Thursday, November 29, 2007

GLBT DIGEST November 29, 2007

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Wal-Mart sets record with HRC ratings plunge
Gay shoppers urged to avoid retailing behemoth

Nov 28, 4:55 PM

The world's largest retailer set a record this month but not one itsmanagers are likely to be proud of.

Wal-Mart has the ignominious distinction of having the biggest drop from oneyear to the next on Human Rights Campaign's annual "Buying for Equality"guide, which ranks companies and identifies their most popular brands. Thecompanies are rated on a scale of zero to 100 with 100 being perfect.

Wal-Mart saw its 2006 rating of 65 plummet to 40 this year. That's lowenough to land in HRC's red zone (companies that rank zero to 45) whichmeans gays and their supporters are encouraged to "strongly consider otheroptions," according to Daryl Herrschaft, HRC's director of the WorkplaceProject which each year oversees the shopping guide, the Corporate EqualityIndex and the Best Places to Work guide. HRC doesn't encourage boycotts.

Wal-Mart's 2006 65 rating was enough to stay in the yellow HRC zone (46 to70). Green is best (85 to 100) according to HRC's criteria.

Wal-Mart's drop resulted from losses in two key areas, Herrschaft said. Thissummer the company opted not to renew its membership in the National Gay andLesbian Chamber of Commerce (it joined in 2006) resulting in a loss of 15HRC points. Wal-Mart's decision to end discussions of implementing domesticpartner benefits lost it another 10 points.

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Not welcome in Bothwell; Couple threatened, harassed

Updated 2 days ago

Hate drove Terry and Ryan Hamilton out of Bothwell.

Not because of what they did, but because of who they are.

"Die fags" was spray painted on the couple's home at 341 Main St. - sendinga clear message that they weren't welcome.

The Hamiltons fled the small East Kent hamlet after less than six months astargets of blatant gay bashing and constant harassment.

"There was no way we could stay, we were suffering such tremendous hatecrimes," Ryan told The Chatham Daily News.

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We are pleased to inform you that the 2007 edition of Choices magazine on 'the SRHR of LGBT people in Europe' is now available on via


Experts question HRC's ENDA survey
Researcher says methodology 'doesn't make sense'

Nov 28, 4:47 PM

Polling experts are questioning a recent Human Rights Campaign survey thatasked gays about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

The survey's results, circulated last month by HRC when many gays werelocked in heated debate over the measure's lack of transgender protections,show most people who responded support the bill as written.

But John Stahura, who specializes in survey research and directs the Purdue University Social Research Institute, said the survey's methodology isproblematic.

"They're playing games," he said after reviewing survey excerpts at theBlade's request. "It doesn't make sense."

Conducted for HRC by Knowledge Networks, the survey shows most respondentsbelieve national gay groups should support ENDA despite its lack ofprotections for transgender workers "because it helps gay, lesbian andbisexual workers and is a step toward transgender employment rights."

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Vast Nazi Archive On Jews, Gays, Others Opens To Public

by The Associated Press
Posted: November 28, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Amsterdam, Netherlands) After more than 60 years, Nazi documents stored ina vast warehouse in Germany were unsealed Wednesday, opening a rich resourcefor Holocaust historians and for survivors to delve into their own tormentedpast.

The treasure of documents could open new avenues of study into the innerworkings of Nazi persecution from the exploitation of slave labor to theconduct of medical experiments. The archive's managers planned a conferenceof scholars next year to map out its unexplored contents.

The files entrusted to the International Tracing Service, an arm of theInternational Committee of the Red Cross, have been used until now to helpfind missing persons or document atrocities to support compensation claims.The U.S. government also has referred to the ITS for background checks onimmigrants it suspected of lying about their past.

Inquiries were handled by the archive's 400 staff members in the German spatown of Bad Arolsen. Few outsiders were allowed to see the actual documents,which number more than 50 million pages and cover 16 linear miles of graymetal filing cabinets and cardboard binders spread over six buildings.

On Wednesday, the Red Cross and the German government announced that thelast of the 11 countries that govern the archive had ratified a 2006agreement to open the files to the public for the first time.

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Gay Marriage Good For Maryland Economy Impact Study Shows

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: November 28, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Baltimore, Maryland) As pressure mounts on Maryland lawmakers to legalizesame-sex marriage a study released Wednesday a University of Californiathink-tank shows that allowing gay and lesbian couples to wed would have apositive economic impact on the state.

