Saturday, September 08, 2007

GLBT DIGEST September 08, 2007

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Broward Introduction to Florida Red And Blue!!!!

This is your chance to fight the right-wing state-wide anti-gay initiativeto amend the Florida constitution.

Friday, September 28, at the GLCC, Ft. Lauderdale - 11:45am to 1:30pm.

Michael and I have promised to get a minimum of 10 people to attend thislow dollar boxed lunch - only $25 - to learn about Florida Red And Blue andthe multiple efforts to overcome this hateful amendment. Florida Red andBlue has already raised over $1 million, but our work is only beginning.

Will you support us with this? Every GLBT person in Florida needs to be apart of this effort.

Boxed Lunch Series
Friday, September 28
Noon - 1:30pm
Networking 11:45am
GLCC - Ft. Lauderdale

Send us an e-mail and let us know if you'll join us on the 28th.

Ray and Michael


The New York Times

September 8, 2007
Schwarzenegger Urges Centrist GOP

Filed at 1:23 a.m. ET

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) -- In a year when Republican presidentialcandidates have aggressively courted the GOP right, Gov. ArnoldSchwarzenegger warned that the party faces a perilous future if it continuesto surrender the political center.

''Our party has lost the middle and we will not regain true political powerin California until we get it back,'' the celebrity governor told hundredsof Republicans at a state party convention Friday.

''The California Republican Party should be a right-of-center party thatoccupies the broad middle of California. That is a lush, green, abandonedpolitical space,'' he said. ''It can be ours.''

The state party's percentage of voter registration has been shrinking, andto reverse it the party must tackle issues with broad public appeal, likeclimate change and building highways, railroads and tunnels, he said. In anapparent reference to abortion and other social issues that often divide theparty, he said members must be accepting of those with other views while notabandoning ''who we are.''

He said he wanted the party to be welcoming to independents -- the fastestgrowing voter group in California. He said the party should open up itsFebruary presidential primary to independent voters -- an issue that couldcome up during the convention.

In a year when many polls show Democrats holding an advantage heading into2008, it was clear the governor intended his message to have nationalrelevance.

Schwarzenegger recently proposed distilling the state GOP platform -- theparty's statement of core values -- into as little as a single page focusingon lowering taxes, limiting the size of government and building a strongnational defense. That proposal, in a letter to party members, made nomention of abortion, gay marriage or other social issues.


The New York Times

September 8, 2007
Romney's Tone on Gay Rights Is Seen as Shift


Mitt Romney seemed comfortable as a group of gay Republicans quizzed himover breakfast one morning in 2002. Running for governor of Massachusetts,he was at a gay bar in Boston to court members of Log Cabin Republicans.

Mr. Romney explained to the group that his perspective on gay rights hadbeen largely shaped by his experience in the private sector, where, he said,discrimination was frowned upon. When the discussion turned to a court caseon same-sex marriage that was then wending its way through the state'sjudicial system, he said he believed that marriage should be limited to theunion of a man and a woman. But, according to several people present, hepromised to obey the courts' ultimate ruling and not champion a fight oneither side of the issue.

"I'll keep my head low," he said, making a bobbing motion with his head likea boxer, one participant recalled.

A year after his election, Massachusetts' highest court legalized same-sexmarriage, and Mr. Romney began backing adoption of a state constitutionalamendment to ban it. The proposal ultimately failed, but Mr. Romney hascarried the fight to the presidential campaign trail, an ever more visiblecrusader against such unions as he works to position himself amongconservatives.

Indeed, the issue has become a bedrock of his message. He has foughtsame-sex marriage "every way I have known how to," he said recently in Iowa,"and the fight isn't over." He has called for the federal Constitution to beamended, and he was the first presidential candidate to condemn last week'sruling by a judge in Iowa that overturned that state's ban on suchmarriages.

Mr. Romney bristles when he is accused of shifting on the issue, as he hason abortion, pointing out that he has been consistent in personally opposingboth marriage and civil unions between people of the same sex.


The Washington Post

At Smithsonian, Gay Rights Is Out of the Closet, Into the Attic
Activist Frank Kameny's Memorabilia Are Now Signs of Progress

By Philip Kennicott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 8, 2007; Page C01

The obvious question gets the obvious answer: Of course Frank Kameny, apioneer of the gay rights movement, had no inkling that the protest signs hecarried more than 40 years ago would end up in the Smithsonian. But therethey are, hand-lettered, with little stains from their staples discoloringthe faded white cardboard. Two of them, plus three campaign buttons, are nowin the same case as Joe Louis's boxing gloves, near the glass closet thatholds Jackie Kennedy's inaugural gown and in the same shrinelike exhibitknown as "Treasures of American History" that also has Thomas Jefferson'swriting desk and the ruby-red slippers that Dorothy wore on her way to meetthe Wizard.

Kameny, now 82, was on hand Thursday evening to see the very functionaltools of his early activism officially made totems of American history.Although the objects are part of the Smithsonian's National Museum ofAmerican History's collection, the reception was held at the National Airand Space Museum, which is offering space for the must-see icons while thehistory museum itself is closed for renovation.

It was a coincidence, but a fortunate one, that a man who trained as anastronomer, who earned a PhD from Harvard before he was fired by thegovernment in 1957 for being gay, was honored amid rockets and planes anddepictions of the solar system.

"At the time I was fired, the whole space program was just beginning," saysKameny. He might have volunteered as an astronaut, he says. "I might havegone to the moon."




Parents ask judge to obstruct lessons on homosexuality until appeal in '08

Courtney Mabeus, The Examiner
2007-09-07 07:00:00.0
Current rank: # 144 of 5,319

Montgomery County -
Groups opposed to the new sexual education curriculum in Montgomery CountyPublic Schools are asking a Circuit Court judge to prevent controversiallessons on homosexuality from being taught until an appeal can be heardearly next year.

The motion, filed this week in Rockville, is the latest volley in a two-yearbattle between the county and three groups: Citizens For A ResponsibleCurriculum, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, and the Family LeaderNetwork.

Lawyer and CRC President John Garza on Thursday told The Examiner a hearingdate has not yet been set on its most recent motion, filed Tuesday.

The particular lessons, which are planned for all county eighth- and10th-graders in health courses, are not scheduled to be taught untilsometime in October, he said, well before a January hearing in Circuit Courton the opponents' appeal.

That appeal challenges the state board's decision this summer upholding thecounty's approval of sexual education curriculum that Garza called "blatantdiscrimination against certain religious groups" because of its treatment ofhomosexuality.

The parents disagree with the lessons on three main points:

» The accuracy of the lessons, specifically their teaching thathomosexuality is innate;

» The fact that anal sex is not distinguished as being more dangerous thanvaginal sex;

» That it teaches being against homosexuality makes someone homophobic, evenif the objection is on religious grounds.


Huffington Post

Max Follmer
Craig Bust Leads to Debate Over Bathroom Stings

September 7, 2007 01:00 PM

Even as it becomes increasingly clear that Idaho Sen. Larry Craig willresign following his arrest for allegedly soliciting sex from an undercoverpolice officer in a Minneapolis airport bathroom, some critics are wonderingwhether decoy operations like the kind that ensnared the three-term GOPsenator are an effective use of police resources.

Attorneys and civil liberties groups say they have long sought to dissuadelaw enforcement officials from using such tactics because they can unfairlytarget gay men, and often skate a fine line between policing and entrapment.

And while few believe that police should allow lewd behavior in parks andrestrooms, critics also insist that there are more effective ways ofdeterring men from "cruising" or looking for sex in public places.

"The fundamental problem is that a sting isn't calculated to stop theactivity," said Matt Coles, director of the Lesbian and Gay Rights Projectat the American Civil Liberties Union. "Are you trying to stop people fromcruising, or are you trying to arrest a lot of people?"

Law enforcement agencies that use undercover stings are reluctant to discusshow many officers are assigned to such operations or how much money isspent.

A spokeswoman for the Minneapolis Airports Commission said the airportpolice -- who have arrested 41 people since May in public indecency cases -could not discuss resources devoted to bathroom stings because providingsuch information "could compromise their ability to perform their duties."

But attorneys say that many departments have stopped using decoys because ofquestions raised about fairness and police priorities.


The Politico

Gay rights advance may be Pyrrhic victory

By: Dan Gilgoff
September 5, 2007 05:10 PM EST

It's probably difficult to grasp the jubilance of the six gay couples whoprodded a judge in Polk County, Iowa, to strike down the state's gaymarriage ban last week. "This is kind of the American dream," one plaintiffin the case told The Des Moines Register. "It's pure elation - I just cannotbelieve it."

After the 2004 election, though, such elation is somewhat perplexing. Afterall, it was the Massachusetts Supreme Court's 2003 decision to legalize gaymarriage that set off a national movement to ban gay marriage via stateconstitutional amendments.

The movement succeeded not only in getting voters in 11 states to pass suchamendments on Election Day 2004 but also in helping the Republican Partyaccomplish the historic feat of reclaiming the White House while picking upseats in the House and Senate.


Associated Press

Ark. Initiative on Adoption Limits Nixed

By ANDREW DeMILLO - 2 days ago

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas's attorney general on Wednesday rejected aproposed voter-backed initiative aimed at barring unmarried couples fromadopting or fostering children. A conservative group hoped to use the ban tokeep gay couples 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.

If McDaniel approves a new draft proposal and the Arkansas Family Councilobtains 61,947 valid signatures in time, the proposal would be on theNovember 2008 ballot.


Bay Windows

Local police officer testifies on ENDA

Laura Kiritsy

Springfield Police Det. Michael Carney testified in favor of the EmploymentNondiscrimination Act (ENDA) before a congressional subcommittee Sept. 5.

Carney, an openly gay man, shared a personal story of anti-gaydiscrimination with the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommitteeof the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee. In his testimony, Carneyshared how the toll of being closeted on the job - a choice he made afterwitnessing the abuse of an officer who was thought to be gay at the hands ofhis colleagues - contributed to his alcoholism and eventual resignation fromthe force. After seeking treatment - and founding the New England chapter ofthe support group Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) - Carney applied forreinstatement to the Springfield Police Department three years after hisresignation and came out during his job interview. His application wasdenied. After being rejected a second time, Carney filed a complaint withthe Mass. Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) alleging discriminationbased on sexual orientation. After more than two years of investigation, thecommission found probable cause for Carney's complaint. He rejoined theforce in 1994.

"I'm a good cop. But I had to fight to get my job because I'm gay," Carneytold the subcommittee, according to a written copy of his testimony. "And Inever would have even been able to do that - had I not lived inMassachusetts or in one of the handful of other states that protect gaypeople from discrimination. In fact, if I were a federal employee living inMassachusetts I would not be protected at all."


Pam's House Blend

Exclusive Blender report: Inside Anti-Gay Uganda

by: pam
Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 07:45:00 AM EDT

NOTE FROM PAM: House Blend regular Daimeon (of Get-The-Skinny) is in theextremely gay-hostile East African country of Uganda, which is led by itscorrupt president, Yoweri Museveni. The repressive government there fomentshomophobia and denied basic rights and freedom to the LGBT citizens of thecountry, wielding a colonial-era sodomy law as its weapon, which sanctionspunishment for "carnal knowledge against the order of nature." This has beenused to imprison and torture -- and officially censor discussion of gay andlesbian issues.

No better on the matter is the Anglican Church of Uganda, which recentlyconsecrated an American priest, John Guernsey of All Saint's Church inWoodbridge, Virginia, as bishop to oversee the 33 Christian parishes thatrecently split from the Episcopal Church in the United States over its moreaccepting view of homosexuality. It's no surprise that President YoweriMuseveni sent an official to the ceremony, Prime Minister Prof. ApolloNsibambi, who supports the church's anti-gay stance.

"Importing values from the western world is inimical to our culture. I amglad to mention that the Church of Uganda, the Catholic Church and theMuslims joined hands to resist homosexuality in Africa."

Rather than affirm its gay parishioners, these American churches will nowrecognize the Church of Uganda's authority, which ceased accepting funds orgifts from any American charities affiliated with the U.S. Episcopal Churchwhen the Anglican Communion consecrated openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson fouryears ago.



Letter to Ugandan President Regarding Homphobia and HIV

from Scott Long
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program
Human Rights Watch
August 23, 2007

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
President of the Republic of Uganda
State House Nakasero P.O. Box 24594
Kampala, Uganda
Via facsimile: +256-41-346-102

Dear President Museveni,

On behalf of Human Rights Watch, I write to express our serious concern overrecent threatening statements from members of your government against therights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Uganda.Such threats are part of a long-standing pattern of harassment and statecondemnation of people based on their sexual orientation and genderidentity. In a climate where one group is singled out as not entitled tobasic human rights, the rights of all Ugandans can be threatened. In aclimate where silence about sexuality is enforced by state action, thehealth of all Ugandans is at risk amid the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

On August 21, Radio One announced that Deputy Attorney General Fred Ruhindihad called for the criminal law to be used against lesbians and gays inUganda. "I call upon the relevant agencies to take appropriate actionbecause homosexuality is an offense under the laws of Uganda," he reportedlysaid. Days earlier, Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo hadpublicly called homosexuality "unnatural"-and, while deprecating chargesthat police harassed LGBT people, warned "We know them, we have details ofwho they are."

There is a long history of such threats by government officials andgovernment media in Uganda-and of rights abuses following them.


After Elton

Interview with Judge David Young

byMichael Jensen , Editor
September 5, 2007

Judge David Young doesn't mind being known as "the gay judge", but he reallyis much more than that. He hopes his new court room show will allow him toshowcase the same humanity in daytime television that he brought to hiscriminal courtroom in Florida. He's intensely proud of the work he did aspart of Miami 's pilot program Judicial Probation Monitoring, which workedto get drug addicts clean and productive rather than simply locking them up.

He believes his courtroom show will be different because he's going to runit with heart, humor and the occasional show tune, if that's what it takesto get his point across. The honorable Judge Young recently took the time tochat with us. Are you sick to death of being referred to as the "gay"judge?
David Young: Oh, not at all. I'd rather be called the Brad Pitt judge, butif I can't have that, the gay judge is fine. I'm gay and I'm a judge and Iunderstand that I'm the first one, and breaking new ground and that's anincredible challenge and an incredible opportunity that I'm just relishing,to be quite honest with you.



Forwarded from Gay and Lesbian SmartBrief

Out Paris mayor to seek re-election

Bertrand Delanoe, the out mayor of Paris, France, has announced a bid for asecond term. Some also are speculating Delanoe could be a Socialistcandidate for the French presidency in 2012. (U.K.)


The New Republic

Debunking conservatives' myths about S-CHIP.

Swimming Lessons
by Jonathan Cohn
Only at TNR Online
Post date: 09.07.07

Of all the reasons President Bush and his conservative allies have given foropposing an expansion of government-financed health insurance for children,the one that sounds most persuasive is that a lot of these kids--or, moreprecisely, their families--don't need the help.

The argument goes like this: It's fine to have the government help reallypoor children, who couldn't get health insurance without taxpayerassistance. But under the proposals now on the table, health benefitsprovided by the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) could beavailable to some children in families with incomes of up to four times thepoverty line--or a little more than $80,000 a year for a family of four. Andthat, say the conservatives, is simply too much.

"This bill essentially extends a welfare benefit to middle-classhouseholds," the administration announced last month, after an S-CHIPexpansion bill passed the Senate. Over at National Review's The Corner,David Freddosso put the issue a little less delicately. "Come on, people!We're talking about whether the government should pay for your two kids'health insurance plans when you make more than $51,000 a year (more than thenew national median income). I know that health insurance is not cheap, butneither are your mortgage and car insurance. You're not going to ask thegovernment to pay for those too, are you?"


Dallas Voice

Lesbian fights partner's uncle, sperm donor for child custody
By John Wright Staff Writer
Sep 6, 2007, 17:43

Case illustrates danger of entering into informal arrangements involvingbirth of children; attorney advises use of unknown donors

ROUND ROCK - When Tamila Payne and her partner Jennie Ferguson decided theywanted a child about four years ago, Jennie's uncle Mark Lee seemed like theideal sperm donor.

For one, Lee's participation would ensure that the child - to be carried byPayne - would have genetic ties to both women.

"That was the big thing," Payne said. "It would be a part of her as much asit would be a part of me. That was a big reason we wanted to do that. "

An informal arrangement with Lee also would allow the couple to avoid feesassociated with the use of a sperm bank or an attorney to draft up anassisted reproduction agreement. In fact, they didn't even use a doctor, asPayne impregnated herself with a syringe in their home.

After Noah Lee was born in 2004, things went well for a year or so, Paynesaid.

Lee was like an uncle to Noah, according to Payne, even sharing a house inAustin with the couple.

But after Payne and Ferguson split, the situation deteriorated.

Ferguson and Lee moved to Fort Worth, and Lee, whose name is on Noah's birthcertificate, decided he wanted to be the boy's father.


National Gay News

Same-Sex Couples Stand Up and Be Counted

Friday, 07 September 2007 17:19
Same-Sex Couples
Stand Up and Be Counted

Same-sex married couples will be counted for the first time in nextweek's census release on families -- but activists aren't happy with thequestion put to the gay and lesbian community.

The dissent over the historic Statistics Canada query ranges fromobjections that gays are being relegated to the census questionnaire's"other" box to questions about whether same-sex marriage should be countedat all. Read more....


National Gay News

Thompson Won't Support Gay Marriage Ban

Friday, 07 September 2007 17:04
Thompson Won't Support
Gay Marriage Ban

Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., said Friday that hewould not support a constitutional ban on gay marriage, but would allowstates to decide.

Speaking at a campaign event in Sioux City, Iowa, the candidatefor the Republican presidential nomination said he would support individualstates' rights to create their own legislation regarding gay marriage, theDes Moines (Iowa) Register reported.


September 7, 2007

The Sexual Self-Interest of the Cuckolded Wife
By Susie Bright,

How does Suzanne Craig, wife of the outed Senator, stand next to her
disgraced Potty Liar of a husband at a press conference, and not hurlher

She's not the first political wife to put on a show. The spectacle ofa
prominent woman standing by her man, now revealed to be anadulterer -- and
of a bent that she could never satisfy -- is one of bewilderingaspects of
the recent Prig-Freak scandals.

Some say there's one explanation for the wifely stoicism: "She'sprotecting
her investment."

Certainly, with the money and prestige involved in a "First Lady"-typeof
profession, this makes practical sense. Maybe if the reporters calledMrs.
Craig after the divorce settlement is signed, and her social future is
assured, they'd get an earful that would make their drums bleed.

However, there's a part to the cuckquean's (female equivalent ofcuckold)
inevitable reaction that is completely denied, because of our cultural
inability to imagine a woman's sexual outrage. We don't even commonlyuse
this word for a female cuckold, which is remarkable considering theextent
of the experience. It's not just GOP Christian SAHM's who are goingthrough

Let us consider the cuckquean's complaint:



Equality California

California Legislature Again Passes Bill Giving Same-Sex Couples Choice toMarry

Senate Approves Leno's Marriage Bill, Sponsored by EQCA. California RemainsOnly State to Pass Legislation Affording all Couples the Honor and Supportthat Come only with Marriage.

SACRAMENTO - For the second time in two years, the California Legislaturehas passed legislation that would grant same-sex couples the ability tomarry. With a 22-15 vote, the Senate on September 7 approved AB 43, authoredby Assemblymember Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and sponsored by EqualityCalifornia.

The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act is almost identicalto the bill the Legislature passed in 2005. California remains the onlystate in the nation that has approved marriage for same-sex couples throughthe legislative process.

With the work of EQCA's lobbying efforts, Political Action Committee andgrassroots volunteers, AB 43 picked up three new votes in the Senate thisyear from Senators Ducheny, Padilla and Scott. Senators Ducheny and Scottabstained from voting in 2005. The EQCA PAC played a critical role in the2006 elections to increase the pro-marriage majority in the Legislature.

The bill now goes to the governor's desk for consideration. The governormust take action on all bills by October 14.


Sacramento Bee

San Diego diocese to pay $198 million to settle abuse claims

By ALLISON HOFFMAN - Associated Press Writer
Published 3:50 pm PDT Friday, September 7, 2007

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego agreed Friday to pay $198 million to144 victims of clergy sexual abuse, the second-largest payment since thescandal erupted in 2002.

The agreement capped more than four years of negotiations in state andfederal courts and came six months after the diocese filed for bankruptcyprotection just hours before the first of 42 lawsuits was scheduled fortrial.

Victims expressed relief that a settlement was reached, but they were angryit took so long.

"They knew all along that I'd been molested, so to put me through this isunconscionable," said Michael Bang of Atlanta.

The diocese had sought to protect its assets in bankruptcy court, butquickly found it a rough venue before a judge who criticized the church forbookkeeping practices, undervaluing real estate holdings and failing todisclose facts.

The four and a half month sentence was handed down August 31st,approximately one year after the brutal assault committed against atransgender woman with whom the young man sought to have sex until herealizes she was transgender.


Brazil to offer free sex-reassignment surgery
published Friday, August 17, 2007

Brazil's public health system will begin providing free
gender-reassignment operations in compliance with a court order, theHealth Ministry said Friday.

Ministry spokesman Edmilson Oliveira da Silva said the governmentwould not appeal Wednesday's ruling by a panel of federal judgesgiving the government 30 days to offer the procedure or face fines ofUS$5,000 a day.

"The health minister was prompted by the judges' decision," Silvasaid. "But we already had a technical group studying the procedurewith the idea of including it among the procedures that are covered."

Federal prosecutors from Rio Grande do Sul state had argued thatsexual-reassignment surgery is covered under a constitutional clauseguaranteeing medical care as a basic right.

On Wednesday, the 4th Regional Federal Court agreed, saying in itsruling that "from the biomedical perspective, transsexuality can bedescribed as a sexual identity disturbance where individuals need tochange their sexual designation or face serious consequences in theirlives, including intense suffering, mutilation and suicide."



TURING: Yours shamefully

7th September 2007 14:45

It is high time that the Home Office defined its policies for dealing withLGBT asylum seekers. Shame that it still refuses to do so.

Iran is no place to be gay. Nor is it the best place for Westerners tocampaign for the rights of sexual minorities.

Even according to the most conservative of estimates, no fewer than 4000people may have been executed in Iran for the 'crime of homosexuality' sincethe Islamic Revolution of 1979.

And under the current regime, hell bent on exerting its self-appointed moralauthority on its population, things are not going to get any better.

Pegah Emambakhsh knew this when she escaped Iran in 2005. In her casethough, things had already gotten out of control.

Her partner had been arrested, tortured, and if some reports are to bebelieved, sentenced to death by stoning.

As soon as Ms. Emambakhsh fled Iran, her father was captured by the Iranianauthorities, and was in turn subject to the brutal interrogation methodsused reserved for criminal suspects.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Sharma's 'Jihad' makes waves in Toronto
By Etan Vlessing

Sept 8, 2007

TORONTO -- With 9/11-themed films dominating the Toronto InternationalFilm Festival this week, Indian filmmaker Parvez Sharma is grabbingattention with "A Jihad For Love," a documentary six years in the makingabout Islam and homosexuality.

"We are presenting Islam's most unlikely storytellers," Sharma saidFriday of his debut feature about gay and lesbian Muslims battlingracial profiling and harassment after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 andsubsequent terror attacks in London and Madrid.

Sharma knows he faces stiff competition in Toronto for media attention,with a variety of high-profile titles, including Paul Haggis' "In TheValley of Elah," Brian DePalma's "Redacted" and Nick Broomfield's"Battle for Haditha," all focusing on events in the Middle East.

But the New York-based filmmaker insists his documentary puts a focus onIslam distinct from the dominant perspectives of the Western media and"violent extremists."

"Hollywood and the mainstream film industry are jumping on the Muslimbandwagon and making films around Islam because of the U.S.. involvementin Iraq. But I feel that a lot of films that are made about Muslims aremediated through Western eyes," Sharma said.

His film aims at shifting the discourse about Islam by "empowering acommunity that has been silenced, allowing them to tell the story aboutIslam," he added.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] New from DIRELAND: "Free the Buggers"--Britain & theWolfenden Report


"FREE THE BUGGERS"--BRITAIN & THE WOLFENDEN REPORT In the early 1950s,nearly 5,000 British gays were swept up in a police crackdown known as theGreat Purge. Many establishment figures were among those arrested, leadingto a backlash that prompted the government to appoint the WolfendenCommission to examine laws making homosexuality a crime. As Brits this weekobserve the 50th anniversary of the Wolfenden Report, for a look back at theperils of being gay in '50s Britain and the very mixed results after theWolfenden Report recommended decriminalizing homosexuality, click on:


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Cleric condemns homosexuals, lesbians

Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Uyo, Sept. 2, 2007 (NAN) The Anglican Bishop of Uyo, Rt.Rev. Isaac Orama, has condemned the activities of homosexuals and lesbians,and described those engaged in them as "insane people''. "It is scaring thatany one should be involved in a thing like that and I want to say that theywill not escape the wrath of God,'' he said. Orama told the News Agency ofNigeria (NAN) today in Uyo, that the practice, which has worsened over theyears, was "unbiblical and against God's purpose for creating man''.

Homosexuals - 2 "Homosexuality and lesbianism are inhuman. Those whopractice them are insane, satanic and are not fit to live because they arerebels to God's purpose for man,'' the Bishop said. He noted that theAnglican Church in Nigeria had continued to lead the fight against thepractice especially in the US where it led the opposition to same sexmarriages. "The aim of such fight is to provide a safe place for those whowant to remain faithful Anglicans and Biblical Christians,'' heexplained.(NAN) NS/IFY/ETS

C Copyright United Press International. All Rights Reserved.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

Malaysian court annuls same-sex marriage
Thursday Sep 6 10:02 AEST

A Malaysian court has ordered a couple to separate, declaring their marriage asame-sex union as the husband was a woman, local media reported.

An Islamic court in the central state of Malacca ruled as void the marriagebetween 40-year-old Mohd Sufian Mohamad and 43-year-old Zaiton Aziz aftermedical examinations showed

Sufian was a woman, the New Straits Times said.

Same-sex relationships are not recognised in the moderate Muslim countrywhich also bans Muslim transsexuals from changing their gender.

A mosque official solemnised the marriage between Sufian, who was bornMazinah Mohamad, and Zaiton in December 2002 but the state religious affairsdepartment refused to register the marriage after becoming suspicious ofSufian's gender.

"According to (Zaiton's) statement, she had never seen or touched herhusband's private parts and had taken him to be a man all along and that shefelt good and satisfied together (with her partner)," Judge Che Saufi CheHusin said in the ruling.

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

He gave the couple 14 days to appeal, The Star newspaper said.

The couple did not show any emotion when the judgment was read out, said thenewspaper, which carried a photograph of a bespectacled Sufian sporting acrewcut and Zaiton in a headscarf and traditional Malay dress.



A Watershed Moment
This week's ENDA hearing is bigger than you think

by Matt Foreman, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

This week, a House subcommittee held a hearing on the EmploymentNon-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Given that the bill has been languishing for17 years - in spite of overwhelming public support - a collective "whatever"would be understandable. But folks, this is big - I mean really big - fortwo reasons.

One is that for the first time ever, the version of ENDA now moving throughCongress will cover all our people - lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.The other is that for the first time ever, we have every right to expect -yes demand - that both houses of Congress pass ENDA and put it on thepresident's desk.

Let me start by saying ENDA is not the be-all and end-all of pro-LGBTlegislation, but it's a start. By covering employment discrimination only -and not including discrimination in housing, public accommodations, creditand education - it is far less comprehensive than the first piece of pro-gaylegislation introduced in Congress in 1974.

Nonetheless, ENDA would provide legal recourse to victims of jobdiscrimination based on sexual orientation to people living in the 31 statesthat don't have laws covering anti-gay discrimination and to people livingin the 39 states that don't cover anti-transgender job bias. I also have tonote how profoundly ironic it is that at a time when marriage equality is atthe forefront of national discourse, Congress is only able to take upemployment nondiscrimination protections - which has had between 65 percentto 80 percent public support for years on end. But that's just the waythings are - public support leads, Congress follows (or not).


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