Saturday, June 30, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 30, 2007

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The Washington Post

Civil Union Laws Don't Ensure Benefits
Same-Sex N.J. Couples Find That Employers Can Get Around New Rules
By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 30, 2007; A03

When New Jersey became the first state outside liberal New England toapprove same-sex civil unions, Craig Ross and Richard Cash were among thehundreds of couples who hurried to get their licenses. With Cash unemployedand his private health insurance costing $480 a month, the couple hoped thenew law would be their financial white knight -- compelling Ross's employerto give his partner the same spousal benefits as heterosexual marriedcouples.

But more than four months after New Jersey's civil union law went intoeffect, Ross, 46 and Cash, 54, are among the many same-sex couples severelydisillusioned with their prospects for legal equality. Citing federalregulations that allow many employers to effectively ignore state lawsregarding corporate benefits, the Fortune 500 company where Ross has workedas a computer specialist for 21 years denied the couple's request for jointcoverage.

"I feel beaten up and deflated," said Ross, who asked that his company'sname be withheld out of concern for his job. "Everyone celebrated when thisthing passed because we thought it would be equal to marriage, that the onlything different would be that we called it 'civil unions.' But civil unionsaren't giving us the legal rights we hoped for."

Since the movement to win legal recognition for gay and lesbian couplesbegan in earnest more than a decade ago, states have sought to use newdesignations -- including "civil union" and "domestic partnership" -- todefine the legal status of same-sex couples. But some activists now fearthat the problems in New Jersey may signal that the movement to win equalmarital rights for same-sex couples nationwide will be harder fought thanmany had thought.

A recent study by Garden State Equality, New Jersey's leading gay advocacygroup, indicated that as many as one in eight of the 1,092 same-sex coupleswho have registered for civil unions there have been denied all or part ofthe benefits they hoped to gain from the law. That is particularlysignificant because New Jersey, as the first state outside New England toapprove civil unions, was seen as a bellwether in gauging how they wouldtake root outside the bluest of the blue states.


The Washington Post

Shadow Boxing
The White House and Congress use the District budget to score political
points on domestic partnerships.
Saturday, June 30, 2007; Page A20

THE BUSH administration threatened to veto an otherwise dry piece oflegislation that contains the fiscal 2008 appropriation for the District ofColumbia because a prohibition against using federal funds for theDistrict's domestic partner registry was stripped from the bill. On Thursdaythe House passed an amendment to put it back. Now, we don't mean to getoverly technical here, but no federal funds were ever -- could ever -- beused to support domestic partnerships in the nation's capital. Instead, thebattle over the provision is an example of what happens when the legislativeand executive branches use the District to play to their respective bases.

First, the White House version: "The reason federal funds aren't used isbecause the current law forbids the District of Columbia from doing so,"spokesman Scott Stanzel told us Wednesday. "That is why the administrationbelieves the long-standing provision should be maintained, not removed." Infact, because federal funding for the District flows from specificappropriations, none could ever be used for anything other than itsdesignated purpose. The prohibition was nothing more than symbolismmasquerading as policy. That it was in the bill to begin with is offensive.


The Washington Post

British police patrols stepped up after bombs found

By Mark Trevelyan and Avril Ormsby
Saturday, June 30, 2007; 6:32 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - British police bolstered patrols on the streets of Londonand scoured CCTV footage on Saturday after foiling a possible al Qaeda plotto detonate two fuel-and-nail-packed car bombs in the heart of the capital.

The Metropolitan police said they had reviewed plans for public events overthe coming 10 days, including a massive Gay Pride parade in London onSaturday, the Wimbledon tennis tournament and a concert for Princess Dianaon Sunday, to ensure that there were no public security threats.



Lifetime follows set formula, shows little new on HIV issue
The New York Times
June 30, 2007

Welcome to Lifetime Land, a quiet suburban street where the star quarterbackis an HIV-positive heroin addict, the girl next door has sex with himbecause of her slutty-divorced-mom issues, and the cute substitute teacherdresses badly and wears minimal makeup because — you guessed it! — she hasHIV, too.

That's the setup for Girl, Positive, the latest Lifetime Original Movie, adramatized public service announcement whose premiere on Monday nightloosely coincided with National HIV Testing Day on Wednesday (it encores at4 p.m. Sunday). I'm no judge of its efficacy as an AIDS education tool forteenagers; certainly the statistics it presents on how many young peoplecontinue to contract HIV are frightening. As a basic cable movie, however,it's the usual cocktail of cliches.

Girl, Positive has a convenient template to follow — the teenage-pregnancymovie — and it sticks to it pretty closely. Seventeen-year-old Rachel(Andrea Bowen of Desperate Housewives, wearing way too much eye makeup here,too) discovers that having sex just one time can kill you, though the resultfrom her initial saliva test isn't definitive.

When word gets out that she may be infected, she's shunned at school; hergay best friend stands by her, and before you know it she's anAIDS-awareness heroine. This is a scare film, however, so the pep-rallyapotheosis is inevitably followed by a final emotional punch in the gut.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sat, Jun. 30, 2007
'Other' Baptists pooling resources

They're America's other Baptists -- the ones who appoint women pastors, workwith theological liberals and line up more closely with President Carterthan with President George W. Bush.

Over the last 25 years, they have watched with growing concern as theirconservative Southern Baptist brethren came to define the religioustradition for the general public.

