Saturday, June 30, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 30, 2007

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The Washington Post

Civil Union Laws Don't Ensure Benefits
Same-Sex N.J. Couples Find That Employers Can Get Around New Rules
By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 30, 2007; A03

When New Jersey became the first state outside liberal New England toapprove same-sex civil unions, Craig Ross and Richard Cash were among thehundreds of couples who hurried to get their licenses. With Cash unemployedand his private health insurance costing $480 a month, the couple hoped thenew law would be their financial white knight -- compelling Ross's employerto give his partner the same spousal benefits as heterosexual marriedcouples.

But more than four months after New Jersey's civil union law went intoeffect, Ross, 46 and Cash, 54, are among the many same-sex couples severelydisillusioned with their prospects for legal equality. Citing federalregulations that allow many employers to effectively ignore state lawsregarding corporate benefits, the Fortune 500 company where Ross has workedas a computer specialist for 21 years denied the couple's request for jointcoverage.

"I feel beaten up and deflated," said Ross, who asked that his company'sname be withheld out of concern for his job. "Everyone celebrated when thisthing passed because we thought it would be equal to marriage, that the onlything different would be that we called it 'civil unions.' But civil unionsaren't giving us the legal rights we hoped for."

Since the movement to win legal recognition for gay and lesbian couplesbegan in earnest more than a decade ago, states have sought to use newdesignations -- including "civil union" and "domestic partnership" -- todefine the legal status of same-sex couples. But some activists now fearthat the problems in New Jersey may signal that the movement to win equalmarital rights for same-sex couples nationwide will be harder fought thanmany had thought.

A recent study by Garden State Equality, New Jersey's leading gay advocacygroup, indicated that as many as one in eight of the 1,092 same-sex coupleswho have registered for civil unions there have been denied all or part ofthe benefits they hoped to gain from the law. That is particularlysignificant because New Jersey, as the first state outside New England toapprove civil unions, was seen as a bellwether in gauging how they wouldtake root outside the bluest of the blue states.


The Washington Post

Shadow Boxing
The White House and Congress use the District budget to score political
points on domestic partnerships.
Saturday, June 30, 2007; Page A20

THE BUSH administration threatened to veto an otherwise dry piece oflegislation that contains the fiscal 2008 appropriation for the District ofColumbia because a prohibition against using federal funds for theDistrict's domestic partner registry was stripped from the bill. On Thursdaythe House passed an amendment to put it back. Now, we don't mean to getoverly technical here, but no federal funds were ever -- could ever -- beused to support domestic partnerships in the nation's capital. Instead, thebattle over the provision is an example of what happens when the legislativeand executive branches use the District to play to their respective bases.

First, the White House version: "The reason federal funds aren't used isbecause the current law forbids the District of Columbia from doing so,"spokesman Scott Stanzel told us Wednesday. "That is why the administrationbelieves the long-standing provision should be maintained, not removed." Infact, because federal funding for the District flows from specificappropriations, none could ever be used for anything other than itsdesignated purpose. The prohibition was nothing more than symbolismmasquerading as policy. That it was in the bill to begin with is offensive.


The Washington Post

British police patrols stepped up after bombs found

By Mark Trevelyan and Avril Ormsby
Saturday, June 30, 2007; 6:32 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - British police bolstered patrols on the streets of Londonand scoured CCTV footage on Saturday after foiling a possible al Qaeda plotto detonate two fuel-and-nail-packed car bombs in the heart of the capital.

The Metropolitan police said they had reviewed plans for public events overthe coming 10 days, including a massive Gay Pride parade in London onSaturday, the Wimbledon tennis tournament and a concert for Princess Dianaon Sunday, to ensure that there were no public security threats.



Lifetime follows set formula, shows little new on HIV issue
The New York Times
June 30, 2007

Welcome to Lifetime Land, a quiet suburban street where the star quarterbackis an HIV-positive heroin addict, the girl next door has sex with himbecause of her slutty-divorced-mom issues, and the cute substitute teacherdresses badly and wears minimal makeup because — you guessed it! — she hasHIV, too.

That's the setup for Girl, Positive, the latest Lifetime Original Movie, adramatized public service announcement whose premiere on Monday nightloosely coincided with National HIV Testing Day on Wednesday (it encores at4 p.m. Sunday). I'm no judge of its efficacy as an AIDS education tool forteenagers; certainly the statistics it presents on how many young peoplecontinue to contract HIV are frightening. As a basic cable movie, however,it's the usual cocktail of cliches.

Girl, Positive has a convenient template to follow — the teenage-pregnancymovie — and it sticks to it pretty closely. Seventeen-year-old Rachel(Andrea Bowen of Desperate Housewives, wearing way too much eye makeup here,too) discovers that having sex just one time can kill you, though the resultfrom her initial saliva test isn't definitive.

When word gets out that she may be infected, she's shunned at school; hergay best friend stands by her, and before you know it she's anAIDS-awareness heroine. This is a scare film, however, so the pep-rallyapotheosis is inevitably followed by a final emotional punch in the gut.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sat, Jun. 30, 2007
'Other' Baptists pooling resources

They're America's other Baptists -- the ones who appoint women pastors, workwith theological liberals and line up more closely with President Carterthan with President George W. Bush.

Over the last 25 years, they have watched with growing concern as theirconservative Southern Baptist brethren came to define the religioustradition for the general public.

Now, these other Baptists are slowly pooling resources on humanitarian workand evangelism, hoping they can have a bigger impact.

Friday in Washington, two of the larger groups -- the American BaptistChurches and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship -- worshiped together forthe first time. They plan to commission two missionary couples who willrepresent both groups, and will organize an Islamic-Baptist dialogue toimprove relations with Muslims.

In January, an even broader group of Baptists will host an Atlanta meeting''to speak and work together to create an authentic and genuine propheticBaptist voice in these complex times,'' according to a joint document theyissued called a North American Baptist Covenant.

The covenant grew out of meetings of Baptist leaders organized by Carter, alongtime Bible teacher who severed ties in 2000 with the Southern BaptistConvention because of what he called its ''increasingly rigid'' creed.


Metropolitan Community Church Honors Human Rights Watch
Award Recognizes Groundbreaking Work on LGBT Rights

(New York, June 29, 2007) – The Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) – afellowship of Christian churches with a special ministry to lesbian, gay,bisexual and transgender people – will present its triennial Human RightsAward to Human Rights Watch on July 4. The award recognizes Human RightsWatch’s groundbreaking work defending LGBT people worldwide from violence,discrimination, and abuse.

“Faith used as a pretext for hatred often fuels violence against lesbians,gays, bisexuals and transgender people,” said Scott Long, director of theLesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch.“For the Metropolitan Community Church, religion means inclusion, and we areproud to work with them in spreading the message that human rights are foreveryone.”

Founded in 1968, Metropolitan Community Church is the largest and oldestworldwide Christian denomination with a special affirming ministry to LGBTpeople and communities. The church’s United Fellowship presents its HumanRights Award every three years at its International General Conference. Thisyear, Scott Long will accept the award at the conference in Scottsdale,Arizona.

The Metropolitan Community Church has almost 300 local congregations in 28countries. Each year, almost a quarter of a million people attend MCC’sprograms and services. It has collaborated successfully with LGBT groups incountries such as Jamaica, Romania and South Africa to foster publicacceptance and promote human rights.

“Human Rights Watch works to build a world in where everyone’s rights willbe respected, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity,”said Long. “The Metropolitan Community Church is a vital part of this commonstruggle.”

The award recognizes Human Rights Watch for these achievements againstprejudice and persecution, among others:


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Jun. 27, 2007
Neo-Nutsies bring frustration, anger -- and joy

So, what's going on with you? Nothing much? Wish I could say the same.As you may know if you've seen CNN or read the paper, yours truly has latelybeen the target of death threats and harassment from the ranks of thenot-so-tightly-wrapped. This, after a June 3 column about the torture murderof a young white couple, allegedly by four African Americans. My column tookon white supremacists and far right bloggers who contend that this''genocide'' -- their word -- goes unremarked by news media too PC to reportblack-on-white crime.

It was an argument made for ridiculing and I did my best, pointing out thatblack-on-white crime, a relative statistical rarity, is not underreportedbut, in fact, over-reported, according to any number of studies and experts.This offended a self-professed neo-Nazi leader whose name you won't readhere. So he got on his little neo-Nutsy website and posted my home addressand phone number. It's been game on ever since -- 400 e-mails, dozens ofphone calls, leaflets on my neighbor's driveway.

''You should be back in a damn mud and dung hut you nappy headed ho''. ..''Who's crying now, you affirmative action ape?''. . . and etcetera. Thegist of this outburst: a handful of contentions, each more asinine than thelast:

• Pitts has no compassion for the victims. (I called the murders brutal anda tragedy and said the killers should rot under the jailhouse.)


The Daily Democrat

Gay hate crimes still widespread
Men still more likely to be in violent incidents
By Democrat staff
Article Created: 06/29/2007 09:26:40 AM PDT

Nearly four in 10 gay men and about one in eight lesbians and bisexuals inthe United States have been the target of violence or a property crimebecause of their sexual orientation, according to a new study by UC Davispsychology professor Gregory Herek.

"This is the most reliable estimate to date of the prevalence of anti-gayvictimization in the United States," Herek said. "The data demonstrate thatcrimes against sexual minority adults, especially gay men, are disturbinglywidespread."

Herek's findings were based on a survey he conducted in the fall of 2005with a nationally representative sample of 662 self-identified gay men,lesbians and bisexuals. The study will be published in a future issue of theJournal of Interpersonal Violence.

Overall, 21 percent of the people in the survey reported being the victim ofviolence or a property crime - including physical assault, sexual assault,theft and vandalism - because of their sexual orientation. In addition, 49percent said they had been verbally abused because of their sexualorientation, 23 percent reported being threatened with violence, 12.5percent reported having objects thrown at them, and 11 percent reportedhousing or job discrimination.

The total exceeds 100 percent because some individuals reported being thetarget of multiple attacks.


The Edge - Boston

Study Shows Gay Men Driving Higher Syphilis Rates
by Kilian Melloy
EDGE Boston Contributor
Friday Jun 29, 2007

HIV-positive American men in four cities have been found to carry aworrisome strain of syphilis, according to U.S. health officials.

The particular form of the disease, neurosyphilis, has been tracked in 49gay and bisexual men in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Diegoby the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which monitored themen from January of 2002 through June of 2004.

Reuters reported yesterday that, based on this information, the CDCindicated that gay and bisexual men are the primary cause of a nation-wideincrease of syphilis in recent years.

The same 49 men were also reported to be having unprotected sex, which isknown to increase the risk of transmitting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

"These are primarily infections that people are probably getting becausethey’re not using condoms," said Dr. Thomas Peterman of the CDC’s Divisionof STD Prevention.

Dr. Peterman said that there is a perception among some of the men thatbecause they are already HIV positive, they no longer need to engage in safesex.

Dr. Peterman is one of the report’s authors.


Express Gay News

New directions for Compass
Palm Beach County gay center to move to Lake Worth, expand programs
Friday, June 29, 2007

When Compass, the gay and lesbian community center of Palm Beach County,moves to Lake Worth in the spring of 2008, it hopes to make a difference inmore than the gay community. The new center will also serve as an emergencydistribution facility in the event of a hurricane or other disaster.

“One of interesting things about our partnership with the city is that weare going to be the only disaster-relief center in downtown Lake Worth,”said Scott Fox, executive director of Compass. “We offered to make ourfacility available for distribution of supplies and will be first in linefor electric.”

The 19-year-old organization has many changes in mind once it moves into itsnew building, which currently houses the Mid-County Senior Citizen Center.

This will be the third home for the organization. In 1997, a member of thegroup donated a building to Compass on North Dixie Highway in West PalmBeach. The organization eventually grew too large for the property. In 2000,the center was moved to a 5,000-squarefoot facility on South Dixie Highway,also in West Palm Beach.


Express Gay News

Groups say anti-depressant drugs causing suicides, deaths
Gay teen’s story in documentary film highlights dangers of drugs
Friday, June 29, 2007

At age 13, Jason Atwood was feeling the angst that many gay teens feel whenstruggling with issues of their emerging sexual orientation. His parentswere not accepting him as gay, his classmates at school were teasing him andeven his siblings were calling him a "faggot" and "queer" when he foughtwith them. He had just recently come out at school, and it caused him tolose friends, he recalled. His family had just moved into a newneighborhood, uprooting the few friendships he had developed.

Atwood, who grew up in a Mormon family outside Salt Lake City, had alsostarted to explore alternative religions, including paganism. Alarmed by hisbehavior, Atwood’s parents took him to the family physician.

"The doctor told me I needed to be on medication," Atwood recalled. "He saidI was depressed and obsessive-compulsive, and that I tended to isolatemyself and not involve myself with others."

The doctor, who was not a psychiatrist, prescribed Paxil, an anti-depressantdrug, for the 13-year-old. Atwood said he was at first "open to the idea"that medication could help him "until I started taking it."


Express Gay News

Is Gay Pride passé?
Attendance steady across U.S., but some say events becoming obsolete
Friday, June 29, 2007

Declaring Pride parades and festivals passé, out of vogue, boring orirrelevant is the gay equivalent of “Is rock dead?” — a perennialconsideration that doesn’t ever seem to die.

