Friday, August 03, 2007

GLBT DIGEST August 3, 2007

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The New York Times

August 3, 2007
No Hate Required for Hate Crime in Gay Man's Death, Judge Rules

Three men arrested in the death of a gay man who was beaten and then struckby a car during an October robbery attempt can be charged with hate crimeswithout evidence that they were motivated by hatred for gay men, a judgeruled yesterday.

The judge, Jill Konviser of State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, said in awritten order that prosecutors need show only that the victim was chosenbecause of his sexual orientation to pursue charges under the state's HateCrimes Act of 2000. The law provides for longer sentences on conviction forcrimes motivated by racial, religious and other characteristics of a victim.

The case concerns the killing of Michael Sandy, 29, a gay man who was luredto a meeting place in Sheepshead Bay last October, then driven a shortdistance to Plumb Beach, where he was beaten and chased into traffic on theBelt Parkway. He later died of his injuries.

The defendants, John Fox, Anthony Fortunato and Ilya Shurov, none older than21, were charged with murder as a hate crime. Prosecutors said the men hadcontacted Mr. Sandy through a gay online chat room, selecting him because"this was an easy way to rob someone," according to court documents.



August 1, 2007
Gay boycott makes no sense
Posted by Michael Mayo at 11:48 AM

In the wake of Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle's recent gay-unfriendlyremarks, some wonder if gay and lesbian tourists might stay away from thecity. This is one case where a boycott would be misguided andcounterproductive.

After all, a gay boycott would hurt many hotels, restaurants and businessesthat are owned by gays, employ gays and welcome gays.

And a boycott would only play into Naugle's agenda, allowing him to claimthat he single-handedly curtailed the scourge of what he views as theimmoral and promiscuous masses.

The best revenge would be for gays to keep visiting and keep making amockery of Naugle's comments with behavior that's law-abiding andfree-spending. And, considering Naugle's remark that he doesn't call gays"gay" because "most are unhappy," gay visitors should also wear big smiles.

About the only thing gays should boycott in Fort Lauderdale is anything thatdirectly benefits the city. For visitors, maybe that means finding freeparking or using private lots instead of city meters (except for the lotsNaugle co-owns near the courthouse).

For residents, maybe holding off on any home or business improvements thatrequire a city permit until Naugle apologizes or leaves office.

That would deliver the targeted message the situation deserves.


Senator Barack Obama is coming to Miami !
Saturday, August 25th - 3pm

Miami Dade County Auditorium
2901 W. Flagler St., Miami 33135

Tickets: General Admission - $25 pp
Special "VIP seating" - $100 pp
Purchase tickets online at:
or call: 305-477-4994

Host Committee, Sponsorship and Volunteer opportunities are available

The Miami-Dade Democratic Party
1200 NW 78th Avenue, Suite #214, Doral, Florida 33126
Ph: 305-477-4994 Fax: 305-477-4995


The Washington Post

Young Russia's Enemy No. 1
Anti-Americanism Grows
By Sarah E. Mendelson and Theodore P. Gerber
Friday, August 3, 2007; Page A15

Vladimir Putin's belligerent rhetoric and actions toward the United Statesand its allies have begun prompting pundits to debate whether a new Cold Waris afoot. But how has the Russian president's message played to his homeaudience? A survey we commissioned by the Levada Analytic Center of 1,802Russians ages 16 to 29 offers some insight. We focused on this "Putingeneration" because it is Russia's political and economic future. In thedays after the Soviet collapse, it seemed reasonable to hope, even expect,that this generation, as the collective beneficiaries of a putativepost-Soviet transition to economic prosperity and political freedom, wouldembrace the United States as a friend of Russia. Yet our survey, conductedin April and May, found that a majority of young Russians view the UnitedStates as enemy No. 1. And while Putin's rhetoric is driving thisdevelopment, human rights violations associated with U.S. counterterrorismpolicies have played a role.

Putin has become increasingly vocal in his accusations that the UnitedStates seeks to impose its ideas and interests on the rest of the world,going so far as to liken American policies to those of the Third Reich. Hefrequently cites the "dangers" of foreign influence, suggesting that Russiais encircled by enemies and that foreign governments finance Russianorganizations to meddle in Russia's affairs.


The Washington Post

Karl Rove's Immunity
By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Thursday, August 2, 2007; 1:24 PM

The presidential aide who acts with such impunity now has the ultimateprotection: absolute immunity from congressional oversight, at least in thejudgment of White House Counsel Fred Fielding.

White House political mastermind Karl Rove had been subpoenaed to testifythis morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of theinvestigation into last year's still-unexplained firings of nine U.S.attorneys.

No one actually expected Rove to show up. But Fielding's assertion ofexecutive privilege yesterday to block his testimony was neverthelesssurprising in its breadth.

From Fielding's letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy: "Basedupon the advice of the Department of Justice, the President . . . hasrequested that I advise and inform you that Mr. Rove, as an immediatepresidential advisor, is immune from compelled congressional testimony aboutmatters that arose during his tenure and that relate to his official dutiesin that capacity. Accordingly, Mr. Rove is not required to appear inresponse to the Judiciary Committee subpoena to testify about such matters,and he has been directed not to appear."


Militant Jewish Sect Battle Police Over Gay Pride Arrests
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: July 31, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Jerusalem) More than a month after a gay pride march in Jerusalem membersof the haredi, an extreme Orthodox sect that rioted for a week prior to theparade are still battling with police.

Testifying before a Knesset committee Tuesday a senior police officer saidthat sect members almost nightly are setting fires in garbage bins in thecity's Orthodox area and throwing stones at police officers.

They are protesting the detention of five sect members who attempted todisrupt the parade.

