Saturday, October 13, 2007

GLBT DIGEST October 13, 2007

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


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Representative Barney Frank speaks to House

News Update, Mon., Oct. 10, 2007

What follows is the full text of Representative Barney Frank's Oct. 9 speechon the floor of the House of Representatives regarding sexual orientationand gender identity:


The SPEAKER pro tempore ( Mr. Mahoney of Florida ) . Under the Speaker'sannounced policy of January 18, 2007, the gentleman from Massachusetts ( Mr.Frank ) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, let me do what I think you cannotdo under the rules and reassure your constituents in Florida that you havenot become a Tennesseean when they weren't looking. I believe the gentlemanfrom Tennessee left the chair, and we do now have the gentleman from Floridain the chair.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Congresswoman Baldwin: trans-inclusive ENDA will die in days

Issue Date: 10/11/2007, Posted On: 10/10/2007
Lisa Keen

The dust is beginning to settle around last week's bruising intra-communitybattle over whether to seek a vote on a version of ENDA that includes onlysexual orientation protection or insist that the legislation retain itsprotection for people based on gender identity.

The line is still drawn - between those who believe a two-bill strategy hasthe prospects for success in the near future and those who believe thestand-alone sexual orientation version is both a flawed version and abetrayal of transgender people in the LGBT community.

But U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), one of two openly gay members ofCongress who are leading efforts to pass pro-LGBT legislation, broke herpublic silence on the controversy this week.

Baldwin said she is putting "100 percent" of her effort into "making sure wehave the support necessary to pass an transgender inclusive bill." While shesaid there is no definitive date for when the House Committee on Educationand Labor will begin consideration on some form of the EmploymentNon-Discrimination Act (ENDA), "everything I know tells me to urge readerswho are supportive of an inclusive ENDA to exercise their citizenresponsibility in communicating that and making sure all members of Congressare hearing that we want to move forward with a [transgender] inclusiveENDA."

"I don't know how this is going to end up playing out," said Baldwin, "Butif we don't speak out, it's less likely to be a positive result. And if wedo speak out, it will matter, and it may matter a lot in next few days."

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay rights bill is subject of quiet lobbying

By Clay Barbour
Thursday, Oct. 11 2007

Clayton - Advocates of a failed proposal to add sexual orientation to St. Louis
County's nondiscrimination laws are working behind the scenes to resurrectthe measure.

They met recently with County Executive Charlie A. Dooley and have reached outto several County Council members in an attempt to solidify support for thebill.

The measure would add sexual orientation to the list of characteristicsprotected when dealing with housing, employment and public accommodation.

The proposal appeared to be heading for approval last month but stalled at
last minute, largely because council member Hazel Erby, D-University City,backed away from supporting it.

Erby said she changed her mind because she felt it was wrong to legislatemorality. She also did not like that the list of people it sought to protectfrom discrimination included transgendered people.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Is The Mainstream Press Avoiding Talking About Dead Soldier's Sexuality?

By Bryan Ochalla

Thankfully, the questionable and untimely death of Specialist Ciara Durkin,a service member with the Massachusetts Army National Guard who was founddead from a gunshot wound to the head on Sept. 27, has not gone unnoticed.

Late last week Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and John Kerry (D-MA), alongwith Congressman William Delahunt (D-MA) and the Servicemembers LegalDefense Network (SLDN), made headlines by calling on Pentagon officials toconduct a full and thorough investigation into the incident that occurredwhile Durkin was serving in Afghanistan.

What many of the articles that have since appeared in the mainstream presshave failed to highlight, unfortunately, is that Durkin was gay. Not onlythat, but according to SLDN Durkin was the first openly gay member of theU.S. military to be killed in Afghanistan or Iraq.

An article in the Boston Herald early last week was about the only one thatmentioned Durkin's sexual orientation-and even included comments about itfrom family members-alongside other information about her untimely death.

"Ciara was a lesbian, and that's bound to come out," Durkin's sister, FionaCanavan, told the newspaper. "It is possible that someone over there foundthat out, and, you know, maybe they were very homophobic."

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Threat painted on Minneapolis church known for gay, lesbian ministry

Minneapolis police are still looking for those responsible for spraypainting a threatening message on an outside wall of a south Minneapolischurch, but they have now classified the incident as a bias crime, said Sgt.Tammy Diedrich.

By Tim Harlow, Star Tribune
Last update: October 11, 2007 - 11:33 AM

Minneapolis police are still looking for those responsible for spraypainting a threatening message on an outside wall of a south Minneapolischurch, but they have now classified the incident as a bias crime, said Sgt.Tammy Diedrich.

A police supervisor and a forensic photographer have collected enoughinformation from God's Children Metropolitan Church to determine thatgraffiti at the scene was likely left by somebody with a bias against thechurch. Police did not elaborate.

The church at 31st Street and Park Avenue is known for its ministry to gaysand lesbians.

An employee who opened the doors before Sunday services at All God'sChildren Metropolitan Church found "Slay the Priest" and a pentagram sprayedon the west wall of the church, police said.

The church had no surveillance cameras outside the building, and police haveno suspects in custody.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 612-348-2345.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Study: Most States Don't Enforce Mandatory HIV Testing

October 11, 2007

More than 30 states have laws barring doctors from heeding a call by officials to routinely test Americans for the AIDS virus, researchersreport. And states don't seem to be in any rush to change that.

None have chosen to remove all barriers since the Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention announced new testing guidelines last year, theresearchers said in a new study Tuesday.

''I think if they were going to change, they would have done so by now,''said Lawrence Gostin, a public-health law expert at Georgetown University.He was not involved in the research but agreed with its findings.

But CDC officials disagreed. They cited more than a half dozen states thathave made some kind of law change to simplify HIV testing. Other changesappear to be pending in California and other states, they said.

''I don't think it's a done deal,'' said Bernard Branson of CDC's HIV andAIDS prevention division.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Syracuse University Study Reveals Diversity Among Gays and Lesbians

By Chrys Hudson

To much of the business world, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender(LGBT) community "is made up of white men with high incomes," says AdreaJaehnig, director of Syracuse University's LGBT Center. "That doesn'trepresent the reality of our lives."

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University andOpusComm Group are trying to change that perception and make LGBT peoplemore visible to those running America's corporations and institutions.

The result of their efforts: The 2006 Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census, anannual online survey that collects responses from thousands of LGBT peopleacross the country.

The GL Census, the largest survey of its kind, poses questions fromdemographics, to politics, to what television shows respondents watch andwhat products they buy. Last year, 6,000 LGBT people participated in thesurvey (this year's survey runs through Nov. 11. Check it out

Why is that important? "Many subgroups of our population are studied," saysJaehnig, who believes it's "important work being done so that LGBT peoplecan be visible to the business world."

more . . . . .


The New York Times

Gay Groups Reach Out to Straight Allies

October 13, 2007
Filed at 1:22 p.m. ET

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- The setting was intimate, the hors d'oeuvressimple and the hostess barefoot, but the house party Gabby Seagrave andLaDonna Silva held for a dozen friends and co-workers was hardly aspontaneous affair.

Over wine and cheese last week, guests signed a form signaling their supportfor same-sex marriage.

In the couple's family room, they took a quiz on marriage laws and watched atelevision commercial that could have been for diamond rings, but asked,''What if you couldn't marry the person you loved?''

Such house parties and ad campaigns are just two ways in which gay rightsactivists are courting sympathetic heterosexuals. They hope these ''straightallies'' can help persuade a majority of Americans to back their causes.

Bridget Goin, one of the non-gay party invitees to Silva and Seagrave'sparty, was moved enough by night's end to pledge $20 a month to the gayrights group that helped the domestic partners plan the gathering.

more . . . . .


The New York Times

Guard Awarded $850,000 Over Sexual Harassment

October 12, 2007

The New York State Division of Human Rights awarded a lesbian prison guard$850,000 yesterday after an administrative law judge determined she had beensubjected to a "relentless, daily regimen of mental and physical threats" bya co-worker at an upstate prison.

The award, one of the largest by the state agency in years, also includedprovisions to establish a new training program in the state prison system toprevent unlawful discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation.

The prison guard, Alicia S. Humig, 55, first filed a complaint with thestate agency in March 2003, claiming that for nearly a year Jim Wright, afellow officer at the Wende state prison in Alden, N.Y., had been harassingher for being gay. Public hearings were held last year, and in September theadministrative judge, Martin Erazo Jr., issued an opinion recommendingdamages for mental anguish and called Officer Humig's case one that "shocksthe conscience."

"This case reflects the most disturbing nightmare that any employee couldfind herself in," he wrote. The State Department of Correctional Services"willfully permitted a work environment to flourish where the credibleevidence showed" that Officer Humig "could have been killed because she is agay female."

The corrections department, Judge Erazo wrote, "took the willful anddeliberate position to ignore the obvious harassment." Moreover, he said,prison officials "twice retaliated" when Officer Humig "placed her plea forhelp in writing."

more . . . . .


The New York Times

To the Jury's Regret, a Hate Crime Conviction

October 12, 2007

A second defendant was found guilty yesterday of manslaughter as a hatecrime for his role in luring a gay Brooklyn man to his death last year. Butafter delivering their verdict, jurors criticized the state's hate crimelaw, and said it seemed inappropriate to the case.

"None of us wanted hate crime, especially me," said the foreman, EricZaccar, 46, a playwright from Bensonhurst, in an interview outside the StateSupreme Court building in Brooklyn. "We were crying in the room."

The defendant, Anthony Fortunato, 21, was one of three men charged withmurder as a hate crime in an attack on Michael J. Sandy, 29, who was luredfrom his Williamsburg apartment to a secluded beach in Sheepshead Bay knownas a meeting place for gay sex on Oct. 8, 2006. At the beach, Mr. Sandy waspunched and chased into traffic on the Belt Parkway and struck by a car. Helater died of his injuries.

Before the trial, Mr. Fortunato's lawyer said his client was also gay, andasked Justice Jill Konviser-Levine to dismiss the hate crime charges,arguing that the attack was a crime of opportunity, not hate. She rejectedthe argument, letting the charges stand.

Mr. Zaccar, the jury foreman, said the jurors felt pressured to decide thecase by applying a law that they thought did not fit the crime. By the judge's instructions, Mr. Zaccar said, it did not matter that Mr. Fortunato did nothate Mr. Sandy. "It didn't matter that he was also gay."

more . . . . .


The Washington Post

Schwarzenegger Vetoes Gay Marriage

The Associated Press
Friday, October 12, 2007; 11:14 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed another gay marriagebill Friday, saying voters and the state Supreme Court, not lawmakers,should decide the issue.

The Republican governor turned down a measure by Assemblyman Mark Leno thatwould have defined marriage as a union between two people, not just a manand a woman. Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill from Leno, a San FranciscoDemocrat, in 2005 and has said he would veto all such bills.

The California Supreme Court is likely to rule next year on whether thestate's voter-approved ban on gay marriage violates the constitution.

Schwarzenegger said in his veto message that Californians "should not bediscriminated against based upon their sexual orientation." He said hesupports state laws that give domestic partners many of the rights andresponsibilities of marriage.

Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, a gay rights group,said the veto was "hypocrisy at its worst."

"We find it shocking for the governor to say he opposes discrimination basedon sexual orientation and then veto a bill that would have endeddiscrimination based on sexual orientation," Kors said.


Express Gay News

House to move ahead with gay-only ENDA

Trans activists lack votes for inclusive bill
By JOSHUA LYNSEN | Oct 12, 9:52 PM

In a private meeting late Friday on Capitol Hill, congressional leaders toldgay and transgender activists that they would move ahead with a version ofthe Employment Non-Discrimination Act that lacks trans protections.

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, and Mara Keisling,executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, attendedthe meeting and confirmed to the Blade that House leaders would first seekto pass the sexual orientation-only version of ENDA.

But in what Solmonese called an unprecedented commitment, House SpeakerNancy Pelosi agreed to give the trans-inclusive version of ENDA a floor vote"the minute" enough votes are secured to pass it.

"Our strategy throughout has been to stay at the table and fight for theultimate goal that we all share," Solmonese said. "Today, that strategy hasproven to be successful."

Keisling, however, said her organization would stand among the groups thatcontinue to oppose the amended version of ENDA introduced by gay Rep. BarneyFrank.

more . . . . .


Express Gay News

Pastor instrumental in gay marriage ban takes fundraising job

Liberal pastors had previously filed complaint with IRS
LANCASTER, Ohio (AP) | Oct 12, 4:12 PM

A pastor who helped push for Ohio's constitutional ban on gay marriage isleaving his church for a fundraising job at his alma mater.

Pastor Russell Johnson of Fairfield Christian Church will remain inLancaster while raising money for Kentucky Christian University in Grayson,Ky., where Johnson graduated in 1977. The school has about 600 students.

Johnson has proven fundraising ability and public relations skills,university president Keith Keeran said Friday. Johnson's political profilein Ohio was not an issue, he said.

"If you're going to take a position on anything, naturally you're going tocreate that kind of polarization from time to time, particularly when itcomes to what would be regarded as moral or social issues," Keeran said.

Johnson helped organize churches in the fight to pass Ohio's gay marriageban, considered one of the nation's toughest after voters approved it in2004.

more . . . . .


Express Gay News

Maryland court allows gay-inclusive sex ed lessons

Lessons are titled 'Respect for Differences in Human Sexuality'
By JOSHUA LYNSEN | Oct 12, 11:59 AM

A court ruled this week that Montgomery County can teach its gay-inclusivesex education lessons.

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge William Rowan III on Tuesday denied arequest by curriculum opponents to block teachers from presenting thelessons. Supporters said the ruling clears the way for the district to teachthe lessons as part of its fall curriculum.

"It looks like it's going to go to the classroom now," said Jim Kennedy ofTeach the Facts, a coalition of curriculum supporters. "And I'm glad."

The lessons, titled "Respect for Differences in Human Sexuality," explainconcepts such as sexual identity and orientation to students in grades eightand 10 using what supporters say is nonjudgmental language.

Opponents have argued the lessons violate laws protecting free speech andreligion.

more . . . . .



'Homophobic' student Tory rapped

A Conservative Party student leader has been expelled from the party andsuspended from university after making homophobic comments on a website.Fergus Bowman, 22, is a politics and religion student at the University ofCentral Lancashire (Uclan) in Preston.

Mr Bowman listed himself as chief political officer on a homophobic group onthe social networking site Facebook.

He resigned as chairman of the student union's Conservative Future branchafter his comments came to light.

The group is for Conservatives under 30 and plays an active role inrecruiting and campaigning young people.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

S&M Death Raises Legal Questions

Associated Press Writer

LYNN, Mass (AP) -- Adrian Exley was wrapped tightly in heavy plastic, thenbound with duct tape. A leather hood was put over his head with a thinplastic straw inserted so that he could breathe, and he was shut up in acloset.

That, apparently, was the way Exley liked it. But the way it ended - withExley suffocating - was not what he had in mind when he traveled fromBritain for a bondage session with a man he had met through a sadomasochismWeb site.

Exley's body was discovered in the woods last year, two months after he wasbound up in the bondage "playroom" Gary LeBlanc had built in the basement ofhis suburban Boston home. LeBlanc, a 48-year-old Gulf Oil sales executive,detailed his responsibility in the fatal bondage session in a five-pagesuicide note, just before he put a gun to his head and killed himself.

Now the question is: Since Exley consented to the sex play, can LeBlanc beheld responsible for his death?

Exley's family is suing LeBlanc's estate for unspecified damages, claimingwrongful death. Many bondage enthusiasts are watching the case closely,seeing it as lesson in where to draw the line of responsibility onconsensual but dangerous sex.


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:

[University of Iowa] Students in hoodies and sweaters carrying signs andbearing slogans gathered on the Pentacrest on Thursday in the hopes thatsome day they wouldn't have to. Sitting at the foot of the Pentacrest wereapproximately 10 supporters in support of both the 19th-annual NationalComing Out Day and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allied Unionstudent group.

The state constitution in Tennessee does not prohibit lesbian and gaycouples from adopting children. Attorney General Bob Cooper wrote anopinion - released October 11 - that said same-sex couples are eligible toadopt children as long as the adoption is found to be in the best interestof the child.

On Thursday, Canada's Parliament voted against a motion by the Conservative government to revisit debate on same-sex marriage, which was legalized in2005 by the former Liberal government. Legislators voted 175-123 against themotion, which was put forward by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. There waswide speculation that the motion would fall before the vote. The motioncalled on the government "to introduce legislation to restore thetraditional definition of marriage without affecting civil unions and whilerespecting existing same-sex marriages."

The LGBT community made their rallying cry heard Thursday in the [Universityof Maryland's] Nyumburu Amphitheater as more than 250 students, staff andlocal politicians gathered to rouse support for faculty and staff domesticpartner benefits.

Indiana: In the 1970s, Tim and Cindy Morris traveled from their Portland,Ind., home to attend an anti-gay rally at the Indiana State Capitol. Theanger the married couple saw from the protesters started to change theirminds about opposing gays. Tonight, the Morrises were back at the statecapitol, appearing at another rally that supported gay marriage and opposedany attempt to ban such marriages in Indiana. "Because of the friendshipsthat we have, we feel driven to validate what they are," Tim Morris saidabout his gay friends. "The love that we have for our friends is real."


Human Rights Campaign Secures Unprecedented Commitment from House Speakerfor Vote on Inclusive ENDA

HRC Works with Speaker to Develop Solution to Bring Inclusive ENDA for aVote Once Support Is Demonstrated by GLBT Community

WASHINGTON-The Human Rights Campaign has collaborated with House SpeakerNancy Pelosi to craft a solution to the controversy surrounding theEmployment Non-Discrimination Act. Today, in a meeting with HRC and othergay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy groups, Speaker Pelosi tookan unprecedented step and committed to giving H.R. 2015, the fully-inclusiveversion of the bill, a floor vote in the House once enough support for it topass has been secured. This commitment by the Speaker of the House is anunprecedented departure from the usual delays seen in Congress on an issuethat will have already been considered by the full House.

Additionally, as the community continues to advocate and educate Members ofCongress to secure enough commitments for final passage, the inclusiveversion of the legislation will receive committee hearings.


Vatican suspends monsignor who spoke of gay sex life

October 13, 2007

VATICAN CITY (AP) - An Italian monsignor has been suspended from a seniorposition at the Holy See, the Vatican said on Saturday, identifying him as apriest who was anonymously interviewed about his gay sex life on a TVprogram.

Vatican teaching holds that homosexual activity is a sin.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told journalists that while thecase was under investigation the monsignor was suspended from his job as atop official in the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy, an office that aimsto ensure proper conduct by priests.

"The case is being handled with utmost reserve," Lombardi said.

The Vatican did not give out the name of the monsignor, who is Italian.

A private Italian TV network earlier this month broadcast a program in whichsome priests were interviewed about their homosexuality.

The men were interviewed with their faces obscured and their voices alteredso they would not be recognized.

But the Rome daily newspaper La Repubblica reported on Saturday that Vatican officials recognized the Vatican office in which one priest was beinginterviewed - and that it was the monsignor's office.

The priest said during the interview that he "didn't feel he was sinning" byhaving sex with gay men, La Repubblica said.


Vatican bars prelate in gay row

By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

The Vatican has confirmed local newspaper reports that a high-rankingCatholic priest has been suspended.

The man, who works in the department in charge of clergy around the world,appeared on Italian TV earlier this month admitting that he was gay.

The unnamed prelate or monsignor was suspended pending furtherinvestigations, said chief Vatican spokesman Father Frederico Lombari.

Monsignor is the title normally given to senior Vatican officials.

Father Lombardi said that although the case was being treated asconfidential, the priest had clearly acted in a way that was incompatiblewith his status inside the world headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.

The unnamed prelate appears to have acted ingenuously by appearing on aninvestigative programme about gay priests on an Italian commercial TVchannel.




Church of England faces boycott over gay priests row
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
Last Updated: 1:30am BST 13/10/2007

The Archbishop of Canterbury faced further pressure over gaypriests yesterday when the Church of England's largest conservative groupingurged English bishops to boycott next year's Lambeth Conference over theissue.

The Church of England Evangelical Council, which representsup to a quarter of the Church's clergy, told Dr Rowan Williams that theliberal American bishops had torn the worldwide Church "almost beyondrepair".

The Council, whose president is the Bishop of Lewes, the RtRev Wallace Benn, said it supported those English bishops who are alreadyintending to avoid the ten-yearly gathering of Anglican bishops if theliberal Americans attend.

It added that it "prayerfully" counselled other bishops whohad yet to make up their minds to follow suit.

The statement follows the declaration of the Bishop ofRochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, that he intends to avoid theshowcase conference in Canterbury.

It will further increase the pressure on Dr Williams to takesome punitive action against the Americans, a step he has told friends he ishugely reluctant to take.


Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Anti-Porn Watchdogs to Tour Adult Businesses

LOUISVILLE, KY - A group of retirees that have dedicated the last two yearsto picketing an adult store have announced plans for a bus tour of areaadult businesses in an effort to publicize their efforts, according to areport in the Courier-Journal.

Known as the Jackson County Community Watchdogs, the group has invited localofficials, ministers, and media to join them on the bus tour. Severalchurches and individual members of the group chipped to cover the rental ofthe bus.

The tour is intended to show what the group contends are widespread andadverse effects of sexually oriented businesses. "We want to show peoplewhat can happen when you turn your head," said Ralph Sweany, a formermechanical engineer from Crothersville and the group's legal liaison. "Youlet these businesses get a foothold, pretty soon you've got a porndistrict."

Patterson said that tour was modeled on a similar tour nearly four years agofor Louisville Metro Council members who were shown video stores, modelingsalons and adult bookstores.

"Many people consider that (2003 tour) a big success" because severalcouncil members ultimately backed a revised adult-entertainment ordinance totoughen regulations, Patterson said. The itinerary for the tour has not yetbeen finalized.


UK: Christians warn against Incitement to Hatred laws
based on sexuality

Christians warn against Incitement to Hatred laws based on sexuality

Any new incitement to hatred law should be written with care to avoidintolerance of free speech, the Evangelical Alliance has said followingGovernment proposals this week.

by Daniel Blake
Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 15:00 (BST) Christian Today

Any new incitement to hatred law should be written with care to avoidintolerance of free speech, the Evangelical Alliance has said followingGovernment proposals this week.

Christians warn against Incitement to Hatred laws based on sexuality

The Alliance, which represents more than a million evangelical Christians inthe UK, has reiterated its opposition to any incitement of homophobic orother forms of hatred.

However, it has added that it is hopeful the Government will consultcarefully if it decides to go ahead with banning incitement on grounds ofsexuality in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill.

