Tuesday, July 24, 2007

GLBT DIGEST July 24, 2007

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Stonewall Library's move reignites debate about explicit art in publicplaces
By Elizabeth Baier
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
July 24, 2007

It was born from the private collection of a local college student. Now it'sone of the nation's leading libraries of gay and lesbian literature andhistory.

Located inside the Gay and Lesbian Community Center, the Stonewall Libraryand Archives boasts the largest private collection of gay and lesbianwritings, videos and historical documents in the southeastern United States.

That's about 18,000 titles and 7,000 historical archives. Items thatchronicle the history of the gay movement, from the pre-World War II dayswhen most gay men and women stayed in the closet to the New York riots thatspurred the modern gay rights movement. It also features biographies onfamed gay writers such as Tennessee Williams.

The collection existed with fairly little attention until this month, whenFort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle objected to the library and materialsmoving into a city-owned building. He argued the collection was tantamountto pornography and fought library plans to relocate to a 4,200-square-footspace at a Fort Lauderdale branch of the Broward County Library at HolidayPark.

Naugle lost the debate, and city commissioners approved the move to theSunrise Boulevard building.

What's lingered, though, is the issue of whether sexually explicit art,writings and other material have historical research value and should bepreserved with the cooperation of a government.

"In our circulating collection, there is nothing that I would considerpornographic at all," said Jack Rutland, executive director of the StonewallLibrary. "We have fine art books, as any library would have. Are there nakedpeople in those books? Absolutely. Is it pornography? Absolutely not."

Naugle disagrees.

"The library refuses to acknowledge it contains pornography," he said. "It'sthat simple."

The fury Naugle ignited over his opposition to Stonewall, and comments hemade about gays and other issues, led to the formation of a new group, UniteFort Lauderdale. The group plans a rally at City Hall today.

The historical archives encompass about 100 years of gay history andinclude, among other items, every issue of The Advocate, the nation'sleading gay and lesbian magazine, and founding documents of the MattachineSociety and the Daughters of Bilits, considered to be the nation's first gayand lesbian organizations founded in the 1950s.

Stonewall was started in 1973 by Mark Silber, then a Florida InternationalUniversity student, when he began collecting books and magazines tounderstand his homosexuality. As his collection grew, he started lendingbooks to friends and formed the Gay Community Services of Broward County. Iteventually reincorporated as the Stonewall Library and Archives.

The archives also house dozens of gay pulp fiction novels, popular in the1950s, and erotic gay men's magazines such as Honcho, Blue Boys, and all theissues of Playgirl. The archive is locked and is open to the public byappointment only, Rutland said. Most people who use it are researchers orhistorians.

"If I wanted an academic background of HIV/AIDS, these are the magazines I'dlook for it in," Rutland said. "There is pornography [in the archives], butthat's so much a part of how we define ourselves."

The library's circulating collection is open to anyone over 18 and includescommon subject areas such as gay and lesbian fiction, nonfiction, sociology,history and art. It also stocks 60 gay periodicals from across the country,including the Washington Blade and San Francisco's Bay Area Reporter.

"It's very appropriate for a research center to have items that may havevery detailed information that may not be comfortable to everyone," saidKent Oliver, chairman of the Chicago-based American Library Association'sIntellectual Freedom Committee. "What libraries are about is providingaccess to information, not limiting access. In this case, because its dealswith sexuality, it's a touchy area."

Debates over what belongs in publicly funded facilities are not new. InJune, the Miami-Dade County School Board pulled a controversial book aboutCuba from school libraries. And in 1999, the Brooklyn Art Museum almost lostcity funding after displaying a portrait of the Virgin Mary that includedelephant feces.

At the county library system, Director Bob Cannon said he receives regularcomplaints about photos in some magazines, including Vogue. The countylibrary also contains contemporary and erotic fiction, as well as Playboymagazine.

"There's racy stuff [in Stonewall], but it's historical," Cannon said. "It'snot an X-rated library."

Patrons at Stonewall who pay an annual membership fee can borrow books fromthe library. Paying and nonpaying members can use the items on-site andattend monthly film screenings, distinguished author lectures, writers'workshops and even join an opera group. The library currently has 500members and almost 9,000 visitors a year. Similar collections exist in NewYork, Chicago and San Francisco.

With an annual budget of $185,000, Stonewall has seen its collectionmushroom, mostly from donations, although the center does purchase newtitles.

Patrons and volunteers are intent on putting the recent controversy behindthem.

The Stonewall Library is "very important for a community that has such alittle stored history," said Bill Greeves, a patron who also catalogs itemsin the archive. "This place has our history."

Elizabeth Baier can be reached at ebaier@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4637.

ONLINE Take a tour of the Stonewall Library and Archives in a video reportat


Ft. Lauderdale - See you this evening!

Join local, state and national leaders and at the UNITE Fort Lauderdale

Rally on Tuesday July 24th at 4pm at the Fort Lauderdale City Hall 100 N.Andrews Ave.

The Rally is a community response to the recent bigoted comments by FortLauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle. Naugle has drawn national condemnation andridicule for attempting to justify the purchase of a a $250,000 robotictoilet by stirring anti-gay sentiment.

Impressive lineup of speakers begins at 5pm!




Inside Higher Education
Faith and Fairness

James W. Johnson has cleared the latest legal hurdle in a religiousdiscrimination case involving his former employer, Broward CommunityCollege, in Florida. But the one-time instructor is still unsettled. Hethinks his career has been unfairly damaged.

"I was educated to be a priest, but I found my niche in teaching religion,"Johnson said in a phone interview Monday. "I would love to do that again.What makes me sick is the thought that I could never teach again because Idecided to pursue this lawsuit. It seems to be preventing me from findinganother [faculty] job."

Johnson, 45, spent more than a dozen years teaching religion courses as anadjunct at Broward. He applied for several full-time faculty jobs but waspassed over, he said, because of his religious beliefs. Johnson is an openlygay Roman Catholic who earned a master's degree in divinity and graduatedfrom a pontifical university in Rome. His lawsuit claims that Broward'sreligion department favored evangelical Protestants in hiring, promotion andclass assignments.

"Every time there was an opening, I applied," he said. "I had expressed myinterest in teaching full time, and I was more than qualified."

This spring, a jury found that the college used Johnson's religion as a"substantial motivating factor" in making course assignments. And earlierthis month, a federal district court judge ruled that Johnson could recouphis legal fees.

A spokeswoman for Broward said that the community college district'strustees will meet to discuss their next step, and that college officialswould not comment on the case while further litigation remains an option.

Johnson said his troubles began more than five years ago, when WinstonThompson became chair of the religion department. He said Thompson, whom hedescribed as an evangelical Protestant, actively recruited and promotedfaculty who shared his faith and who were ordained Protestant ministers. Healso assigned them to teach scripture courses.




Inside Higher Education
Better Than Expected, Worse Than It Seems
By Gary Orfield, Erica Frankenberg and Liliana M. Garces

There was a national sigh of relief on campuses in June when an altered U.S.Supreme Court left standing the historic 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decisionsupporting affirmation action in admissions. There had been widespread fearamong civil rights advocates that a more conservative Supreme Court wouldseriously undermine or even reverse the 5-4 Grutter decision with itsauthor, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, no longer on the Court. The voluntaryschool integration decision in Parents Involved in Community Schools v.Seattle School District No. 1 and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board ofEducation was, indeed, a serious reversal for desegregation in K-12 schoolsbut while divided on the constitutionality of the school plans at issue inthe cases, all nine justices agreed that the decision had no impact on theGrutter precedent. The rights of colleges to use race in admissionsdecisions for student body diversity had survived scrutiny by the mostconservative Supreme Court in more than 70 years. Since the Supreme Courtrarely takes such cases, the Grutter precedent might last for a while. Whilea bullet was dodged, optimism should be restrained. The dike protectingaffirmative action has held but the river that brings diverse groups ofstudents to colleges may be drying up as a result of the latest decision.

Colleges and universities, especially selective institutions, tend to drawtheir successful minority applicants from interracial schools and theiradmissions offices know well that many of the segregated minority highschools fail to prepare their students well enough to succeed in college.Research by the Civil Rights Project has shown that too many segregatedurban high schools are "dropout factories" where the main product isdropouts and successful preparation for college is rare. Conservativeeconomist Eric Hanushek found that the damage was worst for the relativelyhigh achieving black students, the very students likely to comprise thecollege eligible pool. So making segregation worse cuts the number of wellprepared students. In addition to academic preparation, students fromsegregated backgrounds are also often not ready to function socially on alargely white, affluent campus. It also means of course, that the mostsegregated group of students in American schools, whites, also have lesspreparation to deal successfully with diversity. So colleges may have won,but also lost.




For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 17, 2007

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who ThreatenStabilization Efforts in Iraq

White House News

Message to the Congress of the United States Regarding InternationalEmergency Economic Powers Act

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the lawsof the United States of America, including the International EmergencyEconomic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), theNational Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 oftitle 3, United States Code,

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, dueto the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreignpolicy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peaceand stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economicreconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarianassistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United Statesto take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared inExecutive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in ExecutiveOrder 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29,2004. I hereby order:

Section 1. (a) Except to the extent provided in section 203(b)(1), (3), and(4) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(1), (3), and (4)), or in regulations,orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order,and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permitgranted prior to the date of this order, all property and interests inproperty of the following persons, that are in the United States, thathereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter comewithin the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked andmay not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation withthe Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,

(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an actor acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:

(A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or

(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and politicalreform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;


Forwarded from Al Fitiha
International GLBT Muslims


Not so glad to be gay
From The Economist print edition

It is getting harder for gay Palestinians to seek refuge in Israel or abroadONE time, high heels and a wig saved Imad from prison. The 22-year-old fromthe West Bank capital, Ramallah, had been caught in Jerusalem without apermit. On the way to the jail, the police asked him and his friend why theyhad sneaked into town. As his friend shrivelled up with shame, Imad (not hisreal name) proudly told them he had come to perform at the Shushan,Jerusalem's only gay bar. He opened his bag and flourished his outfit with abristle of sequins. The police, realising that they had caught a couple ofdrag queens instead of a couple of terrorists, let them go with a warningnever to return. "And two days later," recounts Imad with a gleam in hiseye, "I was back, even in the same café where they arrested me."

But getting back is becoming harder. Israel is rapidly filling in theremaining gaps in its West Bank wall-cum-fence. Recently it took Imad someseven hours to make the usual one-hour journey from Ramallah to Tel Aviv.Soon his drag career, which has rocketed at gay clubs all over Israel (seepicture), will be cut short.

Gay Palestinians have long been sneaking into Israel to enjoy a freedomunknown in their own, much more conservative, society. And despitepersistent rows such as whether to allow gay-pride marches inJerusalem-legislators this week voted, on a first reading, to let the cityban them to avoid offending ultra-Orthodox Jews-Israel likes to promote itsreputation for tolerance.


Forwarded from Sharon Goldenberg
Los Angeles Times


Assault heightens tensions in S.F.
The rape of a man in the Castro district spotlights racial divisions in thearea's gay community.
By John M. Glionna
Times Staff Writer
July 23, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO - Mark Welsh chokes up as he describes his rape last fall andthe word his two assailants kept repeating.

"They kept saying 'faggot' over and over again," whispers the 51-year-oldowner of a video store in the Castro district. "It went on for what seemedlike forever."

Welsh came forward about the attack to publicize sexual assaults against gaymen in the Castro - which he says police have downplayed.

His outrage helped spark a new anti-rape education program as well asvolunteer citizen patrols in one of the nation's best-known gayneighborhoods.

But because both Welsh and another rape victim say their assailants wereblack, news of their attacks has heightened tensions in a community that foryears has been accused of racial exclusion.

In 2005, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission ruled that a Castro barcalled SF Badlands discriminated against black patrons by requiring them topresent multiple forms of identification before entering.

Officials now require the bar's owner, Les Natali, to post a noticeinforming patrons of state anti-discrimination laws.

"It's rare," John Carr, spokesman for the state Department of AlcoholicBeverage Control, said of the requirement. "We wanted to send a strongmessage that we were going to keep an eye on them."

Still, many African Americans say they're made to feel unwelcome in theCastro. "There's an unspoken language, whether you're a black man or woman,that there's no space for you here," said Lisa Williams, a local activistwho is black.




South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

Seawater could help solve S. Florida water woes, but at what price?
By Andy Reid
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
July 24, 2007

Small plastic bottles with labels proclaiming "a taste of Florida's future"contain drinking water mined from the sea.

Filtered and treated at a desalination plant that supplements supplies inthe Florida Keys, the bottled water is a crystal-clear marketing gimmick toshow that taking the salt out of seawater offers a drought-proof solution tothe state's water woes.

But a few hundred miles from the Keys, Tampa's troubled desalination plant -built to become the largest of its kind in North America but stillstruggling to run at full capacity - stands as a monument to how costly anduncertain the investment can be.

During a drought that has led to the toughest water restrictions in SouthFlorida history, water managers have renewed their call to explore using thesea to help meet water needs.

Fort Lauderdale is among the sites where the South Florida Water ManagementDistrict proposes a pilot program to test tapping into ocean water.

"We are sucking Florida dry right now," said Arlyn Higley, director ofoperations for the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority. "Desalination is the wayof the future."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

July 23, 2007
For Immediate Release


(United Nations, Geneva, July 23, 2007). In a vote that recognizes theimportance of including the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, andtransgender (LGBT) human rights groups at the United Nations, the UNEconomic and Social Council (ECOSOC) granted consultative status on Fridayto two nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that address human rightsviolations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The two groups, Coalition gaie et lesbienne du Québec (CGLQ) and the SwedishFederation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL), will beable to use their new consultative status at the UN to work directly onhuman rights and other issues of importance to the LGBT community byensuring access to UN meetings, delivery of oral and written reports, andorganizing events to facilitate understanding of the abuse anddiscrimination that LGBT people face around the world.

ECOSOC consists of 54 member states of the United Nations, drawn from thefive UN regions: Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the West.States from all five regions voted to overturn a negative decision by theECOSOC's NGO Committee and to accredit the LGBT groups.

"RFSL now has the possibility, together with others, to affect and improvethe situation for the world's LGBT persons," said Soren Juvas, President ofRFSL. Yvan Lapointe, General Director of CGLQ, added, "We are really excitedby the decision and are proud of the leadership role that Québec and Canadahave played in the field of human rights. We look forward to maintainingthis role as we work with other members of the international community toadvance LGBT rights."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Beware of Virgin America!

Dear Kenneth Sherrill,

Virgin America, under the veiled leadership of Richard Branson and formerDelta Airlines Executive Fred Reid, are going after legacy carriers likeUnited and American. Branson has publicly stated that unions are too strong.Legacy carrier employees receive "hard-won" benefits that helped make thempart of our middle class. The Department of Transportation allowedcertification of Virgin America after continuous objections that Branson wasnot meeting foreign-ownership limitations set by US law. For your aviationsisters and brothers, Virgin America represents the potential loss ofstandards labor has been able to establish as part of our once-friendlyskies. Virgin America is linked to a larger company that operates out ofcountries where universal health care is already established. Theintroduction of an uneven playing field is obvious here and Sir Richardknows it.

