Friday, October 12, 2007

GLBT DIGEST October 12, 2007

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.


Billy Crystal Wins Twain Humor Prize

The Associated Press
Friday, October 12, 2007; 12:34 AM

WASHINGTON -- Carl Reiner, Steve Martin and Whoopi Goldberg have all won it.Now, to borrow a famous movie line he wrote, Billy Crystal is having whatthey're having.

The comedian, actor, Broadway star and Yankees fan's many talents andpassions were celebrated Thursday night at the Kennedy Center as he acceptedthe 10th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

"Does this mean I have to retire now?" Crystal asked as he cradled theaward, a bust of Twain. "Usually when someone is given an evening like this,they're way too dead to say thank you."

Rob Reiner, who directed the Crystal movie "When Harry Met Sally," creditedhim with the lasting success of the famous restaurant scene in which MegRyan fakes an orgasm. Afterward, a woman cracks, "I'll have what she'shaving."

"Billy Crystal wrote that line," said Reiner, thanking his friend forgranting cinematic immortality to his mother, Estelle Reiner, who deliveredit.

more . . . . .


Police Still Trying to Piece Together Puzzle of 2 Deaths
In Affidavit, Tenant Gives Information About Medication in D.C. Apartment

By Paul Duggan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 12, 2007; B01

Even without his high heels, Dean Johnson was a towering fellow, a 6-foot-6gay icon with a lean frame and shiny shaved head. A flamboyant rock singer,coffeehouse poet and paid escort, he was a celebrity among the drag queensand leathered denizens of Manhattan's boisterous downtown club scene -- aparty promoter in a plus-size black cocktail dress and Carol Channingshades.

So in a way, friends said, it was fitting that in the end, he would not goquietly. Instead, three weeks after he died in an elegant Washingtonapartment building, Johnson, who was 45, remains at the center of aninvestigation that a D.C. police inspector called "a bit bizarre, to say theleast."

On Sept. 20, when patrol officers answering a 911 call found him dead in anapartment at the historic Envoy building, at 2400 16th St. NW, Johnson wasnude, "lying on a mattress on the floor in the living room area," accordingto a police affidavit filed in court. He had arrived in Washington from NewYork just hours earlier to visit for a few days with a recent acquaintance,47-year-old Steven Saleh, in Apartment 227.

Turned out Johnson's body wasn't the only one in Saleh's living room thatweek.

Jordan "Jeremy" Conklin, 26, stood 6-foot-5, with a chiseled physique. Abusiness graduate of Arizona State University, he was a gay man at looseends, a friend said, bouncing from place to place, living with friends andworking at low-paying jobs. After Conklin posted an ad on Craigslist,looking for temporary housing in Washington, he and Saleh began e-mailinglast month, and Conklin moved into Apartment 227 on Sept. 14.

more . . . . .


Gay activists split on job bias bill

The Associated Press
October 12, 2007


Rep. Barney Frank, a leading gay rights champion in Congress, on Thursdayurged fellow gay rights advocates not to let their dispute over protectingtransgender workers doom a job discrimination ban that could mark a majorcivil rights advance for gays in the workplace.

The debate over including transgender people has sharply divided gay rightsactivists, many of whom are trying to kill a stripped-down bill withoutprotections for transgender workers that Frank and Democratic leaders hopewill win House passage this year.

"We're not going to be split off this way," said Matt Foreman, executivedirector of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "We're driven byprinciple. No civil rights movement has ever left a part of its communitybehind - and we're not about to be the first."

Frank, D-Mass., one of two openly gay members of Congress, supportstransgender protections, but said they don't have the votes.

"Politically, the notion that you don't do anything until you can doeverything is self-defeating," he said.

more . . . . .


Condom Experts Told That Size Matters

Associated Press Writer
7:37 AM EDT, October 12, 2007

SEOGWIPO, South Korea

As the world's top condom experts convene this week to update international standards, one American entrepreneur has a simple message: Size matters.It's shaking up an industry that has generally taken a one-size-fits-allapproach.

Frank Sadlo, founder of TheyFit, which makes what he claims are the world'sfirst custom-fit condoms, is pushing for updated standards to allow greatervariation in condom size.

It's not just about well-endowed men in cramped prophylactic quarters, Sadlotold a meeting Thursday of delegates from 21 countries under theGeneva-based International Organization for Standardization.

When given a choice, he said many men prefer condoms smaller than thestandard minimum 6.3 inches long, with more than half ordering those lessthan 5.12 inches.

At the session in Seogwipo on South Korea's Jeju Island, more than 100representatives -- including leading manufacturers, government standardsbodies and aid groups -- pored over 42 pages of specifications and testingrequirements for condoms.

more . . . . .


