Saturday, July 28, 2007

GLBT DIGEST July 28, 2007

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Where They Stand: Part One
Our forum primer on how the Dems see GLBT issues.
by Jennifer Vanasco,

For the first time in history, the major candidates from a major politicalparty - Democrats, of course - will be gathering in a public forum todiscuss gay issues in front of an audience of gay people.

The forum, called "The Visible Vote '08" and sponsored by LOGO (which owns365Gay) and HRC, will be broadcast from Los Angeles on August 9 - already,GLBT's from around the country are submitting video questions.

A significant amount of information is already out there about the candidate's take on the issues. Before you send in your questions, do a little prepwork: here, in two parts, is a round-up of what the Dems have said theybelieve.

Part One, below, will focus (in alphabetical order) on Hilary Clinton, MikeDodd, John Edwards and Mike Gravel; Part Two, next Friday, will put thespotlight on Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama and Bill Richardson.

We bullet the issues that are easily quantifiable-a candidate's stance onmarriage, for instance-and then try to sum up in a paragraph or two some ofthe nuances.

What will they say during the forum? Print out our round-up before you watchThe Visible Vote '08 and see if they are consistent with their histories, orif on that historic night, they decide to break new ground.


Equal Marriage: Voted twice against the Constitutional amendment to bansame-sex marriage (called the Federal Marriage Amendment, or FMA). If theamendment were enacted, it would have restricted marriage to a man and awoman. It may also have restricted civil unions and domestic partnerships.However, during her husband's administration, she supported the Defense ofMarriage Act, which prevented the federal government from recognizingsame-sex marriage.

She seems to both oppose same-sex marriage and an amendment against it,which, in political circles, is considered a compromise position.

She is on record as supporting civil unions.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Has supported ending the policy since 1999. Recentlydefended Pres. Clinton's implementation of DADT as "an important first step." She has also said that DADT "hurts all of our troops and this, tome, is a matter of national security."

Hate Crimes: An original co-sponsor of the bill that would add sexualorientation and gender identity to groups protected by hate crimeslegislation.

ENDA: Has committed to passing the federal law outlawing employmentdiscrimination based on sexual orientation. She says she will introduce ameasure extending benefits to the partners of federal employees.

HIV/AIDS: Co-sponsored legislation to bring Medicaid coverage to low-income, HIV-positive Americans. Pressed for full funding of the Ryan White CAREAct, an increase of $236 million.

Transgender Issues: Signed the GenderPac Diversity Statement affirming thatthey do not discriminate in hiring when it comes to sexual orientation andgender identity and expression. Supports including gender identity andexpression in both ENDA and hate crimes legislation, though as late as lastfall, she did not support trans inclusion in ENDA.


As early as 2000, Clinton supported full domestic partnership benefits forgays and lesbians, back before Civil Unions were really on the table.

She also supports full rights for gay parents, including adoption rights.She was not a co-sponsor of the Uniting of American Families Act, whichwould provide same-sex partners with the same immigration benefits as legalspouses, but she supports the legislation.

In October 2006, she said, "I believe in full equality of benefits, nothingleft out. From my perspective, there is a greater likelihood of us gettingto that point in civil unions or domestic partnerships, and that is my veryconsidered assessment."

In her position paper on gay rights, Clinton says, "The LGBT community willalways have an open door to a Clinton White House."


go to website for the full article.


MD Faces Discipline Hearing Following Attack On Gays
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: July 26, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(London) The president of the Islamic Medical Association has been calledbefore Britain's medical profession's board of conduct following aparticularly vicious attack on gays in a medical journal.

In a letter to the editor of Pulse - a journal for British doctors - DrMuhammad Siddiq allegedly said that gay patients deserve neither help norpity but they do need "the stick of the law to put them on the right path."

"There is punishment and fine if you throw rubbish or filth in the streets.The gays are worse than the ordinary careless citizen," the letter said. Italso claimed that gays "are causing the spread of disease with theirirresponsible behavior. They are the root of many sexually transmitteddiseases."

In addition the letter said that a depressed transsexual awaiting genderreassignment was "twisted."

After a complaint was filed with the medical board Siddiq denied writing theletter, claiming that it was written by his son as a joke and he signed itnot knowing the son would send it to the publication.

But Pulse says that it checked with Siddiq prior to publishing the letterand he did not deny writing it. Colleagues also say that he told them he hadwritten the letter.

Siddiq is employed by a clinic in the West Midlands funded by thegovernment.


The Advocate


Kanye West denies gay rumors, bashes homophobia

Although hip-hop superstar Kanye West may shy away from the gangsta personaembraced by his peers, it doesn't mean he is afraid to stand up for himself.During a recent interview in New York City with Hot 97 radio DJ AngieMartinez, West responded to implications made by fellow rapper Beanie Sigelthat West is gay, reports the Black Entertainment Television cable network.

In an interview conducted earlier this year for the upcoming DVD Beef IV,Sigel criticized West's fashion sense and advised the rapper to "come out ofthe closet." West, in turn, denied that he is gay, adding, "It's sodisrespectful." He then expressed his distaste for the homophobia that isprevalent in hip-hop culture.

Upset that Sigel-who is on the same record label as West, Roc-a-Fella-wouldgo to the press rather than confront him privately, West concluded theinterview with an appeal to Sigel, asking, "Why wouldn't you come to me andtalk to me about it?" (The Advocate)


The Advocate

Chicago gay man says he turned down cash but was still arrested forprostitution

A Chicago man who was arrested and charged with prostitution and possessionof a controlled substance has filed a federal civil lawsuit against fiveofficers, alleging that he was unlawfully arrested, prosecuted,, anddefamed, reports the Chicago Free Press.

The complaint says Dion Contreras of Chicago was in front of a gay bar inthe Lakeview neighborhood when an undercover officer in an unmarked carapproached him and said, "I'll give you $20 for a blow job." Contrerasoffered to do it for free, which forced the officer to either accept theencounter or decline and blow his cover. That's when the officer called infour other officers to make the arrest.

Once Contreras was taken to police headquarters, he was searched, found tobe carrying a small amount of cocaine, and jailed for two days. Police thensent a copy of the charges to the Illinois Criminal Justice InformationAuthority, where Contreras works. Initially he was placed on administrativeleave, but he was later suspended pending a review of the incident.

Contreras's lawyer, Brendan Shiller, claims his client was the innocentvictim of a larger sting operation. "They outed him to his employer, thentold them that he was a criminal," said Shiller.

The Free Press reports that both the prostitution charge and the possessioncharge against Contreras were eventually dropped . In the meantime,Contreras has been unable to return to work while his employer continueswith an inquiry. The lawsuit seeks compensation for mental, emotional, andphysical damages, lost wages, legal fees, traumas, humiliation, loss ofliberty, and mental distress and anguish. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

A father's appeal: choose to act
As Congress moves to make the Matthew Shepard Act a reality, Dennis Shepardurges you to take action

By Dennis Shepard
An exclusive posted July 27, 2007

When my son Matthew was murdered nearly nine years ago, my family had adecision to make. We could mourn Matthew's death privately-withdrawing intosome semblance of seclusion, try to resume our "normal" lives, pretendingthat nothing had changed. or we could use this tragedy to talk about hateand help make Matthew's murder a wake-up call throughout our country. Wemade our decision-a choice we consciously and proudly continue to supportevery day.

Our son died because of hate. He was killed simply because he was gay. Forus, our choice was a no-brainer. Not a day goes by that I don't think aboutMatthew-his spirit, his passion for people, or his smile. And since hisdeath, we have witnessed more acts of hate, bigotry, and injustice againstother lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender Americans. For Matthew and all ofthe other victims, our family has chosen to fight and to act-to speak outagainst hate, to come out as allies, and to engage ourselves in the processof change.

Some days are harder than others, but I choose to act for the memory of myson. I choose to act for the memories of the thousands of victims of hatecrimes. I choose to act for those who don't have the strength or ability toact. I choose to act because we as a nation cannot afford not to act.

I choose to act because I was, and still am, very proud of my son-of who hewas and the struggles he had to overcome to become that man. I choose to actbecause I never want another LGBT American to go through the fear, the pain,the violence, or the loneliness that Matthew went through on that horriblenight. I choose to act because I never want another parent to go throughwhat we went through-the grief, the giant hole in the heart, the bedsidevigil, or the realization that holidays, family vacations, and the normal,dull routine of work, home, and life will never, ever be the same.


The Advocate

Called "The Great Sofa," there's nothing sleepy about Havana's Malecon

They call it ''The Great Sofa'' because hundreds of Cubans sit here day andnight, year-round. The fabled Malecon seawall, a concrete promenadeseparating a jammed six-lane boulevard and an often-angry Atlantic, isalways crowded-but never with the same crowd.

''It's like New York,'' said Fernando Roldan, a 37-year-old masseur who wasguzzling rum as he lounged on the seawall after midnight one weekend. ''Itnever sleeps.''

A typical dawn finds fishermen on the low wall over the waves, casting intoinky blue water glistening with runoff from a refinery that billows blacksmoke in the distance.

Children heading to school walk atop the wall, casting shadows as long asthe adults on the adjacent sidewalk. A woman faces the ocean and crossesherself, mouthing a prayer before hurrying on to work, while a brigade ofstreet sweepers fans out-sometimes steering their wooden brooms aroundchatty drunks still going from the night before.

U.S. military engineers first began building the Malecon in 1901, pavingover scrub brush while American forces still occupied Cuba following theSpanish-American War. Today, it stretches four miles from Old Havana west,past the office of the American mission and the black flags Cuba fliesoutside its windows, and on to the Almendares River.


The Advocate

Madonna: The X-Rated Interview

She's ballsy, irreverent, and still thoughtful-everything you love aboutMadonna. Venture back to 1991 with this epic conversation between TheAdvocate's Don Shewey and the woman who taught America how to vogue.

By Don Shewey
An exclusive posted July 23, 2007
She's done it again

In her eight-year rise from disco-pop contender to international multimedialegend, Madonna has never failed to incite fascination and controversy withone hit record, one sensational video, one mediocre movie after another. Oneof the first pop stars made by and for MTV, she titillated viewers with herbare belly button and her boy-toy belt buckle. She also made the word"virgin" not only speakable but unavoidable in teen-girl parlance.

She's challenged feminists by putting the choice back in pro-choice with hersong about teenage motherhood, "Papa Don't Preach"-and then in concert usedthe song to chide the pope for opposing birth control. Her "Like a Prayer"video, in which she seduces a black saint and ends up with drippingstigmata, scared Pepsi into canceling the commercial it had paid her $5million to do.

She endured a stormy, highly publicized marriage to and divorce fromphotophobic actor Sean Penn. Then her public escapades with comedian SandraBernhard courted rumors that the two were having a lesbian affair. Duringher Blond Ambition tour, she was threatened with arrest in Toronto formasturbating onstage. When MTV banned her "Justify My Love" video, depictinga pansexual orgy in a Paris hotel room, she went on ABC's Nightline to,well, justify her love of provocation.

You ain't seen nothin,' though, until you've seen Truth or Dare, herdocumentary film opening this month. Salacious tidbits from the film, shotduring the Blond Ambition tour, have been conversation pieces for weeks:Here's Madonna reminiscing about the childhood girlfriend who finger-fuckedher, there's Madonna bluntly asking one of her dancers if he's ever taken itup the ass and then watching openmouthed while two others act out her dareto tongue-kiss each other.

Not the least of the film's groundbreaking aspects is its perspective on gayculture. It's hard to think of another film about a nongay subject in whichthe presence of gay people is not only normal and accepted but treasured. Ofher seven dancers, all are ethnic minorities, and all but one are gay.Madonna clearly identifies with them, camping and partying and flirting withthem freely.


Express Gay News

Conservative Anglicans threatening boycott of major meeting
Group calling for U.S. church discipline for ordaining openly gay bishop
NEW YORK (AP) | Jul 26, 2:51 PM

A committee representing many conservative Anglican bishops overseas saysits members won't attend a critical once-a-decade Anglican meeting next yearunless the U.S. Episcopal Church is disciplined for ordaining an openly gaybishop.

The steering committee for the Global South Primates said that the EpiscopalChurch, which is the Anglican body in the U.S., has caused a rift by failingto repent for the 2003 consecration of New Hampshire Bishop V. GeneRobinson, who lives with his male partner.

The meeting, called the Lambeth Conference, gathers bishops from around theworld to discuss the future of the 77 million-member Anglican Communion.

"It is their rejection of the clear teaching of the church and theircontinuing intransigence that have divided the church and has brought ourbeloved communion to the breaking point," the committee said in a July 18statement.

Theological conservatives believe the Bible bars gay relationships.Advocates for full acceptance of gays emphasize the social justice teachingson tolerance in Scripture.

It is customary for all Anglican bishops to attend the Lambeth meeting. Butthe communion's spiritual leader, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams,has said he will not invite Robinson or bishops linked to overseasconservatives who have formed two U.S. missions to challenge theliberal-leaning Episcopal Church on its home turf. The missions violate anAnglican tradition that church leaders, called primates, only minister tochurches within their own territories.


Express Gay News

Hate crimes bill in limbo
Senate leaders mum on timetable; Pelosi sees ENDA vote in September
By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | Jul 26, 10:16 AM

A gay- and transgender-inclusive hate crimes bill will remain stalled in theSenate until at least September and could remain in limbo until October orlater, Capitol Hill sources familiar with the legislation said.

In a related development, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)indicated this week she expects to bring another key gay rights bill, theEmployment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, to the House floor for a vote inSeptember.

"We expect ENDA on the floor in September," said Sydney Jones, a Pelosispokesperson.

ENDA would ban employment discrimination based on a person's sexualorientation and gender identity.

Gay rights leaders had hoped the Senate would vote to approve the MatthewShepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act earlier this monthas an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pulled the defense bill fromthe Senate floor July 18 after it became entangled in a heated debate overthe Iraq war, raising questions about its use as a "vehicle" for the hatecrimes bill.

The Shepard hate crimes bill would give the federal government authority toprosecute hate crimes based on a person's sexual orientation, genderidentity, gender or disability.

The Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Transgender Equalitysaid this week that the strategy of seeking to attach the bill to thedefense authorization measure appears to be the best option for passing thebill in the Senate, despite the road block created by Reid putting thedefense bill on hold.

Earlier this year, Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.),the two lead sponsors of the Senate hate crimes bill, decided to offer thebill as an amendment to the defense measure as a safeguard against apossible veto by President Bush.



State's top court says domestic violence law not in conflict with gaymarriage ban

'The state does not create cohabitation,' Chief Justice Moyer said
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) | Jul 25, 4:03 PM

Ohio's domestic violence laws do not conflict with the state's ban on gaymarriage, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today.

In a 6-1 decision, justices rejected the argument that the domestic violencelaw is unenforceable in cases involving unmarried couples because it refersto them as living together "as a spouse."

Chief Justice Thomas Moyer said in the opinion that lawmakers included manygroups under the domestic violence law, not just unwed couples, and thatdescribing people's living arrangements isn't the same as creating a lawapproximating marriage. The ban prohibited the government from creating anysuch approximation.

"The state does not create cohabitation; rather it is a person'sdetermination to share some of life's responsibilities with another thatcreates cohabitation," Moyer wrote. "The state does not have a role increating cohabitation, but it does have a role in creating a marriage."

The case was being closely watched around the country for the precedent itcould set affecting a dozen similarly worded bans. It is among the firstbefore a state Supreme Court to interpret any of the constitutionalgay-marriage bans passed after Massachusetts allowed same-sex marriages.

A Warren County Common Pleas judge had dismissed a felony domestic violencecharge against Michael Carswell of Lebanon after he argued the section ofthe law under which he was charged conflicted with the new marriageamendment. The charge, in which he was accused of assaulting his live-ingirlfriend, was reinstated by an appeals court. Wednesday's ruling upholdsthe appeals court's decision.


Express Gay News

Moderators announced for HRC's gay forum

Logo and the Human Rights Campaign have announced the moderators for the gaypresidential forum on Aug. 9. The forum, now officially called 'The VisibleVote '08,' will include journalists Margaret Carlson and Jonathan Capehart,who will join Joe Solmonese, president of HRC, and lesbian rocker MelissaEtheridge on the panel.

Margaret Carlson was the managing editor of the New Republic before shebegan working for Time magazine, where she eventually became the first womancolumnist in Time's history in 1994. She is now a columnist for theBloomberg News and a contributor for the Huffington Post. As a politicalcommentator, her coverage of gay-related issues includes the pieces: 'McCainand his gaydar,' 'Daughters book reveals little about Cheney,' 'Praying awaythe gay' and 'Bush dismays party base on gay marriage ban.' Carlson was alsomanaging editor at The New Republic, Washington bureau chief for Esquiremagazine and a member of the panel on CNN's The Capitol Gang.

Capehart is a gay Washington Post editorial page writer and a Pulitzer Prizewinner. He and members of the New York Daily News editorial board won theaward in 1999 for a series of articles about Harlem's Apollo Theatre.Capehart also wrote for the Bloomberg News from 2000-01. He is a member ofthe National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.


Dear MoveOn member,

Did you see the New York Times front-page headline? Democratic leaders inCongress are under pressure to give up on a voting paper trail for 2008,delaying the change until 2012.1

This is ridiculous. The 2008 deadline is doable1-even Florida is making thechange before 2008. And the 2008 deadline is necessary-without a papertrail, we won't be sure who won the White House.

Congressman Ron Klein supports a paper trail. Can you urge him to stand upand fight for passage of the 2008 deadline?

Congressman Ron Klein
Phone: 202-225-3026

Then, please report your call by clicking here:

The recent New York Times front-page story reads:

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are slowing their drive to revampthe nation's voting systems, aides said yesterday...Overhauling voting systems before next year's presidential election had oncebeen a top Democratic priority...

Congress needs to hear from people like us who understand the urgency ofsecuring our voting machines before the 2008 election.


Ft. Lauderdale

Help Stonewall Library and Archives thank our friends on the City and CountyCommissions

We are writing today to encourage our many friends and supporters to send anote to our wonderful Broward County Commissioners for their continuingstrong support of Stonewall. We also hope you will write to CityCommissioners Hutchinson, Rodstrom and Moore to thank them again for theirsupport of our community and of Stonewall. I am including the Commissioners'e-mail addresses below.

Ilene Lieberman
Kristin Jacobs
Stacy Ritter
Ken Keechl
Lois Wexler
Sue Gunzburger
John Rodstrom
Diana Wasserman-Rubin
Josephus Eggelletion

Charlotte Rodstrom
Carlton Moore
Cindi Hutchinson


Jack Rutland
Executive Director
Stonewall Library & Archives
1717 N Andrews Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
(954) 763-8565


Ft. Lauderdale

Stonewall Library and Archives on Television

This Sunday, July 29, at 11:00 am, Stonewall President Dr. Nate Klarfeldwill be a guest on local CBS-affiliate channel 4's "4 Sunday Morning"program with Elliott Rodriguez. Nate will appear with Broward CountyCommissioner Stacy Ritter.

We hope you will all tune in.

Jack Rutland
Executive Director

Stonewall Library & Archives
1717 N Andrews Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
(954) 763-8565


Senior Muslim Doctor Denies Writing Anti-Gay Letter
23rd July 2007
by Divya Guha

A homophobic Muslim doctor is being disciplined for saying that homosexuals,"need the stick of law to put them on the right path" and that they deserveneither help nor pity.

This Hippocratic slur comes from a doctor who is the President of theIslamic Medical Association, which claims to represent 99% of the UK Muslimcommunity.

The offending medic, Dr Muhammad Siddiq, wrote in a letter to doctor'smagazine Pulse:

"There is punishment and fine if you throw rubbish or filth in the streets.The gays are worse than the ordinary careless citizen.

"They are causing the spread of disease with their irresponsible behaviour.They are the root of many sexually transmitted diseases."

The letter went on to call a depressed transsexual awaiting genderreassignment "twisted."

Dr Siddiq denies that he authored the letter and claims his son was playinga "cynical spoof" on him by forcing him to sign the letter and sending it toPulse, a magazine for GPs.

When the magazine contacted Dr Siddiq for further comment, he made no effortto deny his views.

Allegedly, he has privately told his colleagues that he had actually writtenthe letter.

When the magazine published extracts of the letter's contents, hisemployers, Walsall PCT Primary Care Trusts, called him to discuss his views.

Gay rights group Stonewall criticised Dr Siddiq's comments as proof thathomophobia exists in certain pockets of the medical community.

The chair of the Muslim Health Network Dr Khalid Wyne condemned his remarks:

"Sexual orientation should not interfere in a GP's judgement of the healthneeds of a patient," he told the Daily Mail.

The controversy is further bad press for the Muslim medical community stilltrying to come to terms with recent allegations of NHS doctors supportingterror plots.

Dr Siddiq's PCT disciplinary hearing will be held next week.


Amsterdam's gay parade on water adds "hetero boat"

Fri Jul 27, 2007 6:52PM IST

AMSTERDAM (Reuters Life!) - Amsterdam's gay boat parade, which each yearattracts hundreds of thousands of spectators, will be joined by a boat ofheterosexual people this year in a protest against rising intolerance in theNetherlands.

The organiser of the "hetero boat", Coos Peterse, said on Friday it'sinclusion was a reaction to a growing number of attacks against homosexualsin the Netherlands.

Dutch media reported this month that a kissing lesbian couple was attackedin Nijmegen and had to be treated in hospital. In Amsterdam, two gay menwere abused and one was seriously injured.

"What always bothered me is that the public reaction wasn't that strong. Iwould expect a much stronger outcry," Peterse, 25, said.

"Since I wasn't hearing it, I thought maybe it was a good idea to make a
statement, to celebrate with them that you're free in Holland to live toyour own preference."

The "hetero boat", an old navy tender, will hold about 30 people, Petersesaid.

Amsterdam's gay pride is celebrated on Aug. 3 to Aug. 5. Hundreds ofthousands of people line the city's canals every year to see the boatparade, whose participants either wear flamboyant outfits or not much atall. The celebration then continues at a number of street parties across thecity.


MTV Logo and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation are about to make history.

On August 9, we'll be co-hosting the first ever televised presidential forumdedicated solely to questions about GLBT issues - and I'm thrilled toannounce that I will join singer Melissa Etheridge and esteemed journalistJonathan Capehart as panelists!

I'll be there representing you so I need your help.

Click here to tell me what you want to hear by submitting your questions forthe candidates!

This forum is really exciting for me because you and I will have theopportunity to ask the leading Democratic presidential candidates theirstance on issues most important to our community.

Want to know what Senator Clinton really thinks of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell?"Want to hear Senator Obama's thoughts on Hate Crimes legislation, or whatSenator Edwards would do to address GLBT workplace discrimination? This isyour chance.

We'll have their undivided attention for two hours, so submit your questions

This historic two-hour forum, moderated by Margaret Carlson, will bebroadcast live on the Logo network and online at the Logo website onThursday, Aug. 9, starting at 9 p.m. EST.

Confirmed candidates now include:
a.. Hillary Clinton,
b.. Christopher Dodd,
c.. John Edwards,
d.. Mike Gravel,
e.. Dennis Kucinich,
f.. Barack Obama, and
g.. Bill Richardson.

This is our best chance to hear where these candidates stand on GLBT issues.The deadline for submissions is August 1st, so speak up today!

This forum is a testament to the hard work we've done together to keep GLBTissues at the forefront of American politics. Be sure to tune in on August9. I look forward to your questions and to hearing the candidates'responses.

To find out how to get Logo, click here or watch the forum live on Logo'swebsite.

Thank you for all you do.


Joe Solmonese


Broward County, FL


Dear GLBT supporter:

In 1996 and again in 2001, you, along with many others, joined Americans forEquality in the fight to preserve GLBT rights in Broward County.

Because of your efforts, the Broward County gay and lesbian community enjoysprotection from discrimination in housing, employment and publicaccommodations as well as domestic partner benefits.

As the political consultant who worked with Americans for Equality, Iremember, all too well, the negative remarks in the press by anti-gayactivists and elected officials, the anti-gay protests and the polarizationof the entire community from the divisive campaign.

Unfortunately, we now find ourselves facing another potential repealinitiative referendum.

It is imperative you attend a community meeting scheduled for nextWednesday, August 1 at 7 p.m. at the Ft. Lauderdale Gay and LesbianCommunity Center, 1717 N. Andrews Ave., (1 mile south of Oakland ParkBoulevard).

Your immediate action is required.

With your help, we can greatly minimize the potential risk to the GLBTcommunity and save our hard fought rights.

A coordinated effort now may spare the GLBT community from fending offanother repeal referendum in 2008.

We can't do this without your support. Please come and bring a friend.

Your attendance is critical. We will give you all of the information youneed to take immediate action.

Take the opportunity to forward this E-mail to anyone you believe isconcerned about preserving the hard fought rights of the GLBT community.

I look forward to seeing you there.

You may contact either myself or Robin Bodiford, Past Chair, Americans forEquality, at the numbers below, if you have any questions.

Your partner in the battle,

Richard Giorgio
Patriot Games, Inc.


Attorney Robin L. Bodiford
Past Chair, Americans for Equality


Oakland Park, FL

At the request of TERI, Oakland Park City Commissioner Suzanne Boisvenue hasintroduced an ordinance (agenda item no. 18) to include "gender identity"and "gender expression" as part of the city's non-discrimination policy.The item must first come before the entire City Commission as a discussionitem then in approximately one month as the actual motion.

Agenda back-up material:

The entire GLBT community has recently been targeted for attacks by electedofficials (outside of Oakland Park) and misguided religious leaders.

Sadly and most recently, a member of our own community has launched acampaign to demand we cease and desist in the support of any legal remedyand action to ensure the same basic human rights for transgenderindividuals. At this current time, transgender individuals lack the sameprotections and human rights that we enjoy

The compassionate GLBT members of TERI demand an end to our society settinga standard of trans-individuals being relegated to indentured servitude.

TERI was formed a few months ago by a compassionate group of GLBT communitymembers that meet regularly at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of SouthFlorida and by conference call.

The transgender community needs our assistance to partner and support withcourageous leaders such as Commissioner Suzanne Boisvenue. CommissionerBoisvenue serves as a champion to advocate for underserved members ofeveryone's community. I have met with Commissioner Boisvenue on manyoccasions and along with others, grateful that she in the fight to demandRESPECT and DIGNITY for all persons and continues to demand that "NO PERSONEXPERIENCE DISCRIMINATION OF ANY KIND!"

We invite you to support Commissioner Suzanne Boisvenue by attending OaklandPark's City Commission meeting on Wednesday, August 1 at 6:30PM.

When: Wednesday, August 1, 2007 at 6:30

Where: City of Oakland Park

City Hall Commissioner Chambers

3650 NE 12 Avenue

Oakland Park, FL 33334

For additional information on TERI and other initiatives, please contact:

Michael Emanuel Rajner, Co-Administrator

Transgender Equality Rights Initiatives (TERI)

Telephone: (954) 272-8131



The Washington Post

July 28, 2007
Scientists' Tests Hack Into Electronic Voting Machines in California andElsewhere

Computer scientists from California universities have hacked into threeelectronic voting systems used in California and elsewhere in the nation andfound several ways in which vote totals could potentially be altered,according to reports released yesterday by the state.

The reports, the latest to raise questions about electronic voting machines,came to light on a day when House leaders announced in Washington that theyhad reached an agreement on measures to revamp voting systems and increasetheir security.

The House bill would require every state to use paper records that would letvoters verify that their ballots had been correctly cast and that would beavailable for recounts.

The House majority leader, Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat ofMaryland, and the original sponsor of the bill, Representative Rush D. Holt,Democrat of New Jersey, said it would require hundreds of counties withpaperless machines to install backup paper trails by the presidentialelection next year while giving most states until 2012 to upgrade theirmachines further.


The Washington Post

Getting Fingers Off Triggers
By Colbert I. King
Saturday, July 28, 2007; A19

In announcing his intention this week to seek a Supreme Court rulingupholding the District's strict gun laws, Mayor Adrian Fenty said, "Thehandgun ban has saved many lives and will continue to do so if it remains ineffect." Can't argue with that. Gun control advocates tell us that a gunkept in the home is more likely to be used in an unintentional shooting orin an attempted or completed suicide than in self-defense. What's more, thecombination of guns and domestic violence is lethal. So, yes, the ban hasprobably saved lives.

But has the 30-year-old gun ban made our streets any safer? Since thehandgun ban has been on the books, the criminally minded have been usingguns with a frequency that rivals breathing.

From 1987 through Wednesday, there have been more than 6,400 homicides inthe District of Columbia, most committed with firearms. That figure doesn'tinclude non-fatal shootings.

This year, the 7th Police District in Southeast Washington alone had noted181 shootings up to Wednesday, according to Post reporter Allison Klein. Androbberies by gun-wielding thugs? The Post's weekly Crime Report noted 44gun-related robberies between July 6 and 12.


The Washington Post

What Use Were All The Wars?
By Mona Eltahawy
Saturday, July 28, 2007; Page A19

VELEN, Germany -- If turning 40 isn't challenging enough, try preparing forthis milestone when you're as old as one of the worst defeats Arab armiesever suffered at Israeli hands. Wars mark time and generations in the MiddleEast, so it's difficult not to take the humiliation personally.

My birth at the end of July 1967 makes me a child of the naksa, or setback,as the Arab defeat during the June 1967 war is euphemistically known inArabic. There was no Summer of Love for us in 1967. We Children of the Naksawere born not only on the cusp of loss but also of the kind ofdisillusionment that whets the appetite of religious zealots.

My parents' generation grew up high on the Arab nationalism that EgyptianPresident Gamal Abdel Nasser brandished in the 1950s. By 1967, humiliationwas decisively stepping into pride's large, empty shoes.


The Washington Post

Rush for Credit
Congress records some modest -- and dubious -- achievements as it headstoward summer recess.
Saturday, July 28, 2007; Page A18

THE DEMOCRATIC congressional leadership is anxious to put some points on thelegislative scoreboard before it leaves for its summer break. This week,lawmakers made progress with one of their top priorities: a homelandsecurity bill contains some useful improvements, though it is not as good asit could have been or as its sponsors claim. Meanwhile, Democrats slid backinto farm business as usual with passage of a bill that preserves wastefulsubsidies.


The Washington Post

This site lets you browse every vote in the U.S. Congress since 1991.

Read more about the site.


The Miami Herald

Rudy and Mitt get cold feet before debate

Are Rudy and Mitt afraid of Frosty?

Republican presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney areclaiming ''scheduling conflicts'' with the next YouTube-CNN debate, on Sept.17 in St. Petersburg, co-hosted by the Republican Party of Florida. In asignature moment from Monday's Democratic debate, a snowman -- via YouTubevideo -- asked about global warming.

''I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having toanswer questions from a snowman,'' Romney told The Manchester Union Leadernewspaper in New Hampshire.

It's baffling why Romney, polling in the single digits in Florida, wouldblow off a chance to raise his profile. Giuliani, the front-runningcandidate, says he, too, is unlikely to show.

''I have no problem at all with the format,'' Giuliani told Miami radio showhost Jim DeFede. ``My campaign informed me yesterday that CNN just wentahead and picked a date, didn't bother to ask us, and we have six events onthat date that are already scheduled.''

Neither campaign detailed their commitments. With the debate coming twoweeks before the end of the third quarter, I'd bet Frosty's corncob pipethey have fundraisers scheduled that day.

Perhaps Giuliani isn't a YouTube kind of guy. At a time when candidates areembracing social networking over the Internet like never before, Giulianihas no Facebook page. Of all of the major candidates, he has raised theleast amount of money online.

YouTube's freewheeling format reflects democracy at its best and worst.Skipping the debate would suggest that the GOP candidates aren't down withthe people, especially young people. CNN said Monday's debate drew the mostviewers between the ages of 18 and 34 -- the demographic most coveted byadvertisers -- of any cable news debate since 1992.



LDS leaders speak out on same-sex attraction
Pamphlet attempts to clarify stance on issue
By Carrie A. Moore
Deseret Morning News

LDS Church leaders have posted a new pamphlet on their Web site thisweek, answering questions often raised by church members regarding same-sexattraction and how to deal with it.

The new resource, which is being announced through a letter to LDSbishops and stake presidents, seeks to assure troubled church members ofGod's love despite challenges and questions, "including some related tosame-gender attractions, (that) must await a future answer, even in the nextlife."

It does not touch on scientific theories about homosexuality or itsorigins but addresses how to deal with it from a spiritual perspective. Thetext uses the term "same-gender attraction" rather than "gay" or"homosexual" to distinguish between a lifestyle choice and an attractiononly.

Church leaders were unavailable for comment on Thursday.

While few people have yet had a chance to study the new text, onetherapist familiar with the content said it is a valid attempt by churchleaders to reach out, acknowledging that anything official on such avolatile subject "can be misread. I feel for them," said David Pruden,executive director of the locally based Evergreen International - whichspecializes in counseling Latter-day Saints on the topic.


National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

Gay Men Detained
For Kissing Outside Colosseum

Italian police detained two gay men for kissing outside the Colosseum andaccused them of "lewd conduct", sparking howls of protest on Friday fromrights groups and calls for an apology from a government minister.

The incident took place late on Thursday, when the men, aged 27 and 28, weretaken to a police station for several hours before being released, accordingto gay rights group Arcigay.



National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

YDA Elects 2 Gay Men to Lead National Group

Young Democrats of America elected openly gay Dallas political activistDavid Hardt as president during the group's annual convention at the Adam'sMark Hotel on Saturday, July 21.

Hardt is the first openly gay member to lead the group, and it was the firsttime for the convention to be held in a Texas city. The group elected openlygay Tennessee resident Chris Anderson as executive vice president.



Chicago Free Press

Archdiocese settles lawsuit that named Foley priest
Wed, 07/25/2007 - 20:42 - Admin

MIAMI-The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami has settled a sexual abuselawsuit that named a priest who acknowledged having inappropriate encounterswith former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley.

The settlement was announced July 18 in the lawsuit unrelated to the Foleycase. A man who was an altar boy at St. James Church in North Miami allegedthe Rev. Anthony Mercieca sexually abused him in the 1970s when he was about13 years old.

The man, identified only as John Doe 26, claimed Mercieca molested him inthe church's bell tower after a bicycle ride together.

The lawsuit was filed Oct. 25, about a month after Foley, a FloridaRepublican, resigned from Congress after his sexually explicit computermessages to young male pages surfaced. His lawyer later said Foley wasalcoholic, gay and had been molested as a boy by a clergyman.

Mercieca later said he massaged Foley in the nude and they swam nakedtogether, but he denied having sex with Foley.

The lawsuit had sought more than $10 million in damages. Terms of thesettlement were confidential, said the man's attorney, Jeffery Herman.

Mercieca has retired to the island of Malta in Europe. His attorney there,Alfred Grech, declined comment because he was not aware of the settlement orlawsuit.


Playtime for prejudice
From popular culture to politics, it's a great time to be gay - unless youare still at school

Paul Flynn
Saturday July 28, 2007

It is a good time to be gay in Britain. Forty years on from thelegalisation of homosexuality, this country has very nearly embraced aculture of acceptance. Say what you like about Tony Blair's legacy on anynumber of international issues, under New Labour the nation has movedsteadily towards a radical equalisation of homosexual and heterosexualrights. The change came in three critical instalments: the reduction of theage of legal consent to 16; the scrapping of Section 28; and the CivilPartnership Act, which confirmed that homosexuality was not simply aboutsex, but also about love and commitment.

This political evolution has been buffered by an encouraging culturalresponse. It is barely an issue any more for "known homosexuals" to beemployed in institutions where their presence would once have seemedunlikely - however rightwing media strive to dress it up. Newsworthy gayfigures at the Metropolitan police, the Conservative party, BP or CoronationStreet fail to attract the instant opprobrium they would have a decade ago.

From popular culture to politics, homosexuality has well and trulyescaped the margins. After a decade that has seen unapologetic homosexualsstake a substantial place in the mainstream, it would be a particularly hardpink heart that did not remember Blair with some fondness.

Yet if the quality of life for homosexual adults in Britain has movedon, one tricky demographic remains. We still have a muddled, irrational andinadequate response to gay adolescents. While a generation of gay men andwomen has grown to enjoy confidence and widespread acceptance, there remainmembers of a younger slice of society that see themselves as "the only gaysin the village" - and they sometimes are.

The gay community has partially itself to blame here. The concept ofyouth has become fetishised within the metropolitan gay idyll, driven byaspirations to a ceaselessly fashionable party lifestyle aesthetic. A wholeswath of postpubescent gay men feel disenfranchised by this projection. Whois going to take on the mantle of looking after gay adolescents?

Shocking suicide statistics underline the predicament. Research hasshown that 40% of gay boys bullied at school have gone on to attemptsuicide. Initiatives such as the superb Barnardo's campaign againsthomophobic bullying go some way to mending the problems, but these are toodeep to be tackled even by the best efforts of charities.


[Send your comments about articles to]

Friday, July 27, 2007

GLBT DIGEST July 27, 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 27, 2007
Buck Stops At "Chuck" on Gay Marriage Issue
Filed at 3:18 a.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Within the U.S., same-sex marriage mightbe legal only in Massachusetts. When the subject comes up in politicaldebates, most major politicians are quick to duck and cover.

But if Adam Sandler's comedy "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry" provesanything -- beyond the fact that Sandler hasn't lost his knack for turningout mainstream comedies -- it's that the multiplex crowd, though it might besqueamish about gay sex, isn't scared off by the sight of men exchangingrings. That was demonstrated when the Universal release opened at No. 1 lastweekend with North American box office sales of $34.2 million.

Now, no one has ever accused Sandler of being a social crusader. Although hehas been gay-friendly in the past -- his 1999 comedy "Big Daddy" included agay male couple without making too much fuss about it -- Sandler aims rightdown the middle of the road with his comedies, which he produces through hisHappy Madison Prods. with his producing partner Jack Giarraputo. (Sandlerisn't averse to taking risks, but he saves those impulses for his moreserious dramatic turns such as "Spanglish" and "Punch-Drunk Love.")

"Chuck" is no exception. Right off the top, the movie establishes Sandler'scharacter as a regular guy, a Brooklyn firefighter whose free time isdivided between pickup basketball games and warding off the attention of theladies. When his buddy Larry (Kevin James) proposes that the two pose as gayto score domestic-partnership benefits, Chuck's first response is tosputter, "You mean like faggots?"

But as Chuck and Larry's masquerade encounters anti-gay discrimination, thatattitude changes. By film's end, Chuck is lecturing a crowded courtroomagainst the use of the f-word. The movie ends with a surprise gay weddingthat has most of its characters applauding.


The New York Times

July 27, 2007
Voters Seeing More Outspoken Political Spouses
Filed at 8:09 a.m. ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Elizabeth Edwards has emerged as an outspoken,tenacious partner in her husband's White House bid, an illustration of whatexperts predict will be a growing trend of spouses taking active, autonomousand even combative roles in campaign politics.

The wife of former Sen. John Edwards, who is seeking the Democraticpresidential nomination, in recent weeks has wrangled with right-wing punditAnn Coulter, challenged U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton on women's issues anddisagreed publicly with her husband.

"I think this is going to be the norm," said Sandy Maisel, director of theGoldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Maine's ColbyCollege.

"When you have couples who are both professionals, it's going to be veryunusual for the spouse not running to say, 'OK, I'm just going to be thewallflower,"' Maisel said.

The American public met Edwards in 2004, when her husband first sought theDemocratic presidential nomination and then became Sen. John Kerry's vicepresidential running mate in a failed challenge to the Republican incumbent,George W. Bush.


The Washington Post

The Line: Debate Provides '08 Wake-up Call
For anyone not paying attention, the 2008 pre-season is over.

If anyone had any doubt about whether the presidential campaign was rampedup, the still-spurting volcano of rhetoric between Democrats Barack Obamaand Hillary Rodham Clinton over who is better equipped to handle foreignpolicy should clear that right up.

It's the first extended back and forth between the two frontrunners, andneither seems ready to back down just yet. Why? Because they each think theycan "win" on the issue.

For Obama, the fight represents a chance to paint Clinton as a creature ofthe past -- a past defined by her vote in favor of the 2002 use of forceresolution against Iraq. Obama's argument is also centered on the idea thatexperience and judgement are two entirely different things. Clinton'spolitical experience, Obama argues subtly, didn't help her make the rightvote in 2002, while his political inexperience didn't hamper his ability toargue against it.

For Clinton, the controversy shows why Obama is a risky vote for Democraticprimary voters. Yes, he has charisma, but is he ready for the job he isauditioning for? Clinton's campaign believes her experience dealing at thehighest levels of government as both first lady and as senator is thestrongest counter to the energy surrounding Obama. Your heart might be withObama, the argument goes, but your head is with Clinton.

It's a fascinating dynamic and one that will play out in any number ofiterations between now and January. We'll be watching.

To the Line!


The Washington Post

Anonymous No More
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 27, 2007; 8:50 AM

Ryan Sager x

"Don't start printing up the Bloomberg for President bumper stickers quiteyet. A Quinnipiac poll out today finds that even in New York City -- wherevoters know Mr. Bloomberg about as well as they could, and like Mr.Bloomberg about as well as they could (he has 73% job approval) -- 57% saythey 'probably' or 'definitely' wouldn't vote for him. Only 34% say they'probably' or 'definitely' would vote for him.

"Let those numbers sink in as the Bloomberg for president hysteria continuesdaily. Even in what should be the stronghold of our technocratic,smoking-banning, gay-marriage-supporting, Bermuda-jetting-off-to,trans-fat-meddling mayor, he gets . . . about a third of the vote. This isnot a guy who can run a credible national campaign. Not for all the money inthe world."

And here I was worrying about whether Lindsay Lohan is a drunk-drivingmenace:

"A panel has found that astronauts were allowed to fly on at least twooccasions despite warnings they were so drunk they posed a flight risk,sources familiar with the panel's report said Thursday.

"Aviation Week also reported that the independent panel set up by NASA tostudy astronaut health issues found evidence of 'heavy use of alcohol'before launch that was within the standard 12-hour 'bottle-to-throttle'rule. Flight surgeons and other astronauts warned that drunken astronautsposed a flight risk when they flew on the two known occasions, according tothe publication."

I don't know: Doesn't that sound a tad self-destructive before blasting offinto outer space?

Finally, Rosie's replacement on "The View" is said to be . . . Whoopi.


The Washington Post

Buck stops at "Chuck" on gay marriage issue

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Within the U.S., same-sex marriage mightbe legal only in Massachusetts. When the subject comes up in politicaldebates, most major politicians are quick to duck and cover. But if AdamSandler's comedy "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry" proves anything --beyond the fact that Sandler hasn't lost his knack for turning outmainstream comedies -- it's that the multiplex crowd, though it might besqueamish about gay sex, isn't scared off by the sight of men exchangingrings. That was demonstrated when the Universal release opened at No. 1 lastweekend with North American box office sales of $34.2 million.

"Heroes" villain, Nimoy join Star Trek pic

SAN DIEGO (Hollywood Reporter) - Zachary Quinto, best known for playing thevillainous Sylar in "Heroes," will don a pair of pointy ears to play Mr.Spock in the newest installment of the Star Trek feature franchise -- andhe'll be joined by Leonard Nimoy, reprising the role that he created. J.J.Abrams, who is directing the 11th "Star Trek" film, currently untitled,revealed the casting Thursday at the San Diego Comic-Con Internationalconfab. The actors joined Abrams onstage as he made the announcement.


The Washington Post

· BOSTON -- Gay and lesbian couples from New Mexico can marry inMassachusetts because their state has not explicitly banned same-sexmarriage, Massachusetts officials say. New Mexico and Rhode Island are theonly states whose gay and lesbian residents can marry in Massachusetts --the only state that has legalized same-sex marriage.


The Washington Post

D.C. Official Proposes Black Caucus

By Nikita Stewart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 27, 2007; B06

In a majority-black city, where the mayor, the council chairman and thecongressional delegate are African Americans, one D.C. Council member saysit's time for black officials to pull together and form a coalition.

"I call it the African American Caucus," said Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5).

He says the city's shifting demographics have prompted him to propose anorganization similar to the Congressional Black Caucus and state legislativeblack caucuses.

Four of Thomas's black colleagues appeared tepid to the idea. Thomas said hehad not mentioned the proposal to any white council members. He alsoacknowledges that an African American caucus is unusual in a predominantlyblack city. But he said he is worried that the community's numbers areslipping in the District.

"For so long, we had the luxury of being the majority population," he said."There wasn't a need for it," he said of the caucus, "but that's changing."


The Washington Post

A Sound Investment
Packard Heir Gives Library of Congress Va. Facility for Audio and FilmTreasures
By Jacqueline Trescott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 27, 2007; A13

CULPEPER, Va. -- On a hillside an hour or so southwest of Capitol Hill, theLibrary of Congress is moving into the newly completed home for its mammothcollection of U.S. recording and film history.

There are 6.3 million items in all: footage of Charlie Chaplin's totteringgait, paper prints of early movies, the original negatives from"Casablanca," the first 45-rpm record (a 1949 RCA Victor disc of the musicof Johann Strauss II) and kinescope reels of NBC broadcasts from the 1940s.There's a fine copy of Elvis Presley's 1964 movie "Viva Las Vegas," acomplete set of Ed Sullivan's variety shows and footage of PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt's speech on Dec. 7, 1941.

The National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, which was officially turnedover to the library yesterday, will bring together all of the recordings andconservation staff in a single, specially equipped facility for the firsttime.

The three-building campus is the largest addition to the library in 30years. A $155 million gift from David Woodley Packard (son of the co-founderof Hewlett-Packard) and the Packard Humanities Institute made it possible.The Packard gift is the largest in the library's 207-year history. Congressappropriated $82 million for the project.

"It assures for the first time the permanent storage and preservation andheightened access to the audiovisual heritage of the last 110 years," saidJames H. Billington, the librarian of Congress.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,2350561,print.story

Lauderdale no paragon of heterosexual virtue
July 29, 2007

This whole debate about men having sex in public bathrooms takes my breathaway - especially when people like the author of Tuesday's letter, "Newera," write, "I remember when the city would have been embarrassed by thebehavior of gays in public restrooms."

Does the letter writer forget Kathy Willets and Doug Danziger? I bet thatletter writer cannot name the men caught incognito in public bathrooms, butwe all know of Fort Laladale's Peyton-Place-ic past.

There was a time when the sinless citizens of Fort Lauderdale wanted todrive out the wantonness of gays, strip bars, spring break and their wholeunwanted ilk. Came forth sir Doug Danziger, who with the help ofthen-Sheriff Nick Navarro, raided the Copa (gay) bar with the running reelsof a local TV station to humiliate the patrons. All in the name of morality!

Well, one Officer Willets, a stalwart aide to Sheriff Navarro, had a buxomwife who was not satisfied with her husband alone. So he made virtue ofvice. He rented her out to local men to satiate her. To satiate himself, hehid in the closet with a video camera running and filmed her eroticepisodes. One of her faithful clients was a certain city commissioner, DougDanziger.

Robb Kvasnak


Claim against gay magazine to proceed
July 26, 2007 By: Mark Fass

A defamation action filed in New York state court by a man who describeshimself as a "mere model and dancer" against the magazine that referred tohim as a "porn star" will go forward following the denial of the magazine'smotion to dismiss.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Emily Jane Goodman ruled against HXMagazine, holding that issues of fact remained regarding the measures takento "assure [the] veracity" of the statement. The magazine refers to itselfon its Web site as "Homo Xtra, the Totally Biased, Politically IncorrectParty Paper, the hottest guide to gay nightlife and culture in New YorkCity!"

Plaintiff Manuel Alex Saez -- referred to simply as "Alex" in the expurgated decision -- claimed that HX published a listing for his upcoming performanceat Splash, a gay dance club on West 17th Street, featuring a "'buff,'bare-chested" picture of him wearing "open jeans," according to thedecision.

The announcement also referred to Saez as "Big City Video porn star Alex."

The parties agree that Splash provided the announcement, including thephotograph and the porn-star description.


Ft. Lauderdale

Thursday, 26 July 2007 15:45
Human Rights Campaign to Co-sponsor Town Hall Dialogue on Transgender Issues

On Friday, August 3, 7-8:30 PM, HRC and the Gay and Lesbian Community Centerof South Florida will hold a town hall meeting discussing transgenderissues. Speakers to include the former Largo city manager Susan Stanton, andBlue, transgendered youth activist.

The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida is located on 1717 NAndrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale, 33311.


Meth Use Among Gay Men Decreasing; Other Drug Use Holding Steady
By Aaron Rowe July 26, 2007 | 11:17:00 AM
Categories: AIDS/HIV, Drugs & Alcohol, Sexuality

Researchers from the San Francisco Department of Public Health report thatmeth use among men who have sex with men has decreased over the past threeyears. They attribute the change to successful public health campaigns, butsay that drug use is still a problem.

Methamphetamine reduces inhibitions, making all men -- not just gay ones --much more likely to participate in high-risk sexual behavior. In otherwords, by taking meth, men are more likely to perform sex acts that willresult in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

In 2002, researchers in San Francisco demonstrated a link betweenmethamphetamine use and the spread of HIV. Four years later, in 2006, theTed Haggard scandal drew further attention to methamphetamine use amonghomosexuals. Haggard resigned from his post as president of the NationalAssociation of Evangelicals and admitted to buying methamphetamine forhimself and a male masseuse.

Perhaps because the prevalence of HIV is higher in the gay population -- orbecause homosexuals are popular political targets -- countless researchpapers and news reports about high-risk sexual behavior in gay communitieshave neglected to make any comparison to their straight counterparts. Forthis reason, there is a false impression that meth use is only a problemamong gay men. Many public health campaigns have exclusively targeted gaymeth users. The California Department of Pubic Health, acknowledged thatresearchers have not paid enough attention to the risky sexual practices ofstraight meth users. Their study found that straight meth users were 50percent more likely to have had sex with a random stranger. Furthermore,straight meth users were almost three times as likely (29.6 percent) to havehad anal sex with a female in comparison to their sober counterparts (11.9perecent). This is particularly alarming because straight meth users onlywore a condom 25 percent of the time when having anal sex.

To measure trends in drug use among the gay community, members of the STOPAIDS Project surveyed 4602 gay men in the San Francisco area. Theyapproached gay men on the street and asked them which drugs they used justbefore sex and if they had engaged in unprotected sex with a partner ofunknown HIV status in the past six months. Led by Willi McFarland, membersof the San Francisco Department of Public Health analyzed the data andcompared it to hospital records. They reported their findings in Drug andAlcohol Dependence, a fascinating journal that examines sociological dataabout drug use.


The Advocate

July 27, 2007
Jersey City welcomes new community center

Jersey City, N.J., is scheduled to open a new three-story community centerfor LGBT residents as well as those living with HIV/AIDS.

Local nonprofit Hudson Pride Connections acquired the property in JournalSquare, a short walk from its current, rented location. Several "work days"have brought a number of volunteers to prepare the building for occupancy onSeptember 1. An official ceremony will be held on October 25 to celebratethe center's grand opening.

"This is an amazing opportunity for everyone in the community, including allits members and allies, to rally behind a project that stands for theinclusion, visibility, and equality of all people in our communities," saidexecutive director Guido A. Sanchez in a press release.

"We need an organization that advocates for us.... It would soon be atravesty not to have a place to call home," said Tracee Ross, a localtransgender woman, expressing her support for the center in the pressrelease.

Two other groups, the Northern New Jersey chapter of the nationalorganization Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network and the organizers ofJersey City's annual pride festival, Jersey City Lesbian + Gay Outreach,will also occupy the space to create the feeling of a strong, centralizedcommunity.


The Advocate

July 27, 2007 acquired for a bargain quarter-million

Hammerberg & Associates Inc. has recently acquired the domain for the "bargain" price of $250,000, reports a pressrelease from the company. The well-known Denver brokerage owns thousands ofdomain names, a large number of which cater specifically to LGBT people.

Popular domain names developed by the company include,,,, and to the press release, joins a list of more than4,000 domain names.

" is the most extensive database of everything gay inCalifornia on the Web," owner Jeffery Hammerberg explains in the pressrelease. "Over 550 California cities have listed detailed information aboutgay and lesbian services, gay and lesbian events, and provided ideas on whatto do, and where to go. Business directories serve just about every industryimaginable."

LGBT neighborhoods are popping up across the country, creating a lucrativemarket for online entrepreneurs. According to the press release, the currentbuying power of an estimated 15 million LGBT Americans tops $600 billion.California, with gay meccas San Francisco and Los Angeles, represents a gayand lesbian "mega-market."

"Our mission at is clear," Hammerberg says in the release."We want to ensure that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people whoreside in California communities, are visiting the Golden State, or simplyconsidering relocation, have instant access to information that can guidethem to gay-friendly resources and quality businesses."


July 27, 2007
Bloomberg: No plans to run for president

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg Thursday rejected speculation that histravels to big electoral vote states is part of an effort to test the watersfor a presidential bid.

It's ''just an accident'' that his speeches take him to ''big states'' wherethere are a lot of events, Bloomberg told ABC's Good Morning America.

Bloomberg repeated that he has no plans to run for president in 2008 andsaid he doesn't want the vice presidency, either. He said he had 890 daysleft in his mayoral term-''but who's counting''-and would serve them all,which would take him to the end of 2009.

''I've got a job and it's a great job, and I'm going to finish this job,''Bloomberg said. ''And my next career is going to be in philanthropy.''

Speculation that the billionaire mayor would launch a self-financedpresidential bid swelled last month when Bloomberg announced that he wasleaving the Republican Party to become politically independent. He also hasbeen traveling the country speaking about issues, including a speech oneducation at the National Urban League conference in St. Louis on Wednesday.


The Advocate

July 27, 2007
DNC's Howard Dean faces formidable challenges with 2008 election

Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean faces several formidable challenges. Some U.S. states are determined to move up the dates of theirpresidential primaries, despite the potential for upending the nominationprocess, and organizers of the party's 2008 convention in Denver are alreadydealing with labor and financial woes.

Dean's biggest test will come next year, when the party will serve primarilyas a shadow campaign operation for its presidential nominee.

But first he must contend with Florida, whose decision to push its primaryto January 29 could set off a ripple effect among other states eager to moveup as well. The party's rules and bylaws committee is expected to rejectFlorida's plan at an August 25 meeting in Washington, but that is notexpected to stop Democrats in the state from observing the new primary date.

Nearly a dozen other states, including California and New Jersey, havealready moved their primaries or caucuses-party meetings to endorsenominees-to February 5. A dozen more are considering such moves. The bid tohold earlier primaries gives states more influence in selecting a party'snominee for the 2008 presidential race.

In past elections early primaries effectively determined who would have theparties' nominations. That meant large states with later primaries, such asCalifornia, had little role in the selection process.


The Advocate

July 27, 2007
Possible "straight-bashing" in Palm Springs

A Palm Springs, Calif., man is recovering from an alleged "straight-bashing"after being beaten unconscious Tuesday night, reports KESQ TV, a local ABCaffiliate.

Police say the 68-year-old was walking through the Warms Sands and Vista Oroareas of Palm Springs when he was approached by two Hispanic men who askedhim if he was gay and if he would like to go home with them. "He expressedno interest in doing that and turned away," said Sgt. Mitch Spike of thePalm Springs Police. "He then felt something hit him, and he then lostconsciousness.

"It definitely sounds like a hate crime because anyone who doesn't even knowthe gay scene knows this is predominately a gay neighborhood," Spike added.

According to the station, other police officers reported the reverse,contending that the man was beat up because he is not gay.

The victim was shaken but is recovering well. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

July 27, 2007
Police chief criticized for investigating gay bashing

Rochester, N.Y., police union leader Ron Evangelista has publicly criticizedpolice chief David Moore for requesting an internal investigation into analleged June 1 gay bashing, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reportedThursday.

"Let's have a vote of confidence on Chief Moore," Evangelista said at apress conference, reports the paper.

Moore ordered the investigation after the victims of a local gay-bashingincident claimed that police who responded used gay slurs against them. Inthe ensuing confrontation, three of the complainants were arrested, whilethe original suspects were let go.

Evangelista expressed his distaste for internal investigations that "[step]on the hard work of our criminal investigators," reports the Democrat andChronicle. He added that any investigation could skew findings from theoriginal crime.

Evangelista accused Moore of disregarding the rights of the police officers."In this world we live in, the cops aren't the problem," he said. "It's thepeople with guns and drugs that are the problem. You can't chastise them[the police] for their discretions." (The Advocate)


July 27, 2007
Gay man hires hit man to kill wife

A gay Reno, Nev., man with six children has been arrested for hiring a hitman to kill his wife so he could avoid a costly divorce and live with hisnew boyfriend, reported The Salt Lake City Tribune on Thursday.

James Gau, 50, has been searching for a hit man for several weeks, offeringseveral people money to travel to her home in American Fork, Utah, and killher.

"For some reason, people think they can tell multiple people of their planto kill their spouses and that they're going to get away with it," policesergeant Dave Evans told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "It's amazing."

The man who tipped off the police pretended to agree with Gau's terms andwas given a photo of Sheryl, his wife of 28 years, and their six children.

"With their pending divorce and splitting of the property, he just felt itwas easier for her to die than to go through a divorce," Evans said to theGazette-Journal. "In this case, it appears he wanted to make his life easierand get on with his new lifestyle. He had no regard for his wife or his


The Advocate

July 27, 2007
Lutheran pastor calls for removal of celibacy requirement for gay clergy

Lutheran pastor Wayne Miller of Aurora, Ill., who will soon become bishop ofthe Metropolitan Chicago Synod, is calling for his denomination to remove acelibacy requirement for gay and lesbian clergy, reports the ChicagoSun-Times. "That's where I think the church is going," said Miller. "That'swhere I think it needs to go."

Miller is hoping the change could come as early as next month in Chicago,where the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is scheduled to conduct itschurchwide assembly. Nearly a third of the denomination's 65 synods areasking for a policy change in clergy standards.

Homosexuality is a debated issue at mainline church conventions. The ELCAhas adopted a compromise position, allowing gay and lesbian clergy to serveas long as they remain celibate. Heterosexual clergy, however, are notsubject to the celibacy requirement if they are married, a right gay clergydon't have.

As reported by the Sun-Times, more than 1,000 voting church members areexpected at the August 6-11 assembly at Navy Pier. If the rules for gayclergy aren't altered, Miller acknowledges he'll experience conflict betweenhis personal beliefs and his vows as bishop.

"That is the dilemma of a bishop at this particular moment in history," hesaid. (The Advocate)


The Advocate

July 27, 2007
O'Reilly apologizes for overstating lesbian gang threat

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has apologized on the air for errors in a widelycriticized June 21 segment that reported a "nationwide epidemic" of violentlesbian gangs terrorizing neighborhoods and schools.

"We overstated the extent of gay gangs in the Washington area," the O'ReillyFactor host said on his show as GLAAD spokesman Rashad Robinson stood by ona split screen. "Detective Wheeler has apologized," he added, referring toFox crime analyst Rod Wheeler.

"Thank you for correcting the record," Robinson said.

The exchange disintegrated, however, as O'Reilly went on to explain how thestory came into being: He had seen a story in which several New Jerseylesbians attacked a man who spat on one of them when she spurned hisattentions. Four of the women were ultimately convicted in the August 18incident.

"They were never identified as being in a gang. Gang charges were dropped."Robinson said.

"They were a pack of lesbians who jumped this guy," O'Reilly said. Soonafter, he said, he saw tape on a "gang" in Memphis.


Quebec Gays Take Aim At Homophobia Following Bashing
by The Canadian Press
Posted: July 26, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Quebec City) Quebec LGBT rights groups have stepped up the fight againsthomophobia after a gay man recently was severely beaten in the provincialcapital.

Philippe, who did not release his last name, says four men with shaved headsfollowed him after he left the Le Drague gay bar in downtown Quebec City onJuly 1.

After calling the 24-year-old man derogatory names, the assailants knockedhim to the ground. In a melee lasting less than 60 seconds, the men punchedand kicked him repeatedly.

The victim spent two days in hospital and doctors needed eight screws toreassemble his jaw.

``This man who was attacked is not alone. He has a community with him,''said Olivier Poulin, president of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and TransgenderQuebec.


Fort Lauderdale Tourist Attractions Fear Gay Backlash Over Homophobic Mayor
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: July 26, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Fort Lauderdale, Florida) Hotels and tourist attractions that depend onLGBT travelers are reportedly worried incendiary comments by Fort LauderdaleMayor Jim Naugle about gays will result in a severe loss of business.

Fort Lauderdale with its white sandy beach and large number of hotels andresorts catering to gays has long been an LGBT key destination, bringing intens of millions of dollars to the city.

Following 9-11 when travel in general fell off, gay travel remainedrelatively high, and in the year after the terrorist attacks on New York andWashington gay travelers were credited with helping save Florida's tourismindustry.

Fort Lauderdale ranked No. 6 among gay travelers last year, and accountedfor about 11 percent of Broward's $8.5 billion tourism industry.

But over the past month Naugle has infuriated gays with homophobic remarks.


Libya Fumes, Bulgaria Celebrates In Latest HIV Nurses Case Twist
by The Associated Press
Posted: July 27, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Sofia) Bulgaria is rejecting Libyan protests over the presidential pardonsit gave six medical workers freed earlier this week from life imprisonmentin the Arab country.

"There are no legal problems with the status of the medics that returnedfrom Libya," Prosecutor General Boris Velchev told the state news agency BTAon thursday.

Libya had accused the six of deliberately infecting more than 400 Libyanchildren with HIV; 50 of the children died. The nurses, jailed since 1999,were initially sentenced to death, but later had their sentence commuted tolife imprisonment.

The medical workers denied infecting the children and said their confessionswere extracted under torture. The charges were widely denounced abroad asfalse.

During their Libyan trials, international experts testified that the HIVinfections were caused by unclean conditions at the hospitals where thechildren were treated.


Sterilization Scandal Prompts HIV Concerns At Canadian Hospital
by The Canadian Press
Posted: July 27, 2007 - 11:00 am ET

(Edmonton, Alberta) More firings appear to be in the works as the falloutcontinues from a hospital sterilization scandal that has rocked Alberta'shealth-care system and forced 3,000 former patients to be tested for HIV andhepatitis.

Premier Ed Stelmach is hinting that senior officials in charge of the EastCentral Health Authority will be removed in the wake of a scathing report onpoor sterilization across the region.

``Let's put it this way, there are further changes (coming),'' said thepremier. ``Stay tuned.''

A source close to Stelmach later confirmed that the premier supports aninternal call for the firing of two senior executives once a newadministrator takes control of the health region's operations.

The government forced the 12-member hospital board to resign this week afterthe Quality Health Council released a report on poor equipment sterilizationat St. Joseph's General Hospital in Vegreville.


Ft. Lauderdale

Please attend Combating HIV/AIDS in our Backyards with Congressman AlceeHastings.

His district remains as one of the hardest areas adversely impacted withHIV.

When: Saturday, July 28 1:00 PM
Where: African American Research Library and
Cultural Center


Human Rights Campaign to Co-sponsor Town Hall Dialogue on Transgender Issues

Panel Discussion Will Focus on Status of Movement toward Transgender
Equality and Opportunities for Community Involvement

FT. LAUDERDALE - On Friday, August 3, the Human Rights Campaign willco-sponsor a town hall panel discussion to educate the South Floridacommunity on the efforts toward full equality for transgender people.Attendees will hear about recent progress and current initiatives, as wellas learn how they can become a part of the movement for transgenderequality. Panelists include Susan Stanton, former city manager of Largo,Fla. and Blue, a transgender youth activist. Tracee McDaniel, of HRC willmoderate the discussion.

Issues surrounding transgender equality have become increasingly common inthe United States. Panelist Susan Stanton was fired from her job as citymanager of Largo, Fla. following her transition from male to female.Longtime Los Angeles Times sports columnist Mike Penner recently announcedthat he will take a leave of absence while he transitions from male tofemale, and recently-transitioned Drew Phoenix was reappointed as Sr.Minister of the St. John's United Methodist Church in Baltimore, Md. Thisevent will highlight achievements and setbacks and will provide communitymembers with concrete actions they may take in the coming days and months topursue equality for all.

WHAT: Town hall panel discussion on status of South Floridaefforts toward transgender equality.
WHO: Susan Stanton, former city manger of Largo, Fla.
Transgender youth activist Blue, Ft. Lauderdale,
Transgender Advocate Tracee McDaniel , Human Rights
WHEN: Friday, August 3
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Gay & Lesbian Community Center of South Florida
1717 N. Andrews Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33311


July 26, 2007
Contact: Michael Petrelis at (415) 621-6267


SAN FRANCISCO (July 26) -- A group of activists staged a protest at anevening meeting at the Fairmont Hotel featuring the United Nations SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-Moon, in order to protest the unconscionable, murderoussilence of the United Nations concerning continued violence and executionsglobally which specifically target gays and lesbians. Ban was speakingbefore the World Affairs Council of Northern California, as San Francisco isconsidered the birthplace of the UN.

The nonviolent protesters twice interrupted Ban's speech, first standing ontheir seats, chanting "Break the silence! Talk about about gays!" whileholding up signs which read "Gay Rights Are UNiversal", capitalizing theletters UN to drive home the point that the UN has not accepted itsresponsibility to monitor and defend the human rights of gay and lesbianpeople worldwide.

UN Secretary General Ban replied, "That is most unusual welcome for me . . .As Secretary General, I'm supposed to answer all questions . . . The gayrights issue is very sensitive."

The protesters included Michael Petrelis and Hank Wilson, longtime LGBTactivists, who were escorted out of the hotel and questioned by U.S. SecretService agents.

Thirty minutes later, George Duvoisin, a gay youth advocate, wearing a largerainbow flag draped over his shoulders, rose up and asked Ban, "What aboutgay rights, and specific language in UN documents for gays and transgenderpeople to protect against violence and discrimination?"



26/07/2007 23:15

BBC bosses have cleared radio DJ JO WHILEY after rapper THE GAME madehomophobic comments during an interview with her in 2006. Complaints werelodged after the hip-hop star called gay males "faggots" and "not real men"during an appearance on Radio 1's The Jo Whiley Show in July last year (06).

After a committee meeting, the BBC governors ruled: "The Game's commentswere very offensive, completely unacceptable and clearly homophobic". Butthey decided not to take action against Whiley because she made a "sincere,full and swift" apology and distanced herself and the network from TheGame's comments.

The BBC has also banned The Game from future interviews, although they willcontinue to play his music.


'Gay' rally in Georgia cancelled
By Matthew Collin
BBC News, Tbilisi

An event promoting tolerance and cultural dialogue in Georgia has beencancelled, after rumours spread that it was in fact a gay parade.

The highly influential head of the Georgian Orthodox church spoke outagainst the event.

Organisers told the BBC they feared that the participants could have beenattacked if it went ahead.

Gays have come under attack in former Soviet republics, with the OrthodoxChurch one of their main critics.

Since false rumours spread that the planned event was a demonstration forhomosexual rights, the organisers say they have received large numbers ofabusive telephone calls and emails, some making threats of physicalviolence.

Anti-gay feelings

The event was to have been held in the Georgian capital next week as part ofa Europe-wide campaign against intolerance, called "all different, allequal".

But it was cancelled on Tuesday amid fears for the safety of the youngpeople taking part. The organisers, a human rights organisation calledCentury 21, say they are victims of what they describe as disinformation andlies broadcast by Georgian television channels.

The head of the Georgian Orthodox church had also warned that any rallyinvolving sexual minorities would cause widespread offence and possibly leadto physical confrontation.

Georgia is a highly religious country which prides itself on its traditionalChristian values.


'Dude, You're a Fag'
By C.J. Pascoe

"There's a faggot over there! There's a faggot over there! Come look!"Brian, a senior at "River" High School yelled to a group of 10 year-oldboys. The group of boys dashed after Brian as he ran down the hallway,towards the presumed "faggot." Peering down the hallway I saw Brian'sfriend, Dan, waiting for the boys. As the boys came into his view, Danpursed his lips and began sashaying toward them. He swung his hipsexaggeratedly and wildly waved his arms on the end of which his hands hungfrom limp wrists. To the boys Brian yelled, referring to Dan, "Look at thefaggot! Watch out! He'll get you!" In response, the 10 year olds screamed interror and raced back down the hallway.

I watched scenes like this play out daily while conducting research for mybook Dude, You're a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School. I saw andheard boys imitate presumed faggots and hurl the fag epithet so frequentlyat one another that I came to call it a "fag discourse." I use the term fagand not gay, advisedly. Boys at River High repeatedly differentiated fagsfrom gay men. For these boys gay men could still be masculine, whereas a fagcould never be masculine. Thus the term "gay" functioned as a generic insultmeaning "stupid" or "lame" whereas "fag" invoked a very specific genderedslur, directed at other boys. For these boys a fag was a failed, feminineman who, in all likelihood, was also gay. Boys participated in a fagdiscourse to ensure that others saw them as masculine by renouncing anyfag-like behavior or same-sex desire. They did this by imitating fags andcalling other boys fags. Boys imitated fags by lisping, mincing andpretending to sexually desire men, drawing laughs from male audiences whohowled at these imitations.

They frantically lobbed the fag epithet at one another, in a sort ofcompulsive name calling ritual. In the context of River High (the pseudonymof the school where I conducted this research) being called a fag had asmuch to do with failing at tasks of masculinity as it did with sexualdesire. More often than not these fag-like behaviors were those associatedwith femininity. Exhibiting stupidity, emotions, or incompetence, caring toomuch about clothing, touching another guy, or dancing were all things whichcould render a boy vulnerable to the fag epithet. In this sense what I calla fag discourse is not just about homophobia, it is about a particularly gendered homophobia as these renouncements of the fag are as much aboutrepudiating femininity as they are about denying same-sex desire.



Chronicle of Higher Ed website.

July 25, 2007

38-Year-Old Harvard University Official [Gay] Named President of University of the

The new president ofPhiladelphia's University of the Arts is Sean T. Buffington, HarvardUniversity's associate provost for arts and culture, and director ofcultural programs. At 38, Mr. Buffington, who has been Harvard's top artsadministrator since 2002, will be one of the nation's youngest universitypresidents. He will also be among only a small number of openly gay collegechiefs.

Despite the dearth of gay presidents, Mr. Buffington said in an interviewwith The Chronicle that his sexual orientation was a "non-issue" during thehiring process. "The board and the search committee were interested in myexperience and my ideas," he said, adding that his personal life was "notrelevant to the job I've been asked to do."

Mr. Buffington said he hoped his age would help him bring energy andexcitement to the role of president. "In some ways, my youth is probably agood thing," he said.

A former deputy chief of staff to Harvard's president and provost, Mr.Buffington began working at Harvard in 1994 as assistant director of theuniversity's alumni association.

The University of the Arts, with 2,300 students, focuses on the visual,performing, and communication arts. Mr. Buffington said he was attracted tothe university's interdisciplinary curriculum. Arts students faceever-widening career options, which is both a challenge and an opportunityfor arts institutions, Mr. Buffington said. -Paul Fain


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

ACLU Applauds Michigan Supreme Court Decision to Dismiss Suit ChallengingDomestic Partner Benefits

July 25, 2007
CONTACT: Jay Kaplan, ACLU of Michigan LGBT Project Staff Attorney,

Detroit -- The American Civil Liberties Union lauded a Michigan SupremeCourt ruling today that upheld a lower court's decision to dismiss a lawsuitagainst the Ann Arbor Public School District. The lawsuit was brought by 17taxpayers in an attempt to force the school district to discontinue benefitsto the families of gay and lesbian employees.

Although divided on the legal rationale, the Michigan Supreme Court upheldthe dismissal of the lawsuit in an 8-1 decision ruling that the plaintiffslacked standing, or the right to sue.

"The dismissal of this lawsuit is a step in the right direction forequality in Michigan," said Kary Moss, Executive Director of the ACLU ofMichigan. "Disapproval of same-sex relationships and of same-sex couplesreceiving health insurance are not reasons enough to sue."

After voters passed an amendment to the state constitution in 2004limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples, the 17 taxpayers sent letters toschool board members asking them to stop providing benefits to the domesticpartners of gay and lesbian employees. The trial court dismissed theplaintiff's lawsuit due to lack of standing and the Court of Appealsaffirmed this decision.

The taxpayers alleged that by providing health insurance coverage todomestic partners of employees, the school district violated both Michiganstatutory and constitutional law limiting marriage to opposite sex couples.

The decision did not address whether the constitutional ban on same-sexmarriage blocks the state, local governments and public institutions fromproviding benefits to the same-sex partners of employees. That issue isproceeding separately before the Michigan Supreme Court in National Pride atWork v Granholm et al. In this case, the ACLU of Michigan is representingtwenty-one gay couples, in which at least one partner in each relationshipworks for state or local government.


Pew Research Center

States Work to Plug 'Brain Drain'
by Pauline Vu, Staff Writer
July 25, 2007

A "brain drain" problem is plaguing a number of states in the Midwest, GreatPlains and Northeast. Young, educated people flee, taking high tax revenuesand economic potential with them.

To reverse the loss of such a valuable asset, states are trying solutionsthat veer from granting financial incentives to stay, to trying to createjobs to keep and attract new workers, to improving the quality of life foryoung people.

The problem for states is there's no sure-fire solution.

"There is an argument of what comes first - the businesses who hire thegraduates, or the graduates who lure the businesses? I don't think theresearch on that is definitive," said Dan Hurley, the director of staterelations and policy analysis for the American Association of State Collegesand Universities.

Maine will become the first state to give future college graduates a heftytax credit to help pay back their student loans if they stay and work in thestate. The incentive could amount to a yearly tax credit of just under$5,000 a year over the course of 10 years.

But will it work? Yes, says Andrew Bossie, a recent University of SouthernMaine graduate who led a successful grassroots effort that convincedlawmakers to pass the tax incentives this year. Several friends wanted tostay in Maine but had to leave for higher-paying jobs elsewhere to beginpaying off their loans, Bossie said.

"The economy is going to have the benefits of a more-educated workforce,"Bossie said. "It's a really smart way to get more bang for our buck."

But others question whether financial incentives alone will keep the youngfrom leaving.


Pew Research Center

July 26, 2007
37%: Support Gay Marriage

That's the number of U.S. adults who support allowing gay and lesbiancouples to marry legally; a majority, 55%, are opposed.


Hate Takes a Life in Houston
Bitter Jailhouse Confession Sparks Outrage in Houston
ABC News Law & Justice Unit
July 26, 2007 -

Gay rights activists are furious about the jailhouse claims of a Texas mancharged with killing a gay male flight attendant last month.

In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, murder suspect Terry Mangum, 26,admitted to the murder and said that he had no remorse over the crime,implying his victim got what he deserved.

"I believe with all my heart that I was doing the right thing," Mangum toldthe Houston Chronicle. "I planned on sending him to hell."

Mangum, who described himself as "definitely not a homosexual," said in theinterview that he'd been called by God to "carry out a code of retribution"against a gay man because "sexual perversion" is the "worst sin."

Kenneth Cummings Jr., 46, was the subject of a massive manhunt after hedisappeared early last month. His charred remains were discovered buried ona Houston-area farm reportedly owned by Mangum's grandfather. Mangumadmitted to stabbing Cummings to death after luring him from a bar.


Gay "ordeal" before and after law

Gay men in Wales have recalled their experiences, on the 40th anniversary ofthe decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Leo Abse, who was MP for Pontypool at the time, says he piloted through the1967 Sexual Offences Act to end the "cruel and savage" laws of the day.

The law decriminalised homosexual acts between two men over 21 years and inprivate, but only in England and Wales.

Campaigner Howard Llewellyn said that, despite the law, attitudes towardsgay people had remained slow to change.

The 62-year-old from the south Wales valleys village of Abercynon said hefelt isolated growing up in the '50s and '60s because homosexuality was notdiscussed or tolerated.


Gay advocacy group challenges adoption Web site
Dianna M. Náñez
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 26, 2007 05:04 PM

A national gay and lesbian advocacy agency has launched a campaign topersuade one of the country's leading adoption Web sites based in Gilbert toallow people of all sexual orientations looking to adopt to post profiles onthe site.

Family Pride, based in Washington, D.C., launched the campaign in late Mayin response to a settlement reached earlier that same month regarding alawsuit filed by a gay male couple from California against Gilbert-basedAdoption Profiles, L.L.C.

Jennifer Chrisler, the executive director of Family Pride, which focuses onequal rights for family's headed by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgenderparents, said her organization's call to action encouraged same-sex couplesto send letters and photos of their families to the Gilbert business. Atleast 50 families, she said, have responded to date.

Michael and Rich Butler, registered domestic partners since 2000, who livein San Jose, filed the lawsuit that prompted the campaign. The Butler'sstated that the adoption Web site discriminated against them by rejectingtheir application, which was submitted in Oct., 2002, to post an adoptionprofile of their family for birth parents of adoptable children to review.

Attorneys from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and the National Center forLesbian Rights, who acted as co-counsel for the couple, asserted that theadoption business violated the Butler's rights under California law, whichprohibits discrimination on the basis of people's gender identity.


Tammy Faye remembered as friend to gays
Former televangelist became pop culture icon
Jul. 26, 2007

The gay community lost a dearly loved ally when Tammy Fay Messner died atage 65 on July 20 at her home in Kansas City, Mo.

The former televangelist, who built a religious empire with her formerhusband Jim Bakker, reached out unabashedly to gays in a way that remainsunprecedented for fundamentalist Christians.

Tammy Faye became popular with viewers for her slightly ditzy, yet endlesslyempathetic, onscreen persona.

Heavy eye makeup became Tammy Faye's trademark. It was applied with anincreasingly heavy touch as the years went by. Her on-air tears, which wereshed copiously, often smudged her makeup providing an unintended campquotient to the proceedings. Jan Hooks famously parodied her on "SaturdayNight Live."

Tammy Faye was never charged with any wrongdoing when scandal rocked PTL,the ministry she ran with ex-husband Jim, though he spent five years inprison. The two remained close until Tammy Faye's death. In 1996, shemarried Roe Messner, who built the Bakker's Christian theme park HeritageUSA.


The New York Times

The Case for Trade
Published: July 27, 2007

Trade has been getting an unfair beating from Democrats. Party leadersbackpedaled from their agreement with the White House to approve free tradepacts with Peru and Panama and are opposing the agreement with South Korea.They also refused to extend so-called fast track authority, which guaranteesa simple up or down vote on trade deals. And Senators Hillary Clinton andBarack Obama - playing to the campaign crowds - are backing legislation thatwould punish China for manipulating its currency and, not incidentally,could trigger an ugly trade war.

Yet for all their concern about globalization's impact on American workers,Democrats are going after the wrong targets. It is true that wages for mostworkers are going nowhere. Many fear for their jobs. But, as many centristDemocrats have argued for years, throttling trade would end up hurting a lotmore people than it helped.

There are several ideas worth considering to assist the workers who losetheir jobs because of trade or other forces buffeting the American economy.More progressive taxation can also be used to mitigate the impact ofstagnating wages. But for American incomes to keep growing, the nation needsto embrace globalization, not turn against it.

Trade expands access to foreign markets for American exporters andmultiplies the choice of products for producers and consumers. Foreigncompetition also spurs productivity growth at home. Economists at the PeterG. Peterson Institute for International Economics estimate that growth intrade since World War II added about $1 trillion a year - in 2003 dollars -to America's national income. If the world's remaining barriers to trade andinvestment were to fall, they say, it would add $500 billion more.


The New York Times

July 27, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
The Sum of Some Fears

Yesterday's scary ride in the markets wasn't a full-fledged panic. Theinterest rate on 10-year U.S. government bonds - a much better indicatorthan stock prices of what investors think will happen to the economy - fellsharply, but even so, it ended the day higher than its level as recently asmid-May, and well above its levels earlier in the year. This tells us thatinvestors still consider a recession, which would cause the Fed to cutinterest rates, fairly unlikely.

So it wasn't the sum of all fears. But it was the sum of some fears - three,in particular.

The first is fear of bad credit. Back in March, after another market plunge,I spun a fantasy about how a global financial meltdown could take place:people would suddenly remember that bad stuff sometimes happens, riskpremiums - the extra return people demand for holding bonds that aren'tgovernment guaranteed - would soar, and credit would dry up.

Well, some of that happened yesterday. "The risk premium on corporate bondssoared the most in five years," reported Bloomberg News. "And debt salesfaltered as investors shunned all but the safest debt." Mark Zandi of Moody' said that if another major hedge fund stumbles, "That couldelicit a crisis of confidence and a global shock."

I saw that one coming. But what's really striking is how much of the currentangst in the market is over two things that I thought had been obvious for along time: the magnitude of the housing slump and the persistence of highoil prices.


The New York Times

July 27, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
The Uphill Struggle
Laconia, N.H.

The biggest story of this presidential campaign is the success of HillaryClinton. Six months ago many people thought she was too brittle andcalculating and that voters would never really bond with her. But now sheseems to offer the perfect combination of experience and change.

She's demonstrating that it really helps to have lived in the White House.She can draw on a range of experiences unmatched by her rivals. She'sdominated most of the debates. She's transformed her position on Iraqwithout a ripple. Her measured, statistic-filled speeches rarely inspirepassion, but always confidence.

Her success has put incredible pressure on Barack Obama. He continues toattract huge crowds and huge money, but he also continues to make rookiemistakes, like saying he'd talk with Hugo Chávez. He's forced to campaign onthe defensive now, knowing that each misstep reinforces the "He's too young"story line.

Clinton's performancewill also have an effect on the Republican race, thoughmany Republicans are only now beginning to realize it. When you askRepublican presidential candidates about Clinton, a smile of professionalrespect comes over their faces.

But their world is transformed. The one thing Republicans had going for themwas the head-to-heads. Bush, the war and the party could all be unpopular,but individual G.O.P. candidates beat Clinton because her negatives were sohigh. But she is changing that. People who've said they would never vote forher will take a second look once they see her campaign.


The Washington Post

The Kind Of Village It Takes
By Michael Gerson
Friday, July 27, 2007; A21

Recent books and studies seem to indicate disturbing sexual trends amongevangelical Christians. And this time we're not talking about their pastorsor political leaders. The new attention is on evangelical teenagers, whoreportedly start sex earlier than their mainline Protestant peers.

One gleeful headline on an Internet site recently read: "Evangelical GirlsAre Easy." That is not the way I remember it.

Now, in the cruel march of years, I have a child on the verge of joining thetribe of the teenager, and its rituals hold sudden interest. In thiscircumstance, a parent has a choice between turning to sociology or turningto drink. So I called a bright young sociologist at the University ofVirginia named W. Bradford Wilcox in search of consolation.

Wilcox argues, in a paper for the Russell Sage Foundation, that the factsare more complicated and more hopeful than the sniggering media caricature.

When the statistics on teen sexuality are controlled for social and economicfactors, conservative Protestant teens first have sex at about the same timeas their peers -- the average is midway through their 16th year. That ishardly comforting to conservative Protestant parents, who would expect morebang for the bucks they spend funding Sunday schools -- well, actually, lessbang.

But these numbers shift when controlled for religious intensity. For thosewho attend church often, sexual activity is delayed until nearly 17, whilenominal evangelicals begin at 16.2 years, earlier than the national average.


The Washington Post

Strike Two
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, July 27, 2007; A21

For Barack Obama, it was strike two. And this one was aright-down-the-middle question from a YouTuber in Monday night's SouthCarolina debate: "Would you be willing to meet separately, withoutprecondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington oranywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and NorthKorea?"

"I would," responded Obama.

His explanation dug him even deeper: "The notion that somehow not talking tocountries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomaticprinciple of this administration -- is ridiculous."

From the Nation's David Corn to super-blogger Mickey Kaus, a near-audiblegasp. For Hillary Clinton, next in line at the debate, an unmissableopportunity. She pounced: "I will not promise to meet with the leaders ofthese countries during my first year." And she proceeded to give the reasonsany graduate student could tick off: You don't want to be used for theirpropaganda. You need to know their intentions. Such meetings can make thesituation worse.


Defining Moment?
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Friday, July 27, 2007; A21

CHICAGO -- A dozen or so young staffers were gathered around a bank oftelevision sets at Barack Obama's vast campaign headquarters here onMichigan Avenue. They were cheering on Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) as he tooktheir candidate's side in the great Obama- Hillary Clinton debate over howpresidents should negotiate with unfriendly dictators.

The mood was upbeat not only because the Obama loyalists judged Smith thewinner in his Wednesday clash with Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) on MSNBC's"Hardball," but also because Obama had pulled the front-runner into a directconfrontation over foreign policy.

Obama's own confidence was clear yesterday morning during a conference callannouncing that he had won the endorsement of Rep. Paul Hodes, a freshmanDemocrat from New Hampshire.

Politicians often underscore their own virtues by discovering the sametraits in others, and Obama is no exception. He praised Hodes, an upsetwinner in the 2006 elections, as "a fresh new voice" who "spoke the truth"and "believed he could be an agent of change." Hodes, right on message,explained his support for Obama as an effort to "complete my mission" inpolitics, which is -- you guessed it -- "to make some change."

And in response to questions, Obama continued to fire away at Clinton,saying her stand on negotiations with dictators was a continuation of "Bushadministration policy." In the Democratic contest, those are fighting words.

The Obama-Clinton confrontation might easily be written off as midsummermeaninglessness. It was set off during Monday's CNN-YouTube debate, when thecandidates were asked whether they would "be willing to meet separately,without recondition, during the first year of your administration . . .with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in orderto bridge the gap that divides our countries."

Without hesitation, Obama replied: "I would." He dismissed as "ridiculous"the "notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them."


Giuliani may skip St. Pete debate
His schedule may keep him from the CNN/YouTube event on Sept. 17.
By STEPHANIE GARRY, Times Staff Writer
Published July 27, 2007

Republican presidential front-runner Rudy Giuliani may have better things todo than answer YouTube users' questions at the GOP debate in St. Petersburg.

The news broke late Thursday that the former New York City mayor hasscheduling issues with the Sept. 17 date, jeopardizing the showdown at theMahaffey Theater.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also is frowning on the plan.

"I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having toanswer questions from a snowman," Romney told the Manchester (N.H.) UnionLeader this week.

The announcement comes just a week after the debate's location wasannounced, and just days after Democratic presidential candidates fieldedquestions from citizens who made YouTube videos, including one of a snowmanworried about global warming.

Elected officials touted the choice of St. Petersburg as a sign of Florida'sincreasing clout in the 2008 presidential contest, especially since theLegislature moved the primary to Jan. 29.

Giuliani campaign officials could not be reached late Thursday to elaborateon the specific scheduling conflicts.

Erin VanSickle, state GOP spokeswoman, said news of Giuliani's schedulingissues shouldn't become a problem.

"We look forward to working with all of the Republican presidentialcampaigns to make sure that this debate is as successful, compelling, andinformative for Florida voters as possible," VanSickle wrote in an e-mail."The innovative format is empowering and it offers viewers a one-of-a-kindopportunity to have their question answered by the next president of theUnited States."


Los Angeles Times,0,1567485.story?coll=la-home-nation

Edwards announces his 'tax the rich' plan

The Democratic presidential hopeful wants to repeal Bush's tax cuts for thewealthy and raise rates to fund breaks for lower-income families.
By Janet Hook
Times Staff Writer

July 27, 2007

WASHINGTON - Tax hikes, once anathema to Democrats trying to shed theirimage as tax-and-spend liberals, are back.

The three leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination arepromising that, if they win the White House, they will repeal or let expirethe tax cuts for wealthier voters that were enacted under President Bush.

In Iowa Wednesday, former Sen. John Edwards went even further by proposingadditional tax hikes on capital gains, hedge funds and corporations to helppay for new tax breaks for lower-income families.

Edwards' plan, which dovetails with the populist tone of his campaign, wouldreverse the Bush-era trend toward taxing investment income more lightly thanwages.

"It's time to stop promoting the wealth of the wealthy and to start makingsure that every American who works hard has the chance to move up theeconomic ladder," Edwards said in a speech in Des Moines.

Edwards' proposal may be a crowd-pleaser for Democratic primary voters whoobject to Bush's big tax cuts.

But it may be a politically risky position for anyone heading into a generalelection contest against Republicans, who portray Democrats as incorrigibletax raisers.

Matt Bennett, vice president of the centrist Democratic group Third Way,said the challenge for the Democrats would be to explain why they did notwant to extend Bush's tax cuts, which are due to expire during the nextpresident's term. "How do you respond to the charge that they support thebiggest tax increase in history?" he asked.

One Democratic strategist who is neutral in the campaign but did not want tobe named criticizing Edwards' tax plan warned: "If we have an election wherethe dialogue is about whether or not taxes should be increased, it's not agood dialogue for us."

Edwards' speech, which laid out the most detailed tax policy of any leading candidate, reflected his efforts to cast his campaign as one of "bold ideas"and to court the party's left wing with ambitious and liberal policies.Though he places third in many national polls of the Democratic field,analysts say his initiatives have helped shape the campaign debate on Iraq,poverty and healthcare, pressuring front-runners Sens. Barack Obama ofIllinois and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York to offer initiatives oftheir own or to tack to the left.


Posted on Fri, Jul. 27, 2007
GOP plan: health coverage for all

A group of conservative Republican senators put forth a plan Thursday thatseeks to ensure every American has health insurance.

The bill encourages families to find their own health coverage and offersrefundable tax credits of up to $5,400 per family. But advocates for theuninsured say the proposal could jeopardize low-income families andchronically ill patients, as well as the employment-based healthcare system,which now covers 65 percent of Americans.

''It's time for a major debate on healthcare insurance,'' Florida'sRepublican senator, Mel Martinez, said in a statement. ``Not enough peoplehave access to affordable healthcare, and the Congress has not done enoughabout this crisis.''

Martinez was joined in introducing the bill by fellow Republican Sens.Richard Burr of North Carolina, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Bob Corker ofTennessee.

The bill could bring health coverage to millions of Americans now withoutit. But Burr said in an interview that it also would begin taxing the valueof healthcare plans that many employers now offer workers, a controversialprovision sure to face opposition. Such benefits are now tax-free, both forthe employer and the worker.

''Our aim is to remove inequities in our tax laws and make tax relief forhealth insurance available to everyone,'' Martinez said.

The legislation would offer special tax credits to help cover the cost ofhealth insurance and other health bills: $2,160 per person, up to a $5,400maximum per family.


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