Monday, September 24, 2007

GLBT DIGEST September 24, 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 24, 2007
Gay Characters Disappearing From Broadcast TV

Filed at 2:42 a.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Gay people are becoming an endangeredspecies on network television.

A new report says a total of seven series on the five broadcast networksfeature regular lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) charactersthis season, down from nine last season. The number has dropped for the pastthree years, according to the annual "Where We Are on TV" study by the Gay &Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

The only non-heterosexual regular character appearing on a new show isBonnie Somerville's bisexual Caitlin Dowd on ABC's drama "Cashmere Mafia,"which premieres in December.

ABC continues by a mile to be the most inclusive of LGBT representation. Thenetwork accounts for six of the seven characters in its series "Brothers &Sisters," "Ugly Betty," "Desperate Housewives" and "Cashmere Mafia." (Theseventh regular LGBT character is Oscar Martinez on NBC's "The Office," theonly one such character of color on broadcast TV.)

"Brothers" is singled out as "the bright spot on primetime network dramas"with its three gay or bisexual characters.

The highest-profile new addition of gay characters is on "DesperateHousewives," which will introduce the first gay couple on Wisteria Lane,played by Kevin Rahm and Tuc Watkins in recurring roles.

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The New York Times

September 24, 2007
Editorial Observer
Larry Craig's Great Adventure: Suddenly, He's a Civil Libertarian


Senator Larry Craig, Republican of Idaho, will ask a judge this week toreverse his conviction for soliciting sex from an undercover police officerin a Minneapolis airport bathroom. He should prevail. Mr. Craig did nothingillegal, and the law he was convicted under should be held unconstitutional.

It is hard, though, to be entirely sympathetic. Mr. Craig, who is asking thecourt to take the extraordinarily pro-defendant step of undoing his guiltyplea, has been a rubber stamp for the Bush administration's drive to stockthe courts with judges who have utter contempt for civil liberties - and forclaims like his own.

After his arrest, Mr. Craig was called hypocritical for his longstandingopposition to gay rights in Congress. His legal defense, though, presents adifferent inconsistency. He joins a long list of conservatives who believein a fair legal system only for themselves.

Mr. Craig pleaded guilty to a dubious charge of disorderly conduct afterunder-the-stall toe-tapping and shoe-bumping with an undercover policeofficer. His gestures may have been moving toward an illegal act - sexualindecency in a public place or prostitution - but it is hard to see whatcrime he committed by sending coded signals to a seemingly willingparticipant.

The American Civil Liberties Union has come to Mr. Craig's defense. It saysthe law he was convicted under - criminalizing "offensive, obscene, abusive,boisterous, or noisy conduct" that tends to "alarm, anger or disturbothers" - is unconstitutionally vague, and makes a lot of perfectly harmlessspeech illegal. It's right. If boisterous conduct that disturbs others is acrime in Minnesota, the state must be planning mass arrests of the speakersat the 2008 Republican National Convention, which is being held inMinneapolis-St. Paul.

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Cabbie in New York chronicles experience

Blog by female driver, one of 200, leads to book
By Erika Hayasaki
Los Angeles Times
September 24, 2007


She is diminutive and dressed in all black, with a plastic tub of cashews byher hip, zipping through Lower Manhattan at night behind the wheel of a taxiwith a ticking meter.

Honk! Honk! A cabbie in a car behind her sticks on her tail.

"What the hell is going on back there?" she yells. "This guy's honking atme. Why is he going crazy?"

This is the fast-paced life of Melissa Plaut, a college graduate anddaughter of educators who grew up in the suburbs and now drives a New YorkCity cab.

She got her hack license on her 29th birthday, after giving up a corporateadvertising job. She began blogging about her adventures a year later.

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The gay voter's guide to the GOP

How should a right-wing homosexual vote in the upcoming primaries andcaucuses? Salon rates the Republican candidates for gay friendliness.
By Michael Scherer and Ben Van Heuvelen

Sep. 21, 2007 | Imagine this: You are a gay man or a lesbian woman who justcan't stand Democrats. Maybe you are rich and you don't want anyone to raiseyour taxes. Perhaps you are just determined to stay the course in Iraq,privatize Social Security, and drop oil wells into the Alaskan wilderness.Jack Abramoff might even be an old drinking buddy.

It doesn't really matter. Whatever the cause, you are in a quandary. Youronly viable choice in the coming presidential election is to vote for aRepublican, and that means voting for a party that has spent much of thelast decade casting you and your way of life as an assault on the wholesomegoodness of the American family. "Homosexuality is incompatible withmilitary service," declared the 2004 GOP platform. "Attempts to redefinemarriage in a single state or city could have serious consequencesthroughout the country."

What is a right-leaning homosexual to do in this presidential election?Start by taking a closer look at the candidates in the Republican field.There is substantial variation, and not just in their positions on aconstitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Call it the Giuliani-KeyesSpectrum of Gay Friendliness. On one end, there is Rudy Giuliani, a formerNew York mayor who has lived with gay friends, favors gay domesticpartnerships, and sometimes dresses in drag. At the other end, there is AlanKeyes, who calls lesbians "selfish hedonists," even though his only daughteris a lesbian. There exists, shall we say, a veritable rainbow of variationin between.

In service to the one in four gay voters who chose George Bush over JohnKerry in 2004, and anyone else who might want to know, Salon now presentsits first ever Gay Guide to the Republican Candidates.

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Lakeside man faces a second hate crime charge

By Ray Huard
September 22, 2007

EL CAJON - A Lakeside man awaiting trial on hate crime charges in which heis accused of seriously injuring an African-American has been charged with asecond hate crime on suspicion of attacking a man he thought was gay.

Timothy Michael Caban, 40, is charged with beating Eric Socorro Brunk, 30,in October 2006 in Club 67, a Lakeside bar, Deputy District Attorney LeonSchorr said yesterday.

Caban pleaded not guilty in El Cajon Superior Court on Wednesday to chargesof assault, assault likely to cause great bodily injury, causing greatbodily injury and committing a hate crime, Schorr said.

Judge Patricia K. Cookson set bail at $25,000 on the new case pending anOct. 16 hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for a trial.

Caban was already being held in jail in lieu of $250,000 bail awaiting trialfor a July 8 incident in which he is charged with punching and seriouslyinjuring a man outside Don's Cocktail Lounge in Lakeside.

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Latin America hosts gay soccer cup for first time

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Latin America will host the gay soccerworld cup for the first time in the tournament's 16-year history when theevent kicks off this weekend in Buenos Aires.

While some Latin American gay football teams have struggled to get official sponsorship, Argentina's official soccer body, the Argentine SoccerAssociation, is supporting the annual event and providing facilities for thegames.

Twenty-eight teams, many representing cities in Europe, the United States,Australia and Latin America, as opposed to countries, will play in theInternational Gay and Lesbian Football Association's competition.

Buenos Aires is one of the most gay-friendly cities in traditionally machoLatin America. It has become a gay tourism magnet and has also legalized gaycivil unions.

"The players approach it with a lot of enthusiasm and strength. We've beenpreparing for a year and we want to win," said Nestor Gammella, trainer forone of the Argentine teams.

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Gay Gov. Ordered To Pay More Support
by The Associated Press

Posted: September 22, 2007 - 8:00 am ET

(Elizabeth, New Jersey) Former Gov. James E. McGreevey was ordered Friday tomore than double the amount of support he pays to his estranged wife.

The nation's first openly gay governor should pay Dina Matos McGreevey$2,500 a month, Superior Court Judge Karen M. Cassidy ruled. Matos McGreeveyhad been receiving $1,129 a month, but maintained that was insufficient tomeet the needs of herself and the couple's 5-year-old daughter.

Cassidy rejected Matos McGreevey's request for $4,000 a month, noting thatMatos McGreevey said she needed to spend $2,200 a month on clothing. "Itseemed a little high," the judge said.

A lawyer for the former governor, Matthew D. Piermatti, argued that hisclient's income was decreasing now that he'd entered an Episcopal seminary.They had offered to increase support to $1,691 a month.

Cassidy said the $2,500 a month for Matos McGreevey would help preserve thestatus quo until a full trial on the divorce, which is scheduled for May.

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Romney Scolds GOP
by The Associated Press

Posted: September 22, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Washington) Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is scolding hisparty in a nationally broadcast ad Sunday and in an open letter to partyleaders that asserts that the blame for Washington's dysfunction does notrest just with Democrats.

The 30-second ad, the same one he began running this week in New Hampshire,will air during NBC's Meet the Press, between appearances by Democraticpresidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Federal ReserveChairman Alan Greenspan, whose new book, "The Age of Turbulence: Adventuresin a New World," blames the Bush administration for runaway spending.

The media push casts Romney as an agent of change, a recognition that evenRepublicans have grown weary of their government.

In the ad and in the letter, Romney wags his finger at the party, portrayingWashington Republicans as riddled by scandal and profligate spending.Without naming them, he also distinguishes himself from President Bush andtwo of his main rivals on the subject of immigration.

"Washington is busy pointing fingers, assigning blame, and spending too muchmoney. There is too much talk and too little action," he writes in hisletter, which will appear in full page ads Monday in New Hampshire'sManchester Union-Leader and the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call.

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AFL-CIO To Spend $200 Million On 2008 Election
by The Associated Press

Posted: September 22, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Washington) The AFL-CIO and its unions have announced they will spend anestimated $200 million on the 2008 elections, with the nation's largestlabor federation devoting a record $53 million exclusively to grass-rootsmobilization.

In addition, the AFL-CIO said it would deploy more than 200,000 volunteersleading up to the election, with special focus on battleground states suchas Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

"Today the AFL-CIO is sending a powerful message that we are going to changethe course of our country in 2008 by electing a president and candidates atall levels who are committed to restoring the promise of America to workingpeople," AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said.

The announcement came as the AFL-CIO's executive council met at the group'sheadquarters in Washington to plan the federation's political strategy forthe presidential, congressional and state elections next year.

AFL-CIO leaders are looking to put a Democrat in the White House and helpthat party pick up as many as six seats in the Senate and five in the House.Democrats took control of Congress in the 2006 elections.

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Accused Of Raping Male Subordinates Texas Police Chief Fired
by The Associated Press

Posted: September 22, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET

(Alton, Texas) The police chief in this southern Texas town has been firedweeks after he was accused of sexually assaulting two male employees.

Jose Luis Vela was suspended after his Aug 29. arrest on two charges ofsexual assault. Three more current and former police department employeeshave since accused Vela of sexual harassment.

City Manager Jorge Arcaute fired Vela Friday for poor record keeping andpossible theft of confiscated items. He said allegations surfaced accusingVela of stealing alcohol confiscated by his department.

Vela said he never took confiscated beer, nor was he involved in loggingitems. He is out on bail and plans to plead not guilty to the charges.

Investigators have accused Vela of performing oral sex on a male employeeafter the man passed out drunk at a party about a year ago at Vela's home inMission, according to court documents. Vela is also accused of violating adifferent male employee with an object while that man was passed out at aparty in July, Sheriff Lupe Trevino said.

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Newark Execution Murders May Have Been Gay Hate Crime

New Jersey gay rights activists are urging the mayor of Newark toinvestigate an execution-style murder that occurred in August as a possiblegay hate crime.

The Washington Blade reports that at least one of the victims was gay.Officials have denied that the attack was a hate crime but rather a robbery.

The Newark Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer &Two-Spirited concerns Group wrote to Mayor Cory Booker, questioning why themurdered young adults' sexual orientation was not taken into account orreleased to the media.

"This happened despite the fact that several sources, including friends, boyfriends /lovers of at least one of the victims, and perhaps one of theparents knew that one or more of the murdered students were gay," wroteJames Credle, a local activist, on behalf of the group.

Garden State Equality, New Jersey's statewide gay rights advocacy group, hasendorsed the letter.

Three Delaware State University students were killed and another waswounded. Dashon Harvey, 20; Terrance Aeriel, 18; and Iofemi Hightower, 18,died at the scene. Terrance's sister, Natasha, who survived a gunshot woundto the head, has helped police identify six suspects, three of whom areminors.

Essex County, N.J., prosecutor's office spokesman Paul Loriquet said in thearticle that robbery was a factor in the murder but that the motive is stillbeing investigated. (The Advocate)


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