Monday, October 08, 2007

GLBR DIGEST October 7, 2007

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How did the T get in LGBT?

The 30-year fight for a federal gay civil rights law may fail becauseactivists insist on including rights for transgendered people too. Has gayinclusiveness gone too far too fast?
By John Aravosis

Oct. 08, 2007 | Like an ever-expanding mushroom cloud of diversity, everyfew years America's gay leaders and activists welcome a new category ofmember to the community. Wikipedia walks us through our complicated familyhistory:

"LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered] or GLBT are the most commonterms [to describe the gay community] ... When not inclusive of transgenderpeople it is shortened to LGB. It may also include two additional Qs forqueer and questioning (sometimes abbreviated with a question mark) (LGBTQ,LGBTQQ, GLBTQ2); a variant being LGBU, where U stands for "unsure", an I forintersex (LGBTI), another T for transsexual (LGBTT), another T (or TS or thenumeral 2) for two-spirited people, and an A for straight allies or asexual(LGBTA). At its fullest, then, it is some permutation of LGBTTTIQQA."

In simpler times we were all gay. But then the word "gay" started to mean"gay men" more than women, so we switched to the more inclusive "gay andlesbian." Bisexuals, who were only part-time gays, insisted that we add themtoo, so we did (not without some protest), and by the early 1990s we werethe lesbian, gay and bisexual, or LGB community. Sometime in the late '90s,a few gay rights groups and activists started using a new acronym, LGBT --adding T for transgender/transsexual. And that's when today's troublestarted.

America's gay community, or rather, its leadership, is apoplectic over theimminent passage of the first federal gay civil rights legislation, theEmployment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA. ENDA would make it illegal foran employer to fire, or refuse to hire or promote, an otherwise qualifiedcandidate simply because of their sexual orientation (gay, straight, lesbianor bisexual). (Contrary to popular belief, it is legal to fire someone forbeing gay under federal law and in 31 states.) You'd think this would because for celebration, but not so much.

ENDA was first introduced 30 years ago. In all that time, it only protectedsexual orientation and never included gender identity. This year, thatchanged, and gender identity was added to the bill. Coincidentally, thisyear is also the first time that ENDA actually has a real chance of passingboth the House and Senate -- but only if gender identity isn't in the bill.So the bill's author, openly gay Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., dropped thetransgendered from the bill, and all hell broke loose. Gay activists and 220national and local gay rights groups angrily demanded that gender identitybe put back in the bill, guaranteeing its defeat for years to come. Many ofthem, suddenly and conveniently, found all sorts of "flaws" with legislationthat they had embraced the previous 29 years. They convinced HouseDemocratic leaders to delay action on ENDA till later in October. They'drather have no bill at all than pass one that didn't include thetransgendered.

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Conviction in Death of Gay Man in Traffic

October 6, 2007

For his role in selecting a gay man as a robbery target and chasing him tohis death in traffic, a Brooklyn man was convicted yesterday of manslaughterand attempted robbery as hate crimes, but acquitted of murder.

The convicted man, John Fox, 20, bowed his head for a moment after theverdict was read in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, then gave his father asolemn wink as he was led away. Sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 24.

"He didn't murder anybody," said his father, also named John Fox, outsidethe courtroom. Offering regrets to the victim's parents, the elder Mr. Foxadded, "If I could arrange for their son to be alive and me to be dead, I'ddo so."

A separate jury deliberating the same charges against Mr. Fox'sco-defendant, Anthony Fortunato, 21, retired for the weekend yesterdaywithout reaching a verdict.

With its verdict, the Fox jury embraced a novel application of the state'shate crime law in a case that has stirred passions from the beginning. Thevictim, Michael J. Sandy, 29, of Williamsburg, was lured to a secluded lotin Sheepshead Bay on Oct. 8, 2006, through online messages at a Web site forgay men.

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Lynne Cheney On The VP, Gays And Her Book

CASPER, Wyo., Oct. 7, 2007

(CBS) As the wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, Lynne Cheney is thenation's second lady. But many people see her husband's title as just atechnicality and believe that he really is the man running the country, notPresident Bush.

"Well, that's not the case," she told Sunday Morning correspondent RitaBraver. "And Dick would be the first to tell you that."

For almost seven years, Lynn Cheney and her husband have lived in the vicepresident's house in the nation's capital. You would think by now thatCheney is used to the criticism of her husband, but she said it stilldismays her.

"Most of the time it's just surreal," she said. "Because there's such adisjunction between the kind of criticism and the man I've known for morethan 50 years. He is a terrific guy. He's very strong and I think thatsometimes that's the basis of a lot of the criticism."

They may seem to be the ultimate Washington power couple, but Lynnie Vincentand young Dick Cheney started out in a very different world - a world shedescribes in her new memoir, "Blue Skies, No Fences."

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The great pretender?

Documentary on the late Farrokh Bulsara paints a portrait of the man wehardly knew
October 7, 2007

As the singer for Queen, one of the most successful British bands of the'70s and '80s, Freddie Mercury was one of the most distinctive and instantlyrecognizable personalities rock has ever produced -- a flamboyant iconmillions of fans around the world thought they knew, despite his manychameleon-like glam-rock guises.

In sharp contrast, very few people knew Farrokh Bulsara, the kind, shy butintensely ambitious child born on the African island of Zanzibar and raisedby parents who were Parsis, hailing from the Indian province of Gujarat andpracticing the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism. Mercury and Bulsara werenevertheless one and the same, and this is part of the fascinating storytold in director Rudi Dolezal's documentary, "Freddie Mercury: The UntoldStory."

"There were obviously always two people, and what I was fascinated with washow Freddie could be working a stadium like Wembley -- being the macho man,the big performer and probably even the best singer of what I would call thestadium-rock bands -- and then he'd come off the stage and be this shy guywho would not be forcing his persona on anybody and who at home would be theperfect host," Dolezal says. "He was a completely different person, and thatwas one of the things that I thought would be challenging to at least partlyportray in this film -- to show the side of Freddie that only a few peopleever had the chance of seeing."

As a young filmmaker based in Vienna, Dolezal first met Mercury in the '70swhen he covered a press conference Queen held in Munich to announce aEuropean tour. "I sent them the piece I did for German television, and thisearned me a phone call one day from Queen's manager saying, 'We are indesperate need of a video clip, and we only have one day to do it!' "Dolezal jumped at the chance -- "At that time, turning to an Austriandirector for a rock 'n' roll video was as if South Korea would win thesoccer championships!" -- and it led to a collaboration that lasted for twodecades, and which produced some of the band's best videos.

Among those clips: "The Show Must Go On" and "These Are the Days of OurLives," clips that helped establish Dolezal as a visionary and highlystylized director who would go on to work with the Rolling Stones, DavidBowie, Bon Jovi and the German band Can, among others. (Now based in Miami,his current projects include a documentary on gospel great Mahalia Jackson.)But Queen always held a special place in Dolezal's heart, in part because heformed a lasting friendship with Mercury.

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Craig likely to be censured, not expelled, senator says

By Julianna Goldman
Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON - Republican Sen. Larry Craig, who pleaded guilty in a casestemming from a sex sting in a men's bathroom, will likely be censured andnot expelled by his fellow lawmakers, said Sen. Sam Brownback (R., Kan.).

"I think there's a good chance" Craig will be censured, "but expulsion seemsto me probably unlikely," said Brownback, 51, who spoke in an interview withBloomberg Television's Political Capital With Al Hunt scheduled to runtoday.

"It's a misdemeanor crime," Brownback said. "If you look at that in thehistory of things, it's unlikely that would lead to" expulsion.

Craig, 62, of Idaho, said Thursday that he would serve out his term and tryto clear his name after a judge rejected his bid to withdraw his guilty pleain the June incident.

Brownback, a social conservative who opposes abortion and gay marriage, saidthe Senate should similarly condemn Sen. David Vitter (R., La.), whopublicly apologized in July after his phone number was linked to aWashington escort service.

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Idol star Aiken caught up in church gay controversy


American Idol star CLAY AIKEN is caught up in another gay controversy afterparishioners at a church where he is set to perform a Christmas (07) concertdemanded assurances the singer isn't a homosexual. Aiken's sexuality hit theheadlines last year (06) when a former Green Beret soldier revealed he hadspent a night of passion with the crooner, but Aiken refused to discuss theissue when it came up in interviews. Then, fans threatened to file a classaction suit against the singer if it was proven he was gay. And now, eldersat a Wichita, Kansas church want to make sure the singer is heterosexualbefore green-lighting plans for him to perform for their congregation on 26November (07). The Central Christian Church controversy reached a feverpitch shortly after the performance was announced, and the executive pastorMark Posson felt compelled to send a letter to concerned elders. A sourcetells the National Enquirer, "Pastor Posson thought it was in the church'sbest interest to circulate a letter." In the note, the pastor avoided thegay issue, declaring Aiken was a Christian who didn't "drink, smoke, swearor womanise". The clergyman also recalled interviews Aiken gave to RollingStone magazine and an internet site, in which he stated he was not gay.Posson also incorrectly declared the Green Beret, who claimed to have spentthe night with Aiken in a hotel, later recanted his story, explaining he wasencouraged to "scandalise the singer" by so-called Aiken haters. In fact,the soldier, John Paulus, has never gone back on his story - and passed alie detector test when he took his story to the Enquirer. As WENN went topress, the Aiken concert at Central Christian Church is still scheduled

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Hundreds Celebrate Gay Prince's Birthday

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 7, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET

(Vadodara, India) Hundreds of people from high and low social stationsgathered on the grounds of the royal palace in Gujarat state to celebratethe birthday of India's openly gay prince.

Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil turned 42 on Sunday. A leading figure inIndia's small LGBT civil rights movement and a vocal supporter of peopleliving with HIV, Prince Manvendra invited gays and PWAs from all over Indiato celebrate his birthday at a party that featured gay musicians andartists.

