Monday, October 01, 2007

GLBT DIGEST October 1, 2007

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Children Of Lesbian Couples Are Doing Well, Study Finds

Science Daily - A study of families in the Netherlands indicates thatchildren raised by lesbian couples "do not differ in well being or childadjustment compared with their counterparts in heterosexual-parent families."

"The findings in the Dutch study are identical to those in a very largenumber of U.S. studies," said Robert-Jay Green PhD, director of RockwayInstitute, a national center for research and public policy on lesbian, gay,bisexual and transgender issues. "Children do well in loving families,regardless of whether there are two moms or a mom and a dad involved."

The study was conducted by Henny Bos, Frank van Balen, and Dymphna van denBoom of the University of Amsterdam.

How the study was conducted

The study involved 100 heterosexual couples and 100 lesbian couples withchildren ages 4-8 who were raised by the couple since birth. The number ofboys and girls in each of the comparison groups was almost identical. Childadjustment and parental characteristics were measured by questionnaires,family observations by researchers, and diaries kept by the parentsregarding the amounts of time they spent in childrearing, household work, orpaid work outside the home.

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Suspected Georgetown gay-basher has Bush Administration ties

by Nick Langewis

A Georgetown University sophomore, implicated in a gay-bashing by a fellowstudent, has ties to the Bush Administration, PageOneQ has learned.

19-year-old Philip Anderton Cooney, pictured here in the spring of 2005, isthe son of fallen Bush aide and American Petroleum Institute oil lobbyistPhil Cooney.

Phil Cooney was appointed chief of staff with the White House Council onEnvironmental Quality, suffering criticism for his lack of environmental experience. After his resignation and subsequent hire to a position withExxonMobil, it was found that Cooney had reportedly tampered with data tosupport the Bush line on climate change.

Philip Anderton Cooney was identified by the victim and reported to policethanks to his Facebook profile, which contained a photograph. He is beingcharged with simple assault, which, as a hate crime, carries a jail sentenceof up to 270 days, the Washington Post reports. On the morning of September9, the victim says, he was attacked physically and verbally, including withanti-gay slurs, by Cooney while walking near 36th and O Streets in northwestWashington, DC.

According to a WRC report, including video, the victim made it a point to"etch the suspect's face in his mind" with hopes of discovering his identityand reporting him to police. After overhearing that a student was talkingabout the incident to others, a friend gave him the student's initials,which were monogrammed on his bag, and the victim used them to narrow downhis Facebook search.

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Irish Examiner, Monday 1 October 2007

"Hypocrisy" criticism on same sex laws

By Niall Murray, Education Correspondent

The Equality Authority has accused the Government of hypocrisy over its commitment to same sex couples when it refuses to change laws that allow schools to fire gay teachers.

A section of the 1998 Employment Equality Act gives schools and other religious-run institutions exemption from discrimination laws where it takes action to prevent an employee from undermining its religious ethos.

The issue has been a matter of concern for teachers in recent years, particularly at primary level where more than nine out of 10 schools are run by the Catholic Church and other religious denominations.

Equality Authority chief executive Niall Crowley said it remains unclear how severe the interpretation of the act might be unless a case is taken to the Equality Tribunal or the courts, challenging its use.

"We already know that it's a strong dissuasive influence on gay and lesbian people from taking cases and, therefore, whether or not they're raising the issue, it must be changed," he said.



Gaining in acceptance

Published: September 30, 2007 6:00 a.m.
By Emma Downs . The Journal Gazette

Active community

Believe it or not, he missed the winters.

A few years of living in San Francisco during the early 1980s, and RonMuckway felt the pull back to the Midwest. He missed the small things: Theholiday bazaars, restaurants offering artery-clogging plates ofgravy-smothered gravy (with a little meat and potato thrown in for color),that quiet moment after the first snowfall when your footsteps areaccompanied by a satisfying crunch.

He knew the Midwest was not the most progressive place for a gay man tolive. But it was home, he says.

"I never really felt comfortable in San Francisco," known for its large gaycommunity, Muckway says. "The weather was better. Much, much better. I couldstand a little earthquake now and then. But I'd grown up in the MichiganCity area, (in) a town of less than 1,000 people. Before I moved to SanFrancisco, I was a homebody. I still am. And I missed the winters. I stilldon't mind the winters."

Muckway and his partner, Kevin Grady, now live on Fort Wayne's southwestside. ("In the smallest house in Aboite Township," he says.)

Together since 1986, they are just one of 572 same-sex households in AllenCounty, according to the 2000 U.S. census. This fall, the two will celebrate21 years as a couple, 18 spent as a gay couple living in Fort Wayne. Onaverage, Muckway sees Fort Wayne as a welcoming community.