16,000 gay couples 'married' in first year of new law

Last updated at 19:51pm on 11th October 2007

More than 16,000 gay weddings took place in Britain last year, it wasrevealed today.

A National Statistics study shows that in the first full year since civilpartnerships were introduced, 16,106 same-sex marriages were registered.

London was the area with the highest number of ceremonies, about 4,000,followed by the South-East, which accounted for about 2,700.

Today's report also reveals that 10 per cent of the men and almost a quarterof the women involved in a gay wedding were previously married.

The average age for males registering a same-sex partnership was 47 and forfemales nearly 44.

more . . . . .


Animation will help parents with LGBT teens

11th October 2007 14:10
Asavin Wattanajantra

An animated DVD aimed at aimed at parents with LGBT teenagers will be madeby a Leeds studio with lottery funding.

Leeds Animation Network will produce and distribute Out to the Family,designed for individuals, families and groups to watch so that they candiscuss, communicate and be aware of the issues related to teenagers who areLGBT or questioning their sexuality.

The Network will distribute 4000 copies of the 12-minute DVD free of chargeto audiences throughout the country, including organisations who work withteenagers and families.

Work will start on the DVD after the Network researches and consults withparents and teenagers as well as organisations such as Families and Friendsof Lesbians and Gays (FFLAG), and the Consortium of LGBT voluntary andcommunity organisations (LGBT Consortium).

Leeds Animation Network is a co-operative, a business owned by the peoplewho use its services.

more . . . . .


Family of Man Who Died in Bondage Sex Act Files Lawsuit

October 12, 2007

Adrian Exley was wrapped tightly in heavy plastic, then bound with ducttape. A leather hood was put over his head, with a thin plastic strawinserted for air, and he was shut in a closet.

It may not have been exactly what the 32-year-old stripper from London hadbeen expecting when he traveled to Boston to stay with a man he met througha bondage and sadomasochism Web site.

Exley's body was discovered last June, two months after he was bound up in abondage ''playroom'' Gary LeBlanc built in the basement of his suburbanBoston home.

LeBlanc -- a 48-year-old Gulf Oil sales executive -- detailed hisresponsibility in the fatal bondage session in a five-page suicide note,just before he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

Now the question is: Since Exley consented to the sex, is he responsible forhis own death?

more . . . . .


Same-Sex Marriage TV Ad Begins Rotation In Sacramento

Campaign Is Based On Emotion, Creators Say
POSTED: 8:55 am PDT October 11, 2007
UPDATED: 1:44 pm PDT October 11, 2007

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A controversial television ad supporting same-sexmarriage will start airing Thursday in Sacramento.

The new commercial shows a bride running into obstacles on her way to herwedding, then says, "What if you couldn't marry the one you love?"

The makers of the ad said an appeal based on emotion, rather than law, is areal change for the movement.

The 60-second ads will run in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, SanDiego and Palm Springs.

It's part of a months-long campaign to spark open discussion about same-sexmarriage among families.

Legislation that would permit same-sex marriage is sitting on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk.

Two years ago he vetoed a similar bill and is vowing to do the same thistime around.


Attorney General: Gay couples can adopt children in Tennessee

Cooper says there are no constitutional obstacles
NASHVILLE (AP) | Oct 11, 3:12 PM

Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper says there are no constitutionalobstacles to gay couples adopting children.

The opinion released Wednesday was requested by Wilson County Circuit JudgeClara Byrd.

In it, Cooper wrote that, under the state constitution, same-sex couplesshould be eligible to adopt children as long as the court finds theplacement to be in the child's best interest.

Cooper found the constitution doesn't mention adoption, meaning the processis governed solely by statutes.

Tennessee law doesn't require people petitioning for adoption to be married.

more . . . . .


More than half of straight Americans want gays treated equally: poll1 day ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) - More than half of straight Americans back equal treatmentfor gays, and seven out of 10 said they have spoken out for the homosexualcommunity in the face of verbal attacks, a poll said Thursday.

One third of poll respondents said they would not speak out in defense ofgays to avoid confrontation, the online Harris Poll survey of nearly 2,200adults conducted late September showed.

And one in five cited religious or moral grounds for not speaking out indefense of gays -- but an equal percentage gave the same reasons for doingso.

The poll was released to coincide with the launch of the Straight forEquality program by the non-profit organization Parents, Families andFriends of Lesbians and Gays.

Straight for Equality "is reaching out to straight people who don't have animmediate relative who is gay or lesbian to start speaking up" for therights of the homosexual and transgender community, PFLAG spokeswomanJean-Marie Navetta told AFP ahead of the launch, which will kick off thegroup's four-day national convention in Washington.

The first openly gay Episcopal Bishop, Gene Robinson, will be one of thekeynote speakers at the convention, during which PFLAG members will lobbylawmakers for "pro-equality legislation, including a fullytransgender-inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act,"according to the event program.

US popstar Cyndi Lauper and globally syndicated agony aunt, Dear Abby, arealso due to attend.


Big L.A. law firms score low on diversity survey

The numbers of female, black, Latino, Asian and gay partners and associateslag significantly behind their representation in the city's population,according to a study.

By Henry Weinstein
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

October 11, 2007

Large Los Angeles law firms have poor diversity records, with the numbers offemale, black, Latino, Asian and gay partners and associates laggingsignificantly behind their representation in the city's population,according to a study released Wednesday.

The 17 Los Angeles-area firms in the report have three or fewer AfricanAmerican partners; all but one have three or fewer Latino partners, and halfhave three or fewer Asian American partners, placing the percentage ofpartners in those ethnic groups at less than 5%. In contrast, 2005 censusdata show that African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans constitute9.7%, 46.8% and 13.1% of the population in Los Angeles County.

Although more than half the county's residents are women, no firm has nearlythat percentage of female partners; the firm with the highest femalerepresentation among partners has 27.7%. Moreover, at every firm surveyed,women are significantly less represented as partners than as associates. Forexample, fully 60% of the associates at one firm are women, but only 14.6%of its partners.

The highest percentage of African American partners at a firm in Los Angelesis 4.6%, while the top percentage of Latino partners is 8.2%. The highestpercentage of Asian American partners is 11.1%, and the top percentage ofpartners who are openly lesbian, gay or bisexual is 7.4%.

Three firms have no African American partners, one has no Latino partners,one has no Asian American partners, and three firms have no publiclydeclared lesbian or gay partners.

more . . . . .


Julian Bond praises local NAACP chief for stand on Naugle

Oct. 11, 2007

NAACP Board Chairman Julian Bond sent a letter commending Marsha Ellison,president of the organization's Fort Lauderdale branch, for her supportivestance on gay rights in response to the Jim Naugle controversy.

Ellison read Bond's letter at an NAACP branch meeting Sept. 27. The letter,dated Sept. 18, begins with Bond thanking Ellison for her "courageous standagainst homophobia."

Ellison spoke in front of Fort Lauderdale's City Hall on Aug. 28 at a pressconference that was called by local community leaders to respond to MayorNaugle's recent anti-gay statements. In his letter, Bond reiterates whatEllison said at the press - that gay rights are civil rights.

"Gay and lesbian rights are not special rights in any way," Bond writes. "Itisn't special to be free from discrimination - it is an ordinary, universalentitlement of citizenship."

Bond's statement resonates in the black community, where there is someresentment when gay activists parallel their struggle with that of the civilrights movement.

more . . . . .


Judge Upholds Arkansas Law Allowing Opposite-Sex Toddlers To Wed

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 11, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Little Rock, Arkansas) An inadvertently added word in a law passed earlierthis year and unnoticed when it was signed into law by Gov. Mike Beebe isthe law of the state a judge has ruled.

Only the legislature can change it, Circuit Judge Tom J. Keith ruled.

The legislation was intended to establish 18 as the minimum age to marry butalso allow pregnant teenagers to marry with parental consent.

An extraneous "not" in the bill, however, allows anyone who is not pregnantto marry at any age if the parents allow it.

The law reads: "In order for a person who is younger than eighteen (18)years of age and who is not pregnant to obtain a marriage license, theperson must provide the county clerk with evidence of parental consent tothe marriage."

more . . . . .


Gore, UN Environment Body Win Nobel Peace Prize

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 12, 2007 - 5:30 am ET

(Oslo) Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panelon Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for their efforts tospread awareness of man-made climate change and lay the foundations forcounteracting it.

Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth," a documentary on global warming, won anAcademy Award this year and he had been widely expected to win the prize.

"His strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films andbooks, has strengthened the struggle against climate change," the citationsaid. "He is probably the single individual who has done most to creategreater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted."

It cited Gore's awareness at an early stage "of the climatic challenges theworld is facing.

The committee cited the Panel on Climate Change for two decades ofscientific reports that have "created an ever-broader informed consensusabout the connection between human activities and global warming."

more . . . . .


Clinton Changes Position On Meeting Iran Leaders

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 12, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Canterbury, New Hampshire) Hillary Rodham Clinton called Barack Obama naivewhen he said he'd meet with the leaders of Iran without precondition. Nowshe says she'd do the same thing, too.

During a Democratic presidential debate in July, Obama said he would bewilling to meet without precondition in the first year of his presidencywith the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.

Standing with him on stage, Clinton said she would first send envoys to testthe waters and called Obama's position irresponsible and naive.

But asked about it Thursday by a voter, the New York senator said twice thatshe, too, would negotiate with Iran "with no conditions."

"I would engage in negotiations with Iran, with no conditions, because wedon't really understand how Iran works. We think we do, from the outside,but I think that is misleading," she said at an apple orchard.

more . . . . .


Spin Doctors, Ad Agencies Create Candidate Images

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 12, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) John Edwards once lived in the heart of Washington's Georgetown district, was squired around the Capitol by Sen. Edward M.Kennedy and led the presidential field in fundraising thanks to donationsfrom trial lawyers.

Today the Democrat is running for president as an anti-Washington candidatewho will take public financing to avoid the influence of special interestgroups.

Mitt Romney used to greet illegal immigrants who worked on his yard with afriendly "Buenos dias" and expressed moderate positions on abortion rightsand gay rights. Today the Republican is running for the presidency as astrict opponent of illegal immigration and a conservative on social issues.

Those are just two of the campaign caricatures to emerge in the 2008election cycle, a White House race overflowing with simplified depictionsthat belie some of the candidates' life histories or define the rest oftheir records in shorthand.

Political consultants and marketing experts often strive for bumper-stickerlabeling, but the current White House campaign has gone even further,devolving into a battle of philosophical code words and a relentless focuson issues buttressing those themes.

more . . . . .


McCain Unveils Health Care Plan

October 12, 2007

John McCain proposed an overhaul of the nation's health care systemThursday, aiming to give people more control, encourage greater competitionand lower costs.

The Republican presidential candidate's plan contrasts sharply with hisDemocratic rivals' proposals.

He focuses on expanding access for individuals and families but would notrequire people to carry health insurance. To varying degrees, Democrats wantto make health coverage mandatory.

''The solution, my friends, isn't a one-size-fits-all, big-governmenttakeover of health care,'' he told the Rotary Club of Des Moines. ''Itresides where every important social advance has always resided -- with theAmerican people themselves, with well-informed American families makingpractical decisions to address their imperatives for better health and moresecure prosperity.''

He said of the Democrats, ''They promise universal coverage, whatever itscost, and the massive tax increases, mandates, and government regulationthat it imposes.''

more . . . . .


Morgan Stanley Settles Lawsuit for $46 Million

October 12, 2007

A federal judge on Thursday approved a $46 million settlement of aclass-action lawsuit filed by a group of women alleging genderdiscrimination by their employer, investment bank Morgan Stanley.

The settlement was reached in April and received preliminary approval fromU.S. district court judge Richard Roberts in July. Roberts will formallyapprove the settlement October 24 after individual members of the lawsuithave been notified, said James Wiggins, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley.

Six women sued the securities firm last year, alleging that female financialadvisers and trainees were discriminated against in compensation, promotion,work assignments, and other areas. The suit was expanded to cover a class ofapproximately 3,000 women who worked at Morgan Stanley between August 5,2003, and June 30, 2007.

As part of the settlement, Wiggins said the company will institute a numberof programs ''designed to advance the success of women financial advisers atMorgan Stanley.''

The $46 million will be split among parties to the lawsuit and to payattorneys' fees. Morgan Stanley also will spend about $7.5 million ontraining and other diversity programs.

more . . . . .


Frank Reiterates Support for Sexual Orientation-Only ENDA

October 12, 2007

Responding to criticism over the House Democratic leadership's potentialdecision to move forward with a federal Employment Non-Discrimination Actthat would cover sexual orientation but not gender identity, Rep. BarneyFrank said Thursday that opponents of the bill "can't handle the truth,unfortunately." In remarks at a press conference on Capitol Hill Thursdaymorning, Frank said that a sexual orientation-only ENDA could pass in theHouse with a margin of 15 or 20 votes but that a transgender-inclusive billwouldn't even garner an up-or-down vote on the floor of the chamber due tothe lack of political support.

Since Frank and his colleagues, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi,decided a few weeks ago to champion a sexual orientation-only bill insteadof the original trans-inclusive measure, the LGBT movement has been roiledby debate, with many advocacy groups calling for an ENDA that would includeboth sexual orientation and gender identity -- or nothing at all. Frank, oneof the bill's cosponsors, forcefully disagreed.

"Should we kill the whole bill?" he asked rhetorically. "I have a veryprofound difference with people who say we should.. I do not think you denypeople protection if you can. A sexual orientation-only bill would be veryhelpful."

Frank asserted that pulling the sexual orientation-only bill would send abad message to the country and would only hurt the LGBT rights movement."The headline will be, 'Pelosi pulls gay rights bill from agenda,' that theydidn't have enough votes to pass it. I don't understand how that helps us."

And echoing remarks he made on the House floor days earlier, Frank decriedthe personal nature of some of the criticism he's faced in recent weeks. Hissupport for the sexual orientation-only bill, he said, has been "treated asa betrayal, as a failure of moral will."

more . . . . .


[Send your comments about articles to]

No comments: