Saturday, August 11, 2007

GLBT DIGEST August 11, 2007

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Democrats face debate overload
Republicans have fewer demands from constituents
The New York Times
August 11, 2007

DES MOINES, Iowa There was a time when running for president of the UnitedStates meant visiting with voters in New Hampshire living rooms, eating yourway across the Iowa State Fair, delivering speeches and raising money.

These days, running for president has also become a marathon test of analtogether different skill: debating. This campaign has turned into amind-numbing blur of 90- and 120-minute debates and forums that haveconsumed the lives of the Democratic candidates in particular. They aretrudging from coast to coast at the beck and call of television networks,unions, state political parties and whoever else may want to throw themtogether on stage in front of a television camera and a blinking red andgreen light.

In this summer of debates, Democrats appeared before bloggers in Chicagolast Saturday, before union members in Chicago on Tuesday and before gayleaders in Los Angeles on Thursday. The Republicans, with fewer organizedinterest groups and thus fewer of such demands, debated in Des Moines lastSunday morning. The Democrats will be back in Des Moines a week from Sundayfor another bright-and-early debate; and the night before there is a laborforum in Cedar Rapids, a two-hour drive. Not to mention another labor forumWednesday afternoon in Waterloo.

For those who remember the effort by the Democratic National Committeechairman, Howard Dean, to limit the number of debates - at the request ofcandidates who find them time-consuming and not particularly beneficial -news flash: it failed.

And to what end?


Lauderdale mayor tries radio talk show
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board
August 11, 2007

ISSUE: Is talk radio in mayor's future?

Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle has sunk to the depths of a cartooncharacter in recent months, but his bizarre tirade against a group of peoplewho has contributed much to Fort Lauderdale and South Florida brings aserious question to mind.

Namely, is this the type of person who should be the official face of a citythe size of Fort Lauderdale?

Who knows what drives Naugle's inexplicable, shallow characterization of gayand lesbian people. If nothing else, you'd think the leader of a city with avibrant gay community would at least have a better understanding of hiscitizenry.

Clearly, he doesn't. And when Naugle, mayor of Broward's largest city, goeson his diatribes, he does a humiliating disservice to the city he claims heloves.

The man loves publicity. He loves feeding his ego. If that was ever indoubt, just note that he co-hosted a South Florida radio talk show Fridaymorning.

Fine, if Naugle wants to host a radio show, that's his right. He'll have hispartisan listeners, much like ideologically pure Stacy Ritter will have herfollowing. Ritter is the Broward County commissioner who touted the sillyidea of dropping a local radio station from weather emergency broadcastsbecause she felt its programming is too conservative, and she's beingrewarded with a radio show of her own.

Is this a great county or what?

Here's the deal, though. As mayor, Naugle ought to be a statesman. Instead,he's been acting like, well, a radio talk show hack.

Naugle was elected to be mayor of the entire city and all its people, butobviously he feels he can use his bully pulpit to continue spewing his bileagainst one group he obviously detests. He feels he has the title of mayorof Fort Lauderdale, and he can say whatever he wants, no matter how hurtfulor divisive - or nonsensical. With those traits, maybe he can set thegroundwork for a talk show career.

But it's embarrassing for everyone to think he's actually the mayor, when hehas lost credibility as a leader. The year 2009, when Naugle is term-limitedout, can't come soon enough.

BOTTOM LINE: No leader should be acting like this.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sat, Aug. 11, 2007
Church cancels memorial for gay Navy vet

A megachurch canceled a memorial service for a Navy veteran 24 hours beforeit was to start because the deceased was gay.

Officials at the nondenominational High Point Church knew that Cecil HowardSinclair was gay when they offered to host his service, said his sister,Kathleen Wright. But after his obituary listed his life partner as one ofhis survivors, she said, it was called off.

"It's a slap in the face. It's like, 'Oh, we're sorry he died, but he's gayso we can't help you,'" she said Friday.

Wright said High Point offered to hold the service for Sinclair becausetheir brother is a janitor there. Sinclair, who served in the first GulfWar, died Monday at age 46 from an infection after surgery to prepare himfor a heart transplant.

The church's pastor, the Rev. Gary Simons, said no one knew Sinclair, whowas not a church member, was gay until the day before the Thursday service,when staff members putting together his video tribute saw pictures of men"engaging in clear affection, kissing and embracing."


Insider: More clout for transgendered
Lesley Wright
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 10, 2007 10:39 AM

SCOTTSDALE - Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross' sit-down with the gay rightsgroup Equality Arizona on Wednesday can not happen fast enough if the citywants to repair its image.

Scottsdale's transgender population is gaining nationwide clout now that theGay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has named two Valleyrepresentatives to its national board.

Garrett Devine, who owns a consulting firm in Phoenix, and Donna Rose, anadvocate for transgender issues and a Scottsdale resident, are now GLAADboard members.

Of course, the president of GLAAD is former Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano, whojust recently accused Scottsdale city officials of digging "their heads inthe sand" over a number of gay hate crimes and a complaint filed by atransgender patron against Anderson's Fifth Estate, 6820 E. Fifth Ave.

"Garrett and Donna are great supporters of our mission, and theirappointments enhance GLADD's presence in and contribution to advancingequality in Arizona at this critical moment in (lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender) advancement in this state," Giuliano said.


Brison to be first MP to wed under same-sex marriage law
Canadian Press
August 10, 2007 at 3:28 PM EDT

OTTAWA - Liberal MP Scott Brison is set to become the first federalpolitician to tie the knot in a same-sex ceremony since MPs made gaymarriage the law of the land just over two years ago.

Mr. Brison, 40, will marry partner Maxime St. Pierre next Saturday in hisKings-Hants riding, a bucolic corner of Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley.

He follows Ontario cabinet minister George Smitherman in smashing one ofelected politics' last social taboos. Mr. Smitherman exchanged vows lastweek with partner Christopher Peloso at a northern Ontario resort.

Having a spouse has traditionally been considered an important asset on thehustings - but not one of the same sex.

(Yvonne Berg for the Globe and Mail)


Commercial Closet: Levi's Tries on Gay Ending to Commercial
By Michael Wilke

Seeking to break out of the usual, Levi Strauss & Co. has created aprovocative new commercial with two endings-one with a gay twist.

A man in a sleek apartment tries on a pair of jeans but struggles to pullthem past his ankles, when suddenly a phone booth containing a blond manpartially erupts through the floor. They look at each other with mischievoussmiles. Lowering his jeans back down for a moment, he forcefully pulls hisjeans all the way up-turning his entire apartment into a complete outdoorstreet scene. The two men happily walk away together.

The campaign, created by BBH New York, has an alternative ending with awoman in the phone booth. The brand's main demographic is young men, aged15-25.

"We like the idea that it could essentially go both ways," says the openlygay VP/marketing at Levi, Robert Cameron. "You can read it in many ways,including whether it's a 'coming out' metaphor-we actually think it's richerand more textured in the gay version."

Currently running on the 24-hour gay network LOGO, the same-sex ending isscheduled to appear later on other cable channels such as Bravo and HGTV."We said, 'We'll put this on LOGO, but why just be in the so-called gayghetto?'"


N.J. district reinstates school play about gay student's death
5:03 PM EDT, August 10, 2007

The curtain will go up this fall at Ocean Township High School on a playabout the death of a gay college student.

School Superintendent Thomas Pagano reversed a decision by the principal whofelt "The Laramie Project" might be disruptive. That decision last week ledgay-rights activists to plan a protest.

Pagano told The Asbury Park Press in Friday's editions the community wasoverwhelmingly in favor of the play and no one had expressed support forPrincipal Julia Davidow's initial decision.

Pagano told the newspaper he had received hate mail from as far away asCalifornia. It seemed "the entire universe was focused on this community,"he said.

"The Laramie Project" is the true story about the murder of Matthew Shepard.The gay University of Wyoming student was beaten to death in 1998. He diedin Fort Collins, Colo., days after his beating.


August 10, 2007, 7:34 pm
Richardson Clarifies Gay Gaffe
By Michael Falcone

After stumbling through a question at a forum Thursday night about whetherpeople choose to be gay or are born that way, Democratic presidentialcandidate Bill Richardson spent part of the day trying to regain his footingby reaching out to prominent members of the gay and lesbian community.

Mr. Richardson's initial response - "it's a choice" - angered many gayrights activists who hold the opposite view. After the forum, the Richardson'scampaign issued a statement essentially taking back the remark:

"Let me be clear - I do not believe that sexual orientation or genderidentity happen by choice," Mr. Richardson said in the statement. "But I'mnot a scientist, and the point I was trying to make is that no matter how ithappens, we are all equal and should be treated that way under the law. "

Today, a spokesman for the campaign, Pahl Shipley, said that Mr. Richardson,the Democratic governor of New Mexico, had been speaking with bloggers andgay and lesbian leaders in an attempt to smooth things over.

Pam Spaulding, who writes about gay and lesbian issues on her blog Pam'sHouse Blend, was apparently one of the first to get a phone call from Mr.Richardson after the forum last night. Her initial reaction to his remarks,which she recorded in a blog post, must have caught his campaign's eye:"Bill Richardson self-immolated tonight on live TV. I haven't seen anyonefumble a question like this so badly."


Attorney: Allen won't resign in sex case

Rep. Bob Allen insists he's innocent of solicitation and says an undercoverofficer in the park did the asking.

Laurin Sellers
Sentinel Staff Writer
August 9, 2007


Embattled state Rep. Bob Allen, who has been vilified by computer bloggersand lampooned on late-night talk shows since his arrest on a charge ofsoliciting prostitution, is not a criminal or a racist and has no plans toresign, his attorney said Wednesday.

"Based on the police officer's own report, this case should be dismissed,"said attorney Greg Eisenmenger, adding that he would file a motion fordismissal. "The officer did all the soliciting."

Allen's arrest July 11 outside a bathroom in a public park made headlines,but the release days later of his taped statement to police and otherdocuments created a furor. Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio said in astatement Wednesday that Allen's remarks were "disturbing."

Allen, R-Merritt Island, told investigators he was just playing along whenthe undercover Titusville officer suggested oral sex and $20 because he wasintimidated by the "stocky black guy," according to the statement.

Allen, who is white, also said that there "was nothing but other black guysaround in the park" and that he thought he was about to be robbed. At thetime, Allen was unaware the other men also were undercover officers.


Saturday, 11 August 2007 00:57

Ultimate Symbols of the Nazis Hatred of Gay Going Under the Hammer

Two excessively rare examples of the notorious 'Pink Triangle' which theNazis forced gay men to wear during World War Two, go under the hammer laterthis month.

'They are the ultimate symbols of Nazis homophobic paranoia, with men whohad been denounced as homosexuals before WWII having to wear these degradingsymbols on their outer clothing at all times,' commented RichardWestwood-Brookes, Historical Documents Expert for auctioneers Mullock's whowill sell the triangles at their next sale at Ludlow, Shropshire on August23rd.

'When the holocaust began, homosexuals were treated with the same venom asthe Jews - herded into the concentration camps where the Pink Triangle wasattached to their concentration camp uniform.

'While the total number of homosexuals treated in this way remains unknown,an educated estimate has been made of between 50,000 - 63,000 between 1933and 1944. On liberation in 1945, the wearers of the Pink Triangles, unlikethe Jews, were simply re-imprisoned by the newly created Federal Republic.Homosexuality was still a criminal offence in that country and had beensince the introduction under Kaiser Wilhelm II of the notorious Paragraph175 - which was not finally repealed until 1994.

'The Pink Triangle today is regarded in the Gay community as the symbol ofGay Pride , second only to the Rainbow Flag. It also emerges in popularculture with the gay areas of Newcastle on Tyne and Edinburgh being knowntoday as the 'Pink Triangles' on account of their shape. Ironically thesymbol has also been used in an episode of The Simpsons during the depictionof a Gay Pride parade.


The Advocate

August 11, 2007
Ricky Martin says he wants to adopt

Ricky Martin wants kids, perhaps adopting ''one from each continent'' ifpossible.

''It's something we want to begin to create this year, a family of manycolors,'' the 35-year-old pop star told reporters Wednesday in Puerto Rico,where he is scheduled to perform this weekend.

Martin, who isn't married, said he doesn't expect special treatment in theadoption process.

''I want to do it right,'' he said. ''I don't want any problems ormisunderstandings.... Some think as celebrities we can manipulate the systemto have a quicker adoption.''

Martin, whose hits include ''She Bangs,'' ''Shake Your Bon-Bon,'' and''Livin' la Vida Loca,'' started the Ricky Martin Foundation to helpchildren in need. (AP)


The Advocate

August 11, 2007
No Web searches for sex on Madrid town hall computers

Conservatives governing Madrid's town hall have installed a filter thatblocks lawmakers from doing Internet searches for words such as sex orsexuality, opposition Socialists said.

