Friday, September 14, 2007

GLBT DIGEST September 14, 2007

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


Please Don't Forget! We need to hear from you!

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


Taipei Times

Gay rights activists stage rally in front of Nicaraguan embassy
SODOMY LAW: Activists said that discriminatory clauses against same-sexpartners have continued because of pressure from the Catholic Church


Friday, Sep 14, 2007, Page 2
Gay rights activists staged a demonstration outside the Nicaraguan embassyin Taipei yesterday as part of an international campaign against thecountry's sodomy law.

"Love is not a crime!" activists from six non-governmental organizationsshouted in Mandarin, English and Spanish outside the embassy.

The international campaign was initiated by Amnesty International Mexico andalso took place in 10 other countries.

"Nicaragua is the only Latin American country with a law that prohibits sexbetween people of the same sex," said Emily Wu (???), an AmnestyInternational Taiwan member. "That is not only a violation of the NicaraguanConstitution, but also of international human rights."

Article 204 of Nicaragua's criminal code stipulates that "anyone whoinduces, promotes, propagandizes or practices sexual intercourse betweenpersons of the same sex commits the crime of sodomy and shall incur one tothree years' imprisonment."


Gay City News

From All Sides in Uganda, Campaign of Terror

Crises Across Africa, when a daily newspaper unveiled the latest installmentof what it bills as its "Weird Sex Investigation," publishing the names anddetailed descriptions of 40 men it claimed are gay.

Under the shock headline "HOMO TERROR! We Name and Shame Top Gays in theCity," Red Pepper's Sunday, September 9 issue provided details so precise -physical descriptions, residences, places of employment, and the kind ofcars they drive - that those targeted, almost all from the capital city ofKampala or it environs, were easily identifiable to their neighbors andco-workers.

The newspaper's list includes doctors, businessmen, clerics, broadcasters,lawyers, bankers, actors, musicians, and non-profit group staffers.



Dear Friend of Iraqi LGBT

We are writing to you in an urgent appeal for help because we currentlyface a critical situation in our efforts to assist lesbian, gay, bisexual,and transgendered people in Iraq.

Since the US invasion of Iraq, Gay people in Iraq have sufferedparticularly intense persecution. Violence against all the gay communityhas intensified sharply since late 2005, when Iraq's leading Shiite Muslimcleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, issued a fatwa (religious decree)which declared that gays and lesbians should be "killed in the worst, mostsevere way." Since then, LGBT people have been specifically targeted bythe Madhi Army (the militia of fundamentalist Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr)as well as by other militant death squads. There are even credible reportsof gay men being arrested and executed by the Iraqi police. The UnitedNations and the US State Department have issued reports documenting someof the more recent killings. It is impossible to document precisely howmany gay, trans gender and lesbian have been killed in Iraq as a result oftheir sexuality, but we have specific knowledge of hundreds of cases, andevery LGBT individual in Iraq is currently in severe danger.

Since 2006, Friends of Iraqi LGBT has been trying to help by fundingsafe houses in Iraq for individuals, who have come to the attention of thedeath squads and who have consequently had to flee their homes. We havealso been providing financial assistance to assist LGBT individuals inparticularly dangerous areas of Iraq to move to relatively safer parts ofthe country, or even to seek refuge abroad.




Dear all,

This is the invitation to sign our petition regarding Nicaragua. The letteris hosted by and we will collect signatures from todayuntil 17 October when we will have a new Nicaragua activity as part of aspecial session in a larger conference where we will show a new documentaryfrom Nicaragua and have a roundtable discussion with the film maker andMexican and Nicaraguan activists (more information will be available soonboth in Enkidu Magazine and the group). We will go to the Embassy again withthe final list of signatures after this day. The text is currently only inCastilian, but I really hope that we will be able to make an Englishtranslation available very soon, but we have many activities these days anda very tight writing schedule so it may take a while...) Today at 13:00 isour action in front of the Embassy of Nicaragua in Mexico City, and soon wewill have some articles about it and photos here:

Our activity will take place in continuation of the action of AmnestyInternational which starts at 9:00 so there will be activity all day infront of the Embassy in Mexico City.


Irish Times, Friday 14 September 2007

Judgment put back in sex change case

Judgment in a 10-year landmark legal battle by a Co Kildare dentist, whounderwent a sex change operation, for a birth certificate describing her asfemale has been put back for a month.

Dr Lydia Foy, from Athy, Co Kildare, who was born male but underwent genderrealignment surgery 15 years ago, has abandoned an earlier legal claim forher original birth certificate to be altered and instead wants a new birthcertificate reflecting her female gender.

Mr Justice Liam McKechnie was due to deliver his judgment in the case at theHigh Court today. However, that decision will not now be delivered forseveral weeks.

The parties have been informed that judgment is expected to be given duringthe third week of October.

The case was heard over six days last April by Mr Justice McKechnie andjudgment was reserved.

Dr Foy is also seeking the first declaration from an Irish court that thesystem of birth registration here is incompatible with the EuropeanConvention on Human Rights Act 2003 if it prevents her registration asfemale.



[al-fatiha-news] News: High Holy Days for Jews and Muslims

High holy days for Jews and Muslims
Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In an unusual convergence of liturgical calendars, Jews and Muslimswill enter their holiest periods of the year within a day of eachother. Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year that begins a 10-day periodof High Holy Days culminating with Yom Kippur, begins at sundownWednesday. The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins Thursday.

The two holy periods are rarely so close, because the beginning ofRamadan rotates throughout the year in accordance with the lunarcalendar of Islam. Jews follow a modified lunar calendar that addsperiodic leap months so festivals fall within several weeks of eachother in specific seasons.

If the calendars often separate their observances, there aresimilarities in practices. Followers of both faiths will engage inperiods of fasting, repentance and self-reflection. And these days arean opportunity for both Jewish and Muslim families to grow closertogether in faith.


Truth Wins Out

by Wayne Besen

Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007

Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: 917-691-5118


NEW YORK - Truth Wins Out warned news organizations today to be highlyskeptical of a biased "ex-gay" sham study that will be released by rightwing therapists in Nashville this afternoon. The "research," which wasconducted by Stanton L. Jones of Wheaton College and Mark A. Yarhouse of PatRobertson University, reportedly will show that a significant percentage ofgay people can become straight through religious-based counseling.

"It comes as no shock that anti-gay 'researchers' at Wheaton College and PatRobertson University would release a study that claims you can pray away thegay," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen. "I suppose theirnext study will provide support for Pat Robertson's theory thathomosexuality causes meteors and hurricanes."

Caution should be taken in prematurely critiquing the study until the full methodology is available. However, based on unconfirmed reports there isgreat concern that these notorious anti-gay researchers did little more thantelephone professional ex-gay lobbyists and ministers from ExodusInternational and ask them if they had "changed." If this is the case, it islikely that the study results are not only suspect, but wholly invalid, saysTruth Wins Out.

"It appears as if this study is the equivalent of the Phillip Morris'research' team interviewing members of the company's public relations teamon the safety of cigarettes," said Besen. "This study may be a deceptivesham with the goal of making it appear as if science backs fundamentalistbeliefs on homosexuality."

There is also the concern that the study sample is unusually small.Additionally, there is no indication that key physical measures or testswere included, such as a "No Lie MRI," which is a scientific truth-detectingbrain scan.

"Any 'ex-gay' study that does not include physical components that measuretruth are essentially meaningless," said Besen. "After several key ex-gayleaders have been caught in sex scandals, their tales of transformation lackcredibility," said Besen. "It is folly to suggest that telephone interviewscan be considered genuine research. News organizations should be extremelyskeptical of such a mockery of the scientific method."

Jones and Yarhouse have made a cottage industry of attempting to moldscientific conclusions so they will conform to their devoutly held religiousbeliefs. Commenting on a 1991 debate over the ordination of gay Episcopalpriests, Jones told the Associated Press that those who support ordaininghomosexuals are trying "to normalize a pattern which is destructive andabnormal."

In a Sept. 14, 2004 interview with The Virginian-Pilot, Yarhouse explainedthat he tells clients that their homosexual feelings do not mean they haveto identify as gay. "Christ, or God, has a pre-existing claim on theirsexuality" that trumps same-sex attractions, Yarhouse said.

In an April 2006 interview for the anti-gay website, Jones andYarhouse explain the motivation for their work. "As evangelical Christians,it seemed to us that homosexuality is the area where more pressure is beingput on the church to depart from the explicit moral teachings of scripturethan any other area."

The release of their study results in Nashville coincides with a regionalconference of the ex-gay organization Exodus International and the AmericanAssociation of Christian Counselors World Conference. The full study resultswill be distributed on Oct. 10, in the form of a book by Christian publisherInterVarsity Press.

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


Lauderdale Mayor Naugle's battle adds clergy

September 14, 2007

Let me see if I have this "right": The Fort Lauderdale mayor shows up withmen, supposedly men of the cloth but who are wearing paramilitary uniforms.Can someone answer as to just when the church began to worship Ares, the godof war?

And pray tell, why are they going to war on gay people when there's such adesperate need for such good military men in Afghanistan?

Gays don't usually parade around with the intent of scaring people intothinking that a full-blown and very real shooting war is about to happen inthe streets of Fort Lauderdale. These people just did precisely that byshowing up in military uniform.

I have to ask one more thing. Just when did the mayor seem to lose his mind?

Please demand his resignation before it's too late and Fort Lauderdale isnothing more than a police state being run by a mad man in military garb. (Ithought we were supposed to be proud of our soldiers, not afraid that thegay brother or sister is about to die by a bullet from one.)

All hail Ares. Someone might want to mention to God that he's been replaced.Then again, given the hurricanes and bad weather, he may have noticed italready.

Good luck, Fort Lauderdale.
John Ehlert
Saint Peters, Mo.


Same-sex marriages popular among couples with kids

Chad Skelton
Vancouver Sun
Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New census data suggests one possible explanation for why same-sex couplesin B.C. are deciding to get married: They're doing it for the kids.

Today, Statistics Canada released figures from the 2006 census that, for thefirst time, include information on married couples of the same sex. And thedata shows same-sex couples with children are far more likely to get marriedthan those without kids.

According to the census, nearly one in four lesbian married couples in B.C.(24 per cent) have a child living with them, compared with just 13 per centof lesbian couples living common-law. Gay men are far less likely to havechildren than lesbians. But they, too, have a big marriage gap, with 6.8 percent of gay married men living with kids, compared with just 0.5 per cent ofunmarried gay couples.

University of B.C. law professor Fiona Kelly, who recently interviewed 49lesbian mothers as part of a research project, said married lesbians oftencite their children as a big reason they tied the knot.

"They felt it sent an important message to their children that they werecommitted to each other," said Kelly.

more . . . . .


Thursday, September 13, 2007
Howard K. Stern: Claim of gay sex with Larry Birkhead 'absurd'

Ana Nicole Smith's lawyer/companion makes comments on
The Associated Press

Howard K. Stern says claims in a new book that he and Anna Nicole Smith'sex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead had a videotaped sexual encounter before herdeath are absurd and could psychologically damage Smith's infant daughter.

"It's ridiculous. I mean it's absolutely absurd," Stern told

The Web site said it obtained the comments from Stern during a birthdayparty for Smith's 1-year-old daughter, Dannielynn, in Louisville, Ky., lastSaturday.

"Dannielynn is gonna read this garbage and it's almost like she's gonna haveto get counseling from the age of 3," Stern said, according to a pressstatement from the Web site. The interview was scheduled to air Thursday onsyndicated TV show "Entertainment Tonight."

Birkhead and an attorney for Stern previously indicated they would sue overclaims made in Rita Cosby's book "Blonde Ambition: The Untold Story BehindAnna Nicole Smith's Death." Birkhead, who is Dannielynn's father, also hasdenied any encounter occurred.


N.Y. Retirement System To Recognize Some Same-Sex Marriages

POSTED: 12:40 pm EDT September 13, 2007
UPDATED: 12:45 pm EDT September 13, 2007

ALBANY, N.Y. -- State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the state retirementsystem will recognize same-sex marriages validly conducted anywhere thatthey're legal.

DiNapoli's announcement came after the state Supreme Court this weekrejected a lawsuit challenging the retirement system's recognition ofCanadian same-sex marriages.

The retirement system in 2004 recognized same-sex marriages conducted inCanada. Surviving spouses of retirement system retirees can get certainbenefits not provided for non-spousal partners, such as an accidental deathbenefit.

The conservative Alliance Defense Fund of Arizona filed a lawsuit inSeptember 2006 seeking to halt the retirement system's recognition ofsame-sex Canadian marriages. The suit was dismissed this week by actingSupreme Court Justice Thomas McNamara.


Slow response to hate-crime in Campbell upsets gay, lesbian community

By Cathy Weselby
San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:09/13/2007 12:27:19 PM PDT

Members of the gay and lesbian community expressed their frustration to theCampbell City Council over the lack of police and city response over ahate-related crime at the Campbell Unified Church of Christ.

Sometime during the evening of Aug. 19, vandals painted the slur, "Fags toHell. God Rules," on the church's sign. They also painted over the rainbowfish, which is a symbol of gay pride. Church members decided to take apositive position and cleaned up the paint and installed their own sign thatsaid, "God loves you. We do, too."

Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee member Wiggsy Siversten told councilmembers at their Sept. 4 meeting that people in leadership need to speak outagainst this type of act.

"I'm dismayed at the action not taken, not only by the police, but also thedeafening silence from city council, with the exception of one member,"Siversten said.

Campbell resident Rich Waterman said that he's seen the city move on otherissues, such as day laborers at Home Depot and the ducks that were killed atthe Delta Queen Car Wash in August 2005.

more . . . . .


Number of Partners Doesn't Explain Gay HIV Rate

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter
Thu Sep 13, 7:01 PM ET

THURSDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The HIV epidemic among gay men can'tbe explained by their number of sexual partners, U.S. researchers report.

More than half the new HIV infections diagnosed in the United States in 2005were among gay men, a team at the University of Washington, Seattle, noted.In addition, as many as one in five gay men living in cities may beHIV-positive.

But the sexual behaviors of gay and heterosexual men in the United Statesmay not be as different as most people think, the researchers said.

In fact, two surveys found that most gay men have a similar rate of sex withunprotected partners compared to straight men or women.

"Just because gay men continue to have much higher levels of HIV, we can'tjump to the conclusion that that means that they are promiscuous or thatprevention messages aren't working," said lead researcher Steven Goodreau,an assistant professor of anthropology.


Issue Date: 9/13/2007, Posted On: 9/12/2007

Tedeschi's fires clerk accused of anti-gay harassment

Ethan Jacobs

Tedeschi Food Shops fired a clerk from the convenience store chain's JamaicaPlain location in response to a complaint from a lesbian couple that theclerk harassed them and refused to serve them. John Connell, a regionalmanager for Tedeschi's, said the company verified the couple's claim byexamining video footage of the exchange between the clerk and the couple,and they promptly terminated the clerk.

"As a company I can't stress enough that any kind of prejudice against anykind of group won't be tolerated," said Connell.

The incident, originally reported by the Jamaica Plain Gazette, took placejust after midnight Aug. 21. Sandra Rodrigues and her girlfriend, StephaniePerez, were wandering down Centre Street after an evening at J.P. Licks whenthey stopped into Tedeschi's so Perez could buy a juice drink. Rodriguestold Bay Windows that as they stepped into the checkout line she wrapped herarms around Perez's waist and they both swayed to the music playing on thestore's sound system. When the clerk noticed them Rodrigues said he beganshouting at them from behind the counter.

"He points to us. He says, 'You two, get out of the store. You're acting asif you're in a pornography film. I'm not going to service you,'" saidRodrigues.

She said they refused to step out of line.

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The Gay Decade? Not at Work

The prospects for a national law extending workplace rights for gays andlesbians are slim. That means employers can expect the divide betweenvarious states' laws to widen.

By Anthony J. Amendola

Will & Grace. The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Ifyou believe the press, this is "the gay decade." Renegade mayors from SanFrancisco to New Paltz, New York, have performed same-sex weddings and madenational headlines. And in May, Massachusetts became the first state in thenation to legally recognize marriages between members of the same gender.

Judging by the reports in the mainstream media, it would appear that gaymarriage is the last frontier in the civil-rights movement for America'stens of millions of gays and lesbians. The reality, however, is somewhatmore surprising. Currently, only 14 states and the District of Columbia havebroad prohibitions on private-sector workplace discrimination based onsexual orientation. Grouped in the north (Minnesota and Wisconsin),northeast (Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey,New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) and southwest (California, Nevada, NewMexico and Hawaii), these states represent the only safe havens for gay,lesbian and bisexual job applicants and employees, who otherwise throughoutmost of the country may be lawfully denied work, ostracized, harassed orterminated solely because of their sexual orientation.

This limited legal protection is somewhat surprising, and certainly atodds with the media hype and purported public sentiment. According to a 2003Gallup study referenced in the Congressional Record, 88 percent of Americansbelieve that gays and lesbians should have equal rights in the workplace.Moreover, corporate America, whether as a result of enlightened humanresources management, recognition of the tremendous buying power of gay andlesbian consumers, or the hope of recruiting and retaining a necessarysegment of the workforce, has embraced the concept of nondiscrimination.More than 60 percent of the Fortune 500 report that their nondiscriminationpolicies extend to prohibiting harassment and discrimination based on sexualorientation.

Notwithstanding this apparent belief that having gays and lesbians inthe workplace is a non-issue, the prospects for a national law extendingthem equal rights in the workplace appear slim. Although a bill has beenintroduced in this session of the U.S. Congress to prohibit workplacediscrimination based on sexual orientation, the Employment NondiscriminationAct of 2003, like similar bills introduced and defeated in previous years,is not expected to pass.


September 14, 2007
N. Ireland judge weakens gay protections

Northern Ireland's highest court this week dismissed the Sexual OrientationRegulations' significant harassment provisions protecting gay men andlesbians from "vocal opposition" from providers of goods and services.

The regulations outlaw discrimination in the provision of goods, services,and education and were controversially introduced in January. Similarregulations were enacted in Great Britain in April; they are not affected bythis week's ruling.

This week, Northern Ireland judge Justice Weatherup ruled that businessesthat breach regulations can be fined up to $30,000 but also said prosecutioncannot be made for "voicing opposition" to gay men and lesbians.

The dismissal of harassment protections will also apply to schools inNorthern Ireland, many of which are run by churches.

The judgment follows a weeklong hearing in June at which the U.K.'sChristian Institute and a coalition of other churches applied for a judicialreview, calling the regulations a "blatant infringement" of religiousliberty.

more . . . . .


September 14, 2007

Equality Illinois appoints new executive director

Equality Illinois has appointed Amy Bloom as its new executive director. Herduties will include direct fund-raising, operational oversight, and workingwith the organization's board of directors and volunteers in coordinating anannual fund-raising gala.

Bloom was previously a senior manager of special events at the Howard BrownHealth Center, a top LGBT health care institution in the region.

"We are extremely excited to have someone with Amy's experience anddedication to LGBT causes join our staff," Arthur Johnston, president of theorganization's board of directors, said in a statement. "This is a crucialtime in the history of LGBT rights in our state. We are confident that Amywill help Equality Illinois expand our base of support as we lead the fightfor civil unions and equal relationship rights for same-sex couples."

Equality Illinois was founded in 1992 and worked to enact a 2005 statewideban on discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodationsbased on sexual orientation or gender identity. (The Advocate)


September 14, 2007

Study: GSAs show positive effect in schools

Secondary institutions that have gay-straight alliances provide a morepositive learning environment for LGBT students than schools that don't,according to a study released Wednesday. The study, sponsored by the Gay,Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, also found that the students in GSAschools are less likely to hear homophobic remarks and slurs in theclassroom than students in non-GSA schools.

GSAs also affect classroom performance. LGBT students enrolled in schoolswith GSAs are prone to feel safer and thereby miss fewer classes. Fifty-twopercent of students in schools with a GSA said that the faculty, staff, andadministrators are supportive of LGBT pupils.

Social and population research in the study shows that youths in Southernand rural areas are less likely to have access to LGBT resources in school.Research also identified African-American students as least likely amongethnic groups to have access to a GSA.

Eliza Byard, GLSEN interim executive director, said in a statement that theresearch provided proof that youths are showing a desire to make schoolssafer.

"Educators and policy makers need to match that commitment by providingadditional educational interventions that assist and support GSAs," Byardsaid. "Through comprehensive safe-schools policies that specifically addresssexual orientation and teacher trainings on anti-LGBT bullying andharassment, schools can show an even greater dedication to making sure thatevery child has a safe environment in which to learn." (The Advocate)


September 14, 2007

California LGBT youth prisoners may get bill of rights

A bill is headed to the desk of California governor Arnold Schwarzeneggerthat would secure personal rights for incarcerated LGBT youths. The bill,sponsored by state senator Carole Migden, establishes a Youth Bill of Rightswithin the state division of juvenile justice system and county probationdepartments or facilities.

The provision creates a statewide antidiscrimination policy and procedurefor state and county detention facilities and a toll-free hotline for youthsto call if they encounter discrimination or violence.

"There are serious personal rights violations occurring in detentionfacilities all over California, including attacks by other kids andexcessive force by staff," the San Francisco senator said. "We must protectLGBT kids from abuse while incarcerated so that when they come out they'renot damaged but healthy and ready to return to society." (The Advocate)


September 14, 2007

Gay governor's estranged wife wants fourfold increase in support

The estranged wife of the nation's first openly gay governor wants a judgeto increase her monthly support nearly fourfold to $4,000 so she can live alifestyle closer to that of New Jersey's first lady.

Dina Matos McGreevey said she and the couple's 5-year-old daughter live in amodest three-bedroom house while her husband, Jim McGreevey, and his malepartner live in a lavish 17-room mansion with gardens, according to courtpapers.

''In total, I need $11,162 per month to meet my expenses,'' she told thejudge. ''This lifestyle by no means approximates the lifestyle whichplaintiff enjoys, much less the lifestyle we enjoyed while plaintiff wasgovernor.''

Matos McGreevey said in the papers that McGreevey's assertion that ''he isonly obligated to pay $1,129 per month in support for Jacqueline given hisincome and lifestyle is outrageous.''

The papers, filed Monday, were made available Wednesday by superior courtjudge Karen M. Cassidy, who is presiding over the couple's contentiousdivorce.

more . . . . .


September 14, 2007

Arrest made in alleged gay bashing of former Top Chef contestant

The Nassau County [N.Y.] Police Department has made an arrest in associationwith the alleged gay-bashing incident in Sea Cliff that involved former TopChef reality series contestant Josie Smith-Malave.

Matthew W. Walli, 20, of Oregon turned himself in to authorities earlyThursday and, after giving testimony about the incident on Labor Dayweekend, was arrested for second-degree robbery, said police spokesman Det.Lt. Kevin Smith.

"Basically, we had a name that we circulated around the Sea Cliff area, andI guess [Walli] put one and one together and decided we were looking forhim," said Smith. "He voluntarily came in, and based on things that he saidhe was arrested."

Smith-Malave, an out lesbian, says she and two other women were victimizedoutside a bar called Partners on Labor Day weekend by a group of about 12people, including three women, who spat on them, punched them, and madeantigay comments such as "bush muncher." During the altercation Smith-Malave's mini camcorder, valued at about $800, was stolen. The Advocate has anexclusive interview with the former Top Chef star about the incident here.

Second-degree robbery is a class C felony, which could be bumped up to aclass B felony during the judicial proceedings if the robbery is determinedto be a bias-related crime. Class B felonies carry a sentence of anywherefrom five to 25 years. Walli could also be charged with aggravatedharassment as more details emerge.


September 14, 2007

Pennsylvania suit seeks equality in unemployment law

In yet another example of the disparity between same-sex couples and married heterosexuals, a Pennsylvania woman has been denied unemployment benefitsafter moving to Florida with her partner of eight years.

Under a doctrine called "follow the spouse," a husband or wife obliged toquit his or her job by a family move qualifies for unemployment benefits inthe state of Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

But Joan Procito, a financial manager in Drexel Hill, was given the coldshoulder by the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review after she moved toFlorida with her partner and stepson. Procito's partner, Mary Jo Sheller,moved to Florida to be close to her disabled son, who was entering college.

Procito is suing the state officials in commonwealth court, where athree-judge panel heard arguments last week. According to the PhiladelphiaInquirer, the board of review's attorney, Gerard M. Mackarevich, told thepanel "it would be madness" for the board to treat same-sex couples the sameas spouses.

"How," asked Mackarevich, "can the Unemployment Compensation Board of Reviewpick and choose between people to decide whether they are sufficientlyintermingled to qualify as legally married?"

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Councillor accused over 'slurs'

A Labour politician beat a gay Liberal Democrat opponent in a London localelection by making homophobic comments about him to voters, a court hasheard.

Nicholas Russell told Waltham Forest magistrates his running mate, MirandaGrell, had a "disgusting attitude".

He said Ms Grell told voters her rival Barry Smith claimed to be married yethad a 14-year-old Thai boyfriend.

Ms Grell, 29, denies four counts of making false statements about anothercandidate to gain electoral advantage.

Mr Smith, 56, who has a long-term 39-year-old Malaysian partner, had servedon Waltham Forest Council in east London for three years and was defending a600-vote majority in last year's elections.

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Police chief says officers "let the city down" over gay bashing incident

Reported by: WROC-TV
Thursday, Sep 13, 2007 @03:12pm EST

Rochester Police Chief David Moore says that an unknown amount of Rochesterpolice officers could be suspended or even fired over a case of alleged gaybashing back in June. The chief could not release much more information thanthat, but says that the officers "let the city down." There is a series ofsteps now that the officers will have to go through before full action istaken. Stay tuned to News 8 Now at 5 & 6 for the very latest on this case.


Black community's opinions vary on Naugle
Local NAACP president's pro-gay rights stand draws praise and criticism

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Standing before a group of activists, preachers and news crews, MarshaEllison, president of the Fort Lauderdale branch of the NAACP, took a riskwhen she spoke out for gay rights at a press conference Sept. 5 on the stepsof City Hall.

She was one of many featured speakers to protest Fort Lauderdale Mayor JimNaugle's anti-gay statements, which have driven a rift throughout thecommunity in recent weeks and brought gay rights once again to theheadlines.

Ellison's mission was clear: She would speak out against what she consideredhate speech and discrimination, regardless of the fact that the offendingwords were aimed at the gay community, a community she is not charged withrepresenting.

"Mayor Naugle's message is about one thing - hate," she said. "Homophobia ishate, and hate has no place in the beloved community."

Ellison's words were received with much praise among gay activists. Theycountered the actions of some local African-American ministers, such as theRev. O'Neal Dozier, who have spoken out in favor of Naugle. Dozier appearedwith Naugle and other right-wing religious leaders at an Aug. 21 pressconference.

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Voters Dissatisfied With Both Bush, Democratic Congress
by The Associated Press

Posted: September 13, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Washington) Only a third of the public is satisfied with the job PresidentBush is doing and even fewer are pleased with Congress, according to a pollby The Associated Press and Ipsos released Thursday.

With the clash between Bush and congressional Democrats over Iraq continuingto dominate the news, 33 percent said they approve of Bush's performance.That essentially matched his all-time low of 32 percent measured severaltimes in the AP-Ipsos survey, a level that has barely changed since latelast year.

Bush's approval on various issues ranged from 40 percent on foreign policyand terrorism to 33 percent on Iraq. But he wasn't the only one whosepopularity was in the doldrums.

Congress' 26 percent approval was also about the same as its low point sinceDemocrats took control this year, which was 24 percent in July.

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Gay-Moderate Warner Seeks Va. Senate Seat
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: September 13, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Washington) Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (D) ended more than a year ofspeculation Thursday and announced his bid to run for the US Senate in 2008.

Warner's term as governor ended in January 2006. A political moderate, hequickly turned his attention to a potential presidential campaign. Afterraising more than $9 million for his political action committee, heultimately decided not to run, saying it was not the right time for hisfamily.

In 2004 when Warner was governor the legislature approved a constitutionalban on same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships. When thebill reached his desk Warner struck out the section dealing withpartnerships and unions and returned it to lawmakers.

The legislature again passed the original measure sending it back to Warnerwho under state law was then required to approve it. Virginia already had aso-called Defense of Marriage law that limited marriage to opposite-sexcouples.

In 2005 Warner signed legislation allowing insurers and businesses to extendhealth-insurance coverage to same-sex couples.

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Long Prison Term For Accomplice In Gay Man's Murder
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: September 13, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Bay Minette, Alabama) A 21 year old Alabama woman has been sentenced to20-years in prison after pleading guilty to taking part in the 2004 murderof a gay teen.

In a plea bargain with prosecutors to avoid a trial where she could havebeen sentenced to death if convicted, Nichole Bryars Kelsay pleaded guiltyconspiracy to commit murder.

Two other people already have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for themurder of 18-year old Scotty Joe Weaver.

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

Weaver was attacked and murdered in his trailer home in July 2004.

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Polish Police Abandon Hunt For 'Gay Bomber'
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: September 13, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Warsaw) Polish police say they are dropping the hunt for whoever was behinda series of bombs which later turned out to be fakes that were discovered infour cities in the days leading up to the 2005 presidential election.

The devices were discovered after anonymous phone calls to police fromsomeone claiming to be from an organization called the Gay Power Brigade.

Thirteen devices were found in Warsaw. Police said that the "bombs" weresophisticated and it took bomb squad experts some time to realize they werenot dealing with real explosives.

Similar dummy bombs also were discovered in train stations in Gdansk, Gdyniaand Sopot.

The discoveries caused panic in the streets of all four cities.

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Craig Keeps Politicking, But He's Mum About A Return To Washington
by The Associated Press

Posted: September 14, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Boise, Idaho) Sen. Larry Craig has been sending press releases from Idahocommenting on U.S. Senate matters, but his spokesman said Thursday that hemay never return to Washington as a lawmaker.

Craig, a 62-year-old Republican, remains in Idaho, said spokesman Sid Smith.

"He doesn't have any plans to go back to D.C. next week," Smith said. "Thatdoesn't mean he won't, just nothing is planned. Everything is still up inthe air. We're still debating about whether he'll be returning to theCapitol, at all."

Craig said two weeks ago he planned to quit on Sept. 30, then indicatedthere was a slim chance he would try to stay in the U.S. Senate if he's ableto undo his Aug. 1 guilty plea to the reduced misdemeanor charges in abathroom sex sting.

The next hearing in the case is Sept. 26.

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Attacks on Independent Courts Are Attacks on America

By Kevin Cathcart, Lambda Legal Executive Director

We knew it wouldn't take long before the Iowa judge who struck down thestate's ban on marriage for same-sex couples was pegged an "activist judge"by the usual suspects. They say they are defending "traditional" marriageand our democracy itself. But their attacks on the judicial system are aboutas un-democratic as you can get.

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts and Republicanpresidential hopeful led the pack, weighing in just minutes after the rulingwas announced. Clearly without enough time to read the 63-page decision, hecalled it ".another example of an activist court and unelected judges tryingto redefine marriage and disregard the will of the people.."

Meanwhile, in Iowa some politicians used the ruling to call for a stateconstitutional amendment that would restrict marriage to one man and onewoman. Senator Paul McKinley claimed most Republicans "believed aconstitutional amendment was necessary because all it takes is one person ina black robe to declare a law invalid." Christopher Rants, his colleague inthe assembly, reiterated this point, blaming state Democrats for opposingthe amendment and "trying to appease special interest groups."

What is going on here? It's old-fashioned antigay sentiment wrapped up inattacks on America's independent courts. The problem is these tactics are asdangerous as the homophobia that inspires them.

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