Wednesday, June 06, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 5, 2007

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How Anita Bryant fought - and helped - gay rights

Exhibit marks 30th anniversary of S. Florida showdown
By John Tanasychuk
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

June 4, 2007

When the Rev. Jerry Falwell died last month, he was remembered fortransforming religious conservatives into a powerful political force. Butorganizers of an exhibit opening Wednesday in South Florida say Falwell gothis first lesson in politics 30 years ago in South Florida.

In 1977, singer Anita Bryant successfully campaigned to repeal a Dade Countyordinance banning discrimination against gay men and lesbians. Falwell cameto South Florida in support and two years later created the Moral Majority.Jim Bakker, Pat Robertson and Phyllis Schlafly quickly joined Falwell inbecoming outspoken opponents of gay rights.

"This is where they all had their stage debut," said Jack Rutland, executivedirector of the Stonewall Library & Archives and organizer of the exhibit"Days Without Sunshine: Anita Bryant's Anti-Gay Crusade," at the BrowardCounty Main Library in Fort Lauderdale.

Likewise, Bryant's message emboldened gays.

"In a completely unintended way, Anita Bryant was about the best thing tohappen to the gay rights movement," said John Coppola, exhibit curator andformer head of exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C."She and her cohorts were so over the top that it just completely galvanizedthe gay rights movement."

Rutland goes so far as to call Bryant the mother of the gay rights movement.


The New York Times

June 5, 2007
An Unacceptable Nominee

President Bush's latest appeals court nominee, Leslie Southwick, has adisturbing history of insensitivity to blacks and other minority groups. TheSenate should reject this nomination and make clear to the White House thatit will reject all future nominees who do not meet the high standards offairness that are essential for such important posts.

A non-negotiable quality for judicial nominees is that they must becommitted to equal justice. Judge Southwick, whom President Bush hasnominated for a seat on the New Orleans-based United States Court of Appealsfor the Fifth Circuit, repeatedly failed this test as a Mississippi statecourt judge.

He clearly failed the test when he ruled for a social worker who wasrightfully fired for calling a black colleague "a good ole nigger." JudgeSouthwick is known for siding with employers over employees - but not inthis case. In his ruling, he revealed a thorough lack of understanding ofthe odious impact of such language when he accepted the social worker'sclaim that the use of the slur was "not motivated out of racial hatred oranimosity directed toward her co-worker or toward blacks in general." JudgeSouthwick did not even vote to direct the state to consider a penalty shortof firing, as the Mississippi Supreme Court later did.

And he failed the test when he joined a majority opinion that denied abisexual mother custody of her child. Adding insult to injury, he joined aconcurring opinion that went on to berate the mother for her "decision toparticipate in a homosexual relationship" and reminded her that one of theconsequences of her "exertion of her perceived right" was that she mightlose her child.

The Magnolia Bar Association, an association of black Mississippi lawyersfounded when the state bar was restricted to whites, has urged the Senate toreject the nomination, saying, "We question whether Judge Southwick willproperly enforce the law when it comes to the rights of those who areunpopular and who are marginalized by the political process." They areright. After his performance as a state court judge, it would be hard for ablack person with a discrimination case, or a gay person with a family lawissue, to have any confidence that Judge Southwick would treat them fairly.


The New York Times

June 5, 2007
Edwards, Clinton and Obama Describe Journeys of Faith

WASHINGTON, June 4 - One presidential hopeful described how prayer helpedhim survive his son's death and his wife's cancer diagnosis. Another spokeabout the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the role of faith in forgivingthose who treat others unjustly. A third said of her husband's infidelity,"I'm not sure I would have gotten through it without my faith."

Intimate discussions of politics and religion have long been the province ofRepublican candidates for public office. But on Monday night, the threeleading Democratic presidential hopefuls - former Senator John Edwards andSenators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton - opened up at an unusualtelevised forum about their faiths, the role of prayer in their public andprivate lives and the ways that religion informs their views on policy andgovernment.

Each is aiming to make historic inroads among evangelical Christians andother committed churchgoers who have up to now been most linked with theRepublican base. The candidates appeared eager not just to discuss theirpolicies but also to discuss their personal faith journeys as they spoke,one after another, at George Washington University.

The event was organized by a liberal evangelical group, Sojourners, andtelevised by CNN.

The participants sought to walk a fine line between appealing to religiousvoters, while not turning off secular voters, who represent a crucialconstituency for them.


The Washington Post

'Male' Doesn't Rhyme With 'Sale'
By Laura Sessions Stepp
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 5, 2007; HE01

When Beth Lewis takes her three sons shopping, it's a quick trip.

Her youngest, 13-year-old Eric Mendelson, will head for the shoe section to
pick up a new pair of sneakers. David, 15, might look for basketball shorts,and Michael, 17, a shirt that, in his words, is nothing fancy, "justcomfortable and looks good."

All three will have specific style and fit in mind. If they don't find whatthey want, they won't hang around looking at other items. "It takes less tosatisfy boys than girls," says Lewis, a personal trainer in Olney.

Her observation was borne out in a recent shopping expedition for teensorganized by Washington Post business reporters and editors. Sixty-one teensdescended on Tysons Corner Center: 60 girls and one boy, and he spent only ashort while there.

Shopping, to adolescent males, is simply not the rich experience it is tofemales. They go to the mall less frequently and don't stay as long whenthey go, according to a 2007 survey by the youth research company TRU. Theyspend less than half what girls do on on apparel, shoes and accessories, asurvey by retail services firm Piper Jaffray found. And as Lewis's sonsdemonstrate, they target-shop, a trait that continues into manhood,according to family therapist Michael Gurian.


The Washington Post

The Missing Issues . . .
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007; A17

GOFFSTOWN, N.H. -- Two questions from Sunday's Democratic debate: Does JoeBiden have to set himself on fire to get serious attention? And whateverhappened to the lunch-bucket issues that once made Democrats the dominantpolitical party in America?

