Saturday, July 21, 2007

GLBT DIGEST July 21, 2007

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Clinton Hits Back At Pentagon Official
Democratic Presidential Candidate Questions Tactics
POSTED: 6:15 pm EDT July 20, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton onFriday accused the Pentagon of impugning her patriotism simply because sheraised questions about U.S. planning for the eventual withdrawal of troopsfrom Iraq.

The politically heated back-and-forth began Thursday with a sharply wordedmissive from Eric Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy, to Clintonwarning that such questions boost enemy propaganda.

Clinton pressed Edelman's boss, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, on Friday,asking if he agreed with his aide's charge. The New York senator said in astatement that Edelman had ducked her questions and "instead made spuriousarguments to avoid addressing contingency planning."

Later in the day, in a conference call with reporters, Clinton calledEdelman's argument "offensive and totally inappropriate," and said it wasmore evidence that smart military planning is being subverted by misguidedWhite House strategies.

"I don't want to wake up and be surprised once again that what any of uswould have assumed was absolutely accepted has been derailed or stonewalledby the White House because it doesn't fit the ideological or politicalagenda," she said.


The New York Times

July 21, 2007
Corzine Enters Dispute With United Parcel Service Over Who Is a Legal Spouse

NEWARK, July 20 - Gov. Jon S. Corzine of New Jersey sent a letter on Fridayurging United Parcel Service to provide the same benefits for civil unionpartners as it does for married couples, intervening for the first time inthe question of whether companies are appropriately following the state'smandate for equal treatment of same-sex couples.

The letter stemmed from complaints made by a truck driver for the companywho has been unable to get health benefits for her partner after they becameone of the first New Jersey couples to obtain a civil union. In February,the state became the third in the nation to authorize civil unions.

"The provision of employee benefits to civil union partners on the sameterms as spouses would be more than a symbolic gesture of your company'scommitment to eliminating discrimination," the governor wrote. "Spousalbenefits are a key element of the financial and physical well-being ofworking couples and their children."

Company officials said on Friday that they had not received Mr. Corzine'sletter, and that the question of providing benefits to the driver, NickieBrazier, is tied up in the legal complexities of a continuing contractnegotiation with her union.

But beyond the specific situation at the company, the governor's letterhinted at the possibility of a broader battle that advocates for same-sexcouples have warned about since a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling last fallsaying that all couples must be treated equally, but leaving to theLegislature whether to achieve that through same-sex marriage or civilunions. Without marriage, the advocates say, many companies - eitherwillfully, or because of the resulting legal confusion over how to define"spouse" - will not treat same-sex couples equally.


South Florida
Guests of bed-and-breakfast in Wilton Manors may travel on electric golfcarts
By Elizabeth Baier
July 22, 2007

Wilton Manors Popular in the 1940s, the woody station wagon is expected tomake a comeback in the city - in the form of electric golf carts designed tolook like the classic favorite.

At least that's what Bruce Block and his partner, Tony Rhodes, hope willhappen when they open Woody's, the Island City's soon-to-be newestbed-and-breakfast.

They recently received unanimous approval from city commissioners to openthe facility at 2308 NE Sixth Ave., one block north of Wilton Drive.

Block and Rhodes plan to offer the electric carts so that guests staying atWoody's can drive around town. They hope the carts will help them to beenvironmentally conscious and innovative, and also to bypass the city'sparking regulations, which would have required eight parking spaces - onefor each of the guest houses and two for the main house. Instead, they willprovide two spaces and an area outside each guest house for the carts.

"We wanted to open a bed-and-breakfast, but there were so many city rulesand regulations for the parking," said Block, a city resident for 15 years.


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Naugle is correct
July 22, 2007

Hurrah for Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle for telling it like it is. Themayor is absolutely correct about gay men over taking the public restroomsas they troll for sex and drugs.

Gays having sex in public is becoming an epidemic, not just in Florida butall over the U.S.

Robert Moon


The Sun-Sentinel,0,3412909,print.story

Broward County interfaith service served dual role
War, religious freedom both were on agenda
By Elana Simms

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

July 22, 2007

Christians, Jews and Unitarian Universalists gathered at First
Congregational Church of Fort Lauderdale on July 1 for An Interfaith Servicefor Religious Freedom.

And with the July Fourth holiday just days ahead, a concern for U.S. troopsand the direction of a war-torn nation weighed heavily on the celebration ofreligious unity among Broward County houses of worship.

"I'm concerned not only for peace in our world, peace in our time, but I'malso concerned for our soldiers," church pastor the Rev. Harold "Hal"McSwain Jr. told the 120 people assembled.

McSwain drew participants' attention to pale blue papers lining the walls ofthe church. Each 8-by-11 sheet bears the names of U.S. troops killed sincethe beginning of the war through about two months ago. The list, McSwainsaid, needs updating.

Harold Caminker, rabbi at Congregation Etz Chaim in Wilton Manors, stood andrecounted a "political awakening" his daughter experienced outside the gatesof the White House. He said she watched as police arrested a woman coveringherself in ashes in protest of the war.


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Naugle to be applauded for resisting radical activists
July 22, 2007

I am a senior at Florida International University, majoring in theHumanities, with a concentration in the Greco-Roman Classics, minoring inlaw, ethics and society. I wanted to take the time to congratulate FortLauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle for having the moral integrity to resist theradical activism of Fort Lauderdale's gay community.

I am not homophobic in any sense of the word. I count gays and lesbiansamong my closest friends and acquaintances, and respect them no less fortheir sexual orientation.That having been said, there's no reason thegovernment needs to sanction behavior that the vast majority of Americansfind morally reprehensible. That "cruising" in public areas is a problem inthe gay community is well-known, especially among gays. To note that gaysdisproportionately engage in this activity (for whatever reason) is nothomophobic, it's honest. Naugle has every right to his concerns.

As well, there is no reason why citizens' tax dollars should have to go tofund institutions that they find just as reprehensible, namely a libraryfeaturing gay pornography. Such smut not only tarnishes the good name of thecity of Fort Lauderdale, but it also paints the gay community in a badlight, reinforcing the very stereotypes that traditionally accrue to thosewith that orientation.

I find it very hypocritical that in a county as liberal as ours, constantlyextolling the virtues of free speech and open dialogue, that Naugle has beenso maliciously maligned and threatened. He is a rare breed: an honestpolitician. I am not a Democrat (I'm an independent.), but I envy those whocan proudly claim Naugle as their mayor.

Eric Giunta


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Jobless rate rises sharply
Businesses cutting back amid slowing housing industry
By Harriet Johnson Brackey
11:44 PM EDT, July 20, 2007

Unemployment in South Florida shot up sharply in June, as the troubledconstruction industry continued slicing payrolls. The ranks of theunemployed grew by almost 14,000 in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dadecounties in June, compared with May.

That's a 57 percent increase in the number of people without jobs in SouthFlorida over this time last year. In June 2006, the number of unemployedgrew by 8,823.

"I suspect it is to a great extent the slowdown in the construction marketand housing, and all the attendant things that go with it such as realestate and mortgages," said Mason Jackson, chief executive officer ofWorkforce One in Broward.

Typically, joblessness increases in the region during summer months whenstudents are looking for jobs. Teachers are temporarily out of work andtourism usually slows. In addition to the large job losses, South Florida'sjob-creating engine has sputtered.

Palm Beach County's payrolls basically were unchanged last month -- thecounty added 58 jobs in June -- compared with a year ago when the countyadded 1,290 jobs in June. Palm Beach County has added jobs x in four out ofthe last six months. By contrast, Broward employers added 5,612 jobs lastmonth.


Medicare health insurance plans run by America's Health Choice in Floridaterminated
By Bob LaMendola
11:52 AM EDT, July 20, 2007

Federal officials Friday said they terminated Medicare health insuranceplans run by America's Health Choice in Florida because of delays anddenials of medical care and other issues, the first termination ever madefor substandard coverage.

The Vero Beach company has about 12,000 members in seven Florida counties,including several thousand in Broward and Palm Beach counties, said AbbyBlock, director of Medicare's center for beneficiary choice. All memberswere switched automatically into another health plan, Secure Horizons.

AHC's deficiencies "could endanger the health and safety" of its members,Block said. "This is the first time we have terminated a plan based onpatient care issues."

Block said Medicare had received complaints from members and informationfrom employees about denied and delayed medical care and drug approvals, andbegan investigating in January.

The company, started in 2000, has four HMO plans covering medical care andprescription drugs that are notable for having zero premiums and lowco-payments.


Combo HIV Drug Therapy May Restore Healthy Immune System HealthDay
July 20

(HealthDay News) -- People with HIV may be able to achieve normal CD4counts -- a marker of immune system strength -- by taking combinationantiretroviral drug therapy, says a new study.

In a study published early online July 19 and in an upcoming edition of TheLancet, researchers found that people with HIV who remain on combinationdrug treatment for long enough and have their HIV viral load suppressed tobelow 50 copies per milliliter could see their CD4 count rise toconcentrations equal to those of people uninfected by HIV.

In the study, a British team at the Royal Free and University College LondonMedical Schools, studied 1,835 people with HIV who had not previously takenantiretroviral therapy. The participants had a mean CD4 count of 200 cellsper microliter of blood and then started combination antiretroviral therapy.They were selected to participate in the study because they responded wellto this treatment, and their HIV viral loads were suppressed to below 50copies per milliliter for extended periods of time.

The greatest average yearly increase in CD4 count -- 100 cells permicroliter -- was seen in the first year after starting combination drugtherapy. In the years following, significant, but lower (50 cells permicroliter), increases were seen.

The participants who started combo therapy with low CD4 cell counts (of lessthan 200 cells per microliter) had substantial rises in CD4 counts evenafter five years. The only groups without substantial increases in CD4counts were those who had taken the therapy for more than five years withhigh current CD4 counts (more than 500 cells per microliter).


A different kind of affair
Annual black HIV/AIDS event shifts gears
Jul. 20, 2007

For eight years, the White Attire Affair, an annual HIV/AIDS event, hasfocused on getting the message out to local black gays about HIV/AIDS andthe need to get tested.

This year, however, the message for the Affair, which organizer Clyde Penncalls a "social marketing event," will be a little bit different.

"The purpose of the evening is to raise awareness of the need to change one'sown behavior and that's the only thing that would ultimately help in thedefeat of this disease," says Penn, who is president of the Ummah EndowmentFund, which produces the event.

The change in message comes after research performed by White Attire Affairsupporter, Dante International, showed that 99 percent of the black gay malepopulation was aware of HIV/AIDS. Nonetheless, the research also found thata serious proportion of the men studied were not using protection duringsex.

"The population was still not internalizing the threat of HIV and it was nottranslating into their own safer-sex practices," Penn says. "Members of thepopulation who were HIV positive or who did not even know their status werestill having unprotected sex."


Saturday, 21 July 2007 09:12
Ford Sponsors Seattle Gay Pride Parade
American Family Association Boycotts Ford Again

In a newsletter email we've obtained today, the American Family Associationis boycotting Ford Motor Company again, in it's efforts to stop Ford insupporting gay events. The letter is below.


July 19, 2007

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

Ford sponsors Seattle gay pride parade

Dear Kenneth,

Having just sponsored the Gay Pride Festival in Cleveland, Ohio, Ford MotorCompany followed up by sponsoring the Seattle Gay Pride Parade held June 24in the city's downtown.

To the right is a picture from the parade, which was linked from Web site. The picture shows a "marriage" float with twomen, dressed in tuxedos, standing atop a wedding cake. Ford felt a floatpushing same-sex marriage was worthy of their financial support.


No longer mentally ill Gay
Remembering the most important victory of the early gay rights movement.
Friday, July 20, 2007

THE MOST IMPORTANT achievement of the early gay liberation movement was itspressure on the American psychiatric establishment to reexamine its evidencefor classifying homosexuality as a mental illness. It was important becauseif gays weren't mentally ill, it was hard to justify any kind ofdiscriminatory policies or treatment. How did this remarkable change comeabout?

One of the most interesting books I've read lately is "American Psychiatryand Homosexuality: An Oral History," a collection of interviews with gay andlesbian psychiatrists and their allies who helped persuade the AmericanPsychiatric Association to reverse its long-standing position.

Until now the only extended account of this effort was Ronald Bayer's"Homosexuality and Psychiatry: The Politics of Diagnosis" (1981). But Bayerdenied that there was any objective standard for mental health so the APAdecision was essentially arbitrary and "political."

By contrast, these first-person accounts provide corrective insider views ofthe process. Several speak of the depressing psychiatric attitudes prior to1973. Lawrence Hartmann recalls, "The few analysts who wrote about gaypeople tended to describe them as nasty psychopaths, close to psychosis. Iam not making this up!"

Judd Marmor recalls the view that, "homosexuals were inherently seriouslymentally disturbed, irresponsible and completely driven by needs over whichthey had no control." They were supposedly "emotionally immature, deceptive,impulsive, unreliable and incapable of truly loving."


Band of Bruthaz: Challenges facing gay black and Hispanic men

When Charles Martin became executive director of the South Beach AIDSProject in 2005, he found that all the educational materials were in Englishand only showed pictures of gay white men.

Since most of the agency's clients are black and Hispanic, that didn't seemvery effective. He replaced the old posters with bilingual ones showingblack and Hispanic male couples.

Invisibility in the gay mainstream is just one of the special challengesfacing gay black and Hispanic men. Those issues are front and center thisweekend at Miami Beach Bruthaz, a four-day, mostly male South Beach retreatfor gay blacks and Hispanics.

Attendees from all over the nation will talk about gays in the military,HIV/AIDS, gay marriage and relationships, rebuilding credit and the closet,among other topics.

''When you don't feature the black community, it's like it's not existing,''said Alex Clark, 24, an editor at FlavaLife, a national gay magazine forpeople of color published in Miami. The magazine is a sponsor of thisweekend's events.


OxyContin maker, ex-officials fined $634.5m
Prosecutors alleged they misled public on risk of addiction
By Sue Lindsey, Associated Press | July 21, 2007

ABINGDON, Va. -- Purdue Pharma LP, the maker of OxyContin, and three of itsexecutives were ordered yesterday to pay a $634.5 million fine formisleading the public about the painkiller's risk of addiction.

US District Judge James Jones levied the fine on Purdue, its top lawyer, itsformer president, and former chief medical officer after a hearing thatlasted about four-and-a-half hours. The hearing included statements bynumerous people who said their lives were changed forever by addiction toOxyContin, a trade name for a long-acting form of the painkiller oxycodone.

Designed to be swallowed whole and digested over 12 hours, the pills canproduce a heroin-like high if crushed and then swallowed, snorted, orinjected.

From 1996 to 2001, the number of oxycodone-related deaths nationwideincreased fivefold while the annual number of OxyContin prescriptionsincreased nearly 20-fold, according to a report by the US Drug EnforcementAdministration. In 2002, the DEA said the drug caused 146 deaths andcontributed to another 318.

Purdue Pharma and the three men pleaded guilty in May to claiming to doctorsthat OxyContin was less addictive and less subject to abuse than other painmedications. The sentencing yesterday ends the national case.


Samoa lifts ban on gay sex during games

The Samoa National Olympic Committee is overturning a ban on gay sex thatwas intended to "protect" athletes during the South Pacific Games, RadioAustralia reports.

The rules-published on Tuesday-apply to Samoan competitors participating inthe two-week event. According to Radio Australia, athletes were told not toembarrass themselves, their family, or their country.

The ban stated that homosexual acts are against the law of God, reportsRadio Australia.

Samoa National Olympic Committee president Tapasu Leung Wai has issued anorder to negate the ban. He explained to Radio Australia that the rules werea draft and should not have been released to the public.

"I regret that it appeared that gay people were being singled out in thedraft instructions," he said to the station. "Team managers agreed yesterdaythat the reference be deleted."

Leung Wai explained to Radio Australia that team managers were trying toprotect the athletes, and that the resulting rules were unintentionallydefamatory. "[The way] we are brought up, there is no hard feelings againstanybody. We treat everybody as equal."

In August and September, Samoa will be hosting almost 5,000 people from 22nations during the South Pacific Games, the region's largest multisportevent. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

July 21, 2007
Out referee to preside over prestigious rugby match

Out referee Nigel Owens is facing the toughest match of his career as hebears the whistle for the Bledisloe Cup on Saturday, reports The New ZealandHerald. This match-a battle for the largest trophy in the Rugby Union-willbe played between New Zealand's All Blacks and Australia's Wallabies.

Although working as a professional referee for only five years, the35-year-old Welshman has made a name for himself as a stand-up comedian andsinger as well a regular television personality. He is also the game's onlyopenly gay referee.

Owens admits that he struggled to come out in a sport defined by shows ofmachismo. "It's such a big taboo to be gay in my line of work, I had tothink hard about it [coming out] because I didn't want to jeopardize mycareer," Owens told earlier this year.

Yet coming out seems to have done little to hinder his career. In additionto being selected to preside over the Bledisloe Cup, he will be the onlyWelsh referee present at September's World Cup in France. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

July 21, 2007
Family organization petitioning to overturn Oregon gay rights laws

Two new Oregon gay rights laws, set to go into effect January 1, will likelysee suspension until November 2008 if a rapidly growing protest group hasits way, according to an Associated Press article.

This spring, the Oregon legislature passed laws that ban workplacediscrimination based on sexual orientation and grant same-sex couples manybenefits of marriage through legal domestic partnerships.

However, the antigay group Defense of Family and Marriage Again, headed byformer Oregon senator Marilyn Shannon, is collecting signatures to overturnthe new laws. According to Shannon in the article, the group is having"awesome" success. If the group garners 55,179 signatures by September 26,the measures will be suspended until they can be voted on in the nextpresidential election.

"We've got 15,000 petitions out there and we're printing more. I'm willingto predict that Oregonians will vote on this in 2008," Shannon said in thearticle. (The Advocate )


The Advocate

July 21, 2007
New Jersey governor asks UPS to recognize same-sex unions

New Jersey governor Jon S. Corzine sent a letter Friday to the United ParcelService of America-UPS-asking the shipping conglomerate to recognize thestate's civil unions law and offer gay employees benefits for their partnerssimilar to those of married workers.

The company has been targeted by gay rights activists, who assert thatpartnered gay employees are not being treated the same as their marriedcoworkers regardless of state laws that requires employers to do so.

UPS argues that the New Jersey law does not change company policy, which isgoverned by federal law.

Corzine said the company should consider extending benefits anyway.

"Surely, as a company with a long-standing commitment to its employees andthe community, UPS would not want to make its employees and their familiesface these difficult choices based on the subtleties of the interaction offederal and state law," Corzine wrote.


July 21, 2007
R.I. governor blocks bill requiring infertility treatment coverage for theunmarried

Rhode Island governor Don Carcieri has vetoed a bill requiring healthinsurers to cover infertility treatments for unmarried people, saying theyshouldn't be forced to subsidize out-of-wedlock births.

The Republican governor, who opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions,warned that eliminating the marriage restriction would also drive up healthcare costs.

''As a matter of public policy, the state should be encouraging the birth ofchildren to two-parent families, not the reverse,'' he said in a writtenstatement Thursday announcing his Wednesday veto.

Two weeks ago Carcieri permitted another bill to become law without hissignature that required insurers to increase the age cap on eligible womento 42 from 40. It also required insurers to pay for infertility treatmentsafter a couple fails to conceive or carry a pregnancy after one year oftrying, instead of two.

But Carcieri balked when Democratic state representative Edith Ajello's billwent one step further and eliminated the marriage requirement.


The Advocate

July 21, 2007
Irish court sides with sperm donor over lesbian moms

A man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple won a legal fight Thursdayto keep his biological son in Ireland.

The judgment by Ireland's supreme court was a first in the nation, apredominantly Roman Catholic country where the rights of same-sex couplesand sperm donors have not been spelled out. Now the couple, wed in a civilunion ceremony in England, cannot spend long periods in Australia with their14-month-old boy as planned but can only vacation there for up to six weeks.

Another courtroom battle between the man and the couple looms over jointcustody of the boy.

Two justices, Susan Denham and Joseph Finnegan, ruled that the toddler'sbest interests required him to stay in Ireland near his biological father.The third judge, Justice Nial Fennelly, disagreed, arguing that no evidencewas offered that the boy would be harmed by leaving Ireland.

''The case is utterly unique and unprecedented,'' Fennelly wrote in hisdissent, noting that the parental rights of neither sperm donors nor lesbiancouples are defined in Irish law.


The Advocate

July 21, 2007
Boston-area priest leaves Episcopal Church, aligns with African group

An Episcopal priest from a Boston suburb who has chosen to leave the churchwill travel to Nairobi next month to become a bishop of the Anglican Churchof Kenya, reports The Boston Globe.

The Reverend William L. Murdoch, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church inWest Newbury, is part of a growing trend of priests and parishes that areleaving the Episcopal Church USA over its appointment of openly gay bishopV. Gene Robinson in New Hampshire.

"We feel the need to separate from the Episcopal Church because of thecrisis brought about with the election of a noncelibate gay bishop," Murdochtold the Globe.

Many of the disaffected followers are affiliating with conservative churchesin Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda that are still a part of the globalAnglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch.

The Advocate reported on this trend in an in-depth feature on ArchbishopPeter Akinola of Nigeria, who recently installed a former Episcopal ministeras head of a group of about 30 breakaway congregations in the United States.Bishop Martyn Minns of Virginia is now considered a "missionary bishop" ofthe Church of Nigeria.


RuPaul's Starrbooty Hits the Big Screen
By Duane Wells, special to

From the moment legendary drag performance artist and gay icon RuPaulentered mainstream consciousness, he has broken boundaries, retreadstereotypes and epitomized the essence of glam.

After "lying low" for the last few years, Ru is back on the scene and on thebig screen with his new film Starrbooty, a spoof of 1970s blaxpoitationfilms and the heroines like Foxxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones that populatedthem. According to RuPaul, filmgoers can expect lots of gratuitous nudity,sex - and hair and make-up - from this latest project, which has had filmfestival crowds from Philadelphia to San Francisco laughing in the aisles.

365Gay talked with RuPaul via telephone the morning before Starrbooty wasset to be screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Amongother things, we chatted about the making of Starrbooty, the politicalmotivations behind it, and making peace with the fame game. Here's what hehad to say:

So Ru, before we get to the story of Starrbooty, tell me why you decided tomake this film now?
It needed to be made. We live in a very conservative time and this movie ismy love letter to not only the right-wing Republicans but to the politicallycorrect liberals.

What was your goal in bringing Starrbooty to the big screen?
There's nothing out there like it. I get really bored with most stuff. Iwanted to do something irreverent like John Waters, The Naked Gunn, RussMeyers. Our culture is not really keen on irony anymore. I mean, Sacha BaronCohen had to explain that Borat was a joke, that he was making a statement.Everybody takes themselves so friggin' seriously. Everybody's so ineverybody's shit. They just need to learn to not take themselves soseriously.


Cheney Becomes President, Briefly
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 21, 2007 - 9:00 am ET
Updated 11:30 am ET

(Washington) Doctors removed five small polyps from President Bush's colonon Saturday after he temporarily transferred the powers of his office fortwo hours to Vice President Dick Cheney under the rarely invoked 25thAmendment.

The polyps, or growths in his large intestine, were found during a routinecolon cancer scan. They all measured less than a centimeter and none"appeared worrisome," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.

The colonoscopy, performed at the Camp David presidential retreat, last 31minutes. The polyps have been sent for microscopic examination to theNational Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Results were expected within72 hours. Most polyps are benign, or noncancerous. But over time, some typesof polyps can grow and turn into cancer. To be safe, doctors remove allpolyps and test them.

Bush invoked the disability clause of the Constitution at 7:16 a.m. EDT andtransferred his authority to Cheney, who was at his home on the ChesapeakeBay in St. Michaels, Md., about 30 miles east of Washington. Nothingoccurred that required Cheney to take official action during the transfer ofpower, Stanzel said.

The president invoked Section 3 of the 25th Amendment "out of an abundanceof caution," Stanzel said. The amendment, approved in 1967, four years afterPresident Kennedy was assassinated, had been used only twice before.


Transgender Prisoner Sues Over Prison Rape
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 21, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(San Francisco, California) Alexis Giraldo was born as a man but lives lifeas a woman. She takes hormones to feminize her appearance, a fact she saysprison officials didn't care about even as her male cellmate repeatedlyraped and beat her.

Now free on parole, Giraldo is suing the state prison system and severalguards over the state's policy of assigning transgender inmates to men's orwomen's prisons depending on whether they have had a sex change.

"Prisons are violent places, and male prisons are especially violentplaces," said Greg Walston, a lawyer who took Giraldo's case for free andasked a jury this week for unspecified damages. "You take that boilingcauldron and you put one woman in there - which is exactly what happenedhere - and it's like throwing a fresh piece of meat into a lion's cage."

Giraldo, 30, claims Folsom State Prison guards ignored her complaints andreturned her to the same cell until she was assaulted again, then placed inprotective custody and moved to another facility.

Giraldo is suing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitationfor emotional distress and violating her constitutional right to be freefrom cruel and unusual punishment. She has asked Superior Court Judge EllenChaitin to order prison officials to come up with a new system for housingtransgender inmates.


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



The National Association of People with AIDS was founded on the DenverPrinciples in 1983:

We condemn attempts to label us as "victims," a term which impliesdefeat, and we are only occasionally "patients," a term which impliespassivity, helplessness and dependence upon the care of others. We arepeople with AIDS.

The National Association of People with AIDS is America's oldestnational AIDS organization. Today, NAPWA represents 1,000,000 Americansliving with HIV/AIDS. Staying Alive is America's PLWHA summit.

For the 750,000 Americans who have died from AIDS and for the1,000,000 of us living with HIV/AIDS, we need you at STAYING ALIVE 2007PLWHA SUMMIT! Please register today and join us.

Michael, you continue to be a great friend to people living withHIV/AIDS and we are always grateful. The following is my personal appeal foryour support by joining us at STAYING ALIVE 2007.

Staying Alive 2007-the United States' only national summit of peopleliving with HIV/AIDS-is August 23 through August 25in Cleveland, Ohio. Inrecent presidential elections, Ohio has played a pivotal role in determiningthe outcomes and setting the stage for the past eight years of national HIVpolicy and funding for prevention, treatment and care. With the 2008presidential campaign well underway, it is crucial that PLWH/A from acrossthe country come together in Cleveland this August to create a powerfulvoice of positive leadership.

In fact, Staying Alive 2007 may prove to be a landmark event. NAPWAhas invited ten of the major candidates for president to speak: SenatorJoseph Biden, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator John Edwards, Mayor RudyGiuliani, Representative Dennis Kucinich, Senator John McCain, SenatorBarack Obama, Representative Ron Paul, Governor Mitt Romney, and SecretaryTommy Thompson. Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City-the AIDS epicenterof America-has been invited to be a featured speaker.


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Ave Maria open for occupancy
Religion Editor
11:05 PM EDT, July 20, 2007

Rising 10 stories from former citrus and pasture land, the Oratory of AveMaria University looks like a gigantic steel-and-stone artifact of theIndustrial Age. But it's the vision of a former pizza magnate - his citadelof faith and learning in southwest Florida.

Now that the 4-year-old Catholic school has a permanent home, Thomas S.Monaghan smiled confidently.

"It's like when we finally had a headquarters for Domino's Pizza," Monaghansaid, relaxing in the student reading room of the sprawling university wherehe is chancellor. "We weren't settled until then. But after then, we tookoff.

"Now that we're here, I think this will become one of the fastest-growingprivate schools in the country."

It's an ambitious statement for a college built on the edge of the BigCypress Swamp, in an area better known for retirees, sod farms and wintervegetables. But if it doesn't thrive, it won't be for lack of money oreffort at the new school five miles south of Immokalee.

Reporters at an open house this week found a 930-acre campus with thechurch, classrooms, science labs, a huge library and a student union - plusthe beginnings of a 4,070-acre town.

It's the fruit of a campaign by Monaghan to create, in his words, "anoutstanding liberal arts school, coupled with outstanding spiritual fidelityto the church."

Not a conservative school, he stressed, a label that many have pinned on heuniversity. But one that "is in line with the pope, the Vatican and teachersof the church."


My night in a gay sauna
Howard Lake
Published 20 July 2007

Heterosexual 'Howard Lake' tells the story of how he got experimental on avisit to a gay sauna

Before anything else, I need to explain that I'm not a seasoned saunaveteran. I'm writing about my first and, more than likely only visit to agay sauna.

It was to explore a side of my sexuality which, for many years now, I'dbeen curious about. When I was 18 (now quite a bit older) I joined thejeers when two male schoolmates drunkenly snogged each other on a night out.

Inside, part of me wished I was one of them. Years of mulling thingsover, the occasional mild dalliance and, on the night, six pints, climaxedin my visiting a gay sauna.

My lack of previous experience was evident when at the entrance Iblushed to the receptionist: "I've not brought any trunks with me . . . isthat OK?"

His manicured eyebrow rose sharply and said it all. He then sighed andsaid: "You don't need trunks. This is a gay club, you know?"

I nodded over enthusiastically, handed over £14, and was given twotowels before disappearing down the stairs. (You might think £14 is a lotbut another local spa, not gay, charges £20 for the same facilities wheresex is a no-no).

Once inside the communal changing area was much like a swimming pool -benches in the middle of the room and your own, numbered locker. You thenstrip and put a towel round your waist. The facilities were impressive: asauna, warm room, swimming pool, dark room and, upstairs, individual roomswith either a wipeable mattress on the floor or a bench with a mattress onit.

I'd read about 'cruising' before, and read about bars being 'cruisey'but never experienced it. Simply put, if you at any point catch somebody'seye and the gaze is held then it's generally on. No codified rehearsal ofbuying drinks and dating a few times - you just get it on.

The thing that's really interesting from a straight guy's point of viewis that in this environment you're seen as an object of desire instead ofthe pursuer. I'm not the kind of guy who gets admiring glances from womenin general, so to be looked at like that was a pleasant surprise.


Bishop discriminated against gay youth worker
By Jonathan Petre Religion Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:59am BST 19/07/2007

A gay man won a landmark case of unlawful discrimination
against the Church of England yesterday after a bishop refused him a job
because of his sexuality.

An employment tribunal ruled that John Reaney, 42, had been
discriminated against "on grounds of sexual orientation" when he was turned
down for the post of youth worker in the diocese of Hereford.

Mr Reaney, from Colwyn Bay, north Wales, said he was
"delighted" by the decision, which could have implications for employment
policies in the Church.

But the Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Rev Anthony Priddis, said
he was "naturally disappointed" and was considering whether to appeal. The
Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement said the bishop should resign.

During the tribunal hearing in Cardiff in April, Mr Reaney
said that he had been asked intrusive questions by Bishop Priddis about his
previous gay relationship during a two-hour meeting in July 2006.


The Bottom Line
San Diego
20 July 2007

by Rex Wockner

There are basically three kinds of gay pride parades in the

The kind we have here, which you also find throughout Western
Europe and
Canada, as well as in Sydney, São Paulo and Mexico City, among
other places.

These parades look and feel like our parade, except some of them
are a
lot bigger or more fabulous. Pride in São Paulo, Brazil, this
attracted 3 million people, making it the largest gay pride
parade ever
-- and that number came from the cops.

More than 200,000 people marched in Mexico City and there were
more than
1 million at Europride, which relocates yearly and was in Madrid
year. Spain, of course, has become gay-fabulous under its
Socialist government. It is one of six countries in the world
that have
given gays access to full marriage. The others are Belgium,
Canada, the
Netherlands, South Africa and the U.S. (but only in

Toronto is also known for having a particularly humongous pride
though the local gay press has suggested that the cops, for
reason, might be overestimating the attendance. Everywhere else
on the
planet, of course, it's always the other way around.


Police Recruit at Gay Event

Nis News Bulletin

THE HAGUE, 21/07/07 - Three police forces are recruiting staff
on Pink
Monday during the Tilburg funfair.

Tilburg funfair runs for over a week and is the largest of its
kind in the
Netherlands. Since several years, the Monday is designated 'Pink
which means many of the visitors on that day are homosexuals.

The police forces of Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Breda wish to
themselves as appealing employers in order to show that the
police recognise
diversity. According to a spokesperson, Pink Monday offers an
opportunity" to recruit gays in informal surroundings.


Polish Health Ministry sets up committee to deal with

WikiNews July 20, 2007

Following the rise to power of Poland's Roman Catholic
right-wing government
including some openly homophobic members, Polish gay rights
groups claim
that thousands of Polish gays have emigrated to United Kingdom
to escape
increasing persecution including the Health Ministry's "special
responsible for 'curing' gays."

Deputy Health Minister, Marek Grafowski, stated the ministry was
guides "to assist parents and teachers so that they can
recognise any
warning signs of potential 'gay behaviour'."

Robert Biedron, the president of the Polish Campaign Against
society, believes that most of the Polish gays emigrate to the
UK not for
economic reasons but because of being persecuted in Poland.
'Most of the
people I know are now in England because of the current
political situation.
Not for economic reasons, but because of the persecution of
going on here. It's impossible for gays to be themselves in
Poland, says


Ian McKellen wades into Singapore gay rights debate
Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:35AM EDT
By Sebastian Tong

SINGAPORE, July 19 (Reuters Life!) - As Gandalf and Magneto,
he's faced off fire-breathing monsters and superheroes, but actor Ian
McKellen says he picks his battles when it comes to celebrity causes.

The Oscar-nominated thespian stepped into a brewing debate
in Singapore about decriminalizing homosexual acts just hours after arriving
in the city state this week as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's
touring production of William Shakespeare's "King Lear" and Anton Chekhov's
"The Seagull".

McKellen, 68, was quoted in Singapore's pro-government media
urging the state to repeal its laws that make sexual acts between men a

The UK-based actor, who shot to global stardom with "The
Lord of the Rings" and "X-Men" trilogies, called Singapore's prohibition --
a remnant of British colonial rule -- "personally offensive" and said it
would put off people from moving to the country.

"I would not come to Singapore and comment on any aspect of
its society but as a gay man invited here with the full cognizance of the
government, how can they not notice that my right to have sex are inhibited
by the country?" he told Reuters.


UN reverses rejection of Quebec gay rights group
Granted observer status But a British-based group is suspended

CanWest News Service

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Canada came out swinging in favour of a Quebec gay rights group
yesterday, successfully lobbying for the United Nations to reverse an
earlier rejection of the group by a UN committee dominated by Muslim and
developing countries.

Canada's Hugh Adsett said the UN should be where "diverse
voices" can be heard, and "even if some governments don't agree with some
(activists), they should not be excluded," note-takers reported.

The campaign led to UN approval for the Coalition gaie et
lesbienne du QuEbec to receive observer status at the world body.

The drama took place in Geneva at a meeting of the Economic and
Social Council - a central UN arm run by 54 member states, including Canada.

Committee members Egypt, Guinea, Pakistan, Qatar and Sudan led
the successful blocking of the Coalition's application in January despite
its strong record in Canada as a respected rights campaigner.

The vote reflected hostility toward gays in many parts of the
world - in particular in Muslim countries - but also by the governments of
some big powers such as China and Russia.

But the countries holding those views form a far smaller
proportion of the Council membership, and the vote was 22 in the Quebec
group's favour, 13 against, 13 abstentions and the rest absent.


Forwarded from Marc Adams
Volunteer Executive Director - HeartStrong

20th Outreach Trip Commences August 10th!

Seattle,WA - HeartStrong, Inc., is proud to announce its 20th
Outreach & Educational Trip beginning August 10, 2007 and ending on
December 18, 2007.

Since October 1997, the all volunteer HeartStrong Outreach team
has self
driven more than 340,000 miles around the United States and
small parts
of Canada.

HeartStrong first began outreach work in October 1996, when
founder and
now executive director, Marc Adams began researching ways to
outreach and support to GLBT students from religious educational
institutions around the world. One year later, the first
outreach team
was formed.

"I always say it's a very long, lonely, dusty road," Adams
"This is pretty much the most difficult thing I could have
chosen to
spend my time and energy doing."

After ten years of outreach and outreach trips, HeartStrong is
still the
only organization in the world with the sole mission of outreach
support for GLBT students in religious educational institutions.
"On the past 19 outreach and educational trips we have made
dozens and
dozens of school visits, hosted hundreds of educational forums
provided life saving and ongoing support to scores of students
around the
world," Adams says.


June 25, 2007

Beirut an enclave for gay tolerance
Despite the country's political instability, gay men and women
find a degree of tolerance, if not outright acceptance.
Los Angeles Times Service

The Lebanese soldiers at the checkpoint peered through the
barbed wire.
Across the street from these men in their fatigues and combat
gear, another group of men had arrived -- revelers in hip-hugging pants and
tight shirts on their way to Acid, an openly gay nightclub in east Beirut.

The soldiers barely reacted.

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

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

''It's not that the political class is more open today,'' said
George Azzi, a prominent gay-rights activist. ``But authorities, by
portraying themselves as the new guardians of democracy and civil rights,
find themselves rather bound not to attack gays.''


Cracking down on Nigeria's 'pleasure island'
By Senan Murray
BBC News, Kano

The Sharia police, or Hisbah, say they will soon commence raids
in an enclave in northern Nigeria's ancient Muslim city of Kano - dubbed by
locals as "pleasure island".

The Hisbah have given themselves the task of enforcing morals
and Islamic law in the city, but so far have largely left Sabon Gari, or New
Town, alone, complete with its bars, brothels and night-clubs.
But they say they must stamp out such "sinfulness" in case it
"pollutes" the rest of the city.

Sabon Gari has always been a district populated by "settlers" or
non-Muslim southern traders and professionals who have settled and worked in

But after years of ethnic and religious violence, much of Kano's
small Christian population withdrew further to Sabon Gari to seek safety in

This has resulted in a peaceful co-existence between residents
of the area and the rest of the city.

Sabon Gari also happens to be one of Kano's biggest ghettos,
with blocked sewers, gullied streets and piles of rubbish on almost every
street corner.

Cannabis is also openly smoked in this part of the city and
pipe-born water is even rarer than in the rest of Kano.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

CCV Targets Lodgenet, Calls for Investigation of Hotel Porn

By: David Sullivan

Posted: 9:00 am PDT 7-6-2007

COLUMBUS, Oh. - Phil Burress of Ohio-based right wing group
Citizens for
Community Values (CCV) is calling for a federal investigation of
supplier LodgeNet Entertainment Corp., claiming that the adult
content the
company supplies to hotel rooms across America is obscene.


"Why is LodgeNet permitted to deal in hardcore, sexually
explicit, clearly
prosecutable material?" Burress asked in a CCV press release.
"Much of the
contents are prosecutable under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in
Miller vs.

CCV plans to meet with the Dept. of Justice next month to
formally request
the investigation into LodgeNet.

Attorney Paul Cambria responded to CCV this morning in an Adult
Foundation press release, calling the campaign against LodgeNet
another blatant attempt at censorship and a total waste of

"Mr. Burress fails to recognize that the Miller test protects
expression," Cambria said. "It does not condemn it. He confuses
explicit with obscene."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

LOS ANGELES - The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
(GLAAD) is
celebrating the 25th anniversary of Outfest, a leading showcase
for lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) film and video in Los
Angeles, by
announcing an ongoing collaboration with the Outfest Legacy
Project for
LGBT Film Preservation, a partnership between Outfest and the
UCLA Film &
Television Archive. Beginning this month, GLAAD will donate its
annual film and television collection to the Outfest Legacy

"Each year, GLAAD monitors and archives thousands of hours of
film and
television," said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. "We are
thrilled that
this collaboration with Outfest and UCLA ensures all of this
material will be made available to the public for generations to

"GLAAD'S donation is a significant and welcome addition to the
Legacy Collection at UCLA," said Outfest Executive Director
Gutwillig. "GLAAD has long played a crucial role acknowledging
representations of LGBT lives in the media. Now, GLAAD is
helping conserve
them for all time."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

The Williams Institute Congratulates its 2007 Research Grant

The Williams Institute's 2007
Public Policy Research Grant Recipients

The Williams Institute's Public Policy Research Grants are
designed to
support scholarly social science research on LGBT policy issues,
with a
particular focus on supporting emerging scholars.

This year we received over thirty applications representing a
wide range of
topics and disciplines. The following six proposals were
awarded funding
ranging between $3,000-$5,000:

* Parenting and Outcomes for Young Adopted Children of
Lesbian and
Gay Parents (Professor Charlotte Patterson, University of

* The Construction and Contestation of 'Family' in LGBT
(Professor Kathleen Hull, University of Minnesota, Sociology)

* The Impact of Anti-discrimination Legislation in the
U.S. on the
Mental Health of Both Sexual Minority and Heterosexual
Populations (Bill
Jesdale, PhD, Research Assistant, Brown University,

* Same-sex unions: Do Theories of Marriage Apply?
(Nicole Civettini,
PhD Candidate, University of Iowa, Sociology)

* Understanding Hate-Motivated Violence: The Experiences
Hate Crime Victims (Doug Meyer, PhD Candidate, City University,
New York,
LGBT Studies, Women's Studies)

* Between the Lines: Identifying the Needs of LGBT
Immigrants and
Refugees (Eithne Luibheid, Professor, University of Arizona,
LGBT Studies)

The Williams Institute's Public Policy Research Grants Program
is made
possible through the generous support of the Gill Foundation.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Eight out of 10 say openly gays and lesbians should serve in

Eight out of 10 Americans (79 percent) believe gays and lesbians
should be
able to openly serve in the military, according to a recent poll
CNN/Opinion Research Corporation.

That level of support is consistent with a 2005 Boston Globe
survey, which
also found that 79 percent of respondents supported gays and
lesbians openly
serving. That study also found support among majorities of
Republicans as
well as regular church attendees.

Support for the issue has grown 36 percent over the last 14
years; a January
1993 Time/CNN/Yankelovich Partners poll found then that just 43
percent of
respondents favored gays and lesbians openly serving.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Human Rights Campaign Foundation and MTV Networks' Logo channel
co-present live televised event August 9th with co-panelists
Etheridge and Joe Solmonese

Los Angeles, CA - July 10, 2007 - Logo, a division of Viacom's
and VIA.B) MTV Networks, and the Human Rights Campaign
Foundation today
announced they will co-present an historic televised forum on
issues of
importance to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
with the leading 2008 Democratic presidential candidates,
currently confirmed and in alphabetical order, Hillary Clinton
and Barack

The one-hour event will be held on August 9th at 6:00PM PT /
9:00 PM ET in
Los Angeles before a studio audience and broadcast live, without
interruption, exclusively on Logo's 24/7 cable television
channel as well as
through live streaming video at Logo is the
leading television and broadband channel for the LGBT audience
and the Human
Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the
nation's largest
LGBT civil rights organization.

This event, which marks the first time in history the major
candidates will address a live LGBT television audience, is part
of MTV
Networks' award-winning pro-social efforts and dedication to
engaging its
audiences on the issues that are most important and relevant to

The event also continues the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's
efforts to
educate and bring awareness to issues of equality and fairness
that continue
to affect the lives of LGBT Americans.

Candidates currently agreed to participate in the forum and
share their
views with the LGBT community are, in alphabetical order,
Hillary Clinton
and Barack Obama. The candidates will appear sequentially and
engage in
conversation with co-panelists Melissa Etheridge, performer and
and Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign
Foundation. The
panelists plan to cover a range of issues including relationship
recognition, marriage equality, workplace fairness, the
military, hate
crimes, HIV/AIDS and other important issues.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

NYT Editorial: A Nominee's Abnormal Views

The New York Times
July 10, 2007
A Nominee's Abnormal Views

The Senate Health Committee will have to dig beneath the surface
on Thursday
to consider the nomination of Dr. James Holsinger to be surgeon
general. Dr.
Holsinger has high-level experience as a health administrator,
but there are
disturbing indications that he is prejudiced against

Though routinely called "the nation's top doctor," the surgeon
general is a
midlevel official who oversees the 6,000 uniformed professionals
in the
Public Health Service. His main mission is to serve as
"America's chief
health educator," with potentially enormous capacity to shape

Dr. Holsinger served for 26 years in the Department of Veterans
where he rose to be chief medical director and under secretary
for health.
After retiring, he became chancellor of the University of
Kentucky Medical
Center and, briefly, secretary for health and family services in

Although he is a Christian conservative, he is difficult to
ideologically. He testified against an anti-cloning bill in
Kentucky that he
felt would impede research, a position at odds with that of the
He backed a session on lesbian health issues at a state health
despite protests from angry legislators, favored raising
cigarette taxes in
a tobacco-growing state and worked to limit junk food in


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Wash Post: Persecuted Gays Seek Refuge in U.S.

Persecuted Gays Seek Refuge in U.S.
Foreigners' Abuse Increasingly Seen as Grounds for Asylum

By Pamela Constable
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 10, 2007; A06

One night in 2003, on the wintry streets of Kosovo, a group of
thugs stalked
and beat Gramoz Prestreshi almost to death. Police in the
war-scarred Balkan
province laughed and called him names. The emergency room
workers made him
mop up his own blood. It was a sordid but hardly unusual episode
in the
hostile environment homosexuals encounter in societies of all

Unlike many such victims, though, Prestreshi kept his wits about
him. He had
photographs taken of his injuries. He complained to the press
and clipped
every article. When his family disowned him, he joined a gay
organization and slept in its office. This spring, his
determination bore
unexpected fruit, and Prestreshi was accepted as a legal refugee
in the
United States. He now lives in the District.

"I am happy because I don't have to live like a prisoner anymore
in a
society where no one is allowed to be different," said
Prestreshi, a slight,
nervous man of 22, who won his asylum case with help from
Clinic in the District. "But I can never forget what happened.
It hurt when
the police called us 'faggots.' It hurt when my parents screamed
and beat me
after they found out. It still hurts."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

The right to marry? It's still a battle

Detroit Free Press | June 26, 2007


Forty years ago this month, Mildred Jeter, 18, and Richard
Loving, 24,
drove from Virginia to Washington, D.C., to get married. They
left Virginia
because their union was illegal there -- Richard was white and
Mildred was

Just nine days after the Lovings returned home, the sheriff
barged into
their house at night and arrested the honeymooners in their bed.
What the
Lovings didn't know was that it was also illegal for them to
re-enter the
state after evading Virginia's miscegenation laws. Richard spent
a day in
jail before being released on bond. Because she was black,
Mildred, who also
was pregnant, was held five days.

When I hear about their plight, I think how sad it is that, 40
later, gays are fighting for the same right to marry.

Equality at the altar
On July 13, 1958, the Lovings pleaded not guilty,
jump-starting a legal
battle that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. They
lived in exile
from their Virginia family, raising their three children in D.C.
and waiting
on justice. It arrived almost exactly five years later when the
high court
affirmed the Lovings' right to live in matrimony.

The Lovings heard all the arguments against their love. It was
repugnant. It was an abomination before God. It violated the
norms of our
society. It was disgusting. But even after they won in the
Supreme Court,
the cross burnings and angry mail never rattled their commitment
to each

Stanford University sociologist Michael Rosenfeld estimated in 2005 that more than 7% of all American married couples are interracial, up from 2% in 1970. Thanks to the Lovings, miscegenation laws now seem ridiculous.

Equally ridiculous are laws preventing consenting adults frommarrying on the basis of their sexuality. As the Supreme Court said in Loving, "Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man." How do we justify denying that right to an entire segment of our society?


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,0,5814848.story

South Florida
Soldier Hid His HIV Status, Charges Say

Associated Press Writer
11:03 PM EDT, July 17, 2007

Military and civilian authorities have charged an HIV-positivesoldier with assault with a deadly weapon, accusing him of havingunprotected sex with a partner he didn't tell about the infection.

Military and civilian prosecutors haven't decided who willprosecute the case against Pfc. Johnny Lamar Dalton, said Maj. TomEarnhardt, a spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.

Dalton, 25, was arrested last week and was being held Tuesday inthe Cumberland County jail on a $50,000 bond, said sheriff's departmentspokeswoman Debbie Tanna. She said inmates weren't allowed to giveinterviews, and a jailer said the soldier hadn't been appointed an attorney.

Along with the assault count, Dalton faces civilian charges ofcommitting a crime against nature and misdemeanor assault inflicting seriousinjury. Earnhardt said he faces the same charges in the military's criminaljustice system.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

July 20, 2007 Speaker of Oklahoma house to intervene in same-sex
divorce case
The speaker of the Oklahoma house has filed a motion tointervene in a case involving an appeal of a Tulsa County judge's decisionto dismiss a same-sex divorce decree, reports the Associated Press.

The speaker of the Oklahoma house has filed a motion tointervene in a case involving an appeal of a Tulsa County judge's decisionto dismiss a same-sex divorce decree, reports the Associated Press.

Republican Lance Cargill said in the motion, filed with thestate supreme court, that because Cait O'Darling is challenging theconstitutionality of a state law that prohibits same-sex marriage,legislative leaders are allowed to intervene in the case.

O'Darling's appeal challenges an amendment to the Oklahomaconstitution, approved by voters in 2004, that defines marriage as the unionof one man and one woman; it also seeks to determine whether same-sexmarriages performed in other countries are valid in Oklahoma.

As reported by AP, the appeal may also question whether a statestatute prohibiting recognition of marriages between people of the samegender performed in another state can also be applied to marriage performedin Canada.

O'Darling filed for a divorce in July 2006 against her wife,identified in court documents as S. O'Darling. Records state the pair weremarried in Canada in 2002.

In November 2006 then-special district judge C. MichaelZacharias granted the couple a divorce but vacated the order after hediscovered they were not a heterosexual couple.

In his ruling annulling the divorce order, he stated he could"find no authority to suggest that Oklahoma would recognize a same-gendermarriage from a foreign country."

Cait O'Darling said the judge made a mistake in dismissing herdivorce without giving the pair notice or a chance to be heard.

John Flippo, Cait O'Darling's attorney, told the AP on Wednesdaythat a recently filed brief in the case does not challenge theconstitutionality of any Oklahoma law and that Cargill does not havestanding to intervene in the case. (The Advocate)


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

City rejects anti-gay monument, again
Star-Tribune staff writer Thursday, July 19, 2007

For the second time since 2003, the city of Casper has rejecteda Kansas preacher's request to erect a monument stating that a murderedWyoming man is in hell.

"Casper's historic monument plaza is a collection of documentsthat are the underpinning and foundation of our law," Mayor Kate Sarosywrote in a letter to Rev. Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church onWednesday.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Website for Arab and Asian gays launched
20th July 2007 9:45
Tony Grew

A new online meeting place for the Asian and Arab LGBT peopleand their friends has opened for business. features content for both men and women includingfeatures, articles, blogs, message boards, community news and listings.

"I chose the name salaam because it is a word of greetings,peace and love that is shared by many peoples of Middle Eastern and Asianheritage," says Simran,'s founder and coordinator.

"I wanted to bring together these different, inter-connectedcommunities.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay Muslim Jailed, Attackers Walk Free

Written by Peter Tatchell
Monday, 16 July 2007
Peter Tatchell, writing exclusively for MySalaam, says thecriminal justice system is still failing the victims of homophobic hatecrimes

How would you feel if you were queer-bashed and the policetreated you as the attacker, not the victim? And what would you think ifyour partner was murdered and the police never interviewed you about hiskilling? Pretty angry, I guess.

Well, that appears to be what happened to 29-year-oldMohamed S. He was jailed for eight years following an alleged homophobicattack on his home in London in 2002.

Having reviewed the evidence, I believe very strongly thathe was the victim, not the perpetrator. Yet he was jailed, while his allegedattackers walked free.

Mohamed is a gay Muslim and trained as an imam. He hasasked for his full name and other identifying details to be withheld.Mohamed fears violent retribution from sections of the Muslim communityagainst himself and his family on account of his homosexuality.

Although he is a deeply devout Muslim, because he is gayMohamed sadly gets little support from fellow Muslims.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,0,4450067,print.story

South Florida
Gay issues don't equate to sex
July 17, 2007

By Rick Bell

Why is it that when it comes to talking about gay people, sex isthe starter? And usually, it's not about private, consensual sex betweenadults, which is, believe it or not, the norm. Instead, it's more oftenabout perversion or degenerate sex that has nothing to do with the realityof mainstream gay life in America.

This is especially true when it comes to Mayor Jim Naugle. Timeand again when discussing "gay issues," he has demonstrated eithershattering ignorance or the outright attempt to provoke by using his twistedviews of gays and sex to fuel confrontation. With him, it's always the same:His ridiculous pontifications start from the perspective of sex and run offto some extreme place from which he proposes to save Fort Lauderdale.

Last week, it happened again - twice. First was the toiletissue. Was this just another feeble attempt to raise a rabble by using thattrusty red herring: gays and sex?

Next was the City Commission meeting. Broward County was askingthe commission to amend its lease at the Fort Lauderdale Library to allowfor the inclusion of the Stonewall Library & Archives, one of the world'slargest and most respected repositories of gay and lesbian art, literatureand cultural materials.

During discussion, His Honor produced a brown bag which heclaimed contained readily available pornography from the SLA. It was agrand, almost made-for-TV moment as Naugle bellowed on, stood and gallantlycarried said materials to the city attorney for his opinion. Sound familiar?You got it: gays and sex.

In the end, the majority of the commissioners saw the pornostunt for what it was and voted in favor of allowing the change. One mighthave thought that would be the end of it.

And then I read the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on July 11.Surprise, surprise - the drama continues.

Several questions came to mind. Was the intent to report theproceedings fairly or rather to pander to prurient interests? And what aboutthe accuracy of some of the facts quoted?

Here's why I ask:

Clearly, the reporter didn't listen to or appreciate thearticulate arguments regarding the matter. Was Brittany Wallman there toreport the story or to watch for fireworks? She certainly didn't report thestory as it transpired, offering just two snippets instead.

The first was God's position as presented by the Rev. O'Neal
Dozier. She made the guy out to be some kind of kooky cleric when all he wasdoing was standing up for his religious convictions. In the end, she noteddryly that he was forced to conclude his remarks after his time was up withthe clipped line, "Dozier ran out of time and had to sit down." The guydeserves more respect than that.

Also recounted were remarks made by former Commissioner DeanTrantalis. Here, only his humorous comments were noted without giving shriftto the gist of his three minutes. In both cases, neither gentleman was givenhis due, nor was the story fully told.

As for the facts, you decide:

Both title and content suggest that SLA is an adult book store(read: gays and sex). It is not. Research would have shown the SLA isdivided into two collections: the lending library and the archive. Thelending library offers mainstream titles and materials. The archive,available only by appointment, contains items of historical or culturalvalue whose content some may consider controversial.

Were the pornographic titles the only titles on the "list thatcity staff compiled" (read: gays and sex)? Might research have turned uptitles that would have presented a fairer representation of the collection?

As for Naugle showing "a pack of nude gay magazines," thissimply did not happen (read: gays and sex).

See what I mean? Is it just Naugle or has the Sun-Sentinel goneover to the dark side, too?

Fortunately, Fort Lauderdale and Broward County have long sincemoved on. The community sees this for what it is: politics based onstereotypes and prejudice. And it also understands that "gay issues" don'tequal sex. Its citizens, unlike Naugle and quite possibly the Sun-Sentinel,are far too busy building an inclusive community rather than usingstereotypes and prejudice to build an exclusive one.

Rick Bell is a resident of Wilton Manors.


Citizen Crain
by Chris Crain
Something rotten in the Senate

There's disappointing (if not surprising) news on the fate of agay-inclusive hate crimes bill in the U.S. Senate. According to HRC's BackStory blog, the debate on Iraq has dragged down with it the Matthew ShepardHate Crimes Prevention/Local Law Enforcement Act, the bill's official title.The blog quotes an explanation from HRC legislative director AllisonHerwitt:

After a protracted debate about the Iraq war, Senate MajorityLeader Harry Reid temporarily suspended consideration of the Department ofDefense (DoD) Authorization bill. Earlier, Senators Kennedy and Smith hadfiled hate crimes as a potential amendment to the DoD bill. As a result,consideration of both the bill and hate crimes will be delayed for themoment. Reid pulled the bill after the Levin-Reed amendment failed togarner the necessary 60 votes -- a procedural hurdle needed to end afilibuster against the amendment. Levin-Reed would have called forwithdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by next spring. This could mean that avote on hate crimes may not occur before Congress adjourns for its Augustrecess.

Our congressional allies -- including Senate leadership --remain committed to getting a vote on hate crimes this year. SenatorsKennedy and Smith continue to look for ways to advance this cruciallegislation.

All this still begs the question of why in the first place HRCand its Democratic allies in the Senate chose to burden the hate crimes billby linking it to easily the most controversial piece of legislation inCongress. The hate crimes measure has bipartisan majority support in theSenate and so would pass if voted on as a free-standing measure (or attachedto something germane and not so controversial).


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Blind At The Holy See
(Weekly Column)

In the wake of sex scandals involving children, the RomanCatholic Church should either change its mores or close its doors. Since1950, the United States arm of the church has paid an astounding $2 billionto settle claims of childhood sexual abuse. Yes, that is billions with acapital "B" that could have gone towards raising orphans, housing thehomeless and feeding the "foodless." Instead, the church has had to reachdeep inside its pockets, because some priests can't keep their hands out ofthe pants of others.

About a quarter of the fortune paid to the unfortunate victimshas come from the Los Angeles archdiocese. Its leader, Cardinal RogerMahony, apologized Sunday to the hundreds of abused who will be compensated,as if you can put a price on the church's vice.

"There really is no way to go back and give them that innocencethat was taken from them. The one thing I wish I could give the victims...Icannot," he said. "Once again, I apologize to anyone who has been offended,who has been abused. It should not have happened and should not ever happenagain."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

The Pope Versus Gay Rights
By Dale Hurd
CBN News
July 16, 2007 - The gay rights agenda has won the day in mostEuropean nations.

In fact, just calling homosexuality abnormal can now beconsidered hate speech.

But in Italy, the battle for gay rights is still raging, andit's turning into a showdown between the government and the Pope.

Hundreds of thousands of Italians packed a Rome piazza in May toprotest a government bill that would give many legal rights to unmarriedcouples, including homosexual partners.

For more on this story, watch Pat Robertson's interview withLetizia Moratti, the mayor of Milan, Italy.

Prime Minister Romano Prodi's government proposed allowing thecivil unions. But the planned law, which would also give unmarriedheterosexual couples legal standing, has run into strong opposition fromconservatives and pro-family Catholics in parliament.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

My Ex-Gay Life :: On the Road to Salvation
by David Foucher
EDGE Publisher
Wednesday Jul 18, 2007

Regardless of the genesis of their decision, gays and lesbianswho opt to renounce their same-sex attractions find themselves with avariety of options for assistance and support. Websites, ministries,therapists and a virtual library of literature offer knowledge, first-handaccounts, and advice - but for the most part, the paths a would-be ex-gaymust navigate to move forward are in many ways more confusing than thosethey leave behind.

The two proposed root causes of homosexuality, however, serve asa philosophical fork in the road: most transition guides serve one or theother. Essentialists believe that being gay is pre-natal, or part of aperson's natural essence; social constructionists believe that homosexualityis an aberration that occurs after birth due to upbringing and/or othersocial factors.

Faith-based organizations that label homosexuality as a sin -often grouped into the term "ex-gay ministries" - universally believe thatone's underlying pattern of attractions can change. After all, those whosin, according to these ministries, can repent, seek forgiveness, and changetheir ways. The oft-argued passages of the Bible that suggest homosexualityis an "abomination" and should result in the participants being "put todeath" - Leviticus, as supported by the story of Sodom, Romans 1 and thewritings of Paul - have for decades been the underpinnings of the Christianright's objections to gays and the rights for which they fight;unfortunately, individual interpretations of the contentious passages bearslittle weight when compared to the gravitas of the pulpit - and the argumentultimately bears little actual relevance to the mission of the ministries.As long as people believe that homosexuality is a sin, a percentage of themare naturally likely to seek redemption.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Conservatives seek voice in gay therapy review Gay
APA asked to respect clients' religious views

Friday, July 20, 2007

More than 250 conservatives are calling on the AmericanPsychological Association to "consider religious diversity" in gay patienttherapy.

In a June 29 letter, officials from Focus on the Family,Southern Baptist Convention and other groups said APA officials shouldinstruct psychologists to weigh equally the sexual orientation and religionof patients.

"We strongly believe that psychologists can offer a valuableservice if they respect the religious commitments of their clients to thesame degree that they respect sexual orientation diversity," the lettersaid.

The letter comes as an APA task force begins a review of currentscientific research on conversion therapy, or treatment that purports toturn gays straight. A report is due sometime in 2008 or beyond.

When the organization last considered the issue in 1997, itconcluded that psychologists should use "accurate information" and"appropriate interventions" to treat gay patients.

The APA has separately stated that sexual orientation cannot bechanged through therapy. It notes on its web site that claims by therapiststhat they have successfully changed a person's sexual orientation are"poorly documented," and such therapies hold "potential harm to patients."


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