"Every night they protest the detention of five haredim who were arrested indemonstrations against last month's Gay Pride march," Assistant CommanderBruno Stein, told the Knesset's Internal Affairs and Environment Committee.

One of those still detained is a 32 year old man who was found carrying ahomemade bomb. He was arrested moments before the pride march was to begin.

Police said he planned to detonate it near the parade route to scare peopleaway.


August 2nd, 2007

The Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) will take a stand and recognize the firstever Global Day of Gay Solidarity taking place on Friday August 3rd. TheVPS will honour the day by hosting a moment of silence during the OfficialVancouver Pride Weekend Launch at noon outside Vancouver Art Gallery toremember those who have fallen victim to human rights abuses because oftheir sexual orientation.

The Global Day of Gay Solidarity is a day commemorating the atrocities facedby the international GLBT community. Activists will unite worldwide andsend a message to government officials, in particular the UN, to investigatehuman rights abuses of GLBT people around the planet. Vancouver will markthe 10th international city to recognize the Day; other cities include NewYork, Caracas, Cologne, Warsaw, Mexico City, Washington D.C, and Stockholm.

WHAT: Moment of Silence for the Global Gay Solidarity Day (during theOfficial Vancouver Pride Weekend Launch).


Swedish Church to join Stockholm Gay Pride parade
02/08/07 18h10 GMT+1
AFP News brief

The Swedish Lutheran Church will march for for the first time in the GayPride parade in Stockholm under the slogan "Love is stronger thateverything", the Church announced on Thursday.

"For the first time ever, the parade at the Pride festival will have adelegation from the Swedish Church," it said in a statement.

The parade will go through the streets of the Swedish capital on Saturday.

The Church said the delegation would include about 30 people including twodeans from the Stockholm and Uppsala cathedrals.

It said it also wanted to "break the masses' big silence" regarding gays,bisexuals and transexuals.

"The Swedish Church is a Church open to everyone," Uppsala priest Ann-KatrinBosbach explained.

Sweden, already a pioneer in giving same-sex couples the right to adoptchildren, looks set to allow gays to marry in the Lutheran Church byintroducing a new marriage law in January 2008.

If the so-called "gender neutral" marriage legislation is adopted, theScandinavian country would become the first in the world to allow gays tomarry within a major Church.

Stockholm Pride is Scandinavia's largest Gay Pride celebration and last year45,000 persons participated, according to its organizers.

Homosexuality was not legalized in Sweden until 1944.


Bay Area Reporter
San Francisco
August 2, 2007

Gays 'zap' UN head during SF visit
By Heather Cassell

A small group of gay rights activists demanded that United NationsSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon address gay issues during a forum last weekand interrupted his remarks at a World Affairs Council speech at theFairmont Hotel.

The short demonstration followed a decision by the United Nations Economicand Social Council to give consultative status to two LGBT organizations,believed to be only the third time it has done so.

Gay rights activist and blogger Michael Petrelis, along with a small groupof activists, twice disrupted Ban's July 26 speech. Petrelis and theothers demanded that Ban address LGBT human rights issues, in particularexecutions of gay individuals in Iran and recent attacks during Pridecelebrations in Eastern Europe.

Ban, 63, the eighth secretary-general of the United Nations, began theposition on January 1. His visit to the Bay Area was in part to examineCalifornia's efforts to reverse the effects of global warming as well asother issues, according to a news release from the secretary-general'soffice.


Footballer denounces sport homophobia

Published: 2nd August 2007 09:11 CET
The Local

The Nordic region's largest gay pride event, Stockholm Pride, was officiallyopened on Wednesday by former Liverpool and Sweden footballer Glenn Hysén,who spoke of the problem of homophobia in sport.

"Sometimes, sport turns us into good team players, but sometimes sport turnsus into anxious homophobic herd animals," he said.

Hysén's suitability as a speaker at Pride has been questioned in the press,due to an incident in a toilet at Frankfurt Airport in 2001, in which hethumped a man who molested him. Hysén started his speech by meeting hiscritics head on:

"I know that many LGBT people have been the victims of assaults and hatecrimes. I can therefore understand if some people have been upset by theairport incident, so I want to be clear: I think that it is completelyunacceptable that anybody should be subjected to assaults, insults or hatecrimes due to their sexual orientation or gender identity," he said.


Dutch embassies to research gay rights

Thursday 02 August 2007

Dutch embassy officials in 36 countries where the Netherlands has close aidties have been asked to draw up an inventory of gay rights legislation.

The survey has been commissioned by by aid minister Bert Koenders, theVolkskrant reports on Thursday.

The paper says that in 18 countries where the Netherlands is active,homosexuality is illegal. Gay men face punishments ranging from fines andpublic beatings to, in three cases, a potential death sentence.

Dutch embassies in countries where homosexuality is illegal are being toldto urge the authorities to scrap anti-gay legislation, the paper says.

The results of the survey will be published in a few months but will not beused as an excuse to cut development aid, a ministry spokesman told thepaper.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Human Rights Campaign Expresses Disappointment on Judiciary Committee Voteon Leslie Southwick

"The Judiciary Committee's duty is to ensure that only fair-mindedindividuals, committed to civil rights for all Americans, are permitted toserve lifetime appointments to our federal courts," said Human RightsCampaign President Joe Solmonese

WASHINGTON -- Today the Senate Judiciary Committee approved, by a vote often to nine, the nomination of Judge Leslie Southwick to the United StatesCourt of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Judge Southwick has a disturbingrecord on equal rights, having participated in a decision removing an8-year-old child from the biological mother due in part to the mother'ssexual orientation. This vote brings Judge Southwick one step closer to alifetime position on the federal bench.

