Thursday, August 16, 2007

GLBT DIGEST August 16, 2007

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Florida School Board Preparing New Attempt To Ban Gay Student Group
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 15, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Okeechobee, Florida) Despite an ongoing federal lawsuit challenging theOkeechobee County School Board's banning of a Gay-Straight Organization theboard is moving to tighten its rules governing clubs.

In April U.S. District Court Judge K. Michael Moore issued a preliminaryinjunction ordering the school district to allow the club to meet on schoolproperty while the civil rights lawsuit is being heard. (story)

Nevertheless the school board is moving forward with new regulations to barwhat it calls "sex-based clubs," a move the American Civil Liberties Unionwhich is representing the gay students at the school says is aimed at tryingto skirt the injunction.

The board will hold a final vote next month on the new regulations.

The ACLU says if the measures pass it will return to court for a newinjunction and seek legal costs.

The students began the struggle to form the club in 2006 after studentYasmin Gonzalez and her girlfriend were told they could not attend theschool prom as a couple. The rejection was one of several incidentstargeting LGBT students at Okeechobee High School.

The school blocked from meeting on campus and the students sought the helpof the ACLU which filed the federal lawsuit.

The ACLU argues that the Equal Access Act stipulates that when a schoolallows any non-curricular club to meet on campus, it must allow allnon-curricular clubs to meet on campus.

But school district attorney David Gibbs says that the Equal Access Actcan't be used in the case of a GSA and furthermore Florida law requiresschools to teach abstinence, "while teaching the benefits of monogamousheterosexual marriage."

In granting the preliminary injunction Judge Moore said that the schoolboard's attorneys had failed to show that the GSA was a "sex-based club".


Maybe segregated public restrooms are needed?
August 16, 2007

Perhaps, as when public facilities were labeled "black" and "white," theyshould now be labeled "gay" and "straight." It might solve all thisunnecessary nonsense fomented by Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle.

Cyn Delafield
Fort Lauderdale


Some want transgender protection now
August 16, 2007
By William Butte

"I just don't think there should be all these little laws protectingeverybody."

In words practically dripping with condescension, Barbara Collier,chairwoman of Broward's Christian Coalition, recently expressed herdisapproval at the idea of the Broward County Commission extending "littlelaws" through the county's Human Rights Ordinance to protect transgenderfolks from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.

With the focus of a religious zealot, Collier said she'd not only try toblock the new provision but would support using it to launch anall-compassing repeal effort in yet another attempt to overturn theordinance's similar protections for the gay community.

The threat of such action has gay leaders in the county divided.

Some want county commissioners to include transgender protections as soon aspossible - even if three county-wide elections next year would giveopponents like Collier three opportunities to get a repeal referendum on theballot, at the same time the gay community faces a proposed statewide ballotmeasure next November that would ban same-sex marriage and domesticpartnerships.

Other leaders, however, feel it's best to wait until next May before adding transgender protections to the county ordinance, which would thwart any attempt at a repeal until at least 2010, giving transgender supporters time to organize, raise money and allow anti-transgender sentiment to cool, while llowing the gay community to focus resources next year specifically against the anticipated amendment to ban same-sex marriage and domestic

But just how controversial is the idea of expanding anti-discrimination protection to the transgender community in South Florida?

When the Oakland Park City Commission met last month and unanimously agreed to proceed with adding gender identity and expression to the city's anti-discrimination policy to protect the rights of its transgender employees, no one spoke out against it.

Additionally, transgender protections have passed in Key West and Monroe County in 2003, in Miami Beach in 2004, and in West Palm Beach and Lake Worth earlier this year, minus any public outcry.

Nationally, a poll commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign in September 2004 found that 65 percent of respondents thought it should be illegal to fire or refuse employment to someone because they are transgender.

However, the issue of transgender rights isn't without controversy in Florida. Earlier this year, Largo city commissioners bowed to the uproar of eligious and social conservatives and subsequently fired the city manager when it became public knowledge that he was about to transition to a woman, even though Largo prohibits discrimination in public employment on the basis of gender identity and expression.

And with Collier's forewarning, it appears if Broward County commissioners vote to include transgender folks to the county's Human Rights Ordinance this year, religious and social conservatives will launch an all-encompassing repeal effort next year to block the new provision and rescind current protections to the gay community against discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations, and the ability to register as domestic partners.

But maybe a public battle waged against the basic civil rights of Broward's GLBT community, brought about at the same time as a proposed state-wide amendment banning same-sex marriage "or the substantial equivalent thereof" by religious and social conservatives who innocently claim they simply want too define marriage without jeopardizing "rights to unmarried persons," will help the GLTB community by exposing fair-minded Florida voters to the hypocrisy and lies of our opponents. And perhaps through that, Florida's eterosexual couples in a "substantial equivalent" relationship to marriage will question whether they've been told the truth that with the amendment in place future court decisions won't strip away their rights.

William Butte, a commentator on issues affecting the GLBT community, lives in Deerfield Beach. E-mail him at


Legislator removed from committee posts following sex arrest
The Associated Press
August 16, 2007

TALLAHASSEE -- State Rep. Bob Allen was removed from his committeeassignments Wednesday by House Speaker Marco Rubio, who said his fellowRepublican can no longer effectively represent his constituents while hefaces a solicitation charge.

Allen, R-Merritt Island, was charged with misdemeanor solicitation forprostitution after allegedly offering an undercover officer $20 to performoral sex July 11 at a Titusville park, police said.

Rubio said in a statement that the House will respect Allen's right todefend himself against the charge but that public officials are judged by ahigher standard than other citizens. The speaker removed Allen from theEnergy Committee, of which he was chairman, and the Environment and NaturalResources Council.

"The mere presumption of impropriety can interfere with our officialfunction," Rubio said. "It is my personal belief that because of theallegations against him, Rep. Allen can no longer effectively serve thepeople of his district in the Florida House."

Allen, 48, said that he respected Rubio's right to make committee changesbut that the speaker's comments insinuated he already had been provedguilty.


Posted on Tue, Aug. 14, 2007
City to shut down porn house

The residents of Northeast 27th Street in Edgewater may not have neighborslike Pretty Ricky, Jerzey Flyrt and Nick Da Kannon for much longer.

After 10 hours of listening to evidence and arguments, Miami's CodeEnforcement Board ruled late Monday that Phillip Bleicher's Flava Works, anInternet porn production and distribution company, is illegally running anadult entertainment business out of a single-family home at 503 NE 27thSt. -- zoned for residential use -- and ordered that those operations cease.

''I think the city has met its burden of showing a link between the house on27th Street and the website,'' board member Oscar Rodriguez Fonts saidbefore moving to deny a motion, made by Flava Works attorney James Benjamin,to dismiss citations posted by city code inspectors in May.

The website is, where visitors can, for a fee, watch live videostreams from the Edgewater house, where chiseled young males are paid$1,200, plus room, board and meals, to live in the two-story home for amonth and have sex with each other on schedule.

Monday's hearing was the third in the sex-house case. Assistant CityAttorney Victoria Mendez argued that Bleicher also was running an illegalrooming house, but that violation was dismissed.


Reader shares correspondence with Mayor Jim Naugle
From Web reader Jeff Bluth of Washington, D.C.:

After watching a recent CNN interview of Mayor James Naugle, I feltcompelled to write to him expressing my disbelief in his bigoted remarksabout refusing to refer to homosexuals as "gays" because, as he put it"homosexuals are unhappy". I thought you might be interested to see theemail I wrote and even more, what his response to me was.

Dear Mr. Naugle,

Thank goodness I have made enough visits to the beautiful area of Ft.Lauderdale to know that your bigoted opinion of gays and lesbians isn't feltby all of the residents of Broward County. This having been said howeveryour recent appearance and comments on CNN are laced with prejudice and hateand would cause me to think twice about where to spend my vacation dollarswhile you are in office.

Your role as an elected official does not give you a license to spread yourown opinion. If I were a resident of Broward County, I would be one citizencalling for your resignation.

Tell me, Mr. Naugle, what academic credentials do you possess that give youthe 'knowledge' to assert that "homosexuals are unhappy". This is recklessand certainly a case of open-mouth-insert-foot.


MTVN's Logo To Buy Gay Social Network
by Gavin O'Malley, Thursday, Aug 16, 2007 6:00 AM ET

LOGO, MTV NETWORKS' CABLE CHANNEL for gays and lesbians, has agreed to buy, a social network for multicultural lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender audiences. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition is part of MTVN's niche programming strategy to better serveup targeted audiences to advertisers, and firm up Logo's "role as theleading online and on-air source of entertainment for the LGBT community aswell as the best way for advertisers to reach them," said Lisa Sherman,senior vice president and general manager of the network.

With a community of some 400,000 members, DowneLink is a solid addition toLogo's growing assembly of affiliated Web sites for the gay and lesbiancommunity. Existing sites include, the recentlylaunched, along with, and, each of which were acquired last summer.

About 72% of DowneLink's members are African-American, Asian or Latino,while the gender breakdown is balanced between men and women, according to acompany spokesperson.

Encouraged by advertisers attempting to target ever more niche audiences,the world of media is presently undergoing hyper-segmentation andspecialization. Logo is one of a growing number of channels through whichadvertisers can reach gays and lesbians directly.


Scottsdale takes step to improve image with gays
Lesley Wright
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 15, 2007 06:47 PM

SCOTTSDALE - Nicholas Gearing was not feeling Scottsdale's famoushospitality last month when two men called him "faggot," smashed his carwindows and punched him hard enough to crack his jawbone after he and afriend left a local bar.

The 27-year-old had just suffered Scottsdale's second hate crime againstgays in six months, and Gearing described his initial encounters withScottsdale police as "negative."

But Gearing was full of praise for the city and the police Wednesday, whenhe joined a press conference that featured activists from the gay-rightsgroup Equality Arizona, Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell and ScottsdaleMayor Mary Manross - all pledging to work together to make Scottsdale awelcoming place for gays to live, work and visit.

For Manross, a high-profile meeting with the group that afternoon was achance to try and heal a series of incidents that have dealt a body blow toScottsdale's reputation as a sophisticated international destination:

. A transgender patron filed a complaint with the state's Attorney Generalagainst Anderson's Fifth Estate Night Club after she and her friends werethrown out of the bar. Anderson said he would fight the allegations ofdiscrimination.


August 16, 2007
Political circus in Poland takes aim at Tinky Winky

What do you get when two identical twins who gained fame as impish childactors become president and prime minister of their country? In Poland,political vaudeville.

Ever since Lech and Jaroslaw Kaczynski won election in 2005, Poland'spolitical scene has become so loony that some humorists are hailing it agolden age of political entertainment.

''Life just surpasses my capabilities as a satirist-very many of the thingsthat have happened in Poland in recent years could not have been thought upby the best satirists,'' said cartoonist Szczepan Sadurski.

Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski last year brought two unpredictablepopulist parties into the coalition in an effort to shore up hisgovernment-an uncomfortable alliance that was an endless source of politicalfarce until it collapsed this week.

Parliament at one point held a special Mass to pray for rain during adrought. A ruling party official called for investigating the children's TVshow Teletubbies because the character Tinky Winky appeared to be gay. Andtwo eccentric cabinet ministers showed up at a news conference with stuffedtoy foxes.


August 16, 2007
Lesbian soldier avoids jail in New Zealand domestic assault case

An unidentified lesbian soldier from New Zealand avoided a jail sentenceafter being charged with beating her partner on Valentine's Day. The33-year-old soldier was ordered to 250 hours of community service, the NewZealand Herald reported.

Her military career is still being determined, according to officials. Shewas set to serve in Afghanistan but could not be deployed because of thepending case.

After finding out that she faced a prison sentence, the defense pleadedguilty to assault charges. The attack was allegedly a 90-minute one-sidedbrawl in which the victim was dragged around her home by her hair and shirtwhile being punched and kicked. The soldier's attorney said the fight wasmutual and that the severity of the fight could be disputed.

The defendant voluntarily attended anger management courses, and the couplemay get back together. (The Advocate)


August 16, 2007
Homophobic firefighters receive threatening calls

A group of firefighters who claim they were forced into participating in theSan Diego gay pride parade against their will and who allege they weresexually harassed by parade spectators now say they are receiving threatsfor lodging a complaint.

One of the complainants, Capt. John Ghiotto, told San Diego NBC affiliateKNSD Monday that he and the other three firefighters have receivedthreatening phone calls since filing a formal grievance.

Ghiotto, Jason Hewett, Chad Allison, and Alex Kane were ordered to drive afire truck through the July 21 parade against their wishes. They objectedbut were directed to participate to avoid disciplinary action.

A formal complaint sent August 1 to the state's Department of FairEmployment said that the department failed to protect them from becomingtargets of sexual gestures and taunting and also did not act immediately toaddress the problem. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

August 16, 2007
Gay rumor rocks Brazilian soccer

The director of a prominent soccer team insinuates on national televisionthat a player on a rival team is gay. The player sues for slander and goeson TV to deny it. A judge causes an uproar by saying gays don't belong inBrazilian soccer.

With a narrative like a Latin American soap opera, the flap over the sexualorientation of Sao Paulo midfielder Richarlyson has shaken the hallowed andmacho institution of Brazilian soccer.

The commotion started in June when Palmeiras club director Jose CyrilloJunior was asked on TV whether it was true that a soccer player from histeam was negotiating for an exclusive TV interview to announce he was gay.

Cyrillo denied the report but added, "Richarlyson almost played forPalmeiras," suggesting the 24-year-old player was gay.

Cyrillo later apologized, but Richarlyson filed a criminal complaint forslander.


August 16, 2007
N.J. residents gravitate toward full marriage equality

New Jersey voters wouldn't object if the state legislature upgraded itssix-month-old civil union law to full marriage equality, according to aZogby poll released Wednesday by Garden State Equality.

Sixty-three percent of New Jersey voters said they would be fine withlawmakers enacting same-sex marriage, according to the poll taken August8-10.

An even larger number, nearly 72%, said lawmakers would not lose their jobsover the issue "because people care about other issues more," pollsters

The poll, conducted by Zogby for the gay rights organization, anticipatesSunday's six-month anniversary of the civil union law.

Respondents were asked their feelings on marriage equality in two slightlydifferent ways, Garden State Equality said, in order to guide activists'phrasing of the issue.


It's time to allow gays to serve openly in the military
By Josh Gibbs

Last month, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, comparedhomosexuality to adultery in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. "Weprosecute that kind of immoral behavior," he said.

You can be punished for adultery and stay in the service. For homosexuality,the punishment is cut and dried, and years of honorable service are ended.

The common perception is that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy isnecessary because straight service members will not be able to do their jobsproperly if gay men and women are allowed to serve openly alongside them.Some people also say gay service members would not be able to control theirhomosexual urges. Proponents of this argument make it seem as if gay servicemembers will immediately try to strike up romantic relationships with everyman or woman within arm's reach.

Am I the only one who feels that, of all the arguments, this one is a littletoo chauvinistic? Or am I wrong to assume that no one, regardless of gender,could ever resist the allure of a man in a foxhole who hasn't showered inthree days?

Why do we still cling to the as-yet unproven notion that if gay men andwomen are allowed to serve openly, unit cohesion and morale would suffer?This assertion is an insult to the professionalism of the U.S. military andan affront to our Constitution.


Aug. 15, 2007, 5:51PM
Eyes wide shut
Arlington church has a right to reject gay man; the armed services do not.

It seems incredible that no one at Arlington's High Point Church saw theobvious: that Cecil Sinclair, a dying 46-year-old Desert Storm veteranawaiting a heart transplant, was gay.

The church had reached out to Sinclair in his illness because his brotherwas a janitor and a church congregant. While Sinclair was in the hospital,High Point's audio-visual minister met Sinclair's life partner. WhenSinclair died, church officials knew the Turtle Creek Chorale, a gay men'schorus, had been asked to sing at the funeral.

But it was only after Sinclair's obituary ran that Pastor Gary Simonsclumsily canceled a memorial service it had offered for Sinclair - the daybefore it was to take place.

Simons' leadership was graceless, but High Point is a private institutionand is entitled to reject whom it wants to.

As Sinclair's partner Paul Wagner, a Desert Storm veteran and a member ofthe armed forces for 16 years, put it, "I have fought for their right tohate me."


Article published Aug 13, 2007
Aug 13, 2007
Transgender woman reflects on life changes

Robbie Cohn talks with a reporter about her transgender selection and thedifficulties she faces on an ongoing basis. Bobbie Jamison/The DispatchBY SHA'DAY JACKSON
The Dispatch

Robbie Cohn, 56, has decided she will no longer pretend to be someone she isnot.

"After the genie was out of the bottle, I told myself that I would neverlive in denial ever again," said Cohn, who was born a man but has beenliving for 41/2 years as a transgender woman.

"I don't deny the fact that I'm transgender. By the same token, I don't weara T-shirt that says, 'kiss me, I'm trans.' I don't have it tattooed on myforehead."

Confused, in denial and living a lie are the words to describe the emotionsCohn kept built up inside until she came out and began to live her life as awoman and not a man.

"I thought that somehow it would go away," said Cohn, recalling howuncomfortable she felt while living as a man. "(I thought) that there was away to cure it, a way to stop it ... "


Warren Throckmorton: Dr. Blog
by Wayne Besen

Every now and again, a snake will show its fangs. Case in point is Dr.Warren Throckmorton, one of America's leading "ex-gay" therapists. Lastweek, a Nebraska-based website ( so obscureit was inaccessible by popular search engines such as Google, was discoveredby right wing activists. What the website had to say was quite disturbing.

"Without GSA [gay straight alliance] access, students are forced to simplykill classmates who taunt & bully - shooting, stabbing and poisoning are thecommon forms of retribution."

Immediately, anti-gay groups rightfully criticized the site. However, theywere disingenuous in their conjured anger, as their real target was not theugly message, but the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network (GLSEN) thathelps students form GSA's. The GSA clubs protect students from bullying andcreate safe space where they can find support.

Throckmorton wasted no time implicitly tying the website to official GSA's -the only problem was, GLSEN, had nothing to do with the website. Ex-GayWatch uncovered that a country activist, Brian Wyant, who no one outside ofOmaha had ever heard of, ran the offending site. The next day, Throckmortonran a hollow apology, but the damage was done.

As usual, Throckmorton, who masquerades as a moderate, takes everyopportunity he can to bash the GLBT community. He is so zealous, that hehardly has time to fact check, which is an embarrassment for a doctor whofancies himself an expert on ex-gay issues.

For the first time in ten years, the American Psychological Association isreviewing its policy on counseling GLBT people and will address theexplosive issue of ex-gay therapy. Throckmorton is spearheading theopposition with sophistic arguments about patient self-determination.Although, he has yet to show how his very determined gay clients havechanged themselves into heterosexuals. His goal is to pressure the APA intocarving out a religious exception to ethical therapy, where ex-gaytherapists can torment religious clients without repercussions.

What is amazing is how anti-gay groups are so desperate to find doctors topromote ex-gay therapy that they turn to underachievers like Throckmorton,an unlicensed psychologist who has never been a member of the APA.Throckmorton works at Grove City College, a small Christian school in a townwith a population of 8,000.


Former UN Envoy Blasts South African AIDS Policy
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 15, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Cape Town, South Africa) A former U.N. envoy accused South Africa's leaderof presiding over an "AIDS apocalypse," saying Wednesday that PresidentThabo Mbeki's dismissal of the country's widely praised deputy healthminister last week crushed a glimmer of hope in the fight against theepidemic.

Stephen Lewis, who recently retired as U.N. special envoy on HIV/AIDS inAfrica, called for international pressure on the government to implement anambitious anti-AIDS campaign.

"It is said that 900 men, women and children die every day in South Africaof AIDS-related illnesses. It's Armageddon every 24 hours," Lewis wrote inan opinion piece for South African newspapers. "Other than South Africa,every government in the high-prevalence countries is moving heaven and earthto keep its people alive.

Mbeki, long accused by activists of being in denial about HIV/AIDS, lastweek fired deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, who had clashedopenly with the president's close ally, Health Minister MantoTshabalala-Msimang. Mbeki said Madlala-Routledge refused to act as part of ateam.

Tshabalala-Msimang has been the object of international criticism forpromoting garlic, lemons and beets as therapy for people with AIDS, and forher open mistrust of antiretroviral medicines.


Chinese Province Bars AIDS Group
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 15, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Beijing) Henan province, in central China, has barred AIDS activists fromholding a meeting to discuss ways of educating the public about the virus alocal HIV/AIDS group said Wednesday.

The meeting was to have included about two dozen experts and activists andwould have taken place August 19 and 20th.

Provincial officials first said they would allow to conference to take placeprovided only people from Henan were involved. The organizers agreed todemands that people from other parts of China, foreigners, the media wereexcluded.

Meng Lin from China Alliance of People Living with HIV/AIDS, told theReuters news agency that late Tuesday the government cancelled the meetingaltogether.

Meng told Reuters that the government said the organization was notregistered and that the meeting would be illegal.


Sydney Gay Neighborhood Turning Violent
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 15, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Sydney, Australia) Sydney's gay community centered along Oxford Street isworld renowned for its clubs and bars but the area is becoming increasinglydangerous and members of the community are demanding a greater policepresence.

About 10,000 people converge on the area every weekend.

On one weekend alone this month there were at least three violent assaultsin the area. In one a gay man was beaten with a beer bottle. In another aman was punched in the face. All three incidents occurred in broad daylightand passersby were either too frightened or insensitive to intervene.

All three victims received hospital treatment.

A recent survey by the LGBT paper The Sydney Star Observer found that 70percent of respondents said they no longer felt safe in the area.


Virginia Seizes Assets Of Pair Accused Of Killing Gay Porn Producer
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 15, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Two Virginia men who operated a gay pornbusiness and are accused of killing a competitor have surrendered theirassets to avoid separate charges of racketeering.

Harlow Cuadra, 25, and Joseph Kerekes, 33, are accused of killing gay adultfilmmaker Bryan Charles Kocis last January in rural Pennsylvania.

When the pair became suspects Virginia Beach police became involved in theinvestigation and started looking into their business.

The racketeering charges were filed after the murder charges.

