies to keep people out of gay establishments or relationships thatthey desperately want to be in. In the old days, this was simply calledbeing in the closet. But Exodus figured out that misery likes company andthat they could profit by creating a communal closet where self-loathing andsexually frustrated homosexuals could whine to each other about theirunhappiness.


June 22, 2007
Don't Veto, Don't Obey

President Bush is notorious for issuing statements taking exception tohundreds of bills as he signs them. This week, we learned that in a shockingnumber of cases, the Bush administration has refused to enact those laws.Congress should use its powers to insist that its laws are obeyed.

The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan arm of Congress,investigated 19 provisions to which Mr. Bush objected. It found that six ofthem, or nearly a third, have not been implemented as the law requires. TheG.A.O. did not investigate some of the most infamous signing statements,like the challenge to a ban on torture. But the ones it looked into aredisturbing enough.

In one case, Congress directed the Pentagon in its 2007 budget request toaccount separately for the cost of military operations in Iraq andAfghanistan. It was a perfectly appropriate request, but Mr. Bush issued asigning statement critical of the rule, and the Pentagon withheld theinformation. In two other cases, federal agencies ignored laws requiringthem to get permission from Congressional committees before takingparticular actions.

The Bush administration's disregard for these laws is part of itsextraordinary theory of the "unitary executive." The administration assertsthat the president has the sole authority to supervise and direct executiveofficers, and that Congress and the courts cannot interfere. This theory,which has no support in American history or the Constitution, is a formulafor autocracy.


The New York Times

June 22, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
When Preaching Flops

A little while ago, a national study authorized by Congress found thatabstinence education programs don't work. That gave liberals a chance tofeel superior because it turns out that preaching traditional morality tostudents doesn't change behavior.

But in this realm, nobody has the right to feel smug. American schools areawash in moral instruction - on sex, multiculturalism, environmentalawareness and so on - and basically none of it works. Sex ed doesn't changebehavior. Birth control education doesn't produce measurable results. Thefact is, schools are ineffectual when it comes to values education. You canput an adult in front of a classroom or an assembly, and that adult can emitwords, but don't expect much impact.

That's because all this is based on a false model of human nature. It'sbased on the idea that human beings are primarily deciders. If you pour themfull of moral maxims, they will be more likely to decide properly whentemptation arises. If you pour them full of information about theconsequences of risky behavior, they will decide to exercise prudence andforswear unwise decisions.

That's the way we'd like to think we are, but that's not the way we reallyare, and it's certainly not the way teenagers are. There is no centralexecutive zone in the brain where all information is gathered and decisionsare made. There is no little homunculus up there watching reality on ascreen and then deciding how to proceed. In fact, the mind is a series ofparallel processes and loops, bidding for urgency.

We're not primarily deciders. We're primarily perceivers.


The New York Times

June 22, 2007
Canadian Anglicans Voting on Gay Couples
Filed at 3:49 a.m. ET

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) -- Canada's Anglicans are debating whether to allowtheir churches to bless gay couples at a time when divisions over the Bibleand homosexuality are tearing at the world Anglican fellowship.

The Anglican Church of Canada is scheduled to vote in its national meetingSaturday whether to allow priests to bless same-sex unions -- a step shortof performing gay marriage, which is legal in Canada. Before that vote,delegates will choose a new leader on Friday from a field of fourcandidates, including a woman, who could become the first female elected tolead the Canadian church.

The world Anglican Communion is already in an uproar over the U.S. EpiscopalChurch's 2003 consecration of the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinsonof New Hampshire.

The Episcopal Church is the Anglican body in the United States. Anglicanleaders have given the U.S. denomination until Sept. 30 to unequivocallypledge not to consecrate another openly gay bishop or authorize officialprayers for same-sex couples. If Episcopalians fail to agree to the demands,they risk losing their full membership in the communion.


Istanbul Police Department Must Eliminate Arbitrary Practices

Press Release
Commission for Monitoring Human Rights of LGBTT Persons and Law

Gays, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals are Subjected toIll-Treatment and Torture through Police Raids in Gay andTransvestite-Transsexual Places

We, as the Commission for Monitoring Human Rights of LGBTT Persons and Law,had stated in our press release on 15 June 2007 that we are concerned aboutan increase in violations targeting LGBTT persons as a result of theamendments made in Police Duties and Authorities Law.

We had declared that the right to life, the right to security and freedoms,the right to privacy of home, the right to privacy and the right toassociation would be violated more with the amendments made in Police Dutiesand Authorities Law.

Even before 24 hours after the press release, the police raided gay andtransvestite bars in Istanbul.


Jerusalem Gay Pride defies fundamentalist threats
Israeli Supreme Court rejects bid to ban gay march
Knesset vote to outlaw Gay Pride "bigoted and dangerous"
London - 21 June 2007

"We applaud the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court to reject anapplication to ban the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade," said Brett Lock,spokesperson for the London-based LGBTI human rights group, OutRage!

He was commenting on the court judgement, ahead of today's Gay Pride march.

"This is a big victory, not only for gay rights but also for the rightto protest of all Israelis - gay and straight, Jew and Arab," added MrLock.

"The judges' refusal to succumb to threats of violence by homophobicJewish fundamentalists is a gain for all Israelis who cherish freedomand liberty.

"The fundamentalists had been given official encouragement by thedeplorable vote in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, which soughtto ban Gay Pride marches.

"This bigoted and dangerous restriction on the right to freedom ofexpression was carried on its first reading in early June by 41 votesto 21. It was backed by a cowardly, bigoted alliance of religious andright-wing parties, led by Shas and the National Religious Party.


22.06.2007 11:37:25
Homophobic Duma Deputy Outed On National TV By Moscow Gay Pride Organizer
This is a first "outing" of a hypocrite gay politician in Russia's history

Organizer of the Moscow Gay Pride Nikolai Alekseev said during live TV showon Thursday that notorious homophobic deputy of State Duma Alexander Chuevwas gay. This happened in the Vladimir Solovyev's talk show "K baryeru!" onNTV channel widely watched across all Russia.

Deputy Chuev belongs to the conservative and clerical faction in Duma called"Fair Russia". During the TV show he accused LGBT activists and Moscow GayPride organizers that they performed the task of "Western countries" whowanted to make Russia collapse through "gay propaganda".

Mr. Chuev is also well known through his everlasting parliamentary proposalsto ban "gay propaganda" and to prohibit people who "propagated homosexuality" to be employed in various spheres.

Gay activist Nikolai Alekseev said during the TV show that Mr. Chuev wasalso gay, hypocrite and coward. He said that Chuev's homosexualrelationships were well known for gay community during 90s, before he becamea deputy of Russian Parliament. Alekseev stressed that Chuev just wanted tohide himself behind the moral values.

Mr. Chuev responded that he would apply against Alekseev at the persecutionoffice for libel. But Nikolai Alekseev only welcomed such a claim.

Alekseev's statement during the TV show was the first "outing" in thehistory of Russian politics. A latent gay politician has been finally outed.After TV show Mr. Chuev started to threaten Gay Pride organizer withpersecution.

"We reached the most important thing during this TV show", said NikolaiAlekseev. "We showed all hypocrisy of the representatives of the presentRussian authorities.


Dutch Embassies Checking Gay Rights in Partner Countries

NIS News Bulletin

THE HAGUE, 22/06/07 - Dutch embassies in the 36 countries that receivedevelopment aid from The Hague are starting an investigation of the positionof homosexuals. They are doing so at the request of Labour (PvdA)Development Cooperation Minister Bert Koenders.

The Netherlands maintains a close relationship with the 36 "partnercountries". In half of them, homosexuality is formally a criminal offence.The intention is that the Dutch embassies primarily investigate whetherpunishment of homosexual behaviour is really carried out in their post. Theywill also have to look at the degree of social acceptance of homosexuals andrecent changes.

Koenders has urged the embassies to press the authorities to abolishhomosexuality as a criminal offence. The governments must also be urged toimprove the position of sexual minority groups in society.


Arrests at Jerusalem gay parade

A Gay Pride march in Jerusalem has taken place amid tight security, sparkingfierce protests among the holy city's religious communities.

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man was arrested for planning to bomb the parade,Israeli police said.

At least 18 other people were arrested during the march, which came afterIsrael's High Court rejected an appeal by religious groups to ban it.

More than 7,000 police were deployed to secure the parade to preventclashes.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said officers found an explosivedevice in the bag of the alleged bomb plotter.

"He admitted he planned on planting it on the route of the parade today," MrRosenfeld said.

At least 15 people were arrested for throwing stones at police on Wednesdaynight after the court appeal was rejected.

Parade protests

About 2,000 people joined the march, holding bright balloons, singing andholding posters of Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama, the Associated Pressnews agency reported.


"EU must recognise gay marriage"

21 June 2007

AMSTERDAM - Homosexual couples that marry in the Netherlands and move toanother EU country should be recognised there as legally married.

Dutch members of the European Parliament Sophie in 't Veld (Democrat D66)and Kathalijne Buitenweg (green-left GroenLinks), who work to promote gayrights throughout Europe, are insisting that the EU do more to protect therights of homosexuals.

If a couple that married in the Netherlands moves to Italy, for instance,they are not officially regarded as a married couple. A partner canconsequently miss out on his or her inheritance if the other dies.

Heterosexual couples are not faced with this problem since other EUcountries do recognise their status as married. "It is unacceptable thatonly some of the marriages performed in the Netherlands are recognisedabroad," Buitenweg says.

The struggle for equal treatment for homosexuals is toughest at the momentin the Eastern European countries that joined the EU over the past fewyears, say the two MPs. Gay Pride demonstrations in Latvia and Poland havebeen met with fierce and sometimes violent counter-demonstrations over thepast years.


The Science of Gaydar By David France New York Magazine:
June 25, 2007

Some scientists believe gay men and lesbians share a number ofbiological characteristics, including the length of fingers, densityof fingerprint ridges, direction of hair whorl and other traits.

If sexual orientation is biological, are the traits that make peopleseem gay innate, too? The new research on everything from voice pitch to hair whorl.

As a presence in the world-a body hanging from a subway strap orpressed into an elevator, a figure crossing the street-I am neithermarkedly masculine nor notably effeminate. Nor am I typicallyperceived as androgynous, not in my uniform of Diesels and boots, noteven when I was younger and favored dangling earrings and bright JackPurcells. But most people immediately read me (correctly) as gay. Ittakes only a glance to make my truth obvious. I know this fromstrangers who find gay people offensive enough to elicit a remark-catcalls from cab windows, to use a recent example-as well as fromcountless casual social engagements in which people easily assume myorientation, no sensitive gaydar necessary. I'm not so much out-of-the-closet as "self-evident," to use Quentin Crisp's phrase, althoughbeing of a younger generation, I can't subscribe to his belief thatit is a kind of disfigurement requiring lavender hair rinse.


From Donald Cavanaugh


When Exxon and Mobil merged, forming the largest corporation in theworld, the Exxon senior management canceled partner benefits for Mobil LGBTemployees, becoming the first, and so far only, US corporation to cancelbenefits. HRC and other organizations mounted campaigns to try to persuadethem to reconsider but they held fast.

I have been conducting a personal boycott since then but a boycott ofone is hardly noticeable to a company like ExxonMobil. So I decided thatevery time I buy gasoline I am going to send an email to the CEO ofExxonMobile - - and tell him that I didn't buyany of his products. Below are the two messages I have sent so far. Emailhas not come back so I'm assuming it's getting at least to a secretary. Ifound the ExxonMobil address scheme on a website with several of theirexecutives' names and addresses.

Won't you join me? Boycott ExxonMobil products and let them know thatyou are doing so. It takes but a few seconds to write one of these notes.Once a week or so should be fine. If you don't buy gasoline tell them youdidn't buy a bag of pretzels from their food mart.

The subject line is: "I didn't buy your products today"

Dear Sir:

Today I passed two Mobil stations and although I needed gasoline, Ididn't purchase it from you because of your wretched record on human rightsfor your lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.


Donald Cavanaugh

Lake Worth, FL



Reminder from: TheDolphinDemocrats Yahoo! Group

Title: The 8th Annual Stonewall Street Festival and Parade

Date: Sunday June 24, 2007
Time: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Next reminder: The next reminder for this event will be sent in 2 days, 4minutes.
Location: Downtown Wilton Manors
City State Zip: Wilton Manors, Florida
Notes: This year's event, "Pride Island" will be held onSunday, June 24th , 2007 in downtown Wilton Manors. The parade kicks off at11 a.m. with the festival following until 6 p.m.


National Gay News

Smells Like Gay Spirit
By William Butte

There's something new in the air this year, mingling with theangst about Iraq and the schadenfreude about Paris Hilton's jail stint. Ifirst noticed it when now-fired Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washingtonsingle-handedly changed the word "faggot" to "the new f-word" amongmainstream media, after using it to slur gay costar T. R. Knight, thendenying using the word while using it again, only to admit later on that theinitial incident did occur.

So now, in the midst of Gay Pride Month, I'm not surprised bythis breath of fresh air: Just released figures from Gallup's annual Valuesand Beliefs survey, conducted last month, reveal increasing publicacceptance of homosexuality.

Since the 2003 Supreme Court decision that struck down existingsodomy laws as unconstitutional, Gallup's annual surveys had found lowersupport for gay rights than before the ruling.

However, the latest survey, conducted last month, found that 59percent of Americans believe homosexual relations should be legal; that'ssimilar to the 60 percent who believed so a month before the Supremes'decision, and up from 46 percent who believed so a month after the ruling.

