Tuesday, October 23, 2007

GLBT DIGEST October 23, 2007

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


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ISNA.ir

http://www.isna.ir/Main/NewsView.aspx?ID=News-1017726

Iran: Police Chief Blames Homosexuality for the Collapse of Family Values inthe West

October 19, 2007: General Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam, the head of Iran's LawEnforcement Agency (ILEA), blamed homosexuality for the collapse of thefamily in the West, and accused the United States of embracing immoralityand alcoholism as social values. Speaking at the Friday prayer service inTehran, the capital, the Iranian police chief claimed: " the West is leadingto nowhere. Today, Communism [?] is dominant in Western societies, In thosesocieties people challenge God's laws and denying spirituality and[religious] values has become a norm.

According to the semi-independent Iranian News Agency, ISNA, Mr. Moghadamfurther added, " this worldview has caused the West to operate like aneconomic institution, replacing morality, self-sacrifice and generosity withpleasure and having fun." Reminding the audience of the collapse of familiesin the West, he added, " They have accepted homosexuality as a value intheir societies and then ask our president why homosexuality, immorality andconsuming alcohol is not legal in Iran. These phenomena are embedded in theWest."

The Police Chief, who was a guest speaker at the weekly religious service,sharply criticized whose who oppose Sharia law, " there are those who takeadvantage of the freedom of expression in Iran, using their poisonous pensto attack Islamic punishments as inhumane regulations that have preventedIran from being accepted in International community." He promised that thepolice forces will continue to crackdown on moral and social crime, as partof ILEA's ongoing "Operation Improving Social and Moral Security". Hepraised the crackdown as a successful campaign, " Even if we had some doubtsin the early stages of this operation, and some community leaders wereconcerned about the possible outcomes, today we think everyone agree thatthose measures were successful."



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Monday, Oct. 22, 2007

Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: 917-691-5118
E-Mail: wbesen@truthwinsout.org
Web: www.TruthWinsOut.org

Truth Wins Out Calls On Barack Obama To Immediately Cut Ties With 'Ex-Gay'Preacher Who Rails Against Homosexuality

Singer Donnie McClurkin's Divisive Rhetoric Defies Obama's Pledge To BringAmericans Together, says TWO

NEW YORK - Truth Wins Out called on Sen. Barack Obama to immediatelydistance his campaign from "ex-gay" preacher and gospel singer DonnieMcClurkin. Obama is scheduled to tour South Carolina with the controversialsinger, even though McClurkin's mean-spirited rhetoric runs counter to thesenator's conciliatory efforts, says Truth Wins Out.

"We strongly urge Obama to part ways with this divisive preacher who isclearly singing a different tune than the stated message of the campaign,"said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen. "We can only hope thatObama is unaware of McClurkin's anti-gay history and will swiftly condemnsuch intolerance. Real leadership includes standing up to those who drivewedges between the American people."

McClurkin says he once suffered from "the curse of homosexuality" and hasused his platform as a well-known gospel singer to spread untruths about gayand lesbian people.

"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 homosexuality are patently absurd,unscientific and have no basis in fact," said Besen. "He is a sad figure whois using his celebrity to demean and diminish the lives of healthy gaypeople who have chosen to live openly and honestly. I can't imagine why theObama campaign would choose to associate with a man who is so closelyidentified with hatred and discrimination."

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



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Letter from Marc Paige
Fort Lauderdale

Can Rudy Giulliani still be described as, "being in favor of gay rights"?

At the October 21 Republican debate, and later on Sean Hannity's show, RudyGiulliani told America that if the gay community has too much politicalsuccess, then he would be in favor of writing discrimination into ournation's Constitution with a ban on gay marriage. Specifically, Rudy saidthat with only one state recognizing gay marriage, he is currently againstchanging the Constitution. But should five or six states recognize gaymarriage, then he would completely support a constitutional amendment to bangay marriage. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is pleasantly"shocked" that Rudy is now warming up to the idea of amending ourConstitution against gay couples. Rudy's support of a constitutionalamendment against gay men and women if gay couples win the right to marry inmore than four states, now places him to the right of John McCain and FredThompson on this issue.

Given this, plus Rudy's past statements against civil unions because theyare "too close to marriage", his position in favor of keeping "Don't ask,don't tell" against our brave gay men and women in the military, and his vowto appoint Supreme Court Justices like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, Iwill be interested to see the Log Cabin Republican reaction to RudyGiulliani's campaign.

Marc Paige



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From Queer Muslim Revolution

http://s.technorati.com/queermuslimrevolution.blogspot.com

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Speaker Addresses Challenges of Being Gay and Muslim
From the Columbia Spectator
By Julie Appel
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 19, 2007
Nearly 200 people gathered in Roone Arledge Auditorium on Wednesday night toa speech given by Faisal Alam, founder of Al- Fatiha, a group that providessupport and resources to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queermembers of the Islamic faith. The talk and subsequent question-and-answersession, sponsored by Queer Awareness Month and the Organization ofPakistani Students, among others, covered a wide range of topics from Alam'sexperience as a gay Muslim to the portrayal of Muslims in the media postSept. 11. Continued...

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An Eye for Muslim Style in Trinidad
By Carolyn Kissoon
Saturday, October 13th 2007
Whether its attending a religious function or simply going to the beach,practicing Muslims are supposed to be fully dressed.And Zuryda Edoo knowsthat very well.She has travelled to more than a dozen countries seeking thelatest trends in Muslim wear for local women.With few stores catering to theMuslim woman, Edoo decided to open her own establishment - Sakina's alongTodd Street, San Fernando. Continued...

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Women in India Break Tradition with Prayer
From the Times of India
Women break tradition with namaz
16 Oct 2007

PUNE: In a city where Mahatma Phule and Maharishi Karve first sparked offthe trend of women's education, Muslim women offering 'namaz' together forthe first time openly on the occasion of Ramzan Eid on Sunday came as nosurprise.In an initiative by the Kerala Muslim Jamath, almost 70 women,including 20 teenagers, gathered at the Pune Kerala Muslim Jamat (PKMJ) Hallat Nana Peth here for the purpose.

Continued...

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Honour Crime Fear of Syria Women
No woman can feel safe unless the law is changed, activists say
By Lina Sinjab
BBC News, Damascus
Seventeen-year-old Bushra is too scared to give her real name. She talks ina low, trembling voice, her face full of fear."They want to shed my blood,they want to kill me," she says, as she recounts how she escaped beingmurdered by members of her own family in a so-called "honour killing".
Continued...

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Designer Abayas by Versace, Hermes, Armani?
Subtle design on traditional outfit has allowed women to step out in styleover the decades.Dubai: Almost 30 years ago today, Dubai played host to theregion's first international fashion fair - Motexha.More than 80manufacturers from nine European countries descended upon the city toshowcase their latest spring and summer collections. Continued...

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SUPPORT A UNITED EMPLOYMENT NON-DISCRIMINATION ACT
Accept No Substitutes! Discrimination isn't sweet. Removing gender identityfrom the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would leave an artificialaftertaste. Sign the petition and tell Congress to support the originalENDA. Accept no substitutes!


more....



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Inside Higher Education

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/10/23/freedom

Oct. 23
A Call to Defend Academic Freedom

Saying that they are fed up with "aggressive incursion of partisan politicsinto universities' hiring and tenure practices," five prominent academicshave issued a call to "defend the university" and gathered dozens of backersin what they view as a new way to bolster academic freedom.

The Ad Hoc Committee to Defend the University has issued a statement and isasking professors and others to sign on.

"In recent years, universities across the country have been targeted byoutside groups seeking to influence what is taught and who can teach. Toachieve their political agendas, these groups have defamed scholars,pressured administrators, and tried to bypass or subvert establishedprocedures of academic governance," the statement says. "As a consequence,faculty have been denied jobs or tenure, and scholars have been deniedpublic platforms from which to share their viewpoints. This violates animportant principle of scholarship, the free exchange of ideas, subjectingthem to ideological and political tests. These attacks threaten academicfreedom and the core mission of institutions of higher education in ademocratic society."

While the statement identifies the problem as a broad one, it notes thatmany of the recent incidents have involved the Middle East. "Many of themost vociferous campaigns targeting universities and their faculty have beenlaunched by groups portraying themselves as defenders of Israel.

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24 October 2007

For immediate release

ILGA-Europe members gather for annual conference in Vilnius, but theirpublicevent is banned by Mayor

On 25-28 October 2007, almost 200 delegates from all over Europe gather intheLithuanian capital of Vilnius for the 11th ILGA-Europe's Annual Conference.While the Conference goes ahead, the Rainbow Flag public event planned by
theLithuanian hosts during the conference was banned by the Mayor of Vilnius. A legal challenge of the ban has been already initiated.

ILGA-Europe's Annual Conference is traditionally an opportunity forILGA -Europemembers to gather together to discuss the organisational priorities,strategies
and tactics on advancing equality and human rights for lesbian, gay,bisexualand transgender (LGBT) people in Europe. The Annual Conference is alsoILGA-Europe's annual general meeting when new board members are elected andvarious organisational issues and documents are discussed and adopted.

During this year's conference the delegates will discuss ILGA-Europe's strategicplan
for 2008-2011.

During the conference's workshops, plenary panels and sessions, a variety ofsubjects will be discussed: addressing the rights of LGBT people at the UNlevel, mental health needs of LGBT people, inclusion of trans issues inlobbying and advocacy work, reacting to religious right, making trade unionsLGBT friendly, developing advocacy strategies, using video in monitoringLGBThuman rights abuses, reconciling sexuality and spirituality, and many moretopics.





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Singapore LGBT rights groups submitted their open letter to Prime MinisterLee Hsien

Loong today to repeal Penal Code 377a which criminalizes homosexuality by anact of "gross indecency" between men with a jail sentence of up to twoyears. Aftera record-breaking 2,431 signatories in a 3-day weekend campaign from repeal377 a.com,you can contribute as a signatory in the final tally, which is currently atover
8,000 signatories, at http://www.repeal377a.com/letter/sign/

Although PM Loong has recently advocated for a repeal of some of the lawscriminalizing homosexuality that were established by former PM Lee Kuan Yew,it is unclear how successful the motion by MP Siew Kum Hong will be atrepealing aprovision like s377a. Parliament is expected to hear the motion this week.

Repeal377a.com has gotten much international recognition from LGBT rightsgroups and activists alike. It has been successful in countering anotheronline campaign's opposition open letter to keep s377a by the site callingitself "The Majority" by getting at least over 80 times their amount of signatures. There is a lot of work to be done in Singapore in other civil and criminal statutes, and in the military, but MP Hong's leadership and repeal377a.com's campaign, with your helping signature and outreach to others on this issue, will help contribute a snowball start.



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Gay Iraqi group will close two of five safe houses

by Julie Weisburg

Two months after launching an intensive fundraising campaign to try to keepthe group afloat, Friends of Iraqi LGBT must close two of its five safehouses in Iraq due to a lack of funds, according to the organization'sfounder and coordinator Ali Hili.

The safe houses, which exist in various locations throughout the occupiednation, have provided much-needed protection to countless members of Iraq 'sgay and transgendered community who face persecution since the US invasion.

And if at least $2,000 is not raised over the next two weeks, Hili told RAWSTORY Thursday, a third safe house will have to be closed -- sending dozensof vulnerable LGBT Iraqis back onto the streets, where they face thepossibly of beatings, imprisonment and even execution at the hands of theShia militias that roam the war-torn nation's streets.

"It was a difficult decision, but a realistic one," Hili said of hisdecision to close the houses. "I thought that the campaign would come upwith the money... I think that it was just a matter of time. But it was notwhat I had hoped for."

Hili said he has spoken to most of those who will be effected by theclosures over the phone recently, and that while uncertain about theirfutures, they understand the difficult situation the group is in due to thefunding shortage.

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Forwarded from Euro-Queer

Donald Tusk - the leader of Civic Platform (PO), which won parliamentaryelections today said that he and his party support the Charter ofFundamental Rights of the EU. His statement was quoted by Gazeta Wyborcza -the biggest Polish daily newspaper. He also claimed his support for theCharter during TV debate with Jaroslaw Kaczynski on Friday Oct 12th.

Last Friday on Oct 19th in Lisbon Polish President Lech Kaczynski and theminister of Foreign Affairs Anna Fotyga opposed to accept the Charter.

Now we have to wait for a new government and a new Minister of ForeignAffairs.

Greetings

Tomasz Szypula
Campaign Against Homophobia
ILGA-Europe



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Saudi protest over torture of gays
7,000 lashes for 'sodomy' could kill
Demo at Saudi Embassy in London

London - 19 October 2007

Fifty people picketed the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London today, 19October, in protest at the flogging and execution of gay people.

To download free use photos of the protest, click here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/outrage/sets/72157602577245246/

On the 2 October, two young men in the Saudi Arabian city of Al-Bahahwere convicted of 'sodomy' and sentenced to 7,000 lashes. In SaudiArabia same-sex relations are illegal and the maximum penalty isdeath.

"7,000 lashes is a form of torture, calculated to cause maximum,prolonged suffering," said protester Peter Tatchell of the gay humanrights group OutRage!

"So many lashes can be fatal, depending on how many are delivered atany one time," he said.

The London protest was organised by the National Union of Students(NUS) LGBT campaign, with the support of OutRage!

The protest came just over a week ahead of the State Visit to the UKof the Saudi tyrant, King Abdullah bin Abdul Azaz al Saud.

"As well as flogging and executing gay people, the Saudi leaders areguilty of detention without trial, torture and the public beheadingwomen who have sex outside of marriage," said Peter Tatchell.

"The Saudis import migrant workers to do menial tasks. They aretreated like de facto slaves, frequently abused and with few rights.The media is heavily censored. Trade unions, political parties andnon-Muslim religions are banned. The country is a theocratic policestate.

"The British and US governments support the despotic, corrupt Saudiregime. Labour sells the Saudi leaders arms and honours them withstate visits. It refuses asylum to gay Saudis who flee persecution andseek refuge in the UK," he said.

"The Saudi leaders should be shunned until they stop their homophobicpersecution and their many other human rights abuses," said fellowOutRage! protester, Brett Lock.

"Next week's State Visit by King Abdullah should be cancelled. GordonBrown and The Queen should not be welcoming to Britain the head of acorrupt, tyrannical regime.

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The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/23/us/politics/23pobama.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

On The Stump: Obama Criticized Over Singer

By KATHERINE Q. SEELYE
October 23, 2007

Senator Barack Obama is drawing criticism for signing up a gospel singerwith controversial views about gay men and lesbians for his campaign inSouth Carolina.

The Obama campaign has recruited several gospel acts, including DonnieMcClurkin, for a statewide tour to begin this week in Charleston. Gospelmusic is one of many ways the campaign is trying to reach black evangelicalsin South Carolina, an early voting state where half the Democratic primaryvoters are black and where at least one recent survey shows Mr. Obama islosing ground to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Mr. McClurkin, a black preacher who sang at the Republican NationalConvention in 2004, has gained notoriety for his view that homosexuality isa choice and can be "cured" through prayer, a view ridiculed by gay people.

Critics on the Internet say Mr. Obama is trying to appeal to conservativeblacks at the expense of gay people. Surveys have found that that blacks areless supportive than whites are of legalizing gay relationships.

Mr. Obama said last night through a spokesman that he "strongly disagrees"with Mr. McClurkin's views. He did not indicate he would cancel Mr.McClurkin's appearance, but said, "I have consistently spoken directly toAfrican-American religious leaders about the need to overcome the homophobiathat persists in some parts of our community so that we can confront issueslike H.I.V./AIDS and broaden the reach of equal rights in this country."

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The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/22/us/politics/22web-nagourney.html

Do Voters Value Candor?

By ADAM NAGOURNEY
October 22, 2007

Mario M. Cuomo had a problem when he ran for governor of New York in 1982.Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, was a vigorous opponent of the death penalty. And hewas running against opponents from both parties who strongly supportedreinstating capital punishment -- a view that was shared by a vast majorityof New York voters.

But Mr. Cuomo did not duck the issue. Indeed, he talked about it wherever hewent, explaining why he opposed it (he advocated, instead, life withoutparole) and why he would veto any death penalty legislation sent to hisdesk.

Rather than harm him politically, Mr. Cuomo contended over dinner with a fewreporters one night a few weeks before Election Day, that strategy hadhelped carry him to victory over Edward I. Koch in the Democratic primary.He would go on to win the general election, giving added weight to hisbelief that voters value candor and authenticity more than almost anythingelse, seeing those traits as more important than any one particular issue.That is a lesson that might apply as well to the presidential candidacy ofRudolph W. Giuliani, who not incidentally, is also from New York andobserved Mr. Cuomo's success there. Indeed, the concept outlined by Mr.Cuomo - the value of actually telling voters something they do not agreewith --- is emerging as one of the dominant themes in the Republicanpresidential contest.

Senator John McCain of Arizona has seen it from both sides. Mr. McCain,whose history of defying party orthodoxy and popular opinion had made him anappealing candidate to many independent voters, went on the decline when heappeared to be calibrating his politics to win broader support within theRepublican party, agreeing, for example, to appear with Jerry Falwell, thereligious leader, after attacking him as a threat to the party in 2000. Therecent spate of stories suggesting that the old John McCain is back -- andthe implication that he is benefiting -- is based on the perception that hehas reverted to his straighter talking ways.

Mr. Giuliani got a chance to put the power of this dynamic on displaySaturday morning in Washington, when he appeared before thousands ofChristian conservatives at a "Voters Values" Summit held by the FamilyResearch Council. It could not have been a more unreceptive crowd, given Mr.Giuliani's support of abortion rights and gay rights gay rights, and apersonal history that includes divorces, public affairs and estrangementfrom his son. Mr. Giuliani could have been forgiven for skipping the event.

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The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/22/AR2007102201569.html

Group to Obama: Drop Singer From Tour

By ANN SANNER
The Associated Press
Monday, October 22, 2007; 8:57 PM

WASHINGTON -- A gay rights group on Monday urged Barack Obama to cut tieswith a gospel singer who it says spreads false information abouthomosexuality being a choice.

Donnie McClurkin is among several gospel singers scheduled to raise moneyfor the Illinois senator and Democratic presidential candidate at a concertin South Carolina this weekend.

McClurkin has drawn attention from gay rights activists for his views onhomosexuality.

"I don't believe that it is the intention of God," McClurkin said Monday ina telephone interview. "Sexuality, everything is a matter of choice."

McClurkin said he does not believe in discriminating against homosexuals."What people do in their bedrooms and who they are as human beings are twodifferent things," he said.

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The Miami Herald

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation/AP/story/280541.html

Complaint puts Texas teacher on leave

By ANGELA K. BROWN
Posted on Mon, Oct. 22, 2007

A popular English teacher has been placed on paid leave - and faces possiblecriminal charges - after a student's parents complained to police that aninth-grade class reading list contained a book about a murderer who has sexwith his victims' bodies.

Kaleb Tierce, 25, is being investigated for allegedly distributing harmfulmaterial to a minor after the student selected Pulitzer Prize-winningnovelist Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God" off the list and read it.

Tierce, a third-year teacher and assistant football coach at Jim Ned HighSchool, has not been arrested, but his case has caused an uproar in thisWest Texas town of 700 people. Last week, more than 120 parents and studentscrowded into a meeting where the school board voted to keep Tierce on paidleave.

Most parents say Tierce should be reinstated, regardless of whether the bookis too graphic for teens.

"He's a great teacher and coach and motivates the kids like no one elsecan," said Chris Garcia, whose daughter was in one of Tierce's classes. "Ifyou're trying to protect your kids from things in books, you may as wellturn off the TV and video games. You try to protect them as much as you can,but these days kids are just exposed to so much."

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365Gay.Com

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/10/102207wit.htm

Federal Lawsuit Challenges Wisconsin Anti-Transgender Law

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 22, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Milwaukee, Wisconsin) A Wisconsin law that bars the state from paying forgender reassignment surgery for prison inmates violates the US Constitutiona federal judge was told Monday.

Lambda Legal and the ACLU are suing the state on behalf of five transgenderwomen incarcerated in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin law, passed in 2006, bars access to hormone therapy or sexreassignment surgery for prison inmates and others in state custody.

Previously prison doctors were allowed to determine proper treatment fortransgender inmates. The new law strips them of that power.

The court has allowed transgender prisoners to continue receiving treatmentwhile the case is being heard.

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365Gay.Com

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/10/102207mass.htm

Gay Marriage Foe 'Not Guilty' In Assault Case

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 22, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Worcester, Massachusetts) The former leader of a Catholic group advocatinga constitutional ban on gay marriage in Massachusetts has been found notguilty of assault and civil rights violations stemming from a demonstrationlast December.

Larry Cirignano, 50, who at the time was the head of Catholic Citizenship,was alleged to have attacked a woman taking part in a counter demonstrationat an anti-gay rally in front of Worcester City Hall last December 16.
(story)

Sarah Loy, 27, was part of a group who stood near the front of the rallywhere Cirignano was speaking.

Loy was carrying a sign reading "No discrimination in the Constitution".

Cirignano reportedly had just finished leading the Pledge of Allegiance whenhe spotted Loy and her sign.

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365Gay.Com

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/10/102207airport.htm

Airport Prefers SUX to GAY

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 22, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Sioux City, Iowa) City leaders have scrapped plans to do away with theSioux Gateway Airport's unflattering three-letter identifier - SUX - andinstead have made it the centerpiece of the airport's new marketingcampaign.

The code, used by pilots and airports worldwide and printed on tickets andluggage tags, will be used on T-shirts and caps sporting the airport's newslogan, "FLY SUX." It also forms the address of the airport's redesigned Website - http://www.flysux.com.

Sioux City officials petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration tochange the code in 1988 and 2002. At one point, the FAA offered the cityfive alternatives - GWU, GYO, GYT, SGV and GAY - but airport trustees turnedthem down.

Airport board member Dave Bernstein proposed embracing the identifier.

"Let's make the best of it," Bernstein said. "I think we have theopportunity to turn it into a positive."

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365Gay.Com

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/10/102207school.htm

School District Challenges NY Human Rights Law

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 22, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Ithaca, New York) The Ithaca City School District has filed a legalchallenge of New York's Human Rights Law and if successful it could meanLGBT students would lose hard won protections.

The challenge says that the New York state law governing the Division ofHuman Rights forces school districts to choose between breaking federalprivacy laws or not fully defended themselves.

The lawsuit says that students are already covered under federal law and canfile complaints with the State Education Department of the Office of CivilRights at the U.S. Department of Education.

Lambda Legal argues that neither alternative explicitly covers LGBTstudents.

In a letter to the school district Lambda urges it to drop the challenge.

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365Gay.Com

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/10/102207anglican.htm

Dioceses In Canada, US Approve Same-Sex Blessings

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 22, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET
Updated 2:00 pm ET

(Montreal, Quebec) The Episcopal diocese of California and the Anglicandiocese of Montreal have voted to allow priests to bless same-sex unions -moves likely to further infuriate conservatives within the worldwideAnglican Church.

Elected representatives of the Episcopal Diocese of California meeting inSan Francisco approved use of rites for the blessing of same gender couplesby an overwhelming margin.

The action opens the way for Diocesan Bishop Marc Andrus to allow theseservices to be used on a trial basis by Episcopal churches across the BayArea.

Clergy and lay delegates also approved by a broad majority a resolutionaffirming "the unanimous decision of the (Diocesan) Standing Committee torefuse to discriminate against partnered gay and lesbian bishops-elect" anddeplored "the lack of access to adequate pastoral and ritual care for gay,lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in large parts of the EpiscopalChurch and the refusal of the majority of our bishops to make provision forit.

In Montreal, a weekend synod voted 103 - 57 to support the blessings of gaymarriages and partnerships. It still needs the approval of Bishop BarryClarke.

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365Gay.Com

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/10/102207sing.htm

Singapore Lawmakers Debate Anti-Gay Sodomy Law

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 22, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Singapore) Singapore politicians engaged in a heated debate onhomosexuality Monday as the city state's Parliament considered a sweepingrevision of the penal code that fails to remove homosexual sodomy as acriminal offense.

Siew Kum Hong introduced a petition signed by 2,341 people calling forrepeal of the law, that dates back to British colonial times. The names weregathered online in just three days the lawmaker told Parliament.

"In times past and in other countries, public morality has been used tojustify slavery, discrimination against racial and religious minorities anddiscrimination against women," Siew said.

"Let us not perpetuate or repeat the mistakes of others in the past."

But the government showed no sign it was ready to do away with the law.

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365Gay.Com

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/10/102207nc.htm

NC Democratic Senate Candidate Comes Out

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 22, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(Chapel Hill, North Carolina) Jim Neal, the only declared Democraticcandidate for the US Senate from North Carolina, has officially acknowledgedhe is gay.

Neal, who plans to challenge Sen. Elizabeth Dole in 2008, was asked if he isgay on the weekend during an online discussion on the liberal North Carolinablog BlueNC.com "I am indeed," he replied.

"No secret and no big deal to me - I wouldn't be running if I didn't thinkotherwise."

But he also said he wanted to be known as the candidate who happens to begay not the gay candidate.

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The Advocate

http://advocate.com/news_detail_ektid49931.asp

Election Puts Poland on New Path; Gay Activists Cautiously Optimistic

October 23, 2007

Poland is set to change course after a turbulent two years under agovernment whose old-fashioned Catholic values and strident approach to theEuropean Union alienated many younger, urban voters.

Opponents of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski turned out in strength onSunday, swelling turnout to a post-communist record of 53.8% as theymobilized for a different vision of their country, as a nation looking to apromising future instead of a painful past and seeing European neighbors asa source of opportunity rather than a threat.

Donald Tusk's pro-E.U. and market-friendly Civic Platform party swept topower in Sunday elections with overwhelming support from the young and frombetter-off western Poland. Voters rejected Kaczynski's nationalist andconservative policies that often left their country at odds with theEuropean Union.

''I'm really happy -- it seems that something can finally be differentnow,'' said Maciek Morus, 32, a Warsaw musician who voted for CivicPlatform, not because he identified with the party but simply to oustKaczynski.

''Law and Justice is dogmatic. It was too conservative with its right-wingCatholic views and no sense of humor.''

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The Advocate

http://advocate.com/news_detail_ektid49932.asp

Paper Finds Controversial Northwestern Researcher Acted Appropriately

October 23, 2007

An ethics scholar at Northwestern University published a paper this summerclaiming that controversial scholar and author J. Michael Bailey actedappropriately while researching his 2003 book about transsexuals, The ManWho Would Be Queen, according to an article in The Daily Northwestern.

Alice Dreger wrote in the report that critics conducted a smear campaignintended to ruin Bailey, also a professor at Northwestern, because theydisagreed with the basic findings of his book.

"I am led by what I find to be true, not what I find to be popular," Dregertold the newspaper.

In his book Bailey states that male-to-female transsexuals are either"homosexual transsexuals," inherently feminine men who are attracted to men,or "autogynephilic transsexuals," men who are aroused by the thought ofhaving a woman's body.

Transsexual activists Lynn Conway, Deirdre McCloskey, and Andrea James havequestioned Bailey's findings and research methods, claiming he refused tointerview subjects who would disprove his theories. They attempted to havethe book disqualified from consideration for a literature award and wantedBailey investigated for reportedly practicing psychology without a license.

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To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

http://samesexmarriage.typepad.com/weblog/

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

Anyone who has followed the Anglican Church's wrangling over the blessing ofsame-sex unions would have a right to be confused over the events of thepast few months. In June, the general synod of the whole Church, meeting inWinnipeg, defeated a motion that would have allowed individual dioceses todecide whether their parishes could perform such a rite. But then on Oct.12, the Ottawa diocese voted in favour of a motion to allow parishes toperform same-sex blessings. The bishop of Ottawa is now deciding how he willact on the vote. On Friday, the Montreal synod passed the same motion.

--
The University System of Georgia's failure to provide health insurance andsimilar benefits to employees' unmarried domestic partners has handicappedthe University of Georgia in recruiting new faculty, according to a UGAcommittee report. The report, delivered to UGA's University CouncilExecutive Committee Thursday, calls for the university to petition theUniversity System Board of Regents to approve such benefits for theunmarried same-sex or opposite-sex partners of UGA workers. Domesticpartners already can receive so-called soft benefits, such as using UGArecreational facilities. The report now goes to the full University Councilfor a vote whether to petition the regents.

--
Andrew Sullivan: Conservative sanity, compared with fundamentalist panic:Well, if you believe in federalism, it's better that we allow these thingsto be left to the state. My personal belief is that marriage is a religiousceremony. And it should be dealt with religiously. The state reallyshouldn't be involved. The state, both federal and state-wise, got involvedmostly for health reasons 100 years or so ago. But this should be areligious matter. All voluntary associations, whether they're economic orsocial, should be protected by the law. But to amend the Constitution istotally unnecessary to define something that's already in the dictionary.We do know what marriage is about. We don't need a new definition or argueover a definition and have an amendment to the Constitution. To me, it justseems so unnecessary to do that. It's very simply that the states should beout of that business, and the states -- I mean, the states should be able tohandle this. The federal government should be out of it.

--
Oregon: We don't expect they'll say yes, but we're asking those who aredetermined to undo recently-passed gay rights legislation: Take a break,give the laws some time, and see whether your fears materialize.

On Monday, backers of a referendum against two new gay-rights laws enactedby the 2007 Legislature were defeated when their petition drive fell 116valid signatures short. They needed 55,179 signatures in order to put thecivil unions bill to a popular vote in November. That's a narrow defeat tobe sure, but we've grown accustomed in recent years to living with decisionsmade by a narrow margins ... .

--
New Jersen: All sides in the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association's lawsuitagainst the state will be in federal court this afternoon, in a last-ditchattempt to reach a settlement in the case. A settlement conference has beenscheduled for 1 p.m. before U.S. District Court Judge Joel Pisano. At thelast hearing on Oct. 4, Pisano said he expected at the settlement conferencerepresentatives from the association, the state Attorney General's Officeand a lawyer representing two lesbian couples denied use of theassociation's boardwalk pavilion for their civil union ceremonies. Thecouples, Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster, and Janice Moore and EmilySonnessa, filed complaints with the state's Division on Civil Rights,claiming that the denials violated the state's Law Against Discrimination.

--
In his quest to win over (or at least tame) the social conservatives, RudyGiuliani might be going so far as to accommodate on the Federal MarriageAmendment. Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, said to TheHill that Giuliani told him that if more states start legalizing gaymarriage, he would then back a constitutional amendment to ban it. Perkinssaid the assurance from Giuliani "was nice to hear." Curiously, Rudy did notmention this during his speech before the crowd, who would have received itvery nicely.



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Obama disagrees with McClurkin's anti-gay views--singer will remain part offundraiser

Update: About 6:40 pm today, the Obama campaign issued a written statementfrom the candidate saying that he "strongly disagree(s)" with McClurkin'sviews. Still, a spokesman said McClurkin would remain part of the concertline-up.

--
Obama, the Gospel Singer and Gays

by Mike Dorning

http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2007/10/obama_the_gospel_singer_and_ga.html

A Gospel concert tour organized by the Barack Obama campaign on behalf ofthe candidate is stirring controversy among some gay activists.

http://blogs.trb.com/news/politics/blog/McClurkin

The three-day tour through early-voting South Carolina starts this Fridayand finishes Sunday with a concert that includes Grammy Award-winning Gospelartist Donnie McClurkin, who has provoked controversy among gay activistsfor his views that homosexuality can be "overcome."

more....



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http://www.alternet.org/sex/65697/

"Fag" Is Turning into a High School Insult for Any Guy Who Doesn't PlayFootball

By C. J. Pascoe, American Sexuality Magazine
Posted on October 20, 2007

"I'm talking like sixth grade, I started being called a fag. Fifth grade Iwas called a fag. Third grade I was called a fag," seventeen-year-old *Rickyrecounted as we sat at a plastic picnic table outside of a fast foodrestaurant in California's Sacramento delta region. Though he experiencedthis type of harassment throughout elementary and junior high school, Rickysaid that the threats intensified as he entered *River High School.

At "all the schools the verbal part . . . the slang, 'the fag,' the 'fuckin'freak,' 'fucking fag,' all that stuff is all the same. But this is the onlyschool that throws water bottles, throws rocks, and throws food." Harassmentlike this hounded him out of his school's homecoming football game. "Twoguys started walking up to get tickets said, 'There's that fucking fag.'"During the game boys threw balloons and bottles at Ricky along with commentslike, "What the fuck is that fag doing here? That fag has no right to behere."

While this singular event stands out as particularly hate filled, Ricky'sstory also illustrates the larger problems of homophobia and gender-basedteasing in high school. Homophobic taunting is especially intense duringadolescence, a time when sexuality and romance are at the fore of sociallife.

more....



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Salon

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/?last_story=/opinion/greenwald/2007/10/19/reid/

Sen. Hatch: makes clear that -- even as we battle the Global Epic War ofCivilizations against Islamo-fascism -- his primary concern is that theDepartment of Justice is not doing enough to battle the evils of what evenhe calls "mainstream, adult pornography."

Hatch explains that "pornography and obscenity consumption harmsindividuals, families, communities." Unfortunately, Hatch said, the DOJ hasa "terrible record enforcing adult obscenity law" -- such enforcementstopped during the Clinton administration and there is not much more to showfor it during the Bush administration.

The problem, Hatch explained, is that the DOJ is only prosecuting "extreme"obscenity -- not what he calls "mainstream obscenity." Since most consumersonly access "mainstream obscenity," not "extreme obscenity," this strategyis misguided -- it prosecutes "too narrow a range of obscenity." Also,warned Hatch, there are far too few FBI resources being devoted to"mainstream obscenity prosecutions."

Mukasey promised to review the policy of only prosecuting "extreme" ratherthan "mainstream" pornography, and vowed: "I recognize that mainstreammaterials can have an effect of cheapening a society, objectifying women,and endangering children in a way that we can't tolerate."

Hatch urged that law enforcement resources be devoted to prosecuting adult,"mainstream" pornography:

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Mark My Words

By Mark Segal
C 2007 Philadelphia Gay News

The next generation of GLBT leaders

The Honorable C. Darnell Jones, President Judge of the Court of CommonPleas, gave me a new title while introducing me during the robing ceremonyof Judge Dan Anders: He said, "And now the effervescent Mark Segal ... "

And it's true I felt effervescent and special at that minute; everyone inthe overflowing courtroom, a who's who of the GLBT community and city andstate officials, did. It was a historic and momentous occasion. And therewas magic in the air.

For more than 35 years we have fought against that court and in thatbuilding. It started in the 1970s when we had to fight to get theantidiscrimination bill through City Council, and then the courts werefighting lesbian and gay couples on adoption. During the AIDS crisis wefought for funding, then we fought for domestic-partnership rights. Whenthat fight began, Anders was in diapers. He literally grew up during most ofthose fights and most likely read the news that accompanied those struggles.Anders' generation is the first to have grown up influenced by thegay-rights struggle. How appropriate that Anders entered law in a way toassist his community. And Anders has given countless pro-bono hours to alitany of GLBT organizations.

His generation does not have the scars or baggage of those who have been onthe line. It allowed Anders to assist all and give his all.

It is no wonder that when he decided to run for judge, the communitycollectively decided that we would not run any other candidate for anyposition so that we all could concentrate our efforts on Anders.

His campaign was as professional as they come, and Anders was as polished acandidate as they come. Our collective joy and support for him becameinfectious and many in the non-gay community, especially those with clout inthe political realm, took note. They saw something very special occurring,something that rarely is seen: a community united to create history.

more....



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Hello. My name is Alena Treat. I am a Ph.D. candidate at Indiana Universitydoing research on personality characteristics and curriculum experiences ofgifted and non-gifted sexually diverse (heterosexual and non-heterosexual)college students. I am recruiting participants from ten universities ofvarious sizes scattered throughout the United States. I would like to askyou some questions related to your former school experiences. I would onlyneed about 15-35 minutes of your time. Would you be willing to participatein my study?

Continue to survey

MORE INFORMATION:

Study #07- 12127

INFORMATION: If you are age 18 or over, you have been invited to participatein this research study. The purpose of this study is to determine if thereare differences in personality characteristics of gay, lesbian, bisexual,and heterosexual populations and to gather information regarding theircurriculum experiences in gifted and general education. We would like asmany responses as possible and are hoping for approximately 2000participants.

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Kaisernetwork.org

http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=48346

New York City Department of Education Recommends 'Research-Based' Sex Education
Curriculum for City High Schools

The New York City Department of
Education on Thursday announced it would recommend a "research-based" sexeducation curriculum called Reducing the Risk at all high schools in thecity, the AP/Long Island Newsday reports.



The program encourages students to delay sexual activity but providesinformation about contraception and prevention of sexually transmittedinfections. The curriculum is being used at several school districtsnationwide, including Chicago Public Schools.New York City high schools previously used a variety of sex educationcurricula, Lori Rose Benson, director of fitness and health education forthe city's public schools, said (AP/Long Island Newsday, 10/18).

New York state last month rejected about $3.5 million in funding from thefederal Title V abstinence education program. According to state healthcommissioner Richard Daines, $2.6 million that the state provided for thesame abstinence program will be spent on other sex education programs.

more....



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The Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/earl-ofari-hutchinson/obama-should-repudiate-an_b_69244.html?view=print>

Obama Should Repudiate and Cancel His Gay Bash Tour, and Do It Now

October 22, 2007
Posted October 20, 2007 | 08:10 PM (EST)

Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama ripped a page straightfrom the Bush campaign playbook with his announced upcoming three datebarnstorm tour through South Carolina with notorious gay basher,gospel singer Donnie McClurkin. The Grammy winning black gospelsinger's last effort on the political scene was his song and shill forBush's reelection at the Republican National Convention in 2004. Obamahas hitched his string to McClurkin's high flying gay bash kite inpart out of religious belief (he purports to be somewhat of anevangelical), in bigger part because he's falling further and furtherbehind Hillary Clinton with the black vote in South Carolina andeverywhere else, and in the biggest part of all because he hopes thatwhat worked for Bush's reelection will work for him.

Enter McClurkin. He's black, he's popular, and gospel plays big withblacks in South Carolina, especially black evangelicals, and many ofthem openly and even more of them quietly loathe gays.

Bush masterfully tapped that homophobic sentiment in 2000 in part withMcClurkin and even more masterfully in 2004 again with McClurkin andthe top gun mega black preachers in Ohio and Florida. He tapped it somasterfully that Bush's naked pander to gay bashing with the GOPspawned anti-gay marriage initiative in Ohio did much to win over abig chunk of black evangelical leaning voter to Bush.

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INTERNATIONAL GAY AND LESBIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION

Oprah Winfrey Show Focuses on LGBT Lives

Tune in LIVE on Wednesday, October 24 when The Oprah Winfrey Show focuses onthe lives of gay men and lesbians, both in the U.S. and throughout theworld. Go behind the headlines to explore the unique challenges of being gayin Iran. Meet an Indian prince whose coming out caused a controversy in hishomeland. Plus, explore some of the issues confronting gay couples andfamilies around the world. Check local listings for exact time and station.

The Oprah Winfrey show is a popular U.S. television show, broadcast in 134countries around the world.



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LOG CABIN RELEASES LEGISLATIVE SCORECARD FOR 2007 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Progress Made, Much More Work Needs to be Done

Sacramento - California Log Cabin Republicans released its first everscorecard on legislation that passed the California Legislature in 2007.The scorecard lists the bills that were tracked by Log Cabin and the votingresults for each Republican member of the Assembly and Senate.

"Log Cabin decided it was time to start publicly tracking the votes ofRepublicans on issues that matter to Log Cabin and the greater LGBTcommunity," said James Vaughn, Director of Log Cabin Republicans. "We'reencouraged by the results because it demonstrates more progress than manywould expect, but it also shows we have a great deal more to do."

Sixteen bills and resolutions were monitored and points assigned to alegislator for the action they took on a bill. Points were given forsponsoring and co-sponsoring legislation as well as voting in favor of abill. A lesser amount of points were also awarded to a legislator who waslisted as "Abstain, Absent or Not Voting on a bill" because it had theeffect of being a vote in favor of the bill.

"Often times a legislator is conflicted over a vote. They support the issueor can see both sides of the issue, but they worry about what the voters oftheir district might think," Vaughn said. "That is better than a knee jerk"no" and is a step in the right direction. We want to encourage thatpositive development while trying to show legislators there may be moresupport in their district for votes in favor of equality."

This year Log Cabin put together research to show the statistics on same sexcouples in each legislative district according to the 2000 Census. Also, anational poll of Republicans was conducted and the results were shared withstate elected Republicans. That poll showed for example that 76% of rank andfile Republicans think it should be illegal to fire someone because of theirsexual orientation. And 58% think there has been too much of a focus by theParty on same sex marriage and abortion.

The top scores possible in the State Senate were 29 points and 28.5 pointsin the Assembly. In cases where bills were voted on twice, points wereassigned each time the legislator voted. The top score in the Senate wasSenator Abel Maldonaldo with a score of 17 out of 29. Sen. Maldonaldo votedin favor of AB 394 (Levine) The Safe Place to Learn Act and SB 105 (Migden)Domestic Partner Joint Income Tax Filing Implementation among severalothers. The lowest score in the Senate went to Sen. Tom McClintock with ascore of 5.5 out of 29.

more....


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1 comment:

USpace said...

Support GLBT Rights! Fight those that stone gays to death! Democracy NOT Theocracy!

STOP KUFFARPHOBIA Demo in London, Friday 10/26/07!

I think we all must start calling the Islamofascists 'racists'. We should scream that they are hateful towards the Christian race, and the Jewish race, and the Hindu race, and the Atheist Race, that they are Christianityphobiasts. They will scream that Christianity is not a race, and we'll say:

"See, Islam is NOT a race either.
And by the way, the Bible doesn't say to convert, conquer or kill non-Christians; like the Koran says to do to non-Muslims. So there YOU RACIST hater of non-Muslims! You're a Kuffarphobic!"

Be careful all you in London Friday 10/26!

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
don't call a spade a spade

Islamist terrorism
not related to Islam


absurd thought -
God of the Universe wants
many Taliban planets

stonings and beheadings
billions killed daily


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
be very afraid...

of saying the wrong things
TRUTH is especially BAD


http://absurdthoughtsaboutgod.blogspot.com
.