Tuesday, July 03, 2007

GLBT DIGEST July 3, 2007

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The New York Times


July 3, 2007
The Hard Part
Newark's Mayor Battles Old Guard and Rumors

NEWARK, July 2 - The rumors and tall tales, born in Internet chat rooms andanonymous mailings, gain traction in barbershops, on basketball courts andafter church on Sunday.

Mayor Cory A. Booker is not really black.

One of his top aides moonlights as a cocaine dealer.

The city is about to lay off African-American crossing guards and replacethem with low-wage immigrants.

"From what I hear, Cory Booker doesn't even live here," Esta Williams, 75,said during a raucous Municipal Council meeting last month where dozens ofresidents called for his removal from office. "I hear he lives in a fancyhouse in the suburbs."




Monday, 02 July 2007 15:46
Anti-Luzhkov protesters arrested in Moscow
And other national headlines from Rex Wockner

Three pro-gay protesters were arrested June 27 outside the EuropeanCommission office in Moscow during a picket by 25 people urging the EuropeanUnion to revoke Mayor Yuri Luzhkov's right to travel in the 25-country bloc.

The protesters said Luzhkov doesn't deserve to visit the EU because he hastwice banned Moscow's gay pride parade, calling it "satanic."

Police halted the protest and arrested its apparent leaders even though theactivists had a permit for the event. They were charged with "breach of astreet demonstration order."

"The formal reason [for the police action] was the construction which hadsuddenly appeared in front of European Commission office just a day ago,"said gay activist Nikolai Baev. "The police argued it could not protectdemonstrators in this situation. ... There was no construction technique,just two holes digged on a huge and enclosed area. Perhaps this'construction' will disappear in few days as suddenly as it appeared."

The picket had received approval from city officials on June 25. Theindividuals who requested the permission were not known to the city as gayactivists. But the media then reported that the picket was related toLuzhkov's anti-gay actions. On June 26, the organizers received phone callsfrom officials saying the picket could not be held due to streetconstruction. On June 27, the authorities announced they could not guaranteethe safety of the protesters. On June 28, at the picket itself, police then
produced a document banning the event.




Beach Mayoral Candidate Blasts "Adam and Steve"
Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 02:35:58 PM

Those who braved the rain-soaked streets of South Florida over the weekendand ventured along the manicured suburbs of Alton Road no doubt saw it: At30-feet long by four-feet high, it was hard to miss the banner slappedacross the front of 4760 Alton: "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam andSteve."

The banner is the work of self-procalimed Miami Beach mayoral hopeful BillSmatt.

Smatt did not return two messages New Times left at his home seekingcomment, but he told WSVN on Sunday he was simply expressing his religiousviews: "Morality in the Bible, what God has meant to be, that is what isgoing to be."

For those who may be unfamiliar with Smatt, he's the white Jamaican dudewith long white hair and a fluffy white beard. He looks like a bible-bashingSanta Clause.

According to Carol Hoffman-Guzman of the Alton Road Homeowners Association,her organization has "has not taken any official position on the banner."




Tuesday, 03 July 2007 06:57
One Thousand Times and Counting
Jacob Anderson-Minshall

Retired high school librarian Debra Davis has done it a thousand times.

Over the last two decades, the trans woman has done it in hospitals, policestations, non-profit organizations, religious institutions, businessmeetings, and on campuses across the county. She's even done it ontelevision and in front of elementary students!

She's so proud of what she's doing Davis says she has no plans to stop.After all, she is the executive director of the Gender Education Center-aMinnesota organization dedicated to support, advocacy and education fordifferently gendered people-and it's part of her job.

Davis travels the country speaking on transgender issues. When she reachedthe thousand-presentation mark earlier this year, Davis didn't reallycelebrate. Still, she admits, "It's kind of a neat milestone for me. I feelreally really good about it."

Minnesota included basic protection for transgender people in its HumanRights Act in 1993, but the Gender Education Center began a decade earlier,as the City of Lakes Crossgender Community (clccmn.com)'s educationaloutreach program. It became an independent non-profit organization in 1994.




July 03, 2007
Mummy of Egypt's first female pharaoh found

A tooth found in a relic box has led archaeologists to identify along-ignored mummy as being Egypt's most powerful female pharaoh-essentially one of the most significant finds since King Tutankhamun's tomb,reports the Jerusalem Post.