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Argentine team beats British side to win gay world cup
Sat Sep 29, 10:20 PM ET

Argentina's Los Dogos captured the gay football world cup Saturday,defeating British title-holders Stonewall 1-0 in Buenos Aires in the firstfinal held in Latin America.

The two teams were among 28 squads from Europe, the Americas and Australiathat participated in the 10th gay football world championship aimed athighlighting the fight against homophobia and discrimination.

With their victory, Los Dogos, named after an Argentine dog breed,automatically qualified for the 2008 tournament hosted by London.

"The people supported us and I hope it's always like this," said Dogos coachNestor Gammella, 51, after the final held at the Defensores de Belgranostadium. "We beat the world champions and we are happy."

It was the first time Latin American teams played in the tournamentorganized by the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA),with squads from Mexico, Chile and Uruguay.

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Corporate America treating gay, bisexual individuals better

September 30, 2007

More of the nation's major corporations are becoming friendlier tohomosexual, bisexual and "transgender" employees and consumers, according toa new report.

The annual Corporate Equality Index found that 195 companies earned aperfect rating of 100, up from 138 companies last year -- a 41 percentincrease.

The index, published by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, rated 519employers on a scale of 0 to 100 on their treatment of gay, lesbian,bisexual and transgender -- or GLBT -- employees and consumers.

When the index was first released in 2002, only 13 companies received a toprating.

"More businesses than ever before have recognized the value of a diverse anddedicated work force," Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said.

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2008 Poses Tough Choice For Kennedy

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 1, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Washington) Democratic presidential contenders flocked to Sen. EdwardKennedy's 75th birthday party earlier this year.

Sen. Barack Obama showed up at Kennedy's home with a bottle of wine as agift. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton pulled Kennedy aside to schmooze. Sen.Christopher Dodd needled Kennedy about getting older.

The shower of personal attention underscored Kennedy's star power in theWhite House race. The liberal senator's endorsement is among the mostcoveted by the eight Democratic contenders.

The birthday party was also a reminder of the tough endorsement choiceKennedy faces as the 2008 contest unfolds.

The Massachusetts senator has close ties to several candidates who areeagerly seeking his support. Whatever he decides, he's bound to disappointsome longtime friends and colleagues.

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Is GOP On A Death Watch?

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 1, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Washington) It is gallows humor time for Republicans in Congress, where onelawmaker jokes that "there's talk about us going the way of the Whigs," the19th century political party long extinct.

"That's not going to happen," Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., hastens to add,although a little more than a year before the 2008 election, the majorleading political indicators still point downward for a party abruptlyturned out of power in 2006.

Fundraising for Republican campaign organizations lags. That is strikinglyso in the House, where the party committee spent more than it raised in eachof the past two months, reported only $1.6 million in the bank at the end ofAugust and a debt of nearly $4 million.

Democrats reported $22.1 million in the bank and a debt of slightly morethan $3 million.

Candidate recruitment has been uneven, particularly in the Senate, whereRepublicans must defend 22 of the 34 seats on the ballot next year.Democrats boast top-tier challengers for GOP-held seats in Colorado,Virginia, New Hampshire, Maine, Minnesota and Oregon.

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The New York Times

Yale Law, Newly Defeated, Allows Military Recruiters

October 1, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Sept. 30 - For five years, Yale Law School has fought to restrictmilitary recruiters from its job fairs because of the Pentagon's policy thatbars openly gay or bisexual people from the military. But with the federalgovernment threatening to withhold $350 million in grants if the universitydoes not assist the recruiters, that fight will all but end on Monday.

After an appeals court ruled in favor of the Defense Department on Sept. 17,the law school said it would allow recruiters from the Air Force and Navy toparticipate in a university-sponsored job interview program for law studentson Monday afternoon. For now, the legal battle to stop the recruiters isover, said Robert A. Burt, a Yale law professor and the lead plaintiff inthe case.

"The judges who hold office at the moment disagree with us," Professor Burtsaid. "We must wait for history to vindicate our position."

At question is a statute called the Solomon Amendment, which allows thefederal government to withhold funds from universities that do not extendthe same welcome to military recruiters as they do to other recruiters.



The Washington Post

Pink Panic In the GOP

By Jonathan Capehart
Monday, October 1, 2007; A19

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is fearless. He has faced down al-Qaeda,the Mafia and the National Rifle Association. But when it comes to facinghomosexuals, he's a wimp. So are former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee,Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney andformer Tennessee senator Fred Thompson. They're all victims of a Pink Panicthat calls into question their ability to lead this fractured nation.

What freaked them out? A request from me to discuss gay issues. This is partof a disturbing pattern by the GOP candidates, highlighted this month byPost reporter Perry Bacon Jr., of shunning debates with people who mightpose uncomfortable but pertinent questions. With the exception of Huckabee,the major-name Republicans skipped Tavis Smiley's "All-American PresidentialForum," geared to the black community, last Thursday at Morgan StateUniversity in Baltimore. Only McCain accepted an invitation this month toparticipate in a Univision television debate for Hispanic voters. The eventwas eventually canceled. And the Republicans have given the same silenttreatment to gay men and lesbians.

After being a panelist at the Democratic presidential forum sponsored by thegay Human Rights Campaign and the Logo television channel last month in LosAngeles, I thought it a shame that the major GOP contenders declined asimilar opportunity to talk directly to gay voters. So I invited each ofthem to talk with me for 15 minutes, using questions from the same batchasked of the Democrats. I included Huckabee after being impressed by hisstrong finish in the Iowa straw poll and his recent New Hampshire debateperformance, in which he showed great character in smacking back aninvitation to beat up on immigrants.



The Washington Post

Woman Suing IRS Over Sex-Change Tax Claims
Case to Test if Procedure Is Deductible

By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 1, 2007; A03

NEW YORK -- After years of painful soul searching, Rhiannon O'Donnabhain --a former construction engineer from a devout Irish Catholic family inBoston -- decided to surgically change his sex to female in 2001. Thestruggle was equally tough financially -- hormone treatments and medicalprocedures set her back $25,000, a burden she felt could be partially offsetby taking a $5,000 tax deduction for medical costs.

When she sent in her tax claims after the surgery, the Internal RevenueService initially issued the 64-year-old former Coast Guard reservist arefund check for $5,000. But soon after, she was audited and ordered toreturn the refund because the IRS had determined that her surgery had beenmerely "cosmetic" -- and therefore not tax deductible.

Rather than return the money, O'Donnabhain opted to sue the IRS. The resulthas been a riveting case -- the first of its kind in normally staid U.S. TaxCourt -- in which lawyers have just concluded oral arguments and are set topresent a new round of written briefs next month. The core question is this:Should changing your sex be tax deductible?

The answer, according to leading medical experts, is an unequivocal yes. Infact, O'Donnabhain's treatment by the government has sparked outrage amongmedical professionals who specialize in gender identity disorder, acondition that leads an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 Americans a year to undergosex-change operations.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Anglican call for gay 'inclusion'

Anglican leaders from Scotland and Mexico are expected to call for gaypeople's full inclusion in the church, in a row which has split theCommunion.

Their call is anticipated at a conference in Manchester Cathedral topromote "inclusive theology".

It follows last week's undertaking by the US Episcopal Church to modifyits liberal approach to homosexuality.

Many African Anglicans threatened to leave the worldwide Communion afterthe first openly gay bishop was ordained.

Autonomous organisation

Archbishop Carlos Touche-Porter of Mexico, and Primus Idris Jones of theScottish Episcopal Church, are taking part in the conference.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

May 2007 Atlantic Monthly

Sodomy is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, but gay life flourishesthere. Why it is "easier to be gay than straight" in a society whereeveryone, homosexual and otherwise, lives in the closet

The Kingdom in the Closet
by Nadya Labi

Yasser, a 26-year-old artist, was taking me on an impromptu tour of hishometown of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on a sweltering September afternoon. Theair conditioner of his dusty Honda battled the heat, prayer beads dangledfrom the rearview mirror, and the smell of the cigarette he'd just smokedwafted toward me as he stopped to show me a barbershop that his friendsfrequent. Officially, men in Saudi Arabia aren't allowed to wear their hairlong or to display jewelry-such vanities are usually deemed to violate anIslamic instruction that the sexes must not be too similar in appearance.But Yasser wears a silver necklace, a silver bracelet, and a sparkly redstud in his left ear, and his hair is shaggy. Yasser is homosexual, or so wewould describe him in the West, and the barbershop we visited caters to gaymen. Business is brisk.

Leaving the barbershop, we drove onto Tahlia Street, a broad avenue framedby palm trees, then went past a succession of sleek malls and slowed infront of a glass-and-steel shopping center. Men congregated outside and innearby cafés. Whereas most such establishments have a family section, two ofthis area's cafés allow only men; not surprisingly, they are popular amongmen who prefer one another's company. Yasser gestured to a parking lotacross from the shopping center, explaining that after midnight it would be"full of men picking up men." These days, he said, "you see gay peopleeverywhere."



Letter from National Chairman of NAACP,
Julian Bond, to local unit 5099 Fort Lauderdale
President, Marsha Ellison

BALTIMORE, MD 21215-3297
(410) 358-890

September 18, 2007

Marsha Ellison, President
Fort Lauderdale, Florida NAACP
1409 NW 6th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311

Dear President Ellison:

Thank you for your courageous stand against homophobia in your community.

I am astounded by those who believe hostility toward homosexuals and thedenial of civil rights to them is not a civil rights issue.

That's why when I am asked, "Are Gay Rights Civil Rights?" my answer isalways, "Of course they are."

"Civil rights" are positive legal prerogatives - the right to equaltreatment before the law. These are rights shared by all - there is no onein the United States who does not - or should not - share in these rights.

Gay and lesbian rights arc not "special rights" in any way. It isn't"special" to be free from discrimination - it is an ordinary, universalentitlement of citizenship. The right not to be discriminated against is acommon-place claim we an expect to enjoy under our laws and our foundingdocument, the Constitution. That many had to struggle to gain these rightsmakes them precious - it does not make them special, and it does not reservethem only for me or restrict them from others.

When others gain these rights, my rights are not reduced in any way.Luckily, "civil rights" are a win/win game; the more civil rights are won byothers, the stronger the army defending my rights becomes. My rights are notdiluted when my neighbor enjoys protection from the law - he or she becomesmy ally in defending the rights we all share.

For some, comparisons between the African-American civil rights movement andthe movement for gay and lesbian rights seem to diminish the long blackhistorical struggle with all its suffering, sacrifices and endless toil.However, people of color ought to be flattered that our movement hasprovided so much inspiration for others, that is has been so widelyimitated, and that our tactics, methods, heroines and heroes, even oursongs, have been appropriated by or serve as models for others.

No parallel between movements for rights is exact. African-Americans are theonly Americans were enslaved for more than two centuries, and people ofcolor carry the badge of who we are on our faces. But we are far from theonly people suffering discrimination - sadly, so do many others. Theydeserve the laws' protections and civil rights, two.

Sexual disposition parallels race - I was born black and had no choice. Icouldn't and wouldn't change if I could. Like race, our sexuality isn't apreference - it is immutable, unchangeable, and the Constitution protects usall against prejudices and discrimination based on immutable differences.

Many gays and lesbians, along with Jews, worked side by side with me in the'60s civil rights movement. Am I to now tell them "thanks" for risking lifeand limb helping me win my rights - but they are excluded because of acondition of their birth? That they cannot share now in the victories theyhelped to win? That having accepted and embraced them as partners is acommon struggle, I can now turn my back on them and deny them the rightsthey helped me win, that I enjoy because of them?

Not a chance.

Opponents of homosexuality have the right to their opinion: they do not havethe right to use their beliefs to denigrate and marginalize others. A peoplewho suffered bigotry in the past and suffer from it today ought to be thelast people in the world to tolerate bigotry towards others.

Best wishes,
Julian Bond, Chairman
NAACP National Board of Directors


The Toronto Star

Show won't go on for artists accused of anti-gay lyrics

Sep 30, 2007 04:30 AM
Chris Jai Centeno
Staff Reporter

Two concerts have been cancelled after mega-club Kool Haus pulled the plugat the last-minute on two controversial reggae and dancehall artists.

Entertainers Elephant Man and Sizzla were scheduled to perform last Fridaynight and Oct. 5 respectively, but both Jamaicans have been under fire fromhuman rights organizations who say their lyrics are homophobic and inciteviolence against gays.

Akim Larcher, founder of Stop Murder Music Canada - a coalition made up of20 organizations that promote human rights - says the federal government hasremained silent in this issue.

"They shouldn't have been allowed to get visas to perform in the country.It's not about censorship or artistic freedom. That stops when hatepropaganda is involved," says Larcher.

It was reported Wednesday that police would monitor the concerts in case theartists ventured into criminally hateful territory.

Stop Murder Music has also called on the CRTC, which regulates radio andtelevision airwaves, to step in and ban .

But activist and Canadian author Orville Lloyd Douglas says "there are a lotof double standards here."




Hello everybody, here a report on a courtcase currently playing outin Uganda and reported on in the infamous Red Pepper tabloid.

Bum Shafters' Case Excites High Court

By Emmanuel Muwonge

The High Court in Kampala was on Friday thrown into awesomeexcitement typical of a battlefield as two militant camps filled upall available space to listen to a rather unusual case. The warriorcamps, each sweating with deep seated anger as if on a battlefieldcaused commotion like the Lord of Heavens were to land and deliverthe final and ultimate judgment!

A large group of gays and lesbians was led by (Rtd) Anglican BishopChristopher Ssenyonjo and Victor Mukasa whereas the anti-gaycrusaders were led by Makerere Pastor Martin Ssempa. Gays donned T-shirts emblazoned "Let us live in peace" and rainbow stickers as theSsempa army sang in low tone "onward Christian Soldiers marchingunto war."

The court concluded the hearing of a case in which two lesbianspetitioned challenging a local council chairman over torture, cruel,inhumane and degrading treatment, and infringement on their rightsto privacy because of their sexual orientation.



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