The figure also tracks the 57 percent who answered affirmativelywhen asked if they felt "that homosexuality should be considered anacceptable lifestyle," the highest percentage of affirmation Gallup has everrecorded for this question, which showed a majority of men and women, 53percent and 61 percent respectively, answering affirmatively, as well as awhopping 75 percent of those between 18 and 34 years old.

(Note to Gallup: people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual ortransgender live lives, not a "lifestyle.")

Why are public attitudes toward homosexuality changing? Thereasons can be found in a recently published Pew poll, which showed that 4in 10 Americans, as well as about half of all women, young people, collegegraduates, mainline Protestants and political liberals said they have closefriends or relatives who are gay. The figures include 59 percent of liberalDemocrats and 33 percent of conservative Republicans. The poll also revealedthat people who know gay people overwhelmingly support gay civil rights.


National Gay News

Governor Quietly Appoints Gays

You won't find gay-marriage vetoer Governor ArnoldSchwarzenegger in any Pride parades. At some Prides you won't even see theRepublican governor's Pride letter, due to his ongoing stance againstsigning a marriage equality bill.

But that doesn't mean the Governator hasn't made some decisionsworthy of praise this Pride season. In fact, Schwarzenegger in recent monthshas quietly appointed gays and lesbians to state boards, commissions, andadministration-level posts.



National Gay News,0,7785417,print.story?coll=sfla-news-nationworld

People: Isaiah Washington says 'They fired the wrong guy' staff & wires
June 22, 2007, 10:56 AM EDT

Isaiah Washington, fired this month from "Grey's Anatomy" following thefirestorm he started with a homophobic invective, hit back at the networkThursday.

"They fired the wrong guy," the 43-year-old actor said in an interview withthe Houston Chronicle.

He blames former cast mate T.R. Knight for stoking the scandal that led himto lose his role in the ABC hit. Knight is the one who should have been letgo, he told the newspaper.

"I have to clear my name," said Washington. "I'll start from the beginning.
I'm telling everything. So here's the truth."

Washington, who said he is considering a lawsuit, accused Knight ofexploiting the controversy in order to get a salary increase and to enhancehis role.



Conservative Wyoming Surgeon Named Senator
Associated Press Writer
June 22, 2007, 2:29 PM EDT

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Republican John Barrasso, a surgeon and conservativeWyoming legislator, was named as the country's newest U.S. senator Friday toreplace the late Craig Thomas.

The temporary appointment, announced by Wyoming's governor, is immediate butwon't change the Senate's party breakdown since Thomas was also aRepublican. He died June 4 while being treated for leukemia.

Barrasso, 54, will serve in Thomas' place until the beginning of 2009. Hesaid on his application that he also intends to then run in a November 2008special election to serve out the remainder of Thomas' term, which ends in2013.

Barrasso also left no doubt that he will be a conservative voice inWashington.

"I believe in limited government, lower taxes, less spending, traditionalfamily values, local control and a strong national defense," the orthopedicsurgeon and state senator from Casper wrote in his application.


Obama to Speak on Religion, Policy
AP Religion Writer
June 22, 2007, 2:08 PM EDT

In the constellation of Protestant churches, the United Church of Christ isfar from the biggest, wealthiest or best-known.

But Democrat Barack Obama is making time in his presidential campaignSaturday to address the denomination he joined two decades ago in Chicago,hoping his presence will signal to a broader audience of churchgoingAmericans that he's truly one of them.

"If he's a nominee, he's going to have to reach out to people of faithsomehow and he has to do that in a way that doesn't alienate the secular,liberal crowd," said Laura Olson, a Clemson University professor whospecializes in religion and politics. "If people can say, 'Here's what Obamasaid to the UCC,' and quote from that down the road, that could help him winover people from moderate to progressive faith."

There's no question that he'll get a rousing welcome at the national meetingin Hartford, Conn. -- and not just because he's the best-known face in thedenomination.

The church, with about 1.2 million members, is considered the most liberalof the mainline Protestant groups. In 1972, the UCC was the first to ordainan openly gay man. And two years ago, the church endorsed same-sex marriage,the largest Christian denomination to do so.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Jun. 22, 2007
Canadian Anglicans voting on gay couples

Canada's Anglicans are debating whether to allow their churches to bless gaycouples at a time when divisions over the Bible and homosexuality aretearing at the world Anglican fellowship.

The Anglican Church of Canada is scheduled to vote in its national meetingSaturday whether to allow priests to bless same-sex unions - a step short ofperforming gay marriage, which is legal in Canada. Before that vote,delegates will choose a new leader on Friday from a field of fourcandidates, including a woman, who could become the first female elected tolead the Canadian church.

The world Anglican Communion is already in an uproar over the U.S. EpiscopalChurch's 2003 consecration of the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinsonof New Hampshire.

The Episcopal Church is the Anglican body in the United States. Anglicanleaders have given the U.S. denomination until Sept. 30 to unequivocallypledge not to consecrate another openly gay bishop or authorize officialprayers for same-sex couples. If Episcopalians fail to agree to the demands,they risk losing their full membership in the communion.

Separately, the Anglican Church of Canada came under fire in 2002, afterBishop Michael Ingham of the Diocese of New Westminster in British Columbiaallowed parishes in his region to bless gay couples. In 2004, the Diocese ofNiagara voted to follow suit, but its bishop has barred the ceremonies fornow.


Gay Peoples Chronicle

June 22, 2007
Strickland is first governor to speak at HRC dinner
by Kaizaad Kotwal

Columbus--Twenty-four years ago, the first Columbus Human Rights Campaigndinner was held in the reception room of the Americana apartments with 100guests raising a then-phenomenal $6,000. Since then, the HRC dinner inColumbus has become bigger with every ensuing year.

This year's dinner raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, with over 600people in the Hyatt Regency ballroom--including Gov. Ted Strickland.

Strickland is the first sitting Ohio governor to attend and address thedinner. He was strongly supported in his election last November by the LGBTcommunity. Last month he signed an executive order protecting stateemployees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or genderidentity. The action reestablished protections that had been in place untilformer governor Bob Taft eliminated them in 1999.

In addition to Strickland, speakers at the June 16 event included ColumbusMayor Michael Coleman and HRC President Joe Solmonese.


Plugged-in: Wal-Mart shuns gay groups
World's largest retailer stops donating to gay-rights organizations.
Fortune's Marc Gunther reports.
By Marc Gunther, Fortune senior writer
June 22 2007: 11:52 AM EDT

NEW YORK (FORTUNE) -- Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has decided tocurb its support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT)organizations after conservative Christian groups threatened a boycott, andafter some of its own employees expressed disapproval.

The move comes a year after Wal-Mart (Charts, Fortune 500) had put on agay-friendly smile. The company joined the National Gay and Lesbian Chamberof Commerce. It sponsored the annual convention of Out & Equal, a group thatpromotes gay rights in the workplace, and sold gay-themed jewelry in stores.

Jury awards $2M to ex-Wal-Mart worker

"We are not currently planning corporate-level contributions to GLBTgroups," said Mona Williams, the company's senior vice president ofcorporate communications. Individual stores can still donate to gay groups.

By way of explanation, Ms. Williams cited a policy adopted last fall sayingthat Wal-Mart would not make corporate contributions "to support or opposehighly controversial issues" unless they directly relate to the company'sability to serve its customers.

How significant is the pullback? Williams says it does not signal any lesssupport for its GLBT employees or for Wal-Mart Pride, a network of gayemployees at the company. She's an executive sponsor of the group, which wassanctioned in 2005. "We certainly don't feel that it's a retrenchment," shesaid.


Calif. Supreme Court Wants Answers On Gay Marriage
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: June 21, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(San Francisco, California) The California Supreme Court has asked bothsides in a lawsuit over same-sex marriage for more information on theirpositions.

The justices on Wednesday asked lawyers for gay and lesbian couples seekingthe right to marry and the state which wants to maintain the status quo toanswer three questions the court felt were unanswered in briefs submittedearlier this year.

First, the court asked for a detailed description of the differences betweenthe legal rights accorded by domestic partnerships and those of marriageunder California law. California has one of the nation's most inclusivedomestic partner laws providing many of the rights of marriage, but not all.

The second question asked for the lawyers' positions on what marriagerights, if any are enshrined in California's constitution. The question isimportant because only a constitutional amendment could alter those - notthe legislature nor a voter initiative.

That question led to the third, involving Proposition 22, an initiativepassed by voters in 2000. "Do the terms 'marriage' or 'marry' themselveshave constitutional significance under the California constitution," thecourt asked.



Elizabeth Edwards scheduled to speak at Gay Pride event
Presidential race hopeful's wife seen as breaking barrier

Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writer

Friday, June 22, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards' scheduled appearance Sunday at a major San Francisco GayPride event represents a first for a major presidential candidate orspouse -- one that activists said reflects the growing clout of gay andlesbians as voters and their continued move into the political mainstream.

Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards,is scheduled to speak Sunday morning at the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian GayBisexual and Transgender Democratic Club breakfast at the Sir Francis DrakeHotel. Organizers say it marks the highest level of presidential campaigningat the annual Gay Pride Parade.

"It certainly is another barrier falling,'' said author and gay activistDavid Mixner, a Clinton administration adviser who backs Edwards in the 2008race.

"There's been a taboo on any (candidate)-related Gay Pride events,'' hesaid, with major presidential hopefuls steering away because the event hasbeen viewed largely in the mainstream media as a no-holds-barred celebrationof the gay lifestyle.

But Mixner -- whom Newsweek once called "the most powerful gay man inAmerica'' -- said Democratic politicians particularly are realizing that"just like straights at Mardi Gras, there's a wide range of differentevents, from picnics and political clubs to the parade,'' many of themfamily-oriented and many stocked with potential voters.

"The myth of what Pride is will be exploded ... and that taboo will now beremoved,'' he said. "And I can't think of a better person to do it thanElizabeth Edwards. She won't let people tell her where she can go and whoshe can talk to.''


Canadian Gay Travel Market $9.4 Billion Annually
83% of gay Canadians believe Canada "goes out of its way" for gay travelers

TORONTO, June 22 /CNW/ - The Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce announced today the findings of Canada's first lesbian, gay, bisexual,trans-identified (LGBT) travel study showing a market size of $9.4 billionannually. An estimated market of 1.8 million gay, bisexual, lesbian andtransgender travelers spent on average $1,166 per trip last year. The studydetermined the size of the Canadian gay travel market at $5.4 billion inCanada; $2.4 billion traveling in the US and $1.7 billion elsewhere. The study also found that 83% of gay travelers believe Canada to be aplace that goes out of its way to welcome gay travelers. Canada was rankedhighly along with Netherlands, Australia, Great Britain and France.

The study, conducted by the Bay Charles Consulting Company, surveyedCanadian LGBT travelers through early 2007. When compared to the generaltravel market the following was found:

2007 Gay Pride Parade and Festival

San Francisco celebrates diversity with the 37th annual Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual, Transgender Pride Parade & Festival this weekend. Dozens ofpride-related events take place throughout the Bay Area during the week toentertain the thousands of celebrants making the pilgramage to SanFrancisco, but the big weekend party at Civic Center Plaza has been known todraw crowds estimated in the hundreds of thousands.

The Civic Center will welcome a wide variety of entertainment to multiplestages featuring everything from political speakers to live bands to avariety of DJ areas. This year's performance areas include the Trans Stage(focusing on transgender entertainers), the Soul of Pride African AmericanStage, the Asian and Pacific Islander Stage (headlined by American Idolfinalist Jasmine Trias) and the Homo Hip Hop Stage. In addition to the manylive acts performing, there will be no less than eight different soundsystems pumping everything from house and techno to swing and country music.

Sunday's action begins with the Pride Parade up Market Street from DavisStreet to the Civic Center. Traditional parade leaders, the SF Women'sMotorcycle Contingent (aka Dykes on Bikes), kicks things off at 10:30 a.m. Acavalcade of over two hundred organized groups of marchers and floats willfollow, taking the festivities into the afternoon. The Sunday crowd will gettreated to main stage performances by pop vocal group Exposé, R&B and discodiva Linda Clifford, and a healthy contingent of local rock band includingScissors for Lefty, Pansy Division and Sistas in the Pit.

Celebrity Grand Marshals this year include members of the cast of the Logotelevision network hit 'Noah's Arc,' decorated Iraq war veteran and vocalactivist against the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy EricAlva, and local film critic and SF fashion institution Jan Wahl will bejoined by honorees like Lifetime Achievement Grand Marshal Pat Norman, whois being recognized for her contributions to public health.

Though the Civic Center festivities are definitely the main event of theweekend, there's also the more politically minded Dyke March at Delores Parkin the Mission Saturday starting at 3 p.m. with live music and speakers (theactual march is at 7 p.m.). And don't forget the Pink Saturday, the annualCastro Street dance party hosted by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence withDJs and bands from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information, please visit theofficial SF Pride Web Site.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List>

For Immediate Release
June 21, 2007

Theo LeCompte, (202) 682.1611

Gay Rights Panel to Highlight 2007 National Student Conference

Washington, D.C. - Young activists have been working to make schools, faithcommunities, workplaces, government and society at large more accepting ofqueer individuals and more open to their full public participation. RobAnderson, a blogger from The Washington Post, will moderate a paneldiscussion of queer activists and journalists at the 2007 Campus ProgressNational Student Conference on Tuesday, June 26, 2007. Panelists willdiscuss how young progressives are transforming institutions to honor thefull spectrum of gender and sexual identities, and how to make the largerprogressive movement more responsive to the concerns of the queer community.

The Conference, themed "Our Time is Now," will bring together 1000 studentsfrom all 50 states and over 275 universities. It will feature major speechesfrom a diverse group of notable speakers, including Keynote Nancy Pelosi,panel discussions and skill seminars, and networking opportunities forattendees.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Our Mindless Judges - NY App Div, 2nd Department
by New York Law School Professor Arthur S. Leonard, Leonard Link, June 15,
2007 in Legal Issues

Here's the issue. Is it defamatory to falsely imply that somebody is gay?That is to say, if you falsely imply, in print, that a person is gay, shouldthe law assume that this is damaging to their reputation in the community?

The traditional answer of the common law to that question has been yes, onthe ground that homosexuality is associated with criminal acts -- sodomy --and thus has unsavory connotations. In addition, of course, it was longbelieved by many that homosexuality represents moral perversion, withcertain homosexual acts labelled as capital offenses in the Biblical book ofDeuteronomy, or -- a popular theory in some quarters during the 20th century-- that homosexuality was the product of mental illness or defect (a popularview enacted into statutory law by Congress in the 1950s by includinghomosexuality -- or, as they called it "psychopathic personality" or "sexualdeviation" -- among the medical grounds for exclusion of potentialimmigrants from the United States, a ban repealed in 1990). Put togetherall the social stereotypes about homosexuals, the religious condemnations,the criminal injunctions, etc., and common law judges figured that callingsomebody gay would naturally tend to damage their reputation, and thus --following common law rules -- should be considered defamatory "per se" whendone in writing as actionable libel. (Non-written statements weretraditionally governed by a separate body of law - the law of slander -although during the 20th century many common law courts began to blur thedistinctions between the two.)

OK - so how should common law courts react today in light of theaccomplishments of the movement for LGBT rights over the past 40-50 years?In New York State, for example, the sodomy law was declared unconstitutionalas applied to consenting adults in 1980, and has since been repealed.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

U.S. circumcision rate plummets
Planet Out, Tuesday, June 19, 2007 / 11:37 AM

SUMMARY: In 2004, the last year with good statistics, only 57 percent of allboys born in U.S. hospitals were circumcised, down from 90 percent in the1970s.

On the eighth day of her son's life, Julia Query welcomed friends and familyto celebrate his birth and honor their Jewish heritage.

But there was no crying, no scalpel, no blood, no mohel, the person whotraditionally performs Jewish ritual circumcisions.

In fact, Elijah Rose's bris differed markedly from the ceremony long used toinitiate Jewish boys into a covenant with God: There was no circumcision.

"I knew before I was even pregnant that I would not circumcise," said Query,39, a San Francisco filmmaker whose son was born in 2002.

It's not like you're just cutting a piece of paper off a pad -- there's no'cut here' line. It's not made to be cut off, and I would never, ever dothat to my baby."

Query is among a growing number of American parents refusing circumcision,in which the foreskin is removed from the penis.

According to data from the National Health and Social Life Survey, the U.S.circumcision rate peaked at nearly 90 percent in the early 1960s but begandropping in the 1970s. By 2004, the most recent year for which governmentfigures are available, about 57 percent of all male newborns delivered inhospitals were circumcised. In some states, the rate is well below 50percent.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Media Release
Thursday June 21st, 2007

"Ordinary Australians have opened their hearts to the needs and aspirationsof same-sex couples in a way our national leaders have yet to do" -Australian Coalition for Equality spokesperson, Rodney Croome.

Gay advocates have welcomed poll results showing Australians stronglysupport legal equality for same-sex couples.

Australian Coalition for Equality spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said that theGalaxy poll of 1100 Australians, commissioned by progressive politicalcampaign group, Get Up!, highlights how out of touch both major parties arewith community opinion in the lead up to the national election later thisyear.

"These polls show that ordinary Australians have opened their hearts to theneeds and aspirations of same-sex couples in a way our national leaders haveyet to do", Mr Croome said.

"In the light of these results, only a foolhardy politician would continueto oppose, ignore or delay legal equality for same-sex couples."

The Get Up! poll shows 71% support for full spousal entitlements forunmarried or de facto same-sex couples, and, 57% support for same-sexmarriage, the first time polls have returned majority support for thatissue.

The public's thumbs up to same-sex couple spousal rights comes ahead of areport on the issue by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission(HREOC) expected to be tabled in the Australian Parliament this afternoon.

Mr Croome said the polls will make it more likely politicians take notice ofthe HREOC report's predicted recommendation that same-sex de facto couplesare given equal spousal entitlements.


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Exhibit Examines History of Gay Veterans
The Associated Press
Thursday, June 21, 2007; 3:51 AM

SAN FRANCISCO -- The airman's dress blues are faded, the footlocker hecarried through three tours in Vietnam has gone to rust. Yet the epitaph hechose to mark his grave is still as fresh as today's headlines: "When I wasin the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge forloving one."

Leonard Matlovich's medals, uniform and other personal effects make up thecenterpiece of "Out Ranks," a new exhibit that documents the torturedrelationship between gay troops and the U.S. military from World War II tothe present.

Matlovich, who died in 1988, was a decorated Air Force sergeant who came outto his commanding officer a month before the fall of Saigon, hoping tochallenge the government's ban on gay service members. In 1975, the idea ofan openly gay combat veteran was incongruous enough to land him on the coverof Time magazine.

The goal of the show is to illustrate that gays have always served theircountry, often with honor and always under the threat of dishonorabledischarge. It opened at the GLBT Historical Society on June 14, Flag Day, asmomentum builds in Congress for repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don'tPursue" policy adopted under President Bill Clinton.

"People are afraid of change. This is not a change," said Steve Clark Hall,a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and retired nuclear submarine captain whosestory also is told in the exhibit.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

June 19, 2007

States that have banned gay marriage are beginning to revoke the benefits ofdomestic partners of public employees.

Michigan has gone farthest, prohibiting cities, universities and otherpublic employers from offering benefits to same-sex partners. In all, 27states have passed constitutional amendments defining marriage as thelegally sanctioned union of a man and a woman.

A Michigan court ruled in February that public employers may not offerbenefits to unmarried partners, gay or straight, because of a 2004 amendmentdefining marriage. Government employers there had offered benefits only togay couples.


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Senate Subcommittee Cuts Funds for Abstinence Education
Legislation Contains Critical but Minimal Increase for Ryan White

WASHINGTON -Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor,Health and Human Services, and Education approved a fiscal year 2008appropriations bill that reduces funding for the Community Based AbstinenceEducation (CBAE) programs by $28.5 million.

These programs have been found to routinely teach medically inaccurateinformation about contraception and HIV/AIDS and mandate teaching that sexoutside of a heterosexual marriage "is likely to have harmful psychologicaland physical effects." In April 2007, the Department of Health and HumanServices released a federally funded report conducted by Mathematica PolicyResearch Inc. that found that these programs have no impact, as youth whoparticipated in these programs showed no difference in either the age theyfirst had sex or in the number of partners from those who had notparticipated in an abstinence-only until marriage program.

"We applaud Chairman Harkin and the Subcommittee for listening to theoverwhelming evidence that these programs are ineffective and based onnarrow right wing ideology," said Human Rights Campaign President JoeSolmonese. "We urge the Senate to maintain these funding cuts forabstinence education and instead fund HIV prevention based on science andproven effectiveness."

The bill also provides approximately $31 million in additional funding forthe Ryan White CARE Act, including $25 million for the AIDS Drug AssistanceProgram.


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Firstborns found to have higher intelligence

A study of 240,000 Norwegian men says eldest children have IQs 2 to 3 points
greater than younger siblings'.

By Denise Gellene
Times Staff Writer
June 22, 2007

Wading into an age-old debate, researchers have found that firstbornchildren are smarter than their siblings - and the reason is not genetics,but the way their parents treat them, according to a study published today.

The study of 240,000 Norwegian men in the journal Science found the IQs offirstborns were 2 to 3 points higher than that of younger siblings. (Theaverage IQ is 100.)

Though that may not sound like a lot, experts said even a few IQ pointscould make a big difference over the course of a lifetime - and setfirstborns on a trajectory for success.

UC Berkeley researcher Frank J. Sulloway, who wrote a commentaryaccompanying the study, said 2 to 3 IQ points could translate to an added 20to 30 points on an SAT college entrance exam.

"You go to a certain school, meet a famous professor, and the next thing youknow, you've gone on to medical school, made a great discovery and won theNobel Prize," said Sulloway, who writes about family dynamics andpersonality development.

The research is the latest twist in a phenomenon that scientists have longnoticed but have been at a loss to explain.

Year after year, more Nobel Prizes go to firstborn scientists and authors.Firstborns garner more than their share of National Merit scholarships andfill American colleges in disproportionate numbers.

Theories for the so-called birth-order effect abound: genetics, familyinteractions or socioeconomic factors.


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