The mummy has been identified as Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled for two decadesin the 15th century B.C. Hatshepsut was the first woman to rule Egypt as apharaoh. When she took the throne, she began to dress as a man and wore afake beard. She was even sometimes referred to as "he" even though it waspublic knowledge she was a woman.

After her death, all records of her vanished, including her mummy.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a mummy was discovered in 1903 lying on theground next to an sarcophagus in the Valley of Kings burial ground in Luxor.For decades the mummy was written off as unidentifiable and left untouched.

However, two months ago the unidentified mummy was subjected to DNA testing.Experts then made a stunning match: a tooth that had been found in a relicbox displaying Hatshepsut's insignia and containing embalmed organs fit agap in the mummy's jaw.




July 03, 2007
Madrid celebrates gay rights advances at Euro Pride festivities

Hundreds of thousands of people from across Europe packed into Madrid onSaturday and joined in a gay pride parade that saluted Spain's Socialistgovernment for enacting legislation that has turned this once deeplyconservative nation into a bastion of gay equality.

The parade, which filled the capital's vast Alcala and Gran Via boulevardsfrom Puerta de Alcala square in the east to Plaza de Espana square in thewest, took place in a festive and peaceful atmosphere.

For days, buses and airplanes had arrived in Madrid loaded with people seton taking advantage of a four-day annual gay festival, which startedWednesday in the Spanish capital's colorful Chueca neighborhood as a preludeto Saturday's bigger, continent-wide Euro Pride events.

Abouy 200 cultural, sporting, and other events were scheduled around Madrid,where organizers estimated as many as 2.5 million people were taking part.

''They've been enjoying the Chueca festival, at which we've seen many morepeople than in previous years,'' Antonio Poveda, president of Spain'slesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual federation, said earlier.




July 03, 2007
Yearbook inserts of gay high school student in New Jersey not delivered atgraduation ceremony

Newark, N.J.'s East Side High School's class of 2007 graduated Wednesdayafter a controversy spurred by a decision to black out a yearbook photo of agay student kissing his boyfriend. As part of an apology to the student, theschool district's superintendent promised to distribute yearbook inserts ofthe student as part of the graduation ceremony but failed to do so, reportsThe [Newark] Star-Ledger.

Deciding the image of Andre Jackson with his boyfriend was too explicit fora high school yearbook, superintendent Marion Bolden instructed the staff toblack out the photograph last week. Later, Bolden publicly and personallyapologized to Jackson for the decision.

As part of her apology, Bolden promised Jackson that during graduation hewould receive an uncensored copy of the book and students would getphotocopies of his tribute page to insert into their yearbooks. However,neither was delivered on the day of the graduation.

However, Jackson did not seem angry or spiteful at the ceremony.

"I'm better-I'm moving on and happy I have such great friends," Jackson toldthe Star-Ledger.




July 03, 2007
New Pew poll shows changing attitudes on marriage; majority still opposesame-sex marriage

The percentage of Americans who consider children ''very important'' to asuccessful arriage has dropped sharply since 1990, and more now cite thesharing of household chores as pivotal, according to a sweeping new survey.

The Pew Research Center survey on marriage and parenting found that childrenhad fallen to eighth out of nine on a list of factors that people associatewith successful marriages-well behind ''sharing household chores,'' ''goodhousing,'' ''adequate income,'' a ''happy sexual relationship,'' and''faithfulness.''

In a 1990 World Values Survey, children ranked third in importance among thesame items, with 65% saying children were very important to a good marriage.Just 41% said so in the new Pew survey.

Chore-sharing was cited as very important by 62% of respondents, up from 47%in 1990.

Delving into one of the nation's most divisive social issues, the surveyfound that 57% of the public opposes allowing gays and lesbians to marry.However, opinion was almost evenly divided on support for civil unions (45%for, 46% against) that would give same-sex couples many of the same rightsas married couples.




July 03, 2007
Presidential hopeful Romney courts conservative Republicans, faces questions

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, courting conservatives, foundhimself answering questions in Des Moines Saturday about the role his Mormonfaith would play should he win the race.

Romney told one questioner ''we have exactly the same values'' and saidthere is no religious litmus test for candidates. The former Massachusettsgovernor dismissed suggestions of a conflict between his religion and hisability to govern. He also hastened to offer assurances of his faith.

''The Bible for me is the word of God,'' Romney said. ''I also believe thatJesus Christ is my savior.''

The questions arose as Romney prepared to join five other Republicancandidates for the 2008 election at a forum sponsored by two of the mostimportant forces in Iowa Republican politics-the Iowa Christian Alliance andIowans for Tax Relief.

This Midwestern state plays an important role in the presidential campaignbecause it holds one of the earliest primaries.


The Advocate


July 03, 2007
Failed bar exam applicant sues over same-sex marriage test question

Stephen Dunne, a Massachusetts man who failed his bar exam by less than twopoints, is suing the test administration agency, alleging that one questionrequired testtakers to "affirmatively accept, support, and promotehomosexual marriage and homosexual parenting," The National Law Journalreported Monday. Dunne says he failed the test because he did not answerthis question. In addition to the testing agency, his lawsuit names thestate's supreme judicial court, which in 2003 ordered the state to offermarriage rights to gay couples, and four of the court's justices. He claimshis First Amendment right to exercise his religion was violated, and heseeks "preliminary and permanent injunctions" against the testing agency's consideration of the question in regard to his exam and those of all futureapplicants. He also seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

The chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners, which administersthe test, declined to comment to the Journal, as did a supreme judicialcourt spokeswoman. (The Advocate)




July 03, 2007
Gay activist/radio host found murdered

Former radio talk-show host and longtime gay activist Mike Webb was foundmurdered in his Seattle home Thursday. The controversial host, who came toprominence covering the riots in San Francisco following Harvey Milk'sassassination in 1978, had been missing since April 13.

The body was discovered after Webb's landlord realized Webb had not paid hisJune rent. Assuming Webb left the property, the landlord hired a cleaner toprepare the property for rental. The cleaner found Webb's "badly decomposed"body wrapped in a tarp, stuffed behind a bookcase and some boxes. The bodywas confirmed as Webb's during an autopsy late Friday.

When Webb originally went missing, police brought a cadaver-sniffing dog tothe house, but no findings were produced.

The article reports that Webb had gained enemies in angry listeners duringand even after his time as a radio host, and obtained a concealed-weaponspermit because of death threats.

Friends of Webb say he was hindered late in his life by the AIDS-relateddeath of his longtime partner in the '90s as well as the more recent deathof his dog. Neighbors reported to police that Webb had been visited by "aseries of seedy characters," according to the article.




July 03, 2007
Thousands turn out for London gay pride parade despite terrorism attempts

Thousands of revelers wearing feather boas and draped in pink and red UnionJack flags turned out for London's gay pride parade on Saturday-flamboyantcelebrations muted by three suspected terror plots.

Yellow police vests dotted a sea of rainbow flags. Security was high afterthe discovery early Friday of two gas-laden Mercedes parked just meters fromthe parade's finishing point at Trafalgar Square. A third potential attackcame Saturday when two men crashed a burning vehicle into the main GlasgowAirport terminal in Scotland. Both men, one of whom was injured, werearrested.

London mayor Ken Livingstone told the crowd that terrorists will notintimidate the United Kingdom.

''They planned to cause destruction and fear, and they failed,'' Livingstonesaid. ''No one stayed home in fear.''

Livingstone urged Londoners to carry on with their lives.

''I'm not going to let them beat me,'' said Kelly Roberts, 31. ''That's theBritish way about us.'' (AP)


The Advocate


July 02, 2007
Saint Cyndi
Pride goes out with a bang on the last night of the True Colors Tour in LosAngeles
By Corey Scholibo

No one owns a stage quite like Cyndi Lauper. On closing night of her TrueColors tour-a month-long music festival to raise money for HRC and awarenessfor the Mathew Shepard Act currently before the Senate-Lauper raised a fistto shoulder height, her wrists covered in purple "Erase Hate" rubberbracelets, and said, "This used to mean power to the people." Earlier in theevening Rosie O'Donnell had conjured a similar sentiment when she said,"Stand up for yourself, gay people. The '60s are back." And so it was; onthe last night of Pride month, gay people had their own little Woodstock.

The night began at 6 p.m. with the transgender-fronted and lesbian-backedgarage rock of the Clicks. And while a large part of the audience wasdropping 100 dollar-bills on indigestible burgers and oversized Coronas andlazing on the Griffith Park lawn, the Clicks' lead singer Lucas Silveria wasstill met with audible enthusiasm, especially during her cover of JustinTimberlake's "Cry Me A River." Emcee Margaret Cho followed with the best ofher new and recycled gay-specific comedy. She was vamping so well no onewould have realized the turnaround to the Dresden Dolls was taking longerthan usual, if she had not announced it. The Dresden Dolls were outrageousas usual, but I opted for more beer and lawn instead.

Screams and what vaguely sounded like the word Barry brought me back to myseat. Sure enough, there was Ms. Debbie in pedestal black heels and a blackoutfit that one anyone else would have been age-inappropriate, and she wasworking one of her biggest solo hits, "French Kissing," for all it wasworth. Disappointingly this and "Rush Rush" from Scarface would be her mostrecognizable songs of the evening as she kept to all solo work, no Blondie.She's definitely aging cool, though I wish the songs from her new albumNecessary Evil weren't so generic. Still, it was her birthday and she wasthere for us and frankly it was Debbie Harry, so who cares what she sang.

Next up was Rosie O'Donnell, who came out on stage in lace black shorts andmatching top. It was underwear she told us, which she apparently felt wentwell with brightly colored Crocs. She was welcomed like a conquering heroand was quick to tell us how good it was to be back with the gays after hernine-month stint with the "heteros" on The View. And while she seemedwar-weary, the events leading up to her True Colors appearance provided herwith great original material. Donald Trump jokes seemed fresh. And aboutParis Hilton: "I can tell you one thing, I would have enjoyed prison a hellof a lot more than her."

Our beers were kicking in when Erasure took the stage. I've seen Erasurebefore, and they were good. But on the gayest of gay nights, Andy Bell wasno-holds-barred. Backed by a Dreamgirls homage of chorus girls in Japanesedresses and black bob wigs, he minced, pranced, posed, strutted, skipped,and generally bounded about from limp-wristed to dominating. The babyboomers were dancing to a sea of offbeat clapping and slightly spastic bootywiggling and general abandon. This was a crowd that didn't care who waslooking-a rarity in our gay universe. The air was palpable when Margarettook to the stage for her last bit, a very funny rap about her meanneighbors' "pussy," which she performed as her mother, complete with curlywig, dark glasses, and high-waisted polyester pants. As she finished, astrange figure in a long black wig walked up to whisper something in herear. But no wig could hide that thick Brooklyn accent and the crowd wentcrazy. It was Cyndi. But instead of performing, she gave a little speechabout HRC and Mathew Shepard and introduced a short video to help inspire usto action. "You watch this, and I will be back in a few minutes," she said.looking like a Jewish grandmother with her hunched shoulders and extremegestures. The clip was a bit of a downer, I must say, but it inspired a moodof political activism. When the lights came up, she was standing on stage insuper-high black heels and a Chinese rice farmer hat made of rainbow-coloredstraw.




Pastor Who Fought For Gay Marriage Receives Canada's Highest Honor
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: July 2, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Toronto, Ontario) The Rev. Brent Hawkes, who conducted a double wedding fortwo same-sex couples at his Metropolitan Community Church in 2001 and thenwent to court when Ontario refused to register the marriages in a case thatresulted in marriage equality across Canada, has been named to the Order ofCanada.

It is the highest civilian honor given in Canada and is awarded in the nameof The Queen, by the Governor General, her representative in the country.

Hawkes will celebrate his 30th anniversary as pastor of MCC Toronto - acareer that continually has seen him at the forefront of the fight for LGBTcivil rights.

In 2001 when he performed the wedding ceremony for Kevin Bourassa & JoeVarnell and Elaine & Anne Vautour, Hawkes wore a bulletproof vest on theadvice of police and following a series of threats from socially
conservative activists.

To conduct the ceremony without marriage licenses - something that had beendenied gay couples - Hawkes found a loophole in the law. It allowed theancient Christian practice of Publishing Bannes.




Myanmar Frees AIDS Activist
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 2, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Yangon) Phyu Phyu Thin, an AIDS activist and opposition party member inMyanmar who was taken into custody by police more than a month ago, has beenfreed from detention, she said Monday.

The 36-year-old woman is a member of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi'sNational League for Democracy, Myanmar's main opposition party, which facesconstant harassment from the military government.

Phyu Phyu Thin said she was held at a detention center in the capital,Yangon, after being taken into custody May 21. She said she was freed Mondaynight.

She was not formally charged with any crime, Phyu Phyu Thin added. She wastaken from her home after marching in processions to pray for the release ofSuu Kyi, who is under house arrest.

Several dozen other Suu Kyi sympathizers were arrested with Phyu Phyu Thinand were released June 27. Phyu Phyu Thin said she did not know why she washeld longer.




Mass. Mandates Health Insurance For All Adults
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 2, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) The goal was as audacious as it was simple: Plug theholes in Massachusetts' health care network without resorting to thepolitically nuclear option of a single government-funded program.

The result is a landmark insurance law praised as innovative, derided as ahouse of cards and touted by former Gov. Mitt Romney as he runs forpresident.

As of Sunday, nearly everyone in Massachusetts had to be insured or face aseries of increasing tax penalties.

The law won't result in universal coverage immediately, but the deadline isa critical mile marker.

"July 1 is really a call to action," said Leslie Kirwan, chairwoman of theHealth Care Connector Authority Board, which oversees implementation of thelaw. "We are looking to insure people, not penalize them."




NYC Woman Accuses Bar Of Ejecting Her For Being Too Masculine
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 2, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(New York City) A bouncer at a popular West Village restaurant ejected alesbian customer from the bathroom after last month's gay pride marchbecause she looked too masculine, the woman charged Monday.

Khadijah Farmer, 27, said the incident happened June 24 at Caliente CabCompany on Seventh Avenue South, where she had gone with her girlfriend andanother friend to have dinner after the march.

Farmer said she was using the women's bathroom when a male bouncer burst inand banged on the stall door, saying a customer had complained that therewas a man in the women's room.

"I said, 'I am a woman and I am where I am supposed to be,'" Farmer said. "Ioffered to show him some identification. I was told that's neither here northere."

Caliente Cab Company, a Mexican restaurant known for its enormous margaritasand checker-cab decor, did not immediately return a call for comment.




Laws Affecting LGBT Lives Go Into Effect In Three States
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: July 2, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Washington) Laws involving the rights of gays, lesbians and transsexualswent into effect July 1 in Iowa, Vermont and Colorado.

Iowa becomes the latest state to protect LGBT citizens in employment,housing and public accommodations.

The the law gives the state's civil rights commission the power toinvestigate complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"[This is] a message that Iowa is a welcoming place that values each of itscitizens whether it's in the neighborhood or the workplace," Gov. ChetCulver (D) said in May as he signed the bill.

A second law that has gone into effect adds new protections for gaystudents, adding sexual orientation to the list of items for which studentsare protected from bullying.




McCain Retools Campaign
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 3, 2007 - 7:00 am ET

(Washington) Republican John McCain struggled to keep his deeply troubledcampaign afloat Monday, laying off dozens of staffers after lacklusterfundraising and excessive spending left him with just $2 million for hissecond presidential bid.

Considered the GOP front-runner just six months ago, the Arizona senatortrails his top rivals in money and polls. McCain's fortunes soured this yearas he embraced President Bush's troop increase for the Iraq war, a conflicta majority of Republicans support, and a bipartisan immigration bill thathas divided the GOP. He also has fought to win over skeptical conservativeswho make up the core of the party.

Officials with knowledge of the reorganization said more than 50 staffers,and perhaps as many as 80 to 100, in every department of the campaign werebeing let go, and senior aides will be subject to pay cuts. These officialsspoke on condition of anonymity because the campaign would not publiclydiscuss specifics.

The campaign's fundamental leadership will not change. Terry Nelson, aveteran of President Bush's winning 2004 campaign, will remain campaignmanager but said he would volunteer his time instead of drawing a salary forthe next few months. A few senior aides were doing the same.

"We confronted reality and we dealt with it in the best way that we could sothat we could move forward with this campaign focused on winning ourprimaries in the early states," Nelson said.




Clinton Brings Out 'Secret Weapon'
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 3, 2007 - 7:00 am ET

(Des Moines, Iowa) Hillary Rodham Clinton tried to boost her presidentialcampaign in the leadoff voting state of Iowa on Monday by embarking on aFourth of July tour accompanied by one of the most popular figures inDemocratic politics - her husband.

Bill Clinton said he is backing his wife because she is the most qualified,not because of any spousal obligation.

"All you have to do is decide who do you think will be the best president,"he told thousands of voters gathered at twilight on the Iowa StateFairgrounds. "Here's what I want to say to you: I'd be here tonight if sheasked me if we weren't married."

His wife, a New York senator, said she was "thrilled to finally findsomething in politics that I'm doing that my husband didn't do." BillClinton skipped the Iowa caucuses in 1992 because Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin wasrunning against him.

Normally a spouse's presence on the campaign trail isn't so noteworthy, butso far the Clinton campaign has been using Bill Clinton only sparingly.Monday's rally was the first time they had campaigned together in an earlyvoting state, and he planned to stay at her side through the July 4 holiday.




Grocery Chain Allows Gay Paper Back In Some Stores
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 3, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Nashville, Tennessee) Kroger Co. says it will allow a regional gay andlesbian newspaper to again be distributed on the free publication rackinside some of its Nashville-area grocery stores.

The Cincinnati-based company announced the change Monday, about a monthafter the Out & About monthly newspaper was removed from racks at 34 of itsNashville-area stores.

A Kroger spokeswoman last month cited a company policy against displayingpublications that promote ``political, religious or other specific agendas''as reason for the removal. (story)

But some supporters of the paper said Kroger allows the display of gaynewspapers at its stores in other markets, such as Atlanta. They also notedthat alternative weekly newspapers with political columns and advertisementsfor strip clubs in the Nashville area were available in the stores.

Last month, members of the city's gay and lesbian community organized aweeklong boycott against Kroger and Harris Teeter, another grocery storechain where the newspapers were removed. Organizers say the boycott cost thetwo stores more than $15,000.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

http://www.out-law.com/page-8190> http://www.out-law.com/page-8190

New law will criminalise possession of extreme porn
OUT-LAW News, 02/07/2007
The Government has published a new law which will criminalise extremepornography. The Government first indicated that it would criminalise thepossession of violent pornography two years ago.

A new Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill has had its first reading inParliament, which means that it has been published and awaits debate andcommittee scrutiny.

The possession of extreme pornography will be punishable by up to threeyears in jail, according to a statement from the Ministry of Justice."Material covered will include necrophilia, bestiality and violence that islife threatening or likely to result in serious injury to the anus, breastsor genitals," said the statement.

Such material has been illegal to publish until now under the ObscenePublications Act. The material has not been illegal to view or possess,though; the new law will make possession a crime. Images of childpornography are already illegal to view or to possess.

The legislation is designed to tackle the fact that with internet publishing something can be created and published on the other side of the world and instantaneously viewed or stored in the UK.

"[This material] can be accessed in the UK from abroad via the internet.Legislating in this area will ensure that the possession of such material isillegal both on and off line," said the Ministry of Justice. "ThisGovernment will always seek to close gaps in the law caused by misuse of newtechnologies, such as the internet, which allow existing controls to beavoided."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


With new policy, 'U' grants health care to same-sex pairs
'U' sidesteps ruling with 'other qualified adult' benefits plan
By: Emily Barton, Daily News Editor
Posted: 7/2/07

History Prof. Alexandra Stern has been with her partner for 12 years. WhileStern teaches at the University, the health care that the Universityprovides for the couple allows Stern's partner to forgo work so she canfinish her nursing degree.

But because the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in February that the ban onsame-sex marriage means public institutions are no longer allowed to offerbenefits to domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees, the Universitymust alter its health care program at the end of 2007.

But the University might have found a way to continue providing benefits tosame-sex partners with the new policy it announced on June 18. The policy,effective Jan. 1, grants benefits to an adult close to a Universityemployee, referred to as an "other qualified adult," who meets a list ofseven criteria.

The new policy stipulates that pairs applying for coverage must have livedtogether for at least six months and share a bank account. Candidates mustalso have power of attorney over the employee and be the primary beneficiaryin the employee's will, life insurance or retirement plan.


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