Tuesday, August 07, 2007

GLBT DIGEST August 7, 2007

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The New York Times


August 7, 2007
Fire Island Journal
When a Paper Called the Tide Rolls in, It’s the Publisher Delivering It

As Warren McDowell, the publisher of The Fire Island Tide, docked his boatin this hamlet, he was greeted by a longtime acquaintance pulling a bluewagon.

“It’s nice to know the exalted publisher of The Fire Island Tide stillcarries his own paper to the masses,” said the man, Jay Trien, who with hiswife, Ildiko, ran another local paper, The Fire Island News, until he soldit 10 years ago. “Warren told my wife, ‘You win the prizes, I’ll make themoney.’ ”

In the 31 years he has been publishing The Tide, Mr. McDowell, 64, has triedunusually hard to keep it a true community newspaper: He enlists residentsto write columns on their own hamlets, and he has an artistically inclinedreal estate agent from Fair Harbor painting colorful covers for themagazine-style paper.

There are other quirks to this seasonal paper, which comes out every otherweek from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For instance, the office in Sayville onthe mainland is so cramped that editors and reporters work from home. Andfor 31 years, distribution has fallen to the publisher himself.

Every other Thursday, Mr. McDowell trucks 6,000 papers from the printers toWestin’s Boat Shop in Sayville, where he docks his 21-foot-long,weather-beaten boat. The next day, he crosses the Great South Bay anddelivers the papers, which ordinarily run 80 to 100 pages and sell for adollar a copy, to dozens of island retailers.


The New York Times


Real, Strange News
Elected Official Blames His Arrest on Fear of Black People
Fear Caused Bob Allen to Solicit Gay Sex From Undercover Cop

Paging spin doctors: Please report immediately to the press office of BobAllen, a member of the Florida House of Representatives. Code Blue!

Political Humpty Dumpty Syndrome appears to be claiming yet another career,and as usual it was transmitted through a self-induced case of foot-in-mouthdisease. The latest victim is Allen, a Republican from Merritt Island, Fla.,who last month got arrested for attempting to solicit oral sex from anundercover police officer in a public restroom. Yes, the police officer wasa male, and yes, Allen has a long history of anti-gay legislation. But itwas his quick-thinking attempts to explain himself that appear to behastening his demise.

Recently released police tapes and documents indicate that Allen firstattempted to avoid arrest by telling the officers he was a legislator. Whenthat failed, he switched from intimidation to playing the race card with anexcuse that would make even Wally Terzinsky cringe. In his statement Allenexplained that Danny Kavanaugh, the Titusville police officer from whom heallegedly solicited sex, was a "pretty stocky black guy." And because "therewas nothing but other black guys around in the park," he became intimidatedand did whatever he could to survive.

We've all been there, made so nervous by our racially diverse surroundingsthat we offer up 20 bucks to perform fellatio on the nearest person in apublic bathroom. Still, as Allen maintained in his taped statement, thewhole thing was a "bizarro world ... misunderstanding." Police, however,remained unconvinced -- perhaps because, at least as Kavanaugh tells it,Allen repeatedly approached him. Either way, the seven-year representativehas been charged him with solicitation of prostitution and forced to resignas co-chairman of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign in Florida. Hecan also be added to the ever-growing number of pro-family conservativesembroiled in homosexual scandals.

Allen remains innocent until proven guilty, of course, but as we all know,the court of public opinion makes no such allowances. Especially in a caseas rich with irony as this: Not only was Allen's voting record staunchlyanti-gay, he also sponsored a bill last session to strengthen Florida's lawsagainst public sex, lewdness and indecency. In addition, the Tampa policeunion saw fit to crown him the 2007 Lawmaker of the Year. Though he probablywon't win back-to-back titles, Allen can take solace in the fact that he hasearned a solid nomination for OFF/beat's 2007 Idiot of the Year Award.


The Sun-Sentinel


Lauderdale Mayor Naugle's words affect gays everywhere
August 7, 2007

Re the July 29 letter, "Naugle's critics," in which the writer complainedthat many of those protesting Mayor Jim Naugle's comments about gays werenot from Fort Lauderdale: Where was the letter writer standing at the rally?To my recollection, most of the speakers were local.

Why would he not think that Mr. Naugle's words would have no impact on gaymen and lesbians everywhere?

Money spent on anti-Naugle memorabilia is a drop in the bucket to what wespend on hate and war. In my opinion, this money would be better spent oncommunity unity and health care for all.

Mike Eagle

Wilton Manors


The Sun-Sentinel


Palm Beach County educators to tell legislators: Don't cut our funding
By Rhonda J. Miller
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
August 7, 2007

The Palm Beach County School Board has a message for the state Legislaturewhen it convenes a special session in September: Don't touch educationdollars.

The School Board will review its list of recommendations for legislators at2:30 p.m. Wednesday when it meets at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach. Oncethe list is made final, the board will forward it to area legislators.

The anticipated slashing of $1.1 billion from the state budget during thelegislative session, tentatively set to begin Sept. 18, could mean a cut ofmore than $25 million this year for Palm Beach County schools, ChiefFinancial Officer Mike Burke said.

"These are suggestions to the Legislature to minimize the impact oneducation," Burke said. "Our paramount issue is to ask them to make no cutsat all for schools."

The list includes suggestions for state funding that will allow the districtto continue the school year on its planned budget.


The Miami Herald


Posted on Tue, Aug. 07, 2007
Broward schools to vote on Notter contract

The man who has been leading the Broward school district on a temporarybasis since November will find out Tuesday if he gets the job for good.Broward School Board members are expected to approve a $290,000 contractwith Jim Notter, a longtime district employee.

Board members will discuss the contract at 2 p.m. at the Kathleen C. WrightAdministration Center, 600 SE Third Ave. inFort Lauderdale.

Notter, who turns 61 Tuesday, has been making $210,000 as interimsuperintendent.

The three-year contract also calls for a monthly auto allowance of $900 and$500 a month for other expenses.


Forwarded from EuroQueer

Nigeria "unfit" to host 2014 Commonwealth Games

Human rights abuses disqualify the city of AbujaLGBT athletes, officials and spectators at risk of arrest & violence
Gay delegation meets 2014 Chief Executive in London

London – 3 August 2007

"It would not be right for the 2014 Commonwealth Games to be held inNigeria, given the country's appalling human rights record, includingits systematic persecution of lesbian and gay Nigerians," said DavisMac-Iyalla, founder and leader of the gay Christian group, ChangingAttitude Nigeria.

"Nigeria's homophobic oppression is a violation of the CommonwealthGames ethos of equality, humanity, peace, unity, cooperation andunderstanding. Unless Nigeria radically improves its human rightsrecord, it should be ruled out of consideration as a host for the 2014Games," add Mr Mac-Iyalla.

Mr Mac-Iyalla was speaking immediately after leading a delegationwhich met Mike Hooper, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth GamesFederation, at the CGF headquarters in Piccadilly, London, on 3 August2007.

The delegation presented the CGF with an 11-page report setting outwhy it should reject the bid by the Nigerian city of Abuja to host the2014 Games.


Forwarded from EuroQueer

Iran: Interview with a Lesbian Caused the Newspaper to Shot Down

Tehran- Iran, Monday August 6, 2007: Two days after publishing an interviewwith Saghi Ghahraman, the government authorities asked the editorial boardof the independent newspaper Sharq to stop publishing the paper untilfurther notice. Mohammad Parvizi, the Director of the Domestic Media at theIranian Ministry of Culture told ISNA news agency that the Press MonitoringBoard had a meeting this morning (July 6, 2007), in which it was decidedthat as the result of newspaper's editor-in-chief's defiance of previouswarnings and the publication of an interview with an anti-revolutionary andcorrupt person- who is known to promote homosexuality and has disclosed herreal desires in her interview-, and in compliance with article 1 of thePress Law and the second item of the sixth clause of the same law, the Sharqnewspaper is shot down and it's case will be referred to the JusticeDepartment.

Saghi is a poet and a lesbian activist based in Canada who currently servesas the editor-in-chief of the monthly Cheraq publication, the onlinemagazine of the Iranian Queer Organization (IRQO). the interview appearedon the literature page of the Saturday, August 4, issue of the paper. Fewhours later, the internet version of the newspaper deleted the interviewfrom its website and the paper issued two apologies to its readers inyesterday and today's issues.

In today's issue, the newspaper published the following statement:

"Two days ago, the Sharq newspaper published a literary interview with anexpatriate author. After the paper went to press, some readers contacted thepaper to share some information about the unethical past of this author.


Forwarded from EuroQueer

Iran bans paper for interviewing homosexual


by Hiedeh FarmaniMon Aug 6, 7:31 AM ET

Iran on Monday shut down a leading moderate daily for the second time inless than a year after the paper published an interview with a woman accusedof being a "counter-revolutionary" homosexual.

The ban on Shargh (East), the favourite newspaper of Iranian liberals, comesamid growing pressure on the press in Iran and follows the closure of fellowmoderate daily Ham Mihan last month.

"The main reason for the ban was an interview with a counter-revolutionarywho promotes immorality," Alireza Malekian, the director of press in theculture ministry, told the state-run IRNA news agency.

Shargh on Saturday published a full-page interview with Saghi Ghahreman, anexpatriate Iranian poet who lives in Canada, under the headline "FeminineLanguage."

"We had an article which was an interview with an expatriate writer. Theysaid she had moral problems, they say she is homosexual and promotes that inher weblog," Mehdi Rahmanian, Shargh's licence holder and managing director,told AFP.


Forwarded from EuroQueer


From the Los Angeles Times

For gays in Iraq, a life of constant fear
Since the U.S.-led invasion, homosexuals have been increasingly targeted bymilitias and police, human rights groups say.
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Times Staff Writer
August 5, 2007

BAGHDAD — Samir Shaba sits in a restaurant, nervously describing gay life inIraq. He speaks in a low voice, occasionally glancing over his shoulder.

The heavyset, clean-shaven Christian says that before the U.S.-led invasionin 2003, he frequented the city's gay blogs, online chat rooms and danceclubs, where he wore flashy tight clothes, his hair long and loose to hisshoulders.

After the invasion, he and other gays and lesbians were driven undergroundby sectarian violence and religious extremists. Shaba, 25, packed his flashyclothes away, started wearing baseball caps and baggy T-shirts and stoppedvisiting clubs and chat rooms. But he couldn't bear to cut his hair.

"I cannot change everything immediately," he said, fingering his blackponytail. "I suffered because I didn't cut it."

Recently, Shaba said, police commandos spotted his hair as he was riding ina taxi through a checkpoint in central Baghdad. Suspecting that he was gay,the four commandos dragged him out of the taxi by his hair, and forced himinto an armored car. They demanded his cellphone, cash and sex.

When he refused, they beat him with a baton and gang-raped him. He rubbedthe back of his shirt, feeling for the scars.



Annual Awards Banquet

3555 S. Ocean Drive • Hollywood
RECEPTION: 12:00 Noon
LUNCH: 1:00 PM

Our 2007 Award Recipients

940 AM Radio Host

Broward County School Board


SEIU - Organizer
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Dolphin Democrats


Join Your Fellow LGBT Democrats in Las Vegas this Month

Stonewall Democrats to Assist with DNC American Majority Partnership Summit

We hope that you can join National Stonewall Democrats in Las Vegas thismonth for the Democratic National Committee American Majority PartnershipSummit. Leaders from the LGBT, African American, Latino, Asian American &Pacific Islander and women's communities will be gathering this August 23-25to plot the future course of our party. And you can play a part.

