Sunday, December 23, 2007

GLBT DIGEST December 23, 2007

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Secularism only way

December 23, 2007

Religion belongs in pews and in private - in people's hearts and minds.

If the Almighty came down to Earth today, she'd be appalled at howFloridians have taken her name in vain. Feckless finaglers of faith have ledgenuine believers by the nose for too long for personal gain and powergrabs. It's high time for Floridians to reject Bible-thumping piety, getreligion out of politics, and to stop its being wielded as a wedge issue àla Karl Rove.

Right is on the side of secularism. The Florida Constitution statesunequivocally: "No revenue of the state or any political subdivision oragency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly orindirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aidof any sectarian institution."

Pronto, we should stop the unconstitutional funding of all unconstitutional,state-sponsored, faith-based initiatives that Republicans used to buyvotes - from social services and religious schools to Jeb Bush's faith-basedprison.

Second, we need to undo religious radicals' reactionary agenda: blockingstem-cell research; depriving women of their reproductive rights; preventinggays and lesbians from adopting children, but allowing them to be fosterparents; putting youths at risk of infectious disease by insisting uponabstinence-only sex education programs, which are proven failures;campaigning against casino gambling, while mum on church bingo.

Third, we must stop religious zealots' two newest initiatives. They aregearing up to oppose the new public school science curriculum, whichfinally - Heaven forbid! - uses the term "evolution," and requires studentsto learn about it. (Must we again look like dumb bunnies to the rest of thenation?)

In addition, the God-set is behind an unnecessary amendment to the stateConstitution banning same-sex marriage slated for the November 2008 ballot,whose real purpose is to provoke right-wingers to vote for president. (Gayand lesbian marriage is already illegal in Florida; even Jeb Bush said wedon't need to mess with the Constitution.)

Posthaste, Florida needs to begin a real religious revival, focused onending poverty and the death penalty, for starters. Heaven - andearthlings - can't wait.


Huckabee Takes Pre-Christmas Slam At Gay Families

by The Associated Press
Posted: December 22, 2007 - 3:00 am ET

(Sioux City, Iowa) Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee appealedto Iowa conservatives on two fronts Saturday, calling for a strongermilitary and stronger families.

Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who jumped to a lead in Iowa pollsearlier this month, wants a drastic increase in regular forces to ease thestrain on National Guard and reserve units being called up for duty in Iraqand Afghanistan.

"We need to have a larger regular force to make sure we are capable if we dohave to go into battle, and let's pray to God that we don't," Huckabee toldabout 120 people in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Huckabee acknowledged the criticism leveled at him last week for hisnegative comments about President Bush's foreign policy, although hemischaracterized the criticism.

Huckabee said detractors don't like his opinion that a larger force shouldhave invaded Iraq. In fact, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice disagreedwith a separate Huckabee complaint, that Bush has an "arrogant bunkermentality" toward foreign policy that is offensive to other countries.

more . . . . .


Ousted Candidate To Run As Independent

by The Canadian Press
Posted: December 23, 2007 - 7:00 am ET

(Calgary, Alberta) A Calgary man who was rejected as a candidate by theAlberta Progressive Conservatives says he'll run against them as anIndependent.

Craig Chandler says he had planned to help change the party from the insideif he had won the Calgary-Egmont riding as a Tory in the next provincialelection.

But he now compares the party, which he calls complacent and arrogant, to ahouse that needs to be demolished and completely rebuilt.

Chandler was rejected as a Tory candidate after two human rights rulingsagainst a Christian group he heads over an anti-gay letter. (story)

Chandler has said several of his supporters will run in other ridings as aprotest against him being ousted.

more . . . . .


Please encourage HIV+ Ryan White recipients to apply for the opportunitybelow with the National Quality Center (NQC).

With you in the Fight!

Michael Emanuel Rajner
National Community Organizer
National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA)

Call for NQC Consumer Advisory Committee Applications

The National Quality Center (NQC) is funded by the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau(HAB) to serve as the primary technical assistance resource for qualitymanagement/quality improvement of HIV care across the Ryan White fundingcontinuum. The mission of the NQC is to provide no-cost, state-of-the-arttechnical assistance for all Ryan White Program grantees to improve thequality of HIV care nationwide.

Participatory involvement by people living with and affected by HIV is anintegral component of the National Quality Center. Through the NQC ConsumerAdvisory Committee (CAC), HIV infected and affected consumers assist theNQC to develop initiatives to improve the quality of HIV care across theUnited States and particularly in services supported with funding throughthe Ryan White Treatment Modernization Act.

The specific goals of the NQC CAC are to:
- Provide information about consumer experiences with quality of careprovided by Ryan White-funded services
- Provide input and feedback for the development of NQC activities aroundbuilding capacity for quality improvement in HIV care across the Ryan Whitecontinuum
- Inform and educate consumers and other stakeholders about current andfuture NQC quality improvement initiatives
- Provide insight about quality of HIV care issues to HAB representatives

The NQC is currently receiving new applications for the NQC CAC. If youwould like to apply for membership, please go to this link and fill out theapplication survey.

Applications will be received through January 10, 2008. The NQC will reviewall applications and will notify successfully applicants by February 1,2008 . The first meeting for 2008 is tentatively scheduled in March 2008 inCalifornia. The NQC will reimburse members for travel and lodging costsassociated with meetings held twice a year.

Consumers living with HIV and engaged in Ryan White funded programs orservices are eligible to apply for membership, as are individuals withknowledge and experience helping people living with HIV use Ryan Whitefunded services. Special considerations will be given to create amembership reflective of the diverse impact of the HIV epidemic in theUnited States.

For more information on the National Quality Center please visit us For more information on the NQC CAC, pleasecontact me at 212.417.4557 or


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:

Jacob Zuma has been accused of corruption, acquitted of rape, sings "Bringme my machinegun", wears T-shirts proclaiming "100% Zulu boy", and is apolygamist who believes that taking a shower after sex will prevent AIDS. Hehas also just been elected president of the African National Congress, whichshould make him a shoo-in as South Africa's next president, even thoughcritics say he will turn the country into a basket case that could drag downhalf of Africa. He also admitted that despite knowing the woman was HIVpositive he had not bothered to use a condom. "I had a shower afterwards,"he said with a smile. The jury acquitted him but the trial led to a flood ofsatirical cartoons. One, captioned "Jacob Zuma's 101 uses for a condom",included: "Keeping spectacles used to see short skirts better, court summonsholder, to keep your lost marbles (if ever found)" and "as a shower cap forhaving an AIDS prevention shower". Zuma responded by suing the newspapersand a radio station, alleging, "my person has been subjected to all sorts ofallegations and innuendo". The South African media have accused him ofthreatening freedom of speech. There are reasons to be wary of Zuma'sshoot-from-the-hip attitude if he were in power. He has advocated tacklingcrime by reintroducing the death penalty and forbidding legal aid to thoseaccused of serious crimes. South Africa's gays would also be disturbed by apresident who describes same sex marriages as "a disgrace to the nation andto God", adding: "When I was growing up, an ungqingili (a rude Zulu word forhomosexual) would not have stood in front of me. I would have knocked himout." Archbishop Desmond Tutu claims "the country would be ashamed" of aPresident Zuma.

Six Republican state senators have asked the Idaho attorney general's officeto examine the legality of this northern Idaho city's decision to extendhealth insurance benefits to the domestic partners of city employees, citingits possible incompatibility with the state's marriage amendment.Thesenators said the resolution the city council approved on Monday conflictswith the state's marriage amendment, passed in 2006, which says "a marriagebetween a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall bevalid or recognized in this state.""We were surprised to see the (city's)decision regarding the health insurance policy," Sen. Russ Fulcher,R-Meridian, told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. "It appears it wouldconflict with the marriage amendment, or at least the spirit of it."

Carol Bresnahan and Michelle Stecker quietly made Toledo history at 8 a.m.yesterday when they became the first same-sex couple to file under thecity's new domestic-partner registry. Eight couples signed up yesterday forthe registry on its first day. There were five female couples and three malecouples. "We had difficulty proving we were a partnership, and we haddifficulty getting health benefits," said Ms. Stecker, president ofEqualityToledo, who researched and drafted the ordinance for Toledo CityCouncil. "We have to do something more official to prove our relationship."
Mayor Carty Finkbeiner on Nov. 21 signed the law that made Toledo thelargest city in Ohio to create a domestic-partner registry. Mr. Finkbeinersaid he is a "strong Christian believer" who does not advocate alternativelifestyles, but he believes in minority rights and diversity. The law tookeffect 30 days after it was passed 10-2 by Toledo City Council.

Well, well, well! Yesterday's As the World Turns certainly got folks workedup!
As everyone knows, last week we had Noah invited to spend Christmas withLuke on the farm and in this episode we're treated to a scene of Luke'sparents, Lily and Holden, reminiscing about how quickly their son has grownup and how he's now out on the porch with his boyfriend. And they'recompletely fine with it.
Later, when Luke has his Christmas "miracle" and fetches the butter, Noahlooks at him with tears in his eyes. To celebrate, the family offers up atoast to Luke and to Noah. Later Noah, not much for mushy words andsentiments, gives Luke a card reading: "Luke, I wish I had your way withwords but I don't. Thank you for never giving up on me even when I pushedyou away. Being with you has made me happier than I have ever been. MerryChristmas. LOVE, Noah." That's right, one teenage boy just told anotherteenage boy that he loves him on daytime television. And several timesduring the episode, Noah squeezed Luke's arm or they touched and were alwaysin close proximity like lovebirds tend to be. Finally, we had them under themistletoe and the infamous kiss that wasn't.

MOUNT HOLLY- A state agency should determine whether the American CivilLiberties Union of New Jersey can obtain e-mails from Evesham Township Boardof Education members concerning a controversial video, a judge ruled today.Superior Court Assignment Judge John A. Sweeney said the New JerseyGovernment Records Council, the administrative agency authorized by statestatute to hear complaints against government entities that withholddocuments, should settle the dispute because the state Legislatureestablished the body to determine what constitutes a public record. The ACLUhas filed a denial-of-access complaint with the Government Records Councilafter the board's refused to turn over documents, including the e-mails,relating to the lifestyle video "That's A Family!" The board voted in Augustto remove the video from its curriculum.

The States of Jersey has set-up an advisory board to receive comments onfour government proposals for new legislation which could introduce gaymarriage to the island by the end of next year.The four options put forwardfor further discussion are the right for same-sex couples to marry, same-sexcivil partnerships as in the UK, civil partnership for both heterosexual andsame-sex couples, or no change to the current law. The closing date forcomments is 31st March 2008.Senator Philip Ozouf, Jersey's Minister forEconomic Development, is the island's only openly gay politician. He his preferred route is to follow the same civil partnershiproute as the UK.

Same-sex couples will soon be able to register as legally recognizeddomestic partners, following passage of the Oregon Family Fairness Act bythe 2007 Legislature. The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2008, and couples canfile forms with county clerks starting Jan. 2, said Jennifer Woodward, StateRegistrar in the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) Public HealthDivision.

THE BISHOP of New Hampshire has announced that he will marry his same-sexpartner next year in a civil ceremony followed by a church blessing."Ialways wanted to be a June bride," Bishop Gene Robinson told an audience ata Florida law school during a lecture series on Sex, Morality and Law. Itmay take many years for religious institutions to add their blessing forsame-sex marriages and no church, mosque or synagogue should be forced to doso. But that should not slow down progress for the full civil right tomarry," Bishop Robinson said.

New analyses show that local same-sex couples often earn less than marriedmen and women. According to data recently released by the University ofCalifornia's Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation, married couples trumpsame-sex couples in nine of 16 categorical salary comparisons.Gary Gates, aWilliams Institute senior research fellow, said the analyses "break downsome very common stereotypes" of gays."Same-sex couples are much morediverse than I think our media presentations would indicate," he said.Themost significant differences emerged among Maryland couples with children.Analyses show those same-sex couples there earn $32,811 less on average thanmarried couples, who make $91,383.Among couples with children living in theDistrict of Columbia, the discrepancy is less pronounced. Same-sex couplesthere make $16,123 less on average than married couples, who make $115,408.


National Gay News

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

Still Where the Boys Are
After reporting, editing, and reading dozens of stories about homophobiastinking up Fort Lauderdale this year, I received quite an interestinge-mail in October. The first line of the missive read: "Gay and LesbianPress Trip: Fort Lauderdale, Timed to Coincide with the 8th InternationalConference on Gay & Lesbian Tourism." The e-mail had no mention of the city's hateful mayor, or that incident in May when some guy named Jethro Monestimetook over the public-address system at the Fort Lauderdale airport to quoteLeviticus (he went with the old standby, "If a man lies with a man as onelies with a woman, they should be put to death"). According to the pressrelease, Fort Lauderdale is all about gondolas, guesthouses, and gay, gay,gay! I wouldn't have missed this for the world.

Doctor Saw AIDS Patients When Others Wouldn't
The men showed up at Dr. Brady Allen's office in the early 1980s tired andachy, with swollen glands and fever. Some had rapidly lost weight. Otherscomplained of red spots in their eyes. They were among the first people inDallas with AIDS - a disease that first struck sexually active gay men andwas so mysterious and terrifying that many doctors wouldn't see or eventouch them.

Missing a Testicle? Say Goodbye to That Tour in Iraq You Were Hoping For
Hey, guess what? The Army isn't just intolerant of gays and transgenderedAmericans. It appears to object to anyone who has any sexual abnormality, nomatter how large or small or completely unrelated to job performance. Hereare examples of people who do not meet the official standards in the Army'sStandards of Medical Fitness (available here):

ValleyWag Opens Up About PayPal Co-Founder Peter Thiel: He's Gay
Silicon Valley gossip blog Valleywag wants to put the notion that VentureCapital is scarce of gay people to rest, letting the world know that PayPalco-founder Peter Thiel is gay. They say that his sexuality is part andparcel of his success:

Transgender to Bare it All in Autobiography
Rose (28), the first trangender in the country to host a televisionprogramme and the first one to openly advocate scientific sexualreconstruction surgery (SRS), has taken to the pen. Two leading publishinghouses have evinced interest in publishing 'her' autobiography, tentativelytitled 'My Sexuality'.

Church Leaders, at Odds Over Gay Marriage, Unite Against Gambling
Religious leaders who took opposing sides in the state's turbulent gaymarriage debate have found something to bring them together again: Casinogambling. Gov. Deval Patrick's proposal to bring three casinos toMassachusetts has united religious groups who were once entrenched foes. Itwas just six months ago that one of the toughest gay marriage battles --over a ballot question that would have banned the marriages -- ended whenlawmakers killed the question.

EQCA, GSA Network File Motion to Protect Students
Equality California and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network are seeking tointervene in a lawsuit filed by anti-gay organizations that would preventenforcement of California statutes protecting students from discrimination,harassment and bullying in publicly-funded schools.


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