Monday, June 25, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 25, 2007

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The New York Times

June 25, 2007
The Empire Zone
Personal Victory for Assemblyman on Gay Marriage

ALBANY - His sister Rosie is the celebrity in the family. (You may havecaught her in "A League of Their Own" or on "The View.") But Daniel J. O'Donnell,a Manhattan assemblyman, got his own dose of fame during the climacticAssembly debate last week over a bill seeking to legalize same-sex marriage.

Mr. O'Donnell, the bill's sponsor, who is gay, fielded more than an hour ofquestions from his colleagues, many of them hostile. Then he gave animpassioned and highly personal speech that was by turns comic ("I want alicense that all of you have; some of you have had it two or three times")and poignant ("All gay people, when they realize who they are, live in fear"). His companion, John Banta, stood nearby, and they embraced afterMr. O'Donnell, below, finished the speech.

Not everyone was convinced. Assemblyman Brian M. Kolb, a Republican fromCanandaigua, said he felt personally "threatened" by the legislation;Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Democrat from Brooklyn, suggested including aprovision to legalize incest.

But the bill passed, 85 to 61, making New York only the second state inwhich one or both houses of the legislature have approved same-sex marriagelegislation without being compelled by a court to do so, according to EmpireState Pride Agenda, a gay rights advocacy group. (In the first, California,Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill.)

Though Gov. Eliot Spitzer supports the bill, Senate leaders declined to takeit up. Still, gay rights advocates have hailed the Assembly vote as a hugesymbolic victory.


The New York Times

June 25, 2007
Canada Anglicans Won't Bless Gay Couples

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, June 24 (Reuters) - Bishops of the Anglican Church ofCanada narrowly overruled clergy members and laypeople on Sunday to defeat aproposal to give churches the option of blessing same-sex unions.

The issue has threatened to split both the Canadian church and the worldwideAnglican Communion, a loose federation of national churches around the worldwhose 77 million members do not agree on how the 450-year-old church shouldminister to homosexuals.

The Canadian bishops voted 21 to 19 against giving churches the option ofblessing same-sex unions. Clergy members and the church's laity voted infavor by wider margins, but the proposal had to pass in all three orders tobe adopted.

Earlier on Sunday, the church's general synod, its highest decision-makinggroup, agreed that blessing same-sex unions was not in conflict with coredoctrine, a result that disturbed the conservative wing of the church.

"There's no question there will be considerable disappointment on the partof many, and a lot of pain, and there will be some people who will besaying, 'How long, oh Lord, how long must this conversation continue?' "said Bishop Fred Hiltz, who will be installed as the new primate, or leader,of the 640,000-member Canadian church on Monday. Mr. Hiltz, 53, voted infavor of same-sex blessings.


The Washington Post

Immigration Bill: One More Shot
Monday, June 25, 2007; A02

An immigration overhaul -- the chief domestic initiative of President Bush'ssecond term -- will take center stage a final time this year as the Senatereturns to a bipartisan bill that stalled a few weeks ago. Bush is expectedto discuss the bill on Tuesday.

After five months of negotiations, backers of the bill are confident theycan get the 60 votes necessary to end debate and move toward a final vote.But passage is far from guaranteed.

Both parties will be allowed to submit about a dozen amendments; however, anumber that are being considered may be "poison pills," designed primarilyto kill the bill.

Republicans are focused on skepticism among many of the GOP faithful --aired loudly on talk radio -- that the measure will accomplish anything inthe way of border enforcement. Democrats are concerned about the bill'semphasis on job skills over family ties in deciding who gets residencypriority.

Also on the Senate's schedule are the Employee Free Choice Act, whichbackers say would strengthen union workers' rights, and a defenseauthorization bill. The House will tackle the interior and environmentappropriations bill. Both chambers will leave at week's end for a week-longJuly 4 recess.


Romney Gains Credibility In Early Primary States
Push in Iowa, N.H. Puts Him in Top Tier
By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 25, 2007; A01

BOSTON -- When former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney began airingtelevision ads in a handful of states last winter, his opponents paid littlenotice. Early advertising in presidential campaigns -- particularlycommercials broadcast almost 11 months before the first contests -- seemed aclassic waste of resources.

Four months and more than $4 million later, Romney's ads are still running,and the GOP presidential candidate is reaping the dividends. Although heremains well behind former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sen. JohnMcCain of Arizona in most national polls, his standing in the states thatwill kick off the nominating process has risen dramatically.

In New Hampshire, Romney leads both McCain, who won there in 2000, andGiuliani, who leads virtually all the national polls. In Iowa, hiscampaign's organizational depth recently drove Giuliani and McCain to dropout of an August GOP presidential straw poll -- seen as a trial run for nextyear's first-in-the-nation caucuses -- rather than risk a costly andembarrassing defeat at the hands of their lesser-known rival.

Romney's rise is an instructive story of seizing opportunities, maximizingsmall advantages, attention to detail and a few lucky breaks. The challengehis advisers faced at the beginning of the year was to prove that hebelonged in the same conversation with McCain and Giuliani. Now he has donethat, long before demonstrating any significant national support.

His success in the early states has come despite controversies that have hithis campaign. Most significant have been questions about his shiftingpositions on abortion, gay rights and other issues, and whether theyrepresent a true change of heart or simply an attempt to appeal to theconservative constituencies who will select the next Republican nominee.


The Washington Post

Edwards's Wife Says She Backs Gay Marriage
Associated Press
Monday, June 25, 2007; A13

SAN FRANCISCO, June 24 -- Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of Democraticpresidential hopeful John Edwards, kicked off San Francisco's annual gaypride parade Sunday by splitting with her husband over support for legalizedsame-sex marriage.

"I don't know why someone else's marriage has anything to do with me,"Edwards said at a news conference before the parade. "I'm completelycomfortable with gay marriage."

Edwards made the remark almost offhandedly in answering a question fromreporters. The topic arose after she delivered a standard campaign stumpspeech during a breakfast hosted by the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay BisexualTransgender Democratic Club, an influential San Francisco politicalorganization.

The Edwardses' daughter Cate, a 25-year-old law student, also supportssame-sex marriage.

Elizabeth Edwards conceded that her support puts her at odds with herhusband, a former senator from North Carolina. She said he supports civilunions for same-sex couples, but not marriages.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,1453691,print.story

Stonewall fest draws thousands of gays and lesbians to Wilton Manors
By Anthony Man
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 25, 2007

Wilton Manors -- Like any street festival, there were booths withentrepreneurs hawking everything from hurricane shutters to tarot cardreadings. And just like any other parade, there were police and firevehicles and a patriotic kickoff, with a veterans group presenting thecolors to the strains of the Star Spangled Banner.

The veterans were members of the gay group American Veterans for EqualRights, and the American, Florida and five military service flags wereaccompanied by one more: the rainbow flag, symbolizing gay pride.

The Stonewall Street Festival and Parade drew thousands of gays andlesbians, along with their families and friends, to Wilton Drive on Sunday.Some came to sell their wares to festival goers, others to commemorate theStonewall uprising, which sparked the modern gay rights movement.

Many, like Erica Reid, 30, of Fort Lauderdale, simply wanted to have a goodtime and express pride as gay men and lesbians.

"Because I'm gay. Because we've got to celebrate pride. I'm with my cousin,her girlfriend, my uncle and his husband," she said. "Everyone's togetherhaving a good time and taking pride in being gay."


The Sun-Sentinel,0,3001417,print.story

Showtime details trials of living the lie of 'Don't ask, don't tell'
The Denver Post
June 25, 2007

He hands out treats to adoring Iraqi children and looks like a recruitingadvertisement in his dress blues. He speaks with reverence of his country,his parents, his gratifying time as a small-town kindergarten Sunday schoolteacher.

The handsome Southerner might be the poster child for the all-American guy,except for one thing. After 20 years of living as openly gay, he had tocrawl back into the closet to join the Marines.

Now out and proud, he's telling his story on Showtime.

With the Democrats and Republicans rehashing the tired issue of "Don't ask,don't tell," a feature-length documentary airing this week may win heartsand minds more dramatically than any congressional debate.

Semper Fi: One Marine's Journey premieres tonight on Showtime. A veteran ofthe independent film festival circuit, Semper Fi is one leatherneck's story,a tale of faith, patriotism, duty, family and, incidentally, sexuality.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,6222802.story


The Women of the Junior League of Boca Raton Inc. recently nominated DuaneStiller, president of Woolbright Development Inc., for the 2007 "Men withCaring Hearts" Volunteer Award.

Michael Larkin, a partner in the Miami law firm of Bercow Radell &Fernandez, was named a "Business Person of the Year," by the Miami-Dade Gay& Lesbian Chamber of Commerce during its Sixth Annual Gala Awards Dinner,held Saturday at the Radisson Miami Hotel in honor of his role as a leaderin the Miami Beach business community, and for his contributions and help inorganizing fundraisers for gay advocacy groups.

The Academy of Hospitality & Tourism named Arthur Hertz, chairman and chiefexecutive officer of Wometco Enterprises, owner of Miami Seaquarium,"Tourism Professional of the Year," at the South Florida Tourism AwardsChampion Recognition Luncheon. Hertz was recognized as being one of thefounding fathers of Florida's attractions industry. He is a past vicechairman of the Florida Tourism Commission and past chairman of VisitFlorida.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,5347781,print.story

Maupin has further tales to tell in Michael Tolliver Lives
The Associated Press
June 25, 2007

Stretched out on a sofa next to his Australian shepherd, Sophie, ArmisteadMaupin says he never intended to write another installment of his popularTales of the City series.

But happily for fans worldwide, Maupin's newest book, Michael TolliverLives, revisits many of the same larger-than-life characters that propelledTales from a weekly San Francisco Chronicle column to six books and aShowtime mini-soap opera.

Instead of smoking joints, as these randy hippies did when the series beganin 1976, the aging lefties of Michael Tolliver Lives pop joint and arthritispills. Instead of plotting nightly sexual conquests, as they did astwentysomething singles, many profess shock at the level of promiscuousnesspracticed by today's youth.

The book, which would certainly earn the literary equivalent of an R rating,centers on Michael Tolliver, the endearing Southern gay man who came to SanFrancisco in 1971 and lived at 28 Barbary Lane. Now Michael is in hismid-50s, a mildly arthritic and HIV-positive landscape architect married toBen, a handsome furniture designer and yogi 21 years younger.

Michael first spots Ben on an Internet dating site, and a chance meeting ina coffee shop results in romance. They get hitched over Valentine's Dayweekend in 2004, when the city began granting marriage licenses to same-sexcouples. Except for Ben's weekly forays to bath houses in Berkeley, they'rehomebodies who watch sappy movies and tease each other about their lack ofcooking skills.


Sunday, 24 June 2007 06:47
Norm Kent: Publisher Beware of Straight Men in a Gay World
By Norm Kent

I have decided to dedicate this column on gay pride to those who are not.

From Wilton Manors to West Hollywood, many of us live in a ghetto.

We forget that there are still kids growing up to become adults in placeslike Biloxi and Bismarck.

If you are gay, happy, and proud, walking shirtless today at Stonewall, thiscolumn is not really for you. If you are the happily gay radiologist whoedits these articles part time for the Express while working full time in ahospital, this column is not for you, no sir. You can go to Sidelines orGeorgie's Alibi, and contentedly have a drink with your friends.

This column is for the gentlemen who stare at the drag queens rolling downDuval Street during Fantasy Fest saying to himself: "Why must they act thisway?"


Canadian Anglicans Step Back On Blessing Gay Unions
by The Canadian Press
Posted: June 24, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET, Updated 6:30 pm ET

(Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canadian Anglicans inched closer towards blessing samesex unions, but stopped short of giving priests the power to performceremonies.

The Anglican Church of Canada agreed that same sex blessings do not conflictwith its core doctrine, a decision that paves the way for the practice.

But ultimately, delegates voting Sunday at the General Synod rejected theidea of letting individual dioceses decide whether their priests couldperform blessing ceremonies for same sex couples who were married in civilceremonies.

``So on the one hand, we said it is a matter of doctrine, but not credal,that is, not essential to one's salvation, shall we say. But on the otherhand, the church is not prepared... to proceed immediately with the blessingof same sex unions,'' said Archbishop-elect Fred Hiltz, who will beinstalled as the church's new primate Monday evening.

Supporters and opponents of same sex blessings call the decisions confusing.


North America's Big 4 Celebrate Gay Pride
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: June 22, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

They danced, they gyrated, they flexed and they showed their political clouta the gay communities in New York, Toronto, Chicago and San Franciscomarched to the tune of LGBT liberation on Sunday.

On the sidelines crowds estimated at close to a million watched in New Yorkand Toronto with between 300 and 600 thousand on the streets in Chicago andSan Francisco.

For marchers in New York and San Francisco marriage was on everyone's mind.

Legislation to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry has passed theAssemblies in California and New York, but is unlikely to be enacted ineither state this year.

In New York the Republican-controlled Senate has vowed not to allow the billto come to a vote. The bill has the support of Gov. Eliot Spitzer.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Russia: Supreme Court Changes Gay Orientation
Supreme Court Changes Gay Orientation
// From Russian to European justice

June 23, 2007

Russia's Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the ban on holding the firstgay-parade in Russia in May 2006 imposed by Moscow authorities wasjustified. The Court agreed with the authorities that the gay-parade couldhave been unsafe for its participants and could have provoked massdisorders. Law experts consider the Court's ruling disputable, and theparade's organizers intend to contest it in the European Court of HumanRights.

Organizers of the gay-parade in May 2006 in Moscow, banned by the cityauthorities, received the ruling of the Supreme Court on Friday. The Courtruled the ban was justified, and that the authorities did not violate thelaw because "there was no opportunity to secure safety for the parade'sparticipants and to prevent mass disorders". The Court found the rights ofthe banned parade's organizers were not violated.

The European Convention on Human Rights allows restricting public events ifthey threaten public order and morals. The Moscow authorities banned theparade on the grounds that gays might be attacked by homophobes.

The Strasbourg Court ruled on May 3, 2007, that banning the gay-parade inWarsaw in 2005 was illegal. Warsaw also prohibited the parade due toprotecting the safety of its participants. Yet, the European Court ruled:the minority has the right to express its position, even if the majority isagainst it.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Democrats Pass Provision for Contraceptives in House Foreign Aid Bill
Move Is First Challenge To Antiabortion Riders
By Elizabeth Williamson, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, June 22,
2007; A02

House Democrats narrowly passed a measure yesterday to providecontraceptives to overseas organizations that had been banned from receivingforeign aid because they provided or promoted abortion.

The amendment to an important antiabortion measure in the House foreign aidspending bill was a rebuke to President Bush, who has strictly opposedproviding any assistance to groups that promote abortion. The Reagan-erameasure, known as the Mexico City policy, was fiercely protected by Bush,who has issued two veto threats over the foreign aid bill should Democratsattempt to alter any of the antiabortion measures it contains.

The change to the measure may prove to be the House Democrats' onlysignificant challenge to the antiabortion riders that have been added to arange of annual spending bills by abortion opponents over three decades.

The Mexico City measure is one of more than a dozen provisions banningMedicaid recipients, D.C. public health patients, prison inmates, governmentworkers and even Peace Corps volunteers from getting a federally fundedabortion. And Democrats have appeared cautious about taking on the biggerfight. That was evident even in the debate before yesterday's vote. TheHouse passed the foreign aid bill 241 to 178.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List,,2109821,00.html

What liberation did for us...
Leading gay figures tell their own stories
Sunday June 24, 2007

Stella Duffy
author, 44

There's misplaced joy over how things have changed. I don't see thatthe same thing has happened for lesbians as it has for gay men. We didn'treally get the feminist revolution we hoped for. If you don't have manywomen in Parliament, there won't be many lesbians in Parliament. I'm happyfor Elton and David, but we don't have a lesbian couple of a similar statusand people often forget that gay includes women.

Things are getting better, but my partner and I still wouldn't kiss onthe Tube. I really mind when gay people aren't 'out'. I have Asian friendsand they don't have any choice - the colour of their skin makes them out. Ibelieve we'll change the world and make it better if we're all out. It isvery unfortunate that the ghastliness of the Iraq war has obfuscated some ofthe good things Labour has done, one of those being the Civil PartnershipAct. I certainly never expected that by my forties I would be able to getmarried to my partner in a civil partnership.

David McAlmont
musician, 40

I was born in England but grew up in Guyana, listening to British actslike Boy George and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I saw people like Erasureand Marc Almond strutting their stuff and thought it was OK to be out andproud here. I had been living in South America as a born-again Christianand returned to England in 1987 so that I could be gay. I didn't realisewhat a novelty it was to have a black, gay man in that arena. It wasshocking, some of the questions journalists came up with. Somebody whowanted to sign my first group, Thieves, to their label was surprised todiscover there was such a thing as a black gay man. I'm accustomed tohearing West Indian people say that homosexuality is a white disease, butthere were white people who felt that, too. Ten years ago I went toNorthern Ireland to do a show and it got cancelled. They were about to passpro-gay legislation and there were protests against it, so the last thingthey wanted was a screaming poof on TV.


From Donald Cavanaugh

Note to the President of ExxonMobile

Dear Mr. Tillerson,

I drive a large, inefficient automobile and fill my tank quite often. There is a nearby Mobil station but I prefer to drive an extra three miles to purchase my gasoline at Hess. I know my efforts can't hurt you but I want you to know that I am making them because of your wretched record on human rights for your gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. Shame on you.

Donald Cavanaugh
Lake Worth, FL


The Detroit News
by Deb Price
Gay marriage digs roots, gains momentum

An elderly Massachusetts woman felt her opposition to gay marriage melt away after "this lovely couple" moved in next door with their children.

Her change of heart, recounted by the Boston Globe, happened because she came to see the gay men -- among the nearly 10,000 gay couples who've wed in her state since 2004 -- as the neighbors eager to lend a hand.

"If they can't be married in Massachusetts, they're going to leave -- and then who would help me with my lawn?" she asked, urging her state lawmaker to also change and protect gay couples' right to marry by blocking a referendum designed to abolish that right. That lawmaker did change.

And so did others, leading to a stunning victory for equality: On June 14, opponents of gay marriage failed to clear a very low hurdle. To put the anti-gay measure on the state's 2008 ballot, they needed just 25 percent of the legislature. They fell 5 votes short.

The proposal was crushed, 151-45, after Gov. Deval Patrick weighed in against it. Afterward, he declared, "In Massachusetts today, the freedom to marry is secure." Now, a ban couldn't go to voters until 2012, after five more years of lovely married gay couples mowing elderly neighbors' lawns.

June 2007 is the month gay marriage proved it won't always be a "hot button." Massachusetts demonstrated its comfort.

Just days later, the state Assembly in neighboring New York embraced allowing gays to marry, 85-61.

That was the fourth time a state legislative body has voted to open marriage to gay couples. California has done so three times: Nearly two years ago, the Senate and Assembly passed it, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed. The Assembly passed it again on June 5 by 42-34.

Gay leaders find success has key ingredients: Build a statewide coalition that includes clergy, unions and business. Plus, get gay couples and their allies to describe the pain marriage discrimination causes. Also, a governor's support is hugely helpful. Patrick and New York's Eliot Spitzer both won landslides last November as vocal advocates of gay marriage.



Lavender Writes announces a new fiction writing workshop for gay and lesbian writers.

Short Story and Novel Writing is open to all students, including new and established writers. The course meet online on a weekly basis begininng in June. Free computers are available at the Broward County Libraries forpeople who do not have access to computers at home. Non-gay students are also welcome to participate.

Students will learn about the elements of fiction, write short stories or novel chapters and critique drafts of work for other students, which will provide feedback for students while helping them learn to evaluate and improve their own fiction. This is an interactive class. Students will post drafts of their work and participate in discussions of fiction writing and problems and questions as they arise. A working knowledge of Microsoft Word and the Internet are required. The workshop is free, but attendance is limited to keep class size small. Registration is available at

The course is organized as Yahoo Groups and meets weekly. Assignments and discussions are due once a week, but students can participate at a time and date that is convenient for them. Students will also have opportunities to read their work at Open Mic readings during the year.

This course is part of The Next Generation, a year-long series of free fiction writing workshops and public readings for gay and lesbian writers. This program is a collaborative project of Lavender Writes, the Broward County Libraries Division, Borders Books and Music and author Karen Dale Wolman. Funding for this program is provided in part by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council. Non-gay writers and readers are also welcome to participate. Lavender Writes, Inc., a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, provides service and support to lesbian and gay writers by sponsoring writing workshops, developing public forums for writers to present their work and offering assistance with publication.

Instructor Karen Dale Wolman has taught writing at UCLA, USC, Arizona State, California Institute of the Arts, Nova Southeastern and FAU. Her degrees include a B.A. in Communications and a Master of Professional Writing. Karen's ccolades include awards, honors, grants and fellowships from the Florida State Arts Council, Broward County Cultural Affairs, the University of Southern California, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico and Ibelle Magazine. Her first novel, Rites of First Blood, achieved local Best Seller status two days after its release in Los Angeles, and her second novel, The Ancestor, sold out at the publication party and was designated ecommended reading by a library and a newspaper. Her short stories appear in a dozen newspapers, magazines and anthologies. Her most famous story, "Telling Mom," has been published six times. She is the first literary artist to be awarded funding from Broward's Cultural Affairs for this Arts and Education program. In addition to her teaching and fiction work, she writes grants for nonprofit organizations.


New Cheney Abuses of Power, and the IMPEACHMENT Movement


The descriptions are not ours. In the face of new revelations of thewholesale dismissal of the Constitution by the Vice President Cheney,"Power Grab" was the headline on the ABC News site. "Defiant" was theheadline of the Washington Post. By now you could not have escapedhearing all the stories of the assertion by the vice president'soffice that he is a branch of government unto himself, and notbeholden to any other. And if you have not read the stories, they areall linked in the "Arguments" section of this action page, where youcan also cast your vote on whether Cheney should be impeachedimmediately.



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