Angeles Alvarez, the Socialists' top official for gender equality issues,said she recently tried to check on a Spanish-run reproductive healthcampaign in Latin America. When she typed the word sexuality in a searchengine, a denied-access warning flashed on her screen.

''Our access to channels of information is cut simply for using the wordsexuality,'' she told reporters on Thursday. Another town hall councilor,David Lucas, also reported running up against the firewall.

A town hall official denied Friday there was any new filter in thebuilding's computer server, saying the system simply blocks access to pornsites.

Computer searches with words such as sex will give access to pages about sexeducation and health issues but not smut, the official said on condition ofanonymity because of town hall policy prohibiting his name from appearing inthe media. (AP)


August 11, 2007
New Jewish manual includes sex-change blessings

Halfway through a newly revised manual promoting inclusion for gay, lesbian,bisexual, and transgender people in Judaism's Reform movement are two shortblessings written by a rabbi who was raised Eliza and now goes by Elliot.

The prayers for Jews undergoing sex changes are included in the 500-pagesecond edition of a guide called Kulanu, Hebrew for ''all of us,'' publishedthis week by the New York-based Union for Reform Judaism.

''Here you have a Jewish person who is undergoing a very momentous aspect oftheir personal journey, and they will reach into their tradition to havethis affirmed in the way we do it: through a blessing,'' said Rabbi RichardAddress, an editor of the volume and director of the union's Department ofJewish Family Concerns. The union represents 900 Reform synagogues in NorthAmerica.

The inclusion of the transgender blessings alongside a liturgy for same-sexunion ceremonies and a divorce document for same-sex couples is in keepingwith the Reform movement's tradition of liberal positions on humansexuality.

The largest branch of Judaism in North America, Reform Judaism allows gayand lesbian rabbis and cantors.


The Advocate

August 11, 2007
Gay Nicaraguan refugee ordered to leave Canada

Canada's board of citizenship and immigration has ordered a gay Nicaraguanman to immediately return to his native land after two years of living inToronto while trying to seek asylum.

Alvaro Orozco, 21, said he fled Nicaraga when he was 12 because of harshsodomy laws and abuse from his father for being gay.

"I was so scared," he said in the May 22 issue of The Advocate. "I remembergoing to church-my family is Catholic-and many times I heard the priest saythat gay people will go to hell. It was then I knew I had to leave, that Icouldn't grow up here. I
couldn't wait until I was 18."

Orozco hitchhiked through Central America, Mexico, and then to Texas afterswimming across the Rio Grande. When he reached the United States, he wasdetained and then transferred to a Catholic Charities facility. Heeventually fled and lived in the U.S. for five years but was drawn to Canadabecause of its less stringent immigration laws.

In 2005, Orozco's request for asylum was rejected because a member of theCanada's Immigration and Refugee Board did not believe he is gay.

His attorney, El-Farouk Khaki, told The [Toronto] Globe and Mail that hewill continue to fight the decision. (The Advocate)


Dutchess lawmakers reject domestic partner registry
By Patricia Doxsey , Freeman staff

POUGHKEEPSIE - Dutchess County lawmakers on Thursday rejected a proposal tocreate a countywide domestic partner registry, with opponents saying theplan would encourage an immoral lifestyle.

The proposal was defeated 7-5 in the Legislature's Government Services andAdministration Committee, with Alison MacAvery, D-Beacon, voting with sixRepublican lawmakers to block the proposal. Republican Marge Horton, R-EastFishkill, voted with Democrats in favor the plan.

Under the proposal, unmarried couples living in a committed andinterdependent personal relationship could have registered with the countyto be certified as domestic partners.

Certification would have constituted "sufficient and conclusive evidence ofa registered domestic partnership when persons apply for rights or benefits"available to domestic partners.

Supporters said the legislation would have ensured domestic partners havethe right to visit their significant others in hospitals, jails or nursinghomes.


Virtual Sex Machine Spawns Lawsuit
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 10, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Tampa, Florida) Kevin Alderman didn't bring sex to "Second Life." He justmade it better.

The 46-year-old entrepreneur recognized four years ago that people would payto equip their online selves - which start out with the smooth anatomy of aBarbie or Ken doll - with realistic genitalia and even more to add some sexymoves.

Business at Eros LLC has been brisk. One of his creations, the SexGenPlatinum, has gotten so popular that he's now had to hire lawyers to trackdown the flesh-and-blood person behind the online identity, or avatar, thathe says illegally copied and sold it.

The $45 SexGen animates amorous avatars in erotic positions. It is softwarecode, written in the scripting language of "Second Life" and placed invirtual furniture and other objects. Avatars click on the object and choosefrom a menu of animated sex acts.

Alderman filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla., lastmonth alleging an avatar named "Volkov Catteneo" broke the program's copyprotection and sold unauthorized copies. Alderman, who runs his businessfrom home in a Tampa suburb, allows users to transfer his products, butprohibits copying.


NY Senate Accused Of Footdragging On Gay Bills
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 10, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Albany, New York) New York State's largest LGBT civil rights organizationFriday took the state Senate to task for returning to work in August butrefusing to deal with two gay rights bills that already have passed theAssembly.

The GOP-controlled Senate is holding hearings on the actions of aides toDemocratic Gov. Elliot Spitzer that Republicans say was a dirty trickscampaign targeting Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno.

The governor's aides are accused of using state troopers to track Bruno'stravels on state money.

"The New York State Senate has decided to work in August, but sadly not oncritical issues it failed to address during the regular session that couldimprove the lives of countless New Yorkers," said Empire State Pride AgendaExecutive Director Alan Van Capelle.

"Instead, it has returned to hold what is widely considered to be a partisanhearing into the activities of several aides to the Governor, even though aninvestigation of the very same activities is being conducted elsewhere."


Is Bush Mulling Return To Draft?
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 11, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Washington) Frequent tours for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan havestressed the all-volunteer force and made it worth considering a return to amilitary draft, President Bush's new war adviser said Friday.

"I think it makes sense to certainly consider it," Army Lt. Gen. DouglasLute said in an interview with National Public Radio's "All ThingsConsidered."

"And I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table. Butultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for thenation's security by one means or another," Lute added in his firstinterview since he was confirmed by the Senate in June.

President Nixon abolished the draft in 1973. Restoring it, Lute said, wouldbe a "major policy shift" and Bush has made it clear that he doesn't thinkit's necessary.

"The president's position is that the all volunteer military meets the needsof the country and there is no discussion of a draft. General Lute made thatpoint as well," National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.


5 Best Underrated Cities for Gay Travelers
by John Polly,

Barcelona, San Francisco, London, New York City. Been there, done that? Surethey're awesome places, but they're also the most-visited. You're probablyready to visit the less-hyped, more quirky and obscurely cool haunts aroundthe planet, right?

Don't let those big-name A-list destinations totally overshadow the quietgems that are just as vacation-worthy-in their own unique way. Distinctivewith their own quirks and personality, these five underrated cities deliverenough punch to have you packing your bags.

Medellin, Colombia

Sure, Colombia has been beaten down with bad press (drugs, kidnapping,Shakira), but it has come a long way by rebounding from its darker days andexposing itself in a newer light. While Bogota and Cartagena shine as themost visited of Colombia's destinations, the small city of Medellin isjostling its way to prove its worthy of your visit. (And not just thanks tothat Entourage movie plotline, either.) Chock full of commanding views (it'snestled snugly in the tropical Andes Mountains), year-round weather hoveringaround 72 degrees, a thriving nightlife and the burgeoning neighborhood ofLleras Park packed with boutiques and trendy restaurants, Medellin iseffortlessly Colombia's best-kept secret.

Make sure you try traditional Colombian cuisine with a modern flare at thebustling Basilica restaurant (Cr 38 8A-42 Antioquia). Locals and visitorsalike enjoy the spirited nights fueled with live music and traditionaldancing. And yes, the gorgeous staff are known to speak our language, if youknow what I mean.


The New York Times

August 11, 2007
Pressured School District Reverses, Allowing Play on Murder of Gay Student

OCEAN TOWNSHIP, N.J. Aug. 10 - After a week of public outcry over the schooldistrict's decision to block Ocean Township High School's drama club fromperforming "The Laramie Project," Superintendent Thomas M. Pagano decidedThursday to let the play go on this fall.

"People disagreed with my posture," Mr. Pagano said, referring to thedistrict's earlier decision against the show. "I got no feedback fromanybody who said, 'We understand your position.' "

Mr. Pagano said he was willing to bear the brunt of the controversy, despitethe fact that it was the school's principal, Julia Davidow, who first raisedobjections in May to the play, which focuses on the 1998 beating and murderof Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming.

"I am responsible for the community, the children and the board of educationbeing in this position; therefore I have a responsibility for getting themout of it," the superintendent said after meeting late Thursday with thedrama club coach, Bob Angelini. (Ms. Davidow, who is recovering from doubleknee surgery, was not at the meeting.)

The play will be presented as an assembly for the high school and will alsobe performed there on three evenings in the first week in November.


The New York Times

August 11, 2007
Church Cancels Memorial for Gay Navy Vet
Filed at 5:45 a.m. ET

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- A megachurch canceled a memorial service for a Navyveteran 24 hours before it was to start because the deceased was gay.

Officials at the nondenominational High Point Church knew that Cecil HowardSinclair was gay when they offered to host his service, said his sister,Kathleen Wright. But after his obituary listed his life partner as one ofhis survivors, she said, it was called off.

''It's a slap in the face. It's like, 'Oh, we're sorry he died, but he's gayso we can't help you,''' she said Friday.

Wright said High Point offered to hold the service for Sinclair becausetheir brother is a janitor there. Sinclair, who served in the first GulfWar, died Monday at age 46 from an infection after surgery to prepare himfor a heart transplant.

The church's pastor, the Rev. Gary Simons, said no one knew Sinclair, whowas not a church member, was gay until the day before the Thursday service,when staff members putting together his video tribute saw pictures of men''engaging in clear affection, kissing and embracing.''


The Washington Post

Rights Movement Divides Russia's Gay Community
Most Seem to Favor Low-Key Approach Over Confrontational One
By Anton Troianovski
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, August 11, 2007; A10

MOSCOW -- Elena Gusyatinskaya's tiny apartment in the drab northwesternoutskirts of Moscow holds a special place in the city's gay subculture. Herliving room is really a gay-themed library, lined to the ceiling with books,manuscripts, magazines, movies and many-colored binders of newspaperclippings. She also offers a particular kind of public service: storagespace for personal diaries that closeted gay men and lesbians are afraid tokeep at home.

Journals and memoirs dating to Soviet days, Gusyatinskaya said, show gaystrying to make private sense of their sexuality at a time when talk of sexwas taboo. Now, with a small gay rights movement taking shape amid a morefrank pop culture, gays are struggling with altogether different questions.

Should they openly confront what many people see as growing homophobia in asociety where nationalism is on the rise and grass-roots social movementsare almost nonexistent? Or should they lie low and hope for gradualimprovement? The issue has opened a deep divide in the gay community, withmost appearing to favor a low-key approach.


A note from Ray:

When reading the following, I find it inexplicable that the virulentlyanti-gay Church of England Bishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, has the time to"save" the U.S. Episcopal church from the scourge of "homosexuals." It'sinteresting that he appears to turn a blind eye toward the horrific travestyof justice in Nigeria. And even more revolting, it's incomprehensible that certain
leaders within the U.S. Episcopal church think they can find enlightenmentby following such a demagogue as Akinola in the name of their narrow-minded hristianity.


From EuroQueer

The US Government-funded international broadcaster, Voice of America, isreporting on this. The 18 men, which the VoA says are between 18 and 25,are being held in prison awaiting trial "for alleged sodomy".

The written report (below) quotes Bala Ahmed who is the spokesman of the
Bauchi state sharia commission.

Link: ... it contains
the links to audio.

Nigerian Gays Charged With Sodomy, Could Face Death Penalty

By Gilbert da Costa
10 August 2007

An Islamic Sharia court in northern Nigeria has ordered 18 men to be kept inprison pending their trial for alleged sodomy. For VOA, Gilbert da Costareports that the men were arrested for allegedly hosting a gay marriage in apredominantly Muslim city.

The 18 men could face the death penalty if convicted. They were arrested ina hotel in Bauchi, were said to be wearing female clothing and had gatheredtocelebrate a gay marriage.

Local officials say the men's action contravened Islamic law, which governsBauchi state in Muslim-dominated northern Nigeria.

Bala Ahmed, spokesman of the Bauchi state sharia commission, says thesuspects were all young men.

"They are young; they are very young, promising children if they use thebest of their knowledge and their time," he said. "They are all youth, theyare18 years, 20 years, 25 years. Nobody, I believe, among them is up to 30years.

Fine and handsome-looking, but they are misusing their time, misusing theiropportunity to get involved in this evil practice."

Bauchi is among a dozen states in northern Nigeria practicing Sharia since2000, following the end of military rule.

More than 10 Muslims have been convicted for sexual offenses and sentencedto death by stoning. Most of the sentences have been commuted to prisontermsor rejected on appeal. But Ahmed says the Islamic council is determined toextract maximum punishment for the 18 men.

"If they are found guilty, let them be punished, so that it will serve as adeterrent to those who are intending to do this," he added. "Because wewant to stop this menace completely. We don't want to hear about thishomosexuality in our society."

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a southern Christian, unsuccessfullyinitiated a bill to ban gay marriage in Nigeria. Like many Africancountries, Nigeria is a conservative society where homosexuality isconsidered a taboo.


URGENT ACTION - 18 Nigerian men charged with sodomy

All could face death by stoning

Protest to Nigerian Ambassador

Reports from the Nigerian news agency, NAN, say that 18 men in the northernNigerian state of Bauchi, which is governed by Islamic Sharia law, have beenarrested on charges of sodomy and could be sentenced to death by stoning(this is the prescribed penalty for sodomy under Sharia law).

The 18 men have been remanded in prison after they were arrested lastSunday, 5 August 2007, at a private party in a hotel, where they wereallegedly celebrating a "gay wedding."

They were arraigned on Wednesday before Justice Taminu Abubakar of theBauchi High Court, and will soon be sent for trial.

For more details, here are the links to the BBC and Daily Champion newsarticles:

I would urge people to protest to the Nigerian ambassador in London as soonas possible, urging that the charges be dropped and that Nigeria'santi-sodomy laws be repealed on the grounds that they contraveneinternational human rights law (see details below).

The name of the Nigerian Ambassador in London is Dozie Nwanna. AmbassadorNwanna can be contacted via this email address:

For people living outside the UK, please protest to the Nigerian Ambassadorin the country where you live. Or, if it is easier, send a protest email tothe Nigerian Ambassador in London at the above address.

Please ensure that your message to the Ambassador is polite and courteous,and that it stresses Nigeria's obligation to uphold its agreed commitmentsunder African and international human rights charters and law. Please citethe African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (see details below).



13:51 Fri 10 Aug 2007 - Stephanie Gilardi

The Bulgarian Gay Organization Gemini (BGO Gemini) is recruiting "dangerousvolunteers armed with smiles" to gather in Sofia on August 11 for theirthird Pink Point informational campaign.

At the event, which will be held in "Actavis" Park between Sofia Universityand the Parliament, volunteers will provide basic information about gay andlesbian issues to the general public. Informational brochures and cards withinformation on homosexuality and HIV/AIDS prevention will be distributed,targeting people of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds, political views,and education levels.

"There are many misconceptions about gays and gay rights in the Bulgariansociety, and this is a way to ensure people are getting accurate and fairinformation," said BGO Gemini Executive Director Aksinia Gencheva.

The event will be recorded on video. Interested passers-by will have theopportunity to answer questions about their awareness and opinions on gayissues such as discrimination and civil partnerships.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

August 10, 2007

Federal Effort on Web Obscenity Shows Few Results

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 - Tom Rogers, a retired Indianapolis detective, toilsaway most days in his suburban home office reviewing sexual Web sites andother Internet traffic to see whether they qualify as obscene material whosepurveyors should be prosecuted by the Justice Department.

His work is financed by a Justice Department grant initially providedthrough a Congressional earmark inserted into a spending bill byRepresentative Frank R. Wolf, Republican of Virginia.

The grant, about $150,000 a year, has helped pay for Mr. Rogers and anotherretired law enforcement officer in Reno, Nev., to harvest and reviewcomplaints about obscene matter on the Internet that citizens register onthe Justice Department Web site.

In the last few years, 67,000 citizens' complaints have been deemedlegitimate under the program and passed on to the Justice Department andfederal prosecutors.

The number of prosecutions resulting from those referrals is zero.

That may help explain why no one - not Justice Department officials, not Mr.Wolf, not even the religious antipornography crusader who runs the program -seems eager to call the project a shining success.


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