Sunday, July 29, 2007

GLBT DIGEST July 29, 2007

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South Florida

Mayor's remarks rouse gay clout in Fort Lauderdale politics
Words spur unprecedented outcry, but some conservatives support his stance

By Scott Wyman and Brittany Wallman
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
July 29, 2007

Jim Naugle was once viewed as virtually invincible.

He was a 24-hour mayor for Fort Lauderdale who fixed potholes when peoplecomplained and championed such popular causes as fighting overdevelopment.Polls showed his approval ratings topped 70 percent - despite his penchantfor shoot-from-the-hip comments that left parts of the community feelingalienated and abused.

Times may have changed in the wake of Naugle's recent statements abouthomosexuality, according to political insiders and campaign experts. Heignited a firestorm when he charged the city has a problem with gay sex inpublic restrooms, said gays are unhappy and contended the gay StonewallLibrary should not be housed in a city building because its collectioncontained pornography.

In an unprecedented repudiation, more than 800 people, including key membersof Broward County's political power structure and business community,rallied in front of City Hall last week. Organizers said they would not tryto recall Naugle because it would be difficult and expensive. Still, theywould like the county and city commissions to censure him and say they willclosely monitor not only his comments but those who seek to follow him.

"It's a new era and the citizens have taken control. Enough was enough.People were tired of it," said Michael Albetta, a former president of thegay Dolphin Democratic Club.

Naugle declined to be interviewed, but social conservatives argue theyshould not be underestimated nor should their support for Naugle. Althoughthey acknowledge being slow to come to Naugle's defense in the past fewweeks, they said they are now discussing a counter-rally.

"The pro-family forces are a slumbering giant just beginning to wake up tothis," said Jerry Newcombe, senior producer of the weekly Coral Ridge Hournational television broadcast out of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. "Thereis a silent majority out there that are just trying to take their kids tothe baseball games and live their lives."

Analysts predict that when Naugle leaves office in 2009 because of termlimits, his successor will have to appeal to each segment of an increasinglydiverse city. No one has announced plans to run, but observers thinkpolarizing stands would marginalize a candidate and be quickly targeted byopponents.

"The path that Naugle now follows is not one that wins elections," said JimKane, a local pollster and editor of the Florida Voter newsletter. "Theworld has changed and Fort Lauderdale has changed along with it."

Naugle's views about homosexuality have been known for years. But gayactivists and other community leaders said he hit the tipping point thatwarranted a strong rebuke.


The New York Times

July 28, 2007
Sex Abuse Divides, Unites Best Friends
Filed at 1:53 p.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- They were best friends, the kind who shared everythingbut their darkest secret: sexual abuse at the hands of the same RomanCatholic priest.

Twenty years later, their abuse is no longer hidden. The three boyhoodfriends will each receive $1.5 million from a $660 million settlementbetween the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and abuse victims.

Yet that money will never undo the guilt that comes with silence. It willnever replace the innocence the three teens shared before a new and terriblebond brought them even closer together.

The stories of Troy Gray, Jim O'Brien and Mike Moylan are hardly unique, buttogether they give voice to the untold numbers of clergy abuse victims whothought they suffered alone, only to learn years later that those closest tothem -- sisters, brothers, friends and classmates -- hid the same secret.

The Associated Press does not normally identify victims of sexual abuse, butin this case the three men agreed to have their names released.


The New York Times

July 29, 2007
Family-Leave Values

When Karen Deonarain was discharged from Prince George's Hospital Center inMaryland following the birth of her daughter, Razia, several years ago, thestatus of her job did not rank high on her list of worries. "My main concernwas the baby," she said one recent afternoon, as a heavy rain drenched thesidewalks outside the cafe where we had arranged to meet.

Deonarain was 30 when her daughter was born. A small, heavyset woman with agentle voice and a reserved manner, she worked at the time as a seniorclaims examiner for a company called Computer Literacy World, which doescontract work in data entry and computer-system configuration. She liked thejob, though she was in no condition to return to the office after herdischarge. The pregnancy had been a difficult one, ending in a weeklongmarathon of unnerving medical consultations and impromptu prayer sessionsthat began when Deonarain's water broke 16 weeks earlier than expected. Atone point, her doctor warned her that a baby born so prematurely stood a 50percent chance of suffering from cerebral palsy. Days later, her1-pound-10-ounce newborn was wheeled into the neonatal intensive care unit.

Deonarain remembers her ordeal being made somewhat easier by the sympathyextended to her by her employer. On Jan. 7, 2004, the day after she wasadmitted to the hospital and told she should remain there until deliveringher child, she says she spoke to her supervisor, a woman named Gwen Tolbert.They kept no written record of their conversations, and the company disputesDeonarain's version of the events. But according to Deonarain, Tolbert toldher not to worry and indicated that the company understood the baby'sfragile health would likely prevent her from coming back to work untilApril. The two women chatted again a week later, after Razia was born. Thistime, Deonarain says, Tolbert congratulated her and said she had alreadyarranged to have some sick leave transferred to her.

"I felt really reassured," Deonarain told me.

It was almost 10 weeks before Razia was discharged from the hospital. Ittook considerably less time for Deonarain's sense of reassurance to turninto bewilderment. One morning about six weeks after giving birth, shereceived a phone call from the mortgage company with which she and herhusband had been working to refinance their home.


The New York Times

July 29, 2007
First Chapter
'The Invisible Cure'

One morning in November 2001, two officials from a Kenyan AIDS organizationpicked me up from my hotel in Nairobi and took me on a drive. We drove anddrove all day, over muddy tracks, through endless pineapple and coffeeplantations, rural villages and slums, through all of Africa, it seemed, toarrive at a small field, perhaps half an acre, with some weeds growing in itand an old woman standing there with a hoe.

I had not expected this. I was reporting on AIDS programs for an Americanfoundation, and most of the other projects I had visited were either medicalprograms, AIDS awareness campaigns using billboards, radio or televisionspots, or traveling roadshows designed to promote AIDS awareness or condomsor HIV testing. I was about to say something when one of my guides spokefirst.

"We are very proud of this project."

So I said nothing. About twenty women had saved up for two years to buy thisland. All of them were supporting orphans whose parents had died of AIDS,and they hoped the land would produce enough food for about fifty people inall. On a nearby hill, one of Kenya's vast corporate-owned coffeeplantations loomed like the edge of the sea. The old woman kept glancing atit as though it might sweep her away. I was moved by what I saw, although Ididn't understand at the time how this project was supposed to fight AIDS.This book explains how I came to do so.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] Decision of the Italian Supreme Court

The Italian Corte di Cassazione (Supreme Court) rejected, in a recentdecision, the petition of the State representative in the province(Prefetto) to overrule the decision of the judge of first instance of Torinowho had annulled the administrative deportation order of a Senegalesecitizen (who unlawfully migrated to Italy) on grounds of his sexualorientation.

The Supreme Court established that "homosexuality is a condition of thehuman being deserving legal protection" according to the ItalianConstitution. The judges recognized that "sexual freedom must be intended asfreedom to live without interferences and restrictions with references tosexual preferences". As a consequence, the Court recognized that persecutionon grounds of sexual orientation in the country of origin, that may resultfrom criminalization of same sex sexual behaviors (even without aconviction) may constitute a ground for granting the residence permit forhumanitarian reasons as established by the Immigration Framework Act.

Stefano Fabeni
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Initiative
Global Rights
1200 18th Street, NW Suite 602
Washington, DC 20036
Tel 1-202-822-4600 x122
Fax 1-202-822-4606


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Italian gay groups protest after two men say they were detained for kissingin public

2007-07-28 16:48:35 -

ROME (AP) - Italian gay rights groups said Saturday they would hold public near the Colosseum next week to protest the detention of two menby police for kissing in front of the famous Rome monument.

Some lawmakers said they would discuss the incident in parliament, while gayrights groups accused the police of discrimination.

There were contradictory versions of the events that led to the detention.

The Carabinieri paramilitary police confirmed the two men were held forabout 40 minutes early Friday and released after being reported forcommitting lewd acts in public _ a crime that can carry a sentence of up to2 years in jail.

The two were and the officers would have detained thecouple also if it had been a heterosexual one, said Carabinieri officialCol. Alessandro Casarsa.

Casarsa said withoutelaborating.


Forwarded from David Bockoff, M.D.,1,2796578.story

Remembering a role model
'Anthony made it OK to be gay in Banning,' classmates said of thecharismatic football team captain.
By David Wharton, Times Staff Writer
July 28, 2007

MOST everyone around Banning High School liked the big kid. Anthony Castrowas handsome and athletic, a talented swimmer and fierce wrestler, captainof the football team.

"The hardest-working player and pretty much the hardest hitter," teammateMarc Reichling said. "He was a regular guy."

And he was gay.

His story unfolded in an unlikely setting. Banning is a rural, working-classtown straddling the San Gorgonio Pass, brown fields flanked by mountains, atthe fringe of the Los Angeles sprawl.

It is not a place where homosexuals have felt particularly welcome. In thefall of 2002, as Castro started high school, the big local news involved aneighth-grade girl expelled from gym class by teachers who suspected she wasa lesbian.

Ashly Massey faced insults from classmates and derogatory graffiti oncampus.

The ACLU and the National Center for Lesbian Rights took up her cause, suingthe school district, which eventually agreed to provide diversity trainingfor teachers and students.

Against this backdrop, the stillcloseted Castro was fighting his ownbattles.

His father was in prison, and relations with his mother had deteriorated. Heleft home. His grades faltered.

A friend steered him to Phil Takacs, a school counselor, who is also gay.They formed a bond and Takacs realized the teenager needed a stable home.

It was a tricky situation - a counselor taking in a student, both of themhomosexual. Takacs conferred with district officials and, with the help ofCastro's grandmother, went to court to obtain educational and medical rightson behalf of the teen.


n Hunt for a Running Mate, Ohio Governor Could Please All or None
By Chris Cillizza And Shailagh Murray
Sunday, July 29, 2007; Page A02

Already had enough of the presidential contests? Let the vice presidential speculation begin.

Among Democrats, Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio is starting to generate some buzz. Hardly a surprise, since Ohio will be a hugely important swing state in 2008. But check out these other vital statistics about Strickland. He's the son of a steelworker. He's a former Methodist minister. He has cut taxes. As a House member, he earned an "A" rating from the National Rifle ssociation. But he supports abortion rights and universal health care.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll placed Strickland's job approval at 61 percent overall, and at 54 percent among Republicans.


Forwarded from David Bockoff, M.D.,0,3463986.story?coll=la-home-center

Young and out on the field
An emerging generation of gay athletes in high school and college ischanging the rules.
By David Wharton
Times Staff Writer
July 28, 2007

Seattle - THE guys in his boat took to calling him "Badger" because of thegrimace he wore during races. Part of a junior rowing club that ranked amongthe fastest in the nation, Lucas Goodman was relentless on the water.

It was a different story on land.

The teenager with the powerful build and close-set eyes had to be careful.He hung back ever so slightly when teammates shot the breeze, talking aboutgirls.

"You get tired of constantly watching what you say, constantly watching howyou act," he said. "You're almost paranoid."

Goodman felt so uneasy that he finally told the Green Lake Crew his secret:He is gay.

The 18-year-old belongs to an emerging generation of openly gay and lesbianathletes on high school and college campuses across the country. These youngmen and women are quietly venturing where no pro football or baseball starhas gone, challenging the conformist, if not downright homophobic, traditionof the playing fields.

Their numbers are difficult to gauge because many confide only in peers.Experts chart the trend anecdotally through athletes who join gay rightsclubs at school, e-mail gay rights advocates for advice or announce theirsexual orientation on websites such as Facebook and MySpace.

"This is an issue that's in transition even as we speak," said Jay Coakley,a noted scholar and author on sports culture. "We're looking at how theworld is changing."

Not all the stories have happy endings - a high school football player inNorthern California tells of being ostracized. But others, such as aDelaware runner and a Georgia hockey player, say they were welcomed by theirteams.

Sociologists see the openness as a generational shift. Polls suggest agrowing percentage of young people have more relaxed views about sexualorientation than their parents did.

In Seattle, Goodman began dropping hints around his eight-man boat more thana year ago. He talked with his best friend, and with another rower whoseemed both understanding and physically large enough to make a good ally.

When word spread, no one teased or whispered about him. The crew saves moneyby sharing hotel beds on the road, and the teammate who bunks with Goodmandidn't mind.

"So what if I sleep in the same bed with a straight guy or with Lucas?"Casey Ellis asked. "Either way, there's going to be another guy there withme."


The New York Times

July 29, 2007
Mining of Data Prompted Fight Over Spying

WASHINGTON, July 28 - A 2004 dispute over the National Security Agency'ssecret surveillance program that led top Justice Department officials tothreaten resignation involved computer searches through massive electronicdatabases, according to current and former officials briefed on the program.

It is not known precisely why searching the databases, or data mining,raised such a furious legal debate. But such databases contain records ofthe phone calls and e-mail messages of millions of Americans, and theirexamination by the government would raise privacy issues.

The N.S.A.'s data mining has previously been reported. But the disclosurethat concerns about it figured in the March 2004 debate helps to clarify theclash this week between Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and senatorswho accused him of misleading Congress and called for a perjuryinvestigation.

The confrontation in 2004 led to a showdown in the hospital room of thenAttorney General John Ashcroft, where Mr. Gonzales, the White House counselat the time, and Andrew H. Card Jr., then the White House chief of staff,tried to get the ailing Mr. Ashcroft to reauthorize the N.S.A. program.

Mr. Gonzales insisted before the Senate this week that the 2004 dispute didnot involve the Terrorist Surveillance Program "confirmed" by PresidentBush, who has acknowledged eavesdropping without warrants but has neveracknowledged the data mining.


The Washington Post

Bush Aide Blocked Report
Global Health Draft In 2006 Rejected for Not Being Political
By Christopher Lee and Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, July 29, 2007; Page A01

A surgeon general's report in 2006 that called on Americans to help tackleglobal health problems has been kept from the public by a Bush politicalappointee without any background or expertise in medicine or public health,chiefly because the report did not promote the administration's policyaccomplishments, according to current and former public health officials.

The report described the link between poverty and poor health, urged theU.S. government to help combat widespread diseases as a key aim of itsforeign policy, and called on corporations to help improve health conditionsin the countries where they operate. A copy of the report was obtained byThe Washington Post.

Three people directly involved in its preparation said its publication wasblocked by William R. Steiger, a specialist in education and a scholar ofLatin American history whose family has long ties to President Bush and VicePresident Cheney. Since 2001, Steiger has run the Office of Global HealthAffairs in the Department of Health and Human Services.


The Washington Post

Answering to No One
By Walter F. Mondale
Sunday, July 29, 2007; Page B07

The Post's recent series on Dick Cheney's vice presidency certainly got myattention. Having held that office myself over a quarter-century ago, I havemore than a passing interest in its evolution from the backwater of Americanpolitics to the second most powerful position in our government. Almost allof that evolution, under presidents and vice presidents of both parties, hasbeen positive -- until now. Under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, it hasgone seriously off track.

The Founders created the vice presidency as a constitutional afterthought,solely to provide a president-in-reserve should the need arise. The onlyduty they specified was that the vice president should preside over theSenate. The office languished in obscurity and irrelevance for more than 150years until Richard Nixon saw it as a platform from which to seek theRepublican presidential nomination in 1960. That worked, and the office hasbeen an effective launching pad for aspiring candidates since.

But it wasn't until Jimmy Carter assumed the presidency that the vicepresidency took on a substantive role. Carter saw the office as an underusedasset and set out to make the most of it. He gave me an office in the WestWing, unimpeded access to him and to the flow of information, and specificassignments at home and abroad. He asked me, as the only other nationallyelected official, to be his adviser and partner on a range of issues.



South Florida
U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings hosts community forum on HIV/AIDS in Fort Lauderdale
Public education, discussion pushed at Lauderdale event
By Elizabeth Baier
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
July 29, 2007

Fort Lauderdale The unexpected question came from her doctor when she waspregnant with her second child.

"Do you want to get tested for HIV?" recalled Felicia White of thelife-changing moment in 1990. "I was scared, but I decided to take thattest." The results came back positive. White, a single, black woman, wasdevastated.

"But I had to get up. I had to pick myself up and be a mother," she toldabout 200 people Saturday at a town hall meeting to discuss the fears,misconceptions and stigma of HIV/AIDS, particularly among blacks.

U.S. Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, D-Miramar, hosted the panel discussion on"Reclaiming Our Community: Combating HIV/AIDS in Our Backyard" at theAfrican-American Research Library.

Blacks in South Florida are more than three times as likely as whites andHispanics to have HIV, according to a 2006 report by the Florida Departmentof Health.

The Broward County Health Department estimates blacks make up almost 51percent of the county's 6,877 reported HIV cases as of June 30.

For the last 15 years, HIV/AIDS has been the leading cause of death amongblacks ages 25 to 44, according to the Florida Department of Health's Bureauof HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.

The statistics drove Hastings to organize the community discussion. Heencouraged attendees to talk about the disease with their friends andfamily, and appeal to their local elected officials.

"Unfortunately, this state has become a nesting ground for this disease,"Hastings said. "When you feel a measure of desperation in any of this, callone of us."


The Miami Herald

Colombia is moving forward on gay rights

It's not so odd to find a gay pride parade in a major city these days. Whatis odd is to have a conservative politician getting praise from atranssexual in a Wonder Woman costume.

But in Colombia, where Catholicism still reigns and a conservative presidentis serving an unprecedented second term, gay men and lesbians are closer togetting national legal rights than in any other Latin American nation.

Earlier this year, the country's Constitutional Court ruled that same-sexcouples should have the same rights to shared assets as heterosexualcouples, a decision that even the Catholic Church supported.

And last month, pushed by a strange coalition of conservative and leftistcongressmen, legislation giving gay unions the same social security, healthand inheritance benefits as heterosexual couples passed the House and theSenate -- only to have a few opponents temporarily stall the bill when thetwo chambers tried to reconcile the language.

That legislation, which also has conservative President Alvaro Uribe'ssupport, is expected to pass in the coming months, despite a tepidresistance by the Catholic Church.

''This is a conservative country, but it's not a moralist country,'' saidVirgilio Barco, the son of a former Colombian president with the same nameand who is also gay and a leading organizer for the group Diverse Colombia Latin America has long experienced discrimination and violence against gaypeople. But a recent surge in gay-rights organizations has led to landmarklegislation: Governments of Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Rio Grande do Sulin Brazil have passed laws allowing gay civil unions.

Colombia, however, is the first to inch toward making gay rights nationallaw.


Richardson Breaks New Ground With Cabinet Preview Promise
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 29, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Hanover, New Hampshire) Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardsontold union members on Saturday he would give voters a preview of his Cabinetbefore voters pick the next president.

"I would announce my Cabinet before the election. If I'm the nominee, Iwould tell you who my team would be," the New Mexico governor told a ServiceEmployees International Union conference at Dartmouth College.

"It would have independents, Republicans and Democrats. Don't worry, I won'toverdo the Republicans," Richardson said, drawing laughter. "It would betaken from America, not from the Beltway."

Richardson's comments came as he courted union members during a three-daycampaign trip to New Hampshire. Richardson, who is ranked third in statepolls, repeated his pledges to SEIU members that he would give unionsgreater clout.

He said he'll choose a union member as his labor secretary, and a teacherfor education secretary.


Liberals Target Fox News Advertisers
by The Associated Press

Posted: July 28, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(New York City) Liberal activists are stepping up their campaign againstFox News Channel by pressuring advertisers not to patronize the network., the Campaign for America's Future and liberal blogs are asking thousands of supporters to monitor who isadvertising on the network. Once a database is gathered, an organizedphone-calling campaign will begin, said Jim Gilliam, vice president of mediastrategy for Brave New Films, a company that has made anti-Fox videos.

The groups have successfully pressured Democratic presidential candidatesnot to appear at any debate sponsored by Fox, and are also trying to getHome Depot Inc. to stop advertising there.

At least 5,000 people nationwide have signed up to compile logs on who isrunning commercials on Fox, Gilliam said. The groups want to firstconcentrate on businesses running local ads, as opposed to nationalcommercials.

"It's a lot more effective for Sam's Diner to get calls from 10 people inhis town than going to the consumer complaint department of somepharmaceutical company," Gilliam said.

Some of videos produced by Gilliam's company compile statements made by Foxanchors and guests that the activists consider misleading, such as thosethat question global warming.


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