Wednesday, July 04, 2007

GLBT DIGEST July 4, 2007

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.


The New York Times

July 4, 2007
Malaysia's Anwar Loses Bid For Showdown With Ex - PM
Filed at 6:11 a.m. ET

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's de facto opposition leader, AnwarIbrahim, lost his bid on Wednesday for a legal showdown with his old enemy,former premier Mahathir Mohamad, whom he tried to sue for defamation.

A High Court judge allowed Mahathir to strike out a defamation suit over acomment that Anwar was a gay.

The decision was a setback for the former deputy premier in his quest to geteven. Mahathir sacked Anwar from government in September 1998 in a chain ofevents that landed him in jail.

Anwar criticized the ruling, saying it was a "gross injustice" to him andhis family.

"I am compelled to say that this decision is utterly devoid of any legalmerit," he said in a statement. He said he would appeal the decision.


Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle says robotic toilet may put stop to'illegal sex'
Naugle says beach 'robo john' could stop 'illegal sex'
By Brittany Wallman
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
July 4, 2007

FORT LAUDERDALE Mayor Jim Naugle has never been shy about voicing hisbeliefs.

He's called some environmentalists "wackos" and said people complainingabout high home prices were lazy, beer drinking "schlocks."

Now the mayor has shifted his attention to a robotic toilet, saying theinvention could have a special edge over a traditional restroom inpreventing the "homosexual activity" that he said plagues other publicrestrooms.

The robo-john the city might buy for $250,000 or more allows occupants tostay inside for only a short time before the door opens. Probably not enoughtime for "illegal sex," Naugle figures.

The restroom, already in use in Atlanta, Seattle and New York, also playsmusic and cleans the seat automatically.


Church pours scorn on love
July 03, 2007
Mark Abley

A small miracle occurred two days ago across the nation: Hundreds of gay andlesbian Anglicans showed up to worship in churches that had just scornedthem.

I know, that's not the official story. The official story is that by anarrow margin, the bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada voted to make itimpossible for any parish in the country to bless same-sex couples. Warshipsand hamsters can be blessed, but not a loving pair of women or men.

The closeness of the Winnipeg vote inspired a lot of huffing and puffingabout "pastoral generosity" - although Bishop Larry Robertson, moreforthright than your average Anglican leader, promptly announced: "I don'tand cannot accept homosexual behaviour."

Among traditional-minded Anglicans, the typical response to the vote wasnervous relief. Their fear that the issue remains unsettled isunderstandable. But last week their blogs and websites also featured asmattering of hateful rhetoric of the kind that makes me wonder why Iremained a church member for much of my adult life.

On an American site with the smug name of VirtueOnline, one postingsuggested that the tornadoes which battered southern Manitoba were caused byGod shaking a warning fist at Anglicans who dared to defy scripture. AnotherAmerican forum included this response: "Unrepentant and defiant sin receivesEternal Judgment regardless of what some revisionist/progressive bishopsays."


Hate Crime Activist Jumps To Death
Finally Broke Down After 2006 Attack?July 3rd, 2007

Hate crime survivor David Ritcheson spent the last years of his lifefighting hate crimes. The Houston-based activist lived to tell about agruesome attack by some neo-Nazis. Joe.My.God elaborates on the 2006 crime:

[Then 16-year old]Ritcheson was beaten and sodomized with a patio umbrellaby two men shouting "White power!" Ritcheson barely survived the attack andunderwent over 20 surgeries over the last two years. One of the men whoattacked him received life in prison, the other got 90 years.

The experience spurred Ritcheson to testify during The House's hate crimedebates.

The reality that hate is alive, strong, and thriving in the cities, towns,and cul-de-sacs of Suburbia, America was a surprise to me. America is thecountry I love and call home. However, the hate crime committed against meillustrates that we are still, in some aspects, a house divided. I know nowthat there are young people in this country who are suffering and confused,thirsting for guidance and in need of a moral compass. These are some of themany reasons I am here before you today asking that our government take thelead in deterring individuals like those who attacked me from committingunthinkable and violent crimes against others because of where they arefrom, the color of their skin, the God they worship, the person they love,or the way they look, talk or act. . . .

Unfortunately, Ritcheson could no longer act happy - the 18-year old jumpedfrom a Carnival cruise to his death over the weekend.

An 18-year-old was observed by "a bunch of people" jumping over the railingof the upper deck of Carnival Cruise Lines' Ecstasy around 7:35 a.m. Sunday,said Coast Guard spokesman Adam Eggers. The ship's crew pulled the body fromthe water and he was pronounced dead at 9:10 a.m. The ship had departedGalveston on Saturday and was a "couple of hundred" miles out, Eggers said.

A written statement from the cruise line also said the 18-year-old appearedto jump from the ship.


2 plead not guilty to hate crime
They are accused of threatening gay men at restaurant
Last updated July 2, 2007 9:24 p.m. PT


Two Seattle men accused of threatening a group of gay men with a knifepleaded not guilty Monday to a hate-crime charge.

Brian Bell, 21, and Benjamin Davis, 22, had been charged in June withmalicious harassment -- Washington's hate-crime law.

According to police statements, Bell and Davis confronted three men at aCapitol Hill Jack in the Box restaurant about 2 a.m. June 20.

Bell and Davis approached the victims' car, which was parked in thedrive-through lane, police said. Bell, who had drawn a folding knife, yelledprofanity at the men and inquired about their sexual preferences, they said.

Two of the men said they did not engage in homosexual sex, afraid they wouldbe hurt if they said they did, according to police statements.


Gay Media Firm PlanetOut Raises $26.2 Million
Submitted by Mark Hefflinger on July 2, 2007 - 9:51am.

San Francisco - PlanetOut, a publisher of print and online media for the gaycommunity, including The Advocate and, announced on Monday that ithas raised $26.2 million in financing through a private placement of itsshares.

Investors included Special Situations Funds, Cascade Investment, SF CapitalPartners, PAR Investment Partners and Allen & Company.

The funds come as the company faced a deadline of Friday, June 30 to raise$7 million to pay off existing loans; another payment of $8.5 million is duelater this year.

San Francisco-based PlanetOut raised $42 million in its IPO in 2004, andacquired the publisher of The Advocate and OUT magazines for $31 million in2005.

The company's shares rose over 20% on the news, to about $1.60 per share,far off of a 52-week high of $7.20.


July 04, 2007
Kroger starts to carry gay pub again in Nashville stores

Kroger Co. announced Monday that a regional gay newspaper will once again becarried in the free publication rack inside some of its Nashville-areagrocery stores, according to the Associated Press.

Kroger, the nation's largest food chain, removed the Out & About monthlynewspaper from 34 stores in the Nashville area nearly a month ago, claimingthat the paper violated company policy against distributing publicationsthat promote "political, religious, or other specific agendas."

The paper's expulsion caused outrage among the city's gays and lesbians.Supporters of the paper said Kroger carries other gay-themed newspapers atits stores in other markets, such as Atlanta. They also pointed out thatother newspapers with political columns and advertisements forNashville-area strip clubs were available in the stores.

The uproar culminated last month into a weeklong boycott against Kroger andHarris Teeter, another grocery store chain that banned the newspaper.Organizers say the local boycott cost the two companies more than $15,000.

In a news release Monday, Kroger blamed Out & About's removal onDistribuTech, the company that manages its free publication racks. Krogersaid that DistribuTech did not follow Kroger's process for distributing freepublications with Out & About.


Kentucky Lawmakers To Consider Gay Partner Benefits Ban In Special Session
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: July 3, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Frankfort, Kentucky) Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher is calling for a specialsession of the legislature and said Tuesday he wants it to consider a newattempt to ban domestic partner insurance at state run colleges and publicagencies.

Legislation to prohibit publicly funded universities and colleges fromextending domestic partner benefits to families of faculty and staff wasnarrowly defeated last march in committee.

The bill was prepared after the University of Louisville decided in July tooffer the benefits - making it the first publicly funded college in thestate to do so. (story) The University of Kentucky later followed alsooffering health benefits to same-sex domestic partners.

No date has been set for recalling lawmakers.

State Sen. Ernesto Scorsone (D) the state's only openly gay legislator isaccusing Fletcher of "trying to score political points by hurting people."


Steamy EU Video Featuring Gay Sex Stirs Controversy
by The Associated Press

Posted: July 3, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Brussels) The European Commission has its own channel on YouTube to spreadmessages about topics such as climate change and human rights. But the mostviewed video clip features nudity, dim lighting and some heavy breathing.

EU officials said the 44-second clip of sex scenes showcases the strongemotions featured in European films, but some European Union lawmakers havequestioned the sexual content.

The clip - titled "Film Lovers Will Love This!" - has been viewed more than280,000 times, while the next most popular video on the EUTube channellaunched last week - one on humanitarian aid - has fewer than 30,000 views.

Eighteen couples, both homosexual and heterosexual, are shown having sex inbedrooms, kitchens and restaurant bathrooms.

"Cheap, tawdry and tacky," was the reaction of Godfrey Bloom of Britain'seuro-skeptic U.K. Independence Party, who described the clip as "soft porn"and a potential waste of taxpayers' money.


Would-Be Miami Beach Mayor Runs On Anti-Gay Platform
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: July 3, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Miami Beach, Florida) South Beach may be one of the most gay welcomingareas of the country but that would all change says Bill Smatt if voterselect him mayor.

Smatt has not registered to run but already he has begun his campaign with ahuge banner over his front lawn declaring "God created Adam + Eve, not Adam+ Steve."

The banner has raised the hackles of LGBT rights groups and Smatt'sneighbors, several of whom have complained to city hall.

Smatt originally placed the banner on public land outside his property line.He moved it in front of his house when the city told him it was illegal. Hestill is in contravention of city regulations because of the size of thebanner, which stretches across the entire width of his property, but says hewill fight city hall over what he sees as his First Amendment right.

"Miami Beach has become communist Russia, anything you do, they want to teardown my sign," Smatt told Miami TV station WSVN. "What about the firstamendment, we have a right to speak."


The New York Times

July 4, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
At a Theater Near You ...

I knew something was up when I couldn't get a cab. Then there were sirensand helicopters whirring overhead. I stopped a passerby to ask what wasgoing on. He said something about a car bomb outside a disco six blocks frommy hotel. A few hours later, I finally found a taxi. The driver warned methat it was nearly impossible to get across town. Another bomb had beenuncovered in a car park. Next day, more news: a suicide bomber had drivenhis Jeep into an airport and jumped out, his body on fire, screaming "Allah!Allah!"

Where was I? Baghdad? Kabul? Tel Aviv? No, I was in England. But it couldhave been anywhere. The Middle East: Now playing at a theater near you.

But this movie gets more confusing every time you watch it. When you watchedit on 9/11 it was about America's presence in the heart of Arabia. And whenyou watched it on 7/7 it was about unemployed and alienated Muslim youth inBritain. In Jordan not long ago it was about a wedding at a Western hotel.In Morocco recently it was about an Internet cafe. And two days ago in Yemenit was about seven Spanish tourists who were killed when a suicide bomberdrove into them at a local tourist site. Wasn't Spain the country that quitIraq to get its people out of the line of fire?

Because these incidents are scattered, we're growing numb to just how crazythey are. In the past few years, hundreds of Muslims have committed suicideamid innocent civilians - without making any concrete political demands andwithout generating any vigorous, sustained condemnation in the Muslim world.

Two trends are at work here: humiliation and atomization. Islam'sself-identity is that it is the most perfect and complete expression of God's monotheistic message, and the Koran is God's last and most perfect word. Toput it another way, young Muslims are raised on the view that Islam is God3.0. Christianity is God 2.0. Judaism is God 1.0. And Hinduism and allothers are God 0.0.

One of the factors driving Muslim males, particularly educated ones, intothese acts of extreme, expressive violence is that while they were taughtthat they have the most perfect and complete operating system, every daythey're confronted with the reality that people living by God 2.0., God 1.0and God 0.0 are generally living much more prosperously, powerfully anddemocratically than those living under Islam. This creates a real dissonanceand humiliation. How could this be? Who did this to us? The Crusaders! TheJews! The West! It can never be something that they failed to learn, adaptto or build. This humiliation produces a lashing out.


Bigotry Rears Its Ugly Head in LGBT Friendly Miami Beach

Homophobic Banner Demands Response from City Leaders

(MIAMI BEACH) Today, Equality Florida condemned the bigoted andmean-spirited actions of Bill Smatts, a Miami Beach resident who has erecteda 50-foot-long banner reading ?God Created Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve?over his home and in violation of the city code.

?We call on every elected official of the City of Miami Beach and localcommunity leaders to loudly denounce this type of divisive bigotry.? saidBrian Winfield, Equality Florida Communications Director. ?Only by speakingout, will Miami Beach leaders effectively combat such anti-gay hostility.?

In addition to the offensive wording, Smatt's banner also says he is runningfor mayor of Miami Beach, but the city has no record of his candidacy.

In October, 2005, the City of Miami Beach adopted one of the nation?s mostsignificant policies furthering workplace equality for gay and lesbianemployees. The city commission approved an Equal Benefits Ordinance thatrequires vendors, who do business with the city, to provide domestic partnerbenefits equal to the benefits offered to spouses of married employees.

A year earlier, Miami Beach enacted a Domestic Partnership Policy andRegistry, providing some protections and benefits to unmarried domesticpartners.

Equality Florida is Florida?s only statewide human rights organizationdedicated to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.Through education and advocacy, the organization is committed to building astate of equal rights for all Floridians, inclusive of all sexualorientations and gender identities.


A Special Message from the Executive Director of Soulforce

Because of your faithful support, our Soulforce staff and volunteers arebusy confronting homophobia at its source - across the globe.

Last Wednesday, Soulforce (in conjunction with Beyond Ex-Gay) held a pressconference in Los Angeles featuring three former leaders of ExodusInternational who issued an emotional public apology for their pastinvolvement with Exodus, and highlighted the dangers of attempting to changeone's sexual orientation. This historic press event was covered by CNN'sPaula Zahn, the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, and the AssociatedPress. To watch excerpts from the press conference, go to

On Friday night, four survivors of ex-gay ministries met with three leadersof Exodus member ministries who had accepted our invitation to dinner. Theyshared their personal stories - detailing the emotional and spiritual harmthey suffered from their experiences in Exodus and other "change" programs.

Later that night, and all day Saturday and Sunday, we sponsored the Ex-GaySurvivor Conference - the very first international gathering specificallydesigned to help those who have been in ex-gay ministries or reparativetherapy programs. Throughout the weekend, survivors and allies from as faraway as Australia and London had multiple opportunities to unpack and sharetheir stories. Together, conference participants took a giant step forwardin healing from the false Exodus message and from other forms ofreligion-based abuse. In the process, they became stronger advocates forsocial justice - setting their intentions for helping to make theircommunities a safer place for LGBT people. One highlight (of many) duringthe conference was the public announcement that Love In Action, in Memphis,Tennessee, has discontinued its tragic "Refuge" program - a harmfulresidential program that tried to make gay teenagers straight. This excitingannouncement underscores the importance of our community working together todo social justice - our efforts do make a difference!

At the very end of the conference, pieces of paper documenting theexperiences of ex-gay survivors were torn up, mixed with soil, and then usedto plant a tree on the campus of the University of California - Irvine,which graciously hosted our conference. This was a beautiful way forsurvivors to symbolically proclaim that they can now turn the pain andsuffering of their ex-gay experience to establish firm roots, grow, andbranch out as they help others understand that LGBT people are whole,healthy, and loved by God - just as they are. Video from the ceremonial treeplanting is at

Photos of the conference are available at andwe wish to thank Pat Walsh and her wonderful team at the LGBT ResourceCenter for their incredible support.


Today!! is the 4th of July.

A.V.E.R. ( American Veterans For Equal Rights)will hold it's 2nd Annual Fundraiser at the"NEW MOON" Bar 2440 Wilton DR. Just South of5 Points and across from Rosie's Bar & Grill.

The Fundraiser BBQ will start at 12 Noon

We will have Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Chicken, Food and Beer for sale alsovarious raffles for sale for Weekend Getaways and many other Prizes

PLEASE Come and Spend some time with us and Join in the Fun !!!


Jesse's Journal
by Jesse Monteagudo

The Suncoast Remembered

My partner Michael and I first visited St. Petersburg's Suncoast Resort in1998, shortly after gay businessmen Tom Kiple and Lester Wolff bought thedecrepit Hosanna Hotel and turned it into "the world's largest all-gayresort and entertainment complex." We were in St. Pete for a friend'sdaughter's bat mitzvah, and after a couple of days of straight family valueswe needed some gay relief. So we skipped out and headed for 3000 34thStreet South, where we had a gay old time. We liked it so much that westayed at the Suncoast the next time we visited St. Pete, in 1999.

The Suncoast Resort is one of Central Florida's "big three" GLBTattractions, the other two being the Sawmill Campground near Dade City andthe Parliament House Resort in Orlando. At the turn of the millennium, theSuncoast was a gay oasis in a red state. LoAnn Halden, in,called it "quite possibly the gayest spot on Florida's West Coast . . .,featuring 120-no frills motel rooms, five gay bars, a heated pool, gayshops, a restaurant, and theater. . . . the Sunday T-dance draws a crowd,and its fans are quite devoted." I enjoyed the Suncoast's smorgasbord ofbars: the Tiki pool bar, the Wedgewood piano bar, the Lunar disco and (drag)show bar and the Suncoast Eagle, a Levi-leather bar. (Aren't all bars named"the Eagle" gay, Levi-leather bars? That's how we find them when we go onvacation.) I also liked the female impersonator shows, the "gay mall" thatsurrounded the pool area, and the fact that you could safely stagger back toyour room once you had too many. Of course the eye candy wasn't bad,either.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Pictures of Pride: LGBT Celebrations around the World
A Human Rights Watch photo essay is online at

Year after year, around the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgenderpeople march: to oppose oppression, to declare solidarity with other humanrights struggles, and to show their joy in themselves and their communities.This photo essay captures the courage, the exuberance, and the human facesof LGBT people's Pride marches on five continents, over more than a decade.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program
Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Ave, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10118
Tel.: 212 290 4700
Fax: 212 736 1300


Contact if you can't access the full article.


No comments: