Monday, November 26, 2007

GLBT DIGEST November 26, 2007

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


To Ray's List,

Our schedule is very tight for the coming 10 days. We'll send the GLBT Digests as often as possible but may miss some days.

Best wishes!

Ray and Michael


Op-Ed Contributor
Taking Marriage Private

Olympia, Wash.
November 26, 2007

WHY do people - gay or straight - need the state's permission to marry? Formost of Western history, they didn't, because marriage was a privatecontract between two families. The parents' agreement to the match, not theapproval of church or state, was what confirmed its validity.

For 16 centuries, Christianity also defined the validity of a marriage onthe basis of a couple's wishes. If two people claimed they had exchangedmarital vows - even out alone by the haystack - the Catholic Church acceptedthat they were validly married.

In 1215, the church decreed that a "licit" marriage must take place inchurch. But people who married illictly had the same rights and obligationsas a couple married in church: their children were legitimate; the wife hadthe same inheritance rights; the couple was subject to the same prohibitionsagainst divorce.

Not until the 16th century did European states begin to require thatmarriages be performed under legal auspices. In part, this was an attempt toprevent unions between young adults whose parents opposed their match.

The American colonies officially required marriages to be registered, butuntil the mid-19th century, state supreme courts routinely ruled that publiccohabitation was sufficient evidence of a valid marriage. By the later partof that century, however, the United States began to nullify common-lawmarriages and exert more control over who was allowed to marry.

more . . . . .


A Notorious Main Drag, in Line for Big Changes

Denver Journal
November 26, 2007

DENVER, Nov. 21 - Colfax Avenue is often described as one of America'swickedest streets. Jack Kerouac wrote of its tawdry watering holes in "OnThe Road." In the movie "Every Which Way But Loose," Clint Eastwood'scharacter and his pet orangutan, Clyde, came here looking for action.

The broad, bustling thoroughfare is Denver's most famous and notoriousdrag - a refuge for poets, addicts, hipsters and hustlers that has been theRocky Mountains' answer to Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco and GreenwichVillage in New York. But while those neighborhoods have become gentrified,Colfax Avenue has largely retained its hardscrabble soul.

But there are signs the avenue is changing, particularly the Capitol Hillsection, where ambitious new zoning laws and increased police presence aredrawing businesses and driving down crime. And some residents worry that theresurgence will sanitize Colfax Avenue's legendary grit.

"People always say they're trying to establish a sense of community here, asif it didn't already exist," said Walt Young, who has been cutting hair for38 years at the Upper Cut, an old-time barber shop on the avenue.

The Capitol Hill slice of Colfax Avenue was a haven for the wealthy beforeit fell on difficult times. Today it is among the city's most colorful anddistinctly urban neighborhoods, a warren of apartment buildings where young,upwardly mobile transplants, low-income senior citizens and street-hardenedaddicts co-exist.

more . . . . .


Study Calls HIV in D.C. A 'Modern Epidemic'
More Than 80 Percent Of Recent Cases Were Among Black Residents

By Susan Levine
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 26, 2007; A01

The first statistics ever amassed on HIV in the District, released today ina sweeping report, reveal "a modern epidemic" remarkable for its size,complexity and reach into all parts of the city.

The numbers most starkly illustrate HIV's impact on the African Americancommunity. More than 80 percent of the 3,269 HIV cases identified between2001 and 2006 were among black men, women and adolescents. Among women whotested positive, a rising percentage of local cases, nine of 10 were AfricanAmerican.

The 120-page report, which includes the city's first AIDS update since 2000,shows how a condition once considered a gay disease has moved into thegeneral population. HIV was spread through heterosexual contact in more than37 percent of the District's cases detected in that time period, in contrastto the 25 percent of cases attributable to men having sex with men.

"It blows the stereotype out of the water," said Shannon Hader, who becamehead of the District's HIV/AIDS Administration in October. Increases by sex,age and ward over the past six years underscore her blunt conclusion that"HIV is everybody's disease here."

The new numbers are a statistical snapshot, not an estimate of theprevalence of infection in the District, which is nearly 60 percent black.Hader, an epidemiologist and public health physician who has worked on thedisease in this country and internationally, said previous projectionsremain valid: One in 20 city residents is thought to have HIV and 1 in 50residents to have AIDS, the advanced manifestation of the virus.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

"Studying the Political and Social Attitudes
of Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals"

Hunter College
West Building, Faculty/Staff Dining Room - 8th Floor
East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue
Thursday, November 29, 2007

NYAAPOR hosts an evening session on new research on discrimination and thehealth of lesbians, gays and bisexuals (LGB) - as well as plans for a newstudy of the political attitudes of LGB populations.

Kenneth Sherrill, presenter, is Professor of Political Science at HunterCollege, CUNY and has been doing public opinion research for over 40 years.He has published articles in journals such as Public Opinion Quarterly,Comparative Politics, Journalism Quarterly, and PS: Political Science andPolitics, as well as being the author of Power, Policy, and Participation(Harper and Row) and Gays and the Military (Princeton University Press). Inaddition, Sherrill has consulted with media on public opinion, voting, andelections since 1968.

Patrick Egan, presenter, is Assistant Professor of Politics at New YorkUniversity. He specializes in public opinion, public policy, and theirrelationship in the context of American politics. Egan's current researchfocuses on how legislators exploit their parties' expertise on particularissues to take positions that are unresponsive to their constituents'opinions; how lesbians and gays acquire partisanship and political views;and how Supreme Court decisions on controversial issues affect publicopinion.

Ilan Meyer, presenter, is Associate Professor of Clinical SociomedicalSciences and Deputy Chair for MPH Programs at the Department of SociomedicalSciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. His areasof research include stress and illness in minority populations -particularly the relationship of minority status, minority identity,prejudice and discrimination, and mental health outcomes in sexualminorities and the intersection of minority stressors related to sexualorientation, race/ethnicity and gender. His model of minority stress isoften used in studies of health in lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals (LGB)and his studies have been quoted as evidence in briefs to several courtcases advocating for gay rights.

Murray Edelman, moderator, is a consultant with CBS News and Seton HallUniversity, as well as a consultant and Distinguished Scholar at RutgersUniversity. He was given the NYAAPOR Outstanding Achievement Award in 2005and has been president of National AAPOR, as well as the New York Chapter.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

HRC 'Duplicity' Protested

Gay City News, 11/21/2007

It was not exactly the Stonewall Rebellion II, but a group of about 40mostly veteran LGBT activists picketed a social gathering for members of theHuman Rights Campaign at the Stonewall Bar on Christopher Street, scene ofthe 1969 uprising by gay and transgendered people that sparked the modernLGBT movement.

Jon Winkleman, a gay activist and board member of the National StonewallDemocrats, organized the protest against what he termed HRC's "dishonestyand duplicity" in supporting the US House passage of the EmploymentNon-Discrimination Act covering sexual orientation but dumping genderidentity and expression.

"HRC and its executive director Joe Solmonese repeatedly told the communitythey were fighting for an inclusive ENDA when they were secretly lobbyingCongress to pass the more expedient lesbian-and-gay-only version." Winklemansaid.

The demonstrators demanded that HRC give a perfect legislative score to theseven members of the House, including five from New York City, who voted noon the stripped-down version of ENDA. They also want Solmonese to resign"for his lies and duplicity," according to a flier, and for HRC to set asideten percent of its national and local boards for people of transgenderexperience.




Oxford Union urged: Drop Nick Griffin and David Irving

Students vote 2 to 1 proceed with debate
Free speech does not require the promotion of hate-mongers
"The BNP is a threat to human rights. It should not be promoted"

Oxford - 26 November 2007

Human rights campaigner and Green Party candidate for Oxford East,Peter Tatchell, has condemned the decision of the Oxford Union to goahead with the Nick Griffin and David Irving debate tonight:

"This debate will promote the fascist BNP. If it had a chance, the BNPwould deny freedom of speech to others. The BNP is a threat to humanrights. It should not be promoted," said Mr Tatchell.

Members of the Oxford Union debating society have voted nearly 2 to 1in favour of proceeding with a free speech debate tonight, Monday 26November, featuring guest speakers, Nick Griffin, leader of the farright British National Party, and Holocaust revisionist historian,David Irving.

The vote was called by the Oxford Union President Luke Tryl, after hehad been deluged with protests from MPs and from Jewish, black, gayand anti-fascist organisations. They wanted the invitations to Griffinand Irving withdrawn; arguing against giving a platform to speakerswho they accuse of being fascists or apologists for fascism.

The student vote, held last Friday, was 1,062 in favour of going aheadwith the debate with Griffin and Irving as guest speakers, and 640against.

Commenting on the decision of the Oxford Union, Peter Tatchell, theGreen Party candidate for the constituency of Oxford East, whichincludes the Oxford Union, said:



From The Times - UK
November 26, 2007

Attorney-General set to scupper plans to make gay hate a crime
Richard Ford and Frances Gibb

Government plans to criminalise the stirring up of hatred against gaysand lesbians are in disarray because of a Cabinet split over the need forsuch a law.

The split - between Baroness Scotland of Asthal, the Attorney-General,and Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary - are likely to scupper plans for anew offence.

Baroness Scotland has privately expressed concern about thecontroversial legislation proposed by Mr Straw, The Times has learnt.

Mr Straw announced the plans last month with the backing of HarrietHarman, the Equalities Secretary. He had said that he would bring forwardan amendment to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill this month toextend the law that already protects religious and racial groups, carryingup to seven years in jail.

He had also said that he would listen to views about whether theincitement offence should be extended further to cover hatred againstdisabled and transgendered people.

But Baroness Scotland, who is also determined to crack down on theproblem of homophobic behaviour, believes that there are sufficient laws onthe statute book to deal with the issue.

She also has concerns about the difficulities of getting the proposalthrough the House of Lords, which gave a rough ride to measures onincitement to religious hatred and substantially watered them down.

She is understood to have told colleagues that she wants to see moresuccessful prosecutions in this area, but is unconvinced that a new law isthe way to do it and would prefer to focus on existing procedures.

It is the second time in recent weeks that ministers' plans have failedto win the support of Baroness Scotland, the country's senior law officer.

Last week The Times reported that she believed the case had not beenmade for extending the time that terror suspects can be held before charge.


First Animated Cartoon Series for Kids Starring a Character with GayParents - Buddy G My Two Moms and Me

Us2 LLC, headquartered in Omaha, NE has announced that it has developed thefirst children's animated cartoon series starring a character with twoparents of the same gender. Buddy G - My Two Moms and Me, featuring sate ofthe art 3-D animation, will premiere with the release of a DVD just in timefor a holiday delivery this year. Buddy G is a historic development inchildren's entertainment. While today's children have ready access toliterature depicting families headed by parents of the same gender, this isthe first time that children with two moms or two dads will able to see thestar of a show with a family just like their families.

Omaha, NE (PRWEB) November 25, 2007 -- Us2 LLC, headquartered in Omaha, NEhas announced that it has developed the first children's animated cartoonseries starring a character with two parents of the same gender. Buddy G -My Two Moms and Me, featuring sate of the art 3-D animation, will premierewith the release of a DVD just in time for a holiday delivery this year.

According to the Executive Producer of the show, Margaux Towne-Colley,"Buddy G is a historic development in children's entertainment. Whiletoday's children have ready access to literature depicting families headedby parents of the same gender, this is the first time that children with twomoms or two dads will able to see the star of a show with a family just liketheir families." She added, "We are very proud of this cartoon and what itmeans to our families. Future episodes will include a variety of familiesincluding those with 2 dads. Even though the series was designed forchildren with gay and lesbian parents, the show is great entertainment forall families."



Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Video from ACLU shows the effects of banning lesbian and gay adoption inFlorida.

Sun, 11/25/2007 - 6:36pm by Community Editor

A ban on gay adoptions has been in effect in Florida since 1977. This videointroduces Curtis Watson and his partner, Scott Elsass, who tell the storyof how they came to foster Francesca and Angelina, two girls whom the statecould not place anywhere else.

According to the ACLU, the girls went from being "problem" children toharmonious members of a loving family. But - after a judge awarded thecouple legal custody of Francesca and Angelina - the state tried to removethe girls from their home because Watson and Elsass are gay.

The fathers have been forced into a legal battle to win permanent custody oftheir daughters.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

US TV host drags the Queen into gay marriage debate

22nd November 2007 12:15

In the US, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams upset the Gay and LesbianAlliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and more than a few bloggers earlierthis week.

He opened a segment on the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen ElizabethII and Prince Philip by saying:

"In an era when marriage is under attack, the United Kingdom is these dayscelebrating a 60th wedding anniversary, the longest marriage of anymonarch."

After receiving several e-mails about the comment, Williams posted aresponse to MSNBC's blog.

The anchor said he was referring to "our national divorce rate, which iscurrently somewhere between 40 and 50 percent," when he used the phraseoften heard from anti-gay activists.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Poofter licence plates can stay

22nd November 2007 11:45
Tony Grew

A gay man in the US state of Virginia who was told to remove his car licenceplates because they spell out the word 'poofter' has now been told he cankeep them.

David Phillips has had the plates for eleven years. He previously claimedthat the word is only offensive to English people and Virginians would notunderstand its meaning.

According to the Washington Post, he first heard the word used by performerBoy George in a TV interview and liked it.

"It's just an amusing word that I self-identify with," he told the Post.

Earlier this month the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles ordered MrPhillips to remove the poofter plates because they deemed them to beoffensive.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Facing Sentencing, Sandy's Killers Get Letters of Support


The jury foreman in the trial of Anthony Fortunato submitted a letter to thejudge in the case renouncing his decision to convict the 21-year-oldBrooklyn man in the 2006 killing of Michael J. Sandy.

"I never, at any time, believed, stated or wanted to vote that AnthonyFortunato was guilty of manslaughter two, much less a hate crime," wroteEric Zaccar, 46, a playwright, in a letter to Jill Konviser, the judge whoheard the case.

The letter was one of ten that were included in a court filing submitted byGerald J. Di Chiara, Fortunato's lawyer, seeking lenient treatment prior toFortunato's sentencing on November 20. Zaccar sent the letter to Konviserand Di Chiara.

Zaccar said he was pressured and "screamed at" by his fellow jurors toconvict Fortunato on a charge of manslaughter as a hate crime. WhileZaccar's four-page letter might have influenced Konviser's sentence, itcould not have resulted in the verdict being overturned.

