Wednesday, September 19, 2007

GLBT DIGEST September 19, 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


Calif. Gays Hold Statewide Marriage Protest
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: September 19, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(San Francisco, California) From Bakersfield to Ukiah thousands ofCalifornia gays and lesbians staged demonstrations Tuesday night calling onGov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to rethink his threatened veto of same-sexmarriage legislation.

The biggest protests were in Los Angeles and San Francisco where manysame-sex couples brought their children to urge the governor to showunderstanding for the problems gay families encounter without marriageequality.

On Monday Schwarzenegger announced he would veto the bill passed by thelegislature earlier this month. (story)

The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act is almost identicalto legislation passed in 2005 and vetoed by Schwarzenegger.

It would amend the Family Code to define marriage as a civil contractbetween two persons instead of a civil contract between a man and a woman.

more . . . . .


The New York Times

September 19, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

Alan (Not Atlas) Shrugged


It's a lost art, slinking away.

Now the fashion is slinking back.

Nobody wants to simply admit they made a mistake and disappear for awhile.Nobody even wants to use the weasel words: "Mistakes were made." No, farbetter to pop right back up and get in the face of those who were savoringyour absence.

We should think of a name for this appalling modern phenomenon.Kissingering, perhaps.

In Las Vegas, there's the loathsome O.J., a proper candidate for shunningand stun-gunning, barging back into the picture.

And on Capitol Hill, Larry Craig shocked mortified Republicans by boundinginto their weekly lunch. You'd think the conservative 62-year-old Idahosenator would have some shame, going from fervently opposing gay rights toprovocatively tapping his toe in a Minneapolis airport toilet. (The toiletstall, now known as the Larry Craig bathroom, has become a hot local touristattraction.)

But no.

As though Republicans don't have enough problems, Mr. Craig said he is readyto go back to work while the legal hotshots he hired appeal his case. Heeven cast a couple votes, one against D.C. voting rights. (This creep getsto decide about my representation?)

Even if President Bush is "the cockiest guy" around, as the former MexicanPresident Vicente Fox writes in a new memoir critical of W.'s"grade-school-level" Spanish and his grade-school-level Iraq policy, he can't be feeling good about the barbs being hurled his way by former supportersand enablers.



The New York Times

September 19, 2007

Sexuality as Defense Puzzles Judge


A judge cast doubts yesterday on a defense raised by one of the young menaccused of chasing a gay man to his death in traffic on the Belt Parkwaylast year.

The defendant, Anthony Fortunato, 21, is charged with murder as a hatecrime, but he has claimed that he, too, is gay.

Mr. Fortunato and a co-defendant are on trial in the killing of Michael J.Sandy, 29, a gay man who was lured from his home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn,to a lot in Sheepshead Bay on Oct. 8, 2006. Mr. Sandy was called to therendezvous through online chats at a Web site for gay men. When he arrivedat the secluded lot, the authorities say, he was beaten and chased onto theBelt Parkway, where he was struck by a car. He died five days later.

On the second day of the trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court yesterday, JudgeJill Konviser-Levine questioned that defense.

"I'm still curious as to the relevance of your client's sexuality," thejudge said to Mr. Fortunato's lawyer. Still, she did not forbid him frompresenting evidence of his client's sexuality.



The Washington Post

Md. Ban On Gay Marriage Is Upheld
Law Does Not Deny Basic Rights, Is Not Biased, Court Rules

By Lisa Rein and Mary Otto
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 19, 2007; Page A01

Maryland's highest court yesterday upheld a 34-year-old state law banningsame-sex marriage, rejecting an attempt by 19 gay men and lesbians to winthe right to marry.

In reversing a lower court's decision, the divided Court of Appeals ruledthat limiting marriage to a man and a woman does not discriminate againstgay couples or deny them constitutional rights. Although the judgesacknowledged that gay men and lesbians have been targets of discrimination,they said the prohibition on same-sex marriage promotes the state's interestin heterosexual marriage as a means of having and protecting children.



The Washington Post

Bill Would Ban Bias on Sexual Orientation

By Stephen Barr
Wednesday, September 19, 2007; D04

The House federal workforce subcommittee usually operates on bipartisanconsensus and voice votes. But not yesterday.

The panel's Democrats and Republicans split over proposed legislation thatwould ban discrimination against federal employees and job applicants basedon sexual orientation. Republicans asked for a roll call, and Democrats, asthe majority party, prevailed, 5 to 3.

The measure would affirm that the government's employment policy prohibitsbias against gays in the workplace and is directed at Bush appointee ScottJ. Bloch, the head of the Office of Special Counsel, who has refused toenforce the policy based on his reading of civil service law.

"In order to dispel any public confusion, Congress repudiates any assertionthat federal employees are not protected from discrimination on the basis ofsexual orientation," a section in the bill states.

The reaffirmation of the government's policy is included in legislation toreauthorize programs at the Office of Special Counsel and the Merit SystemsProtection Board. The bill's larger goal would require the offices to takemore care in handling complaints by federal employees.



Monday, Sept. 17, 2007

Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: 917-691-5118

Truth Wins Out Expresses Gratitude For $40,000 Grant From The ArcusFoundation

TWO Moves Its Headquarters From Miami Beach To New York City

NEW YORK - Truth Wins Out thanked the Arcus Foundation today for rewardingTWO with a $40,000 grant that will greatly assist in the organization'sefforts to counter the ex-gay industry. The gift was from The Arcus Gay &Lesbian Fund, which seeks to advance social justice by supporting efforts topromote human rights and policy change for GLBT equality.

"Truth Wins Out is grateful for the generous support it has received fromthe Arcus Foundation," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen."This gift significantly increases our capacity to enlighten Americans aboutthe ex-gay myth. This timely assistance will allow us to educate the publicand help people who have been harmed by these dangerous organizations."

Jon Stryker founded the Arcus Foundation and its Executive Director is notedGLBT advocate Urvashi Vaid. The Gay & Lesbian Fund focuses on impactingreligious and values-based beliefs to promote greater acceptance of the GLBTcommunity. It also concentrates on efforts to address and promote racialjustice in GLBT communities and further the inclusion of issues of sexualitywithin racial justice movements as well as expand GLBT human rights incommunities of color.

In the Spring 2007 grant cycle, The Arcus Gay & Lesbian Fund provided 53grants totaling $2,951,105.

"The Arcus Foundation is truly a lifeline and a vital component in ourbattle to win full equality," said Besen. "We are honored that they haveinvested in Truth Wins Out and given us the opportunity to bring a greaterfocus to these dangerous programs."

Additionally, Truth Wins Out moved its national headquarters from MiamiBeach to New York City this month. The rapid growth of the organizationnecessitated the move to a larger media market. There will still be apresence in South Florida, lead by board member Rev. Jerry Stephenson.

The Arcus Foundation envisions and contributes to a pluralistic world thatcelebrates diversity and dignity, invests in social justice, and promotestolerance and compassion. Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization thatcounters right wing propaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educatesAmerica about gay life. For more information, visit


=, USA

Published: 13:20 EST, September 16, 2007

Gene determines whether male body odor smells pleasant

To many, urine smells like urine and vanilla smells like vanilla. Butandrostenone, a derivative of testosterone that is a potent ingredientin male body odor, can smell like either - depending on your genes.While many people perceive a foul odor from androstenone, usuallythat of stale urine or strong sweat, others find the scent sweet andpleasant. Still others cannot smell it at all.

New research from Rockefeller University, performed in collaborationwith scientists at Duke University in North Carolina, reveals for thefirst time that this extreme variability in people's perception ofandrostenone is due in large part to genetic variations in a singleodorant receptor called OR7D4. The research is reported September 16as an advance online publication of the journal Nature.

Androstenone, found in higher concentrations in the urine and sweat ofmen than of women, is used by some mammals to convey social andsexual information, and the ability to perceive androstenone' s scent mayhave far-reaching behavioral implications for humans.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Roberta Sklar, Communications Director
(Office) 646.358.1465
(Cell) 917.704.6358

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., denounces Marylandhigh court ruling denying same-sex couples marriage equality

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 - The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc.,denounces today's ruling by Maryland's highest state court upholding thestate's ban on same-sex marriage. By a 4-3 vote, the Court of Appealsreversed a lower court decision and ruled the ban does not violate the stateconstitution. "In declaring that the State's legitimate interests infostering procreation and encouraging the traditional family structure ...our opinion should by no means be read to imply that the General Assemblymay not grant and recognize for homosexual persons civil unions or the rightto marry a person of the same sex," Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr. wrote for themajority.

Today's decision in Conaway v. Deane and Polyak is the final disposition ofa lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) andcooperating attorneys on behalf of nine same-sex couples and a recentlywidowed man who had sought and been denied marriage licenses in Maryland.Last year, the trial court had ruled that denying same-sex couples marriagelicenses violated their equal protection and due process rights under theMaryland Constitution. Today's decision reverses that ruling.

The Task Force was one of many national civil rights organizations tosupport the plaintiffs' claims by joining an amicus curiae (friend of thecourt) brief to Maryland's highest court. The Task Force has also directlysupported Equality Maryland, the statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender (LGBT) rights group, to advance equality for LGBT people.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc.

"Maryland, the so-called 'Free State,' became decidedly less free today withthe disappointing and demeaning decision handed down by the Maryland Courtof Appeals denying to same-sex couples the right to marry. By overturning alower court ruling that same-sex couples have a constitutional right tomarry under the state's own Equal Rights Amendment, the justices have turnedtheir hearts and minds away from a simple reality: All of Maryland'sfamilies want, need and deserve the protections, rights and responsibilitiesthat support and sustain them in good and bad times. We applaud thetremendous courage of the plaintiffs and the hard work of the ACLUattorneys.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

NYC, October 27, 2007: NOW screening of "Abomination"

The documentary film "Abomination: Homosexuality and the Ex-Gay Movement"is to be featured at the National Organization for Women New York StateConference on October 27th, 2007.

In 2007, NOW-NYS made the topic of marriage equality a focus of theiradvocacy and activism.The screening of Abomination will be at 9:45 AM, followed by a paneldiscussion of religious, legal and political obstacles to gay marriage.

Filmmaker Alicia Salzer, M.D. and alternative family law expert and gaymarriage activist Anthony M. Brown, Esq. will lead the group discussion.

Abomination is a documentary film about sexual orientation conversiontherapies and four individuals for whom these or other "ex-gay" treatmentshave been unsuccessful.

Abomination was created by the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists(AGLP) and features prominent mental health experts who have studied andwritten about the ex-gay movement's treatment failures.

To register for the NOW conference, go to

To learn more about Abomination, go to

To learn more about the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists, go


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Polygamy trial evokes many feelings

If polyamorous marriages weren't taboo, power of cults would diminish
Dominick Bonny
The Daily Evergreen

Published: 09/17/2007 7:22pm

Polygamy is a hot legal topic in American society. This is due in large partto the Warren Jeffs trial currently being argued in St. George, Utah. Jeffsis the leader of the largest polygamist religious sect in the United Statesand charged with multiple counts of rape and rape as an accomplice.

The reason he is charged with these crimes is because, as the leader of theFundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he had theabsolute power to approve or deny all the marriages within his community.Jeffs is on trial because he forced a 14-year-old girl to marry her firstcousin, who was nearly 20. She didn't want to and protested, but wasultimately forced into the marriage, and Utah is trying to find out if Jeffsis guilty of any criminal conduct.

He is charged as an accomplice to rape because he used political andreligious power to force an unwilling, underage girl into marriage andsubsequent unwilling sex with her husband. The sticky issue here is whatkind of a precedent would it set if Jeffs gets convicted.

According to experts interviewed by NPR reporter Wade Goodwyn, if Jeffs isfound guilty, the precedent it sets on the legality of spiritual leaders andguidance professionals who council people to get married might change. Forinstance, if a mental health professional counsels a couple to get marriedand have sex, that counselor might be guilty of the very same coercion uponwhich Utah is trying to convict Jeffs.

I think Jeffs is guilty of the charges. He used his power as leader of hiscommunity to ensnare unwilling, underage women into marriages because hisbeliefs say that if a man doesn't have at least three wives, he has no hopeof eternal salvation. If a religious leader or prophet is using brainwashingand coercion to force people to do things against their will, they should bepunished to the fullest extent of the law.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

From Human Rights Campaign - HRC

Our opponents are grasping at straws. They're handing out "fact sheets" onCapitol Hill with titles like "ENDA Protects Mental Disorders and Seeks toSilence People of Faith."

Their absurd argument? Being GLBT is a mental disorder.

But don't forget that the right wing holds major sway in Washington; that'swhy there's still not a single Federal law protecting gay, lesbian,bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination.

That could all change very soon. The House will likely vote on theEmployment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) as early as NEXT MONDAY. Yoursupport has been tremendous - nearly $30,000 in donations poured in on theday of the ENDA hearings. But to push this campaign through to victory, weneed to more than double that. So we're aiming to raise another $45,000 bythe end of the week.

Help us reach our goal of $75,000 to bolster our efforts before the votenext week.

As of today, we're in position to win this critical legislation. Keylawmakers have pledged their support. You have done so much already, and weare truly appreciative. Now, we need your help to step up our efforts overthe coming week - because the radical right is stepping up theirs. Here'swhat we'll be doing:

* Meeting with members of Congress. We're making sure the votes we'recounting on stay strong, and helping sway the few members who are still onthe fence.

* Running ads in key outlets. Targeted online ads - the most effectivekind for a short timeframe like this - are helping spread awareness andpressure lawmakers.

* Producing compelling videos. We're putting first-person stories ofanti-GLBT job discrimination onto the internet, where thousands can watchthem and take action.

* Getting our message out in the media. Our communications staff isworking overtime, from editorial board meetings to calls with reporters toletter-to-the-editor campaigns.



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.

The San Diego City Council agreed Tuesday to join other cities in aso-called "friend-of-the-court" brief asking the California Supreme Court tooverturn a prohibition on same-sex marriages.

Illinois - State elections officials voted Friday to keep a referendumagainst same-sex marriage off the November ballot, saying supporters had notgathered enough valid signatures.

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is launching a radio adtouting the strength of his opposition to gay marriage.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[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."



Gay & Lesbian Leadership

Craig gains ACLU as ally in court fight

The American Civil Liberties Union is backing U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's,R-Idaho, legal effort to take back his guilty plea as part of a Minnesotaairport restroom sex sting. The ACLU is questioning the constitutionality ofthe events, saying soliciting sex isn't sufficient grounds for arrest -- thepolice also must have evidence that the act was going to take place inpublic, according to an article.

Blogger: Romney also has some gay pride explaining to do
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani isn't the only GOP presidential hopefulto have a credibility problem with social conservatives over his pastsupport for LGBT people, according to this post showing a 2002 flyer fromthen-Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Mitt Romney sending out wishesfor a "great" pride weekend. Rolling Stone (9/17) read more....

Bars no longer center of gay life
The closing of four of 12 gay bars in Orlando, Fla., similar to shutdowns ofgay nightclubs in New York and other cities, reflects the LGBT community'sevolution away from bars as the necessary hubs for social interactions,according to this article. "A gay nightclub is obsolete," said Steve Tuhy,who runs a neighborhood gay bar. "It's something that has served itspurpose." Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (9/16) read more....,0,4112928.story

Hoadley to lead National Stonewall Democrats
Jon Hoadley, an activist with Gill Action who also helped launch a statewideLGBT rights group in conservative South Dakota, on Oct. 1 will become thenew executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats.

Big business more supportive of gay workers, but bias persistsThe number of major U.S. firms earning the top score on the Human RightsCampaign's Corporate Equality Index jumped 41% from last year, rising to 195firms from 138. However, the American Civil Liberties Union's "Working inthe Shadows: Ending Employment Discrimination for LGBT Americans" reportpaints a less rosy picture by highlighting specific incidents of workplacebias experienced by LGBT people.


Singapore To Repeal Sodomy Laws But Not For Gays
by Newscenter Staff

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

(Singapore) Legislation was introduced in the Singapore Parliament on Mondayto repeal laws banning sodomy but the bill would specifically limit it toheterosexuals.

The new legislation is the first overhaul of the penal code in nearly aquarter century. It removes a section of the law making "carnal intercourseagainst the order of nature" a crime.

But it maintains a similar law, dating back to British imperial rule,forbidding sex of any kind between males.

Under the law "gross indecency" between two men can lead to two years injail.

Police have not laid a charge for a number of years, but LGBT rights groupsin the city state have been actively lobbying for its repeal.

In April, Lee Kuan Yew, the man regarded as the father of Singapore, calledfor the decriminalization of gay sex laws. (story)



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.

Whatcott says that Mandel marches in gay-rights parades ``so he should bequite happy to be placed there.''



Inside Higher Education

Sept. 19
A Gay President Says 'I Do'

Like many college leaders, Ralph Hexter opens up the presidential home eachfall for a party for faculty and staff members. At a Tuesday evening gardenparty, Hexter told his guests that on September 1, he married his co-hostfor the event (and many such events at Hampshire), his partner of 27 years,Manfred Kollmeier.

As one of a small but growing number of gay and lesbian college presidents,and as one who has lived in Massachusetts since he became Hampshire'spresident in 2005, Hexter had the option of getting married - something heis quick to note most gay people lack. Not only is he in the only state withgay marriage, but Hexter works for a college and in a college town where"people are so welcoming and accepting," he said. In an interview Tuesday,Hexter talked about why he and Kollmeier got married now and how that choicerelates to Hexter's career as a scholar and as a college president.

Hexter noted that "we didn't rush to get married," even when that became apossibility in Massachusetts. Previously, Hexter taught at Yale Universityand the University of Colorado at Boulder and he became an administrator atthe University of California at Berkeley. Early in their relationship,"marriage wasn't even on the horizon" as a legal possibility, Hexter said.Their commitment was long settled, "but marriage wasn't part of thevocabulary."

When they arrived at Hampshire, Kollmeier was welcomed (and put to work) insimilar ways to many a presidential spouse. He was included in the pressreleases and official biography, he accompanies Hexter to many events, andat fund raising dinners, "he can be the head of a table just as I do when we've got more than one table of guests," and he "works the room and representsme," Hexter said.



Sacramento Bee

Sacramento Bee
19 Sept 07

Fight goes to governor

Many groups tell their followers to contact Schwarzenegger about asame-sex marriage bill on his desk

By Kevin Yamamura - Bee Capitol Bureau

With the regular legislative session complete, the battle over eight gayrights bills, including one allowing same-sex marriage, has moved directlyto Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office.

Religious-based critics have asked volunteers to repeatedly dial theRepublican governor to voice their opposition to the measures. In onee-mail, the Campaign for Children and Families asks supporters to call andwrite Schwarzenegger, with one piece of additional advice: "Don't forgetto pray to God."

At the same time, Oakland-based Marriage Equality USA organized statewiderallies Tuesday in 17 cities, including Sacramento, to demand that thegovernor sign the high-profile bill allowing gay and lesbian couples tomarry in California.



The Miami Herald

Global protests against Nicaragua's gay ban writer

Amnesty International, through its network of LGBT (lesbian, gay,bisexual & transgender) groups, held a series of demonstrations acrossthe world last week.

The protestors called for the calling for the decriminalisation ofsodomy in Nicaragua and called for the repeal of article 204 of thecountry's Penal Code.

This article criminalises not only gay men, lesbians and bisexualpeople in same-sex relationships, but is vague enough to permit theprosecution of individuals for activities such as campaigning for LGBTrights or anyone providing sexual health information or services.

Amnesty International considers the use of sodomy laws to imprisonindividuals for same-sex relations in private to be a grave violationof human rights.

The vast majority of countries throughout the Americas have abolishedtheir sodomy laws while Nicaragua introduced article 204 in September1992.


September 10, 2007
by Rex Wockner

Southern Common Market endorses gay equality

The Southern Common Market's human-rights committee issued a declarationin August urging an end to discrimination against sexual and genderminorities in member nations.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission called themove "the first significant step in promoting region-wide sexual andgender rights in Latin America [that could] result in sweeping changesto the rights and policies affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender people."

The measure now moves to the full Common Market for consideration.IGLHRC believes it will pass.

The declaration calls for repeal of all anti-gay laws, gay-issueseducation in schools, involvement of GLBT people in public education,GLBT public-awareness campaigns, an end to police harassment andpersecution, passage of laws to protect GLBT couples and families,allowing transgender people to officially change their name and sexdesignation, creation of government agencies to serve and protect gaypeople, adding "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the draftInter-American Convention Against Racism and All Forms ofDiscrimination, and creation of a regional authority to monitor nations'compliance with the declaration's goals.

Cuban Catholic leader approves of protections for gay couples

The Roman Catholic vicar general of Havana, Monsignor Carlos Manuel deCéspedes García-Menocal, supports "stable same-sex relationships" being"protected by civil laws."

He staked out his position in an article published in the July/Augustissue of the Archdiocese of Havana's New Word magazine.

Céspedes said, "Contemporary Western society is no longer the same asthat which arrived at present clarifications concerning marriage."

Although the church "is not going to renounce criteria established byrevelation and set by tradition," he said, "neither can it ignorecontemporary personal and family reality."




WHAT: Faith and social justice organizations, as well as community leaders,will hold a press conference and witness rally in front of Bell ShoalsBaptist Church to express the community's outrage at their bringing leadersof the nation's anti-gay industry to spew their dehumanizing and dangerousrhetoric in our community.

WHEN: Thursday, September 20th, 4PM

WHERE: In front of Bell Shoals Baptist Church - 2102 Bell Shoals Road,Brandon FL

From Tampa: Take 1-4 East to 1-75. Go South on 1-75 to Hwy 60(exit 257 - previously exit 51, Brandon Blvd.). Go East on 60 to LithiaPinecrest. Go South on Lithia Pinecrest, through the intersection atLumsden, make an immediate right turn onto Bell Shoals Road. Take BellShoals Road approximately 1/4 mile to the church.

WHO: Equality Florida, Hillsborough GLBTA Democratic Caucus, and otherprogressive and faith based organization from the Tampa Bay area.

Confirmed Speaker:
- Nadine Smith, Equality Florida
- Rev. Irene Monroe, Faith In America
- Rev. Harold Brockus, retired pastor - Good Samaritan Church in St. Pete
- Wayne Besen, Truth Wins Out
- Rev. Cedric A. Harmon, Americans United, Assoc. Field Dir.
- Rev. Phyllis Hunt, Pastor - MCC Tampa
- Robin Hankins, Queerly Divine Ministries
- Dr. Daniel Helminiak, Ph.D., Author - "What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality"
- Marty Rouse, HRC Field Director
- Sally Phillips, Hills. GLBTA Democratic Caucus
- Barbara Leavitt, Ex-wife of a gay man who believed the ex-gay hype

Equality Florida is Florida's only statewide human rights organizationdedicated to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.Through education and advocacy, the organization is committed to building astate of equal rights for all Floridians, inclusive of all sexualorientations and gender identities.


The Detroit News

Federal prosecutor from Florida caught in child sex sting

Paul Egan / The Detroit News

A federal prosecutor from Florida was ordered held in custody Monday afterhe appeared in U.S. District Court in Detroit on a charge that he flew toDetroit intending to have sex with a 5-year-old girl.

John David R. Atchison, 53, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., an assistant U.S. Attorneyin Florida's northern district, is expected to appear again in court for adetention hearing on Tuesday.

He was caught in an Internet child sex sting run by the Macomb CountySheriff's Department and the FBI and arrested Sunday when he flew intoDetroit Metropolitan Airport from Pensacola, Fla., according to a criminalcomplaint filed in federal court in Detroit.

A sheriff's deputy posed as a mother who was interested in finding someoneto have sex with her children, in a sting that has already netted aCalifornia paramedic and numerous other alleged pedophiles from around thecountry.

According to the complaint, Atchison reassured the sheriff's deputy who wasposing as the child's mother that he would not hurt the 5-year-old becausehe goes "slow and easy," and "I've done it plenty."



The KGB's long war against Rudolf Nureyev
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 17/09/2007Page 1 of 3

In 1961, Russia's finest dancer slipped through his keepers'fingers to defect to the West. But, years later, the Soviet secret policehad their revenge. By John Bridcut

The KGB had seen it coming. When Rudolf Nureyev, the mostpromising young talent in Leningrad's Kirov Ballet, fled the Soviet Unionfor the West in June 1961, they were not surprised.

He was known for flouting house rules, and flirting withWestern artists and ideas whenever he could. On the Kirov's tour of Paris inJune 1961, he continually escaped his escorts to absorb French culture andfriendship.



Williams in showdown with US church over gay bishops

Stephen Bates, religious affairs correspondent
Wednesday September 19, 2007

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will demandconcessions from the bishops of the US Episcopal Church tomorrow at a crisismeeting aimed at staving off the most damaging split in the church's modernhistory, over the issue of homosexuality.

They will be asked to give guarantees that they will notallow the election of any more openly gay bishops or authorise publicblessing services for same-sex couples and will create a structure forseparate episcopal oversight for conservative congregations who disagreewith the church's liberal leadership.

The continuing unity of the 77,000,000-strong worldwideAnglican communion, the world's third-largest Christian denomination, hangsin the balance, not in an ancient cathedral but the incongruous surroundingsof a hotel in downtown New Orleans.

The archbishop is meeting the US bishops for six hours,tomorrow and Friday, at the city's marble and glass multistoreyIntercontinental Hotel, 10 days ahead of a communion-imposed ultimatum,forcing the Americans to row back on their church's liberal inclusivenesstowards gays.

One senior Anglican engaged in the negotiations said: Thesituation is very volatile. The time has come for the Episcopal Church totell us where they stand and give unreserved commitments to the rest of thecommunion.


State Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Ban

POSTED: 11:44 am EDT September 18, 2007
UPDATED: 1:22 pm EDT September 18, 2007

BALTIMORE -- The state's Court of Appeals said Tuesday that Maryland's banon same-sex marriages will stand.

The state' s highest court decided Tuesday morning to uphold the law thatdefines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

The ruling killed a lawsuit filed by same-sex couples who said they're beingdenied their fundamental rights by not being allowed to get married.

A divided Court of Appeals ruled that Maryland's 1973 ban on gay marriagedoes not discriminate on the basis of gender and does not deny anyfundamental rights, and that the state has a legitimate interest inpromoting opposite-sex marriage.

The decision essentially sent the gay-marriage issue back to thelegislature.


September 19, 2007

Record-breaking number of gay-friendly companies make HRC list

An unprecedented 195 high-profile U.S. businesses earned a perfect score inthe Human Rights Campaign Foundation's sixth annual Corporate EqualityIndex, which rates employers on their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual,and transgender workers, clients, and investors. The number of companiesreceiving a 100% rating increased by 41% over last year, from 138 to 195,the organization announced Monday.

"More businesses than ever before have recognized the value of a diverse anddedicated workforce," Joe Solmonese, the foundation's president, said in aprepared statement. "More importantly, these employers understand thatdiscrimination against GLBT workers will ultimately hurt their ability tocompete in a global marketplace."

The 195 companies that achieved a rating of 100 together employ more than8.3 million workers. Companies achieving a perfect score for the first timethis year include Mastercard Inc., J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Allstate InsuranceCo., and Yahoo! Inc.

When the index was first compiled, in 2002, 13 employers received the toprating.

Look for the October 23 issue of The Advocate, arriving at newsstandsOctober 9, for more in-depth coverage of the Corporate Equality Index. (TheAdvocate)


Governor appoints Colorado's first openly gay district judge
By April M. Washington, Rocky Mountain News
September 18, 2007

David Brett Woods will become Colorado's first openly gay district courtjudge.

Though one liberal-leaning blog,, reported that Woods isthe first openly gay district court judge and views his accomplishment as animportant milestone, Woods said Monday his sexual orientation shouldn'tmatter, and it won't influence his decisions on the bench.

"To me, it's not particularly news," Woods said. "It's never been an issuebefore. It's not going to be an issue. I follow the law."

While Woods becomes the first openly gay male appointed to the districtcourt, he's not the first openly gay judge in Colorado. Denver County CourtJudge Mary Celeste became the first openly gay judge in 2000.

The International Association of Gay and Lesbian Judges estimates there are75 to 100 openly gay and lesbian judges in the country.

more . . . . .


Art 'Too Gay' For Texas Bar
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: September 18, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(San Antonio, Texas) Each week Joe Blues, a San Antonio bar, invites a localartist to exhibit their work - but Marc Arevalo's show was short-lived,lasting less than a day.

Arevalo says that club owner Joey Villareal ordered the exhibit taken downbecause it was "too gay".

"He just said they looked too much like drag queens, and he didn't want toattract that type of clientele to the establishment," Marc Arevalo tellsKENS-television. "Of course, right then and there, I felt really offended."

Arevalo, who is openly gay, says that a picture of his partner, dressed inVictorian lace, was too much for Villareal.

Arevalo accuses the club owner of homophobia, and a large number of peoplein San Antonio's gay community agree and are threatening a boycott of thebar.

more . . . . .



The New York Times

Queen of the Scottish Fairies

An illustrated tale of a boy with strong sartorial tastes. Part of theSightlines visual series.


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