"The Judiciary Committee's duty is to ensure that only fair-mindedindividuals, committed to civil rights for all Americans, are permittedserve lifetime appointments to our federal courts," said Human RightsCampaign President Joe Solmonese. "The courts of appeal make decisions thatare critical to our lives. Judge Southwick has demonstrated a willingnessto base the most important decision imaginable-separating a parent from herchild-upon anti-gay prejudice. He is unfit to serve on the court, and westrongly encourage the full senate to reject his nomination."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Time to take off kid gloves with Boy Scouts

Mark My Words
By Mark Segal
PGN Publisher
C 2007 Philadelphia Gay News
Ending discrimination in the city

At times my phone is like a time machine. The other day, I picked it up andheard the infamous line: "You may not remember me, but ..." This particularcaller had met me one time in Chicago - in 1974. The events of that datewere easy to remember. Chicago officials had asked me to be grand marshalfor their first gay pride parade and rally. To promote the event, theyarranged all sorts of publicity for the four days prior to the event.

The man on the phone was the former executive director of thethen-just-opened Howard Brown Clinic for the gay and lesbian community. Henow resides in San Francisco and is a person living with HIV, and has doneso for close to 30 years without any medication. He is evidently involvedwith medical studies. (This is just one way PGN gets its news.)

Other ways include networking and people calling us with information. One ofthe issues we're hearing a lot about is the proposed settlement with the BoyScouts and the city land they are using.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] ILGA - call for volunteers to translate an HIV/Aids report
Espanol abajo - Portugues abaixo - Français en bas.

Dear friends, dear fellow LGBT activists,

ILGA plans to launch a world report on state regulations that forbid orimpede HIV positive people from traveling to some countries, mid-October. Wehope that a launch in October will allow LGBT and other groups to campaignwith this report around December 1 2007.

As we did with the State-sponsored Homophobia world report, we are workingwith an existing report. This "HIV/Aids Travel and Residence Regulations forHIV+ people" is the work of Peter Wiessner, from the German Aids Foundationand David Haerry who now collaborates with the European Aids Treating Group(EATG).

This report can be seen online at

We are now looking for volunteers who could translate and proofread thisreport in the following languages:

- From English to Portuguese
- From English to Spanish
- From English to Russian

If interested, please write to

I thank you in advance for your continued support,

Stephen Barris / ILGA


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

American Family Network

Sales of all Ford Motor Company automobiles fell 19.1% in July, compared toa year ago. Since AFA began a boycott of Ford in March 2006, sales havedropped in 15 of the 17 months. While the boycott isn't totally responsiblefor the drop in sales, it has played a major role.

AFA has identified Ford as a leading promoter of the homosexual agenda,including same-sex marriage. AFA began a boycott of Ford after theautomobile maker reneged on an agreement with AFA to cease promotion of thehomosexual lifestyle. Nearly 750,000 individuals have signed the AFAsponsored Boycott Ford Pledge. For more information on the Ford boycott andto sign the pledge, click here.

Despite the drastic drop in sales, not a single homosexual group has come toFord's defense nor publicly encouraged homosexuals to purchase Fordautomobiles. AFA asked Ford to take a stand similar to that of Wal-Mart,which will not support or oppose controversial issues. Ford declined,choosing to continue financially supporting the homosexual movement.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] Moscow Gay Pride Organizer Charged With Criminal
Offence of Slander
02.08.2007 14:57:12

Moscow Gay Pride Organizer Charged With Criminal Offence of Slander

Russian authorities start criminal proceedings against prominent gayactivist

On Wednesday 1 August chief organizer of Moscow Gay Pride Nikolai Alekseevwas officially charged with slander and a criminal investigation into hiscomments made live on Russian TV was launched by Moscow police andprosecution department.

Detective officially informed Mr. Alekseev, who is known for his humanrights activities in the sphere of LGBT rights, that criminal investigationis now open on the claim of Deputy of Russian State Duma Alexander Chuev.

Mr. Chuev from "Fair Russia" party closely linked to Kremlin suggested thatMr. Alekseev insulted and slandered him by calling him "gay" in the mostpopular talk show on Russian NTV channel "K baryeru!" broadcasted on 21 Junethis year.

TV duel between the deputy and Moscow Pride organizer was broadcasted livein the Russian Far East and later in all other parts of Russia recorded.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,7401354.story

August 3, 2007

Gay Men's Chorus - 7:30 p.m. Tue. at Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 SW Ninth Ave.,Fort Lauderdale. 954-791-4714.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,5844748,print.story

Philadelphia freedom
The Associated Press
August 5, 2007

When Philadelphia rolled out a national ad campaign aimed at gay touristsfour years ago, some of the commercials featured same-sex couples inColonial costumes.

"Come to Philadelphia," the ads said. "Get your history straight and yournightlife gay."

Since then, the city has become more sophisticated in its effort to attractpart of the annual $55 billion gay tourism market, targeting subgroupswithin the gay and lesbian community.

"Destinations will need to further refine what they're offering the gaytraveler. No longer will it be enough to say, 'Hey, we're gay-friendly. Youshould come here,'" said Jeff Guaracino of the Greater Philadelphia TourismMarketing Corp.

Philadelphia has been focusing recent marketing efforts on lesbians, who areless likely to have visited the city than gay men, according to DeborahDiamond, director of research and strategy for the Greater PhiladelphiaTourism Marketing Corporation.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,4503036,print.column

Gay and lesbian writers who want to showcase their work should plan toattend the Over the Rainbow: GLBT Bookfest Expo 2-5 p.m. Sept. 30 at theMain Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Published authors shouldcontact Lorraine Woods, Broward County Library Outreach Services Department,at or call 954-357-7348.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Aug. 03, 2007
Miami Beach launches its own brand in pursuit of visitors

Miami Beach wants vacationers to see it as more than just Miami's beach.After two decades subsidizing countywide tourism campaigns for ''Miami,''the resort city also is trying to fashion its own vacation brand. The firsttarget: New Yorkers, who will receive Miami Beach energy drinks, beachpaddles and suntan lotion this summer as part of a promotional push intoSouth Florida's No. 1 tourism market.

''We believe we need to go out there and make sure people understand thereis a distinction'' between Miami and Miami Beach, said Hilda Fernandez, thecity administrator who spearheaded the campaign.

The effort has a small budget and will rely mostly on word-of-mouth buzz andpublicity stunts, not to mention an Internet music video bound to make somenostalgic for the 1980s.

But the fledgling marketing push that began last month also touches on alarger tug-of-war over Miami Beach's role in Miami-Dade County's $14 billiontourism industry.



The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Aug. 03, 2007
National gay leaders urge rebuke of Naugle remarks

Sixteen of the nation's most powerful gay leaders on Thursday called for theBroward County and Fort Lauderdale commissions to condemn ''recent anti-gaycomments'' of Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle.

''We are writing to support UNITE Fort Lauderdale's request that youpromptly pass a resolution condemning Mayor Naugle's insulting, hurtful anduntrue comments and reaffirming Fort Lauderdale's welcome of and support forlesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people,'' wrote the activists,including the heads of GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance AgainstDefamation), Human Rights Campaign and Log Cabin Republicans. The ACLUjoined in the call as well. Mayor Naugle did not return a phone message leftat City Hall.

Broward County Mayor Josephus Eggelletion Jr. said he would not support aresolution condemning Naugle. ''That comment may not be the most appropriatething to say, but he has the right to say it,'' Eggelletion said.

Last month, Naugle proposed that Fort Lauderdale spend $250,000 on asingle-occupancy toilet for the beach to cut down on men having sex witheach other in public bathrooms. Naugle says the problem is rampant; the cityreports that since 2005, there have been only two arrests for sexualactivity in a public restroom.

Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Forceand one of the 16 letter-signers, sent a follow-up e-mail Wednesday night toThe Miami Herald:

''One issue that hasn't received much play -- and is, frankly, moreegregious than everything else -- is [Naugle's] misrepresentation thatBroward had the highest number of new [male-to-male] HIV cases last year inthe nation -- which led him questioning the convention and visitors bureaumarketing to gay tourists,'' Foreman wrote. ``This is -- to me -- even moreegregious than the toilet idiocy.''


Thursday, 02 August 2007 11:16
Gay Coalition Asks Broward, City to Denounce Mayor Naugle

National coalition of gay leaders and organizations condemn Naugle and askfor action from County and City Commissions. The effort was organized byMatt Foreman, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Why: This letter is being sent today to the Fort Lauderdale and BrowardCounty commissions:

"Dear Members of the Fort Lauderdale City Commission and Broward CountyCommission:

We are writing to support UNITE Ft. Lauderdale's request that you promptlypass a resolution condemning Mayor Naugle's insulting, hurtful and untruecomments and reaffirming Ft. Lauderdale's welcome of and support forlesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

While we know that some of you have made individual statements rejecting themayor's comments and said that he does not speak for you, the reality isthat because the mayor made his defamatory comments in his officialcapacity, it is up to you to officially and formally respond on behalf ofthe people of Ft. Lauderdale . Otherwise, your collective silence may betaken by others to mean that his comments actually do reflect the views ofyour city, not just the Mayor's own personal and deplorable prejudices.


Friday, 03 August 2007 08:10
Gay Jesus Paintings Thrill Crowds at Art Festival

A gay version of Christ's Passion was the hit of the recent NationalFestival of Progressive Spiritual Art in Taos, NM.

Opening-night crowds jammed around the gay Passion series, which shows Jesusas a contemporary gay man jeered by fundamentalists, tortured by Marinelook-alikes and rising again to enjoy homoerotic moments with God andfriends.

The art exhibit was based partly on the new book "Art That Dares: Gay Jesus,Woman Christ, and More" by lesbian Christian author Kittredge Cherry. Thebook is filled with color images by 11 contemporary artists from the U.S.and Europe. A new online gallery of images from the book and exhibit isonline now at the author's website,

"The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision" by New York painter Douglas Blanchardprovoked thoughtful discussions and impressed art collectors at the Taosshow. He became the festival's top seller, with almost half of the panels inhis 24-part Gay Passion series snapped up by collectors.

"Art can reach people where rational discussion can't-especially when itcomes to Jesus Christ," said Cherry, who helped organize the festival. "Thesuccess of the festival proves that many people are hungry for progressiveChristian images, even though conservatives have tried to censor them."


Ros-Lehtinen, Engel, Pelosi reintroduce Early Treatment of HIV ACT (ETHA)
News release:

WASHINGTON-Today, Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY), Speaker Nancy Pelosi(D-CA), and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) reintroduced the EarlyTreatment for HIV Act (ETHA), a bipartisan bill that will save lives byallowing states to provide Medicaid coverage to low-income, HIV-positiveAmericans. The bill was introduced with 54 original sponsors evenly dividedbetween Democrats and Republicans.

This bill addresses a cruel irony in healthcare coverage for low-incomepeople living with HIV/AIDS. Despite the fact that Medicaid is the largestsingle provider of HIV/AIDS care in the U.S., currently, most adults withHIV are not eligible for Medicaid until they have progressed to full blownAIDS. Without Medicaid coverage, many low-income Americans are left withoutthe critical care and medication needed to help slow the progression of thedisease. According to a study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers,enactment of this legislation would reduce the death rate among individualson Medicaid living with HIV/AIDS by half over ten years.

"Americans should not have to be diagnosed with AIDS before they get thedrugs that can delay the onset of AIDS in the first place," said HumanRights Campaign president Joe Solmonese. "It is time for Congress to passthis common-sense legislation that would save countless lives. It isabsolutely unacceptable that there are still Americans who are not able toaccess life saving medication to combat HIV/AIDS."

Providing treatment for those who are HIV positive early in the progressionof the disease is not only cost-effective, but has numerous health benefitsand will improve the quality of life for countless HIV positive individuals.Earlier this year, an ETHA demonstration program was included in the FiscalYear 2008 Budget Resolution passed by Congress.

"We commend Speaker Pelosi and Representatives Engel and Ros-Lehtinen fortheir tremendous leadership and look forward to continuing our work togetherto expand access to care and treatment for all Americans living withHIV/AIDS," added Solmonese.


August 03, 2007
Church of Sweden to participate in gay pride

The Lutheran Church of Sweden has announced that on Saturday it will bejoining this year's festivities for Stockholm Pride. According to AgenceFrance-Presse, representatives from the church will march under the slogan"Love is stronger than everything."

"For the first time ever, the parade at the pride festival will have adelegation from the [Church of Sweden]," church officials announced onThursday, adding that their intent is to "break the mass' big silence" onLGBT rights.

"The [Church of Sweden] is a church open to everyone," Uppsala priestAnn-Katrin Bosbach explained to AFP.

The delegation will include about 30 people, including two deans from theimportant Stockholm and Uppsala cathedrals.

The church has announced its support of a "gender-neutral" marriage law, setto go before the Swedish legislature in January 2008. According to AFP, ifthe proposal passes Sweden will become the first nation to allow same-sexmarriage within a major national church. (The Advocate)


August 03, 2007
Aussie measure would punish children adopted by gays

Australia's conservative leadership, in the parliamentary session openingnext week, is introducing a measure that would deny legal recognition tooverseas children adopted by same-sex couples, The Sydney Morning Heraldreported.

The measure, championed by Prime Minister John Howard, would deny anAustralian visa to any child a same-sex couple attempts to bring into thecountry.

Adoptions, including international adoptions, are now regulated by theindividual Aussie states. The proposed law would override that capacity.

A similar bill floated just before the 2004 elections was defeated by theopposition Labor Party.

The intent is to ensure that priority for scarce adoptable children is"given to those in typical family arrangements," Attorney General PhilipRuddock told the Herald through a spokeswoman.


August 03, 2007
Reid, other Democrats move to block Southwick nomination

Senate majority leader Harry Reid announced that Democrats plan to block aRepublican resolution asking for a vote on a Mississippi judge to serve onthe fifth circuit court of appeals, reported the Associated Press onWednesday.

Serious concerns have been raised over the nomination of Leslie Southwick,given his history of "insensitivity to the rights of racial minorities andothers," according to Reid. The Feminist Majority Foundation has expressedstrong opposition to Southwick, citing a 2001 ruling in which a mother wasnot granted custody of her child because of her involvement in a same-sexrelationship.

According to the Associated Press, Southwick came under heavy criticism in1998 for voting to reinstate a state employee after she was fired for usinga racial slur against an African-American coworker. Southwick believed theslur "was not motivated out of racial hatred or animosity directed towardher coworker or toward blacks in general." (The Advocate)


August 03, 2007
Baptist minister charged with indecent exposure

The minister of a Baptist church has been charged with indecent exposure anddriving under the influence, and police officers in Johnson City, Tenn., sayhe propositioned them.
Tommy Tester, 58, of Bristol, Va., was wearing a skirt when he was arrestedlast week after allegedly urinating in front of children at a car wash,police said. Police also said Tester offered to perform oral sex on officerswho were sent to the scene.

Authorities identified Tester as the minister of Gospel Baptist Church andan employee of Christian radio station WZAP AM, both in Bristol.

There was no immediate response Tuesday to calls to the church and Tester's

WZAP issued a statement Monday asking for prayers and saying Tester had beensuspended during an investigation. ''We pray this matter can be quicklyresolved,'' WZAP owner Al Morris said in the statement.


August 03, 2007
Bishop Robinson optimistic that schism will be averted

The first openly gay Episcopal bishop, whose 2003 consecration has moved theAnglican fellowship to the brink of schism, says he remains hopefulAnglicans can stay together.

''I think we need each other,'' said New Hampshire bishop V. Gene Robinsonin an interview with The Times of London published July 27. ''We need tolearn and grow with the presence of each other. I think it would be aterrible loss to all of us.''

The Episcopal Church is the U.S. province of the world Anglican Communion.Theological conservatives are demanding that the American church pledge bySeptember 30 not to consecrate any more gay bishops or face losing fullmembership in the communion.

In an attempt to ease tensions, Robinson and Bishop Martyn Minns, who leadsa network of breakaway conservative Episcopal parishes, have not beeninvited to a once-a-decade gathering of the world's Anglican bishops. Themeeting, called the Lambeth Conference, is set for next year.

Still, Robinson said, ''I have great hopes that I will be officiallyincluded in some way or another.''


August 03, 2007
Gay Episcopal bishop endorses Obama for president

The Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop endorsed Sen. Barack Obamafor president on Thursday in Concord, N.H., even though they don't share thesame views on issues critical to gays and lesbians.

''Frankly, I don't think there's any major candidate that is where we in thegay community would hope they would be on our issues,'' V. Gene Robinson,bishop of New Hampshire, said in a conference call with reporters. ''Thatbeing said, I would say the senator has been enormously supportive of ourissues. We appreciate his support for civil unions.''

The continuing repercussions from Robinson's 2003 election as bishop of NewHampshire threaten to break up the worldwide Anglican Communion, of whichthe Episcopal Church is part. His supporters hail him as a role model andcivil rights pioneer.

He stressed that his endorsement was as an individual, not as bishop.

''I will not be speaking about the campaign from the pulpit or at any churchfunction,'' he said. ''That is completely inappropriate. But as a privatecitizen, I will be at campaign events and help in any way that I can.''


August 03, 2007
Tennessee lesbian assaulted at local nightclub

Out lesbian Miranda Greer says a man beat her with a beer bottle at aJackson, Tenn., nightclub after questioning her about her sexuality,according to local newspaper The Jackson Sun. The attack left her partiallyblind in one eye and may have caused minor brain damage, she has toldpolice.

Although the attack happened early July 15 at the popular nightclub TequilaJoe's, 24-year-old Greer did not report the incident until last week.

According to the Sun, Greer says the man approached her after he saw herdancing with a male friend. The man assumed she was a gay male from herappearance. Using a homophobic slur, he told her to leave the nightclub.Greer told him she was a woman and a lesbian, upon which the man punched herin the face.

The man then used the bottom of a beer bottle to repeatedly jab her in theleft eye before breaking the bottle over the back of her head, she told thepolice.

Greer says she was not concerned about the attack until she lost sight inher left eye for a few days. She now says she has a blind spot on the leftside of that eye, reports the Sun. Greer is scheduled to undergo an magneticresonance imaging to assess possible brain damage.


Lutherans officially remove gay pastor
Cox News Service
Friday, July 06, 2007

ATLANTA - The Rev. Bradley Schmeling lost another skirmish with the nation'slargest Lutheran denomination over the fact that he is in a gayrelationship.

But he and his flock at Atlanta's St. John's Lutheran Church intend to takethe battle national.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America announced Thursday it has removedSchmeling from its list of approved ministers because of his long-termrelationship with a man.

Schmeling and members of St. John's say they will travel to a nationalchurch conference in August to try to change the minds of delegates on gayissues.

They will host a forum, hoping that hearing Schmeling share his story willconvince delegates to change ELCA policies.


Gays elected top leaders of Young Dems
President and V.P. first to win while being out during campaigns

For the first time in the group's history two openly gay men have beenelected to lead the Young Democrats of America. The elections occurred atthe group's national convention in Dallas July 21.

David Hardt, 31, from Dallas, and running mate Chris Anderson, 27, fromChattanooga, Tenn., were elected president and executive vice presidentrespectively by an overwhelming margin of 93 percent.

"Early on I didn't realize it was that big of a deal," Hardt said. "Thisjust shows that party is a true indicator, that people don't see the GLBTissue as a factor. We can lead the organization without any negative impact."

Kyle Bailey, a member of the Stonewall Democrats national board and vicechair of the Young Democrats' GLBT Caucus, said the Young Democrats have hadgay leaders before, but they came out publicly after being elected. Hardtand Andersons' election is significant because they were out long beforethey hit the campaign trail.

"The Young Democrats have a large number of LGBT people," he said. "We are100 percent for equality, including marriage equality. Their election sendsa signal to our party that there needs to be more inclusion. We have movedin that direction and this is what the Democratic National Committee willlook like in 20 years."


New law gives gay couples right to adopt
By April M. Washington, Rocky Mountain News
August 3, 2007

Colorado today becomes the 10th state to allow gay couples to adopt and the20th to extend civil rights protections to gays and lesbians.

"We've been involved in pushing equal rights legislation for 11 years inrow. Today is a new day as we take two great strides toward equality," saidMindy Barton of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Centerof Colorado.

Colorado's new adoption law is gaining widespread attention.

Adoption attorney Seth Grob said Thursday he already has received a streamof inquiries from gay couples looking to adopt one another's children. "Thisbill has psychological benefits by fostering the parent-child relationshipwith a person in many cases who has cared for their partner's child a longtime," he said.

Colorado has permitted adoption by married couples or by single parents,straight or gay. But a second parent could not adopt unless the couplemarried, which gays can't legally do in Colorado.


Where They Stand: Part Two
Our Visible Vote primer on how the Dems see GLBT issues.
by Jennifer Vanasco,

The historic LOGO/HRC presidential forum on GLBT issues, to be broadcastAug. 9, will for the first time showcase the Democratic contenders responsesto our concerns.

In our comprehensive gay issue round-up, we bullet the issues that areeasily quantifiable-a candidate's stance on marriage, for instance-and thentry to sum up in a paragraph or two some of the nuances.

Part One of our series covered GLBT issues as seen by Democraticpresidential candidates Sen. Hilary Clinton, Sen. Chris Dodd, Sen. JohnEdwards, and Sen. Mike Gravel, in alphabetical order.

However, we left out a crucial candidate: Sen. Joe Biden, the only majorDemocratic contender not to be represented in the forum, because he had ascheduling conflict. His stance is included below, along with DennisKucinich, Sen. Barack Obama and Gov. Bill Richardson.

For more about next week's forum, see Visible Vote '08, which goes livetoday. 365Gay is owned by LOGO, one of the forum's sponsors.


Moscow Gay Rights Leader Faces New Charge
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 2, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Moscow) The leader of one of Russia's largest LGBT rights groups has beenarrested and charged with slander.

Nikolay Alexeyev said he was released after being formally charged withslandering a member of the State Duma, Russia's Parliament.

During a debate between Alexeyev and Duma Deputy Alexander Chuyev broadcastby Russian television in June Alexeyev alleged that Chuyev, who opposes LGBTcivil rights in Russia, is actually a closet gay.

Chuev, a member of the conservative Fair Russia Party is closely linked tothe Kremlin.

"Russian authorities were caught in their own trap by opening this criminalfile," said Alexayev in a statement.


Village People Ex-Frontman Driven From Group Over Gay Image Publicist Says
by The Canadian Press
Posted: August 2, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Toronto, Ontario) Victor Willis, the troubled ex-frontman for the VillagePeople, is mounting a comeback with a tell-all book detailing hisfrustration with his flamboyant gay bandmates and why they ultimately causedhim to leave the group in the early '80s.

Willis, best-known for portraying the cop and the naval admiral in the '70sdisco group, also reveals ``Y.M.C.A.'' was written in Vancouver and wasnever meant to refer to gay cruising, says his publicist Alice Wolf.

Wolf says the group was on tour when Willis wrote the lyrics at the behestof the band's French producer, Jacques Morali, who wrote the music. ButWillis never intended the homosexual innuendo that many fans read into thesong.

``Victor Willis wrote about the YMCA and having fun there, but the type offun he was talking about was straight fun,'' insists Wolf, adding thatWillis has nothing against homosexuality.

``When he says, `Hang out with all the boys'... he's talking about the boys,the fellas.... But it's one of those ambiguous songs that was taken that waybecause of the gay association with Village People.''


Public Defender Guilty In 'Gay Marriage Fraud'
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 2, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(St. Louis, Missouri) The former head of the St. Louis office of theMissouri public defender's office has pleaded guilty to federal charges ofarranging a sham marriage to keep his foreign gay partner in the country.

Eric Affholter, 40, was charged with conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, afederal offense. Following his arrest Affholter was released on $50,000 bondand resigned his position.

His partner, Pedro Cerna-Rojas, 31, a native of Peru, also was indicted buthas not been found. Federal authorities believe Cerna-Rojas may have fledthe country.

In his guilty plea Affholter told the court that he recruited Collette Lewiswho worked in his office to marry Cerna-Rojas.

She also has resigned but has not been charged with any offense.


Controversial Judicial Nominee Wins Senate Committee Vote
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 3, 2007 - 7:00 am ET

(Washington) The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-9 on Wednesday toadvance President Bush's nomination of Leslie Southwick to the 5th CircuitCourt of Appeals.

The nomination now moves to the full Senate for a vote.

Southwick's nomination had been controversial because some Democrats wereconcerned that his writings were insensitive to blacks and gays.

One such case was a 1998 decision over an employee who had been fired forusing a racial slur. Southwick voted with the majority in the 5-4 decision,writing that the slur "was not motivated out of racial hatred or animositydirected toward her co-worker or toward blacks in general."

In 2001, Southwick joined a ruling that upheld a lower court decision totake an eight-year-old girl away from her mother and award custody to thefather, who had never married the mother, largely because the mother wasliving with another woman in a "lesbian home." (story)


Teen Claiming Homophobic Bullying Found Guilty Of Murder
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 3, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Baraboo, Wisconsin) A high school student was convicted Thursday night offatally shooting his principal as homecoming festivities were about to beginlast fall.

The jury deliberated for nearly 6 1/2 hours after closing arguments Thursdaybefore deciding on the first-degree intentional homicide charge against EricHainstock, 16.

Hainstock had brought his father's shotgun and .22 revolver to WestonSchools, a rural school about 65 miles northwest of Madison, on Sept. 29. Hetold detectives in an interview that day he was angry Principal John Klangand other teachers had done nothing to stop other kids from teasing him.

A janitor wrestled the shotgun from Hainstock, then a 15-year-old freshman.But the boy evaded teachers, drew the revolver and went down the hall.

He ran into Klang, who tackled him. Hainstock shot Klang three times in thescuffle. Klang, mortally wounded, managed to disarm Hainstock before anotherteacher and two students arrived to hold him down.


Early Treatment For HIV Act Reintroduced
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 3, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(Washington) A bipartisan bill that advocates say will save lives byallowing states to provide Medicaid coverage to low-income, HIV-positiveAmericans has been reintroduced in Congress.

The bill was filed by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA),and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and maintains the 54 original sponsors -evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

This bill addresses a gap in healthcare coverage for low-income peopleliving with HIV/AIDS.

Despite the fact that Medicaid is the largest single provider of HIV/AIDScare in the U.S., currently, most adults with HIV are not eligible forMedicaid until they have progressed to full blown AIDS.

Without Medicaid coverage, many low-income Americans are left without thecritical care and medication needed to help slow the progression of thedisease.


The New York Times

August 3, 2007
Stampeding Congress, Again

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration has repeatedlydemonstrated that it does not feel bound by the law or the Constitution whenit comes to the war on terror. It cannot even be trusted to properly use theenhanced powers it was legally granted after the attacks.

Yet, once again, President Bush has been trying to stampede Congress into acompletely unnecessary expansion of his power to spy on Americans. And, hardas it is to believe, Congressional Republicans seem bent on collaborating,while Democrats (who can still be cowed by the White House'swith-us-or-against-us baiting) aren't doing enough to stop it.

The fight is over the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, whichrequires the government to obtain a warrant before eavesdropping onelectronic communications that involve someone in the United States. Thetest is whether there is probable cause to believe that the person beingcommunicated with is an agent of a foreign power or a terrorist.


The New York Times

August 3, 2007
Op-Ed Contributor
Put Out This Tobacco Bill

ACCORDING to anti-smoking groups, the current Congressional attempt to givethe Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco is the mostimportant piece of legislation since the surgeon general spoke out on thedangers of smoking 40 years ago. Surprisingly, it is not just the foes ofBig Tobacco that support the proposed law, which was approved by the SenateHealth, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday.

Philip Morris, the world's largest tobacco company, is also firmly behindthe bill. In fact, it played a pivotal role in writing the legislation,working with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. What these strangebedfellows came up with is bad for competition in the tobacco industry andbad for public health.

One problem is that under the proposed law, the F.D.A. would regulate anynew "reduced-risk" tobacco products. And in so doing, the agency would beresponsible for setting standards to determine which tobacco products pose areduced health hazard. Since the F.D.A. has neither the resources nor theexpertise to do this job itself, it most likely would need to turn to theindustry for help.


The New York Times

August 3, 2007
White House Aide Won't Answer Questions of a Senate Panel

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 - J. Scott Jennings, a 29-year-old White House aide,refused repeatedly on Thursday to answer questions before the SenateJudiciary Committee, saying he was under orders from President Bush not torespond.

"I must respectfully decline to respond at this time," Mr. Jennings saidabout a dozen times to questions about the White House's role in thedismissals of federal prosecutors. Each time Mr. Jennings was asked aboutthe removals, he looked at a sheet of paper and said in a rote manner thathe could not reply, "pursuant to President Bush's directive invokingexecutive privilege."

His appearance before the committee was the latest act in the ripeningshowdown between the White House and Congressional Democrats over the issueof executive privilege.

Mr. Jennings's explanation was treated scornfully by the committee'sDemocrats, who said they did not accept Mr. Bush's assertion that he has theauthority to prevent former and present officials from testifying toCongress.


The Washington Post

Three Top Democrats Share Lead In Iowa Poll
Clinton, Obama, Edwards Are Tied
By Jon Cohen and Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, August 3, 2007; A01

Less than six months before Iowa voters open the 2008 presidentialnomination battles, the Democratic contest in the Hawkeye State is adeadlock, with Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards in avirtual tie for first place, according to a new Washington Post-ABC Newspoll.

While Clinton has a clear and consistent lead over Obama in national polls,with Edwards generally running a distant third, the contours of the campaignin Iowa appear far different. Edwards's strong base of support, built on thefoundations of his second-place finish in the state's precinct caucuses in2004, has turned Iowa into the most competitive early state for theDemocratic field.


The Washington Post

What Matters About Romney's Religion
By Michael Gerson
Friday, August 3, 2007; A15

The first Mormon to run for president was the first Mormon. Joseph Smith,the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, formallyannounced his candidacy on Jan. 19, 1844, urging his supporters to "tell thepeople we have had Whig and Democrats presidents long enough. We want apresident of the United States." Smith's campaign lasted about five monthsbefore it -- along with his life -- was ended by a violent mob in Carthage,Ill.

Mitt Romney's campaign has been better received. He possesses a winningpublic personality, enough personal wealth to ensure that he will be aroundwhen the voting starts and durable strength in Iowa and New Hampshire thatcould slingshot him to the nomination. As the author of an impressiveoxymoron -- Republican governor of Massachusetts -- Romney stakes a strongclaim to electability. And even after some recent ideological reinvention onsocial issues, he has successfully courted conservatives. The only criticismI have heard of Romney after these meetings is that he may be "too perfect"because of his Osmond-like looks and wholesomeness -- which is another wayof saying he might seem "too Mormon."

Without intending or desiring it, the Romney campaign has poked the sleepingbear of debate about the role of religion in American politics. Liberalstend to argue that all theological beliefs, including Mormonism, arefundamentally private and dangerously coercive as the basis of publicpolicy. Some religious conservatives are concerned that this particulartheology is too eccentric to be welcomed at the White House.


Forwarded from Ron Mills

Senator Dodd Stomps The S*** Out Of Bill O'Liely

Check Out The Video, It Is GREAT



Democrats embrace gay agenda
By: Ben Smith
Aug 2, 2007 06:16 AM EST

The 2004 election turned out to be the year, for Democrats, of gay panic.

It was a year in which Sen. John F. Kerry backed away from his longtime pro-gay record to support a state amendment banning gay marriage -- and in which former President Bill Clinton reportedly urged Kerry to go even further in standing against same-sex marriage.

But the mood among Democrats this election cycle seems closer to liberation. The party's leading presidential candidates will gather in Los Angeles on Aug. 9 for a forum sponsored by the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign and broadcast live on the gay cable channel Logo.

They're expected to reiterate their universal commitments to a broad range of gay rights in areas ranging from health care to immigration -- a substantive package that amounts to virtually everything short of the word "marriage."



Doctors accused of using faith to violate gay bias laws
By Laura Parker, USA TODAY

When does the freedom to practice religion become discrimination?The California Supreme Court is being asked to answer that question when it hears a legal dispute between a lesbian mom and two doctors who refused to artificially inseminate her for religious reasons.

The first-of-its-kind case is shaping up as one of the most controversial before the court in years. The court has not set a date to hear the case, but more than 40 groups already have filed briefs asking to be heard.

GROWING TREND: Some doctors refuse services for religious reasonsThe court is being asked to decide how to accommodate a physician's religious views without violating California's anti-discrimination laws.

California is a major testing ground for this issue.

Longstanding dispute

What distinguishes the case of Guadalupe Benitez is that the physicians involved refused to provide a medical procedure to one patient that they readily provide to others, says Jill Morrison, legal counsel to the National Women's Law Center, an advocacy group that works to protect women's rights in the workplace, schools, sports, and health care. "Usually, providers who object to certain services object to them for everyone: 'I won't provide ontraception.' In this case, they don't object to the service, just the patient. You can't pick and choose. You can't say, 'I will perform it for white people, but not for black people.' "


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