Thursday, May 10, 2007

GLBT DIGEST May 10, 2007

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


Report from Scott Long:

When I was in Paris in early April, just before the premier tour of theelection, I found the moving and pathetic statue of Colonel Dreyfus witha broken sword. Originally, in Chirac's first term, it was located inthe Tuileries; now, after protests from an unrepentant Right that it wasan unnecessary reminder of national shame, it has been moved to anobscure square near the Jardin de Luxembourg.

In his victory speech, Sarkozy gloated about how he would "break withthe ideas, habits and behaviors of the past, rehabilitate work,authority, morality, respect and merit. I want to give our nation andnational identity their honor back. I want to give back to the Frenchtheir pride to be French and do away with repentance which is a form ofself-hatred."

Chirac's tentative willingness to come to terms with France's legacy ofanti-semitism and colonialism is part of that "self-hating repentance"Sarkozy so loathes. In addition to allowing a monument to themistreatment of Dreyfus, Chirac at least hesitantly acknowledgedFrance's role in the deportation of Jews in the Second World War, andFrench massacres of Arab Muslims during the Algerian war. Sarkozy istoo morally minuscule a man to acknowledge historical responsibility,and too implicated in racism to be remotely concerned with equality. Andif he dismisses one minority sweepingly as a "racaille," he is hardlylikely to be friendlier to LGBT people. A person so contemptuous of thepast is not going to give gays much of a future.

Scott Long
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program
Human Rights Watch
New York, NY USA


US Anti-Gay, Other Conservative Groups Meet In Poland
by The Associated Press
Posted: May 9, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(New York City) Many prominent U.S. conservative groups are shifting theirattention overseas this week, organizing a conference in Poland that willdecry Europe's liberal social policies and portray the host nation as avaliant holdout bucking those trends.

The World Congress of Families is expected to draw more than 2,500 peoplefrom dozens of countries to Warsaw's Palace of Culture and Science fromFriday through Sunday.

The chief organizer is a Rockford, Ill.-based conservative think tank, theHoward Center. Co-sponsors include more than 20 other U.S. groups allied inopposition to abortion, gay marriage and other policies they blame forweakening traditional families in Western Europe.

"Europe is almost lost - to demographic winter and to the secularists," saysa planning document for the congress. "If Europe goes, much of the worldwill go with it. Almost alone, Poland has maintained strong faith and strongfamilies."

Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who will address the congress, heads aconservative government that has tangled frequently with European Unionofficials over such issues as gay rights and his nation's tough abortionlaws. Last month, after Polish officials proposed firing teachers whopromote homosexuality, the EU parliament asked its anti-racism center toexamine "the emerging climate of racist, xenophobic and homophobicintolerance in Poland."


National Gay News

Gay Pride Thwarted Again in Moldova

And other international news from Rex Wockner

Gay pride didn't go well in Moldova for the third year in a row.

Authorities in the capital, Chisinau, banned all public pride activitiesagain, despite a Supreme Court ruling that last year's ban was illegal.

The city says pride events threaten public order, offend Christian valuesand promote sexual propaganda.

Despite the ban, gay activists attempted to lay flowers April 27 at amonument to victims of repression. They were stopped by police, who said apermit was required for the action.

The flowers were then deposited at the officers' feet, said BorisBalanetkii, head of the pride organizing group GenderDoc-M.

"Police [said] GenderDoc-M has to have official permission of the City Hallto hold this event [but] later a representative of City Hall commented in aninterview ... that the actions of the police were not correct and in orderto lay flowers there is no need for any permission," Balanetkii said.



The President's Disingenuous Arguments Against Expanding the Federal HateCrime Law
Wednesday, May. 09, 2007

The original version of this column neglected to note the ThirteenthAmendment objection. Professor Dorf added discussion of this issue inresponse to a thoughtful note from Georgetown Law Professor MartinLederman. -- Ed.

With the House of Representatives poised to enact a bill that would expandcoverage of the federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated byanimosity on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, anddisability, quick Senate approval is also expected. But last week, PresidentBush threatened a veto. The law, his Administration said in an Office ofManagement and Budget (OMB) statement, is unnecessary, unfair, andunconstitutional.

The White House's objections are not entirely without merit. Hate-crime lawsdo raise difficult questions about the proper role of mental states inassessing criminality. Further, federal hate crime legislation raisesimportant questions about the proper division of responsibility between thestate and national governments. However, as I shall explain in this column,these cannot be the real grounds for the President's opposition--for if theywere, they would also provide reasons for repealing the existing federalhate crime law, which criminalizes hate crimes based on race, color,religion and national origin, but not gender, sexual orientation, genderidentity, or disability.


The Hidden Costs of America's Hypermasculine Culture
By Mark Dery, AlterNet
Posted on May 9, 2007, Printed on May 10, 2007

This article first appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

So there's a smoking crater where Don Imus used to sit. That's fine withthose of us who never understood the appeal of his grizzled-codger shtick,which, to me, always sounded like Rooster Cogburn reading The TurnerDiaries.

But if we're going to administer a ritual flaying to every blowhard who
channels the ugly American id, how is it that a hate-speech Touretter likeAnn Coulter has escaped the skinning knife? She called Democraticpresidential candidate John Edwards a "faggot" at the Conservative PoliticalAction Conference; insisted on The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch that BillClinton's "promiscuity" is proof positive of "latent homosexuality"; quippedon Hardball Plaza that Al Gore is a "total fag"; and wrote, in hersyndicated column, that the odds of Hillary Clinton "coming out of thecloset" in 2008 are "about even money."

Obviously, racism -- slavery, lynching, institutionalized discrimination --has taken a much greater toll, in this country, than homophobia. Accordingto the most recent FBI report on hate crimes (2005), most such attacks (54.7percent) were racially motivated; only 14.2 percent were inspired by thesexual orientation of the victim.


National Gay News

Gay Rights Taking Two Historic Steps in OR

One (bill) grants domestic partnerships. The other protects individuals fromdiscrimination based on sexual orientation at work, in housing or in publicplaces -- no matter where in the state they live. Both are expected to besigned by Gov. Ted Kulongoski.



AIDS Ignorance Revealed by Chinese Gay Hotline

China Daily has highlighted the work of a Guangzhou-based free hotline forhomosexuals. "Many of them call us repeatedly, asking everything they canthink of about AIDS despite the fact that they have tested negative forHIV," Xiao Shen told China Daily.

read more....


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Religious right at political crossroads

By Alexandra Alter
The Miami Herald
Tuesday, May 8, 2007

When nearly 1,000 Christian activists gathered in Fort Lauderdale two yearsago for the Center for Reclaiming America's annual political conference, themood was triumphant. Speakers hailed President Bush's reelection and theleaders rolled out ambitious plans:
launching a Capitol Hill lobbying arm, opening a dozen regional offices ndrecruiting activists in all 435 congressional districts.

No more. The center -- one of the country's leading Christian grass-rootspolitical organizations -- closed its Fort Lauderdale doors last month,sparking speculation about what its sudden demise means for the future ofthe religious right.

'It's a big loss,' said the Florida Prayer Network's Pam Olsen, who led aprayer rally Thursday to mark the National Day of Prayer at the stateCapitol. Olsen, who served as the state chairwoman for social conservativeoutreach for the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign, vowed a comeback: ``You will seethe Christian-values voters rise again.'


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Lawful incest may be on its way

Lawful incest may be on its way
By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist | May 2, 2007

WHEN THE BBC invited me onto one of its talk shows recently to talk aboutthe day's hot topic -- legalizing adult incest -- I thought of RickSantorum.

Back in 2003, as the Supreme Court was preparing to rule in Lawrence v.Texas (,a case challenging the constitutionality of laws criminalizing homosexualsodomy, then-Senator Santorum caught holy hell for warning that if the lawwere struck down, there would be no avoiding the slippery slope.

"If the Supreme Court says you have the right to consensual sex within yourhome," he told a reporter(,"then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you havethe right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right toanything."

It was a common-sensical observation, though you wouldn't have known it fromthe nail-spitting it triggered in some quarters. When the justices, voting6-3, did in fact declare it unconstitutional for any state to punishconsensual gay sex, the dissenters echoed Santorum's point

"State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution,masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are . . .called into question by today's decision," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote forthe minority. Now, Time magazine acknowledges: "It turns out the criticswere right."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

North Carolina Supreme Court Rules on Teen Sodomy
by New York Law School Professor Arthur S. Leonard, May 09, 2007 in LegalIssues

The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled on May 4 that although severalcriminal sex crimes statutes of the state specifically provide that it isnot a crime for young teens within three years of age to engage in variousforms of consensual sexual activity, this exception does not apply under thestate's antique "crime against nature" sodomy law. The ruling in Matter ofR.L.C., 2007 WL 1299443, drew a dissenting opinion from two justices, whocriticized the result as contrary to the intentions of the legislature.

When an Alamance County Deputy Sherrif, Bobby Baldwin, was investigating afight between young O.P.M. and another student at her school, he learnedfrom O.P.M., then 13, that the prior year she had engaged in sexual activitywith R.L.C., a boy a few years older than her. Baldwin then questionedR.L.C., who admitted that the prior summer O.P.M. had, as phrased by thecourt, "performed fellatio on him 'two [or] three times.'" Furtherinvestigation revealed that R.L.C. and O.P.M. were sitting in O.P.M.'sparents' car, which was parked in the lot next to a bowling alley, where theparents were busy bowling. According to the description by Justice Brady inthe opinion, the two were dating during that summer of 2003, R.L.C. being 14and O.P.M. 12. "During this relationship, the two juveniles had sexualintercourse and engaged in two separate incidents of fellatio in or aroundJuly and August of 2003 in the back seat of O.P.M.'s mother's sport utilityvehicle, which was parked in a bowling alley parking lot. O.P.M.'s parentswere inside bowling at the time of the sexual activity."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

US Asylum - Yes to Slovakia, No to Indonesia

by New York Law School Professor Arthur S. Leonard, Leonard Link, May 9,2007 in Legal Issues

In two opinions issued last week, unanimous panels of the U.S. Court ofAppeals for the 9th Circuit upheld the refusal of asylum to a gay man fromIndonesia, but reversed the Board of Immigration Appeals and orderedreconsideration of an asylum petition for a gay man from Slovakia.

The Slovakia ruling (2007 Westlaw 1296716) came on May 2. According to theunpublished memorandum opinion for the court, the petitioner "was kipnaped,beaten, and harassed by Slovak police on two occasions. Both encounterswere because of his sexual orientation. He fled to the United Kingdom andAustria before briefly returning to Slovakia. He then traveled to Mexico.He never applied for asylum while in Austria, the United Kingdom, or Mexico,nor attempted to gain lawful entry into the United States. Instead, [he]obtained a fake passport and was intercepted by border agents whileattempting to enter the United States illegally. He was charged withremovability... During a hearing before the IJ, [the petitioner] concededremovability and applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and CATrelief."

According to the court, the IJ found the petitioner to be credible, but "hedenied asylum relief because [the petitioner] never reported the beatings toSlovak authorities and therefore could not establish that the Slovakgovernment condones or acquiesces in such activities. The IJ additionallynoted he would deny asylum as a matter of discretion. The IJ also deniedthe withholding of removal claim, incorporating by reference the asylumanalysis, and CAT relief because [the petitioner] could not demonstrate thatit was more likely than not that he would be tortured if returned toSlovakia. The BIA affirmed the IJ's decision without comment."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

May 8, 2007

CONTACT: Ali Bay, Communications Manager
PHONE: (916) 284-9187 EMAIL:

Senate Committee Calls for End of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Resolution Authored by Sen. Kehoe and Sponsored by EQCA Asks FederalGovernment to Stop Discrimination Against LGBT Service Members

SACRAMENTO - Lawmakers on Tuesday approved a resolution calling on thefederal government to end the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policythat prevents lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people fromserving openly in the military.

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed SJR6, authored by Sen. ChristineKehoe, D-San Diego, and sponsored by Equality California, urging Congressand President George W. Bush to adopt the Military Readiness Enhancement Actof 2007 (H.R. 1246). The federal bill would prohibit discrimination in themilitary based on sexual orientation.

SJR6, which passed the committee by a 3-2 vote, is co-authored by a total of10 California lawmakers. The resolution is part of EQCA's "Empowering OurCommunities" legislative agenda.

"The U.S. military continues to discriminate against an entire community ofservice members simply because they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual ortransgender," said EQCA Executive Director Geoff Kors. "This blatantlydiscriminatory policy not only prohibits able and willing people fromdefending their country, it weakens our national defense by dischargingtalented and highly capable individuals."


The New York Times

May 10, 2007
Metro Briefing | New York

Manhattan: Gay Festival in Jeopardy

The organizers of PrideFest, the gay-themed street fair that generallyaccompanies the city's gay pride parade on the last Sunday in June, voted onTuesday night to tell city officials that they would cancel this year'sfestival unless they could find a better location. The members of Heritageof Pride, which organizes the festival and the parade, have said that theprevious site, in the West Village, was cramped and dangerous, and that theywanted to move to Chelsea. On April 27, city officials denied permission forthe change and urged the organizers to keep the event at the original site.The city's comptroller, William C. Thompson Jr., has sent the mayor a letterurging the city to reconsider


The New York Times

May 10, 2007
Op-Ed Contributor
A Player Who Never Found His Stage

A LITTLE over a decade after he came in as the young hope of a New Britain,Tony Blair, who is expected to announce his resignation date today, is afigure vilified and loathed by his own party and disliked by people inBritain at large.

There is, however, one good legacy he bequeaths us, and we should not beungenerous in recognizing it. That is peace in Ireland. Both sides in theNorthern Irish dispute hate the English, and both have good reason to do so.This hatred was a substantial reason successive British prime ministers,many of them doing their very best to undo the mistakes of the past, gotnowhere with the Irish.

But the hatred was only part of the reason. Another was the phenomenon oflanguage. The Ireland of James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde, IanPaisley and Gerry Adams is a place where words bounce, and fly and sing,often meaning several things at once, sometimes meaning nothing at all.Expecting the various parties in Northern Ireland to negotiate with suchsolidly Aristotelian figures as Margaret Thatcher simply wasn't fair. Herword was her bond. Of course, both sides became entrenched behind barricadesnot only of barbed wire but of discourse.

Mr. Blair, however, is a boundlessly superficial person, and he wasperfectly happy to swim about in the weird world of Irish politics wherewords could mean anything you liked. Most of his sentences would beuntranslatable. They were even delivered in quite different accents, asthough he was more than one person, which in a way he is.

This multifaceted quality was very useful in Ireland. He is a naturallypleasant, polite person. And he has courage. These qualities have been anessential ingredient in the Irish peace process. They have led to the Alicein Wonderland situation we now have, in which the government of NorthernIreland has been placed in the hands of two sworn enemies - the extremeProtestant minister Ian Paisley and the former I.R.A. guerrilla MartinMcGuinness.


The New York Times

May 10, 2007
Oregon Domestic Partnerships

Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski signed into law legislation creating "domesticpartnerships" for same-sex couples starting Jan. 1. Mr. Kulongoski, aDemocrat, also signed into law a bill that outlaws discrimination based onsexual orientation, effective the same date. The domestic partnership lawenables same-sex couples to enter into contractual relationships with manybenefits of marriage. The other law bans discrimination against gay men,lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people in employment, housing andaccess to public accommodations.


The New York Times

May 10, 2007
Oregon Gov. Signs Domestic Partner Bill
Filed at 12:09 a.m. ET

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon on Wednesday joined a growing list of statesprepared to offer gay couples at least some of the benefits of marriage.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed legislation creating ''domestic partnerships''for gays and lesbians in the state starting Jan. 1. He also signed a billthat outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation, effective the samedate.

Kulongoski, a strong backer of both measures, said they would ''transformour state from one of exclusion to one of complete inclusion.'' The measureshad been attempted before but were always blocked by the Legislature untilthis year.

Opponents of the two bills said they planned to launch a signature-gatheringcampaign next week to try to refer both measures to the November 2008ballot.

The domestic partnership law will enable same-sex couples to enter intocontractual relationships that carry many of the benefits offered to marriedcouples. The other law will ban discrimination against gays, lesbians,bisexuals and transgendered people in employment, housing and access topublic accommodations.

So far, only Massachusetts allows gay couples to marry. Vermont,Connecticut, California, New Jersey, Maine and Washington have laws allowingeither civil unions or domestic partnerships, and Hawaii extends certainspousal rights to same-sex couples and cohabiting heterosexual pairs. TheNew Hampshire Legislature also recently approved a civil unions measure thatGov. John Lynch has said he will sign.


The New York Times

May 10, 2007
Blair Legacy: Reform, Peace, War
Filed at 9:29 a.m. ET

LONDON (AP) -- For Tony Blair, a decade of achievements faded into theshadows of the Iraq war.

The boyish-looking leader nicknamed ''Bambi,'' just 43 when he became primeminister a decade ago, has gone gray, his furrowed brow making him appearworn.

Each crease represents a difficult chapter in the past decade -- PrincessDiana's death, suicide bombings in London, scandals leading to the arrestsof top aides, the unpopular war in Iraq that has cost nearly 150 Britishlives.

''Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right,'' Blair said Thursday,surveying his time in power before announcing he would step down June 27.

The mood today could not be more different from the euphoria that greetedBlair's arrival at 10 Downing St.

Returning his Labour Party to power after 18 years under ConservativesMargaret Thatcher and John Major, he pledged to make Britain prosperous,boost the working class, make the government accountable and restoreBritain's standing on the world stage. He seemed a breath of fresh air, arock 'n' roll fan. No sooner was he elected than he and his wife, Cherie,had a baby.


The New York Times

May 10, 2007
Britain PM Tony Blair Plans to Step Down
Filed at 3:00 a.m. ET

LONDON (AP) -- The bitter end is near for Tony Blair, whose decade ofachievements have faded into the shadows of the Iraq war.

The boyish-looking leader nicknamed ''Bambi,'' just 43 when he became primeminister a decade ago, has gone gray, his furrowed brow making him appearworn.

Each crease represents a difficult chapter in the past decade -- PrincessDiana's death, suicide bombings in London, scandals leading to the arrestsof top aides, the unpopular war that has cost nearly 150 British lives.

''In government you carry each hope, each disillusion ... ,'' Blair saidlast September, near the beginning of what has been a long, slow marchtoward an announcement Thursday that he will step down to allow for a partyleadership contest that will likely end this summer. Gordon Brown, histreasury chief, is expected to become Britain's next prime minister; generalelections won't be held until 2009, at the earliest.

''The truth is,'' Blair said, ''you can't go on forever.''


The New York Times

May 10, 2007
Led by Democrats, New Hampshire Updates Image
Filed at 7:18 a.m. ET

CONCORD, New Hampshire (Reuters) - From backing gay civil unions to electinga Democratic legislature and governor, New Hampshire is moving politicallyand socially closer to its New England neighbors, signaling trouble forRepublicans.

In a region where the mountainous state was long dominated by Republicans,the Democrats' first sweep of the legislature in 132 years in November isushering in new policies and a new image to the state with the first U.S.presidential primary.

``The state is becoming more Democratic and I would expect in five to 10years it will be pretty much a solidly Democratic state just like the restof New England,'' said Andrew Smith, director of the University of NewHampshire's Survey Center.

Behind the political shift are changing demographics in a state that oftendefies the liberal New England stereotype with prohibitions on income andsales taxes, and with a proud libertarian streak expressed by its motto``Live Free or Die.''

Smith traces the changes to a 1990 recession that hammered small factories.Service industries sprouted, drawing degree-holding workers from moreDemocratic regions and swelling the population by 11 percent between 1990and 2000, the fastest such growth in New England.


Out to pull just one heartstring, defendant is hitting a sour note

Michael Mayo
News Columnist

May 10, 2007

As courtroom drama goes, it's hard to top a death-penalty defendant takingthe stand.

Especially a defendant who hasn't disputed killing a Broward sheriff'sdeputy at close range, detailed a long-simmering feud with an undercoverofficer who made life miserable for him and his child pornography-obsesseddomestic partner, and spent part of his time touting his charitable natureand strong religious and moral fiber.

"I like who I am," Kenneth Wilk said at one point Wednesday. "I like helpingpeople."

Josephine Fatta, mother of slain deputy Todd Fatta, bit her lip when sheheard that part. The large contingent of Sheriff's Office personnel watchingin U.S. District Judge James Cohn's courtroom, including 10 uniformeddeputies, looked unmoved.

The opinions of the 12 jurors who will decide Wilk's fate weren't so easy toread.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, May. 10, 2007
U.N. study sees subtle discrimination

The disabled, gays and lesbians, and people living with HIV/AIDS aresuffering from new and more subtle forms of workplace discrimination, theU.N. labor agency said Thursday.

Despite major advances in the fight against discrimination, gender, race andreligion continue to determine how people are treated in the employmentmarket and at the workplace, the International Labor Organization said inits flagship report on global working conditions.

Women are especially prone to labor discrimination, the ILO said inoutlining only a mixed bag of success since the last installment of its"equality at work" series four years ago.

"It's striking to see how everywhere in the world, irrespective of how richor how poor a country is, or what type of political system it has,discrimination is there," said Manuela Tomei, author of the 127-page report.

"Discrimination is a never-ending story of human nature. But it's somethingthat society can no longer tolerate."

While more women are joining the work force around the world, they continuein every geographical region to be paid less than men for the same jobs, thereport said.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, May. 10, 2007
Blair legacy: reform, peace, war

For Tony Blair, a decade of achievements faded into the shadows of the Iraqwar.

The boyish-looking leader nicknamed "Bambi," just 43 when he became primeminister a decade ago, has gone gray, his furrowed brow making him appearworn.

Each crease represents a difficult chapter in the past decade - PrincessDiana's death, suicide bombings in London, scandals leading to the arrestsof top aides, the unpopular war in Iraq that has cost nearly 150 Britishlives.

"Hand on heart, I did what I thought was right," Blair said Thursday,surveying his time in power before announcing he would step down June 27.

The mood today could not be more different from the euphoria that greetedBlair's arrival at 10 Downing St.


HIV Meds Scams Part Of Massive Medicare-Bilking Schemes
by The Associated Press

Posted: May 10, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Washington) After documenting more than $140 million in Medicare fraud insouth Florida, federal officials say they will take a more thorough look atother providers of medical equipment.

An investigation in the Miami area has led to 38 arrests, including 20 onTuesday.

Many defendants set up sham medical equipment dealerships. The defendantsare accused of stealing the Medicare numbers of beneficiaries or buyingtheir numbers, and then billing the government for power wheelchairs,walkers, or kits for testing blood sugar levels, said Health and HumanServices Secretary Mike Leavitt.

"Unfortunately, that's exactly what's been happening in several areas aroundour country," Leavitt said.

Leavitt said increased enforcement efforts will cost about $20 millionannually, but could save taxpayers and beneficiaries about $2.5 billionannually. Home health agencies also will be reviewed more thoroughly.


[Send your comments about articles to]

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

GLBT DIGEST May 9, 2007

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


The New York Times

May 9, 2007
Pope on Mission to Win Back Latin American Catholics
Filed at 1:25 a.m. ET

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Huge crowds will welcome Pope Benedict on his firstvisit to Latin America starting on Wednesday but their fervor will not hideconcern in the Vatican that the Roman Catholic church is losing its grip inthe region.

The Pope's official business is to canonize Brazil's first saint and makethe keynote address at a conference of bishops from Latin America and theCaribbean -- home to nearly half the world's Roman Catholics.

The greater mission, churchmen and experts say, is to reaffirm churchteaching and stem the loss of millions who have turned away from the faithto embrace Protestant groups.

``The key issue is the need for the church to re-evangelize fallen awayCatholics but also those who remain so they won't leave,'' said Luis Lugo,director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a research group inWashington.

``They are also very concerned about the inroads that secular values arehaving in Latin America. Things like abortion, gay marriage,contraception.''


The New York Times

May 9, 2007
Coulter: Obama Poll Lead Helps al - Qaida
Filed at 1:19 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A recent Newsweek poll showing Democrat Barack Obamaleading top Republican presidential hopefuls could have been made up andmight help al-Qaida, conservative commentator Ann Coulter said in her latestverbal broadside.

Coulter, a best-selling author known for outrageous and often controversialstatements, was asked Sunday on Fox News' ''At Large'' what she thoughtabout the survey results.

''I think this is Newsweek doing more push polling for al-Qaida,'' she said,referring to campaign-season telephone calls to voters masquerading asneutral surveys but designed to build opposition to targeted candidates.

Asked by host Geraldo Rivera whether she thought Newsweek would make up theresults, Coulter said, ''Yes, I do,'' adding, ''In polls where people areactually allowed to vote, Republicans do a lot better.''

Coulter did not explain how the poll might help the terrorist group. Sincethe attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, some Republicans have argued that their partywould do a better job of protecting the U.S. against terrorism thanDemocrats.


The New York Times

May 9, 2007
World Briefing | Americas
Canada: Quebec Separatist Leader Quits Party After Election Loss

André Boisclair, left, the leader of the separatist Parti Québécois,resigned, further destabilizing an independence movement that was left inshambles after a third-place finish in provincial elections in March. "Thecurrent conditions don't allow me to do this anymore," he said. The partywas poised to have a strong showing in the elections, with some evenpredicting a win for the separatists, who want Quebec to be a nation. Butinstead they had their worst showing in decades. When he was elected partyleader in November 2005, Mr. Boisclair, 41, made headlines for being openlygay and for admitting to having used cocaine while a cabinet minister. Hisrelative youth also marked a departure from previous sovereignty leaders,most of whom traced their roots to the party's founding in the late 1960s.

He fought back tears as he announced his resignation, ending it with afamiliar rallying cry among separatists: "Vive le Quebec!"


The Washington Post

Pope warns Catholic politicians who back abortion

By Philip Pullella
Wednesday, May 9, 2007; 8:46 AM

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Wednesday warnedCatholic politicians they risked excommunication from the Church and shouldnot receive communion if they support abortion.

It was the first time that the Pope, speaking to reporters aboard the planetaking him on a trip to Brazil, dealt in depth with a controversial topicthat has come up in many countries, including the United States, Mexico, andItaly.

The Pope was asked whether he supported Mexican Church leaders threatening0to excommunicate leftist parliamentarians who last month voted to legalizeabortion in Mexico City.

"Yes, this excommunication was not an arbitrary one but is allowed by Canon(church) law which says that the killing of an innocent child isincompatible with receiving communion, which is receiving the body ofChrist," he said.

"They (Mexican Church leaders) did nothing new, surprising or arbitrary.They simply announced publicly what is contained in the law of the Church...which expresses our appreciation for life and that human individuality,human personality is present from the first moment (of life)."


Third Of Vancouver Females Living On The Street Are Lesbians
by The Canadian Press

Posted: May 9, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Vancouver, British Columbia) Many marginalized and street youth are workinghard, including attending school or holding down jobs, despite overwhelmingodds, says a newly released report.

In the report, Against All Odds, conducted by a group dedicated to improvingthe health of B.C. youth, the investigators made several interesting andsometimes startling findings.

``There are many misconceptions and stereotypes about marginalized andstreet-involved youth in our society,'' says the report.

``Many youth , despite overwhelming odds, are working hard, attending schooland looking for ways to not only survive, but thrive.''

The report's key findings include:

_ One in three youth still attended school while staying in an abandonedbuilding, care, tent, squat or on the street;


Second N.J. School District Blasted For Not Doing Enough To Stop Anti-GayBullying
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: May 9, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(Trenton, New Jersey) New Jersey's Division of Civil Rights is submitting acase alleging the Jackson Township school district failed to do enough tostop the bullying of a student who identifies as bisexual.

In a probable cause hearing, J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo, the director of theDivision said there is enough evidence for the case to proceed. He hassubmitted the complaint to conciliation in an attempt to resolve the casewithout going to trial.

"Despite repeatedly calling it to the attention of school authorities, thecomplainant in this case appears to have been exposed to a harassingenvironment that was, over a period of years, both severe and persuasive,"Vespa-Papaleo said in a statement.

In his complaint to the Division, the student who has not been named but isidentified as having come from Honduras, said that taunting and bullyingwent on from September 2002 until June 2006.

An investigation found that officials at Jackson Memorial High Schoollearned the student was being harassed as early as 2003. Administratorsverbally warned a number of students, and required sensitivity training forthree students.


The Advocate

May 09, 2007
U.S. social conservatives organize social-issues congress in Poland, NA

Many prominent U.S. conservative groups are shifting their attentionoverseas this week, organizing a conference in Poland that will decryEurope's liberal social policies and portray the host nation as a valiantholdout bucking those trends.

Many prominent U.S. conservative groups are shifting their attentionoverseas this week, organizing a conference in Poland that will decryEurope's liberal social policies and portray the host nation as a valiantholdout bucking those trends.

The World Congress of Families is expected to draw more than 2,500 peoplefrom dozens of countries to Warsaw's Palace of Culture and Science fromFriday through Sunday.

Co-sponsors of the congress include the American Family Association,Concerned Women For America, the Family Research Council, Focus on theFamily, the Heritage Foundation and the Seattle-based Discovery Institute,which promotes the ''intelligent design'' concept of the universe's origins.The U.S. groups are allied in opposition to abortion, gay marriage and otherpolicies they blame for weakening traditional families in Western Europe.

The chief organizer is a Rockford, Illinois-based conservative think tank,the Howard Center. ''Europe is almost lost - to demographic winter and tothe secularists,'' says a planning document for the congress. ''If Europegoes, much of the world will go with it. Almost alone, Poland has maintainedstrong faith and strong families.''


The Advocate

May 09, 2007
Giuliani defends Planned Parenthood donations

Rudy Giuliani defended his long-standing support for abortion rights anewTuesday after a report surfaced that the Republican donated to PlannedParenthood in the 1990s.

''Planned Parenthood makes information available,'' the former New York Citymayor said on conservative commentator Laura Ingraham's radio show. ''It'sconsistent with my position.''

On abortion, Giuliani said: ''I disagree with it. I think it's wrong. Ithink there should be a choice. If there is going to be a choice there areorganizations that are going to give people information about that choice. Ijust as strongly support the idea that a woman should have information aboutadoption at that time.''

The Politico reported that Giuliani and his then-wife, Donna Hanover, madesix contributions totaling $900 to the group that supports abortion rights,according to federal tax returns that the couple filed jointly and that havebeen public for years.

As he seeks to court conservatives, Giuliani has been dogged by his supportfor abortion rights. Last week, Giuliani was the only Republican among 10during a debate who waffled when asked whether it would be a good day if theSupreme Court overturned a 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion.


Gay rights taking two historic steps
Oregon laws - Protection against bias is statewide, and partnerships aregranted

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Kurt Koester was a groundskeeper at Lewis & Clark College in SouthwestPortland when his supervisor said something about gays that scared him.

"Where I come from, we string those people up and hang them," the supervisorsaid, according to Koester, who is gay.

Public records show that Koester complained to the college, whichinvestigated and disciplined the supervisor by placing him on unpaid leave.When college officials later questioned Koester about his employmentapplication, he suspected retaliation -- so he pursued a claim with stateinvestigators.

Until now, laws that allow gays and lesbians in Oregon to seek protectionfrom discrimination have been limited to residents of 10 cities, includingPortland, and two counties, including Multnomah. In those two jurisdictions,such laws enabled Koester to take his claim to a higher authority.

But such limitations on gay and lesbian Oregonians will dissolve after Gov.Ted Kulongoski signs into law two bills that gay-rights advocates praise ashistoric. One grants domestic partnerships. The other protects individualsfrom discrimination based on sexual orientation at work, in housing or inpublic places -- no matter where in the state they live.


The Argus

Gay hate crime on the increase

Attacks on members of the gay community have gone up by almost 50 per cent.

Homophobic crime in Brighton and Hove rose from 135 offences in 2005-06 to184 in 2006-07.

The majority of the crimes reported were assaults followed by harassment andpublic order offences.

The city is commonly regarded as one of the most "gay friendly" in the worldand has one of the largest gay populations in the country.

Perry French, Sussex regional manager of the Terence Higgins Trust, said:"The great thing about Brighton is people can live their lives the way theway they want to.

"As the community are more visible they are a more visible target.


AIDS ignorance revealed by Chinese gay hotline

8th May 2007 12:32

In another sign of relaxing attitudes to homosexuality in the world's mostpopulous country, the state-controlled Chinese press has reported on theproblems faced by gay people.

China Daily has highlighted the work of a Guangzhou-based free hotline forhomosexuals.

However, the paper emphasises that 56% of the 2,336 calls it has receivedare about psychological problems.

Ignorance about AIDS is the other striking factor.

Wang Ye, a doctor with the Guangdong provincial disease control andprevention center's AIDS research institute, told China Daily.


Gay Media Express

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 16, 2003--Gay men and women areamong the first to adopt new devices and online tools, making them animportant demographic for online marketers. For the first time, ForresterResearch, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) asked respondents to its annual ConsumerTechnographics(R) Benchmark Study of 60,000 households to indicate theirsexual orientation. "Gays Are The Technology Early Adopters You Want"includes data on device adoption and online behavior by gay men and women,as well as recommendations on how to best market to this influential group.

"Gay men and women are tech-savvy consumers who use the Internet and techdevices at significantly higher rates than their heterosexual counterpartsfor shopping, banking, entertainment, and community building," said JedKolko, principal analyst at Forrester. "Marketers need to take a close lookat the consumer behavior of gay men and women to determine a strategy intargeting a group of consumers who have been consistently overlooked."

In addition to being wealthier and better educated, gay men and women areavid internet users. Eighty percent of gay men and 76 percent of lesbiansare online, compared with 70 percent of straight men and 69 percent ofstraight women. Gays are also one-third more likely to have broadbandconnections and have been online longer than heterosexuals. Twenty-ninepercent of gay men and women have been online for more than seven years,versus 18% of heterosexuals.

Although any group of higher-income, more highly educated consumers will beearlier adopters of technology, significant differences in gays' technologybehavior emerged after adjusting statistically for online tenure anddemographic differences. Gay men, for example, are more likely to ownportable MP3 players and browser-enabled phones, and they are more than twotimes likelier to own a personal video recorder (PVR) device like TiVo. Gaymen and women also turn to the Internet in higher numbers for entertainmentand community-building activities. The Internet makes it easier for gays tomeet online without the pressures of losing one's anonymity and provides alink to the gay community through tools like text chat, instant messaging,and personal Web pages.

In an effort to reach gay consumers, Forrester recommends that marketerstarget gay audiences directly by advertising in gay publications and at gayevents. Additionally, because gay men and women differ from heterosexuals inmany of the same ways when it comes to consumer behavior, marketers cantreat the gay market as a single audience. It may be best, however, to avoidasking consumers about their sexual orientation for direct marketingpurposes. Twenty percent of respondents did not answer Forrester's sexualorientation question - for the time being, inquiring about consumers'sexuality may not be worth the effort and potential of alienating consumers.


Pew Research Center

Are Americans Ready to Elect a Female President?
Past Statewide Elections Suggest Gender Is Not an Obstacle -- at Least forDemocratic Candidates
by Andrew Kohut, President, Pew Research Center
May 9, 2007

When evaluating Sen. Hillary Clinton's 2008 prospects, one question remainsinescapable: Are voters ready to elect a female president? On one level, thequestion would appear to be settled. In February, Gallup found 88% sayingthey would vote for a well-qualified woman for president. Contrast this withpublic opinion in 1969, the year Clinton graduated from Wellesley College.At that time, just 53% said they would support a well-qualified femalepresidential candidate.

As to opinion of Clinton herself, surveys by the Pew Research Center for thePeople & the Press and other national polling organizations show aconsistent gender gap in her support. Recent Newsweek surveys show that in ahypothetical contest against Republican frontrunner Rudolph Giuliani, halfof female voters, compared with just 44% of male voters, said they wouldvote for Sen. Clinton.


Egypt's 'Dr. Ruth': Let's talk sex in the Arab world

By Aneesh Raman

Dr. Heba Kotb runs "The Big Talk" show in Cairoand is speaking openly in the Arab world about having more sex.

CAIRO, Egypt (CNN) -- Dr. Heba Kotb is tackling a taboo in the Arab worldunlike anyone else: She's talking about sex openly on a show broadcast allover the Middle East.

It's a big first in these parts of the world, and Kotb leaves littleuncovered.

"We talk about masturbation ... sex over the Internet. We talk about sex andRamadan. We talk about the wedding night," said Kotb. Entitled "The BigTalk," the show is broadcast once a week over a satellite channel fromCairo, Egypt.

It took the 39-year-old mother three years of negotiations to get her showon the air. And a main reason she succeeded is that she talks only about sexallowed in the Quran -- sex between husband and wife. (Watch sexologistdescribe why sex is goodVideo)

But even with that guideline, it's no easy sell.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

New York Sun

Gay Rites Will Help Families, Spitzer Says
New Memo Discloses Governor's Case

BY JACOB GERSHMAN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
May 8, 2007

ALBANY - Legalizing gay marriage would "only strengthen New York'sfamilies," according to Governor Spitzer, who laid forth his mostdetailed argument in favor of recognizing same-sex relationships in alegislative memo.

Mr. Spitzer, who late last month became the nation's first governor topropose legislation legalizing gay marriage, articulated a legal andmoral argument in defense of the bill in a two-page "statement insupport" that is being distributed to lawmakers.

The governor's forceful language adds even more contrast between hisposition and that of the major Democratic candidates for president,including Senator Clinton, all of whom oppose gay marriage but favorcivil unions.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Wrongful Psychoanalysis
By Steve Weinstein

From The Advocate May 22, 2007

Wrongful psychoanalysis

It probably was inevitable that someone in the media would try to connectSeung-Hui Cho's rampage at Virginia Tech to homosexuality. Sure enough,within days of the shootings, forensic psychiatrist Helen Morrison appearedon CNN and opined about Cho's supposed gay desires.

Cho fit the "typical profile of a mass murderer," Morrison said, adding, "Ifyou read his plays, you see a tremendous amount of warped thinking, evenmore warped sexuality-what appears to be tremendous fears of his ownsame-sex urges that he projected onto other people."

But conclusions by such long-distance psychoanalysis are dismissed out ofhand by many psychiatrists.

"The American Psychological Association [[sic, that's the AmericanPsychiatric Association] says it's not wise to speculate about a person youhave not personally examined," says Jack Drescher, a New York Citypsychiatrist and author of Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Gay Man. "Anyonewho does that is only projecting themselves-their theories or their ownpsychology."

Jeffrey Montgomery has been following antigay violence and the "gay panic"defense for years as the executive director of the Triangle Foundation inDetroit, and he was in Wyoming during the Matthew Shepard murder trial.About Cho he says, "I haven't seen or heard anything that indicatesinternalized homophobia."


Iraqi Gay Activist Arrested, Tortured


May 3, 2007

A key Iraqi gay activist was arrested and tortured in Baghdad on April 29,according to Ali Hili, the London-based coordinator of the all-volunteerIraqi LGBT group, which has a network of members and supporters throughoutIraq. Hani, a 34-year-old nurse whose last name cannot be given for securityreasons to protect him and his family, was in the Al Mansour neighborhood ofBaghdad, where he lives, searching for a taxi when he was stopped andarrested this past Sunday by five policemen riding in a police pickup truck,Hili told Gay City News by telephone from London. "Hani was in charge ofcommunications for our Baghdad group, and he's been a very important part ofour work in reporting and documenting the campaign of persecution and murdertargeting Iraqi LGBT people," Hili said. "When Hani - who is obviously gayand a bit effeminate - was stopped by the police, who demanded hisidentification papers. On seeing his name, one of the police said, 'Yes,it's him, he's one of them,' which is yet another piece of evidence that thepolice have a hit-list of some of our activists," recounted Hili. Hani washandcuffed, blindfolded, and taken to a police interrogation center. Whilehe was in custody, Hani was beaten and tortured for several hours. "Thepolice used a screwdriver, which they pounded into Hani's legs with ahammer - sometimes the police use electric drills for this sort of torture -and they also beat him badly," Hili said.


Gay troop proponent serves America honorably
Tuesday, 08 May 2007 11:02

Deb Price

Gay Troop Proponent Serves America Honorably
It was one of life's pinch-me-is-this-really-happening moments: DixonOsburn, co-founder of the nation's leading group to lift the ban on openlygay troops, was still at the office at 7 o'clock one evening and noticed afax coming through.

It read simply: "I am an admiral. I am gay. How can I help?"

It was one of life's pinch-me-is-this-really-happening moments: DixonOsburn, co-founder of the nation's leading group to lift the ban on openlygay troops, was still at the office at 7 o'clock one evening and noticed afax coming through.
It read simply: "I am an admiral. I am gay. How can I help?"

The executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Networkimmediately called the retired admiral. But unwilling to settle for just oneflag officer, Osburn approached two closeted generals about a battle plan tomark the 10th anniversary of Don't Ask, Don't Tell with some splashy news.

"What better way to break this huge myth that we don't exist?" recallsOsburn, who was determined to "show that there really are gay people atevery level of our military, and they do good jobs and are clearlysuccessful.

"I went to each of them and said, 'I don't want one of you to do this.I want all three of you to hold hands and jump.' "

And jump they did, making a big impact in the New York Times.

For 13 years, Osburn has steered the legal defense network throughhighs and lows in combating the 1993 law requiring gay Americans to servecloseted, celibate and in fear of being investigated. Big satisfaction, hetold me in a farewell interview, has come from "getting giants to dance" --getting the Pentagon brass to respond to his teensy group's investigations.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Amaechi: 'I underestimated America'

DENVER -- When John Amaechi told the world he was gay, he steeled himselffor a torrent of negativity that never really materialized, the former probasketball player told the GOP's largest gay organization Saturday.

"I underestimated America. I braced myself for the wrath of a nation underGod," Amaechi said at the Log Cabin Republicans' annual convention. "Iimagined that it would be a firestorm, that it would be some insane numberof letters demanding my deportation or my death.

"And in fact, 95 percent of the correspondence I've had have beenoverwhelmingly supportive and positive," Amaechi said. "But I will say thatthe 5 percent that I've had have been unbelievably, viscerally,frighteningly negative."

Amaechi is a psychologist who works with corporations and also withchildren, "and I worried what America would make of that," he said. "And itis not an issue."

Among the most vitriolic of critics was former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway,whose anti-gay remarks led to his disassociation with the league.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Africa's 'state-backed' homophobia

Gershwin Wanneburg | Johannesburg, South Africa

08 May 2007 10:57

African gay activists this week protested against "state-sponsored"homophobia, saying authorities tacitly condone their persecution across thecontinent.

The International Gay and Lesbian Association's (Ilga) firstpan-African conference in Johannesburg, which ended on Tuesday, drew about60 activists who say they have seen first-hand the consequences of laws thatbreed homophobia.

In some cases, possible sentences against gays include death bystoning.

Thirty-eight of 85 United Nations members who outlaw homosexuality arein Africa, according to an April 2007 Ilga report that notes: "Although manyof the countries ... do not systematically implement those laws, their mereexistence reinforces a culture where a significant portion of the citizensneed to hide from the rest of the population in fear ... A culture wherehatred and violence are somehow justified by the state and force people intoinvisibility or into denying who they truly are."

South Africa stands alone in Africa in its liberal attitude, last yearbecoming the first African nation to allow gay marriages.

Rowland Jide Macaulay, a gay cleric, breaking with African traditionthat regards homosexuality as a taboo, launched a gay-friendly church in hisnative Nigeria last year to counter negative messages from officials andchurch leaders in a country where laws render homosexuality punishable bystoning to death.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

National gay-rights campaign kicks off in Ames

May 6, 2007

A North Carolina group dedicated to gaining equal rights for gays andlesbians has chosen Ames to launch a nationwide grass-roots campaign ithopes will counter efforts of religious conservatives during the 2008presidential election.

Faith in America's "Call to Courage" campaign is intended to educate thepublic about misuse of religious teachings against homosexuality and raiseawareness of historical precedents of religion-based bigotry.

"For the last six years, fundamentalist Christians have attacked the gaycommunity through the Republican Party, and the Democrats have not done sucha great job defending my rights" said Mitchell Gold, a furnituremanufacturer and gay man who is bankrolling the campaign. "Today, theloudest voices against full and equal rights for gay Americans use theirbiblical interpretations to justify legalized discrimination. Enough isenough."


Navy Recalls Gay Sailor
by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Boston Contributor
Monday May 7, 2007

When Petty Officer Jason Knight came out the first time, the Navy lost notime in discharging him and rescinding his $13,000 sign-up bonus. After ninemonths, however, the Navy sent Knight orders that he was to report foractive duty for a year-long tour, according to an article in the militarynewspaper Stars & Stripes.

"Did I accept despite everything that happened? Of course I did, and I woulddo it again. Because I love the Navy and I love my country. And despite[Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine General Peter] Pace's opinion,my shipmates support me," Knight wrote in a letter he sent to the newspaper,which ran the story in its Pacific Edition.

It was those comments by Pace that prompted Knight to disclose, for thesecond time, his status as a gay service member. Pace went on record a fewmonths ago saying that homosexuality is "immoral."

Referring to his recall orders, Knight said, "I thought it was a joke atfirst." But having been discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" did notstop him rom answering the call to duty. "It was the ultimate kick in theass. But then I thought, there isn't much they can do to me they haven'tdone the first time."


Giuliani's bid is favored by many in gay GOP group

By Colleen Slevin, Associated Press
May 5, 2007

Rudy Giuliani emerged as a favorite among many members of the GOP's largestgay organization; they cited his record on social issues, taxes and defense.However, delegates to the Log Cabin Republicans annual convention in Denversaid Friday they also fear that the former New York mayor, in his bid tocapture the Republican presidential nomination, might be waffling as hereaches out to the more conservative GOP voters who hold sway in theprimaries.

"Mainstream Republican voters and moderate voters are going to vote for you.Don't tilt to the right," said Frank Ricchiazzi, who helped found the LogCabin group 30 years ago.

Ricchiazzi, who wore an "I Love Rudy" button, cited Giuliani's remarks onabortion during the GOP presidential candidates' debate Thursday night.


Gay? It's OK ... unless you're the boss

From Monday's Globe and Mail

May 7, 2007 at 8:53 AM EDT

Bruce Goudy spent his early years at Ernst & Young in fear.

With his career in its fledgling stages, he attended company functions soloand only conversed with co-workers in guarded disclosures.

"I was very cautious about who I told and who I didn't tell," says Mr.Goudy, a Toronto-based partner with the global audit firm. "It was a fear ofthe unknown. Can I really trust that my bosses' view of me will not changeonce they know that I'm gay?"

Mr. Goudy probably wasn't the only executive whose mind flickered back tothose closet days last week, when BP CEO John Browne announced hisresignation, after a British court determined he had lied about a four-yearrelationship with a Canadian man.


Gay beauty pageant defies Maoists
[8 May, 2007 l 0002 hrs ISTlIANS]

SMS NEWS to 8888 for latest updates

KATHMANDU: Less than a month after the controversial staging of the MissNepal pageant, the country's gay community has held a Miss Transgendercontest - in a double defiance of the Maoist opposition to beauty pageantsas well as homosexuality.

Wearing an embroidered and sequinned red sari, 21-one-year-old Ria, alsoknown as Raju Gurung, wore the Miss Transgender crown at a gay pageantSunday in Pokhara city - a popular tourist destination. Though initiallyover a dozen people signed up to take part in the contest organised by NGOSunaulo Bihani, many of them backed out at the last minute due to familypressure and the social stigma surrounding homosexuality in Nepal, a localdaily said.

The pageant consisted of an introduction round, a talent contest and aquestion-answer session. Ria, who professed a penchant for dancing andswimming, currently works for the organising NGO. This year, after theMaoist guerrillas joined the government it was alleged that rebel cadreswere cracking down on homosexuals.


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups


POLAND: Hands off Human Rights

The President of the Republic of Poland
Lech Kaczynski
ul. Wiejska 10
00-902 Warszawa, Poland

Dear President Kaczynski,

We urge you and your government to stop your attacks on the human rights oflesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Such attacks betrayPoland's long, proud record of struggling for human rights. Upholding equalrights for all will help build a freer future.

Your government has declared it will fire gay teachers, and impose criminalpenalties on "anyone who promotes homosexuality or any other deviance of asexual nature in education establishments." This blatant violation of basicrights could deprive students of potentially life-saving information aboutsexuality and about HIV/AIDS. Members of your government have accusedorganizations working on LGBT people's human rights of "pedophilia," andthreatened them with criminal investigations. A legislator in your governingcoalition said that gays who demonstrate "should be bashed with a baton." In2004 and 2005, when mayor of Warsaw, you yourself tried to ban Gay Pridemarches, saying that "public promotion of homosexuality will not be allowed." Your words and actions have contributed to a climate whereviolence against LGBT people is tolerated-or even encouraged.

Such words and acts threaten democracy.

This month, the European Court of Human Rights condemned your attempts toban Gay Pride marches in Warsaw. The court praised a "pluralism . built onthe genuine recognition of, and respect for, diversity"-including "genuineand effective respect for freedom of association and assembly."


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups

Ritdiena, week of 8 May 2007

Defending family values

Open letter from Roman Catholic Cardinal Janis Pujats

Introduction by Andis Sedlenieks

The views of a spiritual person: Cardinal Janis Pujats says that it wouldbe evil "if the Cabinet of Ministers or Saeima were to use the rule of lawto start national defence and propaganda" of the idea of homosexuals. Thehead of Latvia's Roman Catholics has also proposed a referendum in whichpeople would be asked to answer a clearly formulated question: "Do yousupport marriage between persons of the same gender?

Text of the cardinal's letter:

We cannot keep quiet. One month from now, there will once again be theissue of tolerance against homosexuality in the context of yet anotherattempt to organise a Pride march on June 3 of this year. Homosexuality istotal corruption in the sexual arena, and it is an unnatural form of

The organisers of the Pride event essentially are demanding that people betolerant toward this moral corruption. Even more! They are demanding notjust tolerance, but also that sexual corruption be protected by law andpopularised on the basis of special programmes in schools and otherorganised events. There would be no opportunity to object against legalevents, because that would be seen as a manifestation of hatred. That's howcorruption grows into dictatorship.


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups

Italian lawmakers protest barring gays from family conference

Catholic World News

Rome, May. 8, 2007 ( - An Italian government minister hasannounced that he will not attend a government-sponsored conference on thefamily, because homosexual groups have not been invited to participate.

Paolo Ferrero, the minister of social solidarity, said that he would notparticipate in a conference to be held in Florence later this months,because "I do not share the decision of Minister Rosy Bindi not to invitehomosexual organizations to the conference on the family."

Bindi, the government's family minister, responded by saying, "I know wellthat this will cause many difficulties, but those subject to the pendingbill on homosexual civil unions are not allowed to participate."

The parliamentary head of the Communist Refoundation Party, GennaroMigliore, has announced his party's support for the decision made byFerrero. "If the government does not invite gay associations to theFlorentine conference on the family, our party will not participate inprotest," he said.


Forwarded from EuroQueer Groups

This year, Amnesty International will participate in the Riga Pride march on3 June 2007 with a delegation of between 50-100 persons from at least elevendifferent countries. Amnesty International is taking this action as ademonstration of solidarity with Latvian LGBT people. We would like to takethis opportunity to thank Latvian LGBT organization Mozaika for theirfantastic work and to say that we look forward to meeting Latvian andEuropean LGBT activists alike in Riga in early June.

For further information on Amnesty international's participation in thisyear's Riga Pride, please click on the link below:

Best regards,

Anders Dahlbeck
Researcher - EU team
Amnesty International


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