Tuesday, September 18, 2007

GLBT DIGEST September 18, 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 outto "Florida Red and Blue."

Ray and Michael




Low-pressure system forecast to bring storms to South Florida

September 18, 2007

South Florida should see an increase in thunderstorms today throughThursday, thanks to a low-pressure system descending over the state, theNational Weather Service in Miami-Dade County said.

The forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of rain today and Wednesday and a50 percent chance on Thursday. While it shouldn't create a "washout," thesystem was expected to make the atmosphere unstable, meteorologist GordonStrassberg said.

"Some areas could get several inches of rain, and a bunch of areas couldreceive virtually nothing," he said.

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center in Miami-Dade County was monitoringa separate disturbance off the state's northeast coast. It was drifting westand had some potential to slowly develop, forecasters said.

more . . . . .




Gay Foes Hold GOP Presidential Debate
by The Associated Press

Posted: September 18, 2007 - 4:30 am ET

(Fort Lauderdale, Florida) Self-described "values voters" gathered hereMonday to grill Republican presidential candidates, but the forum was mostnotable for its empty lecterns and its unanswered questions.

The biggest GOP names - Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain and FredThompson - sat out the Values Voter Presidential Debate, citing schedulingconflicts. That didn't stop questioners from addressing the front-runnerswho didn't attend.

Giuliani, Romney and McCain were all asked questions about abortion and gayrights. All, of course, went unanswered.

"They will regret the decision," said Jan Folger, president of Faith2Actionand a member of the debate host committee. "Because they snubbed us, theywill not win, because we will not follow their lead."

In attendance were former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Sam Brownback ofKansas, Chicago businessman John Cox, Maryland conservative Alan Keyes andReps. Ron Paul of Texas, Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Duncan Hunter ofCalifornia.

more . . . . .




Accused In Sandy Murder is Secretly Gay Lawyer Tells Court
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: September 18, 2007 - 7:00 am ET

(New York City) One of three men charged with murder and robbery as hatecrimes in the death of Michael Sandy should have the hate crime chargedropped because he is gay his lawyer told a Brooklyn court on Monday.

Attorney Gerald DiChiara made the surprise disclosure during his openingremarks at the trial of Anthony Fortunato, 21, and two others.

DiChiara said that Fortunato was only looking for sex the night he hooked uponline with Sandy. The attorney also said that his client intended to comeout to the others later that night.

"He'd been leading a secret life through the Internet, meeting men andhaving sex with them," DiChiara told the court.

But prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi painted a far different story ofFortunato.

more . . . . .




Report: Anglican Head To Meet 'In Secret' With Gays
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: September 17, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(London) The leader of the world's Anglicans reportedly with conduct a"secret" communion service in London for gay clergy and their partners.

The Times newspaper in an article to be published on Tuesday says thatArchbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams will hold the service at StPeter's, Eaton Square. The parish is home to many of the country's liberaland wealthy Anglican elite.

The paper said the service will take place on November 29 and include anaddress by the Archbishop that is titled "Present realities and futurepossibilities for lesbians and gay men in the Church."

Those attending will be there by invitation only, the Times notes, addingthat they have been warned not to disclose any of the events or discussionswhich take place.

A list of those attending has been vetted by the Archbishop's staff and andwill be shredded.

more . . . . .




Crumbs from the Table?

by John Corvino

David Blankenhorn is the kind of same-sex marriage opponent you mightconsider inviting to your (gay) wedding.

I'm not saying you should. After all, in his books, articles and talks,Blankenhorn has defended the position that same-sex marriage weakens avaluable institution. So when your minister intones "If anyone here has anyobjections to this union." all eyes would be on him.

But Blankenhorn is virtually unique among same-sex marriage opponents in hisinsistence on "the equal dignity of homosexual love." He has stated thisbelief repeatedly in his talks, particularly those to conservativeaudiences. And he stated it again recently in an online "bloggingheads"discussion with same-sex marriage advocate Jonathan Rauch. Despite hisultimate opposition, Blankenhorn concedes that there are a number of strongreasons for supporting same-sex marriage, not least being our equal worth.

This is an unusual, refreshing, and significant concession.

Before you call me an Uncle Tom-excited about crumbs from the table ratherthan demanding my rightful place at it-let me be clear.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Gay man consider legal action over voice discrimination

17th September 2007 14:05
PinkNews.co.uk writer

A bank is being threatened with a law suit after a man was repeatedly deniedaccess to phone banking because staff thought he sounded like a woman.

Graham O'Brien, 29, is a customer with the Halifax.

After several attempts to conduct bank transactions over the phone wereunsuccessful, he was told to visit a branch.

When he did, he was told that a "suspect person" thought to be a woman hadbeen trying to access his account, which had been suspended.

Mr O'Brien, a law lecturer from Leeds, the officially complained to thebank, who admitted in writing that:

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Play about homophobia to tour schools

17th September 2007 11:05
Tony Grew

Gay equality organisation Stonewall has teamed up with a well-knownwriter/director to raise awareness of the problem of homophobic bulling inschools.

Fit, a new play aimed at tackling the problem and raising awareness amongstyoung people, is set to begin a tour of schools and theatres across thecountry.

Co-produced by Stonewall and queerupnorth international festival,Fit iswritten and directed by acclaimed writer/director Rikki Beadle-Blair, whosecredits include Bashment at Theatre Royal Stratford East, Stonewall for BBCFilms and Metrosexuality for Channel 4.

Earlier this year research published by Stonewall found that almost twothirds (65%) of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils had experienced homophobicbullying in schools.

The survey, entitled The School Report, also found that 97% of young gaypeople had heard insulting homophobic language used in schools and half didnot feel comfortable to be open about their sexual orientation.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Singapore reforms laws but gay sex still illegal

17th September 2007 14:10
PinkNews.co.uk writer

A bill introduced to the Singaporean parliament today will legalise oral andanal sex in private between consenting straight adults.

However the ban on "gross indecency" will remain in place and malehomosexuals still face a maximum of two years in prison for gay sex.

The new legislation will also create new offences relating to sex tourismand child prostitution.

The authorities have not brought anyone up on charges of gross indecency forseveral years.

The city state of nearly five million people is renowned for its draconianlegislation.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


September 17, 2007

Alabama Plan Brings Out Cry of Resegregation

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - After white parents in this racially mixed citycomplained about school overcrowding, school authorities set out to draw upa sweeping rezoning plan. The results: all but a handful of the hundreds ofstudents required to move this fall were black - and many were sent tovirtually all-black, low-performing schools.

Black parents have been battling the rezoning for weeks, calling itresegregation. And in a new twist for an integration fight, they arewielding an unusual weapon: the federal No Child Left Behind law, whichgives students in schools deemed failing the right to move to better ones.

"We're talking about moving children from good schools into low-performingones, and that's illegal," said Kendra Williams, a hospital receptionist,whose two children were rezoned. "And it's all about race. It's as clear asdaylight."

Tuscaloosa, where George Wallace once stood defiantly in the schoolhousedoor to keep blacks out of the University of Alabama, also has had avolatile history in its public schools. Three decades of federaldesegregation marked by busing and white flight ended in 2000. Though thecity is 54 percent white, its school system is 75 percent black.

The schools superintendent and board president, both white, said in aninterview that the rezoning, which redrew boundaries of school attendancezones, was a color-blind effort to reorganize the 10,000-student districtaround community schools and relieve overcrowding. By optimizing use of thecity's 19 school buildings, the district saved taxpayers millions, officialssaid. They also acknowledged another goal: to draw more whites back intoTuscaloosa's schools by making them attractive to parents of 1,500 childrenattending private academies founded after court-ordered desegregation began.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Book: Religious right uses "junk science" to bash gays

A new book says there's been a disturbing campaign of misinformation wagedagainst America's gay community by--who else?--the religious right.

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: Exposing the Lies of the Anti-GayIndustry explores in detail the misleading messages put out by anti-gaygroups, says author Alvin McEwen.

"Groups like Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, andthe Traditional Values Coalition all claim that homosexuality is a deadlylifestyle," McEwen said. "This notion is used to give a secular reason tooppose pro-gay laws. However the data they cite to prove the so-callednegative effects of homosexuality is the product of junk science,misrepresented studies, and outright lies."

McEwen, a South Carolina native, spent two years looking at religious rightstudies pertaining to the gay community. He said he wrote the book as aguide that the gay community and their allies can use when confrontingreligious right claims.

According to Holy Bullies, the religious right routinely:

. relies on the work of a discredited researcher

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Study Reveals Disparities in Use of Healthcare Benefits by Race, Class

Minority and lower-income healthcare consumers are less likely to takeadvantage of mental health and prescription benefits than white andhigher-income consumers, study finds.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Durham, NC -- Minority and lower-income healthcare consumers are less likelyto take advantage of mental health and prescription benefits than white andhigher-income consumers, according to a study to be published Tuesday byDuke University law professor Barak Richman.

The study, "Insurance Expansions: Do They Hurt Those They Are Designed toHelp?" appears in the Sept. 11 edition of the journal Health Affairs. Itexamines the use of mental health and pharmaceutical benefits by employeeswho have identical insurance benefits, including equal co-payments.

Richman found that low-income and minority individuals did not utilize theseinsurance benefits as often as their white and higher-income co-workers. Asa result, insurance companies disbursed more healthcare dollars to whitesand higher-income individuals, leading to a likely "wealth transfer" fromnonwhites to whites and from low-income to high-income individuals, Richmansaid.

The findings are contrary to the common wisdom that has driven a trendtoward healthcare mandates at the state and federal levels, Richman said.

"It seems intuitive to say that a lot of people suffer from certain ailmentsand would benefit from care, and therefore we should require coverage sothey can get care," said Richman, whose research interests includehealthcare policy. "But this study shows that certain income and racialgroups are less inclined to take advantage of insurance benefits even whenthey have that coverage. So forcing them to pay for coverage they won't usemight not be to their advantage."

more . . . . .


The New York Times


September 18, 2007

Group Loses Tax Break Over Gay Union Issue

A boardwalk pavilion in the seaside town of Ocean Grove, N.J., that has beenat the center of a battle over gay civil union ceremonies has lost itstax-exempt status because the state ruled it no longer met the requirementsas a place open to all members of the public.

In a letter to the administrator of the Ocean Grove Camp MeetingAssociation, a Methodist organization that owns the pavilion property, thestate commissioner of environmental protection, Lisa Jackson, declined torecertify the pavilion as eligible for a real estate tax exemption it hasenjoyed since 1989 under the state's Green Acres Program, but did renew thetax-exempt status of the rest of the boardwalk and the beach, also owned bythe association.

The issue arose after the association, which has owned the land, the beachand 1,000 feet of the sea itself since 1870, rejected the requests of twolesbian couples to have their civil union ceremonies at the BoardwalkPavilion.

The couples complained to the State Division on Civil Rights, which began adiscrimination investigation. The association sued the state, claiming thatthe investigation violated its First Amendment rights because civil unionswere contrary to the beliefs of the United Methodist Church.

A federal district court judge refused last month to halt the investigation.



The New York Times


September 18, 2007

Lawyer Claims Defendant in Hate Crime Is Gay, Too

One of the defendants accused of killing a gay man in Brooklyn last yearbecause of his sexual orientation offered a startling courtroom revelationyesterday: He, too, is gay.

So said the lawyer for Anthony Fortunato, 21, one of four men accused ofchasing a gay man to his death on the Belt Parkway during a robbery on Oct.8, 2006.

All along, homosexuality has defined the case. Prosecutors have used it as asword, seeking heavier sentences for a hate crime.

As the trial began in Brooklyn Supreme Court yesterday, Mr. Fortunato'slawyer, Gerald J. Di Chiara, sought to use sexual orientation as a shield.Without much explanation of how he planned to introduce this fact or turn itto his advantage, Mr. Di Chiara offered it to the jury in his openingargument. Not only was Mr. Fortunato gay, Mr. Di Chiara said, but so was themain prosecution witness, Gary Timmins, 17, who has pleaded guilty toattempted robbery in exchange for his testimony.



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.


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday that he won't reconsider his decisionto veto a bill legalizing gay marriage and will keep vetoing the measure aslong as lawmakers send it to him.

The Republican governor said he won't change his position unless votersoverturn an anti-gay marriage initiative that Californians adopted in 2000.

"It would be wrong for the people to vote for something and for me to thenoverturn it," Schwarzenegger said. "So they can send this bill down as manytimes as they want, I won't do it."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Many county districts opting out of lessons on diversity

Burlington County Times

The state Department of Education mandates that school districts discuss alltypes of families - including those headed by gay and lesbian couples - withstudents by the fourth grade.

While the state makes it clear that ignoring same-sex parents in thediversity discussion is not an option, a survey of Burlington County schooldistricts shows that many are opting out anyway.

When the Evesham School District attempted to meet the requirement with anaward-winning, state-approved video last year, it was met with controversy,national attention and months of emotional and heated debate.

The township Board of Education decided last month to remove the video fromits curriculum despite a special committee's recommendation that the videobe retained, but be moved from the third- to fourth-grade curriculum. Theschool board argued that the video had become too divisive in the community.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

"Senator Craig has not always been a great friend of civil liberties, butyou shouldn't have to endorse the civil liberties of others to keep yourown," Anthony Romero, the group's executive director, says in a statement."

Jack Drescher, MD


ABC News
ACLU Backs Sen. Larry Craig
Senator Accused of Soliciting Sex Has an Unlikely Ally in American CivilLiberties Union

Sept. 17, 2007 -

The strange case of Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig is about to takeanother interesting turn. Craig is getting support today from what manymight consider to be an unlikely ally  the American Civil Liberties Union.

Craig was arrested in a men's restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airportin June and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct last month.

"We believe the sting operation used to apprehend Mr. Craig wasunconstitutional. The statute the government is relying upon makes it acrime to use certain offensive words," said Anthony Romero, the executivedirector of the ACLU.

Police say Craig solicited sex from a police officer by tapping his foot andwaving his hand under the stall divider. The arresting officer also saysCraig peeked into his stall.



[euro-queer] Russian gays detained in blood donor protest


Russian gays detained in blood donor protest

Seven protesters have been detained in Moscow for holding a demonstrationagainst a law which prohibits homosexual men from giving blood.A doctor at Russia's health ministry claims that the law banning gay menfrom giving blood exists for a good reason.

"The fact is that this part of society is considered to be at risk ofsexually transmitted infections and when they passed this law they werethinking about those people who are infected and only about these people,"explained Sergey Oprishenko, a doctor from the blood donor centre.

However, the doctor also says that all blood donated is checked forinfections.

The leader of Moscow's Gay Pride movement, Nikolai Alekseyev, believes thatthe law is discriminatory. The same law also prevents prostitutes and drugaddicts from giving blood.

Mr Alekseyev says its unfair to compare gay men to drug users and sexworkers, pointing out that there is no law preventing gay women from givingblood. He added that the health service is desperately short of blood, yetit is "stopping people giving blood for reasons that are incomprehensible."



The Detroit News


Deb Price

Force schools to take bullying seriously

Growing up in a rough section of southern California, Linda Sanchez saw thelasting, painful damage caused by the hateful mouths and fists of schoolyardbullies.

"I was one of those kids who always stuck up for the underdogs," sherecalls. "So if somebody was being picked on, I usually would try tointervene."

No longer simply a good-hearted student, Sanchez, a Democrat serving herthird term in the U.S. House, is working to make public schools safer byrequiring educators to do more to stop bullying.

She speaks eloquently about bullying's dangerous ripple effects. The twistedkillers in the Virginia Tech and Columbine High School tragedies werebullied before turning violent themselves. In another sad irony, victims ofbullies sometimes see joining gangs as a way to protect themselves, shenotes.

One in 10 high school dropouts blames bullying. Being bullied puts kids athigh risk of having failing grades, hurting themselves with drugs oralcohol, and carrying emotional scars.



Forwarded from Tobias Packer
South Florida Field Organizer

Equality Florida

AMA Adopts Trans-Inclusive Nondiscrimination Policy

by Bob Roehr
Originally printed 07-12-2007
(Issue 1527 - Between The Lines News)

CHICAGO - The American Medical Association (AMA) amended itsnondiscrimination policies to include transgender persons at theannual meeting of the AMA House of Delegates in Chicago, which endedon June 27.

The comprehensive change in policy affects all aspects of thefunctioning of the AMA, including relations with patients, employmentissues, and insurance coverage. It also will affect accreditation ofmedical schools.

The report recommending the changes noted that "Transgenderindividuals face complex medical, psychological, and social issues.Within the health care system issues of discrimination and uniqueaccess barriers to important medical and social support services canoccur." This can lead to perceived and real discrimination againstthose individuals.

"The AMA has said that it is time for this discrimination to stop,"said Joel Ginsberg, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian MedicalAssociation, which had helped to push for the change.



Forwarded from Queer Muslim Revolution

Link to the following articles:



By: Rebecca Mahfouz

The resurrection of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) isn't stirring up the controversy it did in the 70s. Americans now have more pressing issues todeal with than whether women deserve the "equality of rights under the law,"set forth in the amendment. Aside from the Iraq quagmire and thequagmire-to-be in Iran, we still don't know who will be "America's Next TopModel."

Full article...



"I'd never been there before, so when I flew to Kurdistan in the north wherea friend of mine with American Voices was giving a concert, I decided togo," says my friend and colleague, NYC-based travel writer Michael Luongo."And with gay men being attacked across Iraq [by Shiite militias], I wantedto go there to interview people directly."

Full Article...



From Diversity Inc.

6 Years After Sept. 11, Muslims See More Inclusive Workplaces
By Yoji ColeF

After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, many American Muslimsencountered hostility in the workplace, both overt and subtle. But that haschanged in the last few years, as more corporations have become increasinglyaware of the need for religious inclusion.



[Send your comments about articles to rays.list@comcast.net]

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