South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
Broward, Palm Beach County inmates' HIV care under scrutiny
Defense lawyers, advocates claim anti-viral drugs delayed
By Bob LaMendola
August 21, 2007
Some HIV-positive jail inmates in Broward and Palm Beach countiesneedlessly go for weeks or even months without getting any HIV/AIDS drugs,defense attorneys and advocates said. But jail health officials sharplydenied the charge.
Because HIV drugs must be taken like clockwork to control the virus, inmateswho miss repeated doses face greater risks that the drugs will stop working,raising the chance they could spread a hardier virus in and out of jail, HIVspecialists said. The alleged delays also led some inmates to developfull-blown AIDS, attorneys said.
Dr. Ron Shansky, who is on the board of the National Commission onCorrectional Healthcare, which accredits lockups including Broward and PalmBeach, said jails should take only a few days to put HIV-positive inmates onthe drugs they were taking when they were arrested.
"Delaying the delivery of ongoing HIV medication is completelyunacceptable," Shansky said. "If this is occurring on a regular basis, theyneed to fix that."
The elected sheriffs who run jails in both counties have hired Miami companyArmor Correctional Health Services to treat the 120,000 inmates incarceratedeach year - 3 percent of whom have HIV/AIDS. The firm collects $38 million ayear from those contracts.
Armor's medical director insisted inmates get drugs immediately unlessthere's a good reason: Some have special problems, refused treatment, willnot cooperate or must be retested because they previously stopped takingmedicine. He accused public defenders of hyping drug delays in order to getclients released from jail, a charge the attorneys denied.
"I'm really hurt by this," said Dr. John May, who oversees jail care ineight Florida counties where Armor has contracts. "Our policy is to continuetheir medications without interruption whenever possible, and we do that.Anyone can always do better but I don't think there's a problem."
Spokesmen for the Broward and Palm Beach sheriffs said they have heard fewif any complaints about jail health care. They referred further questions toArmor.
But inmate advocates contend excessive drug delays in jails have been apersistent problem nationally and locally, often when jails try to trimhealth costs.
Modern drugs can almost wipe out HIV from the body, but studies show thevirus begins to grow resistant to drugs if the person does not take 90 to 95percent of doses on time, or no more than a few missed doses per month.
"For people on the cusp [of AIDS], a delay of more than a few days may pushthem into illness," said Dr. Larry Bush, an HIV specialist in Atlantis incentral Palm Beach County.
In Broward, public defenders said least 15 HIV inmates lodged complaintsthis year about drug delays despite requests to jail staff, and said moremay be affected. Since July 1, judges have released four who had waited aslong as four months, criminal case records showed.
"People just fall through the cracks," said Shane Gunderson, client servicesdirector for the public defender's office.
In Palm Beach County, attorneys and other advocates said they had heard fewcomplaints, but the director of a church-based program aiding newly releasedinmates said she regularly sees inmates who waited weeks for HIV drugs.Sandra White, director of United Deliverance Community Resource Center, saidthe delays seemed to be for bona fide reasons.
Kevin Sauve, 36, a Fort Lauderdale college admissions officer, said he wentmore than three months in Broward County jails without HIV drugs after hisMay 1 arrest for dealing pain pills.
The jail, as is policy, would not let him bring his medicine from home, andhe said jail doctors did not agree with the pills his physician prescribed,ordering more tests. Jail records show he filed a dozen requests formedications over the months. Eventually, Sauve said he developed fungus, earinfections and fevers while progressing to AIDS.
"They just wanted to give me drugs I'm already resistant to. I can't takethose," Sauve said, who was released July 27 to be treated outside the jail."Everybody seemed very confused about what to do."
Armor cannot discuss Sauve's case or others because of confidentialityrules, May said. But he insisted that as long as newly jailed inmates canname their drugs and the treatment makes sense, they get pills on the spot.If they can't, the jail calls their doctor or pharmacy to find out, he said.If the inmate has stopped taking drugs, May said the jail must delay to doblood tests before resuming medication.
Public defenders cited problem cases:
.Richard Hardwick, 52, of Deerfield Beach, waited four months for drugsafter being arrested March 26 on illegal drug and driving charges. He nowhas AIDS.
.Kevin L. Davis, 33, of Deerfield Beach, waited a month after being arrestedJune 7 for repeatedly driving with a revoked license and expired tag. He nowhas AIDS.
.Joann Marie Christian, 41, of Pompano Beach, has been waiting for HIVmedications since her arrest on July 3 for a probation violation.
The law does not dictate how much health care jails must provide, only thatthey cannot intentionally neglect a serious illness, said Dr. Ann Spaulding,a corrections health expert at Emory University.
George Castrotaro, a Legal Aid attorney in Broward, said he has complainedto Armor, the Broward County Health Department and others about the delaysand may file suit.
Lisa Agate, the Health Department's HIV/AIDS director, said she was shockedby the complaints and plans to raise them Tuesday at a meeting of a BrowardCounty jail health committee.
"If it's happening, it needs to be corrected," Agate said.
Bob LaMendola can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-356-4526or 561-243-6600, ext. 4526.
PBCC asked to reconsider domestic partner benefits vote
Gay rights group targets domestic partner benefit decision
By Scott Travis
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
August 21, 2007
A gay rights group is asking Palm Beach Community College to reconsider itsdecision not to offer domestic partner benefits to employees.
The college's board of trustees split 2-2 on Aug. 14 over whether to makethe health benefits available to gay and unmarried employees, killing theproposal. The board normally has five members but had a vacancy last week.
The community college was the second public post-secondary school in PalmBeach County to reject domestic partner benefits. Florida AtlanticUniversity administrators passed on the policies last year.
Three days after PBCC's split vote, Gov. Charlie Crist appointed two newmembers to its governing board, Wendy Link and Bill Berger, prompting thePalm Beach County Human Rights Council to call for a revote.
"It is hard to believe that the votes of only two trustees could preventPBCC employees with domestic partners the ability to purchase affordablehealth insurance," said Rand Hoch, founder of the gay rights advocacy group.
Gary Steinsmith, columnist and South Florida gay rights activist, dies at 50
By Robert Nolin
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
August 21, 2007
A firebrand and fundraiser for gay rights during the 1990s, activist andformer columnist Gary Steinsmith died Friday at Broward General MedicalCenter of an embolism. He was 50.
"He was a pioneer in the gay rights movement in South Florida, engaging inbattle and causes when others did not," said his friend of 20 years,publisher and attorney Norm Kent. "He was a vibrant Democrat, a proudliberal."
Mr. Steinsmith belonged to or served in activist or civic organizationsreflecting that political bent: the Broward County Democratic ExecutiveCommittee; Dolphin Democratic Club; Americans for Equality; Lambda South;Pride South Florida and United Citizens for Human Rights.
A victim of what he jokingly called "old AIDS," Mr. Steinsmith was also astrong advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and treatment, serving in such groupsas the AIDS Advisory Council of the Broward Community Foundation; theBroward County HIV Health Services Planning Council; CenterOne, the AIDStreatment facility; and the Broward County Advisory Board for Persons withDisabilities.
"He was probably the first politically active person in the [local] gaycommunity," said Shane Gunderson, another friend. "In a time when many gaysand lesbians weren't political, Gary was political." Mr. Steinsmith wasperhaps best known for his columns - he campily addressed the reader as"sweetheart" - in David and Scoop magazines during the mid- to late 1990s.
Though the publications have since ceased, Gunderson said Mr. Steinsmith'slegacy lived on. "Everybody took their cue from him," Gunderson said. "Hisopinion was sought after."
Mr. Steinsmith was a teetotaler who favored Diet Coke and cigarettes andalways wore an AIDS ribbon. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and graduated in1979 from Long Island's Hofstra University with a degree in banking. In1981, the same year he contracted AIDS, he moved to Fort Lauderdale.
Mr. Steinsmith worked as a stockbroker until 1988, when his illness limitedhis activity. He then embarked full-time on his passion: politics.
"He loved reading political books," said Kent.
"He used to stay up all night writing," said Gunderson.
Kent said Mr. Steinsmith's mother, Valerie, returned to New York with hisbody and held a service and burial on Sunday. Other than his mother, Kentknew of no survivors.
Robert Nolin can be reached at email@example.com or 954-356-4525.
Gay dating sites accused of enforcing stereotypes
20th August 2007 13:51
A professor at Salford University has accused Gaydar and other onlinecommunity websites of using "Village People clichés" to categorise gay meninto stereotypical groups.
Professor Ben Light has called for changes to the way in which sites grouptheir members into narrow profile types on the basis of their sexualidentity.
However, Gaydar has dismissed his assertions and said that their customersdo not have to define themselves by group or category to use the site.
Professor Light is examining the way technology influences perceptions ofgay masculinities.
"Internet dating is one of the most profitable businesses on the web andsites like Gaydar are a valuable resource for gay men," he said.
Former Surgeon General Calls For Change In Health Care System, Sex Education
By Jason Wiest
THE MORNING NEWS
LITTLE ROCK -- Fired in 1994 for suggesting school children be taught aboutmasturbation, former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders said Wednesday alack of sex education in the nation's public schools has hastened the spreadof sexually transmitted diseases and sex crimes against children.
"When we talk about sex education, we all go wild as if that's something wedon't talk about. Well, our silence has been deafening and we are paying avery heavy price for not educating our young people," Elders said in aspeech to about 200 people at a Community Health Centers of Arkansas summit.
Elders, who as Arkansas health director advocated dispensing condoms atschool-based health clinics, was appointed by former President Clinton in1993 and was fired the next year after saying masturbation "perhaps shouldbe taught" in schools as a way to avoid the spread of sexually transmitteddiseases.
Speaking about a national health care crisis Wednesday, Elders said onlyeducation, not any amount of money, could improve the U.S. health caresystem.
"The reason why we have so much AIDS and STDs in Southern states is becausewe are less likely to have sex education and talk about it as part of ourschools and a part of our system," Elders said.
Law firm settles 'homophobia' discrimination case
By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor
Published: 21 August 2007
Clifford Chance, the world's biggest law business, has paid out anundisclosed sum in settlement of what is believed to be the first claimagainst a law firm for discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.
The case is the latest brought under the sexual orientation legislation tohit the City and could have cost the firm up to £1m.
Last year Peter Lewis, a former head of global equity trading at HSBC,claimed £5m for unfair dismissal from the bank after a colleague alleged hemade unwelcome sexual overtures while showering in the gym. Lewis lost thecase but has won leave to bring the case again later this year.
In this latest case, Michael Bryceland, a former partner in CliffordChance's competition department, sued the so-called "magic circle" firm inNovember. It is understood that Mr Bryceland alleged both direct andindirect discrimination.
The claim never made it to a full hearing and was withdrawn in April. MrBryceland, who was reported by the Lawyer Magazine to be one of CliffordChance's rising stars, left the firm shortly after winning the settlement.At the time of his departure, Clifford Chance told the Lawyer he was takinga break from the law.
The weird wild
The odd things that animals do for pleasure - and companionship
Last Updated on August 20, 2007, 12:00 am
By Nicholas Asego
Homosexuality in the animal kingdom is as natural as green grass in summer.
Amusing or appalling as some might find it, this 'weird proclivity' has beenrecorded in 1,500 animals species from mammals to crabs and worms.
Chimpanzees need little invitation to have sex or masturbate.
Same sex pairs of animals kiss and caress each other with obvious affectionand tenderness. Any homosexual behaviour you care to name - anal sex, samesex kissing, long term pair bonding between members of the same sex,courtship rituals unique to homosexual couples and more are commonly foundin the animal kingdom.
Yet this not yesterday's discovery. The earliest mention of animalhomosexuality was by Aristotle, who spoke of homosexuality between hyenas.
Majority of those who witness this for the first time are often shockedbeyond words.
August 21, 2007
Melee breaks out over queer Jesus
A melee broke out last week in Jonkoping, Sweden, after a group offundamentalist Christian young people set a fire outside a celebratedphotomural exhibit that portrays Jesus as gay.
"Ecce Homo," by Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin, reimagines Christ's teaching andPassion in the context of late 20th-century gay life, including a rainbowpride procession into Cana and an adoration by leathermen. In the mostcontroversial image, which prompted the European Parliament to cancel itstour of the series, a well-endowed nude Jesus is baptized by an appreciativeJohn the Baptist in a backlit swimming pool.
The show's content has led to threats against the work and its creator. Inthe latest, a group of young people torched a poster August 12 promoting theexhibit at Jonkoping Kuturhuset, the Local newspaper reported.
Staffers intervened, and as many as 30 people joined the fight, according tonews reports.
Jonkoping is known as a center of evangelical Christianity.
August 21, 2007
Analysis: Do the Democrats have a Goldilocks?
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is too experienced, Sen. Barack Obama too raw.Listening to Democrats give their Goldilocks view of the 2008 presidentialcampaign must make voters wonder: Will any candidate be just right for theWhite House?
''Senator Obama does represent change. Senator Clinton has experience.Change and experience,'' New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Sunday, makinga balancing gesture with his hands. ''With me, you get both.''
Richardson may be a long shot for the nomination, but his crack underscoreda question that dominated the latest presidential debate: A change versusexperience dynamic that almost surely will determine who represents theDemocratic Party next year.
Obama, a first-term senator only three years out of the IllinoisLegislature, casts himself as a change agent who would fix the nation'sbroken political system. He hopes to make Clinton's three decades inpolitics a detriment.
Clinton, a former first lady who entered the Senate as her husband left theWhite House, says she is the lone candidate with enough experience to enactchange.
Should God go to the ballgame?
Events such as 'faith day' at Dodger Stadium signal the Christianization ofpro sports.
By Tom Krattenmaker
August 18, 2007
On Sunday, Christian baseball fans will stream into Dodger Stadium for whatis becoming more common fare at professional ballparks across the country --"faith day."
Following the Dodgers vs. Rockies game, fans with special tickets willgather in a corner of the parking lot for a concert by the Christian rockband Hawk Nelson, an appearance by characters from the "Veggie Tales"Christian television program and testimonials by several devout Dodgers. Thepurpose, according to event organizer Brent High, is to promote the Gospelof Jesus.
High and his Christian events-promotion company, Third Coast Sports, havebeen organizing faith days and faith nights around minor league baseball foryears. They reached the major leagues last season with three events atTurner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves, and will be in 10 major leaguecities this season. The event at Dodger Stadium will be the first in L.A.
These events, which blend religion and commerce, are the product of apartnership between High's company and host teams. Third Coast undertakesenergetic outreach to evangelical churches, getting baseball-loving churchmembers (and, more important, their unconverted invitees) to turn out forthe game and a special religious program. Believers nourish their faith andperhaps extend it to others, and teams welcome the typical surge in ticketsales and action at the merchandise and food stands. The result, accordingto High, "is happy teams, happy churches."
But not everyone is so happy.
Evan Wolfson: Marriage Equality and the Presidential Election
Aug 17 2007
Evan Wolfson is a dear friend of mine. Almost more than any other, Evan isresponsible for bringing the issue of marriage equality to the forefront ofour struggle for civil rights. He is a courageous pioneer who has beenrelentless in this battle for marriage equality. Evan has agreed to answersome basic questions that so many of us are being asked in this electionyear about marriage equality.
Evan Wolfson is Executive Director of Freedom to Marry, the gay/straightpartnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Before foundingFreedom to Marry, Evan served as marriage project director for Lambda LegalDefense & Education Fund, was co-counsel in the historic Hawaii marriagecase, and participated in numerous gay rights and HIV/AIDS cases.
Evan previously served as Associate Counsel to Lawrence Walsh in theIran/Contra investigation, and as an Assistant District Attorney inBrooklyn, New York. Between Yale University and Harvard Law School, Evanspent two years with the Peace Corps in West Africa.
Citing his national leadership on marriage equality and his appearancebefore the U.S. Supreme Court in Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale, theNational Law Journal named Evan one of "the 100 most influential lawyers inAmerica" in 2000.
In 2004, Evan was named one of the "Time 100," Time magazine's list of "the100 most influential people in the world."
South Africa's gay betrayal
August 21, 2007 12:00 PM
It might come as a surprise to those who still view Africa as economicallyand culturally backward, but the most liberal federal constitution in theworld can be found at the southern tip of its continent. South Africa'sconstitution is also one of the youngest, adopted in 1996 after the fall ofapartheid.
A crucial feature of the new South Africa's founding document is that it wasthe first to enshrine gay equality. Its bill of rights mandates: "The statemay not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on oneor more grounds," and includes "sexual orientation" alongside race, gender,age and other traits. It is for this reason that, in 2005, South Africa'sconstitutional court decided that the prohibition of same-sex marriage"represented a harsh if oblique statement by the law that same-sex couplesare outsiders, and that their need for affirmation and protection of theirintimate relations as human beings is somehow less than that of heterosexualcouples." South Africa is now one of the very few countries in the world -and the only country in Africa - to recognise gay marriage.
In light of this tradition, South Africa's recent behavior at the UnitedNations has been nothing short of bizarre. Last month, two gay rightsorganisations - the Quebec Coalition of Gays and Lesbians, and the SwedishFederation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights - petitioned theUN's 54-member Economic and Social Council (Ecosoc), based in Geneva, foraccreditation. Ecosoc's non-governmental organisation (NGO) subcommittee,populated by the likes of Egypt, Pakistan and the Sudan, ruled againstallowing these organisations to have "consultative status" at the UN inJanuary.
There are over 2,000 non-governmental organizations from all over the worldaccredited by Ecosoc. According to the UN, these organizations "make acontribution to the work programmes and goals of the United Nations byserving as technical experts, advisers and consultants to governments andSecretariat." Many of these organizations - representing conservative,traditional religious interests from the third-world - are simplyreactionary and oppose any attempts to recognize gay rights or the plight ofgay people in countries where they are harassed, abused or killed by thegovernment.
Last month, the NGO subcommittee's decision to ban the gay organisationsfrom the UN was brought to Ecosoc's membership for a vote. South Africajoined with the likes of Belarus, China, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia,Somalia and Sudan to ratify the subcommittee's decision to ban QuebecCoalition. Then, on the actual vote to give membership to the organisation,South Africa abstained. Regarding the Swedish gay organisation, South Africaalso voted to ratify the ban and then abstained on the substantive vote. Inboth instances, South Africa sided with authoritarian states that abuse gaypeople, and against the western democracies where gays live freely.
Richardson Was Right-Sort Of
by John Corvino
It seemed like a softball question at first. During LOGO's August 10gay-rights forum for the Democratic presidential candidates, panelist (androck star) Melissa Etheridge asked New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, "Do youthink homosexuality is a choice, or is it biological?"
Richardson, who has a strong gay-rights record, responded, "It's a choice.It's."
Several audience members gasped. Wrong answer! Etheridge interrupted, "Idon't think you understand the question," prompting nervous laughter throughoutthe studio. She tried again:
"Do you think I-a homosexual is born that way, or do you think that aroundseventh grade we go, 'Ooh, I want to be gay'?"
"Seventh grade" is right: at that moment Etheridge seemed like an indulgentschoolteacher, trying to feed a quiz answer to a hapless student.Multiple-choice: A or B (hint: it's obviously not B).
Gay Marriage On Agenda As Calif. Lawmakers Return To Work
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 20, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET
(Sacramento, California) California lawmakers returned to work in Sacramentotoday with legislation allowing same-sex marriage on the Senate agenda.
But with only four weeks to complete its work and a major budget battle athand it is unclear whether the marriage bill will make it to a vote on thefloor.
The measure passed the Assembly in June. (story)
Even if the bill makes to a floor vote and passes Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggerhas vowed to veto it, as he did an identical bill in 2005.
Both bills were authored by Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). The 2005 bidpassed both the House and Senate - the legislative body in the nation toapprove a measure allowing same-sex couples to marry.
Transsexual Says Australian Gov't Endangering Her Life
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 20, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET
(Sydney, Australia) A transsexual woman preparing to leave for sexreassignment surgery in Thailand says the Australian government isendangering her life by refusing to give her a passport identifying her asfemale.
Under an anti-terrorism law that went into effect last month passports showthe "birth sex" of a person.
Stefanie Imbruglia says that will put her at risk. Imbruglia, has beenundergoing her transition for more than a year. She has long hair, breastsand appears female.
The only alternative Imbruglia says, is to travel on a less officialdocument of identity that would leave her genderless.
Either way, she says, she will attract the attention of immigration andcustoms authorities, "likely resulting in humiliating body cavity and stripsearches."
Details Emerge In Gay Porn Producer Slaying
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 20, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) A gay man who operated one of the country'sbiggest gay adult entertainment companies died of massive blood loss afterhis head was nearly sliced off a court was told on Monday.
Harlow Cuadra, 25, and Joseph Kerekes, 33, of Virginia Beach, Va., areaccused of killing Bryan Kocis, the owner of Cobra Video.
A preliminary hearing Monday heard from two medical examiners who agreedthat Kocis was nearly decapitated.
"We were able to ascertain it was a smooth cutting, probably one swipe. Itwas a very sharp object," Luzerne County Coroner Dr. John Consalvotestified.
Consalvo also told the court that Kocis suffered between 28 and 29 postmortem stab wounds before his home was torched in an attempt to cover up thekilling last January.
Blogger Who Exposed Page Sex Scandal Turns Sights On Thompson
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 21, 2007 - 9:00 am ET
(Washington) A liberal blogger has filed a federal complaint against formerSen. Fred Thompson, the actor and unannounced Republican candidate forpresident, accusing him of violating election laws as he ponders his entryinto the race.
The blogger, Lane Hudson, submitted his complaint to the Federal ElectionCommission on Monday saying Thompson has raised far more money than he needsto explore whether to run for president.
Federal law allows potential candidates to raise money to travel, conductpolls and pay for other expenses related to "testing the waters" for apolitical campaign. During that exploratory period, a potential candidatedoes not have to file financial reports with the FEC.
The law prohibits anyone who is "testing the waters" from hoarding the moneyfor use during his actual campaign. Potential candidates also cannot referto themselves as candidates, can't run ads that publicize their intention tocampaign or take steps to qualify for the ballot in a primary or caucusstate.
According to a financial report filed with the Internal Revenue Service latelast month, Thompson had raised nearly $3.5 million and had had spent$625,000. Thompson must raise money within federal contribution limits andmust report it to the FEC once he becomes an official candidate.
The New York Times
August 21, 2007
Leona Helmsley, Hotel 'Queen,' Is Dead at 87
By ENID NEMY
Leona Helmsley, the self-styled hotel queen whose prison term for income taxevasion and fraud was greeted with uncommon approval by a public whoregarded her as a 1980s symbol of arrogance and greed, died yesterday at herhome in Greenwich, Conn. She was 87.
The cause was heart failure, her longtime spokesman, Howard J. Rubenstein,said.
Mrs. Helmsley came to public attention after her marriage in 1972 to one ofNew York's pre-eminent real estate investors and brokers, Harry B. Helmsley,who had divorced his wife of 33 years to marry her. In his heyday, Mr.Helmsley controlled real estate worth $5 billion, including the Empire StateBuilding, the Helmsley Building on Park Avenue and the Flatiron Building. Hedied in 1997.
The New York Times
August 21, 2007
Criticism of a Gender Theory, and a Scientist Under Siege
By BENEDICT CAREY
In academic feuds, as in war, there is no telling how far people will goonce the shooting starts.
Earlier this month, members of the International Academy of Sex Research,gathering for their annual meeting in Vancouver, informally discussed one ofthe most contentious and personal social science controversies in recentmemory.
The central figure, J. Michael Bailey, a psychologist at NorthwesternUniversity, has promoted a theory that his critics think is inaccurate,insulting and potentially damaging to transgender women. In the past fewyears, several prominent academics who are transgender have made a series ofaccusations against the psychologist, including that he committed ethicsviolations. A transgender woman he wrote about has accused him of a sexualimpropriety, and Dr. Bailey has become a reviled figure for some in the gayand transgender communities.
To many of Dr. Bailey's peers, his story is a morality play about thecorrosive effects of political correctness on academic freedom. Somescientists say that it has become increasingly treacherous to discusspolitically sensitive issues. They point to several recent cases, like thatof Helmuth Nyborg, a Danish researcher who was fired in 2006 after he causeda furor in the press by reporting a slight difference in average I.Q. testscores between the sexes.
"What happened to Bailey is important, because the harassment was soextraordinarily bad and because it could happen to any researcher in thefield," said Alice Dreger, an ethics scholar and patients' rights advocateat Northwestern who, after conducting a lengthy investigation of Dr.Bailey's actions, has concluded that he is essentially blameless. "If we're going tohave research at all, then we're going to have people saying unpopularthings, and if this is what happens to them, then we've got problems notonly for science but free expression itself."
To Dr. Bailey's critics, his story is a different kind of morality tale.
Club Blue is a monthly social and networking event designed to promote theHuman Rights Campaign and its membership in South Florida. It is held onthe first Thursday of each month!
THIS MONTH, HAVE A DRINK ON US!
Join the HRC South Florida Committee each month to network with other GLBTprofessionals and to learn about HRC in South Florida
Thursday, September 6, 2007
@ BLUE MARTINI
2432 East Sunrise Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
$10 Suggested Donation
The Detroit News
Court panel restores rights of adopted kids
Should the legal ties between parents and their adopted child unravel if thefamily leaves the state where the adoption decree was handed down?
Of course, not. The very idea is outrageous.
But that's what Oklahoma lawmakers were striving for in 2004 with theirchillingly titled "Adoption Invalidation Law," which targeted adoptedchildren with gay parents.
That wrongheaded statute declared that Oklahoma would refuse to recognize"an adoption by more than one individual of the same sex from any otherstate or foreign jurisdiction." In other words, if a gay couple and thechild they adopted in, say, California or Maryland moved to Oklahoma orsimply drove through Oklahoma on vacation, they would not be treated as alegally recognized family by any Oklahoma official -- whether a policeofficer, public school teacher or judge.
Sounds un-American, doesn't it? It's also unconstitutional. That's what afederal Court of Appeals panel told Oklahoma on Aug. 3 in striking down thelaw.
A panel of three judges -- all of them Republican appointees -- of the 10thCircuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court ruling that Oklahoma'santi-family law violated the U.S. Constitution's Full Faith and CreditClause, which requires states to honor one another's judicial judgments,including adoptions.
Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2007
CONTACT: Ali Bay, Communications Manager
PHONE: (916) 284-9187 EMAIL:
Legislators Return to EQCA's Ambitious LGBT Legislative Agenda
Record 10 LGBT Measures Poised to Pass Legislature
SACRAMENTO - Equality California's most comprehensive legislative agenda forthe lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is poised topass the Legislature this year as lawmakers reconvene for the final month ofthe 2007 legislative session.
Legislators return from summer break today to finalize the state budget andcomplete legislative work for the year. Their agenda includes a record 10pieces of LGBT legislation sponsored by EQCA. It is the most bills evercarried by a statewide LGBT advocacy group in the nation, and the mostmeasures EQCA has sponsored in a calendar year
"This is an historic year for LGBT Californians and Equality California,"said EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors. "Not only are we prepared to passextensive protections that will impact LGBT people in every aspect of theirlives, but we are also witnessing growing bipartisan support for bills thatpromote the fair and equal treatment of the LGBT community."
EQCA's legislative slate has earned significant votes from Democrats andRepublicans in both the Assembly and the Senate. Last month, a record 70assemblymembers, including 24 Republicans, cast an "aye" vote for AJR 29, aresolution authored by Assemblymember Mike Eng, D-Monterey Park. Theresolution urges Congress and the president to expand the federal hatecrimes law to protect victims who are targeted based on their sexualorientation, gender identity or disability.
Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
Posted on Sunday, Aug. 19, 2007
Critics: Teens should know sex laws By Shannon McCaffreyHealth teachers have long warned teens that they risk becoming pregnantor contracting diseases if they are sexually active. A few are now addinga new lesson to the list: Have sex and you're breaking the law.
Pop culture may be filled with images of promiscuous high schoolers, butin many states it's still illegal for them to actually have sex, even ifthey're close in age. And although legal experts say it's rare forprosecutors to seek charges, they can and sometimes do.
Perhaps the most famous example is Genarlow Wilson, the Georgia manserving a 10-year prison sentence for receiving oral sex from a15-year-old girl. Georgia lawmakers have softened the law prosecutorsused to sentence Wilson but they didn't erase the criminal penaltyaltogether. It's still a misdemeanor.
UK - The Independent
'I wish I'd kept quiet': What happens when schoolchildren admit to beinggay?
All too often, the result is bullying, violence and a lack of teachersupport, as these disturbing tales reveal
By Lena Corner
Published:?19 August 2007
Holly Anderson was 13 when she came out. Her sexuality had become thesubject of gossip among her Year 8 classmates and so she thought she wouldnip it in the bud. "I admitted that I was a lesbian," she says. "I justdecided to get it over and done with and tell the truth. It wasn't really mydecision, but I thought it would stop all the bitching."
The bullying started straight away. She was spat at in the corridors, callednames such as "dyke" and "rug muncher", and shouted at in the street ? evensome of her classmates' parents joined in. Things came to a head when, atthe age of 15, she was cornered by a group of girls as she came out of thelavatory, pushed up against the wall and beaten about the face, "I had agash from my eye down to my nose and cuts on my nose and lip." She says.Another attack followed ? this time in a car park in her home town ofEastleigh in Hampshire by a group of children from another local school."They followed me saying 'Give us your money, you dyke'," says Anderson,"then one of them grabbed me by my hair and kneed me what felt like ahundred times in my face. Then they ripped my earrings out and left mebleeding on the floor of the car park."
Surprisingly, there has only been one major piece of research carried out onthe subject of homophobic bullying in schools. In June this year, the gayrights group Stonewall published a document called The School Report, whichwas a survey of 156,000 lesbian, gay and bisexual schoolchildren. Theresults were terrifying. It found that two thirds of lesbian and gayschoolchildren have been victims of homophobic bullying. And among those, 92per cent experienced verbal bullying, 41 per cent physical bullying and 17per cent (26,000 children) actually received death threats.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the full article.
Urgent Action - Pegah at Risk of Deportation from England (August 21, 07)
Pegah Emambakhsh is an Iranian lesbian whose refugee case has been denied bythe British government and, as a result, will be deported to Tehran onThursday, August 23, 2007. Currently, she is kept in detention by Britishofficials. Right now, Pegah is experiencing a very dangerous situation, andis having a very tough time. If she is going to be returned to Iran, there ismuch of possibility that she, due to her sexual orientation and her pastlife in Iran, will be sentenced to death, or, in a most optimistic view, beprosecuted and tortured in some of the ways that are all common among Iran'sreligious officials when having made the decision to chastise the so called'corrupted' citizens. It should also be taken into consideration that mostprobably, Islamic officials will not speak the truth for which they havearrested the accused and made the verdict of punishment, but instead, as acommon practice among those in power in Iran, they can accuse her of anotherfictitious crime and thereby, show it reasonable in public eyes to performpunishment [whatever punishment they will decide to do] on this innocent,young woman.
Archbishop faces conference snub
By Jonathan Petre
Last Updated: 2:37am BST14/08/2007
Only a couple of hundred of the 880 Anglican bishops invited to next year'sLambeth Conference, one of the most critical gatherings in the Church'shistory, have replied by the deadline set by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Dr Rowan Williams hopes that the conference, which is held every 10 years atCanterbury, can be the starting point for rebuilding the Church, which hasbeen torn apart over the issue of homosexuality.
The failure of so many to respond is fresh evidence of the disintegration ofthe 70 million-strong worldwide Communion, and will come as a further blowto the authority of Dr Williams.
When he issued the invitations in May, he asked the bishops, who arescattered all over the world in 38 selfgoverning provinces, to send in theirreplies by July 31.
Several conservatives are delaying their decisions because they will notattend if liberal Americans are there - which will not be finally determineduntil later this year.
At least six conservative archbishops from Africa and Asia, who representhundreds of bishops and more than a third of active Anglicans, have alreadythreatened to boycott the event.
The Malta Independent - Opinions Article
God, gays, plugs and sockets
by Daphne Caruana Galizia
Sunday, August 19, 2007
In the correspondence pages of another newspaper, a debate isgoing on about whether God loves gays and whether homosexuality is 'allowed'(apparently, it isn't). Yes, really. You wouldn't believe it, would you?We're in the 21st century and in the European Union, and still there aremany among us who are much taken with these medieval themes. I suppose theyare the sort of people who have never recovered from the decriminalisationof sexual acts between people of the same gender. While they might notactually approve of the execution of homosexuals in Iran, they sympathisewith the spirit of that thinking.
What amazes me is the literalism with which this subject isdebated in the context of Catholic doctrine and biblical teaching. Thevarious writers of letters to the newspaper speak as though we are living ina theocracy, where religious teaching is the law of the land: "The Biblesays."; "Jesus said."; "The Catholic Church tells us."; "Catholic doctrineteaches.". They make not even a passing reference to secular law, as thoughit is something nasty imposed on this country by outsiders, the law of acoloniser, there to be resisted, ignored or honoured in the breach. Theyspeak as though the only laws that count for them are the rules laid down bythe Vatican. They know no others. Despite the decriminalisation ofhomosexual sex many years ago, here they are, still insisting to whoeverwill listen that homosexuals of all shape, hue, stripe and religion mustnever have sex unless they are married to somebody of the other gender.
Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
Between The Lines Newspaper
From issue number 1533
New generation finds ways to spread equality
Originally printed 08/16/2007
Sure, we can mope about how we don't have marriage rights. Or, on a smallerlevel, how we risk getting starred at when we kiss our partner as we strollthrough the mall. Instead, why don't we start to find hope in a newgeneration of LGBT-rights advocates, who are paving the way for a brightertomorrow through persistent fighting - like Rachel Loskill.
The Lansing native finished her tour to 32 conservative colleges in May,traveling to each and spreading equality, along with 52 other young adultactivists, to those who aren't tolerant of our lifestyles. During herjourney on Equality Ride she was arrested three times, a small price to pay,she said, if she could get the word out, and let thousands of students knowthat it's OK to be gay. And many of them were. Problem is, a fair amount ofthem have never met another LGBT person.
"It was life-changing for myself and, I know, for a lot of the people Italked to and had conversations with at the schools and have continued toe-mail back-and-forth since then," she told Between The Lines in this issue.
Loskill, along with other riders, shared their lives with these completestrangers, reaching out their hand and, in so many words, said: Take it, andtogether we'll walk. They shared a part of them that often times people aretoo scared to talk about. They endured slurs, they endured police - but, inthe end, none of that mattered. These youngsters were there for one reason:equality.
More and more young adults are taking opportunities to speak their minds,addressing new generations on LGBT issues. It happens in schools every day,where students meet during gay/straight alliances to brainstorm ways tospread acceptance at their educational institution. It happens when astudent simply calls out a classmate who says their homework is "so gay." Ithappens when people, like Loskill, step up to the plate and risk punishment,like being arrested, just to offer help to their peers.
Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
Australian PM may support some gay rights
20th August 2007 17:13
A series of measures to ensure equality for gay and lesbian Australians isto be considered by the country's Cabinet later today.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Prime Minister John Howard may bepersuaded by colleagues to support legal and financial rights for same-sexcouples.
An MP from the ruling Liberal party, Warren Entsch, supports gay rights.
Last week he presented Mr Howard with a petition signed by 25,000Australians demanding that the law be changed in favour of equality.
He told the paper that he has been swamped with emails from evangelicalChristians objecting to equal treatment.
Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
The Closet and the Cross
Three decades ago, Michael Bussee helped found the mammoth ex-gay ministryExodus International. Now, he's one of the movement's biggest critics
By JANINE KAHN
Thursday, July 26, 2007 - 3:00 pm
Michael Bussee In the scorching heat of the summer sun, a crowd gathers insilence around a wall covered in large sheets of white poster paper.
It's the last Saturday of June in this UC Irvine courtyard, and most eyesare fixed on the text atop the collage, which reads, "Ex-gay experiences" onone side, and on the other, "Good/Harm."
Armed with colored markers, the men and women come forward to put pen topaper.
"I lost my young adult years to 'the closet.' I'll never recover that,"writes a lanky gent before falling back into the crowd.
"I thought I was changing! In reality, I had walled away my sexuality," pensa woman in black, her face tight with emotion.
Forwarded from David L. Wylie, Sr. Editor
I hope you'll take a moment to read this. This is not spam. I'm sending itto my friend list on Yahoo and if you receive this email unwanted justpolitely send me a message and I'll remove your name. But I hope you'll takea moment to read.
Did you know thatgGay men are six times more likely to attempt suicide thantheir straight counterparts and the numbers increase exponentially duringthe holidays. A report from P-FLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians andGays) states that in a study of 5,000 gay men and women, 35 percent of gaymen and 38 percent of lesbians have considered or attempted suicide. Thestatistics are even higher among gay teens: The Department of Health studyindicates that gay youth are up to six times more likely to attempt suicidethan straight teens, and gay teenagers account for up to 30 percent of allteenage suicides in the nation.
For many Gay youth...suicide is the ultimate way to 'stay in the closet'.It would be better to not live than to be found out. But there is hope.
Groups like The Trevor Project are helping young Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, andquestioning youth find a reason to live. This Thursday, my 'lil bro', myfriend, my buddy, Geo is doing his part to bring attention to the problem ofthe struggle gay youth have with thoughts of suicide by celebrating his 21stbirthday with a benefit for The Trevor Project (www.thetrevorproject.org) atClub Discotekka in downtown Miami. This is a cause close to Geo's heartbecause less than a year ago he was a questioning youth, trying to findhimself and, after coming out to his parents, considered suicide.
Because of the support and encouragement of many friends, Geo is with ustoday. Recenlty Geo and I started an online magazine (www.gaysofla.com).Geo will be a regular contributor as both a writer and a photographer. Hewill be writing a bi monthly column for gay youth, GEN NOW!
I am proud to support Geo by hosting this birthday celebration and theofficial launch of Miami's newest online magazine for the south Florida GLBTcommunity. I'm pleased to be a party of supporting the Trevor Project. Ihope you'll join us.
To view a a dedication video that some friends and I put together to honorGeo and to leave him birthday comments, please click here;
To See the flyer with all the important information click here;
To sign up for the party on myspace, click here:
Thanks for taking the time to read this email. Have a great day and we hopeto see you at Club Discotekka, downtown Miami, at 10:45 pm on Thursday, Aug.23, 2007.
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