Now, these other Baptists are slowly pooling resources on humanitarian workand evangelism, hoping they can have a bigger impact.

Friday in Washington, two of the larger groups -- the American BaptistChurches and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship -- worshiped together forthe first time. They plan to commission two missionary couples who willrepresent both groups, and will organize an Islamic-Baptist dialogue toimprove relations with Muslims.

In January, an even broader group of Baptists will host an Atlanta meeting''to speak and work together to create an authentic and genuine propheticBaptist voice in these complex times,'' according to a joint document theyissued called a North American Baptist Covenant.

The covenant grew out of meetings of Baptist leaders organized by Carter, alongtime Bible teacher who severed ties in 2000 with the Southern BaptistConvention because of what he called its ''increasingly rigid'' creed.


Metropolitan Community Church Honors Human Rights Watch
Award Recognizes Groundbreaking Work on LGBT Rights

(New York, June 29, 2007) – The Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) – afellowship of Christian churches with a special ministry to lesbian, gay,bisexual and transgender people – will present its triennial Human RightsAward to Human Rights Watch on July 4. The award recognizes Human RightsWatch’s groundbreaking work defending LGBT people worldwide from violence,discrimination, and abuse.

“Faith used as a pretext for hatred often fuels violence against lesbians,gays, bisexuals and transgender people,” said Scott Long, director of theLesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch.“For the Metropolitan Community Church, religion means inclusion, and we areproud to work with them in spreading the message that human rights are foreveryone.”

Founded in 1968, Metropolitan Community Church is the largest and oldestworldwide Christian denomination with a special affirming ministry to LGBTpeople and communities. The church’s United Fellowship presents its HumanRights Award every three years at its International General Conference. Thisyear, Scott Long will accept the award at the conference in Scottsdale,Arizona.

The Metropolitan Community Church has almost 300 local congregations in 28countries. Each year, almost a quarter of a million people attend MCC’sprograms and services. It has collaborated successfully with LGBT groups incountries such as Jamaica, Romania and South Africa to foster publicacceptance and promote human rights.

“Human Rights Watch works to build a world in where everyone’s rights willbe respected, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity,”said Long. “The Metropolitan Community Church is a vital part of this commonstruggle.”

The award recognizes Human Rights Watch for these achievements againstprejudice and persecution, among others:


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Jun. 27, 2007
Neo-Nutsies bring frustration, anger -- and joy

So, what's going on with you? Nothing much? Wish I could say the same.As you may know if you've seen CNN or read the paper, yours truly has latelybeen the target of death threats and harassment from the ranks of thenot-so-tightly-wrapped. This, after a June 3 column about the torture murderof a young white couple, allegedly by four African Americans. My column tookon white supremacists and far right bloggers who contend that this''genocide'' -- their word -- goes unremarked by news media too PC to reportblack-on-white crime.

It was an argument made for ridiculing and I did my best, pointing out thatblack-on-white crime, a relative statistical rarity, is not underreportedbut, in fact, over-reported, according to any number of studies and experts.This offended a self-professed neo-Nazi leader whose name you won't readhere. So he got on his little neo-Nutsy website and posted my home addressand phone number. It's been game on ever since -- 400 e-mails, dozens ofphone calls, leaflets on my neighbor's driveway.

''You should be back in a damn mud and dung hut you nappy headed ho''. ..''Who's crying now, you affirmative action ape?''. . . and etcetera. Thegist of this outburst: a handful of contentions, each more asinine than thelast:

• Pitts has no compassion for the victims. (I called the murders brutal anda tragedy and said the killers should rot under the jailhouse.)


The Daily Democrat

Gay hate crimes still widespread
Men still more likely to be in violent incidents
By Democrat staff
Article Created: 06/29/2007 09:26:40 AM PDT

Nearly four in 10 gay men and about one in eight lesbians and bisexuals inthe United States have been the target of violence or a property crimebecause of their sexual orientation, according to a new study by UC Davispsychology professor Gregory Herek.

"This is the most reliable estimate to date of the prevalence of anti-gayvictimization in the United States," Herek said. "The data demonstrate thatcrimes against sexual minority adults, especially gay men, are disturbinglywidespread."

Herek's findings were based on a survey he conducted in the fall of 2005with a nationally representative sample of 662 self-identified gay men,lesbians and bisexuals. The study will be published in a future issue of theJournal of Interpersonal Violence.

Overall, 21 percent of the people in the survey reported being the victim ofviolence or a property crime - including physical assault, sexual assault,theft and vandalism - because of their sexual orientation. In addition, 49percent said they had been verbally abused because of their sexualorientation, 23 percent reported being threatened with violence, 12.5percent reported having objects thrown at them, and 11 percent reportedhousing or job discrimination.

The total exceeds 100 percent because some individuals reported being thetarget of multiple attacks.


The Edge - Boston

Study Shows Gay Men Driving Higher Syphilis Rates
by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Boston Contributor
Friday Jun 29, 2007

HIV-positive American men in four cities have been found to carry aworrisome strain of syphilis, according to U.S. health officials.

The particular form of the disease, neurosyphilis, has been tracked in 49gay and bisexual men in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Diegoby the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which monitored themen from January of 2002 through June of 2004.

Reuters reported yesterday that, based on this information, the CDCindicated that gay and bisexual men are the primary cause of a nation-wideincrease of syphilis in recent years.

The same 49 men were also reported to be having unprotected sex, which isknown to increase the risk of transmitting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

"These are primarily infections that people are probably getting becausethey’re not using condoms," said Dr. Thomas Peterman of the CDC’s Divisionof STD Prevention.

Dr. Peterman said that there is a perception among some of the men thatbecause they are already HIV positive, they no longer need to engage in safesex.

Dr. Peterman is one of the report’s authors.


Express Gay News

New directions for Compass
Palm Beach County gay center to move to Lake Worth, expand programs
Friday, June 29, 2007

When Compass, the gay and lesbian community center of Palm Beach County,moves to Lake Worth in the spring of 2008, it hopes to make a difference inmore than the gay community. The new center will also serve as an emergencydistribution facility in the event of a hurricane or other disaster.

“One of interesting things about our partnership with the city is that weare going to be the only disaster-relief center in downtown Lake Worth,”said Scott Fox, executive director of Compass. “We offered to make ourfacility available for distribution of supplies and will be first in linefor electric.”

The 19-year-old organization has many changes in mind once it moves into itsnew building, which currently houses the Mid-County Senior Citizen Center.

This will be the third home for the organization. In 1997, a member of thegroup donated a building to Compass on North Dixie Highway in West PalmBeach. The organization eventually grew too large for the property. In 2000,the center was moved to a 5,000-squarefoot facility on South Dixie Highway,also in West Palm Beach.


Express Gay News

Groups say anti-depressant drugs causing suicides, deaths
Gay teen’s story in documentary film highlights dangers of drugs
Friday, June 29, 2007

At age 13, Jason Atwood was feeling the angst that many gay teens feel whenstruggling with issues of their emerging sexual orientation. His parentswere not accepting him as gay, his classmates at school were teasing him andeven his siblings were calling him a "faggot" and "queer" when he foughtwith them. He had just recently come out at school, and it caused him tolose friends, he recalled. His family had just moved into a newneighborhood, uprooting the few friendships he had developed.

Atwood, who grew up in a Mormon family outside Salt Lake City, had alsostarted to explore alternative religions, including paganism. Alarmed by hisbehavior, Atwood’s parents took him to the family physician.

"The doctor told me I needed to be on medication," Atwood recalled. "He saidI was depressed and obsessive-compulsive, and that I tended to isolatemyself and not involve myself with others."

The doctor, who was not a psychiatrist, prescribed Paxil, an anti-depressantdrug, for the 13-year-old. Atwood said he was at first "open to the idea"that medication could help him "until I started taking it."


Express Gay News

Is Gay Pride passé?
Attendance steady across U.S., but some say events becoming obsolete
Friday, June 29, 2007

Declaring Pride parades and festivals passé, out of vogue, boring orirrelevant is the gay equivalent of “Is rock dead?” — a perennialconsideration that doesn’t ever seem to die.

Ever since Lisa Simpson responded to “We’re here, we’re queer, get used toit,” with “We are used to it — you do this every year” back in 1989, andperhaps before, there’s been a sense that Pride has lost some of its lusteras gays in America increasingly find mainstream acceptance.

A New York Observer article two weeks ago quoted several Big Apple gayresidents who said they’d rather celebrate at more sophisticated privateevents and mentioned a pre-Pride rally that drew a small crowd of just a fewhundred when 8,000 had been expected.

Washington also experienced some of that. Capital Pride’s opening party withWicked Jezebel at Hard Rock Café June 1 had a dismal turnout. But numbersfor the parade and festival the following weekend were in line with that ofyears past — about 200,000 — according to Capital Pride organizers.


Express Gay News

by Chris Crain
Party with a purpose?
World’s largest Pride parade was marred by murder. For some, the day’slesson wasn’t learned.
Friday, June 29, 2007

MORE THAN THREE million people gathered earlier this month in São Paulo,Brazil, for the world’s largest ever Gay Pride parade. The sheer size andspectacle weren’t the only reasons the event was one I will never forget.

Anyone who has been to Carnaval in Rio De Janeiro knows that Brazilians knowhow to throw a party. Gay Pride in São Paulo, a city of 20 million, is noexception. The parade down Avenida Paulista was a gigantic street party,with 23 massive trailers, each sponsored by a gay organization, nightclub orbusiness, and souped up with a powerful sound system, decorations andspotlights — since the parade starts in the early afternoon and lasts foreight hours well into the night.

This was not a parade like we are used to in the U.S., with floats andmarchers in the street, cheered on by spectators on the sidewalks. This wasa celebration for everyone, with no distinction between those of us on thetrailers and the people dancing alongside in the streets and spilling overonto the sidewalks.


The Advocate

House wards off veto threat with gay slap

By a surprisingly bipartisan vote of 224–200, the U.S. House ofRepresentatives on Thursday passed an amendment banning the use of federalfunds to support Washington, D.C.'s local domestic-partner registry.

The White House warned Wednesday that President Bush would veto this year'sroutine appropriations bill for the District of Columbia if it did notinclude such an amendment, a response to the district's strengthening of itssame-sex partner benefits last year.

Officials said the vote will have little practical effect because the cityuses local funds for the partner registry, The Washington Post reported.

But gay activists deplored the move, with Human Rights Campaign presidentJoe Solmonese calling the veto threat "a new low" in "antigay zeal."

The district, though it gets most of its revenue from local taxes, alsoreceives federal funding through Congress, making it more vulnerable thanother cities to shifts in the national political winds.

The antigay amendment was sponsored by right-wing Republican representativeVirgil Goode of Virginia. Forty Democrats supported it; 12 Republicans wereopposed.