Stonewall Democrats from across the country will be at the summit as leadingpanelists, trainers, speakers and participants. This is your opportunity todetermine the course of our party on LGBT issues and the actions we willtake to achieve Democratic victories in 2008.

Registration for the summit is only $25 ($10 with valid student ID) and aspecial hotel block has been reserved at the Bally's and Paris hotels.

For more information (including draft agenda) and to register, please visit:


Forwarded from EuroQueer

Amsterdam Pride - gay party with a political message
by Maurice Laparlière*
Radio Netherlands Worldwide


A long trail of gaily decorated boats passing down Amsterdam's canals. Onboard: men and women, some of them dressed extravagantly, many of the menhalf-naked. At first sight, this year's Gay Pride parade seemed no differentto those of previous years. But due to a number of factors, including anincrease in violent attacks against gay men, this year's event was morepolitically charged than ever before.

Several hours before the 70 boats taking part in this year's gay CanalParade set off, television crews began to fight for the best spots.Fourteen-year-old Danny Hoekzema, a teenager with a dental brace and acne,was one of the stars of this year's event. More than that, Danny was aboutto realise his dream, for he's been lobbying for some three years for a boatfor gay young people - under the age of 16 - to take part in this annualeven. His friend Max has a simple explanation:"The message is: there are a lot of young gays in the world and they aregetting younger."


Forwarded from EuroQueer

Gays attacked during Gay Pride
6 August 2007

AMSTERDAM (ANP) - A number of homosexuals were assaulted in two separateincidents during the Gay Pride weekend in Amsterdam. On Saturday night a34-year-old Irish man was attacked in the vicinity of the Kinkerstraat,police announced on Monday.

The Irishman was walking with his Spanish boyfriend when he got in anargument with two aggressive men. After a hand gesture by the Irishman thetwo struck him with a hard object, after which the man was taken to hospitalwith serious injuries. He underwent surgery to his jaw and other treatment.The police strongly suspect that the man was attacked because of his sexualorientation.


Get involved!!
With HRC in South Florida!

Do you want to make a positive impact in your community? Get involved withHRC South Florida! Here's your chance.

HRC Committee Chairs will be on hand to highlight upcoming volunteeropportunities in South Florida and will describe all the various ways youcan get involved.

Please contact Paul Palmer at


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Indiana Custody case stirs gay-marriage debate


August 6, 2007
Custody case stirs gay-marriage debate
Battle over visitation, care of disabled man flares between parentsand longtime partner
By Melissa Patterson

Brett Conrad spent more than half his life as Patrick Atkins' partner. For25 years, the men shared bank accounts, apartments and eventually a home inFishers.

But when Atkins, 47, fell seriously ill in 2005, Conrad faced what many gayHoosiers consider a travesty: no law guaranteeing them the same rights asmarried couples to participate in care decisions for their ill partners.

Conrad, 47, spent much of the past two years trying to win guardianship ofAtkins from Atkins' parents, Thomas and Jeanne of Carmel. Jeanne Atkins isquoted in court documents as saying she believes homosexuality is a sin andthat she disapproves of the men's relationship. The parents have barredConrad from visiting their now-disabled son in their home where he lives.

In June, Conrad won visitation rights from the Indiana Court of Appeals, butthe court upheld an earlier Hamilton County ruling that left control ofAtkins' care to his parents. ( Read the appeals court decision.)

Gay-rights activists say the men's story illustrates the discriminationembedded in Indiana law and underscores why gay marriage should be allowed.

On the other side, opponents of same-sex marriage say the case could havebeen prevented if Conrad and Atkins had used existing laws that can giveunmarried couples -- straight and gay -- the legal right to act on eachother's behalf.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Gays asked to join annual biker rally in Sturgis, South Dakota

Talk about gay Americans making giant leaps forward in some unlikely places!The local LGBT community center of South Dakota has acceptanced aninvitation to participate in this year's butch biker rally in Sturgis:



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


It's not torture, it's sex
By By A.S. Hamrah
July 30, 2007

When a group of 50 high school students visiting the White House in Junehanded President Bush a letter urging him to stop the torture of suspectedterrorists, the president took their letter, read it, then told the studentsthat "the United States does not torture."

By the time a president has alienated even high school overachievers, thecat is out of the bag; it is now general knowledge that the United States ofAmerica tortures people. We know that torture rarely if ever works. So whatare government officials getting out of it?

Right before his recent colonoscopy, Bush announced that he had issued anexecutive order banning cruel and inhumane treatment in interrogations ofsuspected terrorists. This clarified interrogation guidelines he had issuedlast fall banning techniques that "shock the conscience." While theguidelines appear to be a step toward more concrete protection of humanrights, the administration's constant rejiggering of the border betweeninterrogation and torture reveals something else: a Sadean interest in therefinement of torture, a desire to define what is and is not "beyond thebounds of human decency," as the order puts it.

The claim that there is an element of sexual perversity in the government'sinterest in prisoner abuse may seem broad, but consider how officialsdiscuss it. And when it comes to pictures documenting torture, they react inways that should be as interesting to psychoanalysts as they are toconstitutional lawyers, civil libertarians or investigative reporters.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Law aims to sort sex offenders from 'Romeos'
Ludmilla Lelis and Denise-Marie Balona
Sentinel Staff Writers
August 5, 2007

Anthony Croce lived for years as a modern-day pariah, branded as one ofFlorida's convicted sex offenders.

He couldn't find work. Many ostracized him, assuming he was a pedophile.

The 28-year-old St. Petersburg man, however, has become the first person sofar to shed that stigma under a new state law nicknamed after literature'smost famous star-crossed lovers.

As a teenage "Romeo" once prosecuted for romancing a willing "Juliet," Croceconvinced a judge to remove him from the state registry of sex offenders andpredators.

"The new law recognizes that those people, who as teenagers experimentedwith sex with another teenager, should not be lumped in with the predators,"said Croce's attorney, Denis deVlaming. "He didn't deserve to be treated thesame as others who really do belong on the registry."

More than 43,000 men and women are registered as sex offenders or sexualpredators in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement database. Sexoffenders must keep their address updated, are barred from living close toschools and other places where children congregate, and their names andfaces are easily accessible on the Internet.

FDLE officials said Croce is the only person who has qualified for removalunder the law, which took effect last month and is designed to help thosewho had been caught in a teenage sexual relationship.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Sexuality no longer matters as prejudice is put in the shade
As St Andrews welcomes women players for the first time, our correspondentsays that no one is bothered if the champion is also gay
Peter Dixon

Within 24 hours of being outed by a former lover in the early 1980s, BillieJean King, the former Wimbledon champion, had lost all her commercialendorsements. Martina Navratilova, the greatest woman tennis player of all,“came out” of her own volition and estimates that it cost her about $12million in lost sponsorship deals.

The commercial world, it would seem, was not ready openly to embrace gaysportsmen and women. And even today there are few male or female athletesprepared to reveal their sexual orientation. And why should they?

A world that is increasingly comfortable with gay actors, musicians andpoliticians is reticent when it comes to the sporting arena. Those who docome out invariably do so as their careers are winding down or have come toan end. Yet, starting today, the all-male bastion that is the Royal andAncient clubhouse at St Andrews, the home of golf, will be used by women forthe first time when the Old Course plays host to the Women’s British Open.And if anecdotal evidence is to be believed, 20 to 30 per cent of playersusing the facilities will be gay.

In 1995, Ben Wright, a commentator for CBS television in the United States,caused a stir with his assertion that lesbians hurt the image of women’sprofessional golf and that on the LPGA Tour lesbianism “is not reticent,it’s paraded”. Such comments cost him a job he had held for 23 years.The LPGA – once pejoratively referred to as the Lesbian ProfessionalGolfers’ Association or, worse, “Dykes on Spikes” – has, though,kept a tight lid on matters. Soon after Wright made his comments, MuffinSpencer-Devlin, a veteran player in the US, announced that she was gay, asdid Patty Sheehan and, a few years later, Rosie Jones. None, though, was inher sporting prime and few since have followed in their footsteps.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Groups Take Fight Against Lessons to Court
By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 3, 2007; B03

Opponents of new sex education lessons in Montgomery County schoolsannounced yesterday that they have taken their appeal to the courts.

An administrative appeal filed July 26 in Montgomery County Circuit Courtsignals the escalation of a year-long legal battle over the lessons onsexual orientation, approved in January by the county school board andscheduled to be taught county-wide this fall in eighth- and 10th-gradehealth classes.

The appeal seeks to reverse a decision the Maryland State Board of Educationmade in June, when it declined to "second-guess the appropriateness" of thenew curriculum materials and found no violation of the law.

Montgomery education leaders have spent five years developing lessons tointroduce older students to sexual orientation, a topic that, until fieldtests in the spring, could be addressed only in response to a student'sinquiry. The first set of lessons were challenged on ideological grounds andhalted in 2005 by a federal judge, who cited teaching materials critical ofreligious fundamentalism. New lessons, rewritten from scratch and tightlyscripted, have already survived an appeal to the state school board.

A local community group, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, has led theopposition, saying that the lessons effectively promote homosexual behavior.The Liberty Council, a nationally known litigation group concerned withreligious freedom, joined in the 2005 court fight. In the newly filed case,the groups have a different but like-minded ally, the Thomas More LawCenter.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


No legal link for polygamy, gay marriages

VANCOUVER -- Gay marriage is declared by opponents as a slippery slope toall manner of nasty lifestyles not condoned in Canadian society, and theysuggest legalizing polygamy will raise its ugly head next.

Legal authorities are chopping that argument off at the neck.

Same-sex marriage and the practice of taking multiple wives share littlebasis in law, they say.

Why then has British Columbia has been so reluctant to take action against aradical Mormon sect where the men take many wives as their ticket to heaven?

"I always find it baffling when people see the two as so closely linked,"said Robert Leckey, a law professor at McGill University.

"Over the years many things about marriage have changed. It used to be forlife, now we have divorce. It used to be the man had all the rights, now menand women have equal rights. It is weird to me that same-sex marriage isseen as being the first change dramatic enough to make people think it ispolygamy next."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Teens tap into sexual advice via text
Tom Willetts
Wednesday August 1, 2007

A charity is rolling out a pioneering service that gives young people sexualhealth advice by text message after a successful pilot in the two boroughswith the highest rate of sexually transmitted disease in Europe.

Safe Haven is launching Text Sam across Britain to provide information foryoung men and women about contraception, sexually transmitted diseases,pregnancy and sexuality.

It was piloted in the London boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth, where almost90% of young people have had a sexually transmitted disease, according tothe charity. The text service received more than 42,000 requests forinformation in just two months during its pilot.

The innovative service was developed after a survey found 96% of 14- to16-year-olds depended on their friends for advice. Text Sam hopes to reducethe number of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections byletting young people make informed decisions.

Jacqui Jennings, the scheme's operations manager, said: "We have a nationalcrisis on our hands which is getting more out of control every day. We as asociety have an obligation to inform our young people of the possibleconsequences of having sex. We cannot expect young people to make sensibledecisions without knowledge."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

No Sex, Please, We're-Um, Liberal Bloggers


While in Chicago this week, I spent some fascinating time at the KosConvention . There were 1500 peoplethere working for progressive political change, most of them bloggers. I didan author hour, was interviewed for the virtual world Second Life, and wentto a few sessions.

Almost every progressive cause was represented: organized labor, farmreform, immigration, internet access for the poor, universal healthcare.Dozens of political figures attended, and Hillary, Barack, and the otheraspiring Democratic presidential candidates held a spirited debate.

The sessions had titles like "Countering corruption in Congress," "Workersand the global supply chain," and "What to do about the Religious Right."There were lots of opportunities for bloggers to network and learn how toexpand their influence.

The convention offered everything except sex.

No, I don't mean what people did privately after hours (insert yourpreferred joke here about computer geeks, sexual frustration, and onlinepersonas).




Firemen sue San Diego over Gay Pride parade

Four San Diego firefighters are suing the city for having been forced toparticipate in Gay Pride parade and subjected to lewd behavior andsuggestions. Their right to free speech may have been violated.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Spero News

Four respected San Diego firefighters were ordered, against their wishes, toparticipate in uniform on their city fire truck in the city’s 33rd annual“Gay Pride” parade held on July 20. During the course of the ensuing threehour long ordeal, the firefighters were subjected to vile sexual taunts fromhomosexuals lining the parade route.

This included the following statements: “show me your hose,” “you can putout my fire,” “you’re making me hot,” “give me mouth-to-mouth,” “you lookhungry, why don’t you have a twinkie (from a man wearing a “Girth and Mirth”t-shirt),” and “blow my hose.” These firemen are devoted husbands andfathers. When they refused to respond to the crowd, some in the crowd turnedhostile and started shouting, “F—k you firemen” and others began “flippingthem off.”

San Diego area attorney, Charles LiMandri, the West Coast Director of theThomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in AnnArbor, Michigan, is representing the firefighters in their legal claimsagainst the city. LiMandri was also the lead counsel in the successful Mt.Soledad Cross case in San Diego. A 52 year native San Diegan, LiMandristated: “What happened to these dedicated public servants was inexcusable.The City should have known from past experience the kind of offensiveactivities that go on at this event. This was a clear case of sexualharassment in violation of state and federal law as well as the City’s owncode of conduct.”

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Centeradded, “These firefighters dedicated their lives to save the lives ofothers. They did not sign on to become unwilling props to a controversialpolitical and social agenda.”

Continued Thompson, “The constitutional right to free speech also protectsthe right not to speak. These men should not have to explain to theirfamilies, friends and church congregations that their presence at acelebration of lewdness and obscenity in support of the homosexual agendawas because they were forced there by way of a direct order. This is a clearviolation of their constitutional rights, and the City must be heldaccountable. It should never happen again to any city employee.”


The National Gay News


Gay and illegal
Immigration laws make it doubly difficult for foreign-born partners toremain in the U.S.

By Josh RichmanI, Staff Writer
Inside Bay Area
Article Last Updated:08/05/2007 09:32:48 AM PDT

Editor's Note: This newspaper agreed to withhold the identities and otheridentifying details of the couple featured in exchange for their cooperationin telling their story.

Gary and Michael have been together for more than 29 years, but the lifethey've built could be undone in an instant.

Gary is an illegal immigrant, and he's HIV-positive.

If Gary, 47, and Michael, 60, were a man and a woman, they could marry andGary could then apply for legal residence right away. But federalauthorities don't recognize same-sex marriage.

If Gary had been an illegal immigrant by 1986, he could have gained amnestyunder immigration reforms enacted that year. But he was here legally until1996, by which time changes in immigration law changes made it virtuallyimpossible for him to remain here legally.


The Advocate


August 07, 2007
Iran bans paper for gay activist interview

Iran has banned a leading daily newspaper for the second time within a yearafter the paper published an interview with a woman accused of being a gayactivist, according to Agence France-Presse.

Although the ban on Shargh, a popular newspaper among Iranian liberals, hasnot been officially confirmed by authorities, the Fars news agency has citedon Monday that an informed source within the culture ministry said that thepress watchdog had ordered a temporary ban on the paper.

“We had an article which was an interview with an expatriate writer,” MehdiRahmanian, Shargh's license holder and managing director, told AFP. “Theysaid she had moral problems; they say she is homosexual and promotes that inher Web log. But we talked to her as a poet.”

Shargh published a full-page interview last Saturday with Saghi Ghahreman,an expatriate Iranian poet currently living in Canada, under the headline“Feminine Language.”

Another publication, the daily Kayhan—well-known for repeated attacks on themoderate press—claims that Ghahreman was the leader “of the Iranianhomosexuals organization” and a “counterrevolutionary fugitive.”




August 07, 2007
Surviving partner of lesbian officer alleges discrimination againstAustralian police force

The partner of a lesbian police officer who died in April has accused theNew South Wales police force of discrimination based on sexual orientation,reports Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald.

Senior Constable Cheryl Wang, 35, died on April 3 after a rock climbingaccident. She had received several honors, including an award for braveryafter nabbing a car thief from a moving vehicle.

According to the paper, a series of mistakes by police officials have causedcontinued grief for her partner of 11 years, Wendy Garraway, 35.

A letter of commendation from Commissioner Ken Moroney included the wrongdate of death and misspelled Garraway's name. Another official police letterand Wang's certificate of service contained the same mistakes.

Garraway told the Herald that the police failed to acknowledge two of herpartner's policing awards. She singled out Deputy Commissioner AndrewScipione, for reneging on his promise to preserve Wang's warrant card, andSgt. Mark Whiteside of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, forfailing to uphold his pledge to pay for the funeral costs.




August 07, 2007
Amsterdam celebrates gay pride

Gays and lesbians put on their brightest plumage Saturday and a rainbowfleet sailed through Amsterdam's historic canals as the city celebrated itsannual Gay Pride festival.

The party drew an estimated 375,000 to 500,000 people and took place in theshadow of a spate of gay-bashing attacks this year that has surprised a cityrenowned for its tolerance.

DJs pumped music from ships packed with dancing partygoers, vying for themost outrageous theme. Well-muscled men wore leather thong underwear, cowboyhats, disco glitter, and little else. One of the boats featured lesbianElvis impersonators with pink hair. In another, lesbians in bikinis withfairy wings danced wildly.

For the first time, a designated ''hetero-boat'' was among the more than 70vessels officially participating. Hundreds more cruised the canals just forfun.

Crowds lined the canals to watch the boats pass, basking in the first warmweekend since summer started.


The Advocate


August 07, 2007
Husband's record in White House complicates Hillary Clinton's presidentialrun Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is running for president on her husband's WhiteHouse record, and it is a strategy that cuts both ways, as was made clear atthis weekend's Yearly Kos blogger confab.

The New York senator and her husband, former president Bill Clinton,constantly remind voters of the U.S. economic prosperity in the 1990s andhis record on the environment, college aid, and family medical leave. Pressreleases from the campaign often include sentences that start , ''Under theClinton administration...''

''Yesterday's news was pretty good,'' Bill Clinton said last month in Iowawhile campaigning with his wife.

But yesterday's news is not always easy to explain today.

A San Francisco blogger made that painfully clear to Senator Clinton duringthe Yearly Kos Convention of liberal bloggers this weekend, when he askedwhether she would support or repeal four major pieces of legislation enactedduring the Clinton administration: the Defense of Marriage Act, theTelecommunications Act, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and welfarereform.


The Advocate


August 07, 2007
Appeals court rules against Oklahoma same-sex adoption ban

A federal appeals court has decided a law banning state recognition ofout-of-state adoptions by gay Oklahoma couples is unconstitutional, reportsOklahoma City TV news KOCO 5.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed an earlier ruling by an federaljudge in Okalahoma that said the 2004 law was outdated and in violation ofthe Constitution.

According to the news station, the appeals court said the law stands indirect opposition to the Full Faith and Credit Clause, which requires statesto give "full faith and credit" to the judicial proceedings of every otherstate. (The Advocate)


The Advocate


August 07, 2007
Four detained for South Africa lesbian murders

Police have detained four people who may have participated in last month'smurder of two lesbian activists in the South Africa township of Meadowlands,reports national news station SABC.

Sizakele Sigasa and Salome Masooa were allegedly raped, tortured, and shotdead in what may have been a crime motivated by hate. Sigasa worked for thelocal nonprofit Positive Women's Network. (The Advocate)


The Advocate


August 07, 2007
Five more congressmen sign on against "don't ask, don't tell"

Five new congressmen joined 126 of their colleagues on Friday to supportlegislation calling for the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell"ban on openly gay service personnel, according to a press release from theServicemembers Legal Defense Network. Representatives Michael A. Arcuri (NewYork Democrat), Brian Baird (Washington Democrat), Adam Schiff (CaliforniaDemocrat), Joe Sestak (Pennsylvania Democrat), and Brad Sherman (CaliforniaDemocrat) all signed on as cosponsors of the Military Readiness EnhancementAct (H.R. 1246), which increases the total number of congressionalsupporters to 131. Sestak is also Congress's highest-ranking veteran,retiring as a three-star admiral after having served 31 years in the UnitedStates Navy.

“Congress is steadily moving toward lifting the ban and welcoming lesbianand gay Americans who want to serve our country,” said Sharra Greer,director of law and policy for SLDN. “Americans overwhelmingly supportrepeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' and value the contributions that gaytroops bring to our armed forces. When it comes to capturing terrorists,deciphering intelligence, and protecting our nation, sexual orientation isirrelevant…. Talent and skill [are] paramount to our success at home andabroad.”

Even members of President Bush’s rank are showing signs of change. Duringlast week’s hearings, Adm. Michael Mullen, President Bush's nominee forchairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Sen. Susan Collins of Maine thathe is open to a congressional inquiry about “don't ask, don't tell.”

“I'd love to have Congress make its own decisions” regarding the law, hesaid during his confirmation hearings. “I really think it is for theAmerican people to come forward, really through this body, to both debatethat policy and make changes, if that's appropriate.”

The Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which would remove the “don't ask,don't tell” policy and would allow lesbian, gay, and bisexual personnel toopenly serve in the military, is sponsored by Democratic congresswoman EllenTauscher of California. (The Advocate)


The Advocate


August 07, 2007
Nepal's army denies discrimination in discharging two soldiers alleged to be lesbian
Nepal's army has discharged two women soldiers in Katmandu after accusingthem of being lesbians, a news report said Tuesday. The military denied theclaim.

Nepal's army has discharged two women soldiers in Katmandu after accusingthem of being lesbians, a news report said Tuesday. The military denied theclaim.

The two women were discharged last month after being detained for nearly twomonths, The Kathmandu Post newspaper reported. It cited one of the women assaying they were labeled as lesbians.

The army denied the report and said the two women were dismissed ondisciplinary grounds.

"They were discharged for failing to maintain minimum discipline. There wasno sexual discrimination or harassment involved in the decision to dismissthem," army spokesman Brig. Gen. Ramindra Chetri said.

Nepal's army began recruiting women only three years ago. The first batch ofwomen graduated from training and joined the army in non-combat roles in2004.




Fox gets 'F' for gay portrayals
Tuesday, August 7th 2007, 4:00 AM

Rebecca Romijn plays transsexual on ABC's 'Ugly Betty.'

Fox isn't doing so well when it comes to portraying gays and lesbians on thesmall screen, according to a new study from the Gay & Lesbian AllianceAgainst Defamation.

Conversely, ABC was first with 15% percent of its programming includingimages of LGBTs. ABC's "Ugly Betty," which has Rebecca Romijn as atransgender person, and "Brothers & Sisters" led the network.

Fox finished last in GLAAD's Network Responsibility Index, which tracks thequantity, quality and diversity of images of lesbians, gays, bisexuals andtransgendered people (LGBTs).

Researchers issued grades for each of the five broadcast network afterviewing 4,693 hours of programming. The CW, CBS and NBC all got fair grades.

"While the network received a failing grade, Fox scored some points for thediversity of its gay representations," GLAAD entertainment media directorDamon Romine said. "The two tent poles on Fox are its dramas and unscriptedcompetition series. To raise their failing grade, the network needs to lookat these shows and assess where they can be inclusive."




The future of marriage

Ten years from now, what will the state of marriage be in the United States?California Family Council's Ron Prentice and L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center'sLorri L. Jean conclude their debate on same-sex marriage.
August 6, 2007

Today, Jean and Prentice discuss the future of marriage. Previously theydebated the impact of same-sex marriage on religion and government, socialramifications, rapid shifts in public opinion and the campaign for amarriage amendment to the California state constitution.

Long-term effects
By Ron Prentice


Thus far, 27 states have legally protected marriage between a man and awoman. The people have spoken with strong majorities, and even in Californiaresearch shows that the numbers exist to successfully place the language ofthe Proposition 22 statute into the constitution. As our dialogue has shown,emotions are high. But this decision is about more than emotion.


The New York Times


August 7, 2007
The Fear of Fear Itself

It was appalling to watch over the last few days as Congress — now led byDemocrats — caved in to yet another unnecessary and dangerous expansion ofPresident Bush’s powers, this time to spy on Americans in violation of basicconstitutional rights. Many of the 16 Democrats in the Senate and 41 in theHouse who voted for the bill said that they had acted in the name ofnational security, but the only security at play was their job security.

There was plenty of bad behavior. Republicans marched in mindless lockstepwith the president. There was double-dealing by the White House. Thedirector of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, crossed the line frombeing a steward of this nation’s security to acting as a White Housepolitical operative.

But mostly, the spectacle left us wondering what the Democrats — especiallytheir feckless Senate leaders — plan to do with their majority in Congressif they are too scared of Republican campaign ads to use it to protect theConstitution and restrain an out-of-control president.


The New York Times


August 7, 2007
Guest Columnist
Poisonous Choices, Women at Risk

When the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to uphold the federal Partial-BirthAbortion Ban Act this spring, the ambivalently pro-choice public was largelyquiescent, believing, as Congress had previously ruled, that the procedurewas “gruesome and inhuman,” medically unnecessary, highly controversial inthe medical community and so rare as to be little missed.

What’s clear, however, as the ban has become a reality, is that fetuses willbe spared no brutality. Second trimester abortion is still legal and themost common method for it — dismembering a fetus inside the womb beforeremoving it in pieces — is no less awful to contemplate than the outlawedprocedure, in which an intact fetus’s skull was punctured and collapsed toease its removal. But women are now more at risk. And doctors have beenforced into a danger zone where they must weigh what they believe to be bestmedical practices against the need to protect themselves from the threat ofprosecution.

This kind of ethical tightrope walk, this sort of judicial meddling intostandard medical practices, is unprecedented — and poisonous.


The Washington post


Our Chance to Capture the Center
By Martin O'Malley and Harold Ford Jr.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007; Page A13

With President Bush and the Republican Party on the rocks, many Democratsthink the 2008 election will be, to borrow a favorite GOP phrase, acakewalk. Some liberals are so confident about Democratic prospects thatthey contend the centrism that vaulted Democrats to victory in the 1990s nolonger matters.

The temptation to ignore the vital center is nothing new. Every four years,in the heat of the nominating process, liberals and conservatives alikedream of a world in which swing voters don't exist. Some on the left wouldlove to pretend that groups such as the Democratic Leadership Council, theparty's leading centrist voice, aren't needed anymore.

But for Democrats, taking the center for granted next year would be agreater mistake than ever before. George W. Bush is handing us Democrats ourHoover moment. Independents, swing voters and even some Republicans whohaven't voted our way in more than a decade are willing to hear us out. Withan ambitious common-sense agenda, the progressive center has aonce-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win back the White House, expand itsmargins in Congress and build a political and governing majority that couldlast a generation.


The Washington post


A Great Time To Be Paranoid
By Eugene Robinson
Tuesday, August 7, 2007; Page A13

Several times a month, a woman calls my office in the middle of the nightand leaves long voice-mail messages about how she's the target of a vast,sinister conspiracy. I won't give her name -- obviously, she suffers from amental illness. The conspiracy she perceives involves the U.S. military, theCIA, interference with her brain waves and constant monitoring by the evilpeople who, for whatever reason, have decided that her thoughts somehowthreaten their nefarious plans. Sometimes she disguises her voice andpretends to be a lieutenant in the heroic resistance against mind control.

She always seems upbeat and energized, and I think I understand why: Thismust be a great time to be a paranoid.

People with a tendency to imagine that they are constantly being watched nowhave evidence to support their delusions. This weekend, when Congresslegalized the Bush administration's practice of eavesdropping on citizens'international phone calls and e-mail without first seeking court warrants,my occasional caller must have said to her imaginary lieutenant, "See, Itold you so."


The Washington post


In Support of the Congestion Charge
By Cameron Munro
Special to washingtonpost.com's Think Tank Town
Tuesday, August 7, 2007; 12:00 AM

The congestion charge on motorists in central London has been held up as amodel across the globe for cities looking to reduce the traffic jams thattie up their streets and highways. The charge has brought substantialbenefits to those who live and work in London -- whether they drive or takemass transit -- and it could do the same in traffic-clogged cities in theUnited States.

London drivers are charged the equivalent of $16 per day for traveling intothe center of the city between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. They can paythe charge by phone, on the Internet and in many stores. They can even setup accounts so they don't have to remember to pay the charge every day theytravel into the zone.

There is simply no other measure as effective in quickly reducing traffic ascongestion charging. The theory of congestion charging was established bytransportation planners and economists as far back as the 1950s. But onlyrecently -- in cities like Singapore, London and Stockholm -- has the theorybeen put into practice. It has been demonstrated to be as effective atcontrolling congestion in reality as in theory.


The Palm Beach Post


Everglades: Override Bush
Palm Beach Post Editorial
Tuesday, August 07, 2007

For Floridians, Everglades restoration has been the Bush administration'sbiggest domestic policy failure. The White House commitment to the 50-50state-federal project never has moved beyond words.

So it did not come as a shock that President Bush said he would veto theWater Resources Development Act, which Congress approved last week aftermonths of negotiations. The bill authorizes $6 billion for ecosystemrestoration, with $2 billion for Everglades projects and the rest forMississippi, coastal Louisiana and the Great Lakes. The National AudubonSociety considers them all to be vital, overdue projects.

It's important to note that the bill doesn't provide money. As South Florida
Water Management District Director Carol Wehle explains, it's merely "aninvitation to the dance" of lobbying for the actual cash. Even when money isappropriated, it would go to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which alreadyis decades behind in Florida. The Corps has to finish Kissimmee Riverrestoration and an unrelated water delivery project for the Evergladesbefore it starts on Everglades restoration. A Senate committee has approved$190 million for those projects and others, including $55.8 million torepair the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee.


USA Today


Feingold resolution would censure Bush

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Russ Feingold has introduced resolutions that wouldcensure President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Attorney GeneralAlberto Gonzales for what Feingold calls the Bush administration'smisleading the nation into war, and undermining the rule of law.

In the House, Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., introduced companionresolutions.

"Congress cannot stay silent when the American people are demanding thatthis administration be held accountable for its blatant misconduct regardingIraq and its attack on the rule of law," Feingold, D-Wis., said in astatement Monday.

"From misleading this country into invading Iraq to establishing awarrantless domestic spy program, this White House has continuously misledand deceived the American people while disregarding the rule of law thatguides our democracy," Hinchey said in a statement Monday,

Feingold announced last month that he would introduce the two resolutions.

One would censure Bush and Cheney for what it calls misleading the countryabout the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's regime, and inadequate planningfor military action in Iraq, among other things.

The other would censure Bush and Gonzales for the warrantless surveillanceprogram against suspected terrorists, and what the resolution callsmisleading Congress about the firings of U.S. attorneys, among other things.


The Washington Post


Clinton extending lead over Obama: poll
Tuesday, August 7, 2007; 1:03 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton hassignificantly widened her lead over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in theDemocratic presidential contest after a dispute over foreign policy, a newpoll showed on Tuesday.

The USA Today/Gallup poll of 1,012 adults showed Clinton's support at 48percent among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, versus 26percent for Obama. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards' support was at12 percent.


The Chicago Tribune



Democrats debate; unions delight
In national spotlight, candidates to court Big Labor in Chicago
By Stephen Franklin | Tribune staff reporter
August 7, 2007

They will probably sound like a giant barbershop quartet, singing differentnotes in the same song.

And that's perfectly fine with leaders of the AFL-CIO, who are savoring theprospect of the Tuesday night debate among seven Democratic presidentialcandidates that the labor federation is sponsoring at Soldier Field.

"All of them are talented and all of them are our candidates," GeraldMcEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and MunicipalEmployees told a group of union political activists this weekend in Chicago.The forum will be "the biggest job interview ever," he added with a broadsmile.




Battle Between Gay Man & Sick Partner's Family Highlights Lack Of Same-SexCouple Rights
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 6, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Indianapolis, Indiana) For a quarter century Patrick Atkins and BrettConrad shared their lives including a home and bank accounts but when Atkinsfell near fatally ill Conrad discovered he had no rights in determining thecare or who would deliver it to his ailing partner.

In 2005 Atkins collapsed while on a business trip to Atlanta. He had aruptured aneurysm and later suffered a stroke while hospitalized.

When Conrad arrived in Atlanta Atkins' family directed the hospital torefuse him access to the ailing 47-year old, the Indianapolis Star reports.He was allowed by sympathetic hospital staff to sneak in after hours andafter Atkins parents had left.

When Atkins was moved to a nursing home Conrad again was forced to sneak into see the man with whom he had spend more than half his life.

Later that year Conrad filed for guardianship of Atkins. But the nowseverely disabled man's parents quickly moved their son to their home andhave refused to allow Conrad access to him.




School System Allows Group To Promote 'Gay Conversion' To Students
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 7, 2007 - 8:30 am ET

(McLean, Virginia) The School board in Arlington County, Virginia has agreedto allow a so-called ex-gay group to distribute material to high schoolstudents claiming homosexuality can be reversed.

The school system's decision settles a lawsuit by the group Parents andFriends of Ex-Gays, or PFOX.

The organization went to court claiming the school district haddiscriminated against it by refusing to distribute flyers. Arlington CountySchools said it had a policy of turning down the distribution of materialfrom all groups, although the policy was not in writing.

The school board has since put its policy in writing, but the lawsuitcontinued.

PFOX says it will now press to be able to distribute its material in areamiddle schools.


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