Friday, September 07, 2007

GLBT DIGEST September 07, 2007

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Larry Craig case as much about honesty as sexuality

September 7, 2007

I feel very sorry for Sen. Larry Craig. It really doesn't matter if he isgay or straight. Regardless of the details (and we don't actually know hisintent or what happened in that airport bathroom), a conclusion can be drawnfrom his post-arrest actions.

I can deduce only one possible conclusion from his refusal to tell anyone ofhis arrest and subsequent plea; he was afraid someone would think he weregay, and afraid of the consequences, personally and professionally. This manwas so afraid that he pleaded guilty to a crime in hopes of keeping hisarrest from friends and family.

This display of dishonesty is not an expression of "family values"; and ifhonesty isn't the cornerstone of "family values," it should be. Maybe weneed a new "list" of family values to which we can all subscribe.

This is exactly why so many gays remain closeted, and should show us itisn't to the benefit of society. As a society, we all need to work towardaccepting one another; including removing the stigmas of gender, sexualityand race.

We all need to learn from his misfortune. I feel strongly this mostimportant lesson of this miserable episode could be easily overlooked.

Barnett Adler
Fort Lauderdale


Religiosity is everywhere

Rachel Patron
September 7, 2007

In the next few days, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, may pass a lawthat strips gay couples of the right to inherit. How is this possible, onemay ask, in a country where gays are allowed to serve in the military,legally adopt, and march each year in parades down the streets of Tel-Avivand Jerusalem?

A simple answer: The pernicious influence of ultra orthodox religiousparties, without whose support neither the right nor the left can form aruling coalition. The price for their participation is control over thepersonal lives and freedoms of the citizenry.

This explains why the definition of a couple was amended from "partners" to"one man and one woman." Hopefully, the increasing pressure from enlightenedsociety will convince parliament to reject this backward legislation.

All over the world religiosity is on the march, led by self-appointedinterpreters of God's will. This Tuesday we'll commemorate the sixthanniversary of the terrorist attack on America that killed thousands in thename of a God brewed up in the mentally-twisted psyches of fanaticalzealots. These religious warriors are on their way to impose a despotic ruleon their own societies, and rain further suffering on the West for daring torepudiate their madness.

Wouldn't one think that America, having undergone the horrors of a religiousonslaught, would delight in the separation of church and state? Surely, nowmore than ever, we must devote ourselves to the proposition that religionshould play a minimal role in our government and public life.


One industry won't back Fred Thompson
The actor's late entry and conservatism could hurt his Hollywoodfundraising.

By Tina Daunt
September 7, 2007

Politician turned actor turned politician Fred Thompson may have a Hollywoodstrategy when it comes to his presidential run (after all, he did announcehis candidacy this week on the Jay Leno show), but he'll have a hard timegetting a Hollywood audience.

For starters, the entertainment industry Democrats are much too busyshuttling between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton fundraisers toeven think about helping out a fellow actor, let alone a conservativeRepublican one. And the Hollywood Republicans -- what few there are --already have yard signs out for the far more moderate Rudolph W. Giuliani.

So what's Thompson to do? Take the show on the road and rake in the dollarselsewhere. The place that made the former Tennessee senator rich as an actorcannot be counted on to pour cash into his presidential run, especially ifhe's going around bashing gay marriage and Roe vs. Wade. The minute he comesout strong against embryonic stem cell research -- a fervent Hollywoodcause -- he'll be banished from every cocktail party north of SunsetBoulevard.

"You're asking me if people here will support Fred Thompson?" said DonnaBojarsky, a longtime industry political consultant. "How do I put it? No.No. And no."

Politico Andy Spahn, who has enough Hollywood clients to pack a DirectorsGuild gala, was more diplomatic.


September 07, 2007

More than 3,500 police, soldiers to protect pope against protests on Austriavisit

Elite Austrian police commandos and bomb squads were checking venues andequipment Thursday, the eve of Pope Benedict XVI's arrival in the nation,and authorities said more than 3,500 police officers and soldiers were beingdeployed to secure the pope.

Although security was heavy for the three-day visit, which begins Friday,the precautions were not a response to this week's thwarted terrorist plotin Germany, Interior Ministry spokesman Rudolf Gollia said.

About 150 members of Austria's elite Cobra police unit-including what Golliadescribed as a ''counterterrorism component''-were to provide personalsecurity for the pontiff this weekend.

Explosives experts used bomb-sniffing dogs to screen Benedict's convoy andthe sites he will visit, and 50 aircraft including military attackhelicopters and interceptor jets were being readied, Defense MinisterNorbert Darabos told reporters.

Officials said they had no information on any threat targeting theGerman-born pope, whose Austria trip will be the seventh foreign pilgrimageof his two-year papacy.


September 07, 2007

Poll: Clinton, Giuliani least religious

People view Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rudy Giuliani as the least religiousof the major presidential candidates, according to a poll released Thursday.Mitt Romney was seen as most religious, but his Mormonism may hurt him withvoters.

Seven in 10 in the nonpartisan Pew Research Center poll said they believe itis important for a president to have strong religious beliefs, includingbroad majorities of both parties. Most also see each major presidentialhopeful as at least somewhat religious- important because people who view acandidate as religious are likelier to have a favorable opinion of them.

Of those expressing an opinion on the candidates' beliefs, 46% said theyconsider Romney, a Republican contender, to be very religious, far more thanany other candidate. Yet a quarter of all Republicans, including 36% ofwhite evangelical Protestants, said they would be less likely to vote for aMormon.

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said the former Massachusetts governor has''the same hopes and aspirations for his country'' as voters, adding, ''Anysort of abstract aversion toward him because of his denomination will likelyfade.''

Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, was considered very religious by14%, while 16% said the same of Clinton, the Democratic New York senator.


September 07, 2007
MTV to air bisexual dating show with MySpace icon

MTV is cooking up a bisexual dating show that will feature a woman who madea name for herself on MySpace, according the Associated Press.

"A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila," will pit 16 men and 16 women againsteach other as they all compete for the heart of Tequila. The show isscheduled to debut on October 9 on MTV.

"Tila Tequila made a name for herself by doing things her way, captivatinglegions of fans online, both men and women," MTV executive Tony DiSanto toldTelevision Week. "Now she is taking that attitude and sex appeal to her ownTV series where she is looking for a mate... by again, captivating a groupof both men and women."

Time magazine has reportedly referred to Tequila as "the Madonna ofMySpace." (The Advocate)


Second man pleads guilty in Baldwin County gay murder case
Gets two life sentences for Scotty Joe Weaver murder

BAY MINETTE, Ala. (AP) | Sep 7, 10:46 AM

A second defendant pleaded guilty Wednesday to the 2004 murder of a gay BayMinette teenager who was beaten, stabbed and strangled.

Robert Holly Lofton Porter, 21, entered the plea before Baldwin CountyCircuit Court Judge Lang Floyd and was sentenced to two consecutive lifesentences on murder and robbery charges.

Porter's plea came a week before he was slated for trial in the killing of18-year-old Scotty Joe Weaver.

"We just calculated the totality of everything and decided that would beappropriate," Baldwin County District Attorney Judy Newcomb told thePress-Register in a Wednesday story.

Porter had been charged with capital murder. Under the plea, he will bespared the death penalty and eventually can be paroled.


Advisers: Craig decided not to seek re-election before scandal broke
Story Highlights

Craig pleaded guilty in August to charge stemming from a restroom sex sting

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Larry Craig had already decided not to seekre-election before revelations that he pleaded guilty to charges stemmingfrom a Minnesota sex sting, two of the Idaho Republican's political advisersclaimed Thursday.

Before news of his arrest became public last month, Craig told his formerchief of staff and long time confidante Gregory Casey that he was not goingto run for re-election in 2008, Casey told CNN.

"He and Suzanne had decided that he had been in Congress long enough, and itwas time for him to go home," Casey said, referring to Craig's wife.

In a separate interview, Craig spokesman Dan Whiting also confirmed to CNNthat Craig had already decided not to run for re-election, and originallyplanned to announce that publicly in September.

Neither Casey nor Whiting could say when that decision was made, but Whitinginsisted it was "well before all of this broke."


Italian doctor predicts rise in bisexuality
American experts, activists reject controversial claim

Sep. 06, 2007

A prediction last month that bisexuality could become more common worldwideis drawing mixed responses from Americans who identify as such.

Dr. Umberto Veronesi, a prominent Italian physician, was quoted in August inforeign media as saying that sexual intercourse is becoming less aboutreproduction and more about affection. He said that shift could, withinthree generations, cause more people to identify as bisexual.

But not everyone agrees. Sexuality experts, along with activists and authorswho are bisexual, questioned the prediction.

"I think that the idea that 'bisexuality will prevail' is a statement thatcan easily be taken out of context and overstated," said Dr. Paula RodríguezRust, a lesbian and member of the International Academy of Sex Research.

Rodríguez Rust said it's "highly possible" that people in North American andWestern European cultures will increasingly emphasize "the affectionate,relationship-building aspects" of sex over procreation.


China Bans Radio Shows That Feature Information On HIV, Sex

by The Associated Press
Posted: September 6, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Beijing) Chinese authorities said two late-night radio shows that discussedsex - gay and straight, HIV/AIDS and drugs have been banned for damagingyoung people and being "extremely pornographic."

The latest order from China's broadcast watchdog follows a ban on televisionshows about cosmetic surgery and sex changes, and the shutdown of a talentshow that regulators deemed coarse.

The stations, both in the southwestern province of Sichuan, "aired programsabout sex and drugs for two to three hours after 9 p.m. every day," theState Administration of Radio, Film and Television said on its Web siteWednesday.

"The programs contained extremely pornographic material, caused great harmto the psychological development of young people, fouled the social air, anddamaged the reputation of China's broadcasting institutions," theadministration said.

The two stations were ordered to suspend the shows immediately and punishthe producers.


9-11 Anniversary Brings Children's Book On Father Mychal Judge

by The Associated Press
Posted: September 6, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Secaucus, New Jersey) Kelly Ann Lynch, like so many others in Father MychalJudge's vast congregation without walls, was devastated by word of the firechaplain's death in the shadows of the World Trade Center.

``Those first few weeks, it was hard to see anything good,'' said thePennsylvania mother of four. ``It just felt so dark and so sad and soempty.''

Time passed, until the darkness gave way to a bright idea. Lynch - whosefather once served as an altar boy for Judge - became consumed with turningthe martyred priest's life into a children's book, keeping his message oflove alive for future generations.

``He Said Yes: The Story of Father Mychal Judge,'' a biography timed toarrive with the sixth anniversary of 9/11, is an illustrated 32-page walk inthe Franciscan priest's sandals. M. Scott Oatman did the artwork.

``He left behind a legacy for all of us,'' Lynch said recently overbreakfast at a New Jersey hotel, a short hop from the East Rutherford parishwhere her family first met Judge. ``I took the most important parts of hisstory, and tried to simplify it. His story was meant to be shared.''


Businessman Pleads Guilty To Killing Elderly Gay Man

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: September 6, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Toronto, Ontario) A 45-year old Toronto-area man has been sentenced to lifein prison with no hope of parole for 17 years for the brutal stabbing of a72-year old pensioner he met on an Internet gay chat line.

David Reid had pleaded guilty to killing Harley Walker last year in Walker'sdowntown Toronto home. Walker's badly decomposed body were found earlierthis year in a shallow grave near a road east of the city. (story)

Last October police were called to Walker's home in Toronto's Cabbagetownarea by neighbors who had not seen Walker for several days.

Inside the house there was no sign of Walker but police found what theydescribed as the indication of a violent struggle, including a considerableamount of blood.

Investigators also found the Walker's bank account had been cleaned out andother assets had been cashed in.


Man Sentenced To Double Life Terms In Gay Alabama Man's Murder

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: September 6, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Bay Minette, Alabama) A 21 year old man has been sentenced to twoconsecutive live terms for the killing of a gay man in 2004.

Robert Holly Lofton Porter pleaded guilty Wednesday to intentional murder inthe slaying of Scotty Joe Weaver.

Prosecutors said the murder was motivated in large part because Weaver wasgay.

Lofton was the second of three people to be sentenced.

In May, Christopher Gaines, 22, was sentenced to life without parole afterpleading guilty. (story)


Could Bloomberg Still Be A Presidential Spoiler?

by The Associated Press
Posted: September 7, 2007 - 6:00 am ET

(New York City) New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg posted a statement on hispersonal Web site Thursday saying "it's time for something real" in the 2008presidential campaign, while still denying that he will run.

The posting was sure to reignite speculation that the multibillionaire willenter the race next year as a self-financed, third-party candidate.

"For too long, the American people have been served up empty promises basedon what politicians think we want to hear," he said in the statement. "It'stime for something real. ... That's what this upcoming campaign needs to beabout."

The former CEO recently dropped his Republican affiliation to become anindependent while aides and supporters increasingly talk up the idea of aBloomberg candidacy. He also has expanded his out-of-state travel,delivering broad but vague plans on national issues such as immigration,poverty, education and the environment.

In the statement, Bloomberg addresses the presidential rumors that haveswirled around him. "As I've said before and I'll say again - I am notrunning," he said.


Questions Raised About Effectiveness Of Condoms Imported From China

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: September 7, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Washington) First it was tainted pet food from China, then lead paint onchildren's toys, now questions are being asked about Chinese made condomsbeing distributed free by the District of Columbia.

The giveaway is part of a District health department effort to curb thespread of HIV/AIDS - said to be among the worst of major cities in thecountry.

Thousands of the condoms have been returned with people complaining that thecellophane yellow, purple and yellow rappers were either open when they weredistributed or came open when people put them in their pocket or wallet.

There also are concerns that the expiration on the packages is illegible.

"People were saying, 'These packets aren't any good,'" Franck DeRose,executive director of the Condom Project told the Washington Post.


Canadian Census To Count Same-Sex Married Couples Separately

by The Canadian Press
Posted: September 7, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(Toronto, Ontario) Same-sex married couples will be counted for the firsttime in next week's census release on families, and activists aren't happywith the question put to the gay and lesbian community.

The dissent over the historic Statistics Canada query ranges from objectionsthat gays are being relegated to the census questionnaire's ``other'' box toquestions about whether same-sex marriage should be counted at all.

In the words of one activist: ``Marriage is marriage... why should we bereflected differently than anyone else?''

For one man who fought on the same-sex marriage frontline, the statisticsbeing released Wednesday will send a powerful message of hope to gays andlesbians around the world, a group he says whose very lives are at risk insome countries just for being gay.

``It's so very important in places like Africa, parts of Latin America,Russia, Israel,'' said Michael Leshner, a lawyer and one of Canada's firstlegally married gay men.


The New York Times

September 7, 2007

Questions About a Rising Suicide Rate

A sharp jump in suicide rates among young Americans has left researcherspuzzled as to the cause and wondering what lessons to draw from it. Someresearchers are even suggesting that regulatory warnings about the safety ofantidepressant drugs might have triggered the problem, leading doctors andtheir patients to shun potentially life-saving medications.

The new findings on suicide rates among 10- to 24-year-olds, reportedyesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are a startlingreversal. From 1990 to 2003, the rate fell by more than 28 percent, from9.48 to 6.78 suicides per 100,000 young people. From 2003 to 2004, the ratejumped back up to 7.32 per 100,000, an increase of 8 percent, the largestsingle-year rise in 15 years. Whether this is a short-lived increase or thestart of a long-term upward trend is not yet clear.

The most provocative interpretation is that the upsurge was inadvertentlycaused by regulatory warnings. An article published in the American Journalof Psychiatry this week argued that, after American and European regulatorsissued warnings that antidepressants might increase the risk of suicide inyoung people, there was a decrease in antidepressant prescriptions forchildren and adolescents in the United States and the Netherlands - and anincrease in suicide rates among youngsters in both countries. The articleacknowledges that there was "only a small decrease" in prescription rates inthis country but speculates that some of the most vulnerable youths may havebeen left untreated.


The Washington Post

HIV Loosens Tribe's Resistance to Circumcision
Many Kenyans See Survival at Stake

By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, September 7, 2007; A01

MBITA, Kenya -- Family gatherings for Collins Omondi once were boisterousaffairs here on the verdant shores of Lake Victoria. But in just 11 years,AIDS has killed seven of his uncles, six aunts, five cousins and both hisparents. His extended family now consists of one surviving uncle, an auntand their 2-year-old child -- all of whom have AIDS.

Omondi, 28, a tall, broad-shouldered fish trader, has come to believe that aquirk of culture contributed to the decimation of his family. They wereLuos, members of the only major tribe in Kenya that does not routinelycircumcise boys. The absence of this ritual, Omondi said, helps explain whyLuos are dying from AIDS at a rate unheard of among other Kenyans and rarein East Africa.

Twenty years after the first reports of a connection between HIV rates andcircumcision, scientists are saying it is essential to understanding thepath of the disease through Africa and possibly to reversing its course.President Bush's $15 billion anti-AIDS program is pledging millions ofdollars to Kenya and other countries so they can offer circumcision servicesin communities long defined, in part, by their reluctance to perform theprocedure.

The unprecedented effort already has provoked a backlash from the Council ofLuo Tribal Elders, which decided last year to officially oppose it. Butalong the beaches of Lake Victoria, where fishermen push their colorfulsailboats into the waves before dawn each day, many express a willingness toleave this tradition behind if it means surviving an epidemic that seems tohave no end.

"We are the people who are sick," said Omondi, who recalled the hauntingfeeling of walking through his father's empty home on a nearby beach. "Weare the ones who lose people every day."

Most African tribes traditionally circumcise boys in rituals marking theonset of manhood. But the Luos and some other Nilotic tribes, whoseancestors migrated south from Sudan, used to mark the end of childhood in adifferent but also painful way -- removing six bottom front teeth.

AIDS emanated from the jungles of Cameroon or Gabon but hit massive epidemiclevels after reaching the uncircumcised tribes around Lake Victoria and,later, southern African tribes that had abandoned their own traditionalcircumcision rites. These differences help explain why West Africa, wherecircumcision is routine, has HIV rates much lower than in southern or EastAfrica. Within Kenya, roughly one in 17 adults has HIV. Yet among Luoadults, the virus has infected one in five.

Scientists say the cells in a man's foreskin are unusually easy for HIV topenetrate. Removing it through circumcision also makes the skin on the penishead grow thicker and more resistant to infection. Trials in Kenya, Ugandaand South Africa have shown that circumcised men are 60 percent less likelyto contract HIV. The World Health Organization endorsed it as a keyprevention strategy in March.

"It's now the most proven, effective HIV prevention strategy we have formale heterosexuals, so it's really important that we make this widelyavailable," said Robert C. Bailey, an epidemiologist at the University ofIllinois at Chicago who oversaw the Kenyan trial in nearby Kisumu.


The Boston Globe

Separating the law from the lewd

By Ellen Goodman | September 7, 2007

WELL, that didn't take long. A mere five days from the Roll Call revelationsto the presumed resignation. Thirty-three years of public service down thetoilet, and that is the last bathroom joke I'll make.

When Larry Craig got caught in a sex sting in a Minneapolis airportrestroom, Republican stalwarts broke the speed record turning him from thedistinguished senator into the disgusting senator. Gay rights groups did notrise to the defense of their public enemy. One of the few politiciansexpressing actual empathy for Craig was Jim McGreevey, the "outed" formergovernor of New Jersey who is now - you cannot make this stuff up - indivinity school.

By Tuesday, even Idahoans thought it was all over. The most popular news onthe Idaho Statesman website was about a woman rock climber who got her longhair caught in the ropes while she was rappelling.

Now what's happening? It looks like Craig's "intention to resign" left aloophole as wide as his stance. If he can fight off the charges to which hepleaded guilty, his spokesman and his lawyer now say, he may not resign.

I have no desire to throw myself between Craig and the madding crowd. He wasnever my kind of senator. I don't want to send my grandson into a publicrestroom used for assignations. Nor do I enjoy watching another humiliatedwife standing by her husband.

But I have to agree with Senator Arlen Specter in separating the law fromthe lewd, the criminal from the yucky. What law did this sad sack of a62-year-old senator with his ludicrous explanations actually break?

Craig was charged with violating privacy under what is essentially a PeepingTom law.

The charge was dropped because it would never have held up. He then pleadedguilty to disorderly conduct. But what exactly was the disorder or theconduct? Soliciting sex in a public place? In fact, all he actually did wastap his feet and put his hand under a stall. As Dale Carpenter at theUniversity of Minnesota Law School notes, there was no specific sexualallegation, no indecent exposure, no money, no abuse, and the other man -the policeman - tapped back: "Can't you send ambiguous signals in Minnesotawithout it being a crime?" asks Carpenter.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Hate-crimes legislation stirs pulpit and podium

Every Thursday like clockwork, the Rev. John Crimmins sits down to write hisSunday sermon.

The senior pastor at Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church feels a moralduty to preach that marriage is between one man and one woman and thathomosexual behavior is a sin.

These principles, he says, are clearly stated in the Bible. Just asimportant, he believes, is his freedom to preach as he sees fit withoutgovernment interference.

Like many other conservative Christian pastors, Crimmins is concerned abouta bill pending in the U.S. Senate that would add sexual orientation andgender identity to the criteria for federal hate crimes.

He worries that it could criminalize preaching against issues includinghomosexuality, same-sex marriage and abortion, and muzzle pastors in thepulpit.

Crimmins and other like-minded pastors agree that anyone assaulting a fellowhuman being should be punished. But they believe current laws aresufficient.

Their concerns were a key issue presented at a Houston rally hosted by RickScarborough, former pastor of Pearland's First Baptist Church and founder ofNacogdoches-based Vision America, and Alan Keyes, a conservative Republicanand former presidential candidate.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] Malta: Anti-discrimination journalist awarded

Times of Malta
Wednesday, September 5, 2007

< Anti-discrimination journalist awarded >
Julia Farrugia, the local winner of the EU's anti-discrimination journalistaward 2006, was honoured by Joanna Drake, head of the European CommissionRepresentation in Malta and the award jury.

Ms Farrugia's article Till Death Do Us Part was published in the newspaperIllum and deals with the topic of trans-sexuality. The jury selected herarticle to be the Maltese winner as she opened a proverbial door for thistopic in the media. It will now be published in a book with other Europeanwinning articles.

For the fourth time this year, the award will honour journalists who,through their writing, create a better understanding of the benefits ofdiversity and encourage readers to fight discrimination.

It has become a fixture of the EU's wider campaign against discriminationand participant numbers have been increasing every year, with a recordnumber of over 700 entries received last year.

Journalists writing about issues of diversity and discrimination have untilSeptember 30 to submit their work and be in with the chance of winning theEU Journalist Award 2007 and prizes.

The winner and the two runners-up, as well as the winner of the specialaward, will receive a grant for a research trip to an EU country of theirchoice, total value of prizes being €12,000. In addition, the winnerswill be invited to the awards' ceremony held in Brussels in December. Formore details on the award and to submit articles, visit


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

From American Family Association
Don Wildmon

Ford sales collapse again - Boycott a driving force
Simply put, people are not buying Fords.

Ford Motor Company continues to suffer monthly sales losses because of itssupport of homosexuality.

For August, Ford reported a 14.4% drop in sales over the same month lastyear.

Rather than taking a neutral position in the culture war, Ford uses itsprofits to support gay activist groups, whose top agenda is to pushpro-homosexual marriage and "gay" hate crimes laws on the rest of thenation.

While other automakers are at least holding their own (GM sales actuallywent up in August), Ford continues to suffer huge sales losses month aftermonth.

It's obvious by now that homosexuals don't have enough purchasing power tokeep the Ford ship afloat.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Congressional Subcommittee Hears Testimony on the EmploymentNon-Discrimination Act

By R. Prest

The Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions of the U.S. Houseof Representatives' Committee on Education and Labor heard testimonyyesterday in support of H.R. 2015, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.ENDA would ban workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual andtransgender employees.

Witnesses included Nancy Kramer, founder and CEO of Resource Interactive,based in Columbus, Ohio; Officer Michael P. Carney, a Massachusetts policeofficer, and Brooke Waits, a Texas cell phone company employee, bothterminated because anti-gay job discrimination; Professor Lee Badgett of theUniversity of California-Los Angeles Williams Institute; Professor HelenNorton of the University of Colorado School of Law; and Kelly Baker,VP/diversity at General Mills. Joe Solmonese, president of the Human RightsCampaign, also submitted written testimony to the subcommittee.

"It is time for a federal law that would make it illegal to fire a GLBTperson just because of who they are," Solmonese said in a press release."ENDA will bring the value of meritocracy to a community that has had to dowithout it for too long."

ENDA is sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH),Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT). It iscurrently legal to fire workers on the basis of their sexual orientation in31 states and on the basis of gender identity and expression in 39 states.Corporate America has already taken significant steps toward this goal, withalmost 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies now including sexual orientationin their non-discrimination policies.

Carney and Waits, the two fired workers, were expected to talk about theirpersonal experiences with anti-gay discrimination in the workplace.Professor Badgett was expected to discuss the statistics surroundingworkplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and genderidentity. Professor Norton was scheduled to cover the legal aspects of thelegislation, and Baker was to describe how General Mills'anti-discrimination policy has contributed to its corporate success. Kramerwas expected to discuss how her small business's inclusive policies havestrengthened its ability to compete.

"Passing ENDA will not create a burden on businesses, large or small,"Kramer said in a release. "Instead, it will ensure that hardworking GLBTAmericans can earn a living, provide for their families, and contribute tothe innovation and creativity that makes American business great."

"One's sexual orientation or gender identity simply must not bar a personfrom the opportunity to achieve his or her potential, to support her family,or to contribute to his or her community," Solmonese added. "Civil rightslaws have improved job opportunity for millions of Americans, raisingstandards of living and providing hope of a better future for eachsuccessive generation. ENDA will bring the GLBT community, at last, underthe protection of federal civil rights law. The time has come to pass it."

To read Solmonese's complete testimony submitted to Congress, visit:

Source: Human Rights Campaign


Interview with Kamran & kaveh; Iranian gay couple

By Arsham Parsi
Translated by Solmaz
Edited by Ava

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Kamran, I am 24 years old .Kaveh, my partner, is 25 years old andwe have been together about 3 years.

What is the problem of an Iranian homosexual?

Kaveh: The first is that we cannot discuss any of our problems. We have aproblem with the government due to our sexual orientation; the Islamicgovernment does not accept us and we are condemned to hanging and stoning.In comparison the rest of the problems are minor.

How do you describe life as a homosexual in Iran?

Kamran: Very easy; one cannot work, cannot have fun, and cannot go out. Youcannot go out with your partner because everybody will look at you as if youare abnormal. The way we are looked at is a source of torment for us. Eventhough physically we are not any different from them they discriminate against us. This makes our lives extremely difficult. I don't think there is anyproblem greater than being labeled abnormal in society when you are certainnothing is wrong with you. If someone abuses you, you cannot issue a complaint to any organization or report to the police, because you'll create more problems for yourself.

What are the family problems faced by homosexuals?

for full story in English, go to:


Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people at risk in Nicaragua

August 28

In spite of positive initiatives across the Americas, Nicaragua continues tocriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations.

Although to Amnesty International's knowledge no one has to date beenprosecuted under Article 204 of the Nicaraguan Penal Code, it potentiallycriminalizes not only gay men, lesbians and bisexual people in same-sexrelationships, but is vague enough to permit the prosecution of individualsfor activities such as campaigning for LGBT rights or anyone providingsexual health information or services. Anyone imprisoned under this lawwould be considered by Amnesty International to be a prisoner of conscience.

"Anyone who induces, promotes, propagandizes or practices in scandalousform sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex commits the crime ofsodomy and shall incur 1 to 3 years' imprisonment". Article 204

Amnesty International considers the use of "sodomy" laws to imprisonindividuals for same-sex relations in private is a grave violation of humanrights. Article 204 contradicts numerous provisions in international humanrights law. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights(ICCPR), to which Nicaragua acceded without reservations in 1980, protectsthe rights to freedom of expression (article 19), freedom from arbitraryinterference with the right to privacy (article 17) and freedom ofconscience (article 18).


Truth Wins Out
by Wayne Besen
Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007


'Ex-Gay' Therapy Is Dangerous And Puts Vulnerable People At Risk, Says TruthWins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen

NEW YORK - Truth Wins Out expressed relief today that Christopher Austin, an'ex-gay' counselor in Irving, Texas, was convicted of sexually assaulting aclient. Austin was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but received seven yearsprobation, had to register as a sex offender and was ordered to pay a $2,500fine. After years of reported abuse - including several alleged victims whotestified at the trial - it is welcome news that Austin has finally been putout of business, says TWO.

"We are deeply gratified that this 'ex-gay' predator is no longer in thecounseling business, where he exploited his position of authority tosexually abuse vulnerable clients," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director ofTruth Wins Out. "Ex-gay therapy is extremely dangerous and places confusedclients in the hands of repressed therapists. It is a recipe for disaster."

According to the 283rd Criminal District Court, a jury convicted Austin of aSecond Degree felony. Court documents said that the ex-gay leader,"unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly caused penetration of [pseudonymStephen Trask]."

Austin had started Renew Ministries, a counseling center run out of a churchin Irving. He was affiliated with the National Association For Research andTherapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). Indeed, Austin taught a seminar at NARTH's2004 annual convention entitled, "Understanding and Treating CompulsiveSexual Behavior in Men with Value-Incongruent Homosexual Issues: AMultidimensional Approach."

Austin spoke of the "devastating spiritual effects homosexuality has on aman's heart." However, he failed to take his own advice when he once wrote,"Before addressing the brokenness in others, we must defeat all theresponses of our own flesh."

"As we have seen with Christopher Austin, Mark Foley and Larry Craig, gaypeople who do not learn to accept themselves act out in unhealthy ways,"said Besen. "I hope Austin can use this experience to come out and havehealthy gay relationships, so he won't have to exploit other people."

Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization that counters right wingpropaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life.For more information, visit


Truth Wins Out

by Wayne Besen

Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007

Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: 917-691-5118


The Depraved Actions of Griggs Are Sickening And Unconscionable, Says TruthWins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen

LOS ANGELES - Truth Wins Out called on PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggsto resign today for faking a hate crime incident at a the Arlington CountyFair in Virginia. Griggs claimed that a gay activist at the PFOX boothphysically attacked an "ex-gay" volunteer. She said that police intervenedand ejected the assailant from the event. Ex-Gay Watch editor David Robertsinvestigated her claims and found that Griggs' story appears to be acomplete fabrication.

"Once we started checking with people who would know, the evidence wasoverwhelming that it could not have happened the way they claimed," saidDavid Roberts, Editor of Ex- Gay Watch. "Fair officials, the police,eyewitnesses - they all report that no physical attack took place, policewere not involved, and no one was escorted off the property. PFOX claimedall those things, and Focus on the Family and other Christian media repeatedthe claims."

"Regina Griggs has lost all credibility and must resign in shame for herdishonest behavior," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out."What PFOX did was warped, twisted and an insult to real hate crimevictims."

On Aug. 28, PFOX sent out a press release with the headline, "Gays AssaultEx-Gays At County Fair." According to the release:

"As happens every year, gay activists disrupted our booth activities. Theyscreamed obscenities, threw our materials from the exhibit table to theground, insisted we recognize their same-sex 'spouses,' demanded that PFOXleave, and hit a PFOX volunteer because he is ex-gay."

The Ex-Gay Watch investigation revealed that a slight disagreement occurredbetween a woman and a male PFOX representative. However, Roberts contactedJackie Abrams, Vice Chair of the Arlington County Fair. Abrams said that nophysical altercation occurred, police were never called and no one wasejected from the fairgrounds. According to Roberts, "she was emphatic andcertain."

"I was in radio contact with the other board members during the Fair, anddefinitely would have known if the police had been summoned. It did nothappen," Abrams told Roberts.

Following Griggs' bogus account of the supposed hate crime, PFOX imploredits members to give money. "...our brochures and flyers cost money toprint. We also have to pay for exhibit fees and travel. If you would like tohelp with costs, please make a tax deductible donation."

"The entire notion of ex-gay is a big lie, so I can imagine it is not adifficult leap to take it to the next level and completely manufacture afraudulent story for political and financial gain," added Besen. "Thepolice, Arlington County Fair officials and eyewitnesses refute Griggs'story. She has a lot of explaining to do if she wants to save her reputationand keep her job."

Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization that counters right wingpropaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life.
For more information, visit


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