Maybe because he doesn't have much to lose, Biden was the most passionate,straight-talking figure on the stage here at Saint Anselm College. But somuch coverage was lavished on John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obamaand their scuffling over Iraq and health care that you might have missedthis. So, consider, first, Biden's comments on Darfur:

"I went there. I sat on the borders. I went in those camps. They're going tohave thousands and thousands and thousands of people die. We've got to stoptalking and act. . . . By the time all these guys talk, 50,000 more peopleare going to be dead! They're going to be dead!"

Or take Biden on gays in the military. The debate moderator, CNN's WolfBlitzer, noted that Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,said it would be a mistake to end the current "don't ask, don't tell"policy.

"Peter Pace is flat wrong. I've been to Afghanistan, I've been to Iraq seventimes, I've been in the Balkans, I've been in these foxholes with thesekids, literally in bunkers with them. Let me tell you something: Nobodyasked anybody else whether they're gay in . . . those foxholes."


The Washington Post

Same-Sex Marriage Takes the Spotlight in Forum
By Elissa Silverman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 5, 2007; B05

Capital Pride, the annual gay and lesbian celebration that mixes high-mindeddialogue with dance parties, began a week's worth of events last night witha "town hall" meeting that focused on such topics as same-sex marriage andfaith.

Six panelists fielded questions from moderator Jason Bellini and members ofan 80-person audience at the Studio Theatre in Northwest Washington.

Four of the panelists are openly gay elected officials -- two serve on theD.C. Council, one in the Virginia House of Delegates and one in the MarylandHouse of Delegates.

Same-sex marriage came up frequently in the discussion.

"I think we are at the point in the District of Columbia where we need tomove forward on the marriage issue," said D.C. Council member Jim Graham(D-Ward 1). Graham later said that he planned to introduce a bill in thenext two years for the city to recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,4026915,print.story

Clinton: Faith Got Me Past Marital Woes
Associated Press Writer
June 5, 2007, 4:15 AM EDT

WASHINGTON -- In a rare public discussion of her husband's infidelity,Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday thatshe probably could not have gotten through her marital troubles withoutrelying on her faith in God.

Clinton stood by her actions in the aftermath of former President Clinton'sadmission that he had an affair, including presumably her decision to stayin the marriage.

"I am very grateful that I had a grounding in faith that gave me the courageand the strength to do what I thought was right, regardless of what theworld thought," Clinton said during a forum where the three leadingDemocratic presidential candidates talked about faith and values.

"I'm not sure I would have gotten through it without my faith," she said inresponse to a question about how she dealt with the infidelity.

The forum, sponsored by the liberal Sojourners/Call to Renewal evangelicalorganization, provided an uncommon glimpse into the most personal beliefs ofClinton and rivals John Edwards and Barack Obama. The three candidates wereinvited by Sojourners founder Jim Wallis; most of the other Democraticcandidates appeared on CNN later Monday to discuss their faith.


The Miami Herald



Ad revenue at gay and lesbian publications continues to grow faster than inthe mainstream press -- expanding at almost three times the mainstream rateover the last decade -- according to a new report.

Total ad spending in gay- and lesbian-oriented publications hit a record$223.3 million last year, up 5.2 percent from 2005 and better than triplethe 1996 figure, according to the Gay Press Report, an annual surveyproduced by ad agency Prime Access and gay media representative firmRivendell Media.

Over the past 10 years, ad revenue for all consumer magazines grew at acompound annual rate of 4 percent versus an 11.8 percent pace forgay-targeted media.


The Buffalo News; City & Region

Pride Weekend focused on marriage rights
By Chrissie Thompson NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: 06/04/07 7:17 AM

Americans have long viewed June as the month for weddings, but Buffalo'slesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities know it is also theirnational pride month.

This year's Buffalo Pride Weekend theme, "Happily Ever After - Legal or Not," emphasized the intersection of the two: The LGBT community wantsequal marriage rights.

The Pride festivities Saturday and Sunday came after Gov. Eliot L. Spitzersaid in April that he would introduce legislation to legalize samesexmarriage in New York.

Buffalo's Bryan James Whitley, executive director of Pride Center of WesternNew York, said in seeking marriage rights, he wants legal protection of theproperty he shares with his partner, Nathan Grissi.

"I don't need anyone to approve of my relationship," he said. "We need to belegally recognized to protect what we've worked really hard for."


Monday, 04 June 2007 16:55
Norm Kent, Publisher You Can Now Have Sex With Your Partner
(But Only if You Are in Jail)

Norm Kent

Bear with me here, readers. This column could get very slutty.

Years ago, in a lifetime far away, I was a law student at HofstraUniversity.

To gain stature and credibility in law school, you are supposed to getpublished in law reviews.

I found my distinction in the unheralded New England Journal of Prison Law.It was 1975, and I found out about this state prison in Mississippi,Parchman, which allowed its inmates to have overnight conjugal visits withtheir wives. Much to my surprise, my article in this small journal led to anational discussion on conjugal visitation, and many prisons inaugurated theconcept in the name of penal reform. I was even interviewed by Ed Bradleyabout it for 60 minutes in a segment that was left on the cutting roomfloor.

I guess I was excited about men in prison even back then, all these youngstrong studs, bunking together in bead-sweating cells, side by side, workingout in the hot sun, day after day. I knew there was something I liked aboutPaul Newman and 'Cool Hand Luke' besides the movie. If you have not seenthat film, a young Paul Newman, sweating and shirtless on a prison farm, itis mandatory gay cinema verite.


June 05, 2007
Religious, political leaders urged to welcome gays into the fold

A coalition of national faith leaders issued an open letter Monday to morethan 20,000 religious and political leaders, calling for a faith-basedapproach that supports diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.The letter, published by the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality,Justice, and Healing, challenges religious leaders to use the pulpit tospread a welcoming message to all people while educating themselves aboutthe diversity of human sexuality.

Aside from thousands of religious leaders, each U.S. congressional memberwill receive the document.

"While religious denominations continue to debate issues of sexuality," saidthe institute's director, the Reverend Debra W. Haffner, "the silenceand...condemnation of clergy have led to destroyed relationships, suicidaldespair and discrimination, and violence against LGBT persons. Denying thatGod created diversity as a blessing is denying biblical teaching."

"Too many religious institutions have failed to embrace sexual and genderdiversity," the letter reads. "Some have mistakenly called homosexualitysinful when the real issue is heterosexism or the unjust privileging ofheterosexuality. Heterosexism devalues gay, lesbian, bisexual, andtransgender people, just as sexism and male privilege devalue women.Silence, misinformation, and condemnation of differing sexual and genderidentities have created despair, destroyed relationships, and led toviolence, suicide, and even murder. Sexual and gender oppression can nolonger be portrayed as virtuous and morally defensible."


The Advocate

June 05, 2007

Democrats clash on Iraq, health care, but unite against "don't ask, don'ttell"

In their debate Sunday night in Manchester, N.H., Democratic presidentialcandidates clashed on Iraq and over the security of the country since theSeptember 11, 2001, terror attacks-but they were united in their oppositionto "don't ask, don't tell."

In their debate Sunday night in Manchester, N.H., Democratic presidentialcandidates clashed on Iraq and over the security of the country since theSeptember 11, 2001, terror attacks-but they were united in their oppositionto "don't ask, don't tell."

All the candidates raised their hands when asked by moderator Wolf Blitzerif they would get rid of the ''don't ask, don't tell'' policy on gays in themilitary instituted by President Clinton.

Was it a mistake? Clinton said her husband's 1993 formulation ''was atransition policy,'' but one that is no longer valid.

She said it is being ''implemented in a discriminatory manner'' and has beenused to discharge Arabic linguists when such translators are in shortsupply.


The Advocate

June 05, 2007
California lesbian sues for discrimination

A Northern California woman sued the online dating service eHarmony onThursday, alleging it discriminates against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.

Linda Carlson said she tried to use the Internet site in February to meet awoman but was refused based on her sexual orientation. When Carlson wrote toeHarmony to complain, the company refused to change its policy, according tothe lawsuit filed on her behalf in Los Angeles County superior court.

The lawsuit claims that by offering to find a compatible match only for menseeking women or women seeking men, the company was violating state lawbarring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

''Such outright discrimination is hurtful and disappointing for a businessopen to the public in this day and age,'' Carlson said in a statement.

The lawsuit names Pasadena-based Inc., company founder NeilClark Warren, and his wife, Marylyn, the company's former vice president, asdefendants. It seeks class-action status, a jury trial, and unspecifieddamages.


The Advocate

June 05, 2007
Pittsburgh Presbyterian church votes to leave national church over gays

A majority of members at Pittsburgh presbytery's largest church voted Sundayto split off from the Presbyterian Church (USA) and join a more conservativedenomination, in part because of the national church's growing inclusion ofgays. Of the 1,450 members of Memorial Park Presbyterian Church inMcCandless Township, 951 voted to join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church,reports the Associated Press.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) is one of many Protestant denominationscurrently struggling with the role of gays in the congregation and on thepulpit. Memorial Park church officials expressed their concern with thenational church's more liberal stance on gay ordination, a recent move awayfrom traditional religious doctrine. A national church court decision fromthe year 2000 also allows Presbyterian churches to bless same-sex unions solong as the unions are not equated with marriage.

In 1999 the Memorial Park congregation became a "confessing church," part ofa popular movement within many American Protestant denominations thatincludes questioning the treatment of sexuality and homosexuality by themodern Christian community.

"We are saddened that Memorial Park members and leaders have elected toseparate from the Presbyterian Church," Pittsburgh presbytery pastor JamesMead said in a statement after Sunday's vote. "However, we believe thatwrestling with such painful issues is part of God's redemptive plan for theworld." (The Advocate)


The Advocate

June 05, 2007
Dallas could elect its first gay mayor

This conservative metropolis could become the nation's largest city to electan openly gay mayor if a longtime city council member wins a runoff electionlater this month.

Ed Oakley's candidacy is the latest indication that Dallas' reputation as aconservative stronghold is giving way to more diversity. The city is alreadyhome to several gay elected officials, including the sheriff.

''Dallas is less and less the Dallas that people think it is,'' said CalJillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University.''And Dallas is less and less the Dallas that it used to be.''

In the mayoral race, Oakley and former construction company CEO Tom Leppertemerged from a crowded 11-candidate field that included another openly gayman and a transgender woman. Oakley and Leppert will be the only candidatesin the June 16 runoff.

But if Oakley, 54, is on the edge of history, he doesn't talk about it. Hissexuality hasn't figured prominently in the campaign. Oakley said hisinternal polling showed it had little impact on voters.


The Advocate

June 05, 2007
Antigay Web site in Lithuania investigated

An antigay Web site in Lithuania is being investigated by authorities inVilnius, the country's capital. The Web site, which promotes murdering gaysand threatens people to prevent them from publicly acknowledging theirsexual orientation, is one of two investigations currently under way dealingwith discrimination against gays, reports Agence France-Presse.

The other involves leaflets distributed in Vilnius that "[call] for actionagainst the homosexual community," Aurelija Juodyte, a spokeswoman for theprosecutor's office, told AFP on Monday.

"Among the comments on the Web site, entitled 'Let's stop the rainbowcolours,' were calls to beat and kill homosexual people," Juodyte said. "Theleaflets warned homosexual people not to out [themselves] in public."

The bout of homophobia follows on the heels of a European Union-supportedrally against discrimination that was canceled last month. City officialsfeared that the event, which would have included members of the Lithuaniangay community hoisting a rainbow flag, would create unrest among homophobiccitizens.

Juodyte also told AFP that Lithuania punishes "discrimination andinstigation of hatred" with up to three years in prison. (The Advocate)


Playing By the Numbers
by Libby Post

Presidents, governors and other elected officials say they don't govern bythem. Political candidates, on the other hand, don't go on the campaigntrail without them.

What are they? Political polls-public opinion surveys that supposedly put afinger on the pulse of those who've answered their phones. Usually within amargin of error of three to four points, political pollsters ask likelyvoters how they feel about issues, the job someone is doing, the likelihoodof them voting for a particular candidate if the election were held today.

Political candidates use polls to shape their message-to talk to votersusing values and issues those who pull the levers in the election booth canrelate to. The ultimate goal is to have the majority of levers pulled forthe candidate. Once elected, the candidate is free to either embrace or turnher or his back on those values, issues and voters only to start the entireprocess over and reinvent themselves in the next election cycle.

For some electeds, the next election cycle is the day after being sworn in.W started running for president the day after his first inauguration. Withonly a little over a year left to his-I can't even call it a presidency-histime in office, he still hasn't gotten the hang of governing. New York'sgovernor Eliot Spitzer, on the other hand, started governing right out ofthe gate-some think even before Election Day. He's stayed true to hismessage of change bucking the entrenched power structure in the EmpireState, getting some bruises along the way.

But, Spitzer-who is forthright about not governing by polls (I was in theroom when he said it at a press conference in March), can take heart in thefact that in the most recent poll by the Siena Research Institute at SienaCollege here in the Capital Region, 67 percent of the 620 registered NewYork State voters polled have a favorable opinion of the governor, 57% gavehim a positive job performance rating.


Click here to sign up for the Care Resource Newsletter

NATIONAL HIV TESTING DAY - Wednesday, June 27, 2007 is National HIV TestingDay. Care Resource will be doing FREE rapid (20 minute results) testing at:

a.. Care Resource Broward office (830 E. Oakland Park Blvd, Ft.Lauderdale) - 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
b.. The Shoppes of Wilton Manors (2226 Wilton Drive) from 10:00 am - 8:00pm
c.. Care Resource Miami office (3510 Biscayne Blvd, Miami) from 9:00 am -5:45 pm
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.

Confidentiality Notice: This message and any included attachments are fromCare Resource and are intended only for the addressee. The contents in thismessage may contain confidential information belonging to the sender that islegally privileged. Unauthorized forwarding, printing, copying, distributionor use of such information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. Ifyou are not the intended addressee, please promptly delete this message andnotify the sender of the delivery error by e-mail or contact Care ResourcePublic Relations.


Bush Nominee For Surgeon General Has Anti-Gay Record
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: June 5, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(Washington) A growing number of LGBT civil rights groups are calling forthe rejection of President Bush's nominee to be Surgeon General.

The Human Rights Campaign, Truth Wins Out, Soulforce and gay medical groupsall are raising alarm bells over Dr. James Holsinger.

Holsinger, an MD and professor at the University of Kentucky, is a formerhead of Health and Family Services in Kentucky. In addition to his medicaldegree he holds an MA in biblical studies from Asbury Theological Seminaryand is one of nine members of the United Methodist Church Judicial Council.

As a member of the council he opposed a decision to allow a lesbian to be anassociate pastor, and supported a pastor who would not permit an openly gayman to join the church.

In a document titled "Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality," Holsingerstated that in his capacity as a physician biology and anatomy precludedconsidering LGBT equality in the United Methodist Church. In the document hetook lengths to say that his opinion was his scientific view and that histheological views are separate.

"His writings suggest a scientific view rooted in anti-gay beliefs that areincompatible with the job of serving the medical health of all Americans,"said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

"It is essential that America's top doctor value sound science over anti-gayideology."

Holsinger and his wife were founders of Hope Springs Community Church, inLexington, which operates a so-called "ex-gay" ministry.

"We see that as an issue not of orientation but a lifestyle," the Rev. DavidCalhoun, the church's pastor has said.

"We have people who seek to walk out of that lifestyle."

Both the American Psychiatric Association and the American PsychologicalAssociation have condemned so-called conversion therapy.

Holsinger's relationship with Hope Springs came under attack from a groupthat opposes the "ex-gay" movement.

"Holsinger is an ideologue whose medical views on gay and lesbian peopleresemble sorcery more than sound science," said Truth Wins Out's ExecutiveDirector Wayne Besen.


Ft. Lauderdale


Fresh Baked Fun at the GLCC Flea Market this Saturday 8am- 2pm

If the air smells extra sweet this weekend, there's a good reason!Volunteers from the GLCC are baking up all sorts of delicious treats.Planned offerings include muffins, cookies, cereal bars, cakes and of coursecoffee.

This irresistible fundraiser is to raise money for the GLCC's programs andservices.




Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List>

June 4, 2007

CONTACT: Ali Bay, Communications Manager
PHONE: (916) 284-9187 EMAIL:

Senate Passes Protections for At-Risk Incarcerated Youth

Migden Bill, Sponsored by EQCA, Addresses Crisis of Abuse Against LGBT Youthin Juvenile Justice System

SACRAMENTO - The California Senate on Monday approved basic safeguards toprotect youth residing in juvenile justice facilities from abuse andmistreatment.

SB 518, the Juvenile Justice Safety and Protection Act, creates a Youth Billof Rights to protect all young people from harassment and discrimination,including youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender(LGBT). Authored by Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, and sponsored byEquality California, the measure passed the Senate with a 22-12 vote.

"LGBT youth are at especially high risk for being harassed and abused in ourjuvenile justice system because of their sexual orientation or genderidentity," said EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors. "It is time to put anend to this crisis of violence and discrimination. All youth need anddeserve adequate protections and safeguards when under the supervision ofthe state's juvenile justice system."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Help Elect New York's First Bisexual Politician!

Tomorrow is Election Day for the New York State Assembly Seat in the 65thAssembly District on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, vacated when PeteGrannis was appointed as Commissioner of the New York State Department ofEnvironmental Conservation by Governor Eliot Spitzer.

Now we have the opportunity to elect Micah Kellner, an openly bisexual man,to that seat. Micah would be the fourth LGBT legislator in the State of NewYork and has a long history of community activism in the Upper East Sidedistrict where he is running.

If you live on the Upper East Side or Roosevelt Island in the 65th AssemblyDistrict, please vote tomorrow for Democrat Micah Kellner! To find out ifyou live in the district, click here


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

PFAW Contact: Josh Glasstetter or Drew Courtney202-467-4999

Judicial Nominee Heads for Committee Vote

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote this Thursday on thenomination of former Mississippi Court of Appeals judge Leslie Southwick toa seat on the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Ralph G. Neas,president of People For the American Way, cited Southwick¹s troubling recordon the rights of African Americans, gays and lesbians, and workers, andtoday urged Democratic and Republican Senators to come out forcefullyagainst the nomination prior to the vote.

He made the following statement:

³Leslie Southwick upheld the reinstatement with back pay of a white workerafter she had been fired for using the single most offensive racial epithet,calling a black colleague a Ogood ole nigger.¹ In the wake of heightenedracial sensitivity engendered by the Don Imus imbroglio, it¹s amazing thatthere is so little outrage over the unbelievably insensitive position takenby a nominee for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench.²


Forwarded from Michael Emanuel Rajner
National Secretary - Campaign to End AIDS
Founding Member - Campaign to End AIDS-FLORIDA

Puerto Rico's AIDS Care in Disarray Over Funds


SAN JUAN, P.R. - His emaciated body advertises the damage wreaked by theAIDS virus. But over the last year, Rolando Warren González, 41, a formersteel band member, has faced an extra challenge to his survival.

From the shelter where he lives in Loiza in Puerto Rico's impoverishednortheast, Mr. González travels an hour and a half by bus to reach thegovernment clinic where he receives his "cocktail" of antiviral drugs.

"But sometimes I go, and they just don't have the medicines," he said.

Six times in the last year, he said, he has suffered two-week periods withno drugs, undercutting the life-prolonging benefits of modern therapiesagainst H.I.V., the AIDS virus.

Accounts like his - and worse - are repeated across this tropical territoryof the United States, where hundreds of H.I.V. and AIDS patients are notreceiving vital medical care, say a host of doctors, community groups andpatients.

The disarray in treatment reflects a stew of problems. An overstretchedhealth care budget is accentuated by rivalries between the commonwealth andthe San Juan city governments, which run separate AIDS programs.

But federal officials and many local doctors say the main culprit is theisland's poor management of the available money provided for AIDS care underthe Ryan White Act, amounting to $53 million last year. Clinics have notreceived drugs on time, and private groups that assist AIDS patients areoften reimbursed six months late or more, causing some to cut services oreven shut down.

In sharp rebukes to the Puerto Rico Health Department and the City of SanJuan, federal officials have put the AIDS grants under unusually tightreview and even threatened to halt some federal money. Because ofdisorganization, the officials say, the island has often failed to spend allits Ryan White aid, losing access to $6.5 million over the last five years.

Adding questions, in December the F.B.I. raided four San Juan HealthDepartment offices, seizing 400 boxes of documents in a criminalinvestigation into possible misuse of Ryan White grants.


Cheney SECRETLY Schemes To Start Iran War By Himself

The New York Times and CBS News are confirming a story we had already heardthat Cheney is determined to suck the U.S. into a shooting war with Iran,provoked through back channels with Israel, if he can't force that policy onBush any other way. We are in greater danger of the strategic debacle inthe Middle East spinning even more wildly out of control every day thatCongress does not confront the monstrous malignancy in the office of thevice president in particular.


Vote yes, or else vote no. Nearly 60,000 have already. It could save all ofour lives. It could save YOUR live, all of it. Help turn the NationalCheney Impeachment Poll into a national phenomenon. That's where we aregoing with this. We can do it with your help. All we have to do is getenough people to say he SHOULD be impeached, and he will be impeached.

The situation is so extreme that The New York Times published an editorialyesterday, and we quote from just some of its conclusions below. How cananyone read these words of alarm and not be at LEAST motivated to at expressan OPINION? They are finally speaking out. How about you? Please note,destruction of official vice presidential records is a CRIME, and that'sjust the latest!


Ft. Lauderdale

Gay Pride Literary Events
Lavender Writes is hosting a series of literary events in honor of gay pridemonth. All events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, June 14: 7pm
Gay and Lesbian Literary Program Series: A Interactive Discussion
Where the Gay and Lesbian Literature Movement Is Headed
Broward County Main Library

100 S. Andrews Ave


Panelists include Lavender Writes President Mauro Montoya, Stonewall Libraryand Archives Executive Director Jack Rutland and Lesbian Pulp Novelist SallyM. Singer

Co-hosted by Lavender Writes, the Stonewall Library and Archive and theBroward County Libraries Division

Saturday, June 16, 8 p.m.
Gay Pride Open Mic
Borders Book and Music
2240 E. Sunrise Blvd.

Writers sign up in advance at:


African Lesbian and Gay activists meet in Johannesburg to challenge
State Homophobia in 38 countries on the continent
Date: May 8, 2007

Media Release
For immediate release

African Lesbian and Gay activists meet in Johannesburg to challenge StateHomophobia in 38 countries on the continent.

The first regional conference of ILGA, the International Lesbian and GayAssociation, in Africa will take place in Johannesburg May 5 - 8, 2007. Itaims at gathering a large number of activists dealing with LGBT issues inAfrica to further progress their advancement.

On occasion of this first Pan African conference, 60 human rights and LGBTIactivists from all corners of the African continent will gather at theBirchwood Hotel in Johannesburg to discuss ways to challenge statehomophobia, lesbophobia and transphobia in Africa.

In 2007, no less than 85 member states of the United Nations stillcriminalize consensual same sex acts among adults, thus institutionallypromoting a culture of hatred. Amongst those, 38 are African governments.

A report on State Homophobia in Africa will be launched during theconference. The impressive collection of laws presented in this report is anattempt to show the extent of State homophobia in Africa.

Although many of the countries listed in the report do not systematicallyimplement those laws, their mere existence reinforces a culture where asignificant portion of the citizens need to hide from the rest of thepopulation out of fear. A culture where hatred and violence are somehowjustified by the State and force people into invisibility or into denyingwho they truly are.


From the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission(IGLHRC)

Date: June 1, 2007 Asia & Pacific » USA » Action Alert


The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) hasbeen closely monitoring the case of a female to male transgender man and hisfemale born wife who were hiding from family violence, turned to the courtfor help, and ended up in prison. Thirty-one year old Shumail Raj who hasbeen a transgender man for 16 years and 26-year old Shahzina Tariq weremarried according to Muslim law in September 2006. In May 2007, Shahzina'sfather testified in court that Shumail was not a man. The judge ordered amedical examination, which showed that Shumail had undergone genderreassignment surgery to remove his uterus and breasts. On May 22, the LahoreHigh Court found the couple guilty of perjury and fined each of them 10,000rupees and sentenced them to 3 years in prison. The court's reasoning wasthat Shumail was a woman who lied about being a man, and the couple liedabout the legality of their marriage since two women in Pakistan cannotmarry. Shumail and Shahzina are now serving their sentence in two separatewomen's prisons in two different cities.

They have threatened suicide.


IGLHRC is working with allies in Pakistan to provide support to Ms.Tariq and Mr. Raj. IGLHRC is also in contact with other human rights groupson how to bolster the efforts of the two attorneys in Pakistan who areplanning to file an appeal before the Pakistan Supreme Court with hopes foran acquittal.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Same-Sex Marriage Takes the Spotlight in Forum

By Elissa Silverman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 5, 2007; B05

Capital Pride, the annual gay and lesbian celebration that mixes high-mindeddialogue with dance parties, began a week's worth of events last night witha "town hall" meeting that focused on such topics as same-sex marriage andfaith.

Six panelists fielded questions from moderator Jason Bellini and members ofan 80-person audience at the Studio Theatre in Northwest Washington.

Four of the panelists are openly gay elected officials -- two serve on theD.C. Council, one in the Virginia House of Delegates and one in the MarylandHouse of Delegates.

Same-sex marriage came up frequently in the discussion.

"I think we are at the point in the District of Columbia where we need tomove forward on the marriage issue," said D.C. Council member Jim Graham(D-Ward 1). Graham later said that he planned to introduce a bill in thenext two years for the city to recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions.

But first, Graham said, he wants Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) to release alegal opinion on whether the District recognizes same-sex marriagesofficiated in other states. Former D.C. attorney general Robert Spagnoletti,who served in the Anthony A. Williams administration, prepared an opinion,but it was never made public.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Bill would help unwed couples

Plan expands rights of all heterosexual domestic partners.
By Aurelio Rojas - Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 12:00 am PDT Tuesday, June 5, 2007

All heterosexual adults who register their domestic partnerships with thestate of California would have the same legal rights as married couples,including filing joint state income tax returns, under legislation approvedMonday by the state Senate.

Senate Bill 11 -- which will now be considered by the Assembly -- wasintroduced by Sen. Carole Migden, whose landmark 1999 civil union billallowed same-sex couples to register with the secretary of state as domesticpartners.

"This bill proposes to expand domestic partnerships and benefits to alladult couples who desire to form domestic partnership relationships," theSan Francisco Democrat said on the floor of the Senate.

She cited published reports that show four out of 10 babies in the UnitedStates are now born to parents who are not married, but may live together.

"It seems to me entirely fair that this Legislature respond to the emergingnew definition of marriage and family," said Migden, one of California'sfirst openly lesbian lawmakers, who calls the legislation an "equitymeasure."

SB 11 passed by a 22-13 vote, largely along party lines with Democratssupporting the proposal and Republicans opposing it.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

June 5, 2007, 11:18 am
Parsing Clinton's Views on Gay Marriage
By Patrick Healy

Is Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton preparing to endorse gay marriage?

Her advisers say no - she supports civil unions only - and gay rightsadvocates who work with Mrs. Clinton say she has not promised them anything.Yet these advocates also say that Mrs. Clinton is inching, in her famouslyincremental way, toward a policy position that might at least open the doorto gay marriage.

Mrs. Clinton, who is courting the gay vote more than any other presidentialcandidate at this point, made news this week by using a candidatequestionnaire to repudiate one provision of the federal Defense of MarriageAct (known as DOMA). That law, signed by her husband and enacted in 1996,says that states do not have to recognize gay marriages and unions fromother states. Nor does the federal government.

On the questionnaire for the Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rightsorganization, Mrs. Clinton said she supported repealing the part of the lawthat would prohibit the federal government from recognizing same-sexrelationships.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

City to end health benefits to gay partners
Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The city of Kalamazoo no longer will offer health insurance benefits to thepartners of gay workers, becoming Michigan's first public employer to takeaway such benefits in the wake of a 2004 ban against gay marriage.

Kalamazoo City Manager Kenneth Collard confirmed Monday that the city willeliminate domestic partner benefits for four nonunion employees effectiveJune 30. He cited a May 23 order from the Michigan Supreme Court.

The high court agreed to hear an appeal of a state Court of Appeals decisionblocking same-sex benefits, but it also let the earlier decision takeimmediate effect.

"We have no authority, as being a creation of the state, to ignore the(Michigan) constitution as defined," Collard said. The affected employeeswere informed last week and their partners have about a month to get otherinsurance, Collard said.

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, saidpublic universities and state and local governments should followKalamazoo's lead and "honor the will of the voters."

Some public employers have said they will not take away domestic partnerbenefits until the case is decided once and for all.

The court's order apparently will have minimal effect in the Muskegon area,where no local government is believed to offer the benefits.

The issue of domestic partner benefits has surfaced in recent years duringcontract negotiations, but such benefits have never been adopted at MuskegonCommunity College, said Diana Osborn, the college's associate vice presidentof administration.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

City Comptroller: Gay Marriage Would Be Good For The Economy

City Comptroller Bill Thompson says legalizing gay marriage would be goodfor the city's economy.

In a study called "Love Counts," Thompson says $142 million in new revenuewould be generated in the three years after the law is passed. Thompson saysthe money would come from residents and their visitors spending money onweddings.

The study also says more gay couples could move to the state and possiblybuy homes. Statewide, about $184 million could be generated.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Plan to Offer Domestic Partner Benefits Voted Down

The Legislature's budget committee Tuesday refused to allow domestic partnerbenefits for state employees.

The committee voted along party lines to reject Governor Doyle's plan tomake health insurance and other benefits available to the partners of gayand straight state employees.

Democrats were in favor of the plan but they failed to get the oneRepublican vote they needed to insert the policy into the budget.

Democrats who control the Senate are expected to push for the benefits intheir version of the budget.

Representative Mark Pocan, a Madison Democrat, says UW-Madison is losing keyresearchers as a result of being the only university in the Big TenConference not to offer the benefits.

He accused Republicans of playing to their conservative base by opposing theplan.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

The gay factor declines as an issue

Elections: Some say Dallas candidate's orientation won't affect mayor's race
01:26 PM CDT on Monday, June 4, 2007
By SHERRY JACOBSON / The Dallas Morning News

It was big news in gay political circles around the country when Ed Oakleywon a place in Dallas' mayoral runoff three weeks ago.

"Councilman Ed Oakley is a step closer to becoming the nation's first openlygay mayor of one of the largest U.S. cities," noted the Web site of thenational Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which has endorsed him and directedmoney to his campaign.

Mr. Oakley - who is facing Tom Leppert in the June 16 mayoral runoff -doesn't mention the groundbreaking nature of the election or even talk muchabout being gay these days.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Church wants to 'understand gays' [BBC]
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has voted to adopt a new policy onhomosexuals at its general assembly.

It is to adopt the recommendations of an internal report on the issue.

It does not change the church's theological stance - that homosexuality iswrong - but urges more understanding for gay parishioners in pastoral care.

Congregations are encouraged to create an environment of love, acceptance,patience and forgiveness and develop a space where sexuality can bediscussed.

Reverend Bobby Liddle, convenor of the group which drew up the guidelines,said that the church was a conservative one, but that it wanted to show itsconcern for people struggling with their sexuality.

"We are seeking to acknowledge that there are those within the context ofour church who in the past have been hurt and we are seeking to do better inthat," he said.

On Monday, the church's new moderator, Dr John Finlay, implied it would bedifficult for sexually active gays to remain within the Presbyterian fold.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Lesbian politician in Japan gets hitched

5th June 2007 12:17 writer

Japan's first openly lesbian politician celebrated her same-sex partnershipon Sunday, a month before elections for Japan's upper house.

Kanako Otsuji, 32, is a candidate for the Democratic Party of Japan in nextmonth's election for the House of Councillors.

She tied the knot with her partner of four years, Maki Kimura, 32.

Their wedding took place in Ikeda Park in Nagoya, the country's thirdlargest city, during an HIV/AIDS prevention festival called Nagoya Lesbian &Gay Revolution.

Some 1,000 guests attended the wedding.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Berlin memorial to persecuted gays

4th June 2007 16:55
Amy Bourke

A memorial to gay people persecuted and murdered by the Nazis will becomplete later this year, the German government announced today.

The tribute to forgotten victims will be situated on the edge of Tiergartenpark, near to a memorial for the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust.

The memorial will take the form of a gray concrete slab, with a window toallow visitors to view a video. There will be two alternated videos whichshow either two men kissing or two women kissing.

Originally, the plan was for a video of just two men, but that proposal drewheavy criticism from people who claimed that lesbians were being excluded.

Its design echoes Peter Eisenman's Berlin memorial to the Nazis' Jewishvictims, a vast field of more than 2,700 slabs.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay pride in Riga goes ahead peacefully

4th June 2007 15:45
Amy Bourke

Gay men and women held the first gay pride with no sign of violence in Rigayesterday.

Five hundred people gathered in the Latvian capital, in a fenced park withtight security provided by the police.

Small groups of anti-gay protestors hurled insults, but no violence tookplace, and two people were arrested for the verbal abuse.

Spanish European parliament member Raul Romeva told Reuters: "The fact wecan organise this march this year shows there has been an improvement evenif we have to do it in a park."

Politicians from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the European parliament joinedthe march.

The marchers brandished placards saying: "Love is a human right," "Equalityis a human right," and "No to hatred, we love Latvia."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Why can't the rest of the world see Dallas for what it really is?

07:10 AM CDT on Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Well, the cat's out of the croker sack now - looks like we've got openly gaypeople in Dallas! Some of them have even been elected to public office!

Yes, it's true. Word may also be leaking out that we have wine bars, publictransportation, Democrats and indoor plumbing, so maybe it's time foreverybody to quit acting so surprised.

It defies rationality that otherwise sensible, well-educated people continueto view this city as a red-state citadel of hardcore conservatism, itsscheming, autocratic, rich-white-guy overlords working the puppet stringsfrom their mahogany-paneled sancta.

Surely the news has gotten around that, like most other large U.S. cities,we have progressed (sometimes gracefully, often grudgingly) into the modernera.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

London will stage gay World Cup

4th June 2007 11:20
Amy Bourke

London is to be home to the footballing gay world cup in 2008, it hasemerged.

The International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA) is to holdtheir world championship at Leftfooters FC in London next August.

Leftfooters FC, a gay football club based in Regent's Park, have beenworking with the Football Association for the past two years.

They have supported the FA's continuing efforts through their "Football forAll" campaign to stamp out homophobia in British football.

The FA will provide technical support for the tournament, and will help torecruit match officials and volunteers for the biggest gay sporting eventever hosted in the UK.

Up to 50 teams from across the world will apply to the tournament. Accordingto there will be up to 1,000 players and spectators.

The knock-out stages will take place in Regent's Park, and Leyton Orient'sMatchroom Stadium will host the finals.


Forwarded from Wayne Besen
Weekly Column: Anything But Straight

Anything But Straight
June 5, 2007

Holzinger Does Too Much Harm

With an approval rating hovering at Nixonian levels and Rush Limbaugh firingspitballs from the right over immigration, it didn't take a brain surgeon toguess that George W. Bush would try to appease conservatives by nominating aNeanderthal for Surgeon General.

Out from the cave ambled James W. Holsinger, the most homophobic doctorsince Isaiah Washington - the Grey's Anatomy's star - had to go to rehab fordropping F-bombs. But Washington was a make believe doctor, while Holzingeris very real and has the potential to inflict great harm on the GLBTcommunity.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Holsinger started Hope SpringsCommunity Church in Kentucky. Rev. David Calhoun, the pastor of the bigaluminum trailer church said that Hope Springs has an "ex-gay" ministry.

"We see that as an issue not of orientation but a lifestyle," Calhoun said."We have people who seek to walk out of that lifestyle."

Holsinger also served on the Judicial Council for the United MethodistChurch where he opposed a decision to allow a lesbian to be an associatepastor. He was even so extreme that he endorsed a pastor who tried toprohibit an openly gay man from joining a church.


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups

Ulster says no, only this time it's to basic human rights for gay people

By Donal Lynch

Sunday June 03 2007

In the past, most people would have just rolled their eyes and regardedPaisley's outburst as his usual paranoid grandstanding (can you think ofanother public figure who continually feels the need to point out howstraight they are?) and a play to the substantial Ulster constituency thatdoubts the theory of evolution and thinks that sporting events shouldn't beheld on a Sunday. But now that he's a junior minister and, in theory, hassome responsibility for equality legislation in the North, his rant isviewed in a different light, hence the calls for an apology. Last week,IPJ's rhetoric was variously denounced as "outrageous", "irresponsible" and"totally out of touch".


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups

Russia with hate
By Peter Tatchell

New Statesman
4 June 2007

Observations on gay pride

On Sunday 27 May, in Moscow, I witnessed the latest assault on humanrights in Russia. A tiny, peaceful Gay Pride march, which threatenedno one, was banned on the diktat of Moscow's mayor, Yuri Luzhkov. Atthe same time, President Putin effectively banned Gay Pride organisersfrom holding a rally in a park near the Kremlin, having ignored theirrequest for permission. Russian law guarantees the right to protest.

Not a single politician from Russia's liberal, democratic or leftparties condemned this suppression of freedom of expression andassembly. Cowardly and bigoted, they all oppose gay human rights. Itis a damning indictment of Russia's flawed transition to democracy.

The Gay Pride organisers went ahead anyway. Nearly 40 of us - mostlyRussians and a few international observers - gathered outside Moscow'sCity Hall. When we attempted to deliver a letter of protest to themayor, we were surrounded by police. First, they arrested NikolaiAlekseev, the organiser of Moscow Gay Pride and German Green MP,Volker Beck. Then they tried to arrest everyone else. Most of us gotaway. The frustrated officers withdrew and, as if by signal, gangs offascist and nationalist thugs appeared from nowhere and beganassaulting us. The police gave them free reign.


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups

Catholic faith, practice holding steady among young Poles

Jun. 4, 2007 ( - A new survey of Polish young people findsCatholic faith and practice holding firm in the past decade after an earlierdrop.

The newspaper Rzeczpospolita published survey results showing that 70% ofyoung Poles identified themselves as Catholics. That figure is essentiallyunchanged since 1998, when 68% said they were Catholics. In 1988 the numberwas higher: 80%.

The poll, conducted in 2006, found a rising number of young people opposedto abortion, pre-marital sex, and contraception (the figures were 92%, 41%,and 43% respectively-- all showing modest increases from 1998). But thesurvey also showed some rise in support for homosexual unions (now at 20%),assisted suicide in some circumstances (18%), and restricted cloning (12%).

Rzeczpospolita reported that 25% of Polish youth said they attend SundayMass regularly. That figure is unchanged from the 1998 result, butdistinctly lower than the 27% figure from 1988. Some 33% of the youngrespondents said that they attend Mass every Sunday.


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups

Moscow Pride: clampdown on gay rights activists

Anders Dahlbeck
Researcher - EU team
Amnesty International

Working to protect human rights worldwide

Internet communications are not secure and therefore Amnesty InternationalLtd does not accept legal responsibility for the contents of this message.If you are not the intended recipient you must not disclose or rely on theinformation in this e-mail. Any views or opinions presented are solely thoseof the author and do not necessarily represent those of AmnestyInternational Ltd unless specifically stated. Electronic communicationsincluding email might be monitored by Amnesty International Ltd. foroperational or usiness reasons.


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups,,2092840,00.html

Crucible of hate

All across eastern Europe, gay people are demanding equality. But inRussia, Poland and Latvia, their growing confidence is being met withviolent resistance from nationalist and religious groups. What lies behindthis hysteria? Phoebe A Greenwood reports

Phoebe A Greenwood
Friday June 1, 2007


It is Gay Pride season in Europe, with marches in Poland and Russia. InLatvia, the capital, Riga, is hosting four days of lectures, classicalconcerts, parties and film screenings, but the big draw will be the finalparade through the Vermane Garden on June 3. Organisers are hoping for aturnout of around 400, maybe more if the weather is as sunny as last year.It's hard to know. What they can expect with some certainty is thatneofascist and ultra-religious counterdemonstrators will outnumber theirmarchers by at least two to one. The police presence will be greater still.As one activist put it, "It'll be less of a Pride parade than a human rightsfight."

Whether the sun shines or not, the atmosphere will be stormy. The hopeis that Ivars Godmanis, Latvia's new minister of the interior, generallyconsidered a pragmatic man, will prevent a repeat of last year's event, ahuman rights and PR disaster. The march had been banned as a risk toecurity.


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