Saturday, November 03, 2007

GLBT DIGEST November 3, 2007

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In England, an evangelical awakening
By Thomas Wagner

The Associated Press
November 3, 2007


It's Sunday in England, and across the country many traditional stonechurches are struggling to fill their pews.

But not C3, the Cambridge Community Church, one of the country's manyevangelical groups. Its mostly white, middle-class congregants crowd arented school auditorium with their arms raised and their hands ferventlyclapping to sermons.

"I don't need an old church with stained-glass windows where a few peopleshow up out of obligation, not inspiration," said Ruth Chandler, a formermember of the Church of England.

In England's last census, 72 percent of people identified themselves asChristian. Many are Anglicans, but the Church of England has said that lessthan 10 percent of its members are regular churchgoers.

By contrast, evangelicals make up about 40 percent of all the nation'sregular churchgoers, according to Peter Brierely, head of ChristianResearch, a London-based think tank.

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Forwarded from EuroQueer

Shock demand by member of Dutch government party

AMSTERDAM 2 November 2007 -- The fast-fading reputation of the Netherlandsas a bastion of tolerance and open-mindedness took another heavy blow thisweek when a leading member of the ChristenUnie (Christian Union) party,which is the third group in the Dutch ruling coalition, demanded thatpractising homosexuals should be expelled from administrative positions inthe party and should not be proposed for government functions.

Yvette Lont, a self-confessed born-again whore and heroin addict who is aChristenUnie councillor for Amsterdam South-East, announced that she wouldbe proposing a motion for the exclusion of practising homsexuals from seniorparty and government posts at the forthcoming party congress.

Ms Lont's proposal has led to a heated discussion in the party, which iscommitted to 'Christian' social and political principles. The ChristenUnieentered into coalition with the right-of-centre CDA and the left-of-centrePvdA after the result of elections held last year.

Yvette Lont, herself from the former Dutch colony of Suriname, representsAmsterdam South-East, also known as the Bijlmer, an area notorious inNetherlands' society for its rampant crime rate, serious drugs problem andrecurrent violence. It is a predominently ethnic area almost entirelypopulated by Surinamers and Nigerians, many of whom are active Christianevangelicals traditionally opposed to any deviation from heterosexual'family values'.

ChristenUnie party leader André Rouvoet, who is a vice-premier in the rulingcoalition, issued a statement declaring that his party had no intention ofremoving practising homosexuals from prominent positions in the government;but he refused to say whether he believed a practising homosexual should orshould not be a government minister.

Under pressure from ChristenUnie party bosses Ms Lont has agreed, for themoment, to shelve her motion while the party engages in a discussion of theissue. Meanwhile, Jan Peter Balkenende, the Dutch premier, refused to bedrawn on the matter, saying it was for the ChristenUnie to resolve at theircongress.

Ms Lont's proposed motion can only further damage the Netherland's alreadybattered image as a welcoming haven for gays and their lifestyle. It comesafter a series of violent attacks on homosexuals, including tourists, in thecentre of Amsterdam. In one widely-publicised incident last year the editorof a leading US gay paper was brutally attacked and scarred in the downtownarea of the city, which is now being seen as an increasingly unsafe andinhospitable destination for homosexual visitors.-- ANP & Sources.


The New York Times

Pittsburgh Episcopal Diocese Votes to Leave the Church

November 3, 2007

JOHNSTOWN, Pa., Nov. 2 - By more than a two-to-one vote, members of theEpiscopal Diocese of Pittsburgh voted Friday in favor of separating from thenational church because of a theological rift that began with theconsecration of an openly gay bishop in 2003.

The vote sets the stage for what could become a protracted legal battlebetween the diocese and the Episcopal Church U.S.A., which had warnedPittsburgh's bishop not to go forward with the vote.

After passionate appeals from both sides of the debate, clergy members andlay people voted 227 to 82 to "realign" the conservative diocese.

If Friday's vote is approved again in a year, the diocese will begin stepsto remove itself from the American church and join with another province inthe worldwide Anglican Communion.

After the vote, Bishop Robert W. Duncan of Pittsburgh, who is also moderatorof the Anglican Communion Network, an alliance of conservative dioceses andparishes, defended the decision.

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The Washington Post

Gay Republicans come out of the closet

By Ed Stoddard
Friday, November 2, 2007; 9:48 AM

DALLAS (Reuters) - Doug Warner seems like a stereotypical Republican: Southern, white, male, he served in the military, drives an SUV and likeshunting and fishing.

He is also openly gay.

Warner's sexual orientation makes for an awkward fit in a party with apowerful evangelical Christian wing that regards homosexuality as a sin andsame-sex marriage as a threat to the traditional family.

"I believe that the approach of the social extremists eliminates our party'sability to grow in the future," he told Reuters by phone from his home inCharleston, South Carolina.

For years, bashing the "homosexual agenda" worked well for Republicans. In2004, the party placed anti-gay marriage referendums on 11 state ballots.All passed by large majorities and the tactic boosted turnout amongreligious conservatives, helping President George W. Bush win re-election.

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Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Supreme Court Considers Provision of PROTECT Act

WASHINGTON - This week the United States Supreme Court considered whether achild pornography law could be limited so that it would not apply tolegitimate creative expression or innocent emails with headings that couldbe interpreted as provocative.

Under review was a provision of the PROTECT act that sets a five-yearmandatory prison term for all forms of advertising, promotion, presentation,distribution and solicitation that reflects beliefs or cause beliefs aboutchild pornography. Opponents have said the law is ambiguously worded withthe result that it could apply to creative works that depict adolescent sex- which would encompass a wide range of works from the book Lolita to theblockbuster movie Titanic.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the provision inquestion, saying it makes a crime out of merely talking about illegal imagesor possessing innocent materials that someone else might believe ispornography.

In the appeals court's view, the law as written could apply to an e-mailsent by a grandparent and entitled "Good pics of kids in bed," showinggrandchildren dressed in pajamas.

The case stems from the arrest of Michael Williams in an undercoveroperation aimed at fighting child exploitation on the Internet. A SecretService agent engaged Williams in an Internet chat room, where they swappednon-pornographic photographs. Williams advertised himself as "Dad of toddlerhas 'good' pics of her an me for swap of your toddler pics, or live cam." Itwas his conviction for advertising child porn that is being contested here.The government contends that whether or not a person is offering actualchild pornography is irrelevant.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Boy Scouts, time up!
Mark My Words

By Mark Segal
C 2007 Philadelphia Gay News

Resolving the Boy Scouts quagmire

Last week, City Councilman Jack Kelly introduced a resolution to allow theBoy Scouts Cradle of Liberty Council to stay in their city-owned building onthe Parkway, sans rent, until they find a suitable new space - indefinitely.The resolution also called on the city to compensate the Scouts forimprovements they've made to the building. In a phone conversation with thecouncilman late last Thursday, I expressed that his attempts at solving theissue might very well be considered divisive to both sides and make asolution less possible. Councilman Kelly did the correct thing on Monday andwithdrew the resolution.

Kelly was given misinformation, which led to the resolution. The local BoyScouts still discriminate, and Philadelphians do not want to directly orindirectly support discrimination, nor the $260,352 yearly compensation(including some benefits) that Bill Dwyer, head of the local Scouts, pullsdown, according to tax records.

Let's end the cat-and-mouse game. Mr. Dwyer, state clearly and state it nowthat the local chapter of the Boy Scouts will not tolerate discrimination.If not, start packing your bags or pay market value. We progressives andfair-minded taxpayers in Philadelphia will no longer allow you to freely useour land for discrimination.

So you have a choice.

Now, if by chance you decide to stay on city property and pay the $200,000suggested market-value rent, the city has a choice to make: Where to put thetainted dollars of an organization that teaches bigotry by its verydiscrimination policies?

Here are some suggestions. Give a portion of the funds to Boys and GirlsClubs of America, the Police Athletic League or the Girl Scouts, none ofwhich discriminate. How about some funds to educate people onnondiscrimination through the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission? Andfinally, for those who get tossed out of the Scouts or want to join and arenot welcomed, what about Philadelphia Scouts at The Attic Youth Center?

For almost 80 years, the Boy Scouts have had a free ride on city land. I'm aformer Boy Scout and believe there is value to the Boy Scouts program, butnot if they continue to teach intolerance by their discriminatory policies.The game is over, and Thanksgiving is on its way. Unfortunately, the BoyScouts Cradle of Liberty Council is a turkey. And that turkey does not get apardon.

Mark Segal is PGN publisher. He can be reached at


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Dept of Defense Ignores Law Pushes Porn Sales

American Family Association
Donald E. Wildmon
Founder & Chairman

Department of Defense Ignores Law, Pushes Porn Sales
Urge your congressman to require the Department of Defense to obey the law

The U.S. Department of Defense is ignoring a law which forbids the sale ofpornography on military bases. In military exchanges throughout the world,our Department of Defense does a brisk business in the sale of pornography,both magazines and videos. In 1996, Congress passed the Military Honor andDecency Act which forbids the sale of pornography on military bases.

But the Department of Defense is defying the law and ignoring Congress.Congress banned pornography after sexual harassment of women in the militarybecame a major problem and military families complained that children wereexposed to pornography in the military stores. Now, 11 years later, theDepartment of Defense is still selling pornography. Porn is even sold in ournation's military academies.

When contacted about their ignoring the law, Department of Defense respondedby saying they planned to continue selling pornography. Incredibly, theDepartment of Defense does not consider such publications as Penthouse,Playboy, Playboy's Nude Playmates, and Playmates in Bed magazines to besexually explicit! That would come as a surprise to Hugh Hefner and thethousands of American soldiers who buy these magazines.



To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

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

Washington: Perhaps the biggest deal regarding the city of Everett'sdecision to offer health coverage to its employees' domestic partners anddependents is this: It wasn't a very big deal. The city's sensible movewasn't groundbreaking among major employers -- Snohomish County already hassuch a policy, as do other cities and a host of large private companies.Still, the absence of public controversy over the decision is a sign thatwe've turned a significant corner toward inclusion, a welcome developmentindeed. Everett's policy, developed by the mayor's office and City Counciland approved by the council Wednesday with just one dissenting vote, appliesto same-sex and opposite-sex couples equally. To qualify for coverage,couples must be in an "exclusive and emotionally committed" relationship,live together and not be married to someone else. It's a recognition of thereality that traditional marriage isn't available to same-sex couples, andisn't the preferred option for many heterosexual couples.

The Irish government has announced plans to legally recognize same-sexrelationships but it refuses to be pinned down on what form the law willtake. Following a meeting Wednesday of Prime Minister Bertie Ahern's cabinetthe government said it would introduce legislation by the end of March 2008and expects the bill to pass within a year of that.Justice Minister BrianLenihan described it as one of the most important pieces of sociallegislation in the history of the country.Lenihan said that the bill woulddeal with pension rights, maintenance and powers of attorney.Under the bill,he said, same-sex couples would be allowed to register their relationships.But he sidestepped questions about what the relationships would be called,only that it would not be marriage.


National Gay News

Go to the website above for the following articles:

Gay tourism is becoming fiercely competitive in the hospitality industry dueto the amount of money gay travelers spend, but also because of theirloyalty and reputation as trend-setters. Elsevier Limited, with the supportof the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC), is proudto announce a first-of-its-kind book in tourism marketing called, Gay andLesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide for Marketing, written by Philadelphianative Jeff Guaracino. Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide forMarketing offers marketing professionals the benefit of knowledge gainedover decades by the many leaders in gay and lesbian tourism marketing. Thebook will be released in November 2007.

On Thanksgiving weekend of 1983, Casey Lopata and his wife, Mary Ellen,began a spiritual journey that ultimately strengthened their family andlifelong commitment to Catholicism. They discovered they had to navigate anemotional minefield: Their eldest son, Jim, a college sophomore home for theholiday, told Mary Ellen, "Mom, I'm lonely. I'm lonely for another man." Thenext 10 minutes were an agonizing blur of fear and grief for Mary Ellen, whocried as she told Jim she loved him and assured him being gay didn't changethat.

It's been nearly a year and a half since Santa Fe's first gay retirementcommunity began welcoming residents.
From the outside, the $35 million RainbowVision Properties is undeniablybeautiful: 146 units spread out over 13 acres. With condos ranging from$250,000 to $310,000, the site offers panoramic views of the Sangre deCristo, Sandia, Jemez and Ortiz mountains, and is adjacent to up-scaleresidential neighborhoods, shopping centers, and major medical facilities.


Locker-room banter in the courtroom?
Judge's joke in gay sex case brings attention to state's sensitivitytraining

Nov. 01, 2007

According to a 2006 Florida Supreme Court administrative order, all stateand county judges must attend diversity sensitivity training by the end ofthe 2007. Each circuit in the state is charged with conducting ongoingsessions that address race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, genderidentity and expression, and the entire spectrum of influences that makepeople who they are.

Part of the training drills judges on which words not to use in thecourtroom. In hearing cases that touch on LGBT issues, for example, thejudges know to refrain from the obvious disparaging remarks. Diversitytrainer Wilhelmina Tribble, contracted to conduct sessions in severalFlorida circuits, said words like "dyke," "lezzie," "faggot" and "queer" areamong the no-brainers.

But when Broward Circuit Judge Jeffrey Levenson engaged in a brief courtroombanter last week with public defender Brian Reidy regarding a 41-year-oldFort Lauderdale man accused of having consensual sex with a 16-year-old highschool football player, the use of the terms "tight end" and "wide receiver"became exactly what the diversity training is intended to prevent.

When Levenson asked what position the student played, defense attorneys toldhim that the 16-year-old played linebacker.

According to the court transcript, public defender Brian Reidy then jumpedin with a quip. "Tight end," he said.

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Villiage voices
Village People bring '70s anthems to South Florida

Nov. 01, 2007

"I know that every time I run out on that stage, I carry a bit of historywith me," says Felipe Rose, better known to just about anybody, anywhere asthe Native American chief from the Village People.

Rose became the very first person to inhabit the village after Europeandisco king Jacques Morali discovered him dancing and wearing an Indian chiefcostume in 1975 at The Anvil, a famed New York City bathhouse.

The rest really is history - more than 30 years worth. The Village Peoplecame out of the gate with an eponymous debut of club tracks like "FireIsland" and "San Francisco (You've Got Me)" that set a precedent foroh-so-tongue-in-cheek, thinly veiled gay innuendo blockbusters to come.

A couple of albums and years of riding the disco wave later came "YMCA" offthe "Cruising" LP.

The ode to cheap cruising spots hit number one in just about every countryon Earth, save the United States, where Rod Stewart's "D'Ya Think I'm Sexy"held it at bay in January 1979.

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How Safe Are Your Meds?

by The Associated Press
Posted: November 2, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Washington) Two-thirds of the foreign drug manufacturers subject toinspection by the Food and Drug Administration may never have been visitedby agency inspectors, a government watchdog has reported to Congress.

The FDA this year listed 3,249 foreign pharmaceutical manufacturers subjectto its inspection - yet the agency cannot determine whether it has everinspected 2,133 of them, according to a Government Accountability Officereport released during a House subcommittee hearing.

While some of the more than 3,000 firms may never have exported prescriptiondrugs or drug ingredients to the United States, others likely have.

Who are those firms and what are they shipping? asked Rep. Bart Stupak,D-Mich., during Thursday's hearing of the House Energy and Commercesubcommittee on oversight and investigations.

"We don't know and we are not certain the FDA knows," Marcia Crosse,director of health care at the GAO, replied.

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Gay Marriage Mayor Gavin Newsom Poised For Second Term

by The Associated Press
Posted: November 2, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(San Francisco, California) Eight months after admitting he had a drinkingproblem and an affair with a close aide's wife, Mayor Gavin Newsom standspoised to win his second term without breaking a sweat.

In any other city, Newsom's personal problems could easily have ended hispolitical career. But in San Francisco, they weren't enough even to attracta serious challenger.

When hundreds of the city's left-wing power brokers met in June to nominatea candidate, no one could be persuaded to run against Newsom, who isbest-known for opening City Hall to same-sex weddings six weeks into hisfirst term.

"The things that Newsom has done wrong haven't really affected the greatercity," said political analyst David Latterman, noting that the mayor'sapproval ratings have consistently hovered around 70 percent. "The fact is,he is popular. He is not going to lose."

It's not that Newsom doesn't have competition on the ballot. In fact, thereare 11 challengers. But none is considered a credible rival

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LAPD Settlement Will Improve Lot Gay Officers

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: November 2, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Los Angeles, California) With less than two weeks before a trial isscheduled to begin, the Los Angeles City Council has voted unanimously toapprove settlement of the non-damages portion of a lawsuit brought by theLos Angeles Police Department's first openly gay officer.

Throughout his career on the LAPD Sgt. Mitchell Grobeson found himselfbattling discrimination on the force.

In 1988 Grobeson filed a civil rights suit against the force. It wassettled in 1993 with a court settlement that the city provide gay andlesbian officers a discrimination-free workplace.

Grobeson returned to the force, but found little was done to implement theagreement.

Two years later, in 1995, he was accused of discrediting the force bywearing his uniform and attempting to encourage gays in West Hollywood tojoin the force.

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