Monday, August 13, 2007

GLBT DIGEST August 13, 2007

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Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

New York

From NOW - National Organization for Women
Law to Mandate HIV Testing Wrong for Rape Victims
Slippery Slope Puts Victims Lives at Risk

The National Organization for Women - NYS strongly opposes legislation(A-9256/S-6357) which would mandate HIV testing for individuals who havebeen "accused" of rape.

Governor Spitzer is about to sign legislation into law that will give rapevictims false hope. Email him today! We have provided you with an emailthat explains why this law is dangerous for rape victims.
Send letter to Gov. Spitzer

Law to Mandate HIV Testing Wrong for Rape Victims
Required text:
(This text will be included in your message)
I strongly oppose legislation (A-9256/S-6357) which would mandate HIVtesting for individuals who have been "accused" of rape.

This bill will harm survivors of sexual assault by giving the survivor afalse sense of security. The alleged perpetrator's HIV status should beirrelevant to the treatment of the victim. In essence, this bill is nothingmore than an invasion into the medical privacy of New Yorkers.

Sexual assault providers and counselors help victims to regain control oftheir own lives and to make informed, medically sound treatment decisions.Victims should be encouraged to find out their own HIV status after sexualassault.

The argument by legislators that women will be allowed to stop treatment iftheir alleged assailants are negative is playing Russian roulette with thevictims' life. Delaying or discontinuing prophylactic HIV treatment becausethe victim feels that she is safe from HIV disease significantly increasesthe risk for HIV infection.

Guidelines developed by leading medical authorities, including the StateHealth Department and the Centers for Disease Control caution victims tonever discontinue treatment unless it is known for certain that theassailant is negative.

Because the "alleged" perpetrator may be tested in the 'window period' whenHIV antibodies are not yet present in the blood, victims of sexual assaultcould not be certain that their "alleged" attacker is negative. Further, onoccasion the wrong person is accused, and the real rapist, who is HIVpositive, remains free. In short, no sound medical decision can be madebased on another person's HIV status.

If you are serious about helping survivors of sexual assault, there areseveral real changes that are needed to be written into law. Post ExposureProphylaxis (PEP) treatment must be available, free of charge to the victim,in every emergency room across the State. Also, more funding, for education,counseling, and prevention programs should be readily accessible.

If this bill becomes law, New York State will be giving survivors of rapefalse hope instead of medically-sound information that would protect theirhealth and well-being.

I urge you to reject this legislation which mandates HIV testing ofindividuals "accused" of rape.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Images from Tallinn Pride

Dear friends,

You can now find a few images from yesterday's Tallin Pride March atILGA-Europe's website:

Feel free using them, we would be grateful if you identified that thoseimages were taken by ILGA-Europe in case you use them.

You can also find a short video from yesterday's Tallinn Pride at internetnews portal delfi:


Forwarded from David Bockoff,1,6858572.story

Gay and lesbian voting power

Also, parsing pools, Obama woos lobbyists and candidates turn to comedy.
August 12, 2007

Candidates should note that this is one group that knows how to get out thevote.

It's a perennial complaint: Too many Americans don't vote. But based on amassive new survey, one population segment -- gays -- surely must beexcluded from this rebuke.

A recent study by San Francisco-based Community Marketing Inc. found aneye-popping 92.5% of gay men report they voted in the 2004 presidentialrace, and almost 84% said they cast ballots in the 2006 midterm election.Among lesbians, the results were almost as impressive; nearly 91% in 2004and 78% in 2006.

By comparison, the Washington-based Committee for the Study of the AmericanElectorate puts the turnout for all Americans eligible to vote at about 61%in 2004 and roughly 40% in 2006.

Consider that last statistic for a moment: a turnout rate among gay men morethan twice that for the nation's voters as a whole.

The survey questioned more than 12,000 gay men and more than 10,000lesbians, giving its results a minuscule error margin of plus or minus 1%.

The figures "demonstrate that the political parties would be smart to payattention to the issues that mean the most to gay and lesbian voters," saidTom Roth, president of Community Marketing. "We have far more at stake thanthe average voter, and we're therefore far more engaged in the politicalprocess."

Indeed, the turnout results were released -- not coincidentally -- as theDemocratic presidential contenders met in Los Angeles for the firstcandidate debate devoted to issues of particular interest to the lesbian,gay, bisexual and transgender communities.


The Ugandan opposition newspaper The Monitor writes:

News | August 11, 2007
Why police are not arresting homos
Testimonies: We are being persecuted

Our leading gay organisations have registered at least 160 members invarious places around the country despite the provisions of the criminalPenal Code Act that out law homosexual acts.

The organisations are: Freedom and Roam Uganda which has 43 members ,Integrity (49 members), Spectrum (40) and Ice Breakers (28).

The Penal Code states in Section 145 that "any person who has carnalknowledge of another person against nature" is guilty of a felony and can bepunished by life imprisonment.

So why do the law enforcement officials not apprehend people who havepublicly confessed to being homosexuals?

"You can't just arrest someone for saying they are gay," said Mr OscarKihika, the president of the Uganda Law Society. "That's like arrestingsomeone just because he says he stole something, with no proof. You have tohave a witness, and you would have to identify the stolen item before youcould press charges."

The only cases that can easily be handled under the law are those involvingminors who are presumed unable to consent to sex, which, in any case, isillegal whether heterosexual or homosexual.


The New York Times

August 13, 2007
Africans Woo Conservative U.S. Anglicans In Gay Row
Filed at 4:40 a.m. ET

JOHANNESBURG/NAIROBI (Reuters) - As an Anglican row over gay clergy deepens,growing numbers of conservative American priests are abandoning the liberalU.S. church and pledging allegiance to traditionalist African bishopsinstead.

Africans, who take a tough line on homosexuality, are keen to recruit thedissident priests as bishops under their own authority and to provide a newspiritual home for their clusters of wealthy U.S. congregations.

But liberals say African bishops are violating church rules by setting upfiefdoms in the United States and deepening a crisis that threatens to splitthe Anglican communion, a world-wide federation of 38 member churches.

"It's a terrible breach of longstanding Christian tradition. You don'tinvade someone else's territory just because you disagree with them," saidJan Nunley, deputy communications director for the U.S. Episcopal Church.

Traditionalist Anglicans, mostly from developing countries, are atloggerheads with the small but wealthy Episcopal Church -- the main Anglicanchurch in the United States headed by liberal Archbishop Katharine JeffertsSchori -- over whether to ordain openly gay priests.


The New York Times

August 13, 2007
Many States Cut Off Foster Youth at 18
Filed at 4:04 a.m. ET

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Anthony Pico qualifies as an expert on foster careafter spending 18 years in California's program. And he says it's far fromperfect.

But staying in the system and receiving financial help as long as possiblewould be much better than being cast adrift, said Pico, who took part in abroad discussion of foster care at a meeting of the American BarAssociation.

''I'm an adult, but I don't want to move out. I don't want to start payingrent. If I stay in until I'm 19 or 20, I'll be more stable and maybe I won'trepeat the cycle,'' Pico explained at a weekend session of foster careexperts and advocates at the ABA conference.

Pico, who lives in transitional housing in San Francisco, provides a humanface to a problem that frustrates the social workers, lawyers and judges whowork with foster children.

Many states cut off support for foster care youth when they turn 18, eventhough most people that age continue to receive financial help from theirfamilies.

And even when states do extend help, the children who have been in thefoster care system often decline the aid.

Belinda Edwards, a juvenile court judge in Atlanta, estimated that up to 70percent of the people who appear in her court ''want nothing more to dowith'' Georgia's child welfare system even though the state will providebenefits beyond the age of 18.


The Washington Post

Wrong Answer, Governor
The Democratic Calculus On Gay Rights Issues
By Jonathan Capehart
Monday, August 13, 2007; A11

Bloomberg News columnist Margaret Carlson and I were stealing glances ateach other when singer Melissa Etheridge asked New Mexico Gov. BillRichardson an easy question: "Do you think homosexuality is a choice, or isit biological?" His response was quick: "It's a choice!" My visible reactionto Carlson was equally quick: "Oh, no, he didn't!"

The occasion was Thursday's forum with the Democratic candidates forpresident, hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group, andLogo, the gay channel owned by Viacom. I served as a panelist at thetwo-hour event in Los Angeles. It was a historic moment for gays andlesbians nationwide, as many believed that one of the people who came tooffer their views on gay issues would be the next president of the UnitedStates. (Plans for a Republican forum were scrapped after GOP candidate MittRomney declined an invitation and John McCain and Rudy Giuliani did notrespond to invitations.)

The forum's organizers hoped to get the candidates to show their concern forthe gay and lesbian community and to see whether their understandingemanated from their consultant-generated talking points or from theirhearts. Clearly, Richardson's head needed some work. Even his campaignrecognized this -- it issued a "clarifying" statement not one hour after theevent. And on a gay radio show the next day, Richardson told hostMichelangelo Signorile that he didn't understand the question because of jetlag.


The Washington Post

Lutheran Congregation Keeps Gay Pastor
The Associated Press
Sunday, August 12, 2007; 8:03 PM

ATLANTA -- With hugs and cheers Sunday, members of Atlanta's oldest Lutheranchurch celebrated the pastor at the center of a battle over the treatment ofgay clergy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The support for the Rev. Bradley Schmeling at St. John's Lutheran Churchcame a day after the national assembly of the ELCA in Chicago urged bishopsto refrain from defrocking gay and lesbian ministers who violate a celibacyrule. The assembly's action fell short of permitting ordained gayschurchwide.

Schmeling called the assembly's vote a "crack in the dam" and told the morethan 100 people gathered in the St. John's sanctuary that the congregationhad "given its gift" to the ELCA.

"The hard work, the struggle, has really finally made a difference for yearsto come," he said.

Schmeling became a focus of the ELCA's debate over gay clergy when he wasremoved from the church's clergy roster last year after he told his bishopthat he was in a relationship with a man.


The Boston Globe

Giuliani continues his conservative shift
Favors fewer rights for same-sex unions
By Brian C. Mooney, Globe Staff | August 13, 2007

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani continues to discard the moderate andliberal positions of his past. The latest is civil unions for same-sexcouples, which the Republican presidential candidate has been backing awayfrom in recent months.

A campaign aide told the Globe this weekend that Giuliani favors a much moremodest set of rights for gay partners than civil union laws in effect infour states offer.

Giuliani has described himself as a backer of civil unions and is frequentlydescribed that way in news reports. But he began distancing himself fromcivil unions in late April, when his campaign told The New York Sun that NewHampshire's new law goes too far because it is "the equivalent of marriage,"which he has always opposed for gays.

Giuliani's aides offered little explanation of what specific rights he wouldsupport for same-sex couples.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sun, Aug. 12, 2007
Childhood mortality declines in South Florida, nationwide

Christmas 2003, Sofia Blanco, then 4, got an unusual gift -- a few days onan Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation machine. It had so many tubes runningin and out of it, and her, that it seemed she was being swallowed by anoctopus.

But it kept her breathing, her blood circulating, long enough that she couldstart chemotherapy for lymphoma. ''Without that machine, she wouldn't behere today,'' says Sofia's mother, Marta, 42, tearing up at the memory.

Nationwide, such innovative machines, plus improved medical methods, newdrugs and safety campaigns like those for seat belts and smoke detectorshave achieved a modern good-news statistic:

Childhood death rates from all causes have dropped by nearly half since1980, according to a recent federal report.

''A lot of work and research have made pediatrics a much more encouragingfield than it was 30 years ago,'' says Dr. Jeffrey Sussmane, a medicaldirector at Miami Children's Hospital, where Sofia was treated.


Candidates are courting gay, lesbian vote in Salt Lake City
By Bob Bernick Jr. and Lee Davidson
Deseret Morning News
Published: August 12, 2007

As the Salt Lake City mayoral race approaches next month's Sept. 11 primary,the campaigns of several candidates are behaving more like they're runningraces in San Francisco or Boston than Utah.

Campaign reports show candidates are spending money to court gay and lesbiangroups, to support Planned Parenthood, to buy liquor and even to entertaincampaign staff at the Salt Lake Acting Company's famously irreverent"Saturday's Voyeur."

Maybe the most significant finding emerging from spending data is thecandidates' increasing perceived importance of the gay vote in Utah'scapital city.

"I've been told by the (Democratic) party and those who know city electionsthat if you don't do well in the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual andtransgender) community, you don't do well" in the election, said mayoralcandidate Jenny Wilson, a Salt Lake County councilwoman.

Wilson held a slight lead among the nine official candidates in a recentDeseret Morning News/KSL-TV poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates.


Hate crime charges reduced for second high school girl

WOODSTOCK - A second girl was cleared of a felony hate crime charge Thursdayfor circulating fliers at her Crystal Lake high school that depicted twomale classmates kissing beside text that included a derogatory term forgays.

The 16-year-old girl pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct andresisting arrest. In exchange, juvenile prosecutors agreed to drop the hatecrime charge and an unrelated marijuana possession charge.

The Northwest Herald is not naming the girl because she was prosecuted as ajuvenile.

When sentenced Sept. 13, a judge will have several options that range fromprison to supervision. Prosecutors said it was unlikely they'd seek a prisonterm and would probably seek probation.

Both the girl and her mother declined to comment after court Thursday. Herattorney, Hal Stinespring, said the girl pleaded guilty to put the incidentbehind her.


Male prostitute who outed megapreacher to act in play
posted by: Dan Boniface , Web Producer created: 8/12/2007 12:28:53 PM
Last updated: 8/12/2007 12:33:08 PM

BOULDER (AP) - Mike Jones, the male prostitute who cost Ted Haggard his jobas leader of the New Life megachurch, will act in a play inspired by hisactions.

The Denver Post said the play, to be performed next week in Boulder's FringeFestival, is produced by "The Perfect Disgrace" theater company.

Playwright Brian Bauman, himself gay, says he thinks Mike Jones is a hero.

The play is called "Porridge." Bauman says Jones' lacking of traditionalacting experience is irrelevant.

Jones said the play is about dealing with lies, and his lies are verypoetic.


Monday, 13 August 2007 00:20
Norm Kent: Publisher
Four Month Retrospective
Some Thoughts on the National Gay News

After four months, no grand retrospective here. But a couple of things jumpout at me.

First, we are beginning to be noticed, read, and heard. Advertisers arecalling, columnists are writing, and prudent national gay organizations arefinally and wisely sending us their press releases, so we can give life andcover to their energy and efforts. We want to. But you have to let us knowwhat you are doing and when. From Michigan to Miami, we are here for you.

Second, the biggest difference between a local and national paper I now seeis that while we all want to see what is going on in our hometown- politicsis local- gay life is universal.

You see, it is not just that we have a Neanderthal for a Mayor in FortLauderdale. You find homophobia in a restaurant in Kansas City wherelesbians are booted for kissing. You see it in Spain when a jurist says gayscan't raise kids.

You see it ooze out of corporations who will not provide partnershipbenefits. You see the transgendered discriminated against more publicly incity after city as they fight for their rights. And we are still fightingfor funding for AIDS.


Italian Politician Calls For Ethnic Cleansing Of Gays
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 12, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Rome) A call by the deputy mayor of Treviso for the ethnic cleansing ofgays from the region, in the north of Italy, has sparked a massdemonstration.

Nearly a thousand people turned out in front of the city hall on the weekendto demand the resignation of Giancarlo Gentilini.

Last week the rightwing politician told a local television station that hewould order police to put an end to gay cruising which he claimed was out ofcontrol.

"I will immediately give orders to my forces so that they can carry out anethnic cleansing of faggots," Gentilini told the station in an interview.

"The faggots must go to other [places] where they are welcome. Here inTreviso there is no chance for faggots or the like."


Malaysia's First Openly Gay Pastor Appeals For Acceptance
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 12, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET

(Kuala Lumpur) Malaysia's first openly gay Christian pastor conducted acontroversial worship service Sunday, calling on mainstream churches not todiscriminate against gays.

Rev. Ouyang Wen Feng - an ethnic Chinese Malaysian who was ordained aminister in the United States in May and has worked a New York church - tolda congregation of nearly 80 people, mainly gay men and women, to "reclaimour faith and celebrate our sexuality."

"For some of us, especially our gay brothers and sisters, we haveexperienced firsthand that Christianity has been used to persecuteminorities," Ouyang said during the service in a Kuala Lumpur hotel.

Ouyang, 37, has sparked concerns among Malaysian Christian community leadersafter he recently declared that he hopes to set up a church in thispredominantly Muslim nation, which has large Christian, Buddhist and Hinduminorities.

A church that accepts gay relationships would face stiff opposition fromboth Muslim and Christian conservatives in Malaysia. Although homosexualityis not specifically a crime in this Southeast Asian country, it is coveredunder a law prohibiting sodomy, which is punishable by up to 20 years inprison and whipping.


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