Saturday, March 17, 2007

GLBT DIGEST March 17, 2007

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News;_ylt=Am.CXl6n6Aa.oAIGeHyJSF7Za7gF

Rabbi arrested at New York demo over gays in the military
Thu Mar 15, 2:38 PM ET

Two leading US gay rights activists, one of them a rabbi, were arrested in
New York Thursday at a demonstration to express outrage over a top USgeneral's comments that homosexuality was immoral.

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce chief MattForeman were detained after sitting down in the road to block trafficpassing a military recruiting station in the bustling Times Squareintersection.

The ad hoc group of around 50 demonstrators were protesting comments made by
the US military's top officer, General Peter Pace, who said in an interview
published Tuesday that homosexual acts were immoral.

Shouting "Pace is immoral, gays are fabulous" and "military bigots have got
to go," protesters, some wearing t-shirts saying "Queer Guerilla" and wavingplacards calling for Pace to quit, wrapped themselves in a giant rainbowflag.

Former New Jersey governor and gay activist Jim McGreevey condemned the USmilitary's official policy on gays in the military, known as "don't ask,don't tell," saying it treated homosexuals as second class citizens.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,1983,DRMN_23906_5418591_ARTICLE-DETAIL-PRINT,00.html

Rocky Mountain News

Boulder rep shares own story in 'second parent' adoption debate
By Alan Gathright, Rocky Mountain News
March 15, 2007

A Boulder lawmaker on Wednesday injected a strong dose of reality into thefierce ideological debate over whether cohabitating couples - includinggays - should be allowed to adopt.

Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, rose to cap two days of charged exchanges overthe "Second Parent Adoption Bill," including one Republican's insistencethat "these families" without a married man and woman "do not exist."

"I have three beautiful nieces," said Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, her voiceshaking. "They're gorgeous girls.

"They have two mothers - my sister and her partner. They live in . . . aloving, supportive family. It is everything anyone would want in a family."

Levy said that under state law, her sister and partner can't get married,and her sister's partner can't adopt their children.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Analysis: Beginning of the end for "Don't Ask Don't Tell"

16th March 2007 11:44

Marine General Peter Pace, the US military's chairman of the Joint Chiefs ofStaff, called homosexuality "immoral" on Tuesday and likened it to adultery.

Now military analysts said his comments suggest the armed forces have runout of rationales for banning known gays from service.

"This might be the beginning of the end," says Aaron Belkin, director of theMichael D. Palm Centre and associate professor of Political Science atUniversity of California, Santa Barbara.

"But it may be a long, drawn-out ending."

The policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," introduced in the United States ArmedForces in 1993 by then-President Bill Clinton.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Republicans Dodge Homosexuality Question
By: Jonathan Martin
March 16, 2007 06:33 AM EST

The Democratic candidates have all been pressed if they concur with JointChiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace's remark that homosexuality is immoral.But where do their GOP counterparts stand on the question? Notsurprisingly, few of the candidates are eager to rush in to this articularconversation.

I posed the question -- is homosexuality immoral -- to representatives ofall three of the top Republican candidates. None answered it directly.

Sen. John McCain: "The senator thinks such questions are a matter ofconscience and faith for people to decide for themselves. As a publicofficial, Senator McCain supports don't ask, don't tell." --McCainspokesman Danny Diaz. Per the AP, McCain was asked about the matter on thecampaign trail in Iowa yesterday and declined to answer.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani's campaign didn't respond to the question,instead citing comments the candidate made on FOX News last month when askedabout gay marriage. "We should be tolerant, fair, open, and we shouldunderstand the rights that all people have in our society."

Former Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign also declined to answer the question,rather pointing to the response their candidate gave earlier this week onthe campaign trail in Arizona. "I think General Pace has said that heregrets having said that, and I think he was wise to have issued an apology,or a withdrawal of that comment. I think that we, as a society, welcomepeople of all differences, whether there are differences in ethnicity, faithor sexual preference, and I think he was wise to correct his comment and tosuggest that that was an inappropriate point to have made."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Berlin's Harshly Felt Divide

A same-sex kiss is never simply a same-sex kiss.

The Danish and Norwegian duo of gay artists Michael Elmgreen and IngarDragset designed a memorial for the homosexual victims of the Nazi periodshowing a continuously running black and white film of two men kissingwithin a concrete sculpture. Many German lesbians as well as the feministmagazine EMMA objected to this depiction.

"A ghetto of clichés of male homosexuality," wrote Alice Schwarzer, thefounder and publisher of EMMA, a kind of Ms. Magazine for German women.

A more succinct rationale for Schwarzer's dissatisfaction with the memorialcan be found on the EMMA-initiated petition campaign waged in the summer of2006.

"I protest that the planned homosexual memorial in Berlin shows exclusivelymale homosexuality and demand that female homosexuality be adequatelyconsidered," reads the manifesto's opening sentence.

Last August, EMMA reached out to Germany's most famous gay man, KlausWowereit, the mayor of Berlin, who responded to the magazine's request witha letter supporting the homosexual memorial as originally agreed upon.Nonetheless, EMMA placed Wowereit's name on its online petition as one ofthe first signatories to its protest.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

General Pace's Skewed Morality
David McReynolds
March 16, 2007

David McReynolds was on the staff of the War Resisters League for manyyears, and, as the Socialist Party candidate in 1980 and 2000, the firstopenly gay person to run for the U.S. presidency. He lives with two cats onManhattan's Lower East Side.

When General Peter Pace presented his view that homosexuality was immoral, Ithought, "Good heavens, there is a danger the military may be infused withmoral concerns-this could lead to mass desertions at the highest level."

Leaving to one side the question of whether homosexuality is immoral (thoughnot before noting that Jesus, who had clear views on many issues, neveruttered a single recorded word on this subject), if the general is to takeup moral issues, surely there should be a certain priority. If, in thecourse of his busy day, he gets a chance to think about it, which would bemore immoral: two soldiers making love or any soldier shooting people inanother country, at the order of the president, for the clear purpose ofgaining control over the oil in that country? If we learned anything fromNuremberg, it was that wars of aggression are a crime against humanity. Wealso know that torture violates international treaties, and yet torture hasbeen an intrinsic part of the U.S. misadventure in Iraq.

In my youth, then a devout believer and a member of the Baptist Church, Ihad serious struggles reconciling my homosexuality with the "socialcontrols" that taught me that I was trapped in sin. I long ago resolvedthose conflicts (and, in the process, became what might be called a"religious atheist"). Of course I believe that homosexuals and lesbians musthave the same rights as any other person to serve in the U.S. military.

The issue, however, is whether those of us who have had to go through thisintense struggle to gain self-knowledge-some sense of what is truly rightand wrong-should not also have learned that our very process of facingpainful decisions made us more aware than the average person of just what istruly immoral. The gay and lesbian struggle should focus-must focus-on thefact that the war in Iraq is a criminal adventure, in violation of theUnited Nations charter. There is not a question of this realization being"left" or "right"-rather, it is a question of right and wrong. If, on theone hand, we demand military service be open to our gay and lesbian brothersand sisters, surely, on the other hand, we must urge them to avoid suchservice when they may find themselves used as pawns of what the ruling classperceives as its interests. (And the interests of those who run a countryare usually quite different from the interests of the rest of us.)


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gays In The Military: Ask not, think not
Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Why is it that when it comes to gay rights, it seems we take one stepforward, and three steps back? In a New York Times op-ed (published Jan. 5in the P-I), retired Army Gen. John Shalikashvili said that he no longerthinks the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy (a law since 1993) isneeded, as he doesn't think that having homosexuals in the armed forceswould damage troop morale. Several polls show that Americans -- includingthose serving -- think the same.

Too bad Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, didn't getthe memo. "Homosexual acts between individuals are immoral," he said Monday,adding that the military also opposes heterosexual adultery. "We prosecutethat kind of immoral behavior." Oh, please. Anyone who has ever lived on ornear a military base can attest to the rampant extra-marital lechery thattakes place, which is acceptable, we suppose, because we're talking aboutheterosexuals here. Pace has backtracked somewhat since, but the cat is outof the bag, and now we all know just where the top brass stand.

The foundation of the don't-ask-don't-tell law is flawed. A double standard,it mandates that in order to succeed, or just serve, in the military, gayswould have to lie about who they are, while straights could be open. It alsorequires that the government go along with the lie. It didn't make sense in1993, and it doesn't make sense now.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Why I'm Marching in Dublin This St. Patrick's Day

New Yorkers should feel proud that ours is one of the most diverse, open,and welcoming cities anywhere. We take pride in celebrating our differentcultures. It is no wonder that we have more ethnic parades than any othercity in the world - and they are amazing displays of culture and community.

In this spirit of diversity, all of New York City's parades should be trulyinclusive, and allow people to openly express all of who they are.

Since 1991, Irish lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered New Yorkers havebeen unable to march openly in our city's St. Patrick's Day parade.Unfortunately, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the group that organizes theParade, won a 1993 federal court ruling that gave them the right to includeor exclude groups from the parade.

The most extraordinary aspect of this ruling is that it was based on thenotion that by barring LGBT groups, the AOH was exercising its right tofreedom of expression. Ironic as this is, and illogical as it seems,successive court rulings have upheld the right of private groups like theAOH to select who can and cannot participate in parades they organize.And despite years of legal efforts and direct action by community activists,city officials, LGBT groups, and others over the years, the AOH has notbudged in its position.

Last year, my first as City Council speaker, I tried to find a way thatwould finally allow Irish LGBT New Yorkers to march openly, celebrating ouridentity and heritage. As the first Irish-American, openly gay speaker ofthe New York City Council, I hoped I could make things different.

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we did not make progress. Whenasked by a reporter last year why the AOH continued to prohibit LGBT peoplefrom marching openly, the Parade organizer said it was akin to "barring theKu Klux Klan from marching in Harlem, or Nazis from joining an Israeliparade."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gen. Pace's gift to gays
Timing of anti-gay remark helps shine a bright light on discriminatory anddoomed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.

Mar. 16, 2007

NOT MANY GAY rights supporters are lining up to thank Marine Gen. PeterPace, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, so let me be the first.

Sure, his anti-gay remarks made earlier this week are deplorable, but theensuing media attention is shining a very timely spotlight on the military'sdated and doomed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune Monday, Pace said he considershomosexual acts "immoral" and opposes lifting "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

"I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that weshould not condone immoral acts," he said. "I do not believe the UnitedStates is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in anyway."

Pace said he based his views on his upbringing.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Published March 16, 2007

In commentary or teen culture, gay slurs are about bullying


When Ann Coulter, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Committeeconference last week, called presidential candidate John Edwards a faggot,she raised predictable tuttings from establishment conservatives who, onceagain, had "no idea she'd go that far."

A few more newspapers canceled her column, and she got a tremendous amountof attention from practically every media outlet in the country, whatevertheir politics.

Her word choice, which has since been taken up by several right-wingcommentators, most notably James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal and, ofcourse, Rush Limbaugh, might have seemed mysterious, considering Edwards'well-known record of public service, his wife and children, and his lack ofa Ted Haggard or even Newt Gingrich moment. It makes sense only if you knowthat George Bush and particularly Dick Cheney (yes, they are the presidentand vice president of our country) have been calling Edwards "the BreckGirl" since the summer of 2004, around the same time the Swiftboaters werebrought around to sink the Democrats' election chances.

So, for some, this is what politics has become: If you can't win on theissues - and Edwards has been right on domestic issues and foreign policyabout as often as anyone in the country - then you try to destroy thempersonally, by questioning their patriotism and, with increasing frequency,their sexuality.

Here in Iowa, our new Legislature has taken heat from some local bloggersfor passage of a schoolhouse anti-bullying bill that, along with banningracial and religious insults, specifically includes gay slurs. The idea isto inject some fairness into a teen culture where the most used put-down is"that's so gay" and where the perception of being gay, true or not, can andoften does lead to the adolescent version of gang violence.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay bishop says coming out is God at work

15th March 2007 17:37
Tony Grew

The openly gay bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, has robustly defendedhis position.

At a public meeting in Washington DC Bishop Robinson claimed that of thenearly 8000 parishes in the American Episcopal Church, only 47 have soughtguidance from outside bishops after his ordination.

"If you want to know my homosexual agenda, it's Jesus," Bishop Robinsonsaid, according to

"I feel that this is a real extension of what I've been called to do in thegospels.

"And I would propose to you that peoples' coming out - gay and lesbian folkbeing honest about who they are, what their lives are, what their familiesare like, their desire to contribute to this culture, to serve in themilitary, to take their place as full citizens of this country - is God atwork," he added.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Cardinal says Pope should stop giving orders

16th March 2007 17:43
Rachel Charman

An Italian cardinal has criticised other church leaders for opposing thelegal recognition of same-sex partnerships.

Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini told Italian pilgrims in Bethlehem yesterdaythat, "The Church does not give orders."

His statement is seen by many as a clear rebuke to the Pope's stance in thecurrent Italian same-sex union row.

The retired cardinal was speaking at the basilica of the Nativity,celebrating mass with 1,300 visitors from Milan.

Cardinal Martini, 80, also believes that the Catholic church should activelytry to make Catholic beliefs attractive to the secular community.


Star Trek's Gay Episode Finally Gets Made
by Greg Hernandez,

Posted: March 16, 2007 - 6 pm ET

(New York) When David Gerrold left Star Trek: The Next Generation back in1988, it was with a bit of a broken heart. He had penned an episode called"Blood and Fire" which dealt with an epidemic caused by a blood-bornepathogen that was an allegory for AIDS. The episode was to have featured thefirst openly gay couple in Star Trek history, something that Star Trekcreator Gene Roddenberry was said to fully support.

Gerrold was with Roddenberry at a Star Trek convention when Roddenberry wasasked whether there would be gay characters in Next Generation. Gerroldrecalls him saying, "You're right, it's time we do that."

But Roddenberry was in fading health by that time, and he had less to dowith the show's day-to-day operations than he had on the original Star Trekseries that ran from 1966-69. So after reviewing Gerrold's completed script,the show's producers got cold feet.

"This script was written as a promise," says Gerrold, an associate produceron Next Generation who was largely credited with mapping out the new series."There was a subtext that they were gay, but we treated them like they werereally good friends. But someone does ask them: 'How long have you beentogether?' Well, a few people in the office went ballistic! A memo came downthat said, 'We don't want to risk the franchise by having mommies callingthe station because they saw gay people on Star Trek.'"

Frustrated by office politics and upset that the gay-themed episode had beenshelved, Gerrold left the franchise that had meant to much to him. "I walkedaway disappointed at the stories that weren't going to be told," he says. "Iwanted to recreate the spirit of the original series. The episode where youare up against some terrible threat [and] as long as you were fighting itand seeing [it] as an enemy, you were going the wrong way. The only way [tosucceed] was to stop resisting and learn how to be friends."


Survivor's Hatch on Prison: "Horrendous"
by the Associated Press

Posted: March 16, 2007 - 3:30 pm ET

(New York) Richard Hatch, who won $1 million on "Survivor," says being inprison for failing to pay taxes on his reality TV prize and other income isno day at the beach.

Hatch, who became known as the "naked fat guy" for refusing to wear clothesfor much of the CBS show, was convicted last year. He was sentenced to 51months in prison, and is at the Federal Correctional Institution inMorgantown, W.Va., a minimum security facility.

"Obviously, this is better than the county lockup," Hatch tells Peoplemagazine in its March 26 issue. "There's no fence here. But people thinkI've come to a country club. It's not. This is prison. Just because it's gota beautiful view of the countryside doesn't make it a resort. And it'shorrendous because I'm an innocent man in jail."

Following his conviction, Hatch says he spent "six horrendous months" at thePlymouth County Correctional Facility in Plymouth, Mass.

"We were all in a small room - 52 people: child molesters, murderers,rapists and me," he recalls. "For six months I never left that room. Therewere no doors, no privacy. There were two TVs in that room, so I lived allday long with 'Jerry Springer' blaring."


Retired Military Officers Come Out, Demand Apology from Gen. Pace
by 365gay Staff

Posted: March 16, 2007 - 11:30 am ET

(Washington) A group of seven high-ranking military veterans today respondedto recent remarks by General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs ofStaff, who earlier this week called lesbian, gay and bisexual servicemembers 'immoral' and re-iterated his support for the military's "Don't Ask,Don't Tell" ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual service members.

The officers, who are all lesbian or gay, called on Congress to repeal thelaw, and demanded that General Pace apologize for his remarks.

COL Stewart Bornhoft, USA (Ret.); CAPT Joan E. Darrah, USN (Ret.); CAPTRobert D. Dockendorff, USNR (Ret.); Chaplain (COL) Paul W. Dodd, USA (Ret.);CAPT Sandra Geiselman, USNR (Ret.); COL E. A. Leonard, USA (Ret.); and CAPTRobert Michael Rankin, USN (Ret.) issued their statement on Friday morning.

"Our community has a long history of serving our country in the armedforces," the group said. "Today, there are more than 65,000 lesbian and gaytroops on duty. Another one million gay and lesbian veterans, including theseven of us, have served in our fighting forces. General Pace's remarksdishonor that service, as does the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law. General Pacemust offer an immediate and unqualified apology for his remarks and Congressmust take action to repeal the ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual Americanswho want to serve our country."

The highly-decorated officers each served more than 20 years, and severalconsiderably longer. They have earned scores of awards, honors andcommendations during their careers. Four served in the Vietnam War. Theyhave served as company commanders, helicopter pilots, medical officers,commanding officers, psychologists, chaplains, combat engineers, platoonleaders, infantry officers, supply corps officers and intelligence officers.


New Mexico governor, presidential candidate Bill Richardson calls for end to"don't ask, don't tell"

Bill Richardson, the Democratic governor of New Mexico and 2008 presidentialcandidate, announced Thursday that he believes "don't ask, don't tell"should be repealed.

Bill Richardson, the Democratic governor of New Mexico and 2008 presidential candidate, announced Thursday that he believes "don't ask, don't tell"should be repealed. Responding to Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman PeterPace's antigay comments earlier this week, the onetime congressman said hedoesn't agree that homosexuality is immoral, instead saying discriminationagainst gay people in the U.S. military should end, the Associated Pressreports.

"I voted against it when I served in Congress," Richardson told the AP inSanta Fe, referring to the ban on openly gay service members, signed intolaw by then-president Bill Clinton in the 1990s. "People should not bejudged based on their sexual orientation. Throughout my entire career I havefought for equal rights and against discrimination of any kind."

Richardson added that Pace's remarks were "unfortunate" and called onPresident Bush to condemn them. In his interview with the AP he also pointedto his own pro-gay record: his support of civil unions and his signing intolaw a state measure that provides civil rights protections for gays andlesbians.

Two of his competitors for the Democratic presidential nod, senators HillaryClinton and Barack Obama, also disavowed Pace's comment's Thursday,according to the AP, finally saying that they disagree that homosexuality isimmoral after avoiding the issue earlier in the week. (The Advocate)


March 17, 2007
Desmond Tutu likens antigay discrimination to apartheid

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican archbishop ofCape Town, South Africa, warned African churches against focusing too muchon homosexuality while ignoring major issues, reports the Episcopal NewsService.

"I am deeply, deeply distressed that in the face of the most horrendousproblems-we've got poverty, we've got conflict and war, we've gotHIV/AIDS-and what do we concentrate on? We concentrate on what you are doingin bed," Tutu told journalists in Nairobi, Kenya, during the World SocialForum.

Tutu went on to compare discrimination against gays to what black peoplesuffered under South Africa's apartheid. "To penalize someone because oftheir sexual orientation is like what used to happen to us; to be penalizedfor something which we could do nothing [about]-our ethnicity, our race,"said Tutu, according to the Associated Press. "I would find it quiteunacceptable to condemn, persecute a minority that has already beenpersecuted."

The worldwide Anglican Communion has been divided by the issue ofhomosexuality, with some dioceses cutting links with the U.S. EpiscopalChurch. But three days after the close of the WSF, the Reverend SamuelNjoroge of the Anglican Church in Kenya expressed hope that tolerance shownby Christian leaders could woo back gay and lesbian parishioners.

"We need to reexamine our doctrine on sexual matters," Tutu told EcumenicalNews International on January 29. "We have to find how we approach theissue, but not throw them [gays] out. As pastors, we are supposed tominister to the good, bad, and ugly."

Sheikh Mohammed Dor, leader of the Islamic Preachers of Kenya, took adifferent position, demanding that the government crack down on gays. "TheMuslim community is against homosexuality because the vice is ungodly. Boththe Quran and the Bible condemn it," Dor told Kenya's Daily Nation newspaperon January 28. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

March 17, 2007
New Mexico mulls domestic partnerships

New Mexico's senate was poised to vote Friday on a bill to legalize same-sexpartnerships in the state, and equality advocates expect a fight as the 2007legislative session counted down to its final hours.

HB 603, the Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act, would create aregistry in which two adults in a committed relationship could becomedomestic partners, gaining access to basic health care coverage and familyleave as well as presumption of parentage, inheritance rights, and decisionmaking in case of a partner's incapacity. It would apply to both same-sexand unmarried heterosexual partners.

The bill, carried by Democratic representative Mimi Stewart of Albuquerque,passed New Mexico's house in February by an unexpectedly strong 33-24 vote.It faces a tougher battle in the state senate, where it is among more than300 bills to be acted upon before the legislative session ends Saturday.

"We strongly believe that all New Mexicans deserve full equality under thelaw," Equality New Mexico said in a statement on its Web site. "However, webelieve that domestic-partner legislation has the best chance of passingthis session. As the statewide LGBT advocacy organization, we are committedto obtaining the maximum rights and benefits for as many as possible, assoon as possible."

New Mexico is one of only four states that has not defined marriage as theunion of a man and a woman, though efforts to make the marriage applicationgender-neutral have failed. A so-called defense of marriage bill was killedin the house this year. (Barbara Wilcox, The Advocate)


The Advocate

March 16, 2007
If Edwards is the f word, what word is Coulter?

Ann Coulter tried to explain away her antigay remark about Democraticpresidential candidate John Edwards as a mere "schoolyard taunt." But ascomedian Jim David points out, the calculating blond pressmonger knewexactly what she was doing-and her deliberate verbal gaffe betrays theconservative spirit at its most vile.

By Jim David

Just when you thought we were all safe from the f word, Little MissSunshine, a.k.a. Ann Coulter, shows up at the Conservative Political ActionConference, a.k.a. the Reichstag, and knocks Anna Nicole's baby off the newsby calling John Edwards a "faggot." "C'mon, it's just a joke," she said ofthis brilliant bit of Swiftian satire, explaining that she was trying topoke fun at the Isaiah Washington controversy. The f word, she said, was a"schoolyard taunt" that means "wuss" or "sissy" and has nothing to do withgay people.

Golly, I seem to remember a remarkably similar schoolyard taunt directed atme by similar satirists in the ninth grade, which resulted in a black eyeand a sprained wrist. It was accompanied by the brilliant lampoon "gay boy"(another ribald retort Coulter has used), but since my face was beingsmashed in at the time, the humor escaped me. It's nice to know-at last-thatit had nothing to do with my being gay and that the guys were justpracticing their budding stand-up skills.

Even though I'm out, maybe I don't get out enough. I've heard "wuss" used todescribe, well, a wuss, but any moron knows that "faggot," if not directlymeant as antigay, is pretty freakin' close. I guess I wasn't brought up inthe right place. In England, a "fag" is a cigarette, and "bitch" refers to afemale dog. That goes for Merican canine, too, though it's more commonlyused as a slur against women. To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield, if you lookup "bitch" in the dictionary, there's Ann's picture. C'mon, it's just ajoke.

Coulter has the right to call a presidential candidate a faggot in public orto say that liberals should worry about being killed, as she previously has,as long as I retain the right to call her proof of the need for retroactiveabortion. C'mon, it's just a joke. Oh, wait, she got me-I've been draggeddown to her level. Not only that, I'm talking about her, again. Who said,"There's no such thing as bad publicity?" Coulter should buy them aMercedes.

But why even go there, for heaven's sake? Why swim in all that negativeenergy? Because Coulter and her comrades Limbaugh, Hannity, and Savage havelowered the tenor of the debate to the point that the only response isanother "schoolyard taunt" or the actual threat of physical violence. Youcan't reason with these people. The only thing you can do, to preserve yoursanity, is ignore them completely or express your displeasure to theorganizations that promote them.


The Advocate

March 17, 2007
Elton stirs up controversy in Trinidad and Tobago

Elton John concerts are usually greeted by cheers, but not this time.

The pop legend is set to play at Plymouth Jazz Festival on the Caribbeanisland of Tobago next month, but local church leaders are condemning hisvisit because he's gay. Philip Issac, archdeacon of Trinidad and Tobago,doesn't want John to come, saying his orientation didn't conform to theBible and that he could cause people to turn gay.

"The artist is one of God's children, and while his lifestyle isquestionable, he needs to be ministered unto," Isaac told the U.K. DailyMail. "His visit to the island can open the country to be tempted towardpursuing his lifestyle."

Trinidad and Tobago has laws, though rarely enforced, that can prevent gaypeople from entering the nation. Concert promoters are saying John is stillcoming. (The Advocate)


The Local

Swedish bishops say yes to gay church weddings
Published: 16th March 2007 15:12 CET

The Church of Sweden's leaders have said that they are willing to allow gaypeople to marry in church on the same basis as heterosexual couples,although bishops are unsure whether to call the unions marriage.

"We are prepared to carry out partnerships for homosexuals that have theforce of law," said Bishop Claes-Bertil Ytterberg of the church's Västeråsdiocese.

Ytterberg said the decision will make the church the first majordenomination in the world to allow full gay church marriage in practice.However, the United Church of Canada, the second largest Canadiandenomination, already carries out gay marriages.

An official government report proposing changes to marriage laws is to bepresented next week. The report is expected to call for all couples, gay orstraight, to be given equal marriage rights.

Under the system proposed in the report, churches would retain the right toperform marriages but each individual priest would be forced to seek amarriage licence independently. Today's move means that the church isaccepting the proposals.


St. Petersburg Times

With no transition plan, Stanton wrote one

Many companies have policies to protect transgender employees, but the city
of Largo didn't.
Published March 16, 2007

LARGO - Transgender people are a tiny fraction of the population, but theirpresence in the workplace increasingly is catching the attention of theirbosses.

By one count, 469 employers, including a quarter of the Fortune 500, haveantidiscrimination policies protecting transgender employees.

Some also have guidelines to ease their transition at work.

Largo has an internal antidiscrimination policy for city employees, butuntil recently it had nothing like a transition plan for transgenderworkers.

Then City Manager Steve Stanton started to write one.


The New York Times

March 16, 2007
Gay Couple Tie Knot in First Mexico City Civil Unions
Filed at 8:18 p.m. ET

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Two gay lawyers celebrated a civil union in MexicoCity on Friday, becoming the first legally recognized homosexual couple inthe traditionally macho capital of one of the world's most Catholiccountries.

Dressed in somber suits, Alejandro Diaz and Rafael Ramirez tied the knot ina short ceremony held in a city council building, the first since the cityapproved a law permitting civil unions in November.

After signing papers and listening to a short speech from a local councilor,Diaz, 27, said ``Married.'' Ramirez, 31, said ''My husband.'' They huggedbut declined to kiss.

``The era of plurality and diversity is permeating Mexico City,'' JulioCesar Moreno, the local councilor who oversaw the ceremony, told dozens ofwellwishers and journalists.

Throughout the day, around 10 gay couples exchanged vows in the city.


Social Justice in Action:

HeartStrong Outreach Trip Embarks on 19th Trip in Ten Years

HeartStrong needs your financial support for this landmark outreach trip.

Want to help HS raise the $10,000 needed for this trip?

Make a donation here.. or mail yourdonation to HeartStrong, PO Box 2051, Seattle WA 98111.

Your gift is tax deductible and goes a long way to helpingHeartStrong reach persecuted GLBT students and others inreligious educational institutions.

Please distribute the below release to anyone you wish. We needeveryone's help!


Seattle WA - On April 3, 2007, the most extensive grassroots outreacheffort in the history of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgenderedmovement continues with its 19th outreach trip. HeartStrong, Inc., is anon-profit educational organization hich provides support to GLBTstudents in religious educational institutions and ducates the publicabout the legalized persecution of GLBT students and others in heseinstitutions.

"With the frightening growth in religious schools over the past decade,our work is more vital than ever," executive director Marc Adams says."There have only been increases in the numbers of students coming to usfor help. Fortunately for them, HeartStrong is now well into its eleventhyear of outreach."

Like most countries, religious schools in the United States utilizereligious freedom to expel any student for any reason. This includes,Adams states, the persecution of students and others who are perceived tobe or actually are GLBT. "It's not a question of whether or not theseschools have the right to treat students so horrifically, they do. But ashistory has always proven, having the right to do something, doesn'talways make it right to do."

Students who come to HeartStrong for assistance share stories of publicoutings, brutal restorative therapy, exorcisms, and continuous attempts torecruit them into simulated heterosexual lifestyles. Many students havereported the use of the common religious theology of 'death for sin'proposed to them as divine punishment for their thoughts and actions.

Since October, 1996, more than 950 students have come to HeartStrong forhelp. The journey to self-acceptance begins with any one of HeartStrong's14 outreach programs. Many of those programs are put into action by theOutreach Team during their outreach trips.

Founded in 1996 by author/activist Marc Adams, Todd Tuttle and ClintKendrick, the HeartStrong Outreach Team has embarked on 18 previousoutreach trips throughout the United States and parts of Canada.Additionally, HeartStrong's outreach has spanned the globe, assistingstudents in places like the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, SouthAfrica, Indonesia, India, and Scotland.

The HeartStrong Outreach Team first began traveling the road by car inOctober, 1996. Since then the team has self-driven more than 336,000miles around the United States holding educational forums and reaching outto students in need.

The Spring 2007 Outreach Trip takes the team through Texas, Oklahoma,Florida, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Georgia. The trip will also includethe annual HeartStrong Board of Directors meeting in Miami hosted byHeartStrong President, Shelley Craig, LCSW.

In addition to outreach efforts, more than 20 educational forums arescheduled through May 31, 2007. HeartStrong is an all volunteerorganization and relies on the tax deductible donations of supporters tocontinue its life-saving work.


The New York Times

March 17, 2007
Former N.J. Governor Discusses Sexuality
Filed at 3:37 a.m. ET

SANTA FE (AP) -- Former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, who resigned afterrevealing that he was gay, says culture is outpacing politics in theacceptance of homosexuality.

McGreevey, who is in Santa Fe this weekend to speak at a fundraiser for theHuman Rights Alliance, called his decision to come out ''one of the mostpainful but honest decisions of my life.''

Even though the revelation of being gay can hurt family and friends,McGreevey said Friday that people must learn at an early age to be openabout their sexuality.

''Hopefully, this generation will be the last generation of American youththat has to choose between their heart and their career, between love andacceptance,'' he said.

McGreevey also addressed comments made earlier this week by the Pentagon'stop general. Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs,remarked that homosexual acts are immoral and said the military should notcondone homosexuality by allowing gay personnel to serve openly.


The New York Times

March 17, 2007
Statehouse Journal

Utah Sets Rigorous Rules for School Clubs, and Gay Ones May Be Target

SALT LAKE CITY, March 16 - Most people would probably not consider theaverage high school chess club to be a hotbed of disorder or immorality. Buta club is a club, and Utah has decided that student groups need some sternpolicing and regulation.

Next month, a 17-page law will take effect governing just about every nuanceof public school extracurricular clubs, from kindergarten jump rope to highschool drama. How groups can form, what they can discuss in their meetings,who can join, and what a principal must do if rules are violated areaddressed.

But the school clubs law, signed last week by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., was notreally intended to rein in the rowdies down at the audio-visual club, somelawmakers said. The real target was homosexuality.

"This is all about gay-straight alliance clubs, and anybody who tells youdifferent is lying," said State Senator Scott D. McCoy, Democrat from SaltLake City, who voted against the law.

State Senator D. Chris Buttars, a Republican from the Salt Lake City suburbsand the law's co-sponsor, said in an interview that he saw the need for themeasure after parents from a high school in Provo, Utah, protested theformation of a gay-straight club in 2005.


The Washington Post

On Asking, Telling and Serving the Country

Saturday, March 17, 2007; A18

Regarding the coverage of the remarks of Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of theJoint Chiefs of Staff [news story, editorial, and op-ed, March 14]:

There is a general misimpression that the military gay ban, colloquially termed "don't ask, don't tell," was created in 1993. Actually, that ismerely when statutory law incorporated an exclusionary policy that has beenferociously enforced for at least six decades.

I ran into the ban firsthand when, as a gay American, I enlisted in the Armyon May 18, 1943, at the height of World War II, three days before my 18thbirthday. I saw combat in Europe and am proud of my service, but I haveresented for 64 years that, in order to serve in a war effort I stronglysupported, I had to lie to my government in response to questions about myhomosexuality.

As a gay activist, I have vigorously fought this policy for 45 years. I haveseen its administration gradually and significantly softened; I discoveredgay men and lesbians now get honorable discharges instead of dishonorableones accompanied by imprisonment, which was our fate in past decades.

Still, "don't ask, don't tell" is a disgrace to America. Let us move now torid ourselves of this shameful relic of a benighted past.




I will always be proud of the fact that I served in the U.S. military, asdid my father before me and his before him. I was a Russian interpreterduring the Cold War. I am also gay.

My commander knew of my sexual orientation. When someone confronted him withthe fact that there were several gay men and lesbians in his unit, hepointed out that we were the backbone of his unit. His response was, "If Iget rid of them, who will run my battalion?" The vast majority of peopleunder his command knew who the gays were; they also knew who had brown eyes.And to most of them the two facts were of equalimportance.

But that was 20 years ago. Today we have "don't ask, don't tell," aridiculous policy that has cost taxpayers almost $200 million. It's time tostop wasting money. It's time to honor all our veterans.


Salt Lake City


When a staunch conservative such as former Wyoming senator Alan K. Simpson[op-ed, March 14] says it's okay to have gays in the military, you know,happily, that the tide has turned.




Gen. Peter Pace owes no one an apology for voicing his opinion.

Moreover, I think Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has nerve to take a manof Gen. Pace's stature to task for exercising his right to free speech [newsstory, March 14]. If a person, based on his or her values and beliefs, indssomething offensive or immoral, he or she should be able to say so withoutfear of retaliation or reprimand merely because someone else believesotherwise.

I'm with the general all the way on this one.


Dearborn Heights , Mich.


The New York Times

March 17, 2007
Pace Needn't Apologize
To the Editor:

Re "General Pace and Gay Soldiers" (editorial, March 15):

Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, owes no one anapology for stating his personal view that homosexuality is an intolerableimmoral act. His is a view shared by a large, mostly religious plurality ofmilitary personnel and their families.

Lifting the ban on homosexuals to serve openly would alienate that pool ofreligious conservatives who have demonstrated a proclivity to serve in thevolunteer military. There is zero evidence that eliminating the ban wouldinduce avowed homosexuals to flock to the armed forces.

General Pace has good standing to defend the ban from a militaryeffectiveness point of view as well. There is longstanding evidence thatsoldier performance in combat is based on unit cohesion - trust andconfidence - and readiness.

In 1993, the Army's surgeon general declared homosexual behavior to be areadiness detractor and further concluded that same-sex tensions in forcedintimate situations undermine the unit cohesion necessary for a soldier'ssuccess in combat.

Robert L. Maginnis

Woodbridge, Va., March 15, 2007

The writer, a retired United States Army lieutenant colonel, advised the1993 Pentagon task force that wrote the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.


The Washington Post

Gay couple tie knot in first Mexico City civil unions

By Gunther Hamm
Friday, March 16, 2007; 8:18 PM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Two gay lawyers celebrated a civil union in MexicoCity on Friday, becoming the first legally recognized homosexual couple inthe traditionally macho capital of one of the world's most Catholiccountries.

Dressed in somber suits, Alejandro Diaz and Rafael Ramirez tied the knot ina short ceremony held in a city council building, the first since the cityapproved a law permitting civil unions in November.

After signing papers and listening to a short speech from a local councilor,Diaz, 27, said "Married." Ramirez, 31, said "My husband." They hugged butdeclined to kiss.

"The era of plurality and diversity is permeating Mexico City," Julio CesarMoreno, the local councilor who oversaw the ceremony, told dozens ofwellwishers and journalists.

Throughout the day, around 10 gay couples exchanged vows in the city.


The Desert Sun

Commission clears way for gay club for Latinos

Nelsy Rodriguez and Xochitl Peña
The Indio Sun
March 16, 2007

Indio's destination gay club is one step closer to opening.

The city's Planning Commission approved a provisional-use permit for theland at the corner of Indio Boulevard and Civic Center Drive to be used by aclub called El Destino. The vote Wednesday was unanimous.

The club, which is expected to open in mid-April, will cater to the gayLatinos in the valley and Southern California.

"Hopefully, it will help jump start the area," Commissioner Glenn Millersaid about the project.

For years, the city has worked on the revitalization of Old Town and hadmentioned the desire for more restaurants and businesses that will promotefoot traffic and bring people to the downtown.


[Send your comments about articles to]



**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.


Halliburton's move creates hullabaloo

Oil giant's move is bad for politics, good for business

08:09 AM CDT on Friday, March 16, 2007
The Associated Press, The New York Times and the Washington Post contributedto this report.

WASHINGTON - Ever since Erle Halliburton established the New Method Oil WellCementing Co. in Oklahoma in 1919, his name has been associated withAmerican corporate know-how in the oilfield services business.

But over the weekend, the company now known as Halliburton announced thatits chief executive, Dave Lesar, would move to a new corporate headquartersin Dubai to focus on business in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia.

The announcement sparked outrage from the company's critics, who suggestedit was possibly part of an effort to dodge U.S. taxes and investigations.

Industry experts, however, say the move makes sense.

"There's not much oil in Texas anymore," said Dalton Garis, an Americanenergy economist at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi. "Halliburton is inthe oil and gas industry, and guess what? Sixty percent of the world's oiland gas is right here. If they didn't move now, they'd have to do it later."


The LA Times,1,2528678,print.story?coll=la-news-a_section

Why Democrats are raising a stink
Congressional investigations into the firing of U.S. attorneys are aboutchecks and balances, not politics, says Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

By Dianne Feinstein
DIANNE FEINSTEIN is California's senior U.S. senator.

March 17, 2007

A FIRESTORM has been ignited over the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, withnew revelations about the Bush administration's abuses exposed on a dailybasis. We now know that this isn't about some partisan "conspiracy theory"concocted by administration critics, as a Times editorial claimed on Jan.26.

The record shows that this was a premeditated plan to remove U.S. attorneysand replace them indefinitely with others - who might not be qualified - Without Senate confirmation. The means to accomplish this was a provisionslipped into the 2006 reauthorization of the Patriot Act with no notice. Theend result is a clear abuse of power that reaches into the highest officesof the Department of Justice and the White House, touching Atty. Gen.Alberto R. Gonzales, former White House Counsel Harriet E. Miers andpresidential advisor Karl Rove.

The way to curb this abuse is to return to our nation's basic principle thatchecks and balances on power are necessary and desirable.

That's why I have proposed legislation to restore the process that was inplace before 2006, which would require Senate approval of every This legislation would allow the attorney general to appoint aninterim U.S. attorney for 120 days when vacancies occur. If, after thattime, the president has not sent a nominee to the Senate and had thatnominee confirmed, the authority to appoint an interim U.S. attorney wouldfall to a local district court. This was the process put in place under theReagan administration.

This legislation was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last monthwith bipartisan support and will be debated in the Senate next week. Timeseditorials have called this legislation "misguided," but had it been inplace, it would have prevented the abuses.


The LA Times,1,2558621,print.story?coll=la-news-a_section

McCain loses some of his rebel edge
Because he's aligned himself more closely with Bush, past primary supportersmay defect.

By Janet Hook and Michael Finnegan
Times Staff Writers

March 17, 2007

WASHINGTON - Derek Patterson is just the kind of voter that made John McCaina star on the national political scene.

Patterson, a teacher in Lancaster, N.H., was one of the thousands ofindependents who were attracted to the Arizona senator's maverickpresidential campaign in 2000, propelling his upset victory over George W.Bush in the state's primary, first up in the election season.

But as McCain returns to New Hampshire today on his second quest for thepresidency, Patterson worries that many erstwhile supporters will desert theRepublican lawmaker because he has spent much of the last seven yearscourting the Bush establishment and the party's conservative base.

"He was the anti-Bush," Patterson said. "It soured a lot of people when hebecame like Bush-light."

That is in part why McCain, once widely seen as the front-runner for theGOP's 2008 presidential nod, has failed to live up to that presumption.Instead, recent nationwide polls have shown him trailing former New YorkMayor Rudolph W. Giuliani by as much as 20 percentage points amongRepublican voters.


The LA Times,1,69448,print.story

Thompson would be candidate from conservative central casting

Activists court the actor and GOP ex-senator for a White House bid. Theyconsider other hopefuls too moderate on key social issues.
By Peter Wallsten and Janet Hook
Times Staff Writers
March 17, 2007

WASHINGTON - Conservatives often ridicule Democrats for espousing the"culture of Hollywood." But in the latest sign of Republican discontent withthe field of 2008 presidential hopefuls - and in a familiar plot twist - some of those same activists are eyeing an actor as the party's potentialsavior.

Fred Thompson, the former GOP senator from Tennessee who once played a WhiteHouse chief of staff on the big screen and who appears now as a politicallysavvy prosecutor on TV's "Law & Order," is positioning himself to answer thecall and, perhaps, follow the script that saw Ronald Reagan jump fromHollywood to the White House.

Thompson is scheduled to visit Capitol Hill in a few weeks, a trip designedto dovetail with efforts by three well-connected Tennessee friends to lineup support for drafting him into a GOP campaign that so far has left manycore Republican leaders discouraged.

One of those friends, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, has calledfor a Thompson candidacy in postings on his political action committee'sblog. Meanwhile, Howard Baker, another former Senate majority leader whoalso served as a White House chief of staff under President Reagan, and Rep.Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) have been recruiting congressional endorsements.

Thompson "is in the process of getting his personal affairs in order so thishas a chance of happening," said Wamp, who spoke at length this week withThompson.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Meditate on this: We're tempted to think we know more than we do
Friday, March 16, 2007


"Americans are both deeply religious and profoundly ignorant of religion,"Stephen Prothero writes in his new book, "Religious Literacy."

- Test your knowledge of religion

Prothero, chairman of the religion department at Boston University, notesthat about 85 percent of Americans say they are Christian, and aboutone-third claim to be biblical literalists. Yet, in survey after survey,many people can't name the four Gospels, or don't know who delivered theSermon on the Mount. He quotes an evangelical Christian who calls the Bible"The Greatest Story Never Read."

So Prothero wrote "Religious Literacy" (Harper, $24.95), which came outTuesday. It's partly a history of religious instruction in the United Statesand partly an argument toward teaching religion in the Bible in publicschools as a standard academic course. At the end, he includes a Dictionaryof Religious Literacy (with a nod to E.D. Hirsch's "Dictionary of CulturalLiteracy" -- about 150 key names and concepts from major world religions,from Abraham to Zionism, that he believes everyone ought to know).

He spoke with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution by phone from BostonUniversity.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Internal Affairs

Aborted DOJ Probe Probably Would Have Targeted Gonzales
By Murray Waas, National Journal
© National Journal Group Inc.
Thursday, March 15, 2007

Shortly before Attorney General Alberto Gonzales advised President Bush lastyear on whether to shut down a Justice Department inquiry regarding theadministration's warrantless domestic eavesdropping program, Gonzaleslearned that his own conduct would likely be a focus of the investigation,according to government records and interviews.

Bush personally intervened to sideline the Justice Department probe in April2006 by taking the unusual step of denying investigators the securityclearances necessary for their work.

It is unclear whether the president knew at the time of his decision thatthe Justice inquiry -- to be conducted by the department's internal ethicswatchdog, the Office of Professional Responsibility -- would almostcertainly examine the conduct of his attorney general.

Sources familiar with the halted inquiry said that if the probe had beenallowed to continue, it would have examined Gonzales's role in authorizingthe eavesdropping program while he was White House counsel, as well as hissubsequent oversight of the program as attorney general.

Both the White House and Gonzales declined comment on two issues -- whetherGonzales informed Bush that his own conduct was about to be scrutinized, andwhether he urged the president to close down the investigation, which hadbeen requested by Democratic members of Congress.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

State supreme court: Boy's bullying was stalking
By ANNA JO BRATTON / The Associated Press
Friday, Mar 16, 2007 - 11:26:01 am CDT

When a 16-year-old Omaha boy threw food at a classmate and called her a "fatpenguin" and other names in front of other students for months, it wasn'tjust schoolyard bullying, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The boy, identified as Jeffrey K., yelled at the fellow Omaha Westside HighSchool student close to 200 times in a two-month period in fall 2004. Heonce shoved a chair directly into her path, causing her to stumble, calledher a "whore" and threw food at her, yelling "eat some more, fat ass,"according to court documents.

The "ongoing verbal and physical attacks" amounted to stalking, a criminalmisdemeanor, Judge Lindsey Miller-Lerman wrote in the court opinion.

The Nebraska Court of Appeals ruled earlier that the boy's conduct wascarried out for his "own juvenile amusement" and did not demonstratestalking.

But the high court agreed with an original decision of the juvenile court ofDouglas County, saying that "the cumulative effect of Jeffrey's words andactions, and the extensive, ongoing, and escalating nature of his conduct... clearly show that Jeffrey intended to intimidate the victim in thiscase."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Posted on Thu, Mar. 15, 2007


Why not Hagel or Thompson, GOP needs something new

By E.J. Dionne Jr

WHY NOT Chuck Hagel? For that matter, why not Fred Thompson? ForRepublicans, 2008 promises to be a disconcerting if exciting year becausefor the first time since the 1964 Goldwater insurgency, the party isstruggling over its philosophical direction.

The old conservatism is in crisis, Bush Republicanism (of the son's varietybut not the father's) is a tainted brand, and no candidate has emerged asthe Next New Thing that the party wants or needs.

That's why Hagel, the Nebraska senator and Iraq war critic, suggested Mondaythat he might seek the presidency.

It's why Thompson, the actor and former senator from Tennessee, said on FoxNews the day before that he was "giving some thought" to joining the race.And who knows whether Newt Gingrich will get in?

Hagel was onto something when he spoke of the country "experiencing apolitical reorientation, a redefining and moving toward a new politicalcenter of gravity" and of our current problems "overtaking the ideologicaldebates of the last three decades." And he hinted that he might seek theWhite House as an independent. "This movement is bigger than both parties,"he said, tantalizingly.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Collapse of Arctic sea ice 'has reached tipping-point'
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Published: 16 March 2007

A catastrophic collapse of the Arctic sea ice could lead to radical climatechanges in the northern hemisphere according to scientists who warn that therapid melting is at a "tipping point" beyond which it may not recover.

The scientists attribute the loss of some 38,000 square miles of sea ice -
in area the size of Alaska - to rising levels of carbon dioxide in theatmosphere as well as to natural variability in Arctic ice.

Ever since satellite measurements of the Arctic sea ice began in 1979, thesurface area covered by summer sea ice has retreated from the long-termaverage. This has increased the rate of coastal erosion from Alaska toSiberia and caused problems for polar bears, which rely on sea ice forhunting seals.

However, in recent years the rate of melting has accelerated and the sea iceis showing signs of not recovering even during the cold, dark months of theArctic winter. This has led to even less sea ice at the start of the summermelting season.

Mark Serreze, a senior glaciologist at the University of Colorado atBoulder, said the world was heading towards a situation where the Arcticwill soon be almost totally ice-free during summer, which could have adramatic impact on weather patterns across the northern hemisphere.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Addition or Subtraction?: Ann Coulter and the Conservative Crossroads

By Michael Medved
Wednesday 03.07.07

In the run-up to the fateful election of 2008, conservatives face aclear-cut choice: we can rebuild our movement as a broad-ranging, mainstreamcoalition and restore our governing majority, or else settle for asemi-permanent role as angry, doom-speaking complainers on the fringes ofAmerican politics and culture.

We can either invite doubters and moderates to join with us in new effortsto affirm American values, or we can push them away because they fail tomeasure up to our own standards of indignation and ideological purity.

In short, we must choose between addition and subtraction: either buildingour cause by adding to our numbers or destroying it by discouraging all butthe fiercest ideologues.

No political party or faction has ever thrived based on purges and insultsand internal warfare, but too many activists on the right seem determined toreduce the conservative cause to self-righteous irrelevance.

The most recent outrage involving Ann Coulter provides a revealing exampleof the self-destructive tendencies of some dedicated partisans on the right.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Feds Seek To Gag D.C. Madam
Prosecutors fear leak of sensitive client, escort information


Federal prosecutors want to gag an indicted former Washington, D.C. madamwho has recently threatened to go public with details about her formercustomers. In a motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court, investigatorsare seeking a protective order covering discovery material to be provided toDeborah Palfrey and her lawyers.

Palfrey, 50, was indicted last week on racketeering and money launderingcharges stemming from her operation of thePamela Martin & Associates escortservice, which closed last summer after 13 years in business.

In their motion, a copy of which you'll find below, governmentlawyers claim that some discovery documents contain "personal information"about Palfrey's former johns and prostitutes that is "sensitive." Theprosecution filing does not detail the nature of this confidentialinformation, though the identity of Palfrey's D.C. customers would surely becloaked if the protective order was signed by Judge Gladys Kessler.

According to the prosecution motion, while Palfrey and her lawyers would beable to use the discovery material to help prepare a defense, they would notbe allowed to disclose the documents to anyone else (nor use the materialfor any other purposes). Palfrey, whose assets were frozen late last year,has recently floated the idea of selling her escort business's phonerecords.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Proposal blocks funding for HPV vaccine

By Gregory Lopes, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, March 16, 2007

A Georgia member of Congress yesterday introduced legislation to prohibitfederal money from being used by states to make vaccines against the humanpapillomavirus (HPV) mandatory for school-age children.

"Mandating the HPV vaccination is both unprecedented and unacceptable,"said Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Republican, who is an obstetrician andgynecologist. "Whether or not girls get vaccinated against HPV is a decisionfor parents and physicians, not state governments."

Because HPV is unlike communicable diseases such as measles and mumps,which children are routinely vaccinated against, Mr. Gingrey said HPVvaccines should be taken voluntarily. He is chairman of the RepublicanHealthcare Public Affairs Team and chairman of the Healthcare Reformsubcommittee of the Republican Policy Committee.

HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical cancer.Data on the time HPV takes to develop into cervical cancer is scant, butsome physicians estimate it can take 15 years.


The New York Times

March 17, 2007
'Purely Political Motives' in Outing, Ex-Agent Says

WASHINGTON, March 16 - Valerie Wilson finally spoke Friday, after almostfour years at the silent center of a political scandal that touchedWashington's most rarefied circles of government and news media.

Now was her time to testify about the White House leaks that set the wholestory in motion, the newspaper column that revealed her as an undercoverC.I.A. agent, the marathon criminal investigation and the trial thatconvicted the vice president's former chief of staff.

"My name and identity were carelessly and recklessly abused by seniorgovernment officials in both the White House and the State Department," Ms.Wilson testified before the House Committee on Oversight and GovernmentReform in a hearing room packed with reporters, photographers andspectators.

She spoke at first in a quiet but insistent voice that was nearly inaudibleover the crackle of three dozen camera shutters. Fumbling with the base ofher microphone, Ms. Wilson looked at once nervous and bored waiting out thephotographers. As she talked more, her voice seemed to gain force, volumeand velocity - a confident bearing to match her appearance.

She said the security breach might have endangered agency officials but also"jeopardized and even destroyed entire networks of foreign agents, who inturn risk their own lives and those of their families to provide the UnitedStates with needed intelligence. Lives are literally at stake."


The New York Times

March 16, 2007
'Bong' Case Tests Students' Free Speech
Filed at 10:36 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The message connected drug use and religion in anonsensical phrase that was designed to provoke, and it got Joseph Frederickin a heap of trouble.

After he unfurled his 14-foot ''Bong Hits 4 Jesus'' banner on a Juneau,Alaska, street one winter morning in 2002, Frederick got a 10-day schoolsuspension. Five years later, he has a date Monday at the Supreme Court inwhat is shaping up as an important test of constitutional rights.

Students don't leave their right to free speech at the school door, the highcourt said in a Vietnam-era case over an anti-war protest by high schoolstudents.

But neither can students be disruptive or lewd or interfere with a school'sbasic educational mission, the court also has said.

How to strike that balance is the question, particularly since the Columbinemassacre and the Sept. 11 attacks have made teachers and administratorsquicker to tamp down on unruly or unusual behavior.


The Washington Post

Giuliani Works to Catch Up in Michigan

The Associated Press
Friday, March 16, 2007; 9:42 PM

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. -- Rudy Giuliani, leading in national polls buttrailing his opponents' organizations in Michigan, spent Friday picking upendorsements and some criticism in Macomb County north of Detroit.

James Tignanelli, president of the 14,000-member Police Officers Associationof Michigan, announced he was giving the prominent group's backing to theformer New York mayor because of the leadership he showed after the attacksof Sept. 11, 2001.

"It seemed only hours after the planes had hit, Americans found a leader.... Rudy Giuliani had arrived at the scene," Tignanelli said during a newsconference with Giuliani and other police officers. "We need someone whowill finish the job, not turn and run."

Giuliani said winning the police officers' endorsement was an important stepin a swing state that could affect his chances in the GOP primaries and thegeneral election.

"Having the support of an organization that represents more than 14,000police officers in Michigan means more to me than just a politicalendorsement," he said. "They are my heroes."


The Washington Post

Analysis: Clinton Talks About Dark Times

The Associated Press
Friday, March 16, 2007; 4:41 PM

NEW YORK -- The vast right-wing conspiracy. Evil and bad men. Sticking withpeople who stick with you.

As she campaigns, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton is conjuring the painfulmemories of her husband's presidency: his affair with White House internMonica Lewinsky, independent counsel Ken Starr's politically charged pursuitand finally, in 1998, the Republican-controlled Congress' impeachment ofBill Clinton.

Humiliated and enraged, Hillary Clinton stuck with her husband throughoutthe ordeal _ her most famous "stand by your man" moment.

Now making her own White House bid, the New York senator speaks in generallyglowing terms about Bill Clinton's presidency. From the economic prosperityof the 1990s to his fondness for Dunkin' Donuts, she has eagerly embracedher husband's legacy.

At the same time, she's ventured into the darker shadows of the ClintonWhite House years, a move that allows her to define it on her own terms fora new generation of voters.


The New York Times

March 17, 2007
Investigation Thrusts Former Counsel Back Into the World of Politics

WASHINGTON, March 16 - By all accounts, Harriet E. Miers was delighted to beback in Dallas. It was Valentine's Day. She had been unemployed for littlemore than two weeks, and when she met a friend, Jerry K. Clements, for lunchat an elegant Uptown neighborhood restaurant, Ms. Miers looked happier andmore rested, Ms. Clements said, than she had in years.

Having been forced out of her job as White House legal counsel and havinghad her competence questioned, Ms. Miers deflected all talk of work. Insteadshe spent the meal asking about old friends, speaking of her desire to bewith family again and longing for a return to a regular supply of authenticTex-Mex food.

"She was very upbeat, very positive," said Ms. Clements, a managing partnerat Locke Liddell & Sapp, the Dallas law firm where Ms. Miers once worked."But she made it clear that this was just a girls chitchat kind of lunch,that she needed time to rest and just decompress."

The respite from Washington was short-lived. The disclosure this week ofe-mail messages sent in 2005 and 2006 between Ms. Miers and a top aide inthe Justice Department regarding the dismissal of seven federal prosecutorslast December placed her at the center of the investigation into the WhiteHouse's role in the removals.

As former colleagues and fellow Bush loyalists point fingers of blame in herdirection, Ms. Miers faces a forced return to the bruising political circlesthat, in her last years in the administration, excoriated her for everythingfrom her intellect to her eye shadow.


The New York Times

March 17, 2007
The Critical Years

For Teachers, Middle School Is Test of Wills

When a student at Seth Low Intermediate School loudly pronounced CorinneKaufman a "fat lady" during a fire drill one recent day, Mrs. Kaufman, a45-year-old math teacher, calmly turned around.

"Voluptuous," she retorted, then proceeded to define the unfamiliar term,cutting off the laughter and offering a memorable vocabulary lesson in theprocess.

Such are the survival skills Mrs. Kaufman has acquired over 17 years at SethLow, a large middle school in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn: How to snuff outbrewing fistfights before the first punch is thrown, how to coax adolescentscrippled by low self-esteem into raising their hands, how to turn everycurveball, even the biting insult, into a teachable moment.

But not all middle school teachers can do it.

Faced with increasingly well-documented slumps in learning at a criticalage, educators in New York and across the nation are struggling to rethinkmiddle school, particularly in cities, where the challenges of adolescentvolatility, spiking violence and lagging academic performance are moreacute.


The New York Times

March 17, 2007

Taming Fossil Fuels

Each day seems to bring news of another prominent convert to the cause ofrequiring mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.Each day also seems to bring news of technological advances that would makeit possible to achieve those reductions without serious economic damage. Putall these glad tidings together, and Congress has all the reasons it needsto move quickly to regulate global warming emissions here at home, thussetting an example for the world.

Last week the chief executives of America's largest automobile companies -
eneral Motors, Ford, Chrysler and Toyota North America - pledged to supportmandatory caps on carbon emissions, as long as the caps covered all sectorsof the economy. They delivered their promise to a House committee run byJohn Dingell - the crusty Michigan Democrat who is another convert to thecause and has taken to describing the global warming threat with phraseslike "Hannibal is at the gates."

Meanwhile, dozens of major institutional investors organized by Ceres, acoalition of investors and environmentalists, will gather in Washington onMonday to offer support for mandatory controls. The group will includeCalpers, the huge California state pension fund with a history of makingenvironmentally friendly investments, and Merrill Lynch, whose credentialsare less impressive.

The news on the technology side is also good - particularly several recentannouncements about coal. The first came from TXU, a huge Texas utilitywhere the bidders have agreed to drop plans to build 11 old-fashionedcoal-burning power plants. TXU has now announced that it will build twoexperimental plants intended to capture carbon dioxide before it escapesinto the atmosphere. American Electric Power, another large utility, hasalso announced that it will build a coal-fired plant based on slightlydifferent technology but with the same intended result: capturing carbon.

The importance of these projects cannot be overstated. As a report releasedWednesday by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologyobserved, coal produces more than 30 percent of America's carbon dioxideemissions. It is also a huge problem in China, where the equivalent of onelarge coal-fired power plant is being built each week, using antiquatedmethods. Unless coal can be tamed, the game is essentially lost.


The New York Times

March 17, 2007
More Rights in Egypt, Not Fewer

Last month, a 22-year-old Egyptian blogger was sentenced to four years inprison for what he had posted online; he'd been charged with criticizingPresident Hosni Mubarak and insulting Islam. This week, the police violentlybroke up a peaceful protest against pending constitutional amendments anddetained a number of people. None of these things bode well for human rightsor democracy in Egypt.

President Mubarak says the amendments - soon to be voted on by Parliament -
re meant to create a more open, balanced government. They are almost sureto do the opposite. One change would put elections under the control of asupposedly independent commission, but democracy advocates suspect it wouldbe a puppet of the government.

Under pressure from Washington, Mr. Mubarak allowed limited competition inthe 2005 parliamentary elections - and some independent oversight. Criticsfear that the new commission would roll back those gains, clearing the wayfor Mr. Mubarak's son to take power. Equally worrisome is an amendment thatwould weaken privacy rights and standards for arrest and detention.

This week, the courts rejected an appeal by the blogger, Abdel Kareem Nabil.The Bush administration has rightly condemned his conviction as a "setbackfor human rights." Washington should also express concern over the rights ofpeaceful protesters. Before the amendments come to a vote, President Bushneeds to tell Mr. Mubarak privately that this is not the path to long-termstability. Washington and the European Union should also speak out publiclyagainst the most dangerous pieces of legislation.

If the amendments pass, the next step will be a referendum. Washingtonshould help independent groups organize in the event of such a vote.Dissenting voices are essential if there is to be any hope of free debateand democracy in Egypt.


The Washington Post

North Korea's Cruelty
By Kay Seok
Saturday, March 17, 2007; A19

SEOUL -- North Korea is again dominating headlines by signing a deal toclose its main nuclear reactor and allow international inspectors to returnin exchange for energy and economic assistance. As North Korea watcherscautiously welcome this possible step toward a nuclear-free KoreanPeninsula, a deeply disturbing development has garnered almost no attention:Pyongyang's hardening policy toward North Korean border-crossers.

In an ominous reversal, North Korea has apparently scrapped its 2000 decreethat it would be lenient toward citizens who "illegally" crossed theborder -- in effect, almost everyone leaving the country -- to China to findfood or earn money to feed their families. According to recentborder-crossers interviewed by Human Rights Watch, Pyongyang has implementedharsher punishments for those repatriated.

The North Koreans interviewed recounted the chilling language officials useto describe the policies the North reinstated perhaps as long ago as late2004: Those crossing the border without state permission "won't beforgiven," no matter why they went to China or what they did there,including first-time "offenders."

The hardening policy shows how Pyongyang is violating the obligations itundertook when it signed major human rights conventions in the 1990s.

North Korea is denying its citizens their fundamental rights by preventingthem from freely leaving the country; arresting those who make such anattempt; and arbitrarily detaining, mistreating, torturing and sometimeseven executing border-crossers who are repatriated. China, too, regularlyflouts its obligations under the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention by labelingall North Koreans "illegal economic migrants" and sending them back.


The Washington Post

The Politics of Distraction

By Dan Froomkin
Special to
Friday, March 16, 2007; 2:50 PM

As far as the White House public-relations machine is concerned, here is allyou need to know about the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year: TheJustice Department made some mistakes in how it communicated that thoseprosecutors were let go for appropriate reasons. And, oh yes, there is noevidence that White House political guru Karl Rove ever advocated the firingof all 93 U.S. attorneys previously appointed by President Bush.

But from the very beginning of this scandal, the central question has beenand remains: Was there a plot hatched in the White House to purgeprosecutors who were seen as demonstrating insufficient partisanship intheir criminal investigations?

Everything else is deception or distraction.

The latest development in the case is an e-mail chain showing that Rove andAlberto Gonzales (then White House counsel, soon to become attorney general)were both mulling the idea of replacing U.S. attorneys as early as the firstmonth of Bush's second term.

According to the e-mails, Rove stopped by the White House counsel's officein early January 2005 to find out whether it was Gonzales's plan to keep orreplace all or some of the U.S. attorneys that Bush had appointed in hisfirst term.


The Washington Post

Link to Special Report by Robert Cohen

4-part series
Rough Justice - The Case Against Alberto Gonzales

If the first three parts of this series have made a reasonable if notairtight case for the resignation or firing of Alberto Gonzales as attorneygeneral, and with his legal and political failings becoming clearer by theday, it seems only fitting that this final part make the case for aparticular successor.


The Washington Post

Accounts of Prosecutors' Dismissals Keep Shifting

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 17, 2007; A01

More than two weeks after a New Mexico U.S. attorney alleged he was firedfor not prosecuting Democrats, the White House and the Justice Departmentare still struggling to explain the roles of President Bush, AttorneyGeneral Alberto R. Gonzales and other key officials in the dismissals ofeight federal prosecutors last year.

Yesterday, the White House retreated from its four-day-old claim that formercounsel Harriet E. Miers started the process two years ago by proposing thefiring of all 93 U.S. attorneys.

"It has been described as her idea . . . but I don't want to vouch fororigination," press secretary Tony Snow said. "At this juncture, people havehazy memories."

In addition, D. Kyle Sampson, who resigned as Gonzales's chief of staffMonday, disputed the reasons given for his departure in a statement issuedthrough his attorney last night.

"The fact that the White House and Justice Department had been discussingthe subject for several years was well-known to a number of other seniorofficials at the department, including others who were involved in preparingthe department's testimony to Congress," according to the statement bySampson's lawyer, Bradford A. Berenson.


The Washington Post

Plame Says Administration 'Recklessly' Revealed Her
Hill Testimony Breaks Ex-CIA Agent's Silence on Leak

By Amy Goldstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 17, 2007; A01

Valerie Plame, the former CIA officer at the heart of a four-year politicalfuror over the Bush administration's leak of her identity, lashed out at theWhite House yesterday, testifying in Congress that the president's aidesdestroyed a career she loved and slipped her name to reporters for "purelypolitical motives."

Plame, breaking her public silence about the case, contended that her nameand job "were carelessly and recklessly abused" by the government. Althoughshe and her colleagues knew that "we might be exposed and threatened byforeign enemies," she aid, "it was a terrible irony that administrationofficials were the ones who estroyed my cover."

Plame calmly but firmly knocked down longstanding claims by administrationallies that the disclosure was not criminal because she had not worked in acovert capacity.

"I am here to say I was a covert officer of the Central IntelligenceAgency," Plame told House members, a horde of journalists and a few antiwaractivists. Her work, she said, "was not common knowledge on the Georgetowncocktail circuit."

Plame also provided the most detailed account to date of her role in adecision by the agency to dispatch her husband, former U.S. ambassadorJoseph C. Wilson IV, to Niger five years ago to assess reports that Iraq hadsought to buy nuclear material from the African nation.


The Washington Post

Zimbabwean Defiant After Police Beating
Mugabe Foe Sees Resistance Growing

By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, March 17, 2007; A01

HARARE, Zimbabwe, March 16 -- Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirairelaxed in the lush garden of his home Friday, a 5-month-old grandson on hisknee. But for the five blue stitches on Tsvangirai's head or the bandagecovering his broken left hand, there were few clues that he had spent thethree previous days in intensive care, or the two before that in prisoncells, bloodied and dazed by vicious beatings from police.

In his first hours home, with international outrage still high over Sunday'spolice crackdown on an opposition rally, Tsvangirai declared himselfundaunted.

Despite the arrests and police assaults on nearly 50 top oppositionactivists, he said, the movement had been strengthened by an experience thathas left many wounds but also a new determination to confront PresidentRobert Mugabe's nearly 27-year-old government.

"This incident has just heightened the stakes," said Tsvangirai, 55, aformer mineworker and union organizer. "This has created even more impetusand more determination on the part of Zimbabweans."

Political tension has risen sharply in recent months as years of economictroubles have turned increasingly acute, with inflation so high -- theofficial annual rate is 1,730 percent -- that Zimbabweans say they rush tothe store whenever they get cash before prices rise yet again. Fees forschooling, transportation and health care have moved beyond the means ofmany. The few luxuries of Zimbabwean life, such as milk for tea, have beenlargely abandoned.


The Washington Post

A More Islamic Islam

By Geneive Abdo
Saturday, March 17, 2007; A19

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A small group of self-proclaimed secular Muslimsfrom North America and elsewhere gathered in St. Petersburg recently forwhat they billed as a new global movement to correct the assumed wrongs ofIslam and call for an Islamic Reformation.

Across the state in Fort Lauderdale, Muslim leaders from the Council onAmerican-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Washington-based advocacy group whosemembers the "secular" Muslims claim are radicals, denounced any notion of aReformation as another attempt by the West to impose its history andphilosophy on the Islamic world.

The self-proclaimed secularists represent only a small minority of Muslims.The views among religious Muslims from CAIR more closely reflect the viewsof the majority, not only in the United States but worldwide. Yet Westernmedia, governments and neoconservative pundits pay more attention to thesecular minority.

The St. Petersburg convention is but one example: It was carried live onGlenn Beck's conservative CNN show. Some of the organizers and speakers atthe convention are well known thanks to the media spotlight: Irshad Manji,author of "The Trouble With Islam," and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the former Dutchparliamentarian and author of "Infidel," were but a few there claiming tohave suffered personally at the hands of "radical" Islam. One participant,Wafa Sultan, declared on Glenn Beck's show that she doesn't "see anydifference between radical Islam and regular Islam."

The secular Muslim agenda is promoted because these ideas reflect a Western
vision for the future of Islam. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, everyone from
high-ranking officials in the Bush administration to the author Salman
Rushdie has prescribed a preferred remedy for Islam: Reform the faith so it
is imbued with Western values -- the privatization of religion, the
flourishing of Western-style democracy -- and rulers who are secular, not
religious, Muslims. The problem with this prescription is that it is
divorced from reality. It is built upon the principle that if Muslims are
fed a steady diet of Western influence, they, too, will embrace modernity,
secularism and everything else the West has to offer.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,5097379,print.story

Justices to hear case on free speech rights

`Bong Hits 4 Jesus' banner start of 5-year legal journey

By Mark Sherman
The Associated Press
March 17, 2007

WASHINGTON - The message connected drug use and religion in a nonsensicalphrase that was designed to provoke, and it got Joseph Frederick in a heapof trouble.

After he unfurled his 14-foot "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner on a Juneau,Alaska, street one winter morning in 2002, Frederick got a 10-day schoolsuspension. Five years later, he has a date Monday at the Supreme Court inwhat is shaping up as an important test of constitutional rights.

Students don't leave their right to free speech at the school door, the highcourt said in a Vietnam-era case over an anti-war protest by high schoolstudents.

But neither can students be disruptive or lewd or interfere with a school'sbasic educational mission, the court also has said.

How to strike that balance is the question, particularly since the Columbinemassacre and the Sept. 11 attacks have made teachers and administratorsquicker to tamp down on unruly or unusual behavior.


[Send your comments about articles to]


FLORIDA DIGEST March 17, 2007

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.


Ft. Lauderdale

Fourth Annual Valuing Our Families Conference

Gay Families Conference to honor activist Judy Shepard and actor Peter Paige

The fourth annual Valuing Our Families Conference, jointly presented byBroward-based social services agency SunServe and Washington, DC basedFamily Pride Coalition, has announced this year's National Valuing OurFamilies Award winners.

Judy Shepard, left top, mother of Matthew Shepard, the young gay manbrutally beaten and hung on a fence to die in sub-zero weather in Wyoming in1998, is being honored for her advocacy as executive director of the MatthewShepard Foundation. Peter Paige, left bottom, who played Emmett onShowtime's Queer as Folk is being recognized for his film, "Say Uncle," which countersnegative stereotypes of gay men as caretakers for children.

The awards will be presented at a special celebration on Saturday, March 24at 6:30 p.m. following the day-long conference at Sunshine Cathedral MCC,1480 SW 9th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale.

Sharon Gless, spokesperson for SunServe, and a past national award winnerwill present both awards. The conference sponsors will also give awards tostate and local advocates who have helped promote the value of LGBT familiesin South Florida, and across the state. The Fort Lauderdale Gay Men'sChorus will entertain the guests during the program.

"Valuing Our Families is pleased to be able to bring such influentialcultural and political leaders to our annual conference that celebrates allfamilies," said SunServe executive director Mark Adler. "Their presence isparticularly important in a year when our community has a chance to persuadeFlorida legislators to overturn the ban on adoption by gay men and lesbians." [Florida is the only state that bans gays and lesbians fromadopting, although it allows them to be foster parents. Florida'slegislature will probably consider new legislation this year.]

Previous national award winners have included openly gay U.S. CongressmanBarney Frank, award winning novelist Armistead Maupin, and gay activist andtelevision personality Rosie O'Donnell.

The event is free and open to the public. Conference attendees will havereserved seats. A private reception for the award winners is also planned.Tickets for the reception are available from SunServe.

The all-day Valuing Our Families Conference features advocacy training forgay and lesbian adults, youth and their straight allies. Activities foryoung children in gay and lesbian headed households and an intergenerationalgeneral session keynoted by Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director of FamilyPride Coalition round out the offerings.

On Sunday, March 25, the conference co-sponsors will hold a specialtown-hall meeting at the First Congregational Church of Fort Lauderdale at2501 NE 30th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL, to discuss the Florida adoptionban.

For information, conference registration or tickets for the honoreesreception visit or call 954-764-5150


The Orlando Sentinel,0,7345042,print.story?coll=orl-news-headlines-state

Gay adoption back on agenda

Lawmakers who want to repeal Florida's ban say people need to 'wake up.'
Anthony Man
Tallahassee Bureau

March 15, 2007

TALLAHASSEE -- Thousands of Florida children could have vastly better lives,advocates said Wednesday, if the state repeals its 30-year-old ban on gaysadopting.

A coalition of state legislators, mostly Democrats from Broward and PalmBeach counties, wants to eliminate what they said was a relic of formerbeauty queen and orange-juice pitchwoman Anita Bryant's anti-gay crusade ofthe 1970s.

"It is the most sweeping anti-gay parenting law in the country, something ofwhich we should not be proud in the state of Florida," said state Sen. NanRich, D-Weston. "The law is devoid of any basis in social science andcontradicts public policy on child welfare. It denies children and adultsconstitutional rights and jeopardizes, most importantly, the best interestsof children."

Lifting the ban would allow gay men and lesbians to become adoptive parentsof some of the 3,919 foster children who were available for adoption inFlorida at the end of last month, Rich said.

State Rep. Kelly Skidmore, D-Boca Raton, said she hopes her colleagues "wakeup" and realize it is 2007, not the Bryant era.


We need your help for PrideFest of the Palm Beaches 2007

The Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus will be participating in the 14th annualPrideFest of the Palm Beaches, March 24 & 25 at Bryant Park in Lake Worth.

The Caucus will have an information booth at the festival both days and willbe participating in the Grand Parade on Sunday.

We need volunteers to help with the booth on both days and would like asmany as possible to join us in the Grand Parade. We will have a decked-outtruck in the parade for those who are unable to walk the route.

We must staff the booth between 12 noon and 8 pm on Saturday and between 12noon and 6 pm on Sunday.

Kick-off for the parade is 12 noon on Sunday. You should be there for theparade no later than 11:30 am. We will need people to staff the booth fromnoon on Sunday who do not wish to participate in the parade.

If you can give us an hour or two on either day it would greatly help oureffort. Visit the PrideFest website for more information.
Tickets are $6.

If you can help, please drop Kevin Muth an email at
See you at PrideFest.




"Dog Day in the Park"
Sunday, March 18, 2007

Judging will be in the following categories:
· Best Pedigree
· Most Marvelous Mutt
· Most Talented Trickster
· Ugliest Mug
· Dog Most Resembling its Owner

The winner of each category will go on to the final competition for theGrand Prize - "Best of Show"

Registration is FREE To register call 954 237-1769


From Leanna Bradley

Hello to one and all

It has come to my attention that there is a great need for GLBT doctor andmedical clinics that will accept all including transgender people who arein transition.

I am in the process of obtaining any information so as those in need willhave a resource list to call

If any one has any information as to contacts or referrals to the medicalcommunity PLEASE contact me at my NEW e-mail address
954-462-2004 ext 201


The Sun-Sentinel,0,2123033,print.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines

Palm Beach County schools chief asks parents to help halt cyber-bullying

By Marc Freeman

March 16, 2007, 1:28 PM EDT

WEST PALM BEACH -- Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Art Johnson onFriday appealed to parents to help stop cyber-bullying, which he termed a"dangerous situation" that can lead to violence against children.

Using a mass-calling system to send a recorded message, Johnson cited an NBCNews report that found 90 percent of middle school students are bullied ine-mails, cell phone text messages and at popular online networking sites.

The school district's Public Affairs Web site,,includes a link to the NBC video.

"Parents, we must act or the cyber bullying will get worse," Johnson said inhis call out, asking for immediate help. "We must stop it from hurting ourchildren and disrupting their education when they bring these issues toschool."

The warning to parents comes two days after Johnson and the School Boardagreed to seek a change in state law that will allow the school district toimpose a cell phone ban on students while they are on campus. The proposedcell phone restriction is a way to quash cyber-bullying, officials say.


The Miami Herald

'Hanging' Dixie's banner

An unusual display of the Confederate flag in a Tallahassee museum revivesan old Florida debate.

Bob Hurst walked into a Tallahassee art museum this week and saw the symbolof his Southern heritage hanging by a noose.

The art work, which has led to a standoff between descendants of Confederatesoldiers and the museum, is a life-size gallows with the Confederate flagdangling from a frayed rope. Created by a black artist from Detroit andtitled The Proper Way to Hang a Confederate Flag, the piece has brought anold debate to Florida anew.

Hurst and his compatriots at the Sons of Confederate Veterans want theexhibit taken down, and they've invoked a 1961 Florida law to support them.

''I didn't find it clever. I didn't find it amusing. I found it offensive. Ifound it tasteless,'' said Hurst, whose great-great-grandfather led acompany for the Confederacy and committed suicide after the South'ssurrender.

The leaders of the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science decided this weekthey'll put up with the backlash for the sake of freedom of speech andpolitical dialogue. Since then, executive director Chucha Barber said, shehas received at least a dozen threatening phone calls and contacted thepolice. She said she was blindsided by the negative response.

''Frankly, Tallahassee is a very academic community, filled with manyenlightened people,'' she said. ``It's not this institution's position tout forth an ideology or a political viewpoint. It's not our way or thehighway. It is our hope that we stimulate dialogue.''


The Palm Beach Post

School vouchers lose champions with Bush's exit
By S.V Date

Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau

Saturday, March 17, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - A year ago: After a state Supreme Court ruling struck downschool vouchers, Republican leaders moved heaven and earth in an attempt torevive them with a constitutional amendment, all to please a governor whoconsidered them his personal legacy.

Today: "Vouchers?" said Senate Majority Leader Daniel Webster. "Don't know."

Without the strong personality of former Gov. Jeb Bush pushing a particularpolicy in the Capitol, "school choice," as proponents call it, is generatingmuch less enthusiasm this year than it has in the previous eight.

A handful of pro-voucher bills have been filed in both chambers, but nothingas sweeping as Bush's proposal - ultimately unsuccessful - to insert wordinginto the state constitution specifically permitting the spending of publicmoney at private schools.

The Florida Supreme Court in January 2006 struck down Bush's first voucherplan, the Opportunity Scholarship Program. When he pushed the idea throughthe legislature during his first months in office in 1999, it became thefirst statewide voucher plan in the country and gave parents of students atfailing public schools state money to send their children to privateschools, including religious schools.


Florida Today

March 17, 2007
House committee passes property-tax bill

Vote follows six hours of exasperated testimony
By Aaron Deslatte

A divided Florida House committee advanced a controversial plan Friday toslash nearly $6 billion in property tax revenue from the budgets of localgovernments.

The 24-7 vote by the House Policy and Budget Council came after six hours oftestimony from exasperated property owners who want relief and city andcounty officials afraid of the price tag.

''You all spend everything you get,'' said Bob Hampton, a Panhandle realestate guide owner who said he heard every day about the souring propertymarket.

''You need to roll back the ... taxes.''

The bill would roll back local property tax rates for cities, counties andsome special taxing districts to an inflation-adjusted 2000 level, whichlawmakers claim will save the average homeowner 19 percent on their taxbill.


Citizens To Reduce Premiums

Published: Mar 17, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will reduce premiums on its1.2 million customers - on average, 14.5 percent for high-risk policyholders and 6.7 percent for others.

Most Hillsborough County homeowners who are outside the highest risk areaswill see reductions of about 4.5 percent.

"We are working very hard to provide rate relief to our policyholders assoon as possible," said Paul Palumbo, senior vice president of underwriting.

Citizens' announcement of rate reductions comes a day after private insurersfiled their proposals for cutting homeowners insurance rates.

The top five private companies in the Tampa Bay area proposed statewideaverage decreases of 3.1 percent to 14.2 percent. At the same time, somealso have announced thousands of cancellations.


Join us for a town hall meeting on this pressing topic currently beingdebated in the Florida legislature:


Sunday, March 25, 1:30 - 3:00

"Our Families, Our Future: A Town Hall for Floridians"

First Congregational Church
2501 NE 30th St., Fort Lauderdale
(Near the Target at Oakland Park Blvd. & Federal Hwy.)


For full article and contact information for Palm Beach townhall meetingemail


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