"The U.S. House of Representatives should be on record supportingtraditional marriage between a man and a woman, and oppose alternativedefinitions of marriage," Goode told the Post.


The Advocate

Party politics

After his partner criticized the Democratic National Committee for not doingenough on gay issues, Donald Hitchcock lost his job as the group's directorof fund-raising from gay donors. Coincidence? Hitchcock thinks not. He suedthe DNC, chairman Howard Dean, and two others this May—and speaks here forthe first time anywhere about what happened to him.

By Dan Allen

An exclusive posted June 29, 2007

In May 2006, Donald Hitchcock was fired by the Democratic National Committeeas director of its Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council—less than a week afterhis partner, fellow Washington politico Paul Yandura, e-mailed high-levelDemocratic donors and suggested they withhold financial support from the DNCin protest of the group's apparent neglect of antigay ballot initiatives.

Hitchcock, whose role was to raise funds from gay donors, claimed his suddendismissal was retaliatory, but the DNC denied the charge. Indeed, in anAdvocate interview at the time, Dean suggested that Hitchcock's poor jobperformance was to blame.

This May, after settlement negotiations failed, Hitchcock filed a lawsuit inDistrict of Columbia superior sourt against the DNC, Dean, treasurer AndyTobias (who is gay), and deputy finance director Julie Tagen, allegingretaliation, defamation, and discrimination on the basis of sexualorientation. Again, the DNC denied the allegations.


Forgotten Inequality: GLBT Prisoners
by Jennifer Vanasco,

Same-sex marriage, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes
Prevention Act, ENDA. These are the sexy topics in the GLBT civil rightsmovement.

We all know about them, we vote according to the way politicians feel aboutthem, some of us give money toward their favorable resolution.

But equality has limits.

Most of us, for example, don’t know about the often dangerous inequalityfacing GLBT prisoners.

GLBT prisoners are raped. They are isolated. They are denied access tosustaining graces, like hugging a family member during visitation. Allbecause they are gay, or their gender swerves from the standard.

No one knows what percentage of prisoners are GLBT’s. Two percent? Tenpercent? Higher? There are over 2 million prisoners in the U.S. system atany one time; we are clearly talking about big numbers. How big, no oneknows.


Gay Sex Scenes That Made Movie History
by Christie Keith, Contributing Writer
June 27, 2007

Once upon a time, there were no gay and lesbian sections in the videostores, no queer film festivals, no debates over whether or not showing gaymen having sex was good for the gay community's image. There were definitelyno major theatrical releases of big-budget films in which gay men had sex,and certainly no one ever dreamed a film like that could ever be nominatedfor an Oscar.

Here, takes a look back at the most important andgroundbreaking gay male sex scenes in films. These are films that for themost part had a major American theatrical release, even if it was of limitedscope, with a few groundbreaking foreign, art house and GLBT film festivalmovies included as well. These criteria are admittedly somewhat subjective,so if you feel we've missed a film that broke new ground with its use of sexbetween men, let us know.

The Golden Age

In the mid-'80s a kind of sea change hit American theaters. Far from beingart house and gay film festival exceptions, foreign films with gay maleprotagonists and overt depictions of gay male sexuality began fillingtheaters in cities across the United States, earning rave reviews and doingwell at the box office.


Poland's Anti-Gay Stance Blasted
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: June 29, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Warsaw) Europe's watchdog for human rights hammered the Polish governmenton Friday for what he called an abysmal record in the treatment of gays andlesbians.

Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg presentedPolish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski with a failing grade in a humanrights performance report.

Afterwards Hammarberg told reporters that the country has a homophobiaproblem and the government needs to tone down the rhetoric.

"I think we should remember that one of the groups that were targeted by theNazis were homosexuals, and we should really avoid to fall into that trapnow," Hammarberg said.

"We feel that there is a problem of homophobia in several countries ofEurope, including Poland, that one has to avoid statements, in particularfrom leading politicians, that may be interpreted as justifying homophobicactions or opinions," Hammarberg said. "Because this is a minority which isunder quite some pressure."

Remarks by Polish leaders on homosexuality has at times "been below thestandards that we should have," he said. "Leading politicians should reallytake responsibility to avoid that such discriminatory attitudes spread."

Earlier this month more than five-thousand people marched through thestreets of Warsaw in the first legally sanctioned LGBT pride parade in thePolish capital. Many of the marchers carried banners reading "Stophomophobia". (story)


Kalamazoo Skirts Court Ruling To Continue Partner Benefits
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: June 29, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Kalamazoo, Michigan) Kalamazoo has found a way around a court ruling thatsaid providing health insurance to the same-sex partners of city workersviolated the state amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The solution: don't call it a domestic partner benefit. Under a motionagreed to by City Commissioners Friday the plan now will be called an "OtherQualified Adult" program and is available to any two people living togetherin a dependent relationship where one person is a city employee.

Earlier this year a Court of Appeal panel ruled the state's constitutionalamendment barring same-sex marriage made it illegal to offer same-sexdomestic partner benefits for public employees.

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

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

As a result Kalamazoo became the first public employer in the state toannounce it would strip health benefits from the domestic partners of itsgay and lesbian employees.


Gay Foe Romney Accused Of Abusing Dog
by The Associated Press

Posted: June 29, 2007 - 2:30 pm ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) An example of Mitt Romney's crisis management skillshas turned into something of a political problem for the Republicanpresidential contender.

