Monday, October 15, 2007

GLBT DIGEST October 15, 2007

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Suspended official says he pretended to be gay

October 15, 2007
TEHRAN, Iran YANGON, Myanmar Vatican City

A Vatican official suspended after being caught on hidden camera makingadvances to a young man says he was only pretending to be gay as part of hiswork.

In an interview published Sunday, Monsignor Tommaso Stenico told LaRepubblica daily he frequented online gay chat rooms and met with gay men aspart of his work as a psychoanalyst.

The Vatican said Saturday it was suspending Stenico after he was secretlyfilmed making advances to a young man and asserting that gay sex was notsinful during a television program on gay priests.


John Howard calls November election in Australia

14th October 2007 20:01 writer

Australian Prime Minister John Howard today called a general election, to beheld on the 24th November. It has been speculated that he will support movestowards an increase in pro-gay legislation.

Mr Howard's Liberal Party is around 12 per cent behind Kevin Rudd'sopposition Labor party in the polls.

At that level of support, switching LGBT voters, traditional supports of theLabor party to vote Liberal will become more significant.

Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be defending the Sydney seat ofWentworth, which after boundary changes now includes gay districts such asDarlinghurst and Kings Cross.

While, Employment and Workplace Relations Minister, Joe Hockey is seekingre-election in North Sydney, another constituency with a high concentrationof LGBT voters.

A report in June by Australia's Human Rights and Equal OpportunityCommission (HREOC) recommended that 58 laws need to be changed to grant gay,bisexual and lesbian Australians equal rights. These include key changes inthe way that gay couples receive benefits from their relationships.

more . . . . .


Powerful Teachers Union Pres. Comes Out Publicly

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 14, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET

(New York City) Randi Weingarten, head of New York City's 160,000-memberUnited Federation of Teachers, has come out publicly.

Weingarten, 49, had been out to friends and fellow teachers for a number ofyears but had never addressed the subject publicly.

In a speech at the annual fall dinner of Empire State Pride Agenda, NewYork's largest LGBT civil rights group, Weingarten made it official whileaddressing the union's support for same-sex marriage legislation currentlybefore the state legislature.

The federation was one of a number of major unions to lobby lawmakers topass the bill. It has moved through the Assembly but stalled in theRepublican-controlled Senate. Gov. Elliott Spitzer has said he would signthe measure if it passes.

In he address to Pride Agenda Weingarten said shortly after she announcedunion support for the bill she received a phone call from a disgruntledunion member taking her to task for committing the federation to thelegislation.

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Importance Of Straight Allies To Gay Movement

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 14, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Santa Clara, California) 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 . . . . .


Fred Thompson Missing In Action

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 15, 2007 - 6:30 am ET

(Manchester, New Hampshire) Mitt Romney was in Michigan, Colorado, Arizonaand Nevada and then went back to Michigan. Rudy Giuliani visited Florida,Michigan, South Carolina, Alabama, Washington and New Hampshire. John McCainwent from Michigan to Iowa to New Hampshire.

But where was Fred, as in Fred Thompson?

Besides participating in his first presidential debate in Michigan lastTuesday, Thompson was missing from the campaign trail. The former Tennesseesenator and star of NBC's "Law & Order" was scheduled to be in New Hampshirethis weekend, but canceled.

New Hampshire voters noticed.

"He's a late entry. That will probably hurt him," said Geri Gormley, of Bow,who visited with McCain but remains uncommitted. "We're grass roots.Candidates come up and pick our brains, one on one. We had (Barack) Obama'sstaff come to our door today. That's good strategy."

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Canadian Anglican Diocese Approves Same-Sex Blessings

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 15, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Ottawa) The Anglican diocese of Ottawa has voted to approve the blessingsof same-sex relationships in a move likely to open a new front in the warbetween conservatives and liberals in the worldwide Church.

The American branch of the denomination already is the target of dissent byconservatives over the ordination of an openly gay man as a bishop.

On the weekend delegates to the diocese of Ottawa, which encompassesCanada's capital and much of Eastern Ontario, voted 177 to 97 to allowpriests to bless the unions of same-sex couples.

The motion, however, will leave it up to the bishop to accept or reject thevote.

Bishop John Chapman told a news conference that he intends to take his timebefore reaching a decision. "It could be one day to 10 years," he said.

more . . . . .


To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

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

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Heather Finstuen doesn't consider herself an activist. Sheand longtime partner, Anne Magro, deliberated for months before they decidedto become part of a lawsuit challenging an amendment to the OklahomaAdoption Code that barred state officials from recognizing same-sexadoptions from other states or countries. And while it took some time andtwo federal court rulings, the outcome legally restored her place in thelives of her and Magro's daughters.

Assemblyman Mark Leno, the author of AB 43, the Religious Freedom and CivilMarriage Protection Act, that would have made marriage gender neutral inCalifornia had this to say about Governor Schwarzenegger's veto of the bill:"The Governor's veto of AB 43 once again puts him on the wrong side of oneof the major civil rights issues of this generation. History will recordthat he turned his back on thousands of gay and lesbian citizens when weneeded him to show leadership and honor our families and relationships."

Australia: Brian Sheldon and Matthew Shaffer are one of several same-sexcouples who have travelled to the United States to purchase 'designer twinboys'. The couple has spent up to $133,000 on expenses for the future boys,travelling to California and arranging the birth of their future childrenwith a surrogate mother. The gender of the twins was even selected throughthe IVF program; both of them will be boys. The 'purchase' of the childrenwas arranged through Dr Jeffrey Steinberg, an IVF specialist in the UnitedStates.

By Debra Chasnoff: Asked to think about the bullying crisis in schooldistricts today, what comes to mind for most people is mean-spiritedharassment between students, not parents. But in Evesham this year, a smallbut vocal group of parents succeeded in creating such an intense climate offear and intimidation that they were able to pressure the school board toabandon a crucial component of its bullying-prevention curriculum. Our film,"That's a Family!" has been used to this end by thousands of schools acrossthe nation and shown to hundreds of thousands of children over the pastseven years. It has won numerous awards and been endorsed by many regionaland national organizations, including the New Jersey Education Associationand the National Association of School Psychologists. Despite statements tothe contrary, "That's a Family!" is not a controversial film. It is not agay film. And it is not a film about "same-sex marriage."


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