Tuesday, December 18, 2007

GLBT DIGEST December 18, 2007

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Gay tourism in Lauderdale and Florida's ban on gay adoptions
December 18, 2007

On Dec. 4, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel ran a story on the front of thebusiness section, "Leader in gay tourism," hailing Fort Lauderdale as a topdestination for gay tourists.

Unfortunately, there was no mention of the Dec. 3 Senate hearing in SouthFlorida, in which many citizens lined up and signed up to ask Floridalegislators to repeal the 1977 law that prevents gay men and women fromadopting. Yes, gay tourism brings over $1.2 billion to the Fort Lauderdalearea alone. For those interested in the financial bottom line, consider howmany tax dollars we could save if more children languishing in foster careand the child welfare system were placed in the capable hands of lovingparents.

And on a humanitarian level, we have over 4,000 children in foster care,many of whom are being denied the stability, security and love that couldeasily be provided if we removed discrmination from our adoption laws.

Allan Barsky

Fort Lauderdale




Gay marriage ban headed for vote
Group claims enough petition signatures have been gathered

By Susannah Bryan
December 18, 2007

A proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is headed directly to theNovember ballot - setting the stage for a vigorous battle between gay rightsadvocates and opponents.

"We aren't advocating anything new or radical here," said John Stemberger,an Orlando attorney and chairman of Florida4Marriage.org, the group pushingthe ban. "We're just saying keep things as they are. We want the institution[of marriage] to be protected for centuries."

Stemberger claims the group has collected more than the 611,009 petitionsignatures needed to place the amendment on the ballot.

Florida law already forbids gay marriage, but Stemberger says writing a baninto the state constitution is the only way to ensure a permanentprohibition.

People who oppose the measure, however, believe it is a covert politicaltool designed to bring ultra-conservatives to the polls in a presidentialelection year.

more . . . . .




Gay marriage debate intensifies as conservatives get organized
National Organization for Marriage gears up for fight with radio ads

Dec 17, 10:43 AM

New Jersey's well-organized gay rights advocates are finding theiradversaries are also getting prepared for a coming legislative debate overgay marriage.

The National Organization for Marriage, established earlier this year inPrinceton, made itself known over the past few weeks with radioadvertisements urging people to call their lawmakers to tell them thatallowing gay couples to marry would undermine the institution.

The group set up in left-leaning New Jersey because it is one of a fewstates where there's a realistic chance in the next few years that lawmakerswill vote to allow gay marriage. That makes it a battleground for the issuesnationally.

"If our side continues to increase in its activism, I think we can stop thisin 2008," said Brian Brown, the executive director of the new organizationand former head of the Family Institute of Connecticut.

Steven Goldstein, the chairman of Garden State Equality, said the emergenceof the new group shows how close New Jersey is to becoming the first stateto enact a law to allows gay couples to marry.

more . . . . .




Domestic violence afflicts couples straight and gay
Murder case illustrates reach of a societal woe

News staff writer
Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rita Hinkle felt betrayed when her partner ended their relationship toreunite with her former husband.

Hinkle made the deadly decision: If she couldn't have Deana Page, no onewould.

In a busy shopping center parking lot last year, Hinkle stood outside Page'spickup truck and shot the woman 15 times with a revolver, testimony lastweek in a Birmingham trial showed.

A Jefferson County jury last week said it was capital murder.

It's also an example of domestic violence, said Carol Gundlach, executivedirector of the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

more . . . . .




Wearing Their Hearts On Their T-Shirts

December 17, 2007

The symbol is known to many - three gold bars within a blue box, the HumanRights Campaign's ubiquitous sign, inspiring the fight for gay and lesbianrights and, apparently, T-shirts.

Seeing the bars on a bumper sticker during a drive with friends last spring,Reggie Solomon, a gay man living in New Haven, whimsically suggested aT-shirt expressing how the group in the car felt about gay marriage. Hedidn't realize the impact of his words.

"A friend of mine - a guy who made some money in the dot-com world -instantaneously said, 'I'll invest in that,'" Solomon said. During the ride,they came up with a design: a simple black fitted shirt with the slogan"[marriage is so gay]." When they came back to New Haven, Solomon and palsBen Berkowitz and Andy Horowitz got down to business.

Six months later, the three friends have sold a few hundred American ApparelT-shirts with the logo, successfully launched a company - www.issogay.com -and set their aim on combating the conventional with a series ofcounterculture T-shirts advocating, and raising money for, causes alignedwith their own values. Last week, they brought the cause to the nextgeneration - or the like-minded parents who dress them - with a black"[marriage is so gay]" onesie.

"We wanted to start bringing a lighthearted product to people who believedin certain causes - a shirt all people could wear," Solomon said on a recentnight after work at the Yale Office of New Haven and State Affairs. "Most ofmy friends are straight - think of the power of the message when a straightperson walks down the street with his wife and child wearing it."

more . . . . .




Approval for once-a-day HIV pill

By Jane Dreaper
Health correspondent, BBC News

The first HIV medication which involves taking just one pill a day has beenapproved by the European authorities.

The go-ahead for Atripla represents what some experts say is a revolution in treatment for the virus that causes Aids, although it is not a cure.

People using the earliest HIV drugs in 1996 had to take up to 30 pills on anempty stomach at different times.

The decision means Atripla can be used in the UK but local health bodiesmust decide whether the NHS will provide it.

Taking Atripla does not reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.

The drugs regime has already reduced to just several pills a day for peoplenewly diagnosed with HIV.

more . . . . .




Third Of Homeless Young New Yorkers Gay

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: December 17, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(New York City) A new study says there are at least 3,800 people under theage of 25 living on the streets of New York and that almost 30 percent aregay, lesbian or bisexual.

The study, by the Empire State Coalition of Youth and Family Services, hasbeen turned over to City Council, which paid for it.

Nearly half of all homeless young people were Black, about 25 percent wereLatino the study said. Those numbers would be proportionate to Black andLatino populations in New York.

But the high number of gays on the streets is about three times theestimated percentage of New York's LGBT community.

The survey found that while many homeless youth went to city shelters 42percent slept on the streets, subways or in empty buildings.

more . . . . .




New Oz PM: No Gay Marriage, Civil Unions

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: December 17, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Sydney, Australia) Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says his governmentwill look at introducing a bill to create a national domestic partnerregistry but has no intention of legalizing same-sex marriage or allowingcivil unions.

Rudd was reacting to press reports on the weekend that claimed some cabinetministers had told LGBT leaders that a civil union bill was being written.

The Australian Capital Territory recently resurrected legislation rejectedby the former federal government to allow civil unions in the territory andRudd has said his Labor government would not intervene.

Rudd said Monday that gay and lesbian couples need protections, but on anational level he would not support same-sex marriage or civil partnerships.

"Our position has always been that marriage is between a man and a woman,and therefore that always will form the cornerstone of our view on thesematters.

more . . . . .




Canadian Party Drops Transgendered Lawyer

by The Canadian Press
Posted: December 17, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Montreal, Quebec) A lawyer from Quebec City says she was dumped as afederal New Democratic Party candidate because she is transgendered.

Micheline Montreuil alleges she was told by an NDP official her sexualityhindered party attempts to woo new Quebec candidates into the fold.

``They just said I do not fit in the NDP anymore,'' the prominent family andlabor lawyer said in a phone interview.

``They also told me... that many people who wish to be a candidate for theNDP do not wish to have their name associated with the name of MichelineMontreuil, because I am transgendered.''

In a letter, the party told her she lost the candidacy for statements shemade in media interviews, her difficulty maintaining support in the localriding association and for not working in a team, she said.

more . . . . .




Trans Student Accuses Mass. College Of Discrimination

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: December 17, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Haverhill, Massachusetts) A transgendered student says he is the victim ofdiscrimination at a small Massachusetts community college because he isbiologically female.

Ethan Santiago says that Northern Essex Community College is refusing him touse the men's locker room.

Santiago, 20, began transitioning two years ago and has recently begunhormone treatment.

He presents as male and wears men's clothing.

But because he still has female sex organs the college says that he is indanger of being sexually assaulted in the men's changing room.

more . . . . .




Florida Could Vote to Ban Same-Sex Marriage

December 18, 2007

Voters may decide next year whether Florida will become the 28th state toplace a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Sponsors of the proposedban claim that they have gathered the required 611,009 signatures necessaryfor a referendum vote, but Florida's Division of Elections website shows thegroup is 253 signatures short of its goal, the Associated Press reportedFriday. An election official has yet to formally verify the signatures.

Florida currently prohibits same-sex marriage, but John Stemberger, anOrlando attorney heading the group opposed to marriage equality, said aconstitutional ban would prevent judges from overturning the law.

"We believe kids need a mom and a dad, very simply," Stemberger told the AP."Moms and dads bring something different to the table. Dads are notoptional."

Opponents of the measure are worried that the amendment could supersede someFlorida cities' existing domestic-partnership laws, thereby affectingunmarried heterosexual couples as well.

"It's government saying this is the only sanctioned relationship that youcan have," said Stephen Gaskill, spokesman for Florida Red and Blue, anopposition group. (The Advocate)



18th December 2007 11:05
PinkNews.co.uk staff writer

Hungary's parliament has approved the Registered Partnership Act. From January 1st 2009 lesbian and gay couples will have almost identical rights as married heterosexual couples in common law.

Notable exceptions are the right to adopt, access to fertility treatment and the right to take their partner's surname.

The Registered Partnership Act was passed with votes of the members of the Socialist-led social-liberal government.

Both gay and straight couples will be able to register their partnership, and will have protections regarding next of kin status, taxation, health care, inheritance, social security, pensions and shared possession of a home.

Government statistics show that there were an estimated 349,000 unmarried couples in Hungary in 2005, 12.2 per cent of all families, compared to 62,000 in 1970, 2.1 per cent of all families.

Hungary's opposition conservative parties refused to back the new law, which they regard as a "hidden attempt" to legalise gay marriage.

The Hungarian gay and lesbian associations have welcomed new law as a milestone while acknowledging it does not grant full equality.

Juris Lavrikovs

Communications Manager

International Lesbian and Gay Association


European Governments Must Do More to Tackle Hate Crimes

TEL AVIV - A majority of European governments get a poor grade in their efforts to tackle violent hate crimes, according to Human Rights First's 2007 Hate Crime Report Card released today at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) meeting in Tel Aviv. This new study examines monitoring and reporting systems as well as the enforcement of hate crime laws in the 56 states that comprise the OSCE - from the Russian Federation and the Central Asian states across Western Europe and also including the United States and Canada.

The report is a follow-up to Human Rights First's 2007 Hate Crime Survey, which documented the disturbing rise in hate crimes across the OSCE region. The report released today examines government efforts to combat these violent hate crimes.

Human Rights First concludes that only 15 of the 56 participating states of the OSCE are fulfilling their basic commitments to monitor hate crimes, with countries in the European Union and North America leading the way. While more than 30 countries have legislation that allows for penalty enhancements when crimes are motivated by bias, there is little evidence that these provisions are applied in a systematic fashion in most countries.

"Europe has seen a worrying rise in hate crimes in recent years," said Maureen Byrnes, Executive Director of Human Rights first. "What's deeply troubling is that many states still fail to use the tools necessary to investigate and punish the perpetrators of such violence as a matter of priority - suggesting an underlying indifference," added Byrnes.

This past October, a Jewish school was torched in an antisemitic attack in Kiev, Ukraine. A year before five men attacked and murdered a Nigerian man living in the Ukraine in what was thought to be a racist attack. NGO monitors have reported a rise in such bias-motivated crimes throughout the Ukraine in recent years. Yet the Ukrainian government still does not publicly monitor or record the number of hate crimes committed in the Ukraine each year.

Ukraine is among nearly 40 countries where governments provide only limited or no public reporting on violent hate crimes. "How can governments combat the problem of hate violence if they lack a system to monitor and document such crimes?" asked Byrnes.

In Italy, where three Romanians were recently hospitalized after being attacked by a masked, club-wielding, anti-immigrant gang in an apparent hate crime, important new institutions have been established to combat discrimination, although violent hate crimes are yet to be included in their programs. The Italian authorities do not currently produce reliable data on such crimes.

Some changes have been pledged. In Norway, where no hate crime statistics are available, the Minister of Justice said in September that a study had shown that hate violence against gay men and others was rising and that police had begun to register hate crimes. In the Netherlands, where statistics are available only from NGO sources, authorities have announced new measures to begin in 2008 to track the implementation of prosecutorial guidelines by which bias motivations are to result in enhanced penalties.

While nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have filled the gap in some cases, there is ultimately no substitute for official monitoring. In the Russian Federation, for example, NGO monitors have documented a rising tide of hate crimes of alarming proportions, while the limited official data largely ignores the problem.

The new Human Rights First report includes individual country "report cards"
on each of the 56 OSCE participating states. Each country report details themonitoring and reporting mechanisms present and describes the legal framework applicable to crimes of violence motivated by prejudice and hatred. Comparative charts cover the compliance of all 56 countries with OSCE, Council of Europe, European Union, and other international standards.



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:


Whether or not the United Kingdom would force the Cayman Islands to accept legalised same-sex marriages was the main focus of questions to visiting Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Meg Munn at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon last Thursday.Mario Ebanks started the questioning by asking Mrs. Munn if liberal programmes such as same-sex marriages, which he said ran very contrary to the traditions of the Cayman Islands, were something the UK wanted to see here.
"How far would Her Majesty's Government go to imposing these programmes on the Cayman Islands?" he asked. Mr. Ebanks also queried if the UK would extend United Nations conventions on human rights to Cayman. Mrs. Munn explained that some of those conventions had already been accepted willingly by some of the Overseas Territories. She said she had discussed the issue with the various participants of the Overseas Territories Consultative Council in London two weeks ago, and none of the territories had a expressed any problem with having the U.N.'s human rights conventions extended to them.

Canada: The Parish Council of St. Mary's Kerrisdale plans to put a motion before their annual Vestry (membership) meeting next month that would ask Bishop Michael Ingham to designate St. Mary's as a parish where the rite of same sex blessing may be performed. Eight parishes in the diocese have been authorized to perform the blessing. In every case, a parish is required to hold a Vestry vote before it can ask to become a place of blessing. In 2006, after a vote at Diocesan Synod, Bishop Ingham placed a moratorium on further uthorizations until after the national General Synod, which took place last summer. The eight parishes already authorized can still hold same sex blessings, but none of the diocese's 71 other parishes can.

A young California couple, Trent and Greg, talk about the meaning of the freedom to marry for them. Visit the site to view the video.

The symbol is known to many - three [sic] gold bars within a blue box, the Human Rights Campaign's ubiquitous sign, inspiring the fight for gay and lesbian rights and, apparently, T-shirts.Seeing the bars on a bumper sticker during a drive with friends last spring, Reggie Solomon, a gay man living in New Haven, whimsically suggested a T-shirt expressing how the group in the car felt about gay marriage. He didn't realize the impact of his words."A friend of mine - a guy who made some money in the dot-com world - instantaneously said, 'I'll invest in that,'" Solomon said. During the ride, they came up with a design: a simple black fitted shirt with the slogan "[marriage is so gay]." When they came back to New Haven, Solomon and pals Ben Berkowitz and Andy Horowitz got down to business.Six months later, the three friends have sold a few hundred American Apparel T-shirts with the logo, successfully launched a company - www.issogay.com - and set their aim on combating the conventional with a series of counterculture T-shirts advocating, and raising money for, causes aligned with their own values. Last week, they brought the cause to the next generation - or the like-minded parents who dress them - with a black "[marriage is so gay]" onesie.


National Gay News


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

Tutu Apologises for Persecution of Gays on BBC Radio Tonight

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has apologised to gay people all around the world for the way they have been treated by the Church.

The Archbishop recently criticised the church for being 'obsessed' with homosexuality but speaking on the only gay programme on the BBC he goes further and says he's 'sorry'.

Gay Law Professor Provokes Ire in Michigan for Suing University

The University of Michigan Law School is fighting a breach-of-contract lawsuit filed by a professor who says he was denied tenure because he is openly gay.

``I am the only male ever denied tenure by a vote of the law school faculty in at least 40 years,'' said Peter Hammer, who moved to Wayne State University in Detroit, where he is a tenured law professor.

GLBT Adults More Likely to Own a Pet Than Heterosexuals
Seven out of ten (71%) GLBT adults today say that they own pets, compared with 63 percent of heterosexual adults, according to the results of a new national survey. The same survey also shows that nine in ten (90%) GLBT pet owners say their pet is a member of their family and 64 percent also add that they have bought their pet a holiday present. The new nationwide survey of 2,455 U.S. adults, (ages 18 and over), of whom more than 6 percent, or 158, self identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, was conducted online between November 7 and 13, 2007, by Harris Interactive®, a global market research and consulting firm, in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc., a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the GLBT market.

Breakdown in the Fast Lane
A foxy Philly anchorwoman - who once e-mailed sexy swimsuit snaps to a married TV talking head - became an anger woman yesterday, calling a female NYPD cop a "dyke bitch" and slugging her in the face, law-enforcement sources said.

Gay Sports History: Basketball Transformed
Certain sports seem to be a tougher nut to crack than others - they are more omophobic, more fiercely resistant to change. In the United States, basketball makes the short list of "tough nuts," along with football and baseball. Among the three, basketball stands out because of its unique history, which gives it a special place in American culture that even football and baseball don't have. After the first NBA player, John Amaechi, came out in 2007, he was asked by RealJock.com, "You worked for such a long time in this hyper-masculine, heterosexual NBA environment. Where do you feel that this comes from?"

Domestic Violence Afflicts Couples Straight and Gay
Rita Hinkle felt betrayed when her partner ended their relationship to reunite with her former husband.
Hinkle made the deadly decision: If she couldn't have Deana Page, no one would. In a busy shopping center parking lot last year, Hinkle stood outside Page's pickup truck and shot the woman 15 times with a revolver, testimony last week in a Birmingham trial showed.

Gay 4 Pay: Gay Obsession with Straight Guys in Porn
It's a phrase gay men use to describe themselves or to express an attribute that they seek in others. But what exactly does it mean? For some, the interest in straight guys is just to find someone who isn't overtly flamboyant. But for others, like Randy Blue, Sean Cody, Mike Hancock and Corbin Fisher, gay man's obsession with straight guys has created a booming Internet business that is raking in the cash.

Being Gay Not Hindering Polis' Race
Jared Polis, campaigning as the first openly gay candidate for Congress from Colorado, can't wait to take his partner to a delegation dinner in Washington, D.C. The Boulder Democrat wants to sit beside Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, a Republican from Fort Morgan, who tried to put a same-sex-marriage ban in the Constitution four years ago.


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