Saturday, June 16, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 16, 2007

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The New York Times

June 16, 2007
World Briefing | Americas
Colombia: Lawmakers Approve Gay Rights Bill

Colombia is set to become the first Latin American country to giveestablished gay couples the same rights to health insurance, inheritance andsocial security benefits as heterosexual couples under a bill passed byCongress and expected to take effect soon. Some states and cities in LatinAmerica, among them Mexico City and Buenos Aires, have passed similar laws,but no other country in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic region has done soat a national level, said Marcela Sánchez of the gay rights group ColombiaDiversa. Congress's lower house passed the bill, 62 to 43, late Thursday.The Senate passed a similar version in April. The two chambers must nowagree on a unified text before sending it to President Álvaro Uribe, whobacks it.


The New York Times

June 16, 2007
Religion News in Brief
Filed at 6:40 a.m. ET

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Membership in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)declined again last year, dropping by more than 46,000 in 2006, thedenomination says.

The number of active Presbyterians fell from 2,313,662 in 2005, to 2,267,118in 2006, according to an annual church survey released June 7. Baptisms inthe same period also declined -- by 946 for adults to 8,297, and by 234 forchildren to 30,493.

In addition, the number of congregations fell by 56 to 10,903.

Like other mainline Protestant denominations, the Presbyterians have seenmembership rolls shrink over the last couple of decades. In 2004 and 2005alone, the denomination lost 48,474 active members.

The latest drop comes as fighting intensifies within the church over howPresbyterians should interpret Scripture. Congregants are divided overwhether the Bible bars gay relationships, among other theological issues.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,4965161,print.story

Colombia ready to give gays full rights

By Joshua Goodman
The Associated Press
June 16, 2007

BOGOTA, Colombia · Colombia is set to become the first Latin Americancountry to give established gay couples full rights to health insurance,inheritance and social security under a bill passed by its Congress.

The plan approved Thursday is expected to take effect soon. It is backed byPresident Alvaro Uribe.

The measure would allow gay couples in long-term relationships to have thesame health insurance and social security benefits as heterosexual couples.It also guarantees that assets accumulated during the relationship will bedivided between the two and, in the case of death, inherited by thesurvivor.

Previously, possessions were passed on to blood relations.

Some states and cities in Latin America have passed similar laws, but noother country in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic region has done so at anational level, said Marcela Sanchez, director of the gay rights groupColombia Diversa. She said as many as 300,000 gay couples in Colombia standto benefit.


The Advocate

June 16, 2007
Florida state representative accused of making homophobic comments

Several AIDS organizations have called for Florida state representative D.Alan Hays to be censured or removed from office after he purportedly saidthat his gay cousin deserved to die of AIDS, the Orlando Sentinel reportedFriday.

Advocates from across the country criticized Hays at a press conference inFort Lauderdale, citing comments he allegedly made to an AIDS health caregroup on Wednesday.

"Not only should this individual be censured, but I think this person shouldbe removed from office," said Michael Rajner, national secretary for theCampaign to End AIDS, to the Sentinel. "He also should not be allowed toserve on any committee with appropriations as well."

Shortly after the conference Hays released a statement denying theallegations. "I am known for being plainspoken and for speaking my mind, butI am outraged that this group is making these claims against me," he wrote,according to the Sentinel. "I have spent a lifetime as a health careprofessional and have compassionately cared for several patients afflictedwith AIDS. My own cousin died of this disease, and it was a tragedy for himto die so young. To say that I said otherwise is absolutely not true."

Two nurses and a regional manager from AIDS advocacy group PositiveHealthcare contend that Hays leaned across his desk during their meeting andsaid his cousin was "as queer as a three-dollar bill" and "had thathomosexual lifestyle and deserved what he got," reported the Sentinel.


The Advocate

June 16, 2007
AIDS activists demand apology from presidential advisory council

Several prominent advocacy groups are demanding that the PresidentialAdvisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) apologize for racially and ethnicallyinsensitive remarks made Tuesday, according to a press release from theCampaign to End AIDS.

During the PACHA Members Open Discussion session on the first day of themeeting--which is open to the public--Harvard researcher Edward C. Greensuggested that prevention techniques employed in Africa should be used inpredominantly black American communities, the press release detailed.Audience members were outraged by the correlation made between black peopleliving in developing Africa and the U.S.

When speaking of the disproportionate incarceration rates of young blackmen, Franklyn N. Judson, MD, explained that "there are more blacks in jail,since they commit more crimes." According to a study conducted by the HumanRights Watch, black men on average received longer sentences than white menfor the same crimes.

These comments caused an outcry among AIDS activists and organizations.

"The racial and ethnic insensitivity was deeply disturbing," said DonnaCrews, director of governmental affairs at AIDS Action, in the pressrelease. "For a statement to be said for the record that 'there are moreblacks in jail, since they commit more crimes' disregards the sentencingdisparities that have been the norm in this country for more years thananyone would care to remember."


The Advocate

June 16, 2007
Clinton, Obama fight for Illinois cash

Hillary Rodham Clinton-New York senator, Yankees fan, and resident ofChappaqua, N.Y.-has a message for presidential rival Barack Obama: Chicagois still my kind of town.

In the frenetic chase for campaign cash, Clinton isn't ceding her one-timehome turf to the Illinois senator. The 59-year-old woman, born and raised inthe Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, is relying on the help of the state'swealthy and connected.

High-profile attorneys, a philanthropist, longtime Clinton family friends,and business leaders, including a son of the Reverend Jesse Jackson, areamong the prominent Illinois residents invited to a June 25 fund-raiser.

While Obama and another top rival, John Edwards, have encroached onClinton's new home turf of New York to raise money, Clinton has tapped herIllinois ties and political alliances dating to her years as first lady.

It hasn't been easy in the state she once called home.


The Advocate

June 16, 2007
Thai credit card company targets gay market

Thailand's leading credit card company is attempting to tap into a growinggroup of big spenders-gays and lesbians. A recently released TV commercialby Krungthai Card (KTC) has caused a stir with its provocative gayundertones, according to the Star Online.

The commercial, titled "Stand Up...Say I Am," depicts a hip Bangkok barwhere a ravishing Thai woman looks flirtatiously into her handsomeneighbor's eyes. Who are you? she thinks as the Thai man meets her gaze. Theaudience is then cycled through a series of sexualized possibilities: thewoman sleeping in bed, with the man watching her; the man admiring himselfin a bathroom mirror; the two dancing; and the man lounging in a sauna witha handful of hunky men. Back at the bar, as the woman leans in to kiss him,she notices that he is staring lustfully at someone behind her. She slowlyturns her head to see a man seductively raising an eyebrow at her would-belover.

Then a voice-over declares, "I am...KTC Titanium MasterCard."

The ad is targeted at gay consumers-jokingly called the "pink bahtmarket"-confirmed Niwatt Chittalarn, president and CEO of KTC, to The StarOnline. But it is also aimed at the growing "metrosexual" market. In thatpast few years, metrosexuality has become increasingly trendy incosmopolitan Bangkok.

When KTC studied the gay and metrosexual populations, it found that theywere big spenders. Five months ago the company decided to tap this lucrativemarket.


The Advocate

June 16, 2007
CNN, YouTube to premiere citizen-based presidential debates

CNN and YouTube will host a Democratic debate next month in which questions
for the candidates will come entirely from citizens posting video clips, thelatest sign of how the Internet has transformed presidential politics.

The two-hour debate, scheduled for July 23 at the Citadel in Charleston,S.C., will be hosted by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. But in a conference callwith reporters Thursday, executives from CNN and YouTube said thetraditional debate format, in which a panel of reporters grill thecandidates, had been scrapped in favor of a more democratic approach.

''Journalists do a really good job asking questions, but there is anotherworld of questions out there I'd like to see,'' said CNN Washington bureauchief David Bohrman, who will produce the broadcast. ''This is wide-open tocreativity and the use of sound and pictures. The tone and flavor will be sodifferent from any other debate.''

Anyone who wants to submit a question may do so by uploading a video clipthrough YouTube. All the videos that are submitted will be posted on thesite. CNN will then choose as many as 50 videos to use during the debate.

Asked for guidelines on what kind of questions were most likely to make iton the air, Bohrman said they should be concise-no more than 30seconds-provocative, and creative.


The Advocate

June 16, 2007
Gay man sues Chicago police, alleging harassment and beating

A gay Chicago man is seeking $50,000 in damages, alleging in a lawsuit thathe was brutally beaten in March 2006 by police who spewed antigay epithetsand then left him in a holding cell for two days without food or water.

Alexander Ruppert, 37, was originally taken into police custody on a chargeof disorderly conduct at a bar, to which he pleaded guilty, the ChicagoTribune reports.

Officers Vincent Torres and Kent Pemberton asked Ruppert to leave the barand placed him in their squad car; he had not been arrested or handcuffed.His suit claims that while the officers drove off with him, they usedantigay slurs while hitting him in the face and about his head. Ruppertweighs 120 pounds; his lawyers say the officers each weigh more than 200pounds.

"It was only until he told them he had AIDS that they stopped," said one ofRuppert's lawyers, Michael Oppenheimer, at a press conference Thursday.

Meanwhile, Ruppert used his cell phone to call his partner, who he saysoverheard the beating and antigay slurs. WMAQ TV reports that Ruppert waseventually taken to a hospital, where he received 16 stitches under his eye.After his hospital release, he was taken into police custody and placed in aholding cell.


The Advocate

June 16, 2007
Skinheads attack Chilean Web site for the second time

For the second time this month, self-proclaimed "skinheads" hacked the Website of the Chile's leading LGBT rights organization the Movement forHomosexual Integration and Freedom (MOVILH), the Santiago Times reportedFriday.

The attack took place on Wednesday, exactly one week after a similar hackingoccurred. Calling themselves "Las Grimbas" of La Pintana, they altered thesite's monthly survey and several headlines to include lewd, sexualreferences. According to the Times, they explained that, "we're notneo-Nazis, but rather skinheads.. We meet in the plaza near 36 Santa Rosa.We don't support something that isn't natural. Traditional skins are moremanly than any Nazis."

After the June 5 hacking, MOVILH was able to fix most of the problemsshortly after the incident. Suffering more extensive damage after thisweek's attack, the site was forced to close.

"We're frustrated, upset by this situation," said MOVILH head RolandoJiménez told the Times. "This is clearly illegal and we're calling on thesolidarity of all groups to report and fight against this kind of act."

Several human rights organizations have made efforts to show their supportfor MOVILH.


The Advocate

June 16, 2007
S.F. Lutheran church to ordain noncelibate lesbian

A Lutheran congregation in San Francisco is scheduled to ordain an openlygay minister June 16 who is not celibate-a move that directly challenges theEvangelical Lutheran Church in America's policy of requiring lifelongcelibacy of its gay and lesbian clergy while imposing no such restrictionson heterosexuals. The ceremony will mark the third such challenge to thepolicy in eight months.

Dawn Roginski will be ordained at St. Francis Lutheran Church in an"extraordinary ordination" service. The ceremonies, which run outside theusual guidelines of Lutheran ordinations by certifying the credentials ofopenly identified sexual minorities, have been fashioned by the LutheranLesbian and Gay Ministries. Fourteen ECLA and two independent Lutherancongregations are now served by openly gay pastors who have gone through the"extraordinary candidacy project."

As it faces increased pressure to overturn the policy, ELCA will revisit theissue at its biennial assembly August 6-11 in Chicago. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

June 16, 2007
Harry Reid: Pace failed in war assessment

U.S. Senate majority leader Harry Reid caused a stir Thursday when he saidGen. Peter Pace failed in his job of providing Congress a candid assessmenton the Iraq war and that he was concerned Gen. David Petraeus might beguilty of the same.

Democrats typically have shied from stinging comments on military officers,instead focusing on President Bush and Administration policies in Iraq.Republicans responded vigorously to the charge against Pace, chairman of theJoint Chiefs of Staff, and Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

Said White House spokesman Tony Snow: ''In a time of war, for a leader of aparty that says it supports the military, it seems outrageous to be issuingslanders toward the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and also the man that isresponsible for the bulk of military operations in Iraq.''

Added Mike Duncan, chairman of the Republican National Committee: ''HarryReid doesn't understand that there are some lines you just don't cross.''

The switch in the Democrats' focus began last week when they told DefenseSecretary Robert Gates they would challenge Pace if he were nominated for asecond two-year term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They citedhis role as the president's closest military adviser on a failing war.


The Advocate

June 16, 2007
Teen cites "gay panic" in Brooklyn slaying

A Brooklyn, N.Y., teenager has been indicted on murder charges for fatallystabbing a man because he was gay, Kings County prosecutors said Thursday.

Roberto Duncanson, 20, also of Brooklyn, died soon after the May 12 attack.

Alleged killer Omar Willock, 17, faces 25 years to life if convicted.

Willock and Duncanson passed each other on St. Marks Avenue in CrownHeights, and Willock became enraged, accusing Duncanson of looking at him,prosecutors said in a written statement. Duncanson continued walking to afriend's house as Willock shouted antigay remarks. It's unclear how Willockknew Duncanson was gay, prosecutors told the New York Daily News.

On his way home Duncanson again passed Willock, and Willock again beratedhim for his sexual orientation. Duncanson tried to walk away, but Willockcame after him, first with his fists and then with a knife.

Paramedics found Duncanson on the sidewalk, stabbed four times; he died anhour later at Kings County Hospital. Memorial services were held May 20 atthe New Haven Temple of Seventh-Day Adventists in Brooklyn.

Willock, charged with second-degree murder and second-degree murder as ahate crime, was being held without bail Friday. (Barbara Wilcox, TheAdvocate)


Woman Charged With Beating Gay Marriage Supporter
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: June 15, 2007 - 4:30 pm ET

(Boston) A woman who was part of a conservative Christian group rallyingThursday at the Massachusetts Statehouse for a proposed constitutionalamendment banning same-sex marriage is charged with assaulting a gaymarriage supporter who was attending a rally across the street opposing theamendment.

Diane Steele, 52, was arraigned Friday on charges of assault and battery.

Steele, from Richmond in western Massachusetts, was one of about a hundredprotestors calling on state lawmakers to approve the amendment and send itto voters in 2008.

Steele allegedly crossed the street and slapped the unidentified person. Thevictim was startled but not hurt.

Boston Police spokesperson James Kenneally said Steele apparently decided to"escalate" the debate into a physical confrontation.


Is Price Right For Rosie?
by The Associated Press

Posted: June 16, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Los Angeles, California) Bob Barker endorsed his friend Rosie O'Donnell asa possible successor on "The Price Is Right," although the newly retiredhost isn't sure CBS wants a woman to take over the game show.

"I believe they're going to have a meeting with Rosie," Barker saidbackstage Friday night at the Daytime Emmy Awards, where he won his 19thtrophy.

"She knows the show," he said. "There's no doubt in my mind she could do theshow. Now, whether they want a lady host, I don't know. I've never heardthat discussed. As far as I know, they've only auditioned men."

Barker said his friendship with O'Donnell goes back several years, when shehad him as a guest on her old daytime talk show.

"She told me she loved `The Price Is Right' and wanted to host it one day,"he recalled.

Among those mentioned as possible replacement hosts have been Todd Newton ofthe E! network, Mark Steines of "Entertainment Tonight," George Hamilton andJohn O'Hurley.

Barker retired last week at age 83 after 35 years of giving away vacationsand cars on the hit CBS game show. But he said he may be back with somespecials featuring vintage clips and guests.

"If it works out, I'd like to do that," he said.


'Fake Boyfriend' Sent To Jail
by The Associated Press

Posted: June 16, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Everett, Washington) A woman who posed as a homeless orphaned boy andbefriended and abused a teenage girl was sentenced to a year in jail forchild molestation.

Lorelei J. Corpuz, 30, apologized. She said, "I know this is a big lessonfor me, and it is not something I want to do again."

The sentence ordered by Judge Ronald C. Castleberry was the maximum understate guidelines.

Two counts of third-degree child rape were dropped last month before Corpuzpleaded guilty to the lesser charge, sparing the girl the ordeal of a trial.

Authorities said Corpuz, who cropped her hair and stands 5-foot-3, passedherself off as 17-year-old Mark Villanueva after meeting the girl at a mallin September 2005. Her parents, immigrants who speak little English, letCorpuz live at their home.

Over time Corpuz began physically and sexually abusing the girl, authoritiessaid. Although Corpuz had sexual contact with the girl, Corpuz never let thegirl see her genitals, police said.

The girl did not speak in court but wrote a letter to the judge to expressher anger at Corpuz and the way she and her family had been treated.


A note from Ray and Michael,

Fundraiser For Mark LaFontaine in Wilton Manors tomorrow - Sunday

We are pleased to be on the Host Committee for the "community pride"reception for Mark LaFontaine, who is running to be the first openly-gaymember of the Florida Legislature. It's hard to believe that Florida stillhasn't achieved that milestone -- but we're making progress! Mark has ahistory of community service, and is known locally and nationally as aspokesperson on GLBT issues. He is an accountant by profession and willbring much needed fiscal responsibility and oversight to Tallahassee .

We're hosting a big reception at Georgie's Alibi in Wilton Manors tomorrow -this Sunday, the 17th at 4pm.

We hope all of you can make it!
Ray and Michael

Michael Albetta, Tiffany Arieagus, W. "Chip" Arndt, Robert Bernhardt & GaryHensley, Jon Bleiweiss, LeAnna Bradley, Harve Brosten, JD Camp, RonaldCatena, Dr. Howard Cunningham, Justin Flippen, Stephen Gaskill & DonaldSmith, Bishop S.F. Mahee, Marc Hansen & Mark Maybee, Jean Johnson and BettyPriscak, David Litty, Nadezda Martinez, Marvin Mathias, Ronald Mills, CaroleMoran, Donnell Morris, Kevin Muth, W. James Perigny, Adriane Reesey, Ph.D. &Ann Perley, Ray Rideout & Michael Cooper, Dick Rogers & Willie "Bill"Mullins, Tom Runyan, Sindi Samis, Judy Shepherd, Rick Sherman, GloriaSuzanne Stein & Daniel James Friedman, Lloyd & Barbara Stuart, Philip L.Tudor, Bill Vayens & Col. Robert Guida (ret.)

Invite you to a cocktail reception to join as he kicks off his campaign tobecome the first openly-gay member of the Florida Legislature.

Georgie's Alibi
2266 Wilton Drive
Wilton Manors, FL
Sunday, June 17, 2007
4:00 - 6:00 pm

Here's what you need to know about Mark:
. Proud Veteran - US Coast Guard
. Bachelors Degree, FMU, Summa Cum Laude
. Masters Degree in Taxation, FIU
. Owner, Oakland Park Accounting Firm

. Eagle Scout
. Nat'l. Treasurer, American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER)
. President, Gold Coast Chapter, AVER
. Board Member, Oakland Park Main Street
. Member, Fort Lauderdale Audit Committee
. Member, Broward County Veterans Council
. Member, NAACP
. Director, Dolphin Democrats

Florida State House District 92 includes parts of Deerfield Beach, NorthLauderdale, Oakland Park, Poinsettia Heights, Pompano Beach, Tamarac,Victoria Park and Wilton Manors.
Suggested Contribution: $20.00 . Maximum Contribution: $500.00
Hors d'oeuvres and your first cocktail provided by the host committee.

Please RSVP to or call 954-651-3147.


Equality Florida - News Release
Brian Winfield, Communications Director, (727) 488-7799
Joe Saunders, Central Florida Coordinator, (407) 497-4986

Governor And Legislature Asked to Repudiate Latest Round of BigotedStatements by Republican Lawmaker

"I Had A Cousin Who Died of AIDS; He was Queer as a Three-dollar Bill.
He Had that Homosexual Lifestyle and Deserved What He Got."
- Rep. D. Alan Hays, (R- Lake County) in his office toAIDS Advocates Lobbying in Tallahassee Wednesday June 13, 2007

(St. Petersburg) Today, Equality Florida condemned the ignorant, hurtful andbigoted remarks of Rep. Alan Hays, as he spoke with AIDS service workers onJune 13th.

"His comments are outrageous and require that all people of conscious raisetheir voices," said Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida."Rep. Hays has a history of making homophobic remarks to constituents andthen denying those statements. The only thing worse than Hay's commentswould be the silence of those who know better but allow his words to gounchallenged."

A group of AIDS advocates were meeting with Rep. Hays to lobby for supportof AIDS funding by the state. Hays sit on several key state & healthcommittees.

In March of this year, Rep. Hays was at the center of another controversywhen he made bigoted comments to students during Equality Florida's SafeSchools Lobby Day. In that incident, Hays met with a group of students andparents including Jessica Osborn , who attends the University of CentralFlorida and lives in Hays' district. "After telling him [Hays] my story heproceeded to say he was repulsed by homosexuals, and we needed extensivepsychological treatment," said Osborn.

Equality Florida is Florida's only statewide human rights organizationdedicated to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.Through education and advocacy, the organization is committed to building astate of equal rights for all Floridians, inclusive of all sexualorientations and gender identities.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] photo essay on Moscow Pride

In addition to the ILGA-Europe/HRW report, there is a photo essay on MoscowPride available on our website. The photo essay in English is at:


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Radical anti-gay and anti-family groups in Arkansas plan to put anotherproposal before voters to prevent LGBT people from adopting children or serving asfoster parents. According to these groups, several preliminary drafts alsowould extend the ban to unmarried heterosexual couples.The group plans tosubmit a ballot initiative to Attorney General Dustin McDaniel in the nexttwo or three weeks, according to media reports.

In light of this, Family Pride has released the following statement.

If you have any questions please contact me.



"In Arkansas and across the country, adoption and foster care decisionsshould be left in the hands of those most qualified to make them - socialworkers, adoption experts and judges. The welfare of a child isn't aboutpolitics; it's about permanency and a safe, stable and loving homeenvironment. LGBT parents provide stable loving homes to children and 25years of research has shown that children raised in same-sex households doequally as well as children raised by heterosexual parents.

The radical fundamentalist groups pushing this legislation are eitherdenying or ignoring the reality faced by the Arkansas foster care system -that thousands of children deserve to have the best qualified, most lovingparents possible, regardless of the sexual orientation of those fostering oradopting.

It is outrageous that these groups would push their radical agenda bypoliticizing children living in foster care, who need and deserve lovingpermanent homes to grow and thrive."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Hurrah for Massachusetts! and Deval Patrick! and MassEquality!!

by New York Law School Professor Arthur S. Leonard, Leonard Link, June 14,
2007 in Legal Issues

This morning the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention overwhelminglyrejected a proposal anti-gay marriage amendment for the state'sconstitution. Under the governing rules, for the amendment to go on theballot in 2008, it had to receive at least 50 votes out of the 200 delegatesto the convention. The measure received just 45 votes. Thus ended amassive lobbying effort, enthusiastically led on the government side byGovernor Deval Patrick and on the civilian side by MassEquality, the state'svery effective LGBT rights political organization. This guarantees thatsame-sex marriage will remain available in Massachusetts for the foreseeablefuture, as the anti-marriage forces (and yes, those who oppose same-sexmarriage are, in reality, anti-marriage in a true sense) must wait untilafter the next legislative elections to broach the issue again, and the moretime that goes by, the less salient the issue gets.

Indeed, that's the best explanation of why several legislators who have beenfirm opponents of same-sex marriage did not vote for the amendment thistime. At some point, the facts on the ground take on overwhelming force,and in Massachusetts the facts on the ground are that same-sex couples havebeen marrying since May 2004, more than three years now, with no discerniblenegative effects for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The parade ofhorribles has not happened. The rate of different-sex marriages has notcollapsed. The divorce rate of different-sex couples has not skyrocketed.Out of wedlock births have not gone through the roof. Things are goingalong just fine.

Next on the agenda: repealing that offense 1913 statute, clearly passed toprevent liberal Massachusetts town clerks from issuing marriage licenses tomixed-race couples from out-of-state back in those by-gone days, which nowstands as the barrier to same-sex couples from other states (except, fornow, Rhode Island) marrying in Massachusetts. Is the Massachusetts weddingindustry ready for what may happen if the repeal effort is successful?

Celebrate. Mark this day in history. Bravo Massachusetts! Brave Gov.Patrick! Bravo MassEquality!


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

3 insurers shed light on Protestant church sex abuse

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The three companies that insure the majority ofProtestant churches in America say they typically receive upward of 260reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by clergy,church staff, volunteers or congregation members.

The figures released to The Associated Press offer a glimpse into what haslong been an extremely difficult phenomenon to pin down - the frequency ofsex abuse in Protestant congregations.

Religious groups and victims' supporters have been keenly interested in thefigure ever since the Roman Catholic sex abuse crisis hit five years ago.The church has revealed that there have been 13,000 credible accusationsagainst Catholic clerics since 1950.

Protestant numbers have been harder to come by and are sketchier because thedenominations are less centralized than the Catholic church; indeed, manycongregations are independent, which makes reporting even more difficult.

Some of the only numbers come from three insurance companies - Church MutualInsurance Co., GuideOne Insurance Co. and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co.

Together, they insure 165,495 churches and worship centers for liabilityagainst child sex abuse and other sexual misconduct, mostly Protestantcongregations but a few other faiths as well. They also insure more than5,500 religious schools, camps and other organizations.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

From: WorldNetDaily

Sexual fascism and the Mark Foley scandal
Posted: October 3, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Linda Harvey

[Linda Harvey is founder of Mission America, which monitors and reports onthe promotion of homosexuality to youth]

Apparently, Rep. Mark Foley is homosexual. And like many homosexual men, helikes young teen boys. We should pray for him that he gets a handle on thisproblem and refrains from harming any more kids.

Meanwhile, we need to wake up. The fact that this is typical behavior forhomosexuals doesn't stop us from continuing to elevate such folks topositions where they gain access to our kids.

And the liberal wing of the GOP - the "It's My Party, Too" crowd - sheltersand nurtures those who pose a serious threat to children in this and manyother ways. Foley is on the advisory board of the radically liberal -- not"moderate"- PAC led by Christie Todd Whitman, who vetoed a partial-birthabortion ban bill while governor of New Jersey and supports homosexual"marriage."

This outing of another RINO Republican won't hurt the chances ofconservatives at the polls in November, but will help clarify voter choices.

Get these people out of the party! The "It's My Party Too," or IMPT,"advisory board" is replete with child-unfriendly Republicans.

[Send your comments about articles to]


Friday, June 15, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 15, 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

June 15, 2007
Metro Briefing
Brooklyn: Youth Accused of Bias Killing

A Brooklyn teenager was indicted yesterday on charges that he had fatallystabbed a 20-year-old man because he was gay, prosecutors said. OmarWillock, 17, was charged with murder in the second degree as a hate crime,said Charles J. Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney. Mr. Hynes said Mr.Willock is charged with stabbing Roberto Duncanson, 20, after shoutingantigay remarks. Mr. Hynes said Mr. Duncanson tried to walk away, but Mr.Willock stabbed him four times.


The New York Times

June 15, 2007
Anglican Demand for Change Is Rebuffed by Episcopalians

The executive council of the Episcopal Church announced yesterday that itwould not comply with demands from leaders of the global Anglican Communionto retract the church's liberal position on homosexuality and createalternative supervision for disaffected conservative Episcopalians.

The announcement came a day after the Anglican archbishop of Kenya said hewould consecrate an American bishop in Texas to minister to alienatedEpiscopalians in the United States. In May, the archbishop of Nigeriainstalled a bishop in Virginia, a step considered by many to be outside thebounds of Anglicanism's traditional lines of authority.

The churches in the Anglican Communion, which trace their heritage to theChurch of England, have been brought to the brink of schism over the issueof homosexuality. The executive council's action makes clear that theEpiscopal Church, Anglicanism's American branch, does not intend to backdown.

Leaders of the Anglican Communion's geographical provinces, known asprimates, issued an ultimatum to the Episcopal Church in February demandingthat it stop blessing same-sex unions and agree not to consecrate anotheropenly gay bishop. The primates gave the Episcopal Church until Sept. 30 tocomply.

The executive council, after a four-day meeting in Parsippany, N.J.,followed the footsteps of the church's House of Bishops and issued astatement yesterday, saying, "We question the authority of the primates toimpose deadlines and demands upon any of the churches of the AnglicanCommunion."


The New York Times

June 15, 2007
Massachusetts Gay Marriage to Remain Legal

BOSTON, June 14 - Same-sex marriage will continue to be legal inMassachusetts, after proponents in both houses won a pitched months-longbattle on Thursday to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment to definemarriage as between a man and a woman.

"In Massachusetts today, the freedom to marry is secure," Gov. Deval Patricksaid after the legislature voted 151 to 45 against the amendment, whichneeded 50 favorable votes to come before voters in a referendum in November2008.

The vote means that opponents would have to start from Square 1 to sponsor anew amendment, which could not get on the ballot before 2012. Massachusettsis the only state where same-sex marriage is legal, although five statesallow civil unions or the equivalent.

Thursday's victory for same-sex marriage was not a foregone conclusion,especially after the amendment won first-round approval from the previouslegislature in January, with 62 lawmakers supporting it.

As late as a couple of hours before the 1 p.m. vote on Thursday, advocateson both sides of the issue said they were not sure of the outcome. Theeleventh-hour decisions of several legislators to vote against the amendmentfollowed intensive lobbying by the leaders of the House and Senate andGovernor Patrick, who, like most members of the legislature, is a Democrat.


The Washington Post

Gay marriage upheld in only state where legal

BOSTON (Reuters) - Gay marriage in Massachusetts withstood a challenge onThursday when lawmakers beat back a four-year effort by social conservativesto ban same-sex unions in the only U.S. state where they are legal. With1,000 protesters from both sides of the debate rallying outside thegold-domed statehouse, the Democratic-controlled legislature voted 151-45 toblock the amendment that would have allowed voters to decide whether to bansame-sex marriage in a 2008 ballot.


The Washington Post

Friday, June 15, 2007; A12
Move to Ban Gay Marriage Is Killed in Massachusetts

BOSTON -- Massachusetts lawmakers threw out a proposed constitutionalamendment Thursday that would have let voters decide whether to ban same-sexmarriage in the only state that allows it.

The vote -- which came amid heavy pressure to kill the measure from Gov.Deval Patrick (D) and legislative leaders -- was a devastating blow toefforts to reverse the historic 2003 court ruling legalizing same-sexmarriage. "Today's vote is not just a victory for marriage equality. It wasa victory for equality itself," Deval said.

The ban needed 50 votes in consecutive sessions of the 200-seat legislatureto secure a place on the 2008 statewide ballot. At the end of the lastsession, in January, it passed with 62 votes. This time it garnered just 45.

More than 8,500 gay and lesbian couples have married there since it becamelegal in May 2004.


6 Arrested in Gang Attack Near Metro Station
By Lena H. Sun
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 15, 2007; B05

Metro transit police have arrested six teenagers in connection with thestabbing and assault of another teen during a gang-related fight last monthnear the Addison Road station in Prince George's County.

The victim, a 15-year-old boy, was waiting at the bus shelter area on thenight of May 19 after an earlier fight with members of a rival gang,officials said. He told investigators that he was attacked by six members ofthe rival gang, including a woman who allegedly stabbed him four times andanother person who hit him in the head with a stiletto heel.

Metro officials said the fight was between two gay and lesbian gangs thatoperate in Maryland.

Police arrested Brandon Dodd, 18, of Silver Spring, yesterday and chargedhim with first-degree assault in connection with the alleged assault withthe shoe, according to Metro spokeswoman Candace Smith. Carynn Gray, 19,also of Silver Spring, was arrested and charged Wednesday with attemptedsecond-degree murder, first-degree assault, and intent to injure with adangerous weapon. Police also arrested a juvenile Wednesday.

Last week, Charles Mallory, 18, of Lanham, was arrested and charged withfirst-degree assault. Two other juveniles were arrested last week and faceassault charges.

Detectives found the suspects after interviewing the victim and witnessesand searching the suspects' MySpace pages, officials said.


The Washington Post

New Leader in Military Policy Battle
By Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 15, 2007; A19

Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif.) took the reins of the congressional effortto repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy this week, thoughshe was quick to point out that ending the ban on openly gay service membershas little chance of passage unless a Democratic president takes office in2009.

The policy, put in place in 1993 under the Clinton administration, allowsgay men and lesbians to join and stay in the military so long as they do notmake their sexual orientation known. Activists say the "enforced silence" isboth an equality issue and a military readiness problem, preventing skilledvolunteers from joining a strained military and pushing as many as twopeople each day out of the armed services when the country needs them most.

Tauscher and about 125 other House members say that the policy is outdatedand that the military and the American people are far ahead of politicianson the issue. She said efforts to roll back the policy languished under aRepublican-controlled Congress.

"We have just been in the majority for six months, and I'm hoping we canbegin the necessary education process through hearings," Tauscher said in aconference call with reporters this week. "My commitment is to get this'don't ask, don't tell' policy repealed and move forward as quickly as wecan."

Tauscher is taking over sponsorship of the Military Readiness EnhancementAct from Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.), who is leaving Congress in July tobecome chancellor of his alma mater, the University of Massachusetts atLowell.


The Washington Post

D.C. Chief Breaking Up Latino, Gay Police Units
By Allison Klein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 15, 2007; B01

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier is breaking up highly acclaimed specialunits that reach out to the Latino and gay and lesbian communities, a movethat is generating criticism from many activists.

Lanier said she is trying to expand services across the city rather thankeep the units clustered in their current quarters in Northwest. Officers inthe two units instead will work out of stations across the city. Butactivists are angry, especially in the gay and lesbian community, sayingthat the new chief is minimizing the impact of the squads.

"That will effectively erase the Unit as an identifiable and cohesiveforce," said an e-mail sent by gay community activist Peter D. Rosenstein toD.C. Council members.

The Latino unit is now in Adams Morgan, which has a high concentration ofHispanics, and the gay and lesbian unit is in Dupont Circle, the center ofthe District's openly gay population. But gay people live in all areas ofthe city, and the Latino population is rapidly expanding east of theAnacostia River, Lanier said yesterday.

Lanier said she plans to increase the size of the squads and spread them outin response to community demands. She also is considering making changes tothe Asian liaison unit, located near Chinatown, and the deaf and hard ofhearing unit, based near Gallaudet University, she said.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Jun. 15, 2007
Reid: Pace failed on Iraq war assessment

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid caused a stir Thursday when he said Gen.Peter Pace failed in his job of providing Congress a candid assessment onthe Iraq war and that he was concerned Gen. David Petraeus might be guiltyof the same.

Democrats typically have shied from stinging comments on military officers,instead focusing on President Bush and administration policies in Iraq.Republicans responded vigorously to the change against Pace, chairman of theJoint Chiefs of Staff, and Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

Said White House spokesman Tony Snow: "In a time of war, for a leader of aparty that says it supports the military, it seems outrageous to be issuingslanders toward the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and also the man that isresponsible for the bulk of military operations in Iraq."

Added Mike Duncan, chairman of the Republican National Committee: "HarryReid doesn't understand that there are some lines you just don't cross."

The switch in the Democrats' focus began last week when they told DefenseSecretary Robert Gates they would challenge Pace if he were nominated for asecond two-year term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They citedhis role as the president's closest military adviser on a failing war.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Jun. 15, 2007
Attempt to reverse gay-marriage law fails

Massachusetts lawmakers blocked a proposed constitutional amendment Thursdaythat would have let voters decide whether to ban gay marriage in the onlystate that allows it.

''In Massachusetts today, the freedom to marry is secure,'' said avictorious Gov. Deval Patrick, who had lobbied lawmakers up until the finalhours Thursday to kill the measure.

The narrow vote was a blow to efforts to reverse the historic court rulingthat legalized same-sex marriage in the state. More than 8,500 gay coupleshave married there since it became legal in May 2004.

As the tally was announced, the halls of the Statehouse erupted in applause.The ban needed 50 votes to secure a place on the 2008 statewide ballot. Itgot 45, with 151 lawmakers opposed.

''We're proud of our state today, and we applaud the Legislature for showingthat Massachusetts is strongly behind fairness,'' said Lee Swislow,executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders.


Launch of gay music label the latest Twist
By Christopher John Treacy
Thursday, June 14, 2007 - Updated: 04:29 AM EST

Does the world need a gay and lesbian music label?

According to Wilderness Entertainment CEO Matt Farber, the answer isn'tso much yes as "Why not?"

Farber's company, which also owns LOGO, the GLBT cable channel, haspartnered with Sony to launch Music With a Twist, a new gay-centric recordlabel. The imprint's May release, "Revolutions," is a diverse compilation ofprospective artists for its roster.

"The music market is more open to gays in Europe, but here in the Statesnot so much," Farber said. "Twist is no different from labels catering tospecific genres, (such as) Curb to country, Astralwerks to electronica. Weoffer GLBT artists a nurturing, safe place to creatively explore, developand focus on their music."

Farber says part of Twist's mission is finding GLBT performers whoseappeal transcends sexual orientation.


Homeless Man Says Shelter Threw Him Out Because He's Gay
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: June 14, 2007 - 7:30 pm ET

(Denver, Colorado) A 34-year old homeless Fort Collins man says that he wastold to leave a shelter because the pastor who runs it will not allow gaymen to stay there.

John Garon tells the Coloradan newspaper that he had been staying at OpenDoor Mission for about three weeks when he was suddenly told by thedirector, the Rev. Richard Thebo, that he was no longer welcome.

"He said 'I don't allow homosexuals to use these facilities,'" Garon toldthe Coloradan. "I was blown away ... To be put out for something I can'tchange has profoundly impacted me."

Thebo does not deny he told Garon to leave. He said that Garon had "hit on"another man at the shelter and a fight ensued. He also told the paper thatGaron would "flaunt his sexuality".

The pastor said that he will allow gays and lesbians to use the soup kitchenand shower at the shelter but not sleep there.


Gay Marriage to Remain Legal in Mass.
Associated Press Writer

June 14, 2007, 10:43 PM CDT

BOSTON -- Massachusetts lawmakers threw out a proposed constitutionalamendment Thursday that would have let voters decide whether to ban gaymarriage in the only state that allows it.

The vote -- which came amid heavy pressure to kill the measure from Gov.Deval Patrick and legislative leaders -- was a devastating blow to effortsto reverse a historic 2003 court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

"Today's vote is not just a victory for marriage equality. It was a victoryfor equality itself," said Patrick, who had lobbied lawmakers up until thefinal hours to kill the measure.

As the tally was announced, the halls of the Statehouse erupted in applause.

The ban needed 50 votes in consecutive sessions of the 200-seat Legislatureto secure a place on the 2008 statewide ballot. At the end of the lastsession in January it passed with 62 votes, but this time it garnered just45.

"We're proud of our state today, and we applaud the Legislature for showingthat Massachusetts is strongly behind fairness," said Lee Swislow, executivedirector of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders.

More than 8,500 gay couples have married there since it became legal in May2004.

With Thursday's vote, the soonest opponents could get an amendment to votersis 2010. That would happen only with a successful new petition drive and thebacking of 50 lawmakers in two consecutive sittings of the 200-seatLegislature -- including the one that just rejected the ballot measure.


NCLR Hails Massachusetts Victory

A Statement from NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell

San Francisco, CA - June 14, 2007

Today, Massachusetts legislators voted 151 to 45 to defeata measure that would have marred the Massachusetts Constitution by excludingsame-sex couples-who have been free to marry in Massachusetts for the pastthree years-from civil marriage. As a result of this victory, same-sexcouples in Massachusetts and across the country can breathe a huge sigh ofrelief: the freedom to marry in Massachusetts is now resoundingly secure.Those who seek to turn back the clock on justice and equality have beenhanded a bruising defeat that will resonate throughout the country forgenerations to come. In future years, we will look back on today's vote asthe beginning of a new era-a hard-won tipping point in the fierce battle toovercome discrimination against our families and to achieve a true measureof dignity and respect.

The credit for today's victory belongs to MassachusettsEquality, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Love Makes a Family, andcountless others who worked tirelessly along with many other partners andallies to make this victory possible. Credit also belongs to MassachusettsGovernor Deval Patrick, who stood fearlessly beside our community in thishistoric human rights struggle, as well as to the 151 legislators who hadthe courage and integrity to just say no to bigotry and discrimination. Thisis a history-making day, and we are all the beneficiaries of the hard workof our Massachusetts friends and colleagues.


Inside Higher Education

New Way to Offer Domestic Partner Benefits

Michigan's public colleges and universities were barred by a state appealscourt in February from offering health and other benefits to the same-sexdomestic partners of employees. So Michigan State University is tryinganother tack: extending benefits to people it labels "other eligibleindividuals."

Who are these eligible individuals? The key to the pilot program, whichtakes effect on July 1 and will be reviewed at least yearly to see if itshould continue, is that it does not mention marriage, unions or same-sexdomestic partnerships. Instead, it uses what are essentially neutralcriteria to determine who is eligible. In order to receive benefits, aperson must have lived with a non-unionized Michigan State employee for atleast 18 months without being either a tenant or a legal dependent. Theyalso can't be automatically eligible to inherit the employee's assets underMichigan law, which means no children, parents, grandparents or other closerelations - and no spouses, since they are covered under the traditionalbenefits package.

The new policy doesn't distinguish between same-sex and opposite-sex livingarrangements, and in fact it would cover people who aren't really couples inany sense, but who merely share a home. Because the court decision did notapply to current labor health care contracts, which in Michigan State's caselast through 2009, the pilot program won't be available to unionizedemployees until it presumably becomes part of the next round ofnegotiations.

The question now seems to be whether other universities in Michigan andother states with gay-marriage bans will follow suit. But that may depend onwhether there will be a challenge to Michigan State's pilot program.

The office of Attorney General Mike Cox, who challenged the same-sexbenefits, didn't have a legal position on whether the Michigan State planwould pass legal muster. The ruling focused on the text of the state'smarriage amendment, passed by referendum in 2004, which states: "To secureand preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for futuregenerations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriageshall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union forany purpose."

It was the first significant case in which a court interpreted languagedefining a "similar union," not typical wording for marriage amendments inother states. The appeals court found, in essence, that allowing benefits todomestic partners amounted to recognizing a same-sex union - or, as theruling stated, the amendment "prohibits public employers from recognizingsame-sex unions for any purpose."

The new program would seem to avoid that problem.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Last updated June 11, 2007 11:51 p.m. PT

Man may have been hit because he is gay

SEATTLE -- A man who was beaten while walking with his boyfriend lastweekend may have been targeted because of his sexual orientation, accordingto Seattle police reports.

On Sunday, the couple was together about 2:40 a.m. in the 700 block of EastPike Street when they heard someone utter a slur toward gay men, accordingto a police report.

The victim, a man in his 20s, turned and approached the man who made thecomment. That man, who was with a group, punched the victim and threw him tothe ground, at which point four to six others joined in the attack,according to a police report.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Eureka Springs
Frank Wiley Reports
City to begin recognizing domestic partnerships
June 12, 2007 09:03 AM

EUREKA SPRINGS - The north Arkansas resort town of Eureka Springs breaks newground next week. The city plans to to begin recording unions of gay andunmarried couples, and issuing certificates noting the partnerships.

It could draw even more tourists to the tourist-hungry town, but noteverybody in town is pleased with that. The Reverend Philip Wilson, pastorof the First Christian Church, says he thinks the new service by the city isat odds with the town's image as a Victorian village. He has taken outnewspaper ads expressing his concerns that recording same-sex unions willmake Eureka Springs, as he put it, "a homosexual Mecca."

"An alternative to marriage is an obstacle," said Pastor Wilson.

The city council voted unanimously last month to set up the registry ofunorthodox unions. The certificates will be issued to any pair over 18 yearsof age who pay a $35 fee.

"Persons who are in domestic partnerships, whether they're gay, straight,old or young can come in and register with the city of Eureka Springs," saidCity Clerk Mary-Jean Cell. Cell sees the addition as harmless and helpful.

"Their partners could be covered on their insurance," said Cell.

Despite the potential benefits that would come with a domestic parnership,some see it as a setback.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Top 5 Rural Prides
by GT McCallan

Fed up with the same old gargantuan, slick big-city Prides? Want a bit morecharacter in your out-and-proud shenanigans this year? Make a date with aPride festival off the beaten track and see how this crop of fresh-facedsmall towns and cities in the middle of predominantly rural areas proudlyput rainbows on their calendars.

Fargo-Moorhead Pride, North Dakota
June 1-3, 2007

Rainbow-hued rollerskating gets Fargo's Pride activities under way May 29. Ahost of enticing activities career along in its wake, from coffee shop hopsand bowling to drag shows, dancing, a beer bust and a rally. Weekendhighlights in the city known as "The Gateway to the West" include volleyballand softball at Lindenwood Park's Pride Park and a Fierce Drag Show.

Bisbee Gay Pride 2007, Bisbee, Arizona
June 15-17, 2007

The West is getting wilder in tiny Bisbee (population 6,000), a formercopper-mining town at the foot of the picturesque Mule Mountains. Once knownas "the Queen of the Copper Camps," Bisbee's queens and kings camp it upduring a drag race and bull run in Brewery Gulch, square dancing, aturn-of-the-century ball, and other such high-spirited goings-on during thissouthern Arizona mountain town's jaunty annual Pride celebrations.



Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,13319,138716,00.html?

Army Misses May Recruiting Goal
Associated Press | June 12, 2007
WASHINGTON - The Army fell short of its recruiting goal for May, its first significant slip in two years.

The active-duty Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force met or surpassed their Maytargets, although the Army National Guard and Air National Guard fell farshort.

With an array of special incentives for attracting recruits, the Armymanaged to recover from a 2005 recruiting slump, but the impact of the Iraqwar and the strong domestic economy have made it difficult to attractenlistees.

The Army and Marine Corps have suffered the bulk of casualties in Iraq.

The pace of recruiting is even more important now that Defense SecretaryRobert Gates has set a goal of increasing the size of the active-duty Armyby 65,000 to a total of 547,000 within five years. The increase is intendedto ease some of the strain on the Army from its heavy commitments in bothIraq and Afghanistan.

The Marine Corps also is expanding, although by a small amount.

Statistics released Monday showed that in May the Army signed up 5,101 newrecruits, short of its goal of 5,500, although it remains on track to meetits goal of 80,000 for the full year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2006 to Sept.30, 2007.

"May is historically a difficult month to recruit," said Maj. Anne Edgecomb,an Army spokeswoman. High school graduation and other spring events tend tomake it harder to attract the attention of potential recruits, she said.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay military service out for all to see
Julian Guthrie, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

or years, he maintained two different telephone numbers, addresses andnames: He was Steve Hall to his fellow sailors in the Navy and Steve Clarkto friends in the gay community.

A graduate of the Naval Academy and a nuclear submarine captain, Steve ClarkHall spent his 20-year career fearing he would be found out as gay. Now heis retired and living in San Francisco, and Clark Hall's story is part of anexhibit opening Friday that traces the history of gays and lesbians in themilitary -- from World War II to the war in Iraq.

The exhibition, "Out Ranks" at the Gay Lesbian Bisexual TransgenderHistorical Society in San Francisco, is billed as the first of its kind inthe nation. It opens at a time of renewed debate over whether gays shouldopenly serve in the military.

Steve Estes, an associate professor of history at Sonoma State Universityand curator of the exhibition, said he was struck by the power of theveterans' expressions of pride in having served their country despite a banthey found demoralizing.

"For the most part, these people were hyper-patriots, even though they hadto hide who they were in terms of their sexuality," said Estes, author of arecently released book, "Ask & Tell: Gay and Lesbian Veterans Speak Out."

The exhibition looks at the evolution of the nation's military policy onhomosexuality, from World War II, when it was treated as a psychologicaldisorder, through the Cold War, when gays were deemed a security riskbecause of the possibility of blackmail. It also spans the past 14 years ofPresident Bill Clinton's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, which allows gaysand lesbians to serve as long as their sexual identities are concealed.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

75% of Brighton gays have suffered abuse
14th June 2007 14:32 writer

Research into the levels of homophobia on the streets of the UK's gayestcity has revealed that three-quarters of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transresidents residents have been on the receiving end of physical or verbalabuse in the last five years.

900 of the estimated 35,000 LGBT residents of Brighton and Hove took part inthe Count Me In Too report by the University of Brighton and Spectrum LGBTforum.

Arthur Law, co-ordinator for Spectrum, told The Argus:

"This is really a starting point but there are some quite worrying findings.

"The city has long been a home to and refuge for LGBT people.

"Only together, as individuals, groups, services, and planners, can weensure that we build on these foundations to lead the way in tacklinginequality and discrimination and championing a model of LGBT inclusion thatthe city can be proud of.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,1,616196.story

The wrong side of history
'Don't ask, don't tell' is as repugnant as the 'separate but equal' pactbefore it

By Geoffrey R. Stone, a professor of law at the University of Chicago andthe author of "War and Liberty: An American Dilemma: 1790 to the Present."
Published June 12, 2007

Americans need to elect a president in 2008 who can inspire us to be thebest we can be. In that light, I watched last week's Republican presidentialdebate with special interest. The moment in the debate I found mostrevealing was when the moderator asked the 10 candidates to raise their handif they believe gay and lesbian Americans should be allowed to serve openlyin the U.S. armed forces.

Not one of them raised his hand.

