Saturday, July 07, 2007

GLBT DIGEST July 7, 2007

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The New York Times

July 7, 2007

Cheney Fatigue Settles Over Some in GOP
Filed at 12:49 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Dick Cheney, who thrives on secrecy while pulling thelevers of power, is getting caught in the glare of an unwelcome spotlight.

Once viewed as a sage and mentor to President Bush, Cheney has approvalratings now that are as low as -- or lower -- than the president's. Recentnational polls have put them both in the high 20s.

Bush's decision to spare former Cheney aide I. Lewis ''Scooter'' Libby froma 2 1/2-year prison sentence has focused new attention on the vice presidentand his possible role in the commutation.

Cheney's relentless advocacy of the Iraq war, his push to expandpresidential authority and his hard-line rhetoric toward North Korea andIran are raising concerns even among former loyalists now worried about theGOP's chances in 2008.

It seems Cheney fatigue is settling in some Republican circles.


The New York Times

July 7, 2007

Faith Intertwines With Political Life for Clinton

WASHINGTON - Long before her beliefs would be tested in the most wrenchingof ways as first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton taught an adult Sunday schoolclass on the importance of forgiveness. It is a lesson, she says, that shehas harked back to often.

"We all have things that oftentimes we're upset about, or ashamed of, orfeel guilty over, and so many people carry these enormous burdens around,"Mrs. Clinton said in a recent interview. "One of the great gifts of faith isto let it go."

The themes of wrongs, forgiveness and reconciliation have played outrepeatedly in Mrs. Clinton's life, as she has endured the ordeal of herhusband's infidelity, engaged in countless political battles and shared adeep, mutual distrust with adversaries.

Her Methodist faith, Mrs. Clinton says, has guided her as she sought torepair her marriage, forgiven some critics who once vilified her andstruggled in the bare-knuckles world of politics to fulfill the biblicalcommandment to love thy neighbor.


The New York Times

July 7, 2007
Parish Falls Out of Step, and Favor, With Diocese

BRISTOL, Conn., July 5 - Standing inside the handsome sanctuary on SummerStreet that has been home to Trinity Church since 1949, Fred Clark said thathe was married here, baptized his children here and held funeral serviceshere for the child he lost.

And although Mr. Clark, the congregation's senior warden, said he and about150 fellow parishioners were not eager to lose a place that had been aspiritual home to them and their ancestors since before the Revolution, theymay not have a choice come Sunday.

Last month, Connecticut's Episcopal bishop, Andrew D. Smith, defrocked theRev. Donald L. Helmandollar and ordered the congregation's lay leaders "tovacate the property of Trinity Church, Bristol, and release every claim onthe assets of this parish by July 8, 2007." The parishioners had objected tothe church's position regarding homosexuals in the clergy.

But Father Helmandollar, 68, who joined the clergy late in life, has noplans to go quietly. He said he was confident that parishioners wouldpersevere even if they lost the right to the church, rectory and burialgrounds they had held for generations in a fight that seems headed forcourt.

"It's the people, not the steeple," he said, quoting Rick Warren, a popularevangelical author.


The New York Times

July 7, 2007
Immigration Malpractice

The prickliness and glacial ineptitude of the immigration system is old newsto millions of would-be Americans. Immigrants who play by the rules knowthat the rules are stringent, arbitrary, expensive and very time-consuming.But even the most seasoned citizens-in-waiting were stunned by the nastybait-and-switch the federal bureaucracy pulled on them this month. Afterencouraging thousands of highly skilled workers to apply for green cards,the government snatched the opportunity away.

The tease came in a bulletin issued by the State Department in Juneannouncing that green cards for a wide range of skilled workers would beavailable to those who filed by July 2. That prompted untold numbers ofdoctors, medical technicians and other professionals, many of whom havelived here with their families for years, to assemble little mountains ofpaper. They got certified records and sponsorship documents, paid formedical exams and lawyers and sent their applications in. Many canceledvacations to be in the United States when their applications arrived, as thelaw requires.


The Washington Post

Cool Reception for Conservative Radio
Many Popular Talk Shows Find Washington Just Isn't Listening

By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 6, 2007; C05

After conservative radio pundits encouraged opposition last month to theimmigration bill that was before the Senate, Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) wasmoved to declare, "Talk radio is running America."

It is not, however, running Washington.

With the exception of Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk-radio hosts havestruggled for years to find a wide audience on the local dial. WhileLimbaugh's afternoon program remains popular on WMAL (630 AM), not manyother conservatives' programs have.

Latest case in point: WJFK (106.7 FM) yesterday dropped Bill O'Reilly'snationally syndicated show, "The Radio Factor," and replaced it with asports-talk program hosted by Jim Rome. O'Reilly, an avowed independent whotakes many conservative views, occupied a two-hour afternoon slot on WJFK.

The popular Fox News Channel TV host never attracted much of a radiofollowing in Washington -- in the most recent ratings period, his programhad about 1.2 percent of the audience. But then, neither have many otherconservatives, whose programs are popular in many cities but barely move theratings needle in the Washington area, the nation's eighth-largest radiomarket.

Such radio stars of the right as Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck and MichaelSavage at times have literally had no ratings in Washington, as measured byArbitron. That's partly because those hosts are carried on WTNT (570 AM), astation that has a weak signal, no local programming and little promotion.Last month, for example, the Clear Channel-owned station attracted anaverage of just 0.5 percent of the listening audience.


Gay pride - political will needed to change attitudes

Budapest, July 7 (MTI) - Around 2,000 gays, lesbians and transvestitesparaded in downtown Budapest on Saturday afternoon to mark the capital's11th Gay Pride day.

The decorated floats and dance stages started out from City Park with apolice escort towards the Danube's Freedom Bridge.

Several hundred demonstrators gathered along their route, holdingfar-fight banners, pelting eggs, bottles and plastic bags filled with sand.A group of masked skinheads pelted police with beer bottles. Police arrestedsix people.

At the parade Arpad Toth, a board member of the Rainbow MissionFoundation, told MTI that the occasion was also part of Hungary's 12thLesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transvestite Film and Cultural Festival, beingheld to promote the struggle to attain equal legal rights of alternativepartnerships and marriages.

Toth said that part of the parade's objective was to send a message togay people to put themselves on an equal footing with the rest of societyand shed decades of seeing themselves as second-class citizens.


Gabriel Rotello: Deadly Error Alert: Andrew Sullivan's Latest AIDS Fantasy

I recently blogged on this site to take issue with Andrew Sullivan for hisrelentless campaign to convince gay men that the AIDS epidemic iseffectively over and to get us to stop worrying about HIV - even though HIVtransmission rates among gay men gallop along at tragic levels of 2-3% peryear.

I had neglected to consider that when it comes to AIDS and Andrew Sullivan,the best policy is benign neglect. Because the great danger is that Andrewwill get his dander up and let loose with some whacky claim that threatensto make things even worse.

Alas, that's exactly what happened last week. And Andrew's latestpronouncement is so potentially deadly it demands immediate correction.

I won't rehash the details of our debate.You can read my criticism here, and his initial response here.

I'll just cut to the chase.

In one of his follow-up responses, Andrew goes where no man has ever gonebefore in terms of AIDS misinformation.

In arguing that gay men have actually done a pretty fabulous job of craftingnew strategies to stop HIV transmission in a brave new world wherecombination therapies have led to complacency, he brings up thecontroversial practice of 'sero-sorting.'


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Washington Blade

Younger Americans more likely to support same-sex marriage
Washington Blade
Jul. 06, 2007

A few weeks after John and Elizabeth Edwards made their differing views ongay marriage public, a flurry of polls on gay issues suggests the Edwardsfamily appears to be in step with the rest of America on the debate.

During a June 25 appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show," John Edwards told hostJay Leno that he disagrees with his wife on the issue of gay marriage.

"It's not the only thing we disagree about," he said. "A lot of people Ilove and care about feel the same way Elizabeth does. I'm very strong aboutending discrimination against gay and lesbian couples. But I'm not quitewhere Elizabeth is yet."

Elizabeth Edwards previewed that assessment during a joint interview withher husband on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" last December atthe beginning of his campaign. She also said their daughter Kate, a24-year-old student at Cambridge, has talked with children of Republican andDemocratic politicians her age and believes the issue will "disappear withtheir generation."

A joint poll conducted June 15-29 by the New York Times, CBS News and MTVexamined the attitudes of 659 individuals and put them into two groups, ages17-29 and older adults. The survey found younger people had more progressiveattitudes toward gay marriage and civil unions. Some 290 respondents in the17-29 age group said gay couples should be allowed to marry, compared to 184of the older respondents.

The study also found 158 younger and 211 older adults said gay couplesshould be able to enter into civil unions, but not legally marry. Some 198younger and 231 older individuals think gay relationships should not receiveany legal recognition.

Evan Wolfson, director of Freedom to Marry, said differing attitudes aboutmarriage equality could be because the younger respondents grew up in a timeof greater visibility and open discussion of gays and lesbians.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List>

Man injured in attack at lake dies
Investigators seek details in assault, including reports of possible hatecrime.
By David Richie - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, July 6, 2007
Story appeared in METRO section, Page B2

Family members gathered at Mercy San Juan Medical Center on Thursday andsaid goodbye to Satendar Singh.

Singh's four-day struggle to recover from head trauma he suffered Sunday atLake Natoma ended Thursday afternoon after family members and doctors agreedto end his life support.

The 26-year-old was fatally injured in an assault after what witnesses saidwas an ugly verbal attack laced with racist and homophobic slurs.

On Thursday, family members took him off life support after the arrival ofhis aunt and uncle, Suvin and Camie Bhuie, and his grandmother, Chand Singh.They are the closest and most senior members of Singh's large extendedfamily in the area.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] Boycott against Novotel works!


After a week-long boycott campaign by gay networks, Novotel Siam Square willtoday formally apologise to Sutthirat Simsiri-wong, a transvestite who wasbarred entry to a nightclub at the hotel two weeks ago.

The Nation, Bangkok Thursday July 5 2007

A spokesman for the high-end hotel's public relations division said a pressconference would take place today at the hotel. The general manager of thehotel and a representative of Accor Group, which represents hotel chainsincluding Novotel, will be present.

Sutthirat said he was also invited to the press conference. "Tomorroweverything will be concluded," he said in a telephone interview.

The apology by the hotel arrived in time for a deadline set by Sutthirat,who said last Thursday that if the hotel did not apologise to him within aweek, he would bring the case to court as he had been discriminated againstbecause of his sexual orientation.

Sutthirat, a local brand manager for a French cosmetics firm, was deniedentry to the Concept CM2 nightclub at the hotel on June 22. The reason givenby door staff was because he is a katoey. The Thai word refers totransvestites.


Forwarded from Al Fatiha
International organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Muslims

Jerusalem Open House Reclaimed the streets of Jerusalem for Pride andTolerance 2007

Last Thursday, the Jerusalem Open House, the LGBT community and itssupporters marched a historic March for Pride and Tolerance despite violentintimidation and political sabotage. When we think of how far we have comefrom last year´s pride events which were held in an enclosed space due tothe factors of war in Israel as well as the violence raging inUltra-Orthodox communities in Jerusalem, we can recognize the greataccomplishment of this past year´s struggle to march. We held our flags highin the Jerusalem city center and marched with pride, while surrounded bysome 7,000 police officers charged with protecting us from the violencewhich had been raging in some Ultra- Orthodox neighborhoods throughout theprevious weeks.

Our struggle this year has faced tremendous opposition

l As early as April, a bomb exploded amongst scattered posters denouncingthe march.

l A Jewish death curse (pulsa de´nura) was placed on the march organizersby some Ultra-Orthodox leaders.

l Open House staff, board members and their families received threats totheir homes in the month leading up to the march.

l A week before the march, several right-wing leaders of the opposition tothe Jerusalem March barged into the Jerusalem Open House to deliver anofficial petition against the LGBT Pride march. The men wore latex glovesand shouted insults at Open House staff who tried to calm the situation.This event was part of the orchestrated campaign intended to escalate theLGBT community´s fears around the upcoming march.

l On the day of the march, a man was arrested in possession of a pipe bombwith certain intent to do serious harm to the LGBT community and itssupporters. As the reality of this fact and other violent intimidationtactics sink in, we acknowledge the courage it took for our community tomarch in the face of such threat.


National Gay News

Gay Slurs at School 'Same as Racism'
Friday, 06 July 2007 16:48

Children who call classmates "gay" or "queer" should be treated thesame as racists, the new children's minister said yesterday.

Kevin Brennan, a former teacher, said new guidelines would be issuedto schools telling them that anti-gay bullying should be punished in thesame way as racist abuse in the playground.




Ft. Lauderdale

Club Blue is a monthly social and networking event designed to promotethe Human Rights Campaign and its membership in South Florida. It is heldon the first Thursday of each month!

Join the HRC South Florida Committee each month to network with otherGLBT professionals and to learn about HRC in South Florida!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Coconuts Bahama Grill
429 Seabreeze Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316

Have a drink on us and watch the sun set over the Intracoastal!Coconuts Grill has a fun menu with a relaxing view. If you plan to stay fordinner with friends after the social, you may wish to consider makingreservations in advance.


Suggested Donation


AIDS infections in India overstated, study finds
By Laurie Goering
Chicago Tribune
July 7, 2007

NEW DELHI India has about half as many people infected with the AIDS virusas previously thought, India's government confirmed Friday.

New estimations of the country's infection rate, based on a nationwidehouse-to-house survey with blood sampling as well as on prenatal blood testsof pregnant women, suggests the country has about 2.47 million peopleinfected with the virus that causes AIDS, a sharp drop from the previousestimate of 5.7 million, said Anbumani Ramadoss, the national minister ofhealth and family welfare.

That reduced estimate, which mirrors similar revisions of estimates of AIDSprevalence in some African countries, drops India from first in the world inHIV infections to third place, behind South Africa and Nigeria.

Indian officials called the revised estimates good news for the country,which now appears to have around 0.36 percent of people 15 to 49 infectedwith HIV rather than the previously thought 0.9 percent. The reducedestimate indicates India's epidemic is still focused in high-risk groups -prostitutes and their clients, intravenous drug users and gay men - ratherthan in the general population as in South Africa, where the infection rateamong people 15 to 49 years old is 16 percent.

Health officials said Friday that India's infection rate also appears to bedropping slightly overall, suggesting that increasingly intensive efforts tostop the spread of the disease are working.


Posted on Sat, Jul. 07, 2007
Host had 'no idea' of gay slur

In the freewheeling world of Spanish-language television and radio, the linebetween what's offensive and what's not is often murky. The challenge ismade more difficult by the language's unique permutations across LatinAmerica and Spain.

But with Spanish-language media under increased scrutiny by the FederalCommunications Commission, a Miami talk show has sharpened that fuzzy lineto zero tolerance. Telemundo TV personality Luisa Fernanda, the Mexican hostof the popular show Cotorreando (``Chattering''), was fired after she madean unintended slur against gays.

Fernanda used the Cuban word for grouper, cherna, which for Cubans hasanother meaning: a pejorative term for a gay man.

Other networks also have taken action against on-air personalities recently.But in Fernanda's case, she had no clue the word she was uttering is aninsult in Cuban Spanish; several local gay community activists are defendingher.

Fernanda was dissecting the latest sex videotape scandal last month withco-host Mauricio Zeilic when she asked him if he would back her if she wasattacked, and he said yes.


Legally Insane: A History of Jack Thompson's Antics
Andy Chalk posted on 6 Jul 2007, 05:00 PM
jack thompson

Jack Thompson, photo: John Loomis/Rolling StoneJack Thompson. As the RedSkull did to Captain America, so Thompson fills gamers everywhere with ateeth-clenching cocktail of rage, vitriol and confused frustration over ourinability to understand what exactly is wrong with this guy and why he hasto keep acting like such a jerk. He inspires extreme reactions in virtuallyeveryone he interacts with; he's gone so far, even some of his erstwhileallies are beginning to distance themselves from his circus. But in light ofa recent report that the Florida Bar Association has suggested he undergo apsychological evaluation, one question hangs in the air, just begging to beasked: Is Jack Thompson really crazy?

A self-described Christian conservative and Republican, Thompson'sbeginnings were innocuous enough. Born in 1951, he grew up in Cleveland,Ohio, attended Denison University, went to law school at VanderbiltUniversity where he met his wife, then moved to Florida in 1976. He joinedthe Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church where he became a born-again Christian,got involved in local politics, and if that was the end of the story he'd bewell on his way to a very normal, moderately successful and otherwise whollyunremarkable life.

Alas, it was not to be. As far back as 1987, Thompson was demonstrating thecombination of pitbull tenacity and outrageous behavior that would becomehis hallmark. As part of a dispute with Florida radio personality NeilRogers, Thompson spent eight months recording every broadcast Rogers made,eventually documenting 40,000 individual on-air mentions of his name.40,000. Based on a previous agreement with the radio station, he claimedthat saying Jack Thompson 40,000 times was worth $200 million and sued forthat amount. The courts disagreed, the suit was dismissed and Rogersremained on the air.

The zaniness continued. In 1988, Thompson stood for election as Dade CountyState Prosecutor against the incumbent Janet Reno, who had recentlyfrustrated him with her refusal to prosecute Rogers for his on-air swipes athim. At a campaign event, he presented Reno with a letter asking her toindicate, publicly, whether she was homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual. Inresponse, according to Thompson, Reno put her hand on his shoulder andreplied, "I'm only interested in virile men. That's why I'm not interestedin you." Thompson filed a police report accusing her of battery for touchinghim. A special prosecutor was appointed to investigate the charge, which wasquickly dismissed as a "political ploy," and Reno went on to crush Thompsonat the polls, winning 69 percent of the vote.

Ever the gracious loser, in 1990 Thompson accused the Switchboard of Miami,a social service group that held Reno as a board member, of placing"homosexual-education tapes" in public schools. This served as the impetusfor Thompson's first court-ordered psychological examination: He passed andrepeated his allegations of Reno's lesbianism when she was appointed U.S.Attorney General; he later accused her of suffering from various mentaldisorders as a result of side effects of the medication she was taking forParkinson's Disease.


Lake Worth opts to expand civil rights protection laws
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 06, 2007

LAKE WORTH - The city this week became the third municipality in Palm BeachCounty to expand its civil rights protection laws to include sexualorientation, gender identity and gender expression.

Mayor Jeff Clemens and Commissioner Cara Jennings proposed that the cityrevise its Civil Rights Act at the request of the Palm Beach County HumanRights Council.

"Lake Worth should always be on the cutting edge when it comes to fightingdiscrimination," Clemens said. "This is just a step that will ensure thatpeople are treated fairly regardless of their gender identity."

The unanimous decision to include the newest protection clauses shows thatgender identity discrimination does occur and that cities are responsiblefor enacting laws to prevent it, Jennings said.

Lake Worth joins West Palm Beach and Tequesta in the initiative, which wasspurred locally after the February firing of Largo City Manager SteveStanton, who had announced his plans for a sex change operation, said RandHoch, founder and president of the local Human Rights Council.


Gay. So what?
Friday July 6 2007 15:19 IST
Priya M Menon

In June 2007, Baljit Kaur and Rajwinder Kaur of Amritsar made headlines whenthey tied the knot despite violent opposition from their families. "We loveeach other and will die for each other," the women declared. They'vethreatened to run away to Canada if the families continued to be difficultand in the meanwhile, plan to start a family of their own - by adopting achild.

Baljit and Rajwinder are yet another example of a lesbian couple who havedared to defy social norms and a legal system that criminaliseshomosexuality. In 2006, Wetka Polang (30) and Melka Nilsa (22) of Orissaactually managed to get their union blessed by their community. Wetka andMelka, day labourers who belong to the Kandha tribe, got married in atraditional ceremony presided over by a Kandha priest after paying a fine -a barrel of country liquor, a pair of oxen, a sack of rice - and hosted afamily feast.

"They wanted to prove that they can live without the help of men. They alsolove each other very much. So we decided to forgive them," said villageelder Melka Powla.

These are rare yet defining instances of defiance in a society which stillhesitates to talk about sex and where homosexuality is a crime, courtesySection 377 of the Indian Penal Code. In a social setting where same sexlove often leads to social ostracisation, police harassment and evensuicide, members of this hitherto silent community are now making theirvoice heard.

Last year, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of Rajpipla, Gujarat, drewinternational media attention when he publicly declared himself to be ahomosexual. "I wanted to open a Pandora's box," says Manvendra. "That couldhave happened if only there is some controversy. I thought an Indian princeopenly talking about his sexuality would make news." And it did. His effigywas burnt and the royal family threatened to disinherit him. Though it waslegally impossible, the resulting controversy triggered national debate onhomosexuals and their rights.


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