Tuesday, August 28, 2007

GLBT DIGEST August 28, 2007

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT rays.list@comcast.net and we'll be happy to send the full article.


The New York Times


August 28, 2007

Senator, Arrested at Airport, Pleads Guilty

WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 — Senator Larry E. Craig, Republican of Idaho, wasarrested in June by an undercover police officer in a men’s bathroom atMinneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and pleaded guilty to disorderlyconduct in the case three weeks ago.

Mr. Craig, 62, was fined more than $500 and placed on unsupervised probationfor a year. A 10-day jail sentence was suspended, according to a copy of acourt document in the case. A second charge, interference with privacy, wasdismissed.

According to a police report obtained by the Capitol Hill newspaper RollCall, which disclosed the episode and the guilty plea Monday, a plainclothespolice officer investigating complaints of sexual activity in the bathroomarrested the senator on June 11 after what the officer described as sexualadvances made by Mr. Craig from an adjoining stall.

By Roll Call’s account, the officer said Mr. Craig had tapped his foot, inwhat the officer called a known signal to engage in lewd conduct, and hadalso brushed his foot against the investigator’s and waved his hand underthe stall divider several times before the officer showed him his badge.After the arrest the senator denied any sexual intent, and in a statementissued Monday afternoon he attributed the matter to a misunderstanding.

“At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they weremisconstruing my actions,” Mr. Craig said in the statement. “I was notinvolved in any inappropriate conduct.

“I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. Inhindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this mattermyself quickly and expeditiously.”

Mr. Craig also severed ties Monday with the Republican presidential campaignof Mitt Romney, in which he had been serving as a co-liaison to the Senatewith Senator Robert F. Bennett of Utah. The Romney campaign issued astatement that said: “Senator Craig has stepped down from his role with thecampaign. He did not want to be a distraction, and we accept his decision.”

Mr. Craig, whose seat is up for election next year, is the second senator inrecent weeks to find his personal behavior under scrutiny. Senator DavidVitter, Republican of Louisiana, was implicated in a separate case in theWashington area when his phone number turned up in the records of an escortservice that the authorities have described as a prostitution ring. Mr.Vitter made a public apology for what he called “a very serious sin in mypast,” but he has not been charged with any crime.

Mr. Craig, who is married and has three children, publicly rejectedaccusations by a gay rights activist last year that he had engaged inhomosexual conduct. He called the accusations “completely ridiculous.”


The Washington Post


Idaho Senator Pleaded Guilty After Arrest In Restroom
By Paul Kane and Shailagh Murray
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer and Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 28, 2007; A01

Sen. Larry E. Craig pleaded guilty earlier this month to misdemeanordisorderly-conduct charges stemming from his June arrest by an undercoverpolice officer in a men's restroom at Minneapolis-St. Paul InternationalAirport, a court spokeswoman and the senator's office said yesterday.

Craig issued a statement confirming his arrest and guilty plea, which werereported in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. But the Idaho Republicanmaintained that he had not engaged in any "inappropriate conduct" and thatthe airport police misunderstood his behavior.

"At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they weremisconstruing my actions. I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct,"Craig said. "I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving thismatter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handlethis matter myself quickly and expeditiously."

Now in his third term, Craig, 62, has been a member of Senate Republicanleadership and ran unsuccessfully in 2002 to become the GOP whip, the No. 2leadership job. He has been a prominent figure on gun rights and Westernlands issues, and he resigned yesterday as Idaho chairman of thepresidential campaign of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R).

Craig "did not want to be a distraction," said Romney spokesman MattRhoades, "and we accept his decision."



The Washington Post


Oral Sex Implicated in Some Throat and Neck Cancers
By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter
Monday, August 27, 2007; 12:00 AM

MONDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Human papillomavirus (HPV), which isbelieved to be responsible for most cervical cancers, may also be at theroot of many cancers of the mouth and throat, new research suggests.

Although the rate of most head and neck cancers has been declining over thepast 30 years because more people have stopped smoking, the rate of certaincancers in the throat and mouth hasn't dropped, according to researchpublished in the Aug. 27 online issue ofCancer.

"Smoking prevalence has dropped dramatically, and, likewise, most head andneck cancers have declined in incidence. Cancers at the base of the tongueand tonsil are increasing or have remained stagnant. We're not seeing thereduction in incidence that we would have expected," said study author Dr.Erich Sturgis, an associate professor of head and neck surgery andepidemiology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, inHouston.

The study authors suspect the reason may be orally transmitted HPVinfections.

"Just as cervical cancer is the outcome of a sexually transmitted disease,as are most anal and penile cancers, people need to be aware that they canget throat or tongue cancer as the consequence of a sexually transmitteddisease," said Sturgis. "Oral sex can't be considered safe sex."

Head and neck cancers aren't common; they account for about 3 percent of allcancer cases in the United States, according to the study. Each year, thereare about 45,000 new cases of head and neck cancers. Cigarette smoking andexcessive alcohol consumption have long been considered the most significantrisk factors in the development of these cancers, said Sturgis. Between 80percent and 90 percent of head and neck cancers can be attributed to tobaccoor alcohol use.


Forwarded from Michael Emanuel Rajner
National Secretary - Campaign to End AIDS
Founding Member - Campaign to End AIDS-FLORIDA

St. Lucie County School Board
District Offices
4204 Okeechobee Rd.
Fort Pierce, Fl. 34947
Board Meets: Tuesday, August 28 at 6pm


Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 24, 2007

St. Lucie County Schools Superintendent Michael Lannon said Thursday that hewill recommend that the school board adopt a proposed sex educationcurriculum, with some modifications, and begin using it this school year.

The recommendation will be made at the board's regular meeting at 5 p.m.Tuesday in Fort Pierce. Board members will not vote on the curriculum thatnight.

Lannon's proposal, which was e-mailed to school board members Wednesday,calls for a board vote in December and for the program to be taught byJanuary.

Called Get Real About AIDS, the curriculum would be primarily for highschool students, but aspects of it could be used in middle school, he said.His proposal calls for students to begin learning about diseases such asHIV/AIDS in seventh grade. Eighth-graders would be the first to learn aboutcondoms.

"The fact is, students that age in some cases are having sex," he said.


The Detroit News


Monday, August 27, 2007
Deb Price
Democrats need to produce results for gays

Congress returns from its August recess soon. And many gay Americans arestarting to wonder whether Democrats intend to live up to the "Under newmanagement" sign they hung up at the U.S. Capitol after last November'selections.

With few legislative workdays left before lawmakers become obsessed with the2008 campaigns, now is the time for Democrats to produce results. Andoutlawing job discrimination against those of us who're gay should be a toppriority.

Fortunately, U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews says he is eager to get moving. Andrewsisn't just any Democrat. The New Jersey lawmaker chairs the Housesubcommittee with jurisdiction over workplace laws.

Andrews told me "it's very likely" he will hold hearings on the EmploymentNon-Discrimination Act (ENDA) soon, so it can get its first-ever vote on theU.S. House floor "this fall."

ENDA would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or genderidentity, but would exempt religious institutions, the military and smallbusinesses.

"I'm in this to win," Andrews says of pushing ENDA. "I don't want to prove apoint by having a hearing or raising an issue for the first time. I want tochange the law because I think the law as it exists does not adequatelyprotect people."


Indonesia Celebrates 6th National Queer Film Festival

From the Jakarta Post - Sunday, August 19, 2007

Q! Film Festival: Gender and sexuality on film

Lisabona Rahman, Contributor, Jakarta

Now in its sixth year, the Q! Film Festival aims this year tooffer an even wider selection of films that focus on gender andsexuality.

Starting in Jakarta, the festival will then tour differentcities in Indonesia. The Jakarta part will run from Aug. 24through Sept. 2; that in Bali from Sept. 6 through 8.

Presenting a line-up of 80 films produced in 22 countries aroundthe world, this year's festival takes up the theme "YouthRevisited".

The opening film is Taiwan director Leste Chen's Eternal Summer, a story about youth, friendship and the emotions that affect agroup of people growing up together both in a village as well asin metropolitan Taipei.

It was awarded Best New Performer at the 2006 Golden Horse FilmFestival, Taipei.

The main feature of this festival is Asian films. It thereforerevisits the very well-known Happy Together by Hong Kongdirector Wong Kar Wai, about two Chinese gays living in BuenosAires and struggling with their lives, love and loneliness.

The film will be presented together with a documentary about itsmaking by Kwan Pun Leung and Amos Lee, an absorbing story of how the filmmirrors the real life of the city, as well as that ofits cast and crew.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Seeking LGBTQ students for an online survey

Dear Colleagues:

I am supervising a McNair Scholar's research project on sexual identity andeducational experiences. He is having trouble getting a decent sample sizeof lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) collegestudents. If you can forward this request to any eligible students, studentlistservs, or relevant campus organizations, we would be most appreciative.

The survey takes between 30-45 minutes. We are offering a raffle for two $25Amazon.com gift cards as compensation. The link is

Thanks for your help,


Bettina J. Casad, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Psychology and Sociology Department
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
3801 West Temple Avenue
Pomona, California 91768
Office: Bldg. 5-108
Office Phone: 909-869-3470
Fax: 909-869-4930


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Don't ask, don't tell ends S.J. man's military dream
By Joe Goldeen
August 26, 2007
Record Staff Writer

STOCKTON - Enlisting in the military was Randy Miller's destiny.

His father, an Army Ranger he never knew, was killed in action in 1996. Hismother served in the Army, and his stepfather was in the Navy.

When Miller, a 2004 graduate of Tokay High School, was assigned later thatyear to the storied 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, N.C. - one of the Army'selite paratroop divisions - all was right with the world.

But Miller's dream of a military career in the service of his country wouldsoon come crashing down faster than you can say "don't ask, don't tell." Hewas unceremoniously discharged less than halfway through his four-yearenlistment commitment.

No one questioned Miller's bravery. No one questioned his dedication toduty. Miller's only egregious act was admitting his homosexuality. Afterhearing that, the Army didn't want him any longer.

"I loved the Army. I've been trying to get back in, but I can't. I never gotin trouble for anything," said Miller, now 21 and back home working for theU.S. Census Bureau in Stockton.

During the one year and 361 days that Miller served in the Army, he earnedtwo Army Achievement Medals and a Combat Infantryman Badge. He voluntarilysought out the dangerous assignment of a paratrooper, making 22 jumps.

On one of those jumps prior to deployment to Iraq, his main chute got caughtup and was cut away, and his reserve chute did not fully open. After fallingfor more than 900 feet, he managed to walk away from a hard landing.

At that time, he didn't know he had torn the meniscus in his left knee anddamaged his right ankle. So he left for the war zone without seekingtreatment. That only aggravated his injuries.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Gay Russia
20.07.2007 00:25:12
Moscow LGBT activists protest against persecution of Iranian gays
Second year gays and lesbians rally in front of Iranian embassy in Moscow

About two dozens of LGBT and political activists demonstrated in front ofIranian embassy in Moscow. They protested against execution anddiscrimination of gay people in Iran.

The rally has been organized and supported by Russian prominent gay rightsorganizations like GayRussia.Ru project, LGBT Rights movement, “Free
Radicals” Libertarian Movement and activists of Transnational Radical Party.

Demonstrators held slogans in support of human and gay rights. They alsoheld rainbow flags.

Slogans of the rally were: “Iran! Maintain human rights!”, “Iran! Hands offgays!”, “No death penalty!”.

Last year few LGBT and political activists had also rallied on July 19against execution of gay people in Iran. Several nazi extremists had triedto assault demonstrators. One of them had been beaten.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News



"Gay Mexico City is coming of age"
Exclusive Interview with Matt Skallerud President of IGLTA

MEXICO CITY, 24/08/2007 (LIOWLB/Enkidu Magazine): Global Gay and Lesbian
Tourism 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 estination?

MS: Mexico City is one of the few cities in North and South America with a
strong 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.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Are civil unions a 600-year-old tradition?

A compelling new study from the September issue of the Journal of ModernHistory reviews historical evidence, including documents and gravesites,suggesting that homosexual civil unions may have existed six centuries agoin France. The article is the latest from the ongoing “Contemporary Issuesin Historical Perspective” series, which explores the intersection betweenhistorical knowledge and current affairs.

Commonly used rationales in support of gay marriage and gay civil unionsavoid historical arguments. However, as Allan A. Tulchin (ShippensburgUniversity) reveals in his forthcoming article, a strong historicalprecedent exists for homosexual civil unions.

Opponents of gay marriage in the United States today have tended to assumethat nuclear families have always been the standard household form. However,as Tulchin writes, “Western family structures have been much more variedthan many people today seem to realize, and Western legal systems have inthe past made provisions for a variety of household structures.”

For example, in late medieval France, the term affrèrement – roughlytranslated as brotherment – was used to refer to a certain type of legal
contract, which also existed elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe. Thesedocuments provided the foundation for non-nuclear households of many typesand shared many characteristics with marriage contracts, as legal writers atthe time were well aware, according to Tulchin.

The new “brothers” pledged to live together sharing ‘un pain, un vin, et unebourse’ – one bread, one wine, and one purse. As Tulchin notes, “The modelfor these household arrangements is that of two or more brothers who haveinherited the family home on an equal basis from their parents and who willcontinue to live together, just as they did when they were children.” But atthe same time, “the affrèrement was not only for brothers,” since many otherpeople, including relatives and non-relatives, used it.




South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board
August 28, 2007

Here's one resignation Naugle should consider

For a guy who believes in doing what's right, Fort Lauderdale Mayor JimNaugle has it all wrong. Now he's pressing Broward County officials tochangea marketing campaign aimed at attracting gay tourists.

Fortunately, the mayor can still do the right thing by simply resigning —from the county's Tourism Development Board.

Naugle is entitled to that inalienable right of speaking one's mind, butdemonizing gays while sitting on a panel that promotes the county as atourist destination to a growing segment of gay visitors is a conflict thatcan't be reconciled. Already one gay-oriented convention has put its planson hold, and tourism officials worry about more fallout from Naugle's rants.

County commissioners may remove Naugle, but the mayor can make matters rightby stepping down.




Hot-button issues take focus off real problems
August 28, 2007

Whenever an official in this country needs to bring attention to him orherself, it seems the most popular way is to talk about hot button issues.Gay marriage, abortion and sexual predators are all topics that take thefocus off the real issues in our society, such as health care, affordablehousing and the loss of good-paying jobs to overseas companies.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department has stated that there is no evidenceto support Mayor Jim Naugle's notion of rampant public sex within our city.Yet the mayor continues to rail against an imaginary problem while ignoringthe real problems in this country and within our city. It is time for him tostep off his soapbox and get to work for the people of this great city.

Robert Brown

Fort Lauderdale




Lauderdale doesn't need image
August 28, 2007

Putting the good of the majority of his constituents over a loud minority isextremely rare from a politician/public servant these days. Theembarrassment Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle must feel breaking free fromthe lockstep marching of his peers, to dance to the beating of his ownheart.

I guess to hold a seat on the tourism board you have to think like everyoneelse. Can't the tourism board survive with opposing viewpoints?

I wholeheartedly agree with Naugle's take on the Convention and VisitorsBureau's specific targeting of the gay community.

Poll the average taxpayer and ask him how he would like his communitymarketed and I'm sure the great majority would choose an approach that makesno reference to sexual preference.

If the gays and lesbians want to make Fort Lauderdale their vacationdestination, they will because of what the area has to offer to all people.

People who have to be lured by the enticements of all the sexualpossibilities, be they heterosexual or homosexual, are probably not the kindof people you want visiting your community.

Charles Luken
Coral Springs


The New York Times


August 28, 2007
Clark Gable Exposed In Sex - Obsessed Biography
Filed at 2:54 a.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Clark Gable's father taunted his son,
calling him a "sissy." The young Gable responded by fashioning a macho-studdemeanor and projecting dad's disgust onto the many homosexuals he met andworked with. And author David Bret ("Joan Crawford: Hollywood Martyr") makesit clear that quite a few gays and lesbians populated Hollywood'ssoundstages and swimming pools.

The author tags virtually everyone who shows up here as straight, gay orbisexual, the majority falling into the latter two categories. Like previousaccounts, this one alleges that early in his career Gable was "gay for pay"and for career advancement.

He squired older women, some of them perhaps closet lesbians, and had closepersonal, possibly sexual relationships with a number of openly gay men. Hewas, as well, a serial seducer of women.

Bret's sourcing is unclear throughout; he qualifies most assertions aboutGable's sexuality with phrases like "it could be" and "it was alleged." Asfor insight into the star's films and acting, look for it elsewhere. Theauthor lavishes far more care on the details of Hollywood's sexualroundelays than on his flat summaries of Gable's films, including eightunnecessary pages on the plot of "Gone With the Wind."

Then it's on to the actor's severe halitosis (repeatedly mentioned) and hissuffering from phimosis, an inability to retract the foreskin of hisuncircumcised penis. Neither problem kept Gable from scoring big time in thebedroom. The image, craft and perhaps art that made Gable a huge star fordecades receive scant notice.


The New York Times


August 28, 2007
Debating a Hypothesis

To the Editor:

Re “Criticism of a Gender Theory, and a Scientist Under Siege” (Aug. 21):Benedict Carey casts this story as a matter of politically correct thugstrying to undermine Dr. J. Michael Bailey’s legitimate scientific research.But even Dr. Bailey’s defenders admit the research in question turned out torest on shoddy anecdotal evidence.

In light of that fact, the story can’t possibly concern “the corrosiveeffects of political correctness on academic freedom,” as someone quoted inthe article claims. The question was whether his book had any legitimatescientific basis. And it didn’t. But perhaps that doesn’t make for a veryinteresting story.

John Casey

To the Editor:

It’s unscientific to require an explanation for gay or transgenderidentities but not heterosexual, nontransgender identities.

The Bailey hypothesis claims that biological males who identify as women areeither trying to attract men or to fulfill their own fantasies. The“alternate” hypothesis is not always the “woman trapped in a man’s body”cliché; the alternative is to let people describe their lives in their ownterms.

More. . . .




Posted on Tue, Aug. 28, 2007
Mayor Naugle may lose tourism board seat

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle's comments about the gay community couldcost him his seat on a tourist board, but that doesn't bother the outspokenofficial.

Broward County commissioners will discuss today whether to remove Nauglefrom the Tourist Development Council for what his critics say are attacks onthe gay community.

''Being off the board won't silence me, it may give me a bigger voice,''Naugle said Monday.

If he is removed, Naugle said he won't have to abide by Florida's publicrecords laws and could speak to individual members of the tourist board atany time.

Commissioner Stacy Ritter had planned on calling for a vote today.




Posted on Tue, Aug. 28, 2007
Coral Ridge Presbyterian puts politics aside for now

With the retirement of the Rev. D. James Kennedy, its voice for nearly 50years, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church will move away from its founder'spolitical activism to focus on finding a successor and shaping the church'sfuture, Coral Ridge leaders said Monday.

''Let's say the emphasis will diminish short term for sure,'' church elderRon Kovack said. ``I think the issues remain the same -- but it will beother pastors across the country to pick up the torch of Pastor Kennedy.''

Kennedy, who presided over an international evangelical empire until hesuffered cardiac arrest in December, retired Sunday at age 76. He foundedthe Fort Lauderdale church in 1959 with a handful of members; it now numbers10,000 plus a worldwide audience of three million through its TV, radio andWeb-based networks.

''He's one of the half-dozen most influential . . . evangelical leaders inthe last third of the 20th century,'' said Richard Land, president of theSouthern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. ``Hewas a giant in the land.''

With the Rev. Jerry Falwell and televangelist Pat Robertson, Kennedybelonged to a pioneering generation of TV preachers who married religiousprinciples with politics.




August 28, 2007
Chicago: Gays not protected by 14th Amendment

A man who filed a lawsuit after being allegedly beaten by Chicago policebecause he is gay is contesting the city’s motion to dismiss his case—sincethe city is arguing that gays are not covered under the U.S. Constitution’sequal protection clause.

The Chicago Free Press reports that Alexander Ruppert sued Chicago policeofficers after he was arrested in March 2006, when he was escorted out of abar. The officers were driving him to the Uptown station when he tried touse his cell phone in the backseat of the police car. Ruppert says theofficers stopped the car, dragged him out, and beat him while using antigayepithets. After he began to bleed profusely, he told them he wasHIV-positive. He was taken to a local hospital, where he received 16stitches around his eye.

The motion, filed by attorneys for the city, states that gays as a group arenot included under the 14th Amendment, the Constitution's equal protectionclause.

The amendment states: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shallabridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States: norshall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, withoutdue process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equalprotection of the laws.”

Ruppert’s attorney, Michael Oppenheimer, told the Free Press that the city’sposition is an insult to Chicagoans. He asked for an extension to argueagainst the city's motion. Both sides will return to court September 11.




August 28, 2007
Iranian lesbian threatened with deportation in U.K. could find refuge inItaly

Italian politicians said Rome could grant asylum to an Iranian lesbian whofaces deportation from the United Kingdom and a possible death sentence backhome. Meanwhile, gay rights proponents and left-wing politicians rallied forher cause in a protest Monday outside the British embassy in Rome.

Pegah Emambakhsh, 40, who fled to England from Iran in 2005 after herpartner was arrested and tortured, is due to be expelled this week after herbid for residency was rejected, according to a British advocacy group.

Supporters in the U.K. are lobbying immigration authorities to showleniency. And activists in San Francisco have met with Britishrepresentatives to press Emambakhsh's claim for asylum.

''If returned to Iran, she faces certain imprisonment, likely severelashings, and possibly even stoning to death. Her crime in Iran is hersexual orientation,'' said Peter Tatchell, of London-based gay rights groupOutRage!

The Italian gay rights group Arcigay led about 100 people in a protestMonday evening outside the British embassy. Some left-wing politicians fromparties in Premier Romano Prodi's center-left coalition joined thedemonstration.

Arcigay has called on Prodi's government to offer Emambakhsh asylum.




August 28, 2007
DNC holds summit on minority outreach with LGBT activists

The Democratic National Committee hosted its first American MajorityPartnership Summit on August 23–25 in Las Vegas, where 600 participants,including more than 100 LGBT activists, gathered to strategize about theDemocratic Party’s goals.

The five caucuses that make up the DNC’s American Majority Partnership arethe Asian Pacific Islander, black, Hispanic, LGBT, and women’s caucuses. DNCchairman Howard Dean convened the caucuses to increase their participationand maximize coordination among them.

DNC spokesman Damien La Vera said that among some of the ideas theydiscussed was a new emphasis on reaching out to LGBT youths and LGBT peopleof color, and using the Internet to broaden the DNC’s outreach.

Another development this year was a renewed focus by state parties onincreasing LGBT representation. Last year the DNC adopted new rulesrequiring state parties to formulate and submit LGBT delegate inclusionplans, but the parties were not explicitly required to have numeric goalsfor LGBT delegates. Though critics feared that the rules were too flimsy, atleast 45 states have now set specific targets for the number of LGBTdelegates who will represent their party—that’s up from just 16 states thathad hard numeric goals in 2004.

“It’s extraordinary to have that much progress in just the years,” Dean toldThe Advocate.




August 28, 2007
GenderPAC updates report on gender identity in school

The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition
(GenderPAC) released its second annualreport on gender identity in schools Monday.

The GENIUS Index (Gender Equality National Index for Universities andSchools) was created last year to track and evaluate “the
 efforts ofcolleges, universities, and K-12 school districts to prohibit
discrimination and promote awareness of gender identity and expression in
their policies,” according to a press release.

The details of the report include analyses of nondiscrimination
policies,gender-neutral bathrooms, gender-neutral housing, and
antiharassmentpolicies. Some findingd of the study include:

–147 colleges and universities have added gender identity and expression totheir nondiscrimination policies.

–Over 100 public K-12 school districts, encompassing thousands of individualschools, have extended similar gender identity protections to serve nearly3.5 million children in 23 states.




August 28, 2007
Lawsuit: I was fired for being straight

The former director of California's AIDS/LifeCycle fund-raiser has sued twoHIV/AIDS nonprofits that put on the ride, claiming they fired him because heis not gay.

Jeffrey Shapiro filed suit Thursday in Los Angeles superior court, allegingsexual orientation discrimination and intentional infliction of emotionaldistress by his former employers, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center andthe San Francisco AIDS Foundation, City News Service reported.

In his lawsuit, Shapiro claims leaders of the two HIV/AIDS groups hired himin March, then met with him in June and fired him, telling him that"everybody liked him as a person, but they needed somebody who better fitinto the culture."

When he asked for clarification, he said in court papers, a director of theLos Angeles center told him that "things like this happen and that they madea mistake to think this could work."

AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545-mile cycling event down the California coast from SanFrancisco to Los Angeles, benefits HIV/AIDS research. The June 2007 ridedrew 2,700 participants and generated a record $11 million, according to theevent's Web site.




August 28, 2007
California church promotes "hate-free zone" after banner slashing

Following the third slashing of a Marriage Equality Banner, NeighborhoodChurch of Pasadena, Calif., announced it will hold a peace rally on Sunday,September 9, to dedicate the historic property as a “hate-free zone,”according to a press release.

“This is so much more than just a banner,” Neighborhood Church director ofadministration Aylssa Bellew said in the press release. “Besides having loveand tolerance in our hearts and minds, our faith encourages us to proclaimit and take action against injustices wherever they might be. The worldneeds to see that people of faith, clergy, and religious institutions standon the side of love and justice.”

The banner, which read, “LOVE makes a family. We support marriage equality!”was slashed sometime before church services on Sunday, July 29.

Churchgoers and staff, along with members of the community, will wrap thesanctuary and adjacent campus entirely in a “hate-free” ribbon to show“unwavering solidarity and dedication to equality for all marriages andfamilies, and to reinforce the church's ‘Stand on the Side of Love’covenant,” according to the press release. The ribbon will also be signedand decorated with “pledges from the heart” in support of gay rights.Following the peace rally, church officials say that they plan to raise anew banner. (The Advocate)


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Women's E-News

Catholic Women Press Their Fitness for Priesthood Run Date: 08/26/07 By
Claire Bushey
WeNews correspondent

Two Roman Catholic women were just ordained in Minneapolis, joining a rosterthat is condemned by Rome. On another front, advocates who prefer to engagethe Vatican on female ordination pursue a "Ministry of Irritation."

CHICAGO (WOMENSENEWS)--Alice Iaquinta's classmates, all men, had left herbehind.

After studying together for six years at Saint Francis Seminary inMilwaukee, Iaquinta attended the ordination ceremony of one of them, a closefriend, in 2006 at the city's cathedral. She noticed a corona of thornscircling the crucifix hanging above the altar.

"As they were called forward, he said, 'Here I am, I am ready,'" sherecalled. "I just felt like I'd been stabbed in the heart."

She was ready too, but the Roman Catholic Church does not ordain women.

Iaquinta considered converting to another denomination, but one night, afterseveral hours of research, she closed her computer and told God, "Sorry, I'mCatholic. I'll do whatever you want. You make it happen."

The next day she received an e-mail from a stranger telling her about RomanCatholic Womenpriests.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

The Arizona Republic


Transgender candidate for Tempe
Transgender official was fired in Florida
Katie Nelson
Aug. 23, 2007 12:00 AM

Tempe officials have long talked the proverbial talk when it comes to beinga progressive city. Now, they are being asked to take steps along thatproverbial walk as the City Council chooses a new manager.

One of the 23 applying for the position is the former city manager of Largo,Fla., who was fired from that post soon after revealing an in-progress sexchange.

Susan Stanton went by Steve throughout her 14-year tenure as Largo'smanager. She divulged in February that she was undergoing hormone therapyand was preparing for a gender reassignment operation.


A bit old news but very important.
Tomasz Szypula
KPH / ILGA-Europe

"Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland: Poland to appeal decision regarding
Equality Parade"
3 August 2007

Poland will appeal the decision of the European Court of Human Rights inStrasbourg on Warsaw's 2005 Equality Parade, says Ministry of ForeignAffairs spokesperson Robert Szaniawski.

He added that the application would be submitted today. Court decisions canbe appealed within three months.

The Court ruled on May 3rd that Warsaw authorities violated the EuropeanConvention of Human Rights by prohibiting the 2005 Equality Parade.

The then-Mayor of Warsaw Lech Kaczynski authorized the prohibition of theParade, citing safety as the concern. In lieu of the Parade, the gay andlesbian community organized a series of vigils, several of which were alsobanned due to "safety as well as foreseen difficulties in movement."

However, Court Judges unanimously rejected the reasoning of Warsawauthorities and ruled in favor of the Equality Foundation which submittedthe case to the Court in 2005.

"Prof. Zbigniew Holda: This is unbelievable"


The Mayor of Venice joins international appeal:
Venice is ready to host Pegah Emambakhsh

Today the Mayor of Venice, Massimo Cacciari, issued the following statement:

“It is my firm belief to join the international campaign launched to savePegah Emambakhsh, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning in herCountry for being a lesbian, who was denied asylum by the British Governmentand now risks to be expelled from Great Britain in the next few days and tobe sent back to Iran, where she is going to meet certain death.

Italian Minister for Human Rights and Equal Opportunities, BarbaraPollastrini, made a suggestion to the Italian Government to save PegahEmambakhsh by accepting her as a refugee and offered this solution to theBritish Government: I am sure that our Prime Minister will quickly acceptMinister Pollastrini’s suggestion, which I fully agree with, and will takeall necessary steps to avoid a tragic ending.

In its recent past Venice has already been a refugee-town for persecutedpeople, and within this tradition it is ready to host the Iranian woman, atleast for the first period of time: the City of Venice, in cooperation withother bodies committed to save Pegah Emambakhsh, places a secure livingfacility at the woman’s disposal, in one sequestered houses of the localmafia (Mala del Brenta). By launching this appeal and offer, I am certain Iam expressing a common feeling of the whole town and its traditional culture”.

For more information about the City of Venice’s position please contactMayor’s delegate Hon. Franca Bimbi at the following number: +39.348.9691706.

Venice, August 25th, 2007 / lp-cv




New Evidence Of Link Between Meth Use, HIV
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 27, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Winston-Salem, North Carolina) New findings that one in 20 North Carolinamen who have sex with men reported using crystal methamphetamine during theprevious month suggests increased risk for spreading HIV and other sexuallytransmitted diseases, according to researchers from Wake Forest UniversitySchool of Medicine.

The rate of methamphetamine use among 1,189 MSM was 30 times higher thanlevels reported in the general U.S. population over the same period theresearchers said Monday.

Methampehtamine, or “meth,” is a highly addictive stimulant that has beenfound to impair judgment, decrease inhibition, increase impulsivity andenhance sexual sensitivity – which can all increase the potential fortransmitting HIV.

The study’s authors found that participants who reported usingmethamphetamines were more likely to report inconsistent condom use duringanal sex within the past three months, a history of STD infection, beingHIV-positive and using medications designed to treat erectile dysfunction.

The study mirrors similar research in California and other parts of thecountry.




Vatican's New Airline For Catholic Zealots
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 27, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Vatican City) A Vatican-backed charter airline service made its inauguralflight Monday, aiming to carry pilgrims to such Catholic shrines as Lourdes,Fatima, Santiago de Compostela and the Holy Land.

The flights, scheduled to start regular service next year, are tailored tothe pilgrims' needs, with inscriptions such as "I search for Your face,Lord," decorating the seats, and religious videos shown on board.

"We want to create the conditions to enable pilgrims to live theirpilgrimage starting at their city's airport and even before they arrive attheir destinations," said the Rev. Caesar Atuire, CEO for the "Opera RomanaPellegrinaggi," an outfit that organizes pilgrimages for the Diocese ofRome.

"That's why we created this initiative, with a dedicated aircraft, trainedstaff, and messages (on board) to help people live a better experience," hetold reporters at a presentation ahead of the inaugural flight, whichcarried VIPs and church officials to Lourdes.

The five-year agreement between Mistral Air, a small airline owned by theprivate Italian post office, and the "Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi," offersflights leaving from seven Italian airports, including Rome and Verona, witha Boeing 737-300.




No Rush To Fix Law Allowing Toddlers To Wed In State With Gay Marriage Ban
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 27, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Little Rock, Arkansas) Gov. Mike Beebe said Monday there is no "imminentcrisis" that would require a special legislative session to fix an error ina new law that allows Arkansans of any age - even toddlers - to marry withparental consent.

Beebe said he could call a special session if legislative leaders push forone or a court challenge arises, but he would rather avoid the expense ofconvening the House and Senate before the next regular session beginsJanuary 2009.

"Right now, the code is in a way that most of the clerks feel like theydon't have to issue marriage licenses to children under situations thatwould make them vulnerable, so at this point I think the caution is to juststay where we are," Beebe told reporters at the state Capitol.

The marriage age law, which took effect July 31, was intended to establish18 as the minimum age to marry while also allowing pregnant minors to marrywith parental consent. An extraneous "not" in the bill, however, allowsanyone who is not pregnant to marry at any age if the parents allow it.

The bill reads: "In order for a person who is younger than eighteen (18)years of age and who is not pregnant to obtain a marriage license, theperson must provide the county clerk with evidence of parental consent tothe marriage."




Enough Evidence Against Pair In Gay Slaying For Murder Trial Judge Rules
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 27, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) A judge has ruled the prosecution has enoughevidence to proceed to trial in the murder of one of the country's biggestgay adult entertainment companies.

Harlow Cuadra, 25, and Joseph Kerekes, 33, of Virginia Beach, Va., areaccused of killing Bryan Kocis, the owner of Cobra Video - a man police sayCuadra and Kerekes saw as a competitor.

But the judge also ruled that there was insufficient evidence to supportadditional charges of burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary.

Taking those charges off the indictment effectively removes the deathpenalty from the case an attorney for the two accused said.

Cuadra and Kerekes deny killing Kocis. "I didn't do it. I didn't kill thatman," Kereks told reporters as he was led out of the courtroom.




Police Question Claims People With AIDS Being Buried Alive
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 28, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea) Officials in Papua New Guinea areinvestigating claims by an HIV-positive woman that people with AIDS wereburied alive by their relatives when they became too sick to care for, anofficial said Tuesday.

Margaret Marabe, a local activist who reportedly spent five months workingto raise awareness about the disease in the South Pacific nation's remoteSouthern Highlands province, said she had seen AIDS patients buried alive.(story)

"I saw three people with my own eyes," Marabe told the Post Courier in PapuaNew Guinea for its Monday edition. "When they got very sick and people couldnot look after them, they buried them."

The acting director of Papua New Guinea's National AIDS Council, RomanusPakure, said police and health workers were being sent to the SouthernHighlands to investigate the claims.

However, he questioned why Marabe had not approached the police beforetaking her story to the media. "The lady may be a loose cannon, we are nothappy it's come out like this," he said.


[Send your comments about articles to Rays.List@Comcast.net]

No comments: