Wednesday, October 17, 2007

GLBT DIGEST October 17, 2007

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Hands off!

Forum Publishing Group
October 17, 2007

In my other life as a school social worker, I visited elementary schoolclassrooms discussing personal safety.

"Your body belongs to you," I told students. "Nobody has the right to touchyou in a way that hurts you or makes you feel uncomfortable."

That was my mantra and the lesson I tried to impart to the students.

I was reminded of those lessons this summer when I read about a situation inMcMinville, Ore. Two 13-year-old boys were arrested, taken from school inhandcuffs, held for five days in juvenile detention and faced felony sexabuse charges. Their offense? Slapping girls on the buttocks in school.Their behavior was inappropriate, but did the punishment fit the crime, orwere the consequences that followed also inappropriate?

Sexual harassment, in schools as in the workplace, is absolutelyunacceptable. But, a 40-year-old sexual harasser is not in the same leagueas a 13-year-old one. For youngsters to be treated like adult sex abusersand face charges that bring jail time and listing on sex offender Web siteswould pretty much end their chances for a normal life. The children couldeven be prevented from being alone at home with their younger siblings.

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Gay inmates to tie the knot in Quebec pen

Phil Couvrette
CanWest News Service
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

They'll be joined in matrimony, but different cell blocks will keep themapart and limit their honeymoon options.

Two gay prison inmates at the federal penitentiary in Cowansville, Que., 60kilometres southeast of Montreal, will tie the knot in the institution'sfirst gay marriage on Oct. 29.

It will be Canada's third gay wedding in a federal institution, according toCorrections Canada, following a 2006 wedding in Ontario and another inAlberta this year.

"Gay weddings are legal since July 2005 and the first union between same-sexinmates occurred in November 2006 so it's not frequent," said Jean-Yves Roy,a spokesman for federal institutions in Quebec.

David Bedard, 22, is serving a 10 year sentence for involuntary manslaughterwhile his partner Sony Martin, 26, is serving a life sentence forsecond-degree murder and is ineligible for parole before 2020.

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Gables Lawyer Calls National Gay News a 'Cesspool'

Tuesday, 16 October 2007 09:56
Thompson now also attacks the Florida Bar

Commentary by Norm Kent

Poor Jack Thompson.

If you have been following the legal debacle that is Jack Thompson, you knowby now he was nearly judicially reprimanded for filing gay porn attachmentsin his federal lawsuit against the Florida Bar.

You know by now he has been accusing me and this site of criminallytrafficking in obscenity, and has asked that we be criminally prosecuted. Healso sought to join me into his lawsuit as a defendant.

Well, I am happy to report the judge in the case yesterday dealt him aknockout, denying his requests and delivering a final right cross which sentthose ludicrous efforts to legal la la land.

You also know by now I will tolerate none of Jack's nonsense, publishingnews stories on these pages which detail with specificity his frenetic andfoolish efforts.



Christian Conservative Pat Roberson's Finger May Get Student Expelled

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 16, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Richmond, Virginia) A Regent University law student says school officialshave threatened to discipline him for posting an unflattering photo offounder Pat Robertson on his Facebook page.

Adam M. Key, 23, posted on the social-networking Web site a picture ofRegent's chancellor and president making what appears to be an obscenegesture. Key copied it from a YouTube video in which Robertson scratches hisface with his middle finger.

The second-year law student said officials at the private Christianuniversity in Virginia Beach demanded that he publicly apologize, thenwithhold public comment about the matter, or submit to the law school dean alegal brief defending the posting. Key chose the latter, arguing that hisposting was satire protected under the First Amendment.

"I believe they're wrong from a legal standpoint," the Houston native saidin a telephone interview. "But also, it's important in the Christian faithto be able to criticize our leaders."

According to Key, Dean Jeffrey Brauch rejected his written legal brief, andhe now faces disciplinary action - perhaps even expulsion - under theuniversity's standards of personal conduct.

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Scotland Mulls Gay Hate Crime Law

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 16, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Edinburgh) A bill has been filed in the Scottish Parliament that would makecrimes against gays or the disabled punishable by longer prison terms.

The legislation was introduced by Green Party member Patrick Harvie. It hasthe backing of his party, but so far the government has not said if it willsupport the bill.

Private members bills and legislation by opposition parties rarely make itto a vote.

The Green Party says expanding existing hate crime laws to include sexualityand people who are disabled would help improve the quality of life inScotland. The law already covers attacks on people based on their race orreligion.

A survey in 2002 found that 68 percent of Scotland's LGBT community had beenverbally abused in the previous year, while 23 per cent had been physicallyassaulted.

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Bob Jones Backs Romney

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 17, 2007 - 6:30 am ET

(Columbus, South Carolina) Bob Jones III, chancellor of the Christianfundamentalist school named for his family, is endorsing Republican MittRomney for president.

Romney's campaign confirmed Jones' endorsement Tuesday.

"We're proud to have Dr. Jones' support and look forward to working with himto communicate Governor Romney's message of conservative change to voters,"Romney spokesman William Holley said in a statement.

Jones didn't immediately respond to a message left Tuesday evening by TheAssociated Press. But he told a Greenville newspaper that supporting Romneyis critical to make sure former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani doesn't win theGOP nomination and that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary RodhamClinton doesn't win the election.

"If it turns out to be Giuliani and Hillary we've got two pro-choicecandidates, and that would be a disaster," Jones told The Greenville Newsfor a story on its Web site Tuesday.

Romney and Jones would appear to be a political odd couple, with theSouthern fundamentalist Christian throwing his support behind the Mormon whowas governor of Massachusetts.

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Obama Tied To Cheney

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 17, 2007 - 6:30 am ET

(Washington) Though they may spar across the political aisle, Vice PresidentDick Cheney is close enough to Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obamato call him "cousin." Eighth cousin, that is.

Lynne Cheney, the vice president's wife, revealed this tantalizing bit ofpolitical trivia during a television interview Tuesday.

She said she uncovered the long-ago ties between the two while researchingher ancestry for her latest book, "Blue Skies, No Fences," a memoir aboutgrowing up in Wyoming.

"This is such an amazing American story that one ancestor ... could beresponsible down the family lines for lives that have taken such differentand varied paths as Dick's and Barack Obama," Lynne Cheney told MSNBC.

According to her spokeswoman, Sen. Obama, D-Ill., is a descendent of MareenDuvall. This French Huguenot's son married the granddaughter of a RichardCheney, who arrived in Maryland in the late 1650's from England, said GinnyJustice, a spokeswoman for Lynne Cheney.

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Presidential Election Turns To Comedy As Colbert Announces Candidacy

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 17, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(New York City) Stephen Colbert announced his candidacy for president on"The Colbert Report," tossing his satirical hat into the ring of an alreadycrowded race.

"I shall seek the office of the President of the United States," announcedColbert on his Comedy Central show Tuesday, as red, white and blue balloonsfell around him.

Colbert had recently satirized the coyness of would-be presidentialcandidates by refusing to disclose whether he would seek the country'shighest office - a refusal that often came without any prompting.

Shortly before making the announcement, Colbert appeared on "The Daily Show"(the show which spawned Colbert's spin-off) and played cagy, claiming he wasonly ready to consider a White House bid. He entered the studio set pulledby a bicycle pedaled by Uncle Sam and quickly pulled out a bale of hay and abottle of beer to show that he was "an Average Joe."

Colbert said his final decision would be announced on a "more prestigiousshow," which turned out to be his own.

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Lesbian Lawmaker Offers ENDA Compromise

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 17, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Washington) The only openly lesbian member of Congress says she willpropose an amendment to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to restoregender identity protections.

The removal of protections for trans people from the act, known as ENDA, hassplit the LGBT community like no other issue in more than a decade.

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) says she has secured an agreement from theDemocratic leadership to introduce the amendment next week on the Housefloor, after the bill moves through the House Education and Labor Committeeon Thursday.

ENDA, was authored by Rep. Barney Frank and originally contained protectionsfor trans people. Earlier this month Frank removed them, saying thelegislation which he has been fighting for for most of his political careerwould not pass as long as it included gender identity.

Republicans and a significant number of Democrats called the term confusing,unenforceable, and could lead to "cross dressers being allowed to teach inschools". (story)

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Criticism in Republican Presidential Race Grows Sharper
October 17, 2007

Forget the pleasantries. The criticism grows sharper by the day in the racefor the Republican presidential nomination.

The reason: Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Fred Thompson arebunched at the top and trying to emerge with voting to begin in just amatter of weeks.

''We're now into a 90-day sprint, and each of the campaigns is strugglingfor a strategy,'' said Scott Reed, Republican Bob Dole's 1996 campaignmanager. ''Who do they take out, who do they go after, and who do they riskalienating by being the aggressor? They're all trying to figure that out.''

There is obvious risk.

Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt went negative in the 2004 Democratic primary,and their strategies backfired. They lost when voters gravitated towardabove-the-fray candidates John Kerry and John Edwards.

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Poll: No Spike in Interest in Gore
October 17, 2007

Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize hasn't translated into an increase in supportfor a presidential bid, a poll found Tuesday.

Asked if they would like to see the former vice president run for presidentin 2008, people said no by a 54% to 41% margin, according to a Gallup poll.That was about the same as last March, when people opposed his running 57%to 38 percent.

Even among Democrats there was no visible surge of interest in Gore. In thenew survey, 48% said they would like him to run and 43% said they would not.Last March, Democrats were in favor of him entering the race 54% to 41% --tatistically the same as the new poll.

Gore, who won the prize last Friday for his work raising awareness of globalwarming, has not said he is a candidate for the White House but has neverdefinitively ruled it out -- including for a race in the future.

When Democrats were asked their preference for their party's presidentialnomination for next year, Gore was chosen by 14% -- far behind Sen. HillaryRodham Clinton of New York and just behind Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.That was about the same support he received in a Gallup poll in earlyOctober.

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Domestic Partners Pay More for Fewer Rights
October 17, 2007

Though fewer rights are included, it costs a dollar more to register for adomestic partnership in New York City than for a marriage certificate.

According to a report in The New York Times, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg'soffice has asked the city's law department to reduce the fee for registeringa domestic partnership from $36 to $35 so that the two fees will be thesame.

"It's ridiculous," Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the gay rightsadvocacy group Empire State Pride Agenda, said to the Times. "You pay morefor less rights. It's like nouvelle cuisine in the restaurants -- less foodon a plate, but you pay more money."

Marriage fees are subject to state approval, but domestic-partnershipregistration fees are set by the city alone. The city clerk asked the city'sOffice of Management and Budget to determine a fair fee fordomestic-partnership registration, including processing and other costs,resulting in the $36 fee. (The Advocate)


Judge Dismisses Church Abuse Suit Against Mexican Cardinal
October 17, 2007

A Los Angeles judge dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday against Mexico City cardinalNorberto Rivera, who had been accused of conspiring with Roman Catholicofficials in the United States to transfer a priest accused of sexual abusebetween the two countries.

The judge found Rivera could not be held accountable in a U.S. court becausethere was not enough evidence against him, said Mike Finnegan, theplaintiff's attorney.

''It was a legal technicality,'' he said. ''It didn't reach any of themerits of the case and it didn't get to the key issues in the case, which isCardinal Rivera's complicity in sending [the priest] to the United States asa child molester.''

Finnegan said he planned to pursue a lawsuit in Mexican courts.

Rivera's spokesman, Hugo Valdemar, told the Associated Press in Mexico Citythat the cardinal was ''greatly satisfied'' by the judge's ''careful, fairdecision.''

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The New York Times

The Tv Watch: Humiliation, if Not Candor, From Senator on the Defensive

October 17, 2007

Senator Larry E. Craig told NBC's Matt Lauer that he was too "embarrassed"to tell his wife, his lawyer, or his aides about his arrest for solicitationin an airport bathroom. But with his wife, Suzanne, seated at his side, theIdaho lawmaker didn't flinch as he watched Mr. Lauer drag one polished brownshoe across the senator's living room carpet to re-enact the alleged misstepthat brought him to this point.

The senator's dogged, spirited eagerness to make his case was perhaps themost painful element in last night's hourlong exercise in political hubrisand humiliation. Mr. Craig found no question too petty or too probing toanswer, and Mr. Lauer asked him about the movement of his right handreaching, palm up, under the divider into the next stall. "So again, thefact that this - that these motions seemed to replicate a well-establishedsequence of signals for soliciting anonymous sex, it's a coincidence?" Mr.Lauer asked.

After Mr. Craig, a conservative Republican, gave a long, detailed account,Mr. Lauer posed a question that seemed to dismiss the senator's entirestory. "Are you technically not a homosexual?" Mr. Lauer said. "Is itpossible you're bisexual?"

Mr. Craig replied quietly, "It's no to both."

People watch for a reason. These semiconfessional jags are riveting theaterbecause they come with a built-in mystery. Viewers try to solve the riddleof what really happened by looking at the clench of the subject's jaw, theblinking of the subject's eyes, the directness of the subject's gaze: is theperson persuaded by his or her own fabrications and half-truths? Is this atelevised ritual of obfuscation or a spectacle of self-denial andself-delusion? Could it be that this embattled public figure is actually abold-faced truth teller?

Richard M. Nixon delivered the Checkers speech to deflect accusations ofcorruption. Bill Clinton denied having an affair with Monica S. Lewinsky tosalvage his presidency.

Mr. Craig's misadventure was no less scandalous, but so much more trivial;he and his wife went on national television to discuss what he did - or didnot do - in an airport men's room.



The Washington Post

NBC's Matt Lauer, Making the Least Of an Opportunity

By Tom Shales
Wednesday, October 17, 2007; C01

One thing, at least, was made painfully clear by Matt Lauer's interview withSen. Larry Craig on NBC last night: Matt Lauer is no Mike Wallace. Lauer wasanything but hard-hitting or confrontational with the Idaho Republican,arrested in June for alleged homosexual solicitation in a Minneapolisairport men's room.

For Lauer, self-important co-host of NBC's "Today" show, the interview wasobviously seen as a potential career- and credibility-builder, but even whenhe did ask an arguably tough question, he essentially apologized for it. Heprefaced a question about whether the senator might be bisexual by saying toCraig, "You're going to have to forgive me for this."

What? This is a journalist practicing journalism? Lauer's like a virginveteran, an old hand who seems inexperienced. Diane Sawyer, to name oneexample, would have done a much better interview. Anyone on "60 Minutes,"Wallace or another member of the vaunted team, would have done a better one.Lauer's former "Today" co-host, the much-maligned Katie Couric, also wouldlikely have done a more effective job.

Craig -- seated on a couch in what looked like the family den next to hiswife, Suzanne -- pleaded guilty to nothing during the interview excepthaving pleaded guilty (to "disrupting the peace") in the first place. "Itwas a very, very big mistake," he said of his hasty decision to enter theplea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct. He should have called hislawyer immediately, he said: "I sought no counsel. I made a very bigmistake."

Lauer wore his concerned, caring face throughout the interview, but heappeared to be an actor in a role, with every facial expression, gesture anduse of props (a pair of glasses, a pen) calculated for effect. Craig wasless than convincing in his denials, even if the airport incident did sound,as it has from the beginning, like a case of entrapment.

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Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Equality California |>

October 15, 2007
CONTACT: Ali Bay, Communications Manager

Transgender Teens, Sen. Sheila Kuehl Detail Threats Facing High SchoolStudents

LOS ANGELES - California high schools need to do more to protect transgenderstudents from demeaning and even violent situations. That's the message of aspecial California Senate hearing today in Los Angeles.

Five years after the shocking murder of 17-year-old Gwen Araujo in Newark,Calif., students, experts on transgender youth and state Sen. Sheila JamesKuehl, D-Santa Monica, will address efforts to make high schools safer fortransgender students.

Araujo's murder in October 2002 after an off-campus party sparked calls tocombat harassment of transgender students.

"No student in California should have to live with the fear of being abused,harassed or ridiculed simply because of their gender identity or sexualorientation," said Equality California Executive Director Geoff Kors."There's a lack of understanding and knowledge about school safety issuesfor transgender youth. Until we educate our school officials and the publicabout this important topic, young people in our schools will continue toface the threat of daily discrimination," Kors said.

Even when they don't face violence from others, teenagers who cross gendernorms have higher drop-out and suicide rates. "Transgender" is the umbrellaterm for a number of gender identities, including students who dress oridentify as members of the opposite sex or who have sought sex-changesurgery.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan

The Dancing Boys of the North
By Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi

Wealthy strongmen recruit adolescent boys for entertainment and sex, withthe local authorities powerless to stop the practice.

"Some men enjoy playing with dogs, some with women. I enjoy playing withboys," said Allah Daad, a one-time mujahedin commander in the northernAfghan province of Kunduz.

He is one of a growing number of men involved in what is known as "bachabaazi"- literally, "boy-play" - a time-honoured tradition, deplored by humanrights activists and clerics, that is seeing a revival in the relativelysecure north of Afghanistan.

The boys are kept by powerful older men, made to dance at special parties,and often sexually abused afterwards. Known as "bacha bereesh" - literally,"beardless boys", they are under 18, with 14 the preferred age.

"When I was young, I had a bacha bereesh who was the best in the region,"recalled Allah Daad, 44. "He danced like a flying pigeon.... Nobody couldtake his place afterwards. I kept him for three years, then left him when hematured."

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Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Older African-American men with HIV often have sex without condoms

As many as four out of ten HIV positive African-American men could beputting their partners at risk by not using condoms, according to researchin the latest UK-based Journal of Advanced Nursing.

A study of 130 middle-aged and older men in the USA found that many of the40 to 65 year-olds were engaging in high-risk sexual practices.

38 per cent didn't use condoms during oral sex, with 25 per cent havingunprotected vaginal sex and 22 per cent having unsafe anal sex. The researchalso showed that men who were single and displayed fewer HIV symptoms wereleast likely to use condoms during sex.

"Despite the worrying number of men not using condoms, 78 per cent of thosewho took part in the study were able to answer questions about HIV and AIDScorrectly and 25 per cent claimed to be knowledgeable about the subject butstill engaged in risky sex" says Dr Christopher Lance Coleman from theUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia.

"These findings are of particular concern as HIV and AIDS rates among black(non-Hispanic men) in the USA and in people over 50 have risen considerablyin recent years. In fact, AIDS prevalence statistics for minority men in theUSA are staggering."

For example:

In 2005, 127.6 per 100,000 cases of HIV/AIDS were African-American mencompared to 18.5 for White men, according to data for 33 US states usingconfidential name-based reporting. The US Center for Disease Controlsuggests that this ethnic group is eight times as likely to develop AIDS aswhite males.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


Stripper petition campaign falls short

Coalition of adult entertainers fail to garner enough signatures to placeissue on ballot

Related: More election coverage
By Laura A. Bischoff
Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

COLUMBUS - Although they paid more than $1.2 million on a campaign tocollect voter signatures, a coalition of adult entertainment businessesfailed to get enough voters from across the state to sign their petitions.

They wanted to ask voters to reject a new state law that will force stripclubs, peep shows, and other adult businesses to close between midnight and6 a.m. and institute a no-touch rule between strippers and patrons.

The campaign needed 241,366 valid signatures, plus valid signatures equalingat least 3 percent of the ballots cast in the 2006 gubernatorial election inat least half of Ohio's 88 counties. The group did not meet the countyrequirement, according to Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

Sixteen county boards of elections have yet to report on the petitionsignatures - irrelevant at this point - but once those reports are in,Brunner will issue a letter to the campaign leaders in the next day or so,her spokesman said.

Phil Burress, of Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values, whichpushed the General Assembly to pass the anti-strip club law, questioned whyBrunner doesn't issue the letter immediately.

"I think the delay is about giving them time to file their lawsuit ... Ithink she's playing footsie with them by delaying the letter," Burress said.

The adult entertainment industry is considering a federal lawsuit,challenging the new law on constitutional grounds, said spokeswoman SandyTheis.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

HISTORIC WEB RESOURCE FOR LGBTQ YOUTH Launch Starts National Dialogue on Disenfranchised LGBTQ
Youth with Local Events Throughout the Country

DENVER, CO The Matthew Shepard Foundation today announced the launch, a comprehensive online resource for LGBTQ youth inAmerica. The website is launched on October 12, 2007, the ninth anniversaryof Matthew Shepard's passing, with a series of local events throughout thecountry and an online video stream featuring Judy Shepard, executivedirector of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

" is a dream come true for the Matthew Shepard Foundationand hopefully for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning andallied youth all over the country," said Shepard. "It is a safe onlineplace full of critical resources and information, a place where LGBTQ youthcan see themselves reflected in our society, feel affirmation, and gaininsights to help them lead healthy, productive, hate-free lives."

Designed with a great deal of youth involvement, featuresup-to-date national and LGBT news, advice columns from notable voices andaffirming resources on issues affecting LGBTQ youth, and an information hubfor youth to access critical resources such as safe and inclusivedirect-service providers, homeless shelters, and youth-servingorganizations. This is the first of three phases of Matthew's Place. In thecoming year, the website will expand to include more interactive and cuttingedge elements such as blogging, moderated chats, expanded 'ask the experts'section, and individual youth spaces.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Property Tax Relief for Domestic Partners

SACRAMENTO - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday signed legislationthat will provide relief to domestic partners who paid unexpected,discriminatory property taxes prior to Jan. 1, 2006.

The Fair and Equal Taxation for Surviving Partners Act, authored by Sen.Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, drafted by Lambda Legal, and sponsored byEquality California, ends tax increases for domestic partners who separatedor lost a partner before a 2006 law went into effect protecting them againstunfair property reassessments.

"We're pleased that the Governor has joined the Legislature in affirming theequality of the state's same-sex couples, but in essence this is still justa partial solution," said Brian Chase, Senior Staff Attorney with LambdaLegal's Western Regional Office. "The Governor missed an opportunity to fixa host of other problems facing California's same-sex couples when herefused to sign a bill that would have granted them equal marriage rights -egislation already approved twice by the legislature."

"Unlike married couples, some domestic partners have struggled to keep theirhomes due to a property tax increase that was triggered by the death of apartner or the end of a relationship," said EQCA Executive Director GeoffKors. "With the enactment of this legislation, domestic partners will nolonger be forced to carry this extra tax burden that other loving, committedcouples do not have to bear. We applaud the governor for signing this billinto law, while reminding him that the inequalities created by domesticpartnerships need to be remedied by legislation like this until we grant gayand lesbian couples the ability to marry."



Saudi Arabia! Stop persecuting queers!

Gay men sentenced to 7,000 lashes
Protest against potential death sentences

Friday 19 October, 1:30pm - 2.30pm
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
30 Charles Street, London W1J 5DZ

On the 2 October 2007 two young men in the Saudi Arabian city ofAl-Bahah were reportedly convicted of 'sodomy' and sentenced to 7,000lashes. In Saudi Arabia same-sex relations are illegal and the maximumpenalty is death.

7,000 lashes is a form of torture, calculated to cause maximum,prolonged suffering. So many lashes can be fatal, depending on howmany are delivered at any one time.

To protest against the persecution of queers in Saudi Arabia , theNational Union of Students LGBT campaign is organising a protestoutside the Saudi Embassy in London this Friday. The protest issupported by LGBT human rights group OutRage! Peter Tatchell is aguest speaker.

The protest comes ahead of the State Visit to the UK of thebloodthirsty Saudi tyrant, King Abdullah bin Abdul Azaz al Saud, on 30October 2007

Mr Tatchell said: "The British and US governments support thedespotic, corrupt Saudi regime. As well as flogging and executing gaypeople, the Saudi leaders are guilty of detention without trial,torture and the public beheading women who have sex outside ofmarriage. Migrant workers are de facto slaves. The media is heavilycensored. Trade unions, political parties and non-Muslim religionsare banned. The country is a theocratic police state," he said.

"We call on individuals and groups, LGBT or otherwise, to protestagainst the continued criminalisation, imprisonment, torture andmurder of LGBT people in Saudi Arabia," said Scott Cuthbertson, NUSLGBT Officer.

"We will be handing a letter of protest to the Saudi Ambassador, HRHPrince Mohammed bin Nawaf, calling on his Government to respect thehuman rights of its own LGBT citizens. Please join us in the strugglefor Love without Borders - LGBT rights around the world - and makeyour views known to the Saudi Ambassador on Friday."

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Forwarded from Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrier

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

Surgeon general nomination stalled over gay views
The nomination of Dr. James Holsinger to be U.S. Surgeon General is stalledin a Senate committee until the nominee clarifies his position on LGBTissues, his past work at the Department of Veterans Affairs and his ideas onaddressing childhood obesity, according to this article. Although the WhiteHouse and top Republicans continue publicly to support Holsinger'snomination, they reportedly are not making a concerted effort to move theprocess along. The Cincinnati Post/Scripps Howard News Service (10/15)

LGBT people to gain protections in Ore., after recall attempt fails
Oregon's law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing,restaurants and other public services will take effect Jan. 1, afteropponents fell 1,300 signatures short in their bid to place a referendum onthe November 2008 ballot. The failure of the referendum came less than aweek after a question to decide the fate of the state's domestic partnershiplaw similarly failed to qualify for next year's ballot. The Oregonian(Portland) (10/13)

D.C. police set "highest" standard with new trans policies
The Washington, D.C., police department has released new rules for thetreatment of transgender people that call for officers to address them bythe gender they have "expressed or presented," allow those arrested todetermine their own gender, and calls for officers to list transgenderarrestees as being "At Risk" from others prisoners when they are assigned acell. The policy, from D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier, represents "thehighest standards in the nation," according to the DC Trans Coalition. TheWashington Post (10/15)

Are you ready to lead?
The Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute (GLLI) doesn't just bring you thisSmartBrief twice a week. It's the training and professional developmentorganization for openly LGBT public leaders in government, politics andadvocacy. From training candidates to run for office to building the skillsof LGBT movement leaders, GLLI is making sure those on the front lines inthe fight for equality are equipped for success. Learn more about how we canhelp you get ready to lead.

Addressing anti-gay attitudes in the black community
Blogger Michael Crawford talks to Donald Powell, director of Anti-StigmaInterventions for Gay Men of African Descent, about the group's currentefforts to help change anti-gay attitudes among some in the black community.Read more at Bloggernista.


Forwarded from Wayne Besen

Anything But Straight
October 16, 2007

Constructing Closets

In the Middle East, homosexuals don't exist because there is a discerniblelack of rainbow flag waving, show tune loving and Mimosa-sipping gays. Thereis also an absence of out politicians, ala Barney Frank, GLBT politicalorganizations or trendy gay nightclubs. This, of course, is becausehomosexuality is a Western invention and Arab men - without the moralcorruption of foreigners - have no capacity to fall in love with others ofthe same sex.

These are the incoherent ramblings of Joseph Massad, a Columbia Universityprofessor and the author of, Desiring Arabs, published this year byUniversity of Chicago Press. Ironically, when Iranian President MahmoudAhmadinejad said that Iran had no gay people in his infamous ColumbiaUniversity speech, he was greeted with belly laughs. In the case of Massad,on the other hand, instead of jeers he gets cheers and is up for tenure.

In this week's New Republic magazine, James Kirchick discusses how thisdangerous ideologue is part of a larger movement to justify the brutalrepression and murder of gay people in the Middle East. The idea is borrowedfrom the sometime intellectual wasteland of "Queer Theory" which says thathomosexuality is a "social construction" and not inborn.

What I find amazing is that these pseudo intellectuals never seem to graspthe obvious. When you put a gun to a gay person's head, they "construct" acloset. Given the option of freedom, they construct gay institutions -political organizations, social clubs and marriages. This is universal andnot confined to Western civilization - precisely why we have gay peopleescaping the Middle East to find freedom in the West, and we don't have gaysclamoring to enter Saudi Arabia - where they are beheaded.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

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--He is the nicest right-wing evangelical powerhouse you've never heard of.Jim Daly grew up the last of five children in what anyone would call abroken home. His mother died when he was 10 and he lived with, in turn, astepfather, a foster family, his own alcoholic father and his divorcedbrother. He came to Jesus in high school, under the guidance of a footballcoach. His recent memoir, "Finding Home," has barely made a dent on thebest-seller lists. Nevertheless, in 2005, Daly got the job of president andCEO of Focus on the Family, and although he denies this, it's clear that hewas picked to be the yin to James Dobson's yang.

When Marco Smythe mysteriously disappeared on January 9, 2006, leavingbehind several months of unpaid rent bills, the landlord, Westprop Corp.,filed suit to reclaim possession of Apartment 44 at 165 West 83rd Street,even though Daniel Carrier, who had lived with Smythe in the apartment formany years, claimed entitlement to stay in the rent stabilized apartment,having been named on a form that Smythe submitted to the landlord theprevious spring. Ruling on October 3, New York County Civil Court JudgeDavid B. Cohen Held that Carrier was entitled to be treated as atenant-successor to the missing Mr. Smythe, finding that Carrier'srelationship with Smythe meets the regulatory criteria that were establishedback in the 1980s after the Court of Appeals' Braschi decision. WestpropCorp. v. Smythe, 2007 Westlaw 2915597 (not officially published).

The debate over same-sex marriage in Vermont is too important to leave outany voices. The debate must to structured to encourage participation, andthose with strong views on the issue must take the responsibility to makethemselves heard without drowning out other views. The purpose of theexercise must be to ignite the broadest possible debate with the widestpossible participation from people of all views.


They'll be joined in matrimony, but different cell blocks will keep themapart and limit their honeymoon options. Two gay prison inmates at thefederal penitentiary in Cowansville, Que., 60 kilometres southeast ofMontreal, will tie the knot in the institution's first gay marriage on Oct.29. It will be Canada's third gay wedding in a federal institution,according to Corrections Canada, following a 2006 wedding in Ontario andanother in Alberta this year.


Turkey: End Legal Action Against Gay Rights Group

Attempt to Close Lambda Istanbul Endangers Basic Freedoms

(New York, October 16, 2007) - A legal challenge by the governor of Istanbulseeking to close down Lambda Istanbul, a gay rights organization, threatensbasic freedoms of association and expression, Human Rights Watch said today.

"Shutting down groups because you don't like the people they represent is anattack on freedom itself," said Juliana Cano Nieto, researcher in theLesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch,who will attend an October 18, 2007 court hearing in Istanbul on theorganization's fate. "If organizations that defend human rights cannotfunction, Turkey's status as a real democracy is in danger."

The Governor's Office of Istanbul has demanded the closure of LambdaIstanbul, an organization defending lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender(LGBT) people's rights in Turkey, claiming that the name and objectives ofthe group are "against the law and morality". The governor had asked inearly 2007 that the group be shut down; in July, the local Prosecutor'sOffice rejected the complaint. The Governor's Office then took the case to ahigher court, the Beyoglu Sutluce Court of First Instance No. 5, which heardthe case in July 2007 and ordered a second hearing for October.

The Provincial Associations Directorate of the Governor's Office,responsible for nongovernmental organizations, alleged that Lambda Istanbul's aims violate the Turkish Civil Code and Article 41 of the Constitution.Article 56 of the Turkish Civil Code states that, "No association may befounded for purposes against law and morality." Article 41 of the TurkishConstitution states that "[t]he family is the foundation of the Turkishsociety ."and that "[t]he state shall take the necessary measures andestablish the necessary organisation to ensure the peace and welfare of thefamily." Article 54 of Turkey's Law on Associations allows for thesuspension of organizations on the grounds, among others, of "publicmorality."


Irish Times, Wednesday 17 October 2007, Page 15

Finding your own voice

An increase in the number of suicidal young gay men highlights theimportance of properly-funded support, writes Brian O'Connell

'When we found out our child was gay, we didn't have a problem with it atall," says Margaret*, "He was the one who had the problem. It was a problemthat went on for five years, and made our lives a living hell."

From the age of five, Margaret's son Paul* was bullied; yet he sufferedlargely in silence, shutting his close friends and family out from his innertorment. Primary school was a difficult but tolerable experience, butsecondary school became a daily ritual in victimisation. "Teachers helped asmuch as they could," says Margaret, "but bullies are hard to stop. He keptit all to himself. We only realised something was wrong when he was 15, andone day he refused to go to school. When he was 16, I confronted him on hissexuality. He didn't think we would accept that he was gay. I thought thatonce he had come out everything would be okay - that the worst was over forhim. In reality it was only the beginning."

Paul became depressed and suicidal, and, over the next few years, hisparents became worried for his wellbeing. He made several attempts on hislife and found it difficult to reconcile his strong Catholic faith with hissexual orientation. Accepted by his family, he found rejection in society."I knew we had to help him, but I just didn't know how to go about it," saysMargaret. "I contacted the Cork Gay Community Project, and arranged forsomeone there to call Paul and talk with him. That contact was vital forhim - he no longer felt alone and isolated. He joined their youth group, andI started going along with him to meetings. Slowly he was getting better.


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