Monday, December 31, 2007

GLBT DIGEST December 31, 2007

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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:
Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards demonstrated in favour of the traditionalfamily in the centre of Madrid on Sunday, in a show of force by Catholics inwhat is now one of the most liberal countries in Europe. Organisers saidmore than one-and-a-half million people packed Colon Square and surroundingstreets for the event, which was addressed by Pope Benedict in a live videolink. While they said they had no political motives, the huge demonstrationcame just over two months before general elections in which a Socialistgovernment which has legalised gay marriage and made divorce easier bids foranother term in office. Under the shadow of Colon Square's huge Spanish flagand just a short walk from the gay bars of Madrid's Chueca district,families and churchgoers [bused] in from all over the country heard speakerscall for the defence of the traditional family. "Founded in the indissolubleunion between man and woman, it is the place in which human life issheltered and protected from its beginning until its natural end," said PopeBenedict.
A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order delaying theimplementation of Oregon's new Domestic Partnership Law. The law would havegiven some spousal rights to same-sex couples. In response Basic RightsOregon has canceled its January 2 celebration at Portland's Gerding Theatre.
Instead, Basic Rights Oregon, Portland's Q Center, and community leaderswill hold a candlelight vigil to draw attention to the delay and the impactthat it will have on some Oregon families. Basic Rights Oregon's ExecutiveDirector, Jeana Frazzini, called the judge's ruling "nothing short of anoutrage." To join the vigil, meet at Portland's Q Center, 69 SE TaylorStreet in Portland on January 2 at 5:30 p.m. Vigils are also replacingcommunity celebrations in Bend, Ashland, Eugene and Corvallis. For moreinformation, visit the Basic Rights Oregon Web site at
Six-year-old Fernando came home from school recently with a slight fever,but here he is, running and jumping on the couch, without a smidgen ofdistress."I feel bad, but I am running," he says, happily, to his mother,Elizabeth Kerrigan, seated nearby. "I know," she says wryly. "That's weird."
He'll wind down shortly, and rest in the arms of his mother, Joanne Mock,when she returns from their neighborhood school with his twin brother,Carlos. Kerrigan and Mock are lead plaintiffs in a landmarkmarriage-equality case argued in front of the state Supreme Court last May.
The woman and other same-sex couples are part of a lawsuit filed in 2004 byGay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) of Boston, after the couples weredenied marriage licenses.
On Jan. 1, same-sex couples [in New Hampshire] will be able to demonstratetheir commitment to each other by entering into a legally sanctioned civilunion. The state of New Hampshire will recognize this union and respect thebonds that it creates. In the course of two decades, our country has movedfrom criminalizing adult consensual sexual behavior to, if not embracing it,at least coming to terms with it. On this historic occasion, let's take alook back at the legal landscape we have traversed. DES MOINES -- The twoyoug men in neat oxford shirts stand on the shady front lawn and hug.
Brand-new wedding bands gleam on their ring fingers. Cameras click. They reoblivious. Happy. And legally married."This is it," Sean Fritz told TimMcQuillan in August, after the rapid-fire ceremony in a Unitarian minister'syard here in the middle of middle America. "I love you."As Iowans ponderwhom to support in the Jan. 3 caucuses, their state is the first in theheartland to even consider legalizing same-sex marriage -- placing Iowaagain in the vanguard and reminding the Democratic presidential hopefulsthat progressives here help shape history.Much of coastal blue-state Americahas long dismissed the Hawkeye State as it has the rest of "flyovercountry" -- all conservatives, cornfields and clapboard churches -- ignoringa succession of cultural and legal firsts and liberal politicians who madetheir way to Washington [D.C.].
When Senate President Therese Murray announced last March that she would bebringing the marriage amendment up for a vote at that year's constitutionalconvention (ConCon), it's no stretch to say that marriage equality advocateswere sweating. To beat the amendment on a vote on the merits, advocateswould have to convince three-quarters of the state legislature to vote theirway, a difficult feat on any issue. For months advocates had been pushingfor a much easier, although highly controversial, strategy of killing theamendment through a procedural maneuver, which required only a simplemajority. But Murray, who as Senate president holds the gavel at the ConConand determines who will speak, said she felt that without an up-or-down voteon the amendment, the fight to preserve same-sex marriage would never end.
"If we had tried to do it procedurally, which a lot of people wanted us todo because they thought we were going to lose in the votes, it would havecome back 10 more times, and the public outrage would have been very loud,"said Murray. "So when I told the public that I was committed to a vote a lotof the steam went out of that argument."On top of that, Murray said ifsame-sex marriage went on the ballot in 2008, the campaign around theamendment would wreak havoc not only in Massachusetts but at the nationallevel, giving the Republican Party a strong wedge issue to leverage againstthe Democrats. Murray received phone calls from a Who's Who of nationalDemocratic power brokers, from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to formerPresident Bill Clinton to party chairman Howard Dean to Sen. Ted Kennedy,all relaying the same message: Get rid of the marriage amendment before the2008 elections.
In Lawrence v. Texas the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed a Texas law thatcriminalized "deviate sexual intercourse" between consenting same sexadults. This time the court overturned the law. What had changed in just 17years? In his majority opinion Justice Anthony Kennedy demonstrated a muchmore nuanced understanding of the nature of same-sex relationships. He wrotethat it was demeaning to characterize gay and lesbian relationships just interms of sex acts. In sweeping language, he wrote: "Liberty presumes anautonomy of self that includes freedom of thought, belief, expression, andcertain intimate conduct." The court based its decision solidly on the rightto privacy.


National Gay News

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Pro-Gay Romney Upsets Family Values Leader
A prominent pro-family leader is urging fellow conservatives to withdrawtheir support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney over hisrecent expressed support for a "sexual orientation" non-discriminationlaw.Romney during an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" said he supportsthe contentious Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which adds "sexualorientation" to a list of federally protected classes that prohibitsdiscrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or nationalorigin.
Local PFLAG Gets National Recognition
For these parents, having a child who is gay is so ingrained into theirlives, it's hard to imagine life any differently.Their children aresuccessful, have partners, and have children of their own.But the group thatstarted southeastern Connecticut's PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends ofLesbians and Gays) knows that it didn't always come so easily.
Major Gay Paper Endorses Clinton Despite Big Reservations
Hillary Clinton deserves the support of gay voters, despite the presidentialrecord of her husband and her own refusal to support gay marriage, a majorgay weekly says.In the current issue of the Washington Blade, editor KevinNaff argues that Hillary Clinton's mastery of policy detail, Washingtonexperience, and campaign tenacity makes her a far better presidentialcandidate than Barack Obama or any of her Democratic rivals.


China 2007 Top 10 LGBT News

published in the blog of Cheng Qingsong, one of the most popular gay blogsin China
"Extreme Hot Songs" - First LGBT Singing Competition Held in Beijing"Extreme Hot Songs" singing competition between QQ Chat groups was the mosttalked about summer LGBT entertainment activity in Beijing this summer.
Eight singers from twelve QQ groups competed in the event. It was a showcaseof LGBT talent. Famous actors Li Jia, Pan Jie, Accordionist Yang Fan,folksong singer Hong Qi, composer and Lyricist Li Guang Ping, femalepersonality Wei Jia Qing, openly gay artists such as director Cui Zi En,playwright Cheng Qing Song, photographer Gao Bo served as judges, to showtheir support for the LGBT community and to promote social acceptance formLGBT people. The competition was sponsored by Beijing Aizhixing Institutewith collaboration from Beijing Tongxing Group.
"Lesbian Activists Training Camp" in Zhu Hai
In recent years, twenty or so lesbian groups have sprung up across china.They are devoted to mutual support between lesbians and to promoting socialacceptance. About half of these were established during 2007. In July, 2007,the first non-regional Chinese lesbian activist training camp wassuccessfully completed in Zhu Hai. Nearly a hundred lesbians, femalebisexuals and transgendered persons from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwanand US joined the four day event, sharing experiences and receivingtraining. The participants included representatives of 40 LGBT groups fromremote areas of China. They span four generations and consisted of the coreleadership of lesbian movement. This historical event was planed andorganized by Common Language Group, a lesbian group in Beijing.
First LGBT Art Camp for College Students in Bejing
The third annual LGBT summer camp for college students was held from July20th to 29th, 2007 in Beijing. This year's camp theme was art, in order topromote LGBT artistic talents and produce art works, and to foster thedevelopment of LGBT art in general. During the nine days, a range ofactivities took place, including lectures that challenge traditionalgender/sexual demarcation, famous artists sharing experiences, LGBT filmappreciation, field trips and creative workshops. The campers created artworks surrounding to subjects: "Sex/Taboo" and "Sex/ Utopia". Their work wasshowcased on July 29th at Beijing Shan Mu Lan Bar. The camp was sponsored byBeijing Aizhixing Institute and planned and executed by Aibai Cultural &Education Center and Beijing Common Language Group.
LGBT Delegate Attend Hong Kong "Anti-Homophobia Parade" and Taipei LGBTFestival
The third Hong Kong international anti-homophobia day parade was held onJune 20th this year. In October, the fifth Taipei's gay parade coincidedwith the eighth Taipei LGBT Festival. This year, mainland Chinese LGBTgroups organized a delegate and attended the events in Hong Kong and Taipei.During their visit, they had friendly exchanges with local LGBT publicservice organizations to promote mutual cooperation.
Gay Pride Month Rainbow Kite Flying
June is Gay Pride Month. Beginning in 2005, Chinese LGBT groups have beencelebrating this event. Flying rainbow colored kites has become a fixture atsuch celebrations. This June, at Beijing Yuan Ming Park, Cheng Du BotanicalPark and Sheng Yang North Mausoleum Park, and many other locations, rainbowkites flown again, commemorating gay pride.
LGBT Community and People from Other Segments of Society Criticize Sun Hai
Ying's View that Homosexuality is Crime
On August 13th, 2007, Chinese actor Sun Hai Ying claimed that homosexualityis a crime during an interview. This brought about swift reaction from theLGBT community and society at large. Cheng Qing Song, Ah Qiang and othersquickly published articles on denouncing Sun. Well knownsociologist Li Yin He wrote in her blog refuting Sun, and said that what hesaid was "ignorant, cruel and crass". These reactions reflected society'sgrowing tolerance and understanding on this issue.
Courage Mother on "Time Out"
Mm. Wu You Jian, whose son is openly gay, bravely accepted media interviewexpressing her open support to her son and to the gay community. For thisshe was widely admired and respected by the LGBT community and society ingeneral. This year, Mm. Wu published articles on her person blog asking formore understanding and fair treatment of LGBT. In November, the well knownEnglish magazine "Time Out" published a special interview. She againannounced bravely that "My son is gay and I am quite OK with it, because Iknow being gay is neither a crime nor an embarrassment."
"Relax!" Win Second Prize in Sina Webcast Competition
September 2007, an episode titled "Qiao Qiao Gay" of the program "Relax!"win second prize at the first Sina Webcast Competition. The prize includedcash and a DV. Deputy Editor in Chief Li Duo Yu of "New Beijing" newspaperawarded the prize. This episode was watched by close to one million viewers.
The Third Queer Film Forum in Beijing
There have been two attempts at organizing a LGBT film festival in Beijing.This led to the Queer Film Forum. It was part of the Beijing IndependentFilm Forum. It opened on December 2nd and closed on the 4th. Films shownincluded "Mei Mei", "Yang Chun Zhi Chun", "Tang Tang" and "DestinationShanghai". It was planned and organized by Cun Zi En.
Seeking Support for Gay Marriage on Valentine's Day
On February 14th, several LGBT activists went to street corners in Beijing,presented fresh flowers to pedestrians, asking them to support marriagebetween same sex couples. Many domestic and international media outlets,such as "New Beijing", The Advocate, reported this event.
In November, Ma Tian Yu sued Gao Po in Beijing Eastern Regional Court forlibel, alleging that Gao spread over the internet that Ma is gay, which hebelieves is a defamation of character. Aside generating a lot of mediaattention, this action also brought out a heated debate within the LGBTcommunity. Many believe that being gay should not be a basis for libel andthat Ma's suit defames gays.


From EuroQueer

New comment on post "Mehdi, Gay Iranian Teenager Is Facing Deportation FromU.K."

Author : Omar Kuddus
E-mail :

"Mehdi" (19 yrs old) has failed in the courts in Netherlands and is due tobe returned to the UK, from where he is likely to be deported back to Iran.

The long holiday season in the UK means that an injunction may not be madein the High Court in London to prevent deportation until the court has heardan appeal, which, when in front of a real judge, Mehdi would more thancertainly win, with light of recent events in Iran and the public disclosureof Iran's policy on homosexuality to the British government.

However the fear and threat is that the UK, HOBIA will take him off a flightfrom Amsterdam and put him on the next flight to Tehran.If this is happens over the holidays, then there is little chance of alawyers getting an injunction.

How many more young Iranians have to die before the British government takesaction? It's time that the gay community finally open our mouths and showour protests and disgust, and make ourselves heard that such barbaricbehaviour is not acceptable.

The Iranian Minister Mohsen Yahyavi (who is the highest-ranked politician toadmit that Iran believes in the death penalty for homosexuality) toldBritish MP's at the Inter-Parliamentary Union in May this year, thathomosexuals should be executed [he initially said tortured but changed it toexecuted].

And Iran has again recently kept its word, with the execution of MakvanMouloodzedeh, despite President Ahmadinejad, questioned by students in NewYork two months ago about the executions of homosexuals, claimed there wereno gays in Iran.

Britain regularly challenges Iran about its gay torture, hangings, stoningsand executions for perceived moral criminals, Foreign and CommonwealthOffice (FCO) papers show. Yet it still stands back and does nothing.

Other than send failed asylum seekers back in the hope that they do not facea similar fate.



Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Buying The White House
(Washington) Two multimillionaires in the presidential race - two ways tospend their money. Republican Mitt Romney has pumped more than $17 millionof his own into his race; Democrat John Edwards, by law, can tap his fortunefor no more than $50,000.

Voter ID Law Heads To Supreme Court
(Washington) The dispute over Indiana's voter ID law that is headed to theSupreme Court in January is as much a partisan political drama as a legaltussle.
Could A Third Party Candidate Win?
(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and otherpotential independent presidential candidates are joining prominentRepublican and Democratic centrists at a meeting that will consider themerits of a third-party bid for the White House.
Massive Rallies For Papal Slam At Gays
(Vatican City) Tens of thousands gathered in Madrid and Vatican City forCatholic rallies promoting traditional families on Sunday.


Your gay agenda: January and February events

from Planet Out

GT McCallan

The editorial staff at and The Out Traveler takes your travel needsvery seriously. We continually scour the globe on the lookout for gay,gay-friendly or queer (in both senses of the word!) events to put on yourgay agenda.

Cruise to the Caribbean with the girls; show your winter pride on the slopesat Whistler; do some "reel" travel at Sundance's Queer Lounge; or snap up ahot bachelor in Dallas!

Pick of the month
February 3-10, 2008, Whistler, B.C.
Whistler's gay ski celebration (, Canada's biggest andbrightest, brings color to the slopes with an avalanche of events. Sizzlingparties, upbeat mixed, men-only and women-only après-ski events and ampleopportunities to slalom down the slopes make this one of the world's hottestgay snow shows. (LGBT)

Coming up in January:
Sundance Film Festival
January 17-27, 2008, Park City, Utah
Sundance (, the fairy godfather of independent filmfestivals, hits the screens of Utah's Park City, near Salt Lake City, onceagain. Having showcased many LGBT cinematic spectaculars from "Tarnation" to"D.E.B.S.," the festival is known as a springboard for LGBT filmmakers. In2008, for the fifth year running, the Queer Lounge (,hub of homosexual goings on for queer/queer-friendly festival participants,is back (January 18-24, 2008). (Straight/LGBT)

Caribbean Dreams Cruise
January 26-February 2, 2008, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Idyllic islands, the lure of adventure and vibrant nightlife are all on themenu for Olivia's hot Caribbean cruise. The perfect escape from winter, thisseven-night delight visits one luxurious port after another, including thepristine beaches and lagoons of Grand Turk and Tortola, the Dutch/Frenchisland of St. Maarten and Olivia's exclusive private paradise, Half MoonCay. On board the gloriously indulgent MS Zuiderdam, the majority ofstaterooms have verandas and the Greenhouse Spa offers even more relaxationto pampered passengers. The chic Ocean Bar and sultry Queen's Lounge are thesetting for Olivia's legendary entertainment. (Lesbian)

San Diego Restaurant Week
January 27-February 1, 2008, San Diego, California
San Diego's culinary community will join forces for San Diego RestaurantWeek ( During this tasty time, the city'shottest restaurants offer special three-course dinners for $30 or $40 perperson. With 125 restaurants to choose from, it's the perfect time to takeyour sweetie south and savor a spectacularly delicious escape.

Start planning for February:

2008 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras
February 9-March 2, 2008, Sydney, Australia
Perhaps the globe's most glamorous and gargantuan gay event sashays backinto sight once more to celebrate its 30th birthday. With a schedule ofdaily events that astounds in scope, variety, decadence, frivolity and sheerfabulous fun, Sydney's really is the ultimate Mardi Gras( Highlights include the deliciously crowded andcruisey Fair Day on February 17, the splashy Pool Party on February 16 andMarch 1's Parade and Party. (LGBT)

5th Annual Gay Bachelor Auction
February 10, 2008, Dallas, Texas
Benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Gay Bachelor Auction ( is the perfect place to bid for the man or woman ofyour dreams. Coordinated completely by volunteers, this fun event places hoteligible women and men on the auction block for a chance to win a customdate package. Wearing T-shirts that double as bid sheets, bachelors minglein a crowded bar while patrons write bids on the backs of their shirts.Raffle prizes, free giveaways and host Edna Jean Robinson are otherenticements to lure boy and girl buyers down to JR's Bar & Grill (3923 CedarSprings; 214-559-0650; (LGBT)


Detroit News

Gays are wary of GOP's future

Deb Price
Monday, December 31, 2007

For more than three decades, Brian Bennett threw himself into Republicanpolitics, including serving as a delegate to five national conventions.

The pro-life, fiscal conservative was also part of the "Austin 12," a groupof 11 gay men and one lesbian who, in an historic meeting in 2000, sharedabout the joys and difficulties of being gay in a session with George W.Bush, then the presumptive Republican nominee.

But when Bush made a sharp turn away from earlier gay-supportive words anddeeds, most notably by pushing for an anti-gay constitutional amendment,Bennett got fed up and cut back on his time and money commitments to theGOP.

Bennett is among the 25 percent of gay Americans who vote Republican. Icaught up with several Austin 12-ers as well as other gay Republicans justbefore the kickoff to the caucuses and primaries that will select the GOPpresidential nominee. I heard a lot of pain, frustration and dwindlingpatience.

Most, like Bennett, said they are backing Rudy Giuliani. As mayor of NewYork, he pushed for and signed a sweeping domestic partnership law in 1998.

"I will do everything I can to get him elected because we need a shift inthe party," said Carl Schmid, an Austin 12-er and co-chair of the Giulianieffort in Washington, D.C.

more . . . . .


Throng in Madrid Rallies for Traditional Family

December 31, 2007

MADRID (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards demonstrated in favorof the traditional family here on Sunday, in a show of force by RomanCatholics in what is now one of the most liberal countries in Europe.

Organizers said more than 1.5 million people packed Colón Square andsurrounding streets for the event, which was addressed by Pope Benedict XVIin a live video link from St. Peter's Square in Vatican City. Other crowdestimates were lower.

While the organizers said they had no political motives, the largedemonstration came just over two months before general elections in whichthe Socialist government, which has legalized same-sex marriage and madedivorce easier, is seeking another term in office.

Under the shadow of Colón Square's huge Spanish flag and just a short walkfrom the gay bars of the Chueca district, families and churchgoers bused infrom all over the country heard speakers call for the defense of thetraditional family.

"Founded in the indissoluble union between man and woman, it is the place inwhich human life is sheltered and protected from its beginning until itsnatural end," Pope Benedict said.

more . . . . .


Spain: Rally held in defense of traditional families

December 31, 2007


Tens of thousands in predominantly Roman Catholic Spain rallied Sunday indefense of the traditional family in a country where the government haslegalized gay marriage and facilitated divorce.

The crowd roared when Pope Benedict XVI appeared on giant TV screens in alive hookup from St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, praising the crowd.

The pope, speaking during the traditional noon Sunday Angelus prayer, saidthe family is "based on the unbreakable union of man and woman andrepresents the privileged environment where human life is welcomed andprotected from the beginning to its natural end."


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