A second study shows there are more than 15,000 same-sex households in thestate.

Both studies were conducted by the Williams Institute, a national think tankdedicated to the field of sexual orientation law and public policy, at theUCLA School of Law.

The impact study shows that although there would be only a small income taxbenefit to the state, revenues from same-sex weddings would be about $94million per year, providing a major boost to Maryland businesses and thestate economy. This spending could generate approximately $14 million in taxrevenue over three years, the institute said.

The report also found that extending marriage rights to same-sex coupleswould reduce the State¹s expenditures on means-tested public benefitprograms by about $1.5 million annually.

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Addiction Conference Told Gays Need Safe Places To Get Help

by The Canadian Press
Posted: November 28, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Edmonton, Alberta) Gays, lesbians, transsexuals, or bisexual people withdrug and alcohol addictions face barriers that prevent them from seekingtreatment, says the developer of Vancouver program.

Devon McFarlane, who developed the Prism Alcohol and Drug Services programsfor Vancouver Coastal Health, says gays and lesbians are reluctant to gethelp because they have faced discrimination and homophobia in thehealth-care system.

``They need a place where they can be treated well and respectfully,''McFarlane told delegates at a national substance abuse conference inEdmonton.

Counselors and health service workers also need to know what questions toask, and how to ask them.

``You're in this society where you're queer or trans, there's homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism ... you could be anticipating that, `If I go intoa residential treatment centre with a bunch of guys and I disclose that I'mgay, am I going to be hurt or harmed, are people going to support me, arethey going to protect me?''' said Stacey Boon, an addictions counselor atVancouver Coastal Health.

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Taxpayers Paid For Trip That Led To Gay Scandal

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: November 28, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Olympia, Washington) Washington state taxpayers are on the hook for thetrip that former Rep. Richard Curtis took to Spokane where he becameembroiled in a gay sex scandal.

Curtis was supposed to be in Spokane for a 3-day October planning retreatfor Republican state lawmakers.

State records show that the Washington House of Representatives paid Curtis$800 to cover his mileage, hotel stay and daily expenses.

Last month Seattle police unsealed a search warrant showing Curtis went topolice alleging he was being blackmailed by a man he had picked up and takenback to the hotel room for sex. (story)

The warrant said that Curtis met Cody Castagna at a Spokane adult videostore and brought him back to his hotel.

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Romney Challenged On Gays In Military

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: November 29, 2007 - 12:01 am ET

(St. Petersburg, Florida) The eight Republican presidential candidates werein a feisty mood for Wednesday night's no-holds-barred CNN/YouTube debate.

The candidates took questions submitted on YouTube on Iraq, illegalimmigration, abortion and a range of other topics.

One questioner, retired Brig. Gen. Keith Kerr of Santa Rosa, Calif., askedthe candidates about their views on gays in the military as he revealedhimself to be gay.

CNN host Anderson Cooper put the question to former Massachusetts Gov. MittRomney, reminding him that when he ran for the Senate against Ted Kennedy hesaid that he "longed for the day" when gays could serve openly in themilitary.

Romney skirted the question saying he would leave it up to the military.

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Dems Cancel LA Debate

by The Associated Press
Posted: November 29, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(New York City) The Democratic National Committee has canceled a scheduledpresidential debate in Los Angeles because of a potential strike by CBS newswriters.

"Due to the uncertainty created by the ongoing labor dispute between CBS andthe Writers Guild of America, the DNC has canceled the December 10 debate inLos Angeles. There are no plans to reschedule," DNC Communications DirectorKaren Finney said in a statement issued Wednesday.

The debate, which was to be televised by CBS, faced uncertainty after thenetwork's news writers voted to authorize the Writers Guild of America tocall a national strike. About 500 of CBS television and radio news writersin New York, Los Angeles and other cities have been working under an expiredcontract since April 2005.

After that vote, the major Democratic presidential contenders announced theywould not participate in the debate if the labor dispute was not resolved.

CBS News issued a statement Wednesday saying the network regretted thecancellation.

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HIV On The Rise Among Gay Men

by The Canadian Press
Posted: November 29, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Toronto, Ontario) A quarter-century after AIDS burst on the world's radaras it began ravaging gay male populations in North America, public healthauthorities in a number of developed countries are seeing a disturbingtrend.

Rates of HIV infections among men who have sex with men are on the rise,reversing years of declining rates in that community.

As World AIDS Day approaches, several leading public health authoritiesraised the politically touchy topic in a commentary published Wednesday inthe Journal of the American Medical Association, asking why infection ratesamong this group of individuals are rising and what can be done to stem thetrend.

``The tragedy of the epidemic for an earlier generation of MSM must not berepeated,'' they argued, using the public health community's shorthand _ MSM_ for men who have sex with men.

The authors are Dr. Harold Jaffe, director of the department of publichealth at Oxford University, Dr. Kevin de Cock, head of HIV-AIDS at theWorld Health Organization and Dr. Ronald Valdiserri, chief consultant to thepublic health strategic health care group of the U.S. Department of VeteransAffairs.

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Love, Transamerican Style

by Jennifer Vanasco,

A new TV reality dating series slated for February has a twist - thebachelorette is a transgender woman.

Calpernia Addams, a transgender activist, artist, actress and author, willbe the prize in the Bachelor-like competition, which pits eight men againsteach other as they struggle to win her affection. The show, which hasalready been filmed, will air in February 2008 on LOGO, 365Gay's parentcompany.

"I'm so thrilled about the whole experience. I kept asking myself, what if Ifind someone amazing? " Addams said.

Unlike the controversial British TV series "There's Something About Miriam,"which surprised the contestants by not telling them that Miriam wastransgender until fairly late in the taping, Transamerican Love Storyproducers were always clear about who Addams is.

Logo insiders say that developing a show around Addams was not meant to be astunt; instead, it is a sign both of societal progress and of how similar weall are underneath our differences.

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Broadway Is Back

by Michael Kuchwara, the Associated Press

Broadway stagehands and theater producers reached a tentative agreementWednesday night to end a strike and almost immediately return to the stagemost of the two dozen plays and musicals that have been shut down for morethan two weeks.

The settlement came after two days of marathon, all-night sessions andmonths of negotiation between Local 1 and the League of American Theatresand Producers. The walkout, which began Nov. 10, has cost the city andtheaters millions of dollars in lost income.

Bruce Cohen, a spokesman for the union, confirmed the agreement ending the19-day work stoppage.

"We're glad there's a deal, and everyone should go back to work and thepublic should go see a Broadway show," Cohen said.

Most shows were expected to resume performances Thursday, the league said.

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CT Scans Raise Cancer Risk

by Marilynn Marchione, the Associated Press

Millions of Americans, especially children, are needlessly getting dangerous radiation from "super X-rays" that raise the risk of cancer and areincreasingly used to diagnose medical problems, a new report warns.

In a few decades, as many as 2 percent of all cancers in the United Statesmight be due to radiation from CT scans given now, according to the authorsof the report.

Some experts say that estimate is overly alarming. But they agree with theneed to curb these tests particularly in children, who are more susceptibleto radiation and more likely to develop cancer from it.

"There are some serious concerns about the methodology used," but theauthors "have brought to attention some real serious potential public healthissues," said Dr. Arl Van Moore, head of the American College of Radiology'sboard of chancellors.

The risk from a single CT, or computed tomography, scan to an individual issmall. But "we are very concerned about the built-up public health risk overa long period of time," said Eric J. Hall, who wrote the report with fellowColumbia University medical physicist David J. Brenner.

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Classmates Draw "Gay," Nazi Symbol on Boy's Chest

November 29, 2007

Three students in Rome wrote the word gay and drew a swastika on aclassmate's chest, according to AGI, an Italian news agency.

An unnamed official from the Mario Mieli organization for gay rights toldAGI that the episode is "extremely serious, not only because it offended andshocked the boy, who did have the courage to report it, but also because itrecalls ancient methods, which should just belong to the past."

A teacher at the school immediately reported the event to the headmaster,who notified local police.

"For the three boys, it may just have been a stupid thing, a way to provetheir strength," the official said, "but to us it is an extremely seriousepisode that indicates the tendency to isolate, using uncalled-forviolence". (The Advocate)


The New York Times

Americans for Safe Access
For Immediate Release: *November 28, 2007

*Appellate Court Strongly Vindicates Patients Right to Medical MarijuanaSeized by Police* /Ending years of dispute, court rules that police mustenforce state and not federal law/

*Santa Ana, CA *-- A California Appeals Court ruled today in favor of FelixKha, a medical marijuana patient from Garden Grove seeking the return of his8 grams of medical marijuana that was seized by police. In a ruling thatrejects law enforcement's claim that federal law preempts the state'smedical marijuana law, the court asserted "we do not believe the federaldrug laws supersede or preempt Kha's right to the return of his property."The court further stated that, "it is not the job of the local police toenforce the federal drug laws..."

After more than 2 years, the appellate court has answered a divisivequestion pitting the State Attorney General against the California PoliceChiefs Association. Both filed "friend of the court" briefs in the case onopposite sides of the issue, with the Attorney General in support of Kha."It should now be abundantly clear to law enforcement across the state thatit is not acceptable to seize the medicine of seriously ill patients," saidJoe Elford, who represented Kha as Chief Counsel with Americans for SafeAccess (ASA), a national medical marijuana advocacy group. "And if, forwhatever reason, a seizure occurs, the court has ensured that patients havea mechanism to get it back."

Kha was cited for marijuana possession and had his medicine seized in June2005, but after the case was dismissed in August 2005, an Orange CountySuperior Court judge ordered the return of his medicine. However, the Cityof Garden Grove not only refused to return Kha's unlawfully seized property,it also appealed the order, an unprecedented action by a California city.


Forwarded from Michael J. Rajner

Gay Men's Health Crisis has just issued a report on the presidentialcandidates - Where Do They Stand? The Gay Men's Health Crisis Report on the2008 Presidential Candidates and HIV/AIDS.

This report examines the views of each of the sixteen candidates on HIV/AIDSissues. Information was gathered from completed questionnaires AIDSVote.orgdistributed to each of the candidates (only 6 responded, all Democrats), aswell as from voting records, legislative co-sponsorships, State House andCity Hall records, media accounts, and public statements.

Among the issues that candidates were measured on include comprehensive sexeducation, syringe exchange, the development of microbicides, HIV preventionin prison, the Early Treatment for HIV Act, the Ryan White CARE Act, housingfor people with AIDS, civil rights for people living with HIV/AIDS andlesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, as well as their views onthe global HIV/AIDS crisis, including debt forgiveness, patent reform,abstinence-only-until-marriage policies, and PEPFAR. Candidates were alsoasked if they intend to issue a comprehensive national AIDS strategy.

As you will see there are some interesting findings. Seven of the eightDemocrats support syringe exchange programs to reduce the rate of HIVtransmission among injection drug users. Five Democrats have expressedsupport for lifting the entry ban for HIV-positive travelers and immigrants.Of the Republicans, two have previously voted for increased funding for theRyan White CARE Act. Two others have decidedly mixed views on LGBT civilrights, switching positions from as little as five years ago, to today.

GMHC does not endorse any of the candidates; however, we hope to provide theAmerican electorate with vital information on each of the candidates, totake to the voting booth, as well as better inform the candidates themselvesas they seek to tackle the epidemic of our lifetime. It is our desire thatwhoever occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue come January 20, 2009, that he orshe will take a renewed interest in stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS at homeand abroad.

For all those on the FAPP list that helped contribute directly to the reportor through, thank you.

Please feel free to spread the word of this report far and wide. It can beaccessed through GMHC's website at oron the website at .

Attached you will find a quick reference guide to the report, but for theentire report, please refer to the websites. Also attached is the pressrelease about the report and the re-launch of

Daryl J. Cochrane, MPA Kristin D. Goodwin,
Asst. Director of Government Relations Community Organizer
Gay Men's Health Crisis Gay Men's Health


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Romney drops first contrast mail piece

November 27, 2007

For the first time, Mitt Romney is using direct mail to contrast his recordwith his GOP rivals. In a piece that has just hit Iowa mailboxes, Romneypoints out that he's the only of the "leading Republican candidates" tosupport a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

The former governor pointedly ignores Mike Huckabee, who has emerged as hismost serious challenger in the Hawkeye State and who supports the ban.

Romney, whose campaign has debated internally whether or not to draw suchdirect contrasts with paid media, is clearly trying to set himself apart asthe only electable candidate who sides with the conservative GOP base on akey issue.

The piece, sent by a rival campaign, is the classic "side-by-side," used topaint a rival (or rivals) as being on the unpopular side of a policy.Unsaid, of course, is that Romney himself took a much more moderate approachto gay rights issues when he ran for the Senate in 1994 and governor in2002.

Asked why they were going on the offensive, Romney spokesman Kevin Maddensaid, "The governor's support for a federal marriage amendment to protecttraditional marriage is what sets him apart from other candidates.

"Gov. Romney has been the most vocal advocate of protecting marriage fromactivist courts like the one in Iowa that has targeted the state's Defenseof Marriage Act," Madden continued. "The information we sent to Iowa votersis part of our campaign efforts to let folks know Gov. Romney stands withthem on the important issues."

As for the timing, Madden said, "what better time than as the day to votedraws closer."

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Homophobic Harassment Force Gay Couple to Flee Canadian Town

Terry and Ryan Hamilton, a gay couple who were living in Bothwell, Ontariosay they were forced to leave town and move to Chatham after enduring "sixmonths as targets of blatant gay bashing and constant harassment" accordingto the Chatham Daily News.

The couple say they had "die fags" spray-painted on their front door, plants uprooted, and lawn furniture smashed. A local cashier refused to serve thembecause they were gay but wouldn't talk to the paper "for legal reasons".Ryan Hamilton was threatened by a man with a pipe and pursued until he wasable to reach a farmhouse and call police, he says.

The paper reports: "Most of the abuse, they believe, was at the hands of ahandful of people."

One night in particular, when there was a blackout, stands out in theirmemory: "They said people were running around their house, punching thewindows, throwing rocks and screaming slurs. 'We figured they were comingthrough the window that night,' Terry said. 'That was the scariest night ofour lives.' He said the people were yelling 'die faggots' and at one pointsomeone spray painted the message on the house. Terry and Ryan were huddledinside, armed with a rake and a lawn hoe. The Hamiltons said they calledpolice and when an officer finally arrived, he wasn't sympathetic. Ryan saidthe officer asked them what they wanted him to do about the spray paintbefore pointing out that 'I have a community to protect.' Residents ofBothwell are familiar with the Hamiltons and what they were going through.However, there doesn't seem to be much sympathy for them. 'I think they madea lot of their own problems,' said one woman, who didn't wish to beidentified. 'They didn't just stay there and live like a normal couple.'"

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Veteran lobbyist fights military's anti-gay bias

Deb Price
Monday, November 26, 2007

Imagine flying on Bell Atlantic's private jet in 1997 as the telecom giant'schief congressional lobbyist. You're the sole traveling companion ofChairman and Chief Executive Officer Raymond Smith.

With your incredible access, you casually mention that you assume Smithknows you're gay and you'd very much appreciate it if he'd testify beforethe Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee in favor of banning anti-gayjob discrimination.

Smith does testify, saying savvy corporations support such workplaceprotections because "no company can afford to waste the talents andcontributions of valuable employees as we compete in a global marketplace."Treating gay workers fairly "is good business andgood citizenship," he adds.

If you're Aubrey Sarvis, it doesn't take imagination to envision thatscenario: He starred in it.

Sarvis enjoys amazing access, thanks to four decades in the corridors ofpower -- as chief counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee, at BellAtlantic-turned Verizon, and as the head of his own lobbying firm. He'sproven he's willing to pull strings to help those of us who're gay.

Now Sarvis has been recruited to lead the charge for ending anti-gayemployment discrimination by one of the nation's largest employers, the U.S.military.

"The new president will be our first window," says Sarvis, 63, the newexecutive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, formed in1993 to provide legal help to gay soldiers entangled in the abusivetentacles of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Sarvis has set his sights on gettingCongress and the next president to repeal Don't Ask: "I will be concerned ifin 2012 we aren't there."

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

The Baptist Press

Bible/homosexuality film stirs debate

by Michael Foust
Posted on Nov 27, 2007

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Few issues are as controversial as the Bible andhomosexuality, and a new documentary on that subject is receiving thumbsdown from orthodox Christians -- and garnering its own controversy in theprocess.

"For the Bible Tells Me So" is a 90-minute, one-sided film focusing on fivefamilies who profess to be Christians and who have a homosexual familymember. For the most part the families' stories reflect the documentary'smessage: The Bible has been misinterpreted over the centuries andhomosexuality is not a sin.

"There's nothing wrong with a fifth-grade understanding of God, as long asyou're in the fifth grade," one liberal pastor says in the movie.

Director Daniel Karslake and his film crew interviewed such notables asformer Democratic House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt -- who is promotingthe film and who has a lesbian daughter -- and Gene Robinson, the firstopenly homosexual Episcopal bishop. Not surprisingly, the documentary throwsin a few scenes showing Fred Phelps' infamous church of "God Hates Fags"fame, picketing.

It has won a handful of awards, including the Audience Winner for bestdocumentary at the Seattle International Film Festival, and it has thebacking of the homosexual group Soulforce, which promotes so-called"pro-gay" interpretations of Scripture and which has posted the trailer onits website. The film is not being distributed widely, but media criticsnonetheless are raving about it and essentially urging readers to supportit. That has become part of the controversy, too.



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:

Weary lawmakers who left State Circle last week after a taxing 22-dayspecial session won't get much respite when they return to the capital inJanuary for the regular 90-day session. Equal rights for same-sex couplesand repealing the death penalty will be back in the spotlight, even if somebelieve the measures may fall victim to the fallout from the specialsession. ''A lot of folks have had to make some tough votes and thewillingness to do more is going to wane," said Del. Barry Glassman (R-Dist.35A) of Churchville. Although the dust has barely settled from the specialsession, advocates aren't backing down. ''The question of whether or not we're able to pass the bill in 2008 is open-ended right now and there are somemajor obstacles standing in our way, but we have no doubt that marriageequality will happen in Maryland," said Dan Furmansky, executive director ofEquality Maryland. ''Eventually, all of the obstructions will fall by thewayside, whether it's this year or in 2009 or 2010. We won't go away."

Jerry Cox, president of the Family Council, says that his group's proposalto prohibit gays and unmarried heterosexuals from adopting or fosteringchildren won't win voter approval as easily as did the council's earlierproposal to ban gay marriage. These may be the first words from Jerry Cox'smouth that we've found pleasing.
It's not that Mr. Cox is personally offensive, but he and his organizationare forever advancing rather nasty propositions. Their latest is aninitiated act that will appear on the ballot next year, assuming that itssupporters gather sufficient signatures, as they probably will, and that theArkansas Supreme Court doesn't intervene.

As pressure mounts on Maryland lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage astudy released Wednesday by a University of California think-tank shows thatallowing gay and lesbian couples to wed would have a positive economicimpact on the state. A second study shows there are more than 15,000same-sex households in the state. Both studies were conducted by theWilliams Institute, a national think tank dedicated to the field of sexualorientation law and public policy, at the UCLA School of Law. The impactstudy shows that although there would be only a small income tax benefit tothe state, revenues from same-sex weddings would be about $94 million peryear, providing a major boost to Maryland businesses and the state economy.This spending could generate approximately $14 million in tax revenue overthree years, the institute said. The report also found that extendingmarriage rights to same-sex couples would reduce the State¹s expenditures onmeans-tested public benefit programs by about $1.5 million annually.


National Gay News

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

Ancona, a city on Italy's Adriatic coast, opened a registry for same-sexcouples yesterday.Adults who "emotional ties and who have been living atleast one year together" may register, according to news agency ANSA.Earlierthis year Padua city council outraged the Vatican by allowing gay andlesbian couples to register their 'family.'

Grenada is questioning whether to allow entry to ship passengers on all-gaycruises, news reports from the Caribbean island say."We have not taken apolicy as to whether the ships should land in Grenada or not," TourismMinister Clarice Modeste-Curwen recently told the Grenada Advocate.

Jason Ricci isn't your stereotypical blues musician. His hair and clothescome straight out of the punk-rock world. His music, with his band NewBlood, can veer into hard-edged jam territory. The title cut of the group'snew album, ''Rocket Number 9,'' is a number by legendary jazz provocateurSun Ra. And, Ricci is openly gay.
In a cell phone call while the band travels to Lincoln, Neb., Ricci saysthat, in the blues world, all those things are issues:''I've had some deaththreats. We've been banned from several clubs and festivals. We've beenboycotted by a blues society in Ohio. ... Why I'm out is not that I'm onsome crusade to be some greatest gay blues artist, I just don't want to makeup stories about why I don't have a girlfriend.''

Last year, two gay teachers approached teacher's union director Roy Maier,asking why their partners couldn't receive health benefits.On Monday, aftera year of figuring out the details, the Vancouver school board approved ameasure to extend health care benefits to same-sex partners of employees.The measure also applies to heterosexual couples in which one partner isolder than 62.

A new LAPD chief's promise of a progressive attitude toward gay and lesbianmembers of the force was undermined by managers who preferred doing thingsthe old way, the department's first openly homosexual officer testifiedtoday. Former Sgt. Mitchell Grobeson told a Los Angeles Superior Court jurythat high-ranking LAPD officials ignored the terms of a 1993 settlement of alawsuit he filed in 1988, and on which he relied in deciding to return tothe department after an absence of about five years.


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1 comment:

ryanshaunkelly said...

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- all eight -

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