Your not patronizing this upstart low-fare carrier will mean a lot to us.Your Association of Flight Attendants-CWA sisters and brothers have foughthard against the foreign ownership ("sabotage") of U.S. airlines flying inthe highly coveted U.S. domestic market. The Bush Administration favors theallowance of foreign-ownership within our domestic market. A foreign-ownedairline operating in the U.S. would control the movement of aircraft andcrews. Bush has demonstrated the same ignorance with this issue as he didwith his past attempt to allow a foreign-based (from the Middle East)operation that would provide security for our ports.

Thank you for your support and consideration.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Beenie Man denies signing deal with gay group
BY KERIL WRIGHT Observer staff reporter kerilw@jamaicaobserver.com
Sunday, July 22, 2007

Montego Bay, St James - International Grammy-winning deejay, Beenie Man, inan about-turn Friday denounced violence against homosexuals, but made itclear that he did not support that lifestyle.

The deejay was responding to questions about an alleged deal withinternational gay rights groups, including the UK-based Outrage, in which hewas said to have agreed to renounce violence against gays.

He denied signing any such deal, which Outrage last month announced asthe Reggae Compassionate Act, but at the same time said that violenceagainst gays was wrong.

"We don't need it," he told reporters shortly after closing Red StripeReggae Sumfest's Dancehall Night at approximately 7:15 Friday morning. "Wedon't need to kill dem. We just need fi tell the people dem the right tingbecause I not supporting a gay lifestyle because it's not wholesome to me."

Beenie Man explained that the Reggae Compassionate Act to which Outragereferred, was brokered by European promoters under fire from gay rightsgroups furious that they continued to support certain Reggae acts whoselyrics incited violence against homosexuals.

"It's a ting from the promoters of Europe. They are getting so much fightfrom the Christian and "g" organisation and everything," said theself-proclaimed 'King of the Dancehall', who apparently could not bringhimself to say the word gay.

At the same time, the deejay said he did not personally sign anyagreement and could not promise that he would be abiding by it. "I domusic," he argued. "Dancehall mi do, I can't promise nuh man dat. And mineva sign it, yuh hear sah."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Survey: Teen Sex Decline Stalled
Washington Post
July 23, 2007


The long decline in sexual activity among U.S. teenagers, hailed as one ofthe nation's most important social and public health successes, appears tohave stalled.

After decreasing for more than a decade, the percentage of teenagers havingintercourse began to plateau in 2001 and has failed to budge since then.

The leveling off is worrying observers across the ideological spectrum.

"It is alarming," said Susan Philliber of Philliber Research Associates, aprivate firm that studies teen sexuality. "We've had such a wonderfuldecade's run of getting the rate down. For it to level out causes everyoneto go, `Uh-oh.'"

The reasons for the change could include growing complacency among the youngabout AIDS and the possibility that some irreducible portion of the teenagepopulation can never be dissuaded from having sex.

"At a certain point it becomes really hard to change basic human behaviors,"said John Santelli, who studies teenagers at Columbia University.

Some fear that the leveling off could foreshadow a new upsurge in sexualactivity. Even at the present level, the U.S. teen pregnancy rate remainsfar higher than those in other developed countries - double the rate inEngland, for example.

"My concern is that this plateau is the canary in the coal mine - aharbinger of a reversal of these positive trends," said Michael Resnick, ateen health expert at the University of Minnesota.

The halt in the downward trend coincided with an increase in federalspending on programs encouraging sexual abstinence until marriage, severalexperts noted. Congress is debating the effectiveness of those programs,which receive about $175 million a year.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Iraq war debate delays vote on hate crimes bill
Senate Democratic leader withdraws 'vehicle' for measure
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | Jul 18, 4:45 PM

A vote in the U.S. Senate on a gay- and transgender-inclusive hate crimesbill was put on hold this week after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid(D-Nev.) abruptly withdrew a controversial defense authorization bill towhich the hate crimes measure was to be considered as an amendment.

Reid pulled the defense bill from the Senate floor on Wednesday, minutesafter Democrats were unable to break a Republican-led filibuster thatblocked passage of a Democrat-supported amendment calling for removing U.S.combat troops from Iraq by next spring.

"The Senate obviously devoted all of its attention to the Iraq war," saidBrad Luna, spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, the national gayadvocacy group coordinating lobbying efforts for the hate crimes bill. "Thishad nothing to do with the hate crimes bill."

But a spokesperson for Reid said it could be a "long time" before the Nevadasenator brings the defense bill back to the floor for a vote, a developmentthat could lead to an indefinite hold on the hate crimes bill and dozens ofother amendments that senators were seeking to attach to the defensemeasure.

"He'll consider bringing it back when Republicans are ready to stopobstructing our amendments," said Rodell Mollineau, Reid's pressspokesperson.

Rest of article:


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Public Employee Press
Program puts torture survivors on the road to recovery
Carol Pepper helps gay and lesbian victims

Psychologist Carol Pepper, a 10-year veteran of the Bellevue/NYU Program forSurvivors of Torture, has specialized in working with lesbian, gay, bisexualand transgender victims of torture.

The group is often targeted by paramilitary organizations and the policebecause of the stigma of homosexuality and HIV/AIDS, according to. Pepper,who has treated many of the victims in her private practice.

