Friday, November 16, 2007

GLBT DIGEST November 16, 2007

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Express Gay News

Florida trans activists express ENDA frustrations
House vote on job bias bill seen as hollow victory

Thursday, November 15, 2007

While many hailed the Nov. 7 passage of the Employment Non-discriminationAct in the U.S. House of Representatives as an important civil rightsmilestone for the GLBT community, Florida supporters of a version of ENDAthat would include protections for transgendered men and women said the votefell frustratingly short.

"I think it was extremely disappointing," said Karen Doering, senior counselfor the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Doering has been on the frontlines of the move to include gender identity and expression in the bill.

"It pointed to a failure of leadership," Doering said. "Nancy Pelosi had theopportunity to teach the scared freshmen members of Congress to becourageous and take appropriate action. Instead, she allowed the freshmen togive into fear."

The first-term congressmen, she said, gave in to an "irrational fear" that ayes vote would put them at risk of losing their seats come election time.

Across the state, transgender activists and supporters have been expressingtheir frustration with the decision.

"It's not ENDA, It's NONDA," said Madalynn Shepley, a Largo, Fla. restaurantmanager who lost her job in 2002 when she transitioned from a man to awoman. "Once again we were left off the bus."



Express Gay News

Hate crimes bill in jeopardy over Iraq war dispute
Reid says Senate vote on ENDA unlikely this year

By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | Nov 15, 12:10 PM

The fate of a gay- and transgender-inclusive hate crimes bill was calledinto question this week when gay-supportive members of the House ofRepresentatives threatened to vote against a defense authorization bill towhich the measure is attached.

As many as 20 House Democrats who are strong gay rights supporters indicatedthey might vote against the National Defense Authorization Act because itincludes provisions that support President Bush's efforts to continue theIraq war, Capitol Hill sources said.

At the same time, as many as 180 House Republicans and conservativeDemocrats who voted against a freestanding version of the hate crimes billin May threatened to vote against the Department of Defense authorizationmeasure this week unless the hate crimes provision were taken out,congressional insiders said.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was expected to join SenateDemocratic leaders Thursday morning in announcing a postponement of a voteon the entire bill until at least Dec. 1, when Congress returns from itsThanksgiving holiday recess, according to a knowledgeable congressionalsource.

The House and Senate were scheduled to vote on a final version of thecombined hate crimes-DOD authorization bill by Friday after a House-Senateconference committee made last-minute changes.

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Express Gay News

Gov't to report alarming spike in HIV: sources
CDC numbers may be 50 percent higher than originally thought

By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | Nov 14, 11:37 AM

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is mulling over when torelease alarming new statistics showing that as many as 50 percent morepeople are being infected with HIV each year in the United States thanoriginally reported by the government.

According to AIDS advocacy groups familiar with the CDC, middle levelofficials at the disease prevention agency have quietly confided incolleagues in professional and scientific circles that the number of new HIVinfections now appears to be as high as 58,000 to 63,000 cases in the mostrecent 12-month period.

On its web site this week, the CDC left unchanged its longstanding estimatethat about 40,000 Americans per year become infected with HIV, a figure itsays has remained "relatively stable" for most of the past decade.

CDC officials have told leaders of AIDS advocacy groups that the new figuresare being withheld while they are subjected to a rigorous peer reviewprocess by an unidentified scientific journal, which is expected to publishthe findings within the next few months.

Others familiar with the CDC have said CDC would likely publish the new datain its own journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

more . . . . .


Express Gay News

Court throws out expansion of Pa.'s hate crimes law
Victory handed to conservative Christian group

HARRISBURG (AP) | Nov 15, 4:52 PM

A state court Thursday threw out language that expanded Pennsylvania's hatecrimes law to include crimes committed on the basis of the victim's sexualorientation and physical disabilities, ruling the legislative process thatled to is passage was unconstitutional.

Commonwealth Court's 5-1 ruling handed a victory to a conservative Christiangroup called Repent America, which filed a lawsuit in 2005 challenging theamendment of the state hate-crimes law in 2002.

Repent America founder and leader Michael Marcavage and others affiliatedwith the group argued that the amendment was passed unconstitutionallybecause it was inserted into legislation that was originally a billconcerning agricultural vandalism and crop destruction.

Judge James Gardner Colins wrote in the majority opinion that the finallegislation bore no resemblance to the original bill by the time it waspassed and signed into law by then-Gov. Mark Schweiker.

"We emphasize that no matter how salutary the purpose of a bill may be, itstill must comport with constitutionally mandated requirements for passage,"Colins wrote.


Los Angeles Times,1,4231391.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Testing Bush's tolerance
Will the president's 'compassionate conservatism' include protecting gaysand lesbians from workplace bias?

November 15, 2007

In 1964, when Congress outlawed discrimination in employment on the basis ofrace, color, religion, gender or national origin, the idea of adding sexualorientation to the litany of improper motives was not so much unpopular asunthinkable. Fortunately, times have changed. Thanks in large part totrailblazing gay activists, public opinion has evolved to the extent that aban on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation passed the Houselast week by a vote of 235 to 184.

Attitudes haven't changed enough, however, to make the EmploymentNon-Discrimination Act unnecessary. On the contrary, it deserves to be notonly approved but strengthened by the Senate. Then it should be signed byPresident Bush, whose claim to be a "compassionate conservative" is mockedby his administration's unconvincing arguments against the bill.

Although 20 states (including California, beginning in 2000) and theDistrict of Columbia have made it illegal to fire or refuse to hire someonebecause of sexual orientation, the majority of states don't offer suchprotection. Even if they did, the interstate nature of the economy wouldjustify closing a gap in the jurisdiction of the federal courts and theEqual Employment Opportunity Commission.

Paradoxically, the willingness of gay and lesbian Americans to be open abouttheir sexual orientation -- itself a consequence of the gay rightsmovement -- has made it easier for bigoted employers to identify them. Suchemployers sadly still exist, even at a time when a majority of Fortune 500companies provide benefits for the same-sex partners of their employees.

The House bill's enactment is far from assured, however. It has beencriticized both for being too narrow -- it deleted a provision that wouldhave banned discrimination against transgender workers -- and for being toobroad. The Senate could rectify the first omission when it takes up thebill. The argument that the bill sweeps too widely, however, is the moreominous obstacle because it is being used to justify a possible presidentialveto.

More . . . . .


Palm Beach Post

Gay school club refuses offer to change name, end lawsuit

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 15, 2007

A lawsuit over the Gay-Straight Alliance of Okeechobee High School could besettled if students agreed to change the name of the club, according tolawyers for the Okeechobee County School Board.

But a lawyer for the ACLU, which represents the club, said its membersalready have rejected the idea of changing the name.

"The students have made clear that the name of the club is important to thembecause it describes their mission," said Robert Rosenwald, a lawyer withthe American Civil Liberties Union. "From the beginning, the purpose of thisclub has been to prevent harassment and discrimination against gaystudents."

The club and its founder, Okeechobee High School graduate Yasmin Gonzalez,sued the school board last year, arguing it violated federal law by notallowing the Gay-Straight Alliance to meet on school grounds.

Attorneys for the school board have argued that the Gay-Straight Alliance isa "sex-based club" that violates a Florida statute requiring schools toteach abstinence "while teaching the benefits of monogamous heterosexualmarriage."

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Washington Post

Where Are They Now? This Week: Mark Foley

Occasionally we wonder where they are now, disgraced or ousted members ofCongress who have disappeared - or not - from the scene. In this week'sinstallment of our new feature "Where Are They Now" we first look at formerRep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who will forever be remembered for his tawdryinstant messages to teenage male House pages.

Foley has been paying visits recently to Beverly Hills, where he was spottedjust last weekend. We figure he may be looking for a job in Hollywood.Because in addition to his cringingly ironic role as chairman of the HouseCaucus on Missing and Exploited Children, Foley - until he resigned on Sept.29, 2006 - also served as head of the Congressional Entertainment IndustriesCaucus. In that role, he cultivated lots of contacts in Hollywood.

Foley and his close associates won't say what jobs Foley is contemplatinguntil the former congressman can be sure he's cleared of any criminalliability. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is still investigatingcharges that Foley sent electronic messages to pages while he was inPensacola. The Justice Department investigation has fizzled out, though ittechnically remains open.

We're told Foley is quietly plotting a comeback in some form, political ornot. "He's talking about how to re-emerge publicly after the investigationis over," a source close to Foley tells the Sleuth.

The same source says Foley sometimes stays with one of his sisters who livesin the LA area. And in Palm Beach, Foley and his longtime partner, adermatologist, go to dinner parties where old friends "seem to be welcoming[Foley] back into the fold."

After he was nabbed in the page scandal, the last straw that cost HouseRepublicans their majority, Foley came out of the closet as a gay man. Heand his partner, Layne Nisenbaum - who, as you can see here, specializes incosmetic surgery - live in Palm Beach in a nice house on the IntercoastalWaterway. (Foley sold his house on Capitol Hill but still owns beachfrontproperty in St. Lucie County, Fla.)




Nicaragua: Sodomy statute disappears from the books

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

In a surprising and historic development when it comes to LGBT rights in theregion, gay Nicaraguans woke up yesterday to the news that consensual sexwith their partners will no longer be a crime as of March of 2008.

In adopting a new national civil code on Monday, the Nicaraguan NationalAssembly sidestepped the longstanding law that penalized sodomy betweenmembers of the same-sex with up to five years in prison by overwhelminglyvoting to approve a new civil code that simply did not mention it.

In doing so it removed the last anti-gay sodomy statute - not only inCentral America - but in Spanish-speaking Latin American countries (Ibelieve that Belize and Guyana are now the only countries in the continentthat still have such statutes and I invite others to correct me if that isnot the case).

Nicaragua's La Prensa reported on Tuesday that the elimination of the sodomystatute had been a surprise to most observers but not to representatives whowere involved in drafting the language of the new code.

The president of the Nicaraguan Parliament's Commission of Justice and LegalIssues, José Pallais, explained that legislators had sought to "modernize"the civil code by not using it to regulate behavior based on the State'smoral codes but by strictly addressing legal violations.

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Huffington Post

ENDA Will Never Be a Long Term Solution for Anyone, Anyway

Posted November 14, 2007 | 10:19 AM (EST)

I know a lot of trannies are sad or pissed off that the EmploymentNon-Discrimination Act isn't going to pass with them included. I'm a tranny.I'm pissed off, too. But no legislation has ever been able to deal with theroot of the problem: You can't handle the impact of desire on a culturethrough the use of power politics or identity politics. No legislation canever change how people feel about the chaos of desire.

At best, and even in it's most complete form, ENDA would have mostlyprotected people who cleaned up well enough to get a job in the first place:straight-looking people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual.These are folks who mostly define themselves by their desires. Well, there'sa whole lot of other people whose lives are defined by their desires whowould never be helped by ENDA. Harmless people. Nice people. People whoserelationship to desire breaks the law nonetheless. LGBT doesn't even beginto include all of those folks. There's a whole lot of other letters thatneed protection from discrimination. You could start with these:

Q for Queer
S for Sadomasochists
G for Genderqueer
Q for Questioning
S for Sex Workers
K for Kinky
A for Allies
S for Swingers
P for Pornographers
A for Asexual
S for Sex Educators
P for Polyamorists
A for Adult Entertainers
I for Intersex
E for anyone Else who just plain likes sex

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Express Gay News

Pro-gay rights candidate scores upset win in St. Petersburg
Opponent lost support when he came out for gay marriage ban

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The defeat of an anti-gay candidate in the Nov. 6 election for city councilin St. Petersburg, Fla., is being touted as a major victory for gay rightsefforts in the state.

Wengay Newton, who was endorsed by the gay rights group Equality Florida,defeated Gersham Faulkner by 600 votes in what activists described as anupset. Faulkner had raised substantially more money than Newton and hadreceived the endorsement of the St. Petersburg Times and several statelegislators and Democratic Party officials, according to Stratton Pollitzer,deputy director of Equality Florida. But two state legislators, Rep. RickKriseman and Rep. Bill Heller, withdrew their support for Faulkner when hecame out in favor of a proposed amendment to ban gay marriage and alsoexpressed his support for the state's antigay adoption ban, Pollitzer said.

Faulkner, who was an outreach coordinator for U.S. Rep. Cathy Castor(D-Fla.) during the 2006 campaign, stunned supporters when he met with alocal branch of the Stonewall Democrats and told them that he didn't agreewith the gay lifestyle and supported the state's law that prohibits gaypeople from adopting children. Faulkner also signed a petition to ban gaymarriage and said he would not march in the LGBT Pride parade in St.Petersburg, which runs right through his district, Pollitizer said.

"Folks were stunned when this happened," Pollitzer said. "But the communitywas able to make Mr. Faulkner pay a political price for his homophobia. It'sa great example of the strength of our community and fair-minded allies whenwe work together."

Newton thanked the gay groups for supporting his candidacy.

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Express Gay News

Friend & Foe

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Myers Park Baptist Church

Our Friend of the Week goes to Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C.The gay-friendly church was kicked out of the Baptist State Convention ofNorth this week for welcoming gay and lesbian parishioners. Theconservative-dominated Baptist State Convention voted last year to ban allgay-friendly churches from the organization. One wonders how they define"gay friendly." If they find that there are gay people attending services ina church is that enough to get them booted out? Myers Park has stuck to itsprinciples despite the loss of funding from the Baptist State Convention.Two Myers Park leaders were even scheduled to speak at the convention. "It'simportant for our particular witness to be made," the Rev. StephenShoemaker, Myers Park's senior minister, told the Associated Press.

Arkansas Family Council

The right-wing group Arkansas Family Council wants to have Arkansas followin Florida's regressive footsteps regarding the gay adoption issue. But thegay adoption ban that the group is seeking to place on the 2008 electionballot is even more draconian than Florida's Anita Byrant-inspired law. Itwould ban gay or lesbian prospective parents from adopting children orserving as foster parents. Florida allows gay men and lesbians to serve asfoster parents. Arkansas' attorney general approved the wording of theinitiative this week. It seeks to reinstate a ban on gay foster parents thatwas struck down by Arkansas' highest court. After thorough backgroundchecks, adoption decisions should be made strictly on what's in the bestinterest of a child, not on what's in the special interests of religiousextremists.


Express Gay News

'Daytona Beach 9' are latest to fall prey to public sex sting
Media fuels right's new witch-hunt tactic with lurid, excessive coverage

Thursday, November 15, 2007

MALE HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVITY IN public bathrooms, for decades a fact of gaylife, became big news in 2007, thanks to the misadventures of conservativepoliticos like U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and Florida state Rep. BobAllen (R-Merritt Island) and the (mostly unfounded) complaints of FortLauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle. Now come the "Daytona Beach 9," nine men whowere arrested for lewd behavior during a sex sting operation at a SearsDepartment Store bathroom in Daytona Beach on Nov. 1.

According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the accused include "a formerDaytona Beach city commissioner and a local high school teacher," whopromptly resigned from his job. "The reason that we did this sting is we allgo to the mall; our kids go into the bathroom," said Police Chief MikeChitwood, who could hardly contain his disgust. "That they could besusceptible to this type of behavior is absolutely a disgrace."

Please note that I refuse to name the Daytona Beach 9. In my opinion, thesemen have suffered enough already.

Public sex, especially sex in public toilets or "tearooms," has always beencontroversial, even within the GLBT community. Almost without exception,bathroom sex is male masturbatory or male homosexual, proof perhaps of themale's greater sex drive. It is not my intent, in writing this article, tocondone bathroom sex. In fact, due to its health, safety and legal hazards,I do not recommend it.



Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Waterloo adopts sexual orientation protections

Published Thursday | November 15, 2007

WATERLOO, Iowa - It took four years of lobbying from human rights activistsand a change in state law, but members of Waterloo's gay and lesbiancommunity are now protected by city ordinance from discrimination.

City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to add "sexual orientation"to the list of classes protected from discrimination in the areas ofemployment, housing, education, public accommodations and credit practices.

Sexual orientation covers residents who are gay, lesbian, bisexual,transgender or perceived to be such. The ordinance previously barreddiscrimination based on race, gender, age, disability, religion, creed andnational origin.

"This is not condoning a lifestyle. It's condemning discrimination,"Councilman Reggie Schmitt said. "I supported it four years ago. I still do."

Members of the city's Human Rights Commission have been asking the councilto adopt the sexual orientation protections for nearly four years, but werenot able to gain enough support to bring it up for a vote.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Conservative coalition takes credit for wins at the polls

by Laura Kiritsy
associate editor
Wednesday Nov 14, 2007

Give the Coalition for Marriage and Family credit for good politicalstrategy. The coalition is an incarnation of, thegroup that sponsored the anti-gay marriage amendment that was defeated inJune. Apparently recognizing that another amendment would be DOA on BeaconHill given the legislature's solid pro-equality super-majority, theCoalition for Marriage and Family apparently decided to lay some groundworkfor the future by getting involved in municipal elections across the statethis year. And they're claiming credit for some victories at the ballot boxon Nov. 6.

In a recent email to its membership, the coalition touted the victories of"pro-family" candidates like Tom Koch, a marriage amendment petition signerwho defeated incumbent Mayor William Phelan in Quincy, and Brockton'sincumbent Mayor Jim Harrington, who defeated Jass Stewart, an openly gay mandescribed as a "same-sex marriage activist ... who is 'married' to anotherman." Other victories included Catholic Citizenship Executive DirectorVictor Pap's election to the Weymouth Town Council, Greater MarlboroughMarriage and Family Chapter Co-Chair Paul Ferro's re-election to theMarlborough City Council, and anti-equality state Rep. Robert Correia'sdefeat of pro-equality state Rep. David Sullivan for mayor of Fall River.

"Through the grassroots activities of our Marriage and Family chapters aswell as our financial support for candidates, we are making a difference toelect pro-family candidates at the local level," the coalition email states."We're also building our grassroots network, an effort that is vital torecruiting pro-family legislative candidates in the future to defeatanti-family incumbent legislators."

Or, as a poster at the anti-gay blog recently opined ofthe elections, "The marriage issue is NOT over yet my friends. We're justseasoning people who will run pro-same-sex 'marriage' supporting politiciansout of the State House."

It's difficult to quantify how much involvement and impact the coalitionactually had on the races. According to an email distributed by theMassachusetts Family Institute, the coalition and its local chapters "wereimportant players in 13 races across the state, eleven of which resulted inpro-family victories." Coalition spokeswoman Lisa Barstow declined aninterview request to discuss the specifics of the coalition's electoralwork. "We're not inclined to discuss our specific strategy or the races wetarget," said Barstow in an email to Bay Windows. "Suffice it to say thatall politics is local, and we're doing the work that it takes on the groundto help get out the vote."

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay rights advocate dies

By Jill Nolin
November 13, 2007

Ken Baker, a lifelong advocate for gay rights and one of the founders of thestatewide gay rights organization Equality Alabama, died Sunday morning atage 50.

The cause of death is not yet known.

Unity United Church of Christ recently awarded Baker the Crystal Cross forhis advocacy work. He was recognized specifically for his role in startingEquality Alabama and Communities of Faith for Full Inclusion.

"He's sure going to be missed around here," said longtime friend andcolleague Lynn Shaw, who is a past president of the Montgomery Chapter ofParents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

"I just can't believe how everyone's going to go on and function because hewas involved in so many things."

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Comment: Evangelical has no place on equality commission

15th November 2007 10:35

Simon Barrow of Ekklesia has a silver tongue when it comes to making excusesfor the disgraceful behaviour of some of his co-religionists.

Now he comes out in defence of the Evangelical Alliance and its leader JoelEdwards, who has been appointed as a commissioner to the Equality and HumanRights Commission.

Give him time, says Simon, let's see how he behaves. He might change.

Well, I was one of those who objected to Joel Edwards' appointment and I didso after observing years of efforts by him and his organisation to retardgay rights.

Full protection against discrimination at work for gay people? Joel Edwardsopposed it.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Italy gay protection law moves forward

15th November 2007 15:25 staff writer

The justice committee of the lower house of the Italian parliament hasapproved the text of a new bill that will outlaw homophobic crime.

The measure is part of a larger legislative package designed to tackleviolence against women, children and old people and gender discrimination.

Yesterday the Minister for Equal Opportunities, Barbara Pollastrini, said:"every year, there are more women dying from violence than from diseases oraccidents."

Details about the provisions on homophobia are sketchy, but AKI news agencyreports that "homophobia will be punishable with a prison sentence of up tofour years" and "the bill makes it a crime to express 'reservations' againstindividuals on the basis of their sexual orientation."

The new legislation expands an 1993 anti-racism law.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

New Report Estimates There Were 12.1 Million Adult GLBT Internet Users inthe US in 2007

November 15, 2007 12:00 PM Eastern Time

DUBLIN, Ireland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets
( has announced theaddition of Gay and Lesbian Internet Users: The GLBT Community to theiroffering.

The gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender (GLBT) market in the US isestimated to number approximately 15 million with an annual purchasing powerof $660 billion. And many of them are online.

The Gay and Lesbian Internet Users report tracks the growth of atrend-setting marketing segment that has more disposable income anddiscretionary time than its heterosexual counterpart.

The GLBT community has embraced the Internet with vigor.

Gay and lesbian Internet users are very active on social networking sitesand blogs, regularly purchase goods and services online and conduct a gooddeal of their travel arrangements online.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Exodus Drops Nutty Therapist From Referral List

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Recently, a bizarre NARTH therapist, Dr. James E. Phelan, has been postingto this site. Ex-Gay Watch has been following his strange actions, since hewrote a disquieting blog item about having "one-two drop kicked the hell outof" a man in the Columbus Marathon. It seems Phelan had heckled a gay group,one of many who had gathered alongside the road to cheer the runners on. Thevictim of his drop kick had protested this by allegedly shoving Phelan. Noone Ex-Gay Watch contacted remembered such an event so they can't confirmwhat happened. Phelan himself confided that the police had not beennotified.

After this disturbing incident, Ex-Gay Watch discovered that Phelan's namewas no longer appearing on the Exodus International referral list of ex-gayministries and therapists. He was listed there when this story broke lastmonth, but not now. Exodus has not yet responded to Ex-Gay Watch's requestfor more information.

Phelan posted a series of strange and belligerent rants on the Ex-gay Watchsite that are hardly befitting of a professional therapist. Based on histemperament, it appears that this man might be on the wrong side of thetherapy couch. Here are a few excerpts of his quotes:

"I may joke and get heated and talk shit..."

"I resigned from that board because I felt she was pressuring me to makeunnecessary apologies, and curve [sic] my language. I already have a motherand don't need another one."

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Singapore bans game over lesbian scene

15th November 2007 10:10 staff writer

An X box game has been banned by state censors in Singapore because of alesbian love scene.

The authorities in the city state are among the most repressive in the freeworld. Computer games are not allowed to "feature exploitative or gratuitoussex and violence, or denigrate any race or religion."

The game, Mass Effect, will be launched across the world next week.

The deputy director of Singapore's Board of Film Censors said that becauseof "a scene of lesbian intimacy" the game has been "disallowed."

This is not the first time that lesbians have fallen foul of theauthorities.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Boston Herald reporter's inflammatory comment sparks debate

by Sam Baltrusis
EDGE Northeast Regional Editor
Wednesday Nov 14, 2007

Michele McPhee, the Boston Herald?s ace crime columnist and host of a dailytwo-hour radio talk show on WTKK, made an on-air comment on Tuesday, Nov. 13that?s raising a few red flags within the GLBT community.

The tell-it-like-it-is reporter, who returned to her Boston roots in 2004after being the first female police-bureau chief at the New York Daily News,was chatting about the fashion industry?s penchant for thin models.

After stereotyping the sartorially inclined by saying the industry isdominated by gay men, she made an off-the-cuff retort that could beconstrued as equating pedophilia with being gay.

McPhee quips: "And who do homosexual men like? Little boys."

When questioned by EDGE, the director of corporate communications from 96.9FM?s Greater Media, Heidi Raphael, sent a prepared release.

"Michele?s comments were made in the context of a fashion industry thatdesigns women?s clothes for atypical body types," Raphael responds. "Sheregrets if her remarks were taken to mean anything else, as no other meaningwas intended."

When questioned by a local reporter at Boston Magazine, McPhee claims thequote is taken out of context. However, WTKK?s program director, GraceBlazer, has not released an audio clip of the questionable jab to either themedia or the public.

The radio personality currently holds court as the Herald?s tough-as-nailsfemale crime reporter. The role, made famous by the street smart MichelleCaruso who left in 1994 for a gig on the West Coast, has been a staple forthe One Herald Square tabloid.

While McPhee doesn?t have a history of spewing anti-gay venom, she does havea flair for inflammatory descriptions. In her Nancy Grace-style weeklycolumn, she regularly refers to alleged perpetrators as "maggots" and takesa strong editorialized stance in support of the status quo.

Critics aren?t convinced that the celebrated crime columnist and author of"Mob Over Miami" is a homophobe. However, they believe the on-air flub tapsinto a national debate.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

NBJC Joins

The Hip Hop Movement

Although hip hop hasn't always beeen lyrically kind in its treatment towardsthe LGBT community, efforts are now under way to find a common ground,create a crucial dialogue and to rally together around key community issues.

The National Black Justice Coalition is proud to announce that it isco-sponsoring and participating in the "Stop Hate Crimes and Police ViolenceYouth Rally and Concert" in Washington, DC on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007, 12noon till dark. Multiple hip hop acts will also perform throughout the day.

In attendance will be victims and family members of victims of policebrutality and hate crimes. They along with many others will gather for arally and concert at the Washington Monument. The purpose of the event is tomobilize youth against the snares of hate crimes, police brutality, andcommunity violence.

NBJC Board of Directors Vice Chair, Donna Payne will speak at the rallystressing the need for unity and collaborative work. Hence this comingSaturday will truly be an historic moment when NBJC officially joins forceswith the hip hop movement.

Since its inception, NBJC has strongly viewed Hip Hop as a beautiful artform of expression which spits truth to power and reminds us that there isstill much work to be done within our communities. Hip hop is indeed alightening rod of action and an effective tool for grassroots mobilization.

The National Black Justice Coalition stands committed to working with theHip Hop movement so that we can all live to see a violent free tomorrow!!!



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List>

America's courts are under attack.

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Learn how the government works while she leads you through Lambda Legal'snew Fair Courts Matter democracy-in-action guide. She'll take you on a tripthrough historic Supreme Court cases where the balance between right andwrong, equality and injustice, depended on having a fair and impartialcourt.

Super Judge will give you the tools you need to stand up against thepoliticians and extremist organizations who are threatening the very systemour country was founded upon. These groups are questioning the courts'authority to decide civil rights issues like LGBT rights, abortion or schoolprayer. They are trying to insert their political beliefs into the judicialsystem. Meanwhile, judges ruling in favor of fairness have been strong-armedwith threats of impeachment and other types of intimidation.

Join Our Superhero Squad!


Gay & Lesbian Leadership

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

Congress divided over hate-crimes protections in defense bill
A conference vote on the defense bill has been postponed until early nextmonth, after some members of both chambers balked at an amendment to theSenate version that would add sexual orientation to the groups covered bythe federal hate-crimes law. U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, one ofthe conferees, said the negotiators for both chambers would look for a"middle ground." The House earlier this year passed a stand-alone version ofthe gay-inclusive hate-crimes bill. The Hill (11/16)

Keystone State's hate-crimes law overturned over procedural issue
A Pennsylvania court has overturned a law adding protections for sexualorientation and physical disabilities to the state's hate-crimes law becausethe provisions were substituted for a bill originally intended to addressagricultural crimes. The lawsuit was filed by Repent America, a conservativeChristian group. The state attorney general is considering whether to filean appeal; lawyers for the Senate and House did not comment for thisarticle. The Philadelphia Inquirer/Associated Press (11/15)

Source: N.Y. governor links Senate majority change, marriage rights
A bill to equalize marriage rights would be a top priority in 2009 ifDemocrats were to gain control of New York's state Senate, Gov. EliotSpitzer reportedly told an audience at a private fundraiser on Wednesdaynight. However, the governor's spokeswoman said the only reference Spitzermade to the issue was in noting the state Assembly's passage of a marriagebill and that he did not comment on whether the marriage bill would be apriority in a Democrat-controlled state Senate. New York Post (11/16)

Demographer: Gays in heartland could be 2008 election force
The increasing presence of LGBT people in so-called red states, coupled withgreater gay acceptance by the general public, could have a significantimpact on the 2008 elections, according to Gary J. Gates, a senior researchfellow at the UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute. USA TODAY (11/15)

Out coach earns respect of Army cadets profiles Lou Tharp, an openly gay, civilian coach of WestPoint's nationally ranked triathlon team who has been treated respectfullyby cadets and officers alike. (11/13)

Hillary Clinton's White House run endorsed by Frank
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the only out man serving in Congress, hasjoined the only out woman, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., in backing thepresidential run of U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. Frank said Clinton "isthe candidate best equipped to pass laws that will treat all Americans withdignity, fairness and equality no matter who they are or who they love." TheNation (11/14)

Out ex-cop in race to become mayor of London
Out candidate Brian Paddick, the former deputy assistant commissioner ofLondon's Metropolitan Police, will challenge Mayor Ken Livingstone as theLiberal Democratic Party candidate in the 2008 election. A win by Paddickwould make London the biggest city in the world to be helmed by an outofficial. (11/13)


To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

Information, news, and discussion about the legal recognition of same-sexcouples and their families, including marriages, domestic partnerships,civil unions, adoptions, foster children and similar issues.

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

Norway's massive Lutheran church may have just stepped into a judicial messof Biblical proportions. The Lutheran synod voted 50-34 to lift a 1997 banon relationship-oriented queer clergy. Great, right? Of course, except forthe fact that not all of the Norwegian bishops have to abide by the newrule:Norway's state Lutheran church on Friday lifted an outright ban onallowing those living in homosexual partnerships to serve in the clergy, butwill leave it up to each bishop to make individual decisions on whether toemploy them. Varying practices in 11 bishops' districts could triggerlawsuits on whether different employment practices in the same organizationviolate anti-discrimination and labor laws."This is food for the SupremeCount [sic]," said synod delegate Hans Petter Jahre, a special legal adviserto the national prosecutor.Gay lutheran Arne Groenningsaeter certainly didn'tmind the constitutional conundrum, telling the press, "Finally, I can getrid of the feeling of having a B-team membership in the church!" You sureare, Arne, you sure are.

NY Gov. Spitzer said at a private fund-raiser that he wants aDemocratic-controlled state Senate to legalize equal marriage rights - ahighly divisive and controversial issue - as one of its first priorities in2009, a witness to the remarks told The New York Post. Spitzer pledged tohelp Democrats next November win the three Senate seats they need to gainthe majority. "One of the first things we're going to do when [SenateMinority Leader] Malcolm Smith is [majority] leader is gay marriage," thewitness recounted Spitzer as telling some 60 people who paid up to $10,000each to attend the event in Greenwich Village Wednesday night. "Everybodyapplauded when he said that," said the witness, who was among senators,Democratic activists and lobbyists at a fund-raising event for the SenateDemocratic Committee. It was held in the library of the elegant West 13thStreet home of HBO's "Oz" creator Tom Fantana.

As a researcher on homosexuality, Li Yinhe, a sociologist focusing onsexology with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, is leading the callfor legalizing gay marriage with many proposals and she is the interestrepresentative for the minority of homosexuals in China. "There are noextreme moral opponents against homosexuality in China, so it is easier forthe same sex lovers in China to claim their rights than in the Westerncountries, and China is always making progress,""said professor LiYinhe."About 90 percent of Chinese people believe that homosexuality willexercise no influence on job selections, which exceeds the number of 86percent in America. This is a noticeable progress and it may mean moretolerance towards homosexuality in China," said Professor Li Yinhe.Manyexperts believe that the tolerance of homosexuals has indicated progress insocial civilization in China. There are about 30 million homosexuals inChina, based on academic estimates. The higher a person's position in thesocial hierarchy, the more likely he or she will be tolerant; to accepthomosexuality is very common among white collar-workers with a good incomein China, said Li.


Janet Reno Joins
Fairness for All Families Campaign

(Tallahassee) Janet Reno, the former US Attorney General and the only woman to ever hold that post, has joined the Fairness for All Families Campaign.

Reno, a longtime advocate for children and families, will serve on the Honorary Board for the Fairness campaign to defeat a proposed amendment to Florida Constitution that could strip away employee benefits for unmarried Floridians and their loved ones. The measure is slated for the November 2008 ballot.

Existing members of the campaign's Honorary Board of Directors include: U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz; former Department of Elder Affairs Secretary and past AARP President Bentley Lipscomb; Florida NAACP President Adora Obi Nweze; Howard Simon, Executive Director, Florida ACLU; Rev. Nancy Wilson, Worldwide Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches; Mitch Cesar, Chairman, Broward Democratic Party; Joe Garcia, Chairman, Miami-Dade Democratic Party; Karl Dickey, Florida Libertarian Party Chair.

"We are extremely excited not only to have Attorney General Reno join the Fairness for All Families Campaign, but to also have her take on a leadership position as a member of our Honorary Board of Directors," said Barbara A. DeVane of the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans and a member of the campaign's Oversight Committee. "This amendment will hurt all unmarried couples and every Floridian who cares about their future, and that of their loved ones, must stand up and oppose this discrimination."

The Fairness for All Families Campaign has amassed a coalition of nearly 200 organizations and community leaders representing seniors, business leaders, consumer groups and social justice organizations working together to oppose the effort to take away benefits and enshrine discrimination in Florida's constitution.

More than 8,000 public and private employers nationwide - including almost half of the Fortune 500 companies - offer health care benefits to employee's domestic partners or spouses.

The addition of Janet Reno to the Fairness for All Families Campaign comes at a time when editorial boards across the state are taking a strong stand against the amendment as "unnecessary" and 'harmful" to all unmarried Floridians including seniors, public employees and others who rely on domestic partnership benefits to protect their loved ones.

Fairness for All Families is a growing coalition that includes seniors, business leaders, consumer groups and social justice organizations who are joining together to oppose stripping away existing employee benefits while barring the passage of future measures to help Florida families.

Existing members of the campaign's Honorary Board of Directors include:
U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz; former Department of Elder Affairs Secretary and past AARP President BentleyLipscomb; Florida NAACP President Adora Obi Nweze; Howard Simon, Executive Director, Florida ACLU; Rev. Nancy Wilson, Worldwide Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches; Mitch Cesar, Chairman,Broward Democratic Party; Joe Garcia, Chairman, Miami-Dade Democratic Party; Karl Dickey, Florida Libertarian Party Chair.



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