Monday, December 10, 2007

GLBT DIGEST December 10, 2007

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America's judgmental nature

By Paul A. Winder
December 10, 2007

Ignorance reigns supreme in the debate over gay marriages. It is as thoughGalileo and Copernicus never demonstrated that Earth is not the center ofthe universe for we have not learned to walk humbly before the throne ofenlightenment. Many of our self-righteous governmental and religiousleaders, fearing political fallout instead of demonstrating leadership,joined the ranks of the Inquisition. Homosexual men and women deserve fullrights accorded to all citizens despite myth and superstition.

Science has shed light on biological factors that contribute tohomosexuality, much the same as it did with left handedness. As recently asthe 1950s, left-handed children in religious and some public schools wereforced to write with their other hand because left handedness was consideredto be "of the devil." Science revealed that the brain is pre-wired forhandedness before birth as determined by one's genes and that the left handis controlled by the right side of the brain. As in handedness, the brainmay be pre-wired for gayness.

A major church split over the ordination of an openly gay bishop. (For thecloseted bishops, the "don't ask, don't tell" rule is still in effect.) Somemembers fear the next step will be church's acceptance of gay marriages.History tells us the church's founder demonstrated the sanctity of marriageby executing and/ or imprisoning his six wives. The strife within the churchis not unlike satirist Jonathan Swift's civil wars of the "big endists"versus the "little endists." The side one was on was determined by whetherone broke his breakfast eggs at the big end or the little end of the egg.Future generations will scoff at our bigotry and ignorance.

Homophobia reaches its zenith when it deprives the fewer than 1 percent ofthe nation's population who may ever seek a homosexual marriage. By notsanctifying their union, society continues to shun them, sending them backto the streets and back alleys, into disease ridden encounters. It is not bychoice that gay men select a lifestyle with an average expectancy of 41years as opposed to 77 for others, or a suicide rate four times higher thanothers, or to be ridiculed by mainstream society all their lives. A gayfriend, deprived of the right of marriage, had to move out of the UnitedStates in order to live with his partner, since the partner could not gaincitizenship to live here. However, Britney Spears can marry and divorce thesame night. Is this "justice for all?"

There is the argument that marriage is the natural setting for raisingchildren. Many marriages are childless. Should these marriages beterminated? Gay and lesbian couples have raised children, either their ownor adopted children. Most of these offspring turned out to be well-balancedand heterosexual.

more . . . . .


Monday, Dec. 10, 2007

Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: 917-691-5118

Truth Wins Out Calls On Rudolph Giuliani To Clarify Statement He Made AboutGay People On Meet The Press

NEW YORK - Truth Wins Out called on Rudolph W. Giuliani today to clarify astatement he made about gay relationships to moderator Tim Russert on NBC'sMeet the Press. While Giuliani said he did not think a person's sexualorientation was sinful, he seemed to mirror the far right's assertion thathomosexual "acts" are sinful.

"Have Giuliani's long held convictions on gay relationships changed in a NewYork minute to win the GOP nomination? If they have, then he lacks thecharacter to be president," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director WayneBesen. "Giuliani's answer on Meet the Press seemed to parrot the religiousright's cruel and empty 'love the sinner, hate the sin' rhetoric. We call onGiuliani to clarify what 'acts' he thinks are sinful and we hope hecontinues to respect all relationships."

Last Week, the Associated Press reported that in a 1992 questionnaire,former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee supported a quarantine for AIDS patientsand called homosexuality, "an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle." Onthe Sunday morning talk show, Russert asked Giuliani if he agreed withHuckabee on the issue of homosexuality.

"No, I don't believe it's sinful," said Giuliani, in a continuation of hisrelatively moderate views on gay rights. However, the mayor went further bysaying, "my moral views come from the Catholic Church. The way that somebodyleads their life is not sinful. It is the acts that people perform that aresinful, not the orientation."

Russert moved onto another question, but Giuliani interrupted, offeringfurther thoughts on the topic. "Which includes me by the way," heinterjected. "I've had my own sins that I've had to confess and deal with.I'm empathetic with people. We're all struggling to try to be better."

"It is terribly offensive to suggest that our love is sinful, that we are inneed of empathy or that if gays abstain from sex they are somehow betterpeople," said Besen. "The main problem we 'struggle' with is the anti-gayrhetoric that occurs every time the GOP has a tight election. We hope thatwe are reading too much into Giuliani's words and that he remains assupportive as he was in the days when he lived, for a time, in a gaycouple's house."

Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization that counters right wingpropaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life.For more information, visit


A Message from Roger B.A. Klorese
President, Online Policy Group
Founder, QueerNet Project

Another year has nearly passed, and once again, we seize thisopportunity to look back at what we've accomplished this year, and wherewe've fallen short... and to ask you and your friends and organizationsto help us continue providing services. for another year, and to improvethem.

Online Policy Group and its hosting services, including the QueerNetProject, are supported entirely by donations. As Internet users havebecome accustomed to commercial messages and content restrictions, it'sbecome more difficult for us to fund our activities entirely bydonation. We sought the assistance of foundations this year, but wereunable to find public donations that were willing to fund infrastructurethat supports multiple communities and projects -- they are looking tofund direct delivery organizations and projects, in morenarrowly-defined areas.

And so, this year, for the first time since we started non-profitdonation-supported services in the mid-1990s, we have raisedsignificantly less money than we've spent, and have had to keep theorganization supplying services using significant donations from the OPGboard itself, over and above our usual contributions. And this isdespite the fact that we have cut our operating costs back fromapproximately $40k to under $12k a year, while keeping hosting servicesin operation.

Further, we have not replaced our servers in longer than their typicalservice lifecycle, and we've suffered outages as a direct result.Typical production servers are kept in use for three years; our newersystem is approaching the five-year mark, and the older one isapproaching eight years. Hardware and software errors resulting fromthis extended upgrade cycle are responsible for the vast majority ofdowntime suffered this year. Server replacement would cost us anadditional $5k or so; we could then rehabilitate the existing systems atminimal cost, which would also provide us with standby capacity toreduce downtime even further.

If we can raise $15k to $18k, here's what we can do in 2008:
- Pay our monthly service bills
- Upgrade our servers and provide standby capability
- Update the OPG website and restore online support request capability
- Upgrade our list/community services with newer, easier-to-use software

And if we cannot, here's what we can do in 2008:
- At some point, turn the lights out.

If you're interested in our continuing to provide email, list andwebsite hosting services to yourself, your community, and othercommunities in need of access -- or, as we say, One Internet with EqualAccess for All -- here's how you can help: with a donation by check,money order, credit card (or other payment via PayPal), vested stock, orusable equipment.

For details about stock and equipment donation, see

To donate by check or money order, please make your item payable toOnline Policy Group and mail it to:

Online Policy Group
5212 19th Ave NE
Seattle WA 98105

(Some checks received this year have gone unprocessed and returned, dueto lack of accounting support. It is now possible for us to handledeposits properly. But if it is at all possible, please make donationsvia PayPal, as documented below -- this requires significantly lessprocessing for us, and ultimately, costs us less for typical donations,even once the service fee is withheld.)

You can make a one-time payment via PayPal to if you can afford to, our operation works best when we can determinean ongoing stream of income -- so we wecome your signing up at for a monthly contribution.

Online Policy Group is a registered non-profit organization undersection 501(c)(3) of the US tax code, and as a result, contributions aretax-deductible to the full extent allowed by the IRS. (And if youremployer offers donation matching, or your organization raises funds fornon-profits, please consider supplementing your donation with thesesources.)

None of our staff is paid (with the exception of some accountingassistance), so nearly every dollar you give goes to keeping us up andproviding services. Please help keep us on the air -- and turning upthe volume -- for another year.

Thank you.
Roger B.A. Klorese
President, Online Policy Group
Founder, QueerNet Project


A note from Ray and Michael:

Please consider a donation to Online Policy Group [above]. Michael and I, as well as Kenneth Sherrill and Victoria Lavin [Daily Queer News] and many others provide our services free in order to motivate and educate our GLBT ommunity. QueerNet allows Ray's List to be distributed without the hassles from AOL and Yahoo that almost forced us to quit several years ago. Ray's List does not need financial support. But, the Online Policy Group does.

Thank you for doing your part!!!


From: Doug Ireland

To: "Jason Bellini" at LOGO

Sent: Sunday, December 09, 2007 4:41 PM

Subject: Jason, LOGO Silent on Iran

Dear Jason,

I just watched your half-hour end-of-the-year "news" review on LOGO. And Iwas truly appalled when, in your oh-so-brief inclusion of Ahmadinejad'sinfamous "no homosexuls in Iran" statement among the top ten stories of theyear, there was not a word about the horrific, lethal campaign ofpersecution of LGBT people in Iran by its theocratic regime.

Coming just days after Iran's hanging of 21-year-old Makwan Moloudzadeh --for having had sex (at the age of 13) with other boys his own age -- arousedworldwide revulsion, your glaring omission of any word about the skein ofdaily repression which same-sexers face in Iran -- Internet entrapment,raids on private homes and parties, arrests, torture, imprisonment,lashings, forced sex-change operations, executions, and the rest -- isstunning and incomprehensible. Your broadcast found time to talk aboutEllen's dog (twice) and about the feud between Mr. Trump and Ms. O'Donnell(twice) and other entertainment trivialities, but about the unspeakablepersecutions visited on gay people in Iran you and your colleagues wereutterly silent.

By the way, I have yet to hear a word about the hanging ofMakwan on your air. And still you call this show-biz fluff you're doing"news"?



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:

Israel: The state failed on Sunday to convince the High Court of Justice toreverse a decision it made seven years ago barring Interior Ministryofficials from refusing to register the lesbian partner of a woman with achild as the child's adopting parent. Supreme Court President Dorit Beinischurged the state's representative, attorney Osnat Mandel, head of the HighCourt section of the State Attorney's Office, to withdraw the petition.
Mandel informed the court that the Knesset was debating a bill which wouldorder same-sex couples seeking to register both members as the child'sparent to ask a court to approve the request. According to the current law,based on judicial interpretation, the Interior Ministry must registermarriages, divorces, conversions and adoptions conducted abroad as long asthe official certificate issued by the foreign government confirming thestatus is authentic and that there is nothing obvious to contradict thecertificate.

Israel: Judaism does not recognize same-sex parents and therefore, the HighCourt decision to recognize their adoptions undermines the foundations of aJewish state, National Religious Party Chairman Zevulun Orlev said onSunday. "There is no choice but to fix the legislation to determine that afamily is comprised of a man and a woman," Orlev said. The panel reopenedSunday the debate on a lesbian woman's right to adopt her partner's son, inresponse to the state's petition against a previous court ruling in 2000.
Nicole and Ruthie Brenner-Kadish formalized the adoption in California, andthen petitioned the High Court, asking it to instruct the state to recognizethe adoption. As opposed to Orlev, Meretz MK Zahava Gal-On said that "thedecision is one more step toward the annulment of the institutionalizeddiscrimination of same-sex couples. It's about time the state recognizethese couple as they do adoptions completed by couples that are not of thesame sex."

David Mixner: Over this past year I have stood by the side of each of mythree siblings as they married the ones they love. The locations for theirnuptials were scenic and special: my eldest brother, Ben, on the sands of abeach in San Diego; my other brother Josh, in the quaint backyard of the St.Paul College Club, and my sister, Britta, on the beautiful Mississippi Riverat the Nicollet Island Pavilion. During each ceremony, I wiped away tears asmy siblings exchanged vows and forged new families with their beloveds.After each ceremony, I took pen to paper and signed marriage licenses foreach couple. By doing so, I made official in the eyes of the government whatwas already official in the hearts of the newlyweds. I look forward to theday when I too will find the love of my life. And while I long for that day,I know it will come with struggle. When I attempt to have my marriagerecognized by the government, it will be denied. What came so easily for mystraight siblings, legal marriage by a sweep of a pen, will likely only comefor me, a gay man, after a difficult and protracted struggle. This strugglewill most certainly come with heavy prices for the gay and lesbian community.

A little-noticed regulation defining domestic partnerships in state lawlooks like it could be the opening act for the General Assembly's upcomingdebate over same-sex marriage. The regulation was released by the MarylandInsurance Administration last week in time for a new law on health insurancecoverage to take effect Jan. 1. The law, passed in the final hours of thelegislature's winter session, requires health insurers to offer coverage todomestic partners if employers ask for it. The measure handily passed theHouse of Delegates. But to overcome resistance in the more conservativestate Senate, its sponsors stripped out the definition of domestic partnersand left it to the insurance administration, whose commissioner is a closeally of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), to come up with language in a regulation.

Massachusetts: A three-judge panel heard arguments Dec. 5 in the appeal ofParker v. Lexington, a federal lawsuit brought by four Lexington parents whoobject to the use of pro-gay materials in the classroom without priorparental notice. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf dismissed the lawsuitin February because he said that parents do not have the right to dictatepublic school curriculum. Robert Sinsheimer, who is representing theparents, David and Tonia Parker and Rob and Robin Wirthlin, argued beforethe court that the schools infringed the parents' right to the free exerciseof religion by reading the book King and King to their children. The picturebook tells the story of a prince who marries another prince.

Britain: At best, Andy Bathie could be described as naive and gullible. Atworst, the 37-year-old fireman who donated sperm to a lesbian couple hasbeen downright foolish and irresponsible. He may rant and rave at the ChildSupport Agency which is now forcing him to pay £450 a month for the twochildren fathered with his 'gift', but it's hard to believe that he couldn'tsee the disaster waiting to befall him from the moment the two women handedhim a yoghurt pot and ushered him towards the upstairs bathroom. While Andyand Peta's relationship went from strength to strength, Sharon and Terri'sfell apart. They separated in December 2005 and Terri moved into athree-bedroom council flat. According to Andy, Sharon has had less contactwith the children. "She had her two children from her marriage and Terri hadher two. Just because Sharon doesn't want to know, Terri's come after me formoney." It was the beginning of the end of Andy's friendship with the twowomen.

Massachusetts: Since the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusettsthere has been a marked increase in the number of gay couples seekingassisted reproduction[,] a medical center specializing in in vitrofertilization said Friday. "Each year we're seeing an annual increase ofabout 50 percent in the number of same-sex couples coming to us for IVF tohave their children and build their families," said Dr. Samuel Pang, MedicalDirector of Reproductive Science Center of New England. RSC has eightlocations throughout New England, Reproductive Science Center and is theseventh largest medical practice of its kind nationwide.

Arizona: A recently proposed rule by Arizona Department of Administrationto grant health insurance and other benefits to the domestic partners ofcurrent and retired state employees was published by the Secretary of State'sOffice on Nov. 30. While branded by the agency and supporters, includingGov. Janet Napolitano, as "the right thing to do," some lawmakers andCapitol insiders are expressing dismay at the timing of the attempt, and thefact that such a divisive and substantial policy is being pushed without theLegislature's approval. The Senate's Appropriation Committee chairman, Sen.Robert Burns, R-9, said he is not sure if the department or its director,William Bell, is empowered by statute to issue the proposal on behalf of allstate employees.


The Washington Post

Candidate Watch
Most Revealing Fibs: Mitt Romney

All political candidates make mistakes, but some mistakes are more revealingthan others. A candidate's fibs and exaggerations, and his or herwillingness to correct them, tell us something about that person's characterand approach to campaigning. To coincide with "The Front Runners" series inthe newspaper this week, The Fact Checker is taking a look at the "mostrevealing fibs" of each of the candidates.

Of all the candidates, both Republican and Democratic, the formerMassachusetts governor is most vulnerable to the charge of being a"flip-flopper." He has attempted to immunize himself from this accusation bymaking a virtue out of necessity, and acknowledging his most blatant U-turn,on protecting the right to abortions. But an examination of his record showsthat his positions have changed on a wide variety of other issues, fromimmigration to gay rights to gun control.

A few examples:

a.. In a 1994 letter to the Log Cabin Republicans, who advocate gay rights,Romney said he was in favor of "gays and lesbians being able to serve openlyand honestly" in the military. He now says it would be a mistake tointerfere with the "don't ask, don't tell policy."

a.. While campaigning for the governorship of Massachusetts in 2002, he saidhe would not "chip away" at the state's tough gun laws. He signed up for"lifelong membership" of the National Rifle Association in 2006, whilecontemplating a run for the Republican nomination.

a.. In 2005, appeared to favor immigration reform, along the lines proposedby Sen. John McCain. He now denounces it as an "amnesty plan."

The recent discovery by the Boston Globe that illegal immigrants continuedto mow his lawn a year after the matter was first brought to his attentionopens him up to the the charge of hypocrisy.

Romney's positions on abortion have shifted more frequently than he cares toadmit, hardening during the primaries as he went after Republican votes andmoving to the center during the general election. To claim that hispositions are "consistent with my principles and my views" is a tautologythat conceals the deeper truth that his views and principles have a habit ofchanging with the political season.

It is also a stretch for Romney to claim that he lowered taxes whileGovernor of Massachusetts.



Forwarded from Dolphin Democrats
Broward County, Florida

National Stonewall Democrats announced the launch of Pride in the Party.This national program will expand the participation of lesbian, gay,bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Democrats within state and local Democraticparties - and will specifically increase the participation of LGBT Democratsat the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Pride in the Party was createdwith a strong focus on developing the participation of LGBT communities ofcolor, union members, youth and veterans.

"Many of our brightest elected officials, chapter leaders and party officersbegan their participation in Democratic politics as delegates to pastconventions," said Jon Hoadley, Executive Director. "Pride in the Party isdesigned to develop that type of local leaders who will ultimately shape thenational policy of the Democratic Party on LGBT issues. We are seeking theparticipation of individuals who want to help the Democratic Party grow andwin by advancing the values which make it strong."

Rick Boylan, former Director of Party Affairs and Delegate Selection at heDemocratic National Committee, will serve as Director of Pride in the Party.It as also announced that Rick Stafford, Chair of the GLBT Americans Caucusat the emocratic National Committee and former Chair of the MinnesotaDemocratic-Farmer-abor Party, will be utilized by the program as aconsultant with a focus on stateparties. Assisting in outreach to the LGBTcommunities, particularly within the Party's core constituencies areconsultants Mandy Carter, former member of the Democratic National Committeeand the DNC's GLBT and Black Caucuses, and Laura M. Esquivel, a strategistwith experience in successfully building bridges between Latino/a and LGBTconstituencies.

The program will work with presidential campaigns, state parties and alliedorganizations to ensure that LGBT Democrats are reflected in each tatedelegation. Pride in the Party will assist in training and advisinginterested individuals and in the development of delegate campaigns.



Times - UK

The Big Interview: Billie Jean King

From The Sunday Times
December 9, 2007

Arguably the best women's player of all time will be remembered not for hertitles but for a much hyped mismatch against a 55-year-old man

Imagine you've been a tennis player. You're 18, you wear glasses, you stand5ft 4in, you are at Wimbledon for the second time, the world has never heardof you and you are drawn against the No 1 seed Margaret Court. You win 7-5in the third. You win the ladies doubles that same year and, charmed by youraudacity, journalists call you "Little Miss Moffitt". It would be the firstof many labels. Three years later you marry Larry King and Miss Moffittbecomes Billie Jean King.

Second time you had a tennis racket in your hand, you told your friend SusanWilliams you would be the world's No 1 player. Anything else was failure.You didn't so much win Grand Slam titles as amass them. Wimbledon's grasswas your terrain de predilection - six singles titles, 10 ladies doubles,four mixed. Your back still creaks from all the curtsying.

When that ball left your opponent's racket, you never wanted to wait, werenever happy to contain. You came with genes hell-bent on confrontation. Whylet it bounce when you can volley it? Too small to play at the net, theysaid. You showed them. Too impatient to win on the clay of Roland Garros,they sneered. You won the French just to prove you could.

You didn't travel to Australia that often, but not wanting to die wonderingwhat it would be like to win all four Grand Slam titles, you took that onetoo. Six Wimbledons, four US, one French and one Australian and so manydoubles titles, you weren't counting. People didn't believe you when yousaid mixed was your favourite, but that's because they never understood you.



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