Sunday, September 09, 2007

GLBT DIGEST September 09, 2007

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Broward Introduction to Florida Red And Blue!!!!

Do your part 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 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.

And...... If you can't attend, we'll be glad to accept your check made outto "Florida Red and Blue."

Ray and Michael


The New York Times

September 9, 2007
The World

Molding the Ideal Islamic Citizen



THE instructor held up an unfurled green condom as she lectured a dozenbrides-to-be on details of family planning. But birth control was only oneaspect of the class, provided by the government and mandatory for allcouples before marriage. The other was about sex, and the message from thestate was that women should enjoy themselves as much as men and that menneeded to be patient, because women need more time to become aroused.

This is not the picture of Iran that filters out across the world, amidimages of women draped in the forbidding black chador, or of clerics inturbans. But it is just as much a part of the complex social and politicalmix of Iranian society - and of the state's continuing struggle, now threedecades old, to shape the identity of its people.

In Iran, pleasure-loving Persian culture and traditions blend and conflictwith the teachings of Shiite Islam, as well as more than a dozen otherethnic and tribal heritages. Sex education here is not new, but the messagehas been updated recently to help young people enjoy each other and, theIslamic state hopes, strengthen their marriages in a time when everyday lifein Iran is stressful enough. The emphasis on sexual pleasure, not justhealth, was recognition that something was not right in the IslamicRepublic.

Such flexibility is one way the government shapes, or is shaped by,society'sattitudes and behavior. These days, however, its use is an exception. Thecurrent government has become far better known for employing the oppositestrategy: insisting that society and individuals bend to its demands and toits chosen definition of what it is to be a citizen of Iran.

In fact, both tools remain part of a larger goal: securing the IslamicRepublic by remolding people's own definitions of themselves. In that way,the strategy resembles the failed effort in the Soviet Union to build anational identity - the New Soviet Man - that was based on its own criteria.The Communists used youth camps and raw terror; anyone challenging thatidentity, which in their case was atheistic, was seen as challenging thestate.


The New York Times

September 9, 2007

America's Mayor Goes to America

There are at least half a dozen reasons that a lot of political
prognosticators, including many inside his own party, will tell you thatRudolph Giuliani will never be the Republican nominee for president, nomatter what the polls say. They are, in no particular order:

1. As New York's mayor, he was pro-choice, pro-gun control and pro-gayrights.

2. He has demonstrated an odd propensity over the years for publiclydressing up in women's clothing, proof of which is now readily availableonline, including a disturbing clip of Donald Trump nuzzling the mayor'sbosom.

3. He once endorsed Mario Cuomo for governor.

4. Once, while mayor, he holed up for months at the apartment of a gaycouple who were close friends of his. Try explaining that one at Bob JonesUniversity.


Roeding sex sting ruling tossed

Man's conviction overturned in 2002 case, but
three-judge panel didn't address discrimination.

By James Guy / The Fresno Bee
09/07/07 05:43:41

A Fresno man's conviction for soliciting sex from a sheriff's deputy in aRoeding Park restroom nearly five years ago was overturned by a three-judgepanel, it was announced Thursday.

But the ruling, which threw out the conviction of Stephen Lake, 51, did notaddress whether the bathroom stings were discriminatory because theytargeted only homosexual activity. Instead, judges Donald Black, Kent Levisand Debra Kazanjian ruled that prosecutors did not establish that someonewas likely to be present who would have been offended by Lake's conduct, anelement needed to prove a crime took place.

"They punted," said Lake's attorney, Bruce Nickerson, of the court'sdecision not to deal with the discrimination issue. Nickerson argues thatthe arrest and prosecution are discriminatory because men and women arenever prosecuted for soliciting sex if money is not involved. Nickerson saidhe has filed a $1 million lawsuit in federal court against the Fresno CountySheriff's Department for violations of constitutional rights.

He also said Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho, recently arrested in a similar stingin a Minneapolis airport, can probably also reverse his guilty plea ongrounds of discrimination.

Bob Ellis, Fresno County chief assistant district attorney, said his officehas not had a chance to review the ruling to decide what it means to othercases stemming from the 2002 Roeding sting. Assistant Sheriff Tom Gattiesaid the department would not comment Thursday.


Saturday, 08 September 2007 14:43

31 Icons Selected For GLBT History Month 2007
Alexander the Great, Billie Jean King, Leonardo da Vinci, Bessie Smith, CaryGrant among Icons

Equality Forum, an international gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender(GLBT) civil rights organization, announced 31 Icons to be featured duringGLBT History Month in October. The 31 Icons achieved success within theirrespective fields of endeavor, were national heroes or advanced GLBT civilrights.

"The GLBT community has been uniquely disadvantaged by not being taught itshistory at home, in public schools or in religious institutions," saidMalcolm Lazin, Executive Director of Equality Forum. "GLBT History Monthhelps teach our unacknowledged history, provides role models and celebratescontributions made by GLBT individuals to our country and internationally."

The Icon videos are available for free for the Web sites of nonprofitorganizations, educational institutions and corporate entities, through theinclusion of HTML code provided at The Icon videois automatically updated each day. A free graphically-designed downloadablebiography, bibliography and other educational resources for each Icon areavailable at The 31 Icons from 2006 can also befound on the Web site.

Equality Forum solicited nominations from leaders of national andinternational GLBT organizations. Nominees were evaluated by GLBT HistoryMonth Co-Chairs Rev. Nancy Wilson, Moderator of the Universal Fellowship fMetropolitan Community Churches, and Prof. Kenji Yoshino, Deputy Dean forIntellectual Life at Yale Law School. Equality Forum's Board of Directorsapproved the final slate of 31 Icons.

Equality Forum produced 30-second biographical videos on each Icon, whichwill be broadcast daily on here! and Logo television networks throughoutOctober, and will be streamed on major GLBT Web sites. Comcast will air a30-second television PSA.


Mall-restroom evictions raise transgender ire

By Lornet Turnbull
Seattle Times staff reporter

Two transgender individuals attending a weekend conference in Seattle werekicked out of a men's bathroom at Pacific Place and then ejected from thedowntown mall in what could become a significant test involving transgenderpeople under the state's year-old gay-rights law.

The Aug. 31 incident led about three dozen people who were attending theGender Odyssey Conference at the Washington State Convention and TradeCenter to march on the mall in protest on Labor Day, staging what theycalled a "pee-in" at the fourth-floor bathrooms.

The two female-to-male transgender people involved in the incident weren'tarrested but said they were mortified as a security guard led them downescalators as shoppers gawked and pointed.

"I don't think straight people can truly understand the gravity of what thismeans emotionally," said Sean, one of the two. He and the other man, hisfriend Simon, both asked that their last names not be used.

"Peeing is basic," Sean said. "Anyone who feels a need to use a bathroomshould be able to do so without someone rapping on the stall while yourpants are down around your ankle."


Legal in Unlikely Places

Now mature in the west, gay power is growing worldwide, even in the land ofmachismo.

By Joseph Contreras
Newsweek International

Sept. 17, 2007 issue - After eight years together, Gilberto Aranda andMauricio List walked into a wedding chapel in the Mexico City neighborhoodof Coyoacán last April and tied the knot in front of 30 friends andrelatives. Aranda's disapproving father was not invited to the springtimenuptials. For the newlyweds, the ceremony marked the fruit of the gay-rightsmovement's long struggle to gain recognition in Mexico. The capital city hadlegalized gay civil unions only the month before. "After all the years ofmarches and protests," says Aranda, 50, a state-government official, "a seachange was coming."

The sea change spreads beyond Mexico City, a cosmopolitan capital that ishome to a thriving community of artists and intellectuals.

The growing maturity of the gay-rights movement in the West is having amarked effect on the developing world. In the United States, the RepublicanParty is in trouble in part because it has made a fetish of its oppositionto gay marriage. At least some gays in big cities like New York question whythey are still holding "pride" parades, as if they were still a closetedminority and not part of the Manhattan mainstream. Since 2001, WesternEuropean countries like Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain have gone evenfarther than the United States, placing gay and lesbian partners on the samelegal footing as their heterosexual counterparts. And now, the majordeveloping powers of Asia, Latin America and Africa are following theliberal road-sometimes imitating Western models, sometimes not-but in allcases setting precedents that could spread to the remaining outposts ofofficial homophobia.

In Mexico, the declining clout and prestige of the Roman Catholic Churchhave emboldened gay-rights activists and their allies in state legislaturesand city councils to pass new laws legalizing same-sex civil unions,starting with Mexico City in November. The rising influence of tolerantWestern pop culture has encouraged gay men and lesbians to proclaim theirsexuality in gay-pride marches like the one in the Brazilian city of SãoPaulo in June, which drew 3 million participants, according the event'sorganizers. It was the largest ever in Brazil.

Western models also helped inspire South Africa to legalize civil unions inNovember 2006, thus becoming the first country in the developing world to doso. In China, the trend goes back to the climate of economic reform thattook hold in the 1980s, ending the persecution of the era of Mao Zedong, whoconsidered homosexuals products of the "moldering lifestyle of capitalism."



Daytime's New Decider: An Interview with Gay Judge David Young

In mid-August I posted a clip of Judge David Young, whose new daytime courtshow premieres next week, on Monday, September 10. I recently had theopportunity to chat with Judge Young, about being out on the bench and hisnew show.

Young was born and raised in Miami (and lives there currently with hispartner), served as assistant state attorney in Miami-Dade County underJanet Reno, and was re-elected twice as a Circuit Court judge there beforeleaving to hit the national airwaves. Among his more well-known cases is onein which he sent two America West pilots to jail in 2005 for attempting tooperate a commercial airliner while intoxicated. He is also known for aquirky collection of items he keeps in his home (get your mind out of thegutter).

I'll touch on that later in this interview. One additional note. For thoseof you in New York, Young will be appearing this Monday, September 10 at afree event at The Lesbian, Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center at208 W. 13th street at 7 pm with a reception at 6 pm.

I've watched judge shows in the past, but you're definitely somethingdifferent.

That's what my mother says.


The New York Times

September 9, 2007

Boys Cast Out by Polygamists Find Help

ST. GEORGE, Utah - Woodrow Johnson was 15, and by the rules of thepolygamous sect in which his family lived, he had a vice that could condemnthem to hell: He liked to watch movies.

When his parents discovered his secret stash of DVDs, including the "DieHard" series and comedies, they burned them and gave him an ultimatum. Stopwatching movies, they said, or leave the family and church for good.

With television and the Internet also banned as wicked, along withshort-sleeve shirts - a sign of immodesty - and staring at girls, let alonedating them, Woodrow made the wrenching decision to go. And so 10 monthsago, with only a seventh-grade education and a suitcase of clothes, he wasthrown into an unfamiliar world he had been taught to fear.

Over the last six years, hundreds of teenage boys have been expelled or feltcompelled to leave the polygamous settlement that straddles Colorado City,Ariz., and Hildale, Utah.

Disobedience is usually the reason given for expulsion, but former sectmembers and state legal officials say the exodus of males - the expulsion ofgirls is rarer - also remedies a huge imbalance in the marriage market.Members of the sect believe that to reach eternal salvation, men aresupposed to have at least three wives.


The New York Times

September 9, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
Old School Inanity


Dying for a daddy, the Republicans turn their hungry eyes to Fred.

Fred Thompson acts tough on screen. And like Ronald Reagan, he has adistinctively masculine timbre and an extremely involved wife.

In his announcement video, Mr. Thompson stood in front of a desk in whatlooked like, duh, a law office, rumbling reassuringly that in this"dangerous time" he would deal with "the safety and security of the Americanpeople."

As Michelle Cottle wrote in The New Republic, far more than puffy-coiffedMitt and even more than tough guys Rudy and McCain, the burly, 6-foot-5,65-year-old Mr. Thompson exudes "old-school masculinity."

"In Thompson's presence (live or on-screen)," she wrote, "one is viscerally,intimately reassured that he can handle any crisis that arises, be it arenegade Russian sub or a botched rape case." But she wondered, was hereally "enough of a man for this fight," or just someone who meanderedthrough life, creating the illusion of a masculine mystique?

Newsweek reported that some close to the Tennessean "question whether movinginto the White House is truly Thompson's life ambition - or more the dreamof his second wife, Jeri, a former G.O.P. operative who is his unofficialcampaign manager and top adviser."

It took only two days of campaigning to answer the masculine mystiquequestion. Fred gave an interview to CNN's John King as his bus rolledthrough Iowa.

"To what degree should the American people hold the president of the UnitedStates responsible for the fact that bin Laden is still at large six yearslater?" Mr. King asked.



Gay Rights Advocates Join APEC Protest
by The Associated Press

Posted: September 8, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Sydney, Australia) Nine people were arrested and two police officers wereinjured Saturday as thousands of protesters held a colorful and mostlypeaceful march and rally near a summit of Pacific Rim leaders.

A crowd that police estimated to be about 3,000 marched along a heavilyfortified route from Sydney's Town Hall to nearby Hyde Park, several blocksfrom the Sydney Opera House, where the 21 regional leaders gathered amidtight security.

The route was lined by hundreds of armed police, many wearing body armor,and a water cannon followed the march. Police buses blocked off sidestreets.

Protesters chanted, ``This is not a police state'' as they marched.

Demonstrators turned out with a hodgepodge of issues, from the Iraq war togay rights and global warming. Protesters waved banners emblazoned withunion logos and slogans against visiting U.S. President George W. Bush andAustralian Prime Minister John Howard.


Jupiter Courier

Editorial: Mark Foley: A year later
When former congressman starts to look in the mirror, what exactly will hesee?
By TCPalm Staff

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Birthdays are among those times when people take stock of their lives,reflect on past deeds and determine how to forge ahead into the uncertainchallenges that remain ahead.

Mark Foley turned 53 Saturday. It would be interesting to know what histhoughts were.

For this was Foley's first birthday since the text-message/page scandal thatrocked a nation and has been credited with changing the face of Congress. Ayear ago, the moderate Republican was the rock-star congressman, whose giftof gab made him popular among his constituents and co-workers in bothparties, the media and Hollywood.

But on Sept. 28, in the middle of a re-election race against Democraticunderdog Tim Mahoney, Foley's world imploded. An ABC News blog broke news ofinappropriate e-mail exchanges Foley had with a young congressional pagefrom Louisiana.

The world hasn't heard from Foley since. Once one of the most open,talkative U.S. representatives in the House, Foley has been silent sincebefore his resignation.

At the time, his attorney said Foley checked into a rehabilitation center tobe treated for alcoholism. He also dropped two other pieces of information:Yes, Foley is gay, and, as a child, he was molested by a clergyman.

For some, it might be better if Foley remained a recluse for the rest of hislife. For Foley-haters, this would be too nice of a punishment. But perhapsthat is the path the former congressman will take.

On the other hand, Foley's strength was his ability to communicate withpeople, to make them feel at ease and to persuade passionately. Admittedly,he might not have always used these strengths in appropriate fashion.

But what if Foley were to use his talents for good purposes in the future?

What if he were to talk about his personal demons, apologize and tell othershow to prevent destructive behavior? What if he were to regain a reputationas a positive force in protecting children, then take on a new role asfighter against alcohol and substance abuse?

If so, would Mark Foley see anything differently in the mirror next Sept. 8?


UK Gay News

The September 17 edition of Newsweek International, now online, has as it's"cover story" an interesting feature on "gay issues". It is the cover storyin the European, Asian and Latin American editions.

Legal in Unlikely Places (gay marriage/parterships/unions etc:

Sir Ian McKellen: "The Sky Didn't Fall In":

Web only, I believe - not in print editions .. Land of Reggae andHomophobia:

Seems like two men holding hands is "too hot" for US Newsweek as HillaryClinton is the "cover". Would be interesting to know if any of the abovearticles are in the US edition!


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Venezuela: Is President Hugo Chavez - gulp! - gay?

Well-known Spaniard journalist Luis María Ansón, who used to direct theSpanish-language news agency EFE and also ran ABC, one of Spain's leadingnewspapers, is ruffling a few feathers with an opinion piece titled "Chavezand homosexuality" that was published yesterday in the opinion pages ofSpain's El Mundo (it's only accessible to subscribers but has been put up atthe online page of the anti-Chavez Venezuelan newspaper noticias24).

Here is my translation:

"Chávez and homosexuality" by Luis Maria Ansón (El Mundo, Friday, September8, 2007)

In Venezuela, the great majority of men and women have brown orblack-colored eyes; a minority, blue. It is a thing of nature. It would beabsurd to discriminate those men or women with blue eyes based on theirpolitical, social or economic rights. In that great country, the immensemajority of men and women are heterosexual; a minority, homosexual. It is athing of nature. It would be absurd to discriminate politically, socially oreconomically against gays and lesbians. From the communist tyranny of Castroin Cuba to the satrap dictatorship in Saudi Arabia, there are still many thecountries in which homosexuals are denied basic rights.

There should be agreement that, in western democracies, injustice andpersecution against the homosexual sector - to a lesser or greater degree -have ended.



Gays Without Borders
Message from Pegah Emambakhsh
Sep 8, 2007

A message from Pegah Emambakhsh to all the groups and people who are helpingher.

Thanks to a wonderful person, an Iranian woman who lives in Italy and whohas been working for many years in the field of human rights, a friend weare proud to have among the members of the EveryOne Group, we are in almostdaily contact with Pegah who is imprisoned in Yarl's Wood prison.

Today, September 8th, 2007, Pegah has sent through this mutual friend a message forall the groups, activists, politicians and everyday people who are trying tosolve her case.

"Dear friends, as you well know, I am having a difficult time right now,with no assurances for the future and with a lot of pain in my soul. Icannot deny that I am still very frightened, and the separation from mybeloved children hurts so much that at times it seems unbearable. You don'tknow how much of a comfort it is to me to know that you are out there. Youdon't even know me, yet you are working for my cause, sticking your necksout and fighting for me, you write to me and send me wonderful flowers. Iwasn't expecting anything like this. Even many of the Iranians I was incontact with here in the United Kingdom abandoned me when they found out thereason I had applied for asylum.


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