Thursday, September 06, 2007

GLBT DIGEST September 06, 2007

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


PlanetOut Inc. Announces Plans for Reverse Stock Split
September 04, 2007: 09:16 PM EST

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- PlanetOut Inc. , theleading media and entertainment company exclusively focused on the gay andlesbian market, today announced that following the receipt of stockholderapproval for a reverse stock split at the special meeting of stockholdersheld on August 29, 2007, its board of directors set the ratio of the reversestock split of PlanetOut common stock at one-for-ten. The reverse stocksplit is expected to become effective on or about October 1, 2007, whenPlanetOut files an amendment to its certificate of incorporation with theState of Delaware.

As a result of the reverse stock split, every ten shares of common stock ofPlanetOut will be combined into one share of common stock. The number ofshares subject to PlanetOut's outstanding options and warrants will bereduced in the same ratio as the reduction in the outstanding shares, andthe per share exercise price of those options and warrants will be increasedin direct proportion to the reverse stock split ratio.

After the completion of the reverse stock split, PlanetOut stockholders willreceive instructions with respect to the exchange of their stockcertificates.


September 06, 2007
18 arrested in Turkish morals sweep

Eighteen members of an LGBT rights group in Bursa, Turkey, remain in custodysince their arrest Saturday on racketeering and prostitution charges, andtheir lawyer has not been given access to their files, the Turkish DailyNews reported Wednesday.

The activists are members of the Rainbow Solidarity and CulturalAssociation, one of only four Turkish gay rights groups with governmentpermission to operate. Homosexuality has been legal in Turkey since the1850s, but activists are often harassed and gay people find it difficult tolive openly in the secular Muslim state.

Saturday's arrest of association president Oyku Erven and 17 others was oncharges of "forming a gang to commit crimes, being an associate with a gang,and inciting prostitution," the Daily News reported. Bursa officials, whounsuccessfully fought to have the group banned last year, are continuingtheir investigation, the paper said.

An activist who has worked with the Rainbow Association on antiwar campaignstold the paper he had never heard of members staying in the homes rented bythe association being pressured to prostitute themselves.

"But," he said, "as they are not given an opportunity in life, they areforced to do this kind of work."


September 06, 2007
Clinton discusses gay rights on Ellen

Hillary Clinton was on Tuesday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show todiscuss her candidacy for president, including her views on gay rights.

On the show DeGeneres started off the conversation with a joke. "I don'tknow if you know this, but I'm gay," she said to Clinton. "What!" said theNew York senator, pretending to be surprised.

Then DeGeneres asked Clinton to explain her opposition to same-sex marriage,which the Democratic front-runner avoided directly responding to, saying shefavors civil unions with equal benefits. Clinton also said the "don't ask,don't tell" policy for gays in the military has failed. Enacted during herhusband's time in the White House, the policy has driven people out of themilitary, she said.

Hillary isn't the only Clinton courting the media this week. In a post-LaborDay media tour, her husband, Bill, campaigned for his wife on The OprahWinfrey Show and Late Show With David Letterman, and he was scheduled toappear Wednesday on the Today show and Larry King Live. (The Advocate)


September 06, 2007
Pro-gay congressman on the ropes with constituents in black Memphis district

When Steve Cohen, a white man, was elected last year to represent mostlyblack Memphis in Congress, it was seen as a sign that racial divisions werefading in this Southern city.

But less than a year later, Cohen is facing a movement led by black pastorsand political activists to defeat him in 2008 and send a blackrepresentative to Washington instead.

''He's not black, and he can't represent me. That's the bottom line,'' theReverend Robert Poindexter told a local newspaper after a meeting last weekof the Memphis Baptist Ministerial Association at which Cohen was jeered andbooed.

The hostile reception caught Cohen off guard and foreshadowed the challengehe is almost certain to face next year in his first bid for reelection.

''If you can get him on the wrong side of the black church, he's got anuphill battle,'' said Larry Moore, a University of Memphis professor whoteaches a course on how politics affects business. ''It's taken for grantedthat we're going to have a black congressman again. That's what people aresaying.''


September 06, 2007
Kopay donates $1 million to alma matter

The first former NFL player to come out as gay has pledged $1 million to hisalma mater's LGBT center. David Kopay's gift to the University of Washington's
Q Center will be an endowment to support activities and programs.

"I continually hear from people all over the world that my act of comingout-especially when I did in 1975-has empowered them in their search forself and to see their vision," Kopay said in a statement. "Hopefully, mymillion-dollar pledge will influence others to support the university andthe Q Center to continue to help others to do just that."

Kopay attended the school from 1961 to 1964 and was an all-American runningback his senior year, leading the team to the 1964 Rose Bowl. During hiseight-year professional career, Kopay played for the San Francisco 49ers,Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, and Green BayPackers. In 1975 he acknowledged that he was gay in an interview with theWashington Star, three years after retiring from the NFL. His autobiography,The David Kopay Story, was a New York Times best seller in 1977. (TheAdvocate)


September 06, 2007
California Republicans wrestle with party values, platform

California Republicans are headed for a showdown over the direction of theparty, which could highlight national schisms over gay rights, gun control,and abortion.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants the state Republican Party platform, theparty's statement of core values, boiled down to as little as a single pagefocusing on lowering taxes, limiting the size of government, and building astrong national defense. A centrist, the actor-turned-governor describeshimself as a "post-partisan" who wants to bridge the political divide thatoften leaves the state capitol in Sacramento legislatively gridlocked.

But some conservatives see his move as an attempt to undercut partypositions on everything from traditional marriage to opposition to abortionrights.

"There's a move afoot to make sure the Republican Party stands for nothing,"said Michael Spence, president of the conservative California RepublicanAssembly.

It's "a direct assault on Republican Party principles," Spence said. "Theythink they can reduce the party to a few lines or sound bites."


September 06, 2007
Arkansas AG will reject gay foster parents ban

Arkansas's attorney general said Wednesday he will reject a proposedvoter-backed initiative aimed at barring unmarried couples from adopting orfostering children. A conservative group hoped to use the ban to keep gaycouples from becoming foster parents.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said the proposal submitted by the ArkansasFamily Council is inconsistent. He said the group would be allowed toredraft and resubmit it.

''I strongly suspect they will incorporate our changes and maybe a few oftheir own, resubmit it, and I'll ultimately certify it. But it did not meetthe legal requirements to certify it right now,'' McDaniel said.

Courts overturned Arkansas's previous ban on gay foster parents. Jerry Cox,the Arkansas Family Council's executive director, has said that a voter-ledinitiative that targeted all unmarried couples- not just gay couples- wouldbetter withstand a judge's review.

Cox said last month that the group believes cohabiting heterosexuals are notsafe for children, either.


September 06, 2007
House panel hears arguments for ENDA

Dramatic testimony from lawmakers, scholars, business leaders, and gaycivilian employees marked Wednesday's hearings on the federal EmploymentNon-Discrimination Act of 2007.

Also known as HR2015, ENDA, introduced in April, would make it illegal tofire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an employee based on sexualorientation or gender identity.

Only 20 states and the District of Columbia now protect gay men and lesbiansin the workplace, and only 10 states protect workers based on genderidentity.

In her opening statement to the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensionssubcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee, the bill'scosponsor, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, called ENDA animportant step in extending rights guaranteed by Title VII of the CivilRights Act of 1964.

Just as Title VII declared employer judgments based upon race, color,religion, sex, or national origin to be unlawful, Baldwin said, "today, wecan point to a clear record demonstrating further employment discriminationbased upon sexual orientation and gender identity, and it is high time thatwe as a nation declare this sort of discrimination unlawful as well."


Feds target gay Iowan senator
A state senator from Iowa defends his innocence after a federal probe findshe may have had a hand in a case of extortion.

By Jim Ferguson
An exclusive posted August 15, 2007

Iowa's highest ranking openly gay elected official has been indicted by theU.S. Department of Justice for extortion, facing fines up to $250,000 and 20years in prison. State Senator Matt McCoy, 41, allegedly attempted to obtain$100 for each installation of a home security system from an ADT dealershipin Des Moines, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The motion-sensor system, called QuietCare, is placed in senior citizens'homes to keep track of their safety. According to the indictment, McCoycollected about $2,000 from the company between Dec. 29, 2005, and March 24,2006.

A clear target

McCoy, who was outed on the senate floor in 2003 by ultraconservativeRepublican Senator Ken Veenstra, has been reelected several times sincefirst winning his state House seat in 1992. Veenstra lost his bid forreelection in 2004 after outing his colleague, as did several other antigayIowa officials.

"Since coming out as an openly gay man," McCoy said, "I have been acontinuous target of groups targeting gays to advance their own agendas ofintolerance and hate. Clearly, there is significant speculation about whathas motivated federal officials to take this action against me."


Published September 5, 2007

Culver backs law banning gay marriage
But he says he trusts the judicial system and awaits the results of an Iowa
Supreme Court appeal.

Gov. Chet Culver said Tuesday that he supports a state law struck down lastweek by a Polk County judge, barring same-sex couples from marrying in Iowa.

However, Culver stopped short of criticizing the ruling by District JudgeRobert Hanson and said he's content to await an appeal of the case to theIowa Supreme Court.

"I respect the important role that the judicial branch plays in this issueand in many issues," said Culver, a Democrat, in an interview.

"I have said personally that I believe marriage is between a man and awoman, and I've been consistent on that. At the same time, I think it'simportant we let the judicial process work itself out here," he said.

A final ruling in the case could take six months to two years or more.


Gay officer to speak out for job rights bill
US measure would forbid discrimination
By Maria Cramer, Globe Staff | September 5, 2007

Springfield Patrolman Michael Carney decided to hide his homosexualityimmediately after he graduated from the police academy.

At a graduation party, he saw a fellow officer come out of the men's roomwith a bloody nose. A police supervisor had beaten him up when he learnedthe officer had brought a male friend to the party, Carney recalled.

For years, Carney never spoke about his attraction to men. To deflectsuspicion, he would make homophobic remarks in front of fellow officers.

But today, 25 years after he became a police officer, he will speak in themost public way about his sexual identity. He will ask Congress to pass theEmployment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill US Representative Barney Frank, aDemocrat, introduced in April that would make it illegal to fire gays andlesbians because of their sexual orientation.

"My objective is to support those who are closeted as well as out," saidCarney, who will testify in full uniform. "I feel when I speak I speak forthose who can't speak for themselves."


September 5, 2007
Bill Clinton 'pulling' for Craig and family

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Embattled Sen. Larry Craig was one of Bill Clinton'sfiercest critics during the Senate's 1999 impeachment trial, but the formerpresident told CNN's Larry King Wednesday he takes no pleasure in the IdahoRepublican's current situation and is "pulling" for Craig and his family.

"Honestly, didn't feel any great joy," Clinton said in an interview to airtonight at 9 p.m. ET. "When it was going on I knew that a lot of them wereouted for hypocrisy before this."

Clinton added, "One of the things I did to get through that was to thinkhard about times in my past when I had judged people too harshly becausethey had a problem I didn't have. And I promised myself I'd never do thatagain, and I'm trying to keep that promise."

Craig was arrested in a restroom in June at the Minneapolis-St. PaulInternational Airport on suspicion of making sexual advances to anundercover police officer in the next stall. He pleaded guilty to disorderlyconduct in August, but denies he was engaging in lewd behavior. Clintonoffered a sympathetic perspective on the situation.

"I just know right now he and his family have got to be hurting and I thinkthe rest of us should just be pulling for their personal lives and thepolitics of this will play itself out," he added.


Gay website owner defends public sex
But local therapist says the practice is not so innocuous
Sep. 06, 2007

Keith Griffith, owner of the gay website, thinks there isabsolutely nothing wrong with public sex. In fact, he describes FortLauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle's campaign against public sex as a symptom of an"anti-sex culture" that "makes people ashamed of their bodies."

"There is no shame in sex," Griffith said in an interview with the Express."I'm happy that people congregate in various places in your city and enjoythemselves. I see no reason to be ashamed of what is a very important partof gay male culture, which is sex."

On July 25, Griffith called for a boycott of Fort Lauderdale on his websitein response to Naugle's recent comments about gays and public sex. Despitecriticism from many in the travel industry, Griffith has no regrets.

"The mayor stood on the steps of city hall and disinvited us, so why shouldwe spend any money there?" Griffith said. "I think it's unfair that themayor has categorized us as spreading disease."

Naugle mentioned at a press conference July 24 in whichhe "apologized" to the people of Fort Lauderdale for "underestimating" theproblem of public sex in the city. The mayor noted that several local parksand other public places are listed on Griffith's website as gay cruisingplaces. In fact, the website does list Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale,Easterlin Park in Oakland Park, Coral Ridge Mall in Fort Lauderdale,Arrowhead Golf Course in Davie, Deerfield Beach and Bally's Total Fitness inFort Lauderdale as places where men cruise for anonymous sex. But based oncomments posted on the site by some visitors, it appears that many of theseplaces are no longer as popular for cruising for sex because of increasedpolice presence and a general drop off in activity.


Signed, sealed and delivered
Gay owners of UPS store win customer service award
Sep. 06, 2007

WHEN JIM Lawrence and his business and romantic partner Ron Goss bought theUPS store on Las Olas, they never knew they would be recognized nationwidefor their pleasant demeanors. They just thought they were doing their job.

Their business was recently voted the number one UPS Store in the U.S. forCustomer Service.

"UPS has a contract with secret shoppers," explains Lawrence. "Each quarterthey come out and rate stores all over the United States. We were ratednumber one out of 3,541 stores."

Lawrence and Goss just celebrated their first year in the business a weekago.

"I always wanted my own business," Lawrence says. He had been working as ahealth care consultant for years, traveling around the country Mondaysthrough Fridays. Goss was a personal trainer until injuring his neck. Thecouple started looking into possible business opportunities when the UPSopportunity came up. They bought the transfer store and jumped into the newbusiness with enthusiasm.


Attorney general will reject gay foster parents ban
Ark. Family Council say ban is for unmarried heterosexuals
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) | Sep 5, 3:04 PM

Arkansas's attorney general said Wednesday he will reject a proposedvoter-backed initiative aimed at barring unmarried couples from adopting orfostering children. A conservative group hoped to use the ban to keep gaycouples from becoming foster parents.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said the proposal submitted by the ArkansasFamily Council is inconsistent. He said the group would be allowed toredraft and resubmit it.

``I strongly suspect they will incorporate our changes and maybe a few oftheir own, resubmit it, and I'll ultimately certify it. But it did not meetthe legal requirements to certify it right now,' McDaniel said.

Courts overturned Arkansas' previous ban on gay foster parents. Jerry Cox,the Arkansas Family Council's executive director, has said that a voter-ledinitiative that targeted all unmarried couples - not just gay couples -would better withstand a judge's review.

Cox said last month that the group believes cohabiting heterosexuals are notsafe for children, either.


Calif. clash over GOP 'values'
State party members will work on new platform this week

LOS ANGELES (AP) | Sep 5, 3:24 PM

California Republicans are headed for a showdown over the direction of theparty that could highlight national schisms over gay rights, gun control andabortion.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants the state GOP platform - the party'sstatement of core values - boiled down to as little as a single pagefocusing on lowering taxes, limiting the size of government and building astrong national defense.

A centrist, the actor-governor describes himself as a "post-partisan" whowants to bridge the political divide that often leaves the state capital ofSacramento gridlocked.

But some conservatives see his move as an attempt to undercut partypositions on everything from traditional marriage to opposition to abortionrights.

"There's a move afoot to make sure the Republican Party stands for nothing,"said Michael Spence, president of the conservative California RepublicanAssembly. It's "a direct assault on Republican Party principles. They thinkthey can reduce the party to a few lines or sound bites."


Supporting Mike Rogers
by Wayne Besen

About three years ago, I was lounging in a Montreal hotel room when I got acall from activist Mike Rogers. I was unaware of who he was, but thisintense stranger began interrogating me for information about - well, Idon't even remember what the topic was anymore. But, I do recall that he wasabout the toughest advocate I had encountered in quite some time. As I hungup the phone I thought, "thank God this guy is on our side."

In an era of softer advocacy, Rogers is decidedly in your face. Yet he hasintegrated new media with old school activism to create a stunninglyeffective hybrid that has brought Capitol Hill to its knees. Well, thehypocritical, anti-gay Congressmen were already on their knees - but untilRogers came along with his "outing" website BlogActive, they were gettingaway with it. Rogers does not tiptoe (or is it tap foot) around thecontentions issue of outing and has a string of successes, including thedownfall of closeted former Virginia GOP Congressman Ed Schrock.

Since our initial conversation we have become friends. At his Washingtonapartment, he is a whirlwind of activity, fighting for a just cause withlittle reward. While our "mainstream" organizations have reaped a windfallof resources, Rogers, arguably our most effective voice, has had to scrapetooth and nail.

Unfortunately, the veneer of "respectability" often trumps results when itcomes to supporting GLBT causes. With little more than willpower, Rogers hasbecome a major powerbroker in our nation's capitol. This week, he wasfeatured in a Washington Post article under the headline, "The Most FearedMan On The Hill?"

The downfall of Sen. Larry "Wide Stance" Craig has put Rogers in thespotlight, where he is finally getting his due. Months before "potty-gate,"Rogers outed Craig for allegedly having sex at Washington's Union Station.Now that he has been vindicated (not the first time), he has gone from apariah, in some circles, to downright prophetic.


House Committee Hears From Gay Victims Of Job Discrimination
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: September 5, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Washington) A string of gays and lesbians told a House committee onWednesday of being fired solely because of their sexuality and called onCongress to enact the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

The bill was introduced in Congress in April (story). If passed and signedby the president it be illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promotean employee based on the person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Brooke Waits, a Texas cell phone company employee, told the committee ofbeing terminated because anti-gay job discrimination.

Waits fought back tears as she described being fired the day after hersupervisor looked at her personal cell phone and saw a picture of herkissing her girlfriend on New Year's Eve.

Michael Carney, a Springfield, Massachusetts police officer said that hemade a conscious decision to remain in the closet after witnessing anincident at his police academy graduation party.


Advisors: New HIV Drug Merits Quick Approval
by The Associated Press
Posted: September 5, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Washington) An experimental HIV drug from Merck & Co. Inc. should bequickly approved for use by patients running out of treatment options,federal advisers recommended Wednesday.

The panel of outside experts agreed unanimously that available data supportaccelerated approval of Isentress, also known as raltegravir, by the Foodand Drug Administration.

The FDA isn't required to follow the advice of its outside advisory panelsbut does so most of the time. Merck expects an agency decision bymid-October. If approved, Isentress would be the first in a new class ofanti-retroviral drugs called integrase inhibitors.

The Merck drug targets integrase, one of three enzymes used by the virus toreplicate and infect cells. The FDA previously has approved drugs thattarget the two other enzymes, protease and reverse transcriptase.

Isentress is meant to be used as part of a "cocktail" of drugs to fight HIVin patients who have developed a resistance to older medications. HIV - thehuman immunodeficiency virus - causes AIDS.


San Diego Rejects Support For Same-Sex Marriage Challenge
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: September 5, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(San Diego, California) San Diego city council won't support a courtchallenge to the state's refusal to grant marriage licenses to same-sexcouples.

San Francisco and 15 gay and lesbian couples are in California's SupremeCourt seeking the overturn of the law. A number of cities in the statealready have filed amicus, or "friend-of-the-court" briefs supporting thechallenge - among them Los Angeles, San Jose, Long Beach and Oakland.

San Diego councilmember Toni Atkins brought a similar motion to council onTuesday.

"I'm not sure I can express to you how important the city of San Diego'ssupport for this friend-of-the-court brief is to literally thousands ofsame-sex San Diegans," said Atkins, who is openly lesbian.

Council tied on a 4-4 vote, meaning the issue did not pass. But one of thedissenting vote came on a technicality.


Brownback Booed For Support Of Federal Amendment On Gay Marriage
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: September 6, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Durham, New Hampshire) Eight Republican presidential hopefuls debated thewar in Iraq, immigration, and same-sex marriage before a crowd of 3,600 NewHampshire voters, and while the audience was mostly polite, Sen. SamBrownback (R-Kansas) drew widespread jeers and boos after calling for anamendment to the US Constitution to ban gay and lesbian couples frommarrying.

All of the GOP candidates, including Fred Thompson who was absent toofficially announce his entry into the race on the Tonight Show, opposesame-sex marriage.

But it was Brownback who was put on the spot over the issue at Wednesdaynight's debate broadcast on Fox and moderated by Brit Hume.

During the debate Hume cut away to a local restaurant to gauge audiencereaction.

A New Hampshire state employee was asked about same-sex marriage and ifthere should be a constitutional amendment banning it. The woman said no,adding that same-sex couples should be able to marry.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, Sep. 06, 2007
Coalition accuses Naugle of `spiritual terrorism'

Led by local NAACP leaders, a coalition of Broward clergymen and gayactivists gathered Wednesday outside Fort Lauderdale City Hall to protestMayor Jim Naugle's recent alliance with religious leaders in his continuedcriticism of the gay community.

Calling the mayor's newest agenda ''spiritual terrorism,'' the ministerssaid Naugle should focus more on serving his constituents than becoming amoral crusader.

''Sadly, the mayor . . . and certain right wing religious groups . . . havechosen to practice the politics and religion of division, hatred anddiscrimination,'' said Archbishop Bruce J. Simpson of the Benedictine Orderof St. John the Beloved.

''Make a choice between city hall and the pulpit,'' said the Rev. Grant LynnFord of Sunshine Cathedral.

Later Wednesday evening at a City Commission meeting, outraged gay activiststook commissioners to task after they approved a resolution meant to fosterthe city's commitment to diversity.

Gay activists said they expected city leaders to censure Naugle, but thatdidn't happen. And, the resolution didn't go far enough, they said.

''It shows a lack of leadership on the part of this commission,'' saidMichael Rhaner of the Campaign to End AIDS, a nonprofit group.

Naugle drew angry reactions from gay activists nationwide after proposingthat Fort Lauderdale spend $250,000 for a single-occupancy toilet on thebeach to cut down on men having sex in public restrooms.

Initially, the city said only two people had been arrested for sexualactivity in a public restroom since 2005. But Naugle recently said thatnumber is at least eight, including a recent arrest at Holiday Park.

In a similarly emotion-filled rally at City Hall on Tuesday, a predominantlyblack coalition of ministers outlined a plan to support Naugle in hopes oftransforming ``Fort Lauderdale and Broward County into the Bible Belt ofSouth Florida.''

The group had particularly criticized some NAACP officials for addressingthe concerns of the gay community as a civil rights issue.

On Wednesday, NAACP officials reaffirmed that position. ''This is a hatecampaign against gays launched by the mayor,'' said Broward County NAACPleader Marsha Ellison. ``Anytime any group is discriminated against itbecomes a civil rights issue.''


Uganda Muslim Militants Plan Squad to Fight Gays
Uganda: Tabliqs Plan Squad to Fight Gays
The Monitor (Kampala) - 28 August 2007

Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa & Ephraim Kasozi

MUSLIM Tabliq youth plan to form what they call an 'Anti-Gay Squad' to fighthomosexuality in the country. Sheikh Multah Bukenya, a senior cleric in theMuslim Tabliq Sect said the vice is widely spreading among the younggeneration.

"We are ready to act swiftly and form this squad that will wipe out allabnormal practices like homosexuality in our society," he said last Fridayduring prayers at Noor Mosque in Kampala.

"It is the work of the community to put an end to bad practices likehomosexuality."

The debate on homosexuals intensified recently when they addressed anunprecedented press conference in Kampala, demanding recognition of theirrights.

A group of religious leaders later held a demonstration in the city, sayinghomosexuals have no place in society. Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda.

"If prostitutes can line up on streets just next to State House and no oneacts against them; how fast do you expect the government to crackdownhomosexuals who operate in hiding?" Sheikh Bukenya wondered.



Couple in same sex marriage ordered to part
By Cynthia Lee
06 September, 2007

MALACCA: Three months short of their fifth wedding anniversary, a couple hasbeen ordered to part as the husband was actually a woman. Syariah judge CheSaufi Che Husin yesterday ordered a farak (part forever) between Mohd SufianMohamad, 40, and Zaiton Aziz, 43, as the marriage was not legitimate undersyariah.

The couple arrived in court together in a Perodua Kancil, wearing matchingyellow attire, and looked calm when the judgment was read to them.

They walked out of court together and left in the same car.

Sufian, 40, whose birth certificate bears the name Mazinah Mohamad, marriedZaiton Aziz, 43, in December 2002.

They were alleged to have committed same-sex marriage and were charged undersection 11 of the Malacca Islamic Family Enactment 2002.

The marriage, solemnised by imam Ishak Juki from the Bukit Cina mosque, hadbeen deemed legal as all procedures had been adhered to.

However, problems surfaced a few months later when the Malacca ReligiousAffairs Department refused to register the marriage after becomingsuspicious of the bridegroom's gender.

Sufian was also ordered to amend his gender status and name in the NationalRegistration Department according to the original birth certificate.

In announcing his ruling, Che Saufi said: "According to the first respondent's(Zaiton) statement, she had never seen or touched her husband's privateparts and had taken him to be a man all along and that she felt good andsatisfied together.

"This is astounding and illogical. It is abnormal to go through life ashusband and wife as such."

He said the couple had also failed to prove the "husband" to be ahermaphrodite as claimed by Syariah lawyer Mohd Mokhtar Karim.




First association for people living with HIV in Pakistan
24 August 2007

A new national initiative from UNAIDS in Pakistan aims to ensure thatcommunities and the government listen to the experts - people living withHIV - when making decisions about treatment, care, support and prevention.Twenty-four year old Masood is the newest recruit to one of UNAIDS' latestinitiatives: the"Association of People Living with HIV and AIDS in
The association was launched on World AIDS Day 2006 with the support ofUNAIDS and its UN co-sponsors, and the Pakistan government. The aim is tomake sure that people living with HIV are consulted when decisions aboutprevention, treatment, care and support are taken at federal and provinciallevel.

In keeping with the principle of greater involvement of people living withHIV, all the executive board members of the association are HIV positive.Now, it is establishing the first network among people living with HIV inPakistan to provide a platform for them to speak in unison.

"In my experience, most HIV positive people here have difficulty conveyingtheir needs, often because of poverty and because the literacy rate is lowand information provided is limited," says Masood.

"Here in Pakistan HIV is not seen as a priority and people have many ssuessurrounding their treatment, care and support, stigma and discrimination andsociety's attitudes." Stigma and discrimination is specifically associatedwith children and women from rural areas of Pakistan. These women have beeninfected by their husbands; most of them were migrant workers who have beendeported by certain countries without being told about their HIV positivestatus.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


5 September 2007
Media Contact: Lee Badgett, Research Director
The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy
UCLA School of Law

Click here to read a transcript of Lee Badgett's testimony

Professor Lee Badgett, Research Director at the Williams Institute, UCLASchool of Law, testified before Congress today that the passage of HR 2015,the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a federal nondiscriminationlaw including sexual orientation and gender identity, would benefit bothLGBT people and employers.

Badgett summarized findings from a recent Williams Institute study, Bias inthe Workplace, which reviews 50 studies over the last decade anddemonstrates a disturbing and consistent pattern: sexual orientation-basedand gender identity discrimination is a common occurrence in many workplacesacross the country.

In her testimony before the House Committee on Education and Labor(Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions), Badgett statedthat, "Each survey documents numerous experiences of being fired, beingdenied a job, or some other form of unequal treatment in the workforce thatstemmed from these individuals' sexual orientation or gender identity."

Badgett's testimony cited a study showing that LGBT people who work incompanies with a nondiscrimination law are more likely to be out with regardto their sexual orientation or gender identity. Research shows that comingout yields less conflict between work and personal life, greater jobsatisfaction, more self-esteem, and better physical health.

In outlawing discrimination in hiring and other employment decisions basedon sexual orientation and gender identity, ENDA would make it easier forLGBT people to be open about their lives, benefiting both employees andemployers alike. As Badgett pointed out, "Discrimination hurts, butnondiscrimination laws appear to help."



A diverse group of global LGBT human rights activists has launched a newnetwork, Gays Without Borders, in a cooperative effort to buildinternational solidarity and increase communication.

Hailing from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia,and the USA, the activists who thus far comprise Gays Without Borders,represent a wide mix of political, organizational and social justiceviewpoints. We may soon add our first member from Nepal!

No matter where we live or fall on the sexual orientation spectrum orrespectfully differ on political questions, we agree on one importantmatter - more cooperation and coordinated is needed at the global level.

And to foster better communication among us, we have a Yahoo! groupestablished.

I am proud to be part of the Gays Without Borders network and look forwardto participating in dialogues and actions, everything from streetdemonstrations to letter-writing campaigns to posting messages on my blog,with a fabulous network of individuals dedicated to sharing knowledge andbuilding bridges to LGBT people everywhere.

Click here to visit our Yahoo! group, , then send the moderatora message, saying you're interested in Gays Without Borders.

Emails should be sent to:

Please join Gays Without Border today and help us make the world a betterplace for all LGBT citizens.


Daytona Beach News Journal

September 06, 2007
Petition for marriage amendment plows ahead
Tallahassee Bureau Chief

TALLAHASSEE -- As an Iowa court decision refuels a national debate about theissue, Floridians appear headed toward voting next year on a constitutionalamendment that would ban same-sex marriages.

Backers of the proposed amendment are getting close to having enoughpetition signatures to put the issue on the November 2008 ballot,potentially setting up a major political fight.

Florida already has a law that prevents gay and lesbian couples frommarrying, but it's not part of the constitution.

Orlando lawyer John Stemberger, who is leading efforts to pass theamendment, said Florida needs to put the ban in the constitution because ajudge could overturn the current law.

An Iowa judge last week struck down that state's ban on same-sex marriage,briefly allowing gay couples to wed. The decision was later stayed, pendingan appeal.

"Iowa is Exhibit A for why the marriage amendment needs to be codified inthe constitution," said Stemberger, president of the conservative FloridaFamily Policy Council. "Massachusetts (the only state that allows same-sexmarriages) is exhibit B."

But many opponents argue such bans discriminate against same-sex couples,preventing them from having the same rights as heterosexual couples.

Also, Damien Filer, a spokesman for a coalition called Fairness for AllFamilies, said the proposed Florida amendment could have far-reachingimplications for gay and straight unmarried couples.


Express Gay News

Right-wing preacher D. James Kennedy dies
Pastor of Fort Lauderdale church was active in anti-gay and 'ex-gay'movements
Thursday, September 06, 2007

While the news of the death of anti-gay Rev. James Kennedy brings backpainful memories for Jerry Stephenson, Kennedy's passing simultaneouslybrings the author a sense of resolution.

"I learned from it," says Stephenson, who tried Kennedy's method of prayingaway his homosexuality. "It takes me back to the days of my struggle, and itserves as a reminder that I not only survived it, but overcame it."

Stephenson is one of several thousands of gay men across the country whowere drawn to Kennedy's homophobic, contentious message that gainednotoriety in the 1990s with a well-funded mainstream campaign.

Kennedy, 76, died Wednesday leaving behind droves of fundamentalistevangelical Christian followers. But his legacy is a painful one for manypeople in the GLBT community.

"[Kennedy's] legacy is destructive, divisive and painful," said Wayne Besen,author and executive director of Truth Wins Out, a group he formed tocounter the "ex-gay" ministries.


Express Gay News

We are a newspaper, not a cheerleading squad
We print all the news, whether it's positive or negative about gay people
by Phil LaPadula
Thursday, September 06, 2007

Last month, the Express ran a story on the arrest of John Moody II, theformer board president of the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of SouthFlorida. Mr. Moody was arrested June 12 for allegedly making unwanted sexualadvances and assaulting a flight attendant on a Southwest Airlines flight.The federal arrest affidavit in the case alleges that Moody was drunk anddisruptive on the flight and interfered with the flight attendant's abilityto do his job. He resigned from the GLCC board shortly after his arrest.

Our report on the incident prompted a letter from Fort Lauderdale residentEd Nicholas, who complained that the story "cast the gay community in aterrible light."

"When something like this happens, why can't we do what the conservativepress does and play it down?" Nicholas asked in his letter.

The answer to that question is that we are a newspaper, not a propagandamouthpiece for the gay rights movement. It is the mission of the Express toreport the news that affects the GLBT community. That means all newsworthyincidents - the good, the bad and the ugly. The president of the board ofthe gay community center facing federal charges is a newsworthy incident.

Those people who want the Express to be a cheerleader for the gay communityshould ask themselves this question: Would that approach really help gay andlesbian people? Criticism, pointing out flaws and exposing abuses areessential to the growth of both individuals and communities. The only reasonthe United States is such a strong and prosperous country is because peopleare free to rant and rave about everything. By the way, we welcome thecriticism from Mr. Nicholas and others who care enough to write to theExpress and offer their input.

The Express provides comprehensive reporting on gay rights efforts and theactivities of the anti-gay forces that oppose them. But over the years, wehave also reported on many internal problems in the gay community. We havereported on numerous financial scandals, which have mostly involved gaypeople preying on other gay people. Should we not report on those predatoryactivities because they cast gay people in a bad light?

This is certainly not the first time we have been attacked for reporting onalleged bad behavior by a member of the community. Last July, we reportedthat the gay owner of Rita Olwell Travel agency, Jacob Torossian, had beencharged with three felony counts of credit card fraud. We were threatenedwith a lawsuit before we even wrote a word about the case. After the storywas printed, Rita Olwell posted nasty messages about the Express on itselectronic billboard, urging people to boycott us and to "unite the gaycommunity" against us. This despite the fact that we only reported what wasin the police report and also provided ample space for Torossian's lawyer tomake a case for his client's innocence. The Torossian case is still pending,and Mr. Torossian has not been convicted of anything.

Then there are the "grave robbers" of Mutual Benefits Corp., the viaticallife insurance company accused of defrauding investors out of $956 millionby creating bogus life-expectancy estimates for AIDS patients. The presidentof the company, Peter Lombardi, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.



Who Among Us Would Cast the First Stone? This Guy
By Marc Fisher
Thursday, September 6, 2007; B01

From high atop his Adams Morgan apartment building, Michael Rogers decideswho is living a lie and who may be turning toward righteousness.

Then, with a few words sprayed onto the uneven ground between gossip andjournalism, he turns a life upside down. Or he offers absolution, remainingsilent if he believes the person in question has a good heart.

A year ago, Rogers, having decided that Sen. Larry Craig was a hypocrite,reported on his blog that the Idaho Republican, who publicly opposed gaymarriage, secretly had sex with men. Craig has denied the allegations.

As The Post's Jose Antonio Vargas reported in his profile of Rogers thisweek, the blogger views his posts about Craig and congressmen Ed Schrock andMark Foley -- conservative Republicans who resigned even as they deniedRogers's claims that they had had same-sex encounters -- as neithertitillations nor violations of privacy.

Rather, Rogers, a 43-year-old gay man who worked as a fundraiser for gay andenvironmental lobbies before turning to full-time Internet activism,considers himself an investigative reporter, "someone who has been able tosway a lot of people from my living room." He sees his work asquintessentially moral, a modern truth-telling that bares politicalhypocrisy.


[Send your comments about articles to]

No comments: