Sunday, September 16, 2007

GLBT DIGEST September 17, 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 New York Times

September 16, 2007

'My Parents Had This Big Argument Over Whose Fault It Was, Why I Chose to BeThis Way.'
Interviewed by GREGORY BEYER
ZY-TASIA GAINES, Far Rockaway, Queens

High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety

BORN July 1, 1990

I WAS born and raised in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and my mom raised me to beopen to everything: to all types of sexualities. But I guess she didn'texpect it would come out in me. She's like, "Be nice to everybody, but aslong as you're not a lesbian, that's cool." So when she found out I was alesbian, it was really difficult, and she didn't accept it at first. Shestill sort of doesn't, but she deals with it.

Mostly, people in Manhattan are really open to it. I go to a center on 13thStreet called the LGBT Center where they have lots of programs andactivities. I'm in a film class, and we're making films about differentexperiences we have being lesbian.

Mine is about how my girlfriend's parents are homophobic - really, reallyhomophobic. We've been together about a year. As the relationship gotstronger and stronger, the more protective her parents got, the more theytried to pull her away. In July, they sent her to live with her uncle inChicago. She tries to call me about twice a week to check up on things, butI haven't seen her since. I live in Far Rockaway, Queens, and my school isin Jamaica. When I came out in my school, in 10th grade, everybody waspushing me away.



The New York Times

September 16, 2007
Home Front

Once Jobless With AIDS, She Now Helps Others

FOR two decades after being infected with the virus that causes AIDS,Barbara Cassis was able to remain active and move into a career in socialwork. But two years ago, her health declined sharply, and her doctor toldher that her infection had developed into full-blown AIDS.

Ms. Cassis, 45, a Bronx resident, said she became so sick that she had toleave her job as a coordinator of a life skills program for transgenderpeople who have AIDS or are at risk of contracting it. She had broughtempathy to the job, not only because she had lived with the humanimmunodeficiency virus. "I have been a person of transgender experience,"she said. "I was born a male and transitioned into a woman."

Unable to work, and living on welfare payments and other governmentassistance, she became severely depressed. "I isolated myself at home," Ms.Cassis said.

But five months ago, seeking to end her seclusion, she followed a friend'sadvice and went to Gay Men's Health Crisis, an organization based inManhattan that provides services and advocates for people with AIDS orH.I.V. The group's name aside, its services are available to people of anysexual orientation or gender, and it says that 30 percent of its clients areheterosexual and 20 percent are women.



The New York Times

September 16, 2007
Episcopal Church Faces Deadline on Gay Issues


Ever since the Episcopal Church consecrated an openly gay man as bishop ofNew Hampshire four years ago, forecasts of a rupture over homosexualitywithin the church or with the rest of the global Anglican Communionaccompanied each big church meeting, only to fade.

But as the bishops of the Episcopal Church approach their semiannual meetingthis week in New Orleans, the predictions are being taken very seriously.

At the top of the agenda for the Sept. 20-25 gathering will be a directiveissued by the leaders of the Anglican Communion to stop consecrating openlygay and lesbian bishops and to ban blessings of same-sex unions or risk adiminished status in the communion, the world's third-largest Christiandenomination.

The Most Rev. Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, who is the spiritualleader of the communion, will attend the meeting. It will be the first timeArchbishop Williams has met with the church's House of Bishops since the2003 consecration of the gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

The communion's directive asks for a response from the Episcopal Church bySept. 30.



The New York Times

September 16, 2007

Nude Awakening

The first time I saw an International Male catalog was at the all-girlsVirginia boarding school I attended in the 1980s. The cool girls - the oneswho owned their own horses and got BMWs for their 16th birthdays, withcar-size bows on top - got the catalog in their mailboxes, along withsubscriptions to GQ. The uncool girls, if we were lucky, got to peer overtheir shoulders at pictures of male models in thong bikinis. I found thepresentation of male genitalia, packaged and posed and seemingly aroused,totally terrifying. Were they really that long and tuber-like? And were mensupposed to stare at you in such a brooding, animal way, their eyesglowering at siesta level, their mouths puckered in baby-doll O's?

One day in the smoking lounge, the coolest girl of all pulled the latestInternational Male catalog from her monogrammed L. L. Bean Boat and Tote bagand pointed at the practically nude lower half of a model, his abdomenrippled in reptilian plates, his prodigious reproductive organs - orwell-placed tube socks - barely restrained by purple Lycra. There is a dimmemory of a zipper.

"Imagine coming face to face with that," I asked the mentholated air. Thecoolest girl of all, exhaling smoke from a Merit Light, arched an eyebrow atus. Deep silence descended.



Clinton Pushes Civil Rights Agenda, Including Gay Rights, In NAACP Speech
by The Associated Press
Posted: September 16, 2007 - 7:30 am ET

(North Charleston, South Carolina) Democratic presidential candidate HillaryRodham Clinton, unveiling her agenda to promote civil rights, told an NAACPbanquet Saturday that the "scales of justice are seriously out of balance"for black Americans.

"We have had an attorney general who doesn't respect the rule of law orenforce the civil rights laws on the books," she told about 900 people atthe annual Freedom Fund Banquet of the Charleston National Association forthe Advancement of Colored People.

She applauded the Friday decision by an appeals court in Louisiana tossingout the aggravated battery conviction that could have sent a black teenagerto prison for 15 years in last year's beating of a white classmate in theracially tense town of Jena.

The teenager, 16 at the time of the December beating of a white youth,should not have been tried as an adult, the appeals court ruled. He is oneof six black students charged in the attack and one of five originallycharged as adults with attempted second-degree murder.



Battle Shaping Up Over New Attorney General
by The Associated Press
Posted: September 16, 2007 - 7:30 am ET

(Washington) Conservatives on Saturday lined up for and against potentialattorney general nominee Michael Mukasey, the man they believe has ascendedto the top of President Bush's list of replacements for Alberto Gonzales.

Earlier in the week, Democrats in the Senate threatened to blockconfirmation of another prospect - Theodore Olson, a longtime GOP ally andformer solicitor general who represented Bush before the Supreme Court inthe contested 2000 presidential election.

The behind-the-scenes battle over who will succeed Gonzales heated up overthe weekend as the president, who was at Camp David, moved closer toannouncing his choice.

So far, the White House has stayed quiet about who will replace Gonzales. Anannouncement is expected this week, and some legal conservatives andRepublicans told The Associated Press that the White House appeared to besignaling that Mukasey was Bush's pick.

That prompted questions and praise for the former U.S. district judge fromNew York, who is an adviser to Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign.



Madonna Criticized By Israeli Gays For Taking Part In Kabbalah Conference
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: September 14, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Jerusalem) Some Israeli gays are criticizing Madonna for taking part in aconference in Tel Aviv put on by Kabbalah when Israeli leaders of the mysticJewish sect have been vocal in their opposition to homosexuality.

Mainstream Judaism has been critical of the Kabbalah movement but Orthodoxrabbis embraced Kabbalah leaders when they joined in voicing outrage overWorldpride in Israel and gay pride marches in Jerusalem.

Last year Rabbi David Basri, head of the Kabbalah's Magen David Yeshiva inJerusalem blamed gays for an outbreak of bird flu.

Basri said the outbreak was God's punishment for the promotion of same-sexmarriage.



National Gay News

Neil Patrick Harris on Ellen
Saturday, 15 September 2007 12:49

"How I Met Your Mother" star, openly gay Neil Patrick Harris, went onEllen Degeneres' talk show this week. The Emmy nominee for OutstandingSupporting Actor in a Comedy Series, spoke openly about his boyfriend, actorDavid Burtka. When Ellen asked him who he was going with at the award show,which is this Sunday, he could answer honestly "My boyfriend, David" andthen they both describe what they'd done in years past to avoid the press.



Blog Active

by Michael Rogers

Friday, September 14, 2007
The house is Rice and Bean's
The House is Rice and Bean's.

Are you done laughing? Because, while it certainly has its funny side, it'sreally just another example of the hypocrisy of another conservativepolitician.

Secretary of State Condi Rice and another woman, documentary filmmaker RandyBean, own a house together in Palo Alto, California. The story was firstreported by Michelangelo Signorile on his Sirius Satellite Network radioshow. You can find more details here: Secretary of State co-owns home withfemale filmmaker.

Rice and Bean (I admit it, i giggle every time write that) not only share ahome, but also a line of credit that has been used to renovate the property."We advise clients to be very cautious when purchasing a home. Homeownership records are public and may trigger an investigation under theDon't Ask, Don't Tell policy," Steve Ralls of the Servicemembers LegalDefense Network (SLDN) told me today. The policy prohibits out gays andlesbians from serving in the nation's armed forces.

"SLDN is aware of cases where servicemembers have been investigated forowning a home with a person of the same gender." Steve shared.

When I think of these men and women who have given so much for our nation itmakes me, at the same time want to scream and cry.

A recent investigation into the Don't Ask, Don't Tell case of PFCChristopher Mastromarino by PageOneQ found that reports of the militaryciting Mastramarino's living with his gay cousin and his cousin's partnerwere cited in the military's arguments.


Edmonton Sun (Canada)

Mayor takes high road
Will not respond to rival's homosexual flyers

Mayor Stephen Mandel is ignoring a rival's campaign material featuring hisphotograph inserted between two naked men kissing.

"Those are homosexuals," mayoral hopeful Bill Whatcott told Sun Media lastnight, when asked about the flyers that his campaign team distributed inareas of Edmonton.

Mandel supports the gay and lesbian community, Whatcott said.

"He attended their breakfast and promoted their cause," said the candidatewho is running to draw attention to pro-life and pro-family issues."(Mandel) should be proud being placed between those naked men because heseems to love them."

David McCalla, Mandel's campaign manager, said the mayor is not going torespond to the flyers "for obvious reasons."

more . . . . .


The Australian News,25197,22422039-12377,00.html

US bill ignites skirmish over gay rights
September 15, 2007

MICHAEL Carney, a gay cop in Massachusetts, figures there's one reason hegot his job back: The state makes it illegal to discriminate againstemployees because of sexual orientation.

But in 31 states, employees have no such legal protection. Carney, who lefthis job when he was struggling as a closeted gay and then was reinstatedafter a long legal battle, hopes that will change.

He's urging Congress to pass a federal law called the EmploymentNon-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which would put bias involving sexualorientation and gender identity in the workplace on the same legal footingas discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, nationalorigin, age and disability.

With a vote expected in the House of Representatives in the next month, thelatest twist over gay rights is setting off a skirmish on Capitol Hill.

The Traditional Values Coalition is lobbying against the bill, saying itwould make "homosexuality and gender confusion" a protected class and"describes how employers are to treat cross-dressers, drag queens andtranssexuals".

more . . . . .



Transgender woman attacked in D.C.

Washington, D.C., police are investigating an assault on a transgender womanin the northwest section of the city. Witnesses told WRC-TV, an NBCaffiliate, that a group of young men who loiter in the neighborhood attackedthe woman.

The assault occurred approximately after 6 p.m. on Thursday.

According to police reports, the unidentified woman refused care at a nearbyhospital. (The Advocate)



HRC stands up for the "Jena 6"

The Human Rights Campaign is standing alongside groups like the AmericanCivil Liberties Union and the NAACP in defense of the beleaguered "Jena 6"of Louisiana.

HRC, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization, is reaching out toits contacts in Louisiana, urging them to get involved in defense of theAfrican-American teenagers known as the Jena 6.

A white teen was hospitalized, and was released the same day, after arace-related brawl broke out in December between white and black teens inthe small town of Jena in north-central Louisiana. Motives for the fight areunclear, but nooses were hung from a tree at one point, the Associated Pressreported. All the whites involved in the case were eventually released bypolice, but the African-Americans were incarcerated, and many still faceserious charges. The black teens arrested became known as the Jena 6.

"The Human Rights Campaign is proud to be part of the larger civil rightscommunity and we stand united with others in this movement to replacebigotry and bias with equality and understanding," said Cuc Vu, HRC's chiefdiversity officer, in a press release. "This type of prejudice and hate inour country affects all Americans, regardless of race, ethnicity, or sexualorientation." (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)



Craig keeps mum on return to Washington

Sen. Larry Craig has been sending press releases from Idaho commenting onU.S. Senate matters, but his spokesman said Thursday that he may neverreturn 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.''That doesn't mean he won't; just nothing is planned. Everything is stillup in the 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 September 30, then indicatedthere was a slim chance he would try to stay in the U.S. Senate if he's ableto undo his August 1 guilty plea to the reduced misdemeanor charges in abathroom sex sting.

The next hearing in the case is September 26.

more . . . . .


Forwarded by Joe Van Eron

The Miami Herald

Group honored for helping kids deal with HIV/AIDS

Posted on Sun, Sep. 16, 2007
Group honored for helping kids deal with HIV/AIDS

Children living with HIV/AIDS have plenty of negative stuff to deal with.Each summer, 60 of them get to try to forget some of those problems whilethey attend Camp Hope in Houston. Helping to make that possible is Tuesday'sAngels, a support group for the Children's Diagnostic & Treatment Center inFort Lauderdale.

Broward County campers shared memories at a reunion held at the center, andalso honored Tuesday's Angels for the support it provides. On the group'sbehalf, Chuck Nicholls accepted a framed thank-you with an inspirationalquote signed by all of this year's campers.

Tuesday's Angels also assists families living with HIV/AIDS with expenseslike utility bills, transportation, rent and mortgage payments, eyeglassesand funerals.


By Michael Petrelis

The march for international equality for LGBT citizens across ourplanet took a mighty big step forward in a small piece of the MiddleEast this week.

Gays in the constitutional monarchy of Kuwait are petitioning theirgovernment for approval of an advocacy organization permit, accordingto Arab news sources.

What fascinates most in this article are the claims of not just themere existence of a Kuwaiti gay community, but one that is expandingand going very public with a request to the government.

I wish the name of the group had been reported by the news services,and a gay or lesbian Kuwaiti quoted, but it's enough to know todaythat our brothers and sisters there are stepping out of the closet.

And I fear what sort of public education campaign will be waged withthe two million dollars to "combat" gay people and lesbians in theschool system.

The problems faced by gays in Kuwait were cited in the most recentannual human rights report from the US State Department, published inMarch 2007:

There was discrimination against homosexuals in societal attitudes andlegal issues. In February 2005 police charged a group of 28 allegedhomosexuals with creating a public disturbance after they met outsidea fast-food restaurant. On October 27, police raided a party wherehomosexuals were allegedly celebrating a wedding. On December 10, thelegislative committee of the National Assembly unanimously approved alaw to impose a fine of $3,450 (1,000 dinars) and/or one year'simprisonment for those imitating the opposite sex.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

Information, news, and discussion about the legal recognition of same-sexcouples and their families, including marriages, domestic partnerships,civil unions, adoptions, foster children and similar issues.

There has been a fivefold increase in marital breakdown in Ireland in thelast 20 years, according to a new study released Friday.

The Iona Institute, an organisation dedicated to the strengthening ofsociety through marriage and religious practice, said that by 2006, 200,000people had seen their marriage fail, compared with 40,000 in 1986.

The report added that there had been an 80 percent increase in the number ofsingle parent families since 1986 to 190,000.

One in four children is being raised in families where the parents are notmarried, the study said, a figure which comes close to levels in Britain andthe United States.


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has yet to publicly say whether he will sign oragain veto legislation that would allow same-sex couples to marry in California.

The governor's silence is uncharacteristic. In 2005 he was quick to warn hewould veto a similar bill. The measure passed anyway, and Schwarzeneggerrejected it.

The current bill passed the Senate a week ago. Schwarzenegger has untilOctober 14th to sign or veto the bill.

So far the only comments on the legislation have come from the governor'sspokespeople and only in response to direct questions from the media. Evenso the replies have been guarded.


When Dana Rudolph, publisher of, a lifestyle website forlesbian moms, was first made aware of's "Tuition and TextbooksSweepstakes," which offers contestants a grand prize of one year of freetuition (up to $25,000), she didn't think much of it.

Upon further inspection, however, Rudolph noticed the following wording: "Ifyou're not a student-but you have a family member who is-you may enter onhis/her behalf."

"After reading this, I looked at the [contest's] official rules, whichstate, 'For the purposes of the Grand Prize, the winner's immediate familyincludes his or her spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparentsand siblings,'" Rudolph wrote.

Seeking clarification, Rudolph quickly sent off a "nicely worded letter"'s customer service department asking whether same-sex partnerscould be considered "immediate family" as well.


The two brides from Massachusetts got dolled up in white and made their waydown the staircase at the Highlands Inn, a guesthouse for women tucked awayin the New Hampshire woods. Then, before a small gathering, they exchangedvows. The ceremony, which took place a few years ago, "was an occasion thatleft everyone in tears," recalled Highlands owner Grace Newman. "The onlything that it -- and similar ceremonies -- lacked was the blessing of thelaw."

But now that nearly all the New England states havemade it possible for gay and lesbian couples to create legal bonds, eventssuch as this are becoming commonplace across the region. At a time whenlegislatures in other parts of the country are slamming the door on gaymarriage, the states clustered in the country's northeastern corner arebecoming wildly popular for weddings, civil union ceremonies and honeymoonsfor gays.


As Nepal's trans folk fight for political rights, two lesbians arecelebrating their right to love. 21-year old Kalpana Pariyar and 22-year oldSabi Bishwokorma are getting hitched today during the annual, lady-centricTeej Friday. And it's been a fight, for sure:

Disowned by their families, the defiant women came to Kathmandu this weeklooking for support from Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Nepal's only gay rightsorganization that last year organized the kingdom's first public gaymarriage.


Denny and Robin Roberts were one of the couples that fought to legalizesame-sex marriage in B.C. Now married three years, they say attitudes havechanged since they began living together in 1983.

"The whole thing was terribly scary," when they started out, Roberts said.Both had just left heterosexual marriages and Denny's family broke offcontact.

While they built a supportive environment at home with their four childrenfrom their previous marriage, they felt homophobia in the community. Denny'sboys, then in high school, were taunted for having lesbian parents.

But legalization of homosexual marriage has brought more acceptance. Theysay Victoria has become a welcoming place to live openly.


I never thought I would find myself defending Jerry Lewis. Like a lot ofpeople of my generation (and, unless you live in France, the one before thatand quite possibly the one before that), my brain just isn't wired toappreciate the charms of his act, which always has struck me as about asclose to dental drilling as comedy can get.

But now that we've spent some time chastising the 81-year-old for saying, inthe 18th hour of his Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy telethon, all or most ofthe verboten word "faggot," part of me is feeling just a wee bit French.

In case you weren't glued to the 21-hour telethon and missed the crucialmoment, the gaffe occurred amid a bit of improvisation about imaginaryfamily members, including "Bart, your older son" and what sounded like"Jesse, the illiterate faa ..." Realizing his mistake, Lewis aborted the endof the word and quickly said "no."


OCEAN GROVE - Sunday will be a "dream come true" for an Ocean Grove couplewhen they hold their civil union ceremony on the fishing pier.

Janice Moore, 70, and Emily Sonnessa, 77, will hold their ceremony at 3 p.m.Sunday in front of about 60 relatives and friends, Moore said. The ceremonywill be officiated by Neptune Deputy Mayor Randy Bishop.

The couple is one of two battling the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Associationover its refusal to allow same-sex civil unions in the boardwalk pavilion.The association maintains that the pavilion is a religious structure, whileOcean Grove's gay community and its supporters say it is a public area.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

September 14, 2007

Governor Appoints Another Log Cabin Member to State Board Bringing TotalState Board and Commission Appointees to Seven

Sacramento - Log Cabin announced that Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggerappointed Alan Howard 36, of Carmel, California to the CaliforniaOsteopathic Medical Board. Since 2004, he has served as a project managerfor American President Lines, a global leader in container shipping,logistics and technology management. Howard previously held severalpositions including director for the TNT Post Group, where he worked from1994 to 2002. This position does not require Senate confirmation and thecompensation is $100 per diem. Howard follows the appointments in recentweeks of Leonard Olds, a founder of Log Cabin, to the California Council forthe Humanities and Don Norte to the Governor's Council on the Employment ofPeople with Disabilities.

Alan Howard joined the national board of the Log Cabin Republicans in 2005.He is the owner of a real estate development business in Carmel and providesconsulting services on systems development, implementation, and projectmanagement to the transportation industry.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

From Jack Drescher

Numerous religious right media outlets keep insisting that thestanton/yarhouse "study's"

" . . . conclusions directly contradict the claims of both the AmericanPsychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association thatstate that change in sexual orientation is impossible . . "

It has never been the position of the American Psychiatric Association thatchange is impossible. The APA position statement is attached. I also donot believe that the American Psychological Association has issued aposition statement saying that change is impossible.

Jack Drescher, MD
440 West 24 Street, #1A
New York, NY 10011


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