Saturday, September 15, 2007

GLBT DIGEST September 15, 2007

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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 Washington Post

Rules to Follow For Tying the Knot

Sunday, September 16, 2007; P06

The procedures for gays and lesbians to marry or celebrate a civil unionvary slightly in the different New England states offering those options. InMassachusetts, the rules are for marriages; in the other states, they're forcivil unions.

* Massachusetts. Both parties must appear at a town hall of any city in thecommonwealth and fill out a form. The fee ranges from $4 to $50, dependingon the location. Proof of age (such a birth certificate) and residency isrequired. The license can be obtained after a three-day waiting period.Within 60 days of getting the license, the couple must have a ceremony witha registered official. Following recent court rulings, marriages here aresanctioned only for residents of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Mexico.All other out-of-state couples can marry only if they declare an intentionto relocate to Massachusetts.

Info: Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
(GLAD), For planning services, check

* Connecticut. Out-of-state couples must complete an application ($30) atthe town hall in the town where they plan to celebrate the union. A justiceof the peace, clergy member or other official must legalize the union within65 days after the license is obtained.

Info: Connecticut Department of Health,
860-509-8000 For planning services, check

more . . . . .


The Washington Post

Self-Made Scandals
Saturday, September 15, 2007; Page A15

Marc Fisher's arrogant, anxious rant about blogger Michael Rogers ["WhoAmong Us Would Cast the First Stone? This Guy," Metro, Sept. 6] revealedmore about the columnist's insecurity in his own position "high atop"professional journalism than it did about Rogers's supposed offenses.

Rogers is encroaching on Fisher's sacred space, after all -- it should beFisher and his cohorts exposing politicians, not the uneducated "citizenjournalists." The biggest election Rogers ever faced was a residentsassociation, for goodness' sake!

Yet Fisher's lamentations for the "darker, scarier places" that hypocriticalconservatives' lives have become thanks to Rogers's reporting apparently donot extend to the lives of those other lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgendered individuals -- the ones whom Sen. Larry E. Craig's homophobicvotes actually affected. Citizens who, because of their sexuality, areharassed, ostracized and fired apparently take a back seat in Fisher's worldto poor, maligned gay Republicans.

Rogers isn't "deciding which politicians remain in office," as Fisherapparently worries -- that's the voters' job. Moreover, being gay isn'tscandalous, diseased or a crime. That Republicans have trained voters torespond to homosexuality as if it were something wrong is their own doing,and now they must reap what they have sown.

-- Ivan Boothe



The Washington Post

In Europe and U.S., Nonbelievers Are Increasingly Vocal

By Mary Jordan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, September 15, 2007; A01

BURGESS HILL, England -- Every morning on his walk to work, high schoolteacher Graham Wright recited a favorite Anglican prayer and asked God forstrength in the day ahead. Then two years ago, he just stopped.

Wright, 59, said he was overwhelmed by a feeling that religion had become anegative influence in his life and the world. Although he once consideredbecoming an Anglican vicar, he suddenly found that religion representednothing he believed in, from Muslim extremists blowing themselves up inGod's name to Christians condemning gays, contraception and stem cellresearch.

"I stopped praying because I lost my faith," said Wright, 59, a thoughtfulman with graying hair and clear blue eyes. "Now I truly loathe any sight orsound of religion. I blush at what I used to believe."

Wright is now an avowed atheist and part of a growing number of vocalnonbelievers in Europe and the United States. On both sides of the Atlantic,membership in once-quiet groups of nonbelievers is rising, and booksattempting to debunk religion have been surprise bestsellers, including "TheGod Delusion," by Oxford University professor Richard Dawkins.



BBC News

Peru blood banks face HIV crisis

Dozens of blood banks in Peru have been closed after at least four peoplewere infected with the HIV virus through contaminated transfusions.The government said all 240 of the country's facilities would be thoroughlyscreened, amid what is being described as a national emergency.

The patients were all infected at a hospital in the port city of Callao.

Officials insisted Peru's blood banks met international standards and urgedpeople to continue giving blood.

"We do not want people to panic, what we have to do is be more careful,strengthen our care [of patients]," said Health Minister Carlos Vallejos.

Public alarm

The crisis was prompted after 44-year-old Judith Rivera contacted the mediaearlier this week to say she had been infected with HIV during a routineoperation.

more . . . . .


Express Gay News

Fred Thompson: senile or ignorant?

TV star and presidential candidate Fred Thompson spelled out his views onsame-sex marriage over the weekend in a video posted to Judgingby his take on the issue, the former Tennessee senator is terriblymisinformed.

In the video, Thompson says he supports a federal constitutional amendmentto ban gay marriage. "It would have two provisions," he said. First, hewould make sure that someone married in Massachusetts couldn't move to hisbeloved state of Tennessee and demand equal rights. Thompson doesn't seem torealize that the Defense of Marriage Act, passed by Congress in 1996 andsigned into law by President Clinton, renders such a provision unnecessary.In fact, some of the moderate members of Congress who helped defeat afederal amendment cited DOMA as a reason for their opposition.

The second provision of Thompson's vision of a constitutional amendment isthat no judge could impose gay marriage on a state. "There have been nostate legislatures that have affirmatively allowed gay marriage in theUnited States."

That's an incredible statement coming from Thompson, who was in Los Angeleslast week announcing his candidacy on the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno andskipping a debate with his fellow Republican candidates. Given that he wasin California just last week, you'd think he would have heard the news thatthe California Legislature approved a same-sex marriage bill - for thesecond time. It was a moderate Republican governor - Arnold Schwarzenegger -who vetoed it the first time and will likely do so again.

More incredibly, Thompson then contradicts himself, stating that he is a"federalist" and doesn't believe in "one size fits all" federal lawsabsolving the states of the need to pass good legislation. He appears tohave forgotten that he once opposed a federal amendment banning gaymarriage. Is Thompson senile, ignorant or just hoping to challenge MittRomney for the title of king of the flip-floppers?

Thompson invokes the usual line assailing "activist" judges and denouncingliberalism. That tripe might play on Sean Hannity's show, but Thompson iseventually going to have to demonstrate a better grasp of the issues and thelaw if he expects voters to take seriously the candidacy of a TV actor whoserved an undistinguished term in the Senate and who President Nixon oncedubbed "dumb as hell."


Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrief

Gay politicians unopposed for new terms
Trans official challenged in Riverdale; gay candidate declares in Doraville

Sep. 14, 2007

Peach trees aren't the only form of life thriving in Georgia's soil, as thestate also is proving to be fertile ground for gay political dynasties.

Two openly gay local officials recently won four more years in public officeafter no challengers stepped up to run against them before the candidatequalifying deadline.

"I'm very excited and thankful for the support of my community," saidDecatur City Commissioner Kecia Cunningham, who is running unopposed for herDistrict 2 seat after no other candidates registered by the Aug. 31deadline.

Cunningham, who became the state's first openly gay African-American electedofficial when she initially won office in 1999, will enter her third termafter the Nov. 6 election results are made official.

One of the proudest moments of her eight years in office remains whenDecatur became the second city in Georgia to offer domestic partner benefitsto gay and lesbian employees in 2001, Cunningham said.

East Point City Council member Lance Rhodes also locked-up another term whenno other candidates qualified to run against him.

"I will be in for another four years," said Rhodes, currently in his firstterm on the East Point City Council. Rhodes was the third openly gay publicofficial elected in East Point, but will be the first to get a second term.


Forwarded by Joe Van Eron

Will The Real Official Airline of The Gay Community Please Stand Up?
Friday September 14, 2007
AJ Burton

Every so often one airline or another declares themselves the "official"airline to the gay community. It's a bit confusing as this seems to changeevery few years, and sometimes even within the same year.

Earlier this year, Delta announced it was the "official" airline of 2007Pride Festivals. Well, not all Pride Festivals, but at least six; in theircontinuing support for gay community events and organizations, the airlinewas the official sponsor of festivals in Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, NewYork City, Salt Lake City and San Francisco, as well as Gay Days in Orlando,Florida.

If you attended any of these festivities you would have noticed ubiquitousads for the airline, and if you went to their Web site you could takeadvantage of special travel packages for the pride events. In fact, Deltahas been a Pride Festival sponsor since 2003. Now that Pride season is past,though, there's nary a whisper of anything gay on the airline's Website, nomicro-site, no gay-travel deals, zich.

Supplanting Delta, though, is Southwest airlines, which this week became the"official" airline of gay and lesbian San Francisco in a new marketingagreement with that city's board of tourism, with an

More on that in a moment, but to be sure, the "official" gay moniker is acategory perilously crowded when it comes to air travel.

The first airline to declare themselves the "official" airline of the gaycommunity was American Airlines. They could reasonably lay claim to thattitle since they were the first of the air carriers to offer domesticpartner benefits, the first airline to score a perfect 100 on the HumanRights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, and the only airline to holdthat honor four years in a row.



New York Daily News

HIV horror on rise among city's under-30 gay men

Wednesday, September 12th 2007, 7:09 PM

HIV is staging a comeback among young gay men in New York, with new casesincreasing by a third in those younger than 30 and doubling among teens inthe past six years, health officials said yesterday.

In 2001, there were 374 new HIV diagnoses among gay men younger than 30;last year, there were 499, a city report said. In gay males ages 13 to 19,cases increased from 41 six years ago to 87 last year.

Although those numbers pale next to the thousands stricken in the 1980s and'90s, they reflect the virus' obstinacy in the gay community, HealthCommissioner Thomas Frieden said.

HIV transmission no longer occurs through blood transfusions, is down amongIV drug users and is rarely passed from pregnant women to their babies, henoted.

"A generation of men is growing up having not seen their friends die ofAIDS, and maybe having the impression that HIV is not such a terribleinfection," Frieden said.

Unless they practice safer sex, he said, "We will face another wave ofsuffering and death from HIV and AIDS."

Gay black and Hispanic youth are most profoundly affected by the growingnumber of infections, with 81 of 87 new cases last year occurring in thosegroups.


The Canadian Press

Same-sex unions growing at five times that rate of heterosexual ones: census2 days ago

OTTAWA (CP) - Same-sex unions are growing at five times the rate ofopposite-sex ones according to census numbers that also reveal, for thefirst time, the number of homosexual marriages in Canada.

Some 45,300 couples, both common law and married, reported as same-sex inthe 2006 census, up from 34,200. Those numbers represent a 33 per cent surgesince 2001, while heterosexual couples grew by just six per cent in the sametime period.

The historic Statistics Canada query on same-sex marriage, coming in thewake of Parliament legalizing such unions in 2005, revealed 7,465 homosexualmarriages.

That's considerably lower than numbers reported by the now-defunct advocacygroup Canadians For Equal Marriage. The group, based on its own research ofmunicipal records, reported last November that 12,438 marriage licences hadbeen granted to same-sex couples since provincial courts began recognizingsuch unions in 2003.

The census relegated same-sex marriages to a write-in category under thequestionnaire's 'other' box - a move that raised the ire of Egale Canada.The national advocacy group responded by urging its membership to list theirrelationships as husband and wife.


The Vancouver Sun

Same-Sex marriage often for the kids

Information shows those with children more likely to tie knot than thosewithout

Chad Skelton
Vancouver Sun
Thursday, September 13, 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.

On Wednesday, Statistics Canada released figures from the 2006 census that,for the first time, include information on married couples of the same sex.

And the data shows same-sex couples with children are far more likely to getmarried than 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 have children than lesbians.

But they, too, have a big marriage gap, with 6.8 per cent of gay married menliving with kids, compared with just 0.5 per cent of unmarried gay couples.


San Francisco Chronicle

Styx bassist happily out of underworld
Peter Hartlaub

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Chuck Panozzo recalls the moment when he couldn't live the lie anymore.The Styx bassist was sitting in his high-rise Chicago condominium in 1999,gazing down at Lake Michigan, a few days before New Year's Eve. There weregold and platinum records on the wall, but his health was at an all-timelow, and AIDS-related sickness had ravaged his once-stocky frame, which haddropped to 130 pounds.

"I'm sitting there going, 'What a wonderful career, but your personal lifesucks,' " Panozzo remembers, sipping some tea on a patio near Yerba BuenaGardens during a recent San Francisco visit. " 'These albums are not goingto come off the wall and hug you. They're not going to comfort you andcaress you.' I told myself that if I made it through this illness, I woulddedicate myself to living an authentic life. I wasted the first 50. I'm notgoing to waste whatever I had left."

The decision to come out was the hard part for Panozzo, who publiclyannounced that he was gay in 2001, and has resumed touring with Styx parttime - with plans to attend this Saturday's Konocti Harbor show andTuesday's show at the Sleep Train Pavilion in Concord. Since his healthrebounded enough so that he can play in front of crowds again, Panozzo says,fans have been overwhelmingly supportive. The Styx co-founder recently wrotea book about his experiences, "The Grand Illusion," and set up his Web site,, which focuses on his AIDS activism.

Pundits have been speculating for years what will happen when the first gayprofessional athlete still participating in a male-dominated sport comesout. But in the almost equally testosterone-charged world of hard rock, punkand heavy metal, several artists have come out in the past decade - withstrong support from their fans.


From Equality Florida

Florida's ban on gay and lesbian adoption is a national disgrace thatprevents children from being placed in loving homes and literally tearsfamilies apart. It is time to end this cruel policy that puts prejudice andpolitics ahead of the best interest of children who need the legalprotection and permanency that only adoption can bring.

That's why Equality Florida has joined with other organizations in an effortto repeal Florida's discriminatory adoption ban.

Two years ago, our organizations pushed hard, and got a hearing in the stateSenate on a bill that would allow gays and lesbians to adopt-the first timein 30 years. The emotional meeting was jam packed with LGBT families andallies telling their stories and legislators were clearly moved. In fact, wehad the votes to move the bill if the Senate President hadn't demanded thebill NOT be voted on.

Last year key legislators in the House and the Senate prevented the billfrom even being heard.

This year, we've developed a strategy to get another hearing in thelegislature and your story is a vital part of the effort.

In the coming months we will be launching a statewide grassroots campaigninvolving letter writing, phone banks and town halls all aimed at puttingpressure on the committee chairs that have the power to hear our bills. Thevoices and the faces of families are our most powerful tool to persuadelawmakers to keep prejudice from blocking appropriate adoption policy.

On September 26th at 7:00pm we will host a conference call for families andother interested individuals who want to learn more about this year'sadoption strategy.

What: Adoption Strategy Call
Who: Anybody interested in repealing the adoption ban!
When: September 26, 7:00pm
Sign up online:

If this ban is to ever be repealed it will take all of us working togetherto defeat it. Please join us for this conference call and take your firststep in changing history.

Thank you,

Mallory Wells



September 11, 2007

Out with the mayors

University of Toronto business professor Richard Florida wrote in hisbest-selling book The Rise of the Creative Class that a large gay presencehelps a city's economic performance. So we asked the mayors of five cities:"Why should young gay professionals move to your city?"

By Todd Henneman

Tom Barrett
"Milwaukee has undergone a tremendous renaissance in recent years, due inlarge part to the growing emergence of the creative class. As mayor, it'simportant to me to foster that relationship between young professionals andthe city because of the significant impact their investments and commitmenthave on Milwaukee. Milwaukee has a lot of the amenities that other citieshave when it comes to a vibrant nightlife, strong performing arts, and abooming downtown. Combine that with great companies to work for, affordablehousing, and the lakefront, and you have a great place for young, urban,progressive people to have a high quality of life."

Tom Leppert
"As the ninth-largest city in the United States, Dallas is a richly diversecity with a melting pot of cultures and creativity. Professionals from allbackgrounds continue to choose Dallas as a place to live because of oursensible cost of living and because our city is filled with opportunity,optimism, and an outpouring of hospitality. This is certainly the case withthe GLBT community. City hall is working hard so Dallas is recognized aroundthe world as a vibrant city where our government is known for good businessjudgments, putting the interests of our people first, and being operated ina way that simply reflects the goodness, quality, and values of the peopleof this city."

Mark Funkhouser
Kansas City, MO.

"There are tons of reasons why young gay professionals should move to KansasCity, but the best one I can think of is that for the cost of rent on a900-square-foot condo in Chicago or San Francisco or even Seattle, you canown a three-story Victorian house right in the middle of the hippest part ofKansas City. We've got all the amenities you'd expect from a major metroarea-world-class museums and restaurants, a vibrant economy, and one of thebest art scenes in the country. But they're all packaged in a livable, homeyplace. And like they say, there's no place like home."

Cory Booker
Newark, N.J.

We are the fastest-growing city in the Northeast, with new housing risingall across our neighborhoods and a world-class arena in our downtown. Butthe true strength of Newark comes from the incredible diversity, resilience,faith, and commitment of every single one of our residents. We are proudlyadding the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. Their strugglefor civil rights, acceptance, and dignity mirror many of the struggles ofour own city. Their dynamic energy and creativity are finding welcomesupport and a home in Newark, evidenced by the election in 2006 of our firstopenly gay municipal council member, Dana Rone."

Tom Potter
Portland, Ore.
"A young gay professional can actually afford to own a nice home, live in anurban center or near nature, and still be close enough to ride their bike towork. Portland also has a very active LGBTQ community and support servicesand a strong presence in local electoral politics, including a gay citycommissioner. Not to mention [one could] have a safe and active social lifeif you're single, coupled, or married. For its size, Portland is second tonone for young gay professionals." © 2007 PlanetOut Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Gays Without Borders

An informal network of international GLBT grassroots activists working tomake the world a safer place for GLBT people, and for full GLBT equality inall aspects of legal and social life.

Iraqi, The Gays and Lesbians Should Be Killed in the Worst, Most Severe Way
Sep 14, 2007

Dear Friend of Iraqi LGBT,

We are writing to you in an urgent appeal for help because we currently facea critical situation in our efforts to assist lesbian, gay, bisexual, andtransgendered people in Iraq.

Since the US invasion of Iraq, Gay people in Iraq have suffered particularlyintense persecution. Violence against all the gay community has intensifiedsharply since late 2005, when Iraq's leading Shiite Muslim cleric, GrandAyatollah Ali Sistani, issued a fatwa (religious decree) which declared thatgays and lesbians should be "killed in the worst, most severe way." Sincethen, LGBT people have been specifically targeted by the Madhi Army (themilitia of fundamentalist Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr) as well as by othermilitant death squads.

There are even credible reports of gay men being arrested and executed bythe Iraqi police. The United Nations and the US State Department have issuedreports documenting some of the more recent killings. It is impossible todocument precisely how many gay, trans gender and lesbian have been killedin Iraq as a result of their sexuality, but we have specific knowledge ofhundreds of cases, and every LGBT individual in Iraq is currently in severedanger.



Christianity Today

Poll: Is It Possible to Change your sexual Orientation?

Not suprisingly, most respondents have said "yes."


Express Gay News

Lessons from San Francisco's race problems

Recent stories about black flight and racial tensions in Castro are castingnew shadows on San Francisco's image as a gay mecca. A video of Focus OnDiversity: Gay Black Politicians in San Francisco highlights yet anotherissue. Despite the amount of political power San Francisco's gay communityhas wielded in the past 30 years, black LGBT politicians still have troublegetting elected. The panel was shocked to learn this, but black LGBTs knowbetter.

I applaud shows like Focus On Diversity for addressing LGBT issues. But it'samazing to me how clueless people are about sexual orientation. Thisparticular episode has noble intentions, but I was offended several times bythis conversation between (presumably) heterosexual men.

Businessman Christopher Carter talks about racism in the gay community as ifit's a recently discovered "dirty little secret" while Eric Von (1290 WMCS)as "blown away by the story." Host Troy Shaw was the most disturbing:

"I have a problem with the gay lifestyle being categorized as a minority.Because, for the most part, I don't believe that it is ... What it is, it'sa behavior. With all due respect with what you do ... It's what you do inthe context of the privacy of your own home in your room."

Gotta love the "with due respect" Troy Shaw throws in there (and thatnagging "gay lifestyle" phrase). Of course, he's completely off base. Thisresistance to accepting homosexuality as an inborn/innate orientation andnot a behavior choice is a serious obstacle. It's also the crutch used todeclare a homosexuality as a "lifestyle" - something whimsical we "choose"to upset the balance - and, therefore, not worthy of the equality we demand.

This is 2007, right? Anybody can have sex with the same gender; that alonedoesn't make you gay. Homosexuality is more complex than a sex act. I refuseto sit quietly while non-homosexuals focus on what LGBT people do sexuallyinstead of on our intrinsic feelings and rights as human beings.



Wilton Manors

Express Gay News

Hot Dates
Sexy locals compete to appear in Main Street Gym's charity calendar

Thursday, September 13, 2007

For the past three months, the hottest bodies in South Florida have beenbattling it out at the Coliseum to become one of the months in the MainStreet Gym Calendar.

The Wilton Manors gym is producing its first charity calendar ever. Theystarted their contest on July 6 and will end it with a grand finalefeaturing local celebrities as judges on Sept. 21. Proceeds will benefit theGay & Lesbian

Community Center of South Florida and Broward House.

Each week, two winners are chosen by the applause of the audience at

"It's all local men," says Andrew Verdi, of Main Street Gym. "We're lookingfor guys that are fit."

And age is just a number when it comes to this competition.

"It's not limited to any age," Verdi explains. "We have ages 18 on up to 47who are finalists."

The winners receive a three-month membership to the gym, one month tanningat Boca tanning, a gift certificate to Main Street Spa and a spot to competein the finals. Thirteen models will be chosen to be in the Main StreetCalendar.



Best. Gay. Week. Ever. (September 14, 2007)
by Michael Jensen, Editor
September 13, 2007


Sunday night at 8 PM Fox brings us the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards. So if theOscars are the gay Super Bowl, and the Tonys are, well, just openly gay,what does that make the Emmys? The gay Tiddlywinks Championship? Of course,that doesn't mean we won't be liveblogging it! That's right - our own BrianJuergens will be snarking the whole ceremony live!

I say that as normally there isn't a whole lot specifically "gay" about theEmmy awards because there just isn't that much gay about broadcasttelevision, or at least not what you see on television. Behind the cameras,of course, we're writing (Brothers & Sisters' Jon Robin Baitz), directing(Ugly Betty's Silvio Horta), executive producing (Pushing Daisies' BruceCohen and Dan Jinks), showrunning (Brothers & Sisters' Greg Berlanti) and nodoubt doing catering, costuming, janitorial, and "best boy" work.

But this years Emmy's are pretty darn gay in front of the camera too. (Nodoubt they're too gay for the brain stem that is known as Ja Rule.) We'vegot three out actors up for Emmy Awards: T.R Knight up for Supporting ActorDrama Series (Grey's Anatomy), Neil Patrick Harris for Supporting ActorComedy Series (How I Met Your Mother), Sir Ian McKellen for OutstandingGuest Actor in a Comedy Series (Extras).



National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

Man Charged in Anti-Gay Attack on Ex-'Top Chef' Contestant JosieSmith-Malave

A homeless man was charged with participating in an anti-gay attack on aformer "Top Chef" reality show contestant outside a bar, police said.

Matthew W. Walli was in a group of about 12 people involved in aconfrontation with chef Josie Smith-Malave, who is a lesbian, and threeother women who had just been thrown out of the bar over Labor Day weekend,Nassau County police said Thursday.



National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

Airline Comes Out
With Gay-Themed Flight

Air New Zealand is delving into the gay and lesbian market with a specialthemed flight that will feature drag queens, pink cocktails and a cabaretperformed by the flight crew.

The destination for the airline's one-time "Pink Flight," scheduled todepart San Francisco International Airport on Feb. 26, is the Gay andLesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney, Australia, one of the world's mostwell-attended gay events, said Jodi Williams, an Air New Zealand marketingdirector.



National Gay News

Different HIV Rates Among Gay Men and Straight People Not Fully
Explained by Sexual Behavior
Friday, 14 September 2007 13:54

Different HIV Rates Among Gay Men and Straight People Not Fully
Explained by Sexual Behavior

Biological and demographic causes of high HIV and sexually transmitteddisease prevalence in men who have sex with men

Differences in sexual behaviours do not fully explain why the US HIVepidemic affects gay men so much more than straight men and women, claimsresearch published ahead of print in the journal Sexually TransmittedInfections.



The Huffington Post

Pray Away the Gay

Sarah Whitman

Now I know where my mother failed. She didn't want me to be a lesbian andasked me if I could simply be asexual. Not involved with anyone. Worked forher, so why not?

What she really needed to do was have me pray. Read the Bible. Studyscripture. Find God and embrace him.

He's a man, after all.

Stanton L. Jones of Wheaton College and Mark A. Yarhouse of Pat RobertsonUniversity are releasing today study results, if that's what you call it, atthe regional conference of Christian Counselors in Nashville. (The fullstudy results will be released on Oct. 10, in the form of a book byChristian publisher InterVarsity Press.)

Too bad my mother was an atheist.

"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."

I wonder if that has worked for Ted Haggard? I mean, it didn't help himbeing the head of a ministry, but maybe all those men on their knees at thealter was too much pressure?

On one hand, if a bunch of Christian fundamentalists want to believe thatyou can deny sexual feelings by immersing yourself in prayer, then I applaudthem. Personally, I don't see the point. As I told my mother at the tenderage of 20, you mean, you want me to NEVER have sex?

Yes, was her very firm answer. What's the big deal about sex?



National Gay News

Antigay Slurs Aren't So Outmoded
Friday, 14 September 2007 13:46
Antigay Slurs Aren't So Outmoded

One would think and hope that in this day and age, such a campaignwould not be necessary.

But the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation ( hasorganized a "Be an Ally and a Friend" campaign to persuade straight peopleto join in the fight against anti-LGBT prejudice. The campaign consists ofvideo public service announcements and pointers on how to wage the battle.



The Advocate

N.Y. judge recognizes Canadian nuptials

A year ago this summer, New York's highest court ruled that the state's awrestricting marriage to heterosexual couples was not unconstitutional. Thatunfortunate decision left open a separate but related legal question: MustNew York recognize legal same-sex marriages from outside its borders?

In an opinion issued last week and made public Tuesday, a lower-court judgeruled that the state comptroller's office can indeed recognize the Canadianmarriages of gay and lesbian state employees on behalf of the New YorkRetirement System.

If the ruling is upheld on a statewide basis, gay and lesbian couples'inability to marry in New York will be mitigated by the fact that they canjump over the border, marry in Canada, and win state-based rights.

Last week's four-page decision by Justice Thomas J. McNamara upheld thepolicy begun by former comptroller Alan J. Hevesi and continued by hissuccessor, Thomas P. DiNapoli.

The question of marriage recognition in New York came to a head in thehectic period after several Canadian provinces and the state ofMassachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2003.



The Advocate

Condi owned home, shared credit line with another woman

A new book claims that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice once owned a homeand shared a credit line with another woman. Author Glenn Kessler, aWashington Post diplomatic correspondent, spilled the details toMichelangelo Signorile on his Sirius satellite radio show Friday, accordingto the Web site Raw Story.

Kessler discovered through real estate records that Rice owned the home withfemale documentary filmmaker Randy Bean. Bean is quoted in the book, TheConfidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy, as sayingthat Rice cosigned a credit line for her when medical costs drained herfinances. Rice owned the house with Bean and gay Stanford professor CoitBlacker, who eventually sold his share to them.

According to Raw Story, Kessler told Signorile that he did not know whetherRice and Bean's relationship extended beyond friendship. Kessler noted thatolder single women like Rice have been scrutinized with regard to theirsexual orientation. The secretive official's private life has been talkedabout since she was thrust into the international spotlight as nationalsecurity adviser to President George W. Bush during his first term. She thenassumed Colin Powell's seat as secretary of state in 2005. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

Gay shrinks get conversion therapist booted from conference

A group of gay and lesbian psychiatrists successfully campaigned to remove aconversion therapist from an Austrian mental health conference.

The Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists initiated a letter-writingcampaign against Markus Hoffman's participation in the October conference inGraz. According to the AGLP, Hoffman is a German conversion therapist wholeads an evangelical group that attempts to change the orientation of gaysand lesbians.

The organizers of the conference-the Austrian Society of Psychiatry andPsychotherapy-pushed for Hoffman to be disinvited after being inundated withletters from AGLP members. Seemingly under pressure, Hoffman announced hehad withdrawn from the event.

"AGLP is happy to have played a role in protecting vulnerable gay patientsfrom potential harm," AGLP president Ubaldo Leli said in a release. (TheAdvocate)


The Advocate

September 10, 2007

A call to duty
A lesbian Navy captain recalls how the events of 9/11 forever changed theway she serves her country.

By Joan Darrah
An exclusive posted September 10, 2007

In response to September 11, 2001, many people felt called to militaryservice in order to do something to defend our great country. September 11had the opposite impact on my life. At 8:30 a.m. that day, I went to ameeting in the Pentagon. At 9:30 a.m., I left that meeting. At 9:37 a.m.,American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon and destroyed theexact space I had left less than eight minutes earlier, killing seven of mycolleagues.

On September 11, 2001, I was a lesbian Navy captain who, at that time, hadover 28 years of dedicated military service. My partner, Lynne Kennedy, anopenly gay reference librarian at the Library of Congress, and I had beentogether for over 11 years. Each day, I went to work wondering if that wouldbe the day I would be fired because someone had figured out I was gay. Inspite of that stress, somehow Lynne and I had learned to deal with "don'task, don't tell"; we had made the requisite sacrifices. I had pretended tobe straight and had played the games most gays in the military are all toofamiliar with.



The Advocate

Schoolmates turn out in pink to support bullied student

Bullies who threatened a new student at their Nova Scotia high school forwearing a pink polo shirt were themselves schooled by two seniors whoconvinced half the student body to dress in pink two days later, theChronicle-Herald of Halifax reported.

The newbie, a ninth grader, showed up in pink September 5 for the first dayof class at Central Kings Rural High School and was set upon by a group ofsix to 10 older teens who called him gay and threatened to beat him up, thepaper reported.

The next day, seniors David Shepherd and Travis Price decided to act.

"It's my last year. I've stood around too long and I wanted to dosomething," Shepherd told the newspaper. Price said he too could relate:Growing up, he said, he was picked on for wearing mass-market clothesinstead of designer brands.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

"Ex-Gay" Counselor Convicted of Sexual Assault on Man

by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Boston Contributor
Thursday Sep 13, 2007

An Irvine, Texas "ex-gay" counselor has been convicted of sexuallyassaulting a male client, ordered to register as a sex offender, andsentenced to ten years in prison.

AS Queerty reported in a Sept. 6 posting, Chris Austin, a preacher withRenew Ministries, received seven years' probation even though he wassentenced to a decade in prison. Austin was also fined $2,500.

Queerty quoted Truth Wins Out, an "ex-ex-gay" group whose name riffs on thename of a Christian "ex-gay" group called Love Won Out, as expressing"relief" at the sentence.

"The abuse apparently involved a bit of unwanted penetration," Queertyreported, noting that a previous claim from 2001 pitted Austin against a mannamed Mark Hufford, who brought a civil suit against the preacher based onsimilar accusations, but later dropped it.

Truth Wins Out's website posted a story in which it reported that a jury hadfound Austin guilty of "unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly caus[ing]enetration" of a man referred to by the pseudonym Stephen Trask.

more . . . . .


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Daily Queer News

September 6th, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

more . . . . .


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Daily Queer News

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)


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Daily Queer News

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 strengthened a law banningsame-sex marriage, adding 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.

When a proposed amendment to the state constitution was approved for theballot Warner voiced his opposition and actively fought against it. Themeasure nevertheless was approved by voters.

more . . . . .


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Daily Queer News

Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame
News Update, WED., Sept. 12, 2007
September 12, 2007

CONTACT: William W. Greaves ( 312 ) 744-7911

Former Mayor Harold Washington Honored as "Friend of the Community"at 17thAnnual Ceremony

The Chicago Commission on Human Relations' Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual and Transgender Issues has named the 2007 list of individuals andorganizations for inclusion in the only known government-sponsored hall offame that honors members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT ) communities, announced Commission Chairperson Clarence N. Wood.

Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of his death, former Mayor Harold

Washington will be honored as a "Friend of the Community."

"Chicago is a city of many faces, and the LGBT community is an importantpart of that diversity. The community is thriving and moving forward,helping to build a strong social and economic foundation for Chicago," saidMayor Richard M. Daley.

Chosen nominees will be inducted at the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame's17th annual ceremony, which will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. onThursday, October 18, 2007, in Sidney R. Yates Gallery at the ChicagoCultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m., andthe program is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. The event is free and open tothe public.

more . . . . .


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Daily Queer News

Keen on the trail: Gay news from the presidential campaign trail.

Extended Online Special
by Lisa Keen

GO FIGURE FRED: It's a little hard to figure which way Republican FredThompson wants to go on the issue of gay marriage. Just days before heofficially joined the GOP field, on Sept. 6, he said he opposes gay marriageand doesn't believe "one state ought to be able to pass a law . allowing gaymarriage and have another state be required to follow along under full faithand credit." Then his campaign issued a statement saying Thompson "does notsupport a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage" but that, "ifnecessary," he would support an amendment "prohibiting states from imposingtheir laws on marriage on other states."

Then, on his second day of official campaigning, an audience member in SiouxCity, Iowa, asked what role he thinks the federal government should haveconcerning gay marriage, in light of the recent district court decision inDes Moines that the state constitution requires gay couples be treatedequally by the state's marriage laws.

"I would support a constitutional amendment which says some off the wallcourt decision in one state that recognizes a marriage . cannot go toanother state and have it recognized in that state," said Thompson.

The Des Moines Register mistakenly reported Thompson as saying an amendment should "bar court decisions on gay marriage in one state from beingrecognized in another" and the paper said that was actually a provision ofthe federal Defense of Marriage Act. But Thompson did not say that andneither did DOMA. DOMA, which Thompson voted for in 1996 when he wasrepresenting Tennessee in the U.S. Senate, says no state "shall be required"to recognize a law or court decision from another state concerning "arelationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage.."

Thompson did say he is concerned that, under the federal constitutionalclause requiring one state to give "full faith and credit" to the laws andcourt proceedings of another state, the courts will require other states torecognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

A School for Young Activists
by Amy Wooten

Chicago Freedom School ( CFS ) truly believes that youth can help createsocial change.

Built on the legacy of the Freedom Schools created during the civil rightsmovement throughout Mississippi, this new school helps young activists learnabout their history; develop the tools and support they need; buildalliances across the city; learn more about themselves; and find theirvoices. CFS started programming in July with the launch of its 2007 FreedomFellows program, a year-long "school" for youth ages 14-16.

According to associate director Stephanie Gentry-Fernandez, who grew up inChicago and was a youth activist herself, the idea was born when a youthapproached one of the founder members, Mariame Kaba, and asked where youthcan meet other young people interested in social change.

CFS's 2007 year started off with a summer program for 40 youth. During thesummer, participants could choose from six areas of study, such as music,visual arts, sports and health. Although the summer school is now over, CFSwill keep in contact with the 2007 Freedom Fellows throughout the year. Theywill receive workshops and trainings and be matched with adult mentors forsupport and guidance.

Although there are a few programs in the city for youths, the truth is, saidGentry-Fernandez, what is needed is a group that branches across allneighborhoods for youth to meet likeminded individuals and build citywidecoalitions. CFS strives to do just that.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Crises Across Africa: Uganda's Anti-Gay Stampede


A new chapter opened this week in a vicious, media-led witchhunt that isouting gays in Uganda, when a daily newspaper unveiled the latestinstallment of what it bills as its "Weird Sex Investigation," publishingthe names and detailed 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.

"This article fingers those named for physical attack," Cary Alan Johnson,senior Africa specialist for the International Gay and Lesbian Human RightsCommission (IGLHRC), told Gay City News.

Johnson declared, "There is a comprehensive campaign being waged againstLGBT rights in Uganda. It includes government and conservative religiousleaders. Now the lower end of the media - rags like Red Pepper - are addingtheir hate-filled voices."

more . . . . .


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Daily Queer News

Lithuania considers ban on "propagation of homosexuality"

13th September 2007 12:18
Tony Grew

A new law currently before the Lithuanian parliament could be amended to banthe "promotion" of gay, lesbian or bisexual relationships to children.

The Protection of Minors against the Detrimental Effects of PublicInformation Bill will be debated by MPs later this autumn and its supportersargue that the "propagation" amendment does not contradictanti-discrimination laws.

Parliamentarians claim that the still unclear definition of "propagation" ofrelationships outside of heterosexual marriage has "negative consequencesfor the physical, mental and, first and foremost, moral development ofminors."

Ann von Below of the Lithuanian Gay League, an LGBT organisation activesince 1994, told

"The sad fact that supporters of the new bill claim that it doesn'tcontradict anti-discrimination laws, suggests that either the concept ofdiscrimination has been grossly misunderstood by some Lithuanianpoliticians, or there is a fundamentally undemocratic current running in theLithuanian parliament.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Ugandan newspaper continues outing strategy

14th September 2007 11:35 writer

A tabloid newspaper in Uganda has responded to last month's first ever pressconference by gay rights advocates in the country by printing lists ofpeople it says are gay.

Red Pepper's Sunday edition (click here to view) ran its "expose" ofprominent gay and lesbians, under the headline "HOMO TERROR! We Name andShame Top Gays in the City."

They claimed to have "full names, workplaces, cars they drive and even wherethey stay."

As well as describing 40 men it claims are gay, Red Pepper's expose explains"how to spot a gay man," "terminologies used by gays" and "how the gay menshaft," a lurid description of gay sex.

It claims that lubricants are "sent to the gays here from abroad."

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Howard rejects equal rights for gay Australians

13th September 2007 17:25 writer

The Prime Minister of Australia has told his Liberal party MPs that he doesnot believe that gay and lesbian couples should be given the same rights asheterosexuals.

Backbench MP Warren Entsch, an advocate of equality, pressed John Howard ata meeting of Liberal parliamentarians.

Three weeks ago, after a heated meeting of the Cabinet, the final decisionabout whether gay and lesbian couples in Australia will be given equalrights was left up to Prime Minister John Howard.

His senior government colleagues are split on the issue.

Some feel it is not a priority for the government ahead of elections laterthis year and are concerned about the cost of reforms.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Pastors agree: Being gay not a sin, Bible says to love everyone
Monday, Sep 10, 2007 - 12:34:47 am CDT

As clergy who care about our members' lives and the hospitality of ourcommunity, we were pleased to see the article "Same-sex climate a hot issue"in the Lincoln Journal Star on July 29. The writer provided poignantexamples of how laws of intolerance affect peoples' lives.

We were saddened, then, to read responses saying "homosexuality is a sin."Although such a statement clearly comes out of a deep conviction, we, too,have deeply held beliefs and we feel compelled by our faith to speak out.Being gay is not a sin. We have read widely, studied the Bible, been in manyconversations with gay persons and their families and are convinced thatbeing gay is not a choice a person makes, it is who a person is - much thesame way that one's eyes are brown or one is left-handed.

We too love the Bible and base our lives on its teachings. At the same timewe recognize that it contains many legal and ritual prescriptions thatpeople today no longer accept. For example, we regularly wear clothes thathave a variety of types of threads mixed together within them; few peoplewould support stoning children for disobedience; and most people would notassume slavery as part of the social system, as Paul does. Our challenge isto discern what parts of the Bible will be our highest authority: the fewverses that seem to reject gay people or the countless times the Scripturesexhort us to do justice and love our neighbor.

A common thread runs through the scriptures of many faiths: the importanceof mutual respect and the inherent worth of each person. In our work asministers, we often counsel people who face discrimination because of theirsexual orientation or gender identity. Some are bullied or harassed atschool. Others face being fired. Some are beaten on the street and areafraid to go to the police for fear of further harassment. If they are firedfrom their job, they have no legal recourse because state laws in Nebraskaand 30 other states permit this.

Such daily oppression takes a toll on a person. Hiding who you are may helpyou keep your job, but it also deadens a piece of one's soul. Providing ahome and caring for one's family brings much satisfaction in life. All of usstrive to achieve that good life and find that happiness. In contrast,living in fear for one's economic security or even one's safety underminesthe goodness of life and destroys the possibility of happiness.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

UNL working to stay gay-friendly
By: Megan Svoboda
Posted: 9/12/07

A major challenge facing universities and colleges is diversity, whetherthat refers to gender, nationality, religious beliefs or even sexualorientation.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has taken steps over the years to try andmake campus safe and friendly for all types of students.

"Over the years, the university has done a lot to support the GLBTstudents," said Allen Ratliff, student co-chairman for the committee on gay,lesbian, bisexual and transgender concerns and former president of UNL'sQueer Student Alliance.

A few years ago, Student Involvement established the assistant directorposition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Ally Services,which was the first real big step.

Later, UNL departments increased their curriculum concerning GLBTQ issues,including adding a major and minor in women's and gender studies.

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Daily Queer News

Episcopalians Head to High-Stakes Meeting

The years-long strife in the Anglican Communion could reach a breaking pointnext week in New Orleans.
Daniel Burke, Religion News Service | posted 9/13/2007 03:08PM

The Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion, was givenuntil the end of the month to state unequivocally that it will not ordainany more gay bishops or authorize rites to bless same-sex unions.

If the U.S. bishops refuse, overseas Anglican archbishops have promisedunspecified "consequences" that could drive the U.S. church from theCommunion or lead other Anglicans out the door.

Meanwhile, several conservative U.S. dioceses have recently threatened toleave the Episcopal Church if the meeting doesn't go their way.

"It is still theoretically possible there will be some surprises," CentralFlorida Bishop John Howe said in a church newsletter. "But nearly everyobserver of the events of the past several years is convinced that awatershed moment is at hand."

The archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who heads the Church ofEngland and serves as spiritual leader to the world's nearly 77 millionAnglicans, will travel to New Orleans for two days of closed-door meetingswith the bishops.

more . . . . .


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Daily Queer News

Corporate America recognises gender identity discrimination

14th September 2007 12:29

According to a recent report from America's Gender Public Advocacy Coalition(GenderPAC), the number of major corporations that have added genderidentity and expression to their non-discrimination policies has topped 200.

In 2007, 53 major corporations, including household names like Starbucks,Hallmark Cards, Mastercard, Campbell Soup and J.C. Penney, have expandedtheir non-discrimination policies to include the gender-based protections.

The total number of these corporations now stands at 230.

"This is an important milestone," said Cynthia Neff, former head of GlobalHR Public Policy for IBM and officer of the GenderPAC Board.

"Diversity leaders like IBM, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase realise thatgender identity and expression is the new front line of workplace fairnessand diversity, and that is a reason to celebrate.

more . . . . .


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Daily Queer News

Southie condom company has gays covered

by Ethan Jacobs
Bay Windows
Thursday Sep 13, 2007

It's no secret that gay and bisexual men make up a sizable segment of thecondom-buying population; since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, condomshave been the premiere tool, so to speak, in the gay and bi male's safer sexarsenal. But for gay and bi men browsing the condom rack at the localpharmacy, the packaging on some of the most popular condom brands sends astrong "heteros only" vibe. Most boxes of Trojans have a silhouette of a manand woman locked in an embrace. LifeStyles's "His n' Her Pleasure" condomsare marketed with the tagline, "Shaped for him ... Ribbed for her!" It's notthe type of packaging likely to appeal to most gay men.

A gay-owned condom company based out of South Boston, Global Protection,hopes to change all of that with their One brand condoms. The One condoms,which began selling in national pharmacy chains like CVS and RiteAid thissummer, come in round foil wrappers with eye-catching photos and drawingsand innuendo-laced slogans (a wrapper with a photo of a skydiver bears thetagline "One extreme sensation"). For the present, the boxes sold in retailstores only have artwork with gender-neutral or heterosexual pictures, butGlobal Protection has a special assortment of One condoms, called the PrideMix and featuring gay male-themed art, available for purchase on theirwebsite. Most of the orders for the Pride Mix come from non-profits doingsafer sex outreach to gay and bi men, but marketing manager Jared Fennellysaid the company is working to get the gay-themed condoms into drug storechains and mass market retail stores in select urban areas, includingBoston. He said Global Protection has been in talks with some chains, whichhe declined to name, and said that while they tend to be conservative, somehave expressed strong interest in marketing condoms to their gay malecustomers. Global Protection plans to roll out an assortment of gay-targetedsafer sex supplies, including the One condoms, to sell to those storeswithin the next seven to eight months.

"That's quite a shift for retail. ... They recognize in certain metropolitanareas such as Boston it would be a benefit to them to appeal to a gayaudience," said Fennelly.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

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.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Survey Shows How Gays Spend

An unprecedented national survey of gay and lesbian consumers revealsinteresting insight into how the community spends its money.

The 25,000-person survey done by Community Marketing, Inc. paints a portraitof the typical gay and lesbian consumer, and provides data and insight abouta market that still hasn't been fully tapped into by advertisers. The 2007Gay Consumer Index and the 2007 Lesbian Consumer Index is the mostcomprehensive collection of data on queer consumers yet. Windy City Timeswas among the gay papers with the top response rates.

The findings touch on everything from what kind of credit cards gays andlesbians use to how many have children under the age of 18. The study alsoprovided data on areas such as median household incomes and types ofhousing.

The survey found that 85 percent of both gays and lesbians surveyed saidthat advertising in gay media influences their purchasing decisions. Also,89 percent of gays and 92 percent of lesbians reported that the way acompany treats its queer employees impacts their consumer decisions. Mostgays and lesbians also reported that their purchasing decisions are alsoinfluenced by corporate sponsorship of community events and participation ingay and lesbian charities.

The Gay Consumer Index and Lesbian Consumer Index also provided interestinginsight into gay and lesbian voting patterns, discovering that queers votefar above the U.S. average. In fact, 92 percent of gay men and 91 percent oflesbians said they voted in the 2004 presidential election. This is muchhigher than the estimated 64 percent of the general population.

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Daily Queer News

Study :: Lesbian Brains React Like Hetero Males

Associated Press
Thursday Sep 13, 2007

Lesbians' brains react differently to sex hormones than those ofheterosexual women, new research indicates.

That's in line with an earlier study that had indicated gay men's brainresponses were different from straight men - though the difference for menwas more pronounced than has now been found in women.

Lesbians' brains reacted somewhat, though not completely, like those ofheterosexual men, a team of Swedish researchers said in Tuesday's edition ofProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A year ago, the same group reported findings for gay men that showed theirbrain response to hormones was similar to that of heterosexual women.

In both cases the findings add weight to the idea that homosexuality has aphysical basis and is not learned behavior.

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