A note from Ray and Michael:
We have a fantastice group of pictures showing the relationship of the earth to the sun and the solar system. It's the most graphic representation we have seen. We'll be glad to forward them to you - just send us a note at Rays.firstname.lastname@example.org The pix help to put our daily issues in perspective.
Best to you!
Ray and Michael
September 4, 2007
This is too easy. Quick, someone alert Jim Naugle! Minneapolis needs you!There's gay sex going on in the airport!
Better yet, head to Washington, D.C. Elected officials need you to keep themon the straight and narrow. Or perhaps just straight.
Broward County: Gay, minority high school students needed for study
September 4, 2007
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is seeking minoritystudents to be part of a study about the student experience.
If you are a high school student anywhere in the country, a minority, andare lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and you have permission from aparent or guardian to participate in the study, contact research associateElizabeth Diaz at email@example.com or 212-727-0135 ext. 8051. Students willbe compensated for their time.
GLSEN South Florida chapter, now known as Safe Schools South Florida, is anonprofit agency whose mission is to make schools safe for all students"regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression, real orperceived, their own or that of their parents."
The Washington Post
The Most Feared Man on the Hill?
For Gay Blogger, Craig's Resignation Is Just the Latest on His List
By Jose Antonio Vargas
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 4, 2007; C01
Soon, a new name will pop up on Mike Rogers's hit list.
Larry Craig wasn't "the first on my list," the gay blogger says. And theIdaho senator, who announced his resignation Saturday, "won't be the last."
Rogers, sitting on a club chair in his Northwest Washington apartment, isbasking in the attention. For three years now, he's been a feared one-manmachine, "outing," he says, nearly three dozen senior political andcongressional staffers, White House aides and, most damagingly, Congressmembers on his blog. On Capitol Hill, a typical phone call from Rogers --"Are you gay?" he'd ask -- is "a call from Satan himself," says a formerhigh-ranking congressional staffer whose name is on the list.
Rogers reasons that there's justice behind his tactics -- "odious,""outrageous" and "over-the-line" as they might seem to his detractors.
In Rogers's mind, if you're against gay rights in your public life and youlive a secret homosexual life, all bets are off.
In 2004, one of the first public officials he targeted was then-Virginiacongressman Ed Schrock because of his voting record on such issues as gaysin the military, same-sex marriage and gay adoption. In 2000, for instance,Schrock told the Virginian-Pilot: "You're in the showers with them, you'rein the bunk room with them, you're in staterooms with them." Schrock decidednot to run for reelection because of the rumors.
In 2005, Rogers blogged about Mark Foley, months before his inappropriateinstant-messages to male congressional pages became public and he was forcedto resign. The former Florida congressman had a varied record, sometimesvoting in favor of gay rights, but at one point voting against adoption bysame-sex couples.
And last October, he says, he targeted Craig -- months before an undercoversex sting in a Minneapolis airport men's room, and before the IdahoStatesman started its months-long investigation. Two years earlier, Rogersnotes, the three-term senator had voted for the failed constitutionalamendment to ban same-sex marriage.
"Hypocrisy," Rogers sneers, "plain, hate-filled hypocrisy."
In the coming months, he plans to post the names of "a few more" closetedCongress members on his blog, he says, all of them Republicans. There are 33names on his published list, most of them men, 30 from the GOP. That factreveals more about the Republicans, he says, than about him. Although aregistered Democrat, he says he is bipartisan.
"I write about closeted people whose records are anti-gay," he says. "Ifyou're a closeted Democrat or Republican and you don't bash gays or voteagainst gay rights to gain political points, I won't out you."
* * *
The Craig scandal has gripped the capital. For many gays, the episode harksback to times when closeted homosexuals were arrested in the city's cruisingspots for "disorderly behavior." For many people, gay and straight, parsingout the details -- toe-tapping, fingers under the partition -- has beenincredibly intriguing, and sometimes awkward.
Out of that discomfort, so many jokes to make, some exacerbated by Craighimself. A new catchphrase was born: "I have a wide stance."
The New York Times
September 4, 2007
City as Predator
By BOB HERBERT
There is probably no city in America where women are treated worse than inLas Vegas.
The tone of systematic, institutionalized degradation is set by the mayor,Oscar Goodman, who told me in an interview that the city would reap"tremendous" benefits if a series of "magnificent brothels" could beestablished to cater to johns from across the country and around the world.
"I've said there should be the beginning of a discussion of that," said Mr.Goodman, a former defense lawyer for mobsters who unabashedly describes hiscity as an adult playground where "anything goes - as long as you don't goover the line."
Most of the lines in Vegas have long since been erased. It is without adoubt, as the psychologist and researcher Melissa Farley, says, "theepicenter of North American prostitution and sex trafficking."
Vegas is a place where women and girls by the tens of thousands are chewedup by the vast and astonishingly open sex trade. You can be sitting at atraffic light and a huge mobile billboard will drive past, promising, "HotBabes - Direct to Your Room."
I was drawn to this story by an advance copy of Ms. Farley's book-lengthreport, "Prostitution and Trafficking in Nevada: Making the Connections." It'sbeing published online today.
The report explores what Oscar Goodman doesn't appear to understand: thehorrendous toll that prostitution, legal or illegal, takes on the women andgirls involved.
Britain's asylum shame - Talking With Tatchell TV
London - 4 September 2007
The UK's asylum system is rigged to fail as many applicants as possible. Itis unjust, chaotic and inhumane.
Among the frequent victims are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)refugees who have fled extreme, violent persecution in countries likePakistan, Uganda, Iran, Somalia, Iraq, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Cameroonand Palestine.
The recent attempted deportation of the Iranian lesbian refugee, PegahEmambakhsh, is typical of the inhumanities of Britain's asylum system.
Watch this edition of Talking With Tatchell TV here:
Peter Tatchell interviews Dr Frank Arnold, clinical advisor to the MedicalJustice Network; Puck de Raadt, an asylum worker with the Churches'Commission on Racial Justice; and Maria, a former asylum detainee who fledpersecution in an ex-Soviet bloc state (her full identity is withheld, toprotect her family against retribution).
Peter Tatchell writes:
Innocent asylum applicants who have committed no crime, including children,are held in asylum detention centres. They are detained like commoncriminals in prison-like conditions, pending a ruling on their claims. Somespend several months, or even a year or more, in detention. Those detainedhave fewer legal rights than a person charged with murder or rape.
Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
The National Black Justice Coalition
NBJC Responds to Sen. Larry Craig
August 29, 2007
Sen. Larry Craig:
Sexual Behavior, Sexual Identity and
Sexual Orientation Understood
H. Alexander Robinson
NBJC CEO Sen. Larry Craig's recent sexual restroom exploits havegiven the American community an unexpected but valuable teachable momentthat should be embraced and further understood.
Instead of running from the tabloid fodder, late night talk show jokes, andSunday morning sermons that will undoubtedly come from this incident; theLGBT community should instead embrace Sen. Craig's gay sex solicitationincident as an opportunity to talk candidly and knowledgeably about thefluidity of sexuality and its effects upon gay identity and gay sexualorientation.
There are four vital lessons that can be learned from Sen. Craig'ssituation, each of which flies in the face of conventional wisdom andunderstanding of sexuality.
More here ....
Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
Reflections on a Senator
Caught in Water Closet,
What Would Idaho Do?
Henry J. Stern
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
"I read the
What I noticed was how much news consists of lies. Bruno v. Spitzer, RogerStone. Who knew what when? And the fire tragedy - who cut the standpipe,who stopped the inspections, who approved the gangsters, who ignored DOI,etc.?
The most recent lie, however, may have been told by U.S. Senator Larry Craigof Idaho, who insists he is not gay.
The heart of that issue depends on what your definition of 'gay' is. It issimilar to the 1990's question of what 'is' is.
If you mean someone who publicly adopts a homosexual life style or residesand cohabits with a member of the same sex, the answer for Craig is No. Ifyou mean someone who professes heterosexuality, but has homosexual urgeswhich he occasionally cannot or will not control, the answer is, Probably.If you mean someone who lives a heterosexual life, but may have homosexualfantasies, the answer is whatever you would like it to be.
Larry Craig is 62 years old and owns a ranch. He has three children andnine grandchildren. He was first elected to the Idaho Senate in 1974, atthe age of 29. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1980, andto the United States Senate in 1990. His current term expires January 3,2009. He is a member of the conservative wing of the Republican Party, anduntil a couple of days ago, managed Mitt Romney's campaign in Idaho, a statewhich is now 22.8 per cent Mormon.
Craig has a right, as we all do, to describe himself with whatever sexualorientation he chooses. He may have had varied experiences. But can hepretend to be a heterosexual when he is in fact a homosexual? He can, butwho will believe him.
The voters of the State of Idaho are Craig's employers.
Court finds ban on gay parade in Moscow legal
Moscow, September 4, Interfax - Moscow's Tverskoy court has ruled it legalfor city authorities to refuse to grant a permit for a gay parade on May 27.
Event organizer Nikolai Alekseyev told Interfax on Tuesday that the courtrejected a protest lodged by organizers.
Alekseyev said improper actions by the judge led plaintiffs to challenge thejudge during the hearings but the challenge was rejected.
Alekseyev said that the Tverskoy court ruling would be protested with acassation instance and with the European Court of Human Rights.
32 charged at New York gay bar after police drugs raid
Mr. Black is a popular New York gay bar
2nd September 2007 12:34
A popular New York gay bar has been temporarily closed down following adrugs raid, police have confirmed.
Mr. Black, a popular gay venue in the NoHo district of New York City is wellknown for hosting evenings with bare-bottomed waiters.
32 people were arrested following the raid at 4:35 am on Saturday morning(9:45 am GMT).
Manhattan South narcotics police claim the venue was being used as an"open-air drugs market" and allegedly recovered 60 bags and vials of cocaineand a considerable amount of ecstacy.
Police allegedly found customers smoking cabanas, using cocaine and sellingEcstasy pills.
Jerry Lewis Criticized For Homophobic Remark During Telethon
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: September 4, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET
(New York City) A gay advocacy group that monitors the media wants a meeting with Jerry Lewis following his use of a gay slur during the comedian's Labor Day telethon for Muscular Dystrophy.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said Tuesday it wants an apology from Lewis.
The remark came during the 18th hour of the telethon and Lewis, 81, was visibly weary.
He was wandering about the stage making quips. At one point he had to dodge a cameraman.
He then stopped, turned and made a remark about the cameraman and his family.
"Your family has come to see you...you remember Bart, your oldest son...Jesse, the illiterate fag."
The audience expressed surprise that was audible to TV viewers.
The telecast from Las Vegas was broadcast nationwide on 190 stations.
Compassion for Craig?
by John Corvino
Jim West, Jim McGreevey, Ted Haggard, Mark Foley, Bob Allen, David Vitter.
Now Larry Craig.
Public figures' getting caught with their pants down is nothing new. What is new is a high-tech culture that makes exposure likely, rapid, and widespread. Larry Craig pleaded guilty to "disorderly conduct" in Minnesota in the hopes that no one would notice in his home state of Idaho. A quarter-century ago, when Craig started his congressional career, that strategy might actually have worked.
For those who haven't been following the news: Craig is a U.S. Senator who was arrested in June for soliciting sex in a Minneapolis airport men's room. He also happens to be a staunch opponent of gay rights, with a zero voting scorecard from the Human Rights Campaign. Craig resigned from office this past Saturday, less than a week after the story became public.
People love sex scandals, and they especially love a sex scandal that brings a moralistic finger-wagger to his knees (ahem). Perhaps that's why the above list -taken from recent memory, and by no means exhaustive-includes only one emocrat. Liberals enjoy sex as much as anyone, and they surely have their skeletons. But when someone soliciting forbidden sex is known for railing against sexual sin, it makes for a juicier story.
What is striking about the Craig saga is this: despite his over thirty years of public service, virtually no one rallied to his defense. Conservatives view him as a deviant. (Mitt Romney, whose Idaho presidential campaign Craig had chaired, referred to Craig's behavior as "disgusting" before the senator even had an opportunity to release a statement.) Liberals view him as a hypocrite. Absolutely no one views him as credible. (His claim that he touched the arresting officer's foot because he has a "wide stance" rang especially hollow.)
Various sides in the culture wars will try to make an example of Craig. Gay- rights opponents will spin the story as further evidence of homosexuality's sordid nature, not to mention its vicious power. After all, if seemingly God- fearing men like Ted Haggard and Larry Craig can succumb to such behavior, who among us is safe?
Celebrities In New Gay Tolerance Ad Campaign
by The Associated Press
Posted: September 4, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET
(New York City) Four actors from ``Grey's Anatomy,'' the ABC hit where Isaiah Washington was fired for anti-gay slurs, are featured in a new ad campaign preaching tolerance for gays and lesbians.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation on Tuesday released 25 new public service ads that it will encourage TV networks to air. The ads feature celebrities talking about either the power of anti-gay words or the importance of accepting a gay or lesbian family member.
T.R. Knight, Sara Ramirez and Kate Walsh of ``Grey's Anatomy'' all made ads. Alexandra Billings, a transgender actress who appeared in one episode of the medical drama, also participated.
Washington was not included, although he filmed a separate public service announcement for GLAAD that aired on ABC earlier this year. He was fired from the series for using an anti-gay slur backstage at the Golden Globe Awards in January while denying he had used the word earlier against Knight.
GLAAD did not specifically seek out ``Grey's Anatomy'' stars, said Damon Romine, the organization's entertainment media director. It produced the spots at its media awards event in April, and approached celebrities who appeared there to participate, he said.
School District Bans Diversity Video Because It Includes Gay Couples
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: September 3, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET
(Marlton, New Jersey) A video used to teach junior school students aboutdiverse families will no longer be shown after some parents mounted anaggressive campaign against if for including a depiction of same-sexcouples.
The Evesham Township School District, in southern New Jersey, voted 7-1 todiscontinue using the video, "That's A Family," because had so divided thecommunity.
The tape was shown last school year to third grade students at J. Howard VanZant School. It included various types of parents and families - divorced,bilingual, mixed race, parents who have adopted, and step-parents.
But it was the same-sex couple featured that angered parents.
Parents opposed to the video began their campaign in January, shortly afterit was first shown.
[al-fatiha-news] Article: Indonesia Film Festival Takes Gay Issues Out of Closet
Indonesia film festival takes gay issues out of closet
Sun Aug 26, 2007
By Adhityani Arga and Sugita Katyal
JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's gay film festival faced violent opposition in its early years.
Members of a hardline Islamic group tried to storm theatres to stop screenings, but as the festival enters its sixth year, organiser John Badalu has no such fears.
The opening of the week-long Q! Film Festival (QFF) on Friday drew a flamboyant crowd in Jakarta, with members of the audience dressed in colourful wigs, fish-net stockings and cupid wings.
Homosexuality is not banned under Indonesian law, but remains taboo in a country where 85 percent of the 220 million people are Muslim.
"The festival has provided some sort of impetus for the gay rights movement in Indonesia, and has enabled many issues to surface," Badalu told Reuters.
The fall of former president Suharto in 1998 paved the way for greater freedom of speech, allowing topics such as politics and homosexuality to be more openly explored in the arts.
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