Sunday, August 19, 2007

GLBT DIGEST August 19, 2007

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Feds accuse gay Iowa lawmaker of extortion
published Thursday, August 16, 2007

Iowa's highest-ranking openly gay elected official has been indicted by theU.S. Department of Justice for extortion, facing fines up to $250,000 and 20years in prison.

State Sen. Matt McCoy, 41, allegedly attempted to obtain $100 for eachinstallation of a home security system from an ADT dealership in Des Moines,according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The motion-sensor system, called QuietCare, is placed in senior citizens'homes to keep track of their safety. The ndictment alleges that McCoycollected about $2,000 from the company between Dec. 29, 2005, and March 24,2006.

McCoy, D-Des Moines, who was outed on the Senate floor in 2003 byultraconservative Republican Sen. Ken Veenstra, was first elected to thestate House in 1992. Veenstra lost his bid for reelection in 2004, as didseveral other antigay Iowa officials.

McCoy intimated the charges were politically inspired.


Published: Saturday, August 18, 2007
Neil Patrick Harris is gay: So?
By Scott Collins
Los Angeles Times

HOLLYWOOD - Just on the merits alone, it makes sense that Neil PatrickHarris snagged a supporting-actor Emmy nomination for "How I Met YourMother." The CBS comedy has earned plenty of critical praise, if less thanfabulous ratings, and as Barney, the dapper, sardonic ladies' man with thememorable catchphrases ("Suit up!") and the extensive porn collection,Harris has thrived in the type of juicy, scene-stealing role he neverthought he'd get.

"The romantic cad is always a fun foil to the sympathetic lead," Harris saidrecently. "I think it's hilarious I was cast as that guy. I've always beencast as the average, Middle American nice guy."

Yet it's possible, just possible, that Emmy voters were looking to send alarger message than simply patting Harris on the back for a job well done.His is the latest career swept up in a larger cultural debate about actors'roles and their personal lives and the willingness of the public todistinguish between the two.

The Emmy nod comes following an awkward year in which Harris, the onetimechild actor who became famous playing the title role in "Doogie Howser,M.D.," reluctantly came out as gay after Web sites questioned his sexuality;for the first time, his personal life became tabloid fodder. (It seems to bethe year for this kind of thing - "Grey's Anatomy's" T.R. Knight also scoredhis first Emmy nod, as supporting actor in a drama series, after coming out.In Knight's case, the decision to go public came after co-star IsaiahWashington reportedly tagged him with a gay slur.)

In November, after the Internet rumors surfaced, Harris' PR rep at the timesaid the actor was "not of that persuasion." The next day, though, Harrisissued a statement to People magazine, saying he was "quite proud to saythat I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest and feel mostfortunate to be working with wonderful people in the business I love." Wow.The actor who plays Barney, TV's irrepressibly heterosexual playboy, is gay!


Mormons soften stance on homosexuality
BY REBECCA ROSEN LUM, MediaNews Staff Writer
LA Daily News
Article Last Updated:08/17/2007 08:22:38 PM PDT

The Mormon Church has quietly moved further from defining homosexuality asevil and the result of faulty parenting.

An unheralded new church publication, "God Loveth His Children," says gayfeelings are neither learned nor chosen, and it counsels against rejecting agay child.

Seemingly aimed at young people, the statement gently counsels individualswho feel attraction to and love for same-gender people to trust in God'splan and not act upon the transitory desires of mortal life - a period of"probation during which we face a variety of temptations and challenges."

"Attractions alone do not make you unworthy," the pamphlet says. "If youavoid immoral thoughts and actions, you have not transgressed even if youfeel such an attraction."

It also says: "The Lord's command to `forgive all men' includes therequirement to forgive yourself."


Saturday, 18 August 2007 11:01
New Gay & Lesbian Escorted Tours of Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs,San Francisco & Las Vegas

Based in West Hollywood CA, Rainbow Tours (formerly "Amerigay Tours") is thefirst and only inbound tour operator company in California serving the gayand lesbian community exclusively. The company offers escorted tours of LosAngeles, Palm Springs, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the Nationalparks.

California has so much to offer the gay and lesbian traveler. From Gay Mecca'ssuch as San Francisco, West Hollywood in L.A., San Diego, and Palm Springs,to mountains, rivers, wineries, deserts, parks, beaches and neighboring LasVegas.

Gay owned and operated, the tours are designed for gay and lesbiantravelers, both domestic and international, singles, couples, families andgroups. Rainbow Tours offers Escorted Van Tours as well as Private CarTours. These tours allow gay and lesbian travelers the unique opportunity totravel in California and Las Vegas with other gay and lesbian travelers fromall over the world (families and friends are welcome). All tours featurecasual and friendly English speaking gay and lesbian guides, includecomplementary soft drinks, snacks, and fruit along the way, and hotelpick-up and drop-off service.

Rainbow Tours offers over 30 popular itineraries ranging from day tours ofL.A. and San Francisco ($95) to 3 days tours to Las Vegas or San Francisco($395), to a 5 days tour of L.A., Palm Springs and San Diego ($695), to 8and 9 days tours of California's Coasts and America's National parks($1,595).

Tours include transportation by vans or by private car, accommodations at 3and 4 stars gay friendly hotels, daily breakfast, attractions and service ofa professional gay or lesbian tour guide.

Siegfried & Roy: Yes, We're Gay

Las Vegas magicians Siegfried & Roy are coming out of the closet in a highlyanticipated autobiography soon to be released. It may not come as a bigsurprise to most people that the two performers are gay but it will be thefirst time they admit to this officially.

According to details from the upcoming book leaked to the National Enquirer,Siegfried and Roy were once very much in love but have since transformedtheir relationship into a working partnership and a deep friendship.

The close relationship between the two stars became evident when Roy wasattacked by one of their tigers on stage in 2003. Roy needed months ofrehabilitation following the attack and during that time, Siegfried hardlyleft his partner's side.


Political Movers And Shakers Attend Gay Politician's Wedding
by The Canadian Press
Posted: August 18, 2007 - 6:00 pm ET

(Cheverie, Nova Scotia) As a heavy rain poured down on this picturesqueNova Scotia community, Scott Brison made history Saturday by becoming thefirst MP to marry his same-sex partner since gay marriage was legallyrecognized two years ago.

The Liberal politician wed his partner Maxime St. Pierre at a ceremony in asmall white church near Brison's country home in Cheverie.

The ceremony was originally planned at the edge of a beach, where a largewhite tent had been set up, but it was relocated to a United church just upthe road.

Guests included Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, former prime minister JoeClark, former Liberal defence minister Bill Graham, former New Brunswickpremier Frank McKenna and Liberal MP John Godfrey.

``Scott's a good friend of all of ours and we're pleased to be here tosupport him,'' McKenna said before the ceremony, adding that the weddingwould help further legitimize same-sex marriage.


New Times

Broward-Palm Beach - News - Letters for August 16-22, 2007
by Paul Harris

Hardly a day goes by when I am having a quiet conversation with a gay orlesbian friend and the subject of the sexual behavior of our city'sheterosexuals does not come up. I understand it is the same during coffeehour after the services at the Metropolitan Community Church at the SunshineCathedral as well as many other houses of worship used by this area's gaysand lesbians. And it is always the same thing: Why, oh why, can'theterosexuals have sex at home or, at the very least, if they are cheatingon their husbands or wives, in a hotel or motel?

As a God-fearing gay man, I am fed up and disgusted when I walk along thebeach on A1A in the evening and I hear and am forced to watch heterosexualcouples fornicating on the beach. Alternatively, one comes across carsparked at night whose movement suggests fornication happening within. Whyshould we decent, moral, taxpaying, gay and lesbian citizens have to put upwith having to observe this disgraceful behavior?

One suspects, though one cannot prove, that these heterosexual people areengaging in unprotected sex. As a result, apart from the possibletransmission of diseases, there is the very real possibility of unwanted andunplanned pregnancies. Far be it for me to criticize other people's morals -I would hate to be thought to be a moralizing puritan commenting upon thesexual behavior of others - but at least in the gay and lesbian community,when a couple decides to have a child, it is very much planned and wanted.When was the last time you heard of a child from a gay relationship windingup in a foster home or orphanage? When was the last time you heard of ashotgun wedding between two gay men or two lesbians?

Fort Lauderdale and the whole of Broward County is very dependent upon thetourism industry. Statistics from the Convention and Visitors Bureau showthat 950,000 gay and lesbian tourists visit every year, spending $1.2billion. The behavior of heterosexuals having illicit sex in the backs ofcars or on the beach after dark could have a very negative effect upon gaytourism. What middle-class gay tourist couple, having had an expensivedinner at a pleasant Las Olas restaurant, wants to be walking their goldenretriever along the beach on A1A for an evening stroll only to encounterheterosexuals having sex all over the place?

Plainly, the police and Mayor Naugle are unconcerned about this significantand major problem, which should concern us all. Is it too much to askheterosexuals to get a room?

Paul Harris
Wilton Manors


Forwarded from Marc Adams
Volunteer Executive Director - HeartStrong

Religious School Does A 360 (maybe a 325)

Last year, we shared the story of a young woman in a Catholic highschool who was experiencing ongoing harassment. She shared herown story and that of a fellow student in one of our newsletters.After repeated attempts to talk to her school counselor about the abuseand abusive language she was enduring, she contacted HeartStrong after aneducational forum in her town.

Aside from personal support, HeartStrong then provided her withinformation to present to her counselor at her Catholic high school.HeartStrong also sent letters to administrators as well as the counselor.A few days ago, the student received her student handbook for the2007-2008 school year. To her surprise she found the following policiespublished in the book.

"Salpointe Catholic High School students will not...verbalize slurs orremarks concerting gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, orsexual orientation."

Also in the handbook is a written policy by one of the teachers for herown classroom.

"...discriminatory or inflammatory behavior will not be tolerated. Theseinclude sexist, racist, and homophobic comments."

Obviously, the new school policy for students is not the absolute best inits wording, but it is a gigantic step for this school.

Most importantly, this young woman has seen the results of her personalempowerment to stand up to faith-based bullying at her school.

HeartStrong is not revealing the name of the school because the last timethat there was major progress at a Catholic school like this there was alot of (nonHeartStrong) media attention and within a month the progresswas recinded by an archbishop.

This is a very rare example of what can happen when a courageous studentdoes the right thing.

20th Outreach Trip Continues

Many exciting things are happening on this trip. We have extended thefirst portion of this trip in northern California after students atseveral schools requested visits. So we are still near San Franciscoworking hard to get as much accomplished in a short time as possible.The latest stats from the CA Dept. of Education show that San FranciscoCounty is still the county with the most religious schools in the countryand the highest enrollments in the state.

We will be leaving soon to do more work in southern California and Nevada.We still need your financial help! We are $8,000.00 short on the fundsneeded for this trip which extends until December 18.
Thanks for your support!

Marc Adams


The New York Times

August 19, 2007
A Reason to Take the Early Bus Home

EIGHT years ago, when Thad Hayes gave Adam Lippin his phone number, he wasthinking of a fun night out in Manhattan, not a family. But life takessurprising turns.

The two hit it off, and not long into the relationship, Mr. Lippin mentionedthat he wanted children someday. Mr. Hayes, now 51, is a nationally knowninterior designer based in New York City. He worked long hours, then headedto the gym, rarely arriving home at his Greenwich Village apartment before9. "I wasn't thinking about children," Mr. Hayes says. "I thought I wascapable of talking anyone out of anything."

But Mr. Lippin, 43, who owns Atomic Wings, a small restaurant chain, wasn'tfooling around. He couldn't really explain why he wanted children, he justalways knew that he did, and periodically, as the relationship grew serious,he'd bring it up. "I never said, 'I'd leave you if we don't have a child,' "he says. "I just said, 'I have a strong desire.' I pressed the issue. Thadwasn't against it."

"Yeah," Mr. Hayes says, "I wasn't against it. It just wasn't in myconsciousness."

In 2002, they bought an apartment together that had a second bedroom. "A lotwas unspoken," Mr. Lippin says.

"Definitely," Mr. Hayes says. "But this place had a cute little extrabedroom on the street. We were thinking - "

"We were like a straight couple not trying to get pregnant, but not tryingnot to get pregnant," Mr. Lippin says.


The New York Times

August 19, 2007
These Hills Still Talk to Him
San Francisco

PEOPLE ask him how his city has changed over the years, and Armistead Maupintells them it has not. One of the better-kept secrets of San Francisco ishow little time has altered the place, at least in a superficial sense,since the days when Mr. Maupin arrived in the early 1970s, fresh from theNavy and looking for his future.

Yet in the decades since "Sure of You," the last installment in Mr. Maupin'sbest-selling "Tales of the City" series was published, waves of newimmigrants have arrived, not necessarily looking to make fortunes so much asto spend them. The sexual frontier that once beckoned to adventurers asunalike as Gianni Versace and Michel Foucault has largely shifted to thecybersphere. Gay San Francisco, so vivid a presence in Mr. Maupin's writing,now gives the appearance of having slumped into cozy middle-age.

And that, in some ways, is a good thing, or anyway a surprising one, asreaders who have propelled Mr. Maupin's latest book, "Michael TolliverLives," toward the best-seller list have found. Ask him about San Franciscotoday, and Mr. Maupin will observe that the need for gay enclaves is lessgreat than the need for gay retirement centers. Michael Tolliver, thecharming naïf Mr. Maupin invented decades ago as a fictitious alter ego, wasnever expected to reach 55, his age at the beginning of the new novel. Yetthere he is, slightly creaky but vital, thriving on "a fine tuned mélange"of the retroviral drugs Viramune and Combivir, kept sexually humming thanksto a little blue pill.

He has a partner, as does Mr. Maupin, many years his junior. He has a cozybusiness, as one might say Mr. Maupin does - considering that the "Tales ofthe City" franchise has spawned two miniseries and a passionate globalreadership. He drives a hybrid car, as does Mr. Maupin, a Toyota Prius witha bossy G.P.S. he calls Carlotta.

Carlotta was on mute the day Mr. Maupin conducted a visitor on a drivingtour of gay San Francisco, starting at the house atop Parnassus Heights thathe shares with Christopher Turner, whom he married last February in a smallceremony in Vancouver, British Columbia.


The Washington Post

New York Activists Say Giuliani Has Retreated on Gay Issues

By Jose Antonio Vargas
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 19, 2007; A04

NEW YORK -- Frustrated by what he regards as the shifting stance ofRepublican presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani on gay rights, RyanDavis logged on to MySpace, gathered a few of his friends and grabbed avideo camera. Together, they created a minute-long YouTube video aimed athurting the former New York mayor with social conservatives in early primarystates.

"Gays for Giuliani," it's called.

"I couldn't think of a more ironic title," said Davis, a 25-year-old gaywriter and director, sitting in his cramped Hell's Kitchen apartment,showing off what he calls his masterpiece. With the theme music of "The WestWing" in the background, the video shows gay New Yorkers saying things suchas: "I would be hard-pressed to think of any conservative politician whoembraces the gay community like Giuliani does."

"When he was our mayor, Giuliani was pro-gay rights," said Davis, whodescribes himself as a libertarian Democrat who supported Howard Dean forpresident in 2004 and Republican John McCain in 2000. "Now that he's runningfor president, Giuliani has abandoned us. I wanted to remind voters,especially conservative voters, who Giuliani was."

Many gay New Yorkers share Davis's opinion of Giuliani's two terms as mayor,when he spoke openly about anti-gay violence and campaigned for a statewidehate crimes law early in his administration.


The Washington Post

Rift Over Gay Unions Reflects Battle New to Black Churches

By Jacqueline L. Salmon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 19, 2007; C01

Never in a "million years" did Robert Renix think he would find a Baptistchurch that would accept someone like him: a black Baptist gay man. Nevermind one that would allow what happened one Saturday last month, when atuxedo-clad Renix stood in front of the pulpit at Covenant Baptist Church inAnacostia, exchanging vows with his partner, Antonio Long.

It didn't turn out to be that simple, though.

About 140 members jammed into the fellowship hall a few weeks later for atense meeting about the recent decision of Covenant co-pastors Dennis andChristine Wiley to conduct same-sex union ceremonies. Some expressed theiropposition through Bible verses, saying they were worried that Covenant wasgetting a reputation as a "gay church." Others wept as they defended theWileys, said people who were there.

"I don't care who does it in their bedroom with whom," said Yvonne Moore, alongtime member who left the church over the same-sex ceremonies. "But don'tbring that foolishness into my church."

Other heterosexual church members defend the Wileys and their actions. "It'snever been a traditional church," said Jeffrey Canady, a lifetime member wholives in Takoma Park. "That's the beauty of the church. It has always beenat the forefront of change."

The split reflects a tug of war that is developing between a few blackchurches willing to welcome gays and black denominations that considerhomosexuality a sin.


By Frank Cerabino

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Sunday, August 19, 2007

It's generally believed that the sexcapades of politicians are amusing but not important beyond their entertainment value.

But that's not always so. There are two of these stories swirling around that represent the opposite ends of this spectrum.

One matters, and the other ...

Florida state Rep. Bob Allen, R-Merritt Island, has been on the slow boat to blivion since he was arrested last month on suspicion of soliciting an undercover male Titusville police officer for sex in a park restroom. Allen allegedly offered to pay the cop $20 if he would agree to drive with him to a more secluded spot for sex.

"This is kind of a public place, isn't it?" Allen allegedly said.

What we have here is a misdemeanor charge folded into a burrito grande of hypocrisy.

Allen is one of those family values guys with a stellar rating from the Christian Coalition. Naturally. And as a legislator, he has championed increasing the penalties for men who solicit sex in public places. Naturally.

Pile gets deeper

This would all be entertaining enough. But Allen has managed to make a bad situation worse.


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