Friday, March 23, 2007

GLBT DIGEST March 23, 2007

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It could have been me
Elton John

Published 26 March 2007

It's been 40 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in Britain,yet around the world gay people still suffer abuse and discriminationbecause of their sexuality.

On 21 December 2005 I was legally bound to the man I love, on the first daythat civil partnerships were possible. It's my legal right and my humanright and I wanted everyone to know - I wanted to shout about it but I stillfelt nervous about the public's reaction. I was, therefore, delighted andrelieved on leaving the register office in Windsor to find the crowd outsidecheering and supporting our union as I had feared that abusive,banner-waving bigots would try to spoil the occasion. I felt so proud thatday to be British.

There has been substantial progress on gay rights in Britain, but wecan't be complacent, not when homophobia still exists here and not whenpeople around the world live in fear solely because of their sexuality. Insome countries, my voice would have been drowned out - maybe even stampedout. For many, basic rights are still a matter of life and death.

There are individuals suffering because of their sexuality every day.Last year, William Hernández had a gun pressed against his neck outside theSan Salvador offices of his gay rights organisation, the Asociación EntreAmigos. William and his colleagues who speak out for gay rights in ElSalvador had been protesting against moves to amend the constitutionformally to prevent gay marriage.

"We will kill you before you can get married," said his attacker.


Lords support gay equality laws

Peers have backed the government over gay equality laws at the centre of arow with the Catholic Church.

They voted against an amendment to throw out the Equality Act (SexualOrientation) Regulations, brought by Tory peer Baroness O'Cathain.

She argued that they were "seriously flawed" and would lead to litigation,but was defeated by 168 votes to 122.

Among implications are that Catholic adoption agencies would be forced toplace children with gay couples.

The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, which outlawdiscrimination against gay people by businesses and service providers, andhave already been approved by MPs, will now come into force on 30 April.

But they have proved extremely controversial.

The Catholic Church has said it will be forced to shut its adoptionagencies, which handle some of the most difficult-to-place children, ratherthan act against church teachings.

Some backbench Tory MPs have complained that the draft regulations werebeing "rail-roaded" through Parliament with "unseemly haste".


The New York Times

March 22, 2007
Romney Cools Friendship With Utah Mayor

Filed at 5:20 p.m. ET

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romneyhas cooled his friendship with Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson now thatthe liberal Democrat has called for President Bush's impeachment.

In an interview Thursday with The Associated Press, Romney sought tominimize his relationship with Anderson, once a prominent example ofbipartisan camaraderie. The two worked closely together when Romney ran the2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

''He was a mayor that worked well with me during the Olympics, and Isupported his work as a mayor,'' said Romney, who spoke before an event inheavily Republican western Iowa, where he planned to meet privately with keyactivists. ''I do not endorse or support his views on President Bush oralmost any other issue, particularly that's unrelated to being a mayor.''

Anderson was so impressed with Romney's work on turning around theproblem-plagued Olympics that he backed the Republican in a televisioncommercial during Romney's 2002 campaign for Massachusetts governor.

''People often say I'm a Massachusetts-type Democrat. To me, that's acompliment,'' Anderson said in the spot, which ran in heavily DemocraticMassachusetts. Anderson then urged viewers to ''take it from this liberalDemocrat: If you want an amazing leader, vote for Mitt Romney.''


The New York Times

March 22, 2007
S.C. Bans Gay Marriage

Filed at 10:28 p.m. ET

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina officially banned gay marriageThursday as legislative leaders ratified a constitutional amendment approvedby voters in November.

New Hampshire, meanwhile, moved in the opposite direction, with a stateHouse panel endorsing the creation of civil unions for same-sex couples.

South Carolina was among eight states with gay marriage bans on the ballotlast year. The measures passed everywhere except Arizona.

Nearly four out of five South Carolina voters approved the amendment, whichreads, ''A marriage between one man and one woman is the only lawfuldomestic union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.''

The state already had a law against same-sex marriages, but proponents saidthe amendment was needed to prevent judges from opening the door to civilunions, which offer gay couples the legal benefits of marriage but not thetitle.


The New York Times

March 22, 2007
Detroit Attack Could Spur Gay Rights Law

Filed at 6:37 p.m. ET

DETROIT (AP) -- Andrew Anthos had many passions in life, including oldmovies, legendary Hollywood screen sirens and a 20-year campaign toilluminate the state Capitol dome in red, white and blue one night a year.While he never hid that he was gay, he was no gay rights activist.

But after dying of injuries suffered last month in what witnesses portrayedas a gay-bashing, the 72-year-old Anthos has become a powerful symbol in acampaign to amend federal and state hate-crime laws to protect gays.

''The whole point is making sure that people have equal rights in the legalsystem, people aren't picked on or threatened just because they look or actdifferently,'' said state Sen. Hansen Clarke, who plans to introducelegislation to amend Michigan's Ethnic Intimidation Act.

According to police and family members, the Detroit man was riding a citybus home from the library on Feb. 13, singing along quietly to Spanish musicon his headphones. A young man asked him if he was gay and called him a''faggot.'' Anthos ignored him.

The man followed Anthos off the bus, confronting him again. Anthos told theman he was gay as he helped a wheelchair-bound friend who was stuck in asnowbank, witnesses said. The man struck Anthos in the back of the head witha pipe, stood over him as he lay on the ground and ran off after Anthos'friend yelled for him to stop.


The New York Times

March 23, 2007
Penn State Women's Hoops Coach Resigns

Filed at 6:07 a.m. ET

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Rene Portland turned Penn State into one of thetop programs in women's college basketball. In the end, her highlysuccessful 27-year tenure as Lady Lions head coach may be remembered just asmuch for allegations that she may have discriminated against lesbian

Penn State announced Portland's resignation Thursday, more than a monthafter the coach and university settled a lawsuit from a former player whoclaimed Portland had a ''no-lesbian'' policy on her team.

''This was obviously a difficult decision,'' Portland said in a statement inwhich she made no mention why she was stepping down.

Athletic director Tim Curley said Portland was not forced to resign, andthat he wasn't surprised by her decision.

''I am very appreciative of the opportunity to coach at Penn State, whichhas become a special place for me and my family,'' she said. ''I am proud ofwhat we have been able to accomplish with the Lady Lion program through theyears.''


Express Gay News

Episcopal bishops firm on gay support
U.S. branch risks losing place in global Anglican family
NEW YORK (AP) | Mar 22, 6:42 AM

Episcopal bishops risked losing their place in the global Anglican familyyesterday by affirming their support for gays and rejecting a key demandthat they give up some authority to theological conservatives outside theU.S. church.

The Episcopal House of Bishops said it views the Gospel as teaching that"all God's children, including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equalparticipants" in the church. The bishops also said they would not agree toan Anglican plan for leaders outside the U.S. denomination to oversee thesmall number of conservative American dioceses that disagree.

"We cannot accept what would be injurious to the church and could well leadto its permanent division," the bishops said in a resolution from a privatemeeting in Texas.

"If that means that others reject us and communion with us, as some havealready done, we must with great regret and sorrow accept their decision."

The Episcopal Church is the U.S. wing of the 77 million-member AnglicanCommunion, a fellowship of churches that traces its roots to the Church ofEngland. But it is at theological odds with the vast majority of Anglicanchurches, which take a more conservative view on sexuality and other issues.


Gay police officers' group formed

A new staff support team for homosexual police officers working inBerkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire has been formed.

The group will focus on tackling homophobic behaviour in the workplace andimproving relations with local gay and lesbian communities.

Work to create the Thames Valley Gay Police Association has been under wayfor the last six months.

A force spokesman said he hoped the team would improve public services.

Pc Alistair Melling, chair of the association, said: "We want to improve ourcontacts in the gay and lesbian communities of the Thames Valley and usethese to benefit the public.

"A good network of contacts will help us provide a better service to victimsof hate crime; give good advice and guidance to people with queries orconcerns and it will allow us to give specialist assistance to our ownofficers in certain operational situations."


Crowd expected for cross-gender city manager's appeal

By: Alexandra Hackett

Largo, Florida - The Largo city commission chambers are quiet and empty onthis morning, but it's the pre-cursor to what may be the longest and loudestpublic hearing in city history.

"Because of the number of speakers we anticipate to come out we're going tobe using our lobby as a staging area for speakers, so we're not going to beable to have people wait in the lobby," said Largo Communications Manager,Heather Graves.

City manager Steve Stanton's decision to change his sex and his name iscreating quite a buzz - a buzz that drew more than 500 people to a February27th city commission meeting where he was fired from his job.

Stanton is appealing the commission's decision. A public hearing is set forthis Friday but the situation is a first for the city, so officials willspend the week figuring out how to handle the meeting and all the peopleexpected.

"Even if you can't gain access to the building," Graves said, "you will havean option to come into the building when you are called."


Behavioral intervention reduces risk of HIV spread
Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:50PM EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People living with HIV infection who participatein a psychotherapy program can significantly reduce their risk oftransmitting the virus, the results of the Healthy Living Project show.

The program consists of "cognitive-behavioral" therapy, a type of counselingthat focuses on the key role that thinking plays in feelings and behaviors.Proponents of this therapy believe that unwanted feelings and behaviors canbe changed by alteration of the thinking patterns that lead to them.

Dr. Stephen F. Morin of the University of California, San Francisco andcolleagues assigned 936 individuals with HIV infection, and at risk oftransmitting the virus, to the cognitive-behavioral therapy or to nointervention.

The program consisted of fifteen 90-minute sessions, covering three modules.One module consisted of stress, coping and adjustment behaviors; the secondinvolved teaching safer behaviors; and the third was a program of healthybehaviors.

Follow-up assessments were conducted at 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 months. Thegoal was to see if the behavior intervention reduced a person's HIVtransmission risk, defined as "the number of unprotected sexual risk actswith persons of HIV-negative or unknown status," the team reports in theJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.


Arrests Continue For Gay Equality Riders
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 22, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(Provo, Utah) For the second year in a row members of an LGBT religiousgroup have been arrested at Brigham Young University in Provo.

The nondenominational group Soulforce is crisscrossing the nation on twobuses, stopping at schools that bar openly gay students. At Brigham Young,a Mormon college, the group staged a peaceful rally after being told theywould be arrested if they entered the campus.

But two people - a mother and her son - were charged with trespassing whenthey attempted to deliver a letter to university officials outlining whatthey said was homophobia at the school

Last year, 29 members of Soulforce were arrested when they entered thecampus to engage students in a dialogue and refused an order to leave.

Also on Thursday four Soulforce members were arrested after they walked ontothe campus of Mississippi College in Clinton.


Oregon Renews Bid To Pass Gay Equality Law
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 22, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Salem, Oregon) The Oregon Senate has passed a bill that would bandiscrimination based on sexuality. The measure now moves to the Housefollowing the 21 - 7 vote in the upper chamber.

The Oregon Equality Act would amend the state's non-discrimination laws toprohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, employment,public accommodation, education and public services statewide.

Currently, there is nothing in state statute making it illegal to evict agood tenant, deny a patron service at a restaurant or refuse to hire aqualified candidate just because of a person's real or perceived sexualorientation.

While non-discrimination ordinances have been successfully implemented in ahandful of Oregon cities and counties, this has resulted in an inconsistentpatchwork of laws across Oregon.

The legislation has the support of Gov. Ted Kulongoski.


Soulforce activists jailed in Texas, threatened with citations inMississippi

Two weeks into Equality Ride 2-wherein 50 young gay and straight activistsare touring the country in two buses with a mission to initiate dialogue at32 Christian colleges that have policies silencing or excluding LGBTstudents-participants have been jailed in Texas and threatened withcitations in Mississippi.

Two weeks into Equality Ride 2-in which 50 young gay and straight activistsaffiliated with Soulforce are touring the country in two buses with amission to initiate dialogue at 32 Christian colleges that have policiessilencing or excluding LGBT students-participants have been jailed in Waco,Texas, where Riders attempted to visit Baylor University, and have beenthreatened with citations at Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss.

Currently, five Equality Riders and one Baylor student are being held inMcClennan County Jail in Waco. They were arrested Tuesday on criminaltrespassing charges after writing messages of support for LGBT students inchalk on sidewalks on the Baylor campus.According to a Soulforce press release, bail has been set at $2,000 each.

Also on Tuesday, eastbound riders were informed by Clinton police that theywould be cited if they attempted to gather in a group of four or more nearthe campus of Mississippi College-this after being told during earliernegotiations that the riders were considered terrorists and would be treated"just like America dealt with 9/11," according to the release.

Soulforce immediately contacted the American Civil Liberties Union ofMississippi, which intervened on the group's behalf. After ACLU-Mississippistaff attorney John Williams cited Supreme Court precedents establishingprior restraint on the right to assemble as "the most serious and leasttolerable infringement on First Amendment rights," Clinton policeimmediately withdrew the restrictions.

On Thursday riders were planning a peaceful vigil on a public sidewalkadjacent to the Baylor campus, while on Friday the westbound riders wereplanning to march around the outskirts of Brigham Young University in Provo,Utah, where they've already received a notice of trespassing andproclamation of arrest if they enter church or university property. (TheAdvocate)


U.S. appeals court blocks order for Ugandan lesbian's deportation

A federal appeals court in Minneapolis has blocked the deportation of aUgandan woman who was seeking asylum because she was persecuted in herhomeland for being a lesbian, sending her case back to the Board ofImmigration Appeals for further proceedings.

A three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals said the BIAmisapplied the law and overstepped its authority in the case of OliviaNabulwala, who sought asylum after the U.S. government tried to deport herfor overstaying her visitor's visa.

According to Nabulwala, while she was in Uganda her father became very angryand an aunt physically abused her when she came out to her family while shewas inhigh school. She said she needed hospitalization overnight after amob attacked a meeting of a lesbian rights group she belonged to while shewas attending university in Uganda, and on another occasion two relativesarranged for her to be raped by a stranger. She came to the U.S. in 2001.

Courts have established that gay people can qualify for asylum because ofpersecution or a well-founded fear of persecution, the 8th Circuit panelnoted.

But the immigration judge in Bloomington, Minn., who handled Nabulwala'scase, Joseph Dierkes, denied her application, even though he found her story"generally credible" and said he did not doubt she suffered in Ugandabecause of her orientation.


Texas gay bar torched

Police in Denton, Texas, are investigating a fire that started earlyWednesday at a gay nightclub. According to The Dallas Morning News, MablePeabody's Beauty Parlor and Chainsaw Repair was vandalized and then torched.Owner Kelly Sanders said she has owned the club for 13 years.

"I wonder if it could have been a gay-bashing deal," Sanders told the News."I have no idea."

Denton fire marshal Rick Jones said the fire was reported about 5:30 a.m.and that forensic evidence would be tested at a lab. The nature of the fireindicates it is an arson case because several fires were started indifferent areas of the bar.

The club was opened 27 years ago at a time, Sanders said, when it was braveto open a club in that area for gays and lesbians. (The Advocate)


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

PNP warns gay officers not to sway hips

Article posted March 22, 2007 - 11:06 PM

The Philippine National Police issued a warning to gay officers not swaytheir hips or display other suggestive behavior while on duty ? or theycould risk losing their jobs.

"If they sway their hips while marching, or if they engage in lustfulconduct, I think that will be a ground for separation," Philippine NationalPolice or PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Samuel Pagdilao said Thursday.

Pagdilao said the police department does not discriminate againsthomosexuals, but will not hesitate to fire those who misbehave.

"As an institution, the PNP does not look at or interfere with one's sexualpreference," Pagdilao told Manila Radio DZXL. "But it does look at itsmembers' conduct. If they behave within the norm, I don't think we'll have aproblem."

The Philippines has a reputation for tolerance toward homosexuality.

However, a party representing lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenderedpeople was recently refused registration for May congressional elections onthe grounds that it does not have nationwide chapters. Its members areappealing. - AP


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Lies We Teach Teenagers
Julie Sternberg
March 21, 2007

Julie Sternberg is a senior staff attorney with the American Civil LibertiesUnion Reproductive Freedom Project.

Adolescence. We've all been there, and I would bet that most everyoneremembers how awkward it can be. Hormones surge. Bodies transform. Andsuddenly there are a lot of questions about sex, pregnancy and sexuallytransmitted diseases. Teens often cobble together answers to these new andembarrassing questions, yet the information they come up with is oftenuniformed, ill-advised, or downright wrong.

And so we, the adults, attempt to help teens navigate these tricky waterswith instruction in school that provides truthful information, helping themmake healthy choices and avoid the perils of unintended pregnancy anddisease.

The problem is somewhere along the way this system was hijacked by anideological agenda, leaving teens to suffer the consequences.

If you're like the majority of Americans, 75 percent to be exact, by the ageof 20 you've had sex without being married to your partner. By the age of 44that percentage rises to 95 percent. These figures, from a recent studypublished in Public Health Reports, make clear that engaging in sex beforemarriage is the cultural norm in the United States and has been for decades.

Yet our government is downright obsessed with abstinence until marriage. Infact, since 1996, the federal government has poured more than a billiondollars into programs that are required to promote abstinence untilmarriage, and forbidden from teaching about contraception, unless it is toemphasize failure rates.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


by Selwyn Duke
March 21, 2007

The Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist TheologicalSeminary in Louisville, Ky., recently penned an article that has both fellowevangelicals and homosexual activists feeling none too gay. Mohler raisedthe ire of the former group by stating that science may very well provethere is a biological basis for homosexuality; he then sent the latter groupinto a tizzy by reasserting that homosexual behavior is sinful and thatmodern science may offer prenatal remedies for it.

That homosexuality may have a basis in biology is rejected by many on theright for the same reason it is embraced by homosexuals. The reasoning isthat if such feelings are biologically-induced, then homosexual behavior isneither sinful nor a choice. Thus, the genesis of same-sex attraction hasbecome a locus of debate in the culture war. The truth is, however, thatboth sides have fallen victim to a misconception, one I have long wanted todispel.

Any biological basis for homosexuality would only be relevant insofar aspreventing the condition is concerned; it has no bearing on morality. Thisis for a very simple reason: Biology doesn't determine morality.

Think about it. Many of the same people who tell us homosexuality is inbornalso claim that sociopaths (those without consciences and who exhibitantisocial behavior) may be born and not made. But, if this is true, wouldthat render it moral for these individuals to trample the rights of others?If one is born with homicidal instincts, would it be licit for him to commitmurder? Don't scoff, for it's precisely the same reasoning; either moralityis dictated by biology or it isn't.

How we answer this question has profound implications for the future, andthis is why relativistic single-issue activists - who are often blinded byan all-consuming passion to promote their cause - are so dangerous. We mustnot embrace the fiction that biology has any bearing on morality whatsoever,not in the name of legitimizing homosexuality or in that of any other issue,no matter how great or small. Even if the issue were a noble one, to do sowould constitute the setting of a dangerous philosophical precedent simplyto achieve a short-term social victory.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says yes. It waswhat he was raised to believe, Pace told the Chicago Tribune last week. It'simmoral, like adultery, and that's why the military's "Don't ask, don'ttell" policy should continue. His comments made it inevitable that thequestion would be asked of all the presidential candidates.

First up, Hillary Clinton. She blinked. "Well, I'll leave that to others toconclude," she said.

The next day, Clinton released a statement saying she didn't believehomosexuality was immoral, sort of. Later, she released another, clearerstatement. That didn't do much to assuage the disappointment amongprogressives that she can't seem to say what she thinks on the first try.

To be fair, the leading Republican candidates (McCain, Giuliani and Romney)were able to get away with statements calling for respect and tolerance,while avoiding questions of morality.

Among the other Democrats, Barack Obama initially ignored questions shoutedto him when he was campaigning, then released a statement saying he didn'tagree that homosexuality was immoral. John Edwards said right away that hedidn't "share" Pace's view.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

March 16, 2007, 4:14 pm
McCain Stumbles on H.I.V. Prevention
By Adam Nagourney

SOMEWHERE in NORTHERN IOWA - The unthinkable has happened. Senator JohnMcCain met a question, while sitting with reporters on his bus as it rumbledthrough Iowa today, that he couldn't - or perhaps wouldn't - answer.

Did he support the distribution of taxpayer-subsidized condoms in Africa tofight the transmission of H.I.V.?

What followed was a long series of awkward pauses, glances up to the ceilingand the image of one of Mr. McCain's aides, standing off to the back,urgently motioning his press secretary to come to Mr. McCain's side.

The upshot was that Mr. McCain said he did not know this subject well, didnot know his position on it, and relied on the advice of Senator Tom Coburn,a physician and Republican from Oklahoma.

His press secretary, Brian Jones, later reported that Mr. McCain had arecord of voting against using government money to finance the distributionof condoms.

All this took place on the second day of the reprise of the "Straight TalkExpress" bus trips that Mr. McCain made a central part of his campaign in2000. It also comes as Mr. McCain has eagerly been trying to ease strainswith social conservatives in the party who, for the most part, do notsupport using government money to pay for condoms.A transcript of the encounter follows.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Voice for homosexuals: A hero in the fight for gay rights

Despite a number of death threats, the efforts of William Hernandez, praisedby Sir Elton John for speaking up for gays and lesbians, are finally beingrecognised. By David Usborne

Published: 22 March 2007

When William Hernandez sees countries as varied as Britain, the UnitedStates and South Africa taking steps towards equal rights for homosexuals,he can be excused for feeling mixed emotions.

Last week, the revolution came even to the neighbours of his owncountry, El Salvador, when Mexico City splashily boasted its first civilunion between two men.

Mr Hernandez celebrates because those changes have been driven by peopleexactly like himself - activists fighting to raise awareness of the plightof gay, lesbian and transgender members of society and agitating forpolitical reform. But he weeps also, because he knows that while thestruggle is scoring victories in some corners of the world, in too manyothers, the road to equality remains daunting and often dangerous.

Indeed, Mr Hernandez, 36, may know that better than almost anyone. Ashead of a gay and lesbian organisation in El Salvador called the AsociacionEntre Amigos - the Among Friends Association - he has made himself a targetnot just of harassment and pressure by what he believes are agents of thepolice, the government and Christian groups but also of repeated deaththreats. The most recent incident came one summer day last year. "I willkill you before you get married," the gunman whispered.

But if the outlook for gay rights in El Salvador remains bleak - withlegislation afoot in congress specifically to outlaw gay marriage though aconstitutional amendment - Mr Hernandez is at least increasingly winning theattention of his brethren activists abroad.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Indiana Gay Marriage Proposal Takes New Turn

Cummins Says It's Against Same-Sex Marriage Ban

UPDATED: 5:14 pm EDT March 21, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS -- The battle over gay marriage took a new turn at the IndianaStatehouse Wednesday as members of a House committee heard the controversialmeasure.

The committee did not vote on the measure, and there's now some doubt ifthey ever will, 6News' Norman Coxreported.

House Rules Committee Chairman Scott Pelath, a Democrat from Michigan City,ended a marathon hearing on the same-sex marriage ban by announcing that hewants members to think hard about how they want to handle it. Pelath saidhe's open just about any possible solution.

The measure would be controversial enough with only its first section, whichbans same-sex marriage.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Spring 2007 issue of "mental health AIDS" now available

Dear HIV Educators, Clinicians, Researchers, Colleagues, and Friends:

The Spring 2007 issue of "mental health AIDS," a quarterly biopsychosocialresearch update on HIV and mental health, is available online at

This issue's "tool box":

"All That Is Sacred: A Primer on Spiritual Assessment"

Numerous studies attest to the importance of religion and spirituality tomany people who are living with HIV/AIDS. Gathering, analyzing, andsynthesizing spiritual and religious information as part of a comprehensiveapproach to clinical assessment can help to answer diagnostic questions andcontribute to treatment planning. A two-stage spiritual assessment process,based on Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations(JCAHO) requirements, is outlined in this tool box.

"mental health AIDS" is sponsored by the Center for Mental Health Services(CMHS) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration(SAMHSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) andis disseminated free-of-charge through the SAMHSA Web site in both PDF andHTML formats.

I invite you to click through and explore this issue in the format of yourchoice. I also encourage you to pass along the Web page address toeducators, clinicians, researchers, colleagues, students, and friends(individually or via listserv) who may have interest in gaining access tothis unique Internet resource.


Gay 'Day of Silence' Meets With Protest
Christian Students Respond with 'Day of Truth'

By Norm Kent

The voice of silence GLSEN ( sought for April 18, 2007 theymay not get so quietly or quickly.

As it has in the past, GLSEN, the Gay and Lesbian Straight EducationNetwork, has planned a National Day of Silence for students nationwide nextmonth.

The project allows for students to be quiet all day in a yeoman's effort toprotest the discrimination, harassment and abuse of lesbian, gay, bisexualand transgender students and their allies in schools.

The participating students will be wearing stickers and passing out'speaking cards' that read:

"Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating inthe Day of Silence, a national youth movement protesting the silence facedby lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies inschools.

My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by harassment,prejudice, and discrimination. I believe that ending the silence is thefirst step toward fighting these injustices.

Think about the voices you are not hearing today. What are you going to doto end the silence?"


Express Gay News

Soulforce members arrested at Miss. College
Baptist college wouldn't allow group on campus
CLINTON, Miss. (AP) | Mar 23, 9:05 AM

Five members of a gay rights group who were arrested after they walked ontothe campus of Mississippi College were released after paying $250 fineseach.

The five were among 20 members of the Soulforce Equality Ride who arrived atthe private Baptist College to protest what the group claims are theschool's oppressive policies.

Mississippi College officials said Wednesday that Soulforce members wouldnot be allowed on campus.

"I've done this a few times now," Katie Higgins, 24, of Charleston, S.C.,said as she was handcuffed and put into a police van.

On its Web site, Soulforce says it stands for "freedom for gay, lesbian,bisexual and transgender people from religious and political oppressionthrough the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance."


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There are no worldwide protests to support the Zimbabwean struggle

By Peter Tatchell

The Independent - London - 22 March 2007

Large sections of liberal and left opinion have gone soft on theircommitment to universal human rights. They rightly condemn the excesses ofUK and US government policy, but rarely speak out against oppressors who arenon-white or adherents of minority faiths. There are no mass protestsagainst female genital mutilation, forced marriages, the stoning of womenand gender apartheid in the Middle East.

A perverse interpretation of multiculturalism has resulted in race andreligion ruling the roost in a tainted hierarchy of oppression. In the nameof "unity" against Islamophobia and racism, much of the left toleratesmisogyny and homophobia in minority communities. It rejects common standardsof rights and responsibilities; demanding that we "make allowances" and show"sensitivity" with regard to the prejudices of ethnic and faith communities.This attitude is patronising, even racist. It judges minority peoples bydifferent standards.

A moral hierarchy has shaped public policy on discrimination. Legislationagainst racism is much tougher than legislation against homophobia. Racialslurs provoke far stronger public condemnation than sexist ones. Someliberals and left-wingers mute their condemnation of intolerance when itemanates from non-white people; whereas they would strenuously denouncesimilar prejudice if it was being vented by whites against blacks or byChristians against Muslims. They argue that we have to "understand" bigotsfrom racial and religious minorities; yet few of them ever urge the same"understanding" of white working class bigots.


The New York Times

March 23, 2007
Edwards Says Wife's Cancer Has Returned

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., March 22 - John Edwards, the North Carolina Democrat,said Thursday that his wife's cancer had returned in incurable form. Heproclaimed that he would continue his bid for the presidency, saying, "Thecampaign goes on strongly."

The announcement here by Mr. Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, followed anemotional 72-hour stretch.

On Monday, Mrs. Edwards reported pains to her doctor and learned that hercancer might have returned. On Tuesday, Mr. Edwards cut short a trip in Iowato fly back on a charter plane. The couple, alone, went to the University ofNorth Carolina hospital on Wednesday for a daylong battery of tests thatconfirmed the diagnosis.

The tests completed, the Edwardses summoned a handful of aides to the livingroom of their home near here at 6 p.m. Wednesday, where Mr. Edwards informedthem of the diagnosis and Mrs. Edwards said the campaign would continueunabated, participants said. The session was described as emotional, withseveral aides fighting back tears.

Across Chapel Hill and back in Washington, Mr. Edwards's aides andsupporters reacted to details of Mrs. Edwards's condition - that the cancer,if incurable, was treatable - with deep relief. The news of Mr. Edwards'scutting short his Iowa trip had created anxiety and alarm among his campaignaides and supporters familiar with her earlier battle with breast cancer.


The New York Times

March 23, 2007
New to Job, Gates Argued for Closing Guantánamo

WASHINGTON, March 22 - In his first weeks as defense secretary, Robert M.Gates repeatedly argued that the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba,had become so tainted abroad that legal proceedings at Guantánamo would beviewed as illegitimate, according to senior administration officials. Hetold President Bush and others that it should be shut down as quickly aspossible.

Mr. Gates's appeal was an effort to turn Mr. Bush's publicly stated desireto close Guantánamo into a specific plan for action, the officials said. Inparticular, Mr. Gates urged that trials of terrorism suspects be moved tothe United States, both to make them more credible and because Guantánamo'scontinued existence hampered the broader war effort, administrationofficials said.

Mr. Gates's arguments were rejected after Attorney General Alberto R.Gonzales and some other government lawyers expressed strong objections tomoving detainees to the United States, a stance that was backed by theoffice of Vice President Dick Cheney, administration officials said.

As Mr. Gates was making his case, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joinedhim in urging that the detention facility be shut down, administrationofficials said.

But the high-level discussions about closing Guantánamo came to a halt afterMr. Bush rejected the approach, although officials at the National SecurityCouncil, the Pentagon and the State Department continue to analyze optionsfor the detention of terrorism suspects.

The base at Guantánamo holds about 385 prisoners, among them 14 seniorleaders of Al Qaeda, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who were transferredto it last year from secret prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency.Under the Pentagon's current plans, some prisoners, including Mr. Mohammed,will face war crimes charges under military trials that could begin laterthis year.


The New York Times

March 23, 2007
Foiled by the Gun Lobby

In a sleazy political stroke, Republicans played the gun lobby's cardyesterday as the House was on the verge of redressing one of thelongest-running injustices of American democracy: the denial of aCongressional vote to the taxpayers of the District of Columbia. Thehistoric proposal for full representation in the House was derailed by aG.O.P. motion to attach a ban on Washington's legitimate attempts to outlawfirearms in the city limits. Democratic leaders had to retract the bill andpromise to prevail later without such a poison pill.

The D.C. voting rights bill is not perfect, rooted in a political deal thatawarded Republican Utah a fourth House seat in exchange for creating afull-fledged House seat for the heavily Democratic District. But the measurehas the moral edge in rescuing D.C.'s citizens from a political limbo datingback to post-Revolutionary concerns about theoretical mob demonstrations atthe seat of government. Now their sons and daughters are among thosefighting and dying in behalf of that government's policy of spreadingdemocracy abroad.

The House upset followed a last-minute statement of opposition from the Bushadministration - ever the sensitive defender of the Constitution.Representative Tom Davis, the Virginia Republican who conceived thepragmatic measure, fought hard. But the injection of the powerful gun lobby's interests split the coalition behind the D.C. bill.

The procedural torpedoing is only the latest insult in the city's longhistory as a Congressional vassal. Not until 1964 were residents allowed tovote for president, and the home rule election of a city government wasn'tpermitted until nine years later. The District now has an absurd shadowpresence in the House, with the elected delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton,allowed a say only in committee but no vote on the floor. After so manyyears of subjecting D.C. to its whims and special interest politics,Congress must finally right this historical wrong.


The New York Times

March 22, 2007
Gore Warns Congress of 'Planetary Emergency'

WASHINGTON, March 21 - It was part science class, part policy wonk paradise,part politics and all theater as former Vice President Al Gore came toCongress on Wednesday to insist that global warming constitutes a "planetaryemergency" requiring an aggressive federal response.

Mr. Gore, accompanied by his wife, Tipper, delivered the same blunt messageto a joint meeting of two House committees in the morning and a Senate panelin the afternoon: Humans are artificially warming the world, the risks ofinaction are great, and meaningful cuts in emissions linked to warming willhappen only if the United States takes the lead.

While sparring with Representative Joe L. Barton, a Texas Republicancritical of his message, Mr. Gore resorted to a simple metaphor. "The planethas a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor." He added, "Ifthe doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say 'I read a sciencefiction novel that says it's not a problem.' You take action."

In the House, there was little debate about the underlying science; theatmosphere was more that of a college lecture hall than a legislativegive-and-take. But in the Senate, James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, the rankingRepublican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, set a pugilistictone, challenging Mr. Gore's analysis of the dangers of climate change fromhurricanes and melting ice in Antarctica.

"It is my perspective that your global warming alarmist pronouncements arenow and have always been filled with inaccuracies and misleading statements," Mr. Inhofe said.


The Washington Post

Ready for Another Tough Campaign
Her Cancer Back, Elizabeth Edwards Remains Open and Upbeat

By Lynne Duke and Lois Romano
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, March 23, 2007; C01

Not once did the shadow of fear cross her face. Elizabeth Edwards stoodbefore the nation, a graceful fighter steeled for personal tragedy again.The cancer is back and in her bones, a lung and possibly elsewhere. The newsseemed worse than bad. Yet Edwards conveyed no hint of being hobbled by anincurable cancer. Self-pity was nowhere on the scene.

"Is this a hardship for us? Yes, it's yet another hurdle," she said. "ButI've seen people who are in real desperate shape who don't, first of all,have the wonderful support that I have and have no place to turn."

With an openness that thrust her personal travails square into the publicand political arena, Edwards, 57, laughed at times, seemingly free of stressas she spoke forthrightly yesterday about her health and its implicationsfor her life and her husband's presidential campaign.

She appeared relaxed, fully in command of the public space she occupied asshe couched her health status in the most optimistic terms possible, sayingof her marriage, "We're going to always look for the silver lining. It iswho we are as people, and we'll continue to do it."

John and Elizabeth Edwards stood together, a battle-tested couple once againmeeting the public. Both lawyers, they have lived a life of prosperity andgood fortune but also suffered devastating loss. Their firstborn, Wade, diedat 16 in a 1996 car accident. In 2004, at the end of her husband's vicepresidential campaign, she received a diagnosis of breast cancer. And now,in the midst of his campaign for the presidency, comes news of her cancer'srecurrence.


The Washington Post

Choosing to Live

By Eugene Robinson
Friday, March 23, 2007; A17

It was riveting to watch John and Elizabeth Edwards tell the world that eventhough her cancer has returned and is now deemed incurable, the Edwardscampaign for the presidency will go on. No hiatus. No break from fundraisingor travel. Just "keep your head up and keep moving and be strong," thecandidate said.

How could they possibly go on? I think there are better questions to ask.How could they not go on? What choice did they have but to continue with themission they have set for themselves, and how else could they do it buttogether, as a partnership?

To me, there seemed nothing forced about the smiles they wore as they madetheir announcement yesterday. Perhaps if Elizabeth Edwards had faced a lesscertain prognosis, we wouldn't have heard that quality in the couple'svoices that sounded almost like serenity. But the fact that the breastcancer for which she was treated following the 2004 campaign is nowestablished in the bone does not leave much room for ambiguity. Doctors sayshe can be treated -- perhaps for years -- but not cured.

So this isn't quite the same thing as facing death -- Elizabeth Edwards hasa better idea of what she'll die of than most of us, but not of when. Sheand her husband are facing life, perhaps quite a few years of life, but withcancer an ever-present third party, an intruder who cannot be sent away.

The question, then, was not how to go about dying, but how to go on living.


The Washington Post

Unnecessary Scandal

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, March 23, 2007; A17

Alberto Gonzales has to go. I say this with no pleasure -- he's a decent andhonorable man -- and without the slightest expectation that his departurewill blunt the Democratic assault on the Bush administration over the firingof eight U.S. attorneys. In fact, it will probably inflame their blood lust,which is why the president might want to hang on to Gonzales at leastthrough this crisis. That might be tactically wise. But in time, and thesooner the better, Gonzales must resign.

It's not a question of probity but of competence. Gonzales has allowed ascandal to be created where there was none. That is quite an achievement. Hehad a two-foot putt and he muffed it.

How could he allow his aides to go to Capitol Hill unprepared andmisinformed and therefore give inaccurate and misleading testimony? Howcould Gonzales permit his deputy to say that the prosecutors were fired forperformance reasons when all he had to say was that U.S. attorneys serve atthe pleasure of the president and the president wanted them replaced?

And why did Gonzales have to claim that the firings were done with nocoordination with the White House? That's absurd. Why shouldn't there beWhite House involvement? That is nothing to be defensive about. Does anyoneimagine that Janet Reno fired all 93 U.S. attorneys in March 1993, givingthem all of 10 days to clear out, without White House involvement?

The Bush administration fired eight. Democrats are charging that this wasdone for reasons of politics and that politics have no place in the legalsystem. This is laughable. U.S. attorneys are appointed by the president -- and, by tradition, are recommended by home state politicians of the sameparty, not by a group of judges or a committee of the American BarAssociation. Which makes their appointment entirely political.


The Washington Post

An Inside-the-Bushies Mentality
By David Ignatius
Friday, March 23, 2007; A17

If you read the obituary pages of The Post each morning, you encounter thekinds of people who are being trashed by the Bush administration's contemptfor public servants. On a typical day, perhaps a third of the obits featuresuch people -- career lawyers at the Justice Department; intelligenceanalysts at the CIA; researchers in government agencies.

These weren't fancy Beltway insiders. They weren't famous enough to be askedtheir opinions on "Hardball" or "The McLaughlin Group." They were civilservants who came to Washington in the 1940s, '50 and '60s with theiruniversity degrees and a touch of idealism because they wanted to make adifference. They were the mainstays of the churches and synagogues andvolunteer organizations of this region, the people who stayed late to cleanup after everybody else had gone home.

Who were they? This week's obits included an 86-year-old research physicistwith the Navy; a 57-year-old Justice Department trial lawyer; an 86-year-oldadministrative law judge; an 85-year-old Foreign Service officer who servedwith her husband in Saigon, Kabul and Rome; a 95-year-old woman who was aCIA officer for 25 years; an 87-year-old woman who served in the Women'sArmy Corps in World War II and stayed on at the Pentagon. If you've evertalked to people at a retirement home in the Washington area, you know howpassionate they can be about good government. They gave up money andprominence because they believed in public service.

What infuriates me about the Bush administration is its disdain for peoplelike these. You sense that scorn reading the e-mails that have surfaced inthe flap over the firings of U.S. attorneys. I don't think the story is muchof a scandal. U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, and hecan fire whomever he wants.

What interests me about the Justice e-mails is that they are a piece ofsociology, documenting the mind-set of the young hotshots and ideologues whopopulate the
Bush administration.

Here's Kyle Sampson, now-deposed chief of staff to Attorney General AlbertoGonzales, griping about a U.S. attorney in Phoenix who had the effrontery towant to make his case personally: "In the 'you won't believe this category,'Paul Charlton would like a few minutes of the AG's time." And here's BrentWard, the director of a Justice Department task force who made his name asan anti-pornography crusader grumbling that he doesn't want to deal with theU.S. attorney in Las Vegas: "To go out to LV and sit and listen to the lameexcuses of a defiant U.S. attorney is only going to move this wholeenterprise closer to catastrophe."


The Washington Post

My National Security Letter Gag Order
Friday, March 23, 2007; A17

It is the policy of The Washington Post not to publish anonymous pieces. Inthis case, an exception has been made because the author -- who would havepreferred to be named -- is legally prohibited from disclosing his or heridentity in connection with receipt of a national security letter. The Postconfirmed the legitimacy of this submission by verifying it with theauthor's attorney and by reviewing publicly available court documents.

The Justice Department's inspector general revealed on March 9 that the FBIhas been systematically abusing one of the most controversial provisions ofthe USA Patriot Act: the expanded power to issue "national securityletters." It no doubt surprised most Americans to learn that between 2003and 2005 the FBI issued more than 140,000 specific demands under thisprovision -- demands issued without a showing of probable cause or priorjudicial approval -- to obtain potentially sensitive information about U.S.tizens and residents. It did not, however, come as any surprise to me.

Three years ago, I received a national security letter (NSL) in my capacitys the president of a small Internet access and consulting business. Theletter ordered me to provide sensitive information about one of my clients.There was no indication that a judge had reviewed or approved the letter,and it turned out that none had.

The letter came with a gag provision that prohibited me from telling anyone,including my client, that the FBI was seeking this information. Based on thecontext of the demand -- a context that the FBI still won't let me discusspublicly -- I suspected that the FBI was abusing its power and that theletter sought information to which the FBI was not entitled.

Rather than turn over the information, I contacted lawyers at the Americanivil Liberties Union, and in April 2004 I filed a lawsuit challenging theconstitutionality of the NSL power. I never released the information the FBIsought, and last November the FBI decided that it no longer needs theinformation anyway. But the FBI still hasn't abandoned the gag order thatprevents me from disclosing my experience and concerns with the law or thenational security letter that was served on my company. In fact, thegovernment will return to court in the next few weeks to defend the gagorders that are imposed on recipients of these letters.


The Washington Post

Musharraf at the Exit
By Ahmed Rashid
Thursday, March 22, 2007; A21

LAHORE, Pakistan -- In the rapidly unfolding crisis in Pakistan, no matterwhat happens to President Pervez Musharraf -- whether he survivespolitically or not -- he is a lame duck. He is unable to rein inTalibanization in Pakistan or guide the country toward a more democraticfuture.

Since March 9, when Musharraf suspended the chief justice of the SupremeCourt, Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, public protests have escalated everyday -- as has a violent crackdown by the police and intelligence agencies onthe media and the nation's legal fraternity.

The legal convolutions about Chaudhry's dismissal boil down to one simplefact: He was not considered sufficiently reliable to deliver pleasing legaljudgments in a year when Musharraf is seeking to extend his presidency byfive more years, remain as army chief and hold what would undoubtedly berigged general elections.

Musharraf's desire to replace Chaudhry with a more pliable judge has badlybackfired. After just 10 days of protests, lawyers around the country havemade it clear to the senior judiciary that they will not tolerate furtherlegal validations for continued military rule or tolerate Musharrafremaining as president. At least seven judges and a deputy attorney generalhave resigned in protest.

Across the country, in law offices, in the media, among the oppositionparties and other organized sections of civil society, the feeling isgrowing that Musharraf will have to quit sooner rather than later. Aftereight years of military rule it appears people have had enough.


The Washington Post

A Brave New World of Political Skulduggery?

Anti-Clinton Video Shows Ease of Attack In the Computer Age

By Howard Kurtz and Jose Antonio Vargas
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, March 23, 2007; A03

The instant popularity of an attack video that mocked Sen. Hillary RodhamClinton (D-N.Y.) prompted plenty of talk this week about how an ordinarycitizen can influence political discourse by tapping into the power of theYouTube culture.

But the unmasking of the filmmaker as an employee of a company on thepayroll of Clinton's Democratic presidential rival, Sen. Barack Obama(Ill.), raises questions about whether the more old-fashioned art ofpolitical chicanery was at play.

Phil de Vellis, who worked for the firm that designed Obama's Web site, BlueState Digital, says no one at the company or in Obama's camp knew he hadmade the video depicting Clinton as the droning voice of a totalitarianestablishment. Obama and his aides say they had no idea who was behind the74-second ad, which has been viewed online more than 2 million times, andwhich closes by flashing Obama's Web address.

Blue State yesterday provided a Feb. 10 e-mail in which de Vellis boasted ofhis role in the Obama effort: "Check out Barack's new website. . . . Oneshameless look at me plug, I designed the MyBarackObama toolbox that is onthe front page and all the sidebar pages."

Thomas Gensemer, managing director of Blue State, a District-based onlinestrategy firm, said he fired de Vellis Wednesday night. "This is anunfortunate situation all around," he said. Gensemer said his firm hasprovided only technical assistance, not creative services, to the senator'scampaign. Joe Rospars, Obama's new media director, is on leave from BlueState.


Worldwide TB Battle Hampered By HIV/AIDS & Drug Resistant Strains
by The Associated Press
Posted: March 22, 2007 - 7:00 pm ET

(London) Health experts see a glimmer of hope in the fight againsttuberculosis for the first time since the disease's spread was declared aglobal emergency more than a decade ago.

But although global tuberculosis rates are leveling off, the emergence ofdrug-resistant versions of the disease - combined with the AIDS pandemic -is complicating control efforts.

A new report issued Thursday by the World Health Organization found that therate of TB - the number of infections per 100,000 people - leveled off in2005, the last year for which comprehensive data was available. The reportwas released ahead of World Tuberculosis Day on Saturday.

"This is a breakthrough," said Dr. Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary ofWHO's Stop TB Partnership. "It's the first time we've had good news aboutthe epidemic since 1993."

Worldwide, the rate of tuberculosis has stabilized at less than 150 casesper 100,000 people - although in Africa, it is more than double, at nearly350 cases per 100,000 people.


March 22, 2007, 9:00PM
Survey: Allegiance to GOP plunges
In a 'dramatic shift' since 2002, half now identify with Dems, 35% with

Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON - Public allegiance to the Republican Party has plunged since thesecond year of George W. Bush's presidency, as attitudes have edged fromsome of the conservative values that fueled GOP political dominance for morethan a decade, a survey has found.

The nonpartisan Pew Research Center for People and the Press survey found a"dramatic shift" in political party identification since 2002, whenRepublicans and Democrats were at rough parity. Now, half of those surveyedidentified with Democrats, while only 35 percent aligned with Republicans.

What's more, the survey found public attitudes are drifting towardDemocrats' values: Support for government aid to the disadvantaged has grownsince the mid-1990s, skepticism about the use of military force hasincreased and support for family values has edged down.

Those findings suggest that Republicans' challenges reach beyond theunpopularity of the Iraq war and Bush.

"Iraq has played a large part; the pushback on the Republican Party has todo with Bush, but there are other things going on here that Republicans willhave to contend with," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew ResearchCenter. "There is a difference in the landscape."


LA Times,0,5175303,print.story?coll=la-opinion-center

Don't expect the truth from Karl Rove
Bush's top political aide has built his career on diverting and deceiving;he'd do the same under oath.

By James C. Moore

JAMES C. MOORE co-wrote "Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. BushPresidential" with Wayne Slater.

March 23, 2007

CONGRESS WANTS TO hear from Karl Rove, and members want him sworn in. Ratherthan accept a politically expedient deal from the White House - a no-oathinterview - Senate and House committees have approved subpoenas for Rove andothers. Lawmakers hope to figure out whether Rove hatched the plan to fireU.S. attorneys who were not hewing to the Republican Party's politicalplaybook.

Whether Rove chats or testifies, Congress will surely be frustrated. AskingRove questions is simply not an effective method of ascertaining facts.Reporters who, like me, have dogged the presidential advisor from Texas toWashington quickly learn how skilled he is at dancing around the peripheryof issues. Any answers he does deliver can survive a thousandinterpretations. Few intellects are as adept at framing, positioning andspinning ideas. That's a great talent for politics. But it's dangerous whendealing with the law.

Rove has testified under oath before investigative bodies twice, and inneither case was the truth well served. In 1991, he was sworn in before theTexas state Senate as a nominee to East Texas State University's board ofregents. The state Senate's nominations committee, chaired by Democrat BobGlasgow, was eager to have Rove explain his relationship with FBI agent GregRampton.

Rampton was a controversial figure in Texas, and Democrats suspected thathe'd been consorting with Rove for years. During the 1986 gubernatorialrace, when a listening device was discovered in Rove's office, it wasRampton who investigated. No one was ever charged - and Democrats suspectedthat Rove planted the bug himself to distract reporters from the falteringcampaign of his client, Bill Clements (who won the election).

Then, in 1989, Rampton launched a series of devastating investigations intoevery statewide Democratic officeholder in Texas, including AgriculturalCommissioner Jim Hightower. Rove (at the time running Republican RickPerry's campaign for that job) often leaked things to reporters, such aswhose names were on subpoenas before they were issued.


March 22, 2007, 10:32PM
Gonzales must go - to put an end to pseudo-scandal


ALBERTO Gonzales has to go. I say this with no pleasure - he's a decent andhonorable man - and without the slightest expectation that his departurewill blunt the Democratic assault on the Bush administration over the firingof eight U.S. attorneys. In fact, it will probably inflame their bloodlust,which is why the president might want to hang on to Gonzales at leastthrough this crisis. That might be tactically wise. But in time, and thesooner the better, Gonzales must resign.

It's not a question of probity, but of competence. Gonzales has allowed ascandal to be created where there was none. That is quite an achievement. Hehad a two-foot putt and he muffed it.

How could he allow his aides to go to Capitol Hill unprepared andmisinformed and therefore give inaccurate and misleading testimony? Howcould Gonzales permit his deputy to say that the prosecutors were fired forperformance reasons when all he had to say was that U.S. attorneys serve atthe pleasure of the president and the president wanted them replaced?

And why did Gonzales have to claim that the firings were done with nocoordination with the White House? That's absurd. Why shouldn't there beWhite House involvement? That is nothing to be defensive about. Does anyoneimagine that Janet Reno fired all 93 U.S. attorneys in March 1993, givingthem all of 10 days to clear out, without White House involvement?

The Bush administration fired eight. Democrats are charging this was donefor reasons of politics, and that politics have no place in the legalsystem. This is laughable. U.S. attorneys are appointed by the president -and, by tradition, are recommended by home state politicians of the sameparty, not by a group of judges or a committee of the American BarAssociation. Which makes their appointment entirely political.


The LA Times,0,660399,print.column?coll=la-util-opinion-commentary


Don't sell Barack 'Obambi' short
The Clinton campaign desperately seizes on Obama's politeness over hiscorrect position on the Iraq war.

Rosa Brooks

March 23, 2007

BARACK OBAMA is learning - the hard way - that no good deed goes unpunished.Hillary Clinton's campaign has already gone after him with charges ofnegative campaigning. But in case that doesn't work, they're also goingafter him for being . too polite.

Charges of negativity are a campaign season staple, so in February, whenClinton-pal-turned-Obama-supporter David Geffen went public with some choiceobservations about Hillary, ("everybody in politics lies, but [the Clintons]do it with such ease"), it was no surprise to see the Clinton campaignrespond by accusing Obama of tolerating attack politics.

That backfired. The fracas made Clinton look thin-skinned and vindictive,and Obama's poll numbers climbed. And though it's too soon to say, the samething's likely to happen if the Clinton campaign tries to blame Obama forthe anti-Clinton "1984" YouTube mash-up created by Philip de Vellis.

With its efforts to paint Obama as a negative campaigner showing so littlepromise, the Clinton campaign is shifting to a new tack. Now it is goingafter Obama for having tried to be polite about an issue that's become oneof Clinton's greatest liabilities.

That would be her October 2002 vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq.That vote - and her continued refusal to call it a mistake - has manyDemocrats wondering just why she was so very wrong about the Bushadministration's case for war when a political newcomer like Obama was sovery right.


Detroit News

GOP hopefuls court feuding evangelicals

Republican presidential candidates in tight spot as conservative Christiansbattle over shifting views.

Rachel Zoll / Associated Press

As they court the evangelicals who have become so crucial to their party,Republican presidential candidates are stepping into the middle of a familyfight.

Christian conservative activists are more split than ever over whether tokeep the movement's focus on abortion, marriage and sexual chastity -- orscrap that approach as too narrow.

The founders of the religious right, now in the twilight of theirleadership, see even the suggestion of expanding the agenda as a dangerousdistraction. In public, and sometimes in personal ways, they are trying tobeat back the challenge.

"It's an ongoing debate within the house of evangelicals," said MichaelCromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, aconservative Washington think-tank.

In November, some Christian conservatives condemned pastor and best-sellingauthor Rick Warren for inviting Sen. Barack Obama to speak at an AIDS summitat his church. Obama, campaigning for the Democratic presidentialnomination, supports abortion rights.


Detroit News

Both houses OK subpoenas in attorney firings

Laurie Kellman / Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Senators joined the House on Thursday in approving subpoenasto force President Bush's political adviser and other aides to testify aboutthe firings of federal prosecutors, setting off new efforts to avoid adragged-out court fight.

Democrats portrayed the subpoena authority, approved on voice vote by boththe House and Senate Judiciary committees, as a bargaining chip innegotiations over the terms of any testimony by White House politicaladviser Karl Rove.

The committees' chairmen, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Rep. John Conyers,D-Detroit, appeared in no rush to issue subpoenas to White House officialsand provoke a standoff.

Talks continued behind the scenes, officials said, even as the White Houseand majority Democrats engaged in strategic posturing before the cameras.

In letters Thursday, Senate and House Democrats rejected White House counselFred Fielding's offer to let Rove and other administration officials talkabout their roles in the firings, but only on Bush's terms: in private, offthe record and not under oath.


Early voting could upend presidential primary season
By Julia Silverman, Associated Press Writer | March 21, 2007

SALEM, Ore. --Early voting poses an under-the-radar challenge to Iowa andNew Hampshire's long-prized status as the first in the nation to decidepresidential preferences.

Voters in a number of the states that are circling the Feb. 5 presidentialprimary date -- including California, Oregon and Montana -- could begincasting ballots as early as Jan. 5, nine days before the Iowa caucuses.

In at least 10 of the possible Feb. 5 primary states, estimates are thatmore than 30 percent of voters cast their ballot before Election Day inNovember 2004, some in person at county elections offices, and some viamail-in ballots.

Political analysts say the early voting trends in those states could forcepresidential candidates to recalibrate their strategies and resources in analready crowded primary season.

Paul Gronke, a political science professor at Oregon's Reed College and thedirector of the Early Voting Information Center there, said the early votingtrends combined with the Feb. 5 primaries are a boon for the "well-funded,well-known campaign. You have to begin your mobilization efforts so muchearlier -- you simply cannot ignore those absentee voters."


The Washington Post

E-Mails Show Machinations to Replace Prosecutor
Administration Worked for Months to Make Rove Aide U.S. Attorney in Arkansas

By Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, March 23, 2007; A01

Two months before Bud Cummins was fired as U.S. attorney in Little Rock, aprotege of presidential adviser Karl Rove was maneuvering with the JusticeDepartment to take his place.

Last April, Tim Griffin, a Rove aide and longtime GOP operative, sent theattorney general's chief of staff a flattering letter about himself writtenby Cummins, the prosecutor he was trying to replace, internal e-mailsreleased this week show. Rove and Harriet Miers, then the White Housecounsel, were keenly interested in putting him in the position, e-mailsreveal.

New documents also show that Justice and White House officials werepreparing for President Bush's approval of the appointment as early as lastsummer, five months before Griffin took the job.

The unusual appointment of Griffin, now serving as the interim U.S. attorneyin Little Rock, has been one of the central issues in the JusticeDepartment's firing of eight U.S. attorneys, which led to this week'sconstitutional showdown between Congress and the White House over thetestimony of some of Bush's closest advisers.

Some of the thousands of pages of e-mails released this week underscore theextraordinary planning and effort, at the highest levels of the JusticeDepartment and White House, to secure Griffin a job running one of thesmaller U.S. attorney's offices in the country.


The Washington Post

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/23/2007
The Line: Shaking Up the GOP Presidential Rankings
Wow. What a week.

Former Sen. John Edwards's (D-N.C.) announcement on Thursday that his wife'scancer has returned -- but that he will remain in the race -- was yetanother reminder of just how unpredictable politics can be.

It's tough to gauge what impact Elizabeth Edwards's cancer relapse will haveon the contest. As we wrote yesterday, there are more questions than thereare answers right now.

For the moment, Edwards stays in third place in our ranking of theDemocratic field -- behind Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and BarackObama (Ill.). On the Republican side, however, we have a new No. 1!

As always, the No. 1 candidates below are the ones most likely to win theirparty's nomination in 2008. It's still early in the cycle and much canchange, so don't be too disappointed if your favorite candidate doesn'tcrack the top five at the moment. The comments section is open for debate.


[Send your comments about articles to]


FLORIDA DIGEST March 23, 2007

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


By Paul Harris
The Independent

This coming weekend is going to be one of the busiest in this year's SouthFlorida Gay Calendar. There are four major events in Broward Countyguaranteeing that there is something for everybody.

For the full article contact


Forwarded from Jesse Monteagudo

Cong. Etz Chaim Men's Club screens "The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob" (Apr.

The Men's Club of Congregation Etz Chaim will resume its Jewish film serieson Thursday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. "The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob"(1974) is a French farce directed by Gerard Oury and starring the legendarycomic Louis De Funes as a bigoted businessman who must disguise himself as aChasidic rabbi in order to escape terrorists. In addition to thisfun-filled movie, pizza and sodas will be served. All this will take placeat the home of a Men's Club member, located near the Synagogue in WiltonManors. A $5 donation will be requested to pay for refreshments. Forinformation, reservations, and directions phone the Men's Club at (954)567-8599, extension 3 and leave a message for Jesse.

For More Information contact the CEC Men's Club at (954) 567-8599, ext. 3


REMINDER... Join us for a town hall meeting on this pressing topic currentlybeing debated in the Florida legislature:


Sunday, March 25, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
First ongregational Church
2501 NE 30th St., Fort Lauderdale
(Near the Target at Oakland Park Blvd. & Federal Hwy.)

For information on the Palm Beach meeting on the 27th,


From Florida GLBT Democrats


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.


Thursday, 22 March 2007 09:05
Florida Palm Beaches Celebrates Pridefest this Weekend

Broadway star Frenchie Davis will headline the fourteenth annual PrideFestof the Palm Beaches being held on March 24 and 25, at Bryant Park in LakeWorth, Florida.

The event plans to attract nearly 10,000 people from South Florida and theTreasure Coast. Davis, who was a contestant on season two of the hit showAmerican Idol, is performing in "Rent" on Broadway, and played Effie Whitein the West coast tour of "DreamGirls."

Davis will be performing on the Saturday of PrideFest. Saturday's otherfeatured entertainment includes a variety of folk rock, indie, and soulfulmusic by Bev McClelland, Steph Taylor and Ashland Miller. Miami Beach's DJOren Nizri will return to spin soulful house music, rounding out Sunday'swide range of entertainment, including Latin dance sensation Shelina andfolk rock band Halcyon.


Dateline: April 22, 2007

Celebrating Life: Concert Series,

Sunday, April 22, 2007 at 3:00 pm with featured artist: Diana
Solomon-Glover, Soprano, from The Riverside Church, New York.

Guest Artists: Cantor Ann Turnoff, Boca Raton, FL. and The Florida AtlanticUniversity Gospel Choir, Boca Raton, FL. The concert is being held at CasonUnited Methodist Church, 342 North Swinton Avenue, Delray Beach, FL.Presented by the Project People Foundation, of New York, "Celebrating Life"is a concert to commemorate, celebrate, and honor AIDS orphans andunder-employed women living in the townships of South Africa. Monies raisedwill be used to provide hope, empowerment and new life to those touched bythe AIDS pandemic in South Africa.

For additional information contact: Rev. Ron Pearson or Ms. VickieHenderson, Cason United Methodist Church, office: 561-276-5302 or ProjectPeople Foundation, office: 212-870-6702, ore-mail:

For more information on this Community Calendar event please contactReverend Ron Pearson, Cason United Methodist Church, 561-860-3331 or e-mailto


The Express Gay News

Poverello to hold spring fund-raiser

'Evening in Marakesh' is theme for event at Hyatt Pier 66
Mar. 16, 2007

"An Evening in Marakesh" is the theme for the Poverello Center's annualcharity gala on March 24 at the Hyatt Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale. ThePoverello Center operates a thrift shop and food bank in the Shoppes ofWilton Manors. All proceeds from the dinner benefit Poverello's mission toprovide food and basic living essentials to people living with HIV/AIDS inBroward County. The Sheehan family is sponsoring the event.

For more information, call 954-561-3663 or go to

HERE'S A FREE TICKET: The Broward Center for the Performing Arts willconduct the final volunteer orientation session for new ushers for thecurrent arts season on April 4 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Ushering offers volunteers the opportunity to expand their artistichorizons while contributing to the cultural community of South Florida.Volunteers commit for the entire season to one of 10 weekly time periods,choosing from seven evening and three matinee performance schedules. Whenvolunteering, ushers receive free parking and the opportunity to seeperformances. There is a one-time $10 fee for a uniform bowtie and name tag.

The orientation session includes a tour of the Broward Center and anintroduction to ushering. Volunteers are eligible to begin usheringperformances upon completion of orientation.


To All MedicaidAdvocates.Com Members and Friends:

Below you will find a story from today's TBO.Com on the Medically NeedyShare of Cost Program and changes that have been proposed by fellowActivists and Advocates from the "Florida Transplant Survivor's Coalition"on all of our behalf.

If any of you have not already included your name on these petitions, pleasecontact the FTSC to do so, and also contact your State Legislators to urgetheir support of these changes as they are extremely important, especiallynow that most of us receive our medications under the Medicare Part "D"program.

Kudos and thanks need to go out from each one of us to our fellow AdvocatesAnd Activists at the "Florida Transplant Survivors Coalition" and especiallyto their Executive Director, Mary Ellen Ross, for spearheading this effortand delivering the petition to the Legislators in Tallahassee on all of ourbehalf.


Bill Rettinger, Co-Founder


'Medically Needy' Program Requires Overhaul, Patients Say

Published: Mar 23, 2007

Chronically ill patients asked lawmakers Thursday to repair a Medicaidprogram they say is broken, now that changes to the federal Medicare programmake it harder for them to qualify for state assistance.

But with the budget process barreling along and most committee work nearingan end, their crusade faces tough odds.

The Medicaid Medically Needy program serves chronically ill people with lowincomes that aren't quite low enough to qualify them for full Medicaidbenefits. The program subsidizes such patients only when their monthlymedical bills climb high enough.

For many such patients who also qualify for the federal Medicare program,Medicare Part D has made it almost impossible to qualify as Medically Needy.


Tax plan goes from bad to worse
Published March 23, 2007

Republicans in the Florida House have achieved something trulyextraordinary. They have managed to rewrite their terribly flawed tax reliefproposal and make it worse, a feat previously thought to be impossible. Itis time for adult supervision from the governor and the Senate to steer thisdebate back into reality.

Forcing drastic cuts in government spending through property tax rollbacks,abolishing property taxes on homesteads and replacing some of the money byraising the state sales tax by 2.5 cents would be short-sighted andirresponsible. For starters, it would create even more inequities andreplace a stable tax source with one that is regressive and less reliable.The response by House Speaker Marco Rubio and his team to the rising chorusof critics only underscores the folly of this approach.

First, Republicans agreed to exempt 30 poor counties from the property taxrollback because it would ruin them. Now they have rewritten a proposedconstitutional amendment to call for voters in each county to decide whetherto raise the local sales tax by up to 1.5 cents to replace property taxes onhomesteads. And since the legislators can't figure out a formula fordistributing sales taxes back to local governments and taxing districts inlieu of property taxes, they would dump that problem on local officials aswell. Better ideas have been drawn up on cocktail napkins as bartendersserved a final round.


Palm Beach Post

Crist gets teacher bonus bill
By Michael C. Bender

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Friday, March 23, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - School districts and teachers unions could decide how todistribute $147.5 million in bonus pay for Florida teachers under a billapproved Thursday by the legislature and expected to be signed into law byGov. Charlie Crist.

"This is a great first step in recognizing the value our teachers have inshaping the future of our children," Crist said. "We must continue torecruit and retain the best and brightest to teach our children, and we mustpay them more."

The House approved the bill 110-4 on Thursday, a day after it receivedunanimous approval from the Senate.

Democrats offered an unsuccessful amendment to raise teacher salaries to thenational average, then later joined with Republicans to support the bill.The bill repeals Gov. Jeb Bush's merit pay plan, which required bonus cashto be distributed largely based on FCAT scores.

Instead, the new plan would let districts set the bonus amount between 5percent and 10 percent of the average teacher salary in the district,allowing bonuses for as many as half of all teachers in that district. Testscores still would be a factor in who gets the bonuses, but principals'evaluations also would play a role.


St. Petersburg Times

Clock's ticking for Universal Health Care
The insurer, under state orders, must add $150-million to its reserves bytoday.

Published March 23, 2007

The future of Universal Health Care's fastest-growing Medicare plan - andits 80,000 members in eight states - will be decided today when the St.Petersburg insurer faces a state-imposed deadline to add at least$150-million to its reserves.

And there are signs the decision is coming down to the wire.

On Thursday evening, Universal postponed a previously scheduled 9 a.m. pressconference until mid-afternoon today. Bob O'Malley, a spokesman forUniversal, said two investment firms have been reviewing the company's books"top to bottom" to arrive at a valuation for the business.

O'Malley said Universal was considering several options, but he declined tobe more specific or name potential suitors.

On Feb. 21, Florida regulators demanded that Universal immediately put$11-million in reserves and gave it until today to come up with an estimated$150-million more to cover claims for its Medicare private fee-for-serviceoption, known as the Any, Any, Any plan.


Palm Beach Post

Coal plant opposition grows
By Kristi E. Swartz

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Friday, March 23, 2007

The bumps in the road for Florida Power & Light Co.'s proposed coal-firedpower plant in Glades County are becoming a little more frequent.

The Sierra Club Inc. and three other environmental groups have told stateutility regulators that if FPL conserved more energy, it wouldn't have tobuild the plant, or any other, in 2013.

Also, a small group of local residents is accusing Glades Countycommissioners of doctoring land-use and zoning ordinances without tellingthe public to pave the way for FPL's plant.

And Gov. Charlie Crist recently told The Palm Beach Post editorial boardthat he's "very unexcited" about the suite of coal plants planned forFlorida over the next 10 years, including FPL's, which would be near theEverglades - an area he's vowed to clean up.

"I'd rather not do it at all. I'd rather have solar, I'd rather havenuclear, I'd rather have wind power," Crist said.


Palm Beach Post

approves Everglades restoration project
By Dara Kam

Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau

Friday, March 23, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Senate approved a plan Thursday that would broadenthe geographic area of a massive Everglades restoration project and expandthe cleanup of Lake Okeechobee to its estuaries, the St. Lucie andCaloosahatchee rivers.

The measure (SB 392), one of Gov. Charlie Crist's top environmentalpriorities, received unanimous support and now goes to the House, where italso expects favorable treatment.

The proposed law would add $100 million more a year from the state to helpclean up and divert the waters north of Lake Okeechobee. That extra money ismeant to encourage federal lawmakers to beef up their contributions to the$3.7 billion Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project.

"Marjory Stoneman Douglas said that the Everglades is a test. If we pass it,we just may save the planet," said Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres,chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Everglades Oversight. "I dothink that this bill will truly help Florida, help the United States, helpour children and their children for years to come."

Under the 2000 Everglades cleanup agreement, the federal government wassupposed to provide $200 million a year for projects while the state wassupposed to purchase the land.


[Send your comments about articles to]


Thursday, March 22, 2007

GLBT DIGEST March 22, 2007

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


Soulforce Equality Ride Update
March 21, 2007

Two weeks ago, 50 young men and women boarded two buses and set out on aremarkable journey. Their mission: to initiate conversations about faith andsexuality at 32 Christian colleges with policies that silence or excludelesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students. This week, theRiders face their toughest challenges yet as the westbound bus travels toBrigham Young University (BYU) in Utah and the eastbound bus travels toMississippi College in Mississippi.

Thus far, the Riders have shared moments of reconciliation, prayer, andconnection with conservative Christian students at colleges on two separateroutes across the nation, but they have also faced harassment andintimidation. Their bus was defaced with anti-gay slurs in Sioux Center,
Iowa and they were met by armed police on the rooftops at Central BibleCollege in Missouri.

Currently, 5 Equality Riders and 1 Baylor University student are being heldin the McClennan County Jail in Waco, Texas. The Riders were arrestedTuesday on criminal trespassing charges after they wrote messages affirmingLGBT students in chalk on Baylor sidewalks. The Riders' bail has been set at$2,000 each, which is equivalent to the maximum fine under Texas law.

Riders are also facing organized, official resistance as they prepare tovisit BYU, where Mormon Riders have been banned from their own church, andClinton, Miss., where police officials attempted to abridge the Riders'constitutional rights.

To read more of this Equality Ride update click here.

To help the rider's pay their bail please click here

Throughout their two-month journey, the Equality Riders will be bloggingfrom the buses, including the posting of video clips. To read the dailyblogs go to


Forwarded from Al-Fatiha - LGBTIQ Muslims
Sat, Mar. 17, 2007

Gay themes introduced in British schools

By Don Melvin
Cox News Service

LONDON - In British schools, young children are learning that the princedoesn't always fall in love with a princess. And not every family includesMama Bear and Papa Bear.

A new pilot project is using picture books, the arts, drama and othertechniques to introduce gay themes to schoolchildren aged of 4 to 11.

In one picture book, "King & King," a prince fails to fall in love withthree different princesses before finally falling in love with a man.

In another, "And Tango Makes Three," a zookeeper realizes that two malepenguins are in love. He gives them an egg; the hatchling, Tango, grows upwith two fathers.

The project, called No Outsiders, is needed to combat the "absolutelymassive" problem of bias against homosexuals among British schoolchildren,said Elizabeth Atkinson, the director.

"There are more homophobic incidents in our schools than racist incidents,"she said.

This bias ranges, she said, from the casual and common use of the word "gay"as an insult to serious bullying of children with two parents of the samegender. Such bullying can do children serious harm, she said, prompting themto withdraw and causing their academic performance to decline.

But the project has had the effect of uniting conservative Christians andMuslims in opposition.

"Islam doesn't approve of that sort of behavior," said Tahir Alam, theeducation spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain. "It's morallyunacceptable."

Simon Calvert, a spokesman for the Christian Institute, did not return phonecalls seeking comment. But he told the Sunday Observer newspaper that the NoOutsiders project amounted to "the active promotion of homosexuality inschools."

"Let's arrange a series of meetings around the country where parents ofprimary school children can look at these books," he said. "The majoritywould be aghast."

The project has received nearly $1.2 million in government money, funneledthrough the Economic and Social Research Council, a nongovernmentalorganization that makes its own decisions on how to spend the grants itgets. Requests for comment from the council went unanswered.

The pilot project involves 14 schools in England. Atkinson said she hopesthe program will soon be extended.


The Express Gay News

Episcopal bishops firm on gay support
U.S. branch risks losing place in global Anglican family
NEW YORK (AP) | Mar 22, 6:42 AM

Episcopal bishops risked losing their place in the global Anglican familyyesterday by affirming their support for gays and rejecting a key demandthat they give up some authority to theological conservatives outside theU.S. church.

The Episcopal House of Bishops said it views the Gospel as teaching that"all God's children, including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equalparticipants" in the church. The bishops also said they would not agree toan Anglican plan for leaders outside the U.S. denomination to oversee thesmall number of conservative American dioceses that disagree.

"We cannot accept what would be injurious to the church and could well leadto its permanent division," the bishops said in a resolution from a privatemeeting in Texas.

"If that means that others reject us and communion with us, as some havealready done, we must with great regret and sorrow accept their decision."

The Episcopal Church is the U.S. wing of the 77 million-member AnglicanCommunion, a fellowship of churches that traces its roots to the Church ofEngland. But it is at theological odds with the vast majority of Anglicanchurches, which take a more conservative view on sexuality and other issues.


Times Online

March 22, 2007

Anglicans closer to schism as US bishops reject gay ultimatum
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

The Anglican Church took another step towards its apparently inevitableschism when US Episcopal bishops rejected the ultimatum from primates of theAnglican Communion to fall into line over homosexuals.

The bishops of the Episcopal Church accused Anglican primates of trying todrag their Church back into "a time of colonialism". They said late onTuesday night that they would resist the primates' demand that they set up anew pastoral scheme with a "primatial vicar" to make a traditionalistenclave for antigay conservatives who reject the oversight of liberalbishops. They said that the scheme "violated" their canons, or Church law.

Christian gays in Britain yesterday welcomed the US decision and accused theArchbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who chaired last month'sprimates' meeting in Tanzania, of trying to "sell them down the river" andof pandering to "forces of the extreme Right".

If the wealthy US Church, headed by the Communion's first woman primate,Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, is expelled from the Communion, as nowappears increasingly likely, the Anglican Communion worldwide will beplunged into financial crisis because so much of the central administrationand overseas aid is bank-rolled by the Americans.

Although the 2.3 million American Episcopalians are few among the 77 millionAnglicans worldwide, they are understood to finance up to one third of theCommunion's total international budget.


The Chicago Tribune,1,3955343,print.story?coll=chi-news-hed

Teen sues school over her anti-gay shirt
By Meg McSherry Breslin

Tribune staff reporter
March 21, 2007, 11:35 PM CDT

A student at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville filed suit Wednesday inU.S. District Court in Chicago, arguing that her school violated her civilrights by refusing to let her wear a T-shirt opposing homosexuality on moralgrounds.

The student is represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, a nationalorganization based in Arizona that has filed at least eight similar lawsuitsacross the country, said Gary McCaleb, senior counsel for the group.

McCaleb said the group is trying to "enable Christian students to express acontrasting viewpoint on homosexuality."

According to the suit, Heidi Zamecnik, a 17-year-old Naperville resident anda senior at Neuqua Valley, wore a T-shirt to school last April stating, "BeHappy, Not Gay."

Zamecnik donned her shirt in response to the Day of Silence, a nationalevent recognized by many schools. Students can refuse to speak during theschool day-even in response to faculty questions-to bring attention to theharassment of homosexuals.


The New York Times

March 21, 2007
Elton John Urges Fight Against Homophobia

Filed at 8:12 p.m. ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Elton John has paid tribute to gay rights campaigners andurged others around the world to ``stand up and speak out'' againsthomophobia.

The British singer, who tied the knot with long-term partner David Furnishin a civil ceremony, said people must stand up for the human rights ofhomosexuals.

``In December 2005, I was legally bound to the man I love,'' he wrote in theNew Statesman magazine. ``It's my legal right and my human right. And Iwanted everyone to know, I wanted to shout about it.

``In some countries, my voice would have been drowned out. Maybe evenstamped out.

``Men and women are persecuted and attacked every day all over the world,just because of who they love and who they make love to.''


The New York Times

March 21, 2007
Episcopal Bishops Reject Ultimatum

Filed at 9:01 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Episcopal bishops risked losing their place in the globalAnglican family Wednesday by affirming their support for gays and rejectinga key demand that they give up some authority to theological conservativesoutside the U.S. church.

In strong and direct language, the Episcopal House of Bishops said it viewsthe Gospel as teaching that ''all God's children, including gay and lesbianpersons, are full and equal participants'' in the church. The bishops alsosaid they would not agree to an Anglican plan for leaders outside the U.S.denomination to oversee the small number of conservativeAmerican dioceses that disagree.

''We cannot accept what would be injurious to the church and could well leadto its permanent division,'' the bishops said in a resolution from a privatemeeting in Texas.

''If that means that others reject us and communion with us, as some havealready done, we must with great regret and sorrow accept their decision.''

The Episcopal Church is the U.S. wing of the 77 million-member AnglicanCommunion, a fellowship of churches that traces its roots to the Church ofEngland. But it is at odds theologically with the vast majority of Anglicanchurches, which take a more conservative view on sexuality and other issues.


The Washington Post

4 Guilty in NYC Attack on Singer

The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 21, 2007; 11:12 PM

NEW YORK -- Four people who were accused of brutally beating a nightclubsinger and recording artist while yelling anti-gay slurs pleaded guiltyWednesday to assault charges.

The four began following Kevin Aviance around 1:30 a.m. on June 10, 2006after he left a gay bar in the city's East Village neighborhood, calling himderogatory names, police said.

They threw two garbage bags and a paint can at the singer before attackinghim and yelling anti-gay slurs, police said.

The defendants punched and kicked Aviance, 39, breaking his jaw and causingother injuries, police said. Passers-by yelled for the attack to stop, andwhen it was over a man walked Aviance to a hospital.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg denounced the attack as "a disgrace."


The Express Gay News

Sweden takes step toward allowing gay marriage
Proposal expected to receive parliamentary approval
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) | Mar 21, 8:13 PM

Sweden took a step toward allowing gay marriage on Wednesday when agovernment-appointed committee proposed expanding the rights of same-sexcouples.

Sweden has recognised civil unions between homosexual couples since 1994,but does not permit gay marriages.

If the new law is passed, couples who have entered such unions wouldautomatically be considered legally married, said Hans Regner, who led thecommittee that presented the proposal.

"Two men or two women should be able to wed, and in the future be calledspouses," Regner said. "All the rules for heterosexual spouses will beapplied also to homosexual couples."

Same-sex marriage is legal in five other countries: Canada, Belgium, theNetherlands, Spain and South Africa. In the United States, only the statesof Massachusetts allows gay marriage.


The Express Gay News

Fate of Indiana's gay marriage ban amendment uncertain
After three hours of testimony, House panel fails to vote
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) | Mar 21, 8:22 PM

Backers and opponents of a proposed state constitutional ban on gay marriagepresented more than three hours of testimony before a House committeeWednesday, but no vote was taken and its prospects for advancing - and inwhat form - were uncertain.

Democratic Rep. Scott Pelath of Michigan City, chairman of the House RulesCommittee, said the panel's members "need time to meditate on this over theweekend" to determine the next step.

That could include voting on the amendment without changes, or voting firstto remove a provision that critics say could have unintended consequences onother laws or domestic partner benefits some employers provide to unmarriedcouples.

Proponents have said that if any of the language is changed, it wouldrestart the lengthy amendment process.


The Advocate

March 22, 2007
Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act reintroduced

A bill expanding the definition of hate crimes and the government'sauthority to track and fight them was reintroduced late Tuesday in the U.S.House of Representatives, which last year passed the bill only to see it diein the Senate.

A bill expanding the definition of hate crimes and the government'sauthority to track and fight them was reintroduced late Tuesday in the U.S.House of Representatives, which last year passed the bill only to see it diein the Senate.

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act was introduced byDemocratic representative John Conyers of Michigan and Republicanrepresentative Mark Kirk of Illinois, along with more than 100 other membersof Congress. The Senate is expected to introduce a bipartisan companion billnext month.

The legislation adds sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity tolocal hate crimes that the U.S. Justice Department has the authority toinvestigate. It makes grants available to states and localities for traininglaw enforcement and for investigating and prosecuting these hate crimes.

It has been approved separately in the House and Senate several times since2000, but final passage has always been blocked by the House'sthen-Republican eaders.


The Advocate

Syphilis on the rise among gay men in Arizona

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says syphilis, asexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria, is on the rise among gaymen in Maricopa County, Arizona, reports Arizona State University's WebDevil online newspaper, at

Syphilis cases have tripled among gay men in Maricopa County in the pastthree years, reaching 175 cases in 2006. In the same year there were 142cases among heterosexual people. Last year was the first year since the1980s that syphilis cases among gay men outnumbered cases amongheterosexuals.

Syphilis can be transmitted through fluids or skin-to-skin contact and mayincrease risk of HIV infection if herpes and syphilis sores are present.

Freddy Roman, assistant director of the Wellness and Health Promotiondepartment at Arizona State, which is in the Maricopa County of Tempe, saysstudents don't always practice safe sex.

"Young people in general are taking risks that will expose them to sexuallytransmitted infections." Roman said.


The Advocate

HIV drug exceeding expectations in clinical trials

The Melbourne, Australia-based biotech company Avexa is getting closer todeveloping its antiviral HIV drug apricitabine (ATC), reports the Web siteof The Australian national newspaper. ATC is for the treatment of patientswho have drug-resistant HIV.

Avexa announced this week the results of its latest phase trial for ATC, andCEO Julian Chick said the drug exceeded expectations. All 47 patients in the21-day trial showed significant improvement after taking ATC.

All of the patients who received ATC recorded more than an 85% reduction inthe level of HIV in the blood, and one patient had a decrease of 99.7%. Thepatients in the control group had only a minimal reduction in HIV levels.

"The benefit to HIV patients is that it gives them another opportunity toreduce the virus levels in the blood, therefore prolonging their lives,"said Chick.

No side effects were reported, and researchers found no evidence of anATC-resistant virus developing during the trial phase.


The National Gay News

Tuesday, 20 March 2007 20:54

Honors Students Committed to Advocacy of Equal Rights

By Rob Sepulveda
NGN Correspondent

It was five years ago that Hofstra University School of Law, based inHempstead, New York on Long Island, launched an unprecedented fellowshipprogram for students engaged in advocacy on behalf of the lesbian, gay,bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

"This program demonstrates Hofstra's commitment to equality and its supportfor LGBT individuals," stated Nora V. Demleitner, the newly appointedInterim Dean of the Hofstra School of Law, which was founded in 1970.

As part of the program, each year, the law school selects up to three (3)fellows from among students admitted to the entering J.D. class.

Fellowships are awarded to students who have demonstrated a commitment toand intend to pursue careers advocating on behalf of the LGBT community. Thefellowship is open to persons of all sexual orientations in recognition ofthe diversity of individuals who may ally themselves with sexual equality,and to underscore the importance of alliances between the LGBT community andthe community at large.

Scholarship awards include a substantial tuition fellowship each year overthree years of law school and up to two $5,000 summer stipends to support asummer externship related to LGBT advocacy.


N.H. Moves To Allow Gay Couples To Adopt
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 21, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Concord, New Hampshire) The New Hampshire House voted Wednesday to allowsame-sex couples to adopt, ending a patchwork of legal rulings in countiesthroughout the state.

Although the state Legislature repealed a ban on gay adoptions in 1999, gayparents in some counties cannot adopt a partner's children because ofvarying interpretations of the law by probate judges.

Single men and women, gay or straight, are allowed to adopt children in allcounties under state law.

Probate court judges in Hillsborough, Merrimack, Grafton and Cheshirecounties do not allow gay or lesbian couples to adopt children together orallow one to adopt the child of the other, because the law specifies thatmarried couples and single adults can adopt. Gays and lesbians are notallowed to marry in New Hampshire.

In the state's other six counties, judges have interpreted adoption law andcourt rulings more broadly to allow adoptions by gay and lesbian partners,as long as they can show they have a stable and loving home.

State Rep. Jayne Spaulding (R) said legislation is needed to end ambiguity,and called the present situation "neither fair nor just".


National Gay News

Tuesday, 20 March 2007 20:54
Hofstra Law Celebrates 5th Anniversary of LGBT Fellowships

By Rob Sepulveda
NGN Correspondent

It was five years ago that Hofstra University School of Law, based inHempstead, New York on Long Island, launched an unprecedented fellowshipprogram for students engaged in advocacy on behalf of the lesbian, gay,bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

"This program demonstrates Hofstra's commitment to equality and its supportfor LGBT individuals," stated Nora V. Demleitner, the newly appointedInterim Dean of the Hofstra School of Law, which was founded in 1970.

As part of the program, each year, the law school selects up to three (3)fellows from among students admitted to the entering J.D. class.

Fellowships are awarded to students who have demonstrated a commitment toand intend to pursue careers advocating on behalf of the LGBT community. Thefellowship is open to persons of all sexual orientations in recognition ofthe diversity of individuals who may ally themselves with sexual equality,and to underscore the importance of alliances between the LGBT community andthe community at large.

Scholarship awards include a substantial tuition fellowship each year overthree years of law school and up to two $5,000 summer stipends to support asummer externship related to LGBT advocacy.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

A call to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy concerning gays inthe military. A rebuke of a top general's comments on homosexuality. And acall for a special legislative session, in part to deal with a domesticpartners bill.

Gov. Bill Richardson has done all three in less than a week- shortlybefore two planned speeches to national gay rights groups. And onenonpartisan political observer said Tuesday the 2008 Democratic presidentialhopeful appears to be courting the gay vote, which she said is in play.

"It can be a pretty big vote- and it can be worth a lot of money,"said Jennifer Duffy, a senior editor for The Cook Political Report inWashington, D.C. "This does seem to be a group up for grabs, that has been alittle disappointed with the response they've gotten from the

Richardson presidential campaign spokesman Pahl Shipley said Tuesdaythat Richardson has a long record of promoting diversity and equality.

The governor "has been consistent throughout his career in fightingdiscrimination and supporting civil rights for all Americans," Shipley said."This is nothing new."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Fort Wayne IN --Board declines to hear journalism teacher'ssupporters-Indianapolis Star and another article: East Allen board haltsfree speech questions from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

The Associated Press

March 20, 2007 11:53 PM

Dozens of people who attended a school board meeting to support a suspendedjournalism teacher left frustrated when they were not allowed to speak.

The student editor of the Woodlan Junior-Senior High School newspaper saidsome staff members quit on Tuesday, the day after East Allen County Schoolsofficials placed teacher Amy Sorrell on paid leave pending a review ofwhether her contract should be terminated.

The action came two months after the student newspaper published asophomore's editorial advocating tolerance for homosexuals and officialsresponded by requiring the all future issues be approved by the principal ofthe 700-student school east of Fort Wayne.

School Board President Stephen Terry told those attending Tuesday night'smeeting they would not be allowed to discuss Sorrell's suspension, sayingthe board might in the future hear an appeal if she was fired.

"It's to preserve the rights of the teacher," Terry said.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

East Allen board halts free speech questions

By Krista J. Stockman

The Journal Gazette

NEW HAVEN - The East Allen County Schools Board refused to allow students,staff and parents to talk about Woodlan Junior-Senior High School'snewspaper controversy during a board meeting Tuesday.

Dozens of people packed into the board room to support journalism teacherAmy Sorrell, who was placed on paid leave Monday, and talk aboutfreedom-of-the-press issues.

But before anyone had a chance to address the board, the Rev. Stephen Terry,president of the board, said people would not be allowed to talk.

"It's to preserve the rights of the teacher," he said. The board at somepoint could be called on to hear an appeal if Sorrell is fired, and Terrysaid the board could not be swayed in any way before an appeal.

He said his decision was based on state law, but when Jack Groch, theIndiana State Teachers representative for East Allen, asked what the statutewas, he was told he was out of order.

Those attending the meeting walked out of the boardroom and stayed in theadministration building lobby while the meeting continued.


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