Thursday, October 04, 2007

GLBT DIGEST October 3, 2007

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Gay Dems 'Come out of the closet'

Posted October 1, 2007 | 04:46 PM (EST)

The National Stonewall Democrats is the national organization representingLGBT Democratic activists throughout the nation. Ever heard of 'em?

They're making a splash with their new website. It's adirect challenge to the Democratic Leadership in Congress, who hassubstituted a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act bill withone who leaves an entire class of people behind.

Historically, Stonewall has worked within the Party structure to achieveeducation, inclusiveness, and progress on behalf of equal rights. That isanother way of saying that they've never been willing to rock the boat oroppose the Party.

Now, under a new generation of leadership, New executive Director JonHoadley is taking the reins armed with passion and knowledge of the newmedia and online organizing. Perhaps we should call it Stonewall Dems 2.0! is a creative way to highlight the issue. It really doesfly in the face of the Leadership, who is used to Stonewall Democratsbacking them up as any other loyal constituency might. However, some thingsare more important than loyalty to Party Leadership -- things like equaljustice under the law.

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Censors win: Elephant Man's Ottawa show canned because of past anti-gaylyrics

FREE SPEECH / Organizers say they were denied permission to useCompassionate Act
Marcus McCann / Capital Xtra / Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Those who wanted Elephant Man's Ottawa date cancelled have won. The CarletonUniversity student union, which had planned the show, pulled the plug on Oct4, says Osmel Maynes, the student group's vice-president of externalaffairs.

Maynes says that Elephant Man was willing to sign a document renouncing hisanti-gay lyrics, but the group that developed the Reggae Compassionate Actrefused to hand it over.

Elephant Man's Sep 28 Toronto date was cancelled at the last minute by thevenue, Kool Haus. Stop Murder Music, a coalition of queer groups fromJamaica and elsewhere, works to have dancehall performers' shows cancelledif they have homophobic lyrics.

"Any public statement needs to made in Jamaica," says Akim Larcher of StopMurder Music.

According to Larcher, Jamaicans facing pressure abroad have signed similardocuments in the past, but the Acts proved "not to be worth the paper[they?re] printed on," when the artists get back to Jamaica, says Larcher.

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Gay marriage could save state's dying economy

By: Romero Montalban
Posted: 10/2/07

My father quit school in seventh grade, got a job and married at 16. Afterhe came of age, he walked into General Motors and got the secure,well-paying job that he kept for over 30 years. Those were the good olddays.

The automotive industry is dead, and it's time to bury it and create newprosperity. One definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and overagain and expecting different results. Expecting a new auto company torescue the dying economy is insane; it's time to do something different.

According to the National Association of Wedding Ministers, a total of $72billion is spent on weddings annually in the U.S. The average Americanwedding costs $22,000.

Thirty million Americans are prospects for same-sex marriage. Multiply 15million same-sex couples by $22,000 and you come up with $330 billion insame-sex marriage revenue, assuming each only marries once. Who turns away$330 billion in easy money?

In 2004, before many UM-D students could legally vote, the people ofMichigan sabotaged our economy by adding an amendment to the constitutionbanning same-sex marriage. Why? For the most part, it was due to the Book ofLeviticus in the Old Testament, where it says two men having sex is anabomination. It's near where it says wearing cloth of more than one material(such as a poly/cotton blend) is an abomination and eating shellfish (likeshrimp at Red Lobster) is an abomination. Other abominations are divination(like reading your horoscope) and adultery (getting married again while yourfirst spouse is still alive). Other forbidden acts in the Old Testamentinclude braiding your hair, wearing pearls and eating pork.

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Gay porn OK'd as evidence

The ruling applies to Navy physician in Mid-videos case
By Bradley Olson
Sun reporter
October 2, 2007


Gay pornography found on the computer of a Navy doctor can be submitted asevidence in his trial on charges that he made secret video recordings ofNaval Academy midshipmen having sex in his Annapolis home, a military judgeruled yesterday in a decision that could put the physician's career injeopardy.

Even if Cmdr. Kevin Ronan is found innocent at the conclusion of his trialthis month, the emergence of such evidence often triggers a militaryinvestigation into a service member's sexual orientation. Open homosexualityis grounds for being thrown out of the military.

Ronan is charged with seven counts of conduct unbecoming an officer, threecounts of illegal wiretapping and one count of obstruction of justice.Prosecutors say the pornography establishes a motive for the allegedsurreptitious taping of the midshipmen.

Defense attorneys for Ronan, who hosted midshipmen in his home as part of aNaval Academy program, had fought to keep the evidence out of his trial,saying prosecutors couldn't prove he was the one who downloaded the materialand that the suggestion he might be gay would turn the jury against him.

"The effect of this is going to be to suggest, 'This is a bad person, he'sgot homosexual tendencies, and we certainly don't want him in the Navy,'"William Ferris, Ronan's civilian attorney, said in the Washington Navy Yardcourtroom. He went on to note the uproar over the recent comments of Gen.Peter Pace, the nation's former top uniformed officer, who said he believedhomosexual behavior was "immoral."

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Gays slammed in school paper

Some say Kell student's argument against same-sex marriage should have beencensored.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 10/02/07

An editorial in a Kell High inaugural student publication characterizinghomosexuals as victims of reproductive error or an unusual upbringing hascaused a storm of controversy among some students and faculty on the northcentral Cobb campus.

The opinion piece written by student Thomas Benjamin suggests that gaysshould be denied the privilege of marrying.

Sophomore Kurt Webster said Monday he was surprised the student paper choseto publish such a controversial article. "It should not have been in thepaper," he said. "It could hurt people's feelings."

Principal Trudie Donovan said Monday that she had reviewed the articlebefore it was published last Friday, but said she had no authority to censorit. "My job is the safety and security of the school, not censorship," shesaid.

Cobb County schools spokesman Jay Dillon said principals have no legalstanding to say articles of student opinion can't be printed.

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Russian Gay Rights Activist To Speak In Chicago

Nikolai Alexeyev Was Detained By Police At 2 Moscow Pride Parades
Oct 2, 2007 8:24 am US/Central

(CBS) CHICAGO A Russian activist who has organized pride parades in Moscowin defiance of city bans will speak this weekend at a gay rights march thisweekend.

The ninth annual Matthew Shepard March is scheduled for Saturday at Halstedand Roscoe streets. Nikolai Alexeyev is scheduled to be the keynote speaker.

Alexeyev has organized several gay pride parades in Moscow, facing violentprotests and getting arrested for defying a ban on such events by Moscow'smayor.

Homosexuality has been decriminalized in Russia for the past 14 years, butis still widely despised.

At a gay pride parade in Moscow last May, police detained gay rightsactivists, among them European lawmakers, as they tried to present a letterto Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov in a demonstration that also attracted ahostile crowd of people who punched and threw eggs at the activists.

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'Judge Spanky' Resigns Amid Investigation

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 2, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Montgomery, Alabama) A judge once considered for a prominent federalappointment has resigned amid investigations of possible judicial and sexualimproprieties, including allegations that he spanked male inmates in aprivate courthouse room.

The resignation of Circuit Judge Herman Thomas ends what was once viewed asone of Alabama's most promising legal careers, although his legal problemscontinue.

"We do have a criminal investigation going on," Mobile County DistrictAttorney John Tyson said after Thomas' resignation Monday.

Thomas had been suspended with pay since March when a state judicial panelfiled the first of a series of charges accusing him of unduly helpingrelatives and friends with their legal troubles and taking cases away fromother judges - without permission - to change the defendants' legal statusor reduce sentences.

Thomas resigned shortly before 5 p.m. Monday, which was the deadline forjudicial prosecutors to file any additional charges before his Oct. 29trial.

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Anti-Gay Pumper Pumping Judge Loses Appeal

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 3, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has upheldthe conviction of a former judge who was caught using a penis pump in courtas he was presiding over a trial.

Former District Judge Donald Thompson was sentenced in August 2006 to fouryears in prison on four counts of indecent exposure.

Thompson appealed, arguing that during his trial the pump should not havebeen allowed into evidence. He claimed in the appeal that the pump wasseverely damaged and the trial judge should not have allowed to bedemonstrated in court "as if it did work."

The Court of Appeals ruled that a "sufficient chain of custody wasestablished for admission of a penis pump."

Thompson, who had sat on the bench for 23 years, was charged in 2005 withthree felony counts of indecent exposure after a court reporter complainedto authorities that he was using the pump in her full view. (story)

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Page Sues SD Lawmaker, Alleges Groping

by The Associated Press
Posted: October 3, 2007 - 6:00 am ET

(Pierre, South Dakota) A former legislative page sued a state senatorTuesday alleging he fondled him in a motel room they shared last year.

Austin Wiese, who was 18 at the time, seeks at least $250,000 in actualdamages plus punitive damages from Dan Sutton, a Democrat who was publiclyreprimanded by the South Dakota Senate in January after the allegationsarose. (story)

Following lengthy hearings, senators said the charges were never proven butthat censure was appropriate because Sutton admitted he had shared a motelbed with the young man. No criminal charges have been filed.

Sutton, 37, did not immediately respond to telephone messages seekingcomment Tuesday, but he denied the allegations during the Senateinvestigation earlier this year. "I didn't do what Austin is claiming that Idid," he said then.

Wiese's lawsuit says he has suffered mental anguish, shame, indignity,embarrassment and other harm because Sutton groped him. The lawsuit allegesWiese's conduct amounted to two counts of sexual battery and two counts ofsexual assault.

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Appeals Court Upholds Calif. Domestic Partner Property Law

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 3, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(San Francisco, California) The California Court of Appeal upheld a statelaw Tuesday which protects domestic partners from increased property taxeswhen one of the partners dies and the other inherits the couple's home.

In 2003 state tax board issued a ruling that domestic partners would betreated in the same way as married couples in property inheritance. Thelegislature put the rule into law in 2005.

The measure was meant to insure that a surviving partner would not lose ahome due to higher single person taxes.

Several Northern California property tax assessors filed a lawsuit in 2005claiming the provision violated the state's Probate Code and the FamilyCode. In 2006, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Jack Sapunor agreed anddismissed the lawsuit.

The assessors appealed and on Tuesday The Court of Appeals said that theLegislature has the power to "define the scope of 'change of ownership' andto create exclusions from the general definition for nonarbitrary, rationalpolicy reasons."

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Clinton Raises $22 Million in Third Quarter, Besting Obama

October 03, 2007

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton raised $22 million this summer for herpresidential primary campaign, outpacing all other candidates so far withher best three-month showing of the year.

Clinton raised a total of $27 million in the quarter, officials with hercampaign said Tuesday, but $5 million is designated for the general electionand can't be used in her quest for the Democratic nomination. For the firsttime, she reported attracting more new donors in a quarter than her chieffund-raising rival, Illinois senator Barack Obama.

Her $80 million fund-raising total for the 2008 presidential race puts heron a par with Obama, though he still leads Clinton in money raised for theprimaries alone.

Clinton leads other Democrats in national opinion polls, three months beforethe first primaries.

Obama reported raising at least $19 million from July through September forthe primaries and about $20 million overall for the quarter, countinggeneral election money. He has raised a total of $75 million for the primaryseason and about $4 million for the general election next year.

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October 03, 2007

Conservatives Consider Third-Party Run

Some of the nation's most politically influential conservative Christians,alarmed by the prospect of a Republican presidential nominee who supportsabortion rights, are considering backing a third-party candidate.

More than 40 Christian conservatives attended a meeting Saturday in SaltLake City to discuss the possibility, and planned more gatherings on howthey should move forward, according to Richard A. Viguerie, a direct-mailexpert and longtime conservative activist.

Rudy Giuliani, who supports abortion rights and gay rights, leads innational polls of the Republican presidential candidates. Campaigning in NewJersey on Monday, Giuliani brushed aside talk of an upstart effort byreligious conservatives.

''I'm working on one party right now -- the Republican Party,'' Giulianisaid. ''I believe we are reaching out very, very well to Republicans. Theemphasis is on fiscal conservatism, which brings Republicans together.''

Other participants in the meeting included James Dobson, founder of theFocus on the Family evangelical ministry in Colorado Springs, Colo., and,according to Viguerie, Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, aconservative policy group in Washington, D.C.

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October 03, 2007

Russian Patriarch Calls Homosexuality an "Illness"

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church said Tuesday that Serbs must be ableto live peacefully in Kosovo after its final status is determined, and hedecried the destruction of Orthodox churches in the province, which he saidwas carried out with tacit consent of the ethnic Albanian majority.

Patriarch Alexy II said Kosovo was ''sacred'' for Serbs and offered his helpin mediating the crisis in the region.

''The Russian Orthodox Church has considerable experience in peace-buildingand peacemaking, and we stand ready to help,'' he told the Council ofEurope's parliamentary assembly in Strausbourg, France.

In a speech and a question-and-answer session with parliamentarians from thecouncil's 47 member states, Alexy also lamented widespread poverty and amassive gap between the rich and the poor in Russia, and -- in commentsgoing directly against the spirit of the human rights watchdog -- lashed outagainst homosexuality, calling it an illness.

Alexy also was to meet with President Nicolas Sarkozy and the CatholicBishops' Conference during his visit to France.

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October 03, 2007

Judge Rules Against Lesbian in High School Outing Case

According to the Los Angeles Times, a federal judge in Orange County hasruled that Charlene Nguon's rights were not violated when the then-principalof Santiago High School, Ben Wolf, revealed her homosexuality to her mother.The ruling comes 10 months after the trial, at which Nguon claimed she wassingled out for hugging and kissing her girlfriend, whereas similaractivities among heterosexual couples went unpunished.

In the ruling, U.S. district judge James V. Selna found that while Wolfouted Nguon to her mother, he did so in order to explain why she was beingpunished. Selna also ruled that the punishment was not motivated by Nguon'ssexual orientation. Nguon's attorney, Christine Sun with the ACLU, hadargued that there was no reason for Wolf to disclose her sexual orientationto her mother as it had nothing to do with her punishment.

Nguon's attorneys plan to appeal the ruling. They also point out that therewas a small victory in the ruling: that school officials do not typicallyhave the right to out a student.

The attorney for the Garden Grove Unified School District said the districtwould file a motion seeking repayment of legal fees from the plaintiff -- upto $400,000. (The Advocate)


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