At a time when our military is desperate to recruit qualified men and women,when more than 80 percent of Americans oppose discrimination on the basis ofsexual orientation, and when our national security depends on ourcredibility as a nation dedicated to the values of religious liberty,individual dignity and equal justice, it is deplorable that candidates forthe White House still embrace and defend a policy that excludes tens ofthousands of qualified Americans from military service and denies patrioticgays and lesbians the right to serve their nation unless they deny who theyare, lie about their identity and return to the closet.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay Cure
Things are getting even stranger in the right's campaign to counsel peopleout of their homosexuality.
By ERIC GRIFFEY photos by Vishal Malhotra

Near the University of Texas at Arlington, in the shadow of a sprawlingchurch, a small sanctuary occupies a suite in a towering office building.Living Hope Ministry looks like a model room from an IKEA catalog or perhapsan architect's office, with bamboo floor mats, wicker baskets, andmodern-looking track lights. Five years ago, in this office, Julie - whoasked that her last name not be used - began the biggest change in her life,from practicing lesbian to ... well, let her describe it.

"It's so much more complicated than 'I was a lesbian, then I met God, andthen I became straight.' It's a process," she said. "When I first starteddoing the Jesus thing, I didn't necessarily start out thinking I wasn'tgoing to be gay anymore. I just opened myself up to the possibility of arelationship with God." In the end, she said, the ministry, which seeks tohelp people overcome their attraction to persons of the same sex, was "oneof the most transformational things I've ever experienced."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay-inclusive sex ed plan wins approval
Mont. Co. teachers may tell students that homosexuality is not an illness
by Joshua Lynsen | Jun 13, 2:54 PM

Montgomery County Public Schools officials have approved a controversial,gay-inclusive sex education program for use throughout the district thisfall.

Officials with the Maryland school district also voted 6-1 Tuesday to letteachers tell students who ask that homosexuality is not a psychiatricdisorder or mental illness.

"If a student asks 'Am I mentally ill? Am I sick?' that child deserves aresponse, if there is a response," said Superintendent Jerry Weast.

Curriculum supporters praised the vote, and welcomed the added statement.

"It deals with the greatest fear that so many kids who are gay have," saidDavid Fishback, a PFLAG dad whose gay son once contemplated suicide. "Nowthat fear can be dealt with."

Jim Kennedy of Teach the Facts, a coalition of curriculum supporters, saidhe'd hoped the district would incorporate other positive statements abouthomosexuality, such as notes that gays can live happy and successful lives.

But the social psychologist said he was relieved that teachers can now telltheir students that homosexuality is not an illness, a view that previouslycould not be stated in class.

"This was a real breakthrough," Kennedy said. "This was great."


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,1,54539,print.story


For gay students, award means more than money
By Bonnie Miller Rubin
Tribune staff reporter
June 10, 2007

When these four students were growing up, they probably never envisioned theworld changing so profoundly that a gay and lesbian community centercovering more space than three football fields would open on Halsted Street,as it did last week. Or the Gay Games taking place not in San Francisco orKey West, but in their Midwestern hometown.

Given that many of them have endured years of harassment, they certainlynever imagined qualifying for a college scholarship based not just on theiracademic achievements but their sexual orientation.

But the world has changed. The Point Foundation, a non-profit group,recently bestowed 38 such awards, averaging $13,600 each, to some ofAmerica's best and brightest. The 2007 recipients were plucked from about850 applicants, making this year's class not only the largest in theorganization's six-year history, but also the most diverse. It includes thefirst Muslim scholar and male-to-female transgendered scholar.

The organization started with $150,000 and now has a $2.9 million budget,counting such companies as Time Warner Inc. and Citigroup as donors.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News,,20042306,00.html?cid=recirc-peopleRecirc

Friday, June 15, 2007
Isaiah Washington Breaks His Silence Exclusive

The controversial star talks to about being fired from hit ABC drama''Grey's Anatomy,'' his relationship with the show's cast and crew, and hisfuture in Hollywood

By Paul Katz

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you feeling about what happened last week? Didyou think it was fair?
ISAIAH WASHINGTON: I don't know if it's a question of ''fair.'' I'm saddenedby the outcome. I did everything that the producers and the network asked meto do. I came back under great duress and stress, and thought I was doingthe job I was hired to do. I thought that was going to speak for my futureat Grey's, but apparently that wasn't the same vision that the network andstudio had for me.

Why do you think the decision was made by ABC? Was Grey's Anatomy creatorShonda Rhimes happy about it?
I knew she was aware of the decision. But you have to understand that she'sat the helm of one of the top-rated scripted shows on television.

Were you in touch with Shonda after you were fired?

She called me on Thursday of last week [June 7] and told me that I would notbe returning to the show. Just like she personally called me and invited meto the show. It was full circle.

When was the last time you talked to Shonda?


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Armistead Maupin takes new trip down Barbary Lane
Heidi Benson, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, June 11, 2007

Unlike his friend Nora Ephron, Armistead Maupin doesn't feel bad about hisneck. Sure, it's a little creaky -- a touch of arthritis -- but he looks onthe bright side. "I wake up in the morning with the loveliest guy in theworld, with incredibly geezery aches and pains," Maupin says with a laugh.

His point is, he wakes up. And he does so -- with his husband, ChristopherTurner, a Web site entrepreneur -- in a cozy aerie, tucked in the woodsabove Parnassus Avenue at the top of a zigzag of brick steps.

The house has a spectacular view of the city, as does Maupin, creator of thebeloved "Tales of the City" series.

Started in 1976 as a newspaper serial following the adventures of thevarious eccentrics living at 28 Barbary Lane (a stand-in for Russian Hill'sMacondray Lane), "Tales" ran for years in The Chronicle, spawning six booksand three television miniseries.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

New Orleans community leader found dead

Planet Out, Wednesday, June 13, 2007 / 11:37 AM

SUMMARY: Robin Malta, a third-generation New Orleans resident and formerSouthern Decadence grand marshal, is found beaten to death in his home.

A New Orleans community activist and former grand marshal of SouthernDecadence was found beaten to death in his home Monday, police reported.

Robin Malta, 43, was found by his sister Monica Thurmond, who had gone tohis Marigny district home to check on him. He had apparently been dead forsome time, a coroner's spokesman told the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

On Tuesday morning, Malta's 1997 Nissan was found dumped in a Central Cityneighborhood, burned and its windows shattered.

Among those questioned by police is Shawn Curry, 36, an ex-roommate ofMalta's, WWL-TV reported. Authorities said Tuesday that Curry is not asuspect, but they hope he can shed light on the killing, the fourth reportedin New Orleans in as many days.

Malta and Thurmond, both third-generation NOLA residents, owned Salond'Malta, a popular hair salon in the French Quarter. Famed for hisgenerosity and good spirits, Malta raised tens of thousands of dollars forgay and other causes, including Food for Friends, the pantry of New Orleans'AIDS Task Force.

In 1998, he was named grand marshal of Southern Decadence, the massive gayevent held every Labor Day weekend. After Hurricane Katrina, he gaveNational Guard members free haircuts in gratitude for their service.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Thursday, June 14, 2007
Legislators vote to defeat same-sex marriage ban

By Frank Phillips, Globe Staff

A joint session of the Legislature swiftly defeated a constitutional ban onsame-sex marriage by a vote of 151 to 45, eliminating any chances of gettingit on the ballot in November 2008.

The vote came after House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, Senate PresidentTherese Murray, and Governor Deval Patrick conferred this morning andconcluded that they have the votes to kill the proposal.

The three leaders - along with gay rights activists - spent the last severaldays intensely lobbying a dozen or more state representatives and statesenators who had previously supported the amendment but signaled that theywere open to changing their positions.

Because fewer than 50 of the state's 200 lawmakers supported the amendment,it will not appear on the 2008 ballot, giving gay marriage advocates a majorvictory in their battle with social conservatives to keep same-sex marriagelegal in Massachusetts.

Opponents of gay marriage face an increasingly tough battle to winlegislative approval of any future petitions to appear on a statewideballot. The next election available to them is 2012.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List,21985,21904355-5005961,00.html

Erotic dreams 'conform to gender stereotypes

From correspondents in Chicago, Agence France-Presse, June 14, 2007 02:27pm

MEN may spend infinitely more of their waking time thinking about sex thanwomen, but both genders dream about the subject in equal measure once thelights are out, according to a study released today.

That surprising finding comes from a small Canadian study and flies in theface of previous research that suggested the gentler sex has far fewererotic dreams than the male of the species.

But that's where the similarities end. For the most part, male and femalesex fantasies, even in the land of nod, tend to conform to genderstereotypes, the author of the study said.

While women tend to fantasise about film stars, politicians, rock stars orlovers past and present, men tend to visualise themselves making love tomultiple partners in public or unknown settings.

The women who took part in the study were twice as likely to have dreamscenarios featuring celebrities such as actors Brad Pitt or George Clooney,or Irish rocker Bono, as their male counterparts.


Journal of Homosexuality
Volume 52, Issue 3/4
Editor(s): John P. De Cecco, PhD

This issue is now available online and will soon be mailed to subscribers in approximately 4-6 weeks.

NOTE: If the URLs in this email are not active hyperlinks, copy and pastethe URL into the address/location box in your browser.


Physicians' Attitudes Toward Homosexuality and HIV: Survey of a California
Medical Society- Revisited (PATHH-II)
Davey M. Smith, Wm. Christopher Mathews

The Interaction of Drag Queens and Gay Men in Public and Private Spaces
Dana Berkowitz, Linda Belgrave, Robert A. Halberstein

Gay Grows Up: An Interpretive Study on Aging Metaphors and Queer Identity
Ragan Cooper Fox

The Construction and Validation of the Homopositivity Scale: An InstrumentMeasuring Endorsement of Positive Stereotypes About Gay MenTodd G. Morrison, Anomi G. Bearden



Crist Asked to Repudiate Gay AIDS Slur by Republican Florida Legislator

"I Had A Cousin Who Died of AIDS; He was as Queer as a Three-dollar Bill.He Had that Homosexual Lifestyle and Deserved What He Got."

Dr. D. Alan Hays, (R-Umatilla, Lake County, District-25) Florida StateRepresentative,
in his office to AIDS Advocates Lobbying in Tallahassee Wednesday June 13,

WHAT: Press Conference & Teleconference-
AIDS Advocates Demand Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Republican Leaders &Florida Legislature Immediately Repudiate Homophobic Remarks by Rep. Hays,Who also Sits on Several Key State & Health Committees

WHEN: FRIDAY, JUNE 15th 2007-1:00 p.m. Eastern

AHF Positive Healthcare State Headquarters
110 S.E. 6th Street, Suite 1960, Ft. Lauderdale FL 33301
(in the Auto Nation Building)

HOW: teleconference dial in information
Domestic: +1.877.322.9654 participant code #557605

WHO: Michael Weinstein, AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Ron Haberle, Regional Manager, Region IV, AHF's Positive Healthcare and others who were in the room and heard Rep. Hays' utter theslur

CONTACT: FL-Joey Wynn, AHF Positive Healthcare's Community Relations
(954) 522-3132 office (305) 793.0680
CA-Ged Kenslea, AHF Director of

Communications (323)860-5227 office (323) 791-5526

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL, June 14, 2007¾

AIDS and health care advocates from throughout Florida and from AIDSHealthcare Foundation (AHF) and AHF's Positive Healthcare disease managementprogram will host a press conference and teleconference tomorrow, Friday,June 15th at 1pm in Ft. Lauderdale at Positive Healthcare's StateHeadquarters (1960 S.E. 6th Street, Suite 1960, Ft Lauderdale 33301-in theAuto Nation Building) to demand that Florida Governor Charlie Crist,Republican leaders and the entire Florida Legislature immediately repudiatea gay AIDS slur uttered by Republican State Representative Dr. D. Alan Hays(R-Umatilla, Lake County, District-25) to a group of AIDS and health careadvocates who were in his Capitol Office Wednesday June 13th lobbying him onlooming changes to Florida's Medicaid program for people living withHIV/AIDS. According to several of the 15 or so people in the room at thetime, Rep. Hays stated, "My cousin died of AIDS; he was queer as athree-dollar bill. He had that homosexual lifestyle and deserved what hegot."

"We are asking Governor Crist to immediately and emphatically repudiate thehomophobic and AIDS-phobic remarks Representative Hays made to AIDSadvocates and patients who were simply lobbying him in his state office onWednesday," said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation."There is no place for such remarks and such an attitude in the FloridaLegislature, particularly for a House member who sits on, or chairs severalkey state and health committees. We are asking Governor, Crist, Republicanleaders and the entire Florida Legislature to condemn these remarks and helpeducate and inform this unenlightened legislator."

Hays serves as Vice-Chair of the Health Quality Committee, and sits on theAudit & Performance Committee and the Healthcare Committee and the JointAdministrative Procedures Commission.

The AIDS and health care advocates were in Tallahassee at the CapitolBuilding Wednesday to lobby legislators over proposed changes to the Florida'sMedicaid program for Medicaid-eligible Floridians who are living withHIV/AIDS. The changes will adversely affect many of the 8,000 HIV/AIDSpatients covered by Florida's Medicaid program.

Advocates are also urging concerned citizens in Florida and nationwide tocontact to Representative Hays directly:

Dr. D. Alan Hays, (R-Umatilla, District 25) Florida State RepresentativeDistrict office: 871 S. Central Ave., Ste.C, Umatilla, Florida 32784-2326
Mailing address: P.O. Box 2326, Umatilla, Florida 32784
Office phone: (352) 742-6441 Fax: (352) 742-6443
Capitol Address: Room 417, HOB, 402 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FLA.
Office phone: (850) 488-0348



[Send your comments about articles to]


Thursday, June 14, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 14, 2007

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


The Washington Post

Despite retired Gen. Colin Powell's assertion that "gays and lesbians shouldbe llowed to have maximum access to all aspects of society," he continuesto support he military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, saying: "I willnot second-guess the ommanders who are serving now" ["Powell Calls forClosure of Military Prison at Guantanamo," news story, June 11].

I am disappointed in Gen. Powell's lack of leadership on this issue. Ourgovernment has a constitutional duty to protect the liberty of citizens. Themilitary, an extension of our government, exists to help defend thatliberty, and yet we don't include all of our own service people under thisprotection of liberty.

How can the thousands of honorably serving gay soldiers, sailors, airmen andMarines ever trust commanders who are bound to operate under such adiscriminatory policy? Gen. Powell knows that military commanders mustfollow the orders of their civilian leaders. Many in the military leadershiponce did not like being ordered to integrate, but the government said theyhad to.

It is time for Gen. Powell to stand up and tell Congress that "don't ask,don't tell" is no longer an appropriate policy and that all service membersshould be treated equally.




The Washington Post

Late Gain For Sex Ed Committee

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 14, 2007; GZ09

The addition of one bit of guidance for teachers to the new sex educationlessons for Montgomery County public schools was a small 11th-hour victoryfor members of a citizens advisory committee who had felt shut out of theeducational process they were empaneled to advise.

Superintendent Jerry D. Weast on Monday told school board members that hisstaff would add a brief passage to the new sex education lessons that alsoinstruct teachers on how to answer a specific question if asked by astudent: "Is homosexuality an illness?" The answer: It is not, according tothe American Psychiatric Association.

Board members Tuesday approved the lessons, with that addition, effectivelyexpanding the two 45-minute lessons from a six-school pilot program to fullimplementation in eighth- and 10th-grade health classes this fall.

The last-minute tweak was a concession to the advisory committee, and itmight have helped Weast and his staff keep control of the curriculum.

Members of the committee, a group representing parents, educators and avariety of other stakeholders, lobbied Weast and board members intenselylate last week to make additions to the lessons, which they said offeredstudents too little information to counter misconceptions abouthomosexuality and homosexuals, such as whether sexual orientation is achoice and whether homosexuals can lead happy lives.


A Questionable Nominee
A prospective surgeon general's 1991 paper on gay men haunts him in 2007,and deservedly so.

Thursday, June 14, 2007; A26

PRESIDENT BUSH has nominated Dr. James W. Holsinger Jr. to be the nextsurgeon general of the United States. His would be the leading voice onhealth issues in the nation, and as such, he would be looked to for unbiasedinformation grounded in sound science and tailored to the common good.That's why a 1991 paper written by Dr. Holsinger titled "Pathophysiology ofMale Homosexuality" has raised red flags.

Dr. Holsinger has had a distinguished career. From 1969 to 1994 he worked inthe Department of Veterans Affairs, rising to undersecretary for health in1992. From 1994 to 2003, Dr. Holsinger was chancellor of the University ofKentucky Medical Center. He was appointed by Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) in 2003as Kentucky's chief of health and family services, a post he held untilDecember 2005 when he returned to the University of Kentucky. But hisactivity in the United Methodist Church has earned him the ire of gay groupsacross the country.

As a member of the church's Judicial Council, Dr. Holsinger voted with themajority to boot a lesbian from her post as a minister and to allowministers to deny church membership to gay men and lesbians. It is not ourplace to tell religions what their beliefs should or should not be. But thatstricture does not apply when bigotry masquerades as science. Dr. Holsingerprepared "Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality" for the Committee to StudyHomosexuality of the United Methodist Church, which was discussing whetherto end the church's stance of not condoning homosexuality. Pathophysiologywas defined as "abnormal function."

The six pages of prurient fascination with what Dr. Holsinger believes isgay sex paint all gay men as promiscuous beings who are riddled with diseasebecause of various sex acts (described in detail) that are in the extremefor both homosexuals and heterosexuals. To prove his argument that gay sexwas unhealthy and unnatural, Dr. Holsinger wrote, "In fact, the logicalcomplementarity of the human sexes has been so recognized in our culturethat it has entered our vocabulary in the form of naming various pipefittings either the male fitting or the female fitting depending upon whichone interlocks within the other." Is he a doctor or the ACE Hardware man?

Christina Pearson, spokeswoman at the Department of Health and HumanServices, said, "Dr. Holsinger remains focused on addressing the health ofall in need, including gay and lesbian populations, consistent with soundscience and the best medical practices." Senators who will meet with Dr.Holsinger when he makes the rounds on Capitol Hill this month need todetermine -- at a minimum -- whether his judgment of sound science and bestmedical practices has improved since 1991.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,1921425,print.story?coll=sfla-entertainment-headlines

From the Chicago Tribune


N.J.'s gay ex-gov trashes wife
Associated Press
June 14 2007

TRENTON, N.J. -- Former Gov. James McGreevey said he's not to blame for poorsales of his estranged wife's book.

In a letter to the family court judge handling his divorce, he attributed"the failure of her book" in part to "her awful appearance on the Oprah Show... appearing in an inappropriate and ill-fitting ball gown with a plungingneckline."

McGreevey, 49, who announced in 2004 that he was gay, also said her book was"poorly written" and "dull."

The letter was sent as Superior Court Judge Karen Cassidy mulls over whetherDina Matos McGreevey can continue to claim that McGreevey libeled anddefamed her when he called her homophobic.

Matos McGreevey contends McGreevey's characterization of her caused her tolose sales in the gay community and she wants him to pay her damages.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,1611256,print.story

Giuliani outlines his 12 top campaign promises

Iraq, guns and gay marriage not included in his speech
BY Tom Brune
June 14, 2007

BEDFORD, N.H. · Rudy Giuliani rolled out a list of 12 campaign promises aspart of an agenda-setting strategy for his Republican presidential campaigntoday, but he did not mention Iraq, gun control and gay marriage.

In a speech at Old Bedford Town Hall on Tuesday, Giuliani hit on many of hisfamiliar campaign themes, including fighting terrorism, basing health careon free market principles and taming Washington.

He put a new emphasis on education, calling for vouchers to give parents ofpublic school pupils the same kinds of choices of where to send theirchildren as parents of college-bound students.

And Giuliani listed many issues dear to the right such as tax cuts,increasing the size of the military and fighting child pornography, settingout his conservative markers at a time when polls show former Tennessee Sen.Fred Thompson luring away much conservative support.

"It's a group of promises that this campaign is going to be about and myadministration will be about," Giuliani said.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, Jun. 14, 2007
Military officers now targets on Hill

A Democratic challenge to Gen. Peter Pace indicates that uniformed officersno longer are exempt from the partisan fire on Capitol Hill once reservedfor civilian policymakers.

On Friday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates made the stunning announcementthat he would not recommend Pace to serve a second two-year term as thechairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Marine Corps four-star generalhad not been a target previously of Democrats' ire on the war, but Gatessaid lawmakers made it clear the confirmation process would be ugly.

"It would be a backward looking and very contentious process," Gates said ata Pentagon news conference.

The announcement was a surprise, particularly because the Senate in recentmonths confirmed other military officers with close ties to the Iraq warwith little fuss.

In January, Senate Democrats helped confirm Gen. David Petraeus to take overthe Iraq war despite their opposition to Petraeus' recommendation that theU.S. send thousands more combat troops into Iraq. The following month,Democrats endorsed Gen. George Casey as Army chief of staff after he led theIraq war for 2 1/2 years.


Beenie Man backs homosexuals
06/13/2007 7:00 PM, Yahoo! Music

Beenie Man and Sizzla are among the reggae acts to sign a deal welcoming allpeople to enjoy their music without fear of violence.

The agreement has been struck through the pioneering work of gay-rightsactivist Peter Tatchell and his Stop Murder Music campaign.

However, although a number of outspoken stars have backed the ReggaeCompassionate Act, a string of others have not.

The act states they "respect and uphold the rights of all individuals tolive without violence due to their religion, sexual orientation, race,ethnicity or gender.

"There's no space in the music community for hatred and prejudice, includingno place for racism, violence, sexism or homophobia.


Issue Date: 6/14/2007, Posted On: 6/14/2007

Lawmakers withdraw support for anti-gay proposal
Ethan Jacobs

A bill sponsored by the anti-gay group MassResistance to restrict discussionof LGBT issues in schools has lost the support of nearly half itsco-sponsors after a campaign by the group and itssupporters asking lawmakers to reject the bill. In an unexpected twist, someof the co-sponsors who withdrew told Bay Windows that their decision was nota change of heart; they claimed that they never agreed to co-sponsor thelegislation in the first place, and they were uncertain how their name wasadded to the co-sponsor list to begin with.

Kevin Shea, chief of staff for Rep. Paul Donato (D-Medford), said Donatoonly learned his name was on the co-sponsor list for Senate Bill 321 afterreceiving a call from a constituent who opposed the bill.

"He discovered that when somebody said to him, what's with S.321, and helooked at it and said, this isn't what he discussed with anybody," saidShea. He said prior to the bill's filing Donato had met with supporters ofMassResistance in his district who urged him to support the bill, but hemade no commitment to support it. And while Donato, a supporter of theconstitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, does not have a strongpro-gay voting record, Shea said after reading S.321 Donato has come out inopposition to the bill.

"He does not support that bill. It's a lot more than just a consent bill. It'sbeyond the pale," said Shea.

Indeed, the MassResistance bill goes much farther than the current state lawallowing parents to opt their children out of sex education classes. Itrequires schools to obtain written permission from parents to include theirchildren in any discussions of "alternative sexual behavior," which isdefined to include anything even remotely associated with LGBT issues.


Pa. bill to guide gay hiring has 'better' chance
By Brad Bumsted
Thursday, June 14, 2007

HARRISBURG -- Gays would be protected against discrimination in employmentand housing under legislation introduced Wednesday by state Rep. DanFrankel.

Frankel, a Squirrel Hill Democrat, insisted the bill has a better chance nowthan during the past two legislative sessions when it failed to garnerenough support.

What's different is that House Democrats now control the agenda, Frankel andother lawmakers said.

"What a difference a year makes," said Rep. Babette Josephs, D-Philadelphia,a supporter of Frankel's bill. Last year, when Republicans controlled theHouse, the issue up for consideration was a ban on gay marriages, she said.

Josephs, chair of the House State Government Committee, pledged to holdhearings on Frankel's bill.


Gay pride festival canceled
Intelligencer Journal

Published: Jun 14, 2007 12:55 AM EST


There will be no Lancaster Pride Arts and Entertainment Festival this year.

Organizers were forced to cancel the June 23 festival after learningMillersville University wouldn't allow the event to be held on its campus.

Phil Riordan, interim vice president for student affairs at MillersvilleUniversity, said "there never was a formal agreement, no signed paperwork,for the use of our facilities or services."

A June 8 Intelligencer Journal article reported festival organizers hadchanged the venue from Binns Park to the university campus after the cityhad rejected their event application due to an incomplete application andfailure to pay fees by the application deadline.

Riordan said a student who is part of MU Allies (the campus' gay-straightgroup) and also part of the pride festival steering committee tried toreserve a space on campus for a comedian at 7 p.m.


'Fag Bash' party draws complaints
by Matthew S. Bajko

It was meant to spice up the city's gay nightlife options and reclaim ananti-gay slur, but the promoters of the June 1 "Fag Bash" party stirred upmore than just electroclash and 1980s new-wave pop hits.

The party's name and poster imagery of two closed fists on a blackbackground elicited complaints. Promoters DJ Jeff Johnson and Kurt Coopersaid some people questioned their use of the word "fag" and thought it wasinappropriate.

"I have had a couple friends who said, 'I don't like that name.' Others saidthey loved the name," said Johnson, adding he has long thought the namewould be perfect for a dance party. "I intended it to spark some reactionand make people wake up and take notice."

Notice some did. One critic left an anonymous letter with the Bay AreaReporter about the poster images. The B.A.R. ran two ads promoting the partyheld at The Cat Club on Folsom Street featuring special guest DJ ReedMcGowan.

"I can't believe that you would call a club 'FAG BASH' - it's so wrong andin bad taste as to defy description," said part of the letter written on theback of one of the posters and left at the B.A.R.'s office.


Thursday, 14 June 2007 08:28
A Plea For Help For Iraqi Gays

Click here to download a scan (in PDF) of the original letter sent by BarneyFrank and Tammy Baldwin to Condoleezza Rice to stop the hate crimes in Iraq.


The Advocate

June 14, 2007
Lawmakers who legalized gay unions contemplate same for prostitution inMexico City

The leftist party that has already legalized gay unions and abortion inMexico City said it wants to make prostitution legal in the capital of thisoverwhelmingly Roman Catholic country.

Mexico City legislator Juan Bustos of the leftist Democratic RevolutionParty, who submitted the bill on Tuesday, said the move is necessary toprotect prostitutes from abuse and regulate the sex industry.

Corrupt police frequently use the current law not to arrest sex workers butas a threat to shake them down for bribes or sexual favors.

''These are issues that we are going to bring forward as part of a politicalplatform, because we feel it is part of our duty to society,'' Bustos saidWednesday.

However, he expects opposition. Spokesmen for the Roman Catholic church,which led marches against the abortion bill approved in April, were notimmediately available for comment.


The Advocate

June 14, 2007
Baptist global warming resolution sparks debate

Southern Baptists approved a resolution on global warming Wednesday thatquestions the prevailing scientific belief that humans are largely to blamefor the phenomenon and also warns that increased regulation of greenhousegases will hurt the poor.

The global warming debate has split evangelicals, with some not onlypressing the issue but arguing humans bear most of the responsibility forthe problem because of greenhouse gas emissions. Other evangelicals saytalking about the issue at all diminishes their influence over moretraditional culture war issues such as abortion, gay marriage and judicialappointments.

The SBC resolution, approved near the end of the denomination's annualmeeting, acknowledges a rise in global temperatures. But it rejectsgovernment-mandated limits on carbon-dioxide and other emissions as ''verydangerous'' because they might not make much difference and could lead to''major economic hardships'' worldwide.

Originally, the measure also backed more government-funded research intoglobal warming's causes and alternative energies to oil. But the resolutionwas amended to drop that language, in part over concerns that it wouldendorse strong government engagement in the issue.

The two-day annual meeting of the nation's largest Protestant denomination,which boasts 16.3 million members, ended Wednesday night. The gathering washighlighted by new steps to prevent child sexual abuse, calls for unity toreverse stagnant membership and a struggle over defining Baptist identity.About 8,500 ''messengers,'' or delegates, registered to attend.


The Advocate

June 14, 2007
New poll shows same-sex marriage not an issue for Republicans in NewHampshire

The results of a new CNN poll of likely Republican primary voters releasedthis week showed "gay marriage" barely registers on the Republican radar asan important issue to be considered in the 2008 election.

The poll asked likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire, "In youropinion, which one issue is most important to your vote in the presidentialprimary?" The results of the survey showed the crowning issue for Republicanvoters in the state is the Iraq war followed by illegal immigration and theeconomy. Same-sex marriage ranked 17 on a list of 20 potential answers; 19and 20 were "other" and "no opinion" respectively.

"This poll of Republican voters confirms what many of us in the GOP alreadyknew-the GOP primary election should focus on the issues rank-and-fileRepublicans care about and same-sex marriage isn't one of them," said LogCabin Republicans President Patrick Sammon. "Republican candidates shouldfocus on issues that unite our Party, instead of using marriage as a wedgeissue in this campaign."

"This poll sends a loud and clear message to Republican candidates," saidSammon. "Our Party is hungry for leadership on the big issues of the daysuch as the war in Iraq, reforming immigration, homeland security, andkeeping our economy strong. If we are going to keep the White House in2008, we must focus on these issues instead of getting bogged down by thepolitics of division." The poll was conducted by the University of NewHampshire Survey Center for CNN and WMUR in New Hampshire. (The Advocate)


Israel's Tragic Miscalculation
by Wayne Besen

The Israeli Knesset is about to make a tragic mistake with far-reachingconsequences if it votes to ban Gay Pride rallies. This anti-democraticaction will alienate secular Jews - gay and straight - worldwide and forcestalwart defenders of Israel to rethink their allegiance. American Jewsoverwhelmingly reject the intolerance of our homegrown Christian Right, sothe notion that we will blindly support Jewish Pat Robertsons in Jerusalemis a dangerous miscalculation.

Recently, the Knesset proposed one amendment that would empower theJerusalem mayor to prohibit Gay Pride and other parades based on religioussensitivities or alleged threats to public order. A first reading of thisbill passed 40-23. In a second, more far-reaching bill, the Shas Partycalled for a ban on all pride parades throughout the country. This measure -which threatens freedom of speech and assembly - was approved by a vote of41-21.

According to Ynet News, final passage of the bills requires two more votes -which are unlikely to come prior to the June 21 Pride march in Jerusalem.Last year, authorities did not sanction the rally, claiming that they couldn't guarantee the safety of Pride marchers. The event was finally moved to analternative, secured indoor location after right-wing zealots threatenedparticipants.

This year, march organizers again have been met with threats of violence andintimidation by ultra-Orthodox Jews, who seem like Jewish versions of FredPhelps. One extremist group even put a hex on would-be participants and thepolice.

"To all those involved, sinners in spirit, and whoever helps and protectsthem, may they feel a curse on their souls, may it plague them, and may evilpursue them; they will not be [acquitted] of their transgressions fromheavenly judgment," reads the curse from Eda Haredit rabbis.


McGreevey Divorce Battle Turns Nastier
by The Associated Press
Posted: June 14, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Trenton, New Jersey) The estranged wife of former Gov. James E. McGreeveyclaims that his accusations of homophobia have hurt her book sales. Heblames her taste in clothing.

Dina Matos McGreevey, who is in the midst of a bitter divorce from theformer governor, has charged in court papers that his comments calling herhomophobic harmed the sales of her recently released memoir.

But in a letter to a family court judge, McGreevey blamed his wife's May 1interview on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," citing "her awful appearance" in "aninappropriate and ill-fitting ballgown with a plunging neckline."

He also called her book "poorly written" and "dull" and derided as"unbelievable" her assertion that she didn't know he was gay, according to astory posted online by The Star-Ledger of Newark.

The letter was sent as Superior Court Judge Karen Cassidy considered whetherMatos McGreevey can claim that her former husband libeled and defamed herwhen he called her homophobic.


Behind The Scenes In The Isaiah Washington Firing
by The Associated Press
Posted: June 14, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(Los Angeles, California) Starring on one of TV's hottest series is anactor's dream, and Isaiah Washington fought hard to keep his role as Dr.Preston Burke on ``Grey's Anatomy.''

But after twice using an anti- gay slur, Washington was doomed to lose thebiggest role of his career because of timing, a track record of volatilebehavior and pressure within the industry.

While series creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes wept when she goton the phone last Thursday to tell Washington he was out (story), thedecision was a coolly calculated move by Rhimes' bosses at the network andABC Television Studios.

His ``pattern of behavior'' represented a potential liability that was toomuch risk for the Walt Disney Co.-owned companies, a source close to theproduction said. The source was not authorized to comment publicly and spokeon condition of anonymity.

The operation to remove Washington, 43, was quick and neat. The studiodeclined to exercise his contract option for another season _ Washingtonwould have earned about US$2.7 million in salary _ and he was dumped shortlyafter the May finale.


Rice Pressed On Iraqi Treatment Of Gays
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: June 14, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(Washington) Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is being urged toinvestigate reports that LGBT Iraqis are being rounded up by militias on thestreets of Baghdad and murdered.

In a letter to Rice the two openly gay members of Congress - Rep BarneyFrank (D-Mass.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) - cite a human rights reportissued by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq that says fromNovember 1 to December 31, 2006 there were open and violent campaignsagainst LGBT

"According to news reports, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the chiefspiritual leader of Iraqi Shia Muslims, issued a 'fatwa,' orreligiously-inspired legal pronouncement, in October 2005 calling for deathfor all gays and lesbians in 'the most severe way possible,'" the lettersays.

"While the fatwa was eventually removed from Sistani's website last May, itwas never revoked, and the decree has led to the deployment of anti-gaydeath squads by the military arm of the Supreme Council for the Islamicrevolution in Iraq, the Badr Corps. As a result, violence against gay Iraqissurged in 2006," the letter goes on to say.

It also refers to a speech made by the leader of an exiled Iraqi LGBT rightsgroup in London who said that hundreds of gay men and women have beenmurdered by the militias and the US-led coalition is doing little to stopthe killings. (story)


Subject: SAVE Holds "Marriage Amendment" Meeting in Fort Lauderdale

SAVE Announces Campaign Update on so-called "Marrige Amendment"

Saturday, June 16 ~ 10 a.m. to 4 p.m

Sunshine Cathedral

1480 SW 9th Ave ~ Fort Lauderdale

Reservations needed -- call 305-751-7283

In response to Florida4Marriage's attempt to pass the so-called "Marriage Amendment, an anti-gay ballot initiative, SAVE is sending out a call to interested individuals to attend a Campaign Update in Broward on Saturday, June 16th. The update is a working meeting for everyone interested in taking a role in the campaign. Working with Pride South Florida and other organizations SAVE is using its experience in grass-roots and political organizing to mobilize all fair-minded people to defeat this ballot initiative. "We need to turn out 400,000 voters in 2008's presidential election to ensure we get the 40% of the vote we need to win" says Kirk Arthur, SAVE's Field Director.

"It's a math game, we only need 40% to win, but until we get some new polling data, who knows if we would win today" says Arthur. These initiatives have passed in 22 other states and only been defeated in 1. What is the newest twist in this battle for marriage equality? The LGBT community is aware, and organizing a year and a half ahead of time. Attendance is limited. RSVP is required. Please Contact Kirk Arthur at 305-751-7283 or


Associated Press article showing what can happen in Florida if the amendment is passed

Ann Arbor school district joins Kalamazoo in ending gay partner health benefits
Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. - The City of Kalamazoo no longer will offer health insurance benefits to the partners of gay workers, becoming Michigan's first public employer to take away existing benefits in the wake of a 2004 ban against gay marriage.

Kalamazoo City Manager Kenneth Collard confirmed Monday that the city will eliminate domestic partner benefits for four non-unionized employees effective June 30. He cited a May 23 order from the Michigan Supreme Court.

Also Monday, the Ann Arbor school district said it will not include domestic partner benefits in future union labor contracts. About 15 employees will not lose those benefits now, though they will end when existing contracts expire, The Ann Arbor News reported.

Some public employers have said they will not take away domestic partner benefits until the case is decided once and for all.

The appeals court in February said Michigan's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment against gay marriage also bars domestic partner benefits for the same-sex partners of public employees.

Kalamazoo has been at the center of the dispute over same-sex benefits in Michigan.

In March 2005, Republican Attorney General Mike Cox interpreted the city's domestic partner policy as violating the constitutional amendment, prompting a lawsuit by a Washington-based AFL-CIO group called National Pride at Work and others. Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm supports providing the benefits.

Up to 20 public universities, community colleges, school districts and local governments in Michigan have same-sex benefits policies. Universities, which employ most of those affected, argue that not being able to offer the benefits will hurt recruitment of faculty and staff.

At least 375 university and government employees in Michigan have partners who qualify for same-sex benefits


Stonewall Library & Archives to host acclaimed author Felice Picano


On Thursday, June 28th 2007 at 7:00 pm, at Stonewall Library & Archives,acclaimed author Felice Picano will be speaking and signing copies of hisnew book "Tales: From a Distant Planet."

Felice Picano's first book was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Sincethen he has published twenty volumes of fiction, poetry, memoirs, and more.Considered a founder of modern gay literature along with the six othermembers of the Violet Quill Club, Picano also founded two publishingcompanies: the Sea Horse Press and Gay Presses of New York. Among his manyaward-winning books, are the novels, LIKE PEOPLE IN HISTORY and THE BOOK OFLIES. Picano, with Charles Silverstein, also authored THE NEW JOY OF GAYSEX.


June 14

Students and Faith

Whether the source is God and Man at Yale or any number of more recentstudies, the conflict between a college education and the faith thatstudents bring to campus (secular campuses at least) is well accepted. Themore you pursue a higher education, the more likely you are to abandon yourfaith - at least that's what conventional wisdom holds.

"Actually we've just been wrong about this for quite a while," said Mark D.Regnerus, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Texas atAustin and one of the authors of a new study that suggests students whoattend and graduate from college are more likely than others to hold on totheir faith.

It's not that colleges necessarily encourage faith, he said, but for all thetalk about how intellectuals are out to destroy students' relationships totheir religions and God, the main obstacles to such relationships have to dowith maturing and how young people spend their time. "Some kids were boundto lose [their faith] anyway and they do," Regnerus said. But the evidencesuggests that college isn't responsible.


An update report about the birthday party in Esfahan

Translated by Ramin

Eighty seven young men were arrested and beaten by police at a birthday partyin Esfahan around 10:00 pm on May 10th, 2007. The police force while holdingshooting camera accompanied by four clergymen first entered the second floorof the home where the family members were gathered and arrested some of themin addition to a child. They were released the day after. Then they went tothe third floor where the party guests were gathered, turned off the lights,shot fake gunshots, forced everyone to lie on the ground, began beating themand walked over them. Then the police dragged either head-bags or theirblouses over the guests' heads, forced them to go to the street and pushedthem under baton impact into a protected car.

Despite the low capacity of this car (usually b/w 15-20 persons), the policestacked all 87 men in one car. The people who were witnessing the event on the treet reported that the clothes of the arrested men were torn and their faces were bleeding. One of the guests jumped out of the 3rd floor window and nowneeds operation on his two broken legs. Based on the received information,they were transferred to the Esfahan Dastgerd jail and were exposed to severe pressure and torture. The crime of the arrestees is not declared yet and nocondemnation is issued so far.

This attack is another example of the organized human rights violation and itis following the recent attacks to the women and workers movements which wereseverely condemned by the human right defending organizations as obvious casesof violating personal rights, privacy and individual freedom.


Reggae stars renounce homophobia

Beenie Man, Sizzla & Capleton sign deal

Historic agreement to stop "murder music"

London - 13 June 2007

Three of the world's top reggae / dancehall singers have renouncedhomophobia and condemned violence against lesbians and gay men.

Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton had previously released anti-gay hatesongs, including incitements to murder lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender people.

They have now signed up to the Reggae Compassionate Act (copy below),in a deal brokered with top reggae promoters and Stop Murder Musicactivists.

The agreement follows the three-year-long Stop Murder Music campaign,which resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of the singers'concerts and sponsorship deals, causing them income losses estimatedin excess of five million dollars.

"The Reggae Compassionate Act is a big breakthrough," said PeterTatchell, of the British gay human rights group OutRage!. Mr Tatchellis coordinator of the worldwide Stop Murder Music campaign. He helpednegotiate the deal with the three singers.

"The singers' rejection of homophobia and sexism is an importantmilestone. We rejoice at their new commitment to music withoutprejudice," said Mr Tatchell.

Contact if you would like the full article.


Russia: Gay Rights Under Attack

Attacks and Police Collusion Show Liberties Rollback

(Moscow, June 14, 2007) - The violent attacks on peaceful gay pride demonstrators in Moscow in late May show the rollback of respect for human rights in Russia, Human Rights Watch and the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA-Europe) said in a briefing paper released today.

Instead of protecting human rights and gay advocates who tried to assemble, Moscow police colluded with skinheads to break up the Gay Pride demonstration. The two organizations documented the violence and urged legal protections for freedom of assembly for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

"When LGBT people tried to assemble on the Moscow streets, some 20 ended up in jail cells," said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch, who witnessed the events in Moscow first-hand. "The violence and the arrests reveal how comprehensive the threats to basic freedoms are in Russia today."


Surgeon General Nominee Could Face Confirmation Fight Over Concerns FromGay-Rights Groups

James Holsinger, a Kentucky cardiologist who President Bush last monthnominated as the next surgeon general, might "be headed for a nominationfight," after lawmakers and gay and lesbian advocacy groups raised concernabout his position on gay-rights issues, CQ Today reports (Armstrong, CQToday, 6/8). According to some gay rights groups, Holsinger in 1991 wrote ina report for a United Methodist committee that gay sex is unnatural andpotentially leads to serious health issues (Alonso-Zaldivar,


New study shows rates of hate crimes against LGBT community similar to ratesagainst groups protected by federal hate crimes laws

By Rebecca Stotzer

June 2007

This report by Williams Institute Policy Fellow Rebecca Stotzer comparesvictimization rates for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals, who are notcurrently covered by federal hate crime laws, with groups who are covered.Results indicate that the hate crime rate against lesbian, gay, and bisexualindividuals is comparable to the rate of hate crimes against alreadyprotected groups. While the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programsreports an average of 213 hate crimes per year against LGB people, thefederal government has no system in place for documenting or collectingthese statistics. This study indicates a need for including gender identityin hate crime tracking laws, and extending legislative protection tolesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.



Don't Ask, Who Cares

Last week's forum of 10 Republican presidential hopefuls offered the countrysome troubling insight into the thinking of leading GOP candidates. Inparticular, the five who responded to questions about the Clinton-era "don'task, don't tell" policy governing military service by gays and lesbiansshowed a disturbing move away from conservative principles, in favor of whatsmells strongly of political expediency or timidity.

As a conservative Republican member of Congress from 1995 to 2003, I washardly a card-carrying member of the gay-rights lobby. I opposed then, andcontinue to oppose, same-sex marriage, or the designation of gays as aconstitutionally protected minority class. Service in the armed forces isanother matter. The bottom line here is that, with nearly a decade and ahalf of the hybrid "don't ask, don't tell" policy to guide us, I have becomedeeply impressed with the growing weight of credible military opinion whichconcludes that allowing gays to serve openly in the military does not poseinsurmountable problems for the good order and discipline of the services.

Asked about reconsideration of the don't ask, don't tell policy in favor ofa more open and honest approach, the simplistic responses by severalRepublican presidential candidates left me -- and I suspect many others --questioning whether those candidates really even understood the issue, orwere simply pandering to the perceived "conservative base." The fact is,equal treatment of gay and lesbian service members is about as conservativea position as one cares to articulate.


Girls, 14, ejected from Ore. bus for kissing

Planet Out, Tuesday, June 12, 2007 / 05:15 PM

SUMMARY: A Portland, Ore., driver throws a teen lesbian couple off a citybus, calling them "sickos," after another passenger complains about theirPDA.

A teen lesbian couple and their parents may file a complaint with thePortland, Ore., transit agency after the girls were kicked off a bus formaking a public display of affection.

Maika Rich and Jocelyn O'Neal, both 14, told KATU-TV that they were on a busheaded to the Sexual Minority Youth Recreation Center on June 8 when afemale passenger complained to the driver that they had been kissing. Thedriver told them to stop, calling them "sickos."

Maika said she gave Jocelyn a hug because the girl looked upset about theexchange, KATU reported. At that point, the driver stopped the bus andordered them off.

Maika's mother, Ronnda Zezula, later complained, telling the station shedidn't believe straight teens -- or gay adults -- would have been treatedthe same way.

A spokesperson for Portland's TriMet transit system said the agency has apolicy to never eject an underage or vulnerable person from a bus.Authorities are investigating the incident. (The Advocate)


Rabbis put curse on Jerusalem Pride

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 / 10:50 AM

SUMMARY: Ultra-Orthodox rabbis from the Eda Haredit sect, in addition totheir curse, plan a huge anti-gay rally to disrupt the event set for June21.

A group of ultra-orthodox Haredi Jews is attempting to thwart a gay rightsrally in Jerusalem, planned for June 21, by placing a curse on Prideparticipants. The group is also promi! sing a huge anti-Pride rally.

A group of rabbis from the Eda Haredit sect published a warning Sundaysaying, "To all those involved, sinners in spirit, and whoever helps andprotects them, may they feel a curse on their souls, may it plague them andmay evil pursue them; they will not be requited of their transgressions fromheavenly judgment."

The letter further threatened: "Know what happened to the evil persons whowere cursed, and thus feel in your souls that your end will be bitter."


Virginia Supreme Court Sets 18 Age of Consent for Sodomy

by New York Law School Professor Arthur S. Leonard, Leonard Link, June 11,2007

After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Texas Homosexual Conduct Act inLawrence v. Texas (2003), Virginia legislators considered a proposal toreform that state's sodomy law so that it would not raise constitutional DueProcess questions, but the proposal was rejected. As a result, Virginiacourts faced with sodomy prosecutions have had to figure out the extent towhich their sodomy statute has been rendered unenforceable as a result ofthe Lawrence decision.

In a ruling announced on June 8 in an opinion by Justice Donald W. Lemons,the court unanimously affirmed the conviction of William S. McDonald onsodomy charges, rejecting McDonald's argument that his conduct was protectedunder Lawrence because the teenage girls with whom he enjoyed oral sex were16 and 17 years old. (At the time of the incidents charged against him,McDonald was in his mid-50s.) Pointing to the state's "carnal knowledge"statute, he argued that the age of consent for sex in Virginia is 15, butthe trial judge rejected that defense, referring to the girls as "juveniles"and maintaining that sodomy between an adult and juveniles was illegal.

The Virginia Supreme Court's response to McDonald's appeal, was that the ageof consent for other kinds of sexual activity was irrelevant for purposes ofa Virginia sodomy prosecution. Simply put, the sodomy statute, which on itsface allows no consent defense regardless of the age of the parties, isapplicable up to the limits consistent with the Supreme Court's ruling inLawrence v. Texas.


New Sex-Ed Curriculum Is Urged for All Schools

Lessons Cover Homosexuality, Condoms

By Daniel de Vise, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, June 8, 2007; B02

Montgomery County schools Superintendent Jerry D. Weast recommendedyesterday that new health lessons on sexual orientation and condom use beexpanded to all middle and high schools in the fall with only minorrevisions, based on the results of field tests at six schools this spring.

The lessons are the fruit of five years of debate on how, if at all,homosexuality should be addressed in sex-education classes. Approved inJanuary and piloted in March, the teaching materials will reach all eighth-and 10th-grade health classrooms in the fall if Weast's recommendations areadopted Tuesday by the school board.

In a memo delivered yesterday to board members, Weast wrote that studentsand teachers seemed mostly satisfied with the lessons. He suggested nochange to their content.

Board members will have to weigh conflicting recommendations. Weast wantsthe lessons to go forward essentially as written, but a citizens advisorycommittee wants board members to add passages stating that mainstreammedical and mental health organizations have concluded that homosexuality isneither a disease nor a mental illness.


Gay Rights Groups Take Heart In Ruling That Struck Down Bans On Interracial

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: June 12, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Washington) LGBT civil rights groups marked the 40th anniversary of theSupreme Court ruling that struck down state laws banning interracialmarriage saying that ultimately bans on same-sex marriage also will be ruledunconstitutional.

The case, called Loving v. Virginia, began when Richard and MildredLoving, an interracial couple, were arrested in Virginia after they returnedfrom their wedding in Washington, DC.

They were sentenced to one year in prison.

The Lovings appealed the conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court,which struck down restrictions on who could marry whom.

On June 12, 1967, the Court ruled that: "The freedom to marry has longbeen recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderlypursuit of happiness by free men."

Tuesday on Capitol Hill gay rights, civil rights groups and Rep TammyBaldwin (D-WI) held a news conference to point out the similarities betweenthe fight to end the prohibition of interracial marriage and the one againstbans on same-sex marriage.

The National Black Justice Coalition also unveiled a video available onYouTube featuring interracial couples pointing out that the interracial banswere "bigotry often justified disguised as religious truth." (The videointerviewed integrated couples Julian Bond & Pamela Horowitz, the Lovings,and a lesbian couple )


Russian activists begin effort to keep gays out of Moscow park

The Associated Press / International Herald Tribune

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

MOSCOW: Activists from nationalist and Russian Orthodox groups on Tuesdaylaunched a campaign to keep homosexuals away from a Moscow park they say isa popular meeting place for gays and lesbians, Russian media reported.

The campaign reflects confidence among anti-liberal activists that they willface no opposition from authorities in Russia, which liberals accuse oftolerating nationalist and extreme-right activists while taking measures tosilence Kremlin critics.

About 50 people from several organizations converged on the small park incentral Moscow near offices of President Vladimir Putin's administration,the Interfax news agency and Ekho Moskvy radio reported. Several prayed at amonument honoring 19th century Russian military heroes, led by a RussianOrthodox priest, Ekho Moskvy reported.

Interfax quoted a spokeswoman for a Russian Orthodox youth activist groupcalled Georgiyevtsy, Diana Romanovskaya, as saying the park is frequented bypeople "who boldly demonstrate their nontraditional (sexual) orientation,persuading everyone that it is normal. We believe that it is a vice and wantto remove all this from this site, which is sacred to Russians."


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