Wednesday, October 31, 2007

GLBT DIGEST October 31, 2007

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Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

A study of former high-school American Football players has found that morethan a third said they had had sexual relations with other men.

In his study of homosexuality among sportsmen in the US, sociologist Dr EricAnderson found that 19 in a sample of 47 had taken part in acts intended tosexually arouse other men, ranging from kissing to mutual masturbation andoral sex.

The 47 men, aged 18-23, were all American Football players who previouslyplayed at the high school (secondary school) level but had failed to bepicked for their university’s team and were now cheerleaders instead. Theywere at various universities from the American south, Mid-West, west andnorth west.

Dr Anderson, now of the University of Bath, UK, said the study showed thatsociety’s increasing open-mindedness about homosexuality and decreasingstigma concerning sexual activity with other men had allowed sportsmen tospeak more openly about these sexual activities. He found that this sex camein the form of two men and one woman, as well as just two men alone.

He said that the sexual acts described differed from acts of ‘hazing’ orteam-bonding that often include pretend-homosexual acts.

“The evidence supports my assertion that homophobia is on the rapid declineamong male teamsport athletes in North America at all levels of play,” hewrites in his study, entitled ‘Being masculine is not about whom you sleepwith…Heterosexual athletes contesting masculinity and the one-time rule ofhomosexuality’. It will be published in the journal Sex Roles in January.

“These finding differ from previous research on North American men who havesex with men, in several ways. First, previous research describesheterosexual men in heterogeneous group sex as men symbolically engaging insexual practices with other men. However, I find informants actually engagein sexual activity with other men. But this does not mean that they are gay.

“Second, my informants do not feel that their same-sex sex jeopardizes theirsocially perceived heterosexual identities, at least within the cheerleadingculture. In other words, having gay sex does not automatically make them gayin masculine peer culture.”



To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

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

President Bush met at the White House on Tuesday with Ugandan PresidentYoweri Museveni for talks that focused on trade, HIV/AIDS but seeminglyignored alleged human rights abuses of gays and lesbians.Two weeks ago Uganda's leading Muslim cleric told Museveni that gays berounded up and marooned on an island in Lake Victoria until they die.Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje told reporters of his plan following a muchpublicized meeting with Museveni. "I asked President Museveni to get us anisland on Lake Victoria and we take these homosexuals and they die outthere," Mubajje told a news conference. "If they die there then we shallhave no more homosexuals in the country." In 2005 Museveni has signed intolaw a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, making the countrythe only one in the world to have a specific constitutional referenceoutlawing gay marriage.

A federal judge in New Jersey ruled on October 23 that the same-sex partnerof a woman who was injured on a theme park ride at Walt Disney World inOrlando, Florida, may not recover damages for "loss of c onsortium," whichis defined by New Jersey courts as the "right of a husband or wife toreceive compensation for loss of affection, comfort, companionship, society,assistance and sexual relations as a result of the other's personalinjuries." Brigando v. Walt Disney World Co., 2007 WL 3124702. A claim forloss of consortium is based on the recognition that when a spouse isinjured, that injury may also harm the other spouse through deprivation oftheir normal relationship as a result of hospitalization or the restrictionsimposed on the injured spouse’s functioning due to their physical or mentalinjuries. The New Jersey Civil Union Act, which went into effect in February2007, provides that civil union partners may sue for loss of consortium, butthis case involves an incident that took place on June 17, 2004, at whichtime the couple did not have any legal relationship to each other.

As he spoke about the intangible differences between civil unions andsame-sex marriage Monday afternoon, law professor Peter Teachout tried toput the differences between the two institutions into perspective.Speaking to the Vermont Commission on Family Recognition and Protectionduring its second public hearing at Vermont Law School, Teachout jokinglysuggested starting over with a two-track system.

Let the Legislature write laws detailing civil unions and marriages, hesaid, but don't reveal which name a union between two people of the samegender would get and two people of different genders would get.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Court case tests limits of free speech for Phelps family

The Star’s Washington correspondent
Posted on Mon, Oct. 29, 2007

BALTIMORE | Shirley Phelps-Roper told jurors that she was an angel assignedto speak the truth to earth dwellers, that God hates their evil.

On the witness stand in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, she explained lastweek that’s why she picketed the funeral of Matthew Snyder, a 20-year-oldMarine from Westminster, Md., who was killed in Iraq in March 2006.

After 33,000 protests over the last 17 years, the Snyder case is thought tobe the first individual lawsuit brought against the Phelps family of Topekaand their Westboro Baptist Church. The Snyder family is seeking unspecifiedmonetary damages for invasion of privacy and intent to inflict emotionaldistress.

Closing arguments are expected today.

Phelps-Roper, 49, testified that the family pickets military funeralsbecause “we are supposed to be timely and topical.” Noting that her father,Fred Phelps Sr., and his offspring are used to being mocked and scorned, shesaid Thursday that the same thing happened to Noah.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

MP welcomes removal of "gay panic" defence

29th October 2007 14:31
Maryam Omidi

A Gay Labour MP in New Zealand has praised the decision by the country's LawCommission to remove the "gay panic defence."

Charles Chauvel said that the defence, which allowed a person charged withmurder to claim that they were driven into a state of violent temporaryinsanity by a sexual advance from the victim, was unacceptable.

The defendant rarely wins acquittals but if pleaded successfully the murdercharge is reduced to manslaughter.

Evidence of provocation must be shown before the judge allows the jury toconsider it an acceptable defence, but according to Chauvel:

"The threshold test that the judge has to apply is extremely -unacceptably - low.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Cameron denies joking about Lithuanian lesbians

30th October 2007 12:35 writer

The Conservative party leader has outraged the government of an EU partnerwith some off-the-cuff remarks about arts funding.

At an Arts Council lunch last Tuesday David Cameron reported to have said:"I hope you won't be giving too many grants to one-legged Lithuanianlesbians."

The Lithuanian ambassador said his comments "prompted a wave of outrage" inhis country and has written to Mr Cameron asking for a clarification.

A spokesman for the Tory leader insisted he never used the word 'lesbian,'instead he referred to "one-legged Lithuanian dance troupes" at an event inthe Tate Britain gallery in London.

"We have had a dialogue with the ambassador last night, and we just wantedto stress that absolutely no offence was meant in David's comment," said MrCameron's spokeswoman.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Has United ENDA killed ENDA?

October 27, 2007

It looks like congratulations may be in order, to both the "United" ENDAcoalition led by Matt Foreman and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, andPeter LaBarbera of the anti-gay Americans for Truth. They say politics makestrange bedfellows, but who would have believed these two would hop in thesack for a quick lay?

D.C. newspaper The Hill is reporting that last week's "postponement" of aHouse vote on Barney Frank's compromise Employment Non-Discrimation Act maywell be indefinite -- as in killing the bill for this Congress. The Bladereported at the time that the delay was to give transgender supporters moretime to round up votes for Tammy Baldwin's amendment that would add "genderidentity" back into the bill. Others suggested it was a short delay becauseHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi had put a higher priority on other bills.

According to The Hill, freshman House Democrats approached Pelosi at abreakfast meeting and asked that she not allow the Baldwin amendment to comeup for a vote. Their concern was that the vote was a no-win situation forthem, between conservatives like LaBarbera and corporate interests opposingthe bill because they are anti-gay or anti-regulations and liberals likeForeman and United ENDA who opposed any ENDA that did not include "genderidentity."

That political squeeze play was enough for the first-term Dems, andapparently Pelosi as well. And while some claim the compromise ENDA willstill get a House vote, I seriously doubt it -- given Pelosi's publiccommitment that trans rights supporters will get a vote on their amendment.

Thanks be to Foreman, LaBarbera and their allies, workplace rights forthousands upon thousands of GLB Americans may now be stalled indefinitely,and historic gay civil rights legislation will not receive its first-everHouse floor vote. All because transgender activists and their P.C. alliescouldn't accept anything other than the same for them, despite their muchshorter lobbying history.

If ENDA is dead, the blood is on all their hands, and I hope history doesn'tallow those on either end of the spectrum to clean it off easily.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Does 'United ENDA' Represent the Community?

by Dale Carpenter
First published in the Washington Blade on October 26

In the recent debate over ENDA, it has frequently been said that "thecommunity" solidly opposes the first-ever federal gay civil rights billunless it includes transgenders.

The evidence for this surprising unity is the fact that more than 300organizations have signed an online petition, available at"United ENDA," the website boasts, "effectively communicated the strongopposition of hundreds of organizations and millions of members of thelesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community."

The correctness of an all-or-nothing approach to civil rights is notdetermined solely by the number of organizations or people who favor oroppose it. The strategy could be wrong even if everybody supported it;conversely, it could be right even if everybody opposed it. But in a societythat values representative politics, claiming that you speak for millions ofpeople lends moral authority and democratic legitimacy to your cause.

So is it true that United ENDA speaks for the community? The answer dependson which "community" we mean.

If we mean "the community of gay and trans activists" who lead organizationslike the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and Queers for Economic Justice,the answer is "yes."

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Catholic Parents of Gay Kids Find a Comfort Zone

On Thanksgiving weekend of 1983, Casey Lopata and his wife, Mary Ellen,began a spiritual journey that ultimately strengthened their family andtheir lifelong commitment to Catholicism.

They discovered they had to navigate an emotional minefield: Their eldestson, Jim, a college sophomore home for the holiday, told Mary Ellen: "Mom,I'm lonely. I'm lonely for another man."

The next 10 minutes were an agonizing blur of fear and grief for Mary Ellen,who cried as she told Jim she loved him and assured him being gay didn'tchange that.

"Then why are you crying?" he asked.

"I don't know," Mary Ellen confessed.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Forget Impeachment, Put Bush and Cheney in a Straightjacket

By Rosa Brooks, Los Angeles Times
Posted on October 29, 2007, Printed on October 31, 2007

Forget impeachment.

Liberals, put it behind you. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney shouldn't betreated like criminals who deserve punishment. They should be treated likepsychotics who need treatment.

Because they've clearly gone mad. Exhibit A: We're in the middle of adisastrous war in Iraq, the military and political situation in Afghanistanis steadily worsening, and the administration's interrogation and detentiontactics have inflamed anti-Americanism and fueled extremist movements aroundthe globe. Sane people, confronting such a situation, do their best to tampdown tensions, rebuild shattered alliances, find common ground with hostileparties and give our military a little breathing space. But crazy people?They look around and decide it's a great time to start another war.

That would be with Iran, and you'd have to be deaf not to hear the wardrums. Last week, Bush remarked that "if you're interested in avoiding WorldWar III ... you ought to be interested in preventing [Iran] from having theknowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon." On Sunday, Cheney warned of"the Iranian regime's efforts to destabilize the Middle East and to gainhegemonic power ... [we] cannot stand by as a terror-supporting statefulfills its most aggressive ambitions." On Tuesday, Bush insisted on theneed "to defend Europe against the emerging Iranian threat."

Huh? Iran is now a major threat to Europe? The Iranians are going to launcha nuclear missile (that they don't yet possess) against Europe (for reasonsunknown because, as far as we know, they're not mad at anyone in Europe)?
This is lunacy in action.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


By Frosty Wooldridge
October 29, 2007

Tina Griego, journalist for the Denver Rocky Mountain News wrote a columntitled, "Mexican visitor's lament" -- 10/25/07.

She interviewed Mexican journalist Evangelina Hernandez while visitingDenver last week. Hernandez said,

"They (illegal aliens) pay rent, buy groceries, buy clothes...what happensto your country's economy if 20 million people go away?"

That's a good question – it deserves an answer. Over 80 percent of Americansdemand secured borders and illegal migration stopped. But what would happenif all 20 million or more vacated America? The answers may surprise you!

In California, if 3.5 million illegal aliens moved back to Mexico, it wouldleave an extra $10.2 billion to spend on overloaded school systems,bankrupted hospitals and overrun prisons. It would leave highways cleaner,safer and less congested. Everyone could understand one another as Englishbecame the dominate language again.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Evangelicals call for ban on Harry Potter books

29th October 2007 13:05
Tony Grew

America's largest conservative organisation has called for the banning ofthe Harry Potter books and films after author JK Rowling revealed that maincharacter Albus Dumbledore was a gay wizard.

The Christian Coalition of America claims to have 2.5 millions supportersand describes its mission as "defending America's Godly heritage."

Its chairman, Roberta Combs, said she was disappointed that Rowling chose toout one of the most popular characters in children's literature.

42-year-old Ms Rowling, whose seven-series saga about the boy wizard hasmade her an estimated £545m, sent shockwaves round the world last week whenshe told an audience of fans in New York that the headmaster of wizardingschool Hogwarts was gay.

"It's not a good example for our children, who really like the books and themovies. I think it encourages homosexuality," said Ms Combs.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Pope's "morning after pill" speech criticized

Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:59am EDT
By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Politicians and pharmacists in Italy respondedangrily on Tuesday to an appeal by Pope Benedict for pharmacists to refuseto dispense drugs such as the "morning after pill" if they object on moralgrounds.

The Pope told an international conference on Monday that pharmacists shouldbe guaranteed the right to conscientious objection in cases where medicinesthey distribute can block pregnancy, provoke abortion or assist euthanasia.

Health Minister Livia Turco said that while the Pope had the right to urgeyoung people to be sexually responsible, he could not tell professionalssuch as pharmacists what to do.

"I don't think his warning to pharmacists to be conscientious objectors tothe morning after pill should be taken into consideration," she told dailyCorriere della Sera.

Benedict did not mention any specific drugs but appeared to refer to themorning after pill, which can stop ovulation if taken within about 72 hoursof sexual intercourse. It is available only by doctor's prescription inItaly.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Catholic Archbishop supports gay discrimination

30th October 2007 12:30 writer

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia has said it isacceptable to discriminate against people because of their sexuality.

Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell said that comparisons between gayand racial discrimination are false.

Australia's federal elections will be held on November 24th and thereligious leader's comments are an attempt to influence discussion about gayequality.

"The Greens, some Democrats and largely silent minority elements in bothmajor parties would like to exclude religious considerations from publicdiscussion," he said, according to ABC.

"At the heart of this attack on the concept of exemptions for faith-basedagencies lies a false analogy between alleged discrimination againsthomosexuals and racial discrimination, and this is already beginning toappear in Australia.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Documenting a gay Christian pop duo's story

Scripps Howard News Service

Being in a committed romantic relationship and working together is tough.
Being a gay couple and a Christian pop duo is nearly unheard of.

But that's the life of Jason Warner and deMarco DeCiccio, knownprofessionally as Jason & deMarco. Their story is the basis of "We're AllAngels," a documentary that's making the rounds of GLBT (gay, lesbian,bisexual and transgender) film festivals across the country.

Jason & deMarco didn't leap at the opportunity to put their lives on screen.

"We've been doing this now, touring, for about five years," says deMarco."After we made the cover of the Advocate, the GLBT internationalnewsmagazine, in 2004, it introduced us to a lot of new people that hadn'theard about us before.

"I think a couple of documenters thought it was an interesting story thatJason and I identified as a spiritual gay couple and also had a music careertogether. I think they found the balancing act of making that all workpretty interesting."

Some filmmakers even talked to the couple about doing a reality TV show.

"We turned it down because we were just working really hard to establish animage and a community outreach, and we didn't want some crazy L.A.documenters coming in and editing a train wreck of our life and our work,"says deMarco by phone from the couple's Los Angeles home. "When I watchreality TV, I'm like, 'Ugh.' I can just imagine what they would do with us."

When they met filmmaker Robert Nunez, however, they liked his idea for adocumentary about them.

"We just had ... a gut instinct that he would be the one that we would trustto tell our story," says deMarco. "After he finished this -- after a yearand a half of filming and then another half a year editing -- I think weboth can honestly say that this is how we would want the world to see us."

Born in Toronto, deMarco was brought up as a Catholic. He moved to LosAngeles in 1999 to pursue work in acting and music.

Jason grew up in Maryland in a Pentecostal family with a history of musicministry. After graduating from Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., hetraveled for a year with a contemporary Christian group.

"We were about to be signed by a major label, and I just felt like I neededto come out to the guys in the band," says Jason. "When I told the band,they didn't take it well at all. We were on the bus, and when we got to ournext gig ... I basically got a one-way ticket back home. It really was theonset of my own, not only spiritual exploration, but also career-wise, likenow what? My whole life I'd been working up to go into the Christian musicindustry, and I suddenly realized there was no place for me in that."

Jason discovered the Metropolitan Community Church and began a soloministry, sharing his story and performing at various churches. He moved toLos Angeles in 2001 to pursue a pop career, and after meeting deMarco anddating for a year, the two decided to perform together.

"We're All Angels" shows the ups and downs of life for Jason & deMarco andthe people they love.

"It interviews both my parents and deMarco's mother," says Jason. "It reallyshares their journey, what they've gone through, because our parents gothrough their own coming-out process through all of this.

"It's not been an easy journey, but we're really at a wonderful place withour parents now and our life."

Contact Betsy Pickle of The Knoxville News Sentinel in Tennessee


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Rock Hudson bedded Dean to win bet with Liz Taylor

30th October 2007 12:56 writer

A former Hollywood starlet has revealed that actress Elizabeth Taylor made abet with closeted gay actor Rock Hudson about which one of them could seduceJames Dean.

The much-married Ms Taylor lost out, according to Noreen Nash.

Dean starred in the movie Giant with Taylor and Hudson, but he died beforethe film was released.

"Elizabeth and Rock took bets on who could get James Dean into bed first.
"I had an idea Rock would win but Elizabeth wasn't so sure. James wastroubled but gorgeous," said Ms Nash, according to the Daily Express.

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S.F. Cancels Halloween Street Party

Filed at 7:57 a.m. ET
October 31, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The hundreds of thousands of people who usually flockto an annual Halloween street party here are being warned to stay home or goelsewhere after several episodes of violence in recent years.

City officials have advised would-be revelers through fliers, public serviceannouncements and juvenile probation officers that they won't find manytreats in the Castro District, home in past years to the largest Halloweenhappening in the San Francisco Bay area.

What they will find are hundreds of extra police officers, shutteredrestaurants, stepped up sobriety checks and no bus or train service after8:30 p.m.

''This is really a public safety decision,'' said Supervisor Bevan Dufty,who represents the Castro and spent the better part of a year trying toarrange an alternative city-sanctioned gathering. ''I'm disappointed mymessage is one of, 'Please don't come.'''

The festivities started decades ago as a homegrown celebration for SanFrancisco's gay and lesbian community, but has drawn a scarier element inrecent years. In 2002, five people were stabbed. Three years ago, someonewandered the crowds wielding a chain saw.

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Young Voters Plug In to Politics

Filed at 9:21 a.m. ET
October 31, 2007

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Reuters) - It's not the neon lights or hip-hop beatsthat make this an unusual whistle stop in the November 2008 presidentialcontest. It's the youthful faces of those in the crowd.

At a high-tech forum sponsored by MTV and MySpace, some 200 Coe Collegestudents peppered Barack Obama with questions about Iraq, gay marriage andimmigration, rewarding him with ear-shattering whoops when his answers meettheir approval.

They've passed interviews and lined up hours ahead of time for seats at theevent.

But when the 46-year-old junior senator from Illinois asks how many plan totake part in Iowa's caucus in January, fewer than one-third raise theirhands.

"You can be part of the solution," Obama tells them. "If just the studentbody at Coe participated, you'd be a huge bloc."

more . . . . .


World Briefing | Asia
Cambodia: Leader Severs Ties With Gay Daughter

October 31, 2007

Prime Minister Hun Sen said he planned to legally disown his adopteddaughter, who is a lesbian, so she cannot claim any inheritance. Mr. Hun Senmade the disclosure about his closely guarded family life in a speech at agraduation. “My adopted daughter now has a wife,” he said. “I’m quitedisappointed.” At the same time, he appealed to people not to discriminateagainst homosexuals, adding, “Most of them are good people and are not doingalcohol, drugs or racing vehicles.”


October 31, 2007


Outing Dumbledore
To the Editor:

Re “Is Dumbledore Gay? Depends on Definitions of ‘Is’ and ‘Gay,’ ” by EdwardRothstein (Connections column, Oct. 29):

In a perfect world, a headmaster’s sexual orientation would be irrelevant tothe performance of his duties, heroic or otherwise. But today there are toomany schools where teachers lack legal protections and can be fired withoutrecourse if revealed to be gay.

By outing Albus Dumbledore, J. K. Rowling has removed the invisibility cloakthat keeps positive gay role models out of public awareness. She is showinggay and straight kids, their parents and their school administrations thatthe true measure of an individual’s worth stems from his actions, not hissexual identity. Jack Drescher, M.D.

New York, Oct. 30, 2007

The writer is the editor of The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy.


Young Voters Plug In to Politics

Filed at 9:20 a.m. ET
October 31, 2007

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Reuters) - It's not the neon lights or hip-hop beatsthat make this an unusual whistle stop in the November 2008 presidentialcontest. It's the youthful faces of those in the crowd.

At a high-tech forum sponsored by MTV and MySpace, some 200 Coe Collegestudents peppered Barack Obama with questions about Iraq, gay marriage andimmigration, rewarding him with ear-shattering whoops when his answers meettheir approval.

They've passed interviews and lined up hours ahead of time for seats at theevent.

But when the 46-year-old junior senator from Illinois asks how many plan totake part in Iowa's caucus in January, fewer than one-third raise theirhands.

"You can be part of the solution," Obama tells them. "If just the studentbody at Coe participated, you'd be a huge bloc."

more . . . . .


Stars of the New Web
These six success stories show how anyone can earn fame--and perhaps makeincome--online.

Jeff Bertolucci, PC World
PC World
Wednesday, October 31, 2007; 12:19 AM

Can you really earn fame and fortune by posting your creative works online?A lot depends on your talent and luck. But for a fortunate few, the Web hasproven to be a great promotional tool. We looked at six success stories. Ifyou're interested in bringing your own ideas to the Net, see "39 Ways to PutYourself on the Web" for a rundown of the best online tools and services forposting videos and music, creating blogs, publishing books, and formingsocial networks.

Soon after the devastating Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami of December2004, Brian Dalton, a writer/director in Temecula, California, beganpondering why such tragedies occur. Why would an all-loving, all-powerfulGod allow such misery? His musings led him to write a short comedy script,"Mr. Deity and the Evil," in which an anxious, distracted, yet essentiallybenign creator decides what types of suffering should afflict the humanrace. "Holocausts?" asks his clipboard-carrying assistant, Larry. "Yeah, I'mgonna allow it," answers Mr. Deity matter-of-factly. Torture, naturaldisasters, and Down syndrome make the cut too. Taking those things out "willmake it way too easy for people to believe in me," Mr. Deity decides.

"I had friends who read it and liked it, and thought we should do somethingwith it," he says. Eventually they posted twoepisodes on YouTube. Afavorable mention on Digg brought a lot of viewers, which in turn spurredYouTube to place "Mr. Deity" on its home page. "It took off from there andnever really stopped," says Dalton.

Dalton is now developing a TV pilot, and he has been approached by an agentfor a book deal. He calls the "Mr. Deity" franchise "profitable," but can'tdiscuss specifics.

Blendtec, a little-known blender manufacturer in Orem, Utah, had a problem."We had some major accounts commercially for our blenders, but as a homemachine, we had no branding at all," says company marketing manager GeorgeWright. But Blendtec quickly made a name for itself when it started postingits campy "Will It Blend?" videos online.

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Giuliani leads Republican field but faces tough path

By Steve Holland
Wednesday, October 31, 2007; 12:51 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two months before the first votes are cast, noRepublican presidential candidate has been able to break loose from thecrowded field, with Rudy Giuliani leading nationally but facing an uncertainpath to victory.

All the major contenders -- Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson and JohnMcCain -- think they have a shot at the party's nomination, and each has adifferent strategy for getting there:

-- Former New York Mayor Giuliani wants to survive the January battles untilFebruary 5, when 20 states stage what amounts to a mini-national vote,including his home state of New York as well as New Jersey, California andIllinois.

-- Former Massachusetts Gov. Romney wants to generate momentum by winning atleast the first two, Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as Michigan, where hisfather was governor. Romney has a big lead in Iowa but only a narrowadvantage in New Hampshire.

-- Former Tennessee Sen. Thompson wants to take South Carolina on January 19and sweep the southern states.

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Mr. Reagan vs. the Field

Wednesday, October 31, 2007; A18

In his Oct. 26 column, "A Fine Field of 4 1/2 ," Charles Krauthammer pointedto perceived flaws in Ronald Reagan's presidency and conservatism toemphasize the alleged strengths of the current Republican presidentialfield.

I covered Mr. Reagan for eight years as a reporter for Knight Ridder andNewsday, and none of the candidates comes close. Mr. Reagan never bashedgays (too many of his friends were gay). He didn't put his religion ondisplay wherever he went. He didn't question the concept of evolution. Hepulled U.S. troops out of Lebanon rather than commit them to a no-exit war.He did not wish to privatize Social Security and indeed helped preserve itfor 75 years. He never denigrated Medicare, and, along with his friendMargaret Thatcher, but contrary to views of his vice president and the day'sCold Warriors, he recognized Mikhail Gorbachev as a genuine reformer.




Ganging Up

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 31, 2007; 10:41 AM

Barack Obama was getting all kinds of advice from pundits and bloggersheading into last night's Brian Williams/Tim Russert debate, and the gist ofit is:

Attack Hillary. Slam her. Beat her. Whack her with a frying pan. Kick her.Whip her. You do want to be president, don't you?

Commentators are geniuses, as we all know, and much smarter than campaignmanagers. So they must be right about this. Of course, if it backfires, andObama is seen as abandoning his high-road appeal and becoming just anotherattack-dog pol, they will be the first to criticize him for that, too.

Not coincidentally, the media benefit if Clinton-Obama turns into aslugfest, because reporters would much rather write about punches thrown andblows landed than polite exchanges on Social Security.

I'll come back to all the advice-giving in a moment, but first, somethoughts on the MSNBC debate:

Brian Williams asked Obama to attack Hillary with the very first question,citing his comments to the NYT that he intended to step up the rhetoric.

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S. Florida's water shortage won't be fixed by Noel

By Andy Reid
October 31, 2007

A glancing blow or even a direct hit from Tropical Storm Noel would likelyfail to lift South Florida out of a water shortage threatening to worsennext year, water managers warned Tuesday.

As the South Florida Water Management District on Tuesday readied drainagecanals by dumping water to tide, agency officials said the storm could justend up dumping water where it is needed the least — in Broward andMiami-Dade counties instead of farther north to replenish drought-strainedLake Okeechobee.

With South Florida's rainy season officially coming to an end today and thehurricane season coming to a close in November, Noel could be the last salvoof rain-producing storms that could significantly boost Lake Okeechobee,South Florida's primary backup water supply.

As a result, West Palm Beach on Tuesday went back to once-a-week wateringlimits, restricting residents with odd-numbered addresses to watering onSaturdays between 4 and 8 a.m. Even-numbered addresses can water on Sundaysbetween 4 and 8 a.m.

Even as stockpiled water was pumped to sea Tuesday because of fear ofpotential flooding from Noel, water managers said they anticipateinstituting tougher watering restrictions for more of South Florida as earlyas December because of the strained water supplies expected next year.

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The Struggles of Homeless Trans Youth

by Charlsie Dewey

Homeless LGBT youth face increased difficulties compared to theirheterosexual counterparts both on the streets and within the shelter system,according to a study the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force report,“Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth: An Epidemic of Homelessness,”which was released in January 2007.

According to the report, LGBT homeless youth are more vulnerable to mentalhealth issues, substance abuse, risky sexual behavior and victimization. Thereport states, “A study of homeless youth in Canada found that those whoidentify as LGBT were three times as likely to participate in survival sexthan their heterosexual peers,” and The National Runaway Switchboardreported, “LGBT homeless youth are seven times more likely than theirheterosexual peers to be victims of crime.”

Shelter systems do not ease many of these risks for LGBT teens. “Themajority of existing shelters and other care systems are not providing safeand effective services to LGBT homeless youth,” the report states.

For trans youth the barriers increase. “Transgender youth aredisproportionately represented in the homeless population. More generally,some reports indicate that one in five transgender individuals need or areat risk of needing homeless shelter assistance. However, most shelters aresegregated by birth sex, regardless of the individuals gender identity, andhomeless transgender youth are even ostracized by some agencies that servetheir LGB peers,” according to the document.

Trans youth experience and fear violence, harassment and discriminationwithin the shelters and, for many, staying in a shelter can be less safethan spending the night on the street.

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Gay staff concerned about work conditions after Mersey takeover

By Sarah Wiley
October 31, 2007 06:44pm

A GAY lobby group has raised concerns about the superannuation and leaveentitlements of gay and lesbian staff at Tasmania's Mersey Hospital when thefederal takeover is complete.

The concerns come despite assurances by federal Health Minister Tony Abbottthat the employees' work conditions would remain the same following thetakeover.

Public servants in same-sex relationships in Tasmania have equalsuperannuation and leave entitlements, but not under Commonwealth laws.

The Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group spokesman Rodney Croome said hewould not believe that employees' entitlements were secure until he had awritten assurance.

While he hoped gay staff at Mersey Hospital would be able to keep theirentitlements, Mr Croome said the situation would lead to people questioningwhy other Commonwealth public servants were not receiving the same benefits.

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Obama's gospel mistake: He can't have it both ways on gay issues in theblack community.

By David Ehrenstein
October 31, 2007

Politics have provided gay Americans like myself with no end ofschadenfreude in recent years, what with the antics of Mark Foley, LarryCraig and other I'm-not-gay Republicans. But last weekend, a competingDemocratic farce debuted: Barack Obama's three "Embrace the Change" concertsfeaturing Grammy-winning "ex-gay" gospel singer Donnie McClurkin.

All the characters in this melodrama played their roles to the hilt.Gay-rights organizations demanded that McClurkin be dropped. Numerousbloggers cast doubt on the fullness of McClurkin's "recovery." Obama'scampaign staff hastily added a gay minister to give an opening prayer. Butit was McClurkin who dominated the event, claiming before an audience ofabout 2,000 Sunday in Columbia, S.C.: "I don't speak against thehomosexuals. I tell you that God delivered me from homosexuality. No matterwhat blog you read, let me tell you, if any man be in Christ, he is a newcreature!" (For all of McClurkin's religious talk, biblical scholars remindus that Jesus had not a word to say on the subject.)

Adding fuel to this fire was Obama's reply to questions about the concert.He haughtily told a reporter from the gay news magazine the Advocate, "Ifthere's somebody out there who's been more consistent in including LGBTAmericans in his or her vision of what America should be, then I would beinterested in knowing who that person is." (The answer, of course, is DennisKucinich.)

But what's really on Obama's mind isn't LBGT Americans. It's black voters.With so much of the African American vote snugly in Hillary Clinton'spantsuit pocket, the Illinois senator clearly is hoping to make inroadsbefore South Carolina's crucial 2008 primary.

The offspring of a Kenyan father and a white American mother, Obama wasraised in Hawaii and Indonesia without much churchgoing until he grew up andran for office. So he is not only a generation but a world away from thepolitical leadership most of us African Americans have come to know. Puttingon Baptist drag and staging a gospel music show is precisely the sort ofpandering Obama had scrupulously avoided. Until now.

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Update: 2 arrested over royal blackmail exposed

LONDON (AP) - The member of the British royal family caught up in an allegedgay sex tape scandal has been named on an American news show.

Suspect Ian Strachan was arrested along with Sean McGuigan in September,after attempting to extort $100,000 from an extended family member of themonarchy to hand over the cash in exchange for not releasing the explicitvideo.

The identity of the royal has been kept a secret since the pair's arrestbecause court restrictions on the case banned the British media fromrevealing the blackmail victim's name.

However, the court ruling does not extend to media outside of the U.K., andon Tuesday, the royal was named on Fox News' Live Desk.

The accused duo claim the tape shows the person in question engaging in oralsex with another male and insinuated that the royal had supplied cocaine toan aide. The video footage is also said to contain a number ofunsubstantiated allegations against other members of the royal family.

Strachan has denied a charge of blackmail, and although he admits he madefirst contact with the royal, he alleges it was the him who made the cashoffer to keep the videotape under wraps.

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N.J. Voters divided on gay marriage
Wednesday, October 31, 2007


MOUNT LAUREL -- New Jersey voters remain evenly divided over whether gaycouples should be given the right to marry in the state, according to a pollreleased Wednesday.

Voters are clearly comfortable, however, with something the state alreadydoes: allow gay couples to join in civil unions, which offer the legalbenefits of marriage, but not the title. According to the Rutgers-EagletonPoll, two-thirds of poll respondents said they favor civil unions.

The results are similar to those of an Eagleton poll conducted in June 2006.

"Usually change is news. But in this case, no change in public opinion isthe real news, given all that has happened in the past year," said TimVercellotti, the polling director at the Eagleton Institute of Politics."The consistency of public opinion on these issues suggests these are deeplyheld beliefs that do not shift easily."

The poll was conducted about one year after the state Supreme Court ruledthat gay couples had to be given the legal rights of marriage. Late lastyear, the state Legislature responded by adopting the nation's third civilunions law.

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20 men, including a Rockland priest, charged in Bedford rest-stop sex sting


BEDFORD - A sting aimed a men who cruise a rest area off Interstate 684 forgay sex resulted in charges against 20 men in the past month, including aCatholic priest and a registered sex offender.

The sting, which also netted a local Rotary Club president and a 72-year-oldman, was prompted by a complaint from a man who stopped to use the rest areawith his 10-year-old son, said Capt. Robert Meyer, state police commander inWestchester County.

"As soon as we saw that letter, we took immediate action," said Sgt. JosephLutz, the Somers barracks commander, who oversaw the operation. He spoke ashe visited the southbound rest area just north of Exit 4 yesterdayafternoon.

Most of the men were charged with either loitering or trespass violations orboth. One was charged with forcible touching, a misdemeanor. Four werecharged with exposing themselves and two with public lewdness, allviolations. The 20 suspects are due in Bedford Town Court on Thursday.

Among those arrested was the Rev. Gary Mead, a Catholic priest from Millwoodassigned to St. Gregory Barbarigo parish in Garnerville. Police said hefondled an undercover officer and was charged with forcible touching.

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5-star gay hotel opens in Buenos Aires

A first for Latin America
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) | Oct 31, 12:22 PM

The first five-star gay hotel in Latin America opened Wednesday in theArgentine capital, an increasingly popular destination on the worldwide gaytourist circuit.

The hotel, set near the historic San Telmo neighborhood, is the second ofits kind developed by Spain's Axel Corp., which opened a five-star, 66-roomgay hotel in Barcelona in 2003.

"Like any other business, we have economic objectives," general managerNacho Rodriguez said. But "we're also about fighting to help thenormalization and acceptance of gays in society."

He said the hotel was designed to be open and airy.

"Many gay hotels and places are closed off and can't be seen from thestreet," Rodriguez said. "We wanted our hotel to be open and visible. Whyshould we try and hide ourselves?"

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Gay Sex Sting At N.Y. Rest Stop Yields 20 Arrests


Sean Hennessey BEDFORD, N.Y. (CBS) ― Almost two dozen men were arrested as aresult of a gay sex sting operation in an unsuspecting location offInterstate 684 in Bedford.

Police say the suspects in the operation were getting more than just rest atthe highway rest area where the sting took place.

"It was all outside in a public area," said New York State Police Capt.Robert Myers.

The "it" was gay sex between men in a stretch of woods behind the Bedfordrest stop.

State police were tipped off about a month ago when a father and sonvisiting the rest area saw two men in the woods engaged in sexual activity.That kicked off an undercover sting operation.

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Cross-dressing state lawmaker blackmailed following late night tryst

Rob Kauder / Internet Content Manager,
Last updated: Wednesday, October 31st, 2007 08:38:59 AM

SPOKANE -- State Representative Richard Curtis says he's not gay, but policereports and court records indicate the Republican lawmaker from southwesternWashington dressed up in women's lingerie and met a Medical Lake man in alocal erotic video store which led to consensual sex at a downtown hotel anda threat to expose Curtis' activities publicly.

A search warrant unsealed Tuesday morning disclosed that StateRepresentative Richard Curtis (R - La Center) had sex in his room at theDavenport Tower with a man identified as Cody Castagna, 26, of Medical Lake,who he met at the Hollywood Erotic Boutique on October 26th.

Curtis, according to a search warrant unsealed Tuesday, went to theHollywood Erotic Boutique on East Sprague on October 26th at approximately12:45 a.m. The store clerk, who had talked with Curtis, referred to him as"The Cross-Dresser" and said that during their conversations he confirmed hewas gay and was married with children at home.

During his visit to the video store Curtis was observed wearing women'slingerie while receiving oral sex from an unidentified man in one of themovie viewing booths inside the store.

Afterward he met Cody Castagna, and they talked about getting together atCurtis' hotel room to have sex. Curtis left Castagna his cellphone numberand went to Northern Quest Casino and receiving a call from him around 3a.m., and planned to get together at the hotel a short while later.

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Frank's gaydar detects Craig

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said last week that Sen. Larry Craig is likelygay. The Idaho Republican, who has emphatically denied he is gay orbisexual, has fended off rumors of his homosexuality repeatedly during histhree decades in politics, most recently denying allegations he solicitedgay sex in a Minnesota airport restroom this summer.

Frank, one of only two openly gay members of Congress, said he had reachedhis conclusion about Craig from news reports. In particular, he cited areport in the Idaho Statesman that Craig had engaged in oral sex withanother man in a Union Station bathroom, probably in 2004.

Frank, who served with Craig in the House from 1981 to 1991 before Craig waselected to the Senate, said he believed Craig’s arrest was unfair.

“I don’t think he should have been arrested, but it’s more likely than notthat he was interested in sex,” Frank said.

Asked if he believed Craig was gay, Frank replied: “More likely than not.”

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Vampire Electronics: Sucking your electricity away

by Julie Carr Smyth, Associated Press

A force as insidious as Dracula is quietly sucking a nickel of everydollar's worth of the electricity that seeps from your home's outlets.

Insert the little fangs of your cell phone charger in the outlet and leaveit there, phone attached: That's vampire electronics.

Allow your computer to hide in the cloak of darkness known as "standby mode"rather than shutting it off: That's vampire electronics.

The latest estimates show 5 percent of electricity used in the United Statesgoes to standby power, a phenomenon energy efficiency experts find all themore terrifying as energy prices rise and the planet warms. That amounts toabout $4 billion a year.

The percentage could rise to 20 percent by 2010, according to the U.S.Department of Energy.

In California, lawmakers passed a proposal last year - dubbed the VampireSlayers Act - to add vampire electronics labels to consumer products,detailing how much energy a charger, computer, DVD player, PlayStation,microwave or coffee maker uses when on, off or in standby mode.

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