Saturday, September 01, 2007

GLBT DIGEST September 1, 2007

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Anti-gay group told to find another hotel
31st August 11.30

Americans for Truth, the Naperville, Ill.-based organization dedicated to"confronting the homosexual activist agenda," will have to find a new hotelto host its annual fund-raiser on 6th October.

Representatives for the Naperville Holiday Inn Select reportedly asked theorganization's executive director, Peter LaBarbera, to find another locationfor the event after LaBarbera mentioned it could draw protests from"homosexual activists."

That request prompted LaBarbera to cry foul in an article posted, a Christian news website.

"It seems that there is now a sort of politically correct homosexual'heckler's veto' that's forcing or persuading businesses to do things todecent people that they wouldn't normally do," LaBarbera said.

"When a hotel chain is willing to cancel a Christian group's event due to apotential protest by a homosexual activist group, it's a sad day inAmerica," he added.


Stonewall Cymru to 'Shout OUT' at Mardi Gras
31st August 13.29
Alex Donald

Stonewall Cymru is launching a new community activism campaign ahead ofSaturday's Mardi Gras in Cardiff.

The Shout OUT campaign will encourage the LGBT community to have their sayabout gay life in Wales and will tackle issues such as hate crimes, healthcare, education and employment.

Cardiff's Lesbian and Gay Mardi Gras is set to draw massive crowds thisweekend.

Now in its ninth year, it has grown into one of the biggest free gay andlesbian events in the UK.

Liz Morgan of Stonewall Cymru Director told

"Life for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Wales has changed immeasurablyin recent years.


Iowa's gay wedding day brought to a halt
The Associated Press
September 1, 2007

DES MOINES, Iowa Same-sex marriage was legal here for less than 24 hoursbefore the county won a stay of a judge's order on Friday, a tiny window ofopportunity that allowed two men to make history but left dozens of othercouples disappointed after a frantic rush to the altar.

At 2 p.m. Thursday, Judge Robert Hanson ordered Polk County officials toaccept marriage license requests from same-sex couples, but he granted thestay at about 12:30 p.m. Friday. By then 27 same-sex couples had filedrequests, but only Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan of Ames had actually gottentheir license.

In the front yard of the Rev. Mark Stringer, pastor of the First UnitarianChurch of Des Moines, they become the only same-sex couple wed in the UnitedStates outside of Massachusetts, where roughly 8,000 such couples have tiedthe knot.

Stringer concluded the ceremony by saying, "This is a legal document and youare married." The men then kissed and hugged.

"This is it. We're married. I love you," Fritz told McQuillan after theceremony.


Article published Sep 1, 2007
Candidates focus on gay marriage
Republicans jump to debate Iowa ruling
The Associated Press

An Iowa county judge's ruling knocking down the state's same-sex marriageban stirred up the presidential race yesterday as Republicans jostled tostake out a position with the state's conservative voters in mind.

Mitt Romney was the first to seize on the ruling, promptly aligning himselfwith Iowa political leaders in denouncing the decision.

The former Massachusetts governor's swift criticism served to bolster theconservative image his campaign has been working hard to promote to Iowa'sRepublican voters. Romney stressed his support for a federal amendment thatwould ban same-sex marriage, a stand that distinguishes him from his toprivals, who have said they prefer to leave such decisions to the states.

"The ruling in Iowa . . . is another example of an activist court andunelected judges trying to redefine marriage and disregard the will of thepeople as expressed through Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act," Romney said ina statement shortly after the ruling was made. "This once again highlightsthe need for a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect the traditionaldefinition of marriage as between one man and one woman."

Yesterday, Polk County Judge Robert Hanson, who ruled Thursday that thestate's decade-old ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, issued astay on his own ruling. The stay closed the window for any gay couplesseeking to marry in Polk County.


Uncertainty follows bliss for 27 couples
'I started crying,' one woman says after learning that a ban on same-sexmarriages in Iowa had been overturned.

Twenty-seven same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses Thursday andFriday before a Polk County judge issued a ruling stopping the process.

The 26 couples who were not married Friday likely will receive a letter nextweek explaining why their license, which would have become valid Thursdayunder a required three-business-day waiting period, now will not beaccepted.

Several same-sex couples, anticipating the ruling, rushed to the countyrecorder's office to obtain a marriage license.

The first in line Friday - two Iowa State University students - were at therecorder's office at 5:30 a.m. One of the two women wore sunglasses anddidn't want to give her name. She said she hasn't told her co-workers, oneof whom has a picture of the pope as a screensaver, that she's gay.

"She's got a Catholic boss and a Republican grandma," said her girlfriend,Katy Farlow, a 23-year-old accounting student at ISU.


Elizabeth Edwards talks of Clinton "hatred"

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards,says ''hatred'' of his rival Hillary Rodham Clinton would motivateRepublicans to vote against her in the general election.

''I want to be perfectly clear: I do not think the hatred against HillaryClinton is justified,'' Elizabeth Edwards said in an interview with Timemagazine, out this week. ''I don't know where it comes from. I don't beginto understand it. But you can't pretend it doesn't exist, and it willenergize the Republican base. Their nominee won't energize them, Bush won't,but Hillary as the nominee will. It's hard for John to talk about, but it'sthe reality.''

Responding to Mrs. Edwards, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said polls showthat Clinton will be a strong opponent against the Republicans seeking thepresidency.

''Senator Clinton leads all the leading Republicans in national and keyswing state polls because Americans know she is the Democrat with thestrength and experience to bring real change,'' Singer said.

Elizabeth Edwards has become the voice for many criticisms of her husband'sleading rivals. She has suggested that Obama and his campaign plagiarizedmaterial from Edwards's 2004 presidential campaign and criticized Obama foropposing the Iraq war but voting for the funding, saying that he's been''behaving in a holier-than-thou way.''


Hillary tells Letterman her husband looked into being her veep

Hillary Rodham Clinton has already had to forgo one potential runningmate-her husband.

Asked by talk-show host David Letterman if Bill Clinton could serve as hervice president should she be elected to the White House, the former firstlady acknowledged that he could not.

''Believe me,'' she joked, ''he looked into that.''

She also remarked that if the Constitution didn't forbid a president from athird term, ''he might be running.''

Such easy banter marked Clinton's seventh appearance on Late Show With DavidLetterman, which was celebrating its 14th anniversary on CBS. She firstappeared on February 14, 1994, when Letterman's mother, Dorothy, interviewedher briefly from the Winter Olympics in Norway.


As the Larry Craig scandal continues to unfold, I'm amazed at the shock withwhich political commentators and even some Blade readers have reacted.

The most common question that readers are emailing to me: Who's next? It'sfair to assume that Craig isn't the only closeted gay member of Congress,but there are members we've described over the years as "openly closeted,"meaning they decline to answer "the question."

At least two active members of Congress fall into that category: Rep. DavidDreier (R-Calif.) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). There was muchspeculation that Dreier failed in his bid to take the House majority leaderpost after Tom DeLay resigned because of the rumors about his sexualorientation, which have dogged him for years.

Mikulski has similarly dodged questions about her sexual orientation overthe years. She voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, but has an otherwisesupportive record and spoke at last year's Equality Maryland brunchfundraiser.

What people need to understand is that living a double life in the closetmakes you do strange and self-destructive things, like pleading guilty tocrimes you later deny or refusing to answer a simple question about yoursexual orientation.

Until the acceptance of gays improves, we'll continue to see sad dramas likethe Larry Craig scandal play out.
Posted by Kevin Naff, Washington Blade Editor| Aug. 28 at 8:33 PM |


Toobin: Entrapment defense rarely works in case like Craig'sNEW YORK(CNN) -- Embattled Sen. Larry Craig accused police after his June arrest oftrying to entrap him, but CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says he putslittle faith in such a defense.

A police mug shot of Sen. Larry Craig after he was arrested at theMinneapolis-St. Paul airport in June.

In a police recording released Thursday, the Idaho Republican denied thathe was trying to engage in lewd behavior in a men's bathroom at a Minnesotaairport. He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.

"You shouldn't be out to entrap people," Craig said on the tape.

The arresting officer denied Craig's accusation of entrapment. Listen topolice interview Craig » asked Toobin about how an entrapment defense might work in court.


Students rally for gender-neutral johns
They're riding tide of toilet tolerance
Josh Shaffer, Staff Writer

RALEIGH - In the past, an activist might picket City Hall, burn a draft cardor occupy a segregated lunch counter. Now there's a new cause: publicrestrooms.

Bathrooms -- how and where they are built, and who should use them -- are anurgent topic on college campuses across the Triangle and nation.

Three N.C. State University students have proposed installing lockable,unisex restrooms in all new campus buildings as a convenience fortransgender students, the disabled, nursing mothers and single parents withchildren of the opposite sex. They seek to join at least 17 universities,including UNC-Chapel Hill, in mandating a gender-neutral john.

"There's been a real push to support diversity on campus," said MadelineGoss, a senior and male-to-female transgender student. "I go to the bathroomand I don't get a second look. But there was a time when people walked outwhen they saw me in the bathroom."

The limits of traditional bathroom demarcation have arisen in the statelegislature, too. Sen. Janet Cowell, a Raleigh Democrat, introduced a billin March to mandate twice the number of female restrooms in bars,restaurants, theaters and arenas, a move aimed at ending long restroomlines. She dropped the bill when she learned that the state Department ofInsurance had already made nearly all her provisions part of an updatedbuilding code.


Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (August 31, 2007)
by Karman Kregloe, Senior Writer and Director of Special Projects
August 31, 2007


The New York Post recently blasted Tammy Lynn Etheridge (the artist formerlyknown as Tammy Lynn Michaels) for her anti-Bush/Rove rant on her blog. Inhis Page Six column under the headline"Vulgar and Vile," Richard Johnsonwrote:

Tammy Lynn Michaels ought to wash her mouth out with soap. The lesbian"wife" of rocker Melissa Etheridge calls President Bush "an idiotic,parasitical, country-raping piece of [bleep]" on her blog, HollywoodFarmGirl. "How does Laura [Bush] lay her head down at night?" Michaels'constructive and civil rant goes on to call Karl Rove a "sweaty littlepiggish Oompa-Loompa Elmer Fudd ass." And if the administration doesn't likeher hate-filled profanity, she taunts, "Come arrest me, you [bleep]ers."

Undaunted, Etheridge responded to the Post with keyboard blazing:

dear ny post,

first, i am honored that someone at your paper reads my li'l blog. indeed,the blog of which you speak was vulgar and crass and such the like as that,i agree. swearing and vulgarity is a forte of mine. (i think i listened tobette midler's standup tapes far too young in life. i digress.) it seemsthat only extremism gets the message out these days, doesn't it? theNeo-Cons (or Modern-Day-Hitlers), the terrorists (that we created), the kidsshooting other kids in school, the hollywood whorlets who show their vaginato the world AND go to jail AND still make magazine covers... see? so alesbian, using filthy language, swearing and daring for the criminals totake the lamb's clothing off.... of course i make the ny post.

i bet you'll be surprised and disappointed to know that i've already had mymouth washed out with soap, a coupla times, in fact, when i was a kid. mycaretaker, evelyn, was a believer in "soap cleans out the dirty words". andi was a believer in dirty words. i can clearly recall not only the taste ofthe soap in my mouth- but also the texture of the washrag as she rubbed itinto my tongue. i guess she didn't rub hard enough, huh? LOL ...


New HIV Drug Safe, Effective FDA Says
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 31, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Washington) A new HIV-fighting drug from Merck & Co. appears superior tooptions for patients who have stopped responding to available drugs, federalregulators said Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration said Merck's studies of Isentress show thedrug is safe and effective to treat HIV patients who have developed aresistance to other medications.

Roughly 1 million people in the U.S. are HIV positive, according to theCenters for Disease Control. FDA has cleared 30 different HIV treatmentssince 1987, and they are typically prescribed in combination to suppress thevirus, which cripples the immune system and causes death if not treated.

The agency posted its review of the drug to the FDA Web site ahead of aWednesday meeting, where outside experts are scheduled to vote on the drug'ssafety and effectiveness. FDA is not required to follow the experts'recommendations, though it usually does.

The agency granted the drug priority review status earlier this year,meaning staffers would finish the review in six months, four months earlierthan usual. A decision is expected mid-October.


Mother Jones

Gay By Choice? The Science of Sexual Identity
If science proves sexual orientation is more fluid than we've been led tobelieve, can homosexuality still be a protected right?
Gary Greenberg
August 27 , 2007

When he leaves his tidy apartment in an ocean-side city somewhere inAmerica, Aaron turns on the radio to a light rock station. "For the cat," heexplains, "so she won't get lonely." He's short and balding and dressedmostly in black, and right before I turn on the recorder, he asks me for thedozenth time to guarantee that I won't reveal his name or anything else thatmight identify him. "I don't want to be a target for gay activists," he saysas we head out into the misty day. "Harassment like that I just don't need."

Aaron sets a much brisker pace down the boardwalk than you would expect of adoughy 51-year-old, and once convinced I'll respect his anonymity, he turnsout to be voluble. Over the crash of the waves, he spares no details as hedescribes how much he hated the fact that he was gay, how the last thing inthe world he wanted to do was act on his desire to have sex with anotherman. "I'm going to be perfectly blatant about it," he says. "I'm not goingto have anal intercourse or give or receive any BJs either, okay?" Hemanaged to maintain his celibacy through college and into adulthood. Butwhen, in the late 1980s, he found himself so "insanely jealous" of hisroommate's girlfriend that he had to move out, he knew the time had come todo something. One of the few people who knew that Aaron was gay showed himan article in Newsweek about a group offering "reparativetherapy"-psychological treatment for people who want to become "ex-gay."

"It turns out that I didn't have the faintest idea what love was," he says.That's not all he didn't know. He also didn't know that his same-sexattraction, far from being inborn and inescapable, was a thirst for the lovethat he had not received from his father, a cold and distant man prone toangry outbursts, coupled with a fear of women kindled by his intrusive ndoverbearing mother, all of which added up to a man who wanted to have sexwith other men just so he could get some male attention.


Palm Beach Post

Teen gets probation for attacking transsexual
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 31, 2007

The teen who severely beat a preoperative transsexual on Palm Beach wassentenced to four and a half months of probation Thursday.

Palm Beach County Juvenile Court Judge Peter Blanc rejected recommendationsfrom prosecutors and the Department of Juvenile Justice, who said the teenwas likely to commit more crimes and should be locked in a high-securityresidential program.

The teen, then 17, was out with his best friend on Clematis Street in July2006 when they met the victim, a 39-year-old who has breast implants and haslived as a woman for more than a decade. They went to Palm Beach and wereabout to have sex when the 17-year-old said he discovered that she had amale organ.

He initially left with his friend, then went back and beat the victim. Awitness who was in the lifeguard tower at the public beach that nighttestified that he slammed the victim's head into the lifeguard stand so hardthat he could feel it shake.

She was covered in blood, lost teeth and was taken to the hospital.

Blanc said he didn't believe the teen's argument of self-defense and saidthere was no excusing the violent beating that got him the charge ofaggravated battery.

But he disagreed that the teen, now 18, is a threat to public safety, andwithheld adjudication on the case. The circumstances of the case were sounusual that he is unlikely to find himself in a similar situation again,Blanc said.


Gay City News

Is the Closet Okay for Gay-Friendly Pols?

The morality of schadenfreude aside, it's easy to rejoice in the outing ofUS Senator Larry Craig, an anti-gay crusader who this week was revealed tohave pleaded guilty to soliciting another man in a bathroom at theMinneapolis airport. History - and hopefully more in our community - willnow judge gay activist Mike Rogers more kindly for having been the first toreport on Senator Craig's being gay last year on his site

But the tougher dilemma is what do we do about closeted gay politicians goodon most of our issues, but who, for example, might still oppose marriageequality?

Does one have to be Larry Craig or the Reverend Ted Haggard to be judged ahypocrite and pass the litmus test of eligibility to be outed?Most pro-gay Democrats, including closeted gay Democrats themselves, play itsafe by endorsing legislation in Congress like the EmploymentNondiscrimination Act and the Matthew Shepherd Hate Crimes Act. They speakout against the Pentagon's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy and gladly endorsecivil unions. But they draw the line at marriage equality.

As a gay activist outside the United States, I am stunned that the Americangay activists give such politicians a pass. That includes closeted gaypoliticians who perpetuate the fraud that civil unions are equal tomarriage - how many more times must New Jersey prove that wrong? - as wellas straight politicians whom the American gay community refuses to out asanti-gay for their opposition to marriage for same-sex couples.



The Huffington Post

I'm Holier Than Thou, Larry Craig
Posted August 30, 2007 | 02:10 PM (EST)

I'll say it, I'm Holier Than Thou, Senator Craig. Most of us not behindbars, lying under oath to congress, or appearing on To Catch a Predator cansafely say that. And yet, few Republicans seem to want to go there. The "m"word they won't say is morality.

In John McCain's statement on Craig, Mr. Straight Talk said "but my opinionis that when you plead guilty to a crime, you shouldn't serve. That's not amoral stand. That's not a holier-than-thou. It's just a factual situation."

If being guilty of a crime isn't a moral issue, why should Craig quit?Slate's Bruce Reed found a similar sentiment to McCain's in an IdahoRepublican newspaper, writing: "the North Idaho Press, one of the mostRepublican newspapers in the state, called on Craig to resign in a scathingeditorial titled, 'Trust violated, there is no future, Senator.' The Presssaid it had reached that conclusion not as a moral judgment on theallegations against Craig ... '"

Over the years, the Republican Party wrapped itself up in so much fakeoutrage over Janet Jackson's boob or slapping Howard Stern with FCC finesthat they don't know the real thing when it shows up. McCain felt itnecessary to suck up public dollars over steroid hearings, celebrity showtrials with McCain starring as Mr. Clean, chief scold of baseball. NowMcCain argues for moral relativism?

You'd think this one is a moral no-brainer for the Moral Majority crowd. Acrowd which, I might add, loves to set its brains on hold when characterissues for Dems come up. Here is Senator Craig, who lied to his party andconstituents about the life the nation should lead versus the one he himselfleads.


New York

Ulster Co. School Principal To Undergo Gender Change

Parents of students at the Ulster County BOCES Career and Technical Centerleft school Tuesday with a new understanding of gender transition, but manysaid it will take time to get used to calling the school's principal, GarySuraci, Jenna from now on.

Suraci will undergo a gender change in the upcoming weeks while maintaininghis post as the school's principal.

Suraci ran for Congress last year and is a nationally recognized principal.Some fear he will now only be defined by his gender change.

"The biggest issue seemed to be whether the person should stay in a positionof authority in the school," parent Joe Acquisto said.

According to parents, on the first day of school, the principal will beknown as Jenna and will dress like a woman even before the surgery will takeplace.

"This is a process of matching up the outside of themselves with the insideof themselves," a gender expert said.

No one answered the door Tuesday at Suraci's home.

His biography on a political Web site said he has three children and threegrandchildren. It was not clear if he is married.


LGBT Students of Color! Speak Out!

GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) is looking for studentsto be part of a study about the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender (LGBT) students of color. You can help GLSEN inform educationpolicymakers and the public about what's really going on in our nation'sschools.

If you.
. attend a U.S. high school,
. are a person of color,
. are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and
. would like more information about participating.

please contact Elizabeth Diaz, Research Associate, at or212-727-0135 (extension 8051). All participants will be compensated fortheir time. Note: Permission from a parent or guardian is required toparticipate.


[al-fatiha-news] News:

Ugandan Rights Group Slams Gay Ban Law
From Voice of America
By Webb Malcolm
22 August 2007

A Ugandan organization that represents the rights of gays, lesbians andbisexuals says they are deprived of their rights by the country's law thatmakes homosexuality illegal. The comments follow an anti-gay protest in theUgandan capital Kampala on Tuesday, which drew more than 100 demonstrators.Malcolm Webb reports for VOA from Nairobi.

The rights organization, Sexual Minorities in Uganda (SMUG) says gays,lesbians and bisexuals in Uganda have suffered abuse, neglect and violence,and they want to be left alone.

SMUG representative Laurence Misedah said these people are not doinganything wrong.

"We are not harming anyone," he said. "We are requesting them to let uslive in peace. We are just trying to let them know that what we arerequiring is understanding, and for them to give us space so that we talk tothem, because most of them are talking out of ignorance."

Misedah was speaking in reaction to an anti-gay demonstration Tuesday by acoalition of Christian, Muslim and Bahai groups.


The Washington Post

A Sting He Didn't Deserve
By Aaron Belkin
Saturday, September 1, 2007; A25

If Sen. Larry Craig is guilty of a serious crime, you'd never know it fromlistening to the audiotape of his arrest or from reading his arrest record.

Craig entered a Minneapolis airport restroom and fidgeted with his fingerswhile standing outside an occupied stall, occasionally peering through thecrack between the door and the doorframe. After entering an adjacent stall,he sat, tapped his foot and touched the occupant's shoe with his own.Finally, Craig swiped his hand under the stall divider three times, at whichpoint the occupant revealed his police credentials.

Craig later denied that he had done anything wrong and insisted that he isnot now and never has been gay. Although homosexuality is not illegal, Craigthought that he could protect himself simply by claiming a heterosexualidentity.

The arresting officer, however, believed that Craig wanted to have sex withhim, and recognized the tapping of Craig's right foot "as a signal used bypersons wishing to engage in lewd conduct." Craig was arrested after onlysix minutes.

Craig's case apparently was handled according to the book. But the use ofeveryday gestures that fall short of sex to mete out punishment for sexualmisconduct illustrates a revealing departure from methods that investigatorsused to carry out sting operations nearly a century ago. Courts used torequire a lot more than the tapping of a toe to sustain a conviction for amorals crime.

In 1919 the Navy hired "decoys" to frequent the lobby of the YMCA inNewport, R.I. Orchestrated by officers at the local Naval Training Station,the cleanup campaign sought to eliminate gay men from the ranks. Followingan introduction, decoys would accompany their suspects to a hotel room andthen have sex. At least three dozen sailors and civilians were arrested, andmany ended up in jail.


The Washington Post

Peas in a Disingenuous Pod
By Colbert I. King
Saturday, September 1, 2007; A25

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick havemore in common than you might think. Hold those groans. How, you may ask,can these two men, separated by age, race, and ideological and socialcircumstances, be placed in the same camp?

Here goes:

Until they recently ran afoul of the law, both Craig and Vick were popularpublic figures with enthusiastic and loyal followers. Given a chance to comeclean with the public about their illegal activities, both men chose insteadto hunker down and not account for their actions. And, finally, disgracedand marginalized as Vick and Craig are at the moment, the worse days may beyet to come for both.

Of course, there are differences between the two men. Craig is a 27-yearmember of Congress, a father and grandfather, a rock-ribbed Westernconservative, and an outspoken advocate of traditional family values. Vickis a professional football player who was raised in an East Coast publichousing project and is unmarried. Their crimes are different, too.

Disorderly conduct, to which Craig pleaded guilty, is a misdemeanor. Thesenator's lawbreaking concerned allegedly soliciting gay sex in aMinneapolis airport men's room.

That's hardly the same as Vick's pleading guilty to a felony charge ofconspiracy "to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture," which in hiscase means breeding and training dogs to tear each other to pieces for theenjoyment of gambling spectators.

Another difference: What Craig was doing -- or seeking to do -- in thatairport restroom required the participation of another consenting adult.

Not so with Vick's operation. Dogs have no say in how they are used.

One other feature sets the two men apart: Vick doesn't pretend to havevirtues that he really doesn't possess. Craig, on the other hand, is araging hypocrite.


The Washington Post

For a Day, Gay Marriage Is Legal in Iowa
Associated Press
Saturday, September 1, 2007; Page A07

DES MOINES, Aug. 31 -- Two men sealed Iowa's first legal same-sex marriagewith a kiss Friday morning, less than 24 hours after a judge threw out thestate's ban.

A couple of hours later, though, Polk County Judge Robert Hanson stayed hisown ruling, pending an appeal by the county to the state Supreme Court.

Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan were among the lucky few to get theirapplication through.

The approval process for marriage licenses normally takes three businessdays, but Fritz and McQuillan took advantage of a loophole that allowscouples to skip the waiting period if they pay a $5 fee and get a judge tosign a waiver.

On Friday morning, the Rev. Mark Stringer declared the two legally marriedin a wedding on a Unitarian minister's front lawn in Des Moines.

"This is it. We're married. I love you," Fritz told McQuillan after theceremony.

Hanson ruled Thursday that Iowa's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, whichallowed marriage only between a man and a woman, violated the constitutionalrights of due process and equal protection of six gay couples who had sued.

State House Minority Leader Christopher Rants (R) said the rulingillustrates the need for a state constitutional amendment banning suchmarriages.

"I can't believe this is happening in Iowa," Rants said. "I guarantee youthere will be a vote on this issue come January," when the legislatureconvenes, he said.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Singapore Bans Speech by
LGBT Activist Rev. Troy Perry
For Immediate Release: August 31, 2007

Country of Singapore Bans Speech By Gay Activist Rev. Dr. Troy Perry,Founder of Metropolitan Community Churches

"There's a saying that when a door closes, God opensa window. That's also true of LGBT activists," saysPerry, who found creative ways to share the message of LGBTrights in Singapore.

Los Angeles -- During 40 years of LGBT activism,Rev. Dr. Troy D. Perry,founder of the predominantly gay Metropolitan Community Churches, has beenpicketed, taunted by Right Wing extremists, and arrested for civildisobedience. Perry knows what it is to be the target of hate mailcampaigns and the recipient of death threats. Occasionally, a church ororganization has canceled a speaking engagement by the outspoken gay rightsleader.

But recent actions by Singapore marked the first time an entire country hadbanned Perry from public speaking engagements.

Rev. Perry was part of a recent six-member delegation to Southeast Asiafrom Metropolitan Community Churches. The delegation, led by Rev. PatBumgardner, chair of the Moderator's Global Justice Team of MCC, wasscheduled to conduct speaking engagements, workshops, and worship servicesin Malaysia and Singapore, and to meet with LGBT rights groups.

"I've had enough experiences for three lifetimes," said Perry, "but this wasthe first time an entire country banned me from public speaking. I wasallowed to enter the country and told that I could speak one-on-one withindividuals, but I was banned from delivering my public speech." Perry wasscheduled to deliver a speech, "Metropolitan Community Churches and the GayChristian Witness" before a coalition of LGBT rights and LGBT pride groups.

Gay male homosexual sex is illegal in Singapore, though lesbian sex inprivate is not criminalized. Penalties for male homosexual acts, whileseldom enforced, are severe.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] Ireland: President's plea over persecution of gay people 31/08/2007 - 14:07:48
President Mary McAleese today called for a national change in attitudesto end the bullying of gay people.

Addressing world experts at the International Association of SuicidePrevention Conference in Killarney, the President said the link betweensexual identity and suicide had to be addressed.

And she warned gay people encounter a hurtful undercurrent of bias andhostility.

"Ireland is making considerable progress in developing a culture ofgenuine equality, recognition and acceptance of gay men and women," shesaid.

"But there is still an undercurrent of both bias and hostility whichyoung gay people must find deeply hurtful and inhibiting.

The President also said Ireland's alarming suicide rate of 500 a yearcould be reduced by decommissioning the culture of binge drinking andthe tolerance of alcohol and drug abuse.

But she said there appeared to be an attitude which encouraged bullyingof all sorts and the deeply hurtful abuse of gay people.

She said sexual identity is a discovery, not a decision.

"Homosexuality is a discovery, not a decision and for many it is adiscovery which is made against a backdrop where, within their immediatecircle of family and friends as well as the wider society, they havelong encountered anti-gay attitudes which will do little to help themdeal openly and healthily with their own sexuality," the President said.

Ireland's suicide toll is around 500 every year. Young men make up 40%these and elderly men comprise the second highest at risk group.


The New York Times

September 1, 2007
Kansas: Governor Signs Ban on Bias Based on Sexuality

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, signed an executive order prohibitingmost state employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.The order requires agencies under the governor's direct control to ensurethey have programs to prevent harassment against gay men, lesbians,bisexuals and people who have had surgery for sex changes. It covers 25,000of the 41,000 state employees.



The New York Times

September 1, 2007
Former NJ Governor's Wife Recalls Ordeal
Filed at 7:09 a.m. ET

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (AP) -- Perhaps no one knows better than Dina MatosMcGreevey how Suzanne Craig -- the wife of Idaho Sen. Larry Craig -- felt asher husband insisted he is not gay despite his guilty plea in a police sexsting.

Matos McGreevey once stood shellshocked next to her ex-husband, then-NewJersey Gov. James E. McGreevey, as he announced before TV cameras that hewas ''a gay American'' and would resign.

''I was watching his wife the other day standing next to him, and I thought,'Oh my gosh, that was me three years ago. Now here we go again,''' MatosMcGreevey said in an interview at her home Friday evening. ''She's a victimof the choices he's made.''

James McGreevey, the nation's first openly gay governor, later said hestepped down rather than succumb to a $50 million blackmail threat from amale former lover.

When it was Suzanne Craig's turn to stand stoically beside her husband thisweek, 40-year-old Matos McGreevey said she felt her pain. Matos McGreeveysaid she stood by her man in 2004 because she still loved him and she feltshe had done nothing wrong.


The New York Times

September 1, 2007
GOP: Craig Plans to Resign From Senate
Filed at 9:53 a.m. ET

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig's decision to quitspares his party the embarrassment of an indefinitely prolonged scandalfollowing his arrest during a sex sting in a Minneapolis airport bathroom.

Craig will announce his resignation, effective Sept. 30, at a newsconference in Boise Saturday morning, GOP officials in Idaho and Washingtontold The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Still, opting to wait a month before officially bowing out raises questionsof what Craig hopes to accomplish in Washington once the post-Labor Daysession begins.

Word of the resignation came four days after disclosure that Craig hadpleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge arising out of his June 11arrest during a lewd-conduct investigation at the Minneapolis-St. PaulInternational Airport.

Craig's regional director in Boise, Will Hart, declined to say if thesenator will appear in Senate chambers Tuesday. Craig, should he show up,could continue to be a liability for his party as it tries to shed negativepublicity, said Jasper LiCalzi, a professor of political economy atAlbertson College of Idaho in Caldwell.

''If he's trying to walk into the Senate chamber, everybody is going to befollowing him,'' LiCalzi said. ''I've been surprised by everything -- thisis one more.''


The New York Times

September 1, 2007
Idaho Governor Faces Speculation on Senate Seat

BOISE, Idaho, Aug. 31 - If Senator Larry E. Craig yields to calls for hisresignation amid allegations that he solicited sex in an airport bathroom,his successor would be chosen by a fellow Republican who once entered atight-jeans contest - and won.

Gov. C. L. Otter, known as Butch, was lieutenant governor when he won the"Mr. Tight Jeans" contest at the Rockin' Rodeo bar here in the state capitalin July 1992. A few days later he was arrested, and eventually convicted,for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Now, after having gone on to serve three terms in the House ofRepresentatives before being elected governor last year, Mr. Otter knowsbetter than most what voters in this deeply conservative state will toleratewhen it comes to the private behavior of public officials.

"As a public servant who has made mistakes in my private life, I am mindfulthat you don't really know who your friends are, until you stumble," he toldreporters here this week.

As late as this morning, aides to Mr. Otter, a conservative with anunpredictable libertarian streak, said no meetings had been held or plansmade for what to do if Mr. Craig resigns.


The New York Times

August 31, 2007, 6:16 pm

How Conservatives and Gays Can Get Along
By Chris Suellentrop
Tags: Gay Rights

Writing at the blog of the Independent Gay Forum, Jonathan Rauch (the authorof "Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good forAmerica") links to an op-ed by Steve Lonegan, the Republican mayor ofBogota, N.J., that was published August 19 in The Record.

Rauch excerpts part of Lonegan's op-ed:

Historically, gay Americans have struggled for the freedom to live theirlives the way they choose in order to pursue happiness. This is the AmericanDream, the cornerstone of conservative thinking, and it is these principlesthat make the increasingly influential gay community the conservativemovement's natural ally.

Rauch comments, "Sadly, it is just about impossible to imagine anynationally prominent Republican, gay or straight, make that statement ­asopposed to the kind of statement Sen. Larry Craig made ('I am not gay')."

Lonegan's op-ed was written in response to "the passing of a constituent,friend and fellow conservative who also happened to be gay." In it, heproposes a bargain to be struck among religious conservatives and gayAmericans: "Gays shouldn't expect government to foist acceptance of theirlifestyle on others; religious conservatives shouldn't expect gays toabandon an integral part of their being." Lonegan also writes:

Barry Goldwater once remarked that government cannot pass laws to "makepeople like each other." His words still ring true today. Labeling people"homophobes" or "bigots" if they refuse to accept the entire gay agendacreates political fractures that work against individual liberties and serveto keep gay voters in the Democratic Party's political ghetto.


The Washington Post

Hypocritical? Don't Ask.
By William Saletan
Sunday, September 2, 2007; B02

Poor Larry Craig. He's being held to the same standard of sexual conduct heimposed on the U.S. armed forces.

Fourteen years ago, in his first term as a Republican senator from Idaho,Craig helped enact the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The AirForce, for instance, now says any airman will be discharged if he "hasengaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in ahomosexual act."

According to the report filed by the police officer who arrested Craig atMinneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in June, Craig stood outside theofficer's bathroom stall for two minutes, repeatedly looked at the officer"through the crack in the door," sat in the stall next to the officer,tapped his foot and gradually "moved his right foot so that it touched theside of my left foot . . . within my stall area." Craig proceeded to "swipehis hand under the stall divider for a few seconds" three times, palm up,using the hand farthest from that side of Craig's stall. Most of thesegestures, the officer said, are known pickup signals.

I feel sorry for Craig, who pleaded guilty three months ago to a charge ofdisorderly conduct. I hate the idea of cops going into bathrooms and bustingpeople for coded gestures of interest. I'd rather live, let live and tellthe guy waving his hand under the stall to buzz off. But that's not thestandard Craig has applied to others. Any gay soldier, sailor, airman orMarine who admitted to doing what Craig has admitted would, at a minimum,lose his job for violating "don't ask, don't tell." In fact, many have beenkicked out for less.



The Washington Post

The Secularist's Corner
America's Gay Fixation

Last week's question in "On Faith," sponsored by The Washington Post andNewsweek,[],concerned the Evangelical Lutheran Church's decision to leave gay clergyalone if they are in chaste, committed relationships. This somewhat cautiousdecision by one Protestant denomination drew a huge and angry response, fromboth pro- and anti-gay panelists and bloggers.

Why do you think Americans care so much about an "issue" that ignites solittle controversy in Europe? Why are we alone in the developed world in ourintense distress about the fact that a minority of people are eroticallyattracted to members of their own their own sex rather than to the oppositesex?

Even as the Evangelical Lutherans were timidly saying that it was all rightfor a minister to be gay if he was in a monogamous long-term relationship,yet another gay-bashing right-wing Republican politician was caught in acompromising situation in a public restroom.

Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho was arrested in a sting operation in a bathroom atthe Minneapolis Airport, and he says he pled guilty to disorderly conduct,without the advice of an attorney, in order to make the case "go away." Thenhe held a press conference, with the obligatory stone-faced wife at hisside, saying that he was not gay and had never been gay-that he only entereda guilty plea to to keep the whole thing out of the media.

It made one queasy to hear Craig describes his "wide stance" in the bathroomas the explanation for his hands and feet having wandered under the barrierseparating him from the cop in the next stall.


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