Sunday, August 05, 2007

GLBT DIGEST August 5, 2007

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50,000 join Stockholm Pride parade

Published: 4th August 2007 18:16 CET
The Local

Some 50,000 people have marched through Stockholm on Saturday in the 2007Stockholm Pride parade.

Groups representing teachers, police, members of parliament and priestsmarched in the parade to show support for gay rights.
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Dress ranged, as usual, from minimalist to maximalist. Some men wore onlyleather pants and displayed rippling torsos; others, such as well knowndrag-queen Babsan, Lars-Åke Wilhelmsson, wore more elaborate outfits. Babsanparaded through town on a car roof wearing a glamorous confection.

One couple to stand out from the crowd was Joachim Schwartzbach and FrodeTolleröd. Their tiny outfits were complemented by large feather wings and4,000 crystals placed around their bodies.

"It's important to show who you are and dare to stand up for it," saidSchwartzbach.


Amsterdam explodes with color as city celebrates Gay Pride festival

The Associated Press

Saturday, August 4, 2007

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands: Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and a large contingent ofheterosexuals are putting on their brightest plumage, and a rainbow fleet isset to sail through Amsterdam's historic canals Saturday, as the citycelebrates its annual Gay Pride festival.

The flotilla and party afterward is one of the biggest of the year inAmsterdam, and one in which the city upholds its reputation as one ofEurope's gayest capitals. DJs pump music from ships packed with dancingpartygoers, vying for who can put on the best show or provide the mostoutrageous theme. Visitors can expect to see plenty of men wearing leatherthong underwear, cowboy hats, disco glitter, and nothing else.

This year's party will be celebrated with extra emotion after a spate ofgay-bashing attacks has surprised a city renowned for its tolerance.

"Social acceptance of homosexuality is not complete," said Tijn Elferink,spokesman for the country's national gay organization COC.

"Gay people still can be beaten up, just like that, for holding hands orbeing in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said.

Heterosexuals always take part in the festival, but usually from thesidelines: they line the quays to cheer.


The largest Pride Parade in the Nordic countries, RuPaul and Bananarama -Saturday at Pride

Saturday and the week's highlight is naturally the large Pride Parade, whichstarts at Humlegården at 2 p.m. Last year, 450 000 people went out on thestreets to experience the parade. Will we set a new record this year?

This year's parade has a real chance of being the largest one in the 10 yearold history of Stockholm Pride with circa 100 registered vehicles and largergroups. The Swedish Church is participating for the first time and rumoursare circulating that more ministers than ever from the government in powerwill participate in the parade.


New York Times

August 5, 2007
House Passes Changes in Eavesdropping Program

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 - Under pressure from President Bush, the House gavefinal approval Saturday to changes in a terrorism surveillance program,despite serious objections from many Democrats about the scope of theexecutive branch's new eavesdropping power.

Racing to complete a final rush of legislation before a scheduled monthlongbreak, the House voted 227 to 183 to endorse a measure the Bushadministration said was needed to keep pace with communications technologyin the effort to track terrorists overseas.

"The intelligence community is hampered in gathering essential informationabout terrorists," said Representative Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas.

The House Democratic leadership had severe reservations about the proposaland an overwhelming majority of Democrats opposed it. Speaker Nancy Pelosisaid the measure "does violence to the Constitution of the United States."


The Washington Post

Ouster By the People
By Robert Dallek
Sunday, August 5, 2007; B07

Polls showing President Bush's approval ratings in the 20s and 30s and a NewYork Times survey last month reporting that people across the country areeager for an end to the current administration suggest that this nation hasa problem it's going to have to live with for the next 17 months -- a failedpresidency that won't reestablish its credibility with a national majority.

The political argument against Bush's continuing tenure is not frivolous.There are good reasons to see him as a failed president whose remaining timein office will be unproductive at best and destructive to the country'swell-being at worst. But given the constitutional rules by which thepresidency operates, there is no serious prospect of removing him fromoffice.

A fine solution would be a Nixon-style resignation, but anyone who thinksthat Bush and Vice President Cheney would give in to such a demand isdreaming. With no serious threat of impeachment looming, Bush and Cheney canafford to dismiss calls for their departure as the outcries of politicalextremists. Instead, the president, determined to stay the course, declaresthat his strategy in Iraq needs more time to work, that the many charges ofabuse of power are unsubstantiated, and that, as with Harry Truman, who alsolost his hold on the public in the last two years of his presidency, historywill vindicate him.


South Florida,0,3729863,print.story?coll=sofla_tab01_layout

Pugnacious Fort Lauderdale mayor won't back down, friends say
By Brittany Wallman

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

August 5, 2007

Born here, raised here, schooled here. James Thomas Naugle, the 53-year-oldmayor of Fort Lauderdale, is a product of this city.

He brags about Fort Lauderdale to outsiders; he speaks of Fort Lauderdale'shistory like he's reading it from a book; he tells voters he loves thistown. But that doesn't mean he wants everyone to get along.

Supporters, onlookers and family members say they're not surprised by therecent controversy over comments Naugle has made about the gay community.It's just like Naugle to speak his mind, they say, and it would be anathemato Naugle to back down.

"When he first came into politics, they called him a maverick," saidNaugle's brother, John, 57. "He's outspoken."

Naugle, who declined to be interviewed for this article, has a long historyof bucking political correctness, and of making enemies. He described hismayor's seat in one interview as a "bully pulpit," and he's used it to jabpolitical opponents and advance his ideology about everything fromhomosexuality to housing.

Those who know him said he's comfortable in the role of the outsider and thefighter.

"One thing I've noticed about Jim is he is not a consensus builder," saidformer Mayor Rob Dressler, who's known Naugle since his first run for office25 years ago. "He tends to be more of a divider than a person that bringspeople together. He definitely enjoys the outsider role."



South Florida
Time to give transgenders rights, not ridicule

Michael Mayo

News Columnist

August 5, 2007

Last summer, when my cholesterol count came back high, my wife signed me upwith a personal trainer. "You'll like him," she said. "He's got aninteresting story."

Off I went to Bodies Under Construction, a fitness studio in Hollywood runby Mark Angelo Cummings and his wife Violet.

Mark was short, balding and had a beard. He had a big smile and a quick wit.

During my first workout, Mark told me he was born with a "birth defect."

"Really," I said. "You look perfectly healthy to me."

He explained that he was, after surgery and years of therapy.

"I was born the wrong sex," he said. "I was born Maritza."

I looked at his hairy arms and chest and did a double-take. He showed mepictures from when he was a little girl and a competitive femalebody-builder.

Cummings, 43, has taught me a lot about gender dysphoria and transsexualsover the past year. As gender identity has come up in the headlines - aLargo city manager was fired after he announced his transition to Susan, aLos Angeles Times sportswriter I used to drink beers with at the Olympicscaused a stir when he became Christine - Mark gave me a first-hand accountof the desperation that led them there.

"This is not a choice," he said Friday. "It's something you try to deny andhide, but as time goes on, as you become more miserable in your own skin,you just can't take it anymore."

Cummings said he was 3 when he realized he was born in the wrong body. Hisparents didn't understand. After they came to South Florida from Cuba,Maritza gravitated to boys' activities, like weightlifting, and she joinedthe Army. It didn't help. She abused drugs and alcohol, attempted suicide inher 20s.


St. Petersburg Times

The gay baby

Science may soon allow you to predict - and even alter - the sexualorientation of your unborn child. If that happens, no matter what youbelieve about gay rights or abortion, life will never be the same.
By TYLER GRAY, reprinted from Radar Online
Published March 18, 2007

It's a day in the not-too-distant future. A woman, three months pregnant,sits anxiously in her obstetrician's office pondering the possibility ofgiving birth to a gay kid.

Perhaps, she thinks, she shouldn't have agreed to the test in the firstplace. Maybe it would've been better not to know, to have left everything tofate. And what difference did it make, really? Like most of her friends, thewoman, though moderately religious, considers herself an open-mindedcosmopolitan with a Seinfeld-ian attitude toward homosexuality: "not thatthere's anything wrong with that!"

At least that's how she feels about other people's gay children. But this isher baby, her first and perhaps only one. And however much she and herhusband try to reconcile themselves to the idea, they know the world atlarge will always remain a uniquely difficult place for a boy who likesother boys.

Without resolving this conflict, she consents to an analysis of her amnioticfluid sample, mentally grouping it with the tests already performed to lookfor markers of Huntington's disease and Down syndrome - things to be ruledout. Only this time, the results have come back positive.

And now she has a choice to make. A hormone patch, applied to her belly,could redirect her child's genetic destiny, reversing the sexual orientationinscribed in his chromosomes. There would be one fewer homosexual in theworld - if that's what she wants.

It's not as far-fetched as it sounds. Already, some scientists claim theycan potentially identify fetuses hardwired for homosexuality, and the gapbetween recognition and intervention is quickly narrowing.


The Advocate


Nashville elects first out councilman

Keith Durbin, a Nashville accountant, made history Thursday, becomingTennessee's first out gay elected official by winning a seat on theNashville city council, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund said Friday.

Durbin, for five years president of the city's venerable Belmont-Hillsboroneighborhood association, ran unopposed for the seat in Nashville's District18.

Though unopposed (his predecessor left due to term limits), Durbin spentElection Day at the precinct, standing under a tree with his mother,Geraldine Durbin of Paducah, Ky., where he grew up, The Tennessean newspaperblogged Thursday. He said, "I'm running for office to represent people, andI want them to know who I am."

"Political office was not an end in itself," Durbin, 40, told "Myactivism in the neighborhood created a lot of relationships, and that wasthe springboard. It created a space in which people could see me work andsay, 'That's Keith,' not 'That's Keith, the gay person.'"

He describes Belmont-Hillsboro, built in the 1890s and largely regentrified,as "vibrant" and "really cool." Vanderbilt and Belmont universities are bothin his district.


The Advocate

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin on endorsing Clinton

The Wisconsin representative became one of the highest-profile gay people todate to endorse Sen. Hillary Clinton for president, the same day thatEpiscopal bishop V. Gene Robinson did the same for Clinton's archrival, Sen.Barack Obama. In this exclusive Advocate interview, Baldwin explains why.

By Sean Kennedy

An exclusive posted August 3, 2007

During Tammy Baldwin's history-making campaign in 1998 to become the firstopenly gay nonincumbent elected to Congress, Hillary Clinton came out tostump for her on the campaign trail. It was a tight race, and the Wisconsinrepresentative credits the then first lady with helping her eke out victoryin the end. But that isn't the two women's only connection: In the House,Baldwin has been a champion of universal health care, a famous Clintoncause. That common policy interest, Baldwin tells The Advocate, is one ofthe chief reasons she chose to endorse Senator Clinton for president onAugust 2.


National Gay News

The Lavender Vote
Saturday, 04 August 2007 22:55
The Lavender Vote

In a crowded primary field, every vote counts. So it's probably notsurprising that six of the eight Democratic presidential contenders for 2008plan to participate in the first debate devoted entirely to gay, lesbian,bisexual and transgender issues on Aug. 9 in Los Angeles.



National Gay News

Dodd Pulls Out Of Gay Presidential Debate

Senator Chris Dodd late Friday pulled out of next week's debate byDemocratic presidential candidates on LGBT issues. Dodd informed LOGOtelevision which will broadcast Thursday's debate, and the Human RightsCampaign which helped arrange it, that "scheduling conflicts" made itimpossible for him to attend.



National Gay News

State Law (OK) Restricting Birth Certificates for Gay Adopting Parentsis Unconstitutional, Appeals Court Says

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a state lawpreventing gay couples from getting birth certificates for children adoptedin other states is unconstitutional. ''We hold that final adoption orders bya state court of competent jurisdiction are judgments that must be givenfull faith and credit under the Constitution by every other state in thenation,'' the court says in its Friday ruling.



National Gay News

School District Cancels Play, Gay-Rights Group Plans Protest

OCEAN TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Gay-rights activists are planning to protestthe school district's decision to cancel a play. "The Laramie Project" isthe true story about the murder of Matthew Shepard. The homosexualUniversity of Wyoming student was beaten to death in 1998.




Feinstein Blasted Over Southwick Vote
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: August 4, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET

(San Francisco, California) A tiebreaking vote by Sen. Dianne Feinstein(D-Calif.) that allowed the nomination of Leslie Southwick to the 5thCircuit Court of Appeals to move to a full vote in the Senate is beingassailed by fellow Democrats, LGBT groups and African Americans.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-9 on Wednesday to send thecontroversial nomination to the full Senate. (story)

Had Feinstein voted with other Democrats on the committee the nominationwould have been sidelined.

"[California gays and lesbians] are not going to be silent about this,"Becky Dansky of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force told the SanFrancisco Chronicle.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus were equally outraged.



Cabinet Member Weds Gay Partner
by The Canadian Press

Posted: August 4, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET

(Toronto, Ontario) Ontario's first openly gay cabinet minister is takinghimself off the singles market.

Health Minister George Smitherman is tying the knot with his partnerChristopher Peloso on Sunday at a lakeside lodge near Sudbury, Ont., before202 close friends.

With the imminent end of his freedom in sight, the colourful and gregariousdeputy premier said he wasn't nervous about anything _ except theco-operation of Mother Nature.

``But I can't control that,'' said Smitherman, 43.

After talking about having a ``shotgun wedding'' if the federalConservatives reversed the country's law allowing same-sex marriage,Smitherman made his engagement public in February.

He has joked about the need to get in shape for the big day to avoid wearinga ``Homer Simpson inspired muumuu.''

Training for a recent three-day charity bike ride from Toronto to Kingston,Ont., took care of any excess weight and Smitherman said he's both mentallyand physically ready to get hitched to 33-year-old Peloso.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Edge - Boston

My Ex-Gay Life: Reclaiming Homosexuality
by David Foucher
EDGE Publisher
Wednesday Aug 1, 2007

My Ex-Gay Life :: Reclaiming Homosexuality

[Editor's Note: this article is the last in a four-part exclusive EDGEseries on "ex-gays." Click here to begin with the first article.

"There's a lot of fear out there, and a lot of people who are afraid ofwhat I'm saying this week. There are people out there who are pretty strong,but there are a lot of people out there who don't fully know what's goingon. And I think it's unfortunate, because it would be nice to have adialogue about these issues. But I'm only one guy and I can only do what Ican." - Michael

After Michael Glatze, previously a gay activist, announced that he hadbecome a heterosexual on a conservative Christian website on July 3rd, bloglines across the web lit up - and email began pouring into his mailbox.

"I've been all over the emotional and psychological map in the last week,"he told EDGE shortly thereafter. "It's hard to have people say nasty thingsabout you, but it's interesting to see how much craziness there is outthere. There's a lot of people on both sides that are just crazy."

It's no wonder: the arguments surrounding the genesis and mutability ofsexuality bear directly on numerous theological and philosophical structurescore to society. Even as Christian gays and lesbians struggle with theirneed to find balance between their sexuality and their faith, socialconservatives continue to pronounce that sexuality is mutable, hence beinggay or lesbian is a choice: an argument that they believe renders specificLGBT rights and legal protections indefensible under the law.


The Independent - UK

First peace, now a breakthrough in gay rights
By David McKittrick, Ireland Correspondent

Published: 02 August 2007

The streets of Londonderry's Bogside, the scene of so many often deadlyconfrontations during the Troubles, yesterday witnessed a sight few wouldhave expected, even in a more tolerant Northern Ireland.

For the message was proudly proclaimed that the new society willaccommodate not just loyalists and republicans, but also gay people. Andthe word was conveyed by Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, who signalled a newphase for community relations when he launched Gay Pride week in his homecity.

Appearing as Deputy First Minister in the recently formed devolvedgovernment, he declared the administration was committed to ensuringequality of opportunity for all.

He was speaking after the city's iconic wall, which declares "You arenow entering Free Derry" had been painted bright pink in support of theweek-long festival. His highly public endorsement of the Gay Pride week isseen as symbolic at a number of levels, not least because the wall'soriginal significance was as a statement of republican defiance ofauthority.

Mr McGuinness, who was once an IRA commander in the city, yesterdayspoke as Northern Ireland's second most senior politician.


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