Saturday, July 07, 2007

GLBT DIGEST July 7, 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

July 7, 2007

Cheney Fatigue Settles Over Some in GOP
Filed at 12:49 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Dick Cheney, who thrives on secrecy while pulling thelevers of power, is getting caught in the glare of an unwelcome spotlight.

Once viewed as a sage and mentor to President Bush, Cheney has approvalratings now that are as low as -- or lower -- than the president's. Recentnational polls have put them both in the high 20s.

Bush's decision to spare former Cheney aide I. Lewis ''Scooter'' Libby froma 2 1/2-year prison sentence has focused new attention on the vice presidentand his possible role in the commutation.

Cheney's relentless advocacy of the Iraq war, his push to expandpresidential authority and his hard-line rhetoric toward North Korea andIran are raising concerns even among former loyalists now worried about theGOP's chances in 2008.

It seems Cheney fatigue is settling in some Republican circles.


The New York Times

July 7, 2007

Faith Intertwines With Political Life for Clinton

WASHINGTON - Long before her beliefs would be tested in the most wrenchingof ways as first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton taught an adult Sunday schoolclass on the importance of forgiveness. It is a lesson, she says, that shehas harked back to often.

"We all have things that oftentimes we're upset about, or ashamed of, orfeel guilty over, and so many people carry these enormous burdens around,"Mrs. Clinton said in a recent interview. "One of the great gifts of faith isto let it go."

The themes of wrongs, forgiveness and reconciliation have played outrepeatedly in Mrs. Clinton's life, as she has endured the ordeal of herhusband's infidelity, engaged in countless political battles and shared adeep, mutual distrust with adversaries.

Her Methodist faith, Mrs. Clinton says, has guided her as she sought torepair her marriage, forgiven some critics who once vilified her andstruggled in the bare-knuckles world of politics to fulfill the biblicalcommandment to love thy neighbor.


The New York Times

July 7, 2007
Parish Falls Out of Step, and Favor, With Diocese

BRISTOL, Conn., July 5 - Standing inside the handsome sanctuary on SummerStreet that has been home to Trinity Church since 1949, Fred Clark said thathe was married here, baptized his children here and held funeral serviceshere for the child he lost.

And although Mr. Clark, the congregation's senior warden, said he and about150 fellow parishioners were not eager to lose a place that had been aspiritual home to them and their ancestors since before the Revolution, theymay not have a choice come Sunday.

Last month, Connecticut's Episcopal bishop, Andrew D. Smith, defrocked theRev. Donald L. Helmandollar and ordered the congregation's lay leaders "tovacate the property of Trinity Church, Bristol, and release every claim onthe assets of this parish by July 8, 2007." The parishioners had objected tothe church's position regarding homosexuals in the clergy.

But Father Helmandollar, 68, who joined the clergy late in life, has noplans to go quietly. He said he was confident that parishioners wouldpersevere even if they lost the right to the church, rectory and burialgrounds they had held for generations in a fight that seems headed forcourt.

"It's the people, not the steeple," he said, quoting Rick Warren, a popularevangelical author.


The New York Times

July 7, 2007
Immigration Malpractice

The prickliness and glacial ineptitude of the immigration system is old newsto millions of would-be Americans. Immigrants who play by the rules knowthat the rules are stringent, arbitrary, expensive and very time-consuming.But even the most seasoned citizens-in-waiting were stunned by the nastybait-and-switch the federal bureaucracy pulled on them this month. Afterencouraging thousands of highly skilled workers to apply for green cards,the government snatched the opportunity away.

The tease came in a bulletin issued by the State Department in Juneannouncing that green cards for a wide range of skilled workers would beavailable to those who filed by July 2. That prompted untold numbers ofdoctors, medical technicians and other professionals, many of whom havelived here with their families for years, to assemble little mountains ofpaper. They got certified records and sponsorship documents, paid formedical exams and lawyers and sent their applications in. Many canceledvacations to be in the United States when their applications arrived, as thelaw requires.


The Washington Post

Cool Reception for Conservative Radio
Many Popular Talk Shows Find Washington Just Isn't Listening

By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 6, 2007; C05

After conservative radio pundits encouraged opposition last month to theimmigration bill that was before the Senate, Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) wasmoved to declare, "Talk radio is running America."

It is not, however, running Washington.

With the exception of Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk-radio hosts havestruggled for years to find a wide audience on the local dial. WhileLimbaugh's afternoon program remains popular on WMAL (630 AM), not manyother conservatives' programs have.

Latest case in point: WJFK (106.7 FM) yesterday dropped Bill O'Reilly'snationally syndicated show, "The Radio Factor," and replaced it with asports-talk program hosted by Jim Rome. O'Reilly, an avowed independent whotakes many conservative views, occupied a two-hour afternoon slot on WJFK.

The popular Fox News Channel TV host never attracted much of a radiofollowing in Washington -- in the most recent ratings period, his programhad about 1.2 percent of the audience. But then, neither have many otherconservatives, whose programs are popular in many cities but barely move theratings needle in the Washington area, the nation's eighth-largest radiomarket.

Such radio stars of the right as Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck and MichaelSavage at times have literally had no ratings in Washington, as measured byArbitron. That's partly because those hosts are carried on WTNT (570 AM), astation that has a weak signal, no local programming and little promotion.Last month, for example, the Clear Channel-owned station attracted anaverage of just 0.5 percent of the listening audience.


Gay pride - political will needed to change attitudes

Budapest, July 7 (MTI) - Around 2,000 gays, lesbians and transvestitesparaded in downtown Budapest on Saturday afternoon to mark the capital's11th Gay Pride day.

The decorated floats and dance stages started out from City Park with apolice escort towards the Danube's Freedom Bridge.

Several hundred demonstrators gathered along their route, holdingfar-fight banners, pelting eggs, bottles and plastic bags filled with sand.A group of masked skinheads pelted police with beer bottles. Police arrestedsix people.

At the parade Arpad Toth, a board member of the Rainbow MissionFoundation, told MTI that the occasion was also part of Hungary's 12thLesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transvestite Film and Cultural Festival, beingheld to promote the struggle to attain equal legal rights of alternativepartnerships and marriages.

Toth said that part of the parade's objective was to send a message togay people to put themselves on an equal footing with the rest of societyand shed decades of seeing themselves as second-class citizens.


Gabriel Rotello: Deadly Error Alert: Andrew Sullivan's Latest AIDS Fantasy

I recently blogged on this site to take issue with Andrew Sullivan for hisrelentless campaign to convince gay men that the AIDS epidemic iseffectively over and to get us to stop worrying about HIV - even though HIVtransmission rates among gay men gallop along at tragic levels of 2-3% peryear.

I had neglected to consider that when it comes to AIDS and Andrew Sullivan,the best policy is benign neglect. Because the great danger is that Andrewwill get his dander up and let loose with some whacky claim that threatensto make things even worse.

Alas, that's exactly what happened last week. And Andrew's latestpronouncement is so potentially deadly it demands immediate correction.

I won't rehash the details of our debate.You can read my criticism here, and his initial response here.

I'll just cut to the chase.

In one of his follow-up responses, Andrew goes where no man has ever gonebefore in terms of AIDS misinformation.

In arguing that gay men have actually done a pretty fabulous job of craftingnew strategies to stop HIV transmission in a brave new world wherecombination therapies have led to complacency, he brings up thecontroversial practice of 'sero-sorting.'


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Washington Blade

Younger Americans more likely to support same-sex marriage
Washington Blade
Jul. 06, 2007

A few weeks after John and Elizabeth Edwards made their differing views ongay marriage public, a flurry of polls on gay issues suggests the Edwardsfamily appears to be in step with the rest of America on the debate.

During a June 25 appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show," John Edwards told hostJay Leno that he disagrees with his wife on the issue of gay marriage.

"It's not the only thing we disagree about," he said. "A lot of people Ilove and care about feel the same way Elizabeth does. I'm very strong aboutending discrimination against gay and lesbian couples. But I'm not quitewhere Elizabeth is yet."

Elizabeth Edwards previewed that assessment during a joint interview withher husband on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" last December atthe beginning of his campaign. She also said their daughter Kate, a24-year-old student at Cambridge, has talked with children of Republican andDemocratic politicians her age and believes the issue will "disappear withtheir generation."

A joint poll conducted June 15-29 by the New York Times, CBS News and MTVexamined the attitudes of 659 individuals and put them into two groups, ages17-29 and older adults. The survey found younger people had more progressiveattitudes toward gay marriage and civil unions. Some 290 respondents in the17-29 age group said gay couples should be allowed to marry, compared to 184of the older respondents.

The study also found 158 younger and 211 older adults said gay couplesshould be able to enter into civil unions, but not legally marry. Some 198younger and 231 older individuals think gay relationships should not receiveany legal recognition.

Evan Wolfson, director of Freedom to Marry, said differing attitudes aboutmarriage equality could be because the younger respondents grew up in a timeof greater visibility and open discussion of gays and lesbians.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List>

Man injured in attack at lake dies
Investigators seek details in assault, including reports of possible hatecrime.
By David Richie - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, July 6, 2007
Story appeared in METRO section, Page B2

Family members gathered at Mercy San Juan Medical Center on Thursday andsaid goodbye to Satendar Singh.

Singh's four-day struggle to recover from head trauma he suffered Sunday atLake Natoma ended Thursday afternoon after family members and doctors agreedto end his life support.

The 26-year-old was fatally injured in an assault after what witnesses saidwas an ugly verbal attack laced with racist and homophobic slurs.

On Thursday, family members took him off life support after the arrival ofhis aunt and uncle, Suvin and Camie Bhuie, and his grandmother, Chand Singh.They are the closest and most senior members of Singh's large extendedfamily in the area.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] Boycott against Novotel works!


After a week-long boycott campaign by gay networks, Novotel Siam Square willtoday formally apologise to Sutthirat Simsiri-wong, a transvestite who wasbarred entry to a nightclub at the hotel two weeks ago.

The Nation, Bangkok Thursday July 5 2007

A spokesman for the high-end hotel's public relations division said a pressconference would take place today at the hotel. The general manager of thehotel and a representative of Accor Group, which represents hotel chainsincluding Novotel, will be present.

Sutthirat said he was also invited to the press conference. "Tomorroweverything will be concluded," he said in a telephone interview.

The apology by the hotel arrived in time for a deadline set by Sutthirat,who said last Thursday that if the hotel did not apologise to him within aweek, he would bring the case to court as he had been discriminated againstbecause of his sexual orientation.

Sutthirat, a local brand manager for a French cosmetics firm, was deniedentry to the Concept CM2 nightclub at the hotel on June 22. The reason givenby door staff was because he is a katoey. The Thai word refers totransvestites.


Forwarded from Al Fatiha
International organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Muslims

Jerusalem Open House Reclaimed the streets of Jerusalem for Pride andTolerance 2007

Last Thursday, the Jerusalem Open House, the LGBT community and itssupporters marched a historic March for Pride and Tolerance despite violentintimidation and political sabotage. When we think of how far we have comefrom last year´s pride events which were held in an enclosed space due tothe factors of war in Israel as well as the violence raging inUltra-Orthodox communities in Jerusalem, we can recognize the greataccomplishment of this past year´s struggle to march. We held our flags highin the Jerusalem city center and marched with pride, while surrounded bysome 7,000 police officers charged with protecting us from the violencewhich had been raging in some Ultra- Orthodox neighborhoods throughout theprevious weeks.

Our struggle this year has faced tremendous opposition

l As early as April, a bomb exploded amongst scattered posters denouncingthe march.

l A Jewish death curse (pulsa de´nura) was placed on the march organizersby some Ultra-Orthodox leaders.

l Open House staff, board members and their families received threats totheir homes in the month leading up to the march.

l A week before the march, several right-wing leaders of the opposition tothe Jerusalem March barged into the Jerusalem Open House to deliver anofficial petition against the LGBT Pride march. The men wore latex glovesand shouted insults at Open House staff who tried to calm the situation.This event was part of the orchestrated campaign intended to escalate theLGBT community´s fears around the upcoming march.

l On the day of the march, a man was arrested in possession of a pipe bombwith certain intent to do serious harm to the LGBT community and itssupporters. As the reality of this fact and other violent intimidationtactics sink in, we acknowledge the courage it took for our community tomarch in the face of such threat.


National Gay News

Gay Slurs at School 'Same as Racism'
Friday, 06 July 2007 16:48

Children who call classmates "gay" or "queer" should be treated thesame as racists, the new children's minister said yesterday.

Kevin Brennan, a former teacher, said new guidelines would be issuedto schools telling them that anti-gay bullying should be punished in thesame way as racist abuse in the playground.




Ft. Lauderdale

Club Blue is a monthly social and networking event designed to promotethe Human Rights Campaign and its membership in South Florida. It is heldon the first Thursday of each month!

Join the HRC South Florida Committee each month to network with otherGLBT professionals and to learn about HRC in South Florida!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Coconuts Bahama Grill
429 Seabreeze Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316

Have a drink on us and watch the sun set over the Intracoastal!Coconuts Grill has a fun menu with a relaxing view. If you plan to stay fordinner with friends after the social, you may wish to consider makingreservations in advance.


Suggested Donation


AIDS infections in India overstated, study finds
By Laurie Goering
Chicago Tribune
July 7, 2007

NEW DELHI India has about half as many people infected with the AIDS virusas previously thought, India's government confirmed Friday.

New estimations of the country's infection rate, based on a nationwidehouse-to-house survey with blood sampling as well as on prenatal blood testsof pregnant women, suggests the country has about 2.47 million peopleinfected with the virus that causes AIDS, a sharp drop from the previousestimate of 5.7 million, said Anbumani Ramadoss, the national minister ofhealth and family welfare.

That reduced estimate, which mirrors similar revisions of estimates of AIDSprevalence in some African countries, drops India from first in the world inHIV infections to third place, behind South Africa and Nigeria.

Indian officials called the revised estimates good news for the country,which now appears to have around 0.36 percent of people 15 to 49 infectedwith HIV rather than the previously thought 0.9 percent. The reducedestimate indicates India's epidemic is still focused in high-risk groups -prostitutes and their clients, intravenous drug users and gay men - ratherthan in the general population as in South Africa, where the infection rateamong people 15 to 49 years old is 16 percent.

Health officials said Friday that India's infection rate also appears to bedropping slightly overall, suggesting that increasingly intensive efforts tostop the spread of the disease are working.


Posted on Sat, Jul. 07, 2007
Host had 'no idea' of gay slur

In the freewheeling world of Spanish-language television and radio, the linebetween what's offensive and what's not is often murky. The challenge ismade more difficult by the language's unique permutations across LatinAmerica and Spain.

But with Spanish-language media under increased scrutiny by the FederalCommunications Commission, a Miami talk show has sharpened that fuzzy lineto zero tolerance. Telemundo TV personality Luisa Fernanda, the Mexican hostof the popular show Cotorreando (``Chattering''), was fired after she madean unintended slur against gays.

Fernanda used the Cuban word for grouper, cherna, which for Cubans hasanother meaning: a pejorative term for a gay man.

Other networks also have taken action against on-air personalities recently.But in Fernanda's case, she had no clue the word she was uttering is aninsult in Cuban Spanish; several local gay community activists are defendingher.

Fernanda was dissecting the latest sex videotape scandal last month withco-host Mauricio Zeilic when she asked him if he would back her if she wasattacked, and he said yes.


Legally Insane: A History of Jack Thompson's Antics
Andy Chalk posted on 6 Jul 2007, 05:00 PM
jack thompson

Jack Thompson, photo: John Loomis/Rolling StoneJack Thompson. As the RedSkull did to Captain America, so Thompson fills gamers everywhere with ateeth-clenching cocktail of rage, vitriol and confused frustration over ourinability to understand what exactly is wrong with this guy and why he hasto keep acting like such a jerk. He inspires extreme reactions in virtuallyeveryone he interacts with; he's gone so far, even some of his erstwhileallies are beginning to distance themselves from his circus. But in light ofa recent report that the Florida Bar Association has suggested he undergo apsychological evaluation, one question hangs in the air, just begging to beasked: Is Jack Thompson really crazy?

A self-described Christian conservative and Republican, Thompson'sbeginnings were innocuous enough. Born in 1951, he grew up in Cleveland,Ohio, attended Denison University, went to law school at VanderbiltUniversity where he met his wife, then moved to Florida in 1976. He joinedthe Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church where he became a born-again Christian,got involved in local politics, and if that was the end of the story he'd bewell on his way to a very normal, moderately successful and otherwise whollyunremarkable life.

Alas, it was not to be. As far back as 1987, Thompson was demonstrating thecombination of pitbull tenacity and outrageous behavior that would becomehis hallmark. As part of a dispute with Florida radio personality NeilRogers, Thompson spent eight months recording every broadcast Rogers made,eventually documenting 40,000 individual on-air mentions of his name.40,000. Based on a previous agreement with the radio station, he claimedthat saying Jack Thompson 40,000 times was worth $200 million and sued forthat amount. The courts disagreed, the suit was dismissed and Rogersremained on the air.

The zaniness continued. In 1988, Thompson stood for election as Dade CountyState Prosecutor against the incumbent Janet Reno, who had recentlyfrustrated him with her refusal to prosecute Rogers for his on-air swipes athim. At a campaign event, he presented Reno with a letter asking her toindicate, publicly, whether she was homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual. Inresponse, according to Thompson, Reno put her hand on his shoulder andreplied, "I'm only interested in virile men. That's why I'm not interestedin you." Thompson filed a police report accusing her of battery for touchinghim. A special prosecutor was appointed to investigate the charge, which wasquickly dismissed as a "political ploy," and Reno went on to crush Thompsonat the polls, winning 69 percent of the vote.

Ever the gracious loser, in 1990 Thompson accused the Switchboard of Miami,a social service group that held Reno as a board member, of placing"homosexual-education tapes" in public schools. This served as the impetusfor Thompson's first court-ordered psychological examination: He passed andrepeated his allegations of Reno's lesbianism when she was appointed U.S.Attorney General; he later accused her of suffering from various mentaldisorders as a result of side effects of the medication she was taking forParkinson's Disease.


Lake Worth opts to expand civil rights protection laws
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 06, 2007

LAKE WORTH - The city this week became the third municipality in Palm BeachCounty to expand its civil rights protection laws to include sexualorientation, gender identity and gender expression.

Mayor Jeff Clemens and Commissioner Cara Jennings proposed that the cityrevise its Civil Rights Act at the request of the Palm Beach County HumanRights Council.

"Lake Worth should always be on the cutting edge when it comes to fightingdiscrimination," Clemens said. "This is just a step that will ensure thatpeople are treated fairly regardless of their gender identity."

The unanimous decision to include the newest protection clauses shows thatgender identity discrimination does occur and that cities are responsiblefor enacting laws to prevent it, Jennings said.

Lake Worth joins West Palm Beach and Tequesta in the initiative, which wasspurred locally after the February firing of Largo City Manager SteveStanton, who had announced his plans for a sex change operation, said RandHoch, founder and president of the local Human Rights Council.


Gay. So what?
Friday July 6 2007 15:19 IST
Priya M Menon

In June 2007, Baljit Kaur and Rajwinder Kaur of Amritsar made headlines whenthey tied the knot despite violent opposition from their families. "We loveeach other and will die for each other," the women declared. They'vethreatened to run away to Canada if the families continued to be difficultand in the meanwhile, plan to start a family of their own - by adopting achild.

Baljit and Rajwinder are yet another example of a lesbian couple who havedared to defy social norms and a legal system that criminaliseshomosexuality. In 2006, Wetka Polang (30) and Melka Nilsa (22) of Orissaactually managed to get their union blessed by their community. Wetka andMelka, day labourers who belong to the Kandha tribe, got married in atraditional ceremony presided over by a Kandha priest after paying a fine -a barrel of country liquor, a pair of oxen, a sack of rice - and hosted afamily feast.

"They wanted to prove that they can live without the help of men. They alsolove each other very much. So we decided to forgive them," said villageelder Melka Powla.

These are rare yet defining instances of defiance in a society which stillhesitates to talk about sex and where homosexuality is a crime, courtesySection 377 of the Indian Penal Code. In a social setting where same sexlove often leads to social ostracisation, police harassment and evensuicide, members of this hitherto silent community are now making theirvoice heard.

Last year, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of Rajpipla, Gujarat, drewinternational media attention when he publicly declared himself to be ahomosexual. "I wanted to open a Pandora's box," says Manvendra. "That couldhave happened if only there is some controversy. I thought an Indian princeopenly talking about his sexuality would make news." And it did. His effigywas burnt and the royal family threatened to disinherit him. Though it waslegally impossible, the resulting controversy triggered national debate onhomosexuals and their rights.


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Thursday, July 05, 2007

GLBT DIGEST July 5, 2007

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



Mayor Jim Naugle -
Ft. Lauderdale City Hall
100 North Andrews Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
Telephone: 954-828-5003/5004

Next meeting of the Ft. Lauderdale City Commission is
This Coming Tuesday, July 10, 2007 at 6 PM


From Marc Paige

At times we hear about openly-homophobic politicians in other parts of thecountry or the state, but when the ugliness hits home, I do not think we canaffored to remain silent.

In today's Sun-Sentinel, a column by Brittany Wallman about illegal sex inpublic restrooms has this quote from Mayor Naugle: "The homosexual newspapersaid it's the 'gay parking lot.' That's not me saying that," Naugle said. "Idon't use the word 'gay.' I use the word 'homosexual.' Most of them aren'tgay. They're unhappy."

At first I had to remind myself that this was 2007, and not 1957, and then,that this was Ft. Lauderdale, and not Warsaw or Nigeria. I know everyoneagrees that this is outrageous, but what I am wondering is if communityleaders feel they need to quickly come together to determine a response fromthe gay community and the community of decent South Floridians who value andrespect all citizens, including gay citizens who contribute so much to ourregion.

I am not sure if it is a demonstration, or a request that the CityCommission issues a statement condemning Naugle's hate speech. or a demandfor his resignation. I am not even sure if anyone else believe's we shouldacknowledge these remarks, but I do know that if Naugle had said similarcomments about Jews or African-Americans, those communities would mobilizeto respond to this ignorance strongly and rapidly.

Please get back to me.
Marc Paige
401-837-6828 (cell)


Wayne Besen's thoughts about Mayor Naugle

Something needs to be done. The truth is, the only thing more difficult tofind than sex in a Fort Lauderdale bathroom is toilet paper. Sex in therestroom has virtually disappeared since Gore invented the Internet. What aloser Naugle is - remember, this is same mayor who nearly wept when CoralRidge closed down the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ.

Maybe we impeach the pig with the appropriate slogan: "Can Naugle." We do itunder the auspices of "waste management" in that he wants to spend a $250kon electro Johns while Floridians are losing homes due to soaring insurancerates.

I'm unclear what the rules are in Florida to ax a mayor or if otheractivists think it is worth it. But, I've had about enough of this buffoonrepresenting one of the gayest cities since ancient Greece.


A Tentative Conference Call Sunday, 8pm

Michael Emanuel Rajner
National Secretary - Campaign to End AIDS
Founding Member - Campaign to End AIDS-FLORIDA

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle has certainly demonstrated that he a Mayoronly for the privileged and select few. His utopian world parallels theactions of Adolf Hitler in cultivating a society that would not includemarginalized and vulnerable populations such as homosexuals, the homelessand individuals below 600% (approx. earning under $65,000 annually) of theFederal Poverty Limit.

Are we inspiring and educating our own community that uneducated commentslike that of Mayor Naugle are not only appreciated, but not that we are nolonger going to tolerate them!

What are our next steps?

Should the community wish to meet by conference call, I have access to aconference call system that can hold up to 75 participants. This servicewill be made available for concerned community members to discuss this issueand decide where to go next.

We must organize as a community with a common interest that is greater thanhomosexuality. This Mayor continues to perpetuate such hate in SouthFlorida. We as concerned residents, tax-payers and voters need to demand achange in the course of direction.

This issue goes beyond political party affiliation - this issue is basichuman rights! The longer we linger in our apathy, the farther our journeyand fight becomes to obtain equality for all!

Tentative Conference Call Scheduled for:

Sunday, July 8, 2007 8:00 pm
Access Number: 1 866 394-9509 (alternate number 1 847 619-2419)
Participant Code: 7761180#

Purpose of the Call: To discuss this issue and arrive at a consensus foraction

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle says robotic toilet may put stop to'illegal sex': Naugle says beach 'robo john' could stop illegal sex'

Click below to view Sun-Sentinel article,0,6887467,print.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

With you in the Fight!
Michael Emanuel Rajner

Please contact if you would like Michael Rajner's fullletter.


From Donald Cavanaugh
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Happy Hetero Holiday

Ah! July 4. Independence Day. The day in 1776 when the ContinentalCongress voted to declare independence from Great Britain.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident," starts the second paragraph ofthis honest document, "that all men are created equal, that they are endowedby their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Let me add... "if you're heterosexual."

If you're not heterosexual, your life may be endangered; your liberty maybe curtailed, and your pursuit of happiness has been legislated away fromyou by people who have imposed their misconceptions about non-heterosexualsin the uniformed armed services, and their religious beliefs about marriagebeing between one man and one woman -- in violation of the First Amendmentof the Constitution which says "Congress shall make no law respecting anestablishment of religion."

Nowhere in the Constitution or Amendments is there a gender requirement forequality. How can there be? Creating such a requirement automaticallyresults in one gender having different rights than the other. Different isnever equal. If John can marry Mary, why can't John marry me? Am I lessequal than Mary? Or is it that Mary is less equal than John because she's awoman and he "takes" her "in holy matrimony?" And matrimony without alesser spouse can't exist.

Article 1 of the 14th Amendment reads: "No State shall make or enforce anylaw which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of theUnited States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, orproperty, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within itsjurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Non-heterosexual people get neither due process nor equal protection.While we are fortunate that several counties and cities in the country haveordinances protecting non-heterosexuals, in the majority of jurisdictions inthis nation non-heterosexual citizens can still be denied housing,employment, credit, medical treatment and basic services - just because ofwho we are - and there's not a single thing we can do about it.

So think about it while you enjoy your barbecue and watch the fireworks....The rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the UnitedStates in the 21st century are dependent on your sexual orientation andgender identity.

Happy Hetero Holiday.



From Marc Adams
Volunteer Executive Director - HeartStrong

The Pride Foundation is having a special funding giveaway.

All you must do is click on this link:

and enter your information and HeartStrong's name and State (which isWashington) and then confirm your information when they send you anconfirmation email.

It's easy, free and HeartStrong could get some much needed money!

Feel free to forward this email to EVERYONE you know and ask them to dothe same. You don't need to be a resident of Washington, Idaho, Oregon orMontana to place your vote for HeartStrong.


Questions? Email

Marc Adams
Founder/Volunteer Executive Director


Forwarded from Wayne Besen
Weekly Column: Anything But Straight

Anything But Straight
July 3, 2007
The Pious Publishers Are Already In Heaven

Charlene Cothran (Venus magazine) and Michael Glatze (Young Gay Americamagazine editor) were gay niche publishers who discovered that peddlingfiction is much juicer (and potentially more profitable) than sellingstraight news on gay life. The newly minted "ex-gay" stars tell us they haveseen the light - unfortunately, it appears to be the spotlight - as they nowparade themselves in the Christian media, pawning their terrific tales oftransformation. Cothran and Glatze explain that they are simply offering asmall snapshot of their new lives, but it sure seems like a full-blown photoshoot.

Interestingly, both Cothran and Glatze found God and renounced homosexualityshortly after they split up from what they once considered their spouses. Ina sense, it seems like these break-ups caused nervous breakdowns where theembittered party tried to punish an "ex" by becoming ex-gay.

Cothran's conversion occurred after she split up with her life-partner often years. The divorce hurt so badly that Cothran remained celibate forthree years - hoping that they would eventually reconcile. When therelationship was finally on its deathbed, the former Venus publisher becameborn again. How convenient.

Meanwhile, Glatze moved from San Francisco to Halifax, Canada in 2004 withhis partner to start a family, according to "Weird Nut Daily," a right wingpublication. His conversion happened after a pro-gay speech he delivered atHarvard in 2005 - meaning that that he and his husband likely split withinmonths of his miraculous makeover.

Instead of checking out potential new dates, Cothran and Glatze simplychecked out, found Jesus, and blamed their personal failures onhomosexuality. Whereas most people handle getting dumped by drinking at thebar, those susceptible to the ex-gay myth simply drink the right wingKool-Aid. They drown their pain in prayer and their sorrow in Scripture,while rationalizing that if they quit love, they will never hurt so badlyagain.

Unfortunately, the opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality forex-gays - it is a lifetime of loneliness, despair and celibacy.


Heroin overdose ends scandalous life of Bismarck's descendant
By Andy McSmith

Published: 04 July 2007
The Independent

The scandalous life of Count Gottfried von Bismarck, playboy descendant ofGermany's greatest statesman, has ended from a heroin overdose. The count,who was 44, was found dead when paramedics broke into his Chelsea flat atthe weekend.

The ambulance was called by an estate agent who was selling the property,after the agency had failed to contact the count for several days. The flatwas almost empty as the sale was close to completion. Drugs equipment wasfound near the body.

Bismarck achieved notoriety as an undergraduate in 1986, when he hosted adrug-fuelled party in his rooms at Christ Church College, Oxford, whichculminated in the death from a heroin overdose of Olivia Channon, the22-year-old daughter of a Conservative government minister, Paul Channon.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

From Donald E. Wildmon
Founder and Chairman
American Family Association>

July 3, 2007

Please help us get this information into the hands of as many people aspossible by forwarding it to your entire email list of family and friends.

Boycott continues to drive Ford sales down

Company ignores stockholders and dealers, supports homosexual agenda

Ford Motor Company sales for the month of June dropped 8 percent comparedwith sales during June 2006. Ford sales have gone down in 14 of the last 16months. While the boycott isn't totally responsible for the drop in sales,it has played a major role.

AFA has identified Ford as a leading promoter of same-sex marriage and thehomosexual agenda. AFA began a boycott of Ford in March 2006 after Fordreneged on an agreement with AFA to cease their promotion of the homosexuallifestyle. More than 720,000 individuals have signed the AFA sponsoredBoycott Ford Pledge. For more information on the Ford boycott, and to signthe pledge, click here .

Ford continues to financially support homosexual groups despite the massivesales drop and a loss of millions for the company's stockholders. Dealersand stockholders have asked that the company take a stand similar to that ofWal-Mart which will not support or oppose controversial issues. Chrm. BillFord has refused to establish such a policy, choosing to continuefinancially supporting the homosexual movement.


The Washington Post

Students Take to the Road for Social Justice
Trip Is Part of Year-Long Program to Inspire Activism Among Black and JewishYouths
By Virgil Dickson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 5, 2007; B03

In the basement of Maryland Del. Jeffrey D. Waldstreicher's house lies achunk of drywall that has motivated him over the years as he has navigatedthe political world.

Waldstreicher (D-Montgomery) gathered his treasure on a summer trip 11 yearsago with Operation Understanding D.C., a group that each year takes morethan 30 African American and Jewish students on a tour of the South to meetwith civil rights leaders. Waldstreicher went during the summer that severalblack churches were burned in Alabama, and part of the trip was spenthelping a congregation rebuild. He kept a memento.

"That piece of drywall is often an inspiration for me," said Waldstreicher,who lives in Kensington. "It helps to prevent cynicism from creeping up, andit's easy to let that happen when working in politics."

This morning, 31 students are set to embark on a 25-day journey to learn howthey can continue a shared legacy of social change. The trip will take themto New York to visit historic synagogues and churches, and they will headsouth through North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. They are scheduled tomeet such people as Joe Levin, co-founder of the Southern Poverty LawCenter, and the Rev. C.T. Vivian, an activist who challenged officials inSelma, Ala., over the right to register black voters.

The trip is part of a year-long program in which students are immersed inAfrican American and Jewish cultures through such things as lectures andpotluck dinners. They also visit places of worship during Passover andEaster.


The Washington Post

The Sky Isn't Falling
Experience may be trumping hysteria over gay marriage.
Thursday, July 5, 2007; A16

WHEN THE high court of Massachusetts ruled in 2003 that the commonwealth's constitution gave same-sex couples the right to marry, detractors railed against "activist judges" who were "imposing" their will on the people. Onlythe people, through their elected representatives, should decide somethingso fundamental, they said. Thus began an effort to amend Massachusetts'sconstitution by referendum to define marriage as a union between a man and awoman. Four years and about 10,000 same-sex marriages later, here's what thepeople have said: never mind.

To get the referendum on the 2008 ballot, opponents of gay marriage neededonly 50 of Massachusetts's 200 legislators to vote for the amendment duringconsecutive two-year sessions. The first vote at the end of the lastsession, in January, garnered the support of 62 lawmakers. But the secondvote last month attracted only 45. Now the earliest the amendment could hitthe ballot is 2012. By then, the response from the people very well might be"What's the big deal?"

Opponents of same-sex unions felt democracy was under attack by the courts,with judges dictating what people could and couldn't accept. Meanwhile,supporters argued that the rights of a minority should not be put to a vote.The ultimate defeat of the referendum was democracy catching up with thecourt.

Despite dire predictions, the institution of marriage didn't crumble underthe weight of homosexuals seeking the rights and responsibility that comewith it. The sky didn't fall in Massachusetts. Nor has it buckled in theDistrict of Columbia and the five states that offer civil unions or domesticpartnerships to gay couples. Washington state's domestic partnership lawgoes into effect next month. Oregon's domestic partnership law and NewHampshire's civil unions take effect in January 2008. Acceptance of gaymarriage is by no means widespread. Marriage is restricted to one man andone woman by constitutional amendment in 26 states and by state law in 19others. But the tide is slowly changing. Opinion polls show growingacceptance of gay rights.

At a commemoration last month of the 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia,the landmark Supreme Court case that struck down laws prohibitinginterracial marriage, Mildred Loving joined many civil rights organizationswhen she threw her support behind gay marriage. "I believe all Americans, nomatter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation,should have that same freedom to marry," she said. And as hysteria gives wayto real-life experience, more people will realize that the loving andcommitted relationships of homosexuals should be recognized.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,2533369,print.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines

Sunshine State lags in harnessing sun's energy to cut energy bills
By Joel Hood
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
July 5, 2007

When it comes to harnessing the sun's rays for electricity, the SunshineState is largely in the dark.

Despite almost ideal weather, South Florida is lagging far behind Californiaand states in the Southwest in powering homes, businesses and governmentoffices by tapping into the ultimate renewable energy source - the sun. Butit's changing.

Scientists, environmental engineers, and solar energy experts are pushingstate and local officials for greater financial incentives for homeownersand businesses looking to conserve natural resources and cut energy bills byswitching to solar power. In the face of soaring energy costs and heightenedconcerns about the effects of climate change, Gov. Charlie Crist isinsisting on sweeping measures. He vetoed a bill in June that would haveforced cities and counties to adopt more eco-friendly building standards andset aside millions for research of alternative fuels. His reason: The billdidn't go far enough.

On July 12-13, Crist will join California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger andothers in a two-day "climate summit" in Miami to set Florida's environmentalagenda for years to come. But solar power advocates say the technology andresources already exist to do what Crist and others want-to slash Florida'sdependency on natural gas and coal-burning energy.

What's lacking, they say, is the political will to address the issue on abroad scale and the personnel to fill the growing demand for solar energyright now.


Jury awards black lesbian firefighter $6.2 million
LA Daily News
Article Last Updated:07/04/2007 12:12:28 AM PDT

A jury this afternoon awarded $6.2 million to Brenda Lee, a Los Angeles FireDepartment firefighter who said she was harassed by her superiors becauseshe is African-American and a lesbian.

The verdict in Los Angeles Superior Court came after a two-week trial. Theaward covers past and future economic and noneconomic damages suffered byLee.

The case also names LAFD Capt. Christopher Hare as a defendant. The jurywill consider punitive damages against him Thursday, which means Lee couldbe awarded even more money.

Now on unpaid leave from the LAFD, the former firefighter at Station 96 inChatsworth alleged she was discriminated against because of her race, genderand sexual orientation.

Rob Kitson, an attorney for Lee, declined to comment today, saying SuperiorCourt Judge Michael L. Stern has asked counsel not to discuss the case as itis still ongoing.


White House Hopefuls Parade Their Stars & Stripes In Iowa
by The Associated Press

Posted: July 5, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Clear Lake, Iowa) Fourth of July virtually everywhere was about fireworks,flags, firetrucks and floats. In Iowa Wednesday, people eyeing the White House also were in the mix.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton walked hand in handwith her husband Bill in a sunny, postcard-perfect holiday parade in thisnorth-central lakeside town.

Iowa is among the earliest presidential delegate-selection states, and some10,000 people were expected here. Many White House aspirants already havecrossed these highways, visited the farms and broken bread in the coffeeshops, in the earliest-ever jockeying for the parties' presidentialnominations.

Veterans led Wednesday's parade, which included a float featuring a womandressed as a gold Statue of Liberty. Sen. Clinton followed closely, causinga long wait between floats. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney alsomarched - further back.

In Waterloo, Iowa, Sen. Clinton took President Bush to task, saying he hasrun the nation into debt, forcing it to borrow from other countries and fromsocial programs to fund the war in Iraq.


[Send your comments about articles to]

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

GLBT DIGEST July 4, 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

July 4, 2007
Malaysia's Anwar Loses Bid For Showdown With Ex - PM
Filed at 6:11 a.m. ET

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's de facto opposition leader, AnwarIbrahim, lost his bid on Wednesday for a legal showdown with his old enemy,former premier Mahathir Mohamad, whom he tried to sue for defamation.

A High Court judge allowed Mahathir to strike out a defamation suit over acomment that Anwar was a gay.

The decision was a setback for the former deputy premier in his quest to geteven. Mahathir sacked Anwar from government in September 1998 in a chain ofevents that landed him in jail.

Anwar criticized the ruling, saying it was a "gross injustice" to him andhis family.

"I am compelled to say that this decision is utterly devoid of any legalmerit," he said in a statement. He said he would appeal the decision.


Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle says robotic toilet may put stop to'illegal sex'
Naugle says beach 'robo john' could stop 'illegal sex'
By Brittany Wallman
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
July 4, 2007

FORT LAUDERDALE Mayor Jim Naugle has never been shy about voicing hisbeliefs.

He's called some environmentalists "wackos" and said people complainingabout high home prices were lazy, beer drinking "schlocks."

Now the mayor has shifted his attention to a robotic toilet, saying theinvention could have a special edge over a traditional restroom inpreventing the "homosexual activity" that he said plagues other publicrestrooms.

The robo-john the city might buy for $250,000 or more allows occupants tostay inside for only a short time before the door opens. Probably not enoughtime for "illegal sex," Naugle figures.

The restroom, already in use in Atlanta, Seattle and New York, also playsmusic and cleans the seat automatically.


Church pours scorn on love
July 03, 2007
Mark Abley

A small miracle occurred two days ago across the nation: Hundreds of gay andlesbian Anglicans showed up to worship in churches that had just scornedthem.

I know, that's not the official story. The official story is that by anarrow margin, the bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada voted to make itimpossible for any parish in the country to bless same-sex couples. Warshipsand hamsters can be blessed, but not a loving pair of women or men.

The closeness of the Winnipeg vote inspired a lot of huffing and puffingabout "pastoral generosity" - although Bishop Larry Robertson, moreforthright than your average Anglican leader, promptly announced: "I don'tand cannot accept homosexual behaviour."

Among traditional-minded Anglicans, the typical response to the vote wasnervous relief. Their fear that the issue remains unsettled isunderstandable. But last week their blogs and websites also featured asmattering of hateful rhetoric of the kind that makes me wonder why Iremained a church member for much of my adult life.

On an American site with the smug name of VirtueOnline, one postingsuggested that the tornadoes which battered southern Manitoba were caused byGod shaking a warning fist at Anglicans who dared to defy scripture. AnotherAmerican forum included this response: "Unrepentant and defiant sin receivesEternal Judgment regardless of what some revisionist/progressive bishopsays."


Hate Crime Activist Jumps To Death
Finally Broke Down After 2006 Attack?July 3rd, 2007

Hate crime survivor David Ritcheson spent the last years of his lifefighting hate crimes. The Houston-based activist lived to tell about agruesome attack by some neo-Nazis. Joe.My.God elaborates on the 2006 crime:

[Then 16-year old]Ritcheson was beaten and sodomized with a patio umbrellaby two men shouting "White power!" Ritcheson barely survived the attack andunderwent over 20 surgeries over the last two years. One of the men whoattacked him received life in prison, the other got 90 years.

The experience spurred Ritcheson to testify during The House's hate crimedebates.

The reality that hate is alive, strong, and thriving in the cities, towns,and cul-de-sacs of Suburbia, America was a surprise to me. America is thecountry I love and call home. However, the hate crime committed against meillustrates that we are still, in some aspects, a house divided. I know nowthat there are young people in this country who are suffering and confused,thirsting for guidance and in need of a moral compass. These are some of themany reasons I am here before you today asking that our government take thelead in deterring individuals like those who attacked me from committingunthinkable and violent crimes against others because of where they arefrom, the color of their skin, the God they worship, the person they love,or the way they look, talk or act. . . .

Unfortunately, Ritcheson could no longer act happy - the 18-year old jumpedfrom a Carnival cruise to his death over the weekend.

An 18-year-old was observed by "a bunch of people" jumping over the railingof the upper deck of Carnival Cruise Lines' Ecstasy around 7:35 a.m. Sunday,said Coast Guard spokesman Adam Eggers. The ship's crew pulled the body fromthe water and he was pronounced dead at 9:10 a.m. The ship had departedGalveston on Saturday and was a "couple of hundred" miles out, Eggers said.

A written statement from the cruise line also said the 18-year-old appearedto jump from the ship.


2 plead not guilty to hate crime
They are accused of threatening gay men at restaurant
Last updated July 2, 2007 9:24 p.m. PT


Two Seattle men accused of threatening a group of gay men with a knifepleaded not guilty Monday to a hate-crime charge.

Brian Bell, 21, and Benjamin Davis, 22, had been charged in June withmalicious harassment -- Washington's hate-crime law.

According to police statements, Bell and Davis confronted three men at aCapitol Hill Jack in the Box restaurant about 2 a.m. June 20.

Bell and Davis approached the victims' car, which was parked in thedrive-through lane, police said. Bell, who had drawn a folding knife, yelledprofanity at the men and inquired about their sexual preferences, they said.

Two of the men said they did not engage in homosexual sex, afraid they wouldbe hurt if they said they did, according to police statements.


Gay Media Firm PlanetOut Raises $26.2 Million
Submitted by Mark Hefflinger on July 2, 2007 - 9:51am.

San Francisco - PlanetOut, a publisher of print and online media for the gaycommunity, including The Advocate and, announced on Monday that ithas raised $26.2 million in financing through a private placement of itsshares.

Investors included Special Situations Funds, Cascade Investment, SF CapitalPartners, PAR Investment Partners and Allen & Company.

The funds come as the company faced a deadline of Friday, June 30 to raise$7 million to pay off existing loans; another payment of $8.5 million is duelater this year.

San Francisco-based PlanetOut raised $42 million in its IPO in 2004, andacquired the publisher of The Advocate and OUT magazines for $31 million in2005.

The company's shares rose over 20% on the news, to about $1.60 per share,far off of a 52-week high of $7.20.


July 04, 2007
Kroger starts to carry gay pub again in Nashville stores

Kroger Co. announced Monday that a regional gay newspaper will once again becarried in the free publication rack inside some of its Nashville-areagrocery stores, according to the Associated Press.

Kroger, the nation's largest food chain, removed the Out & About monthlynewspaper from 34 stores in the Nashville area nearly a month ago, claimingthat the paper violated company policy against distributing publicationsthat promote "political, religious, or other specific agendas."

The paper's expulsion caused outrage among the city's gays and lesbians.Supporters of the paper said Kroger carries other gay-themed newspapers atits stores in other markets, such as Atlanta. They also pointed out thatother newspapers with political columns and advertisements forNashville-area strip clubs were available in the stores.

The uproar culminated last month into a weeklong boycott against Kroger andHarris Teeter, another grocery store chain that banned the newspaper.Organizers say the local boycott cost the two companies more than $15,000.

In a news release Monday, Kroger blamed Out & About's removal onDistribuTech, the company that manages its free publication racks. Krogersaid that DistribuTech did not follow Kroger's process for distributing freepublications with Out & About.


Kentucky Lawmakers To Consider Gay Partner Benefits Ban In Special Session
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: July 3, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Frankfort, Kentucky) Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher is calling for a specialsession of the legislature and said Tuesday he wants it to consider a newattempt to ban domestic partner insurance at state run colleges and publicagencies.

Legislation to prohibit publicly funded universities and colleges fromextending domestic partner benefits to families of faculty and staff wasnarrowly defeated last march in committee.

The bill was prepared after the University of Louisville decided in July tooffer the benefits - making it the first publicly funded college in thestate to do so. (story) The University of Kentucky later followed alsooffering health benefits to same-sex domestic partners.

No date has been set for recalling lawmakers.

State Sen. Ernesto Scorsone (D) the state's only openly gay legislator isaccusing Fletcher of "trying to score political points by hurting people."


Steamy EU Video Featuring Gay Sex Stirs Controversy
by The Associated Press

Posted: July 3, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Brussels) The European Commission has its own channel on YouTube to spreadmessages about topics such as climate change and human rights. But the mostviewed video clip features nudity, dim lighting and some heavy breathing.

EU officials said the 44-second clip of sex scenes showcases the strongemotions featured in European films, but some European Union lawmakers havequestioned the sexual content.

The clip - titled "Film Lovers Will Love This!" - has been viewed more than280,000 times, while the next most popular video on the EUTube channellaunched last week - one on humanitarian aid - has fewer than 30,000 views.

Eighteen couples, both homosexual and heterosexual, are shown having sex inbedrooms, kitchens and restaurant bathrooms.

"Cheap, tawdry and tacky," was the reaction of Godfrey Bloom of Britain'seuro-skeptic U.K. Independence Party, who described the clip as "soft porn"and a potential waste of taxpayers' money.


Would-Be Miami Beach Mayor Runs On Anti-Gay Platform
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: July 3, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Miami Beach, Florida) South Beach may be one of the most gay welcomingareas of the country but that would all change says Bill Smatt if voterselect him mayor.

Smatt has not registered to run but already he has begun his campaign with ahuge banner over his front lawn declaring "God created Adam + Eve, not Adam+ Steve."

The banner has raised the hackles of LGBT rights groups and Smatt'sneighbors, several of whom have complained to city hall.

Smatt originally placed the banner on public land outside his property line.He moved it in front of his house when the city told him it was illegal. Hestill is in contravention of city regulations because of the size of thebanner, which stretches across the entire width of his property, but says hewill fight city hall over what he sees as his First Amendment right.

"Miami Beach has become communist Russia, anything you do, they want to teardown my sign," Smatt told Miami TV station WSVN. "What about the firstamendment, we have a right to speak."


The New York Times

July 4, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
At a Theater Near You ...

I knew something was up when I couldn't get a cab. Then there were sirensand helicopters whirring overhead. I stopped a passerby to ask what wasgoing on. He said something about a car bomb outside a disco six blocks frommy hotel. A few hours later, I finally found a taxi. The driver warned methat it was nearly impossible to get across town. Another bomb had beenuncovered in a car park. Next day, more news: a suicide bomber had drivenhis Jeep into an airport and jumped out, his body on fire, screaming "Allah!Allah!"

Where was I? Baghdad? Kabul? Tel Aviv? No, I was in England. But it couldhave been anywhere. The Middle East: Now playing at a theater near you.

But this movie gets more confusing every time you watch it. When you watchedit on 9/11 it was about America's presence in the heart of Arabia. And whenyou watched it on 7/7 it was about unemployed and alienated Muslim youth inBritain. In Jordan not long ago it was about a wedding at a Western hotel.In Morocco recently it was about an Internet cafe. And two days ago in Yemenit was about seven Spanish tourists who were killed when a suicide bomberdrove into them at a local tourist site. Wasn't Spain the country that quitIraq to get its people out of the line of fire?

Because these incidents are scattered, we're growing numb to just how crazythey are. In the past few years, hundreds of Muslims have committed suicideamid innocent civilians - without making any concrete political demands andwithout generating any vigorous, sustained condemnation in the Muslim world.

Two trends are at work here: humiliation and atomization. Islam'sself-identity is that it is the most perfect and complete expression of God's monotheistic message, and the Koran is God's last and most perfect word. Toput it another way, young Muslims are raised on the view that Islam is God3.0. Christianity is God 2.0. Judaism is God 1.0. And Hinduism and allothers are God 0.0.

One of the factors driving Muslim males, particularly educated ones, intothese acts of extreme, expressive violence is that while they were taughtthat they have the most perfect and complete operating system, every daythey're confronted with the reality that people living by God 2.0., God 1.0and God 0.0 are generally living much more prosperously, powerfully anddemocratically than those living under Islam. This creates a real dissonanceand humiliation. How could this be? Who did this to us? The Crusaders! TheJews! The West! It can never be something that they failed to learn, adaptto or build. This humiliation produces a lashing out.


Bigotry Rears Its Ugly Head in LGBT Friendly Miami Beach

Homophobic Banner Demands Response from City Leaders

(MIAMI BEACH) Today, Equality Florida condemned the bigoted andmean-spirited actions of Bill Smatts, a Miami Beach resident who has erecteda 50-foot-long banner reading ?God Created Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve?over his home and in violation of the city code.

?We call on every elected official of the City of Miami Beach and localcommunity leaders to loudly denounce this type of divisive bigotry.? saidBrian Winfield, Equality Florida Communications Director. ?Only by speakingout, will Miami Beach leaders effectively combat such anti-gay hostility.?

In addition to the offensive wording, Smatt's banner also says he is runningfor mayor of Miami Beach, but the city has no record of his candidacy.

In October, 2005, the City of Miami Beach adopted one of the nation?s mostsignificant policies furthering workplace equality for gay and lesbianemployees. The city commission approved an Equal Benefits Ordinance thatrequires vendors, who do business with the city, to provide domestic partnerbenefits equal to the benefits offered to spouses of married employees.

A year earlier, Miami Beach enacted a Domestic Partnership Policy andRegistry, providing some protections and benefits to unmarried domesticpartners.

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


A Special Message from the Executive Director of Soulforce

Because of your faithful support, our Soulforce staff and volunteers arebusy confronting homophobia at its source - across the globe.

Last Wednesday, Soulforce (in conjunction with Beyond Ex-Gay) held a pressconference in Los Angeles featuring three former leaders of ExodusInternational who issued an emotional public apology for their pastinvolvement with Exodus, and highlighted the dangers of attempting to changeone's sexual orientation. This historic press event was covered by CNN'sPaula Zahn, the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, and the AssociatedPress. To watch excerpts from the press conference, go to

On Friday night, four survivors of ex-gay ministries met with three leadersof Exodus member ministries who had accepted our invitation to dinner. Theyshared their personal stories - detailing the emotional and spiritual harmthey suffered from their experiences in Exodus and other "change" programs.

Later that night, and all day Saturday and Sunday, we sponsored the Ex-GaySurvivor Conference - the very first international gathering specificallydesigned to help those who have been in ex-gay ministries or reparativetherapy programs. Throughout the weekend, survivors and allies from as faraway as Australia and London had multiple opportunities to unpack and sharetheir stories. Together, conference participants took a giant step forwardin healing from the false Exodus message and from other forms ofreligion-based abuse. In the process, they became stronger advocates forsocial justice - setting their intentions for helping to make theircommunities a safer place for LGBT people. One highlight (of many) duringthe conference was the public announcement that Love In Action, in Memphis,Tennessee, has discontinued its tragic "Refuge" program - a harmfulresidential program that tried to make gay teenagers straight. This excitingannouncement underscores the importance of our community working together todo social justice - our efforts do make a difference!

At the very end of the conference, pieces of paper documenting theexperiences of ex-gay survivors were torn up, mixed with soil, and then usedto plant a tree on the campus of the University of California - Irvine,which graciously hosted our conference. This was a beautiful way forsurvivors to symbolically proclaim that they can now turn the pain andsuffering of their ex-gay experience to establish firm roots, grow, andbranch out as they help others understand that LGBT people are whole,healthy, and loved by God - just as they are. Video from the ceremonial treeplanting is at

Photos of the conference are available at andwe wish to thank Pat Walsh and her wonderful team at the LGBT ResourceCenter for their incredible support.


Today!! is the 4th of July.

A.V.E.R. ( American Veterans For Equal Rights)will hold it's 2nd Annual Fundraiser at the"NEW MOON" Bar 2440 Wilton DR. Just South of5 Points and across from Rosie's Bar & Grill.

The Fundraiser BBQ will start at 12 Noon

We will have Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Chicken, Food and Beer for sale alsovarious raffles for sale for Weekend Getaways and many other Prizes

PLEASE Come and Spend some time with us and Join in the Fun !!!


Jesse's Journal
by Jesse Monteagudo

The Suncoast Remembered

My partner Michael and I first visited St. Petersburg's Suncoast Resort in1998, shortly after gay businessmen Tom Kiple and Lester Wolff bought thedecrepit Hosanna Hotel and turned it into "the world's largest all-gayresort and entertainment complex." We were in St. Pete for a friend'sdaughter's bat mitzvah, and after a couple of days of straight family valueswe needed some gay relief. So we skipped out and headed for 3000 34thStreet South, where we had a gay old time. We liked it so much that westayed at the Suncoast the next time we visited St. Pete, in 1999.

The Suncoast Resort is one of Central Florida's "big three" GLBTattractions, the other two being the Sawmill Campground near Dade City andthe Parliament House Resort in Orlando. At the turn of the millennium, theSuncoast was a gay oasis in a red state. LoAnn Halden, in,called it "quite possibly the gayest spot on Florida's West Coast . . .,featuring 120-no frills motel rooms, five gay bars, a heated pool, gayshops, a restaurant, and theater. . . . the Sunday T-dance draws a crowd,and its fans are quite devoted." I enjoyed the Suncoast's smorgasbord ofbars: the Tiki pool bar, the Wedgewood piano bar, the Lunar disco and (drag)show bar and the Suncoast Eagle, a Levi-leather bar. (Aren't all bars named"the Eagle" gay, Levi-leather bars? That's how we find them when we go onvacation.) I also liked the female impersonator shows, the "gay mall" thatsurrounded the pool area, and the fact that you could safely stagger back toyour room once you had too many. Of course the eye candy wasn't bad,either.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Pictures of Pride: LGBT Celebrations around the World
A Human Rights Watch photo essay is online at

Year after year, around the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgenderpeople march: to oppose oppression, to declare solidarity with other humanrights struggles, and to show their joy in themselves and their communities.This photo essay captures the courage, the exuberance, and the human facesof LGBT people's Pride marches on five continents, over more than a decade.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program
Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Ave, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10118
Tel.: 212 290 4700
Fax: 212 736 1300


Contact if you can't access the full article.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

GLBT DIGEST July 3, 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

July 3, 2007
The Hard Part
Newark's Mayor Battles Old Guard and Rumors

NEWARK, July 2 - The rumors and tall tales, born in Internet chat rooms andanonymous mailings, gain traction in barbershops, on basketball courts andafter church on Sunday.

Mayor Cory A. Booker is not really black.

One of his top aides moonlights as a cocaine dealer.

The city is about to lay off African-American crossing guards and replacethem with low-wage immigrants.

"From what I hear, Cory Booker doesn't even live here," Esta Williams, 75,said during a raucous Municipal Council meeting last month where dozens ofresidents called for his removal from office. "I hear he lives in a fancyhouse in the suburbs."


Monday, 02 July 2007 15:46
Anti-Luzhkov protesters arrested in Moscow
And other national headlines from Rex Wockner

Three pro-gay protesters were arrested June 27 outside the EuropeanCommission office in Moscow during a picket by 25 people urging the EuropeanUnion to revoke Mayor Yuri Luzhkov's right to travel in the 25-country bloc.

The protesters said Luzhkov doesn't deserve to visit the EU because he hastwice banned Moscow's gay pride parade, calling it "satanic."

Police halted the protest and arrested its apparent leaders even though theactivists had a permit for the event. They were charged with "breach of astreet demonstration order."

"The formal reason [for the police action] was the construction which hadsuddenly appeared in front of European Commission office just a day ago,"said gay activist Nikolai Baev. "The police argued it could not protectdemonstrators in this situation. ... There was no construction technique,just two holes digged on a huge and enclosed area. Perhaps this'construction' will disappear in few days as suddenly as it appeared."

The picket had received approval from city officials on June 25. Theindividuals who requested the permission were not known to the city as gayactivists. But the media then reported that the picket was related toLuzhkov's anti-gay actions. On June 26, the organizers received phone callsfrom officials saying the picket could not be held due to streetconstruction. On June 27, the authorities announced they could not guaranteethe safety of the protesters. On June 28, at the picket itself, police then
produced a document banning the event.


Beach Mayoral Candidate Blasts "Adam and Steve"
Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 02:35:58 PM

Those who braved the rain-soaked streets of South Florida over the weekendand ventured along the manicured suburbs of Alton Road no doubt saw it: At30-feet long by four-feet high, it was hard to miss the banner slappedacross the front of 4760 Alton: "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam andSteve."

The banner is the work of self-procalimed Miami Beach mayoral hopeful BillSmatt.

Smatt did not return two messages New Times left at his home seekingcomment, but he told WSVN on Sunday he was simply expressing his religiousviews: "Morality in the Bible, what God has meant to be, that is what isgoing to be."

For those who may be unfamiliar with Smatt, he's the white Jamaican dudewith long white hair and a fluffy white beard. He looks like a bible-bashingSanta Clause.

According to Carol Hoffman-Guzman of the Alton Road Homeowners Association,her organization has "has not taken any official position on the banner."


Tuesday, 03 July 2007 06:57
One Thousand Times and Counting
Jacob Anderson-Minshall

Retired high school librarian Debra Davis has done it a thousand times.

Over the last two decades, the trans woman has done it in hospitals, policestations, non-profit organizations, religious institutions, businessmeetings, and on campuses across the county. She's even done it ontelevision and in front of elementary students!

She's so proud of what she's doing Davis says she has no plans to stop.After all, she is the executive director of the Gender Education Center-aMinnesota organization dedicated to support, advocacy and education fordifferently gendered people-and it's part of her job.

Davis travels the country speaking on transgender issues. When she reachedthe thousand-presentation mark earlier this year, Davis didn't reallycelebrate. Still, she admits, "It's kind of a neat milestone for me. I feelreally really good about it."

Minnesota included basic protection for transgender people in its HumanRights Act in 1993, but the Gender Education Center began a decade earlier,as the City of Lakes Crossgender Community ('s educationaloutreach program. It became an independent non-profit organization in 1994.


July 03, 2007
Mummy of Egypt's first female pharaoh found

A tooth found in a relic box has led archaeologists to identify along-ignored mummy as being Egypt's most powerful female pharaoh-essentially one of the most significant finds since King Tutankhamun's tomb,reports the Jerusalem Post.

The mummy has been identified as Queen Hatshepsut, who ruled for two decadesin the 15th century B.C. Hatshepsut was the first woman to rule Egypt as apharaoh. When she took the throne, she began to dress as a man and wore afake beard. She was even sometimes referred to as "he" even though it waspublic knowledge she was a woman.

After her death, all records of her vanished, including her mummy.

The Jerusalem Post reported that a mummy was discovered in 1903 lying on theground next to an sarcophagus in the Valley of Kings burial ground in Luxor.For decades the mummy was written off as unidentifiable and left untouched.

However, two months ago the unidentified mummy was subjected to DNA testing.Experts then made a stunning match: a tooth that had been found in a relicbox displaying Hatshepsut's insignia and containing embalmed organs fit agap in the mummy's jaw.


July 03, 2007
Madrid celebrates gay rights advances at Euro Pride festivities

Hundreds of thousands of people from across Europe packed into Madrid onSaturday and joined in a gay pride parade that saluted Spain's Socialistgovernment for enacting legislation that has turned this once deeplyconservative nation into a bastion of gay equality.

The parade, which filled the capital's vast Alcala and Gran Via boulevardsfrom Puerta de Alcala square in the east to Plaza de Espana square in thewest, took place in a festive and peaceful atmosphere.

For days, buses and airplanes had arrived in Madrid loaded with people seton taking advantage of a four-day annual gay festival, which startedWednesday in the Spanish capital's colorful Chueca neighborhood as a preludeto Saturday's bigger, continent-wide Euro Pride events.

Abouy 200 cultural, sporting, and other events were scheduled around Madrid,where organizers estimated as many as 2.5 million people were taking part.

''They've been enjoying the Chueca festival, at which we've seen many morepeople than in previous years,'' Antonio Poveda, president of Spain'slesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual federation, said earlier.


July 03, 2007
Yearbook inserts of gay high school student in New Jersey not delivered atgraduation ceremony

Newark, N.J.'s East Side High School's class of 2007 graduated Wednesdayafter a controversy spurred by a decision to black out a yearbook photo of agay student kissing his boyfriend. As part of an apology to the student, theschool district's superintendent promised to distribute yearbook inserts ofthe student as part of the graduation ceremony but failed to do so, reportsThe [Newark] Star-Ledger.

Deciding the image of Andre Jackson with his boyfriend was too explicit fora high school yearbook, superintendent Marion Bolden instructed the staff toblack out the photograph last week. Later, Bolden publicly and personallyapologized to Jackson for the decision.

As part of her apology, Bolden promised Jackson that during graduation hewould receive an uncensored copy of the book and students would getphotocopies of his tribute page to insert into their yearbooks. However,neither was delivered on the day of the graduation.

However, Jackson did not seem angry or spiteful at the ceremony.

"I'm better-I'm moving on and happy I have such great friends," Jackson toldthe Star-Ledger.


July 03, 2007
New Pew poll shows changing attitudes on marriage; majority still opposesame-sex marriage

The percentage of Americans who consider children ''very important'' to asuccessful arriage has dropped sharply since 1990, and more now cite thesharing of household chores as pivotal, according to a sweeping new survey.

The Pew Research Center survey on marriage and parenting found that childrenhad fallen to eighth out of nine on a list of factors that people associatewith successful marriages-well behind ''sharing household chores,'' ''goodhousing,'' ''adequate income,'' a ''happy sexual relationship,'' and''faithfulness.''

In a 1990 World Values Survey, children ranked third in importance among thesame items, with 65% saying children were very important to a good marriage.Just 41% said so in the new Pew survey.

Chore-sharing was cited as very important by 62% of respondents, up from 47%in 1990.

Delving into one of the nation's most divisive social issues, the surveyfound that 57% of the public opposes allowing gays and lesbians to marry.However, opinion was almost evenly divided on support for civil unions (45%for, 46% against) that would give same-sex couples many of the same rightsas married couples.


July 03, 2007
Presidential hopeful Romney courts conservative Republicans, faces questions

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, courting conservatives, foundhimself answering questions in Des Moines Saturday about the role his Mormonfaith would play should he win the race.

Romney told one questioner ''we have exactly the same values'' and saidthere is no religious litmus test for candidates. The former Massachusettsgovernor dismissed suggestions of a conflict between his religion and hisability to govern. He also hastened to offer assurances of his faith.

''The Bible for me is the word of God,'' Romney said. ''I also believe thatJesus Christ is my savior.''

The questions arose as Romney prepared to join five other Republicancandidates for the 2008 election at a forum sponsored by two of the mostimportant forces in Iowa Republican politics-the Iowa Christian Alliance andIowans for Tax Relief.

This Midwestern state plays an important role in the presidential campaignbecause it holds one of the earliest primaries.


The Advocate

July 03, 2007
Failed bar exam applicant sues over same-sex marriage test question

Stephen Dunne, a Massachusetts man who failed his bar exam by less than twopoints, is suing the test administration agency, alleging that one questionrequired testtakers to "affirmatively accept, support, and promotehomosexual marriage and homosexual parenting," The National Law Journalreported Monday. Dunne says he failed the test because he did not answerthis question. In addition to the testing agency, his lawsuit names thestate's supreme judicial court, which in 2003 ordered the state to offermarriage rights to gay couples, and four of the court's justices. He claimshis First Amendment right to exercise his religion was violated, and heseeks "preliminary and permanent injunctions" against the testing agency's consideration of the question in regard to his exam and those of all futureapplicants. He also seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

The chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners, which administersthe test, declined to comment to the Journal, as did a supreme judicialcourt spokeswoman. (The Advocate)


July 03, 2007
Gay activist/radio host found murdered

Former radio talk-show host and longtime gay activist Mike Webb was foundmurdered in his Seattle home Thursday. The controversial host, who came toprominence covering the riots in San Francisco following Harvey Milk'sassassination in 1978, had been missing since April 13.

The body was discovered after Webb's landlord realized Webb had not paid hisJune rent. Assuming Webb left the property, the landlord hired a cleaner toprepare the property for rental. The cleaner found Webb's "badly decomposed"body wrapped in a tarp, stuffed behind a bookcase and some boxes. The bodywas confirmed as Webb's during an autopsy late Friday.

When Webb originally went missing, police brought a cadaver-sniffing dog tothe house, but no findings were produced.

The article reports that Webb had gained enemies in angry listeners duringand even after his time as a radio host, and obtained a concealed-weaponspermit because of death threats.

Friends of Webb say he was hindered late in his life by the AIDS-relateddeath of his longtime partner in the '90s as well as the more recent deathof his dog. Neighbors reported to police that Webb had been visited by "aseries of seedy characters," according to the article.


July 03, 2007
Thousands turn out for London gay pride parade despite terrorism attempts

Thousands of revelers wearing feather boas and draped in pink and red UnionJack flags turned out for London's gay pride parade on Saturday-flamboyantcelebrations muted by three suspected terror plots.

Yellow police vests dotted a sea of rainbow flags. Security was high afterthe discovery early Friday of two gas-laden Mercedes parked just meters fromthe parade's finishing point at Trafalgar Square. A third potential attackcame Saturday when two men crashed a burning vehicle into the main GlasgowAirport terminal in Scotland. Both men, one of whom was injured, werearrested.

London mayor Ken Livingstone told the crowd that terrorists will notintimidate the United Kingdom.

''They planned to cause destruction and fear, and they failed,'' Livingstonesaid. ''No one stayed home in fear.''

Livingstone urged Londoners to carry on with their lives.

''I'm not going to let them beat me,'' said Kelly Roberts, 31. ''That's theBritish way about us.'' (AP)


The Advocate

July 02, 2007
Saint Cyndi
Pride goes out with a bang on the last night of the True Colors Tour in LosAngeles
By Corey Scholibo

No one owns a stage quite like Cyndi Lauper. On closing night of her TrueColors tour-a month-long music festival to raise money for HRC and awarenessfor the Mathew Shepard Act currently before the Senate-Lauper raised a fistto shoulder height, her wrists covered in purple "Erase Hate" rubberbracelets, and said, "This used to mean power to the people." Earlier in theevening Rosie O'Donnell had conjured a similar sentiment when she said,"Stand up for yourself, gay people. The '60s are back." And so it was; onthe last night of Pride month, gay people had their own little Woodstock.

The night began at 6 p.m. with the transgender-fronted and lesbian-backedgarage rock of the Clicks. And while a large part of the audience wasdropping 100 dollar-bills on indigestible burgers and oversized Coronas andlazing on the Griffith Park lawn, the Clicks' lead singer Lucas Silveria wasstill met with audible enthusiasm, especially during her cover of JustinTimberlake's "Cry Me A River." Emcee Margaret Cho followed with the best ofher new and recycled gay-specific comedy. She was vamping so well no onewould have realized the turnaround to the Dresden Dolls was taking longerthan usual, if she had not announced it. The Dresden Dolls were outrageousas usual, but I opted for more beer and lawn instead.

Screams and what vaguely sounded like the word Barry brought me back to myseat. Sure enough, there was Ms. Debbie in pedestal black heels and a blackoutfit that one anyone else would have been age-inappropriate, and she wasworking one of her biggest solo hits, "French Kissing," for all it wasworth. Disappointingly this and "Rush Rush" from Scarface would be her mostrecognizable songs of the evening as she kept to all solo work, no Blondie.She's definitely aging cool, though I wish the songs from her new albumNecessary Evil weren't so generic. Still, it was her birthday and she wasthere for us and frankly it was Debbie Harry, so who cares what she sang.

Next up was Rosie O'Donnell, who came out on stage in lace black shorts andmatching top. It was underwear she told us, which she apparently felt wentwell with brightly colored Crocs. She was welcomed like a conquering heroand was quick to tell us how good it was to be back with the gays after hernine-month stint with the "heteros" on The View. And while she seemedwar-weary, the events leading up to her True Colors appearance provided herwith great original material. Donald Trump jokes seemed fresh. And aboutParis Hilton: "I can tell you one thing, I would have enjoyed prison a hellof a lot more than her."

Our beers were kicking in when Erasure took the stage. I've seen Erasurebefore, and they were good. But on the gayest of gay nights, Andy Bell wasno-holds-barred. Backed by a Dreamgirls homage of chorus girls in Japanesedresses and black bob wigs, he minced, pranced, posed, strutted, skipped,and generally bounded about from limp-wristed to dominating. The babyboomers were dancing to a sea of offbeat clapping and slightly spastic bootywiggling and general abandon. This was a crowd that didn't care who waslooking-a rarity in our gay universe. The air was palpable when Margarettook to the stage for her last bit, a very funny rap about her meanneighbors' "pussy," which she performed as her mother, complete with curlywig, dark glasses, and high-waisted polyester pants. As she finished, astrange figure in a long black wig walked up to whisper something in herear. But no wig could hide that thick Brooklyn accent and the crowd wentcrazy. It was Cyndi. But instead of performing, she gave a little speechabout HRC and Mathew Shepard and introduced a short video to help inspire usto action. "You watch this, and I will be back in a few minutes," she said.looking like a Jewish grandmother with her hunched shoulders and extremegestures. The clip was a bit of a downer, I must say, but it inspired a moodof political activism. When the lights came up, she was standing on stage insuper-high black heels and a Chinese rice farmer hat made of rainbow-coloredstraw.


Pastor Who Fought For Gay Marriage Receives Canada's Highest Honor
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: July 2, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Toronto, Ontario) The Rev. Brent Hawkes, who conducted a double wedding fortwo same-sex couples at his Metropolitan Community Church in 2001 and thenwent to court when Ontario refused to register the marriages in a case thatresulted in marriage equality across Canada, has been named to the Order ofCanada.

It is the highest civilian honor given in Canada and is awarded in the nameof The Queen, by the Governor General, her representative in the country.

Hawkes will celebrate his 30th anniversary as pastor of MCC Toronto - acareer that continually has seen him at the forefront of the fight for LGBTcivil rights.

In 2001 when he performed the wedding ceremony for Kevin Bourassa & JoeVarnell and Elaine & Anne Vautour, Hawkes wore a bulletproof vest on theadvice of police and following a series of threats from socially
conservative activists.

To conduct the ceremony without marriage licenses - something that had beendenied gay couples - Hawkes found a loophole in the law. It allowed theancient Christian practice of Publishing Bannes.


Myanmar Frees AIDS Activist
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 2, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Yangon) Phyu Phyu Thin, an AIDS activist and opposition party member inMyanmar who was taken into custody by police more than a month ago, has beenfreed from detention, she said Monday.

The 36-year-old woman is a member of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi'sNational League for Democracy, Myanmar's main opposition party, which facesconstant harassment from the military government.

Phyu Phyu Thin said she was held at a detention center in the capital,Yangon, after being taken into custody May 21. She said she was freed Mondaynight.

She was not formally charged with any crime, Phyu Phyu Thin added. She wastaken from her home after marching in processions to pray for the release ofSuu Kyi, who is under house arrest.

Several dozen other Suu Kyi sympathizers were arrested with Phyu Phyu Thinand were released June 27. Phyu Phyu Thin said she did not know why she washeld longer.


Mass. Mandates Health Insurance For All Adults
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 2, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) The goal was as audacious as it was simple: Plug theholes in Massachusetts' health care network without resorting to thepolitically nuclear option of a single government-funded program.

The result is a landmark insurance law praised as innovative, derided as ahouse of cards and touted by former Gov. Mitt Romney as he runs forpresident.

As of Sunday, nearly everyone in Massachusetts had to be insured or face aseries of increasing tax penalties.

The law won't result in universal coverage immediately, but the deadline isa critical mile marker.

"July 1 is really a call to action," said Leslie Kirwan, chairwoman of theHealth Care Connector Authority Board, which oversees implementation of thelaw. "We are looking to insure people, not penalize them."


NYC Woman Accuses Bar Of Ejecting Her For Being Too Masculine
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 2, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(New York City) A bouncer at a popular West Village restaurant ejected alesbian customer from the bathroom after last month's gay pride marchbecause she looked too masculine, the woman charged Monday.

Khadijah Farmer, 27, said the incident happened June 24 at Caliente CabCompany on Seventh Avenue South, where she had gone with her girlfriend andanother friend to have dinner after the march.

Farmer said she was using the women's bathroom when a male bouncer burst inand banged on the stall door, saying a customer had complained that therewas a man in the women's room.

"I said, 'I am a woman and I am where I am supposed to be,'" Farmer said. "Ioffered to show him some identification. I was told that's neither here northere."

Caliente Cab Company, a Mexican restaurant known for its enormous margaritasand checker-cab decor, did not immediately return a call for comment.


Laws Affecting LGBT Lives Go Into Effect In Three States
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: July 2, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Washington) Laws involving the rights of gays, lesbians and transsexualswent into effect July 1 in Iowa, Vermont and Colorado.

Iowa becomes the latest state to protect LGBT citizens in employment,housing and public accommodations.

The the law gives the state's civil rights commission the power toinvestigate complaints of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

"[This is] a message that Iowa is a welcoming place that values each of itscitizens whether it's in the neighborhood or the workplace," Gov. ChetCulver (D) said in May as he signed the bill.

A second law that has gone into effect adds new protections for gaystudents, adding sexual orientation to the list of items for which studentsare protected from bullying.


McCain Retools Campaign
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 3, 2007 - 7:00 am ET

(Washington) Republican John McCain struggled to keep his deeply troubledcampaign afloat Monday, laying off dozens of staffers after lacklusterfundraising and excessive spending left him with just $2 million for hissecond presidential bid.

Considered the GOP front-runner just six months ago, the Arizona senatortrails his top rivals in money and polls. McCain's fortunes soured this yearas he embraced President Bush's troop increase for the Iraq war, a conflicta majority of Republicans support, and a bipartisan immigration bill thathas divided the GOP. He also has fought to win over skeptical conservativeswho make up the core of the party.

Officials with knowledge of the reorganization said more than 50 staffers,and perhaps as many as 80 to 100, in every department of the campaign werebeing let go, and senior aides will be subject to pay cuts. These officialsspoke on condition of anonymity because the campaign would not publiclydiscuss specifics.

The campaign's fundamental leadership will not change. Terry Nelson, aveteran of President Bush's winning 2004 campaign, will remain campaignmanager but said he would volunteer his time instead of drawing a salary forthe next few months. A few senior aides were doing the same.

"We confronted reality and we dealt with it in the best way that we could sothat we could move forward with this campaign focused on winning ourprimaries in the early states," Nelson said.


Clinton Brings Out 'Secret Weapon'
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 3, 2007 - 7:00 am ET

(Des Moines, Iowa) Hillary Rodham Clinton tried to boost her presidentialcampaign in the leadoff voting state of Iowa on Monday by embarking on aFourth of July tour accompanied by one of the most popular figures inDemocratic politics - her husband.

Bill Clinton said he is backing his wife because she is the most qualified,not because of any spousal obligation.

"All you have to do is decide who do you think will be the best president,"he told thousands of voters gathered at twilight on the Iowa StateFairgrounds. "Here's what I want to say to you: I'd be here tonight if sheasked me if we weren't married."

His wife, a New York senator, said she was "thrilled to finally findsomething in politics that I'm doing that my husband didn't do." BillClinton skipped the Iowa caucuses in 1992 because Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin wasrunning against him.

Normally a spouse's presence on the campaign trail isn't so noteworthy, butso far the Clinton campaign has been using Bill Clinton only sparingly.Monday's rally was the first time they had campaigned together in an earlyvoting state, and he planned to stay at her side through the July 4 holiday.


Grocery Chain Allows Gay Paper Back In Some Stores
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 3, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Nashville, Tennessee) Kroger Co. says it will allow a regional gay andlesbian newspaper to again be distributed on the free publication rackinside some of its Nashville-area grocery stores.

The Cincinnati-based company announced the change Monday, about a monthafter the Out & About monthly newspaper was removed from racks at 34 of itsNashville-area stores.

A Kroger spokeswoman last month cited a company policy against displayingpublications that promote ``political, religious or other specific agendas''as reason for the removal. (story)

But some supporters of the paper said Kroger allows the display of gaynewspapers at its stores in other markets, such as Atlanta. They also notedthat alternative weekly newspapers with political columns and advertisementsfor strip clubs in the Nashville area were available in the stores.

Last month, members of the city's gay and lesbian community organized aweeklong boycott against Kroger and Harris Teeter, another grocery storechain where the newspapers were removed. Organizers say the boycott cost thetwo stores more than $15,000.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List>

New law will criminalise possession of extreme porn
OUT-LAW News, 02/07/2007
The Government has published a new law which will criminalise extremepornography. The Government first indicated that it would criminalise thepossession of violent pornography two years ago.

A new Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill has had its first reading inParliament, which means that it has been published and awaits debate andcommittee scrutiny.

The possession of extreme pornography will be punishable by up to threeyears in jail, according to a statement from the Ministry of Justice."Material covered will include necrophilia, bestiality and violence that islife threatening or likely to result in serious injury to the anus, breastsor genitals," said the statement.

Such material has been illegal to publish until now under the ObscenePublications Act. The material has not been illegal to view or possess,though; the new law will make possession a crime. Images of childpornography are already illegal to view or to possess.

The legislation is designed to tackle the fact that with internet publishing something can be created and published on the other side of the world and instantaneously viewed or stored in the UK.

"[This material] can be accessed in the UK from abroad via the internet.Legislating in this area will ensure that the possession of such material isillegal both on and off line," said the Ministry of Justice. "ThisGovernment will always seek to close gaps in the law caused by misuse of newtechnologies, such as the internet, which allow existing controls to beavoided."


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

With new policy, 'U' grants health care to same-sex pairs
'U' sidesteps ruling with 'other qualified adult' benefits plan
By: Emily Barton, Daily News Editor
Posted: 7/2/07

History Prof. Alexandra Stern has been with her partner for 12 years. WhileStern teaches at the University, the health care that the Universityprovides for the couple allows Stern's partner to forgo work so she canfinish her nursing degree.

But because the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in February that the ban onsame-sex marriage means public institutions are no longer allowed to offerbenefits to domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees, the Universitymust alter its health care program at the end of 2007.

But the University might have found a way to continue providing benefits tosame-sex partners with the new policy it announced on June 18. The policy,effective Jan. 1, grants benefits to an adult close to a Universityemployee, referred to as an "other qualified adult," who meets a list ofseven criteria.

The new policy stipulates that pairs applying for coverage must have livedtogether for at least six months and share a bank account. Candidates mustalso have power of attorney over the employee and be the primary beneficiaryin the employee's will, life insurance or retirement plan.


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