Wednesday, June 27, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 27, 2007

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Forwarded from Ron Mills

Elizabeth Edwards Makes Live Call To Ann Coulter on Hardall : I'm Asking You To Stop These Attacks



The New York Times

June 27, 2007
On Education
Film Portrays Stifling of Speech, but One College's Struggle Reflects aNuanced Reality


A new documentary is making the rounds that argues, with vivid examples,that the nation's colleges are squelching freedom of expression and are nolonger free marketplaces of ideas.

The film carries the striking title "Indoctrinate U," and was made by EvanCoyne Maloney, who describes himself as a libertarian and is looking for anational distributor.

The film borrows the technique of ambush interviews from an ideologicalopposite, Michael Moore, and tells how at California Polytechnic StateUniversity, a student underwent a daylong disciplinary hearing for posting aflier publicizing a black speaker whose talk was titled, "It's O.K. to Leavethe Plantation."

A white student at Michigan State University recalls a dressing-down by herprofessor for questioning why her adopted Hispanic brother should benefitfrom racial preferences. Marx, the film contends, is taught, but not AdamSmith.

Does the film offer a fair picture of campus life in 2007, or is it just apastiche of notorious events? One answer might be found here at Vassar,which faced its own dispute over what some called hate speech and others"political correctness," and emerged with its integrity more or less intact.


The New York Times

June 27, 2007
Metro Briefing | New Jersey
Newark: Meetings Promised After Controversy

The Newark schools superintendent, Marion A. Bolden, promised yesterday tomeet regularly with a task force of the city's gay and lesbian leaders,according to the head of a New Jersey gay rights group. The promise comesafter Ms. Bolden ordered a picture of a graduating senior kissing hisboyfriend blacked out of the East Side High School yearbook. After anoutcry, the school district said it would reissue the yearbooks with thepicture unmarked. Steven Goldstein, of Garden State Equality, said Ms.Bolden made the commitment to meet during a phone call that he described as"heartfelt." A spokeswoman for Ms. Bolden's office could not confirm thatcommitment, but said Ms. Bolden met yesterday with Andre Jackson, thestudent whose picture was blacked out. The superintendent also apologized infront of Mr. Jackson's classmates at a graduation rehearsal, the spokeswomansaid. Mr. Jackson could not be reached for comment yesterday.


The New York Times

June 27, 2007
Same-Sex Marriage: Parsing the Arguments (1 Letter)
To the Editor:

Re "A Liberal Explains His Rejection of Same-Sex Marriage," by PeterSteinfels (Beliefs column, June 23):

If there's anything liberal in David Blankenhorn's arguments againstsame-sex marriage, it went right by us. His opposition to same-sex marriagerests upon two familiar conservative notions: the view that interventive"protection" rather than encouragement is the best way to bolster thepresumably threatened institution of marriage (the same foundation on whichconservatives stood decades ago when they opposed racial intermarriage); andthe idea that gay marriage is insufficiently "pro-child" to meritlegitimation.

Significantly, Mr. Blankenhorn does not extend this second argument, whichinsults so many gay parents, to childless heterosexual couples. The basis ofthe discrimination he advocates, in other words, is homosexuality.

"Liberal" Mr. Blankenhorn reassures us that he isn't a bigot and proposes an"interesting new conversation" in which same-sex couples who want to marrycan learn to stop misjudging the people who would deprive us of the legalprotections heterosexuals enjoy.

But the solution to our disenfranchisement is not a more amiableconversation with those who seek to perpetuate it, whatever theirself-justifying pieties.

We call ourselves married, but we're not, legally, and we want to be. We'refans of the Declaration of Independence, the 14th Amendment and Brown v.Board of Education, and we want equal treatment under the law. Mark Harris

Tony Kushner

New York, June 23, 2007


The New York Times

June 27, 2007
New Poll Finds That Young Americans Are Leaning Left

Young Americans are more likely than the general public to favor agovernment-run universal health care insurance system, an open-door policyon immigration and the legalization of gay marriage, according to a New YorkTimes/CBS News/MTV poll. The poll also found that they are more likely tosay the war in Iraq is heading to a successful conclusion.

The poll offers a snapshot of a group whose energy and idealism have alwaysbeen as alluring to politicians as its scattered focus and shiftinginterests have been frustrating. It found that substantially more Americansages 17 to 29 than four years ago are paying attention to the presidentialrace. But they appeared to be really familiar with only two of thecandidates, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, bothDemocrats.

They have continued a long-term drift away from the Republican Party. Andalthough they are just as worried as the general population about theoutlook for the country and think their generation is likely to be worse offthan that of their parents, they retain a belief that their votes can make adifference, the poll found.

More than half of Americans ages 17 to 29 - 54 percent - say they intend tovote for a Democrat for president in 2008. They share with the public atlarge a negative view of President Bush, who has a 28 percent approvalrating with this group, and of the Republican Party. They hold a markedlymore positive view of Democrats than they do of Republicans.

Among this age group, Mr. Bush's job approval rating after the attacks ofSept. 11 was more than 80 percent. Over the course of the next three years,it drifted downward leading into the presidential election of 2004, when 4of 10 young Americans said they approved how Mr. Bush was handling his job.


The New York Times

June 27, 2007
Giuliani Slams Bill Clinton on Terrorism
Filed at 1:54 a.m. ET

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giulianion Tuesday accused former President Clinton of not responding forcefullyenough to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing or later terrorist attacks.

The former New York mayor criticized Democrats, accusing them of weaknessand naivete in dealing with terrorism. Giuliani made the comments to about650 business, corporate and political leaders at Regent University, theconservative Christian college founded by religious broadcaster PatRobertson.

''Islamic terrorists killed more than 500 Americans before Sept. 11. Manypeople think the first attack on America was on Sept. 11, 2001. It was not.It was in 1993,'' said the former New York mayor.

Giuliani argued that Clinton treated the World Trade Center bombing as acriminal act instead of a terrorist attack, calling it ''a big mistake''that emboldened other strikes on the Khobar Towers housing complex in SaudiArabia, in Kenya and Tanzania and later on the USS Cole while docked inYemen in 2000.

''The United States government, then President Clinton, did not respond,''Giuliani said. ''(Osama) bin Laden declared war on us. We didn't hear it.''


Elizabeth Edwards, Ann Coulter Go at It

Elizabeth Edwards, ever her husband's most aggressive defender, called in toMSNBC's "Hardball" yesterday to admonish conservative commentator AnnCoulter for using the "language of hate" to attack John Edwards. ElizabethEdwards asked Coulter -- who has compared the former senator to a gay manand has mused about his death in a terrorist attack -- to stop usingpersonal attacks as part of her public routine, a request Coulter quicklyrebuffed.

"I think we heard all we need to hear: The wife of a presidential candidateis asking me to stop speaking. No," Coulter snapped. She went on to accusethe former senator of using a "shyster Las Vegas routine in front of juries"in medical malpractice cases against doctors.

The exchange brought an uncomfortable silence to the crowd gathered on theoutdoor set at Rockefeller Plaza. Host Chris Matthews finally intervened,asking Elizabeth Edwards to respond.

"That language is hate, and I'm going to ask you again to politely stopusing personal attacks as part of your dialogue," she said.

"Okay, I'll stop writing books," Coulter said.

Elizabeth Edwards responded: "If you can't write them without them, thenthat's fine."

Matthews shifted topics, asking Coulter why she had described Sen. HillaryRodham Clinton's "chubby legs" in a recent book. Coulter said she could notcomment on the passage without seeing it in context.

-- Anne E. Kornblut


Blacks in Fairfax, Montgomery Outdo U.S. Peers in AP

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 27, 2007; A01

Black students in Montgomery and Fairfax high schools are far moresuccessful in Advanced Placement testing than their peers in nine of the 10school systems in the nation with the largest black populations, accordingto a Washington Post analysis.

Participation in the AP program has more than doubled in 10 years. But thissurge in college-preparatory testing has not reached most African Americanstudents, according to a review of 2006 exam results in 30 school systemswith about 5,000 or more black high school students.

Still, black students in both Montgomery and Fairfax counties passed APtests in spring 2006 at the rate of more than eight tests for every 100black students enrolled in the high school grades, the analysis found.

That is far greater than the success rate of African Americans nationwide,who produced about one passing AP test for every 100 students. None of theother school systems studied produced successful AP tests at even half therate of Maryland's and Virginia's largest school systems.

Jerry D. Weast, Montgomery's superintendent, said that the county's blackstudents generated a larger number of passing AP tests last year -- 851exams from 10,326 students -- than any other school system in the nationexcept New York City, although they trail whites and Asians in Montgomery.

AP experts believe Weast, although the claim is difficult to prove, becauseeach system's scores are proprietary. School districts provided their APdata to The Post.


Fort Lauderdale: Author who helped found
June 27, 2007

Author Felice Picano will speak and sign copies of his new book Tales: Froma Distant Planet at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Stonewall Library & Archives,1717 N. Andrews Ave.

Picano is considered one of the founders of modern gay literature. Copies ofhis book will be available for purchase. The event is free and open to thepublic.

Call 954-763-8565.


Interim Broward school chief accepted free trip to Cape Cod from tech vendor
By Jean-Paul Renaud
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 27, 2007

The practice of accepting free national and international trips from vendorsthat do business with the school district reaches the highest administratorof Broward County Public Schools, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has found.

At the top is Interim Superintendent Jim Notter, who in October 2004accepted a free trip to Cape Cod, Mass., from a technology consultant with anew $1.9 million school district contract. The trip included awhale-watching tour.

Notter, who gave a presentation on technology and student achievement, saidhis trip to the CELT Corp. summit seemed appropriate at the time. He wassecond in charge of the school system at the time of the trip.

"Now it brings it into question, which is why we're putting all of thisunder a microscope," he said this week. CELT, a consulting firm thatorganizes the yearly gathering with other technology vendors, was awardedthe Broward contract in April 2004 to draft an assessment of the district'stechnology needs.

Notter this weekend launched a review of the school district's gift policy,after the Sun-Sentinel found that the school system's technology chief,Vijay Sonty, accepted at least 10 free trips from vendors.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Jun. 27, 2007
Judge flags preacher's use of donations

The Miami-based preacher who has basked in international attention sincedeclaring himself the second coming of Jesus Christ has used charitabledonations to his ministry for personal expenses -- paying $144,000 a year inalimony to his first wife and buying property in his and his relatives'names.

Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda disclosed details of the previously secretfinancial workings of his church through sworn testimony last month in anincreasingly nasty divorce from his second wife.

The revelations from the witness stand, which experts say suggest violationsof federal law, prompted a Miami-Dade circuit judge to send a transcript tofederal prosecutors this month with a letter saying he was ''ethicallycompelled'' to bring it to their attention. The U.S. attorney in Miami hasconfirmed opening an investigation.

To add to his earthly tribulations, De Jesus received a letter from the IRSearlier this month informing him that his personal taxes for the past threeyears will be audited, said JoAnn De Jesus, the preacher's daughter andministry's finance manager.

''We're not doing anything wrong,'' said JoAnn, 36. ``My father loves thisministry and would never do anything against it.''


Presidential Candidate John Edwards Visits L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center to Meet
Staff and Tour Center Facilities
Posted on : 2007-06-26 | Author : L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
News Category : PressRelease

LOS ANGELES, June 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Presidential hopeful JohnEdwards-the 2004 Democratic vice presidential candidate and former U.S.senator from North Carolina-visited the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center thismorning to meet with staff and increase his understanding of the diverseneeds of the GLBT community.

Edwards' tour included stops at the Center's pharmacy and Jeffrey GoodmanSpecial Care Clinic, which provides state-of-the-art medical care tohundreds of low-income, HIV-positive Angelenos, and at the Center's 24-bedtransitional living facility for homeless GLBT youth, where he met brieflywith residents.

"We are grateful that Sen. Edwards was eager to learn more about L.A.'s GLBTcommunity and that he chose to see firsthand the important and life- savingwork we do every day at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center," says Center CEOLorri L. Jean.

"Sen. Edwards' visit was particularly meaningful because his long-standingcommitment to fighting poverty throughout our nation relates so closely tomuch of the work we do here at the Center with vulnerable, low-income peoplein Los Angeles who are in desperate need of care and support," Jean adds.

During Edwards' visit, Jean implored the candidate to support marriageequality, saying "most of the problems our clients face are problems causedby a homophobic society. A society that tells us from our youngest days-fromthe moment we have any inklings of such things-that we are wrong, sick, bad,even evil, and that we deserve to be discriminated against. This impactseverything about our health; our mental health, our physical health,substance abuse, homelessness, HIV and more. Political leaders who supportdiscrimination against us give cover for other kinds of anti-gay bigotry. Iam yearning for the day when a viable presidential candidate-a candidatelike you-will have the courage to lead and to clearly and unequivocally saythat my people are also entitled to participate in the promise of America,including the freedom to marry."


June 26, 2007
Assault victims sue police, deputies
They accuse officers of mocking them, failing to protect them
Brian Sharp
Staff writer

Four alleged victims in a suspected bias-motivated assault sued Rochesterpolice and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office on Monday, claiming thatresponding officers showed "deliberate indifference" and mocked them withgay slurs.

The civil rights complaint, filed in U.S. District Court, comes as policecontinue an internal affairs investigation and a separate criminal probeinvolving four suspects in the assault.

Meanwhile, the Sheriff's Office claims it has no stake in the case. "To thebest of my knowledge, nobody from my office responded to the scene thatnight," said spokesman Cpl. John Helfer.

Two separate groups numbering eight people claim to have been beaten by fourassailants shortly after 2 a.m. June 1 on South Goodman Street in the ParkAvenue neighborhood.

The assault suspects allegedly used anti-gay epithets and attacked the twogroups, a mix of gay and straight men and women, punching them, kicking themand striking them with a metal rod.


Carnal Knowledge | What fuels the hatred of homosexuality?
By Faye Flam
Inquirer Staff Writer

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt wants to help liberal types like me understandwhy some people condemn homosexual relationships as immoral.

As an exercise, he says, imagine that a neighbor has installed a sign in herfront yard reading Cable television will destroy society. You ask her toexplain, and she responds: "Cables are an affront to the god thoth. Theyradiate theta waves, which make people sterile."

Now imagine another neighbor, with another sign. This one announces Gaymarriage will destroy society, and she justifies the statement by sayingthat homosexuality is an abomination to God and will undermine marriage.

If you're a liberal, you may view both neighbors as equally out of touchwith reality (though the woman with the theta-wave theory is more original).That's the way most academics would traditionally see it, too.

But Haidt, who works at the University of Virginia and specializes in issuesof morality, says the conservative viewpoint isn't just theta waves - it'sbased on a moral compass that points in dimensions liberals simply don'tperceive.


'Boycott' could cost grocers almost $800K yearly, GLBT says
By Amy Griffith,
June 27, 2007

Leaders of the movement aren't calling it a boycott. Yet.

But last week, members and supporters of Nashville's gay, lesbian, bisexualand trans-gendered (GLBT) community were "urged" to shop at area grocerystores other than Kroger and Harris Teeter, after copies of Out and Aboutnewspaper were pulled from the free distribution racks of those stores.

Participants submitted their receipts, said Chris Sanders of the TennesseeEquality Project on Tuesday, and the total amount spent at Kroger and HarrisTeeter competitors was $15,132.29.

"The grocery market in Nashville is very competitive and everyone shouldwant our business," Sanders said. "The campaign has been a success becausepeople have stood up for themselves."

Sanders believes the results of the receipt campaign indicate an approximateannual impact of the gay and allied community on Nashville's grocery storesof $787,000, calculated by multiplying last week's total by 52 and assumingthat the results reflect typical spending habits. A total of 255 receiptswere submitted, but the number of participants was not tracked, Sanderssaid.


From the Los Angeles Times
New campaign against sexually transmitted diseases
By Mary Engel
Times Staff Writer
June 26, 2007

To combat rising rates of syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea, Los AngelesCounty officials will launch a public health campaign today that uses drinkcoasters, murals, sidewalk chalk art and other unconventional approaches toadvertise the need to get tested.

The bilingual campaign is aimed at gay and bisexual men, African Americanwomen and Latinas, the groups most affected by the increase in sexuallytransmitted diseases, said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the countyDepartment of Public Health.

Syphilis in gay and bisexual men in Los Angeles County increased by 365%between 2001 and 2005, officials said.

In 2005, gay and bisexual men made up more than two-thirds of the county'sroughly 1,200 syphilis cases.

Also in Los Angeles County, 67% of the 30,000 women with chlamydia and 65%of the 5,000 women reported to have gonorrhea were African American orLatinas, officials said.


The Advocate

June 27, 2007
Report reveals consistent LGBT job discrimination

An updated report shows continual evidence of workplace discriminationagainst gays and lesbians, according to the Williams Institute on SexualOrientation Law and Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law.

The report, which is an analysis of over 50 studies, has found that 15% to43% of lesbian, gay, or bisexual individuals polled since the mid 1990sclaim that they have experienced employment discrimination based on sexualorientation. A 1992 survey of studies reports a comparable range: 16% to68%.

Transgender individuals reported similar figures, with 20% to 57% havingfaced employment discrimination based on their gender identity at some pointin their professional careers.

"We can clearly document that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender peopleare vulnerable to discrimination and to its harmful effects on earnings andjobs," coauthor M.V. Lee Badgett said in a press release.

Additional studies surveyed in this report reveal these effects, showingthat gay men earn anywhere from 10% to 32% less than their heterosexualcoworkers. The wage comparison between lesbians and heterosexual women wasless clear across the different studies. However, they do show that lesbiansconsistently earn less than heterosexual or gay men.


The Advocate

June 27, 2007
Clinton, Obama go head-to-head in Chicago fund-raisers

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama bothasked supporters to open their wallets Monday at dueling fund-raisers indowntown Chicago.

Clinton's fund-raiser was planned long before Obama's event was announced.The Obama campaign wouldn't discuss why it scheduled a fund-raiser at thesame time.

Joe Power Jr., a Chicago attorney helping raise money for Clinton, called it''kind of shocking'' that Obama would schedule a rival event.

''Apparently, when they learned about it, they set up a conflictingfund-raiser,'' Power said. ''I wasn't impressed by that.''

In the first three months of the year Obama raised $3.73 million inIllinois, compared with $373,000 for Clinton, according to their reports tothe Federal Election Commission.


The Advocate

June 27, 2007
Despite split over gay rights, Edwards marriage still happy

There's a split in John Edwards's household over same-sex marriage, but hesays his difference of opinion with wife Elizabeth hasn't created anyawkward moments.

''It's not the only thing we disagree about,'' the Democratic presidentialcandidate quipped Monday on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.

''She actually says what she thinks,'' Edwards said.

Elizabeth Edwards kicked off San Francisco's annual gay pride parade Sundayby declaring her support for legalizing same-sex marriage. ''I don't knowwhy someone else's marriage has anything to do with me,'' she said.

The former North Carolina senator, sitting with his wife on Leno's couch,said he was unaware of her position on same-sex marriage and was surprisedto learn about it while reading the newspaper.


The Advocate

June 27, 2007
Edwards denies being aware of wife's support of same-sex marriage

John Edwards appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno last night with wifeElizabeth and, according to the Associated Press, said that he did not knowshe supports same-sex marriage. Indeed, the presidential candidate said, hewas surprised to learn of her position when he read news reports of herremarks just before San Francisco's pride parade on Sunday.

Really? The Edwards campaign deployed Elizabeth Edwards, arguably as much astar now as John himself, to one of the premier gay events of the year, andthe two did not discuss, let alone strategize about, what she would saythere?

Just after kicking off his campaign, John Edwards discussed same-sexmarriage in a joint appearance with his wife on December 31 on ABC's ThisWeek with George Stephanopoulos. Edwards acknowledged that marriage equalityis "the single hardest" issue for him because of his small-town upbringingand that he backs civil unions as a path to providing rights to gay couples.

When Stephanopoulos asked Elizabeth Edwards whether she favors same-sexmarriage, she responded, "Well, it's not particularly important whether Iam, but I guess I come from a more eclectic background and so it's lessproblematic, I think, probably for me."

This Week then ran a clip of John Edwards stumping in New Hampshire: "Mydaughter who is 24 and goes to school in Cambridge-her generation and all ofher friends believe this issue will completely disappear with theirgeneration."


The Advocate

June 27, 2007
Russian Christians "purge" gay cruise waters

More than 200 Orthodox and right-wing Russians, including a fiercely antigaymember of parliament, sailed an icon-bedecked ship down the Moscow River onSunday to "cleanse" the waters after a gay cruise took the same route thenight before, the Interfax news agency reported.

Participants hired a ship and decorated it with church banners, icons,Russian imperial flags and their motto, "We are Russian, God is with us."

"Our great Orthodox capital is in spiritual vacuum and experiencesideological aggression from the West. So our aim was to demonstrate that theRussian people's spiritual and moral ideals are alive and will be soforever," Yury Ageschev, coordinator of the Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods,told Interfax.

He said one of the action's aims was "to purge the Moskva River after alarge group of gays hired a similar ship to have a party going the sameroute last night."

Participants included state Duma member Nikolay Kuryanovich, who in Februaryintroduced federal legislation to recriminalize homosexuality.


The New York Times

June 26, 2007
School Official Apologizes for Removing Photo of Kiss

His high school apologized for blacking him out, but Andre Jackson, agraduating senior whose kissing summoned the censors, remained unsatisfied.

Last week, a picture of Mr. Jackson kissing his boyfriend was deemed"suggestive" by the superintendent of the Newark public schools andredacted, with black marker, from the yearbook of East Side High School.Yesterday, the school district reversed course, and released a statementapologizing to Mr. Jackson and saying the yearbook would be reissued withthe picture unmarked.

"Superintendent Marion A. Bolden personally apologizes to Mr. Jackson andregrets any embarrassment and unwanted attention the matter has brought tohim," read the statement, which was issued by the Newark public schools'general counsel, Perry L. Lattiboudere. "The district takes pride in itsdiverse student population and supports all our students, regardless ofrace, gender, ethnic background or sexual orientation."

Mr. Jackson, 18, said that nobody bothered to call him. "I'm not looking toaccept the apology," he said in a telephone interview yesterday afternoon, afew minutes after he finished his graduation rehearsal. Any apology neededto be personal, and not contained in a press statement, he said. After all,the yearbook incident revived tensions with members of his family he hasquarreled with because he is gay, he said.

"I have yet to speak to the board, the school, anyone," he said.


The Washington Post

Fired Actor Washington, NBC in TV Talks
By Nellie Andreeva
Tuesday, June 26, 2007; 3:54 AM

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Recently axed "Grey's Anatomy" co-starIsaiah Washington has been in preliminary discussions with NBC about a deal,although the talks have stalled, according to people familiar with thesituation.

It was not clear whether NBC was interested in bringing the outspoken actoronto an existing series or casting him in a new project.

Washington alluded to conversations with NBC in his first interview after hewas fired from ABC's hit medical show on June 7 in the wake of reportedanti-gay slurs directed at fellow castmate T.R. Knight.

The actor told Entertainment Weekly that he and his agent "are sortingthrough a ton of offers in both film and TV ... There is one network inparticular that's very interested, but I don't want to say anything specificuntil it's a done deal," the magazine quoted him as saying.

Washington made news during the past week with a couple of chargedinterviews, including one suggesting that Knight should have been firedinstead of him and accusing Knight of milking the homophobic remark incidentto get more screen time and better pay.


The Washington Post

Silver Spring

Student Bullying

Maia Szalavitz's article on school bullying ["A Better Response toRejection," June 19] did not include "sexual bullying," in which one studentattempts to physically or verbally intimidate another by using sexuality asa weapon such as unwanted touching, insulting or teasing -- deliveredface-to-face or electronically.

Traditional bullying involves about 30 percent of students, while sexualharassment happens to 70 to 90 percent of students. And sexual harassmentmay be increasing, especially in middle schools and high schools. Gay,lesbian and bisexual students are the most likely to be sexually bullied.

Bernice Sandler

Senior Scholar, Women's Research and Education Institute


Harriett M. Stonehill


MegaSkills Education Center

Home and School Institute


The Washington Post

Gay Men's Chorus

The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington presented the world premiere of itslatest commission, "This House Shall Stand: Songs of My Family," on Sundayafternoon at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. GMCW Artistic Director JeffBuhrman conceived the work as a way to explore relationships in gay andlesbian families, and the chorus set up an online questionnaire to solicitstories. Composer Robert Seeley and lyricist Robert Espindola then turnedthe stories into a cycle of 13 songs for chorus, soloists and chamberorchestra.

Espindola's texts capture real emotion, despite some grammatical gaffes thatone hopes will be removed before future performances. The stories providedample material for Seeley, whose score for "This House Shall Stand" sitssolidly in the musical-theater tradition, with uncomplicated textures,catchy tunes and sweeping balladry. The resulting work contains some vividand affecting vignettes: "At the Window," for example, pairs a heartbreakingtale of a gay man unable to visit his hospitalized partner with an equallymoving melody.


The Washington Post

Court Backs School On Speech Curbs
A 5-4 Majority Cites Perils of Illegal Drugs In Case of the 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' Banner

By Charles Lane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 26, 2007; A06

The Supreme Court yesterday gave public schools new authority to regulatewhat students say, allowing principals to punish speech or demonstrationsthat may "reasonably be viewed" as promoting illegal drug use.

In its most significant ruling on student speech in almost two decades, thecourt said that the principal of a high school in Juneau, Alaska, did notviolate senior Joseph Frederick's constitutional right to free speech whenshe suspended him for unfurling a banner reading "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" asstudents waited for the Olympic torch relay to pass their school in 2002. Abong is a water pipe commonly used to smoke marijuana.

"Student speech celebrating illegal drug use at a school event, in thepresence of school administrators and teachers . . . poses a particularchallenge for school officials working to protect those entrusted to theircare from the dangers of drug abuse," Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.wrote for a five-justice majority of the court. "The First Amendment does otrequire schools to tolerate at school events student expression thatontributes to those dangers."

Frederick had insisted that the slogan meant nothing specific and that he asnot advocating drug use.

The court recognized students' right to free speech at school in 1969, whent said that an Iowa public school could not ban the wearing of armbands inrotest of the Vietnam War, as long as classes were not disrupted. Since then,the court has limited that right, permitting administrators to ban exuallyexplicit student speech in 1986, and to censor school-sponsored studentpublications in 1988.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,6877126,print.story

In Broward cities, property tax cuts mean higher fees, fewer services
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 26, 2007

Coming soon to your community: fewer services and higher fees?

As a result of sweeping property tax reforms passed by state lawmakers,local officials have three months to figure out how to make up for millionsin lost revenue.

The most vulnerable services appear to be free festivals and park programs.But cuts are not the only way to raise revenue for their 2007-2008 budgets,which go into effect on Oct. 1. Some cities are weighing fee hikes forrecreation programs, roads, utilities and fire-rescue.

Fees are not based on property values and are exempt from the legislativemandate for cities to reduce property tax rates.

"This is not something that can be solved by a garage sale," said IrvRosenbaum, a vice chancellor at Nova Southeastern University in Davie whohas 25 years of city manager experience in Broward. "There is no magic tillhere. There is no one solution. Every city is different and some thingswon't work in some cities but will work in others."


The Sun-Sentinel,0,3849917,print.story?coll=sfla-business-front

Shutters to be replaced because Home Depot products not up to code
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
June 26, 2007

Some South Florida consumers who bought hurricane shutters from local HomeDepot stores last year may be getting free replacements that will betterprotect their homes during storms.

The Atlanta-based retailer and Florida Attorney General Bill McCollumreached an agreement Monday that guarantees new shutters for Miami-Dade andBroward county customers who placed special orders in 2006, thinking theywere buying products that met South Florida's stricter wind-velocitystandards.

The Attorney General's Office, investigating a consumer's complaint,discovered Home Depot had falsely claimed the panels met Miami-Dade'sbuilding code.

Home Depot was putting several hundred thousand dollars into the replacementdeal but was not sure how many customers were involved, the AttorneyGeneral's office said.

Those living outside of Miami-Dade and Broward counties who purchased theshutters will receive a 25 percent refund.

The Attorney General's Office will be contacting all consumers who areeligible for the replacement shutters or the partial refund.


Tuesday, 26 June 2007 05:25
Dan Woog 3,000 Years of Gay Sports Stars

Martina Navratilova. Esera Tuaolo. Dave Kopay. Billy Bean. Billie Jean King.The list is short, but the names are familiar - modern-day, openly gayathletes.

Yet gay sports did not suddenly appear, full blown, in the waning days ofthe 20th century. Less known - but equally important - are athletes likethese: Ana Maria Sagi, Wilhelm Von Homburg, Erik Schinegger, and Joan ofArc.

Joan of Arc?!

Their stories, and those of a dozen other sportsmen and women (read down tofind out how Joan of Arc made the cut) are rivetingly told in The LavenderLocker Room. The recent book by Patricia Nell Warren was awarded the 2007Independent Publisher Gold Medal in the gay/lesbian category, was a finalistfor the Benjamin Franklin Awards, and is the number one gay history title First famed as the author of _The Front Runner_, agroundbreaking 1974 novel about a gay Olympian and his coach, and morerecently as a 70-year-old candidate for the West Hollywood City Council,Warren now plows new ground by traveling old, but unfamiliar, territory.

Patricia Nell WarrenThe Lavender Locker Room began more than four years ago,when Warren visited The website did a great job covering thesports world from a gay perspective, she says, but lacked historicalreferences. She asked site founders Jim Buzinski and Cyd Ziegler if they'dever heard of John Damien, a gay Canadian jockey who sued and - after morethan a decade - won a wrongful dismissal case.

When they said no, she proposed a gay history archive on the site. Fifteenprofiles later, she realized she had a book.


The Advocate

June 26, 2007
Transgender firefighter decides to opt out of Obama dinner

Florida firefighter Jennifer Lasko, who underwent a sex change in 2005, haspulled out of a Barack Obama campaign dinner, fearing her identity will hurtthe presidential hopeful's public image, the New York Daily News Web sitereports.

Lasko signed up to attend a July 10 dinner in Washington, D.C., which wasset to include Obama and four donors, as a Republican-turned-Democrat andArmy veteran. When the Palm Beach Post exposed her past, Lasko decided toremove herself from the event.

"I'm just a citizen who wants to discuss issues. I was foolish to think Icould keep it under wraps," she said in the article. "There are a lot ofclose-minded people who'll make an issue of this."

Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in the article that the Illinois senatorwould "love for her to attend the dinner," which is set up as meeting groundto discuss changes needed in the United States. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

June 26, 2007
Defrocked Lutheran pastor an unlikely hero in Atlanta's gay community

The tattered cloth scraps started arriving at St. John's Lutheran Church inAtlanta, shortly after the Reverend Bradley Schmeling took his stand againstthe church hierarchy, each with an embroidered or drawn message of support.

''God is with you. Make fire in Atlanta,'' reads one of the hundreds ofprayer cloths. ''All love is holy,'' says another.

Schmeling's refusal last year to resign after telling a church bishop he wasin a gay relationship has earned him quite a following.

More than 1,000 supporters joined an online prayer vigil to back Schmelingwhile a disciplinary committee was making its decision to defrock him andorder him to vacate his pulpit by August 15. He's appealing the order.

Since the panel's ruling his congregation's membership has spiked, and hecame in fourth in the election for the region's next Lutheran bishop. Heeven served as a grand marshal for Sunday's annual gay pride parade inAtlanta, one of the nation's largest such festivals.


The Advocate

June 26, 2007
Elizabeth Edwards supports same-sex marriage

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards,kicked off San Francisco's annual gay pride parade Sunday by splitting withher husband over support for legalized same-sex marriage.

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

She made the remark almost offhandedly in answering a question fromreporters after she delivered a standard campaign stump speech during abreakfast hosted by the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, andTransgender Democratic Club, an influential San Francisco politicalorganization. California's presidential primary is February 5, one of theearliest contests in the nation.

She conceded her support puts her at odds with her husband, a former senatorfrom North Carolina who she said supports civil unions for gay couples-butnot same-sex marriages.

''John has been pretty clear about it, that he is very conflicted,'' shesaid. ''He has a deeply held belief against any form of discrimination, but,that's up against his being raised in the 1950s in a rural southern town.''


The Advocate

June 26, 2007
Hate-crime victim to file $50 million lawsuit against CBS

Former CBS News producer Dick Jefferson, who was the victim of a gay-bashingattack in St. Martin last year, was set to file a $50 million sexualorientation discrimination lawsuit against his former employer Monday,according to the law offices of Neil Brickman.

According to the 30-page complaint to be filed with the New York Statesupreme court, Jefferson alleges that CBS executives required him to askpermission before testifying in open court against his attackers and alsoprevented him from contacting Ryan Smith, a coworker at CBS who was alsoinjured in the April 2006 attack on the Caribbean island.

After recuperating from the assault, in which a man attacked Jefferson witha tire wrench, Jefferson claims that CBS News senior vice president LindaMason began issuing a series of orders to control his public comments aboutthe incident. Jefferson says senior CBS News executives had decided that theassault was too "controversial" because of its "sensitive nature."

Jefferson also says that Mason censored a personal e-mail of his to themedia, insisting that he remove the sentence "I certainly did not choose tobe beaten within a millimeter of my life just to be gay" because it was toocontroversial. Jefferson claims that when he questioned Mason's actionsbased on the network's antidiscrimination policies, she retaliated sothoroughly that it eventually led to his termination on November 20, 2006.

"The judge in St. Martin went out of his way to say my attackers-strangers Ididn't even know-were driven by discrimination and contempt for otherpeople, found them guilty, and sentenced them to prison," Jefferson said ina press release. "Turns out my bosses-friends I had known for years-had morecontempt and did more damage. I'm sure a New York jury will be just as wiseas that St. Martin judge."

In response, CBS released a statement to the blog Fishbowl NY, claiming thatJefferson's lawsuit plan is an "unwarranted complaint and [a] regrettablyvicious and unconscionable attack on Ms. Mason's character" while alsotouting the "tens of thousands of dollars paid for by [CBS]" to airliftJefferson out of St. Martin and get him medical treatment. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

June 26, 2007
Congressmen urge State Department to reinstate gay linguists

Two U.S. congressmen have sent letters to Deputy Secretary of State JohnNegroponte, calling for the State Department to act quickly to rehirelanguage-qualified soldiers dismissed from the armed services because theyare gay.

Democrats Tom Lantos, chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,and Gary Ackerman, chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and SouthAsia, referred to the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, under whichthe linguists were discharged, as "one of the most regressive,counterproductive policies we could ever imagine."

"We are writing to urge the Department of State to take a specific step,"they wrote, "the hiring of our unfairly dismissed, language-qualifiedsoldiers-so our nation might salvage something positive from the lamentableresults of this benighted policy."

The congressmen also note that statistics from the Government AccountabilityOffice on the military's ban on openly gay service members show that morethan 300 soldiers with critical foreign language skills, including fluencyin Persian and Arabic, have been dismissed from the military. Now many ofthose gay and lesbian linguists have gone to work for contractors, who selltheir services back to the U.S. government, marking up the price fortaxpayers.

"While we lament our government's anachronistic and short-sighted adherenceto the bigoted 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, we see no reason why ournation's diplomatic mission should suffer for the military's lack of vision.We hope you will agree." (The Advocate)


Price Isn't Right for Rosie

by The Associated Press

Rosie O'Donnell says she's out of the running to replace Bob Barker as hostof "The Price Is Right." O'Donnell, a superfan of the CBS game show, said onher blog Friday that she had a "nice lunch" with the show's producers.

Barker, 83, retired earlier this month after 35 years with the show, whichis filmed in Los Angeles.

Although O'Donnell has said she would love to fill Barker's shoes, the45-year-old comedian has changed her mind.

"Well, here's the thing: I don't really need a job," O'Donnell says in avideo posted Sunday on her Web site. "I'm in a weird position. I don't needthe money."

"So to get my entire family uprooted from their lives and move them acrossthe country so that I can have a fantasy childhood indulgence, you know, job... it just doesn't seem fair."


Gore Vidal Threatens To Sue Over Gay Play
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: June 25, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(New York City) A British play whose main character, a writer, has a sexualattraction to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh has Gore Vidal seeingred.

"Terre Haute," by playwright Edmund White involves the relationship betweena writer named James and a McVeigh-like killer named Harrison.

In one scene, James comes on to Harrison during a prison visit. "If Ithought you'd never know, I'd unzip that orange jumpsuit just a bit so Icould see your chest. Touch it," says James.

Harrison then opens his shirt to show off his torso.

The play, which had its debut on BBC radio recently had a successful stagerun in the UK .


Luntz -- PBS' pick to survey public response after Democratic forum -- waslongtime Giuliani pollster

Republican pollster Frank Luntz, who PBS has announced will provide "publicfeedback" following coverage of the June 28 Democratic presidential forum,has shown open disdain for Democratic priorities and candidates and hasreportedly been reprimanded and censured by his peers for withholding andmisrepresenting polling data and methodology. In addition to leaving outthese facts from its press release announcing Luntz's participation, PBS,which referred to Luntz only as a "noted pollster," made no mention of thefact that Luntz has worked for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, apotential general election opponent of one of the forum's participants, andhas heaped praise on Giuliani this year.

Yesterday Media Matters for America called on PBS and the Tavis Smileyprogram to reconsider their decision to have the discredited Republicanpollster participate in coverage of Thursday's Democratic presidentialcandidates' forum. With his well-documented Republican ties, history ofbeing criticized and reprimanded by his peers and close relationship to oneof the Democrats' potential general election rivals it's clear that Luntzcannot be trusted to provide objective analysis. Short of his removal heshould be identified, at the very least, as a Republican pollster with closeties to Republican Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.

If you need more information please don't hesitate to contact me at yourconvenience.

Karl Frisch
Director of Media Relations
Media Matters for America


From the Hamilton Spectator in Canada

Pakistani Woman Flees Imprisonment by Family
By Sharon Boase
The Hamilton Spectator
(Jun 15, 2007)

Asra has learned the value of freedom as few of us have, by having itstripped away by parents and siblings who insist they know what's best forher.

The 24-year-old Pakistani woman, who moved to Canada with her family at 19,said she was held under virtual house arrest for a year in Mississauga andanother year in Karachi, Pakistan, before fleeing to Steeltown in an escapeworthy of a spy caper.

"For the past three years, I've lived in freedom and there is so muchhappiness that comes with that," Asra told the Second Closet Conferenceyesterday, a gathering that explored abuse within the lesbian, gay, bisexualand transgender communities.

"Dressing the way I want to, loving who I want to, eating what I want andwatching what I like to ... I think people here can take that for granted."

Asra has made her home in Hamilton since 2004. She endured emotional abuseand physical beatings by her father, mother and two brothers before findingthe courage to escape.

She spent a year in Oakville, and then Mississauga, studying journalism atSheridan College, making friends and discovering herself. Then she announcedshe had a part-time job at a juice bar. Her father was furious. Why was hisdaughter not content to be supported by him until she was married? After anunsuccessful bid to run away, Asra was yanked out of college and made avirtual prisoner in her home without phone or Internet.


Contact - Terry DeCarlo
PR & Marketing Manager
Care Resource
305-576-1234 x 210

National HIV Testing Day; Wednesday, June 27, 2007
An estimated 250,000 people in the United States are HIV positive and don'teven know it.

Today there are an estimated 1.039 million to 1.185 million HIV-positiveindividuals living in the United States, the largest number ever accordingto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of these between 252,000and 315,000 do not know they are infected, and thus are suffering from alack of treatment, while at the same time may be unknowingly spreading thevirus. About 225,000 more who do know their status are not getting the carethey need. These numbers will continue to grow unless everyone takesdecisive action against the disease.

According to the CDC, women are accounting for 29% of the estimated HIV/AIDScases diagnosed from 2001 through 2004, among these, African-American andHispanic women account for 82% of diagnoses. Among men, during the same timeperiod, African-American men account for 64% of HIV/AIDS diagnoses andpersons between the ages of 13 and 24 account for 11% of the new cases with38% of these cased being female.

National HIV Testing Day is critical to the fight against HIV/AIDS becauseit presents an opportunity for people nationwide to learn their HIV status,and to gain the knowledge they need to take control of their health andtheir lives. National HIV Testing Day also provides an invaluableopportunity to dispel the myths and stigma associated with HIV testing, andto reach those who have never been tested or who have engaged in high-riskbehavior since their last test.


ArtsUnited Opens Eve McBride's Exhibit Monday July 2nd

ArtsUnited will present the mixed media art work of local artist EveMcBride in a solo exhibit at the Stonewall Library and Archives from July 2through August 3, 2007. The exhibit opens with a reception to meet theartist on Monday, July 2 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. The library is located at1717 N. Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

A native Floridian, Eve McBride has had a love for creating art sincean early age. Sketching, drawing and experimenting with a variety of media,Eve's whimsical art was a source of comfort during a difficult childhood.She began a love of photography at the age of eight, and that love hasdeveloped into a source of inspiration for her art today.

Ms. McBride put her painting on hold to raise a family, but beganeagerly pursuing it again after her children were grown. Eve returned toschool in 1997, and earned two degrees from the Art Institute of FortLauderdale. At the Institute, she learned to put her art on the computer andnow includes digitally rendered art in her repertoire.

Eve's ultimate goal is to own her own shop where she can sell herpaintings, photographs and whimsically painted wood tables while surroundedby creative minds. Her motto is "Every day is fabulous." This optimisticspirit is evident in her work.

The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. Funding forthis art series has been provided in part by Comcast. For more informationabout ArtsUnited, go online to


A Personal Note from Michael Albetta
Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus

My good friend Christine Jennings ran for Congress in 2006. She won herelection in the 13th Congressional District. However, due to a problem withthe "touchscreen machines" in Sarasota County there was an 18,000undervote!!!!!

Christine should be serving in Congress today!!

Here's what Dr. Susan MacManus of USF said about Christine: "No one has hadas much impact on election reform as she has. That, in itself, is quite anaccomplishment." - (Bradenton Herald, 6/21/07)

When she addressed us at our Summer Conference in May in Sarasota, Christinesaid that rather than back down, she chose to fight -- not for herself, butfor the voters of District 13 and the entire nation. As so many national andlocal leaders have recognized, Christine has become a true champion forelection reform.

But Christine can only keep fighting with your help! That's why I'm askingall of my friends and supporters to make a contribution of $250, $100, $25or whatever you can give to her RECOUNT FUND today. Show that you valuedemocracy by giving to Christine's fight TODAY!

Thanks to her fighting spirit here are a few of her accomplishments:

1.. Electronic voting in Florida is dead! Gov. Charlie Crist signedlegislation ending paperless voting in Florida forever.

2.. On June 14th Congress ordered the nonpartisan GovernmentAccountability Office (GAO) to conduct a full investigation into what caused18,000 undervotes in Sarasota County. Once we know what went wrong, we arehopeful that Congress will order a new election.

3.. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein filed the Ballot Integrity Act and wrotea newspaper column calling Christine's case "a warning that must be heeded."Congressman Rush Holt's election reform bill is expected to pass the Houseof Representatives in the next month.


Christine is winning the fight for fair elections, but she needs your helpto continue. Please help by contributing $250, $100 or even $25 as soon aspossible.

Show that you value democracy by giving to Christine's Recount Fund TODAY!Your help is needed to continue this fight!

Thank you -
Michael Albetta


From NDTV in India - June 17, 2007
Pak: TV show host enters political fray
By Yusra Askari
Sunday, June 17, 2007 (Islamabad)

Elections in Pakistan this year promise to be a showdown between the twoexiled former prime ministers and the man in charge President General PervezMusharraf.

However, part of the ever-changing political scenario is Ali Saleem or BegumNawazish Ali, who is an candidate with a difference.

The popular cross-dressing television talk show host earlier this yearannounced his intentions to contest the next general election.

''For as long as I can remember, when I was a child, actually it was mychildhood dream to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan. I remember when Iwas younger, my mother would be on my case saying, Ali you have become adoctor and my dad wanted me to be a lawyer.''

''I became an actor because I wanted to be an actor. I am basically tryingto follow all my childhood dreams. I want to go into politics because I wantto be the PM of Pakistan,'' said Begum Nawazish Ali, TV Show Host.

A nonconformist in conservative Pakistan, Ali's reasons to enter politicsare simple.

''Basically I am an idealist, I have certain beliefs which I hold very, verydear to myself. I think we live in a country where we have so many problems,so many issues.''

''You know at every level we have problems and issues and people areextremely unhappy, and I just want to make people happy. I really want tomake people happy and give back to my country.''

''I feel it is very important to motivate young educated Pakistanis to comeup and take more interest in what happens to their country.''

''It is about my taking this decision and quite honestly it is not aboutwinning or loosing; become Prime Minister or not, becoming an MNA or not,the point is actually to inspire others, to motivate others to startparticipating in deciding their own fate really,'' said Begum Nawazish Ali,TV Show Host.


The Telegraphy - Calcutta India

June 17, 2007
Quite contrary
Increased visibility has not increased tolerance for the gay community

The bride is Manoj Shah, a model. The groom is Amit Pandey, a fashionchoreographer. They have announced that they are going to be married. â?oWewanted to give our relationship a name and pledge our loyalty to eachother,â? says Amit.

The two are worried that they will not have the law on their side. Section377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalises sex between two people of the samegender as an unnatural offence. â?oIf needed, we will move out of thecountry to legalise our relationship,â? says a nervous Amit.

Pawan Dhall of Sathii, an NGO working to prevent AIDS, describes the coupleas brave. â?oA lot of gay couples have had private ceremonies and livetogether as married, but this is the first time that a gay couple is goingpublic about their decision to marry. Law may not recognise it but it cannotstop two consenting adults from living together.â?

The gay community is far more visible in the city, compared to a decade, oreven five years ago. Immediate circles, especially friends, seem to be moretolerant. Amit and Manoj have been open about their relationship withfriends and family. â?oAll my model friends were happy for us, though ourparents donâ?Tt approve. They have not accepted our decision to marry, butare okay with our sexual orientation,â? says Amit.


Catholic School in Spain Backtracks,

Parents No Longer Forced to Accept Pro-Homosexual Course

By Elizabeth O'Brien

MADRID, Spain, June 21, 2007 - Last week (HO), a Madrid-basedrights protection organization, began ranking schools in Spain based ontheir policy on conscientious objection by parents towards a nationalpro-homosexual course, Catholic News Agency Reports. Since then certainschools are beginning to rethink their position regarding the course andthose who object to it.

The controversial Educación para la Ciudadanía (EcP) (Education forCitizenship) Course, was introduced last January by the socialist governmentunder Prime Minister Zapatero. Intended to replace ethics classes, thecompulsory course teaches that abortion, homosexuality and various othersexual behaviors are acceptable above parental objection. It also deniesobjective truth, forming a child's moral sense from an atheistic andmaterialistic perspective.

Despite these facts, the course is being taught in educational centersthroughout all of Catholic Spain, including schools run by religiouscongregations, says CNA. Furthermore, these institutions are violating theright to conscientious objection that is constitutionally sanctioned inSpain.

Since HO began ranking schools, however, certain schools are seriouslyrethinking their position. The most notable case is Our Lady of the PillarSchool in Madrid, one of the centers run by the Marianist organization inSpain. The school corrected its stance on the right of conscientiousobjection by parents the very day that HO publicized the school's ranking.


A note from Donald Cavanaugh:

I just got last week's issue of The Independent and see your calling onreaders to get rid of their Exxon Mobil cards. Please ask them to chop themup and mail the shards to

Rex W. Tillerson

Chairman of the Board


5959 Las Colinas Blvd

Irving, TX 75039

Then tell them to email every time they DON'Tpurchase ExxonMobil products.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Donald E. Wildmon
Founder and Chairman

June 25, 2007

Please help us get this information into the hands of as many people aspossible by forwarding it to your entire email list of family and friends.

Hate Crimes Law: A Real Threat to Your Religious Freedom

Sign our petition to Congress today

Dear Kenneth,

As we reported last week, Congress is considering a "hate crimes" law thatwould authorize enhanced punishments for crimes committed because of variousreasons, including sexual orientation. If the law passes in the near futurethe federal government will be empowered to investigate and punishpolitically incorrect speech and thoughts.

Think it can't happen here? Consider what has happened in Oakland,California, where the following words disseminated through the government'sopen email system and employee bulletin board have been deemed inflammatoryand perhaps even a hate crime: "Marriage is the foundation of the naturalfamily and sustains family values."

Please take a few minutes to read the insightful commentary about theOakland case by columnist George Will titled, "When marriage became a 'hate crime.'"


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Obama Says Some Have 'Hijacked' Faith
The Associated Press
June 23, 2007

Sen. Barack Obama told a church convention Saturday that some right-wingevangelical leaders have exploited and politicized religious beliefs in aneffort to sow division.

'Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring ustogether and faith started being used to drive us apart,' the Democraticpresidential candidate said in a 30-minute speech before the nationalmeeting of the United Church of Christ.

'Faith got hijacked, partly because of the so-called leaders of theChristian Right, all too eager to exploit what divides us,' the Illinoissenator said.

'At every opportunity, they've told evangelical Christians that Democratsdisrespect their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to therest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues likeabortion and gay marriage, school prayer and intelligent design,' accordingto an advance copy of his speech.

'There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that itsnumber one legislative priority was tax cuts for the rich,' Obama said. 'Idon't know what Bible they're reading, but it doesn't jibe with my version.'

A call to the Washington, D.C.-based Christian Coalition of America seekingcomment was not immediately returned Saturday.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Court bars suits over faith-based program
By PETE YOST / The Associated Press
Monday, Jun 25, 2007 - 10:43:38 am CDT

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that ordinary taxpayers cannotchallenge a White House initiative that helps religious charities get ashare of federal money.

The 5-4 decision blocks a lawsuit by a group of atheists and agnosticsagainst eight Bush administration officials including the head of the WhiteHouse Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

The taxpayers' group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation Inc., objected togovernment conferences in which administration officials encourage religiouscharities to apply for federal grants. Taxpayers in the case "set out aparade of horribles that they claim could occur" unless the court stoppedthe Bush administration initiative, wrote Justice Samuel Alito. "Of course,none of these things has happened."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Court allows 'issue ads' close to elections
By MARK SHERMAN / The Associated Press
Monday, Jun 25, 2007 - 10:43:38 am CDT

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court loosened restrictions Monday on corporate-and union-funded television ads that air close to elections, weakening a keyprovision of a landmark campaign finance law.

The court, split 5-4, upheld an appeals court ruling that an anti-abortiongroup should have been allowed to air ads during the final two months beforethe 2004 elections. The law unreasonably limits speech and violates thegroup's First Amendment rights, the court said.

The case involved advertisements that Wisconsin Right to Life was preventedfrom broadcasting. The ads asked voters to contact the state's two senators,Democrats Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, and urge them not to filibusterPresident Bush's judicial nominees.

Feingold, a co-author of the campaign finance law, was up for re-election in2004.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Supreme Court says no to 'Bong Hits for Jesus'
The Associated Press
Published: June 25, 2007
Last Modified: June 25, 2007 at 03:11 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court tightened limits on student speech today,ruling against a high school student and his 14-foot-long "Bong Hits 4Jesus" banner.

Schools may prohibit student expression that can be interpreted asadvocating drug use, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court in a 5-4ruling.

Joseph Frederick unfurled his homemade sign on a winter morning in 2002, asthe Olympic torch made its way through Juneau en route to the WinterOlympics in Salt Lake City.

Frederick said the banner was a nonsensical message that he first saw on asnowboard. He intended the banner to proclaim his right to say anything atall.

His principal, Deborah Morse, said the phrase was a pro-drug message thathad no place at a school-sanctioned event. Frederick denied that he wasadvocating for drug use.

"The message on Frederick's banner is cryptic," Roberts said. "But PrincipalMorse thought the banner would be interpreted by those viewing it aspromoting illegal drug use, and that interpretation is plainly a reasonableone."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Ca. Supreme Court Asks Three Questions in Gay Marriage Case
by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Boston Contributor
Friday Jun 22, 2007

The California Supreme Court has issued an unusual request in its hearing ofa lawsuit for marriage equality: each side has been asked to answer threestraightforward questions.

According to a story posted on yesterday, California's highestcourt posed the questions because the justices felt that the briefs filed byboth sides earlier this year had failed to address several basic points onthe matter.

The first answer the court required from both sides was a specific anddetailed explanation of how California's existing domestic partnershiplaw--one of the most comprehensive in the country--and legal marriage differfrom one another in terms of legal rights for families.

Secondly, the court required lawyers from both sides to offer theirinterpretations of what the California state constitution's provisions mightbe for marriage rights. Whether the constitution implicitly extends legalequality for gay and lesbian couples seeking marriage, or implicitly limitsmarriage to heterosexual couples, the existing constitutional provisionswould have to be followed until and unless an amendment changed the state'sconstitutional provisions for marriage.

From the second question's ramifications, the court also sketched out athird question: "Do the terms 'marriage' or 'marry' themselves haveconstitutional significance under the California constitution?" asked thestate's Supreme Court. If so, and given voter approval of Proposition 22 in2000, then depending on what marriage rights are found to be enshrined inCalifornia's constitution, the answer of whether or not gay and lesbiancouples currently do have legal marriage equality could be settled withoutfurther argument.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Number of Americans who believe Saddam-9/11 tie rises to 41 percent
06/24/2007 @ 3:17 pm
Filed by Josh Catone

A new Newsweek poll out this weekend exposed "gaps" in America's knowledgeof history and current events.

Perhaps most alarmingly, 41% of Americans answered 'Yes' to the question "Doyou think Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq was directly involved in planning,financing, or carrying out the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001?"

That total is actually up 5 points since September 2004.

Further, a majority of people couldn't identify Saudia Arabia as the countryof origin of most of the 9/11 hijackers, even given the question in multiplechoice format. 20% answered Iraq, while 14% believed the hijackers came fromIran.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Democrats Cautious on Gay Rights Issues
But Candidates Have Taken Positions Exceeding Mainstream of a Few Years Ago

By Perry Bacon Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 24, 2007; A04

After Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,publicly declared in March that homosexuality was immoral, gay supporters ofSens. Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York werefurious when neither presidential candidate was very critical of Pace.

They let both campaigns know it, and the next day Clinton and Obama saidthey do not consider homosexuality immoral.

The tentative reactions suggest the caution with which the two leadingDemocratic contenders approach gay rights issues when they are publiclydebated. "The antenna goes up," acknowledges Ethan Geto, an informal adviserto Clinton on gay rights issues. "It's a measure of how volatile gay rightsissues are in national politics."

Yet, however skittish they can sometimes be -- especially on same-sexmarriage -- Democratic candidates as a group have taken stances in the 2008campaign that only a few years ago would have been far out of the party'smainstream.

On two major issues, Clinton has rejected two policies of her husband,former president Bill Clinton: the "don't ask, don't tell" approach to gaypeople in the military and a provision in the Defense of Marriage Act, whichcould prevent the federal government from offering equal benefits tosame-sex couples.

Other Democratic candidates have adopted the same positions and have lookedfor ways for the government to offer gay couples in civil unions the sametax benefits that married men and women receive.

They have also backed adoption rights for gay couples.

These issues highlight one of the starkest differences between the twoparties. While every Democratic candidate wants to overturn the "don't ask,don't tell" policy, no Republican presidential candidate has said he plansto do the same. Several of the GOP candidates opposed a measure recentlyenacted by New Hampshire -- site of the first presidential primary --allowing civil unions, which the Democrats supported.

The one issue that almost all Republican and Democratic contenders -- exceptfor long-shots Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio) and former senator Mike GravelAlaska) -- agree on is same-sex marriage: They're opposed to it. ForDemocrats, this is a particularly tricky issue, given the increasinglypowerful gay constituency within the party. Exit polls in 2004 showed thatonly 4 percent of voters were gay, but 77 percent voted for Democrats.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,1,755688.story?ctrack=2&cset=true

Homosexuality in Lebanon less of a taboo
Amid factional feuds and political instability, a quiet culturaltransformation has begun.
By Raed Rafei, Special to The Times
June 24, 2007

BEIRUT - The Lebanese soldiers at the checkpoint peered through the barbedwire.

Across the street from these men in their fatigues and combat gear, anothergroup of men had arrived - revelers in hip-hugging pants and tight shirts ontheir way to Acid, an openly gay nightclub in east Beirut.

The soldiers barely flinched.

In Lebanon, homosexuality is becoming less of a taboo. It is discussed withmuch greater candor on TV and radio talk shows.

The Arabic word widely used in reference to gays means "pervert." Now manyleading newspapers have begun using a more neutral term.

New gay bars have sprouted, joining mainstays such as Acid, creating aflourishing nightlife that is attracting locals and foreign tourists alike.

"It's not that the political class is more open today," said George Azzi, aprominent gay rights activist. "But authorities, by portraying themselves asthe new guardians of democracy and civil rights, find themselves ratherbound not to attack gays."

The 2005 bombing that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri unleashed apolitical firestorm that led to the ouster of Syrian troops from Lebanon.But with its heady rhetoric about freedom and rights, the so-called CedarRevolution also unwittingly set in motion an unspoken culturaltransformation.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Iran Leads the World in Executing Children
New Executions Highlight Arbitrary Nature of Iranian Justice

(New York, June 20, 2007) - Iran should immediately suspend the use of thedeath penalty for crimes committed by children under age 18, Human RightsWatch said today. Iran is known to have executed at least 17 juvenileoffenders since the beginning of 2004 - eight times more than any othercountry in the world.

Iran's highest judicial authorities have repeatedly upheld death sentenceshanded down to juvenile offenders charged with committing crimes when theywere as young as 15. Such sentences violate Iran's international treatyobligations, which prohibit the death penalty for crimes committed by peopleunder 18. In some cases, the death sentences also violate Iranian domesticlaw requiring that children under 18 be tried before special juvenilecourts.

"Iran holds the deplorable distinction of leading the world in juvenileexecutions, and the authorities should end this practice at once," saidClarisa Bencomo, children's rights researcher on the Middle East at HumanRights Watch. "The Iranian government needs to stop sending children to thegallows and start living up to its international obligations by issuingclear legislation to ban the juvenile death penalty."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

25.06.2007 21:51:28

Russian Activists to Demand EU Travel Ban On Anti-Gay Moscow Mayor

Moscow authorities OK demo

City authorities have given official blessing to a demonstration by humanrights activists outside the European Commission's office in Moscow onWednesday. The demonstration will call for an EU-wide travel ban on theMayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov.

Gay activists are joining forces with other human rights groups to make thedemand following the banning of Moscow Gay Pride last month by Mayor Luzhkovand the ugly scenes outside City Hall when a small group tried to hand-in aletter signed by almost 50 Euro-MPs protesting the ban.

The aim of the demonstration is to "attract attention of the officialrepresentatives of the European Union as well as Europeans to the breachesof human rights by Moscow Mayor as well as to ask the EU authorities to introduce travel ban for Moscow Mayor to enter EU countries," a jointstatement by the organisers says.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gulf between black, gay communities narrowing

There was a time when the only voices the American public heard on theissue of marriage equality in the African-American community were those offire and brimstone, bible-thumping ministers. Today, their vitriol isweakening as more and more African-American elected officials and blackcivil rights organizations are speaking up on our behalf.

And as these voices begin to challenge African-American ministers'fetters on the community and their ownership of civil rights,African-American elected officials and civil rights organizations haveexpanded their outreach not only to their constituencies but also to thelarger cause of American democracy.

"This is likely the greatest civil rights battle of our lifetime. Itis fundamentally wrong to discriminate against gay and lesbian citizens. Itis as wrong to write discrimination into our historic state constitution,"according to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Patrick comes to this knowledge firsthand. Given his ancestors'history of slavery, and also as a beneficiary of the gains from the blackcivil rights movement of the 1960s, Patrick - the first African-Americangovernor of Massachusetts - understands that the American ballot processshould never be used to deny its minority citizens basic rights andliberties.

And with the indefatigable work of Patrick, MassEquality and others,Massachusetts lawmakers rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to bansame-sex marriage by a vote of 45 to 151. It failed to garner the 50 votesneeded to put it on the 2008 ballot, thus allowing LGBTQ citizens tocontinuemarrying across the commonwealth.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

June 22nd, 2007

(Bizarre Camp Leader Justin Lookadoo)

A Group That Repossesses 'Gay Underwear' and Teaches That Gay People Are'Sexually Broken' Has No Place Around 11-Year Old Children, Says TWO

MIAMI BEACH - Truth Wins Out expressed its concern over the launch of a newsummer camp that spreads the dangerous "ex-gay" message to children as youngas eleven years old. The Ignite Student Outreach youth camps will kick-offMonday in Bradenton, Fla., before migrating to three additional southernstates. Exodus International, an organization that teaches gay men to playfootball and repossesses their underwear if they are deemed too gay, willrun the "ex-gay" component of the camp.

"Camp should be about fun and games, not fundamentalist mind games aimed atbrainwashing youth," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen.

"It is deeply troubling that conservatives who would never take theirchildren to an R-rated movie, will enroll their kids in a summer camp thatis fixated on homosexuality. Even more disturbing is that this camp willpoison the minds of impressionable young children with outdated stereotypes,faulty science and distortions about gay life."

The first camp will take place in Bradenton, FL, June 25-29. The second willoccur July 2-6, in Winnsboro, SC. The third camp will happen, July 16-20, inRidgecrest, NC. And the final camp will take place in Norman Park, GA, July30-Aug. 3.

The first camp will take place in Bradenton, FL, June 25-29. The second willoccur July 2-6, in Winnsboro, SC. The third camp will happen, July 16-20, inRidgecrest, NC. And the final camp will take place in Norman Park, GA, July30-Aug. 3.

The camps will feature Exodus President Alan Chambers and Exodus YouthDirector, Scott Davis. On Exodus' television show, Pure Passion, Chambersrepeatedly demeaned gay people by calling them "sexually broken." This isnot the first time Chambers has gratuitously insulted gay people whiledisingenuously claiming he "loved" them.

"One of the many evils this world has to offer is the sin of homosexuality,"Chambers wrote in an Exodus newsletter. "Satan, the enemy is using people tofurther his agenda to destroy the Kingdom of God and as many souls as hecan."

Recently, Chambers told the Los Angeles Times that "ex-gay" therapy isineffective at turning a gay person straight. According to Chambers, "by nomeans would we ever say change can be sudden or complete." Justin Lookadoo,a bizarre camp leader will also be on-hand.

Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization that counters right wingpropaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life.For more information, visit


Study: 'Gay-friendly' cities enjoy more economic prosperity
06/23/2007 @ 1:47 pm
Filed by David Edwards and Josh Catone

Richard Florida, a professor from George Mason University and author of thebook The Rise of the Creative Class argued that the more "gay-friendly" acity is, the more economically prosperous it will be.

In his March 2007 paper "There Goes the Neighborhood," Florida usessomething he calls the "Bohemian-Gay Index" to demonstrate that "artistic,bohemian, and gay populations" have a "substantial effects on housing valuesacross all permutations of the model and across all region sizes." He alsofound that more open and "gay-friendly" areas generally support higherincome levels.

(A PDF of the paper can be read at this link.)

This morning on CNN's In the Money, Florida argued that educated kids aregenerally moving to the most "gay-friendly" cities after graduating fromcollege because those cities tend to have the best job markets


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

What happens to kids raised by gay parents?
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
2007-06-24 00:00:00

Rebecca Meiksin, 22, is white, middle-class, college-educated, with plans toearn a graduate degree in public health.

Terrance McGeorge, 20, is black, has a high-school degree and works in anAmeriCorps service program at Beginning With Books, an early-literacyorganization.

Despite their differences, both of these young people have something incommon with the new grandson of the vice president of the United States, whowas born to Mary Cheney and her partner, Heather Poe, on May 23: They have agay parent.

And both of them believe they have turned out just fine -- in no small waybecause of how they were raised.

"My dad has been my best friend since I was a kid," said McGeorge, a tall,friendly young man who wants to pursue a career in theater and fashion. "Healways encouraged me and was there for me, for whatever it was, graduations,performances, he was there, immediately."

McGeorge, like his father, is gay. That might provoke an "Aha!" moment forthose who warn that children of gays are more likely to adopt their parents'lifestyle, but he says his father had nothing to do with it, except,possibly, providing DNA.

"I've always known I was that way, since I was 3 or 4 years old, when Istarted getting crushes on other boys. My father didn't come out until I was6," he said.

McGeorge's father declined to be interviewed for this story.

Meiksin, born to a single lesbian mother who moved in with a partner whenMeiksin was 12, is heterosexual.

"Um, I'm going to spend the month of June with my boyfriend," she says witha shy laugh. Asked if her lesbian mother encouraged her to follow in herfootsteps, she rolls her eyes.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,1,2497652.story?ctrack=3&cset=true

Documentary looks at gay Iraq veteran turned performer and antiwar activist
By Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
June 25, 2007

"Semper Fi: One Marine's Journey," set for 8:30 tonight on Showtime, is thestory of one man's travels from Alabama to Los Angeles to Iraq and backagain and his turmoil in trying to reconcile his desire to be a Marine withthe fact he's gay.

Actually, it's two stories: Veteran filmmaker Vince DiPersio's documentaryabout Jeff Key is punctuated with scenes from Key's one-man show.

The documentary leans heavily on interviews with friends from Key's twoseemingly contradictory worlds: his Los Angeles friends and his formerMarine Corps buddies.

As he describes it, his upbringing in Alabama was strictly Mayberry. Hiscoming-out to his parents was difficult but not traumatic. After graduatingwith a degree in theater, he fled to Los Angeles and show business.

Fast-forward to 2000, when Key decided to seek a waiver from the MarineCorps to enlist at age 34. He followed "don't ask, don't tell," although itappears his buddies knew of his sexuality.

In Iraq, he shot his own videos, and the images of Key, his fellow Marinesand Iraqis are the high point of "Semper Fi."

But there are problems. At 76 minutes, it could use a trim. No explanationis offered of what Key did for a living before enlisting. Or of why hisfather didn't accompany his mother to his boot camp graduation.

Key suffered a hernia in Iraq and was medically evacuated. Since returningto the U.S., he has left the Marine Corps and joined the antiwar movement.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,0,3733759.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.

Using scenes from his one-man stage play, along with video shot in Iraq andat his boyhood home in Alabama, Jeff Key recounts how he volunteered for theMarines at age 34, completed boot camp with men young enough to be his sons,became a lance corporal and served in Iraq, and then returned homeheartbroken on many levels.

What he endured in Iraq, the politics of the conflict, his realizationconcerning what he describes as the real causes of the war, is compounded bythe way he was treated by his branch of the service once he revealed hissexual orientation.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Orthodox patriots clean Moscow River after gay cruise


On 24 June, Sunday, a ceremonial procession took place on the Moscow River.Nearly 200 members of Russian Orthodox-patriotic organizations went on amotor ship trip with a slogan õWe are Russians ã God with usæ. The motorship was decorated with gonfalons, images of saints, and Royal nationalflags.

A gay cruise (the 2nd in 2007) took place on the same route on theMoscow River the day prior to the Orthodox procession. According to thecoordinator of the Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods Yuri Ageshchev, one of theaims of the action was õto clean the Moscow River from the filth that filledthe river after the trip of a big company of homosexuals that took place onthe same route and on the same motor shipæ.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Carnal Knowledge | What fuels the hatred of homosexuality?
By Faye Flam
Inquirer Staff Writer

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt wants to help liberal types like me understandwhy some people condemn homosexual relationships as immoral.

As an exercise, he says, imagine that a neighbor has installed a sign in herfront yard reading Cable television will destroy society. You ask her toexplain, and she responds: "Cables are an affront to the god thoth. Theyradiate theta waves, which make people sterile."

Now imagine another neighbor, with another sign. This one announces Gaymarriage will destroy society, and she justifies the statement by sayingthat homosexuality is an abomination to God and will undermine marriage.

If you're a liberal, you may view both neighbors as equally out of touchwith reality (though the woman with the theta-wave theory is more original).That's the way most academics would traditionally see it, too.

But Haidt, who works at the University of Virginia and specializes in issuesof morality, says the conservative viewpoint isn't just theta waves - it'sbased on a moral compass that points in dimensions liberals simply don'tperceive.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List,,2111062,00.html

'The teachers joined in on the joke'
Two-thirds of gay pupils say they have been bullied; even more in faithschools. Anna Bawden on a new survey

Anna Bawden
Tuesday June 26, 2007

Simon Watt, 17, has been the victim of homophobic bullying since he was 12."Even before I came out, at school people were always calling me names,because I was effeminate-looking," he says. The bullying got much worseafter he came out at the end of year 9 at West Monmouth school in Pontypool."I couldn't walk down the corridors without being called 'gay boy'," herecalls. "It was really embarrassing and I couldn't really talk about it. Itmade me feel like I was a bit of a wuss."

But despite Simon's suffering, he says the teachers did not help. "Even inclass, people would say: 'Shut up, gay boy', but the teachers wouldn't doanything. When I lost my temper and flared up at them, I would be the onewho got in trouble."

Eventually, he was assaulted in the local park in the presence of fellowpupils. "I was attacked one night by some 19- to 20-year-olds. I had a burstblood vessel in my eye, a black eye and a burst lip. I nearly fractured mycheekbone and they almost ripped my lip piercing out."

According to a report today by Stonewall, Simon's story is all too common.In a survey of 1,145 gay and lesbian secondary school pupils across thecountry, almost two-thirds say they have been victims of homophobicbullying. Most is verbal, but 41% said they had been physically bullied, 17%had received death threats, and 12% had been sexually assaulted.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Oldest City Approves Adult Business Zone Mon Jun 25, 11:50 PM ET

St. Augustine commissioners on Monday passed a proposal that wouldessentially create what some may consider a sort of red-light district.

The proposal designates a three-block area, west of U.S. 1 and north ofstate Road 16, where adult businesses can set up shop.

The nation's oldest city is known for its historic sites and touristattractions. It currently has no strip clubs.

However, the possibility of an adult entertainment business opening hasprompted St. Augustine officials to take some proactive steps.

"Previously, anyone that came in and applied could have been approved for aadult entertainment location anywhere in the city that is commerciallyzoned. We don't think that's appropriate," said Mayor Joe Boles.

The suggested adult entertainment zone is on the city's northern tip.

"I don't want that here. That would upset me. I understand that this is acommercial area but there are still people who live here," said Tina Baugh,who lives in the proposed area.


The Observer,,2109769,00.html

Coming out of the dark ages

For most people the Sixties was a time of sexual awakening andexperimentation. But it wasn't until 1967 that gay and bisexual men couldshare that freedom. On the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation ofhomosexuality, we revisit the appallingly repressive atmosphere of theFifties and Sixties that ruined lives, destroyed reputations and finallysparked a campaign for change

Geraldine Bedell

Forty years ago in Britain, loving the wrong person could make you acriminal. Smiling in the park could lead to arrest and being in the wrongaddress book could cost you a prison sentence. Homosexuality was illegal andhundreds of thousands of men feared being picked up by zealous policewanting easy convictions, often for doing nothing more than looking a bitgay.

At 5.50am on 5 July 1967, a bill to legalise homosexuality limped throughits final stages in the House of Commons. It was a battered old thing and,in many respects, shabby. It didn't come close to equalising the legalstatus of heterosexuals and homosexuals (that would take another 38 years).It didn't stop the arrests: between 1967 and 2003, 30,000 gay and bisexualmen were convicted for behaviour that would not have been a crime had theirpartner been a woman. But it did transform the lives of men like AntonyGrey, who had fought so hard for it, meaning that he and his lifelongpartner no longer felt that every moment of every day they were at risk.


Warsaw, June 23, 2007

Mr. Jaroslaw Kaczynski
Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland

Mr. Ludwik Dorn
Speaker of the Polish Parliament

Mr. Bogdan Borusewicz
Speaker of the Polish Senate

With reference to the memorandum on the observance in Poland of the European Convention on Human Rights, just published by the Council of EuropeCommissioner for Human Rights, we, the undersigned representatives of thePolish LGBT organizations (working for the equal rights of Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual and Transgender persons in Poland) call on the authorities of theRepublic of Poland to implement without delay all the recommendations of thememorandum.

We call on the Polish authorities to undertake without any delaylegislative action that would lead to the equal treatment of LGBT persons intheir access to all the benefits and services offered to the citizens oftheir country, and that would ensure equal rights in every field - not onlyin that of employment.

We call on the Polish authorities to set up without delay a specialized ndindependent institution that would supervise the proper implementation ofthe principle of non-discrimination. Unfortunately the present body ,functioning as a section of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy in theform of the Department of Women, Family and Counteracting Discrimination,does not meet the basic requirements of the EU legal system - it does notensure adequate research and surveying independent of Government control,does not provide independent reports and does not offer effective legalcounseling to victims of discrimination.


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