Friday, October 26, 2007

GLBT DIGEST October 16, 2007

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The Washington Post

Marylanders Lean Left on Gay Marriage, Death Penalty

By John Wagner and Jon Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, October 26, 2007; B01

More than half of Marylanders would prefer that convicted murderers get lifein prison rather than the death penalty, and nearly six in 10 supportallowing gay and lesbian couples to form civil unions, according to a newWashington Post poll.

The findings place Maryland somewhat to the left of the country as a wholeon two social issues likely to be heavily debated when the General Assemblyreconvenes in January for its annual 90-day session.

Death penalty opponents, who count Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) among theirranks, are gearing up for another attempt to abolish capital punishment. Andsupporters of gay marriage have vowed to turn to the legislature after acourt ruling last month that upheld Maryland's 34-year-old law definingmarriage as between a man and a woman.

In the new poll, nearly six in 10, or 57 percent, support civil unions, upsignificantly from nearly four years ago, when 44 percent were in favor.Meanwhile, 51 percent continue to oppose granting full marriage rights tosame-sex couples.

The poll found the state mirroring national opinion on the presidentialprimaries. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and former New York mayorRudolph W. Giuliani (R) lead the races for their party's presidentialnomination.

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The Washington Post

Don't Ask: The military cruises a gay Internet site for employees, albeitbriefly.

Friday, October 26, 2007; A20

THE U.S. MILITARY has positions to fill. Thousands of them. And, like anyenterprise seeking employees, it casts a wide net to find qualifiedpeople -- as long as they're not gay. So it was the height of irony thatmilitary want ads were placed on a gay professional networking Web site lastweek. In fact, the placement would have made perfect sense were it not forthe wrongheaded "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bans gay people fromserving openly in the military.

Since 1993, more than 11,000 people have been discharged from the servicesbecause of their homosexuality. Of those, 800 were in positions deemed"mission-critical" by the Pentagon. Those would be combat engineers, medicalprofessionals and linguists (58 of whom spoke Arabic) -- the very people theArmy, Navy and Air Force were looking for when their job postings showed upon, which stands for Gay, Lesbian & Everyone Else.

According to USA Today, which informed the Defense Department of its unusualadvertising venue, the Navy is looking for Arabic translators andintelligence analysts, the Air Force is looking for social workers andnurses, and the Army and Army National Guard have infantry and artillerypositions available. Mind you, the military didn't go to directly.The ad placements involved a mix-up with the military's private ad agency.And the listings were removed once the Pentagon was informed.

The whole sorry episode highlights the absurdity of the ban on openly gaypeople in the military. Israel, Australia, Britain and 21 other countrieshave no problem with gays and lesbians serving openly in their armed forces.With its military stretched to the breaking point, the United States shouldfollow their wise lead. That it doesn't is as shortsighted as it is unjust.


The Washington Post

Harry Potter's Secret
Hint: It Has Nothing to Do With Gay Headmasters

By Michael Gerson
Friday, October 26, 2007; A21

There is something inherently odd about considering the sex lives offictional characters in children's books. Just how hearty were the Hardyboys? And we will not even speculate about Heidi's reclusive grandfather.

But J.K. Rowling has forced such considerations upon us with herannouncement that Albus Dumbledore, the beloved headmaster of HogwartsSchool of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is gay. The news, delivered by the authorafter a Carnegie Hall reading, was received with gasps in the audience andaround the world. The popularity of the Harry Potter books is unprecedented;the final installment, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," sold 11million copies in 24 hours. For many fans, the characters of the series havemore real blood in their veins than all the wax figures of politics andentertainment.

The Dumbledore revelation was taken by many Christian conservatives asadditional confirmation that Rowling is a corrupter of youth. What could bemore subversive than the combination of witchcraft and homosexual rights?

Having undertaken the monumental task of reading "The Deathly Hallows" aloudto my boys each night -- the book runs 759 pages -- I am certain thiscritical reaction is badly mistaken.

Ruling out magic in children's literature would, of course, completelydepopulate Narnia and Middle Earth, leaving just silent forest. The use ofmagic in fairy tales recurs for a reason; it reveals another reality -- whatC.S. Lewis called the "deep magic" -- just beneath the surface of our days.Magic is usually the way that children are introduced to the idea oftranscendence.

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The Washington Post

Homosexuality, Reconciled

Friday, October 26, 2007; WE33

"For the Bible Tells Me So" is a brisk, entertaining and even movingexploration of the sometimes frayed intersection where Christianity meetshomosexuality. Basically the film, from director Daniel G. Karslake, arguesthat homosexuality is a natural genetic condition and, as such, should beaccepted as normal by all. But it's never strident or chest-thumping, andits methodology is superbly thought out.

It follows a number of evangelical families, each with a child who is gay.It watches as child and parent struggle with this issue until each realizesthat it doesn't have to be an issue at all and that love will conquer all.So families shatter but then magically reassemble, stronger for the trauma.

The movie also takes time to make the case that the Bible's injunctionsagainst homosexuality should be taken in context along with a lot of otherbiblical injunctions, such as the one that calls for death for committingadultery or the condemnation of planting two kinds of seed in the samefield.

-- Stephen Hunter


The Washington Post

Let Tomboy Discover Her True Self

By Marguerite Kelly
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, October 26, 2007; C04

Q. My husband and I are very concerned about my 14-year-old daughter, whodresses like a boy, acts like a boy and says that "girly girls" are "weak."

She doesn't identify with any females, have a best friend or even hang outwith any particular girl, but she tells me she isn't a lesbian, even thoughthe kids at school call her such names and worse. Our son, who is a yearyounger and at the same school, says she embarrasses him; he doesn't want tobe seen with her and says people say unflattering things to him about herand call her a freak.

My daughter wears only long-sleeved shirts and jeans to school and blackslacks and a white dress shirt to band concerts. She also wears her hairshort, so I told her she could get her ears pierced, which she adamantlyrefused to do, "now or ever."

She won't even shave her legs. She says it's a useless chore but herclassmates pick on her when she wears shorts in phys ed. She also refuses towear deodorant, although she does shower every morning. My husband says I amfailing as a mother if I can't get this message across to her but I think weshould pick our battles.

I would rather leave her alone and let her develop in her own style -- aslong as she looks and smells clean -- in the hope that she will come intoher own in high school.

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The Washington Post

Seized Elton photo judged not indecent

Friday, October 26, 2007; 7:41 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - A photograph owned by Elton John which was seized bypolice at a gallery as part of a child pornography probe is not an indecentimage, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Friday.

The photo, entitled "Klara And Edda Belly-Dancing," had been removed from anexhibition at the Baltic gallery in Gateshead last month after managementhad sought advice before it was put on public display.

The photograph is of two young girls, one of whom has her legs apart.

Northumbria CPS said it had told police there was insufficient evidence tojustify proceedings for possession or distribution of an indecentphotograph.

It said it had investigated the picture by U.S. photographer Nan Goldin in2001 when it was part of another exhibition at the Saatchi gallery in Londonand had decided then that it was not indecent.

Kerrie Bell, head of CPS Northumbria's South Unit, added: "In order to provethat the photograph is indecent we must be satisfied that contemporarystandards of propriety are so different now to what they were in 2001, thatit is more likely than not that a court will conclude that the photograph isindecent. I am not satisfied that is the case.

"Even if the photograph was now considered to be indecent, a defendant wouldbe able to raise a legitimate defence, given that the photograph wasdistributed for the purposes of display in a contemporary art gallery afterhaving been deemed not to be indecent by the earlier investigation."

Called "Thanksgiving," the Gateshead exhibition was due to have shown 149 ofGoldin's pictures.

Klara And Edda Belly-Dancing had been exhibited in the Saatchi gallery inLondon in 2001 as part of the "I Am A Camera" exhibition.

Elton John had said on his Web site that the photograph was part of aninstallation which had been exhibited in Houston, London, Madrid, New York,Portugal, Warsaw and Zurich "without any objections of which we are aware"and was offered for sale at Sotheby's in New York in 2002 and 2004.

Goldin is renowned for her work among gay and transvestite communities inthe United States.



Guards disciplined in gay prison wedding

The Asssociated Press
October 26, 2007


Eight prison guards have been disciplined for their part in a gay weddingceremony for two female inmates at Lowell Correctional Institution in MarionCounty.

State Department of Corrections officials say the discipline was handed outbecause the officers allowed the inmates to perform, decorate andparticipate in an unauthorized ceremony in a close-management dormitory.

One officer has been fired, another has resigned and six have beensuspended.

Officials say allowing the inmates to gather for the event placed officersat risk. One of the two inmates who participated in the wedding has beentransferred to another prison.


The Miami Herald

Unique 'Bugchasers' conveys powerful truths

Posted on Fri, Oct. 26, 2007

Cabaret, comedy, sex show, tragedy, disco parade -- Octavio Campos' TheBugchasers is all that and more. Campos' most ambitious work yet, whichpremiered Thursday night at the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts, isan ironic, affectionate and appalled look at the lengths people will go tofor intimacy. We're ridiculously needy to the point of self-destruction, itseems to say, and that's funny and terribly sad.

None of this is in logical dramatic sequence. Instead, Campos throws aprecisely choreographed sequence of images, monologues, ideas and music atus, packed with information. But the final effect is a powerful one.

Bugchasers was inspired by ''bugchaser'' parties where gay men, both HIVpositive and negative, have unprotected sex, in part to deliberatelyexchange the AIDS virus. Campos exposes the absurdity and the twisted logicbehind this phenomenon. ''As a man Octavio cannot get pregnant,'' intonesperformer Matt Glass. ``But he can get a virus and that virus will carry hisDNA into the future long after Octavio is gone.''


Bugchasers is full of sequences where people try to connect or puffthemselves up, in ways that are all too recognizeable. ''I need you to bejust as fierce as I am,'' proclaims a strutting Diana Lozano.

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Express Gay News

HIV vaccine trial participants warned of possible increased risk of HIV

Study volunteers can be 'unblinded' to find out if they received vaccine orplacebo
Oct 25, 12:38 PM

Some U.S. participants in the recently halted HIV vaccine trial co-sponsoredby Merck & Co. are being told by study coordinators they may be at higherrisk for contracting HIV if they received the actual vaccine and not theplacebo.

Dr. Mark Mulligan, executive director of the Hope Clinic in Atlanta,stressed that the HIV vaccine cannot cause HIV infection, althoughscientists are investigating whether it may make those who received it moresusceptible to infection. (Photo courtesy Hope Clinic)

The trial, known as the STEP study, received funding from the NationalInstitutes of Health.

The STEP trial in the U.S. and other countries was halted Sept. 21 afterthree years of research when it was determined by an independent Data &Safety Monitoring Board that the vaccine did not stave off HIV infection norreduce the virus in those who became infected.

In an Oct. 23 press release, the National Institute of Allergy & InfectiousDiseases, part of the NIH, stated a similar trial in South Africa, known asthe Phambili study and using the same HIV vaccine, also halted enrollmentand immunizations. The South African trial was stopped because anindependent DSMB there also determined the vaccine was not working.

The DSMB in South Africa also recommended volunteers be told whether theyreceived the vaccine or placebo, be strongly encouraged to return to theirstudy sites for protocol-related tests, and be counseled about thepossibility "that those who received the vaccine may have an increasedsusceptibility to acquiring HIV infections," according to an NIH pressrelease.

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The Oregonian

Gay Triangle's fate has meaning for me

Thursday, October 25, 2007
By Wade Nkrumah
The Oregonian

Portland is somewhat of an anomaly among West Coast cities with sizable gaypopulations. We don't have a gay ghetto.

San Francisco has the Castro. Los Angeles has West Hollywood, or WeHo.Seattle has Capitol Hill. San Diego has Hillcrest.

Even in the deep Southwest's Houston, generally not regarded as a haven forgays -- or anyone, really -- there's Montrose.

Downtown's Gay Triangle area -- centered around the triangular block boundedby West Burnside, Southwest 12th and Stark -- is the closest Portland comesto a "gayborhood."

Stark is the Triangle's spine. It has bustled with the sights and sounds ofgay nightlife since the early '70s and the dawn of the post-Stonewall era --the 1969 riots in New York City that many cite as igniting the modern gayand lesbian civil rights movement.

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Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Councilman raises issue of homosexuality in city race

By Anthony Spangler and Aman Batheja
Star-Telegram staff writer
Posted on Thu, Oct. 25, 2007

Fort Worth City Councilman Chuck Silcox urged a group of Republicans onWednesday to vote for Chris Turner in the nonpartisan District 9 councilrace because Turner is Republican and straight.

Silcox predicted a runoff in the six-candidate race to replace Wendy Davisbetween Turner, a Republican political consultant, and Joel Burns, a realestate agent and city zoning commissioner. The election is Nov. 6.

"This is an excellent time to have Republicans get out and support aRepublican: Chris Turner," Silcox told a group of about 50 at a Fort WorthRepublican Women's Club meeting and a forum for Republican state HouseDistrict 97 candidates. "We have two people of opposite partisan politics,opposite philosophical persuasions and opposite sexual orientations.

"I didn't tell you which one was homosexual," Silcox said as the crowdlaughed. Pointing to Turner, Silcox continued: "He's married to a female,and the other's married to a male. You make your own mind up."

Burns, Turner and bicycle shop owner Bernie Scheffler were among the firstto announce their candidacies for the District 9 seat. They were joined byretired businessman Jim Beckman, real estate agent Mark Pederson and FortWorth school Trustee Juan Rangel.

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The Georgetown Voice

Making Georgetown proud, finally

October 25, 2007

It took two hate crimes in as many months to make it happen, but Georgetown's administrators have finally made a commitment to support the University'sLGBTQ community. At an open forum last night, President John DeGioiacommendably announced that Georgetown will have a fully-staffed,fully-funded LGBTQ resource center by next fall. Three working groups willbe created to address the creation of the resource center, the developmentof a better bias-reporting system and plans for LGBTQ diversity trainingduring New Student Orientation.

DeGioia's announcements were a long time coming. This fall's two homophobichate crimes highlighted Georgetown's need for a resource center and formajor changes in campus culture. At last night's forum, Bill McCoy, thecurrent part-time coordinator for LGBTQ resources, said that one of the bestways he knows how to help gay and lesbian students here is through hiscounseling, and the center will allow many more students to have access tohim.

The resource center alone isn't the solution, though, and the two otherworking groups are crucial for effecting comprehensive change. DeGioiasummed up the current situation best when he said, "We have real work to do."

The bias-reporting system must continue to be improved. Last week, it tookDPS less than a day to alert the campus via e-mail that a potentiallydangerous character was lurking in an off-campus residence. Meanwhile, ittook them five days to notify us of the hate crime, in which a student wasallegedly pushed into a wall and endured homophobic slurs, because thealleged victim's informal report got lost amid DPS' piles of paperwork,according to GU Pride. DPS must work with the administration to come up witha reliable reporting system so that students will feel confident that theirconcerns are not ignored.

Still, the best solution is to stop these incidents before they start.Mandatory diversity training in freshman dorms-which GU Pride Co-PresidentScott Chessare (COL `10) describes as "LGBTQ 101"-should help Hoyas becomemore tolerant and better allies.

After a long silence, it was encouraging to finally see the administrationtake what Vice President Todd Olson called a "unique public charge" on thisissue. GU Pride and the rest of the student body must continue to work withthe administration to make sure that tonight's talking points become areality.


The Gay Patriot West

Log Cabin's Sammon: Open to Criticism from Gay Conservatives

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:57 pm - October 25, 2007.
Filed under: Civil Discourse, 2008 Presidential Politics, Blogging, LogCabin (Republicans)

In blogging on my cross country journey, I commented on my meeting with LogCabin President Patrick Sammon. I had thought to offer a detailed account ofthat meeting and may do so at a later date, but given my propensity forlong, essayistic posts, I believe a shorter one where I hit the salientpoints may better serve our readers.

First, the one thing that most struck me about Patrick was his decency. Whenwe talked, he listened to me as I offered criticisms of Log Cabin, oftentaking notes, even jotting down things at odds with the group's policy(e.g., my rationale for Log Cabin coming out against ENDA).

As I wrote ten days ago, Patrick is the first Log Cabin leader (in "thetwelve years that I have been involved in the organization") to meet with meand listen to my concerns. (He gave me a better hearing than did theleadership of Log Cabin when I presided over its fastest growing club in the1990s.) Indeed, I would argue that he is the first Log Cabin leader to takegay conservative critics seriously.

While I found his predecessor Patrick Guerriero to be a nice guy with apolished presence, in the course of the New Orleans convention in 2005, thatPatrick made several snide remarks about bloggers, clearly a reference tothe criticism this blog leveled against his organization.

And it wasn't just during the meeting where Patrick (Sammon) has listened tomy concerns. I have e-mailed him my posts critical of the group's decisionto launch an ad campaign attacking Republican presidential contender MittRomney. In each case, he has replied, taking issue with some (but not all)of the points I have made-in a ivil manner. In those e-mails, he showedrespect for the issues I raised.

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Express Gay News

Out Traveler readers poll picks Fort Lauderdale as top gay resort town
Visitors bureau moves forward with new promotions

Oct. 25, 2007

For Nicki Grossman, Oct. 16 was an excellent day. Not only did she get anachievement award for her work as president and CEO of the Greater FortLauderdale Convention & Visitor's Bureau but she was also interviewed onNational Public Radio about Fort Lauderdale being chosen as the Favorite GayResort Town by the readers of Out Traveler in the magazine's annual poll.

"This is the most magical, wonderful award," she told the members of theRainbow Alliance, a coalition of gay business owners who honored Grossmanwith their first Diva award. "It sends a strong message to keep doing whatyou're doing. This is a wonderful ending to a horrible saga for us."

Grossman was referring to the turbulent summer that drew Fort Lauderdale,and its billion-dollar gay tourism industry, into the front lines of anational discussion about gays and public sex.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle sparked the turbulence with a series ofstatements in the media that most people viewed as anti-gay. Naugle madesome of his statements on national news shows. Among his complaints was thatGrossman's office was indirectly fomenting Fort Lauderdale's high HIVinfection rates by including gay bathhouses in its brochures and featuringsexy images of naked men together.

Being named favorite resort destination by gay travelers was the mostappropriate answer to Naugle's comments, Grossman said.

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Express Gay News

A positive vacation experience

HIV-positive cruise offers camaraderie, fun and health seminars
Oct. 25, 2007

Since 2004, Fort Lauderdale travel agent Paul Stalbaum has been making adifference in the lives of hundreds of people who are living with HIV/AIDS.Stalbaum's direct impact does not involve providing medical services or foodto his clientele. But, for most of his clients, Stalbaum's services have agreat impact on the quality of their lives.

Stalbaum organizes an annual cruise for HIV-positive people. On Oct. 28, histhird excursion will sail from the port of Miami to Belize, Mexico and portsin Central America and the Caribbean for a week of adventure, education and,most of all, sharing.

"It's truly a bonding experience," says Stalbaum. "What people are findingis true lasting friendships."

Stalbaum expects more than 260 HIV-positive people from throughout thecountry will sail on Sunday. On board, they will participate in healthseminars featuring top specialists, social mixers and the obligatory cruiseship dance party. Each event is discreetly executed and professionallyorganized to include only members of Stalbaum's party. The travelers willhead out on group excursions to ruins, nature hikes and shopping sprees thatare tailored just for them.

For Mike, a loan officer from Wisconsin, taking the cruise surpasses anykind of therapy he's had since being diagnosed HIV positive in 1985.

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Express Gay News

Halloween is a good time to reflect on the new Dark Age

Fundamentalists have turned the planet into one big 'hell house'
Oct. 25, 2007

For most people, Halloween is a fun festival of fantasy. It's a night wheneveryone is free to be someone else. Revelers may choose to honor real orfictional heroes by portraying them, or they may choose to disarm villainsby mocking them. Whether they choose to be Batman, Robin, Frankenstein, Sen.Larry Craig or Osama bin Laden, most people view the holiday as a harmlesscostume party that allows people to express their creativity and theiropinions about the world.

But there are those who use Halloween for their own dark purposes. In recenttimes, hooligans and gang members have declared Halloween "hell night" andhave used it as an excuse to engage in violence, set things on fire and marother people's peaceful celebrations. Last year, nine people were shot atthe Castro Street Halloween party in San Francisco. It should be noted thatthe shooters were not gay; they were members of a straight street gang whocame into the Castro that night to raise hell, according to media reports.

But it's not just straight hooligans who have tapped into the dark side ofHalloween. Some religious extremists have also declared Halloween "the Devil'sday," and they have used Halloween as an opportunity to advance theirsuperstitious and psychologically damaging beliefs about hell and eternaldamnation.

In recent years, religious fundamentalists have presented "hell houses"throughout the country, which are supposed to teach people that varioussins, including homosexuality, will lead to eternal damnation. In one "hellhouse," presented by the Rev. Keenan Roberts, a gay marriage is presidedover by a demonic figure that is supposed to represent the devil. In thenext scene, one of the men is seen dying of AIDS.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force recently produced a study on thehell houses that denounced the skits for "literally demonizing lesbian, gay,bisexual and transgender youth."

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Express Gay News

Giuliani moves to right of Thompson, McCain on gay issues

Thursday, October 25, 2007
To the Editors:

At this week's Republican debate, and later on Sean Hannity's show, RudyGiuliani told America that if the gay community has too much politicalsuccess, then he would be in favor of writing discrimination into ournation's Constitution to ban gay marriage.

Specifically, Rudy said that with only one state recognizing gay marriage,he is currently against changing the Constitution. But should five or sixstates recognize gay marriage, then he would support a constitutionalamendment to ban gay marriage.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is pleasantly "shocked" thatRudy is now warming up to the idea of amending our Constitution against gaycouples. Rudy's support of a constitutional amendment against gay men andwomen if gay couples win the right to marry in more than four states nowplaces him to the right of John McCain and Fred Thompson on this issue.

Coupling this with Rudy's past statements in favor of keeping "Don't Ask,Don't Tell" against our brave gay men and women in the military, I will beinterested to see the Log Cabin Republican reaction to Giuliani's campaign.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


SC Gays Threaten Protest At Obama Rally

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 26, 2007 - 8:00 am ET

(Columbia, South Carolina) A hastily arranged Thursday night conference callbetween Barack Obama's campaign and South Carolina LGBT civil rights groupsappears to have done little to quell the anger over the Democraticpresidential hopeful's intent to have gospel singer Donnie McClurkin appearwith him this weekend.

McClurkin, who claims to be an "ex-gay" says homosexuality is a choice.

A Grammy Award winner, McClurkin told the Associated Press in a Septemberradio interview that he was "once involved with those desires and thosethoughts," but God turned him away from them.

Obama's "Embrace the Change" tour to drum up support among Blackevangelicals is set to being in Columbia on Sunday.

As the anger over McClurkin mounted the Obama campaign Wednesday nightannounced it had invited openly gay pastor Andy Sidden to also appear onstage. Sidden is a local United Church of Christ minister.

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Obama's Missed Opportunity

by Wayne Besen

The Obama campaign hit a sour note when it chose to woo African Americanvoters in South Carolina this weekend with a gospel concert featuringvirulently homophobic and "ex-gay" gospel crooner Donnie McClurkin.

It is a shame, and quite ironic, that Barack Obama is in the center of thisexplosive controversy. The Senator has a solid record on GLBT rights, gaypeople are active in his campaign and by all accounts he is an ally to ourcommunity. Indeed, I personally admire Obama and think he would make a goodpresident.

But, the embrace of McClurkin, an extremist who refers to homosexuality as a"curse," is downright insulting. On more than one occasion, McClurkin hasused his celebrity to demean GLBT people and disseminate blatantly falseinformation about our lives.

"There are countless numbers of people who are not happy in this lifestyleand want to be freed from it," said McClurkin. "They were thrust intohomosexuality by neglect, abuse and molestation, and want desperately tolive normal lives and one day have a happy home and family."

McClurkin's explanations for the etiology of homosexuality are patentlyabsurd, unscientific and have no basis in fact. I can't imagine why theObama campaign would choose to associate with a man who is so closelyidentified with hatred and discrimination. Other despicable quotes fromMcClurkin include:

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Romney Basks In Homophobic School's Endorsement

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 25, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Manchester, New Hampshire) Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romneyembraced his association with Christian conservative Bob Jones III Thursdaydespite Jones' sharp criticism of the Mormon faith central to Romney's life.

"I'm proud to have the respect of people and the support of people who don'tagree with my faith, but agree that I'm the right person to be president,"the former Massachusetts governor said while campaigning here. "And I'm notrunning for preacher; I'm running for president."

In the 2000 election, George W. Bush similarly basked in the reputation ofBob Jones University, a Greenville, S.C., school named for Jones'sgrandfather that is influential with some conservative Christians. Less thana month after a visit to the school, Bush wound up apologizing to RomanCatholic leaders for "causing needless offense."

The university teaches its students that Catholicism, like Mormonism, is acult. At the time, it also had a policy banning interracial dating betweenits students. It rescinded the policy after publicity generated by Bush'svisit.

The university continues a policy of banning openly gay alumni which it saysare "militant" homosexuals from its campus, school spokesman Jonathan Patiesaid Monday during an interview with The Associated Press.

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Surgeon General Nominee Absent At Trans Minister's Church Trial

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 25, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(San Francisco, California) James Holsinger, President Bush's nominee forSurgeon General and president of the United Methodist Church's highestcourt, was conspicuously absent this week when the Judicial Council beganhearings that included the case of a transsexual pastor.

Holsinger has come under fire for a 1991 document he wrote opposing adecision by the council to allow a lesbian to be an associate pastor.

In the document titled "Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality," Holsingerstated that in his capacity as a physician biology and anatomy precludedconsidering LGBT equality in the United Methodist Church. In the document hetook lengths to say that his opinion was his scientific view and that histheological views are separate.

Holsinger also supported a pastor who would not permit an openly gay man tojoin the church.

Holsinger, an MD and professor at the University of Kentucky, is a formerhead of Health and Family Services in Kentucky. In addition to his medicaldegree he holds an MA in biblical studies from Asbury Theological Seminaryand is one of nine members of the council.

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More Toddlers Infected With HIV In Kyrgyzstan Scandal

by The Canadian Press
Posted: October 25, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Bishkek) The latest cases involve children who are 2 and 3 years old andwere found after an analysis of blood samples from the southern city of Oshwhere the outbreak occurred, Erkin Bakiev of the regional AIDS center said.

Health Ministry officials in the former Soviet republic have accused medicalstaff of accidentally infecting children and adults while administeringinjections and blood transfusions.

The outbreak has now afflicted 21 children and five adults, four of whom aremothers, Bakiev said.

The health minister earlier fired four medical officials, including theheads of the Osh region's children's hospital and blood transfusion center.

The source of the infection was difficult to identify since the firstHIV-diagnosed child was hospitalized 12 times in various medical centersthroughout the Central Asian country, the ministry said.

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Russia 'Losing AIDS Battle'

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 25, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Moscow) Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations,told Russians on Thursday that their country is losing the battle againstHIV/AIDS because of government inaction and a lack of public awareness.

"You are in terrible, terrible danger here in Russia," said Holbrooke, whonow heads an international group that promotes partnerships between thegovernment and private sector to combat HIV/AIDS and other infectiousdiseases.

"I'm terribly sorry to say this - this is not a political statement."

Officially, Russia had about 390,000 registered cases of HIV infection as ofAugust 2007. But international experts say the true number of HIV carriersis closer to 1.6 million and is expected to grow by 30 percent by 2010.

With 80 percent of Russia's HIV cases among 15-30 year olds, the diseaseposes a threat to Russia's economic competitiveness, according to the GlobalBusiness Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

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National Gay News

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

The starting quarterback for the Wartburg football team faces charges foryelling homosexual slurs at another student. Nicholas Yordi, a sophomore,was arrested for yelling slurs at Joe Apel, a junior, on campus on October9th. He's charged with disorderly conduct. Yordi has pleaded not guilty.

In the weeks before the 78th annual Academy Awards, Brokeback Mountainproducer Diana Ossana already suspected what few outside Hollywood couldimagine: Her film was going to lose the Best Picture race. ''Several peopletold me they knew a lot of Academy voters who just refused to see thefilm,'' says Ossana, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Larry McMurtry.This tragic love story between two men had dominated the critics' awards andbanked $178 million worldwide. It even captivated sellout crowds in stateslike Oklahoma and Ohio - just not, apparently, in Academy screening rooms.''What are they afraid of?'' McMurtry asked Ossana. ''It's just a movie.''

Elbridge James wasn't surprised when many of his fraternity brothersridiculed him for supporting same-sex marriage. But what James didn't expectwas for a handful of his old college buddies to rise to his defense. They,too, believed that gays' and lesbians' battle for marriage is a matter ofcivil rights.

Oh, yeah! I was eagerly awaiting the deranged reaction of James Hartlineregarding the tragic, dangerous fires in Southern California. (See Autumn'sdiary and pictures on the firestorms.) Hartline, a fundamentalist,recloseted gay man with AIDS (he contracted HIV from years of unsafe sex inbathhouses) today sees himself as battling dark forces in San Diego's"homosexual stronghold of Hillcrest," says the fires are God's wrath on theHomosexual Agenda.


National Gay News

Unacceptable Remarks
by Court Personnel Take Center Stage

Commentary by Norm Kent

Years ago there was a cigarette commercial for a cancer stick named'Virginia Slims,' marketed to women. The campaign congratulated feminists bysaying: "You've come a long way, Baby."

Another Madison Avenue claim that always got to me was one where a housewifewas featured in the laundry room washing her husband's shirts. The husbandcomes in, puts on one of the shirts, notices how clean it is and how sharpthe collars are, and says: "My wife, I think I will keep her."

For years, we have objectified women, reduced them to sexual creatures, fromthe pictures in Playboy to the jokes on an athletic field. But lots ofthings we might have once tolerated as commonplace today warrant censure,and it has nothing to do with political correctness. It has to do with whathas always been right while we accepted unfairly what was wrong.

Imagine if an African American was charged with a crime, and afterdeliberating for an hour, the jury came back with a verdict of 'Not Guilty.'The judge looks up and says: "Well I guess he will go home and celebratewith a watermelon." We would flip out. Some things you just don't sayanymore. Hopefully, because we have grown up.

Broward County, Florida, is now a major urban and metropolitan center.Courtrooms are no place for racist, sexist, or homophobic jokes. But when agay man, who happened to be an athlete, was acquitted the other day, laughsabout the position he played were part of the transcript. "I guess he is atight end," one party said. "Nope," joked the other, "he is a wide receiver."

Maybe it was laughter after the stress of a trial. Both parties graciouslyapologized instantly after the remarks were made. To her credit, theprosecutor on the case stingingly rebuked the participants who published theinsensitive remarks. But here is the thing.
We have a long way to go still.

One lawyer came up to me the morning after the incident. "Forgive the pun,Norm, but you gays are still going to be the butt of jokes for a while. Doesnot matter what the Supreme Court says."

What happened in that courtroom is a wake up call for all of us. We stillhave a battle to fight and the conscience of a community to be won. The bossof one of those who made an offensive remark could have congratulated hislawyer for winning an acquittal. Instead, he remonstrated him for publishingan inexcusable and offensive comment, docking him a week's pay and havinghim apologize to the office. Some have said this is too severe. No, it isnot. We are not being oversensitive. We are being right.

The penalties imposed are not designed to impede humor or limit free speech.The penalties exacted are to insure some guys in a bar next week gettingdrunk don't think its okay to take a baseball bat out of their drunk and go'off some fags.' The penalties are sent to remind a fourth grade studentgoing to an elementary school that a homosexual has the same dignity as aheterosexual.

One of the reasons it is so important for gays to be able to adopt hassomething more to do with insuring equality then making a child breakfast.The same is true with the Supreme Court decision in Texas three years agoprotecting two guys who were found in bed with each other. I am glad theywent free, but the case was not just about them. It was about the highestcourt in the land saying that all citizens are free to engage in the livesthey want to without impediment or government interference.

The Supreme Court decision is about children everywhere growing up andseeing that there are no laws anywhere making it illegal for people to begay or engage in homosexual conduct. It is hard to stigmatize conduct thatis legitimatized.

African Americans may have been emancipated by Abraham Lincoln with aproclamation in 1857, but over a hundred years later Lyndon Baines Johnsonstill had to sign a Civil Rights Act to foster greater equality betweenraces. So it is too with homosexuals. We can win court battles, but now wemust win the will of the people. It takes a while for things to filter intoour world. I accept that, but begrudgingly.

When we are faced with situations like the ones, which occurred in a BrowardCounty courtroom this week, we simply have to say 'No More.' You can't laughit off. You can't look the other way. It is not just because you do not wantto become the next target. Rather, it is because we want to make it so thatnone of us are ever targets again.

The comments made in a Broward County courtroom may have been made jokingly.But it shows the joke is still on us, unless we stand up and say, 'No More.'

We still have a long way to go.


The Advocate

Ancient Enemies

A decade after the release of a documentary that profiled Jesse Helms, oneof the fiercest enemies of gay rights, Dear Jesse comes to DVD -- includinga never-before-seen interview with Matthew Shepard -- and reminds us how farwe have come.

By Steven Gaughan
October 24, 2007

Almost a decade has passed since Tim Kirkman filmed his Emmy-nominateddocumentary Dear Jesse, yet the piece retains its significance as one of thefirst accounts of the divisive rhetoric that has come to characterizeAmerican politics. This short film is a first-person compare-and-contrastbetween the gay filmmaker and the notoriously conservative Jesse Helms, whoserved five terms as a Republican senator from North Carolina. Kirkman, whogrew up in a similar environment, seeks to understand what motivates decent,"God-fearing" people to practice the politics of hate.

In 1972, Helms became the first Republican to represent North Carolina inthe U.S. Senate since the 19th century. His conservative politics quicklyearned him the moniker "Senator No" -- that is, no affirmative action, noabortion, no gay rights. Despite his tendency toward intolerance, Helmswould become the longest-serving popularly elected U.S. senator in hisstate's history.

Yet it would be a mistake to characterize North Carolina as a state otherthan one built on "churches and banks," says local theater director SteveUmberger. His production of Angels in America, a play sympathetic to gaysand people with AIDS, met with firm disapproval from conservativeCarolinians. And the state was and still is very much composed ofmiddle-class Americans who respect Helms for his consistent -- albeitbigoted -- rhetoric.

Although times have changed -- the 1998 film was produced before same-sexmarriage was legalized in Massachusetts -- Kirkman shows us that we arestill a nation deeply divided over issues of moral "right" and "wrong." Andhe points to the toll that this division can take on the American public.

The movie concludes with a short clip of Matthew Shepard, interviewed withhis boyfriend at Catawba College in North Carolina two years before histragic death. Not included in the original documentary, the 1998 tapeincluded the footage as a reminder that a lack of tolerance can breedviolence. "This is the only footage I have of Matthew," Kirkman comments onthe film. "It's not fair. It isn't enough." And it isn't enough to encompassthe vitality of the young man. But it does serve to emphasize the necessityfor understanding -- on both sides of the divide.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Obama's Anti-Gay Gamble (Doug Ireland in Gay City News)

Gay City News, October 25
by Doug Ireland

Senator Barack Obama has enrolled a trio of notorious anti-gay bigots tocampaign for him in the South - and when a blogosphere firestorm eruptedover the move, Obama compounded his betrayal of the gay community byrefusing to dump the homohaters.

This past weekend, the Illinois Democratic senator's presidential campaignannounced a three-day, gospel music campaign tour through South Carolina itbilled as "Embrace the Courage" featuring four singers - Reverend DonnieMcClurkin, Mary Mary (a sister act duo), and Reverend Hezekiah Walker, allprominent in the gospel world. The tour was designed to mark the final daysof Obama's "40 Days of Faith and Family" campaign in South Carolina, acritical early primary state.

McClurkin, an evangelical minister and a Grammy Award-winner, has told theWashington Post that he's in "a war" against what he calls "the curse ofhomosexuality."

Moreover, McClurkin is the poster boy for the African-American "ex-gay"movement. He claims that he became homosexual after having been molested byrelatives when he was eight and 13, but was "cured" by religion.

As McClurkin explained it to Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: "There was abig 20-year gap of sexual ambiguity where after the rape my desires weretoward men, and I had to fight those things because I knew that it wasn'twhat we were taught in church was right. And the older I got, the more thatbecame a problem, because those were the first two sexual relationships thatI had. Eight years old and 13 years old. So that's what I was molded into.And I fought that. When I tell you from eight to 28, that was my fight - inthe church. And you were in an environment where there were hidden, youknow, vultures I call them, that are hidden behind frocks and behind collarsand behind - you know, reverends and the deacons, and it becomes a preyingground, a place where the prey is hunted, and that was what it was like."



Forwarded from EuroQueer

Dear friends,

You can find an overview of the first day of the ILGA-Europe's annualConference in Vlnius on our website:

This morning there was a protest outside the conference venue with around 9people carrying posters such as Go Home, Lithuanian will be gay free etc.The police was present to ensure there is no disturbance. I understand thataccording to Lithuanian law a public action with less than 10 people doesnot require an authorisation and it seems the protesters knew that as theywere only 9. They also had T-shirts with slogans against homosexual propaganda.Many conference participants went our to make pictures and also talked tothe protesters. The protest went peacefully, they were collecting signaturesfrom the passing by people to support their call to the authorities tooutlaw'homosexual propaganda'.

More details and pictures (I made a few) will appear later today or tomorrowon our website:

Juris Lavrikovs


Forwarded from EuroQueer

"Homosexual baby "ad campaign" a bit strange" says Vatican cardinal

Catholic News Agency

Rome, Oct 25, 2007 / 02:29 pm (CNA).- The Vatican's Secretary of StateCardinal Tarcisio Bertone has come out against a controversial advertisingcampaign whose goal is to promote the idea that homosexuality is genetic.

The campaign, run by the regional government of Tuscany, uses a photo of anewborn whose hospital identity bracelet bears the French word "homosexuel."Its caption reads "Sexual orientation is not a choice." The image isexpected to appear on billboards across Tuscany. The initiative has beenpraised by some homosexual rights organizations.

Cardinal Bertone told ANSA that, "Doing a publicity campaign like this isnot a good idea. This is a bit strange. They shouldn't have gone that far."

The Catholic UDC party called the campaign a "chilling" exploitation of ababy to push the "erroneous" message that homosexuality was innate.

The Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo, who is openly homosexual, criticizedaspects of the publicity campaign. He doubted that homosexuality could beexplained away by genes.


Forwarded from EuroQueer

Church of Sweden split over gay marriage

Published: 25th October 2007 12:32 CET

The Church of Sweden's governing body voted on Thursday in to retain theright to carry out legally binding weddings. When all the votes werecounted, 161 delegates had accepted the proposal, with 74 against.

The issue has risen to the top of the church agenda following a recentgovernment report recommending the introduction of a new gender-neutralmarriage law.

If parliament pushes through the bill, as seems increasingly likely, thechurch will be forced to either lawfully wed homosexual couples or abstaincompletely from the legal element of the marriage ceremony.

With this prospect in mind, the church's liturgical committee decided tolook into the matter more closely. Having weighed up the pros and cons, thecommittee eventually recommended the Church of Sweden to continue performinglegal weddings.

But there is strong opposition to the move within the church, with tworepresentatives tabling motions calling for the church to considerabandoning the legal element of the wedding ceremony. Instead couples wouldbe legally wed in a civil ceremony before later going to the church, mosqueor synagogue to receive God's blessing.


Forwarded from Truth Wins Out


Truth Wins Out Offers To Help McClurkin Accept Himself So He Can Live WithDignity and Respect

New York - Truth Wins Out urged Donnie McClurkin to set the recordstraight after a man on the website Clay Cane said he was havingsexual relations with the Grammy winning singer, even as he preachedanti-gay sermons. If the allegations are true, McClurkin should cancelhis appearance at the Obama rally and learn to be true to himself.

"McClurkin should do the Obama campaign a favor and bow outgracefully, so he has time to reflect on his alleged hypocrisy andcome to a place of self-acceptance," said Truth Wins Out's ExecutiveDirector Wayne Besen. "We offer a helping hand to assist him in thecoming out process. Truth Wins Out understands that the notion of'ex-gay' is a myth and McClurkin will be conflicted until he liveshonestly and openly."

Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization that counters right wingpropaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gaylife. For more information, visit


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What good did Larry Craig's lawyer and PR consultant do him? The Senator needed to change the punch line of the jokes from himself to the stupidity of a cop sitting on a toilet 8 hrs a day waiting to hear the sound of one foot tapping.

Take the Larry Craig Halloween costumes--they’re stupid as hell (a a dumb unimaginative mean-spirited bag mask); except for this one, which is actually pretty cool --I'll be wearing it myself how about you?

This Larry Craig ensemble will be worn at the staff parties on the has class and is FUNNY too. See for yourself at:

The ladies on Capital Hill will look absolutely chic in the Halloween "Larry Craig S.W.A.T. Tee-Shirt and optional cap. " Matched by jeans and clunky black shoes or better yet combat boots, people will surely notice you and get the hell out of your way. With a set of handcuffs attached to a thick black belt the look is mostly complete. Good news fellers--there's an edgy guy version too.