Court documents show that among the assets seized were thousands of dollarsworth of jewelry, plasma TVs, computers and various other home entertainmentsystems.


The New York Times

August 16, 2007
Fort Lauderdale Journal
A Mayor Stands by His Comments, and Gay Advocates Stand Against Him

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Aug. 15 - The uproar began last month, when Mayor JimNaugle said that installing a single-occupancy restroom on a local beachcould deter "homosexual activity."

Mr. Naugle, a six-term mayor in this city that draws legions of gay touristsand residents, went on to tell a local newspaper that he preferred the word"homosexual" to "gay" because he believed many gay people were "unhappy."Soon after, he criticized a plan to house a private gay book collection in apublic library because it contained pornography.

Outraged local residents called for his resignation, started a "Flush Naugle" campaign and organized a protest rally that brought hundreds toCity Hall in late July, a time of year when South Florida usually verges oncomatose. That day, Mr. Naugle announced that he would issue an apology.

And he did - to "the children and parents of our community," for not beingaware of "how serious the problem was of the sexual activity that's takingplace in bathrooms and public places and parks." He questioned whetherBroward County should continue telling tourists to "come on down," citing2004 statistics that found it led the nation in new AIDS cases.

Outspoken gay residents say Mr. Naugle's comments have prompted moreactivism and solidarity than this city of 185,000 has seen in years. A newgroup, Unite Fort Lauderdale, has formed to "reclaim the respect and dignityof our citizens and the reputation of the city of Fort Lauderdale,"
according to its Web site.

About 125 people attended the group's first meeting Tuesday, said DeanTrantalis, a former city commissioner who is openly gay. "It wasn't a hardsell," Mr. Trantalis said. "It was almost as if people were waiting for thismoment to come together and say, 'We are a diverse and yet united people,and we are not going to stand for the bigotry and isolated point of view ofthis mayor.' "

The group intends to cultivate candidates to replace Mr. Naugle, 53, whowill leave office in 2009 because of term limits approved in 2000. Aneighboring city, Wilton Manors, has a majority-gay commission and another,Oakland Park, has an openly gay mayor. And the metropolitan region anchoredby Fort Lauderdale has a higher concentration of same-sex couple householdsthan any other city on the East Coast, according to "The Gay and LesbianAtlas," published in 2004.

Michael Albetta, president of the Florida Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual andTransgender Democratic Caucus, said that Mr. Naugle had rankled gayresidents before, but that they had not actively sought a more inclusivemayor until now.

"Shame on us," Mr. Albetta said. "We're definitely going to be morecognizant of which candidates are going to run for mayor next time."

In an interview, Mr. Naugle - who described himself as "extremely"conservative despite being a registered Democrat, like half the city'sregistered voters - said he had received 4,000 e-mail messages in recentweeks, mostly supportive. A "climate of permissiveness" has developed in thecity, he said, similar to when Fort Lauderdale was a magnet for rowdy springbreakers several decades ago.

"It has become kind of like the days of spring break," he said, "when weended up clamping down because people were jumping off balconies and otherthings. We are kind of going in that direction with the gay tourism."

The city has many gay bars, guesthouses and other businesses, but its gaysocial scene is generally more spread out and laid back that of Miami, about30 miles to the south.

Gay newspapers and blogs around the country have blasted Fort Lauderdale inrecent weeks; The Bay Area Reporter in San Francisco even urged gay touriststo boycott the city.

"There's a tidal wave that's happening out there," Mr. Albetta said, "andpeople don't want to come down and spend their money in Fort Lauderdale."

Last week, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau andthe Broward County Commission sent a letter to gay groups and meetingplanners who have events scheduled here in the coming year. It describes theregion as "a warmly welcoming destination that is safe, unbiased and gayfriendly." The bureau estimates that 950,000 gay tourists contribute $1.2billion a year to the local economy.

"I'm concerned about the $1 billion," Mr. Naugle said in the interview, "butI'm more concerned about protection of parks for our kids and saving lives."

He said the yachting and boating industry was more lucrative for FortLauderdale than tourism was. But he also said he welcomed gay tourists andresidents, adding, "I have longtime friends in the homosexual community."

Mr. Naugle said that only four people had been arrested since 2005 oncharges of having sex in public restrooms, but that such arrests weresomewhat more common in city parks. He encouraged residents to call thepolice if they spot "homosexual activity" in public places, he said, addingthat an arrest was made recently across from a Little League ball field.

"Frankly, people have been complacent with all this inclusiveness, politicalcorrectness," Mr. Naugle said. "Our goal is to change behavior."

He said that while he once considered running for Congress, his current planis to return to real estate, his longtime profession, and maybe workpart-time as the host of a talk-radio program.

"I wouldn't say never," Mr. Naugle said of running for higher office, "but Idon't have plans to run for anything other than a great dad and provider."


The Washington Post

D.C. to Fire 3 Over Woman's Detention as a Man
Corrections Officers Ignored Inmate's Protests Over Mix-Up During Arrest,Jail Processing

By David Nakamura
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 16, 2007; B01

District officials plan to fire three corrections officers who failed torealize a woman was being held in the male detention unit at the D.C. jaillast month even after she had been strip-searched and allowed to shower withmale inmates, government sources said yesterday.

Virginia Grace Soto, 47, was arrested July 14 and thought to be a mandespite her repeated protests otherwise, according to two internal reportsby D.C. police and the Department of Corrections obtained by The WashingtonPost.

Although Soto came in contact with at least nine jail employees, only threeare being terminated. Government sources wouldn't disclose their namesyesterday, but one was said to be a supervisor.

The corrections officers "failed to comply [with] standard intake searchpolicies as mandated," a 73 - page internal report by the CorrectionsDepartment says.

"We want to send a signal that this behavior will not be tolerated," said ahigh-ranking D.C. government official who spoke on condition of anonymitybecause the termination proceedings are underway.


Monday, Aug. 13, 2007


High Point Church Reached New Low Point On Basic Human Decency

NEW YORK - Truth Wins Out expressed outrage today over a Texas Church thatreneged on a promise to hold a memorial service for a Navy veteran once itlearned he was gay. High Point Church's pastor, Rev. Gary Simons, shouldimmediately resign for gross insensitivity of a family in mourning,substituting bad manners for good morals and a dereliction of duty forfailing to provide basic pastoral care.

"This is not a church, but a 'hate house' that has elevated prejudice aboveprinciple and discrimination above basic human decency," said Truth WinsOut's Executive Director Wayne Besen. "The hellish treatment of a family inmourning by a supposed house of God is an abomination and we strongly urgepastor Simons to resign. These ugly actions are a glimpse of theunconscionable religion-based bigotry often faced by gay and lesbian peopleon a daily basis."

Cecil Howard Sinclair, 46, was a patriotic veteran who served in DesertStorm helping rescuers find downed pilots. He died this week from aninfection after surgery to prepare him for a heart transplant.

His brother was a janitor at High Point Church, so the congregation offeredto host his memorial service. However, the church broke its word after hisobituary listed his life partner as one of his survivors.


Wilton Manors - Bowling Social to support Shadowood II

We're approaching our next Wilton Manors Gay Bowling Social event. Theevent will take place on Friday, August 17th at Manor Lanes in WiltonManors. As in the past, we ask that you try to arrive around 9:30, so thatwe can fill the lanes we have reserved. During the last event, we had almost60 bowlers, so space is limited. Please email me if you are planning onattending the event or leave a message on my new cell number, 954.547.8400.It is important to get an initial number to reserve the lanes in advance.

The cost to bowl is $20, $5 of which is donated directly to Shadowood II.Shoes are extra and you can bowl all night. We will also be doing a 50/50raffle and giving away some amazing gift certificates as part of the raffle.During the last event, we broke many records, including over $800 in raffleticket sales. Our check to Shadowood II was the biggest ever. Please comeout and help us break some more records and continue helping those who areless fortunate than ourselves.

What started as a few friends hanging out on Friday night has turned in to afun group of people who enjoy giving back to the community. The people atShadowood II know that you could choose to be doing something else on Fridaynight and thank you for your time and generosity. Now, lets have some funnext Friday!

Also, if you or someone you know owns a business that would like to donategift certificates or prizes to help our cause, please let me know. The moregreat prizes we have, the more money we raise. Thanks to those who havehelped out with gathering prizes and those businesses who have generouslydonated to our event.

Hope to see you all next Friday.

Tommy LaFashia


Forwarded from People for the American Way

On September 6, Ann Coulter will be speaking at Xavier University in Ohio.You can help turn her hatemongering against her, and the rest of the FarRight. Here's how.

People For is teaming up with state groups like ProgressOhio and EqualityOhio to raise support for the progressive student groups at Xavier thatfight for the American values -- equality, diversity, social justice --Coulter routinely attacks. Since Coulter's speaking fee of $20,000+ equalsabout $5 per Xavier student, we are asking progressives to chip in $5 tosupport groups like Xavier's Gay-Straight Alliance, Amnesty International,Habitat for Humanity and Earthcare.

Can you spare just $5 to support the same communities Coulter regularlybashes for pay?

As Ann Coulter is speaking, People For, our Ohio partners, fellows from ouraffiliate People For the American Way Foundation's Young People For programand other progressive students and activists will participate in a rally onXavier's campus, where we will counter Coulter's divisive message andpresent a check to Xavier's progressive student groups for the total amountraised by all the participating groups.

YOU can be there in spirit. And YOU can help turn this into a model that canbe used across the country -- a way for progressives to turn radicalright-wingers' vitriol, bigotry and intolerance against them, while at thesame time bolstering our movement.

When you donate, you can write a little note to Ms. Coulter that we'll seegets sent her way. Donate more than $5 and the extra will go toward PeopleFor's ongoing efforts to:


S. Florida

Mark LaFontaine Fundraising Event





S. Florida

Twenty Fifth Anniversary Awards Banquet
The Dolphin Democrats

Honorary Chair
Broward County Commissioner Ken Keechl

Honotary Co-Chairs
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Congressman Ron Klein

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

Pier Sixty Six Resort / Hyatt Regency
17th Street Causeway
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Silent Auction / Black Tie Optional / Free Valet Parking / Cocktails6-7:30pm / Dinner 7:30pm

This is the Dolphin Democrats major fundraiser of the year and will providesupport for our 2008 get out the vote center and voter outreach.

You may purchase tickets online and invite others online


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Washington Blade
August 10, 2007
Head of Stonewall Democrats to depart

National Stonewall Democrats Executive Director Jo Wyrick is stepping downto pursue a writing career.

Wyrick, a lesbian, said Wednesday she was proud to have been part of thenational group for gay Democrats.

"It has been a great honor to work with the many wonderful members ofNational Stonewall Democrats for the last two-and-a-half years," she said."I'm tremendously excited to move into a new career and a new phase of mylife as my first book will be published next spring and I am starting workon the second one."

Wyrick, the first woman to lead Stonewall, became executive director in July2006. She previously served as the group's deputy director.

Stonewall spokesperson John Marble said Wyrick has a three-book deal towrite historical fiction novels. The deal was known to Stonewall boardmembers, he said.

"She's made sure that it's going to be a smooth process," he said, "andthere's no jarring as we go forward."


The New York Times

August 16, 2007
Admitted Pedophile Walks Fine Legal Line
Filed at 8:21 a.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jack McClellan has made himself a marked man -- aself-described pedophile whose behavior has creeped out parents and childadvocates nationwide. But while he's talked openly about his attraction tolittle girls, or ''LGs'' as he calls them, and taken pictures of them inpublic places, neither is a crime.

As a result, his case has stirred debate, particularly since his arrest onMonday, over whether attempting to restrict unseemly behavior that isn'tcriminal violates a person's constitutional rights.

''There is no law against someone making you feel uncomfortable,'' saidLaurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and a Loyola Law Schoolprofessor. ''There's a line to cross and I don't think he has yet. He'stiptoeing around the law.''

McClellan landed in jail this week after he was arrested for allegedlyviolating a temporary restraining order requiring him to stay at least 30feet from any child in California.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, Aug. 16, 2007
Lawmaker facing solicitation charges stripped of power

House Speaker Marco Rubio stripped all power Wednesday from a lawmaker whowas arrested last month on solicitation charges, a move that increases thepressure on Rep. Bob Allen to resign from the Florida Legislature.Allen insisted he is innocent and blasted Rubio, saying he feels like he'sbeing tried and convicted before his trial.


''Totalitarian governments are famous for the police making the charge andthe conviction. That's not America,'' Allen said. ``I would think thisleadership more than anyone would think that we don't want to copytotalitarian governments but copy American principles.''

Allen's comments immediately created a firestorm among Cuban-Americanlawmakers who thought Allen was comparing Rubio to Cuban leader FidelCastro. Rubio is the first Cuban American to be House speaker.

Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a Miami Republican and member of Rubio's innercircle, said Allen's comments were both ''callous'' and ''insensitive'' andleft him ``physically irked.''

''The fact that he's comparing the consequences of the allegations of hissexual misconduct to the plight of dissidents trapped in Castro's gulag isat best absurd and at worst insulting. He needs to go,'' said Lopez-Cantera.

Allen, a Merrit Island Republican, said he ''was never ever trying to relateMarco to Fidel Castro. I was speaking about totalitarian governments. Ishould have used North Korea as an example.'' Allen added that if he hadcompared Rubio to Castro, ``I should be taken out back and shot. That wouldadd about four million gallons of gasoline to the fire.''


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