Sunday, November 18, 2007

GLBT DIGEST November 18, 2007

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Forwarded from Paul Moore

Carey and Tutu wade into conflict over gays

By Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Last Updated: 1:24am GMT 18/11/2007

The Anglican Church will be hit next week by a new row over its"obsession" with homosexuality.

Two of the Church's most respected figures are to deepen the growingrift over gays, which already threatens the biggest split in the Anglicanmovement since it began four centuries ago.

In attacks that will be seen as aimed at the leadership of theArchbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, both his predecessor, Lord Carey,and the South African archbishop Desmond Tutu take conflicting views on theissue.

The South African Nobel Peace Prize winner accuses the Anglican movementof being "almost obsessed with questions of human sexuality". He says thatunder Dr Williams's leadership the church became "extraordinarilyhomophobic" during the debate over whether Gene Robinson, an openly gaypriest, should be allowed to be the Bishop of New Hampshire.

Lord Carey accuses liberals of being "unbiblical" and underminingmarriage by supporting gay partnerships.

His outspoken defence of the right of Christians to say that homosexualbehaviour is wrong is in marked contrast to the tone of his successor, whohas adopted a more conciliatory approach.

Insisting that he will "stand firm" against the pro-gay agenda, LordCarey says that traditionalists should not be considered homophobic forsaying that same-sex relationships are not acceptable.

His remarks will be broadcast two days before a controversial servicebeing held by Dr Williams for gay clergy and their partners. The archbishopis due to celebrate the eucharist with them despite traditionalists claimingthat this would defy Church guidelines that say that homosexual priestsshould be celibate. Evangelicals wrote to Dr Williams last month urging himnot to preside at the service. Liberals fear Lord Carey's comments will addto the pressure on Dr Williams to pull out.

Lord Carey says: "I don't think that homosexuality is a human rightsissue and one of justice. For me and many, many people, the issue is deeplytheological. It has a lot to do with our humanity and how we find it andexpress it, to do with marriage . faithfulness and friendship."

Lord Carey and Archbishop Tutu make their comments on a Radio 4programme, From Calvary to Lambeth. Lord Carey says: "I've neverdiscriminated against them [homosexuals]. Having said that, I believe thatthe Church should have the right to make its own rules and I stand veryfirmly with what the Bible has to say about practising homosexuality."

He argues that the Bible is "clearly unequivocal" in stating that it iswrong, and accuses liberals in the Church who support a homosexual lifestyleof undermining marriage.

"I respect homosexuals, their right to exist, their right to set uphomes and have same-sex relationships, but it's quite a different thing tosay that those things should be normative within the Christian community,"he says. "The Christian community has every right to say that certainbehaviour is right, certain behaviour is wrong, and to hold to that withoutbeing called homophobic."

Lord Carey's interview will be broadcast at 8pm on Tuesday, November 27.Two days later, Dr Williams is to give an address entitled "Presentrealities and future possibilities for lesbians and gay men in the Church"during the service at St Peter's, Eaton Square. The London parish containssome of the most liberal Anglicans.

Canon Giles Goddard, chairman of Inclusive Church - a pro-gay group -said Lord Carey's comments were "seriously unhelpful" to his successor'sattempts to prevent the Church from splitting. But evangelicals will welcomeLord Carey's remarks.

Dr Williams says his attendance at the service is an attempt to listento the concerns of different groups within the Church and to try to resolvethe divisions.



Hi everyone!

Great news from Nicaragua - the Legislative Assembly just passed a newversion of the penal code without the sodomy prohibition; in other words,they've just decriminalized sodomy in Nicaragua!! The new penal code shouldcome into effect in March next year. Here's one report in English about thereform:

So well-done to everyone who organized protests, visited the Nicaraguanambassadors and sent letters over these last two years. We'll never knowhow much effect all these campaigns actually had, but at least the finalresult is what we wanted; another domino down in the long campaign todecriminalize sodomy around the world.

This also means that Latin America is now pretty much free of sodomy laws,although it seems there are still some dormant sodomy laws on the books in acouple of Latin American countries as far as we can tell.

The one disappointing element in all this is that, despite the victory forLGBT rights, the new Nicaraguan Penal Code maintains a total ban onabortion.

Well, it's a great joy to deliver good news for once! Congratulations againto everyone for a sustained, timely and ultimately effective campaign. Ithink champagne could be in order!

Tony Pitman
Amnesty International Mexico


The New York Times

Rhodes Scholars Named for 2008

November 18, 2007
Filed at 1:35 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Thirty-two men and women from across the United Stateshave been selected as Rhodes Scholars for 2008, the scholarship trustannounced Sunday.

The scholars were selected from 764 applicants endorsed by 294 colleges anduniversities. The scholarships, the oldest of the international study awardsavailable to American students, provide two or three years of study. Thestudents will enter Oxford University in England next October.

This year's winners include Brett T. Masters of Charlotte, Mich., a seniorat Princeton where he majors in comparative literature. Masters won thenational Dante prize of the Dante Society of America as well as prizes inthe humanities and in writing.

He writes for the Daily Princetonian, was an organizer of the Gay FamilyRights Project and tutors with two local groups. At Oxford he plans to focuson medieval studies.

Rhodes Scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of Britishphilanthropist Cecil Rhodes. Winners are selected on the basis of highacademic achievement, personal integrity, leadership potential and physicalvigor, among other attributes.

more . . . . .


The New York Times

Fort Worth Episcopals Move Toward Split

November 17, 2007
Filed at 11:56 p.m. ET

DALLAS (AP) -- The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth took the first stepsSaturday to withdraw from the national church as part of a growing rift overScriptural interpretation and homosexuality, giving preliminary approval toconstitutional amendments.

The conservative diocese is among four of the 110 Episcopal dioceses --including Pittsburgh, San Joaquin, Calif., and Quincy, Ill. -- that haveapproved similar measures to break away and align with an overseas Anglicanleader. The dioceses contend U.S. church leadership has wrongly abandonedScriptural authority and traditional teachings on truth, salvation and thedivinity of Jesus Christ.

The Fort Worth convention followed a testy exchange of letters between thenational church's presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, and thediocese's Bishop Jack Iker.

Jefferts Schori warned Iker that he could face discipline if he continues toback proposals to separate from the U.S. church. Iker responded by accusingher of ''aggressive, dictatorial posturing.''

Iker referred to her letter again Saturday during his address to theconvention, saying that he ''must object to the claim that the presidingbishop has any canonical authority in this diocese or any legitimate powerover the leadership of this diocese.''

more . . . . .


Miam Herald

Gay travel: Cruise trends

Posted on Sun, Nov. 18, 2007

When the Norwegian Jewel, chartered by Rosie O'Donnell's R Family Vacations,departed Miami in February, it sent a clear message that the all-gay cruisemarket had evolved beyond the one-size-fits-all ''party boat.'' On boardwere same-sex couples, singles and hundreds of babies and children.

From family-style trips to black gay group charters to small ship andadventure sailings, gay niche-market cruises are making waves.

RSVP Vacations jump-started the all-gay and lesbian cruise industry in 1986with charters of 200-passenger ships in the Caribbean, and eventuallygraduated to larger ships and more diverse itineraries. Atlantis Eventsstarted in 1991 with land-based all-gay resort vacations, then successfullyexpanded into the cruise market in 1995 with a Club Med European itinerary;Tahiti, the Caribbean and other destinations followed.

Gay cruise passengers embraced this new vacation experience, finding thecruises a safe place where they could be free and open with their partners.

Alec Mapa, an actor from Los Angeles, says gay cruises are ``like an escapefrom reality -- and the parties are fantastic!''

more . . . . .


Miami Herald

Gay defense fails in NY hate crime

BY DAVID B. CARUSO, Associated Press

A man who tried to fend off gay-bashing charges by telling a jury that he isalso gay was convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime Thursday in an attackat a remote city beach.

Jurors deliberated several days before convicting Anthony Fortunato in thedeath of Michael Sandy, who was beaten and then chased into the path of amoving car on Oct. 8, 2006.

The jury acquitted Fortunato of murder, which could have put him behind barsfor life. He faces five to 25 years in prison instead.

Prosecutors said Fortunato and three other young men hatched a hate-inspiredrobbery scheme after they ran out of drugs and money on a weekend night. Thegroup needed an easy victim, and Fortunato suggested they look for one in anInternet chat room frequented by gay men looking for sex partners,authorities alleged.

They logged on and found Sandy, lured him out to Brooklyn's Plum Beach witha promise of a date and attacked him, prosecutors told jurors.

more . . . . .


Pastor Calls On Conservatives To Buy Microsoft Shares To Topple Gay RightsRule

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: November 17, 2007 - 4:00 pm ET

(Seattle, Washington) Gay rights foe Rev. Ken Hutcherson is calling onreligious conservatives to buy stock in Microsoft so they can force ashareholders vote on the company's policy that provides equality for gayworkers.

Hutcherson, whose megachurch is a stone's throw from Microsoft headquartersin Redmond, Washington, caused a stir at the company's recent annualmeeting, demanding the world's biggest computer company abandon its LGBTworker policy.

Microsoft's directors urged shareholders to reject the attempt, and theissue failed to get enough support for a vote, but Hutcherson is undeterred.

Following the meeting he told the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph thathe intends to keep lobbying and will urge Christian and Jewish conservativesto buy shares in the company so they can vote.

He also told the paper that Microsoft is only the first public company heintends to target.

more . . . . .


Allen Quits In Wake Of Bathroom Gay Sex Scandal

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: November 17, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Tampa, Florida) State Rep. Bob Allen (R), with one of the state's worstrecords on LGBT rights votes, resigned from the legislature late Friday,hours after he was sentenced for offering an undercover male police officercash for sex.

In the last session of the Florida legislature he sponsored a failed billthat would have tightened the state's prohibition on public sex. He also hasbeen a supporter of amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriageand has opposed a bill to curb bullying of gay students.

Friday he was sentenced to serve six months of probation (story). He mustpay a $250 fine, court costs and $245 restitution to Titusville PoliceDepartment.

Allen also was ordered to undergo testing for HIV and other STDs, complete aclass in HIV awareness class and to stay away from the park where he wasarrested.

The conservative Republican submitted his resignation to House Speaker MarcoRubio, who had pressed Allen to give up his legislative seat since his Nov.9 conviction on charges of lewd conduct and soliciting. (story) Allen'sresignation though is not effective until February 15 unless the Secretaryof State can arrange a special election before then.

Allen was busted in July during a sting at a men's washroom at Veteran'sMemorial Park in Titusville, Florida.

In taped statements made by Allen to police following his arrest andreleased by the force Allen admits to soliciting the male officer but claimsthat it was the result of being nervous by the high number of black men inthe park.

"I certainly wasn't there to have sex with anybody and certainly wasn'tthere to exchange money for it," Allen told officers.

Of the arresting officer Allen said in the tape, "This was a pretty stockyblack guy, and there was nothing but other black guys around in the park."

He claimed he feared he "was about to be a statistic" would have saidanything just to get away.

But on the tape Allen also admits warning the undercover cop that"undercover cops" were in the area and the man should be careful.

"I said they're around here, you ought to know about that."

He only realized he was talking to an officer when he flashed his badge.

The arresting officer's handwritten report on the arrest also was releasedby the force.

Titusville Officer Danny Kavanaugh who was on plainclothes duty says heobserved Allen entering the washroom twice. Kavanaugh said he was drying hishands in a stall when Allen peered over the stall door.

The officer's report said that after peering over the stall a second time,Allen pushed open the door and joined Kavanaugh inside. Allen muttered"'hi,'v" and then said, "'this is kind of a public place, isn't it,'" thereport said.

Kavanaugh wrote that he asked Allen about going somewhere else and Allensuggested going "across the bridge, it's quieter over there."

"Well look, man, I'm trying to make some money; you think you can hook me upwith 20 bucks?" Kavanaugh wrote in the report that he had asked Allen.

The Republican lawmaker, the report said, replied, "Sure, I can do that, butthis place is too public."

According to Kavanaugh's statement, the officer said, "do you want just(oral sex)?" and Allen replied, "I was thinking you would want one."

It was at that point Allen was arrested.

Ironically, Allen was the Police Union's 2007 Lawmaker of the Year.


Clinton Takes Aim At Romney Flip-Flops

by The Associated Press
Posted: November 17, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) Republican Mitt Romney has delighted in his attackson Hillary Rodham Clinton, questioning the Democratic presidentialcontender's experience by labeling her an "intern" and saying "she has neverrun a corner store."

The Clinton camp is fighting back with a singular rebuttal that harkens backto the GOP's devastating attacks on Democrat John Kerry in 2004. It's alsosure to echo into next year should Romney emerge as his party's presidentialnominee.

"Hillary Clinton needs no lessons on character from a man who switches hispositions on a daily basis," said campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson.

Phil Singer, another Clinton spokesman, said after Romney focused onimmigration a week ago: "Considering how often he flip-flops, we wouldn't besurprised if Gov. Romney later decides he's for sanctuary cities - again."

The singularity of response, delivered regardless of what Romney says, homesin on what proved to be one of Kerry's major vulnerabilities: the perceptionhis positions change with the political winds.

Kerry delivered President Bush a gift amid the 2004 campaign when theMassachusetts senator said of a war-funding bill, "I actually did vote forthe $87 billion before I voted against it."

In the case of Romney, another Massachusetts politician trying to reach theWhite House, the flip-flop charge could carry equal potency.

The former governor acknowledges he's switched positions on abortion rights,while he's also taken a no-new-taxes pledge that an aide labeled "politicalgimmickry" during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign.



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:

Vermont: [David] Scanlan, whose office oversees marriage licenses and othervital records, said the civil union license has been created and will beavailable at city and town clerks offices by the first week of December.Between now and then, the state is fine tuning the software that will allowlocal clerks to access the state's computer system that maintains all vitalrecords, the civil union licenses included. Within a few weeks, Scanlansaid, clerks will get word that the license is ready and they'll receiveinstructions on how to access it from the state's computer system. "We wantto be in the position that if someone wants to have a ceremony at 12:01 a.m.on the first (of January), they can do that," Scanlan said.

MA: Thirteen lucky children adopted on National Adoption Day - Editor'sNote: This 2-minute TV news story is touching, and worth viewing theideo. - It was part of National Adoption Day. The children heading for newhomes were from many races, religions, and were between six months old andnineteen years. And it also tests the traditional family structure; asame-sex couple adopted a son. "The family is really evolving into a lot ofdifferent variations but we're still all families and we still all love ourchildren and we still want the best for our children," said John Duval,[who] adopted a son with [his] domestic partner. "Well the significance isthat we are in Massachusetts and there is no bar to that. And as you couldsee from these two fathers, these boys, Jonathan, who was adopted a littlebit ago and his new brother Alexavier, they are Papi and Daddy, and that'swhat they know and it has nothing to do with the orientation of theirfathers as much as the love in their hearts, and I personally am proud tohave presided over that particular adoption," said [Jude Locke,Massachusetts Juvenile Court Circuit Justice].

This October, Christie and Teresa Basile became the first same-sex couple tohave a commitment ceremony at Disneyland -- proving anything can happen whenyou wish upon a star."It was absolutely a fairy-talewedding," says TeresaDorantes-Basile of her commitment ceremony with her partner of 7½ years,Christie Basile, at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. They were thefirst same-sex couple to have a ceremony at the park since the Walt DisneyCo. decided in April to allow commitment ceremonies.

DALLAS (Reuters) - The number of couples who claim to be in a same-sexpartnership has risen dramatically in conservative bastions of America suchas the South and western mountain states, according to a new study releasedon Friday. Such demographic trends could have political implicationsespecially for the religious and conservative wing of the Republican Partywhich has used opposition to same-sex marriage and related "wedge issues" toget its flock to the polls. The report by the Williams Institute for SexualOrientation Law and Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law found that thenumber of reported U.S. same-sex couples had quadrupled to nearly 780,000nationwide between 1990 and 2006. Using U.S. census numbers taken everydecade as well as recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau'sAmerican Community Survey (ACS), it found that by far the fastest growth wasin areas associated with conservative politics and values. The increase insame-sex unmarried couples who identified themselves as such in thesesurveys increased by a rate over 600 percent in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansasand Louisiana -- 22 times faster than the region's general populationgrowth.

Screen beauty Natalie Portman is uncertain whether she'll ever getmarried -- at least not until same-sex couples are allowed to wed.The star,who is dating fashion designer Nathan Bogle, hates the fact gay marriagesremain illegal in most of America. She tells InStyle magazine, "I'm notconvinced about marriage. Divorce is so easy, and [the] fact that gay peopleare not allowed to marry takes much of the meaning out of it."

Barak Obama: FOR MY ENTIRE career in public life, I have brought themessage of LGBT equality to skeptical audiences as well as friendly ones. Noother leading candidate in the race for the presidency has demonstrated thesame commitment to the principle of full equality. I support the full andunqualified repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. While some say weshould repeal only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of thatstatute altogether. Federal law should not discriminate in any way againstgay and lesbian couples. I will also fight to repeal the U.S. military's"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, a law that should never have been passed,and my Defense Department will work with top military leaders to implement
that repeal.As president, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states totreat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws.I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure thatequal treatment. But I also believe that the federal government should notstand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best topursue equality for gay and lesbian couples - whether that means a domesticpartnership, a civil union or a civil marriage.


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