Monday, September 17, 2007

GLBT DIGEST September 17, 2007


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 out to "Florida Red and Blue."

Ray and Michael


The New York Times

September 17, 2007
Gay Activists Hopeful on Job Bias Ban

Filed at 3:24 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Gay rights advocates expect Congress will soon movecloser to approving a federal ban on job discrimination against gay, lesbianand transgender workers.

Rep. Barney Frank, a leading proponent, predicts the ban will win Houseapproval in coming weeks.

But he and other gay rights supporters are less optimistic about the fightahead in the narrowly divided Senate, where they would need 60 votes --rather than a simple majority -- to overcome anticipated GOP stall tactics,such as a filibuster.

''You don't know if anything can pass the Senate,'' said Frank, D-Mass., oneof two openly gay members of Congress. ''No predictions are possible aboutthe Senate.''

Conservative activists, too, are bracing for a Senate showdown.

''We know it's going to be very close,'' said Matt Barber, policy directorfor cultural issues for Concerned Women for America.

It is legal for employers in 31 states to fire someone for being gay, theban's supporters said.



Letter from Rex Wockner

Dear Gov. Schwarzenegger,

As the bill legalizing same-sex marriage in California sits on your deskfor the second time in three years, I wonder...

How do you want to be remembered?

What do you want people to say about you 20 or 50 years from now?

Do you want to be remembered like Gov. Pete Wilson? As someone who did thewrong thing when presented with a historic opportunity? As someone who,for purely political reasons, blocked, for a few more years, an inevitablecivil rights advance?

Surely you remember Pete's veto of California's first gayanti-discrimination bill in 1991. You were here in California then.

I know you know Pete did the wrong thing, because you have signed a wholebunch of gay rights bills since you've been governor -- making Californiaa fairer place where gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people finallynow are almost equal citizens.

Almost. Because we still can't get married. Because you vetoed thesame-sex marriage bill that our elected Assembly members and senatorspassed in 2005.



Inside Higher Education

A Clash of Rights

Public colleges' anti-bias policies have been taking a beating in the courtsin recent years. Various federal courts have said that the policies can't beused to deny recognition to Christian student groups - even if those groupsexplicitly discriminate against those who are gay or who don't share thefaith of the organizations.

Many lawyers who advise colleges, even some who deplore these rulings, haveurged colleges to recognize that the force of their anti-bias policies hasbeen severely weakened. Students' First Amendment rights of freedom ofreligion and expression will end up trumping strong anti-bias principles, orso the emerging conventional wisdom has gone.

But an unusual decision from a federal appeals court on Thursday ischallenging that conventional wisdom. The decision upheld the right of apublic college - the College of Staten Island, of the City University of NewYork - to deny recognition to a fraternity because it doesn't let womenbecome members. In ruling as it did, the U.S. Court of Appeals for theSecond Circuit found that the college's anti-bias rules served an importantstate function - and a function that was more important than the limitsfaced by a fraternity not being recognized.

In a statement that some educators view as long overdue from the courts, theSecond Circuit said that a public college "has a substantial interest inmaking sure that its resources are available to all its students."

Further, and this is important because many college anti-bias policies gobeyond federal requirements, the court said that it didn't matter thatfederal law has exceptions for fraternities and sororities from gender biasclaims. "The state's interest in prohibiting sex discrimination is no lesscompelling because federal anti-discrimination statutes exempt fraternities," the court said.

Some legal experts view last week's ruling as a blip - a result perhaps ofunusual circumstances in the case, or a trio of judges who happened to seethe issue in a different way. An appeal is almost certain. But rulings byfederal appeals courts become law in their regions and precedents that canbe cited everywhere. And some lawyers, especially those trying to defendcollege anti-bias laws, say that the decision could be significant.



Express Gay News

Anglican leaders to talk over gay issue

Church is bitterly divided
LONDON (AP) | Sep 17, 9:14 AM

It wasn't just a friendly invitation.

U.S. Episcopal bishops, fed up with Anglican criticism of their support forgay priests, implored the Anglican spiritual leader to hear their side ofthe story - in person.

Starting Thursday, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will be in NewOrleans for that private talk, hoping he can hold together the increasinglyfractured world Anglican family.

"If anybody can do it, then somebody of the intellectual stature of RowanWilliams could," said Mark D. Chapman, lecturer in systematic theology atRipon College Cuddesdon in Oxford, England. "But it is a very tall order."

Williams arrives in the United States facing a real danger that the globalAnglican Communion could break up on his watch.

Debate erupts

The communion, a 77-million-member fellowship of churches that traces itsroots to the Church of England, has always held together members withconflicting biblical views. But debate erupted into confrontation in 2003,when the Episcopal Church consecrated the first openly gay bishop, V. GeneRobinson of New Hampshire.
Ever since, Anglican conservatives, concentrated mainly in developingcountries, have been pressing the Americans to promise not to consecrateanother gay bishop. The 2.2-million-member Episcopal Church is the Anglicanbody in the United States.



DesMoines Register

Biden declares his views on gay rights

He says he supports civil unions but not marriage for same-sex couples.
September 16, 2007

Sioux City, Ia. - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Saturdaydiscussed gay rights related to health care, civil unions and the militaryat a campaign stop in Sioux City.

Biden, speaking to an estimated 100 supporters at an early morningbreakfast, said coverage under his proposed health care plan, or anyuniversal plan, must be guaranteed as a constitutional right to allcitizens, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Biden added that he supports civil unions but not marriage for same-sexcouples. He added that he does not think "it is the responsibility of thegovernment to be able to define for a religious-based organization whatconstitutes a marriage."

The issue of gay marriage heated up in Iowa recently after a ruling from aPolk County district judge struck down Iowa's ban on same-sex marriage. Theruling is on hold pending a state Supreme Court appeal, although two menwere able to get married in Des Moines.

The Delaware senator also said he feels the military's current "don't ask,don't tell" policy related to gay service members is a "bizarre" one. Themilitary's major responsibility is to keep high standards, he said.



National Gay News

Swedish Government Funds Gay Rights Group
Monday, 17 September 2007 07:34

Sida, The Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation, agovernment agency under the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, has granted 1.9million Swedish crowns (approximately 200,000 euros) to RFSL, the Swedishfederation for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.

1.1 million Swedish crowns (116,000 euros) will go towards supporting ILGA,the International Lesbian and Gay Association.



National Gay News

S.C. Blacks' Political Opinions Conflicting
Monday, 17 September 2007 07:11

Black South Carolinians are Democrats.

But they're far from liberal.

Blacks in South Carolina have nuanced, sometimes seemingly conflictingopinions that reflect, at times, the state's conservatism, a groundbreakingWinthrop/ETV poll found.



National Gay News

'Will of People' Likely Schwarzenegger Mantra on Same-Sex Marriage
Monday, 17 September 2007 06:39

If Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger goes through with his expectedveto of San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno's measure to allow same-sexmarriage in California, it's almost guaranteed the governor will say he'sfollowing "the will of the people."

That's the argument the Republican governor made two years agowhen he rejected a similar measure. Although Schwarzenegger hasn't taken anofficial position on the new bill, he made clear in February that he did notintend to sign it.



National Gay News

SF Visitors Bureau Campaign Targets Gay Tourists
Sunday, 16 September 2007 15:27

A new ad campaign launched by the San Francisco Convention andVisitors Bureau in coordination with Southwest Airlines will attempt toincrease the number of gay and lesbian travelers visiting the city,officials announced Wednesday.

The $180,000 tourism campaign will focus on advertising and marketingtactics, including ticket giveaways and informational mailers, officialssaid.




Scene Of Senator's Gay Sex Bust Becomes Popular Tourist Stop
by The Associated Press

Posted: September 17, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Minneapolis, Minnesota) When tourists ask for the bathroom in theMinneapolis airport lately, it's usually not because they have to go.

It's because they want to see the stall made famous by U.S. Sen. LarryCraig's arrest in a sex sting.

"It's become a tourist attraction," said Karen Evans, information specialistat the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. "People are takingpictures."

Craig was arrested June 11 by a Minneapolis airport police officer. TheIdaho Republican pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Craig has since said his guilty plea was a mistake. His request to withdrawthe guilty plea will be heard Sept. 26, just four days before he has said hewill step down from his Senate seat.

Just 15 minutes into her shift on Friday, Evans said she had been askeddirections to the new tourist attraction four times. Other airport workersfield the same question.




Outspoken Gay Foe Causes Stir With Election Bid
by The Canadian Press

Posted: September 16, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET

(Edmonton, Alberta) An anti-abortion and anti-gay-rights activist fromSaskatchewan is raising some eyebrows during his run for the job ofEdmonton's mayor.

Bill Whatcott is distributing pamphlets in east Edmonton that show a graphicdepiction of current Mayor Stephen Mandel's head between two apparently gaymen who are wearing little clothing.

Mandel declined to comment, saying he didn't want to give credibility tothings that don't deserve any.

However, Michael Phair, an openly gay city councilor in Edmonton, calledWhatcott's pamphlet ``quite awful'' and wondered how far free speech shouldbe allowed to go.

Councilor Mike Nickel says it's unfortunate there are no provisions underthe election bylaw to ban Whatcott from running.



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