It is the 10th birthday that the prince has celebrated this way, brighteningthe faces of hundreds of people who regularly suffer from discrimination.

Homosexuality is illegal in India, punishable by imprisonment and peopleliving with HIV/AIDS are frequently shunned by their families.

For the prince the occasion allows people to interact and be visible. Thetwo day party was extensively covered by the Indian media which usuallytreats gays with derision.

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Clinton Ahead In Iowa Poll

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 8, 2007 - 8:00 am ET

(New Hampton, Iowa) Hillary Rodham Clinton has taken the lead amongDemocratic presidential candidates in an Iowa poll, an encouraging sign ofprogress toward overcoming a big hurdle in the race.

Although the New York senator is the clear front-runner in national surveys,Iowa has remained an elusive prize. She has been in a tight race with JohnEdwards and Barack Obama in the state that begins the primary campaignvoting in three months.

But her campaign has focused on boosting her appeal in Iowa, including twovisits with her husband, former President Clinton, by her side over thesummer. The effort appears to have paid off, according to the poll of likelyIowa caucus-goers that was published in Sunday's Des Moines Register.

Clinton was supported by 29 percent of the 399 respondents to the pollconducted Oct. 1-3, compared with 21 percent in May.

Edwards and Obama are not far behind, ensuring that all three campaigns willcontinue their intense efforts in Iowa, which leads off voting in the 2008primary contests.

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Iran Leader Booed At Tehran University

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 8, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(Tehran) An estimated 100 students staged a rare demonstration Mondayagainst Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calling him a "dictator" andscuffling with hardline students at Tehran University.

Ahmadinejad, who was giving a speech to a select group at the university tomark the beginning of the academic year, ignored the chants of "death to thedictator" and continued with his speech on the merits of science and thepitfalls of Western-style democracy, witnesses said.

The protesters scuffled with hardline students who were chanting "thank youpresident" while police looked on from outside the university gates. Theprotesters dispersed after the car carrying Ahmadinejad left the campus.

Students were once the main power base of Iran's reform movement but havefaced intense pressure in recent years from Ahmadinejad's hardlinegovernment, making anti-government protests rare.

The president faced a similar outburst during a speech last December whenstudents at Amir Kabir Technical University called Ahmadinejad a dictatorand set fire to his picture.

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HIV Experiments To Be Conducted In Space

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 8, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(Baikonur, Kazakhstan) A crew that includes Malaysia's first astronaut andan American who will become the first woman to command the internationalspace station prepared Monday for blastoff later this week.

The Soyuz-FG rocket is scheduled to blast off from the Central Asian steppeon Wednesday night to take Malaysia's Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, Peggy Whitsonof Beaconsfield, Iowa, and Russian Yuri Malenchenko into orbit.

During his 12-day space trip, Shukor is to study of the effects ofmicrogravity and space radiation on cells and microbes, as well asexperiments with proteins for a potential HIV vaccine.

The rocket - adorned with a Malaysian flag and coat of arms and carrying aSoyuz TMA-11 spacecraft - was moved Monday to the launch pad from itsassembly site at the Baikonur cosmodrome, which Russia rents fromKazakhstan.

"It's too exciting to be cold," said Shankini Dovaisingam, a Malaysianaerospace engineer observing the final preparations. "It's amazing to seethe Malaysian flag on a Soyuz spaceship."

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S.Africa Online Dating Helps Fight AIDS Stigma

October 8, 2007
Filed at 10:11 a.m. ET

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Jeanette is seeking the ideal man. Someonesensitive. Funny. Sexy. And, most of all, HIV-positive.

That's why she turned to The Positive Connection, an online dating agencythat offers HIV-positive South Africans looking for love a way to get aroundthe stigma of the disease.

"Everything goes well until a guy learns about my problem and dumps me,"said Jeanette, who asked that her real name not be used.

"I just want to meet someone like me who can talk about it."

AIDS is still a taboo subject for millions of South Africans, despite itsstaggering toll: each day, about 1,000 people die of AIDS and relatedconditions.

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Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:

A California appeals court has rejected a state constitutional challenge toa law that extends to registered domestic partners a real estate tax breakthat the voters had previously extended to married couples. In an October 2ruling in Strong v. State Board of Equalization, 2007 Westlaw 2834475, the3rd District Court of Appeal panel unanimously found that the priorconstitutional amendment did not preclude regulators or the legislature fromextending the tax break beyond what was provided in the constitution.

While their old school friends are walking up the aisle, China's homosexualshave been left on the shelf.

Despite the nation's rapid development, society remains deeply conservative,and gay weddings are unimaginable for the majority of citizens.

But a new generation of scholars is challenging the idea that marriage canonly ever be between a man and a woman.

Professor Li Yinhe, a sociologist and gay rights campaigner, is leading thecall for marriage and other rights for the nation's 40 million homosexuals.

The gay partner of an accused person will have his or her rights protectedduring a criminal trial under changes to state laws to come into effectearly next year.

At present, a "de facto spouse" of an accused is permitted by the EvidenceAct to decline to testify against his or her partner.

But the NSW Government plans to change the title in the act to "de factopartner". This was intended "to be more gender neutral", a spokesman for thePremier, Morris Iemma, said.

California: As if filling out your federal tax forms isn't bad enough,imagine how you'd feel having to do it twice.

That's essentially what California's 90,000 registered domestic partnersface April 15 next year because state and federal tax laws are on a head-oncollision course. A landmark state law will require them to file their taxesas married couples for the first time - but federal tax laws don't recognizesuch unions.

Maine: The rally is part of a weeklong national event called Seven StraightNights for Equal Rights to show that heterosexuals are demanding equalrights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans and theirfamilies.
Becca Hanks will speak at the event organized in Maine by her father andstepmother, Mary Jude. Her mother's partner, Rindy Fogler, and her14-year-old brother, Daniel Hanks, also will participate.

Connecticut: When it comes to same-sex civil unions, Connecticut law saysone thing, the federal government says another. If a couple moves to adifferent state, they might have an entirely new set of rules to work with.What does that mean? It means a lot more work for trust and estate lawyers.


The Detroit News

Good financial decisions add up to rich life

Monday, October 08, 2007
Deb Price

Financial adviser Per Larson, who literally wrote the book on how to chartone's financial life decade by decade, is messing it all up. The start ofhis own 60s, that is.

"I turned out to be a classic case," the 64-year-old author of the timeless book, "Gay Money," admits with a chuckle.

"Everything I wrote, to my chagrin, applies. I can't tell you how many timesI've re-read my own 60s chapter," he adds.

Simply put, he's a work junkie. He ought to be shifting gears -- away fromincome-producing work -- but he's still juggling clients. Plus, he'supdating "Gay Money" to address the teen years, the 80s and what gay couplesned to know about the financial ups and downs of civil unions, marriage andrelationship contracts.

"It's been so hard for me to do stuff not related to income. It's soseductive," he says sheepishly.

Wrong, wrong, wrong for your 60s, he'd advise a client like himself, drawingon his decade-by-decade finances map that easily transfers to heterosexuals.

The 60s should be a "delicious decade of choice," he explains. If you'vedone things -- like paying off your house and debts, and securing a pensionor income-producing investments -- "you can decide to do things simplybecause you want to do them.

"This can be a revelation, especially in this land where people arework-obsessed," he adds.



Drama wins £25,000 gay film prize

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/10/07 11:27:21 GMT

A coming-of-age drama about a lesbian teenager has won the £25,000 IrisPrize - thought to be the largest ever award for a gay and lesbian shortfilm.

Its director Dee Rees, from the United States, will now use the money tomake another short film in the UK.

Her film Pariah was chosen by judges as the best entry of the 30 shortlistedat the end of a three day film festival in Cardiff.

It also won the NewFest festival award in New York earlier this year.

Ms Rees' 27-minute film follows the teenage girl as she unsuccessful triesto juggle multiple identities to avoid rejection from her friends andfamily.

Announcing the winner of the prize at the awards show at Cardiff'sCineworld, Frances Hendron, jury chair said: "This film was impactful. It isa personal story told in a universal manner.



Daily Update on ENDA

from Mara Keisling, NCTE Executive Director
Sunday, October 7, 2007

A wonderful quote:

"This is our moment of truth and we cannot blink...This is not the time todo the bigots' work for them, to make excuses, or to call fear'pragmatism.'"
Nadine Smith
Equality Florida

My friend Nadine is exactly correct. We cannot blink.

We are hearing from other lobbyists, Congressional staffers and even membersof Congress that constituents have really been turning out the visits, phonecalls and other contacts. Please keep it up. We definitely have peopletalking on Capitol Hill. We have a wall in the office that has a list ofCongresspeople whose support we must have to win and another wall that has alist of Congresspeople who have confirmed their support over the past weekor so. We have been moving names over from one list to the other forseveral days as they are confirmed as supporters and we are very excitedabout how quickly that list is growing.

Please remember that tomorrow (Monday) Congress is closed for Columbus Day,but that many legislators will be back in their districts doing parades,town hall meetings and etc. These are really great places to have a fewmoments with your Congressperson. We at NCTE will be open tomorrow and,along with many allies, will continue to work on the education that ishaving huge impact.

So much has happened over this weekend. A whole lot of people have visitedwith their members of Congress back in the districts. I just receivedanother visit report a few minutes ago from South Carolina. Sometimeyesterday it appears that we passed 300 organizations who have signed on tosupport a unified ENDA. We'll have a more exact number tomorrow when Ryangets back to updating the list. If yours is an organizations that has signedon to the statement, but your name hasn't appeared on the list yet, pleasebe patient-300 names is a lot to process so it can take a while and we didget a bit behind this weekend.

About 75-100 activists led by the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition(NTAC) gathered at HRC's national dinner last night to further advance atransgender-inclusive ENDA. A concurrent vigil took place in the Castro inSan Francisco that also had a great turnout and impact. I stopped by the DCprotest and was honored to see a really great mix of transgender people andallies, all really worked up and taking thoughtful, respectful and effectiveaction.

I saw a very interesting note in the New York Post, which has never beenvery supportive of transgender people. The note said: " THAT we erredyesterday in referring to a pre-op transsexual as "a she-male" - a termGLAAD informs us is "a dehumanizing slur." We apologize to any and all wemay have offended . . ." It is amazing progress that the post wouldapologize to transgender people for using insulting language. I also thinkit bears noting that GLAAD has been doing a very solid job in recent yearsworking with media outlets on ever more fair coverage of transgender peopleand our lives.

If you'd like to read more about ENDA and the specific actions you can take,please visit our ENDA webpage.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who answered our call for increasedsupport. This ENDA crisis has really increased our expenses and yourfinancial help is genuinely helping a great deal as we have ramped up to dothis important work. If you would like to help with a donation, please senda check to NCTE or go to our website at
We still really need your financial help to make our work happen.
Thank you.

Mara Keisling
Executive Director
National Center for Transgender Equality


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Adults Being Given Juvenile Protections In Sex Abuse Cases

By Ernesto Londono
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 7, 2007; A01

They were both children more than 25 years ago when Sona Gandhi and herneighbor had the encounters that she would later call sexual abuse. Theywere certainly adults the day Gandhi confronted the man in a Rockvillecourtroom last winter.

But the man, now 40, was charged as a juvenile because of his age at thetime of the alleged offenses, in a type of case that is becoming more commonas women increasingly report being molested as children.

"I deal with this every day of my life," Gandhi, 33, told the man in court,according to a copy of her prepared remarks. "I hope that's something youthink about every day of yours."

Cases such as the one prompted by Gandhi's report to police last year haveignited a legal debate about whether adults can and should be tried injuvenile court and whether labeling adults as sex offenders for things theydid as teenagers is fair and necessary.

Gandhi says the criminal justice system let her down. Montgomery Countyprosecutors dropped the charges against her former neighbor after clinicalexperts concluded that he is unlikely to offend again. The man had admittedthe abuse in a telephone conversation recorded by police last summer,according to a police report.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Arkansas foster ban

Fri, 10/05/2007 - 8:17pm by Community Editor [Add to Friends List]
'08 election Arkansas Foster Care Editor's Pick

After one failed attempt in September, the homophobic Family Council ActionCommittee got their outlandish proposed initiative approved - which wouldban gay and unmarried couples as foster parents.

Now the decision may go to voters, in the 2008 election.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel approved the initiative on Thursday, whichwill allow supporters of the ban to collect signatures in support of placingthe issue on a ballot. McDaniel vowed to reject a previous initiative draftbecause the wording in the proposal was inconsistent.

But McDaniel said Thursday, "They incorporated all of our changes, so uponreview we were able to certify it."

It was struck down by the state Supreme Court in 2006 and failed in thestate legislature during the 2007 session, so proponents of a ban areattempting to take the issue to the voters.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Longtime LGBT ally indicted in FBI probe

By David Webb News Editor
Oct 4, 2007, 19:30

Rep. Hodge accused of accepting free rent, electricity from builder

The FBI's 27-month probe into alleged corruption at Dallas City Hall and theresulting mass of indictments that shook the city this week snared a trustedand beloved friend of local LGBT political activists.

Texas Rep. Terri Hodge, whose district includes Oak Lawn, was indicted alongwith 13 others on Monday, Oct. 1. The indictments named Hodge, former MayorPro Tem Donald Hill and his wife, Sheila, former Plan and ZoningCommissioner D'Angelo Lee, wealthy developer Brian L. Potashnik and hiswife, Cheryl, and various associates of the politicians and developer.

All are alleged to have participated in a bribery, extortion and moneylaundering scheme involving affordable housing developments in the Dallasarea, according to the 31-count, 166-page indictment that returned by afederal grand jury last week.

In a separate indictment, former City Councilman James Fantroy Sr. wascharged with one count of embezzlement and theft from a federal fund inconnection with his former role as a member of the board of directors andtreasurer of Paul Quinn College Community Development Corp.

All of the black political figures and the Potashniks, who own and operateSouthwest Housing Development Co. and live in Highland Park, have enteredpleas of not guilty to the charges. The indictments allege hundreds ofthousands of dollars changed hands to influence votes by Dallas officials.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Anti-gay 'quacks' to descend on Dallas

By David Webb News Editor
Oct 4, 2007, 19:26

LGBT groups plan protest of conference for therapists who view homosexualityas a disease

Hundreds of therapists who view homosexuality as a treatable disease areexpected in Dallas-Fort Worth for the National Association for Research andTherapy of Homosexuality conference on Oct. 26-28.

"There will be several hundred quacks," said Wayne Besen, founder of TruthWins Out, a national organization devoted to exposing practitioners ofex-gay therapy as charlatans. "The whole flock will fly down south from allover."

In response, Truth Wins Out is organizing a protest at the Marriott Dallas-Fort Worth Airport North hotel, where the conference is scheduled totake place. A conference call between leaders of local LGBT groups and Besenwas held on Thursday, Oct. 4, to arrange plans for the protest, which willbe announced soon.

NARTH, which is based in Encino, Calif., advocates the reclassification ofhomosexuality as a mental disorder. The American Psychiatric Associationremoved homosexuality as a mental disorder from its Diagnostic andStatistical Manual in 1973.

NARTH was founded in 1992 by three therapists with the mission "to continuethe scientific study of prevention, treatment and problems associated withhomosexuality." The founders contended that the APA "undermined thescientific integrity of the mental health profession" by succumbing to thedemands of gay activists.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Anti-Gay Movement of Immigrant Fundamentalist Christians Threatens WesternStates

By Casey Sanchez, Intelligence Report
Posted on October 5, 2007, Printed on October 8, 2007

On the first day of July, Satender Singh was gay-bashed to death. The26-year-old Fijian of Indian descent was enjoying a holiday weekend outingat Lake Natoma with three married Indian couples around his age. Singh wasdelicate and dateless -- two facts that did not go unnoticed by a party ofRussian-speaking immigrants two picnic tables away.

According to multiple witnesses, the men began loudly harassing Singh andhis friends, calling them "7-Eleven workers" and "Sodomites." The Slavic menbragged about belonging to a Russian evangelical church and told Singh thathe should go to a "good church" like theirs. According to Singh's friends,the harassers sent their wives and children home, then used their cellphones to summon several more Slavic men. The members of Singh's party,which included a woman six months pregnant, became afraid and tried toleave. But the Russian-speaking men blocked them with their bodies.

The pregnant woman said she didn't want to fight them.

"We don't want to fight you either," one of them replied in English. "Wejust want your faggot friend."

One of the Slavic men then sucker-punched Singh in the head. He fell to theground, unconscious and bleeding. The assailants drove off in a green sedanand red sports car, hurling bottles at Singh's friends to prevent them fromjotting down the license plate. Singh suffered a brain hemorrhage. By thenext day, hospital tests confirmed that he was clinically brain dead. Hisfamily agreed to remove him from artificial life support July 5.

Outside Singh's hospital room, more than 100 people held a vigil. Many wereSacramento gay activists who didn't know Singh personally, but who saw hisdeath as the tragic but inevitable result of what they describe as thegrowing threat of large numbers of Slavic anti-gay extremists, most of themfirst- or second-generation immigrants from Russia, the Ukraine and othercountries of the former Soviet Union, in their city and others in thewestern United States.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

DiFatta twice detained in lewd conduct in restrooms

Councilman quits state Senate race citing health reasons
Friday, October 05, 2007
By Christine Harvey
St. Tammany bureau

St. Bernard Parish Councilman Joey DiFatta, who on Thursday withdrew fromthe 1st Senate District campaign, has been stopped twice since 1996 forsuspicion of engaging in lewd behavior in public restrooms in JeffersonParish, records obtained by The Times-Picayune show.

DiFatta, 53, acknowledged that reports he had been stopped are true, but hedenied any wrongdoing in both cases. He said he was not prosecuted in eithercase and has no arrest record.

"If I had done something wrong, I would have been arrested," DiFatta saidThursday afternoon. "I was not. I will deny that I was involved in anyactivity of that nature."

Earlier Thursday, DiFatta called reporters to announce that he planned towithdraw from the Senate race. He said he has been having chest pains for afew weeks, and elevated enzyme levels indicate he might have had a minorheart attack in the past few days. As a result, his doctor advised him toslow down and make some changes in his life.

DiFatta, who has served on the St. Bernard Parish Council since January 1996and is currently its chairman, denied he is stepping down from the Senaterace for fear that the reports would become public. In fact, he said he didnot know the reports had surfaced when he made his decision.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Atlanta's gay Latinos live mostly in the shadows

'No unity,' few community resources available to gay minority group
Oct. 05, 2007

Like she always did, Elizabeth Toledo called home on the second Sunday ofMay 1985 to wish her mother a happy Mother's Day and ask if she wanted towanted to go out for lunch. After the two women got off of the phone, itwould be six years before they could speak to one another again.

Toledo, a Latina lesbian who was living with another woman at the time,learned from her mother that her younger sister - compelled by "theinnocence and naivety of youth" - had come out of the closet earlier thatmorning.Toledo,who long knew that she was the oldest of three gay sisters,was almost more upset than her mother at the younger sister's revelation.

"I was so pissed because I thought I was going to take [being a lesbian] tomy grave because I'm from an older generation," said Toledo, who works as acounselor for the Clinic for Education, Treatment & Prevention of Addictionin Norcross.

When Toledo told her mother that she couldn't believe her younger sister wasa lesbian,Toledo's mother bluntly asked Toledo if she was gay. "I said,'Mom, I don't want to have this conversation over the phone with
said while speaking at a Sept. 27 forum on gay Latinos in Atlanta sponsoredby the Feminist Women's Health Center. "She said, 'Well, you've alreadyanswered me.'

"'As far as I'm concerned, you're dead to me, your sister is dead to me, andI know your other sister is gay, and so she's dead to me,'" Toledo recalledher mother saying into the telephone.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Summit to support gay youths

Message: You are not alone

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS - Saving lives and fostering community understanding aboutalternative lifestyles are at the heart of a conference today at NorthernKentucky University for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioningyouth. It is open to the public.

Organizers of the sixth Greater Cincinnati GLBTQ Youth Summit expect morethan 200 attendees ranging from 14 to 25 years old and supportive adults atthe free event at the University Center on NKU's campus.

"Really for anyone who shows up, the first thing I say to expect is a lot offun," said Jared Hall, chairman of the conference's planning committee. "Themost obvious and main point of the summit is for it to be a place wherethese youth can come together and see there are people there who are exactlylike them."

The summit, organized by Your Forefront and the Gay, Lesbian and StraightEducation Network's local chapter, aims to create a safe and supportiveenvironment for the attendees.

Check-in and registration open at 10 a.m. today. The first of more than 20workshops starts at 11 a.m.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Religious extremists terrorize women in Basra

Police say more than 15 bodies a month are found in the city.
By Jay Price and Ali Omar al Basri - McClatchy Newspapers
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, October 5, 2007

BASRA, Iraq -- Women in Basra have become the targets of a violent campaignby religious extremists, who leave more than 15 female bodies scatteredaround the city each month, police officers say.

Maj. Gen. Abdel Jalil Khalaf, the commander of Basra's police, said Thursdaythat self-styled enforcers of religious law threatened, beat and sometimesshot women who they believed weren't sufficiently Muslim.

"This is a new type of terror that Basra is not familiar with," he said."These gangs represent only themselves, and they are far outside religious,forgiving instructions of Islam."

Often, he said, the "crime" is no more than wearing Western clothes or notwearing a head scarf.

Before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Iraqi women had rights enshrined inthe country's constitution since 1959 that were among the broadest of anyArab or Islamic nation. However, while the new constitution says that womenare equal under the law, critics have condemned a provision that says no lawcan contradict the "established rulings" of Islam as weakening women'srights.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay Marriage in the Cards

Sweden's three opposition parties, the Social Democrats, the Greens and theLeft Party have put forward a motion in the Swedish Parliament to allow gaymarriages.

There is wide support in the parliament for the move, with the only partyagainst the plans the Christian Democrats. They are also in a minority inthe government, with three out of four of the ruling parties also in favour,but the Christian Democrat's opposition means the government is unable toput forward a motion itself.

This is the first time the three opposition leaders have put forward acommon motion, and they are now hoping enough gay friendly MP's from thegovernment parties will rebel so they can get a majority in the parliamentvote. The government's small majority mean that only four MP's have toswitch sides.

Swedish gays and lesbians can currently become legal partners, but thisisn't quite the same as heterosexual marriage.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Kathryn Jean Lopez: Marriage and the GOP

By Kathryn Jean Lopez -
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, September 14, 2007

Marriage matters as a political issue, a fact we were starkly reminded ofwhen an Iowa judge recently redefined marriage.

In his ruling, Polk County District Court Judge Robert Hanson wished intolaw the right of "individuals to marry a person of their choosing," with nogender restrictions. He said that Iowa's extant marriage law must benullified, severed and stricken, and that all references to "marriage" be"read and applied in a gender neutral manner so as to permit same-sexcouples to enter into a civil marriage pursuant to said chapter."

There's nothing like a judge's bypassing the democratic process to spurresponses from democratic leadership.

Since Iowa is a key state in the presidential election process, the locationof this latest judicial overreach naturally encourages candidates'responses. But most GOP candidates wish the issue had never come up, sinceit's a touchy subject for a party of wide stances.

As it happens, only one of the leading Republican candidates -- MittRomney -- supports a federal marriage amendment, which wouldconstitutionally prevent marriage redefinition in the states. So Romney wasquick to denounce the Iowa ruling as "another example of an activist courtand unelected judges trying to redefine marriage and disregard the will ofthe people" -- and to declare that this "once again highlights the need fora Federal Marriage Amendment to protect the traditional definition ofmarriage."

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

'The Justness of Our Cause'

Thursday, October 4, 2007; A24

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would send a strong message concerningdiscrimination against gays. The Sept. 28 editorial, "A Civil Rights Law,"sent one as well: To gain our inalienable human rights, transgender peoplemust first convince the public that we are human.

The Post's proposed solution, that transgender people embark on 40 years ofeducating the public, is naive at best and cynical at worst. We are so smallin number and so easily ignored at negligible political cost. Every groupthat has fought for its civil rights has been a minority dependent on peopleoutside the group to recognize the justness of its cause. Those who claim tobelieve in justice must recognize that you either believe in an egalitariansociety open to all or in one where discrimination is a valid societalresponse, only requiring you to pick your targets carefully.



Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

What a thoughtless Australian transsexual lesbian

October 05, 2007

What was Grace Adams thinking? Before she transitioned from male to female,she married her partner, and once completing the transition succeeded inchanging her passport designation from male to female. As a result, she andher spouse are effectively Australia's first same-sex couple.

My first inclination was to congratulate Grace on a job well done, turningthe system against itself and using the intricacies of gender law to strikea blow for all of us!

Then, I remembered. "None of us is free until all of us is free." And it's"immoral" for some of us, including Grace, to enjoy a civil right, likemarriage for same-sex couples, until all of us can.

So instead of congratulations, I'll have to say, Shame on you, Grace. Shameon you for fighting for your own civil rights instead of thinking of minefirst!

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Anti-gay slurs hurt heterosexuals, too

Posted on : 2007-10-05 | Author : Health News Editor
News Category : Health

URBANA, Ill., Oct. 5 (UPI) Being called anti-gay names significantlypredicts higher levels of trauma -- regardless of sexuality, a study ofjunior high students in Illinois found.

V. Paul Poteat and Dorothy L. Espelage of the University of Illinois atUrbana-Champaign studied 143 seventh graders and examined the extent theywere the target of anti-gay name-calling over a 1-week period. The studentswere surveyed again a year later. In addition, the students reported theirlevel of anxiety, depression, school belonging and social withdrawal.

The study, published in The Journal of Early Adolescence, found being thevictim of homophobic name-calling was significantly linked with anxiety,depression, personal distress and a lower sense of school belonging, whilefor females, being the object of name-calling was connected with higherlevels of social withdrawal.

The researchers recommend that although name-calling may appear to beharmless banter among students, "teachers and administrators shouldintervene during these occurrences, and school policies should specificallyaddress and seek to decrease these occurrences."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Anti-Gay Preachers Protest at Georgia Campuses, Memorial Service

by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Providence Contributor
Friday Oct 5, 2007

The Southeast Open Air Preachers Conference in Atlanta brought publiccondemnations of Judaism, Islam, and homosexuality to town.

The conference took place from Sept. 25-Oct. 1, with around 50 preachersgathering at the Holiday Inn Express in Kennesaw.

Some of the preachers headed off to public spots to promote their messages,which included urging the Biblical penalty of death to gays and troublesometeens.

Preachers descended upon Georgia State University, Georgia Institute ofTechnology, and Kennesaw State University, according to a story postedonline today at Southern Voice.

At Georgia Tech, students heard that, "When a man sticks his penis in thebehind of another man, that is a perversion. God designed it to go into avagina," a message proclaimed by a preacher who set up at the school'samphitheatre next to the student center.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Dobson Claims Unity

October 4, 2007

James Dobson has decided to publicly weigh in on the reports that variousright-wing leaders are considering abandoning the Republican Party shouldRudy Giuliani win the presidential nomination with an op-ed in the New YorkTimes:

After two hours of deliberation, we voted on a resolution that can besummarized as follows: If neither of the two major political partiesnominates an individual who pledges himself or herself to the sanctity ofhuman life, we will join others in voting for a minor-party candidate. Thoseagreeing with the proposition were invited to stand. The result was almostunanimous.

Dobson goes on to explain that they are not willing to compromise theiranti-choice, anti-gay principles in order to ensure electoral success forthe Republican Party and that "winning the presidential election is vitallyimportant, but not at the expense of what we hold most dear."

But the main reason Dobson penned this op-ed was to dampen reports that theRight is in disarray leading into the 2008 election:

One other clarification is germane, even though unrelated to the meeting inSalt Lake City. The secular news media has been reporting in recent monthsthat the conservative Christian movement is hopelessly fractured andinternally antagonistic. The Los Angeles Times reported on Monday, forexample, that supporters of traditional family values are rapidly"splintering." That is not true. The near unanimity in Salt Lake City isevidence of much greater harmony than supposed. Admittedly, differences ofopinion exist among us about our choices for president.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Leave folks' sex toys alone

Sunday, October 07, 2007
Special to the Press-Register

I can't lie: I love my vibrator. I can't imagine the level of sexualfrustration I would endure if I didn't have it available to me after mylong, stressful days of playing my role as an intelligent, responsibleadult.

I work more than 40 hours a week between two jobs and also take 19 credithours at the University of South Alabama. Busy as I am, I still manage tomake good grades and be a model employee.

However, I have far too little time for a relationship, and being one who israther disinclined toward promiscuous indulgences, I appreciate thecompanion I do have, who is discreetly tucked away in the confines of mybedroom, where not a single prying eye dares tread.

My bedroom is my domain, and the activities I choose to employ while in itare known to me alone. For this reason, I can't for the life of me fathomthe logic in the statewide ban on the sale of objects that have nothing todo with politics, religion or anything under the sun other than that whichtakes place behind closed doors.

Isn't it strange how the only people in support of this ban are the ones notdirectly affected by it -- the ones who do not use such products yet claimto be disgusted by them?

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