Tuesday, December 04, 2007

GLBT DIGEST December 3, 2007

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Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins OUT, will be appearing on CNN Headline News tonight - Monday - between 5 - 6 PM EST, discussing the eviction of the Boy Scouts from their historic downtown headquarters in hiliadelphia because of their anti-gay policies.


The Washington Post


In Pa., Scouts Refuse to Lift Ban
Chapter to Ignore City's Order to Alter Policy Excluding Gays

By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 3, 2007; A03

The Boy Scouts in Philadelphia are refusing to break camp.

The city has given the local chapter until today to renounce its policy ofexcluding gays or forfeit the lease on the grand, Beaux-Arts building it hasrented from the city for $1 a year since 1928.

"We're ignoring the deadline," said Mark Chilutti, a member of the Cradle ofLiberty Council executive board, which operates the local Scouts chapter."It was the least bad option we have."

The decision is likely to intensify a four-year standoff with city officialswho have been trying to enforce a 1982 "fair practices" law that bansmunicipal subsidies for organizations that discriminate.

The city solicitor, Romulo L. Diaz Jr., had given the chapter until today tochange its policies. If the Scouts refuse to do so, they will have to leavetheir historic headquarters by June 1 or pay market value for the property,which the city has placed at $200,000 a year. Diaz said in a recentinterview that he would begin looking for a new tenant for the 100-year-oldbuilding tomorrow.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Times of London on Condi Rice Gay Rumours


From The Sunday Times
December 2, 2007

Gay rumours eclipse Condi's glory moment Tony Allen-Mills, New York ITSHOULD have been Condoleezza Rice's finest hour as US secretary of state:at last President George W Bush was hosting a Middle East peace conferencethat she had been struggling to organise for months.

Yet when Rice's photograph appeared on the front page of America'sbestselling weekly newspaper last week, it had nothing to do with herpeacemaking efforts. She had been dragged into a National Enquirer articleheadlined "Who's Gay and Who's Not".

The article revived long-standing Washington gossip about Rice'ssexuality and sparked off the usual flurry of internet chatter about herhigh-profile role in a Republican administration widely regarded as hostileto gays.

It also underlined the increasing friction in American politics betweena high-minded media establishment disdainful of bedroom gossip and theno-holds-barred, consumer-driven world of instant internet scandal. AGoogle search of the words "Condoleezza" and "lesbian" last week yielded146,000 hits.

Rice was not alone in falling victim to what the US media eliteinvariably decries as corrupted journalistic standards but what the rest ofAmerica seems to regard as the real story in Washington: who is sleepingwith whom?

While most leading US newspapers were preoccupied with serious policyissues such as Iraq and illegal immigration, New York tabloids were feastingon startling new details about Rudolph Giuliani, the city's former mayor,who is alleged to have concealed the cost of the security protection heneeded while on secret trysts with his then mistress.

Giuliani dismissed the allegations as a "political hit job" and "dirtytrick" that just happened to pop up hours before a key televised debatebetween Republican presidential candidates. Although it appeared thatGiuliani had done nothing illegal, the fuss refocused attention on hiscolourful private life and may damage his appeal to conservative voters.



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:

State figures show there has been a significant drop in the number ofsame-sex couples entering into civil unions in the past year. After civilunions for gay couples became legal in Connecticut on Oct. 1, 2005, therewere 649 civil unions during the last three months of that year. The stateDepartment of Public Health said that in 2006 there were 729 civil unions.However, as of the end of October this year, just 372 civil unions wererecorded in Connecticut. One state lawmaker said many same-sex couples maybe holding off for marriage while the state Supreme Court considers claimsthat denying same sex couples the ability to marry is unconstitutional. Theco-chairman of the legislature's Judiciary Committee, state Rep. Michael P.Lawlor, D-East Haven, said the drop-off in the number of civil unions inConnecticut doesn't surprise him. "There was obviously a pent-up demand,"Lawlor, strong advocate of gay marriage, said. Lawlor added that there wasbound to be a decline in the number of civil unions after many gay couplestook advantage of the new law.

Canada: Catherine Bainbridge had been sure it would all go well. When herfriends Linda and Mona, who are a lesbian couple, decided that they wantedto have a child, Ms. Bainbridge, a documentary filmmaker, wanted to telltheir story. "I thought it would be interesting to follow them on theirjourney," she says. "I thought it would go swimmingly, but right from theget-go, it was hard." The documentary, Mommy, Mommy, is about the lesbiancouple's struggle to become parents. The special airs on CBC Newsworldtomorrow night. For Ms. Bainbridge, 45, the experience of following thestory, which covers the women's hopes, efforts, disappointments andeventually, after four years, happy ending, shook her assumption thatCanadian society is as tolerant about the issue of same-sex parenthood asmost people believe it is.

Oregon: Kelly Burke remembers well the day in 2004 when she and her partnergathered with hundreds of other same-sex couples in Portland's KellerAuditorium to exchange wedding vows — unions made possible by MultnomahCounty's move to legalize gay marriage. "People were racing across town toget married," Burke remembers. "Here was a moment in history where marriagewas finally available to us. No one knew if it was going to be shut down inan hour or how long it was going to last." It lasted about six weeks until ajudge ruled that there was no right to gay marriage under state law, thusinvalidating 3,000 marriage licenses issued to gay and lesbian couples. OnJan. 1 Burke and her partner of nearly 20 years, Dolores Doyle, will be ableto gain official recognition of their relationship under a new state lawthat will allow them to register as domestic partners. It's a step in theright direction, they said, and it will take some of the sting out of havingtheir marriage license invalidated.

I'm a traditionalist on such matters, but it's not up to me to decide howother people should live. My marriage is not dependent on the state, but onmy church (I'm Eastern Orthodox), which would never approve of gay marriage.But some other religious groups do. What they do is not my business, as I amnot a member of them. Public "benefits" and legal responsibilities should behandled by contract, not state decree. Opponents of this arrangement arguethat marriage is necessary to handle important family obligations. But, asAnthony Gregory wrote for the libertarian Web site LewRockwell.com, "Ifpeople wish to consider hemselves married to each other, let them do so,draw up any relevant private contracts to handle the details of thearrangement and live their own lives in peace. If third parties wish toconsider any given pair (or larger number) of people married, that should betheir choice. No one, heterosexual or homosexual, would have any specialrights under the law. Hospital visitation rights and other such matterswould be handled contractually, and decided by the private individuals andinstitutions involved – not the state. No one would have to see thegovernment give marriage licenses to some but not others, and no one wouldhave to see the government legitimize any marriage he or she doesn'tpersonally approve."

The well-publicized failure of Gov. Ernie Fletcher's campaign to secure alast-minute surge in conservative voters by telling them that Gov.-electSteven Beshear would recreate Kentucky as a "new San Francisco" marks animportant change in both Kentucky and national political strategies. Newanalyses of Census Bureau data suggest that this failed "gay card" strategymay in part be a result of a dramatically more visible lesbian and gaypopulation in some of the most conservative parts of the country --including Kentucky's largest city, Louisville. Since 1990, the Census Bureauhas tracked the presence of same-sex "unmarried partners," commonlyunderstood to be lesbian and gay couples. From an initial count of about145,000 same-sex couples in 1990, the 2006 data show that this populationhas increased fivefold to nearly 780,000 couples. The number of same-sexcouples grew more than 21 times faster than did the U.S. population.
Kentucky has seen an astounding twelve-fold increase from 862 same-sexcouples counted in 1990 to more than 10,300 in 2006. In the same timeperiod, the number of self-identified same-sex couples in other sociallyconservative Mountain, Midwest and Southern states exceeded a six-foldincrease. Compare that with liberal East and West Coast states, whereincreases have been less than four-fold. Now either there's been a wildlysuccessful gay recruitment campaign, or lots more lesbian and gay couplesare "coming out" on government surveys.

We want the government "out of our lives," yet, curiously, want it to getinto our fellow citizens' lives.For example, the current debate aboutgovernment involvement in private lives concerns the issue known as same-sexmarriage.We should note that in the United States there has been somemovement on this and similar subjects. It's at the same slow evolutionarypace at which women were given the franchise, African-Americans were grantedcivil rights, homosexual relations between consenting adults were ruled notillegal, and a few religious denominations permitted ordination to women andgays. But it's as inevitable during this century as rising sealevels.Predictably, the East and West Coast states have led the way, whilethe heartland has dug in its heels, passing so-called defense of marriageacts and even constitutional amendments defining marriage as the legal unionof one man and one woman (temporarily, at least; divorce rates aresignificantly higher in the Bible Belt than in godless, liberalMassachusetts and Vermont).There are several arguments used in debating"defense of marriage" acts. The one that isn't ever mentioned publicly isthat homosexuality is, to many "straight" people, simply yucky. It's anancient taboo perpetuated by that majority. Vikings, for example, tauntedeach other with it much as we do today; but in their culture, it was aninvitation to mortal combat.

Nova Scotia: Common-law and same-sex spouses could soon be recognized underthe province’s pension plan. Acting finance minister Angus Mac–Isaacintroduced an amendment to the Public Service superannuation Act on Fridaythat better defines the term spouse. "It’s an attempt to bring ourlegislation up-to-date to reflect the modern situation," Mr. MacIsaac saidat Province House. The amendment will give credit for years lived common lawdirectly before marriage in the event of a marriage breakdown.

ANDERSON, Ind. - A single state lawmaker is currently the focus of effortsto pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Indiana.Abillboard in downtown Anderson targets State Representative Terri Austin (D)and she doesn't like it."People are offended by these types of tactics andthey know this is a more complicated issue than many folks are suggesting,"said Rep. Austin.The Indiana chapter of the American Family Associationbought the billboard to help win passage of a constitutional amendmentbanning gay marriage.It died in an Indiana House committee earlier thisear.The billboard comes on the heels of a radio commercial and newspaperads from the American Family Association, all sending the same message toTerri Austin's constituents.The newspaper ad played off a tearful speechAustin gave in April to explain her vote against the marriage amendment."Ihave never advocated that marriage should ever be anything but between a manand a woman," said Austin in the speech.Yet the American Family Associationsays Austin is targeted only because she holds a swing vote.


National Gay News


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

There is no room for discrimination in the military. That is why Congressand the president should take the advice of 28 retired generals and admiralswho wrote in a letter Friday that it is time to repeal the law that allowsgay men and lesbians to serve in the military, but only if they keep theirsexual orientation secret.

Pelosi on World AIDS Day: "We All Must do More''
“World AIDS Day gives us an opportunity each year to assess the progress wehave made together in the fight against HIV/AIDS and to consider what morewe can do to help alleviate poverty and disease at home and in thedeveloping world.“This year’s World AIDS Day theme is ‘Keep the Promise –Leadership.’ It is a reminder that we all must do more. Across thedeveloping world, HIV/AIDS is devastating productive members of thesesocieties, discouraging economic development and orphaning millions ofchildren.

Sports Police Plan May Make - Rival Fans Bond on Terraces of Europe
A European football police force will target hooligans, match fixing, racismand homophobia on the terraces under plans announced yesterday. Fan-coachingsessions and EU-funded bonding weekends for rival troublemakers will beincluded in the programme. The first step towards an EU sports police squadwill be a common training programme for the Euro 2008 championships inSwitzerland and Austria and backed with €10 million (£7 million) from theUnion budget.

Australia: Nelson Backs Gay Reforms
New Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson has backed equality of economictreatment for homosexual couples, ramping up pressure on Labor to carrythrough on promises to remove discrimination.However Dr Nelson ruled outsupporting gay marriage, adoption or access to fertility services.Hisremarks drew praise from gay and human rights lobbyists - along with somedisappointment for not going all the way.


From Marc Adams
Executive Director


How do you think it would feel to be 14, get kicked out of yourSeventh-day Adventist school, and when you get home, your parents stripyou naked and kick you out into the street?

It doesn't feel good, thats for sure. And, this is exactly what happenedto a boy not to long ago.

At one of our recent educational forums a man described finding this boynaked on their front porch.

Fortunately the boy chose their house as they were able to get him thehelp he needed.

I wish I could say that I have never heard such a horrifying story,however, it's not the first time.

After his mother kicked him out of his house a year earlier at age 16, oneof the students who came to us for help returned home. The first wordshis mother said were, "I've been praying for the past year that you wouldbe hit by a big mack truck. What are you doing here?" And then she kickedhim out again.

One of the students who came to HeartStrong for help had been expelledfrom his religious university in Tennessee and his mother refused to comeonto the school property to pick him up. She claimed she was toohumiliated to be seen by others. She demanded her son meet her two milesup the interstate at a rest area if he wanted a ride back home. So, hewalked the interstate with his belongings from his dorm room as adesperate attempt to get out of the university town.

I am sickened every time I think about that student making that walk ofshame.

The good thing is that like many many others, he found HeartStrong.Instead of thoughts of emotional and physical suicide, he found the pathto self acceptance.

This is our 20th outreach trip since January of 1998. We've self drivenourselves more than 350,000 miles around the US and Canada. We'veprovided hope and help directly to 1005 students and indirectly to manyothers.

We are only able to do this because people like you support our work. Westill need a couple thousand dollars to cover the cost of this outreachtrip as well as raise funds for our work in 2008. We are hoping that 2008will be the first year that HeartStrong will be able to raise all of themoney for our budgeted work.

The only way that can happen is through the giving of HeartStrong Friendssuch as yourself.

Giving is easy. You can mail your donation to HeartStrong at HeartStrong,PO Box 2051, Seattle, WA 98111. Or, you can make your donation online thttp://www.heartstrong.org. Additionally, you can call me directly tomake your donation at 206-388-3894.

All donations are tax deductible. 93.3% of every dollar goes directly tooutreach programs. HeartStrong is an all volunteer 501 (c)(3) educationalnonprofit organization.

Thanks for your support!
Marc Adams
Executive Director




Buenos Aires Journal
In Macho Argentina, a New Beacon for Gay Tourists

December 3, 2007

BUENOS AIRES — Home to the sexy tango and strapping meat-eaters, this SouthAmerican capital has long been thought of as a bastion of macho attitudes.But a new hotel here is adding to the city’s growing image as a bastion ofgay-friendliness.

The Axel Hotel, a Spanish import that opened in November, has come tosymbolize Buenos Aires’s increasingly aggressive effort to court gay dollarsand euros. It is Latin America’s first luxury hotel built exclusively withgay customers in mind.

That Buenos Aires would be chosen for such a marketing experiment is aresult of a marked change over the past several years in the acceptance ofgay men and lesbians in Argentine society. This city of three million peoplehas come a long way from the years of military dictatorship, when beingopenly gay could lead to jail. Five years ago this was the first major LatinAmerican city to legalize same-sex unions, and this summer it was host to aWorld Cup for gay soccer players, a first in the region.

“There is so much more freedom these days,” said Mauricio Urbides, a28-year-old fashion designer, who sipped red wine with two male friends atthe hotel recently. “You see gays on television here, in government. Just 15years ago it was a completely different situation.”

The three friends were among a mixed crowd of homosexuals and heterosexualswho laughed as Kyra and Sharon, drag queens from Barcelona, Spain, poked funat Argentina’s president-elect, Cristina Fern├índez de Kirchner, and sang aMarilyn Monroe-inspired “Happy Birthday to You” to a male guest.

more . . . . .




Gays Arrested As Putin Coasts To Easy Victory

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: December 3, 2007 - 8:00 am ET

(Moscow) Vladimir Putin's party won a massive victory Sunday inparliamentary elections but not before more than a dozen gay rightsactivists were arrested at a Moscow polling station.

The group intended to demonstrate against Putin's United Russia party andseveral of the smaller parties for refusing to advanced LGBT rights inRussia. The protestors also wanted to show their distain for Moscow MayorYuri Luzhkov who was expected at the polling station.

The protestors, led by Moscow gay pride organizer Nikolai Alekseyev, wereplaced in a bus and taken to a police station. They were later released and
ordered to appear in a Moscow court later today.

Gays have been at logger heads with the government for two years. Luzhkovhas refused to allow gay pride celebrations in the capital and courts havebacked him up.

Moscow police arrested about 20 people last May when they attempted topresent a petition denouncing a decision to bar a gay pride parade. InSeptember a court ruled the city acted properly when it refused to grant thepermit. (story)

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The New York Times


Lashing Justice

December 3, 2007

Muslims who wonder why non-Muslims are often baffled, angered, evenfrightened by some governments’ interpretation of Islamic law need only lookto the cases of two women in Saudi Arabia and Sudan threatened with barbariclashings.

In Saudi Arabia, a woman who was gang-raped was sentenced to 90 lashes. Thereason? Before the rape, the woman, who was then 19, had been in a car witha man who was not a family member — a crime under the kingdom’s legal code,which is based on a strict Wahabi reading of Islamic law. Punishing thevictim of a brutal rape is reprehensible. Then a Saudi appeals court morethan doubled her lashings to 200 and added six months’ jail time, apparentlybecause she had the audacity to publicly challenge the court’s ruling. Herlawyer had his license to practice suspended.

In Sudan, a British primary school teacher was originally threatened with 40lashes, a fine, or six months in jail after her class of 7-year-olds votedto name a teddy bear Muhammad. The government accused her of insulting theProphet Muhammad. Muhammad is one of the most common names among Muslims,including the student who suggested it for the teddy bear. On Thursday, thecourt reduced the teacher’s sentence to 15 days in jail, but found herguilty and ordered her deported.

Saudi Arabia and Sudan have notoriously bad human rights records and thecases have ominous political overtones. The Khartoum government — so willingto punish the crime of naming a teddy bear — is responsible for the genocidein Darfur. The case was widely seen as a warning against Westerners whoprotest that mass slaughter. In the Saudi case, the girl was a member of thecountry’s persecuted Shiite minority, and experts said her sentence washarsh even by Saudi standards.

Khartoum’s few friends, in the Arab League and China, should make clear thatsuch cynical games will only increase its isolation. The world should expectbetter from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, who has introduced some — but notnearly enough — political and judicial reforms. The king has a hallowedresponsibility in Islam as Keeper of the Two Holy Mosques of Mecca andMedina. What one Muslim leader, Ibrahim Mogra of the Muslim Council ofBritain, said about the Sudan case can also be applied to the Saudis’: “Howdoes this help the cause of Islam? What kind of message and image are weportraying about our religion and our culture?”


The New York Times


A ‘Normal’ Family

By Jeff Gammage
December 2, 2007, 8:42 pm

It happened again — this time before Halloween — as we reached the cashier’sstation at The Party Store.

The clerk, who must have been about 18, took a long look at my daughters.

“Are they yours?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said tersely, hoping my tone would dissuade further inquiry.

It didn’t.

more . . . . .


The Washington Post


Taking on the Economics of Gender Inequity

By Valerie Strauss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 3, 2007; B02

In the world of economic theory, Columbia University's Graciela Chichilniskyis an A-list star.

Nobel laureates laud her work and call her brilliant; some economists credither with an important economic theory. She is involved in the economics offighting global warming internationally, and she was recently elected to theuniversity senate.

Chichilnisky is also embroiled in a bitter 16-year fight, including twolawsuits and a countersuit, against the Ivy League school where she teaches.She says she has been a victim of sex discrimination. Her salary, shealleges, has not kept pace with those of her male counterparts. Researchgrants have been taken away, and administrators have retaliated because ofher complaints, she says.

Columbia officials settled one lawsuit in 1999, raising her salary andpaying damages without acknowledging any wrongdoing. But she sued a fewyears later, saying the alleged discrimination had not ended. The universitycountersued, accusing her of working for a private company while on medicalleave several years ago.

University spokesman Robert Hornsby called it "a long and complex case" thathe could not discuss in detail because of ongoing litigation.

more . . . . .


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