Sunday, December 30, 2007

GLBT DIGEST December 30, 2007

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New York Times

Charles Nelson Reilly | b. 1931
Brett Somers | b. 1924
A Perfect Match

December 30, 2007

Fill in the blank: In the mid-'70s, most Americans could name more membersof the celebrity panels on "Match Game" or "Hollywood Squares" than theycould name ______. If your answer was a) Romantic poets, b) Renaissancepainters, c) justices of the Supreme Court or d) anything else highbrow orcivic-minded, you'd probably have "matched" any of the anthro-critics whoconsidered American discourse in deep decline. Among their usual culprits:television in general and in particular game shows, perhaps the strongest aposteriori evidence that Americans' brains were getting flabby on culturaljunk food.

But if you were one of the millions of housewives orhome-sick-from-schoolers or summer vacationers who carved out a portion ofthe day to spend with these shows, you knew that there could be a form ofhigher intelligence involved: the campy rejoinders of Paul Lynde (who diedin 1982) on "Hollywood Squares"; the droll sarcasm of Richard Dawson on"Match Game" (before he became a kissing fool on "Family Feud"); and, onthat same show, the daily barb exchange of Brett Somers and Charles NelsonReilly. For nine years Somers and Reilly provided a midafternoon snack ofcomedic pas de deux that was sometimes bawdy, sometimes puerile but somehownever cheap. The repartee was hardly the stuff of Mike Nichols and ElaineMay or even Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca - they basically tried to matchcontestants' answers to questions that called for a lot of toilet andunderwear jokes - but with Somers and Reilly what mattered more was not whatwas being said exactly but who was saying it.

Many viewers were introduced to Somers and Reilly on "Match Game," as ifthey'd sprung straight from the Spiegel catalog, the Paris Hiltons of theirday, famous for being famous. But both were already accomplished veterans ofstage and screen. Somers acted on Broadway and had a scroll of movie and TVcredits. Reilly won a Tony in 1962 for "How to Succeed in Business WithoutReally Trying," was an acclaimed theater director and had multiple Emmynominations. And that acting talent could be why on "Match Game" they weren't just panelists but characters. Somers was the middle-aged man-hungry "dumbbrunette" with the lefty chicken scrawl, Reilly, the fussbudget foreverdisparaging her answers, her wardrobe, her decorating skills. In that sensethey were forerunners of Will and Grace, the gay man and his gal pal with abitchy, loving disregard for each other.

Not that there wasn't a sexual vibe on the show. In those days, daytime wasgetting really racy, as young, robust actors on soap operas started showingmore skin and stepped up their bed-hopping. But Somers might have been thetrue sexual pioneer. She wasn't Mae West, 80 trying to act 20, or anembalmed Gabor, but rather, with her Elton John glasses and Toni Tennillehairdo and saucy answers, an average-looking menopausal woman with a healthyregard for sex. In one of the most memorable broadcasts, Somers's husband,Jack Klugman, was on the panel and seemed to be rushing the host, GeneRayburn, along, as if to say that he and Somers had something better to do.

Reilly, meanwhile, was both strapping and doughy, in one sense theembodiment of the pre-AIDS sissy stereotype, with his ascots, hairpieces,shirts opened to the third button and tidy penmanship, and also a propheticsend-up of the post-AIDS hypermasculine gay man, especially when he loweredhis voice and became "Chuck," the pipe-smoking alter-ego. Reilly, like Lyndeand other gay actors of the time, never named the love that dared not speakits name, but neither did he try to hide it.

more . . . . .


New York Times

Effort to Block California Anti-Bias Bill

December 30, 2007

LOS ANGELES - Conservative groups in California are gathering signatures totry to block an anti-discrimination bill because it includes language thatwould extend protection to public-school students based on their sexualorientation and gender identity.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, signed the bill in October, but itdoes not become law until Jan. 1. Opponents have until Jan. 10 to gather500,000 signatures to put a referendum on the next ballot.

Lawyers for two groups, the Alliance Defense Fund and Advocates for Faithand Freedom, sued the state in a federal court in San Diego soon after thebill was signed to oppose the definition of "gender" and the inclusion of"sexual orientation" in the education code.

California defines gender - along with other protected classes like race,nationality, disability and religion - as "actual or perceived." The groupsopposing the bill say that definition could lead to false accusations ofdiscrimination.

"This lawsuit argues that the redefinition of gender should be declaredunconstitutional because it is too vague," said Jennifer Monk, a lawyer forAdvocates for Faith and Freedom. "If it's not based on physical anatomy orhow they act or dress, and it's all based on what they think they are, thenhow is a teacher to know how a student identifies?"

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Washington Post

The Role TV Knows Too Well: Inane Asylum

By Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 30, 2007; M14

Let's face it -- the television industry will never again rise to theheights of ridiculousness achieved in 2004 with just one breast, a breakawaybustier and the prying fingers of Justin Timberlake.

Still, by all accounts, 2007 was one of the industry's more spectacularefforts. Here's a look at the best:

Sanjaya Malakar's Hair. Millions of little girls and middle-aged women areirresistibly drawn to the "American Idol" contestant's gorgeous, faux-hawkedtresses, a reaction that threatens to bring down the country's most-watchedtelevision program, the backbone of the No. 1 network's ratings. Majorpapers weigh in with op-ed pieces on the cultural crisis. "Idol" producerssearch frantically for things that the competition judges can say on airabout Sanjaya's awful performances that will not mobilize those millions ofpreteens and 24-to-54-year-old chicks to vote for their pet.

Alec Baldwin's Parental Alienation. Caught on voice mail calling his11-year-old daughter a "rude, thoughtless little pig," Baldwin becomes thelatest disgraced Hollywood star ordered by his reps to do the Stations ofthe Apology. That includes a stop on "The View" to announce he will quitNBC's "30 Rock" to devote himself over the next five years to the fightagainst Parental Alienation, from which he is suffering thanks to his evilex, Kim Basinger. Sadly, Parental Alienation is not one of NBC's designated"The More You Know" causes, and when the network realizes it cannot monetizeBaldwin's announcement, it responds by issuing a strongly worded statementin which it says Baldwin remains an important part of "30 Rock" and thenetwork looks forward to having him continue his work on the show. Baldwincontinues to work on the sitcom. Parental Alienation continues, unchecked.

Paris. See Paris head to jail. See Paris leave jail. See news choppers hoverover Paris Hilton's Hollywood Hills home as she is removed by authoritiesand sent back to jail, virtually naked -- no makeup, no purse dog, nocellphone, no hair extensions. See media critics sneer at the press forembracing tabloid instincts when, in truth, they're just sticking their owngreedy snouts into the trough holding the juiciest pop-culture gruel servedup in ages.

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Stealing the Election

by Wayne Besen

With Republicans deeply dissatisfied with their presidential candidates,they have turned to chicanery to try to steal the 2008 election. This time,they have recruited surrogates on the Religious Right to place aconstitutional amendment banning gay unions on the ballot. Although theydeny their intentions are politically motivated, it can hardly be acoincidence that the Republican Party of Florida was the largest contributorof the petition drive, funneling $300,000 of the $557,000 raised.

Such cynical manipulation worked wonders for the Republicans in 2004 - whenthey used this strategy to turn out right wing voters in droves. In total,there are now 27 states that have constitutional amendments prohibitingmarriage equality. The anti-marriage train seemed unstoppable until it wasderailed in Arizona, where voters narrowly rejected a ban by a 52-48 vote.

The key to this desert victory was that voters were persuaded that theproposed amendment would affect domestic partner benefits for unmarriedheterosexual partners - particularly senior citizens. This message couldresonate in Florida with its huge population of seniors. Indeed, informingthis demographic of the consequences of passing this amendment appears to bethe central strategy in defeating it.

"Because of how the laws are structured on Social Security, they've [seniorcitizens] set up their households together as opposed to getting marriedbecause they would be penalized in terms of eligibility," Bentley Lipscomb,AARP's 1999-2006 state director, told The Florida Times-Union. "The way thatamendment is worded, it would affect those individuals even though they'renot homosexual."

Unfortunately, John Stemberger, state chairman of the Florida4Marriage.orgcampaign has also studied the Arizona battle.

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More HIV Testing for Babies

by Tom Hester, Associated Press

HIV testing will soon become part of routine prenatal care and be requiredfor some newborns in New Jersey under a new law that supporters say isputting the state in the forefront of the national fight against HIVtransmission to babies.

Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey signed the measure into law Wednesday atUniversity Hospital in Newark. The law will take effect in six months.

"We can significantly reduce the number of infections to newborns and helpbreak down the stigma associated with the disease," Codey said. "Fornewborns, early detection can be the ultimate lifesaving measure."

Codey, the acting governor while Gov. Jon S. Corzine is out of the countrythis week for the holidays, sponsored the bill as the Senate president.

Meanwhile, a ban in Washington, D.C., against using city money forneedle-exchange programs was lifted Wednesday, a move officials say willhelp reduce the soaring rate of AIDS and HIV there.

more . . . . .


Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Queen Honors Gay Actor, Activist
(London) Openly gay actor and LGBT rights activist Ian McKellen has beenawarded one of Britain's highest honors.
Is A Democrat About To Be Culled From The Race?
(Des Moines, Iowa) Iowa could make or break a Democratic candidate onThursday. The question is, who?
Will Iowa Shake Up GOP Race?
(Des Moines, Iowa) The Republican presidential race has gone from merely unpredictable to chaotic.
Subject Of LGBT Bias Complaint Becomes Gay Bar
(Scottsdale, Arizona) The room was crowded, the music was high energy andthe liquor flowed for the opening Friday night of Scottsdale's newest gayclub.
Federal Court Halts Oregon Gay Partner Registry
(Portland, Oregon) A federal judge on Friday placed on hold a state domesticpartnership law that was set to take effect Jan. 1, pending a Februaryhearing.
Attorneys Seek To Avoid Death Penalty In Gay Murder Case
(Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) Attorneys for one of two men charged in thekilling of a man who ran a gay porn company say they will seek to have thedeath penalty removed if their client is convicted.
Rape, Hate Crime Charges In Attack On Gay Man
(Cicero, Illinois) An Illinois man has been charged with sexual assault anda hate crime in an attack on a gay man.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Happy Kwanzaa From NBJC!! Dec. 26-Jan. 1

In This Issue
NBJC Cooperative Economics At Work
Help Continue The Cooperative Economics

Kwanzaa Facts

Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan- African holiday whichcelebrates family, community and culture. Kwanzaa was created tointroduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culturewhich contribute to building and reinforcing family, communityand culture among African American people as well as Africansthroughout the world African community.

Kwanzaa was created by Dr. Maulana Karenga.
The holiday introduces and reinforces seven basic values ofAfrican culture which contribute to building and reinforcingfamily, community and culture among African American people aswell as Africans throughout the world African community.
Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 thru January 1, itsorigins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa fromwhich it takes its name.

Day 4: Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)

To build and maintain our community together and make ourbrother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve themtogether.


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:
Florida voters will get the chance next November to incorporate a ban onsame-sex marriages into the state Constitution., thegroup pushing the amendment, recently expressed confidence that it hascleared the last hurdle, gathering the required 611,009 petition signatures,to put the issue on the ballot.
Thus, Florida stands to become the 28th state to enact such an amendment,which, as its language says, defines marriage as the "legal union of onlyone man and one woman" with "no other legal union that is treated asmarriage or the substantial equivalent thereof" able to be recognized orvalidated within the state.
S. Africa: We met in the heady days of 1994. The ANC had finally come topower and we were filled with a sense of possibility. We were members of theANC's Yeoville branch and met in the branch choir. Being a same-sex couplefelt like an extension of that liberation. By the year 2000 we felt ready tocommit ourselves to each other and held our wedding ceremony on a Kensingtonkoppie, about six years before the law caught up with same-sex marriage. Wewere both keen to be parents and started exploring ways to have children. Atfirst artificial insemination seemed the obvious route. But somewhere downthe line it started feeling like the wrong idea. Why create a new life whenso many babies, already born, were waiting to be adopted? There were alsoother reasons to adopt. If we went the insemination route only one of uscould be the biological mother. This would introduce a strange inequalityinto the family.
Sandra Veronica Campuzano Trevizo, and partner Abbie Green share anemotional moment this month outside their apartment in Chihuahua, Mexico.
The couple has gone from Phoenix to Canada to Chihuahua in an effort to staytogether legally. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)] Since 1965, U.S.immigration policy has had a clearly stated priority: "familyreunification." In the past five years alone, this policy has enabled thelegal spouses of 1.3 million Americans to gain permanent legal residencyhere. But for the 35,820 U.S. citizens counted by the 2000 census as livingwith same-gender partners from other countries - nearly half with children -this provision does not apply. If separated, binational gay and lesbianfamilies trying to unify, legally, can face a bureaucratic, heartbreakingand often insurmountable challenge. Caught in the swirl of two of the mostcontentious issues on America's docket - domestic-partner rights andimmigration reform - many face an impossible choice: Live apart from theperson they love, or leave the country they love.
CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire's new civil unions law - thoughwell-intentioned - makes a promise to gay couples it can't keep: that allthe rights, obligations and responsibilities of marriage will be theirs. Infact, they will not be treated equally, either inside New Hampshire orbeyond its borders. They will fall into a separate, evolving legal classrecognized by only a handful of states. And more than 1,100 federal lawswill discriminate against them regardless where they live. Gay couplestaking advantage of the law - which takes effect Tuesday - indeed acquiresubstantial new state protections ranging from important health benefits tothe ability to inherit without a will. But they will be treated legally astwo unmarried adults in all but New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut andCalifornia.
A small fight broke out in the first few minutes of today's hearing thatended with a judge issuing a temporary injunction against domesticpartnership taking effect next week in Oregon. An unidentified manskirmished with two security guards during Judge Michael Mosman's openingstatements at the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse. Once restrained, the manmuttered under his breath: "Get thee behind me, Satan." That was but oneexample of how herves, tempers and emotions ran high in Mosman's courtroom,as the judge presided over a 90-minute hearing in the case brought by theAlliance Defense Fund against the Oregon Secretary of State's office. TheAlliance successfully sought a temporary injunction against theimplementation startng Jan. 2 of House Bill 2007, a law providing over 500rights and benefits through state-sanctioned domestic partnerships tosame-sex couples in Oregon (see Been There, Done That" in this week'spaper).


National Gay News

Go to the website, above, for the following article:
California: Gay Rights Under Attack
Proponents have started gathering signatures for a ballot initiative thatcould wipe out rights for domestic partnerships. Friday the Secretary ofState gave proponents the go-ahead. It's the eighth initiative to entercirculation that aims to void the rights of those involved in same-sexmarriages.


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