While a government itself might not officially sanction persecution, itsfailure to intervene gives a green light to the abuse, Pepper said in aninterview with Public Employee Press.

"In many countries, the government doesn't actively prosecute these cases,so paramilitary groups, the police and vigilantes can go after thesepeople," she said.

Victims of torture undergoing therapy are generally treated forpost-traumatic stress disorder, a severe anxiety brought on by a horrificexperience involving physical or psychological pain or the threat of aviolent assault. By linking the abuse to sexual orientation, interrogatorscompound the trauma that afflicts lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendervictims.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Public Employee Press
Local 1189 Psychologists make a difference
At Bellevue Hospital, torture survivors find refuge, treatment andcompassion

The Bush administration has all but openly embraced torture as an instrumentof national policy in its war against terrorism. Meanwhile, in New York,Psychologists in Local 1189 work with a world-renowned team that helpspatients overcome the horror of torture and seek political asylum.


Late one night, Nazareth Oliveira and her daughter Cristina were awakened bythe noise of their apartment door being broken down.

Seconds later, they found themselves surrounded by men in military uniformswith machine guns.

Nazareth was one of thousands of citizens who were detained, tortured ormurdered from 1964 to 1985 during the brutal military dictatorship inBrazil. Like so many survivors of those years of political repression, shehas spent the rest of her life struggling to deal with the permanent scarsfrom her experience.

"They closed the courts, Parliament and the Senate, and cut off all humanrights," Nazareth said. "It was all around us. Demonstrations and militarypolice. The news censored. Students being arrested."

Tortured with husband

The military had raided the apartment in search of Nazareth's husband, alawyer, who wasn't there at the time. To protect her, Nazareth's husbandhadn't told her that he worked underground as a political activist, fightingthe repressive military regime.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Surgeon general nomination in limbo
by Bob Roehr

The nomination of Dr. James Holsinger to be surgeon general of the UnitedStates appears to be in limbo after his July 12 appearance before the SenateCommittee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. A growing number oforganizations have come to oppose his confirmation, based in large part onhis views on gays that were expressed in a 1991 paper.

Committee staff indicated that they do not anticipate an early vote onHolsinger's nomination.

"The office of surgeon general has become a morass of shameful politicalmanipulation and distortion of science," said committee chairman Senator TedKennedy (D-Massachusetts) in opening the hearing.

He cited testimony from another hearing last week by former Surgeon GeneralDr. Richard Carmona on how the White House sought to suppress or change thecontent of reports, as well as experience with the Bush administrationhiding or warping scientific findings in areas ranging from global warmingto stem cell research to abstinence-only programs to condoms and birthcontrol.

Kennedy announced introduction of the Surgeon General Integrity RestorationAct, which would radically reshape the office and protect it from politicalinfluence, should it be enacted. The bill would establish budgetary andadministrative independence from the Department of Health and Human Servicesand the White House. It would require that the president select a nomineefrom a list of candidates drawn up by the Institute of Medicine.


National Gay News


Toyota On Top, While Infiniti Brings Up The Rear In Latest GayWheels Survey
Monday, 23 July 2007 12:46
Toyota On Top, While Infiniti
Brings Up The Rear In Latest GayWheels Survey

Gaywheels.com, the sole source of information specifically targeted toand about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender car-shoppers, todayannounced its list of the Top 10 Most-Researched Vehicles during the secondquarter of 2007.



Chicago Sun-Times


The priest and the stripper
$200,000 STOLEN FROM PARISH | 'He gave me money for spending time withhim'
July 22, 2007
BY ERIC HERMAN Staff Reporter/eherman@suntimes.com

The Rev. Mark Sorvillo loved taking his parish's money and spending iton himself. Trips to Rome, Venice, Paris. And $900 meals at New Yorkrestaurants.

In 1999, Sorvillo found someone else to lavish his parishioners'collection-plate donations on -- a male stripper.

Sorvillo -- who pleaded guilty Friday to stealing nearly $200,000 fromSt. Margaret Mary parish on the North Side -- gave cars, plane tickets andthousands of dollars in cash to James Sosnicki, a married Louisville man whostripped frequently at gay clubs in Chicago, law enforcement sources said.


The Advocate


July 24, 2007
Some blunt and some sincere, YouTube questions shake up the Democraticdebate

Lesbians asking about gay marriage. Two unrelated parents with sons inIraq asking about the war. And a snowman asking about global warming?

Video questions submitted to the hip Web site YouTube shook up theusual campaign debate Monday night in Charleston, S.C. The questions, mostof them coming from young people, were blunt and earnest, yet sometimesbizarre.

''He needs help,'' Delaware Sen. Joe Biden said after watching a videoof a man holding an automatic weapon and asking how the candidates wouldprotect his ''baby.'' ''I don't know if he's mentally qualified to own thatgun.''

The revelations that the questions elicited ranged from the ridiculousto the grave. John Edwards didn't like Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's brightcoral jacket. More seriously, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama would be willing tomeet individually with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and NorthKorea during the first year of his presidency, while Clinton would not.

''I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes,'' she said. Hercampaign quickly posted video of her answer online, trying to show she has adifferent understanding of foreign policy than her chief rival.

The innovative questions added an Internet age twist to the oldestforum in politics - a debate.

''The greatest innovation of this debate is that we're seeingcandidates respond to real voters instead of polished TV personalities,''said Michael Silberman of the online consulting firm EchoDitto. ''It's a winfor the candidates who are at their best when addressing voters. It's a winfor democracy, since average Americans outside of the early primary statesnow have the opportunity to ask direct questions of candidates.''


The New York Times


July 23, 2007
Spanish Judge Strips Lesbian Of Daughters' Custody
Filed at 4:11 p.m. ET

MADRID (Reuters) - A judge in Spain has stripped a mother of custody of hertwo daughters because she is a lesbian, media said on Monday, in a rulingthat has sparked an outcry in the gay community and brought disciplinaryaction against him.

In a ruling last month in the southeast region of Murcia, Judge FernandoFerrin handed the girls over to their father's care, arguing that ahomosexual environment threatened their education and upbringing.

He said a gay environment increased the "risk" that the children would alsogrow up homosexual.

"The mother has to choose between her daughters and the new partner," Ferrinwas quoted as saying in his June 6 ruling which has only now come to light.

The decision provoked outrage among Spain's gay community, which said it rancontrary to the constitution, and prompted Murcia's Supreme Court to opendisciplinary proceedings against Ferrin.


The New York Times


July 24, 2007
Washington: First Same-Sex Partnerships

Scores of gay and lesbian couples lined up to register as domestic partnersas a new state law took effect. The secretary of state's office registeredthe first couple, Jim Malatak, 64, and Rick Sturgill, 53, of Seattle,shortly after opening its doors at 8 a.m. About 85 couples were registeredafter the first hour, with another 50 standing in a line that wrapped aroundthe front of the office in downtown Olympia. Couples that register asdomestic partners receive enhanced rights, including hospital visitation,the ability to authorize autopsies and organ donations, and the ability toinherit in the absence of a will.


The New York Times


July 24, 2007
Novel Debate Format, but Same Old Candidates

The Democratic presidential debate last night was unlike any that had comebefore: two hours of questions conveyed on homemade videos from Americanswho were by turns tough talking and highly emotional, mixing pathos andbathos with the simply offbeat.

One man asked about gun rights while brandishing an assault weapon, callingit his baby. Parents mourned their children, lost to war.

And some of the candidates responded in kind, imbuing their language with animmediacy that matched the tenor of the questions. Representative Dennis J.Kucinich of Ohio castigated his fellow Democrats for not ending the war inIraq, and Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware opened up about his wifeand daughter, who are dead.

Yet while there was a new format for the debate, which was sponsored by CNNand the video-sharing Web site YouTube, the change went only so far:Candidates frequently lapsed into their talking points, and there was littleactual debate among them.

Much of the debate was taken up with questions on social and domesticissues, including race, education and gay rights. At one point thecandidates were asked if they would agree to be paid only the nationalminimum wage if elected president and at another whether they had arrivedfor the debate, in Charleston, S.C., on private jets.


The New York Times


July 24, 2007
Fourth Democratic Debate

The eight candidates vying to be the Democratic nominee for president in the2008 elections answered questions submitted by CNN and YouTube users in adebate. Participants: Senator Joseph Biden, Jr. (D-De); Senator HillaryClinton (D-N.Y.); Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.); Former Senator JohnEdwards (D-S.C.); Former Senator Mike Gravel (D-AK); Representative DennisKucinich (D-OH); Senator Barack Obama (D-IL); and Governor Bill Richardson(D-NM). Moderator: Anderson Cooper, CNN host. Location: the Citadel,Charleston, S.C. Monday, July 23, 2007. Here is a full transcript of theevent, from CNN:

MR. COOPER: Our first question tonight is from Zack Kempf in Provo, Utah.

Q: (Laughs.) What's up? I'm running out of tape! I have to hurry! So myquestion is, we have a bunch of leaders who can't seem to do their job. Andwhen we pick people based on the issues that they represent, but then whenthey get in power and they don't do anything about it anyway. If you'regoing to spend this whole night talking about your views on issues, but theissues don't matter if when you get in power, nothing's going to get done.

We have Congress and the president with, like, a 30 percent approval rating,so clearly we don't think they're doing a good job. What's going to make youany more effectual, beyond all the platitudes and the stuff we're used tohearing? I mean, be honest with us: How are you going to be any different?

MR. COOPER: Senator Dodd, you've been in Congress more than 30 years. Canyou honestly say you're any different?


The New York Times


July 24, 2007
YouTube Questions Take a Different Tack
Filed at 9:16 a.m. ET

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Lesbians asking about gay marriage. Two unrelatedparents with sons in Iraq asking about the war. And a snowman asking aboutglobal warming?

Video questions submitted to the hip Web site YouTube shook up the usualcampaign debate Monday night. The questions, most of them coming from youngpeople, were blunt and earnest, yet sometimes bizarre.

''He needs help,'' Delaware Sen. Joe Biden said after watching a video of aman holding an automatic weapon and asking how the candidates would protecthis ''baby.'' ''I don't know if he's mentally qualified to own that gun.''

The revelations that the questions elicited ranged from the ridiculous tothe grave. John Edwards didn't like Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's brightcoral jacket. More seriously, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama would be willing tomeet individually with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and NorthKorea during the first year of his presidency, while Clinton would not.

''I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes,'' she said. Her campaignquickly posted video of her answer online, trying to show she has adifferent understanding of foreign policy than her chief rival.


The New York Times


July 24, 2007
YouTube video debate actually worked
Declan McCullagh, for News.com

It may have seemed wacky at first, but the idea of allowing Americans topose questions to presidential candidates through brief YouTube videosturned out to be a success.

The video questions posed in Monday's Democratic debate were more personaland more direct than the circumlocutions that political journalists tend toprefer, which I admit may not be a compliment to our profession.

But the problem was that the politicians ducked, weaved and often repliedwithout giving a straight answer. (Ironically, the first user-submittedvideo, which asked the candidates to "actually answer the questions that areposed to you tonight," anticipated this problem but was insufficientlypersuasive.)

An example: Gary Berry, a department chairman at the American MilitaryUniversity and 26-year Army veteran, asked a perfectly straightforwardtwo-part question. He wanted to know on what date after the 2009presidential inauguration all U.S. troops will be gone from Iraq and,second, "How many family members do you have serving in uniform?"

Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, and DennisKucinich responded to the question. Only Dodd actually answered it fully,saying he served in the Army Reserves and had immediate family with militarycareers, though not mentioning that his stint ended back in 1975.

The ducking was embarrassingly obvious. It called to mind what Rep. CharlesRangel, D-N.Y., said last year: "This president and this administrationwould never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that waspresented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congressand the administration thought that their kids from their communities wouldbe placed in harm's way."


The Washington Post


Vox Populi
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 24, 2007; 7:44 AM

Guess what? I liked the questions.

YouTube rocks!

I was, I admit, a skeptic. I thought the average folks' questions might beso general that the candidates would tap-dance around them, and CNN would beleft with a snoozefest.

But what made last night's debate different, besides the disembodied natureof the video interrogators, was that they asked questions that journalistswould not ask.

The guy who asked Barack Obama whether he was black enough, promptingAnderson Cooper to plead, "Not my question"--way too un-PC for a journalistto ask, even though it's been written about and chattered about quite a bit.Obama said it was still hard for him to get a cab in Manhattan.

Hillary Clinton got to answer the same guy about her gender, and she proudlyembraced being a woman, while deftly noting that she has no choice. Anotherman asked how Hillary, as a woman, could negotiate with Arab and Muslimleaders (she played the first lady card and ticked off other female heads ofstate).


The Sun-Sentinel


Outrage over mayor's comments show times have changed
July 24, 2007

In your Thursday article, "Rally targets mayor," the photo caption states,"Gay activists say some of [Mayor Naugle's] comments embarrass the city." Iremember when the city would have been embarrassed by the behavior of gaysin public restrooms and not by the mayor's revealing comments on thisunacceptable behavior.

Joy Prescott
Coral Springs




Politics took over issue of beach toilets
July 24, 2007

For several years, I have served on the Beach Redevelopment Advisory Boardof Fort Lauderdale and have chaired this board for three years.

This board makes recommendations to the City Commission on matters dealingwith the Community Redevelopment Agency for the Central Beach.

To be clear, our monies are dedicated funds by statute and can only be usedfor capital improvements, not to balance a budget, lower taxes or fundpositions unrelated to the CRA.

For the past eight years, we have grappled with how to provide restrooms forthe beach. We were impressed after investigating the automated toilets. Theyhave been included as a component of the redevelopment plan of the CRAapproved by the City Commission and already included in our five-yearbudget.

As a first step, we recommended to the City Commission (acting as the CRA)to proceed with design work and feasibility for a pilot unit to be placed inthe Sebastian Parking Lot. At a conference meeting, after getting questionsanswered by a rep for toilet manufacturers, the City Commission agreed toproceed with $25,000 for the engineering/design/feasibility work. This was amandate to take the next logical step - not to buy the units.

Unfortunately, at this meeting, the mayor's comments about the automatedtoilets preventing inappropriate sexual activity have led to justifiablepublic outrage. This newspaper's editorial led the public to think that wewere spending monies on "a silly public restroom" instead of for police andfire or other services. To be clear, our CRA monies can only be used forcapital improvement projects.

So the City Commission killed the automated toilet concept.

In my opinion, this was a short-sighted action and a reaction to the gaycommunity's justifiable outcry about the mayor's comments. The much-neededtoilet concept became a political issue.

Now, we will have no public toilets in the central beach area anytime in theforeseeable future - disappointing to the people who give generously oftheir time as board members and take their pro bono accountabilityseriously, and most important, disappointing to the thousands of people whocome to our beach expecting first-class facilities.

Ina Lee

Chairperson, Beach Redevelopment Advisory Board for the City of Fort

Fort Lauderdale


The Sun-Sentinel


YouTube users grill Democrats via video
Wire reports
July 24, 2007

Democratic candidates for president reported to The Citadel military academyon Monday night to take some of the most direct, unvarnished and at timesrude questions of the race thus far - thanks to a new debate format that putthe questioning in the hands of average American voters who sent videos viathe Internet.

Is Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., authentically black? Is Sen. Hillary Clinton,D-N.Y., sufficiently feminine by American standards or so feminine that Arableaders could never take her seriously?

Is former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., emulating historic racists by using hisBaptist upbringing as an explanation for his position on gay marriage? Wouldhe support reparations for slavery or just be "dipping and dodging" thequestion?

In the style of practiced debaters, the Democrats received the questionsgraciously - thanking the questioners for even the most cutting ofinquiries - and then generally tried to reframe them to fit their talkingpoints.

But something else happened at the so-called YouTube debate, the first everin which questions were posed not by journalists but by people on the streetwho sent in their questions in the form of home videos.




Tops and Bottoms
by John Corvino

(Yes, this column is about exactly what you think, so readers squeamishabout such topics should find another page.)

Years ago I lived next door to a young born-again Christian rock singer (Iknow-it sounds like the premise for a sitcom). While Jason stronglydisapproved of my being gay, he was also fascinated by it, and he constantlyasked me questions.

One day I revealed to him that I had never had anal sex. His facebrightened. "That's awesome!" he shouted.

"Why, pray tell, is it awesome?" I asked.

"Because maybe you'll try it, and then realize you don't like it, and thenyou won't be gay."




Democrats Challenged By Online Questions
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 23, 2007 - 8:30 pm ET

(Charleston, South Carolina) Democratic presidential hopefuls struggledMonday night to answer questions posed by young, Internet-savvy voters whochallenged traditional political labels and the candidates' own place in abroken political system.

"Wassup?" came the first question, from a voter named Zach, after another,named Chris, opened the CNN-YouTube debate with a challenge to the entireeight-candidate field: "Can you as politicians ... actually answer questionsrather than beat around the bush?"

The answer was a qualified yes. The candidates faced a slew of bluntquestions and, in some cases, responded in kind.

To Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois: Are you black enough? "You know, when I'mcatching a cab in Manhattan ... I'm giving my credentials," he replied.

To Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York: Are you feminine enough? "Icouldn't run as anything other than a woman,"




GOP Governors: To Early For Endorsements
by The Associated Press

Posted: July 24, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Traverse City, Michigan) Republican governors say it's too soon to worryabout the absence of a clear favorite for the GOP presidential nomination.The muddled picture could even be a blessing, some said in interviews duringthe meeting of the National Governors Association.

The candidates' scramble to break from the pack and speculation aboutpossible new entries such as former Sen. Fred Thompson are keeping the racein the headlines.

"I don't subscribe to the notion that we have to have an identifiedfront-runner candidate early on," said Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, chairmanof the Republican Governors Association. "The longer you stay inclusive inthe process, the more idea generation you get, the more testing, siftingthat takes place among the candidates, I think that's healthy fordemocracy."

Political junkies aside, most voters haven't begun to focus on the racedespite the accelerated primary schedule, said Gov. Tim Pawlenty ofMinnesota.

"A lot of us are sitting back and waiting to see if there will be newplayers in there," Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said. "That's probably why thatbox that says 'none of the above' is so popular right now."




Lack Of HIV Services For Gays Highlighted At International AIDS Conference
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 24, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Sydney, Australia) Discrimination and a lack of access to health serviceshave sparked an alarming rise in the rate of new HIV infections among menwho have sex with men in developing countries, a leading American AIDSresearch group said Tuesday.

Studies have found that infection rates are growing among men who have sexwith men in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and less than five percent ofthose men have access to HIV-related health care, according to a statisticsreleased by the American Foundation for AIDS Research, or amfAR.

"It is estimated that one in 20 men who have sex with men have access toappropriate HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services," KevinFrost, amFAR's chief executive officer, told reporters. "This is a massivefailure of the HIV/AIDS response globally and I think one that needs to beaddressed."

Statistics show the rate of infection with HIV - the virus that causesAIDS - among men who have sex with men growing exponentially in parts of thedeveloping world.

In Kenya, around 40 percent are estimated to be HIV positive, compared to a6 percent prevalence in the overall population, according to amFAR. InSenegal nearly 22 percent are thought to be infected, compared to 0.9percent of the general population.




Face It: Procedure Brings HIV+ Man From Corpse-like to Comely
by Julian Aynsley, Special to 365Gay.com

Everything is a mixed blessing. Thirty-five years ago, bisexuality wasn'tcool, except for David Bowie. Nowadays, most guys see me as just anotherdude, but with an extended range of networking and interfacing capabilities!

Even then however, my flexibility made me popular. Unfortunately, it alsocontributed to my becoming another HIV statistic, and therein the storylies -- because drugs are a "mixed blessing" too.

How can one describe meds that restore health, even while making the patientlook sicker than he was to begin with? After seven years of these evillifesavers, my face was becoming hollowed out, bit by bit, like a stoneunder a waterfall.

I hadn't quite reached the point where I looked like the host on "Tales FromThe Crypt," but I was definitely headed in that direction.

It was also beginning to affect business relationships. Presentingproposals, I wondered if I was boring people when I noticed them looking attheir wrist watches. Then I realized that they were just speculating aboutmy "expiration date."


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