Ever since Lisa Simpson responded to “We’re here, we’re queer, get used toit,” with “We are used to it — you do this every year” back in 1989, andperhaps before, there’s been a sense that Pride has lost some of its lusteras gays in America increasingly find mainstream acceptance.

A New York Observer article two weeks ago quoted several Big Apple gayresidents who said they’d rather celebrate at more sophisticated privateevents and mentioned a pre-Pride rally that drew a small crowd of just a fewhundred when 8,000 had been expected.

Washington also experienced some of that. Capital Pride’s opening party withWicked Jezebel at Hard Rock Café June 1 had a dismal turnout. But numbersfor the parade and festival the following weekend were in line with that ofyears past — about 200,000 — according to Capital Pride organizers.


Express Gay News

by Chris Crain
Party with a purpose?
World’s largest Pride parade was marred by murder. For some, the day’slesson wasn’t learned.
Friday, June 29, 2007

MORE THAN THREE million people gathered earlier this month in São Paulo,Brazil, for the world’s largest ever Gay Pride parade. The sheer size andspectacle weren’t the only reasons the event was one I will never forget.

Anyone who has been to Carnaval in Rio De Janeiro knows that Brazilians knowhow to throw a party. Gay Pride in São Paulo, a city of 20 million, is noexception. The parade down Avenida Paulista was a gigantic street party,with 23 massive trailers, each sponsored by a gay organization, nightclub orbusiness, and souped up with a powerful sound system, decorations andspotlights — since the parade starts in the early afternoon and lasts foreight hours well into the night.

This was not a parade like we are used to in the U.S., with floats andmarchers in the street, cheered on by spectators on the sidewalks. This wasa celebration for everyone, with no distinction between those of us on thetrailers and the people dancing alongside in the streets and spilling overonto the sidewalks.


The Advocate

House wards off veto threat with gay slap

By a surprisingly bipartisan vote of 224–200, the U.S. House ofRepresentatives on Thursday passed an amendment banning the use of federalfunds to support Washington, D.C.'s local domestic-partner registry.

The White House warned Wednesday that President Bush would veto this year'sroutine appropriations bill for the District of Columbia if it did notinclude such an amendment, a response to the district's strengthening of itssame-sex partner benefits last year.

Officials said the vote will have little practical effect because the cityuses local funds for the partner registry, The Washington Post reported.

But gay activists deplored the move, with Human Rights Campaign presidentJoe Solmonese calling the veto threat "a new low" in "antigay zeal."

The district, though it gets most of its revenue from local taxes, alsoreceives federal funding through Congress, making it more vulnerable thanother cities to shifts in the national political winds.

The antigay amendment was sponsored by right-wing Republican representativeVirgil Goode of Virginia. Forty Democrats supported it; 12 Republicans wereopposed.

"The U.S. House of Representatives should be on record supportingtraditional marriage between a man and a woman, and oppose alternativedefinitions of marriage," Goode told the Post.


The Advocate

Party politics

After his partner criticized the Democratic National Committee for not doingenough on gay issues, Donald Hitchcock lost his job as the group's directorof fund-raising from gay donors. Coincidence? Hitchcock thinks not. He suedthe DNC, chairman Howard Dean, and two others this May—and speaks here forthe first time anywhere about what happened to him.

By Dan Allen

An exclusive posted June 29, 2007

In May 2006, Donald Hitchcock was fired by the Democratic National Committeeas director of its Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council—less than a week afterhis partner, fellow Washington politico Paul Yandura, e-mailed high-levelDemocratic donors and suggested they withhold financial support from the DNCin protest of the group's apparent neglect of antigay ballot initiatives.

Hitchcock, whose role was to raise funds from gay donors, claimed his suddendismissal was retaliatory, but the DNC denied the charge. Indeed, in anAdvocate interview at the time, Dean suggested that Hitchcock's poor jobperformance was to blame.

This May, after settlement negotiations failed, Hitchcock filed a lawsuit inDistrict of Columbia superior sourt against the DNC, Dean, treasurer AndyTobias (who is gay), and deputy finance director Julie Tagen, allegingretaliation, defamation, and discrimination on the basis of sexualorientation. Again, the DNC denied the allegations.


Forgotten Inequality: GLBT Prisoners
by Jennifer Vanasco,

Same-sex marriage, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes
Prevention Act, ENDA. These are the sexy topics in the GLBT civil rightsmovement.

We all know about them, we vote according to the way politicians feel aboutthem, some of us give money toward their favorable resolution.

But equality has limits.

Most of us, for example, don’t know about the often dangerous inequalityfacing GLBT prisoners.

GLBT prisoners are raped. They are isolated. They are denied access tosustaining graces, like hugging a family member during visitation. Allbecause they are gay, or their gender swerves from the standard.

No one knows what percentage of prisoners are GLBT’s. Two percent? Tenpercent? Higher? There are over 2 million prisoners in the U.S. system atany one time; we are clearly talking about big numbers. How big, no oneknows.


Gay Sex Scenes That Made Movie History
by Christie Keith, Contributing Writer
June 27, 2007

Once upon a time, there were no gay and lesbian sections in the videostores, no queer film festivals, no debates over whether or not showing gaymen having sex was good for the gay community's image. There were definitelyno major theatrical releases of big-budget films in which gay men had sex,and certainly no one ever dreamed a film like that could ever be nominatedfor an Oscar.

Here, takes a look back at the most important andgroundbreaking gay male sex scenes in films. These are films that for themost part had a major American theatrical release, even if it was of limitedscope, with a few groundbreaking foreign, art house and GLBT film festivalmovies included as well. These criteria are admittedly somewhat subjective,so if you feel we've missed a film that broke new ground with its use of sexbetween men, let us know.

The Golden Age

In the mid-'80s a kind of sea change hit American theaters. Far from beingart house and gay film festival exceptions, foreign films with gay maleprotagonists and overt depictions of gay male sexuality began fillingtheaters in cities across the United States, earning rave reviews and doingwell at the box office.


Poland's Anti-Gay Stance Blasted
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: June 29, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Warsaw) Europe's watchdog for human rights hammered the Polish governmenton Friday for what he called an abysmal record in the treatment of gays andlesbians.

Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg presentedPolish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski with a failing grade in a humanrights performance report.

Afterwards Hammarberg told reporters that the country has a homophobiaproblem and the government needs to tone down the rhetoric.

"I think we should remember that one of the groups that were targeted by theNazis were homosexuals, and we should really avoid to fall into that trapnow," Hammarberg said.

"We feel that there is a problem of homophobia in several countries ofEurope, including Poland, that one has to avoid statements, in particularfrom leading politicians, that may be interpreted as justifying homophobicactions or opinions," Hammarberg said. "Because this is a minority which isunder quite some pressure."

Remarks by Polish leaders on homosexuality has at times "been below thestandards that we should have," he said. "Leading politicians should reallytake responsibility to avoid that such discriminatory attitudes spread."

Earlier this month more than five-thousand people marched through thestreets of Warsaw in the first legally sanctioned LGBT pride parade in thePolish capital. Many of the marchers carried banners reading "Stophomophobia". (story)


Kalamazoo Skirts Court Ruling To Continue Partner Benefits
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: June 29, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Kalamazoo, Michigan) Kalamazoo has found a way around a court ruling thatsaid providing health insurance to the same-sex partners of city workersviolated the state amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The solution: don't call it a domestic partner benefit. Under a motionagreed to by City Commissioners Friday the plan now will be called an "OtherQualified Adult" program and is available to any two people living togetherin a dependent relationship where one person is a city employee.

Earlier this year a Court of Appeal panel ruled the state's constitutionalamendment barring same-sex marriage made it illegal to offer same-sexdomestic partner benefits for public employees.

The constitutional amendment defines marriage as the union between a man anda woman and is the only agreement that can be recognized as a marriage "orsimilar union for any purpose."

The ruling is under appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court but the justicessaid that until it renders a decision the appellate ruling must go intoeffect.

As a result Kalamazoo became the first public employer in the state toannounce it would strip health benefits from the domestic partners of itsgay and lesbian employees.


Gay Foe Romney Accused Of Abusing Dog
by The Associated Press

Posted: June 29, 2007 - 2:30 pm ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) An example of Mitt Romney's crisis management skillshas turned into something of a political problem for the Republicanpresidential contender.

Romney placed his family dog, an Irish setter named Seamus, into a kennellashed to the top of his station wagon for a 12-hour family trip from Bostonto Ontario in 1983. Despite being shielded by a wind screen the formerMassachusetts governor erected, Seamus expressed his discomfort with adiarrhea attack.

Now the story, recounted this week in a Boston Globe profile of Romney, hastouched off howls of outrage from bloggers and animal rights activists eventhough it was presented in the story as an example of Romney's coolnessunder trying circumstances.

When Romney's eldest son, Tagg, and his four brothers complained about thebrown runoff down the back windshield, their father quietly pulled the carover, borrowed a gas station hose and sprayed down both the dog and thekennel before returning to the road.

"Massachusetts animal cruelty laws specifically prohibit anyone from
carrying an animal `in or upon a vehicle, or otherwise, in an unnecessarilycruel or inhuman manner or in a way and manner which might endanger theanimal carried thereon,'" wrote Steve Benen in a post on the blog "Crooksand Liars."

Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,told Time magazine's "Swampland" blog: "If you wouldn't strap your child tothe roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the family dog!"



By Chris Herlinger, Religion News Service

NEW YORK — Not many theater productions include a glossary of Mormontheological and ecclesiastical terms in the program. Then again, Carol LynnPearson's play, Facing East, defies a number of expectations.

Pearson's somber but compassionate one-act portrayal of a Mormon family'sstruggle to come to terms with the suicide of their gay son treats, as somereviewers have noted, both church traditionalists and critics with humanityand empathy. It's one reason the play had a much-feted premiere in Salt LakeCity last November.

The play has now started to premiere in major U.S. cities with large gay andlesbian populations. Facing East recently completed a successfuloff-Broadway run in New York, dovetailing the city's June Gay Pridefestivities. The play now moves on to San Francisco for a two-week run inAugust and there is talk of the play moving to Boston.

Pearson is uniquely qualified to write the drama: her memoir Goodbye, I LoveYou, chronicled her experiences caring for her former husband, Gerald, a gayman who died of AIDS in 1984. Her former son-in-law, Steven Fales, turnedout to be gay and wrote the one-man play, Confessions of a Mormon Boy.

Pearson's latest book, No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons Around OurLoved Ones, explores the experiences of Mormon families supporting their gaychildren.


National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

Gay Travellers Spend Twice as Much as Straights

Canadian gay travellers spent an average of $1,166 per trip last year,almost double what straight travellers spent, said a study by the CanadianGay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.



Ft. Lauderdale


The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida (GLCC)Board of Directors proudly announces the June 20 demolition of severalbuildings on the East side of Andrews Avenue, the future site of the newGLCC facility. “The timing of this demolition, days before our local GayPride Celebration and the Stonewall Street Festival, could not have beenbetter,” reports Paul Hyman, Executive Director of the GLCC. “Thisdemolition marks a critical and exciting step for Broward County and thewhole of South Florida, clearing the path for us to demonstrate the hugerole and influence of the local GLBT population with an appropriatelyvisible and beautiful new facility.”

Hyman has been quietly recruiting individuals, and building teamsof local community leaders and specialists in areas ranging fromarchitecture to legal affairs, to fund-raising and marketing, in preparationfor the new growth phase for the organization. He went on to say, “Ourinvestment of time and emphasis on planning these first steps were criticaland extremely successful. Now, with a solid base of resources in place, weare moving forward strategically to continue to deliver the criticalprograms and services we provide to those in need in our community. We willnot lose focus on the people we serve on a daily basis while we create ournew home.”

One of the new resources is the Building Committee, which Hymanrecommended to the board. Its sole focus is to oversee the building of thenew facility.


Politics & Society
Wealthy Gay Donors a New Force in Politics
by Austin Jenkins

All Things Considered, June 26, 2007 · A new force is emerging in Americanpolitics: wealthy, gay political donors who target state-level races. Lastyear, they funneled millions of dollars into dozens of carefully selectedcampaigns. Their goal: to elect gay-friendly governors and state lawmakers.

Freshman Washington state Rep. Deb Eddy, a Democrat from Seattle's Eastside,remembers the phone call she received last summer from a politicalconsultant on the East Coast. "Her purpose was simply to let me know that Iwould be receiving checks from out-of-state and that these were all on theup-and-up," Eddy says.

As Eddy remembers it, the caller told her the money was coming from a groupof gay and gay-friendly donors who wanted to help influence statelegislative races. Soon the checks started arriving — seven in all.


The Columbus Dispatch

Gay council candidate wins GOP backing
Brownson survives claims of disloyalty
Friday, June 29, 2007 3:22 AM
By Lisa Halverstadt


Bill Brownson is the first openly gay candidate to get the support of theFranklin County GOP.

Despite accusations that he has been disloyal to their party, Republicanleaders voted last night to endorse Bill Brownson for Columbus City Council.Brownson, who will replace placeholder candidate John Campbell, is the firstopenly gay candidate to be backed by the county GOP's 144-member centralcommittee.

Allegations of disloyalty came during Brownson's time as national chairmanof the Log Cabin Republicans when the GOP gay-advocacy group withheld itsendorsement for President Bush for re-election.

That doesn't make Brownson the best candidate, some say.

Central committee member Jack Etheridge questioned Brownson in a June 16e-mail to other members.

He disputed the Log Cabin group's decision not to endorse Bush; its filingof a federal suit against then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's "don'task, don't tell" policy; and its issuing of statements against both a lawand a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.


From Equality Florida

Today is the day!

Just one day to go! And we're so close to reaching our goal.

Exactly 278 generous online donors have made a real commitment, over thepast two weeks, to support the Fairness for All Families campaign to defeata discriminatory "marriage" amendment in 2008.

Let Florida know you will be standing with us in the 2008 Election by giving$20.08 today. Our first major financial reporting cycle ends in less than 24hours, so your support now will really demonstrate the strength of ourcommitment to oppose this mean spirited amendment.

Each contribution today, no matter how big or how small, will increase thecritical total number of fair-minded Floridians who are seen as trulycommitted to defeating this ugly and harmful initiative.

Be Our 300th Online Donor Now!

By defeating the so-called "marriage" amendment, Fairness for All Familieswill:

1.. Protect the Florida Constitution from being used as a weapon todiscriminate against our fellow Floridians, and
2.. Protect healthcare benefits and legal protections already being reliedon by thousands of Florida families, including: seniors, school teachers,fire fighters, police officers, city employees, and many more.

We believe there are at least 22 people reading this right now who would beproud to be part of such an accomplishment. Are you one of them? By givingtoday, your name will be added to our list of critical first supporters ofthe Fairness for All Families campaign. Let's break 300!

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As I mentioned earlier, our first major financial reporting cycle comes toan end in less than 24 hours. Your contribution today will help ensure that,when these reports are studied in the coming weeks, newspapers and newsbroadcasts across the state and nation will report on Florida's overwhelmingopposition to this mean-spirited and discriminatory amendment.

Join us as we make history on Election Day 2008 by contributing $20.08 now.

With sincere thanks,

Damien Filer
Campaign Manager

P.S. If $20.08 is just more than you can do right now, contribute $11.04 tocommemorate Election Day (11/04/2008).


Ft. Lauderdale

Save The Date: October 6th

Dolphin Democrats 25th Anniversary Awards BanquetHyatt Pier 66, Fort Lauderdale

Watch our website for more information and ticket sales


The New York Times

June 30, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist

When Is Enough Enough?

Chances are you didn’t hear it, but on Thursday night Senator HillaryClinton said, “If H.I.V./AIDS were the leading cause of death of white womenbetween the ages of 25 and 34, there would be an outraged outcry in thiscountry.”

Her comment came on the same day that a malevolent majority on the U.S.Supreme Court threw a brick through the window of voluntary schoolintegration efforts.

There comes a time when people are supposed to get angry. The rights andinterests of black people in the U.S. have been under assault for thelongest time, and in the absence of an effective counterforce, that assaulthas only grown more brutal.

Have you looked at the public schools lately? Have you looked at theprisons? Have you looked at the legions of unemployed blacks roaming theneighborhoods of big cities across the country? These joblessAfrican-Americans, so many of them men, are so marginal in the view of thewider society, so insignificant, so invisible, they aren’t even counted inthe government’s official jobless statistics.

And now this new majority on the Supreme Court seems committed to a legaltrajectory that would hurl blacks back to the bad old days of the Jim Crowera.

Where’s the outcry? Where’s the line in the sand that the prejudiced portionof the population is not allowed to cross?

Mrs. Clinton’s comment was made at a forum of Democratic presidentialcandidates at Howard University that was put together by Tavis Smiley, theradio and television personality, and broadcast nationally by PBS. The ideawas to focus on issues of particular concern to African-Americans.

It’s discouraging that some of the biggest issues confronting blacks — thespread of AIDS, chronic joblessness and racial discrimination, for example —are not considered mainstream issues.

Senator John Edwards offered a disturbingly bleak but accurate picture ofthe lives of many young blacks: “When you have young African-American menwho are completely convinced that they’re either going to die or go toprison and see absolutely no hope in their lives; when they live in anenvironment where the people around them don’t earn a decent wage; when theygo to schools that are second-class schools compared to the wealthy suburbanareas — they don’t see anything getting better.”

The difficult lives and often tragic fates of such young men are not much onthe minds of so-called mainstream Americans, or the political and corporateelites who run the country. More noise needs to be made. There’s somethingvery wrong with a passive acceptance of the degraded state in which so manyAfrican-Americans continue to live.

Mr. Smiley is also organizing a forum of Republican candidates to be held inSeptember. I wholeheartedly applaud his efforts. But if black people weremore angry, and if they could channel that anger into political activism —first and foremost by voting as though their lives and the lives of theirchildren depended on it — there would not be a need to have separatepolitical forums to address their concerns.

If black people could find a way to come together in sky-high turnouts onElection Day, if they showed up at polling booths in numbers close to themaximum possible turnout, if they could set the example for all otherAmericans about the importance of exercising the franchise, the politicianswould not dare to ignore their concerns.

For black people, especially, the current composition of the Supreme Courtshould be the ultimate lesson in the importance of voting in a presidentialelection. No branch of the government has been more crucial than thejudiciary in securing the rights and improving the lives of blacks over thepast five or six decades.

George W. Bush, in a little more than six years, has tilted the court soradically that it is now, like the administration itself, relentlesslyhostile to the interests of black people. That never would have happened ifblacks had managed significantly more muscular turnouts in the 2000 and 2004elections. (The war in Iraq would not have happened, either.)

There are, of course, many people, black and white, who are working on avast array of important issues. But much, much more needs to be done. Andblacks, in particular, need to intervene more directly in the public policymatters that concern them.

In the 1960s, there were radicals running around screaming about blackpower. But the real power in this country has always been the power of thevote. Black Americans have not come close to maximizing that power.

It’s not too late.


The Washington Post

Not One More Roberts or Alito
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Friday, June 29, 2007; A21
Just say no.

The Senate's Democratic majority -- joined by all Republicans who purport tobe moderate -- must tell President Bush that this will be their answer toany controversial nominee to the Supreme Court or the appellate courts.

The Senate should refuse even to hold hearings on Bush's next Supreme Courtchoice, should a vacancy occur, unless the president reaches agreement withthe Senate majority on a mutually acceptable list of nominees.

And no Bush nominee to a lower court deserves any deference now that welearn that U.S. Appeals Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh may have misled theSenate during his confirmation hearings. Kavanaugh claimed he was notinvolved in administration discussions about setting the rules for thetreatment of enemy combatants. The Post reported that he was.

Although a spokeswoman for Kavanaugh insisted that his testimony was"accurate," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said, "I don'tbelieve that he was truthful with us."

As for the Supreme Court, we now know that the president's two nominees,Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, are exactly what manyof us thought they were: activist conservatives intent on leading a judicialcounterrevolution. Yesterday's 5 to 4 ruling tossing out two schooldesegregation plans was another milestone on the court's march to the right.

Even after he was confirmed, Roberts was talking about something other thanthe 5 to 4 conservative court we saw this year on case after case. In aspeech at Georgetown University Law School in May 2006, Roberts rightlyargued that "the rule of law is strengthened when there is greater coherenceand agreement about what the law is." It's a shame this quest for broadermajorities had so little bearing on the 2007 Roberts-led court.

Especially troubling was the opinion offered by Roberts and Alito this weekeviscerating the rather modest restrictions on sham "issue" ads in theMcCain-Feingold law. The provision, which applies for 30 days before aprimary and 60 days before a general election, is aimed at preventing largeamounts of corporate and union money from getting around campaign financerestrictions.

Three conservative justices, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and AnthonyKennedy, were willing to admit that in voiding this part of the law theywere overturning a precedent set by the court only four years ago. ButRoberts and Alito pretended to follow the earlier ruling while ripping itsguts out. Scalia called this "faux judicial restraint."

"The court (and, I think, the country) loses when important precedent isoverruled without good reason," Justice David H. Souter wrote for thedissenters. Exactly. But upsetting precedent, directly or indirectly, is amajor goal of this new conservative majority.

As Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute noted this week inRoll Call, the issue-ad decision demonstrated "not a careful, conservativedeference to Congress" but instead "a willingness by Roberts to toss asideCongress' conclusions to fit his own ideological predispositions" -- thevery definition of judicial activism.

If another conservative replaces a member of the court's moderate-to-liberalbloc, the country will be set on a conservative course for the next decadeor more, locking in today's politics at the very moment when the electorateis running out of patience with the right.


The Washington Post

Standing in the Schoolhouse Door
By Eugene Robinson
Friday, June 29, 2007; Page A21

It's time for those of us who are old enough to remember when the U.S.Supreme Court was a major force for racial integration and justice to stopliving in the past. We need to realize that for the foreseeable future anyprogress our increasingly diverse country makes toward fairness and equalitywill come in spite of the nation's highest court, not because of it.

No one should be surprised that the court, as it made clear yesterday, doesnot consider promoting racial diversity in the nation's public schools to bea particularly worthy goal. No one should be surprised that Chief JusticeJohn Roberts pretends not even to understand the concept: In his majorityopinion striking down school integration plans in Seattle and Louisville,Roberts described what the two cities were doing as "racial balancing," eventhough local officials made clear that their intent was nothing moresinister than racial inclusion.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

More Than Half Now Protected by Fairness Laws

by David Williams

The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide reports that as of the end of 2005 morethan half of all Americans are now protected against discrimination on thebasis of their sexual orientation in employment. Many local and state lawsalso have protections in public accommodations and housing. The number ofjurisdictions with any such protections is up from just 33 percent 13 yearsago.

Another remarkable advance: nearly 40 percent of the population is alsoprotected on the basis of their gender identity. As late as 2000 only 6.6%of jurisdictions had such protections.

In many ways, Louisville led the way in January 1999 when it became one ofthe first cities in the country to pass an ordinance granting suchprotections, even before such larger cities as Chicago and New York City.

Same-sex couples have also seen gains over the last decade. Ten states nowgrant them rights equal or similar to heterosexually married couples.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

New law allows HIV tests with just spoken consent By Monique Garcia Tribunestaff reporter Published June 28, 2007

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed legislation Wednesday tostreamline the HIV-testing process, giving proponents hope the procedurewill become part of routine medical visits.

The governor called the new law an "important step in the fight against HIVand AIDS."

Approved on National HIV Testing Day, the law allows for patients toconsent verbally to testing instead of filling out formal paperwork.

"This puts us on a path so there is less and less of a stigma attached togetting an HIV test," said Sen. Carol Ronen (D-Chicago), a sponsor.

Proponents hope the law will increase the number of people tested anddiagnosed early. Up to 10,000 Illinoisans don't know they have HIV becausethey haven't been tested, according to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. It isoften too late for significant treatment once they are diagnosed, said JohnPeller, a foundation lobbyist.

"It really becomes a tragedy of missed opportunities," he said.

Once they consent to tests, patients will receive pre-test information aboutHIV and how to interpret test results. Those who test positive must beinformed of the results in person, and doctors must give referrals toappropriate counseling and medical providers.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

When sex toys turn green - for health
Concern about effects of common chemical leads consumers to seek options
By Brian Alexander
Updated: 3:08 p.m. ET June 21, 2007

It is, perhaps, a measure of just how mainstream sex toys have become thatthere are now budding consumer and environmental awareness campaigns beingwaged over them.

The biggest controversy is about the materials from which many toys aremade.

Most vibrators, dildos and "love dolls," for instance - especially the soft,pliable "jelly" type - use some form of plastic. In an effort to make thematerials softer and more lifelike, PVC plastics suppliers incorporate oneor more members of a family of compounds called phthalates (FAY-lates). Tohear some environmentalists tell it, using a vibrator that includesphthalates is akin to bathing in DDT. Alarmed, some sex toy retailers, mostprominently San Francisco-based Good Vibrations, are banning toys thatinclude phthalates. But to hear the chemical industry tell it, phthalatesare about as benign as mountain spring water. So what is a sex toy consumerto do?

Phthalates are ubiquitous. They are used in perfumes, hair sprays, plasticraincoats, carpet backing, paints, medical devices and many other items.

They are responsible for that "new car smell," which goes to show you howmuch plastic is used in cars.

Now they are showing up in people. As the fact of new car smell indicates,phthalates "off-gas," meaning that they escape from the plastic in the formof a gas.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

New CDC Report Examines Drug Use and Sexual Behavior
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

CDC's National Center for Health Statistics has issued a new report,"Drug Use and Sexual Behaviors Reported by Adults, United States,1999-2002."

The report uses data collected over a 4-year period from the NationalHealth and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Some of the highlightsinclude:

* Only 4 percent of adults ages 20 years and older have never hadsex.
* Of all race/ethnic groups, Mexican-American adults had the lowestpercentage (88 percent) who ever had sex.
* Twenty-nine percent of men reported having 15 or more femalesexual partners over their lifetime compared to 9 percent of women whoreported having 15 or more male sexual partners in a lifetime.
* More than one in five adults 20-49 years of age have triedcocaine or other street drugs at some time in their life.

Drug Use and Sexual Behaviors Reported by Adults: United States, 1999-2002 (PDF; 204 KB)


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Poll majority: Gays' orientation can't change
POSTED: 6:28 a.m. EDT, June 27, 2007

(CNN) -- A majority of Americans believe that gays and lesbians could notchange their sexual orientation even if they wanted to, according to resultsof a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday.

It's the first time in a CNN poll the majority has held that beliefregarding homosexuality.

Fifty-six percent of about 515 poll respondents said they do not believesexual orientation can be changed. In 2001, 45 percent of those respondingto a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll held that belief. In 1998, according to aCNN/Time poll, the number was 36 percent.

In addition, 42 percent of respondents to the current poll said they believehomosexuality results from upbringing and environment, while 39 percent saidthey believe it is something a person is born with -- a close division thatreflects the national debate over the issue.

However, those numbers are greatly changed from the 1970s and '80s, in whichfewer than 20 percent of Americans said a person is born homosexual. In a1977 poll, the number was 13 percent.

Ten percent in the latest poll said they believe both factors play a role insomeone's homosexuality. Three percent said neither, and 6 percent had noopinion.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

June 28, 2007
Poll shows GOP voters trending positive on some gay issues

A new poll of 2,000 self-identified Republican voters shows some mostlypromising numbers in terms of GOP attitudes toward gays and lesbians.

Three in four GOP voters said they don't think people should be able to befired on the basis of their sexual orientation, and 53% believe theRepublican Party has spent too much time focusing on social issues such asabortion and same-sex marriage when it should be honing in on economicissues like taxes and government spending.

"Lots of times the media likes to give the bull horn to the loudest groupand, unfortunately, those in our party who are on the far right in terms ofbeing social conservatives have the loudest voice," said Patrick Sammon,president of the Log Cabin Republicans. "I think this poll shows that rankand file Republicans generally support basic fairness for gays andlesbians."

But Sammon also said the poll highlighted areas where work remains to bedone. A 60% majority of GOP voters said they believe that being gay is alifestyle choice rather than the way someone is born.


Forwarded from Ron Mills


CONTACT: Joel Ginsberg | 415-255-4547 |

Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Lauds American Medical Association’s Adoption of Transgender Nondiscrimination Policies

San Francisco – The American Medical Association this week voted to amendits nondiscrimination policies to include transgender persons. AMAnondiscrimination policies already included sexual orientation.

“Transgender patients, physicians, and medical students continue to facediscrimination around the country,” said Joel Ginsberg, Executive Directorof the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA). “The AMA has said it’stime for this to stop.”

Mara Keisling, Executive Director of the National Center for TransgenderEquality, called the new AMA policies "a great step in moving the Americanhealthcare system in a direction of more fairness for transgender people."

The AMA has taken an increasingly high-profile stance in the past few yearson issues of concern to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT)patients and physicians. In 2005, a sitting AMA president for the first timeaddressed GLMA’s Annual Conference. Also that year, the AMA formed anAdvisory Committee on GLBT Issues, with one of the seven seats reserved fora GLMA representative.

The new policies address a wide range of scenarios, including discriminationagainst patients, medical students, and physicians.


[Send your comments about articles to]


Friday, June 29, 2007

GLBT DIGEST June 29, 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 29, 2007
Domestic Issues Frame Democratic Debate

WASHINGTON, June 28 - For 90 minutes Thursday night, eight Democratic candidates debated before an audience made up largely of one of their party's most reliable and liberal constituencies, African-American voters, and usedthe stage to urge a revitalization of domestic programs they said hadfaltered under President Bush.

They called for spending more on schools in poor neighborhoods to lowerclass sizes and raising salaries for teachers to prevent a drain ofeducators from inner-city schools. They called for rolling back tax cuts onthe wealthy to pay for expanded health care and provide job training.

The debate was held here on the campus of Howard University, a historicallyblack college. It was the third Democratic presidential debate of thecampaign, but the first one dedicated largely to domestic issues andparticularly the problems facing minorities.

The foreign policy flash points that had produced conflict between theDemocrats at their earlier debates - in particular, the war in Iraq - werelargely absent as the candidates spoke easily, finishing one another'ssentences and offering jokes and compliments.

"Let me finish John's thought because it was an important one," SenatorBarack Obama said, finishing a response by John Edwards, who was criticizingthe White House for the way it responded to Hurricane Katrina. "There arepotential Katrinas all across this country that have been neglected."


The New York Times


--On the number of black teenagers diagnosed with HIV/AIDS: ''This is a multiple-dimension problem. But if we don't begin to take it seriously and address it the way we did back in the '90s when it was primarily a gay men'sdisease, we will never get the services and the public education that weneed.''


The New York Times

June 29, 2007
Justices Limit the Use of Race in School Plans for Integration

WASHINGTON, June 28 - With competing blocs of justices claiming the mantleof Brown v. Board of Education, a bitterly divided Supreme Court declaredThursday that public school systems cannot seek to achieve or maintainintegration through measures that take explicit account of a student's race.

Voting 5 to 4, the court, in an opinion by Chief Justice John G. RobertsJr., invalidated programs in Seattle and metropolitan Louisville, Ky., thatsought to maintain school-by-school diversity by limiting transfers on thebasis of race or using race as a "tiebreaker" for admission to particularschools.

Both programs had been upheld by lower federal courts and were similar toplans in place in hundreds of school districts around the country. ChiefJustice Roberts said such programs were "directed only to racial balance,pure and simple," a goal he said was forbidden by the Constitution'sguarantee of equal protection.

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stopdiscriminating on the basis of race," he said. His side of the debate, thechief justice said, was "more faithful to the heritage of Brown," thelandmark 1954 decision that declared school segregation unconstitutional."When it comes to using race to assign children to schools, history will beheard," he said.

The decision came on the final day of the court's 2006-7 term, which showedan energized conservative majority in control across many areas of the court's jurisprudence.


Democrats Address Race Issues In Debate
At Howard U., They Decry Court Ruling On School Diversity

By Anne E. Kornblut and Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, June 29, 2007; A01

In the first presidential debate designed to focus on minority issues, theDemocratic contenders aggressively sought to outmuscle one another on thetopics of race and poverty and derided yesterday's Supreme Court decisionbanning most affirmative action in public schools.

The forum at Howard University seemed to be a guaranteed fit for Sen. BarackObama (Ill.), the only black candidate in the race. He repeatedly discussedracial disparity, education and AIDS and used his unique status to call forgreater responsibility from African Americans, one of his frequent themes.But the audience largely embraced the other seven Democrats on stage aswell, applauding Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) when she called for agreater focus on AIDS research and cheering Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio)when he called for an end to the Iraq war.

By the end of the 90-minute forum -- attended by numerous prominent blackleaders, including Al Sharpton and Princeton scholar Cornel West -- thegroup had covered an array of issues, such as the genocide in Darfur anddisparities in education.

"You can look at this stage and see an African American, a Latino, a woman
contesting for the presidency of the United States," Clinton said. "Butthere is so much left to be done, and for anyone to assert that race is nota problem in America is to deny the reality in front of our very eyes."

Obama, when it was his turn, said, "We have made enormous progress, but theprogress that we have made is not good enough."


House Repeals Needle Ban
Decision on Funding Thrills D.C. Officials Fighting the HIV/AIDS Epidemic

By Mary Beth Sheridan and Susan Levine
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, June 29, 2007; B01

The House yesterday lifted a nine-year-old ban on using D.C. tax dollars toprovide clean needles to drug addicts, handing city leaders what theyconsider a crucial new weapon against a severe AIDS epidemic.

The change reflects how Democrats are trying to use their new majoritystatus in Congress to give the District somewhat greater autonomy. Congresshas traditionally used its budget power over the city to flex its muscles onsuch local issues as gun control and abortion.

Democrats also tried yesterday to abolish a prohibition on using federalmoney for the city's domestic-partner registry. The attempt failed. Thedevelopment will have little practical effect because the city uses its ownfunds for that program, officials said.

The needle-exchange and domestic-partner items were part of a $21 billionfunding bill for the next fiscal year that covered more than two dozenfederal agencies as well as the District. The bill includes more than $650million for District schools, courts, libraries and other institutions.

"For too long, Congress has unfairly imposed on the citizens of D.C. bytrying out their social experiments there," said Rep. Jose E. Serrano,(D-N.Y.), chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that handles the D.C.budget. "The ban on needle exchanges was one of the most egregious of theseimpositions, especially because the consensus is clear that these programssave lives."


Three schools in Palm Beach County get F grades from state
By Marc Freeman
June 29, 2007, 11:15 AM EDT

Three Palm Beach County schools received F's this year, on report cardsreleased today by the state Department of Education.

Glades Central High in Belle Glade, Lincoln Elementary in Riviera Beach, anda charter school, Leadership Academy West in West Palm Beach, all failed,based on student scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

Ten county schools received a D grade, including Boynton Beach, John I.Leonard High in Greenacres and Palm Beach Lakes High in West Palm Beach.

It was the first time in several years that local schools received the Frating, but the results were not a major surprise because the state raisedstandards this year and lackluster scores this spring spelled trouble.

Schools have waited unusually long for the letter grades this year, due to ascoring problem that came to light last month.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Jun. 29, 2007
More F's, fewer A's for S. Florida schools

Fears about school grades under a tougher grading formula came true Friday
morning when the state finally released ratings for public schools.

Miami-Dade has 26 F schools this year, compared to five the year before.Broward, which had no F schools last year, saw nine this year.

The number of A schools in Broward dropped from 157 last year to 121 thisyear.

Throughout Florida, 1,472 schools got an A, six more than the previous year.

The news was not unexpected. There had been concerns this year that thenumber of A schools could decrease -- and that the number of F schools couldincrease -- because of two new factors in how schools are graded. This year,the formula also includes the percentage of students working on grade levelin science and whether the worst math students improve.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Fri, Jun. 29, 2007
'Sicko' film is set to spark debate

With everyone from General Motors execs to presidential candidates demandingmajor changes in America's healthcare, Michael Moore's Sicko is openingtoday in South Florida at the perfect moment to spark an intense debate.

A reform group, Healthcare for All Florida, plans to distribute leaflets and
ask moviegoers at some theaters to sign petitions demanding universalcoverage because the present system leaves more than 45 million withoutinsurance -- people who often end up in emergency rooms, where theirexpenses ultimately get passed to taxpayers or those who have insurance.

One member of the group, however, René Rodriguez, a Cuban-born physician whosupports major reforms, plans to protest at a theater because he objects tothe film's ending, idealizing Cuba's socialistic healthcare.

As with all of his documentaries, the Academy Award-winning Moore's portraitof healthcare is far from neutral. The movie includes details that even somesympathizers consider exaggerations, and conservatives are lambasting hisglowing portrait of government-financed healthcare in other countries.

Still, many who have studied healthcare problems are impressed. ''Sicko gota lot of the little things wrong,'' writes Jonathan Cohn, author of Sick, a2006 analysis of the industry. ``But it got most of the big things right.''


National Gay News

June 29, 2007
Gay couples find that life begins at 40, and often after marriage
Nicola Woolcock

A quarter of women forming same-sex civil partnerships have previously beenmarried, and weddings are at their lowest level in a hundred years.

The number of marriages in England and Wales fell in 2005 to 244,710, adecline of 10 per cent on the previous year and the lowest figure since1896.

For the first time, fewer marriages were held in churches or other places ofworship than were held in secular buildings other than register offices,such as stately homes.

The first National Statistics data on civil partnerships show that 18,059were formed in the year since their introduction in December 2005. Ten percent of men and 24 per cent of women involved had been married.

Many civil partnership ceremonies took place in July, mirroring thepopularity of weddings in summer months.


The Advocate

June 29, 2007
Dems denounce court desegregation ruling at debate

A historically diverse field of Democratic presidential candidates - awoman, a black, an Hispanic and five whites - denounced an hours-old SupremeCourt affirmative action ruling Thursday night and said the nation's slowmarch to racial unity is far from over.

''We have made enormous progress, but the progress we have made is not goodenough,'' said Sen. Barack Obama, the son of a man from Kenya and a womanfrom Kansas.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first female candidate with a serious shotat the presidency, drew the night's largest cheer when she suggested therewas a hint of racism in the way AIDS is addressed in this country.

''Let me just put this in perspective: If HIV-AIDS were the leading cause ofdeath of white women between the ages of 25 and 34 there would be anoutraged, outcry in this country,'' said the New York senator.

In their third primary debate, the two leading candidates and their fellowDemocrats played to the emotions of a predominantly black audience, fightingfor a voting bloc that is crucial in the party's nomination process.


The Advocate

June 29, 2007
Trying to escape shadow of Southern Baptists, moderate, liberal Baptistsplan joint ministries

They're America's other Baptists - the ones who appoint women pastors, workwith theological liberals and line up more closely with President Carterthan with President George W. Bush.

Over the last 25 years, they have watched with growing concern as theirconservative Southern Baptist brethren came to define the religioustradition for the general public.

Now, these other Baptists, who are spread among many differentdenominations, are slowly pooling resources on humanitarian work andevangelism, hoping they can have a bigger impact.

This Friday in Washington, two of the larger groups - the American BaptistChurches and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship - will worship together forthe first time. They plan to commission two missionary couples who willrepresent both groups, and will organize a national Islamic-Baptist dialogueto improve relations with Muslims.

''It is an effort to celebrate our common heritages as Baptist Christiansand to affirm our commitment to work together more collaboratively,'' saidthe Rev. Daniel Vestal, national coordinator of the Cooperative BaptistFellowship. ''The Baptist witness is much richer and more nuanced than ischaracterized so often in the public square now.''


The Advocate

June 29, 2007
Ex-Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington says racism a factor in his firingafter gay slurs

Grey's Anatomy star Isaiah Washington said racism was a factor in his firingfrom the hit television series after he twice used an anti-gay slur.

Washington, who initially used the epithet during an onset clash with aco-star, told Newsweek magazine that ''someone heard the booming voice of ablack man and got really scared and that was the beginning of the end forme.''

He tried to make amends by expressing remorse and volunteering to enter acounseling program to understand how the confrontation got out of hand, hetold Newsweek.

''My mistake was believing that I would get the support from my network andall of my cast mates across the board. My mistake was believing I couldcorrect a wrong with honesty and sincerity,'' he said in the interviewposted online Thursday.

''My mistake was thinking black people get second chances. I was wrong onall fronts,'' he said.


Car Bomb Unnerves London Day Before Gay Pride Parade
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: June 29, 2007 - 6:30 am ET
Updated 8:30 am ET

(London) A day before thousands of gays and lesbians march through TheHaymarket British police have thwarted an apparent terror attack.

Early Friday morning police were called about a suspicious car parked in thearea. Inside the silver Mercedes investigators found gas containers and alarge number of nails.

The attack would have caused "significant injury or loss of life," policesaid.

The area remained cordoned off throughout most of the day while policeinvestigated.

A British security official told The Associated Press that there weresimilarities between the device and vehicle bombs used by insurgents inIraq.

No one has claimed responsibility and police say they are not certain of themotive.


Anti-Gay Language Reinstated In DC Appropriations Bill Following Bush Veto
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: June 29, 2007 - 10:00 am ET

(Washington) A bill providing federal funding to the District of Columbiahas passed the House after a clause stating the money could not be used tofund a domestic partner registry was reinstated.

President Bush on Wednesday threatened to veto the bill if it did notcontain the clause. (story)

The registry allows same and opposite-sex unmarried couples to registertheir relationships.

Three quarters of the District of Columbia's budget comes from localrevenue - city taxes and fees. But, about $120 million in additional fundscomes from the federal overnment.

That money is contained in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act.


Study: Anti-Gay Hate Crimes Widespread
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: June 29, 2007 - 12:00 pm ET

(Davis, California) Nearly four in 10 gay men and about one in eightlesbians and bisexuals in the United States have been the target of violenceor a property crime because of their sexual orientation, according to a newstudy.

"This is the most reliable estimate to date of the prevalence of anti-gayvictimization in the United States," said University of California, Davis,psychology professor Gregory Herek who conducted the study.

"The data demonstrate that crimes against sexual minority adults, especiallygay men, are disturbingly widespread."

Herek's findings were based on a survey he conducted in the fall of 2005with a nationally representative sample of 662 self-identified gay men,lesbians and bisexuals. The study will be published in a future issue of theJournal of Interpersonal Violence.

Overall, 21 percent of the people in the survey reported being the victim ofviolence or a property crime -- including physical assault, sexual assault,theft and vandalism -- because of their sexual orientation.


A note from Equality Florida:

There are just 3 days left to reach our goals of 300 supporters. June 30th is the deadline for the Fairness for All Families campaign's first major financial reporting cycle and we're well on our way to making a strong initial showing. Will you join the effort?

In the past 12 days, 241 fair-minded Floridians have generously contributed to the campaign. Will you help push?us past our goal?and?sign on as one of the very first supporters of the Fairness campaign??

We're on course?to show a record number of Floridians standing up to?discrimination by opposing the so-called "marriage amendment."?This initiative would permanently ban marriage and civil unions for same-sex partners in Florida, and threatens domestic partnership protections that seniors, fire fighters, teachers and police officers already rely upon.

Our goal is to make history on November 4th, 2008 when Florida joins Arizona as the only two states in the nation to defeat the so-called "marriage" amendment. We're asking our supporters to commemorate the 2008 Election by contributing $20.08 today.?

Over the past two weeks we've told you about government and university employees in Michigan and Kentucky losing healthcare benefits for gay and straight domestic partners. In an editorial written this past Sunday - June 24th, USA Today referred to the debacle in Michigan and Kentucky, saying:

"These developments expose the disingenuous arguments that surrounded many of the ballot measures..." The USA Today editorial concluded, "... states that rushed to ban (same-sex marriage) need to rethink language that is overly broad or likely to produce unintended consequences."? - USA Today

For the full editorial, click

The proposed amendment threatens the legal protections and benefits of families across Florida and, with your help, the Fairness for All Families campaign will ensure this attack on Florida families doesn't become part of our constitution

If $20.08 is just more than you can do right now, please contribute $11.04 to commemorate Election Day, November 4th (11/04). Any amount you can give will help publicly increase our numbers and ensure the headlines report our strong opposition.Contribute now.

With sincere thanks,

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Campaign Manager

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NEW from DIRELAND, June 28


Defying anti-gay rioting (left), threats of bloodshed, opposition fromIsrael's prime minister and Jerusalem's mayor, a vote by Israel'sparliament, and rabbinical curses, some 2,000 courageous people staged adignified Gay Pride march (right) in central Jerusalem last Thursday, June21. For all the details, including an interview with a leading Israeli gayactivist -- and a bonus "Recommended Reading" list -- click on:


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Pakistani same-sex couple released on bail

Islamabad - Pakistan's Supreme Court on Thursday released a same-sex couple on bail a month after they were handed down a three-year jail sentence by a lower court for alleged deception concerning the gender of one. On a petition filed by by Shumail Raj, who underwent a sex change 16 years ago, and his wife Shahzina Tariq, a three-member judicial bench headed by acting Chief Justice Rana Bhagwandas stayed their prison terms.

The Lahore High Court judged them guilty of perjury last month for lying about Raj's gender. They had gone to the court for protection from relatives seeking to have their marriage annulled on the grounds that it was in violation of Islamic tenets.

The couple's defence counsel told the panel of judges that the court had no authority to order a medical test which revealed that Raj was originally a woman but had undergone a sex-change operation.

"Pakistani law doesn't bar two women from living together," the lawyer Babar Awan said.

"The Lahore High Court should have shown sympathy for the poor couple," a member of the judge's panel Sardar Raza Khan said.

The couple say they originally married to protect Shahzina from being sold into marriage to pay off her uncle's gambling debts.

Shahzina told Pakistani media that relatives had tortured and threatened to kill her when she did not consent to the forced marriage to a brother-in-law of her uncle.


From The Times
June 29, 2007

Gay couples find that life begins at 40, and often after marriage
Nicola Woolcock

A quarter of women forming same-sex civil partnerships have previously been married, and weddings are at their lowest level in a hundred years.

The number of marriages in England and Wales fell in 2005 to 244,710, a decline of 10% on the previous year and the lowest figure since 1896.

For the first time, fewer marriages were held in churches or other places of worship than were held in secular buildings other than register offices, such as stately homes.

The first National Statistics data on civil partnerships show that 18,059 were formed in the year since their introduction in December 2005. Ten per cent of men and 24% of women involved had been married.

Many civil partnership ceremonies took place in July, mirroring the popularity of weddings in summer months.

An industry has sprung up to cater for gay couples, with congratulations cards and matching "his and his" rings. About 60% of those forming civil partnerships were men, whose average age was 47. For women the average age was 43.

A quarter of partnership ceremonies took place in London. Manchester and Brighton, which have substantial gay communities, were also popular.

The drop in the number of marriages came after three years of increases. In February 2005 Home Office rules were changed to make it more difficult for non-Europeans to win the right to stay in Britain through a fake wedding. The statistics suggest that the shortlived rise in the number of arriages - from 249,000 in 2002 to 273,000 in 2004 - was driven by bogus weddings. After the new marriage rules came into force, there appeared to be a fall in the number of weddings taking place at designated register offices that non-European couples now have to attend before marrying.

Marriage has been in long-term decline since 1972, according to National Statistics. There were 12 marriages for every 1,000 unmarried people in 2005, against 27 per 1,000 in 1851, it said


PO BOX 130
TEL 0844 800 3067

Affiliated to Amnesty International &
the International Humanist & Ethical Union

News Release
29 June 2007


Gay children in "faith schools" have been badly let down by the government,says the UK Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA).

Schools with a religious ethos were given permission in recent guidance onequality legislation to continue condemning gay people and expressingdisapproval of homosexuality. Now, the new survey from Stonewall, 'Theexperiences of young gay people in Britain's Schools', shows that pupils in"faith schools" are taking the brunt of the widespread homophobic bullyingthat is happening in all our schools.

Jim Herrick, chairman of GALHA, said: "This new survey from Stonewall paintsa horrific picture of nasty victimisation of gay children in our schools,and it seems to be even worse in so-called faith schools. This makes it allthe more unfortunate that the Government recently told these schools thatthey did not have to tone down their condemnation of homosexuality. Ineffect, they have abandoned gay kids in these schools - particularlyCatholic schools - to the mercies of any homophobe who decides he doesn'tlike gay people. This survey indicates that the Government has made a verygrave error by permitting faith schools to continue their nasty, homophobicteachings. We recognise that homophobic bullying cannot be stoppedovernight, but bringing faith schools into line would give out a clearsignal that such bullying is unacceptable and won't be tolerated."

For further information, contact Cliff James on 0844 800 3067 or email:


Rights watchdog criticizes Polish leaders' rhetoric on gays

29 June 2007

The top European human rights watchdog criticized Polish leaders foranti-homosexual rhetoric Friday.

"I think we should remember that one of the groups that were targeted by theNazis were homosexuals, and we should really avoid to fall into that trapnow," said Council of Europe human rights commissioner Thomas Hammarberg.

Hammarberg was in the Polish capital to present a report on Poland's humanrights performance to Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and toencourage Warsaw to do more on a number of issues, including overcrowdedprisons and slow legal procedures.

"We feel that there is a problem of homophobia in several countries ofEurope, including Poland, that one has to avoid statements, in particularfrom leading politicians that may be interpreted as justifying homophobicactions or opinions" Hammarberg said. "Because this is a minority which isunder quite some pressure."

Poland's Education Minister Roman Giertych and members of his ministry arepreparing a new law that would ban what they call "homosexual propaganda" inschools in order to protect traditional family values. Giertych is from theright-wing Roman Catholic League of Polish Families, which militantlyopposes gay rights and abortion. His party supports the government led byKaczynski's socially conservative Law and Justice party.

Kaczynski said in April that he backed the legislation. "It's not in theinterest of any society to increase the number of homosexuals - that'sobvious," he said at the time.

Kaczynski's twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski, refused to grant paradepermits for gay rights marches while he served as mayor of Warsaw, althoughgatherings were held in defiance of those bans.


Swedish Allegations of Anti-Gay Bias in Finnish Defence Forces

Published 29.06.2007, 10.57 (updated 29.06.2007, 14.13)

The Finnish Defence Forces have been raised as an example ofanti-gay bias by a Swedish organisation promoting sexual equality in theSwedish military. According to the group, attitudes within the Finnishmilitary make it difficult for Swedish soldiers to take part in joint Nordiccombat forces.

There has been much debate in Sweden recently on the rights of gayconscripts, and their possibilities of serving on foreign missions.

There has been a surge in volunteers for foreign missions in Sweden, butmembers of sexual minorities have been reluctant to join for fear ofharassment by fellow soldiers.

Finns have been singled out as the most difficult soldiers to work with.According to HOF, the Swedish organisation promoting the rights of gays,bisexuals, and transsexuals in the Swedish military, the attitudes of Finnsare making it more difficult for Swedish soldiers to take part in the EU'snew Nordic battle group.

In an interview with Swedish radio, the President of HOF is calling forDefence Minister Mikael Odenberg to discuss the matter of discriminatory andinsulting behaviour with his Finnish colleague Jyri Häkämies.

The Swedish Defence Forces have placed a high priority on the fight against homophobia in the military.


[Send your comments about articles to]

GLBT DIGEST June 28, 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 28, 2007
Ms. Bolden's Black Mark

Discrimination is disturbing wherever it shows its face. But it isespecially deplorable in public schools, which are supposed to uphold thevalues of tolerance and basic fairness. Marion Bolden, superintendent ofNewark's schools, seemed to forget that recently when she ordered one highschool to blot out a yearbook picture of a gay student and his boyfriendkissing. Ms. Bolden said she thought the picture - which was covered overwith black marker - was "suggestive" and "looked fairly illicit." Photos ofheterosexual couples kissing were left untouched.

Ms. Bolden has apologized to the student, 18-year-old Andre Jackson, and thebooks are being reprinted. Even so, some hurts just can't be apologizedaway. Mr. Jackson, who came upon the crudely defaced picture in the companyof high school friends, said of the experience: "I was hurt. I feltembarrassed and abused." Other gay students undoubtedly felt the same.

Ms. Bolden blames the controversy on a misunderstanding. She says thatsubordinates were troubled by the photo and brought it to her attention, butdid not show her pictures of heterosexual couples that she says should alsohave been expunged. But the fact that school officials employed twodifferent standards when judging the yearbook pictures suggests adeep-seated prejudice that needs to be rooted out. In schools which aresupposed to teach the value of free speech to a free society, theSoviet-style impulse to go immediately for the black marker also needsrethinking.


The New York Times

June 28, 2007
Religion and the Law (1 Letter)
To the Editor:

"Gay Marriage, a Touchy Issue, Touches Legislators' Emotions" (news article,June 21) speaks of Assemblyman Dov Hikind, "who said he opposed gay marriageon religious grounds," echoing the religious objections expressed by someother members of New York's Legislature. Do we need to remind theselegislators that they took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution, notthe tenets of their religion?

If they vote according to their religious beliefs rather than theirunderstanding of the Constitution, they have legitimately opened the door tobeing questioned about those beliefs, something that Americans have beenloath to do but that becomes necessary if their religious principles takeprecedence over the Constitution.

Some religious bodies have endorsed gay marriage. Is our legislative processthen to become a fight to see which religion will dictate our laws?

Andrew Weiss
Margaretville, N.Y., June 21, 2007


The New York Times

June 28, 2007
Church Dissidents Lose Property Appeal

Three congregations that broke away from the Episcopal Church over theappointment of a gay bishop are not entitled to property claimed by theEpiscopal Diocese of Los Angeles, a California appeals court has ruled.

In a unanimous decision on Monday overturning a lower court ruling, athree-judge panel supported the diocese's assertion that the property -buildings and other items - did not belong to the individual congregations,but was held in trust for the diocese and the Episcopal Church, the Americanarm of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

State property laws vary to such an extent that legal experts say the rulingwill probably not set a precedent in similar disputes around the country,where other congregations have broken with the Episcopal Church. But theyalso said the ruling's encyclopedic discussion of church propertyprecedents, especially in California, could make it a persuasive resource inother cases.

"This is a very scholarly opinion, and trial judges know when a decision ismore learned," said L. Martin Nussbaum, a Colorado Springs lawyerrepresenting the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado in a dispute with a breakawayparish. "This will have persuasion beyond its jurisdiction and will havepersuasion beyond the state of California."

In August 2004, All Saints Church in Long Beach, St. James Church in NewportBeach and St. David's Church in North Hollywood voted to leave the LosAngeles Diocese and the Episcopal Church. Their departure stemmed from adispute over biblical authority and interpretation that culminated a yearearlier with the church's consecration of V. Gene Robinson, a gay man in along-term relationship, as bishop of New Hampshire. The churches placedthemselves under the authority of Anglican bishops overseas.


The New York Times

June 28, 2007
Former Ex - Gay Ministry Leaders Apologize
Filed at 8:29 a.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Three former leaders of a ministry that counsels gays tochange their sexual orientation apologized, saying although they actedsincerely, their message had caused isolation, shame and fear.

The former leaders of the interdenominational Christian organization ExodusInternational said Wednesday they had become disillusioned with promotinggay conversion.

''Some who heard our message were compelled to try to change an integralpart of themselves, bringing harm to themselves and their families,'' thethree said in a statement released outside the Los Angeles Gay & LesbianCenter.

The statement was from former Exodus co-founder Michael Bussee, who left thegroup in 1979, Jeremy Marks, former president of Exodus InternationalEurope, and Darlene Bogle, the founder of Paraklete Ministries, an Exodusreferral agency.

The statement coincided with the opening of Exodus' annual conference, whichis being held this week at Concordia University in Irvine.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,3062106,print.story

Wilton Manors: Stonewall festival honors community, political activists
June 28, 2007

Three community leaders were given leadership awards at the Stonewall StreetFestival and Parade gay pride event last week.

The Dana Manchester Humanitarian Award was presented to Richard Rogers andBill Mullins, said festival chairman Marc Hansen.

The couple, who have been together for 46 years, have volunteered withseveral charitable efforts, including the Poverello Center.

The Karl Clark Community Service Award went to Michael Albetta, Hansen said.Albetta is a political activist who serves as president of the Florida Gay,Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Democratic Caucus.

The festival and parade are held every June, to commemorate the 1969Stonewall uprising in New York City, which was the beginning of the moderngay rights movement.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,7421882,print.story

Sharon Gless gets ready for Miami in new TV role on USA
June 28, 2007

A generation of girls grew up watching tough, capable, yet vulnerably humanNew York City police detectives Christine Cagney (Sharon Gless) and MaryBeth Lacey (Tyne Daly) on Cagney & Lacey, American TV's first seriousdramatic series with two female leads. (The first season of the CBS show,which ran from 1982-1988, was recently released on DVD.)

Gless, 64, who won two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for the series, hadbeen a busy working actress and, reportedly, the last "contract player" forUniversal Studios, itself the last Hollywood bastion of that salariedapprentice system for actors. Roles in a slew of Universal telefilms andseries like McCloud, Ironside and The Rockford Files led to a role on Switch(CBS, 1975-1978) as Maggie Philbin, the befuddled secretary who nonethelesshelped her private-eye/con-artist bosses with their elaborate stings.

Gless succeeded Meg Foster as Cagney starting with episode seven. She alsowound up succeeding co-creator Barbara Corday as the wife of series'executive producer Barney Rosenzweig, who then created the lawyer series TheTrials of Rosie O'Neill for Gless in 1990.

More recently, Gless played Debbie Novotny, the eccentric but supportivemother of a gay man, in Showtime's Queer as Folk (2000-2005), and startingtonight, at 10 p.m., she plays another mom, hypochondriac Madeline Westen,in the USA Network caper series Burn Notice, about a fired spy (JeffreyDonovan) stuck in Miami.

Q. I understand Gless Street in Los Angeles is named after your family.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,1143306,print.story

Police in Moscow block gay rights rally
The Associated Press
June 28, 2007

MOSCOW Police blocked gay rights activists from holding a demonstration inthe Russian capital Wednesday and detained two of them even though theprotest was authorized by city authorities.

About two dozen activists aimed to hold the rally outside the EuropeanUnion's representative office in Moscow to demand that the EU impose a visaban on Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who has banned gay rights parades and calledhomosexuality "satanic."

Although the planned demonstration had been sanctioned, police said theydecided to block it because it would interfere with construction takingplace nearby.

"Authorities in Moscow have broken the law again by not allowing ourpicket," activist Alexey Davydov said.

Demonstrators tried to unfurl a banner, but police dispersed them, grabbingDavydov and another demonstrator and forcing them into a police bus.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,4766044,print.story

Broward County: Grant to encourage safety in schools for sexual minorities
June 28, 2007

The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network of South Florida recentlyreceived a $10,000 grant from the John C. Graves Charitable Fund at theCommunity Foundation of Broward.

GLSEN will use the money to expand its Safe School Project in BrowardCounty, according to executive director Robert Loupo. The program isdesigned to help make schools safer for all students, especially sexualminorities.

For more information, visit .


The Sun-Sentinel,0,6329991,print.story

Arts United celebrates gay pride month with people's choice awards
Special Correspondent
June 28, 2007

Fort Lauderdale artist Alfred Phillips is turning a winning streak into alocal tradition. For the third year in a row, he nabbed the people's choiceaward at the opening reception for "United and Proud," on view through June30 at the Fort Lauderdale Main Library's Gallery Six.

Presented by Arts United in celebration of June as gay and lesbian pridemonth, the annual exhibition invites Arts United members to show work in allmedia, regardless of whether it supports the gay pride theme.

Phillips' acrylic painting Hanging Out combines elements from fourphotographs he took in Hawaii of three shirtless young men sitting on apier. This strikingly simple yet arresting image portrays the trio withtheir backs to the viewer, so we only get a glimpse of a face in profile. Anintensely blue sky is a focal point of the painting; intriguingly unknown iswhat they themselves are focusing on. Phillips explains what he saw thatday: "These three dudes were looking at girls on boogie boards. There was asurfboard here and clouds in the sky, but I kept it pure with saturatedcolor."

Slice-of-life paintings are Phillips' specialty. Seascapes, patio scenesand, most recently, people find their way onto his canvases. While hispaintings are always sold to collectors, he says he faces a challenge, "I'mtrying to understand what it takes to get validation from critics. But I'veonly been doing this for four years."

A few other bright lights merit mention in an exhibition that is largelydull and sometimes excruciatingly bad. Bob Gilmore's exceptional color photoMorning Light stands in stark contrast to the overblown digital disastersdominating the space. Shot from an apartment window, the image is agraphically composed stunner featuring squarish buildings, clouds, a band ofsky and a beige stripe of African dust.


Thursday, 28 June 2007 07:10
NORML's Open Letter to Sen. Norm Coleman

Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman acknowledges on his website that he was a"campus organzizer in the '60s" when he attended Hofstra University inHempstead, NY. His Wikipedia entry states: "He ran for student senate andopined in the school newspaper that his fellow students should vote for himbecause he knew that 'these conservative kids don't fuck or get high like wedo... Everyone watch out, the 1950s' bobby-sox generation is about to takeover.'" Several photos (reproduced here) show the then longhaired Colemanspeaking through a bullhorn and unfurling an anti-war banner with otherstudents.

Since that time, the Brooklyn, NY-born politician graduated from theUniversity of Iowa Law School and stayed in the Midwest, where he worked asa prosecutor in Minnesota for 17 years before his two terms as mayor of St.Paul. In 1996, he switched parties - from Democrat to Republican - and in1998 he lost the Minnesota governor's race to Jesse Ventura. In 2002,Coleman was elected senator by a 2% margin. He benefitted from the suddendeath of the state's incumbant Paul Wellstone, who died in a plane crash 11days before the election.

NORML board member Norm Kent, who is a lawyer as well, went to Hofstra withColeman. Kent recently received a form letter from Coleman regarding hiscurrent anti-marijuana positiion. It reads, in part: "I oppose thelegalization of marijuana because, as noted by the Office of National DrugControl Policy, marijuana can have serious adverse health affects onindividuals. The health problems that may occur from this highly addictivedrug include short-term memory loss, anxiety, respiratory illness and a riskof lung cancer that far exceeds that of tobacco products. It would also makeour transportation, schools and workplaces, just as examples, moredangerous."

Offended by Coleman's comments, Kent fired of a letter to his former smokingbuddy.

Dear Mr. Coleman,


Wednesday, 27 June 2007 20:48

LEAD Georgia Calls to Lift FDA's Ban on Blood Donations From Gay Men

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that the 1983 banon blood donations from gay men will not be lifted. The FDA is saying thatthe policy can protect people from HIV infection through transfusions.

In 1983, when AIDS was spreading mainly among white gay men, the FDA decidedto put a ban on all men who had had sex with other men since 1977. Thereasoning for the ban in 1983 was based on the FDA's decision that all gaymen having had sex during the specified time were considered to be at higherrisk of contracting and transmitting HIV and hepatitis, thus being a dangerto the health of the blood recipients.

"Testing for HIV and other infectious diseases has improved enormously since1983. The strict testing of today disqualifies blood if it is infected withHIV," states Chuck Obina, President/CEO of LEAD Georgia.

The only exception to the screening is men newly infected within a threeweeks period prior to donating. "Admittedly, this 'window period' duringwhich someone can be infected with HIV and not test positive is a risk, evenwith the best of screening tests," states Obina. The right approach for theFDA is to exclude anyone having engaged in risky sexual or drug behavior fora month prior to donating blood.

Joseph Mendoza, Chief Operating Officer of Lead Georgia states "the risktoday of contracting HIV or hepatitis C, for example, from a bloodtransfusion is one in two million or less. In fact, the rates are so low, wecan only do statistical models to determine the odds."

"The policy adopted by the FDA is outdated and prevents potential donorsfrom contributing to blood banks, despite the ongoing need for donors. Whatthe FDA is not considering is that refusal to lift the ban and modify policyis now discrimination against the gay community," stated Obina.

About Lead Georgia (


The Advocate

June 28, 2007
California court rules against Episcopal breakaway parishes

Buildings used by three California Episcopal parishes that broke away fromthe mother church in a dispute over a gay bishop should be placed under thecontrol of the Los Angeles diocese, an appeals court ruled.

Relying on church law, the state's 4th District Court of Appeal ruledMonday, ''The right of the general church in this case to enforce a trust onthe local parish property is clear.''

But the three judges on the panel made it clear they were staying out ofdoctrinal disputes.

''Readers will look in vain in this opinion for any indication of whatreligious controversy may have prompted the disaffiliation,'' Judge David G.Sills wrote. ''That controversy is irrelevant to this action.''

The appeals court reversed lower court rulings in favor of the threeconservative parishes - St. James Church in Newport Beach, All Saints Churchin Long Beach and St. David's Church in North Hollywood.


The Advocate

June 28, 2007
Hillary Clinton announces national LGBT steering committee

Hillary Clinton's campaign announced today the formation of "LGBT Americansfor Hillary"-a national steering committee made up of more than 65 LGBTleaders (full list included below), all of whom have personally endorsedClinton for president.

This committee will work with the campaign on several areas includingpolitical outreach, communications, policy advice and counsel, andfund-raising. The press release noted that the move came on the eve of the38th anniversary of Stonewall, June 28, 1969-you have to hand it to Clintonand her advisors on this one.

Among others, every major openly gay elected official from New York State ison the list-including all four gay members of the state legislature and outNew York City Council speaker Christine Quinn.

"I've seen how Hillary Clinton's experience, commitment, and leadership havemade a difference for the LGBT community," said Speaker Quinn, who isexpected to run for mayor in 2009. "From her efforts to defeat the FederalMarriage Amendment to standing up for our rights in employment practices,there is no one else in this race who will fight harder for the LGBT

Clinton met with LGBT leaders last year to strategize leading up to theFederal Marriage Amendment vote last summer and met again with about 40activists and elected officials in October during her Senate reelectioncampaign for a Q&A with members of the press present.


Blair Era Ends
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: June 27, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(London) The decade of Tony Blair's stewardship of Great Britain came to anend on Wednesday with the handover of power to Gordon Brown.

Blair's tenure as Prime Minister was marked by the passage of three majorbills affecting the lives of gays and lesbians.

The first was the repeal of the notorious Section 28. The law had beenenacted by the then-government of Margaret Thatcher and mad it illegal forschools to teach there is anything positive in homosexuality.

Repealing the law led to a showdown with the House of Lords which Blairultimately won.

Enacting legislation creating civil partnerships led to another showdownwith the Lords but again Blair was victorious in 2005. The law givessame-sex couples the same rights as married opposite-sex couples.


Gays Arrested As Homophobic Moscow Mayor Handed Fifth Term
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: June 27, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Moscow) Moscow city lawmakers on Wednesday elected Mayor Yuri Luzhkov to afifth term in office despite concerns from civil rights groups that he hasshown little respect for human rights.

The vote came as police dispersed a small group of LGBT activists protestingagainst Luzhkov in front of the European Union office in Moscow.

About two dozen gays were demanding that the EU impose a visa ban on themayor over his opposition to LGBT rights.

The demonstrators tried to unfurl a banner, but police dispersed them,arresting two protestors.

Luzhkov, who had the backing of President Vladimir Putin, was re-elected bythe 35-seat Moscow City Duma in 32-3 vote.


Poll: Public Support For Gays Growing
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: June 27, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Atlanta, Georgia) A poll released Wednesday shows that for the first time amajority of Americans believe that gays and lesbians could not not changetheir sexuality even if they wanted to.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll found that 56 percent ofrespondents do not believe sexual orientation can be changed.

That is a marked change in the past six years.

A 2001 CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found only 45 percent of respondentsbelieved sexuality was unchangeable and in 1998 a CNN/Time poll the numberwas 36 percent.

When asked whether homosexuality is nature or nurture the 515 peoplesurveyed in the new poll respondents were more closely divided.


Anti-Gay Liberal Joins Canada's Conservatives
by The Canadian Press
Posted: June 27, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Thunder Bay, Ontario) Prime Minister Stephen Harper has welcomed anotherfloor-crosser to the Conservative caucus, although it is unclear how longthe new Tory team member will stick around.

Joe Comuzzi, who sat in Parliament for 19 years as a Liberal, was applaudedby Tory supporters in his Thunder Bay riding Tuesday as he welcomed Harperto the northern Ontario city.

Comuzzi said he had grown increasingly uncomfortable with Liberal policiesin recent years, and had been attracted to the Tory platform for some time.

``I saw the change in the new Conservative party,'' Comuzzi said.

``It truly respected family values. It truly respected ... the earnings andthe taxpayer's money that is paying into the (government) coffers everyday.''


Court Rules Against Episcopal Gay Foes
by The Associated Press
Posted: June 27, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Santa Ana, California) Buildings used by three Episcopal parishes thatbroke away from the mother church in a dispute over a gay bishop should beplaced under the control of the Los Angeles diocese, an appeals court ruled.

Relying on church law, the state's 4th District Court of Appeal ruledMonday, "The right of the general church in this case to enforce a trust onthe local parish property is clear."

But the three judges on the panel made it clear they were staying out ofdoctrinal disputes.

"Readers will look in vain in this opinion for any indication of whatreligious controversy may have prompted the disaffiliation," Judge David G.Sills wrote. "That controversy is irrelevant to this action."

The appeals court reversed lower court rulings in favor of the threeconservative parishes - St. James Church in Newport Beach, All Saints Churchin Long Beach and St. David's Church in North Hollywood.


Bush Threatens To Veto DC Budget For Not Blocking Domestic Partner Funds
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: June 27, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Washington) President Bush issued a warning to Congress on Wednesday thathe will veto budget appropriations for the District of Columbia unless themeasure contains language barring the district from using any of the moneyfor its domestic partner registry.

The registry allows same and opposite-sex unmarried couples to registertheir relationships.

Three quarters of the District of Columbia's budget comes from localrevenue - city taxes and fees. But, about $120 million in additional fundscomes from the federal government.

That money is contained in the Financial Services and General GovernmentAppropriations Act.

Under Republicans the legislation stated that none of the federal moneycould be used to support the partner registry. When Democrats took controlof Congress the requirement was removed.


Saving 'Traditional Marriage' Bigger Than Banning Gay Nuptials Catholics
by The Associated Press
Posted: June 28, 2007 - 8:00 am ET

(Denver, Colorado) U.S. Roman Catholic bishops began a campaign this week tostrengthen the institution of marriage by encouraging spouses to performsimple day-to-day gestures for one other.

The campaign, a series of radio and television spots, is part of a broadereffort to bring a greater Catholic voice to the debate over the meaning ofmarriage.

The spots show ordinary people in parks and other public places answeringthe question "What have you done for your marriage today?" The answers -waking up early with the baby, organizing a date night - are meant topromote small acts of kindness as medicine for making marriages last alifetime.

Missing from the spots is any overt religious message, although they areidentified as Catholic and end with an invitation to visit . The Web site promises resources forCatholic and non-Catholic couples on everything from conflict resolution tofinances.

Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, a member of the bishops' committee onmarriage and family life, said the spots deliberately avoid religion toreach a wide audience.


Former 'Ex-Gay' Leaders Apologize For 'Bringing Harm'
by The Associated Press
Posted: June 28, 2007 - 10:00 am ET

(Los Angeles, California) Three former leaders of an international ministrythat counsels gays to change their sexual orientation apologized for theirefforts, saying that though they acted sincerely, their message had causedisolation, shame and fear.

The former leaders of the interdenominational Christian organization ExodusInternational said Wednesday they had all, over time, become disillusionedwith the group's ideas and concerned about what they described as thewrenching human toll of such gay conversion efforts.

"Some who heard our message were compelled to try to change an integral partof themselves, bringing harm to themselves and their families," the three,including former Exodus co-founder Michael Bussee, said in a joint writtenstatement presented at a news conference in Hollywood. "Although we acted ingood faith, we have since witnessed the isolation, shame, fear and loss offaith that this message creates."

The news conference was held in a courtyard outside an office of the LosAngeles Gay & Lesbian Center. It was timed to coincide with the opening ofExodus' annual conference, which is being held this week at ConcordiaUniversity in Irvine and expected to draw about 1,000 people.

Exodus' president, Alan Chambers, said he disagreed with its critics and theministry's methods have helped many people, including him.


Iraq descends into clericalism and barbarism

Iraqi gay human rights activist, Ali Hili, reveals that for mostordinary Iraqis, life is now worse than under Saddam Hussein's brutalmisrule. Watch his Talking with Tatchell interview here:

Saddam was a tyrant. It is good that he is gone. But since theAmerican and British-led invasion in 2003, a once prosperous nationhas been reduced to chaos, impoverishment and terror. Homophobia,sexism and religious intolerance are spiralling out of control.

Despite Iraq's immense oil wealth, mass unemployment and poverty arenow the norm. In many regions, public utilities and welfare provisionhave collapsed.

Although many Iraqis are attempting to forge a peaceful, democraticfuture, much of the country is blighted by prejudice, war, mob rule,witch-hunts and sectarian violence. Most people live in a state ofpermanent insecurity and fear.

Suicide bombings, assassinations and death squad killings are dailyoccurrences. Some of this indiscriminate violence is perpetrated byforeign al-Qaida terrorists and by Sunni insurgents, includingloyalists to Saddam's now defunct Baathist regime.

But many of the killers are linked to leading Shia parties in thewestern-backed Iraqi government, in particular to the Supreme Councilfor Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and its armed wing, the Badrmilitia. Other killers belong to the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal tofirebrand fundamentalist cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr.


English Version:

Interview with an Iranian Lesbian in order to convey her Protest to theWorld
By Darya and Baran
Translated by Ava

Persian Version:

To all the lesbian women of Iran:

As of this day we will walk in the path of freedom, hand in hand, withlinked arms, firm steps and heads held high. We will break the chains thatbind us - chains of captivity, chains of fear. With solidarity, strength,and pride we shall stand up for life in freedom. The time of censorship,oppression and isolation has come to an end. The time has come to speakcourageously of injustice, tyranny, and violation. If you and I don't airour cries of pain and sorrow to the world, we will die in a prison ofterror. With one voice let us convey the problems of a lesbian Iranian womanto the world. If you and I remain silent, not only our rights but those ofcountless others shall be sacrificed. What are you waiting for? Together,let us cry freedom.

If you are interested in working with us, contact us at:

*For confidentiality reasons, names have been changed in the followinginterview.

---Please introduce yourself, in whatever way you prefer, to our readers.

I am Taraneh, an Iranian lesbian. I'm 48 years old. 17 years ago I became arefugee in Europe.

---When did you realize you were a lesbian?

From childhood I preferred to have girlfriends rather than boyfriends.

---Why did you become a refugee?

I am a lesbian. For this reason I was arrested countless times. I went toprison and ultimately sentenced to death [by hanging]. I remember the firsttime I was arrested; I was 21 and a student in Esfahan. I was making lovewith my girlfriend in a car when I was arrested. I was kicked out ofuniversity. I spent 3 months in prison. I was whipped. Eventually I went toIndia to continue my education. But my family did not want me to stay thereso I had to return to Iran. From there began the rest of my problems.

---What problems did you have in Iran as a lesbian woman?


We saw the light, but too late for some
Philip French
Sunday June 24, 2007

The Observer

In September 1957, when the Committee on Homosexuality and Prostitutionmade public its findings and recommendations, known as the Wolfenden report,I'd arrived at Indiana University to begin graduate studies. Theuniversity's Bloomington campus was then best known for the Kinsey Institutefor Sex, Gender and Reproduction. Its founder and head, Dr Alfred Kinsey,the zoologist turned sexologist, had recently died.

The institute rightly claimed responsibility, through its seminal 1948and 1953 Reports on the Sexual Behaviour of the Human Male and the HumanFemale, for creating the climate of opinion that led to the part of thereport recommending that sexual activity between consenting males in privateshould no longer be a criminal offence.

A meeting was held to discuss the recommendations, about which Ireported to one of my closest friends, Sir John Wolfenden's gay son, Jeremy.Somewhat naively, I believed that legislation would soon follow. But Jeremy,who after graduation from Oxford that summer had started full-time work atthe Times, wrote to tell me about the hostile response of the British pressand politicians. Years would pass, he opined, before anything was done. Hewas right.

By then, Jeremy, who was godfather to my eldest son, had drunk himselfto death. He died in December 1965 while in Washington as the DailyTelegraph correspondent. For a while, rumours circulated that he was thevictim of the CIA, the KGB and/or our SIS. A play by Julian Mitchell aboutJeremy's life and relationship with his father, in which there's a characterloosely based on me, will be broadcast on BBC4 in September.

I first met Jeremy, widely regarded as one of the most brilliant men ofhis generation, in 1954, a year that was a turning point in my life.



What liberation did for us...
Leading gay figures tell their own stories
Sunday June 24, 2007

Stella Duffy
author, 44

There's misplaced joy over how things have changed. I don't see thatthe same thing has happened for lesbians as it has for gay men. We didn'treally get the feminist revolution we hoped for. If you don't have manywomen in Parliament, there won't be many lesbians in Parliament. I'm happyfor Elton and David, but we don't have a lesbian couple of a similar statusand people often forget that gay includes women.

Things are getting better, but my partner and I still wouldn't kiss onthe Tube. I really mind when gay people aren't 'out'. I have Asian friendsand they don't have any choice - the colour of their skin makes them out. Ibelieve we'll change the world and make it better if we're all out. It isvery unfortunate that the ghastliness of the Iraq war has obfuscated some ofthe good things Labour has done, one of those being the Civil PartnershipAct. I certainly never expected that by my forties I would be able to getmarried to my partner in a civil partnership.

David McAlmont
musician, 40

I was born in England but grew up in Guyana, listening to British actslike Boy George and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I saw people like Erasureand Marc Almond strutting their stuff and thought it was OK to be out andproud here. I had been living in South America as a born-again Christianand returned to England in 1987 so that I could be gay. I didn't realisewhat a novelty it was to have a black, gay man in that arena. It wasshocking, some of the questions journalists came up with. Somebody whowanted to sign my first group, Thieves, to their label was surprised todiscover there was such a thing as a black gay man. I'm accustomed tohearing West Indian people say that homosexuality is a white disease, butthere were white people who felt that, too. Ten years ago I went toNorthern Ireland to do a show and it got cancelled. They were about to passpro-gay legislation and there were protests against it, so the last thingthey wanted was a screaming poof on TV.


Church weddings for gays soon a reality in Sweden
Posted on den 28 juni 2007 (EST)

Sweden, already a pioneer in giving same-sex couples the right to adoptchildren, looks set to allow gays to marry in the Lutheran Church, withplans to introduce a new marriage law in January 2008.

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - If the so-called "gender neutral" marriage legislation isadopted, the Scandinavian country would become the first in the world toallow gays to marry within a major church.

Other countries only allow gays to hold civil ceremonies.

Sweden's current law from 1987 defines marriage as being between a man and awoman. The new law would strike any reference to gender.

While heterosexuals can currently marry in either a civil ceremony or achurch ceremony, homosexuals are only allowed to register their partnershipsin a civil ceremony.

"I think it would be great if the Swedish law passed. In changing the laweverybody could be equal in the eyes of the law," Soeren Andersson of theSwedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights toldAFP.

"It's a kind of a revolution in a way. Because when you look at the bigSwedish Church, if you would have asked it five years ago it would probablyhave said 'no we would not accept this'," he added.


UPDATE: Call for Action: Transgender couple sentenced to 3 years in prison;need your letters of support

Dear friends,

Women Living Under Muslim Laws has received updated information on thecase of Shamial Raj and Shahzina Tariq of Faisalabad, Pakistan. Shamial hada sex change operation and has been living as a man for years. He andShahzina Tariq married for love last year, despite the fact that Shahzina'sfather had wanted her to marry a person to whom he owed money. Shahzina'sfather and other family members continued to harass the pair and took legalaction against Shamial accusing him of kidnapping their daughter, despitethe consensual nature of their marriage. On the 28th of May, 2007 the LahoreHigh Court decided there was insufficient evidence to charge Shahzina andShamial under section 377 (unnatural offences). However the couple wassentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment and Rs 10,000 fine on chargesof perjury.

Their petition challenging the above verdict is currently pending inPakistan Supreme Court (SC). On June 21, 2007 a medical report was submittedto a Lahore High Court Justice, which was not made available to thepetitioners' counsel, although access to this report is essential for theirdefence. We strongly support the right of Shahzina Tariq and Shamial Raj tolive their lives according to their own wishes, and urge authorities to takeimmediate action to address the several police reports [FIRs - 'FirstInformation Reports'] initiated by Shahzina's father against Shamial Raj. Ifthese are not quashed then Shamial could be arrested again as soon as he isreleased from prison on bail.

Currently Shahzina pledges to stand firm with Shamial. Shamial issuffering the negative attitudes of those around him. He is kept in a smallroom alone without even the possibility of sleeping in the courtyard, a?privilege' extended to all prisoners during the summer.


Shamial and Shahzina urgently need your letters of support and solidarityaddressed to them. Your show of support is crucial for their morale at thistime, especially as this is a case in Pakistan without legal precedent.Please address your letters of support to Shahzina and Shamial and anyinformation that may assist in their appeal (e.g., relevant legalinformation on other cases of transgender or multiple gender-identifiedpeople facing adversity). You may email your letters to Nighat Said Khan whois working on this case and will take your letters to Shamial and Shahzina in prison.

Please address your letters to Shamial Raj and Shahzina Tariq and email them to:

You may also send your letters via Shirkat Gah Women's Resource Centre:



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Washington Blade Online
June 27, 2007

Clinton camp announces gay steering committee
List includes activists from across U.S.

Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign announced Wednesday the formation of "LGBT Americans for Hillary," a national steering committee that includes more than five dozen gays.

The committee, which boasts elected officials and activists from across the nation, is slated tosupport the campaign with political outreach, communications, policy advice and fund raising.

"I am proud to have the support of suchdistinguished leaders in the LGBT community,"Clinton said. "Together, we can move our nationcloser to the promise of fairness and equality that all Americans deserve."

Names on the list, in alphabetical order, include:

* Eldie Acheson, former U.S. Assistant Attorney General; founding director, Public Policy andGovernment Affairs, National Gay and Lesbian TaskForce


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List>

*Edwards visits Center's HIV medical clinic and 24-bed transitionalliving program for homeless GLBT youth; Center CEO Lorri L. Jeanimplores him to support marriage equality

LOS ANGELES, June 26, 2007-Presidential hopeful John Edwards-the 2004Democratic vice presidential candidate and former U.S. senator fromNorth Carolina-visited the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center this morning tomeet with staff and increase his understanding of the diverse needsof the GLBT community.

Edwards' tour included stops at the Center's pharmacy and JeffreyGoodman Special Care Clinic, which provides state-of-the-art medicalcare to hundreds of low-income, HIV-positive Angelenos, and at theCenter's 24-bed transitional living facility for homeless GLBT youth,where he met briefly with residents.

"We're grateful that Sen. Edwards was eager to learn more aboutL.A.'s GLBT community and that he chose to see firsthand theimportant and life-saving work we do every day at the L.A. Gay &Lesbian Center," says Center CEO Lorri L. Jean.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] Prime Minister Gordon Brown - Friend or foe?

Prime Minister Gordon Brown - Friend or foe?
Absent from 13 of 14 gay equality votes
Doubts over Brown's commitment to gay rights
London - 27 June 2007

"Gordon Brown has missed more gay equality votes in parliament than anyother MP," said Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, OutRage!activist and Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford East.

"In 13 out of 14 votes in the House of Commons Mr Brown has not bothered toturn up and vote.

"While I doubt he is homophobic, he has failed to make any serious effort tovote in favour of gay law reform.

"The out-going Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and other Labour Ministers have amuch better track record when it comes to voting for gay equality.

"Gordon's frequent absences send the wrong signal. They suggest he doesn'tbelieve gay human rights are important.

"As the new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown inherits the leadership of a Labourgovernment that is currently backing homophobic discrimination in six keypolicy areas:


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] Russia: Three gay protestors detained in Moscow
Three gay protestors detained in Moscow
27 June 2007, 16:00 CET

(MOSCOW) - Police briefly detained three gay protestors Wednesday in Moscowat a small demonstration urging the European Union to deny visas to MoscowMayor Yury Luzhkov over his refusal to allow a gay pride march in thecapital, a leading activist said.

Gay community leader Nikolai Alexeyev said that "25 activists...demonstrated Wednesday in front of the European Union representative officein Moscow to protest against the ban on gay parades in Moscow."

However, police said the protest was not authorised and made arrests,Alexeyev said.

Luzhkov has consistently banned the holding of gay marches in Moscow andlast year called such events "the devil's work."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Stonewall Democrats Criticize White House Anti-Gay Veto Threat
White House issues Veto Threat over Domestic Partnership Registry

Contact: John Marble
(202) 625-1382


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Washington, DC - Today, the National Stonewall Democrats issued thefollowing statement in response to a White House threat to vetoappropriations legislation because Democrats refuse to employ anti-gaylanguage used by the Republican leadership in recent years.

"It is unthinkable for the White House to threaten to veto an appropriationsbill because it does not include anti-gay language. This registry, which ispaid for with local funds, simply provides the documentation needed in orderfor families to purchase the most minimal private protections not affordedby the federal government to same-sex couples.

This is a misleading veto threat designed to parrot the talking points ofthe anti-gay special interests which control and finance the RepublicanParty. President Bush would never threaten to withhold federal funds fromCalifornia because it employs a domestic partnership registry. Yet,Republicans feel that the District of Columbia is their financial playgroundthat they can use to bully local families at the pleasure of their anti-gayagenda. That is wrong."

- Jo Wyrick, Executive Director

The White House issued the veto threat on Tuesday night in response to anappropriations bill being considered by Congress. H.R. 2829, the FinancialServices and General Government Appropriations Act, provides financialsupport for federal programs including the salary of the President and theDistrict of Columbia. The bill currently before Congress does not include alongstanding Republican provision which states that federal funds should notbe used to operate the District of Columbia domestic partnership registry.The provision was removed at the request of committee member CongressmanJosé Serrano (D-NY) and other Democrats.


From Equality Florida

Gay-Straight Student Network Launched in Florida
FIU Student, Gloria Bauta, Selected to Lead Effort

(Miami) Today, Equality Florida announced the launch of the Florida Gay Straight Alliance Network, an unprecedented effort to provide a support structure for the growing number of student-run Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) in schools across the state. The Network is a program of Equality Florida and will serve to facilitate communication and peer support among students, as well as provide them with leadership training and resources to build, strengthen and sustain their GSAs.

The Network will be headed up by FIU student Gloria Bauta, a native of South Florida, who has been instrumental in the leadership and success of various collegiate GSAs.

"Gloria has a passion for student organizing that is contagious," said Stratton Pollitzer. GSAs are changing the world by erasing bigotry in the schools. They deserve support and Gloria will be a tremendous resource for thousands of students across the state.

Most recently, Gloria has spearheaded the student movement for the creation of an LGBT Resource Center on the campus of Florida International University. She has also been involved in youth leadership development programs, such as the Barton Center's Adventure Camp program and FIU's Center for Leadership and Service.

"I am excited to be a part of the effort to sustain and strengthen GSA's across the state,"" said Bauta. "There is enormous potential in student-led organizing on Florida's campuses and the Network will be instrumental is supporting those efforts."

GSAs are student-led and organized groups that help to create a safe and welcoming school environment for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. These clubs act as a support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and their straight allies, as well as serving to educate the school community on issues that affect them.

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


June 21, 2007 - From Dawn newspaper, Pakistan's largest English newspaper

An identity under scrutiny

By Jessica Stern

Having lived more than half his life as a man, choosing his behaviour and changing his body to show the world the man he feels himself to be, Shumail Raj is trying to be what most men want to be

- an honest man
Shumail Raj and Shehzina Tariq have become the centre of a tragedy known throughout Pakistan and the world. Who are they? Eight months ago, Shumail and Shehzina were married in a ceremony that Shehzina describes as "a love arriage." But since their story became public, they have been called every sort of name by reporters, lawyers, comedians, by people in the street.

Press reports refer to them as a "she-couple", a "same-sex couple", and as two "girls" or "lesbians." Their union has been dismissed as the country's first same-sex marriage. Yet Shehzina Tariq has stated clearly "We are not homosexual". Everyone, it seems, gets to say who they are

- except the two themselves.
Instead, as a result of saying what they feel themselves to be, they have found themselves in conflict with the law. On May 28, they were sentenced to three years' imprisonment for perjuring themselves

- for having told the Lahore High Court that Shumail Raj was a man.A court-appointed panel of medical examiners had to be called in to settle the issue of legal identity. It was more important to identify the history behind Shumail Raj's full beard and masculine build than to recognise his right to privacy, his dignity and self-respect.

The prosecution of the couple and their humiliating depiction in the media has overlooked vital facts. Everyone has a biological sex, the body they are born with. However, everybody also has a sense of the self which transcends the body. Without that sense we are more than just what we are given, we would have no clothes, no jewellery, no hairstyles. We would practice no artifice upon ourselves. We would take no joy in making ourselves look beautiful or strong by our own standards, patterning our looks on others or choosing a different guise or style.

Beyond biological sex, there is gender. Biological sex means how we classify bodies as male or female, based on factors such as hormones, chromosomes, and internal and external organs. Gender describes not what is "male" or "female," but what is "masculine" or "feminine" -

-- what different societies consider to be such; what individuals feel to be such. Everyone has an individual experience of how "masculine" or "feminine" they are. Some feel their inner selves to be different from how their bodies are categorised.

The Universal Declaration of Human rights states "all people are born free and equal in dignity and rights" and "recognition as a person before the law" is a basic human right. The law should not condemn you because you seek to have your identity recognised. Its purpose should be to uphold an individual's fundamental human rights, and respect and protect personal identity, dignity and freedom.

Courts from Europe to Brazil to Egypt have upheld the right of people to have the genders they live in recognised by the law. In Egypt this legal finding was upheld by a fatwa from the sheikh of Al Azhar.

Human rights also include the right to health. The World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations' coordinating authority for health, observes that transgender people

- people whose gendered selves are different from their bodies - experience "a desire to live and be accepted as a member of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by a sense of discomfort with, or inappropriateness of, one's anatomic sex." Their health and well-being depend on their being cared for and recognised as who they feel themselves to be.

The imprisonment of Shumail Raj and Shehzina Tariq sends the message that people born female have no right to call themselves male, even when that is how they see themselves. Shumail Raj may have been born female, but he underwent two surgeries to alter his gender, the first at the age of 16. He intends to go abroad for the third surgery that he feels would complete his growth into a man.

Now 31, Shumail has lived more than half his life as a man, choosing his behaviour and changing his body to show the world the man he feels himself to be. Shumail Raj is not a perjurer

- nor is Shehzina Tariq. He is trying to be what most men want to be, an honest man.
The writer is a researcher with the New York-based Human Rights Watch.


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