Other letters seeking leniency came from Di Chiara, from Fortunato's motherand other relatives, from a professor and the dean of students at St.Francis College, where Fortunato was once a student, from the head of aBrooklyn recreational facility, and from State Senator John L. Sampson whowrote that he had known the Fortunato family for many years.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Nassau County - Not Your Grandfather's Suburb!


The Nassau County Lesbian and Gay Democrats, an official club of the NassauCounty Democratic Committee and local affiliate of the National StonewallDemocrats, was formed in September 1999, by the late community activistWilliam J. Borman. Our purpose is to educate Democratic candidates andofficials on the issues affecting our community, support Democraticcandidates who are responsive to our community, and advocate legislationaddressing our needs.

We have no paid staff and rely entirely on volunteers. Our main fundraiseris a spring brunch, which has been well attended by residents of Nassau, aswell as friends from New York City and Suffolk County. It provides a chancefor members of our community to meet in a relaxed setting with supportivelegislators and elected officials.

Nassau County, located just east of New York City on Long Island, is theprototype of the traditional American suburb. It is home to more than 1.3million people and reputedly the richest county per capita in the state.Census figures identify that more than 63 percent of Nassau households aremade up of a "traditional" nuclear family. For almost a hundred years,Nassau County politics was in the hands of one of the strongest RepublicanParty machines in the country, resulting in a one-party government thatshowed no interest in the issues affecting our community.

Disenfranchised, LGBT people, among them the late activist Harvey Milk andfashion designer Michael Kors, went elsewhere to find freedom and a sense ofcommunity. Cognizant that protection from prejudice was the first step tobuilding a sustainable LGBT community in the traditional suburb, founderWilliam J. Borman and the NCL&G Dems set out to amend the Nassau CountyHuman Rights Law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexualorientation.

Originally introduced in October 1999, the measure was allowed to die by theRepublican majority in the County Legislature. Working with the NassauDemocratic Committee, our organization went to work to change the statusquo. An 85-year stronghold of Republican one-party politics in Nassau Countywas broken -- Democrats took control of the County Legislature for the firsttime with a tenuous 10-9 majority. We are now in the majority, if only byone vote.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Slaying of Gay Son Turns Auburndale Couple to Activism

By Eva Kis
The Ledger
Published: Sunday, November 25, 2007

AUBURNDALE | From cooking dinner to the pile of textbooks in the livingroom, anything can be a reminder of the missing piece in Pat and LynnMulder's life.

Their son, Ryan Skipper, had brief aspirations of becoming a chef and wouldhave disapproved of his stepfather's choice Saturday to serve turkey withbrussels sprouts. He was making his way through a computer technicianprogram at Traviss Career Center as his mother worked toward her master'sdegree as an advanced registered nurse practitioner.

Eight months after the 25-year-old's brutal killing, Pat Mulder stillsometimes gets blindsided by small reminders of her son. She shirks newsreports for the pain she feels at others' losses and has had panic attacksduring classes.

"You've lost a part of yourself. It's very difficult," she said.

Skipper was found stabbed to death on the side of a Wahneta road March 15.The Polk County Sheriff's Office has called his slaying a hate crime after awitness told them the men charged in his killing did it because Skipper wasgay.

more . . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Arcus matches national grant to support project

Foundation launches LGBT racial equity initiative
Originally printed 11/22/2007


The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has received two grantstotaling $150,000 to launch an initiative focusing on racial equity issueswithin the LGBT community.

The first was a challenge grant of $75,000 from Funders for Lesbian and GayIssues, a New York-based philanthropy. FLGI awarded the grant to theCommunity Foundation in August as part of its national LGBTQ Racial EquityCampaign. FLGI required the Community Foundation to raise an additional$75,000 in matching contributions as a condition of the grant award.

Then, last week, the Kalamazoo-based Arcus Foundation announced a matchinggrant of $75,000 to the Community Foundation, allowing the organization tomeet the LFGI challenge and launch the project.

The funds will enable the Community Foundation to identify and work withLGBT people of color organizations in southeast Michigan to increase theircapacity. The program will be overseen by a volunteer advisory committee ofthe Community Foundation's HOPE Fund, a fund that serves the needs ofsoutheast Michigan's HOPE Fund.

According to Karen Zelermyer, executive director of FLGI, extensive researchshows that racial inequities persist in every indicator of well-being,including health and wellness, school readiness, economic success and civicparticipation, among many others.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

HRC cancels trans memorial event
Relationships with some activists strained after ENDA fight

Nov. 22, 2007

Tuesday's memorial event at Washington's Whitman-Walker Clinic in honor ofTransgender Day of Remembrance was originally conceived as a joint eventwith the Human Rights Campaign but plans to involve the nation's largest gaypolitical group deteriorated after its leaders supported the gay-onlyversion of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that passed in the HouseNov. 7.

Washington-area trans groups such as Transgender Health Empowerment and theD.C. Trans Coalition have held their own event each year locally since 1999around Nov. 20. About 250 such events take place throughout the country.Transgender Day of Remembrance is held each fall in honor of the late RitaHester who was transgender and was murdered on Nov. 28, 1998 in SanFrancisco.

Last year in Washington, two events were held in honor of the day. HRC heldits on Nov. 20, 2006 at its D.C. headquarters. Local trans leaders such asEarline Budd, Ruby Corado and Dana Beyer participated, but another event washeld with many of the same participants around the same time at the MartinLuther King Library.

HRC approached the local trans and trans-supportive groups this summer aboutcombining the two events and the groups agreed, several sources speaking oncondition of anonymity told the Blade. But when controversy erupted overwhether transgender protections should be included in ENDA, plans for acombined event unraveled, the sources said.

HRC issued a press release Monday that said, "in lieu of holding its ownevent, HRC is asking its staff, volunteers and other members of thecommunity to be actively involved in Transgender Day of Remembranceactivities throughout the country. In Washington, D.C., HRC will participatein an event at the Whitman-Walker Clinic . HRC will not be holding an eventat its Rhode Island Ave. headquarters as previously reported."

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Ga. Senate committee explores hate crimes legislation
Gay advocates say time has come for long-stalled bill

Nov. 23, 2007

While vigorously scrutinizing the concept of hate crimes laws during alegislative study session Nov. 15, several Republican state lawmakers seemedto warm to the idea of enacting such a law in Georgia. But despite some GOPmembers of the Senate's Hate Crime Legislation Study Committee describingthe session as "very enlightening," they also wondered aloud whether therewas the political willpower to pass a law that includes sexual orientationand gender identity.

"I do think that is a politically charged topic, and it may cause someconsternation among certain representatives and senators for that to beincluded," state Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens), chair of the hate crime studycommittee, said after the four-hour session.

Cowsert said he wanted to remain neutral on a possible hate crime law untilthe bipartisan study committee wrapped up its work with a third and finalstudy session likely in December. However, the moderate Republican - whovoted for a hate crimes bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee inMarch before stalling in the full Senate - called the study session helpful.

"It's been very enlightening, and it's a healthy process to give a full,thorough debate to issues before considering them for passage," Cowsertsaid. "When we're in the session, it's a limited time period, you'rejuggling numerous other items of legislation to consider, and this has givenus enough time for thoughtful consideration."

The study session included testimony from representatives of GeorgiaEquality, Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, the Anti-Defamation League,the NAACP of Georgia and Latino rights groups, as well as the expectedprodding by conservative lawmakers looking to poke holes in the theory ofhate crimes legislation.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

MARRIAGE DIGEST: Homosexual group considering legal action against DOMA

By Michael Foust
Nov 21, 2007

BOSTON (BP)--The same legal group that successfully sued for legalized "gaymarriage" in Massachusetts now wants the federal government to recognizethose relationships.

As reported by The Boston Globe, the group Gay & Lesbian Advocates &Defenders (GLAD) is considering either filing a lawsuit or lobbying Congressto strike down the section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act thatprohibits the government from recognizing "gay marriage." If that section isaxed, then same-sex couples in Massachusetts will receive the federal legalbenefits of marriage.

Currently, though, GLAD says it is not trying to overturn the section ofDOMA that gives states the option of not recognizing another state's "gaymarriage" -- even though other homosexual organizations have expressed sucha desire to see that section repealed.

"We are not interested in forcing any other state to do anything on marriagelaws," GLAD's Carissa Cunningham told The Globe. "We're looking at where[the Defense of Marriage Act] most affects married couples and where the lawmay be vulnerable."

The decision to target only one section of DOMA likely is a pragmatic one. Politically, it would be nearly impossible to repeal the section that couldforce other states to recognize "marriages" from Massachusetts.

Additionally, with the Supreme Court now leaning to the right, any legalroute looks futile, too.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gays, Bishops Clash At Chogm

The Monitor (Kampala)
23 November 2007
By Agness Nandutu

Just as Commonwealth leaders prepared to take on the crisis in Pakistan,another one seemed to have pentrated the club from the Anglican communion-the issue of gays.

Bishops of the Province of the Church of Uganda and gay activists clashed atthe Commonwealth People's Space at Hotel Africana yesteraday when gaysoverheard bishops telling journalists that Commonwealth countries should notpromote their activities.

The Commonwealth People's Space is part of the on going Chogm activitieswhere people from all walks of life and the public freely enter and expresstheir interests and interact among themselves. While Bishops were addressinga press conference against gays at the People's Space, the gay activistswere also watching a film that was highlighting their feelings aboutsociety.

It all started when the gay activists overheard Assistant Bishop of KampalaChurch of Uganda Diocese, Zac Niringiye, telling journalists thatCommonwealth countries should not make laws that give gay rights to engagein lesbianism and homosexuality. Mr John William Foster, a gay from Canada,did not take the comments lightly. He asked Bishop Niringiye why he did notwant gays to have rights in their own countries.

"How do you dare say that? In my own Country, I have the right to exist andmy church allows me to marry a fellow man. Can you stop it," Mr Fostershouted as other visitors watched.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Arsham Parsi's speech at Canadian for Choice discussion panel in Toronto
(November 24, 07)

In the past, my speeches were mostly from a legal standpoint and I talkedabout the legal and social conditions of Iranian queers. This is my firstspeech on sexual health and the Iranian queer population. I thank myfriends at Canadian For Choice for giving me and IRQO this opportunity.

It was just a few years ago that we complained that no one cares about usand no one knows about our difficult circumstances. Today there's no placefor such complaints. Last year, directors of the IRanian Queer Organizationparticipated in more than a hundred seminars, interviews, and lectures inEurope and North America. Media inside and outside Iran started to reporton Iranian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender population. Manystudents do their dissertations and theses on the situation of Iranianqueers. Today the international community is aware of the living conditionsof queer individuals in Iran. This was one of the basic objectives of IRQOand we have fortunately achieved it.

One of the most crucial issues regarding health and sexual relations isHIV/AIDS. Before being a queer rights activist, I used to collaborate withone of the prominent medical doctors in Iran who worked on AIDS programs.Many individuals were infected with HIV/AIDS due to their lack of knowledgeabout sexually transmitted diseases. They did not know what safe sex was.In complying with the government's regulations, we were not allowed to talkabout sex or sexual health. We were only allowed to use brochures andmeetings to address "avoid risky sexual behavior."

One of my dearest friends committed suicide in 2001 because of his sexualorientation and that changed the direction of my life. I started to focusmore on queer rights. I started to work as a queer human rights activistand became the executive director of IRQO. At IRQO, we worked onhealth-related as well as legal issues. We realized that Iranian queersface the danger of AIDS more than others since the vast majority of them donot have access to information on safe homosexual sex, sexual health, andsexually transmitted diseases.

Only a small percentage of queers used condoms; and unfortunately even fewerknew how to use them properly. When I asked them the reason for not usingcondoms, they would turn red, look down, and remain silent. I thinkshyness, shame, and fear may be the reasons for not using condoms. Iranianqueers individuals felt shy to go to the pharmacy and buy condoms. To avoidthe shame of buying condoms, they would risk their health.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,,2959756,00.html?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf

More Germans Respect Lesbian TV Host After Coming Out

Journalist Anne Will

The recent announcement by nationally known TV host and former news anchorAnne Will that she is a lesbian has not damaged her image, a new surveyshowed. On the contrary, some respondents said they liked her more.

In a survey commissioned this week by the newsmagazine Stern, 16 percent ofGermans questioned said they liked television talk show host Anne Will evenmore since she announced over the weekend she was in a lesbian relationship.Only seven percent said she appealed to them less.

Will had appeared at a public event over the weekend with Miriam Meckel, amedia professor who is also a member of Deutsche Welle's broadcasting board.Posing for pictures, Will confirmed that Meckel was her partner and, allsmiles, added: "We want to keep our private life private."

Most of the people surveyed said they were indifferent to her announcement.Around two-thirds, or 64 percent, said they liked her just as much asbefore. Over 500 people were polled.

Both are media-savvy

Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Will(r.) with Miriam Meckel, a professor and TV host

Will hosts a prime-time political talk show on German public broadcasterARD. The 41-year-old is also the former news anchor of "Tagesthemen," ARD'spremier newscast.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

An accidental Coverboy activist

November 23, 2007

I wanted to share a bit of reaction to my post earlier this week about the"Coverboy of the Year" contest put on annually by Metroweekly, the D.C. gayentertainment magazine. The post was about whether it was kosher to includea female-to-male "tranny boi" (my words, not his) who loves "The L Word" andhas a girlfriend in a contest for gay boys.

I speculated in the comments to the post that the editors may havepurposefully downplayed that something special about "Alexander O." -- evennow they stop just short of identifying him as transgender -- so as not toarouse a concerted reaction from, shall we say, twink traditionalists.

Now comes word from MW that in fact they weren't even aware of Alexander'suniqueness until they were well into his photo shoot for his original spreadback in March for the weekly "Coverboy Confidential" feature. Even still,it took reading between the lines in the year-end contest to figure out hewasn't like the other finalists.

I also got a humorous email from my former flatmate "Adam D.," who I alsospotlighted in the post. I thought I'd share it (with his permission) withyou good folk:


Little did I realize back when we met that someday there'd be a blog withyour name on it that even remotely involved me. Even with my usualforesight, I was surprisingly mistaken! Not to mention speculation on mypart as to what the topic may be. At the time, if given pen and paper, I'dventure to guess the subject matter would have little to do with spotlightcoverage around a posterboy contest or, even more distant a possibility,something wrapped-up in sexual identity or gender studies. For the record,I'm hear to say that day has come and I'm all the more surprised, impressedand, shall I say, honored.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

United ENDA's flawed reasoning
Activists, politicians overstate viability of inclusion and falsely defame incrementalism.

Stephen Clark
Nov. 22, 2007

UNITED ENDA OPPOSES a "gay only" version of the EmploymentNon-Discrimination Act (ENDA) because, the group says, it would make addingtransgender protections later more difficult. The group demands a "fullyinclusive" ENDA now.

State and local experience, however, contradicts United ENDA's claim.

Protections for transgender workers have been enacted using three different strategies: inclusion, incrementalism and concealment.

Inclusion simultaneously adds both "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to a civil rights law. This ideal strategy is the one that UnitedENDA is now demanding at the federal level.

Incrementalism also adds both traits to a civil rights law, but notsimultaneously. "Sexual orientation" is added first, "gender identity"later. The version of ENDA that passed the House embodies this strategy, bydeferring "gender identity" for now.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Closet doors slow to open
New stats on number of gays only measure openness of population.

By Paul Varnell
Nov. 22, 2007

THE WILLIAMS INSTITUTE at the University of California Los Angeles School ofLaw is one of our community's most important think tanks, producinghigh-quality studies on sexual orientation and public policy.

Its latest study, "Geographic Trends among Same-Sex Couples in the U.S.Census and the American Community Survey," points to significant increasesin the number of gay couples who report their status on government surveys -from 145,000 in 1990, to just under 600,000 in 2000. The Institute's studythen uses the Census Bureau's 2006 American Community Survey (ACS) of 1.4million representative adults to determine, among other things, the numberof same-sex couples in the U.S. who reported their status. It found that780,000 couples were willing to be counted.

Unfortunately, the accompanying press release unnecessarily contains a bitof misleading language about that finding. "Unfortunately," because it is asad fact that some journalists on deadline will use the press release ratherthan the study itself as the basis for their news story. What the studyitself always carefully stipulates as couples "reporting themselves," seemssometimes to be treated in the press release as a finding about the actualnumber of gay couples.

For example, the release says the report "document(s) a gay demographicexplosion in some of the country's most politically and sociallyconservative regions." I suspect that most of these gay couples were alreadythere. They just decided to acknowledge their existence. So the "explosion"is in self-reporting, not their existence.

THE RELEASE ALSO says, "The number of same-sex couples in the U.S. hasquadrupled since 1990." Actually, the number has "quintupled" (145,000 to780,000). That's minor. More important is that the language of the releaseimplies that this is now the actual number of gay couples in the U.S.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Nothing to be thankful for
Are trans people welcome at the table with the rest of our siblings in themovement?

By Gwen Smith
Nov. 22, 2007

IT'S THANKSGIVING TIME, and I want to be charitable. I'd like to talk aboutour sometimes divergent GLBT community, sitting down at the table with eachother and passing our metaphorical stuffing and yams.

Unfortunately, I find myself feeling something very different from thisNorman Rockwell fantasy of community unity.

When the Employment Non-Discrimination Act came up for a vote in the Houseof Representatives, we got to see just who is and who isn't among ourallies. I was not surprised to see Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) leading thecharge to deny rights to transgender people, using the same tired strategythat has plagued transgender people since the early 1970s: "We'll get ours,and come back for yours." It didn't work then, it won't work now.

I'm also not very surprised that when push came to shove, most GLBTorganizations stood by the transgender community, while the Human RightCampaign backed the non-inclusive bill. This has been their stance since Igot into transgender activism in the early 1990s, and even though they haveclaimed to have made some personal progress, they're still more willing totake this over victory for all.

Yet again, I find myself hoping people remember this the next time HRC sendsa cute little fundraising letter claiming to be working for all GLBTAmericans.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay Mormon calls on church for acceptance

By Robert Parker
November 14, 2007

Perhaps this article will shed some light on one of the key issues in oursociety today - gay rights and religious conservatism.

Coming from a gay man in a church whose members are, for the most part,conservative, my announcement will surely cause discomfort among manybecause of the tension that exists between science and religious policy onthis issue. Some may not know what it is like to be a gay Mormon; hopefully,this column will shed some light and open a door to serious, well-directeddiscussion. Up until now, I have kept secret my sexual orientation. "Comingout" has now allowed me to embark upon a more intense journey toward innerspiritual peace. I realize that this will seem ironic to most.

For my fellow Christians, I want you to know that Jesus is my best friend.It is wonderful to have his love with me, His assurance that he loves mejust the way I am. I have been taught that I am made in the image of God.Yet even with his help, I realize that the future holds many trials for meas an openly gay man in a conservative religion.

My predicament is not unique in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-daySaints. By some estimates there are as many as 500,000 gay Mormons. For us,the church has erected a crippling series of obstacles which have drivenmany gay Mormons to suicide. Utah has the highest rate of suicides amongmales age 15-24. Hardest hit by church policies are younger gay Mormon menwho have had to create "anti-suicide pacts" to help each other live untilthey can eventually cope with a church that denies them life-affirmingrelationships. Many of us are living a life of closeted denial and secrecyas our leaders and fellow members compare our "condition" to Down syndrome,autism, alcoholism or drug addiction.

In a church that teaches constantly about marriage and family, we are toldthat to be accepted we must remain celibate as gays, without the blessing ofa companion. We are denied respect for our God-given feelings for oneanother and the spiritual aspect of our devotion to a companion. I amconvinced that, just as for straight people, gay people too get nearer toGod through life-affirming, enduring relationships.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Keeping the Faith :: GLBT students face adversity at Catholic colleges

by Scott Kearnan
EDGE Boston Contributor
Wednesday Nov 21, 2007

"I didn't want to go here."

That, says John Kropowensky, was his first reaction to student life atCollege of the Holy Cross. Openly gay and comfortably agnostic, he washesitant to select a school renowned for its Catholic tradition. "I wascompletely scared to go here," says Kropowensky, now 21 and in his finalyear of studies.

Halfway across the state, another gay student was having a similar dilemma."I didn't really want to go to BC," says 20-year-old Ben Lynch. ThoughBoston College enjoys a stellar academic standing, its reputation as aninhospitable campus for gay students made Lynch nervous. "I was prettyhesitant," he adds.

Seen through the eyes of a campus visitor or a promotional brochure, itwould seem that Boston College and College of the Holy Cross share a numberof similarities.

Both are competitive schools, ranked among the best Northeastern colleges bythe Princeton Review. Both have beautiful campuses; acres of manicured greengrass and gothic architecture. And both have an esteemed Catholicbackground, one that is particularly attractive to students seeking aliberal arts education informed by Jesuit tradition.

more . . . . .


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:

New Hampshire: Couples seeking civil unions will be able to go to town andcity halls on Monday, Dec. 10, to obtain a license. The state's civilunions law takes effect on New Year's Day. Deputy secretary of state DavidScanlan said he expects everything to be in place for couples who want toseal a civil union at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1. Worksheets for clerks to use inissuing a license are being printed this week. They're almost identical tomarriage license forms, with a few changes that delete the terms "bride" and"groom," he said. The final test of a statewide computer system on theweekend of Dec. 8 will be the last step in getting the state's licensingprocess in place. Computer work that will link licenses to the state vitalrecords database -- where births, deaths and marriages are recorded -- isalso well along, he said.

Philadelphia Mayor John Street performed a wedding today. What's newsworthyabout it is that the people exchanging vows were two men. But since same sexmarriage is illegal in Pennsylvania, the wedding was strictly ceremonial.Micah Mahjoubian and Ryan Bunch walked out of City Hall a married couple...not in a legal sense, but in their hearts.

WESTHAMPTON - When Hampshire Regional High School guidance counselor SallyM. Masters looks at her life to try to understand how she became socommitted to working for human rights, she thinks of four formativeexperiences. The daughter of a military family that moved frequently whenshe was a child, Masters cites living in Japan for two years when she was infourth and fifth grade and experiencing what it was like to be a minority,but also what it is like to fall in love with a culture. "I was foreverchanged by that experience," said Masters, an Easthampton resident whorecently won the first Human Rights Award from the Massachusetts SchoolCounselor Association.

Pennsylvania: Area priests will ask parishioners to get behind atraditional-marriage amendment to the state constitution. Priests throughoutthe Diocese of Scranton will appeal to parishioners this weekend for supportof a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union betweena man and a woman. The Roman Catholic Church is heading a campaign toencourage state lawmakers to support an amendment to the PennsylvaniaConstitution that would not allow legal recognition of what the diocesecalls "non-traditional alternatives to marriage." The letter from BishopJoseph F. Martino will be read at all Masses tonight and tomorrow.Philadelphia Mayor John Street is scheduled to officiate at a gay commitmentceremony today at Philadelphia City Hall. While the commitment will have nolegal recognition by the state, opponents of same-sex marriages areconcerned that gay civil unions may eventually become legal in the state.

Ireland: RTÉ and Midas Productions are looking for spontaneous, fun lovingand genuine individuals of all ages and from all walks of life to take partin their exciting new series Marry Me. Whether it's a simple picnic in yourlocal park or an exotic helicopter ride over Niagara Falls, we will help youmake your proposal as romantic and as memorable as can be giving yourunsuspecting partner the surprise of a lifetime. *Perhaps your man is tooslow to pop the question and you want to turn the tables on him! *Maybe thiswill be your second time around and you're wondering should you make a fuss.*Do you feel young at heart but think the age on your birth cert means aromantic or exciting proposal is not for you? *Are you in a same sexrelationship and want your feelings to be taken seriously and have fun andromance at the same time? * Or maybe you're just out of ideas? Whatever yourage, nationality or sexual preference - we want to hear from you if you knowthat your partner is 'the one' and you want to ask him or her to be with youforever.

The new Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, has told parliament that hisgovernment will refuse to sign the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.


[Send your comments about articles to]

No comments: