Friday, December 28, 2007

GLBT DIGEST December 28, 2007

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Express Gay News

N.H. civil unions could be boon for businesses, tourism
New law defines civil unions as equivalent of marriage in all but name

BETHLEHEM, N.H. (AP) | Dec 27, 11:44 AM

If the rainbow-painted deck chairs, fluttering rainbow flag and purpleshutters don't make it clear, the Highlands Inn's toll-free number,877-LES-B-INN, leaves no doubt as to whom this White Mountains resort catersto.

Innkeeper Grace Newman began hosting commitment ceremonies at thisself-proclaimed "lesbian paradise" in the 1980s. Newman says she has losttrack of the number of commitment ceremonies that have happened there; sheestimates about 300 couples have honeymooned at the inn after getting civilunions in Vermont or marriages in Quebec, Canada, both short drives away.

In 2008, the inn's 25th anniversary coincides with another milestone: legalrecognition of civil unions by New Hampshire beginning Jan. 1. Newman,veteran host and overseer of many a union, isn't wasting any time. Two NewHampshire couples have agreed to get civil unions during the inn's annualNew Year's Eve dance after the clock strikes 12.

From the North Country to the Statehouse steps, other gay couples are makingsimilar plans.

"It would be pretty easy to take a little break from the party and celebratesome civil unions," said Newman, who plans to get her own civil union withlongtime partner Maria Doyle this September at the inn.

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Express Gay News

Fight over job bias bill was top national story of 2007
Debate over transinclusive ENDA prompted protests

Dec. 27, 2007

PASSAGE OF THE EMPLOYMENT Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has long been at thetop of gay activists' wish lists. The bill has been around in one form oranother since the 1970s and after the Democrats took control of Congress in2006, many were optimistic it would finally pass.

But the excitement gave way to a divisive fight over transgender rights thisyear, pitting some activists against gay Rep. Barney Frank and others whosupported the gay-only version when it became clear there were not enoughvotes to pass the trans-inclusive version.

Many trans activists felt abandoned and some even picketed the annual HumanRights Campaign National Dinner. Others argued that a successful Housevote - even with a White House veto threatened and looming - would behistoric and bode well for more expansive legislation in the future.

The ENDA timeline below shows how the bill has progressed since 1974.

March 14, 1974 - Reps. Bella Abzug (D-N.Y.) and Ed Koch (D-N.Y.) introduceH.R. 14752, dubbed the "gay rights bill" or "Equality Act of 1974," but itfails to make it out of committee. It proposes that new categories of sex,sexual orientation and marital status be added to the 1964 civil rights act.

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Express Gay News

Rosie flames out and Logo breaks out in 2007
Cable networks dominate gay programming

Dec. 27, 2007

THERE WASN'T MUCH NEW ON THE tube in 2007, but many of the events continuedto solidify and reinforce the trends we've been seeing in the industry overthe last several years, like the proliferation of gays on cable shows andreality programs and the lack of inclusion on scripted network dramas.

But if the criteria for the big gay television story of the year entailsscreaming matches, media grudges, cat fights and spectacular flame outs,then 2007 belonged to Rosie O'Donnell, who got serious ink due to herself-imposed ouster from ABC's "The View" in May.

O'Donnell joined the show in 2006, and the media scrutiny started soonafter, thanks to her very public war of words with Donald Trump and hercalling Kelly Ripa homophobic based on some comments Ripa made about ClayAiken. And when O'Donnell wasn't making headlines with her political views,she was front-and-center as a lesbian on television, talkingmatter-of-factly about her wife and their children to an audience ofmillions.

But nothing compares to her on-air battle with conservative cohost ElisabethHasselbeck about the war in Iraq. Though O'Donnell had previously decidednot to renew her contract with the show, after the fight, she left the showfor good, several weeks before her deal with producers expired.

So far, the only return O'Donnell has made is as a guest star on FX's supergay "nip/tuck." In November, she reprised her role as talkative, brash andstraight Dawn Budge.

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Express Gay News

The runners-up: top national stories of 2007
Falwell's death, Craig sex charges were among the year's top headlines

Dec. 27, 2007

THE GAY NEWS STORY OF THE YEAR was the fight over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the removal of protections based on gender identity(see Page 10). But that wasn't the only story making headlines. Below is aroundup of the rest of the year's top stories.

House kills hate crimes measure
A federal hate crimes measure passed Congress, but never reached thepresident's desk this year because efforts to tie it to the National DefenseAuthorization Act failed.

The measure, which granted federal resources to prosecute crimes motivatedby a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity, died in conferencecommittee after passing the House 237-180 and surviving a Senate challenge,60-39.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) acquiesced this month to demandsby House Democratic leaders to drop the measure from the National DefenseAuthorization Act.

Top general calls gay sex 'immoral'
The nation's top general drew criticism earlier this year after referring togay sex as "immoral."

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Express Gay News

Rosenstein: A wish for the New Year
We must find a way to grow the number of activists in 2008

Dec. 27, 2007

THE GLBT COMMUNITY SHOULD BE proud of what we accomplished in 2007. Butthere is definitely a feeling of frustration that we couldn't do more. Wepassed hate crimes in both houses of Congress and a version of ENDA in one,but didn't get all that we wanted.

We have commitments from all the Democratic candidates to work for equalfederal benefits for state-approved civil unions, to end "Don't Ask, Don'tTell" and to finally sign inclusive hate crimes and ENDA legislation if wecan get them through Congress.

I choose to see this as the glass half full; others see it as half empty.Wehave seen the frustration produce a rift in our community that needs toheal. We must work together if we are to move forward and accomplish what weall agree is the goal, full human and civil rights.

To do this, the community must demand that our national organizations stoptrying to compete with each other and work together. I think we may actuallyneed a new organization, a real grass-roots one that can lobby effectivelyon all issues and support our national organizations with the ability toreach the GLBT community, without regard to any one issue. We need to targetour outreach and lobbying efforts to communities and legislators who don'tyet support us rather than fighting with those who do.

There is no one organization that speaks for our entire community andprobably no one organization ever will. It is time to clarify what it isthat each of the organizations does best.

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Washington Post

Southwest Airlines Stumbles Out of the Closet
Conflicting Messages in GLBT-Themed Travel Section

By Emil Steiner
December 27, 2007; 12:00 PM ET

You are now safe to move out of the closet? (Southwest Airlines) During arecent visit to Southwest Airline's web site, I stumbled upon something thatgrabbed my eye. The company's Gay Travel Section -- "We Take Pride inPartnering With You!." Launched in late spring, this double-entendre ladenarea describes itself as "the first Southwest Airlines dedicated web page tothe gay and lesbian community." They apparently "have so much fun stuff tohelp you get out and about, that we thought we'd put it all in oneeasy-to-find place. From gay-friendly destinations to gay events around thecountry, you'll find information to suit your needs." (Finally!)

The "gay-friendly destinations" are places that Southwest has determined tohave "welcoming cultural diversity" and include such hidden gems as SanFrancisco, Provincetown, and, if you can believe it, the Miami area (sorryTennessee!). Among the upcoming events that Southwest surmises mightinterest members of the gay and lesbian community: the International Mr. GayCompetition, Blue Gay-la: Lake Tahoe's Gay & Lesbian Ski Week, 2008 OUTFestall made the list. Interestingly enough, so did the Jan. 1 Mummers DayParade in Philadelphia, which, although not affiliated with any gay orlesbian community, does involve men dressing in flamboyant costumes.

"Southwest likes to remain a maverick in the field," according to a companyspokesperson I talked to yesterday. Using "a research and segmentationteam," the airline analyzed where gays and lesbians were traveling and thenused that information to compile their lists. "Everyone wants somethingdifferent," she explained "and we try to cater to them."

And boy do they know how to cater! They even came up with a helpful list ofgay travel tips that reads like a mother's parting words before her child'sfirst camping trip: Ask the right questions, leave a trail, always beprepared, "smelling good... c'mon, you know you want to." (And straight guyswant to stink?)

Southwest is certainly not alone in trying to appeal to travelers of allsexual orientations. American Airlines launched its "Rainbow" section in2005, and Delta has its Rainbow Getaways. New Zealand Air even has a specialthemed "Pink Flight" featuring drag queens, pink cocktails and a cabaretperformed by the flight crew, en route to the 2008 Gay and Lesbian MardiGras in Sydney, Australia. It's all part of an effort to woo the estimated$65 billion that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people spend ontravel each year. As the Cranky Flier puts it, "if you are gay, they'reseeing dollar signs in their eyes."

But, far from a slick ad campaign, Southwest's hackneyed jargon insteadpangs of a nervous heterosexual trying too hard to prove he's nothomophobic. The result is unintentional parody that may make readers wonderwhether Southwest is being innocently open-minded, pandering ham-handedly orbeing downright offensive? Let me know your interpretation.


Statesman Journal - Oregon

Same-sex couples await legal benefits
Marriage-style perks come with state's domestic partnerships

Statesman Journal
December 26, 2007

Salem pastor Don Frueh and his partner, Robert Barzler, already have sealedtheir union as a couple on their own terms. They conducted a ceremonialblessing of their home when they bought a house together 3 1/2 years ago,and jokingly refer to themselves as "Robald Fruzler," a joint moniker thatblends their names and hairstyles.

Next month, Frueh and Barzler intend to legally formalize their eight-yearrelationship by entering into a domestic partnership.

The Oregon Legislature enacted a domestic partnership law in 2007, alongwith a companion measure barring discrimination against gays, lesbians,bisexuals and transgendered people. The two laws take effect in January,marking a historic breakthrough for Oregon's gay-rights movement.

Frueh, associate pastor at First Congregational United Church of Christ inSalem, has conducted past ceremonies to sanctify unions of same-sex couplesin the congregation. But those didn't bring any legal recognition.

When Frueh, Barzler and other same-sex couples enter into a contractualdomestic partnership, they'll gain most of the benefits accorded to marriedcouples under state law.

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Pam's House Blend;jsessionid=5B01B032D5AC606386A27453015877F3?diaryId=3990

10 Books Every Bisexual Should Read

by: SarahS
Fri Dec 21, 2007 at 11:52:13 AM EST

(Thanks for this handy list of reading complimenting the work done over atthe Bilerico Project - promoted by Daimeon)

The folks over at the Bilrico Project have been putting out book lists, of10 Books Every Gay Boy Should Read, 10 Books Every Lesbian Should Read, and10 Books Every Transperson Should Read. I don't know if they mean to excludebisexuality, or if they just haven't gotten around to it, but I decided tomake my own list.

I'm a librarian (just finished my MLS, looking for a job) so to say thatbooks are important to me would be a gross understatement. Books saved meas 15 year old bi girl growing up in conservative Catholic Wisconsin, whereI didn't know any GLBT people and thought there was something wrong with mefor thinking my boyfriend was hot and female friends were too. They helpedme understand that I was not alone. They were my friends when no oneunderstood, my rock when I needed support, and my joy when I read somethingparticularly smart, funny, or just wonderful. I wouldn't be as welladjusted and intelligent if not for queer books in general, but as abisexual, the books on this list represent some of the finest nonfiction Ihave ever encountered on a subject near and dear to myself.

SarahS :: 10 Books Every Bisexual Should Read
1. The Bisexual's Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips, And Lists for ThoseWho Go Both Ways by Nicole Kristal and Mike Szymanski

This books is not only the first winner of the first Bisexual LambdaLiterary Award in 2006, it is friggin' hilarious. It is divided intosections, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced, so it really has somethingfor everyone. It includes the authors own personal experiences along theway, so it never becomes dry or academic. There is also all sorts of usefulcontent, like a guide to Bi film, that you won't find elsewhere. Andbecause it is written for bisexuals by bisexuals, bisexuality is not just atoken mention, it is the real focus. And it is very very funny, sarcastic,snarky, and generally just fun to read.

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The Huffington Post

When the Intolerant Kill Christmas: My Gay Friend's Holiday Story

Posted December 24, 2007
10:26 PM (EST)

A very close friend of mine "just came out" to his brother as a gay man. Hedid the same with his mother about ten months ago -- and it didn't go well.. .with either of them.

He's a former soldier who worked on some of the most classified missions themilitary had going -- and despite my criticism of the Bush administration onits invasion of Iraq, I know that my friend had a hand in successfullydelivering some of the world's real bad guys to the next world -- both inAfghanistan and Iraq. He reads my blog -- and he has kept an open mind aboutsome of my criticisms of this administration and the national securitycourse it has been on.

But his mother and brother have tried to tell him that if he's gay -- hemust not believe in God, he must be a reprobate and must be such a deviantthat his brother told him that he will never give him a moment's rest andpeace about this issue.

My friend is earnest, a patriot, sober, sane -- and he's being betrayed inAmerica by a lack of the kind of tolerance and modernity that our society issupposed to be about. Iran and any place under the control of the Talibanhang, stone, or castrate gay youth. Egypt imprisons them. In middle America,the intolerant who somehow have decided to channel a vindictive, judgmental,and sin-obsessed Christ harass, disown -- and in the case of young MatthewShepard in Laramie, Wyoming or active duty sailor Allen Schindler -- killthem.

I hate to hold Dick Cheney and his wife out as models, but I'm absolutelygoing to in this case. Cheney is convinced of how right he is in matters ofwar and state -- but when it came to family, Cheney and his wife evolved. Iknow that he does not harass his daughter Mary. He accepts her, her partner,and his grandchild.

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New York Times

New Law Allows Needle Exchanges in Washington

December 27, 2007

WASHINGTON - President Bush signed legislation on Wednesday lifting a banthat for nearly a decade has prevented city officials here from using localtax money for needle exchange programs.

Officials of the District of Columbia Health Department said that with theban lifted, they would allocate $1 million for such programs in 2008.

Since 1999, the nation's capital, which reports having the highest rate ofAIDS infection of any major city in the country, has been the only citybarred by federal law from using municipal money for needle exchanges. Arecent report by the city showed that intravenous drug users' sharing ofneedles was second only to unprotected sex as a leading cause of H.I.V.transmission.

Congress controls local government here, and for nine years members of theHouse, expressing concerns about worsening drug abuse, had inserted into thebill approving the city's budget a provision to prohibit financing needleexchange programs. But with Republicans' loss of Congressional control toDemocrats, this year's bill, signed by Mr. Bush on Wednesday, reversed theban.

"For too long, Congress has unfairly imposed on the citizens of D.C. bytrying out their social experiments there," said Representative José E.Serrano, the New York Democrat who heads the House Appropriationssubcommittee that handles the city's budget. "The ban on needle exchangeswas one of the most egregious of these impositions, especially because theconsensus is clear that these programs save lives."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Sex and Violence, new research

by Bob Roehr

"Violence is as American as cherry pie," proclaimed Black power advocate H.Rap Brown in the 1960s. The latest research from the annual meeting of theAmerican Public Health Association appears to bear that out.Sexual assault where males are the victims rather than the perpetrators isone of the least reported crimes and least studied subjects of research. Theliterature suggests that 1 in 33 adult males have been the victim ofattempted or completed rape at some point in their lifetimes. However, suchassaults are underreported and most studies are based on the most severecases that require medical attention.

A new study suggests the real rate is three times higher. VirginiaCommonwealth University researcher Saba Masho led a team that conducted anin-depth telephone survey of 705 adult men in Virginia.

It found a lifetime prevalence of sexual assault of 12.9 percent and a 0.1percent rate of victimization within the previous 12 months. She said themean age when the assault occurred was 12, with the majority occurringbetween 12 and 17.

"The majority were single events by one person, followed by multiple eventsby the same person." Surprisingly, "nearly 40 percent were victimized byfemales." Less surprising was that nearly 75 percent of the perpetratorswere older than 18 and nearly 80 percent were known to the victim. Sexualassault and victimization is most likely to occur in the home, regardless ofthe gender of the victim.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

2007: The year that should have been better

by Eric Resnick
December 28, 2007

Perhaps the most apropos metaphor for how lesbians, gays, bisexuals andtransgenders fared in 2007 happened in October when Harry Potter creatorJ.K. Rowling announced that the mightiest wizard in her children'sbest-sellers, Albus Dumbledore, was gay.

Quickly, LGBT message doctors rushed in to pronounce the development somesort of revolutionary act with the power to open the hearts and minds ofchildren to LGBT acceptance for generations to come.

The real story, however, was much less dramatic.

The character was 115 years old, asexual his entire life, and is now dead,to the extent that fictional characters could have ever lived. Moreover, hishomosexuality was irrelevant to the story's plot.

Had Rowling declared Potter or one of his teenaged friends gay, it wouldhave been revolutionary, but that's probably why she didn't.

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The Advocate

Huckabee Explains Antigay Stances

December 28, 2007

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee appealed to Iowaconservatives on two fronts last weekend in Iowa, 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 wedo have to go into battle, and let's pray to God that we don't,'' Huckabeetold about 120 people in Council Bluffs.

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.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Arab and Muslim homosexuals: Who dares defend them?

Posted By Esra'a (Bahrain) On December 26, 2007 @ 10:09 am In Homosexuality,Activism, Taboos, Civil Rights, General | 43 Comments

A few months ago, a young homosexual couple from Morocco contacted us notingthat Mideast Youth does a good job of defending all kinds of rights, whetherthose of religious minorities, migrant workers, or sex slaves, and theyasked a vital question:

"What about us?"

So I immediately wanted to consult our team on having a gay rights campaigndirected at Arab and Muslim youth. [1] Liz wrote an e-mail and sent it toour active authors, and we had mixed reactions, most of which included "don't do it." Not that they don't support such efforts, but they felt that wesimply weren't ready.

I was kind of hoping for an enthusiastic "YEAH, LET'S DO IT!"

We've always been like that for anything that deserves support.

I believe everything deserves a shot no matter how ugly the situation canturn out. But this time it was different. Since the majority of our teamwere not willing to do this I had no choice but to respect that and distanceourself from this, at least for now.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


We must resist gays - bishop

By Daniel Edyegu
Publication date: Wednesday, 26th December, 2007

THE Government should not yield to pressure and legalise homosexuality andlesbianism, the Bishop of Bukedi Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Nicodemus Okille, hasappealed.

The bishop, who was delivering his Christmas sermon at St. Peter's Church ofUganda Tororo on Tuesday, said the acts violate both the biblical teachingson marriage and African culture.

Okille criticised the advocates of gay rights, saying they had no place inthe Kingdom of God.

"These are acts to question the ordinances of God. There's nothing like'intellectualising' sin; sin is sin. How do you imagine a woman sharing thesame bed with a woman or a man with a fellow man?" he asked. According tothe Penal Code Act, homosexuality is illegal and carries a maximum sentenceof life imprisonment.

Under their umbrella body, Sexual Minorities Uganda, gay activists recentlyaddressed an unprecedented news conference to speak out against allegeddiscrimination and harassment from the Police. They want a law allowing themto practice their sexual orientation more freely.

"It's terrible. As the church, we need to resist practices that are not inline with the Christian doctrines," Okille said.

The bishop cautioned married couples against indulging in adultery. sayingit is the main cause of divorce.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Warning about Hillary from a PFLAG leader: Her position on same-sexparenting is "dangerous".

Thu, 12/27/2007 - 3:49pm by Community Editor

'08 Presidential candidates Know Thy Neighbor Massachusetts News & PoliticsPFLAG

In an email sent exclusively to - Greater Boston PFLAGPresident Stan Griffith shared his personal views about Hillary Clinton'sposition on same-sex parenting. posted the email on it'swebsite. PFLAG is the acronym for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbiansand Gays.

In the email, Griffith says he believes Hillary's views on lesbian and gayfamilies is indistinguishable from Massachusetts parent David Parker's - andit's a position used by the Family Research Institute to wage war ondiversity education and safe schools programs.

In April 2005, David Parker, then a father of a kindergarten student,created an uproar at his child's elementary school - after the boy haddescribed to his father a classroom lesson in which the teacher read from abook about different types of families. A federal judge later dismissed asuit by Parker who contended that the public school system violated hisconstitutional rights.

Democratic candidates were recently asked if they approved of learningmaterial in public schools which depict same-sex parents. Obama and Edwardsstated they support it. Hillary, on the other hand, said she believes it'sup to parents to decide how to handle such topics. And this is the sameposition as Parker and the Family Research Institute.

Griffith calls on LGBT supporters of Clinton to understand how "dangerous"Clinton's position actually is.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News;sid=07/12/27/22250701

Does Gay Pride = Bawdy, Salacious, And Sexually Suggestive?

found on Daily Press
written by Travis Bickle, edited by Humberto (Plastic) [ read unedited ]
posted Thu 27 Dec 3:24pm

Bethany Laccone is a 17-year-old high school senior from Portsmouth,Virginia. Bethany is also a lesbian. She experiences no real grief atWoodrow Wilson High, her regular high school. But she attends a specialcourse one class a day at another Portsmouth high school. Not only did sheexperience grief, she believes she experienced sexual discrimination andhumiliation - all over a tee shirt.

The crux of the controversy is a tee shirt (shown here). She had worn thetee to Wilson any number of times without incident. However, when she showedup for hotel management class at IC Norcom High she was told she hadchoices. She could either get rid of the tee shirt, cover it up, turn itinside out, or get suspended. She was told by an assistant principal theshirt violated the school dress code which bans "bawdy, salacious orsexually suggestive messages." When Laccone's father went to IC Norcom for ameeting with the assistant principal he was told Bethany's tee shirt wasextremely upsetting to the teacher who reported her. In fact it was soupsetting that it "interfered with her ability to teach."

Bethany and her father turned next to the ACLU, which wrote a demand letter(pdf doc) to IC Norcom. The letter observed that wearing the tee shirt waspart of Bethany's free speech rights and cited numerous court casesupholding her rights. It made a series of demands of the school including anapology to Bethany and removal of any disciplinary notes from her file. Itgave the school until 11 January to respond. According to Virginia ACLUexecutive director Kent Willis:

"What's happening to Bethany Laccone is a clear-cut case of unconstitutionalcensorship. (She) has the same rights to express her opinions and be openabout who she is as any other student. We intend to make sure I.C. NorcomHigh School stops breaking the law and treats all of its students equallyregardless of their views."

There has been no comment from IC Norcom. A representative from the schooldistrict's office wasn't clear about what happened with Bethany andsuggested "the concern could be that we are training students to go out intothe business world." A lawyer with the national ACLU said teachers aresupposed to teach all students without regard to things like sexualidentity: "If a teacher can't deal with the fact that there are gay studentsin her classroom, that doesn't mean she gets to violate that student's FirstAmendment rights." As for Bethany, she just wants to be able to wear the teeshirt, "I don't feel like I should have to hide my sexuality."

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Mitt Romney's Christmas Present to the 'Gay' Lobby Should End Support

by David Smith

Peter LaBarbera, longtime pro- family advocate and founder of theRepublicans For Family Values website, is calling on pro-family leaders whohave endorsed Mitt Romney to withdraw their support for his candidacy inlight of his recent comments on NBC's "Meet the Press" supportingpro-homosexual "sexual orientation" state laws.

"Mitt Romney's Christmas present to the homosexual lobby disqualifies him asa pro-family leader," LaBarbera said. "Laws that treat homosexuality as acivil right are being used to promote homosexual 'marriage,' same-sexadoption and pro- homosexuality indoctrination of schoolchildren. These samelaws pose a direct threat to the freedom of faith- minded citizens andorganizations to act on their religious belief that homosexual behavior iswrong.

"Romney may have had a late conversion on abortion, but it appears hisninth-inning flip-flop on homosexuality is falling short due to his strongcommitment to 'gay rights,'" LaBarbera said. (See the 'Mitt RomneyDeception' report) "Now some pro- family leaders -- who have raised millionsof dollars over the years opposing 'gay' activism -- will need to explainhow they can go on supporting an openly pro- homosexual-agenda candidate."

LaBarbera said it is "inconceivable after Massachusetts' twin disastersinvolving homosexual 'marriage' and homosexual adoption that Romney now isrecommending pro- homosexual 'orientation' laws -- long derided as "specialrights" among social conservatives - to the rest of the nation.

"In Romney's own state of Massachusetts, the state 'sexual orientation'nondiscrimination law laid the groundwork for homosexual activists' campaignto legalize 'same-sex marriage' -- which then-Gov. Romney brought tofruition with his unnecessary and illegal directive granting marriagelicenses to homosexual partners," LaBarbera said. "The same pro-gay statelaw also forced Boston's Catholic Charities to shut down its century-oldadoption agency because it would not pledge to place children inhomosexual-led households against Catholic teaching.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Bias lawsuit targets Tufts, professor

By Peter Schworm, Globe Staff
December 27, 2007 03:37 PM

A former faculty member at Tufts University is suing the college and aprominent professor for allegedly firing her in retaliation after sheaccused the professor of discriminating against female and minorityemployees and of singling her out for her sexual orientation.

Susan Lautze, a humanitarian researcher who cofounded the FeinsteinInternational Center at Tufts in 1996, says she was fired in 2005 after sheaccused her supervisor, Peter Walker, of harboring bias toward women andnonwhites. Before she was fired, she complained to Tufts officials thatWalker was trumping up reasons to fire her because of a bias against her as"an openly gay woman and someone who has campaigned for the protection ofmarginalized populations," according to the suit.

The civil suit, filed last week in Middlesex Superior Court, names Tufts andWalker, who has directed the Feinstein International Center since 2002, asdefendants. Lautze, who now lives in France, is seeking $360,000 in lostwages and damages.

A Tufts spokeswoman said today that university officials had not yetreceived the lawsuit, but denied the allegations in a statement.

"The university did not discriminate and will defend itself against thislawsuit. We regret that Ms. Lautze has taken this approach to solving adisagreement," the statement read.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Penn. School Takes Gay Harassment Seriously

by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Provincetown Contributor
Thursday Dec 27, 2007

When a gay Pennsylvania high school student was tormented into dropping outof school, 300 classmates stood up on his behalf to demand changes at theschool.

The boy was a student at Pennsylvania's Susquehanna Twp. High School; now,in light of the petition submitted by about 300 students, thesuperintendant, David Volkman, has initiated a top-to-bottom review to seehow the school can alleviate the daily abuses that students suffer in thedistrict's schools.

The story was reported on yesterday by the Pennsylvania newspaper thePatriot-News
which said that the student in question was harassed and bullied somercilessly that, though he never reported the abuse, he did finally dropout of school in the midst of his senior year.

A committee formed by Volkman comprises 15 members: Volkman himself, schoolprincipal Judy Baumgardber, and students, teachers, parents, and othermembers of the community at large.

The newspaper story quoted Volkman as saying that the petition presented tohim "speaks volumes about this student and about the majority of students inthis school."

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Would Life Be Better if You Were Straight?

by Dylan Vox
Thursday Dec 20, 2007

If you found out that you could flip a switch and change your whole life,would you? Most people spend a majority of their childhood and sometimesinto their teens coming to terms with their sexuality. But for some gay menand women, that struggle can be a life long battle that never gets resolved.

Even after making peace with being gay, there can still be some lingeringquestions of whether or not you would change your sexual orientation if theopportunity came about, and a new study from the University of Illinois atChicago has hinted this alteration could perhaps be a reality. The study ofpheromones and smells has suggested that gene mutation in fruit fly subjectscould alter the insect's sexual proclivity.

Researcher David Featherstone and his assistants discovered a gene in fruitflies they call "genderblind," or GB, which if mutated, could make theinsects attracted to the same sex.

"It was very dramatic," Featherstone explained in an interview with ABCNews. "The GB mutant males treated other males exactly the same way normalmale flies would treat a female. They even attempted copulation."

The experiment altered the GB to suppress synapse strength and it changedthe way the insects interpreted the smell of pheromones that are thought tocause the attraction to other individuals.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,0,250861.story

First openly gay president of Black Journalists group dies

7:53 PM EST, December 26, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) _ Thomas Morgan III, the first openly gay president of theNational Association of Black Journalists and a longtime newsman at The NewYork Times, has died. He was 56.

The Brooklyn resident died early Monday morning, possibly of a heart attack,while visiting the family of his partner, Thomas Ciano, in Southampton,Mass., Ciano said Wednesday.

"He was a man of many different qualities and talents," Ciano said. "Hecared a lot about educating young journalists and the prevention of AIDS.Working to house and care for homeless people. Pottery. Gardening. Politics.Those were his passions."

Morgan was NABJ's president from 1989 to 1991. Even though he won theelection handily, it was somewhat heated, according to a 2004 profile ofMorgan on the NABJ's Web site.

"It was painful," Morgan recalled. "I struggled with how to represent NABJwithout embarrassing the organization but while also being true to myself. Iwas elected as a black journalist, not a gay one."

more . . . . .


New York Times

Editorial: Preventing AIDS Prevention

December 28, 2007

Congress and President Bush have done the right thing, lifting a disastrousnine-year ban that prevented Washington from using locally raised taxdollars on needle-exchange programs that help fight the spread of AIDS.Unfortunately, that still leaves in force an even broader and more damaginglaw that prohibits the use of federal funds for needle-exchange programs inthe United States or abroad.

That ban must also be rescinded.

The country's most important medical and public health organizationsendorsed needle-exchange programs more than a decade ago, and such programshave proved highly successful all over the world. Opponents' charges thatneedle exchanges would encourage addiction have turned out to be nonsense.

Meanwhile, the AIDS epidemic continues to spread, driven in part byintravenous drug addicts who become infected when they share dirty needles.They then pass H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, on to wives and loversand unborn children.

A recent report by the District of Columbia's health department found thatmore than 20 percent of the city's AIDS cases could be traced to intravenousdrug users. The city, meanwhile, has the highest AIDS rate in the nation,with 128.4 cases per 100,000 people, compared with 14 cases per 100,000 inthe country as a whole.

more . . . . .


Forwarded by Joe Van Eron

Planet Out

What you said: New gayborhoods!

by Marc Breindel

No doubt about it, we are everywhere -- restoring neighborhoods in bigcities, pioneering small towns in the Midwest and South, even creating new"gayborhoods" in Peru, Puerto Rico and Puerto Vallarta! Welcome to the 21stcentury, when gay life goes liberatingly global.

We asked you to send in reports of cool new gay neighborhoods you've seen,and we thank you for your many enthusiastic responses. A lot of people wrotein about small- to mid-sized cities in the American Midwest and South, likecharming Charleston, South Carolina; hip college town Lawrence, Kansas; andgenteel old Southern queen Natchez, Mississippi, home of the actual GreekRevival manor house Disneyland's Haunted Mansion is based on (Stanton Hall).

So many new gayborhoods are springing up, we decided to present your lettersover two features. Today we present new gayborhoods in the South andMidwest. Tomorrow we'll showcase the rest of the U.S. and some internationalgayborhoods.

Read on to discover a welcoming new gayborhood near you!

U.S. South

I currently live in East Atlanta, Ga. Moved here four years ago fromOrlando, Fla. Midtown Atlanta has become more expensive and straights aremoving in more now. East Atlanta is an affordable alternative to Midtown.Many gay-owned shops, bars and eating establishments are within walkingdistance. Downtown is only two minutes away. Very up-and-coming gayborhood.

The Germantown neighborhood of Louisville, Ky., is a historic blue collarneighborhood nestled between a thriving downtown and two older Victorianneighborhoods that have already been pioneered and gentrified by the gays inthe 1960s through the '80s. LGBT people are already spread all over themetro area here, but my partner and I just bought a shotgun house here inGermantown a year ago. Shotguns and bungalows dating from 1900 through the'20s abound here.



Jesse's Journal

by Jesse Monteagudo

Folsom Street Blues

Thank God for the religious right. Often when I suffer from writer's block,a crackpot comes along with some harebrained scheme and I have something towrite about. The latest loony toon who's come to save the day (and thiscolumn) is Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth, "a newly reorganizednational organization devoted exclusively to exposing and countering thehomosexual activist agenda."

According to Wayne Besen, "LaBarbera is notorious for donning leather garband sneaking into sundry gay S&M bars to take supposedly incriminatingpictures of naughty gays. LaBarbera is obsessive with following the seamierside of gay life, even frequenting establishments where gay sex occurs. Forhim, no bahthouses are too remote to discover, and no dark, grimy dungeonsnot worthy of explorations. It is no exaggeration to say that the man hasprobably frequented more gay venues than RuPaul and Mr. Leather USAcombined."

Peter LaBarbera's latest exposé is of the Folsom Street Fair, a annualgathering of kinky folk in San Francisco that proudly calls itself "theworld's largest leather event." Not letting a good thing pass him by,LaBarbera crashed this leather party on September 30 in order to expose thedepravity within. Since the Folsom Street Fair takes place in Nancy Pelosi's congressional district, LaBarbera gave a detailed description of the Fair'snaughty bits in a letter that he wrote to the Speaker, hoping no doubt thatshe would be as outraged as he claimed to be: "I was in San Francisco with avideographer on Sunday, September 30 and verified but a small segment of themost immoral and outrageous sexual behavior that ever disgraced the streetsof any American city."

LaBarbera followed his introduction with a laundry list of debauchery;depraved acts that he assured the Speaker were going on in full view ofinnocent children. These included "large numbers of men walking on publicstreets either fully or partially naked; . . . groups of men engaged inorgies on the public street, including acts of oral sex and mutualmasturbation; . . . theatrically dramatic sadomasochistic whippings andfloggings; . . . 'Master-slave relationships' in which one man or womanwould 'walk' their subservient 'slave' with a dog collar and chain" and soon. LaBarbera saved much of his outrage for the Sisters of PerpetualIndulgence, a charitable group of gay men in nun drag that LaBarberadenounced as exhibiting "blatant anti-Christian bigotry." LaBarbera closedhis letter by demanding that Pelosi "condemn these public perversions anduse your great influence to stop them from happening in the future in SanFrancisco."

As if that wasn't enough, LaBarbera held a press conference on December 5for the sole purpose of denouncing the Folsom Street Fair. "Americans ForTruth will be airing uncensored videotaped footage, documenting publicperversions and nudity at the Folsom Street Fair, an open-air, sadistic sexfestival held September 30th on the streets of San Francisco," LaBarberapromised. Held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., LaBarberawas joined by fellow fundies Matt Barber of Concerned Women For America andGrace Hurley of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX). ThoughLaBarbera's promise of hard-core, gay leather porn seemed sure to attract acrowd, less than ten people attended his press conference, according toRebecca Armendariz of the Washington Blade, who was there.

The Folsom Street Fair [] is one of four annualevents produced by Folsom Street Events, a not-for-profit organization whosemission "is to create volunteer-driven leather events that provide the adultalternative lifestyle community with safe venues for self-expression whileemphasizing freedom, fun, frolic and fetish and raising critical funds tobenefit local charities."
New York Times


Los Angeles Times,1,6120135.story?ctrack=1&cset=true


Bishop at forefront of Episcopal divide
Supporters and critics agree the San Joaquin Diocese's leader was a powerfulforce in his conservative flock's vote to secede.

By Rebecca Trounson
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

December 24, 2007

FRESNO - Bishop John-David Schofield's tone was urgent this month as heexhorted delegates from his Central California diocese to leave theEpiscopal Church.

For more than 20 years, Schofield said, he had watched in dismay as thenational church strayed from Scripture and made controversial decisionsabout theology and sexuality, including the role of gays in the church. Now,he told delegates to his diocese's annual convention, it was time to act.

"God's timing is essential!" the bishop declared, his voice rising. "Delayedobedience to Scripture is seen as disobedience when opportunities andblessings are lost."

Schofield has emerged as a pivotal player in the drama surrounding thefuture of one of the nation's most influential denominations. At the meetingof delegates from across the Diocese of San Joaquin, he displayed thestrong-willed personality that has won him both admirers and detractors.

There was no time to lose, he told the delegates. The national church couldput new rules in place to prevent such secession attempts. The moment mightnever come again, he said.

The measures passed, by huge margins.

San Joaquin, a Fresno-based diocese of 47 parishes, had elected to becomethe first diocese in the nation to break with the Episcopal Church overtheological issues and align with a conservative Anglican province in SouthAmerica. And Schofield, according to supporters and critics alike, hadplayed the central role in those historic Dec. 8 decisions, propelling hislargely conservative flock along a path that could prove risky for allconcerned.



Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Rome's Mayor Rips Political Peer Over Anti-Gay PoliticsVeltroni Shows His Teeth

Roman mayor Walter Veltroni won't be celebrating the new year with partypeer Dr. Paola Binetti.

Though the politicians are both members of the new Democratic party, Binetti's part of the teodem wing, which follows a far more rigid moral path. The agedlawmaker made headlines this week when she endorsed reparative therapy: justone of her anti-gay stands.

Now Binetti's being ripped by Veltroni for her opposition tonon-discrimination legislation:

In an open letter to the newspaper La Stampa Mayor Walter Veltroni chidedDr. Paola Binetti for her resistance against legislation that would bardiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
"Homosexuality is a human condition," Veltroni argued in his letter. "andthe [DP] is working to recognize the rights of homosexual couples."

Apparently not everyone.

more . . . . .



Go to the website, above, for the following articles

Arizona Gays Face Growing Number Of Syphilis Cases
(Phoenix, Arizona) Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has approved a $100,000campaign to urge gay men to get tested for syphilis after state healthofficials warned the disease is reaching crisis proportions.

DC To Fund Needle Exchange To Fight HIV
(Washington) A nine-year ban on city funding for needle-exchange programs inthe District of Columbia has been lifted, a move city officials say is keyto reducing the soaring rate of AIDS and HIV infections in the country'scapital.

Artist Ashes Scattered Around The World
(Cincinnati, Ohio) Friends of an artist were handed envelopes containing herashes at her memorial service and given a task: Spread the ashes whereverthey felt appropriate.

Gay Journalist Thomas Morgan Dies
(New York City) Thomas Morgan, the first openly gay president of theNational Association of Black Journalists and an inductee into the NationalLesbian & Gay Journalists Association Hall of Fame, has died.

Poll Shows Voters Still Examining Candidates
(Washington) Dig beneath the surface of the raucous Republican presidentialrace and you will find even deeper turmoil: Four in 10 GOP voters haveswitched candidates in the past month alone, and nearly two-thirds say theymay change their minds again.


Planet Out

From the Marriage & Living Together Center.

Only legally married couples can file joint-income tax returns. Untilsame-sex couples win the right to legally marry in the U.S., gay and lesbiancouples can't file joint tax returns. (See Same-Sex Marriage: A History ofthe Law for more information on lesbian and gay marriage.)

If one partner supports the other, however, the supporter can file a taxreturn as a single person and claim the other as a dependent. This ispossible if you meet the five following tests:

Unmarried person. If the supported person is married and files a joint taxreturn with his spouse -- this will be unusual in your situation -- thesupporting partner in this relationship cannot claim him as a dependent.There's one exception -- if the married couple did not earn enough to haveto file a tax return, and did so only to get a refund, the supportingpartner can claim the dependent.

Citizen or resident. The supported person must be a U.S. citizen, residentalien, or citizen of Canada or Mexico.

Income. The supported person's taxable income cannot exceed $2,750.
Nontaxable money, such as gifts, welfare benefits, and nontaxable SocialSecurity benefits, don't count toward gross income.

Support. The supporting partner must provide at least 50% of the otherpartner's total support for the year. Support includes food, shelter,clothing, medical and dental care, education, entertainment, and just aboutanything you can think of.

Relationship. Under IRS regulations, a person who lived in your home for theentire year can be considered a dependent as long as the relationship doesnot violate local law. Three calls to the IRS asking what that sentencemeant lead to "it says what it says." And that was the most intelligentresponse. Our advice: If you meet the other four tests and live in a statewhere sodomy is against the law, go ahead and claim your lover as adependent. The worst that can happen is that the IRS won't allow yourdeduction and your tax bill will be recomputed without the deduction.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

MassEquality Campaign Director Marc Solomon: Regrouping after a devastatingloss

by Ethan Jacobs
staff reporter
Thursday Dec 27, 2007

After all of the victory rallies and gala celebrations that followed theJune 14 defeat of the marriage amendment, it's hard to remember how bleakthings looked at the beginning of 2007. The prior November, marriageequality advocates all but declared victory after they succeeded in pushingthe vote on the amendment back to Jan. 2, the last day of the session.
Activists on both sides expected lawmakers to stay home, letting theamendment die without a vote. But then the Supreme Judicial Court lobbed amonkey wrench into that plan, releasing an opinion that December saying thatthey felt lawmakers were obligated to take a vote on the amendment. Thatopinion, combined with a series of rallies held across the state to demand an up-or-down vote on the amendment, spurredlawmakers to come back the State House on Jan. 2 and take the first of twovotes needed to place the amendment on the ballot. The defeat at the Jan. 2ConCon was arguably the greatest blow to the marriage equality movement.

For Marc Solomon, campaign director of MassEquality and the man tasked withleading the massive coalition of LGBT organizations, lawmakers, canvassers,lobbyists and volunteers working to defeat the amendment, it was devastatingto watch the November victory unravel, culminating in the Jan. 2 vote. Andwhile many of MassEquality's allies were breaking out the champagne to toastDeval Patrick's election as governor, Solomon had to grapple with how tobring the marriage movement back from its greatest defeat.



Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

College to offer queer lit course

Wilbur Wright College announced that it will offer a new literature coursefor Spring 2008, Literature 153: Gay & Lesbian Literature.
The course will be taught by Dr. Aldo Alvarez, and students will read worksby Alison Bechdel, Dorothy Allison and others.

Wilber Wright College is part of the City Colleges of Chicago.


To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

Information, news, and discussion about the legal recognition of same-sex
couples and their families, including marriages, domestic partnerships,
civil unions, adoptions, foster children and similar issues.

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

While many civil rights advocates and members of the gay and lesbian
community are celebrating the New Hampshire same-sex civil union law set togo into effect on Jan. 1, there are those who still oppose it. Theresidents of New Hampshire, the "Live Free or Die" state, have long beencharacterized as having a laissez-faire attitude when it comes to sociallyprogressive issues. The current presidential campaign has highlighted thedifference, with residents of states like Iowa and South Carolina tending tobe more interested than Granite Staters in hearing politicians' positions onabortion, gay marriage and religious issues.


National Gay News

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

Obama Camp Woos Gays
Gay supporters of Barack Obama's bid for the Democratic presidential
nomination began voter outreach in the Castro last weekend in an effort todrum up support in advance of the state's February 5 primary. Obama, whotrails Senator Hillary Clinton in several recent statewide polls,nonetheless has been closing the gap, and is in a tight race with Clinton inIowa and New Hampshire, where voters soon will cast ballots in the caucusesand primary, respectively.

DA Taps Gay Man to Admin Post
San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris appointed veteran deputydistrict attorney Paul Henderson as head of administration at the beginningof December. His appointment to the new position creates a power team ofopenly queer managers running the district attorney's office: MarthaKnutzen, a lesbian, is manager of legal operations; and Tim Silard, anopenly gay man, is chief of policy.

The Gay Clique of Newark is Finding its Voice
When the House of Jourdan's gala fundraiser showed up on the 6 o'clock newsseven years ago, anchormen smirked at footage of strutting drag queens andgay men "voguing," a dance popularized by Madonna. There were voterregistration tables and an array of HIV-prevention information at the ball.
But the cameras ignored those things.


From EuroQueer

In Europe, Where's the Hate?

Gary Younge

Over the past year or so the rural Italian idyll of Colle di Val d'Elsa hasplayed host to a bitter battle for Enlightenment values. On one side, thehamlet's small Muslim community has raised a considerable amount of money tobuild a large mosque. Having gained the mayor's approval, the Muslims signeda declaration of cooperation with the town hall and even planted a Christmastree at the site as a good-will gesture.

In response, other locals pelted them with sausages and dumped a severedpig's head at the site. On a wall near the site vandals daubed: "No Mosque,""Christian Hill" and "Thanks to the communists the Arabs are in ourhouse!!!"

Such is the central dynamic in European race relations at present. It isprobably not the dynamic you have heard most about. The most popular onemaking the rounds this side of the Atlantic involves hordes of Muslims,rabid with anti-Semitic and misogynistic views, running amok as they bomb,bully and outbreed their clueless liberal hosts in a bid to build acaliphate.

"Do you have a child back in England?" an elderly Los Angelena asked aBritish reporter on a recent National Review cruise.

"No," he said.

"You'd better start," she replied. "The Muslims are breeding. Soon, they'llhave the whole of Europe."

Nor is it by any means the only dynamic. There are a handful of nihilisticyoung Muslims keen to bomb and destroy and a far larger number sufficientlydisaffected that they are prepared to riot. There are also many Europeanskeen to see equality and meaningful integration, defending civil libertiesand opposing wars against predominantly Muslim lands.

But the primary threat to democracy in Europe is not "Islamofascism"--thatclunking, thuggish phrase that keeps lashing out in the hope that it willone day strike a meaning--but plain old fascism. The kind whereby mostlywhite Europeans take to the streets to terrorize minorities in the name ofracial, cultural or religious superiority.



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