Monday, September 03, 2007

GLBT DIGEST September 3, 2007

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Gays Discuss Immigration, U.S. HIV Ban
Aug. 31, 2007

As immigration continues to emerge as a hot button issue in the 2008presidential campaign, it also remains a principal concern of the country'sLGBT community.

During a local forum about same-sex immigration rights, the United State'sban on HIV-positive immigrants garnered much discussion. And Rep. JerroldNadler (D-N.Y.) announced his continuing support of the Uniting AmericanFamilies Act (UAFA). The bill allows gay Americans to sponsor theirforeign-national partners for green cards.

"Unfortunately same-sex couples who are committed to spend their livestogether are not recognized as families under current federal law," Nadlersaid. "The law should never be unnecessarily or gratuitously cruel. I amconfident that we will succeed because this is a matter of basic fairnessand compassion." Nadler first introduced the bill in 2000, then reintroducedit in May of this year. It has 84 co-sponsors; the sponsor in the Senate isPatrick Lahey (D-Vt.).

About 36,000 same-sex bi-national couples live in the U.S. today, accordingto a Human Rights Watch report titled "Family Values." This numberrepresents about 6 percent of all gay couples in the country, according toImmigration Equality.

The immigration forum was held Tuesday, Aug. 18, at The LGBT Center on West13th Street. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Immigration Equalitysponsored the event. In addition to Nadler, panelists includedrepresentatives from Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, the AsianAmerican Justice Center and Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC).


Gay former police chief, Brian Paddick, finally admits he will be candidate
for London Mayor
2nd September 2007 00:42 writer

As has speculated since May 2006, Brian Paddick, who wasuntil his retirement, Britain's most senior openly gay police officer, willthis week finally announce that he wishes to be the Liberal Democratscandidate for the Mayor of London.

Mr Paddick has unusually given an interview to the Mail on Sunday, who in2002 accused him of using canabis, shortly after he had relaxed the policingof the drug in the London Borough of Lambeth, where he was Borough PoliceCommander.

"Ken [Livingstone] will choke on his breakfast when he sees my ideas. Nobodyelse putting themselves forward as Mayor knows more about the issue of lawand order than I do," Mr Paddick told the Mail on Sunday.

"Certainly, safer communities are number one on everybody's agenda.

"I have been consistent in my attitude to illegal drugs - they are dangerousand harmful and it is better if people live without them.


The New York Times

September 3, 2007
A Novelist's Superhero Is Out to Right Wrongs

Perry Moore has the sinewy physique and golden looks of a California surfer,but get him talking about comics, and he can out-geek the biggest fanatic.He also has the fervor of an activist when discussing the dearth - andoccasional shoddy treatment - of gay superheroes in mainstream comic books.

It is an issue close to the heart of Mr. Moore, who is gay, and he hasfunneled his passion into a young-adult novel. "Hero," published in hardbacklast week by Hyperion Teen, tells the story of Thom Creed, coping not onlywith high school, sexual orientation and a strained home life, but also withhis own budding superpowers. In telling Thom's story, Mr. Moore, like someof the costumed champions he admires, hopes to right some wrongs.

"My publisher did not shy away from my mission," he said during a recentinterview near his home in Greenwich Village. That mission is a multipartendeavor to show gay superheroes in a positive light, to learn from hisexperiences with his father and to give younger readers a potential rolemodel in Thom.

Mr. Moore, 35, a producer of the "Chronicles of Narnia" film series, said"Hero" began to take shape when he combined the story of his father,William, a Vietnam veteran who received a Bronze Star, with the world ofsuperheroes. Mr. Moore made Thom's father, Hal, a disgraced superhero, whichhe saw as an allegory for how some American soldiers were treated upon theirreturn from Vietnam.


The New York Times

September 3, 2007
Civil Union Dispute Pits Methodist Retreat Against Gays Who Aided in Its

OCEAN GROVE, N.J., Aug. 30 - At their annual meeting on Monday, leaders ofthe Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association are expected to report on theseason's successes: the active youth ministry programs, the wide range ofmusicians who performed here, the revenues generated from beach badges.

They are less likely to address the subject that has been dominatingdiscussions in this seashore resort all summer: the escalating litigationover the Methodist group's efforts to block civil union ceremonies fromtaking place on its property.

But gay rights groups have planned a large rally outside the meeting to makesure the matter is not forgotten.

At stake is the future of Ocean Grove, where, dating to 1870, all the land,beach and 1,000 feet of the sea itself have been owned by the Methodistorganization - and which, at least for the past decade, has seen the openingof a large number of gay-owned restaurants, hotels and shops.


The Washington Post

A Prayer for Larry Craig
By James E. McGreevey
Monday, September 3, 2007; A15

My gut wrenched when I read of Sen. Larry Craig's bathroom arrest. Iremembered my own late-night encounter with the law at a Garden StateParkway rest stop following a political dinner in north Jersey.

I pulled into the rest stop, parked my car, flashed my headlights, which was"the signal," and waited. Glancing in my rearview mirror, I saw a statetrooper approaching. I desperately tried to convince the trooper of myinnocence, showing him my former prosecutor's badge, a gift from the officewhen I left. The trooper radioed his office and returned. "I never want tosee you here again," he said. I survived for another day.

I was in my late 20s. It would be another 25 years before my parallel livescollided and I was coerced out of the "closet."

Why do grown men in their 20s, or their 60s, do such things? I can answeronly for me.

As a child, recognizing my difference from other kids, I went to the localpublic library to try to better understand my reality. Back then, manylibrary card catalogues didn't even list "homosexuality" as a topic. I hadto go to "sexuality, deviant" to learn about myself, and the collected workswere few and frightening: "Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases,""Homosexuality: Its Causes and Cure," "Sexual Deviance & Sexual Deviants."

If you haven't experienced it, it may be hard to understand the sinkingfeeling most every gay boy or girl of my generation experienced upon comingacross that section of the library. All I could do was slam the drawerclosed and leave, steeped in hopelessness.


The Boston Globe

2 letters

Senator Craig's trip to the men's room
By JOHN KYPER JAMES P. COADY-HAHN | September 2, 2007

AFTER WATCHING Senator Larry Craig's defiant insistence, not once but threetimes, that he is not gay during his short public statement, and afterseeing the Idaho Republican issue his denials as if being gay were somethingto be ashamed of, methinks he doth protest too much. His performance belongsright up there with Richard Nixon's Watergate declaration, "I am not acrook."

In his panic to cover up his arrest for lewd conduct in a Minnesota men'sroom in light of the recurrent rumors about his sexuality going back morethan two decades, Craig had decided to plead guilty to the charge againsthim without consulting an attorney or even members of his own family.Evidently he would prefer to be seen as stupid rather than as gay.

Given Craig's unremitting hostility toward the gay community throughout hispolitical career, I certainly wouldn't want to claim him as a brother.

Moreover, calling him gay would confer on him a respect and dignity that hehas thus far denied to himself.


THE ISSUE is not that Craig allegedly tries to pick up men in bathrooms. Itis that he is a hypocrite and an insult to upstanding gay citizens. Hefought in the Senate to restrict gay rights and eliminate gay marriage. Myhusband and I are proud and honest about loving each other. As Craig'scareer goes up in flames, maybe he will have time to reflect on the seriousharm he has inflicted on hard-working, honest, tax-paying gay Americans.



The Washington Post

GOP Touts Swift Action on Craig

The Associated Press
Monday, September 3, 2007; 3:06 AM

WASHINGTON -- A GOP leader Sunday denied a double standard in pushing Sen. Larry Craig to resign after a sex sting guilty plea, while remaining silent over GOP Sen. David Vitter's involvement with an escort service.

A senior Democrat said a double standard by Republican leaders is exactly what occurred.

Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., the Senate Republican campaign chairman, said Craig "admitted guilt. That is a big difference between being accused of something and actually admitting guilt."

"David Vitter never did that. Larry Craig did," continued Ensign on ABC's "This Week" program.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, expressed a contrary view on "Fox News Sunday."

"One, I say there's a double standard," said Leahy. "Secondly, I don't think they'll ask him (Vitter) to resign because, of course, he'd be replaced by a Democrat. It's easier to ask Larry Craig to resign because he'd be replaced by a Republican."

Idaho has a Republican governor who will appoint a successor to Craig. Louisiana's governor is a Democrat.

Craig of Idaho pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a men's restroom and announced Saturday he will leave the Senate at the end of the month. He was caught in a sex sting at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport in June and, despite his guilty plea, now insists he did nothing wrong.

Vitter of Louisiana has not been charged with a crime although he acknowledged his Washington telephone number was among those called several years ago by an escort service.

Prosecutors say the escort service was a prostitution ring and have accused the woman who headed it of racketeering.


Miami Herald

Posted on Mon, Sep. 03, 2007
Media launch privacy assault

The state of Idaho is a blessed place, free of graft, environmental degradation, official stupidity, injustice and greed. I know that because the state's principal newspaper, The Idaho Statesman, had enough time left over from covering those mainstays to assign a top reporter to spend five months and devote 300 interviews to determining whether its senior U.S. senator, 62-year-old Larry Craig, ever had sex with another man.The inquiry was triggered by allegations made last fall by a blogger who likes to expose the homosexuality of privately gay politicians who take anti-gay positions. He said he had spoken to several male consorts of Craig, a GOP family-values stalwart. The Statesman did nothing with the allegations then but assigned a reporter to check them out.

His investigation was nothing if not energetic, and included conversations with 41 fraternity brothers of Craig's from his college days in the early 960s. ''The most serious finding was the report by a professional man with close ties to Republican officials,'' the paper concluded. ``The 40-year-old man reported having oral sex with Craig at Washington's Union Station, probably in 2004. The Statesman also explored dozens of allegations that proved untrue, unclear or unverifiable.''

The newspaper published its nonfindings last month, after news broke in Roll Call, a Washington, D.C., paper that covers Capitol Hill, that Craig had been arrested in June in a Minneapolis airport restroom for supposedly coming on to another man, an undercover cop. Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a charge that he says he regrets not fighting in court. The disclosure immediately created pressure for him to resign.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

AIDS test consent at issue in Mass.
Federal push to ease rules could cost state
By Stephen Smith, Globe Staff | September 1, 2007

Massachusetts is resisting a year-old push by federal health authorities to make getting an HIV test as easy as being screened for cholesterol or diabetes, arguing that AIDS remains so freighted with social stigma that a test should not be done without a patient's specific written permission.

The state is one of 10 that continue to require written consent before an HIV test is performed, even though the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year described such requirements as a barrier to testing. The CDC said the general consent that patients give for other medical screenings should cover the AIDS test as well.

It is estimated that one-quarter of the 1 million people infected with HIV in the United States are not aware they carry the virus, so they may be
unknowingly spreading the disease.

Public health authorities in Massachusetts said they share the CDC's goal of making tests for acquired immune deficiency syndrome more routine, but believe they can accomplish that without lifting the written consent rule by conducting an additional 11,300 tests in community health centers, family planning clinics, and substance abuse treatment facilities over the next two years.

The decision to keep written consent as a requirement has potential financial implications. If Massachusetts identifies new cases of HIV more slowly than states that adopt more routine testing, it could cost the state federal dollars.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the CDC, said in an interview that states have a strong incentive to identify patients early in their infection - for financial and medical reasons.


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