Romney placed his family dog, an Irish setter named Seamus, into a kennellashed to the top of his station wagon for a 12-hour family trip from Bostonto Ontario in 1983. Despite being shielded by a wind screen the formerMassachusetts governor erected, Seamus expressed his discomfort with adiarrhea attack.

Now the story, recounted this week in a Boston Globe profile of Romney, hastouched off howls of outrage from bloggers and animal rights activists eventhough it was presented in the story as an example of Romney's coolnessunder trying circumstances.

When Romney's eldest son, Tagg, and his four brothers complained about thebrown runoff down the back windshield, their father quietly pulled the carover, borrowed a gas station hose and sprayed down both the dog and thekennel before returning to the road.

"Massachusetts animal cruelty laws specifically prohibit anyone from
carrying an animal `in or upon a vehicle, or otherwise, in an unnecessarilycruel or inhuman manner or in a way and manner which might endanger theanimal carried thereon,'" wrote Steve Benen in a post on the blog "Crooksand Liars."

Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,told Time magazine's "Swampland" blog: "If you wouldn't strap your child tothe roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the family dog!"



By Chris Herlinger, Religion News Service

NEW YORK — Not many theater productions include a glossary of Mormontheological and ecclesiastical terms in the program. Then again, Carol LynnPearson's play, Facing East, defies a number of expectations.

Pearson's somber but compassionate one-act portrayal of a Mormon family'sstruggle to come to terms with the suicide of their gay son treats, as somereviewers have noted, both church traditionalists and critics with humanityand empathy. It's one reason the play had a much-feted premiere in Salt LakeCity last November.

The play has now started to premiere in major U.S. cities with large gay andlesbian populations. Facing East recently completed a successfuloff-Broadway run in New York, dovetailing the city's June Gay Pridefestivities. The play now moves on to San Francisco for a two-week run inAugust and there is talk of the play moving to Boston.

Pearson is uniquely qualified to write the drama: her memoir Goodbye, I LoveYou, chronicled her experiences caring for her former husband, Gerald, a gayman who died of AIDS in 1984. Her former son-in-law, Steven Fales, turnedout to be gay and wrote the one-man play, Confessions of a Mormon Boy.

Pearson's latest book, No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons Around OurLoved Ones, explores the experiences of Mormon families supporting their gaychildren.


National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

Gay Travellers Spend Twice as Much as Straights

Canadian gay travellers spent an average of $1,166 per trip last year,almost double what straight travellers spent, said a study by the CanadianGay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.



Ft. Lauderdale


The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida (GLCC)Board of Directors proudly announces the June 20 demolition of severalbuildings on the East side of Andrews Avenue, the future site of the newGLCC facility. “The timing of this demolition, days before our local GayPride Celebration and the Stonewall Street Festival, could not have beenbetter,” reports Paul Hyman, Executive Director of the GLCC. “Thisdemolition marks a critical and exciting step for Broward County and thewhole of South Florida, clearing the path for us to demonstrate the hugerole and influence of the local GLBT population with an appropriatelyvisible and beautiful new facility.”

Hyman has been quietly recruiting individuals, and building teamsof local community leaders and specialists in areas ranging fromarchitecture to legal affairs, to fund-raising and marketing, in preparationfor the new growth phase for the organization. He went on to say, “Ourinvestment of time and emphasis on planning these first steps were criticaland extremely successful. Now, with a solid base of resources in place, weare moving forward strategically to continue to deliver the criticalprograms and services we provide to those in need in our community. We willnot lose focus on the people we serve on a daily basis while we create ournew home.”

One of the new resources is the Building Committee, which Hymanrecommended to the board. Its sole focus is to oversee the building of thenew facility.


Politics & Society
Wealthy Gay Donors a New Force in Politics
by Austin Jenkins

All Things Considered, June 26, 2007 · A new force is emerging in Americanpolitics: wealthy, gay political donors who target state-level races. Lastyear, they funneled millions of dollars into dozens of carefully selectedcampaigns. Their goal: to elect gay-friendly governors and state lawmakers.

Freshman Washington state Rep. Deb Eddy, a Democrat from Seattle's Eastside,remembers the phone call she received last summer from a politicalconsultant on the East Coast. "Her purpose was simply to let me know that Iwould be receiving checks from out-of-state and that these were all on theup-and-up," Eddy says.

As Eddy remembers it, the caller told her the money was coming from a groupof gay and gay-friendly donors who wanted to help influence statelegislative races. Soon the checks started arriving — seven in all.


The Columbus Dispatch

Gay council candidate wins GOP backing
Brownson survives claims of disloyalty
Friday, June 29, 2007 3:22 AM
By Lisa Halverstadt


Bill Brownson is the first openly gay candidate to get the support of theFranklin County GOP.

Despite accusations that he has been disloyal to their party, Republicanleaders voted last night to endorse Bill Brownson for Columbus City Council.Brownson, who will replace placeholder candidate John Campbell, is the firstopenly gay candidate to be backed by the county GOP's 144-member centralcommittee.

Allegations of disloyalty came during Brownson's time as national chairmanof the Log Cabin Republicans when the GOP gay-advocacy group withheld itsendorsement for President Bush for re-election.

That doesn't make Brownson the best candidate, some say.

Central committee member Jack Etheridge questioned Brownson in a June 16e-mail to other members.

He disputed the Log Cabin group's decision not to endorse Bush; its filingof a federal suit against then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's "don'task, don't tell" policy; and its issuing of statements against both a lawand a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.


From Equality Florida

Today is the day!

Just one day to go! And we're so close to reaching our goal.

Exactly 278 generous online donors have made a real commitment, over thepast two weeks, to support the Fairness for All Families campaign to defeata discriminatory "marriage" amendment in 2008.

Let Florida know you will be standing with us in the 2008 Election by giving$20.08 today. Our first major financial reporting cycle ends in less than 24hours, so your support now will really demonstrate the strength of ourcommitment to oppose this mean spirited amendment.

Each contribution today, no matter how big or how small, will increase thecritical total number of fair-minded Floridians who are seen as trulycommitted to defeating this ugly and harmful initiative.

Be Our 300th Online Donor Now!

By defeating the so-called "marriage" amendment, Fairness for All Familieswill:

1.. Protect the Florida Constitution from being used as a weapon todiscriminate against our fellow Floridians, and
2.. Protect healthcare benefits and legal protections already being reliedon by thousands of Florida families, including: seniors, school teachers,fire fighters, police officers, city employees, and many more.

We believe there are at least 22 people reading this right now who would beproud to be part of such an accomplishment. Are you one of them? By givingtoday, your name will be added to our list of critical first supporters ofthe Fairness for All Families campaign. Let's break 300!

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As I mentioned earlier, our first major financial reporting cycle comes toan end in less than 24 hours. Your contribution today will help ensure that,when these reports are studied in the coming weeks, newspapers and newsbroadcasts across the state and nation will report on Florida's overwhelmingopposition to this mean-spirited and discriminatory amendment.

Join us as we make history on Election Day 2008 by contributing $20.08 now.

With sincere thanks,

Damien Filer
Campaign Manager

P.S. If $20.08 is just more than you can do right now, contribute $11.04 tocommemorate Election Day (11/04/2008).


Ft. Lauderdale

Save The Date: October 6th

Dolphin Democrats 25th Anniversary Awards BanquetHyatt Pier 66, Fort Lauderdale

Watch our website for more information and ticket sales


The New York Times

June 30, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

When Is Enough Enough?

Chances are you didn’t hear it, but on Thursday night Senator HillaryClinton said, “If H.I.V./AIDS were the leading cause of death of white womenbetween the ages of 25 and 34, there would be an outraged outcry in thiscountry.”

Her comment came on the same day that a malevolent majority on the U.S.Supreme Court threw a brick through the window of voluntary schoolintegration efforts.

There comes a time when people are supposed to get angry. The rights andinterests of black people in the U.S. have been under assault for thelongest time, and in the absence of an effective counterforce, that assaulthas only grown more brutal.

Have you looked at the public schools lately? Have you looked at theprisons? Have you looked at the legions of unemployed blacks roaming theneighborhoods of big cities across the country? These joblessAfrican-Americans, so many of them men, are so marginal in the view of thewider society, so insignificant, so invisible, they aren’t even counted inthe government’s official jobless statistics.

And now this new majority on the Supreme Court seems committed to a legaltrajectory that would hurl blacks back to the bad old days of the Jim Crowera.

Where’s the outcry? Where’s the line in the sand that the prejudiced portionof the population is not allowed to cross?

Mrs. Clinton’s comment was made at a forum of Democratic presidentialcandidates at Howard University that was put together by Tavis Smiley, theradio and television personality, and broadcast nationally by PBS. The ideawas to focus on issues of particular concern to African-Americans.

It’s discouraging that some of the biggest issues confronting blacks — thespread of AIDS, chronic joblessness and racial discrimination, for example —are not considered mainstream issues.

Senator John Edwards offered a disturbingly bleak but accurate picture ofthe lives of many young blacks: “When you have young African-American menwho are completely convinced that they’re either going to die or go toprison and see absolutely no hope in their lives; when they live in anenvironment where the people around them don’t earn a decent wage; when theygo to schools that are second-class schools compared to the wealthy suburbanareas — they don’t see anything getting better.”

The difficult lives and often tragic fates of such young men are not much onthe minds of so-called mainstream Americans, or the political and corporateelites who run the country. More noise needs to be made. There’s somethingvery wrong with a passive acceptance of the degraded state in which so manyAfrican-Americans continue to live.

Mr. Smiley is also organizing a forum of Republican candidates to be held inSeptember. I wholeheartedly applaud his efforts. But if black people weremore angry, and if they could channel that anger into political activism —first and foremost by voting as though their lives and the lives of theirchildren depended on it — there would not be a need to have separatepolitical forums to address their concerns.

If black people could find a way to come together in sky-high turnouts onElection Day, if they showed up at polling booths in numbers close to themaximum possible turnout, if they could set the example for all otherAmericans about the importance of exercising the franchise, the politicianswould not dare to ignore their concerns.

For black people, especially, the current composition of the Supreme Courtshould be the ultimate lesson in the importance of voting in a presidentialelection. No branch of the government has been more crucial than thejudiciary in securing the rights and improving the lives of blacks over thepast five or six decades.

George W. Bush, in a little more than six years, has tilted the court soradically that it is now, like the administration itself, relentlesslyhostile to the interests of black people. That never would have happened ifblacks had managed significantly more muscular turnouts in the 2000 and 2004elections. (The war in Iraq would not have happened, either.)

There are, of course, many people, black and white, who are working on avast array of important issues. But much, much more needs to be done. Andblacks, in particular, need to intervene more directly in the public policymatters that concern them.

In the 1960s, there were radicals running around screaming about blackpower. But the real power in this country has always been the power of thevote. Black Americans have not come close to maximizing that power.

It’s not too late.


The Washington Post

Not One More Roberts or Alito
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Friday, June 29, 2007; A21
Just say no.

The Senate's Democratic majority -- joined by all Republicans who purport tobe moderate -- must tell President Bush that this will be their answer toany controversial nominee to the Supreme Court or the appellate courts.

The Senate should refuse even to hold hearings on Bush's next Supreme Courtchoice, should a vacancy occur, unless the president reaches agreement withthe Senate majority on a mutually acceptable list of nominees.

And no Bush nominee to a lower court deserves any deference now that welearn that U.S. Appeals Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh may have misled theSenate during his confirmation hearings. Kavanaugh claimed he was notinvolved in administration discussions about setting the rules for thetreatment of enemy combatants. The Post reported that he was.

Although a spokeswoman for Kavanaugh insisted that his testimony was"accurate," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said, "I don'tbelieve that he was truthful with us."

As for the Supreme Court, we now know that the president's two nominees,Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, are exactly what manyof us thought they were: activist conservatives intent on leading a judicialcounterrevolution. Yesterday's 5 to 4 ruling tossing out two schooldesegregation plans was another milestone on the court's march to the right.

Even after he was confirmed, Roberts was talking about something other thanthe 5 to 4 conservative court we saw this year on case after case. In aspeech at Georgetown University Law School in May 2006, Roberts rightlyargued that "the rule of law is strengthened when there is greater coherenceand agreement about what the law is." It's a shame this quest for broadermajorities had so little bearing on the 2007 Roberts-led court.

Especially troubling was the opinion offered by Roberts and Alito this weekeviscerating the rather modest restrictions on sham "issue" ads in theMcCain-Feingold law. The provision, which applies for 30 days before aprimary and 60 days before a general election, is aimed at preventing largeamounts of corporate and union money from getting around campaign financerestrictions.

Three conservative justices, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and AnthonyKennedy, were willing to admit that in voiding this part of the law theywere overturning a precedent set by the court only four years ago. ButRoberts and Alito pretended to follow the earlier ruling while ripping itsguts out. Scalia called this "faux judicial restraint."

"The court (and, I think, the country) loses when important precedent isoverruled without good reason," Justice David H. Souter wrote for thedissenters. Exactly. But upsetting precedent, directly or indirectly, is amajor goal of this new conservative majority.

As Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute noted this week inRoll Call, the issue-ad decision demonstrated "not a careful, conservativedeference to Congress" but instead "a willingness by Roberts to toss asideCongress' conclusions to fit his own ideological predispositions" -- thevery definition of judicial activism.

If another conservative replaces a member of the court's moderate-to-liberalbloc, the country will be set on a conservative course for the next decadeor more, locking in today's politics at the very moment when the electorateis running out of patience with the right.


The Washington Post

Standing in the Schoolhouse Door
By Eugene Robinson
Friday, June 29, 2007; Page A21

It's time for those of us who are old enough to remember when the U.S.Supreme Court was a major force for racial integration and justice to stopliving in the past. We need to realize that for the foreseeable future anyprogress our increasingly diverse country makes toward fairness and equalitywill come in spite of the nation's highest court, not because of it.

No one should be surprised that the court, as it made clear yesterday, doesnot consider promoting racial diversity in the nation's public schools to bea particularly worthy goal. No one should be surprised that Chief JusticeJohn Roberts pretends not even to understand the concept: In his majorityopinion striking down school integration plans in Seattle and Louisville,Roberts described what the two cities were doing as "racial balancing," eventhough local officials made clear that their intent was nothing moresinister than racial inclusion.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

More Than Half Now Protected by Fairness Laws

by David Williams

The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide reports that as of the end of 2005 morethan half of all Americans are now protected against discrimination on thebasis of their sexual orientation in employment. Many local and state lawsalso have protections in public accommodations and housing. The number ofjurisdictions with any such protections is up from just 33 percent 13 yearsago.

Another remarkable advance: nearly 40 percent of the population is alsoprotected on the basis of their gender identity. As late as 2000 only 6.6%of jurisdictions had such protections.

In many ways, Louisville led the way in January 1999 when it became one ofthe first cities in the country to pass an ordinance granting suchprotections, even before such larger cities as Chicago and New York City.

Same-sex couples have also seen gains over the last decade. Ten states nowgrant them rights equal or similar to heterosexually married couples.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

New law allows HIV tests with just spoken consent By Monique Garcia Tribunestaff reporter Published June 28, 2007

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed legislation Wednesday tostreamline the HIV-testing process, giving proponents hope the procedurewill become part of routine medical visits.

The governor called the new law an "important step in the fight against HIVand AIDS."

Approved on National HIV Testing Day, the law allows for patients toconsent verbally to testing instead of filling out formal paperwork.

"This puts us on a path so there is less and less of a stigma attached togetting an HIV test," said Sen. Carol Ronen (D-Chicago), a sponsor.

Proponents hope the law will increase the number of people tested anddiagnosed early. Up to 10,000 Illinoisans don't know they have HIV becausethey haven't been tested, according to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. It isoften too late for significant treatment once they are diagnosed, said JohnPeller, a foundation lobbyist.

"It really becomes a tragedy of missed opportunities," he said.

Once they consent to tests, patients will receive pre-test information aboutHIV and how to interpret test results. Those who test positive must beinformed of the results in person, and doctors must give referrals toappropriate counseling and medical providers.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

When sex toys turn green - for health
Concern about effects of common chemical leads consumers to seek options
By Brian Alexander
Updated: 3:08 p.m. ET June 21, 2007

It is, perhaps, a measure of just how mainstream sex toys have become thatthere are now budding consumer and environmental awareness campaigns beingwaged over them.

The biggest controversy is about the materials from which many toys aremade.

Most vibrators, dildos and "love dolls," for instance - especially the soft,pliable "jelly" type - use some form of plastic. In an effort to make thematerials softer and more lifelike, PVC plastics suppliers incorporate oneor more members of a family of compounds called phthalates (FAY-lates). Tohear some environmentalists tell it, using a vibrator that includesphthalates is akin to bathing in DDT. Alarmed, some sex toy retailers, mostprominently San Francisco-based Good Vibrations, are banning toys thatinclude phthalates. But to hear the chemical industry tell it, phthalatesare about as benign as mountain spring water. So what is a sex toy consumerto do?

Phthalates are ubiquitous. They are used in perfumes, hair sprays, plasticraincoats, carpet backing, paints, medical devices and many other items.

They are responsible for that "new car smell," which goes to show you howmuch plastic is used in cars.

Now they are showing up in people. As the fact of new car smell indicates,phthalates "off-gas," meaning that they escape from the plastic in the formof a gas.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

New CDC Report Examines Drug Use and Sexual Behavior
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

CDC's National Center for Health Statistics has issued a new report,"Drug Use and Sexual Behaviors Reported by Adults, United States,1999-2002."

The report uses data collected over a 4-year period from the NationalHealth and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Some of the highlightsinclude:

* Only 4 percent of adults ages 20 years and older have never hadsex.
* Of all race/ethnic groups, Mexican-American adults had the lowestpercentage (88 percent) who ever had sex.
* Twenty-nine percent of men reported having 15 or more femalesexual partners over their lifetime compared to 9 percent of women whoreported having 15 or more male sexual partners in a lifetime.
* More than one in five adults 20-49 years of age have triedcocaine or other street drugs at some time in their life.

Drug Use and Sexual Behaviors Reported by Adults: United States, 1999-2002 (PDF; 204 KB)


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Poll majority: Gays' orientation can't change
POSTED: 6:28 a.m. EDT, June 27, 2007

(CNN) -- A majority of Americans believe that gays and lesbians could notchange their sexual orientation even if they wanted to, according to resultsof a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday.

It's the first time in a CNN poll the majority has held that beliefregarding homosexuality.

Fifty-six percent of about 515 poll respondents said they do not believesexual orientation can be changed. In 2001, 45 percent of those respondingto a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll held that belief. In 1998, according to aCNN/Time poll, the number was 36 percent.

In addition, 42 percent of respondents to the current poll said they believehomosexuality results from upbringing and environment, while 39 percent saidthey believe it is something a person is born with -- a close division thatreflects the national debate over the issue.

However, those numbers are greatly changed from the 1970s and '80s, in whichfewer than 20 percent of Americans said a person is born homosexual. In a1977 poll, the number was 13 percent.

Ten percent in the latest poll said they believe both factors play a role insomeone's homosexuality. Three percent said neither, and 6 percent had noopinion.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

June 28, 2007
Poll shows GOP voters trending positive on some gay issues

A new poll of 2,000 self-identified Republican voters shows some mostlypromising numbers in terms of GOP attitudes toward gays and lesbians.

Three in four GOP voters said they don't think people should be able to befired on the basis of their sexual orientation, and 53% believe theRepublican Party has spent too much time focusing on social issues such asabortion and same-sex marriage when it should be honing in on economicissues like taxes and government spending.

"Lots of times the media likes to give the bull horn to the loudest groupand, unfortunately, those in our party who are on the far right in terms ofbeing social conservatives have the loudest voice," said Patrick Sammon,president of the Log Cabin Republicans. "I think this poll shows that rankand file Republicans generally support basic fairness for gays andlesbians."

But Sammon also said the poll highlighted areas where work remains to bedone. A 60% majority of GOP voters said they believe that being gay is alifestyle choice rather than the way someone is born.


Forwarded from Ron Mills


CONTACT: Joel Ginsberg | 415-255-4547 |

Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Lauds American Medical Association’s Adoption of Transgender Nondiscrimination Policies

San Francisco – The American Medical Association this week voted to amendits nondiscrimination policies to include transgender persons. AMAnondiscrimination policies already included sexual orientation.

“Transgender patients, physicians, and medical students continue to facediscrimination around the country,” said Joel Ginsberg, Executive Directorof the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA). “The AMA has said it’stime for this to stop.”

Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for TransgenderEquality, called the new AMA policies "a great step in moving the Americanhealthcare system in a direction of more fairness for transgender people."

The AMA has taken an increasingly high-profile stance in the past few yearson issues of concern to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT)patients and physicians. In 2005, a sitting AMA president for the first timeaddressed GLMA’s Annual Conference. Also that year, the AMA formed anAdvisory Committee on GLBT Issues, with one of the seven seats reserved fora GLMA representative.

The new policies address a wide range of scenarios, including discriminationagainst patients, medical students, and physicians.


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