Evangelical Alliance head of public affairs Dr Don Horrocks said: "Wesupport legislation that seeks effectively to prevent the stirring up ofhatred, but our view remains that the existing law was adequate to deal withoffences relating both to religion and sexuality.




Brett Lock
Index of Censorship

The government's proposed law against homophobic hate speech is unworkableand disingenuous, says Brett Lock

Unless the government has it in mind to ban the Bible, the new law announcedby the government this week proposing to outlaw homophobic hate speech willbe ineffective.

The major source of homophobic hatred in our society is from religiousgroups. Almost every single anti-gay group in Britain is religious. Thesegroups hide behind their 'holy' texts, and unless the law has the backboneand resolve to ban these texts and to prosecute the priests, imams andrabbis who quote them, it is wasting its time trying to clamp down onanti-gay hate-speech.

The proposed law will bring itself into disrepute and serve only totrivialise homophobic violence if it were only ever used against dim-wittedBig Brother contestants and drunk Oxford students, while ignoring religiousleaders - the most guilty.

Leviticus 18:22 says: 'If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with awoman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be putto death; their blood shall be upon them.'

If one sincerely wants to stop the promotion of anti-gay hatred through textand speech, then it makes no sense to let this passage stand while seekingout paraphrases of this pronouncement to prosecute. Yet we all know that thegovernment won't be banning the Bible, Quran, Torah, or any other religioustext - and nor should they.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Pelosi warns against 'all or nothing' ENDA

House Speaker says early lobbying campaign fell short
Oct. 12, 2007

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she strongly disagreeswith calls by some gay and transgender activists that Congress should refuseto vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act unless it includestransgender protections.

Pelosi, during an exclusive interview with the Blade Tuesday, said shecontinues to work behind the scenes to push for a trans-inclusive ENDA butsaid it was uncertain whether there are enough votes to pass such a bill anytime soon.

"While we are having this debate, while we are trying to be as inclusive aspossible, there are those who are trying to undermine any bill," Pelosisaid, referring to the anti-gay conservative groups that have long opposedENDA. "And we have to win that fight."

She said support appears solid for a version of a bill that bans jobdiscrimination based on sexual orientation, which includes gays, lesbiansand bisexuals. But she said that as of two weeks ago, there did not appearto be enough votes in the House to pass a version of the bill banningemployment discrimination based on gender identity, which would covertransgender people.

"So we have to calibrate the approach we take," Pelosi said. "What is to begained? What would you say, 20 million people or more would havediscrimination ended in the workplace?" she said, referring to a sexualorientation-only bill. "Or not have a bill so that we can fight another dayfor an entire bill or fight another day for a piece of the bill?"



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Ferlinghetti's art gets yanked from S.F. building lobby

Beat poet Ferlinghetti's art gets yanked from S.F. building lobby By JeffThomas Mercury News San Jose Mercury News Article Launched:10/11/2007
04:27:44 PM PDT

You'll have to forgive Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the legendary poet who helpedlaunch the Beat Generation, if he feels like he has tumbled into a timewarp.

Fifty years after being charged with obscenity for publishing AllenGinsberg's poem "Howl" - he won the case in a landmark 1957 ruling - some ofhis own art has been yanked from public view because several of thepaintings depict nudity.

"It feels like we've regressed to the Fifties," Ferlinghetti said Thursday,taking the opportunity to point out that just last week a New York-basedradio station refused to air a recording of Ginsberg reading "Howl" becauseit feared fines from the FCC. "It seems this mentality will be with us inevery age."

Even in famously libertine San Francisco, it seems.

The abstract pieces, done in oils on 15-foot-wide house painter's tarps,went up Saturday night in the soaring lobby of the Bank of America buildingdowntown. By Tuesday night, they were gone.

"They told us that two of them were OK, but the rest would have to comedown," said George Krevsky, the gallery owner and art curator who representsFerlinghetti. "I was outraged at first; now I'm just frustrated. It's reallya stretch of the imagination to find anything objectionable" in thepaintings. Krevsky said no one from Shorenstein Properties LLC, whichmanages the 52-story building at 555 California St., would return his callsto explain why the art was taken down.

But a spokesman for the public relations firm employed by ShorensteinProperties told the Mercury News via e-mail Thursday that "several majortenants expressed their concerns that nudity was inappropriate for abusiness setting. To call this 'censorship' is creating a tempest in ateapot," wrote Tim Gallen of Gallen.Neilly & Associates. "The fact is thepeople who own, use and inhabit the building have every right to choose whatis appropriate art to display in their 'house.' "



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Report: Bush Administration Funding Anti-Gay Groups
in Uganda

Report: Bush Administration Funding Anti-Gay Groups in Uganda

10 October 2007

Two disturbing reports from Uganda, where a cabinet minister warned gays andlesbians to leave the country.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission-which previouslyreported state-sanctioned homophobia across Africa-now uncovers evidence theGeorge W. Bush Administration is funding religious organizations in Ugandathat "actively promote violence and discrimination against lesbians and gaymen."

The IGLHRC says one of the primary architects of this summer backlashagainst Ugandan gays was Pastor Martin Ssempa, leader of the MakerereUniversity Community Church and spokesman for the Interfaith Family CultureCoalition Against Homosexuality in Uganda. "According to the U.S. Embassy inUganda's website, Makerere University Community Church received a grantunder a program designed to provide funds for AIDS prevention, treatment andcare programs in Africa." Members of his group have threatened Ugandan LGBTrights activists and posted their names, photos and addresses on a website.

Meanwhile, the nation's leading and official voice against gays continueshis hate speech. The Minister for Ethics and Integrity, James Nsaba Buturo,says the government will oppose efforts in parliament to decriminalizehomosexuality in Uganda, where it is illegal and punishable by between 14years and life imprisonment. Buturo says those pressing for gay rights are"trying to impose a strange, ungodly, unhealthy, unnatural, and immoral wayof life on the rest of our society."



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Uganda: Rising Homophobia Threatens HIV Prevention

US Should Halt Role in Funding Prejudice and Fear

(New York, October 11, 2007) - As Ugandan officials and the Ugandan mediaintensify attacks on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender(LGBT) people, the US government should condemn these threats, and clarifythat it does not support using its HIV/AIDS funding to promote homophobia,Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to US officials(

"When the US funds abstinence-only programs in Uganda, it tells people thatLGBT people's sexualities are dangerous and must be denied," said ScottLong, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Programat Human Rights Watch. "Supporting prejudice with cash is an approach withdeadly consequences for all."

An August 16 press conference by a coalition of LGBT groups in Uganda thatlaunched a campaign called "Let Us Live in Peace," has led to a month-longbacklash in the country. Most recently, on September 9, the tabloid paperRed Pepper published a list of first names, workplaces and other identifyinginformation of 39 alleged homosexuals, all men. Headlined "Homo Terror," thearticle promised to "name and shame top gays in the city."

Previously, Pastor Martin Ssempa, a prominent campaigner against both condomusage and homosexuality, had listed Ugandan LGBT rights activists by name ona website (, posting pictures and contactinformation and calling them "homosexual promoters." Ssempa was the keyorganizer of an August 21 rally in Kampala, at which hundreds ofdemonstrators demanded government actions to punish LGBT people, callinghomosexual conduct "a criminal act against the laws of nature."



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Apply today for 2008 Williams Institute Fellowships

Apply today for 2008

Williams Institute Fellowships

Williams Institute fellowships offer a unique opportunity to spend 1-2 yearsresearching and writing on sexual orientation and gender identity law andpolicy issues, working with established scholars, and preparing for a careerdedicated to sexual orientation and gender identity research that hasreal-world impact.

The Law Teaching Fellowship
The Williams Institute annually offers the Law Teaching Fellowship to a
recent law school graduate or practicing lawyer interested in pursuing acareer in law teaching and legal scholarship on sexual orientation law andgender identity issues.

Visit our website for application information for the 2008 LawTeaching Fellowship position.

The Public Policy Research Fellowship
The Williams Institute also offers the Public Policy Research Fellowship toa recent graduate or law school graduate who is interested in public policyresearch and writing on sexual orientation and gender identity issues.
p.html> Visit our website for application information for the 2008-2009Public Policy Fellowship.

*Applications for both the Policy Fellowship and the Law Teaching Fellowship
Due December 1, 2007

Public Policy Research Assistant
In 2008, the Williams Institute will offer a Public Policy ResearchAssistant position to a recent graduate who is interested in public policyresearch and writing on sexual orientation and gender identity issues.Applicants should have a bachelor's or graduate degree in public policy, asocial science discipline, statistics, law, or LGBT studies. Applicants mustalso have knowledge of quantitative methods (experience with GIS andstatistical software packages like Stata, SAS or SPSS is required), strongresearch skills, and knowledge of LGBT issues. For more information,

please visit our website.

* Applications Due November 26, 2007


Express Gay News

Gay GOP group targets Romney
Ad campaign cites governor's 'flip-flops' on abortion and gun control

Oct. 11, 2007

Once an ally of gay Republicans, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is nowtheir target.

New TV commercials sponsored by the gay partisan group Log Cabin Republicanshighlight the former Massachusetts governor's varied takes on key Republicanissues, including abortion rights and gun control.

Romney, who the ad says once "opposed the gun lobby" and favored "safe andlegal" abortions, now presents himself as opposed to gun control andabortion.

The commercials, airing nationally on Fox News and in Iowa on all FoxBroadcasting affiliates, also resurrect comments in which Romney distancedhimself from former presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

During a 1994 campaign that pitted Romney against Sen. Edward Kennedy(D-Mass.), the Republican said he was "independent during the time ofReagan-Bush" and "not trying to return to Reagan-Bush."

more . . . . .


Express Gay News

A mother's call to action

Nine years after my son was killed, gay youth remain vulnerable
Oct. 11, 2007

NINE YEARS AGO, my son Matthew was left to die after being brutally beatensimply for being gay. Not a day goes by that I don't think about Matt - hisspirit, his passion for people, his smile and his wonderful hugs. He was myfriend, my confidant - someone who saw the beauty of difference and the bestin all people. Dennis, our son Logan and I miss and love him deeply but knowthat his legacy will continue.

And on this, the ninth anniversary of his passing, I find nothing morefitting to continue Matt's legacy than to elevate the discussion about thereal issues facing LGBTQ youth in our country and to launch - a new web resource designed specifically for and withyouth.

Helping lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young peoplelead healthy, productive, hate-free lives has been a core value of theMatthew Shepard Foundation from the beginning. was createdto embody that value. With tremendous input and feedback from young peoplethroughout its development, we're confident that will be avirtual home for LGBTQ youth. It is relevant and valuable to the experiencesof LGBTQ youth in all parts of our country - from the coasts to MiddleAmerica.

Since Matt's death and the creation of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Ihave been traveling, speaking to and meeting young people across thecountry. Many of these young people - gay and straight - have reached out tome to share their stories about the pain and hurt of being teased, harassedand mistreated by their peers, community and sometimes their family membersfor being who they are. While it is critical for me to remind them that theyare valued and that they matter - it is even more important for these youngpeople to actually be able to live and grow up in communities feelingwelcomed, accepted, and safe every day.

LGBTQ kids are being forced to the streets at alarming rates. It isestimated that between 20 and 40 percent of all homeless youth identify asLGBTQ. In some urban areas, the estimates are even higher. One studyestimated that half of homeless youth in central Manhattan are lesbian orgay and another estimated that 40 percent of homeless youth in Seattle arelesbian or gay. Regardless of the specific number, it is unacceptable forone youth to be forced to the streets for any reason - especially for beingwho they are.

more . . . . .


Express Gay News

A movement gets trans-jacked

Trans-or-bust strategy on ENDA means gay Americans will go without workplacerights

Oct. 11, 2007

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank announcedthis week that they would delay until later this month consideration of theEmployment Non-Discrimination Act after some 90 GLBT groups expressedopposition to Barney's decision to separate gay and trans protections intoseparate bills.

Frank, the leading gay Democrat in the House, made the move after aheadcount showed there were not enough votes to pass ENDA if it includedtransgender protections.

At this point, Pelosi and Frank have agreed to a delay, not a reversal, butif the delay doesn't work and the trans-inclusive version fails, it will bea remarkable betrayal of gays across the U.S., who have been waiting formore than 30 years to pass a basic civil rights bill through Congress.

ENDA enjoys its best chance ever of passage today, since gay-friendlyDemocrats control the House for the first time since 1994, and the Senatefor the first time since 2002. The bipartisan support was there even duringperiods of GOP control, but the Republican leadership blocked ENDA from fullpassage.

Now, finally, when the political stars are aligned, and even President Bushhasn't outright threatened a veto, gay movement "leaders" have saddled ENDAwith transgender protections that don't yet have sufficient politicalsupport.

more . . . . .



Craig Ethics Complaint Backfires on GOP

Associated Press Writer
4:11 PM EDT, October 12, 2007


Larry who?

Now that scandal-tinged Idaho Sen. Larry Craig has reneged on a pledge toresign this fall, his fellow Republican senators act as though they hardlyknow him. They want voters to forget him, too.

But they privately acknowledge that an earlier strategy to drive Craig fromoffice has backfired, sticking them with an open-ended ethics investigationlikely to keep the issue before the public for months.

Senate Republicans demanded the Ethics Committee inquiry into his sex-sting conviction last summer in hopes of forcing Craig to resign. He essentiallycalled their bluff this month when he reversed his decision to resign Sept.30 unless a court let him drop his guilty plea.

Now Republicans are powerless to stop a process almost certain to do morepolitical damage to the party in general than to a retiring senator.

more . . . . .



Played First Openly Gay Character On Network TV, Crystal Gets Mark TwainAward
by The Associated Press

Posted: October 13, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(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 . . . . .



GOP Is Destroying Itself

by Wayne Besen

Author A.J. Jacobs just released his new book, "The Year of LivingBiblically: One Man's Quest to Follow The Bible As Literally As Possible."For 365 days, the agnostic Jacobs skipped around in a robe and sandals whilegrowing a Moses-like beard. He herded sheep, and refrained from sins, suchas gossiping and lying.

While reading a review, it occurred to me that this faux fundamentalist maybe the last one in America who actually walks the walk - in sandals - anddoesn't talk the talk, while caught up in tawdry scandals.

In the latest outrage, Louisiana Republican Joey DiFatta withdrew from hisState Senate race after police detained him twice for looking to hook-up inpublic restrooms. Of course, like Sen. Larry Craig and Florida House memberBob Allen, DiFatta swears he isn't gay. Isn't it time that the GOP justadmits what modern conservatism really stands for by holding the RepublicanNational Convention inside a giant domed commode?

It is all starting to make sense as to why senate colleagues applauded Sen.David Vitter (R-LA) when he returned to work after admitting a tryst with afemale hooker? The fact that the GOP has at least one politician thatverifiably likes women was enough to earn him a well-deserved standingovation.

The most spectacular fundie-fiasco is the alleged plundering of Oral RobertsUniversity by the school's president Richard Roberts and his greedy wifeLindsay. This is the Bible Belt school made famous by a 60 foot bronzestatue of praying hands and immortalized after ORU's founder and namesakeonce said God told him to raise $8 million dollars or he would be "calledhome."

more . . . . .



Hitting the Gay Glass Ceiling

Why ENDA is Not Enough
by Jennifer Vanasco,

Heather C. works for a major biochemical firm in Northern California. Thanksto state law, she can't be fired for being gay - indeed, she's the volunteerchair of her workplace's diversity committee - yet she's only selectivelyout at work.

"It just doesn't feel safe," she said. "You don't know who's watching,judging you." Heather's partner, who works for the same company, is not outat all.

Heather (she wishes to be identified by first name only) and her partnerhave seen what happens to people who come out at their workplace.

About eight years ago, she says, a co-worker came out, and her supervisor"went ballistic, he was so mad," Heather said. A month later, the co-workerleft the company.

Things are better now, Heather said, but still are not great. Gay employeeswrite anonymous letters to the Diversity Committee instead of volunteeringto help or come to meetings. There is a rumor that there is a gay vicepresident of the company somewhere in Europe - but otherwise, there are noout gay executives. And she herself hasn't been promoted since she startedcoming out.

more . . . . .



FDA Approves Anti-AIDS Pill From Merck

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 12, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Washington) The government approved a novel anti-AIDS pill on Friday,offering a new option for hard-to-treat patients.

Manufacturer Merck & Co. said Isentress should be on pharmacy shelves withintwo weeks.

The AIDS virus uses three different enzymes to reproduce and infect cells.Numerous drugs are available that target two of those enzymes, calledprotease and reverse transcriptase.

Isentress is the first in a new class of medicines that blocks the thirdenzyme, called integrase. Added to "cocktails" of other HIV medicines, thedrug can lower the amount of HIV in the blood and help infection-fightingimmune cells rebound.

HIV mutates rapidly to resist various treatments, and the Food and DrugAdministration approved use of Isentress in patients over age 16 whose bloodtests show they are resistant to common older medications.

more . . . . .


The Advocate

Straight people rule

October 12, 2007

With their new initiative, "Straight For Equality," PFLAG harnesses heteropower for homo rights

By Vivian Manning-Schaffel
An exclusive posted October 12, 2007

If you wish your coworkers would pull a Katharine Heigl and speak outproudly for LGBT rights, help is on the way. This month Parents and Friendsof Lesbians and Gays are helping straight allies out of the closet with amassive multimillion dollar awareness campaign called "Straight forEquality."

Inspired by an influx of inquiries from straights with the desire to supportthe gay community but no idea how to go about it, PFLAG created Straight forEquality to provide them with direction.

"I've heard so many straight people say they aren't sure how to find a rolein a movement that isn't their own," says Jean-Marie Navetta, nationaldirector of communications at PFLAG. "Straight for Equality will give themthe tools they need to get more involved in supporting the LGBT community,not necessarily through marching in parades but through simple decisionsthey make in everyday life."

Although official workplace training isn't due to begin until January, theinitial phase of the campaign, Straight for the Workplace, hasinitiated pilot proceedings with PepsiCo, MetLife, IBM, and Food Lion, amongother notable corporations. Initially, PFLAG reps work with top-levelmanagement to develop an approach for their company, then implement thisapproach through a series of two-hour Lunch & Learn workshops, trainingsessions, presentations, and discussions as part of the human resourcesagenda.

more . . . . .


The Advocate

S.F. Doctors Report Kaposi's Comeback


Doctors in San Francisco have reported an outbreak among long-term AIDSpatients of Kaposi's sarcoma, the viral skin disease whose purple lesionswere a telltale sign of advancing disease before drugs were developed totreat the epidemic.

The 15 patients under treatment are all doing well on antiretroviraltherapy, and none is in danger, Toby Maurer, chief of dermatology at SanFrancisco General Hospital, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Unlike the Kaposi's of the 1980s, the condition does not appear to spread tointernal organs or to be a harbinger of declining health, Maurer said.

Still, the condition's recurrence is puzzling. Doctors think some othervirus or latent infection may trigger HHV-8, the herpes virus that causesKaposi's, in otherwise stable patients.

Kaposi's was originally seen almost exclusively in older Mediterranean men;the new outbreaks appear to be much like the earlier, more benign form ofthe disease.

more . . . . .


The Advocate

Religion Is Our Friend

October 10, 2007

Being gay and religious are not not mutually exclusive, argues a youngwriter who should know.
By Tully Satre

An exclusive posted October 10, 2007

A recent discussion with a friend of mine ended in a bitter disagreement. Ibelieve religion can play a positive role in advancing the rights ofAmerican citizens in general, in particular gays and lesbians. He, on theother hand, believes that not only is organized religion mainly responsiblefor the inferiority of the gay community in the world, but that gay peopleas a rule cannot call themselves religious.

Organized religion (note: for the purpose of this article organized religionand spirituality will be considered one in the same) has obviously played animportant role in the history of humanity, both positively and negatively.Commercialized holidays such as Christmas and Halloween are based on ancientpagan traditions that were later spun into the Christian calendar. Countrieswaged wars against each other over religious differences; some of thesestill go on today. In Northern Ireland, Protestant-Catholic relations remainedgy. On the positive side, people such as the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa,and Pope John Paul II have transcended their religious affiliations to makean impact on diverse communities. In fact, most people don't know that theRoman Catholic Church is the world's largest charitable organization,providing services to the poor and sick around the globe.

I attended Catholic school since third grade up until high school graduationin June 2007. The church has had a profound effect on my life, especiallywhen it comes to being gay. It was largely responsible for my coming out.But I received negative feedback from my local community and was informallykicked out of the church, after which I became bitter toward organizedreligion of any kind and identified as an agnostic.

more . . . . .


The Advocate

Being LGBT Shouldn't Be a Job Hazard

The American Civil Liberties Union weighs in on why LGBT Americans need thesame employment protections provided to other groups.

October 09, 2007
By Deborah J. Vagins and Joel P. Engardio

An exclusive posted October 9, 2007

Being LGBT in America shouldn't be a job hazard and yet, today, it'sperfectly legal in 30 states to fire someone just for being gay orlesbian--and there's nothing you can do about it. If you're transgender, youhave no recourse in 38 states. Yet according to a recent poll, 89% ofAmericans believe that gay men and lesbians should have equal rights in theworkplace, and a majority believes the same for transgender employees.

But that certainly didn't prove true for Diane Schroer. Schroer had adistinguished military career before she transitioned, eventually becoming acolonel in the Special Forces. Schroer logged 450 parachute jumps into someof the world's most dangerous places and received numerous decorations. Shewas chosen to lead a classified national security operation and even briefedVice President Cheney on the global war on terror.

After retiring from the military, Schroer decided it was finally time toacknowledge being transgender and make the transition from male to female.As a civilian, Schroer applied for a job with a large federal agency libraryas a senior terrorism research analyst. She received an offer shortly afterthe interview and accepted the position.

more . . . . .


Bible Belt Blogger

More trouble at Oral Roberts University

Posted October 13, 2007

Bible Belt Blogger: More trouble at Oral Roberts University
Frank Lockwood

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - New allegations have been added to a lawsuit againstOral Roberts University filed by three former ORU professors.

The revised suit includes an internal report that details allegationsagainst university President Richard Roberts and his wife, Lindsay.

The amended lawsuit adds university regents to the list of defendants andincludes new allegations of negligence and civil conspiracy. The originalsuit alleged that the professors had been wrongly dismissed.

A university spokesman says that Richard Roberts and other ORU officialsdeclined comment. The spokesman says they had not seen the amended lawsuit.

The Tulsa World first reported details of the revised lawsuit on its Website on tonight.

more . . . . .


[Send your comments about articles to]

No comments: