Sunday, August 26, 2007

GLBT DIGEST August 26, 2007

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The Washington Post

Same-Sex And Worried About Retirement
By Martha M. Hamilton
Sunday, August 26, 2007; F01

Ken Hausman and his partner, Deane Bergsrud, have been together for 27years, and like many couples their age, they're thinking ahead toretirement. They both have 401(k) plans at work and individual retirementaccounts, and Hausman has a pension.

Nonetheless, "we worry a great deal about the future," Hausman said.

One of their worries is whether the surviving partner will be adequatelyprotected when the other dies -- because of their unmarried status.

Unmarried couples lack the automatic legal protections that kick in when onemember of a married couple dies. And they lack other advantages in planningfor financial security in retirement that are taken for granted by mostcouples.

But marriage is a solution that is unavailable to Hausman and Bergsrud. Theylive in Virginia, where marriage is prohibited for same-sex couples, as itis in most of the United States.

Together they make a decent income that has allowed them to save forretirement, and they have little debt. But they worry whether they have doneeverything they need to do to ensure that one won't be left with too fewassets after the other dies. Compounding their worries is a Virginia lawthat prohibits civil unions or other marriage-like contracts betweensame-sex partners.

The law is being challenged, but as long as it's on the books Hausman sayshe worries that the wills and powers of attorney, and other measures theyhave taken to protect each other, could be ruled null and void.


Article published Aug 24, 2007
Group seeks to ban unmarried from adopting, foster parenting

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A conservative group hopes a ballot item that would banunmarried couples from adopting or foster parenting children willeffectively reinstate a ban on gay foster parents overturned by the state'shighest court.

The head of the Arkansas Family Council said Thursday that the broader banwould withstand court challenges better than a measure focusing only on gaysand lesbians.

"We looked at what was likely to be pretty bulletproof when it came toconstitutional challenges," said Jerry Cox, the council's executive directorand president.

The council hopes to place the proposed act on the November 2008 ballot. Ithas submitted the proposal to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who isreviewing the measure. The council this year pushed unsuccessfully forlegislation that would have banned gay people from fostering or adoptingchildren.

Cox said the ban did not specifically target homosexuals partly because thegroup believed cohabiting heterosexuals are not safe for children, either.If approved by voters, the ban would take effect Jan. 1, 2009.


"Gay Mexico City is coming of age"
Exclusive Interview with Matt Skallerud President of IGLTA
[25.08.2007]: "La Ciudad de México Gay está madurando"

Entrevista Exclusiva con Matt Skallerud - Presidente de IGLTA sobre laCiudad de México como un destino gay-friendly y sobre el futuro del MercadoRosa en general... más

MEXICO CITY, 24/08/2007 (LIOWLB/Enkidu Magazine): Global Gay and LesbianTourism is booming and now the city authorities of Mexico City have finallydiscovered the growing importance of this market segment. Matt Skallerud,President of IGLTA ((International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association), wasin Mexico last week, signing an agreement (a "Strategic Alliance") withAlejandra Barrales, Minister of Tourism in the Federal District (MexicoCity). IGLTA is the world's leading travel trade association committed gayand lesbian tourism and Lars Ivar Owesen-Lein Borge, general director ofEnkidu Magazine have interviewed Matt Skallerud about Mexico City as agay-friendly destination and the future of the Pink Market in general.

LIOWLB: What are, in your opinion, the advantages of Mexico City as atourist destination?

MS: Mexico City is one of the few cities in North and South America with astrong European flavor... Of course more on the Spanish side of Europeanculture, but European nonetheless. The only other city I find with suchdynamism is Buenos Aires. With that culture comes some of the bestrestaurants, museums, nightlife and more one would come to expect from afirst class city.

LIOWLB:. Do you perceive of Mexico City as a gay-friendly destination?

MS: Yes, I do.



He may be the nation's favourite funny man, but Graham Norton's sense ofhumour doesn't extend to bathing, burping and bottle-feeding...

Funny man Graham Norton reveals he's not about to follow in the footsteps offellow gay celebs such as Matt Lucas and Elton John and have a civilpartnership. Nor is he likely to have a family. But the 44-year-oldpresenter insists he's happier than ever before. Graham recently spent thesummer by himself at his newly renovated West Cork house with his dogs,Maggie, a scrappy terrier and Bailey, a Labradoodle.

Asked whether he would like to have kids running riot around the grounds ofhis holiday home one day, he told us: 'I've never wanted to be a dad. Anyonewho's ever seen me with my two dogs will vouch for the fact that I'd berubbish at it. Since we've been in Ireland I've lost control of Madge andBailey completely. They're half-wild now -- feral! They keep dragging meinto ditches and heading off into hedges when all I wanted was some peaceand quiet in the local pub.

'They've forgotten commands and even their names, so God knows what I'd belike with kids. Maybe if you had your own it would be different and you'dsee nice sides of their personalities, but it's not for me, I'll stick tothe canines.'

Graham has not had a public relationship since splitting from KristianSeeber, 25, last year. He recently revealed relationships are not his strongpoint and says, 'I'd consider marriage under the right circumstances... butI just can't imagine those circumstances.'


Indonesia film festival takes gay issues out of closet
Sun Aug 26, 2007 12:27AM EDT
By Adhityani Arga and Sugita Katyal

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's gay film festival faced violent oppositionin its early years.

Members of a hardline Islamic group tried to storm theatres to stopscreenings, but as the festival enters its sixth year, organizer John Badaluhas no such fears.

The opening of the week-long Q! Film Festival (QFF) on Friday drew aflamboyant crowd in Jakarta, with members of the audience dressed incolorful wigs, fish-net stockings and cupid wings.

Homosexuality is not banned under Indonesian law, but remains taboo in acountry where 85 percent of the 220 million people are Muslim.

"The festival has provided some sort of impetus for the gay rights movementin Indonesia, and has enabled many issues to surface," Badalu told Reuters.


Pastor In Gay Sex Scandal Pleads For Cash
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 25, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(Colorado Springs, Colorado) The Rev. Ted Haggard, who left the megachurchhe founded after admitting to "sexual immorality," has asked supporters forfinancial assistance while he and his wife pursue their studies.

The former New Life Church pastor plans to seek a master's degree incounseling at the University of Phoenix while his wife studies psychology,he said in an e-mail sent this week to KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs.

The couple and two of their sons planned to move Oct. 1 to the Phoenix DreamCenter, a faith-based halfway house in Phoenix, where Haggard and his wifewould provide counseling, the e-mail said.

"It looks as though it will take two years for us to have adequate earningpower again, so we are looking for people who will help us monthly for twoyears," the e-mail said. "During that time we will continue as full-timestudents, and then, when I graduate, we won't need outside support anylonger."

Haggard left the 10,000-member New Life Church late last year and resignedas head of the National Association of Evangelicals after a former maleescort accused Haggard of paying him for sex.


Mob Tries To Lynch Men Awaiting Sentencing For Homosexuality
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 26, 2007 - 7:00 am ET

(Lagos) A mob attempted to break into a prison in northern Nigeria onSaturday and lynch 18 men awaiting sentencing on morals charges that statecontrolled NAN news agency reports.

On prison official was injured as guards fended off the angry crowd.

Sentences for the 18 were to have been handed down last week by a Shariacourt in the Moslem state of Bauchi.

They were arrested wearing women's clothing at a hotel where police say theyhad gathered for the wedding "of two men". An attorney for the men said theywere at the hotel for a "graduation party".

The 18 were convicted of sodomy earlier this month but last week the judgereduced that violating Islamic law by dressing in female garb when it couldnot be proved any sex had occurred.

Sodomy carries a maximum sentence of death.

When the prosecutor said he would not seek the death penalty the judge saidhe would need time to consider an appropriate sentence. (story) The 18 willbe back in court September 13.


National Gay News
More Gay Linguists Discharged Than First Thought
Saturday, 25 August 2007 08:53

The number of Arabic linguists discharged from the military for violatingits "don't ask, don't tell" policy is higher than previously reported,according to records obtained by a research group.

The group contends the records show that the military - at a time when itand U.S. intelligence agencies don't have enough Arabic speakers - isputting its anti-gay stance ahead of national security.



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