Monday, August 20, 2007

GLBT DIGEST August 20, 2007

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Gay tourism isn't only reason to criticize Naugle's commentsAugust 20, 2007

As a gay man, I wish to thank the members of the Fort Lauderdale communityfor their expressions of support during the current Mayor Jim Nauglecontroversy.

Yet, after seeing the mayor's picture and the accompanying story inThursday's New York Times and recalling the several reports in this paper Irealized that the support for the gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgenderedcommunity is based on the economic benefit of "gay tourism."

Seldom is mention made of the necessity of combatting the spread of bigotryand anti-gay violence because they are attacks against human beings who,whether rich or poor, tourist or beggar, deserve respect and support simplybecause they are human beings.

Albert J. Hamilton
Fort Lauderdale


Why the GOP should welcome gays into the party
Sunday, August 19, 2007

SOMETIMES tragic occurrences force us to stop and think - those are themoments that crystallize our perceptions of human relations. I found myselfin such a state with the passing of a constituent, friend and fellowconservative who also happened to be gay.

Our conversations convinced me that my beliefs in limited government can beshared across the chasms that liberals and conservatives perceive toseparate us - ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. That conclusion isnot popular on either side of the left-right spectrum: Liberals don'tbelieve gays should be conservative and conservatives don't believe gays canbe conservative, especially when a radical left gay contingent dominatesmedia attention and right-wing conformists place their own moral judgmentbefore individual freedom.

The Republican Party claims to be a "Big Tent," and rightfully so, as thecore conservative principles of the party revolve around individual libertyand a limited government that serves to protect that liberty. These ideascan help our party cut across lines of "group identity," because the idea offreedom is appealing to groups that lack the political clout necessary tokeep government out of their pocketbooks and lives.

Historically, gay Americans have struggled for the freedom to live theirlives the way they choose in order to pursue happiness. This is the AmericanDream, the cornerstone of conservative thinking, and it is these principlesthat make the increasingly influential gay community the conservativemovement's natural ally.

It may surprise some to learn that the very same conservative who refused tobe coerced into performing civil union ceremonies by government believes gayvoters should be conservative, yet this very instance points to our commonground - a commitment to the rights of the individual and opposition to thepower of a collectivist state.


Settlement reached in gravesite battle
Body of Baltimore man's partner won't be moved
By JOSHUA LYNSEN | Aug 15, 2:59 PM

A gay Baltimore man has won a legal battle to keep his late partner'sremains buried in the Tennessee grave the two men chose.

Kevin-Douglas Olive reached a settlement Aug. 10 with the parents of hislate partner, Russell Groff, who sought to move the body to a family plot.The settlement ended a legal battle that lasted two years.

"It's been pretty traumatic," Olive said. "I'm just ready to put it allbehind me and see what comes next."

The settlement, which ends all attempts by Lowell and Carolyn Groff tooverturn their son's will, stipulates that a large gravestone intended toalso accommodated Olive be replaced by separate headstones at each grave.

Olive said he'd hoped to avoid replacing the gravestone, but was willing tomake that concession to end the case.


Article published Aug 19, 2007
Gay teen says state isn't always so civil

At first glance, Will Holden, standing 6 foot 4 inches, seems as timid as heis tall. Ask if he has a cell phone and he subtly, silently shakes his headno. Ask if he's modest and he says, "At times I can be," unaware of thecomedy in that confirmation. So what spurred the mild-mannered teenager toannounce his homosexuality at a high school football game and in an essayfor Vermont's gay and lesbian newspaper?

Holden was a freshman at Fair Haven Union High School when, cheering fromthe sidelines four years ago, he told a classmate his secret.

"She said, 'Don't care what people think - just come out.'"

Holden's friends and family know he wears muted solid-color shirts becausehe doesn't believe in loud statements. But he soon surprised them bydeclaring he was gay.

This may not seem like news in the first state to adopt same-sex civilunions. But Holden says for all its progressive stereotypes, Vermont can bea hard place for young people like himself.


August 19, 2007
Hundreds turn out for annual Reno Gay Pride Parade

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Drag queens and transsexuals waved from floats to thecrowd as the annual Reno Gay Pride Parade was staged Sunday in downtownReno.

Police said about 600 to 700 people watched the 11th edition of the paradeon Arlington Street.

"It is a big statement for gay pride," participant Glenn Prather of Renotold the Reno Gazette-Journal. "The county is starting to get more tolerantof it."

Some participants said they paraded specifically for Hispanic gay pride.

"We want to let them know that they are not alone because so many gay peoplefeel they are alone," said Nicole Ramirez of Sparks, the reigning Ms. GayReno. "This helps people understand that it is OK to be yourself."


Gay-themed sites play it straight
Inside SOCAL
Article Last Updated:08/19/2007 03:55:35 AM PDT

When David Beckham finally started in a game for the Galaxy on Wednesdaynight, the event didn't just make the front pages of mainstream newspapersand sports Web sites. It also warranted the posting of a shirtless photo ofthe soccer star on Kenneth Walsh's gay-themed blog.

Walsh, a 40-year-old writer and editor living in New York, doesn't care thatBeckham isn't gay. He knows that readers of enjoylooking at photos of male athletes such as Beckham, Brady Quinn, JeremyBloom and Andy Roddick.

"I'm sure there is some deep-rooted psychological reason that we areattracted to the guy that probably would have beat us up in high school,"said Walsh, chuckling.

Jim Buzinski, CEO of, thinks it's simple: Men are men.

"When it comes to visuals in sports, gay men and straight men are verysimilar except for the genders that we look at," Buzinski said. "Men aremore visual. So we are just doing what mainstream sites do but we arecatering to our audiences. If you look at Sports Illustrated or ESPNmagazines, they all have some kind of photo gallery of hot babes in sports,or cheerleaders of the week. In a sense, that is geared toward what theiraudience mostly is: heterosexual."


Time running out for anti-gay activists
in the news

The Oregonian flirts with the idea that those looking to put the OregonEquality Act and the Oregon Family Fairness Act on the ballot in 2008 mightjust come up short.

Groups gathering signatures to overturn two Oregon gay-rights laws say theyare disconnected, frustrated and uncertain whether they can muster enoughvoter names to qualify for the statewide ballot.

They have less than seven weeks to collect the 55,179 valid signaturesneeded to refer each of two laws passed by the Legislature to the November2008 ballot. Chief petitioner Janice Bentson estimates that only 5,000 to10,000 signatures have arrived at her Salem home.

While that would certainly be a relief and would allow Progressives toconcentrate our efforts on things like building a Progressive Majority inthe state rather than playing defense once again, as Basic Rights Oregonreminds us, we cannot underestimate the extreme right. Executive DirectorJohn Hummel gives us a much-needed history lesson.

And while we may become overjoyed with the notion, the worst thing at thismoment would be for us to become complacent.

In 2004, for example, many speculated that Measure 36 could have troublemaking the ballot. Yet the opposition collected an unprecedented 244,000signatures (more than four times the signatures needed this year) in just 5short weeks. Compare that to today, when our opponents still have 7 weeks tocollect just 55,179 valid signatures.


Visitors bureau sends letter reassuring gay groups
County commissioners, Wilton Manors mayor sign welcoming letter

Aug. 16, 2007

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau sent out a letterlast week to several gay and lesbian groups that extols the area'sgay-friendly reputation and assures them that they are welcome.

The letter, which was a response to the controversy surrounding FortLauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle, was signed by all nine Broward CountyCommissioners, Wilton Manors Mayor Scott Newton and Nicki Grossman,president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. Itwas sent to several GLBT groups that are planning visits to the area,according to Jessica Taylor, media relations director for the visitorsbureau.

"As representatives of Greater Fort Lauderdale and Broward County'shospitality industry, residential and business communities, we wish toreassure visitors that Greater Fort Lauderdale welcomes all travelers," theletter says. "Greater Fort Lauderdale is a warmly welcoming destination thatis safe, unbiased and gay friendly."

The letter does not mention Naugle by name, nor does it directly refer toany of his recent remarks, which gay activists and others have denounced asdemeaning and insulting. But the letter refers to Naugle's remarksindirectly, stating, "Please understand that our long-standing and positivereputation in the hospitality industry and the actions of our communityspeak far louder than the words of any one individual."

The letter notes that greater Fort Lauderdale is home to the InternationalGay and Lesbian Travel Association and more than 100 gay-ownedestablishments. It also notes that the International Conference on Gay andLesbian Tourism will be held in the Fort Lauderdale area soon.


Churches That Won't Bury Gays?
Let's Hold A Funeral For Misguided Principles
by Rev. Lea Brown

[BACKGROUND: In August 2007, a fundamentalist mega-church in Texas refusedto conduct funeral services when it found out the deceased man was gay. Rev.Lea Brown, the openly lesbian pastor of Wichita Falls Metropolitan CommunityChurch (Texas) and a veteran of the U.S. Army, has a few thoughts aboutthat.]

Whew. I don't know about you, but I sure sleep better at night knowing theChristian churches in Texas are standing by their principles.

Take the High Point Church in Arlington, Texas, led by Rev. Gary Simons(brother-in-law of mega-church pastor Joel Osteen). The church believes thathomosexuality is a sin. When they recently found out that they hadinadvertently (according to their version) agreed to provide a funeral for agay man, they withdrew their invitation 24 hours before the event on theprinciple that they didn't want to appear to be endorsing "that lifestyle."Sure, the grieving family was left scrambling to find an appropriate venuein which to say goodbye to their loved one, and then contact 100 expectedguests about the change of location in their time of sorrow. But hey,principles are principles.

Aren't you glad that at least in Texas there are church folks who arewilling to risk looking like heartless bigots rather than betray what theybelieve to be their "Christian" beliefs?

I mean, let's give credit where credit is due. They chose one principle thatthey believe is true (homosexuality and homosexuals must be rejected), whenthere are so many principles that they could have chosen instead. Let'sreview a few, shall we?

First, there is the principle of compassion, which dictates that we seek tounderstand the suffering of others, and do what we can through kindness tohelp in times of need. Cecil Howard Sinclair, the gay man who died at theage of 46 from an infection prior to heart surgery, didn't really need tohave the funeral at High Point Church. But his mentally challenged brotherprobably did. Mr. Sinclair's brother works as a High Point janitor, cleaningthe toilets, dusting the pews, and sweeping the floors that church memberssoil each week. Perhaps saying goodbye to his brother in a familiar placewould have been comforting to him, and would have given him some peace as hereturned to work each day in the weeks and months after his brother'spassing. Perhaps all of Mr. Sinclair's family, including his partner, mighthave been comforted by the knowledge that the 5,000-member church actuallycared about them at such a difficult time.


Bush Official Praises South Africa Controversial AIDS Plan
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 20, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Johannesburg, South Africa) The top U.S. health official praised SouthAfrica's new national AIDS plan on Sunday, but sidestepped questions aboutthe dismissal of a deputy minister seen as a driving force behind thecountry's program.

South Africa's five-year plan, launched earlier this year, aims to reducethe number of new HIV infections and to extend treatment to 80 percent ofthose with AIDS by 2011. South Africa "has constructed a good plan," MikeLeavitt, the U.S. secretary of health and human services, said at the startof his visit. "Now it must be executed in a way that makes good on theprospects it offers and the hope it can provide."

Nearly 1,000 people die of AIDS each day and an estimated 1,400 are newlyinfected with the virus that causes AIDS every day. The government has saidit is concerned about the increasing costs of anti-retroviral drugs.

Leavitt was on a four-nation tour to highlight U.S. health care programs inAfrica, with a focus on HIV/AIDS and malaria. His visit follows PresidentBush's call to Congress to double the initial $15 billion funding of thePresident's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR.

The program helps provide treatment for 1.1 million people worldwide, withmore than a million in Africa. But it has been criticized for emphasizingabstinence and fidelity over the use of condoms in its prevention efforts.


Windy City Times

Empowering Men Who Have Sex With Men to Fight AIDS

In 85 countries of the world, it is illegal for men to have sex withother men. Male-male sexual relationships are stigmatized, drivingmen to hide their activities from friends, family members and healthworkers, according to a recent report by the International Lesbianand Gay Association. Because these men are forced to live part oftheir lives underground, they often lack access to basic servicesand, as a result, are at increased risk of HIV/AIDS.

Men who have sex with men ( MSM ) is a term that applies to those whoidentify as "gay," but it also includes many MSM throughout the worldwhose gender and sexual identities defy Western categorization. Forinstance, in India there are at least three designations: "Kothis"are effeminate MSM who may nonetheless be married to women and havefamilies; "panthis" are masculine men who have sex with kothis;and "hijras," who are often castrated, are often considered to be athird gender altogether.

While these groups often do not identify as a cohesive community,they share a vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. Men who have sex with men areamong the most vulnerable populations to HIV transmission worldwide,and yet they continue to be one of the most underserved. Today, fewerthan one in 20 MSM has access to basic HIV education, preventionservices or care. Many will die of AIDS simply because appropriateprograms to support them do not exist.


Irish Times, Saturday 4 August 2007

Churches must not be immune from sections of equality law

An exemption that makes it possible for religious-run institutions to optout of certain provisions of equality legislation is in need of reform,writes Mark Coen

Legislative developments in Ireland over the last 30 years, such as theUnfair Dismissals Act and, more recently, the Employment Equality and EqualStatus Acts, have sought to build and promote equality of access andopportunity in employment, as well as equal treatment for consumers ofservices.

A parallel development over the same period has been the decline of theCatholic Church and its consequent loss of authority and influence.

These developments form the backdrop to Section 37 of the EmploymentEquality Act, which provides for an exemption from equality for religious,educational or medical institutions under the control of a religious body.

In my opinion this exemption amounts to an overly broad interference withthe privacy, personal autonomy and right to family life of employees inreligious organisations. There is a clear case for reform.

Despite its decline in political and social authority, the church remains animportant influence in education and healthcare. In the face of dwindlingnumbers, the question for religious trustees has become one of "ethos" - howbest to promote and sustain their message in a secularising Ireland.




The Independent on Sunday - 19 August 2007

Profile Peter Tatchell

Peter Tatchell: 'There may be a case for the people of Zimbabwe to killRobert Mugabe'

Despite many beatings in pursuit of equal rights, Peter Tatchell hasalways abhorred violence. Now he says he could understand the murderof an African dictator

Interviewed by Cole Moreton

Peter Tatchell speaks very carefully. He stops in mid-sentence to edithis words - "Sorry, let me rephrase that" - as if a conversation is aradio interview. Remember that when the famed campaigner for humanrights says something truly shocking about what he would like to seedone to Robert Mugabe. But first this thin, intense man is telling methe terrible things that other people would like to do to him.

"We are going to kill you gays," says Tatchell, reading from atranscript he has made of threatening telephone calls. "The punishmentfor sodomy is death." The calls have been frequent, usually late atnight. He takes them in this musty room, where every spare space isfilled with stacks of books or papers. They tell him: "You are goingto be beheaded: that is the punishment in Islamic law."

I was going to start lightly, with a question about the ManchesterPride festival, where he will be on Thursday, arguably the biggest,most joyfully riotous celebration of gay culture in the country. I was goingto ask Tatchell, best known forhis outrageous direct action in support of lesbian and gay rights,whether the battle for equality had been won and it was time to kickback and party. But instead we're talking about death threats.


An appeal to the United Kingdom Government and all (the) democraticinstitutions.

Pegah Emambakhsh (40) is a lesbian Iranian woman. She risks of beeingsentenced to death by the judges of the Islamic Republic of Iran because ofher homosexuality. She took refuge in Sheffied, Great Britain, where shesought political asylum. This right was denied her for unconvincing reasons,among which the fact that she cannot prove she is a lesbian.

In Germany too, a young lesbian woman, Jasmine K. requested politicalasylum, but she too was turned down by the authorities for the sameinsubstantialreason: she cannot prove she is a lesbian.

The "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" protects those who arepersecuted because of their diversity without them having to prove it.Homosexuality isa state that exists at the moment it is perceived or merely declared by ahuman being. Asking for proof of such inclination is a violation of humanrights.Even the State of Israel took in Jewish refugees from the Holocaust on themere basis of their declarations. Many of them were without identificationpapers.

This is the only way to respect human rights. The alternative would be thehumiliating demonstration of one's sexual preferences, pointless clinical and psychological testing and inquisitorial procedures damaging to a person'sprivacy and human dignity.

The EveryOne group firmly requests that Pegah Emambakhsh, Jasmine K and allthe other people persecuted for their homosexuality be taken in as refugeesby countries that consider themselves civilized and safeguarded from theeffects of intolerance.

For the the EveryOne Group: Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro, Ahmad Rafat,Dario Picciau, Steed Gamero, Rami Lavitzky


LONDON, August 16, 2007 - A gay Iranian woman came within minutes of beingput onto a non-stop flight to Tehran at Heathrow this evening as the UKGovernment's Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) - part of the Home Office -went through the final process of deportation.

It was only the late intervention of the office of Sheffield Central Memberof Parliament Richard Caborn - the Minister of Sport - that prevented thedeportation today.

However, the deportation is only "on hold" until August 27, a spokespersonat Asylum Seeker Support Initiative in Sheffield told UK Gay News thisevening.

Pegah Emambakhsh arrived in the UK in 2005 and sought asylum, having fledIran after her same-sex partner was arrested and subsequently tortured andsentenced to death by stoning. Her father was also arrested andinterrogated about her whereabouts - he was eventually released, but notbefore he had been tortured himself.

The claim for asylum was rejected by the BIA, despite her appeals. Ms.Emambakhsh was finally arrested in Sheffield last Monday and was taken onWednesday to Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Clapham, Bedfordshire.

If returned to Iran, Ms. Emambakhsh faces certain imprisonment and possibleexecution by stoning. Her 'crime' - she was in a lesbian relationship.


Hanging crackdown in Iran

Critics say public execution of 'thugs' is really targeting politicalactivists

Robert Tait in Tehran
Sunday August 19, 2007
The Observer

Iran has hanged up to 30 people in the past month amid a clampdownprompted by alleged US-backed plots to topple the regime, The Observercan reveal.

Many executions have been carried out in public in an apparent bid tocreate a climate of intimidation while sending out uncompromisingsignals to the West. Opposition sources say at least three of them werepolitical activists, contradicting government insistence that it istargeting 'thugs' and dangerous criminals. The executions have coincidedwith a crackdown on student activists and academics accused of trying tofoment a 'soft revolution' with American support.

The most high-profile recent executions involved Majid Kavousifar, 28,and his nephew, Hossein Kavousifar, 24, hanged for the murder of ahardline judge, Hassan Moghaddas, a man notorious for jailing politicaldissidents. They were hanged from cranes and hoisted high above one ofTehran's busiest thoroughfares.

The spectacle, the first public executions in Tehran for five years,took place outside the judiciary department headquarters where Moghaddaswas murdered. But the location, near many office blocks and theAustralian and Japanese embassies, meant they were seen by manymiddle-class Iranians who would not normally witness such events.

The previous day seven men were publicly executed in the north-easterncity of Masshad, including five said to be guilty of 'rape, kidnapping,theft and committing indecent acts'. Another two were hanged separatelyfor raping and robbing a young woman. The executions were also shownlive on state television.


Ft. Lauderdale

Announcing Auditions- in HARMONY Productions is holding auditions startingWednesday, September 5th for their annual holiday show, titled "Simple Gifts", in December 2007. All voice parts are open, and actors, dancers,and instrumentalists also needed. Call 954-593-5741 or for your audition and more information.


Times Colonist (Victoria)

Quebec gay rights group gets UN status
World body needs 'diverse voices' Canada argues
Steven Edwards
CanWest News Service
Saturday, July 21, 2007

UNITED NATIONS -- Canada came out swinging in favour of a Quebec gay-rightsactivist group yesterday, successfully lobbying for the United Nations toreverse a rejection of the group by a UN committee dominated by Muslim anddeveloping countries.

Canada's Hugh Adsett said the UN should be where "diverse voices" can beheard, and "even if some governments don't agree with some [activists], theyshould not be excluded," note-takers reported.

The charge led to UN approval for the Coalition gaie et lesbienne du Quebecto receive "observer" status at the world body.

But Canada's siding with political activists who'd upset China over theinternational status of Taiwan -- which Beijing considers to be a Chineseprovince -- wasn't enough to prevent a one-year suspension of their groupfrom the "observer" list.

After Adsett said Canada "deplored" the action against LiberalInternational, Cuba's Maria Del Carmen claimed China had acted out of a"spirit of flexibility, understanding and compromise."

The drama took place in Geneva at a meeting of the Economic and SocialCouncil -- a central UN arm run by 54 member governments, includingCanada's.

Among other business, the council was reviewing recommendations from its19-member committee on non-governmental organizations about giving groupspermission to campaign at ECOSOC meetings as "observers."

Committee members Egypt, Guinea, Pakistan, Qatar and Sudan led thesuccessful blocking of the Quebec group's application in January despite itsstrong record in Canada as a bona-fide campaigner.

The vote reflected hostility towards the idea of homosexuality in many partsof the world -- in particular in Muslim countries, but also by thegovernments of some big powers such as China and Russia.

But the countries holding those views form a far smaller proportion of theECOSOC membership, and the vote was 22 in the Quebec group's favour, 13against, 13 abstentions and the rest absent. "We're surprised and happy,"said Yvan Lapointe, CGLQ executive director, who said his group now plannedto use the UN as a platform to spread homosexual rights to many of the samecountries that voted against it.


The New York Times

August 20, 2007
Sex Now Primary Cause Of China HIV Spread: Report
Filed at 12:42 a.m. ET

BEIJING (Reuters) - Unsafe sex has overtaken intravenous drug use as theprimary cause of new HIV infections in China, suggesting that AIDS isspreading from high-risk groups to the general public, state media reportedon Monday.

Of the 70,000 new HIV infections recorded in 2005, nearly half contractedthe virus through sexual contact, the China Daily reported, citing a reportreleased jointly by the Ministry of Health and the China Centre for DiseaseControl and Prevention.

"It's the first time since 1989, when the first HIV infection was detected,for sex to top the transmission list nationwide," the newspaper quoted GaoQi, of the China HIV/AIDS Information Network, as saying.

China has an estimated 650,000 people living with HIV or AIDS, and while thegovernment has become increasingly open about the problem, efforts to fightthe spread of the virus are still hampered by conservative attitudes aboutsex and suspicion of grassroots activists and non-governmentalorganizations.

Surveys show that one in 10 sexually active men in China have been involved
with prostitution at least once, and the government was taking measures toinitiate condom use programs and AIDS education among sex workers, thenewspaper said.


The New York Times

Anti-AIDS Program To Fund Circumcision
U.S. Initiative Targets African Men
By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, August 20, 2007; Page A10

JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 19 -- President Bush's $15 billion anti-AIDS program willbegin investing significant money in making circumcision available toAfrican men seeking to protect themselves from HIV, top U.S. healthofficials said Sunday.

Recent research showing that circumcision dramatically cuts the rate of HIVinfection is highly convincing, a delegation of U.S. officials, led byHealth and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, told reporters inJohannesburg.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sun, Aug. 19, 2007
Laws apply even to those we don't like

Meet Jack McClellan. You might want to shower afterward.

Nobody in the greater Los Angeles area will have to ask what I mean. In thelast month or so, McClellan has roiled Southern California by saying ineffect: I'm a pedophile, and there's nothing you can do about it.

The hell of it is, he's right. You cannot, or in any event, should not, bearrested for what you are, only for what you've done. McClellan has donenothing. Or at least, nothing for which he should be prosecuted, there beingno law against making people nauseous.

The story goes as follows. In late July, McClellan was confronted by police.They had been summoned by a woman who saw him loitering around thechildren's section of a library in Santa Monica. McClellan, who, accordingto news reports, lives mostly out of his car, was cooperative even to thepoint of allowing officers to take his picture. He was also candid andunapologetic about his sexual attraction to little girls. But McClellan, 45,evidently has no arrest record or warrants anywhere in the country, sopolice had no choice but to let him go.

The bizarre encounter quickly catapulted McClellan onto the local news andtalk show circuit, where people learned that he had a website (since takendown) featuring photos taken of little girls in public places and rankingthe best places for pedophiles to see children. It was also said thatMcClellan was thinking of moving to the city of Santa Clarita.

Two Santa Clarita lawyers were sufficiently alarmed to seek a restrainingorder requiring McClellan to stay away from the city's children.


Express Gay News

Locals give mixed reviews to HRC's candidates forum
Presidential contenders charm and dodge in casual talk-show format
Thursday, August 16, 2007

South Florida's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered voters gathered atviewing parties Aug. 9 to watch the 2008 Democratic candidates for presidentaddress their concerns in the first-ever presidential candidates forumdevoted solely to gay issues.

Broward's Dolphin Democratic Club and SAVE Inc., a Miami gay rightsorganization, organized the gatherings at local restaurants and lounges inWilton Manors, South Beach and Miami's upper Biscayne corridor. While mostwho watched said they were disappointed with much of the rhetoric regardingmarriage rights, they were satisfied and surprised at the level of supportthat the candidates expressed about other gay issues.

"We've come a long way," said Mario Rodriguez, a financial analyst. "But westill have a long way to go."

There were shouts of support, objections to evasive answers, critical quipsat Hillary Rodham Clinton's coral-colored outfit and an air of surprise asviewers watched the historic discourse sponsored by the Human RightsCampaign and broadcast throughout the nation on Logo, a gay and lesbian TVstation.

"These are issues that a few election cycles ago were not even discussed,"said Kevin Walsh, a sales manager who brought his neighbors - both straightand gay - to South Beach's Lucky Strike Lanes to watch. "To have a forumwhere openly gay persons ask questions and express their concerns is trulyhistoric."


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1 comment:

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