Saturday, August 11, 2007


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The New York Times

August 11, 2007
Political Memo

Appearing Now on a TV Near You? Surely a Debate

DES MOINES, Aug. 10 - There was a time when running for president of theUnited States meant visiting with voters in New Hampshire living rooms,eating your way across the Iowa State Fair, delivering speeches and raisingmoney.

These days, running for president has also become a marathon test of analtogether different skill: debating. This campaign has turned into amind-numbing blur of 90- and 120-minute debates and forums that has consumedthe Democratic candidates in particular. They are trudging from coast tocoast at the beck and call of television networks, unions, state politicalparties and whoever else may want to throw them together on stage in frontof a television camera and a blinking red and green light.

In this Summer of Debates, Democrats appeared before bloggers in Chicagolast Saturday, union members in Chicago on Tuesday and gay leaders in LosAngeles on Thursday. The Republicans, with fewer organized interest groupsand thus fewer such demands, debated here in Des Moines last Sunday morning.

The Democrats will be back here a week from this Sunday for anotherbright-and-early debate. The night before, there is a labor forum in CedarRapids, a two-hour drive away. And there is also a labor forum thisWednesday afternoon in Waterloo.

For those who remember the effort by the Democratic national chairman,Howard Dean, to limit the number of debates - at the request of candidateswho find them time-consuming and not particularly profitable - news flash:it failed.

And to what end?


The New York Times

August 11, 2007
The Need to Know

Like many in this country who were angered when Congress rushed torubber-stamp a bill giving President Bush even more power to spy onAmericans, we took some hope from the vow by Congressional Democrats torewrite the new law after summer vacation. The chance of undoing the damageis slim, unless the White House stops stonewalling and gives lawmakers andthe public the information they need to understand this vital issue.

Just before rushing off to their vacations, and campaign fund-raising, bothhouses tried to fix an anachronism in the 1978 Foreign IntelligenceSurveillance Act, which requires the government to get a warrant toeavesdrop on conversations and e-mail messages if one of the peoplecommunicating is inside the United States. The court that enforces the lawconcluded recently that warrants also are required to intercept messages ifthe people are outside the United States, but their communications arerouted through data exchanges here.

The House and Senate had sensible bills trying to fix that Internet-ageproblem, which did not exist in 1978. But that wasn't enough for Mr. Bushand his aides, who whipped up their usual brew of fear to kill off thosebills. Then they cowed the Democrats into passing a bill giving Mr. Bushpowers that go beyond even the illegal wiretapping he has been doing sincethe 9/11 attacks.

The new measure eviscerates the protections of FISA, allowing the attorneygeneral to decide when to eavesdrop - without a warrant - on any telephonecall or e-mail message, so long as one of the people communicating is"reasonably believed" to be outside the country. The courts have no realpower over such operations.


The New York Times

August 10, 2007
Analysts See 'Simply Incredible' Shrinking of Floating Ice in the Arctic

The area of floating ice in the Arctic has shrunk more this summer than inany other summer since satellite tracking began in 1979, and it has reachedthat record point a month before the annual ice pullback typically peaks,experts said yesterday.

The cause is probably a mix of natural fluctuations, like unusually sunnyconditions in June and July, and long-term warming from heat-trappinggreenhouse gases and sooty particles accumulating in the air, according toseveral scientists.

William L. Chapman, who monitors the region at the University of IllinoisUrbana-Champaign and posted a Web report on the ice retreat yesterday, saidthat only an abrupt change in conditions could prevent far more meltingbefore the 24-hour sun of the boreal summer set in September. "The meltingrate during June and July this year was simply incredible," Mr. Chapmansaid. "And then you've got this exposed black ocean soaking up sunlight andyou wonder what, if anything, could cause it to reverse course."


The Washington Post

Religious Investments

Faith-Based Groups Increasingly Turn to Wall Street to Push Their MoralAgendas
By G. Jeffrey MacDonald
Religion News Service
Saturday, August 11, 2007; B09

Religious activists with a moral agenda for corporate America used to relyprimarily on consumer boycotts and sympathetic lawmakers to get theattention of Wall Street.

But now their toolbox is growing -- and there's a lot more money it.

Over the past decade, America's market for religious investment products hasgrown by more than 3,500 percent, according to data from fund-trackerMorningstar Inc.

During the same period, faith-based mutual funds, which routinely agitatefor social change in corporate board rooms or shun stocks they deem immoral,grew from about $500 million to more than $17 billion.

What's emerging, observers say, is a market-based response to popular demandfor ways that people of faith can make their voices heard on issues closestto their hearts. And people of faith -- especially social conservatives --are seizing what they see as a new opportunity to make a difference.


The Washington Post

Raising a Political Bigot
By Catherine Rampell
Saturday, August 11, 2007; A17

A message to my elders: Grow up.

For a while now you've been trying to drag the voting-age members of mygeneration, the so-called MySpace Generation, into your festering pool ofpartisanship. Now, apparently, you're going after our generation's youngestmembers.

I'm referring to a few highly publicized children's books that deal withpartisan politics, the most well-known being "Why Mommy is a Democrat" and"Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed!" These books (which have sold22,000 and 30,000 copies, respectively) teach young kids which party is thebringer of goodness and light and which is the party of destruction and thedevil, all with the help of a few cuddly animals and some less cuddlycaricatures. Both have been Internet sensations, with a seemingly endlesssupply of fawning and fuming customer reviews on and otherheavily trafficked sites. Both have messages about sharing, fairness, safetyand greed. And both, oddly enough, have Web sites that prominently feature atestimonial from Rush Limbaugh (one positive and one negative, of course).Support from such partisans has inspired follow-up books, including "Help!Mom! The 9th Circuit Nabbed the Nativity!"

Now, I don't begrudge parents the ability to teach kids their "moralvalues," whatever they may be. There's also nothing wrong with parents'putting politics in the mouths of babes. Even Dr. Seuss's books werebrimming with political lessons and allegories, from "The Lorax" (aboutenvironmentalism) to "Yertle the Turtle" (modeled on Hitler). More recently,books such as "Heather Has Two Mommies" have created healthy nationaldialogues, exposing kids to different points of view.


The Washington Post

How We Won the Mainstream
By Susan Gardner and Markos Moulitsas
Saturday, August 11, 2007; A17

Three years ago things looked bleak for the Democratic Party. George Bushhad just won a second term while his party consolidated its grip onCongress. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay crowed about a "permanentRepublican majority," and Beltway Democrats acquiesced as Republicans builttheir unchallenged (and lawless) unitary executive.

Democrats appeared to be on the run, disorganized and demoralized. Butoutside of Washington there was hope. Grass-roots Democratic activists hadseen the future of our politics in Howard Dean -- plain-spoken andunapologetic. His presidential candidacy had come up short, but its fresh,optimistic approach -- predicated on offering clear contrasts between thetwo parties -- was poised to redefine the party.

Dean was elected chairman of the Democratic Party despite predictions ofelectoral doom by the usual suspects in Washington, including the DemocraticLeadership Council. In the House, Democrats chose Nancy Pelosi to lead themover current DLC Chairman Harold Ford, who warned of disaster if Pelosi won.Calling her a "throwback" who practiced a "destructive and obstructive"style of politics, Ford proclaimed, "I don't think Nancy Pelosi's kind ofpolitics is what's needed right now." Today, Nancy Pelosi is the firstfemale speaker of the House.

Ford, like his fellow Washington insiders, grossly misunderstood theAmerican electorate. He and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley continue to do so[" Our Chance to Capture the Center," op-ed, Aug. 7].


The Washington Post

India's Tough Choice on Iran
By Sadanand Dhume
Special to's Think Tank Town
Saturday, August 11, 2007; 12:00 AM

With last month's consummation of a landmark agreement to cooperate with theUnited States on civilian nuclear programs, India took another large stridefrom the periphery to the center of the global order. Not many countries canboast a special relationship with the world's sole superpower, an economythat's expanding at upwards of 8 percent per year, and a democracy laudedfor holding together a billion people of every conceivable class, color andcreed.

Indeed, at times it seems as though most everyone has reason to smile upon arising India. For idealists here's proof that democracy belongs as much topoor countries as to rich ones, and that you don't have to choose betweendemocracy and development. For realists, a large English-speaking country with a free market and rule of law is a reassuring presence in aneighborhood that includes both an unpredictable China and the turmoil ofPakistan and Afghanistan. For the first time since India's independence 60years ago the West appears willing to see it as the pivotal power in an arcstretching from Singapore to Aden.

But as the world adjusts to India's new clout, India itself is struggling tocome to terms with new responsibilities.


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GLBT DIGEST August 11, 2007

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Democrats face debate overload
Republicans have fewer demands from constituents
The New York Times
August 11, 2007

DES MOINES, Iowa There was a time when running for president of the UnitedStates meant visiting with voters in New Hampshire living rooms, eating yourway across the Iowa State Fair, delivering speeches and raising money.

These days, running for president has also become a marathon test of analtogether different skill: debating. This campaign has turned into amind-numbing blur of 90- and 120-minute debates and forums that haveconsumed the lives of the Democratic candidates in particular. They aretrudging from coast to coast at the beck and call of television networks,unions, state political parties and whoever else may want to throw themtogether on stage in front of a television camera and a blinking red andgreen light.

In this summer of debates, Democrats appeared before bloggers in Chicagolast Saturday, before union members in Chicago on Tuesday and before gayleaders in Los Angeles on Thursday. The Republicans, with fewer organizedinterest groups and thus fewer of such demands, debated in Des Moines lastSunday morning. The Democrats will be back in Des Moines a week from Sundayfor another bright-and-early debate; and the night before there is a laborforum in Cedar Rapids, a two-hour drive. Not to mention another labor forumWednesday afternoon in Waterloo.

For those who remember the effort by the Democratic National Committeechairman, Howard Dean, to limit the number of debates - at the request ofcandidates who find them time-consuming and not particularly beneficial -news flash: it failed.

And to what end?


Lauderdale mayor tries radio talk show
South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board
August 11, 2007

ISSUE: Is talk radio in mayor's future?

Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle has sunk to the depths of a cartooncharacter in recent months, but his bizarre tirade against a group of peoplewho has contributed much to Fort Lauderdale and South Florida brings aserious question to mind.

Namely, is this the type of person who should be the official face of a citythe size of Fort Lauderdale?

Who knows what drives Naugle's inexplicable, shallow characterization of gayand lesbian people. If nothing else, you'd think the leader of a city with avibrant gay community would at least have a better understanding of hiscitizenry.

Clearly, he doesn't. And when Naugle, mayor of Broward's largest city, goeson his diatribes, he does a humiliating disservice to the city he claims heloves.

The man loves publicity. He loves feeding his ego. If that was ever indoubt, just note that he co-hosted a South Florida radio talk show Fridaymorning.

Fine, if Naugle wants to host a radio show, that's his right. He'll have hispartisan listeners, much like ideologically pure Stacy Ritter will have herfollowing. Ritter is the Broward County commissioner who touted the sillyidea of dropping a local radio station from weather emergency broadcastsbecause she felt its programming is too conservative, and she's beingrewarded with a radio show of her own.

Is this a great county or what?

Here's the deal, though. As mayor, Naugle ought to be a statesman. Instead,he's been acting like, well, a radio talk show hack.

Naugle was elected to be mayor of the entire city and all its people, butobviously he feels he can use his bully pulpit to continue spewing his bileagainst one group he obviously detests. He feels he has the title of mayorof Fort Lauderdale, and he can say whatever he wants, no matter how hurtfulor divisive - or nonsensical. With those traits, maybe he can set thegroundwork for a talk show career.

But it's embarrassing for everyone to think he's actually the mayor, when hehas lost credibility as a leader. The year 2009, when Naugle is term-limitedout, can't come soon enough.

BOTTOM LINE: No leader should be acting like this.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sat, Aug. 11, 2007
Church cancels memorial for gay Navy vet

A megachurch canceled a memorial service for a Navy veteran 24 hours beforeit was to start because the deceased was gay.

Officials at the nondenominational High Point Church knew that Cecil HowardSinclair was gay when they offered to host his service, said his sister,Kathleen Wright. But after his obituary listed his life partner as one ofhis survivors, she said, it was called off.

"It's a slap in the face. It's like, 'Oh, we're sorry he died, but he's gayso we can't help you,'" she said Friday.

Wright said High Point offered to hold the service for Sinclair becausetheir brother is a janitor there. Sinclair, who served in the first GulfWar, died Monday at age 46 from an infection after surgery to prepare himfor a heart transplant.

The church's pastor, the Rev. Gary Simons, said no one knew Sinclair, whowas not a church member, was gay until the day before the Thursday service,when staff members putting together his video tribute saw pictures of men"engaging in clear affection, kissing and embracing."


Insider: More clout for transgendered
Lesley Wright
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 10, 2007 10:39 AM

SCOTTSDALE - Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross' sit-down with the gay rightsgroup Equality Arizona on Wednesday can not happen fast enough if the citywants to repair its image.

Scottsdale's transgender population is gaining nationwide clout now that theGay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has named two Valleyrepresentatives to its national board.

Garrett Devine, who owns a consulting firm in Phoenix, and Donna Rose, anadvocate for transgender issues and a Scottsdale resident, are now GLAADboard members.

Of course, the president of GLAAD is former Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano, whojust recently accused Scottsdale city officials of digging "their heads inthe sand" over a number of gay hate crimes and a complaint filed by atransgender patron against Anderson's Fifth Estate, 6820 E. Fifth Ave.

"Garrett and Donna are great supporters of our mission, and theirappointments enhance GLADD's presence in and contribution to advancingequality in Arizona at this critical moment in (lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender) advancement in this state," Giuliano said.


Brison to be first MP to wed under same-sex marriage law
Canadian Press
August 10, 2007 at 3:28 PM EDT

OTTAWA - Liberal MP Scott Brison is set to become the first federalpolitician to tie the knot in a same-sex ceremony since MPs made gaymarriage the law of the land just over two years ago.

Mr. Brison, 40, will marry partner Maxime St. Pierre next Saturday in hisKings-Hants riding, a bucolic corner of Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley.

He follows Ontario cabinet minister George Smitherman in smashing one ofelected politics' last social taboos. Mr. Smitherman exchanged vows lastweek with partner Christopher Peloso at a northern Ontario resort.

Having a spouse has traditionally been considered an important asset on thehustings - but not one of the same sex.

(Yvonne Berg for the Globe and Mail)


Commercial Closet: Levi's Tries on Gay Ending to Commercial
By Michael Wilke

Seeking to break out of the usual, Levi Strauss & Co. has created aprovocative new commercial with two endings-one with a gay twist.

A man in a sleek apartment tries on a pair of jeans but struggles to pullthem past his ankles, when suddenly a phone booth containing a blond manpartially erupts through the floor. They look at each other with mischievoussmiles. Lowering his jeans back down for a moment, he forcefully pulls hisjeans all the way up-turning his entire apartment into a complete outdoorstreet scene. The two men happily walk away together.

The campaign, created by BBH New York, has an alternative ending with awoman in the phone booth. The brand's main demographic is young men, aged15-25.

"We like the idea that it could essentially go both ways," says the openlygay VP/marketing at Levi, Robert Cameron. "You can read it in many ways,including whether it's a 'coming out' metaphor-we actually think it's richerand more textured in the gay version."

Currently running on the 24-hour gay network LOGO, the same-sex ending isscheduled to appear later on other cable channels such as Bravo and HGTV."We said, 'We'll put this on LOGO, but why just be in the so-called gayghetto?'"


N.J. district reinstates school play about gay student's death
5:03 PM EDT, August 10, 2007

The curtain will go up this fall at Ocean Township High School on a playabout the death of a gay college student.

School Superintendent Thomas Pagano reversed a decision by the principal whofelt "The Laramie Project" might be disruptive. That decision last week ledgay-rights activists to plan a protest.

Pagano told The Asbury Park Press in Friday's editions the community wasoverwhelmingly in favor of the play and no one had expressed support forPrincipal Julia Davidow's initial decision.

Pagano told the newspaper he had received hate mail from as far away asCalifornia. It seemed "the entire universe was focused on this community,"he said.

"The Laramie Project" is the true story about the murder of Matthew Shepard.The gay University of Wyoming student was beaten to death in 1998. He diedin Fort Collins, Colo., days after his beating.


August 10, 2007, 7:34 pm
Richardson Clarifies Gay Gaffe
By Michael Falcone

After stumbling through a question at a forum Thursday night about whetherpeople choose to be gay or are born that way, Democratic presidentialcandidate Bill Richardson spent part of the day trying to regain his footingby reaching out to prominent members of the gay and lesbian community.

Mr. Richardson's initial response - "it's a choice" - angered many gayrights activists who hold the opposite view. After the forum, the Richardson'scampaign issued a statement essentially taking back the remark:

"Let me be clear - I do not believe that sexual orientation or genderidentity happen by choice," Mr. Richardson said in the statement. "But I'mnot a scientist, and the point I was trying to make is that no matter how ithappens, we are all equal and should be treated that way under the law. "

Today, a spokesman for the campaign, Pahl Shipley, said that Mr. Richardson,the Democratic governor of New Mexico, had been speaking with bloggers andgay and lesbian leaders in an attempt to smooth things over.

Pam Spaulding, who writes about gay and lesbian issues on her blog Pam'sHouse Blend, was apparently one of the first to get a phone call from Mr.Richardson after the forum last night. Her initial reaction to his remarks,which she recorded in a blog post, must have caught his campaign's eye:"Bill Richardson self-immolated tonight on live TV. I haven't seen anyonefumble a question like this so badly."


Attorney: Allen won't resign in sex case

Rep. Bob Allen insists he's innocent of solicitation and says an undercoverofficer in the park did the asking.

Laurin Sellers
Sentinel Staff Writer
August 9, 2007


Embattled state Rep. Bob Allen, who has been vilified by computer bloggersand lampooned on late-night talk shows since his arrest on a charge ofsoliciting prostitution, is not a criminal or a racist and has no plans toresign, his attorney said Wednesday.

"Based on the police officer's own report, this case should be dismissed,"said attorney Greg Eisenmenger, adding that he would file a motion fordismissal. "The officer did all the soliciting."

Allen's arrest July 11 outside a bathroom in a public park made headlines,but the release days later of his taped statement to police and otherdocuments created a furor. Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio said in astatement Wednesday that Allen's remarks were "disturbing."

Allen, R-Merritt Island, told investigators he was just playing along whenthe undercover Titusville officer suggested oral sex and $20 because he wasintimidated by the "stocky black guy," according to the statement.

Allen, who is white, also said that there "was nothing but other black guysaround in the park" and that he thought he was about to be robbed. At thetime, Allen was unaware the other men also were undercover officers.


Saturday, 11 August 2007 00:57

Ultimate Symbols of the Nazis Hatred of Gay Going Under the Hammer

Two excessively rare examples of the notorious 'Pink Triangle' which theNazis forced gay men to wear during World War Two, go under the hammer laterthis month.

'They are the ultimate symbols of Nazis homophobic paranoia, with men whohad been denounced as homosexuals before WWII having to wear these degradingsymbols on their outer clothing at all times,' commented RichardWestwood-Brookes, Historical Documents Expert for auctioneers Mullock's whowill sell the triangles at their next sale at Ludlow, Shropshire on August23rd.

'When the holocaust began, homosexuals were treated with the same venom asthe Jews - herded into the concentration camps where the Pink Triangle wasattached to their concentration camp uniform.

'While the total number of homosexuals treated in this way remains unknown,an educated estimate has been made of between 50,000 - 63,000 between 1933and 1944. On liberation in 1945, the wearers of the Pink Triangles, unlikethe Jews, were simply re-imprisoned by the newly created Federal Republic.Homosexuality was still a criminal offence in that country and had beensince the introduction under Kaiser Wilhelm II of the notorious Paragraph175 - which was not finally repealed until 1994.

'The Pink Triangle today is regarded in the Gay community as the symbol ofGay Pride , second only to the Rainbow Flag. It also emerges in popularculture with the gay areas of Newcastle on Tyne and Edinburgh being knowntoday as the 'Pink Triangles' on account of their shape. Ironically thesymbol has also been used in an episode of The Simpsons during the depictionof a Gay Pride parade.


The Advocate

August 11, 2007
Ricky Martin says he wants to adopt

Ricky Martin wants kids, perhaps adopting ''one from each continent'' ifpossible.

''It's something we want to begin to create this year, a family of manycolors,'' the 35-year-old pop star told reporters Wednesday in Puerto Rico,where he is scheduled to perform this weekend.

Martin, who isn't married, said he doesn't expect special treatment in theadoption process.

''I want to do it right,'' he said. ''I don't want any problems ormisunderstandings.... Some think as celebrities we can manipulate the systemto have a quicker adoption.''

Martin, whose hits include ''She Bangs,'' ''Shake Your Bon-Bon,'' and''Livin' la Vida Loca,'' started the Ricky Martin Foundation to helpchildren in need. (AP)


The Advocate

August 11, 2007
No Web searches for sex on Madrid town hall computers

Conservatives governing Madrid's town hall have installed a filter thatblocks lawmakers from doing Internet searches for words such as sex orsexuality, opposition Socialists said.

Angeles Alvarez, the Socialists' top official for gender equality issues,said she recently tried to check on a Spanish-run reproductive healthcampaign in Latin America. When she typed the word sexuality in a searchengine, a denied-access warning flashed on her screen.

''Our access to channels of information is cut simply for using the wordsexuality,'' she told reporters on Thursday. Another town hall councilor,David Lucas, also reported running up against the firewall.

A town hall official denied Friday there was any new filter in thebuilding's computer server, saying the system simply blocks access to pornsites.

Computer searches with words such as sex will give access to pages about sexeducation and health issues but not smut, the official said on condition ofanonymity because of town hall policy prohibiting his name from appearing inthe media. (AP)


August 11, 2007
New Jewish manual includes sex-change blessings

Halfway through a newly revised manual promoting inclusion for gay, lesbian,bisexual, and transgender people in Judaism's Reform movement are two shortblessings written by a rabbi who was raised Eliza and now goes by Elliot.

The prayers for Jews undergoing sex changes are included in the 500-pagesecond edition of a guide called Kulanu, Hebrew for ''all of us,'' publishedthis week by the New York-based Union for Reform Judaism.

''Here you have a Jewish person who is undergoing a very momentous aspect oftheir personal journey, and they will reach into their tradition to havethis affirmed in the way we do it: through a blessing,'' said Rabbi RichardAddress, an editor of the volume and director of the union's Department ofJewish Family Concerns. The union represents 900 Reform synagogues in NorthAmerica.

The inclusion of the transgender blessings alongside a liturgy for same-sexunion ceremonies and a divorce document for same-sex couples is in keepingwith the Reform movement's tradition of liberal positions on humansexuality.

The largest branch of Judaism in North America, Reform Judaism allows gayand lesbian rabbis and cantors.


The Advocate

August 11, 2007
Gay Nicaraguan refugee ordered to leave Canada

Canada's board of citizenship and immigration has ordered a gay Nicaraguanman to immediately return to his native land after two years of living inToronto while trying to seek asylum.

Alvaro Orozco, 21, said he fled Nicaraga when he was 12 because of harshsodomy laws and abuse from his father for being gay.

"I was so scared," he said in the May 22 issue of The Advocate. "I remembergoing to church-my family is Catholic-and many times I heard the priest saythat gay people will go to hell. It was then I knew I had to leave, that Icouldn't grow up here. I
couldn't wait until I was 18."

Orozco hitchhiked through Central America, Mexico, and then to Texas afterswimming across the Rio Grande. When he reached the United States, he wasdetained and then transferred to a Catholic Charities facility. Heeventually fled and lived in the U.S. for five years but was drawn to Canadabecause of its less stringent immigration laws.

In 2005, Orozco's request for asylum was rejected because a member of theCanada's Immigration and Refugee Board did not believe he is gay.

His attorney, El-Farouk Khaki, told The [Toronto] Globe and Mail that hewill continue to fight the decision. (The Advocate)


Dutchess lawmakers reject domestic partner registry
By Patricia Doxsey , Freeman staff

POUGHKEEPSIE - Dutchess County lawmakers on Thursday rejected a proposal tocreate a countywide domestic partner registry, with opponents saying theplan would encourage an immoral lifestyle.

The proposal was defeated 7-5 in the Legislature's Government Services andAdministration Committee, with Alison MacAvery, D-Beacon, voting with sixRepublican lawmakers to block the proposal. Republican Marge Horton, R-EastFishkill, voted with Democrats in favor the plan.

Under the proposal, unmarried couples living in a committed andinterdependent personal relationship could have registered with the countyto be certified as domestic partners.

Certification would have constituted "sufficient and conclusive evidence ofa registered domestic partnership when persons apply for rights or benefits"available to domestic partners.

Supporters said the legislation would have ensured domestic partners havethe right to visit their significant others in hospitals, jails or nursinghomes.


Virtual Sex Machine Spawns Lawsuit
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 10, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Tampa, Florida) Kevin Alderman didn't bring sex to "Second Life." He justmade it better.

The 46-year-old entrepreneur recognized four years ago that people would payto equip their online selves - which start out with the smooth anatomy of aBarbie or Ken doll - with realistic genitalia and even more to add some sexymoves.

Business at Eros LLC has been brisk. One of his creations, the SexGenPlatinum, has gotten so popular that he's now had to hire lawyers to trackdown the flesh-and-blood person behind the online identity, or avatar, thathe says illegally copied and sold it.

The $45 SexGen animates amorous avatars in erotic positions. It is softwarecode, written in the scripting language of "Second Life" and placed invirtual furniture and other objects. Avatars click on the object and choosefrom a menu of animated sex acts.

Alderman filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla., lastmonth alleging an avatar named "Volkov Catteneo" broke the program's copyprotection and sold unauthorized copies. Alderman, who runs his businessfrom home in a Tampa suburb, allows users to transfer his products, butprohibits copying.


NY Senate Accused Of Footdragging On Gay Bills
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 10, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Albany, New York) New York State's largest LGBT civil rights organizationFriday took the state Senate to task for returning to work in August butrefusing to deal with two gay rights bills that already have passed theAssembly.

The GOP-controlled Senate is holding hearings on the actions of aides toDemocratic Gov. Elliot Spitzer that Republicans say was a dirty trickscampaign targeting Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno.

The governor's aides are accused of using state troopers to track Bruno'stravels on state money.

"The New York State Senate has decided to work in August, but sadly not oncritical issues it failed to address during the regular session that couldimprove the lives of countless New Yorkers," said Empire State Pride AgendaExecutive Director Alan Van Capelle.

"Instead, it has returned to hold what is widely considered to be a partisanhearing into the activities of several aides to the Governor, even though aninvestigation of the very same activities is being conducted elsewhere."


Is Bush Mulling Return To Draft?
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 11, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(Washington) Frequent tours for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan havestressed the all-volunteer force and made it worth considering a return to amilitary draft, President Bush's new war adviser said Friday.

"I think it makes sense to certainly consider it," Army Lt. Gen. DouglasLute said in an interview with National Public Radio's "All ThingsConsidered."

"And I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table. Butultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for thenation's security by one means or another," Lute added in his firstinterview since he was confirmed by the Senate in June.

President Nixon abolished the draft in 1973. Restoring it, Lute said, wouldbe a "major policy shift" and Bush has made it clear that he doesn't thinkit's necessary.

"The president's position is that the all volunteer military meets the needsof the country and there is no discussion of a draft. General Lute made thatpoint as well," National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.


5 Best Underrated Cities for Gay Travelers
by John Polly,

Barcelona, San Francisco, London, New York City. Been there, done that? Surethey're awesome places, but they're also the most-visited. You're probablyready to visit the less-hyped, more quirky and obscurely cool haunts aroundthe planet, right?

Don't let those big-name A-list destinations totally overshadow the quietgems that are just as vacation-worthy-in their own unique way. Distinctivewith their own quirks and personality, these five underrated cities deliverenough punch to have you packing your bags.

Medellin, Colombia

Sure, Colombia has been beaten down with bad press (drugs, kidnapping,Shakira), but it has come a long way by rebounding from its darker days andexposing itself in a newer light. While Bogota and Cartagena shine as themost visited of Colombia's destinations, the small city of Medellin isjostling its way to prove its worthy of your visit. (And not just thanks tothat Entourage movie plotline, either.) Chock full of commanding views (it'snestled snugly in the tropical Andes Mountains), year-round weather hoveringaround 72 degrees, a thriving nightlife and the burgeoning neighborhood ofLleras Park packed with boutiques and trendy restaurants, Medellin iseffortlessly Colombia's best-kept secret.

Make sure you try traditional Colombian cuisine with a modern flare at thebustling Basilica restaurant (Cr 38 8A-42 Antioquia). Locals and visitorsalike enjoy the spirited nights fueled with live music and traditionaldancing. And yes, the gorgeous staff are known to speak our language, if youknow what I mean.


The New York Times

August 11, 2007
Pressured School District Reverses, Allowing Play on Murder of Gay Student

OCEAN TOWNSHIP, N.J. Aug. 10 - After a week of public outcry over the schooldistrict's decision to block Ocean Township High School's drama club fromperforming "The Laramie Project," Superintendent Thomas M. Pagano decidedThursday to let the play go on this fall.

"People disagreed with my posture," Mr. Pagano said, referring to thedistrict's earlier decision against the show. "I got no feedback fromanybody who said, 'We understand your position.' "

Mr. Pagano said he was willing to bear the brunt of the controversy, despitethe fact that it was the school's principal, Julia Davidow, who first raisedobjections in May to the play, which focuses on the 1998 beating and murderof Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming.

"I am responsible for the community, the children and the board of educationbeing in this position; therefore I have a responsibility for getting themout of it," the superintendent said after meeting late Thursday with thedrama club coach, Bob Angelini. (Ms. Davidow, who is recovering from doubleknee surgery, was not at the meeting.)

The play will be presented as an assembly for the high school and will alsobe performed there on three evenings in the first week in November.


The New York Times

August 11, 2007
Church Cancels Memorial for Gay Navy Vet
Filed at 5:45 a.m. ET

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- A megachurch canceled a memorial service for a Navyveteran 24 hours before it was to start because the deceased was gay.

Officials at the nondenominational High Point Church knew that Cecil HowardSinclair was gay when they offered to host his service, said his sister,Kathleen Wright. But after his obituary listed his life partner as one ofhis survivors, she said, it was called off.

''It's a slap in the face. It's like, 'Oh, we're sorry he died, but he's gayso we can't help you,''' she said Friday.

Wright said High Point offered to hold the service for Sinclair becausetheir brother is a janitor there. Sinclair, who served in the first GulfWar, died Monday at age 46 from an infection after surgery to prepare himfor a heart transplant.

The church's pastor, the Rev. Gary Simons, said no one knew Sinclair, whowas not a church member, was gay until the day before the Thursday service,when staff members putting together his video tribute saw pictures of men''engaging in clear affection, kissing and embracing.''


The Washington Post

Rights Movement Divides Russia's Gay Community
Most Seem to Favor Low-Key Approach Over Confrontational One
By Anton Troianovski
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, August 11, 2007; A10

MOSCOW -- Elena Gusyatinskaya's tiny apartment in the drab northwesternoutskirts of Moscow holds a special place in the city's gay subculture. Herliving room is really a gay-themed library, lined to the ceiling with books,manuscripts, magazines, movies and many-colored binders of newspaperclippings. She also offers a particular kind of public service: storagespace for personal diaries that closeted gay men and lesbians are afraid tokeep at home.

Journals and memoirs dating to Soviet days, Gusyatinskaya said, show gaystrying to make private sense of their sexuality at a time when talk of sexwas taboo. Now, with a small gay rights movement taking shape amid a morefrank pop culture, gays are struggling with altogether different questions.

Should they openly confront what many people see as growing homophobia in asociety where nationalism is on the rise and grass-roots social movementsare almost nonexistent? Or should they lie low and hope for gradualimprovement? The issue has opened a deep divide in the gay community, withmost appearing to favor a low-key approach.


A note from Ray:

When reading the following, I find it inexplicable that the virulentlyanti-gay Church of England Bishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, has the time to"save" the U.S. Episcopal church from the scourge of "homosexuals." It'sinteresting that he appears to turn a blind eye toward the horrific travestyof justice in Nigeria. And even more revolting, it's incomprehensible that certain
leaders within the U.S. Episcopal church think they can find enlightenmentby following such a demagogue as Akinola in the name of their narrow-minded hristianity.


From EuroQueer

The US Government-funded international broadcaster, Voice of America, isreporting on this. The 18 men, which the VoA says are between 18 and 25,are being held in prison awaiting trial "for alleged sodomy".

The written report (below) quotes Bala Ahmed who is the spokesman of the
Bauchi state sharia commission.

Link: ... it contains
the links to audio.

Nigerian Gays Charged With Sodomy, Could Face Death Penalty

By Gilbert da Costa
10 August 2007

An Islamic Sharia court in northern Nigeria has ordered 18 men to be kept inprison pending their trial for alleged sodomy. For VOA, Gilbert da Costareports that the men were arrested for allegedly hosting a gay marriage in apredominantly Muslim city.

The 18 men could face the death penalty if convicted. They were arrested ina hotel in Bauchi, were said to be wearing female clothing and had gatheredtocelebrate a gay marriage.

Local officials say the men's action contravened Islamic law, which governsBauchi state in Muslim-dominated northern Nigeria.

Bala Ahmed, spokesman of the Bauchi state sharia commission, says thesuspects were all young men.

"They are young; they are very young, promising children if they use thebest of their knowledge and their time," he said. "They are all youth, theyare18 years, 20 years, 25 years. Nobody, I believe, among them is up to 30years.

Fine and handsome-looking, but they are misusing their time, misusing theiropportunity to get involved in this evil practice."

Bauchi is among a dozen states in northern Nigeria practicing Sharia since2000, following the end of military rule.

More than 10 Muslims have been convicted for sexual offenses and sentencedto death by stoning. Most of the sentences have been commuted to prisontermsor rejected on appeal. But Ahmed says the Islamic council is determined toextract maximum punishment for the 18 men.

"If they are found guilty, let them be punished, so that it will serve as adeterrent to those who are intending to do this," he added. "Because wewant to stop this menace completely. We don't want to hear about thishomosexuality in our society."

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a southern Christian, unsuccessfullyinitiated a bill to ban gay marriage in Nigeria. Like many Africancountries, Nigeria is a conservative society where homosexuality isconsidered a taboo.


URGENT ACTION - 18 Nigerian men charged with sodomy

All could face death by stoning

Protest to Nigerian Ambassador

Reports from the Nigerian news agency, NAN, say that 18 men in the northernNigerian state of Bauchi, which is governed by Islamic Sharia law, have beenarrested on charges of sodomy and could be sentenced to death by stoning(this is the prescribed penalty for sodomy under Sharia law).

The 18 men have been remanded in prison after they were arrested lastSunday, 5 August 2007, at a private party in a hotel, where they wereallegedly celebrating a "gay wedding."

They were arraigned on Wednesday before Justice Taminu Abubakar of theBauchi High Court, and will soon be sent for trial.

For more details, here are the links to the BBC and Daily Champion newsarticles:

I would urge people to protest to the Nigerian ambassador in London as soonas possible, urging that the charges be dropped and that Nigeria'santi-sodomy laws be repealed on the grounds that they contraveneinternational human rights law (see details below).

The name of the Nigerian Ambassador in London is Dozie Nwanna. AmbassadorNwanna can be contacted via this email address:

For people living outside the UK, please protest to the Nigerian Ambassadorin the country where you live. Or, if it is easier, send a protest email tothe Nigerian Ambassador in London at the above address.

Please ensure that your message to the Ambassador is polite and courteous,and that it stresses Nigeria's obligation to uphold its agreed commitmentsunder African and international human rights charters and law. Please citethe African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (see details below).



13:51 Fri 10 Aug 2007 - Stephanie Gilardi

The Bulgarian Gay Organization Gemini (BGO Gemini) is recruiting "dangerousvolunteers armed with smiles" to gather in Sofia on August 11 for theirthird Pink Point informational campaign.

At the event, which will be held in "Actavis" Park between Sofia Universityand the Parliament, volunteers will provide basic information about gay andlesbian issues to the general public. Informational brochures and cards withinformation on homosexuality and HIV/AIDS prevention will be distributed,targeting people of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds, political views,and education levels.

"There are many misconceptions about gays and gay rights in the Bulgariansociety, and this is a way to ensure people are getting accurate and fairinformation," said BGO Gemini Executive Director Aksinia Gencheva.

The event will be recorded on video. Interested passers-by will have theopportunity to answer questions about their awareness and opinions on gayissues such as discrimination and civil partnerships.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

August 10, 2007

Federal Effort on Web Obscenity Shows Few Results

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 - Tom Rogers, a retired Indianapolis detective, toilsaway most days in his suburban home office reviewing sexual Web sites andother Internet traffic to see whether they qualify as obscene material whosepurveyors should be prosecuted by the Justice Department.

His work is financed by a Justice Department grant initially providedthrough a Congressional earmark inserted into a spending bill byRepresentative Frank R. Wolf, Republican of Virginia.

The grant, about $150,000 a year, has helped pay for Mr. Rogers and anotherretired law enforcement officer in Reno, Nev., to harvest and reviewcomplaints about obscene matter on the Internet that citizens register onthe Justice Department Web site.

In the last few years, 67,000 citizens' complaints have been deemedlegitimate under the program and passed on to the Justice Department andfederal prosecutors.

The number of prosecutions resulting from those referrals is zero.

That may help explain why no one - not Justice Department officials, not Mr.Wolf, not even the religious antipornography crusader who runs the program -seems eager to call the project a shining success.


[Send your comments about articles to]

Friday, August 10, 2007

GLBT DIGEST August 10, 2007

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


Pakistanis Increasingly Reject Terrorism... and the U.S.
by Richard Wike
August 8, 2007

As American leaders from George W. Bush to Barack Obama talk tough withPakistani President Pervez Musharraf about getting tough with al Qaeda,Pakistanis may feel torn between sympathy and outrage. On one hand, theyincreasingly reject terrorist tactics and al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.But on the other, they continue to express both fear and loathing of theUnited States. Most Pakistanis fear the U.S. could become a military threatto their country, and despite their opposition to terrorism, few support theU.S.-led war on terror.

Support for Terror Drops

According to the recently released National Intelligence Estimate (NIE),Pakistan remains a safe haven and base of operations for al Qaeda.Nonetheless, public opinion in Pakistan has actually grown considerably lesssupportive of terrorism in recent years. In 2004, 41% of Pakistani Muslimssaid that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians were"often" or "sometimes justified" in order to defend Islam from its enemies,while only 35% felt that such attacks were never justified.1 Today, only 9%say suicide attacks are often or sometimes justified, while 72% say thiskind of violence is never defensible (another 9% say they are "rarely"

Similarly, support for Osama bin Laden has waned. In 2005, 51% of Pakistanissaid they had a lot or some confidence in bin Laden to do the right thing inworld affairs. Now, confidence in the al Qaeda leader has fallen to 38% -still disturbingly high, but nonetheless a substantial decline in just twoyears.

Over the last few years, Pakistan has suffered a number of deadly terroristattacks, including a series of suicide bombings in July, following agovernment raid on the Red Mosque, a militant Islamist stronghold in thecapital city, Islamabad. More than three-in-four Pakistanis (76%) callterrorism a "very big problem" for the country. Among the 47 countriesincluded in the 2007 Pew Global Attitudes survey, only Bangladeshis (77%)and Moroccans (81%) are more worried about terrorism. And in a 2006 Pewsurvey, 74% of Pakistanis said they were very or somewhat concerned aboutthe rise of Islamic extremism in their country - a higher level of concernthan found in the other predominantly Muslim countries included in thesurvey: Jordan (69%), Egypt (68%), Turkey (46%), and Indonesia (43%).

Negative Attitudes toward the U.S.

But rising resistance to terrorism has not translated into support for theUnited States or its war on terror. Fewer than one-in-five Pakistanis (15%)have a positive view of the U.S. - only Palestinians (13%) and Turks (9%)are less favorably disposed. Attitudes toward the U.S. have beenconsistently negative for years in Pakistan, although America's unfavorablerating peaked in 2003, shortly after the launch of the Iraq war. And viewsactually grew a bit more positive in 2006, following U.S. aid to victims ofPakistan's devastating October 2005 earthquake. This year, however, opinionsof the U.S. have again grown more negative.


UNITE Fort Lauderdale Inaugural Meeting

You are invited to attend the Inaugural Meeting of Unite Fort Lauderdale onTuesday, August 14th at 7:00 pm at the GLCC at 1717 North Andrews Avenue,Fort Lauderdale. (UNITE Fort Lauderdale was the organization that recentlyorganized the demonstration against Mayor Naugle's inflammatory remarksabout gays along with some of the other remarks that he has made over recentyears about African-Americans, the working class, and environmentalists.)

The meeting on Tuesday will be an opportunity to learn about theorganization's vision and mission and how YOU can get involved inbuilding a stronger community. Please bring at least one friend and anon-perishable food item benefit the Cooperative Feeding Program.

Please forward this to your email lists to get the word out about thismeeting.

Many thanks


09/08/2007 - Aug 9 (AFP)

18 face death sentence for homosexual activities in Nigeria

Eighteen men have been arrested in northern Nigeria for alleged sodomy,which carries the death sentence under Bauchi state's Islamic sharia law,the official NAN news agency reported Thursday.

Judge Malam Tanimu ordered the 18 remanded in prison until a further hearingon August 21 following their arrest on Sunday in a hotel in Bauchi city.

The court on Wednesday heard that the men, who were wearing female clothing,had come to the city from five neighbouring states to celebrate a gay"marriage".

Prosecuting police officer Tadius Boboi said the men's actions hadcontravened the sharia penal code adopted in Bauchi and other states inMuslim northern Nigeria eight years ago following the end of military rule.

In June an agency tasked with implementing sharia law in Bauchi called onthe new state governor to approve three sentences of death by stoning and 40of amputation passed since 2002 which his predecessor had refused to ratify.

The death sentences were passed for sexual offences, including one forsodomy.

In a Nigerian sharia state the governor must give his approval beforepunishments like death and amputation passed by sharia courts are actuallycarried out.


03 August 2007

AI Index: ASA 28/002/2007
UA 200/07

Fear for safety/ torture or ill-treatment

Ayu (f), aged 44

Other transsexual individuals in Malaysia

Ayu, a male-to-female transsexual, was seriously beaten by state religiousofficials who detained her while she was talking to friends at the OldMelaka bus station in Kota Melaka, Melaka (Malacca) state, southwestMalaysia at around 11.30pm on 30 July. Ayu may be at risk of further abuse,and other transsexual people may also be in danger.

Ayu was reportedly approached by three enforcement officers from the MelakaIslamic Religious Affairs Department (Jabatan Agama Islam Melaka, JAIM), alocal government body tasked with enforcing social norms based on Sharialaw. The officials, all dressed in civilian clothes, reportedly punched andkicked Ayu when they detained her. One of them reportedly kicked her hardin the genital area. They only identified themselves as JAIM officials whenbystanders intervened to try to prevent the assault. When she said she wasin serious pain, they took her briefly to the local JAIM office, beforetransferring her to Melaka General Hospital. She had to undergo surgery on31 July for a pre-existing abdominal hernia condition, which had beenaggravated by the assault.

JAIM ordered the hospital authorities to report the names of othertranssexuals who came to visit Ayu in hospital. It is unclear whether anywere reported, but Amnesty International fears that other transsexualpeople in Melaka, and in Malaysia generally, may face similar abuses.

According to media reports, a JAIM official later clarified the reasons forAyu's detention, namely that she had committed the 'offence' of 'mendressing up as women in a public space' which is punishable with a fine ofRM1,000 (approx. US$288), a six-month prison sentence or both under Section72 of the Melaka Sharia Offences Enactment. However, a social worker withthe Malaysian non-governmental organization, Pink Triangle, claimed thatthe officials had contravened procedures by failing to take Ayu to a policestation after they detained her.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

How Bush Gained the Power to Spy on You without Security Justifications
By Aziz Huq,
Posted on August 9, 2007, Printed on August 10, 2007

After enduring weeks of blistering criticism for Attorney General AlbertoGonzales's inartful elisions about the National Security Agency (NSA) spyingactivities, the Bush Administration has successfully forced on Congress alaw that largely authorizes open-ended surveillance of Americans' overseasphone calls and e-mails. How did they do it?

The Protect America Act of 2007 -- the title alone ought to be warning thatunsavory motives are at work -- is the most recent example of the nationalsecurity waltz, a three-step Administration maneuver for taking defeat andturning it into victory.

The waltz starts with a defeat in the courts for Administration actions --for example, the Supreme Court's extension of the rule of law to the USmilitary prison at Guantánamo in the 2004 case of Rasul v. Bush, or itsstriking down of the military commissions in 2006 in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. Thesecond step does not follow immediately. Rather, some months later, theAdministration suddenly announces that the ruling has created a securitycrisis and cries out for urgent remedial legislation. Then (and here's thecoup de grâce) the Administration rams legislation through Congress -- theDetainee Treatment Act of 2005, or the Military Commissions Act of 2006 --that not only undoes the good court decision but also inflicts substantialdamage to the infrastructure of accountability.

This time, the sordid dance began with a bad ruling for the government, aruling that demands some context to be understood.

In January the Administration suddenly announced that it was submitting thesecretive NSA "terrorist surveillance program" to the Foreign IntelligenceSurveillance Court, or FISC, a closed judicial process established by the1978 FISA law to handle search warrants for foreign intelligence purposes.The move came as federal appellate courts in Ohio and California seemed onthe cusp of ruling the NSA's domestic surveillance efforts illegal asviolations of FISA and possibly the Fourth Amendment. It seemed a way toforestall defeat in those cases.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Published: 08.08.2007

My Tucson: The church should define marriage
State could legislate certain standards for civil unions
Tucson Citizen

As a Presbyterian pastor, I gave up on the customary practice of premaritalcounseling decades ago.

It was the biggest waste of time in my practice of ministry. Couples eithertold me what they thought the preacher wanted to hear, or they didn't payany attention at all. (We are in perfect and abiding love and will livehappily ever after.)

Instead, I reached agreement with couples that they would invite me to adinner a year after the marriage ceremony.

By then, the issues were surfacing and we could talk about the serious workof building a loving and committed relationship.

I don't have any academic study to determine whether premarital orpostmarital counseling is more effective, but my hunch is that none of us inthe marrying-Sam (or Samantha) trade are having great success rates withenduring marriages these days.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

"Chosen By God", New Army Chaplain Head Expects Apocalyptic Religious War
By Bruce Wilson Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 11:18:07 AM EST
topic: All Topics section:Dominionism in the military print this story

Douglas L. Carver seems to believe he's been he's been chosen by God to leadin an Apocalyptic end-time war between good and evil that will last decadesand began, as foreshadowed in prophecy, with the US invasion and occupationof Iraq. Meet the US Army's new (apocalyptic) Head of Chaplains.

Douglas L. Carver, on a mission from God ?

As president George W. Bush said via satellite, on June 13, 2007 to SouthernBaptist Convention members gathered for the Southern Baptist Convention's2007 annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, "Just like our troops, you havethe gratitude of the Commander-in-Chief as we do the hard work necessary todefend our country, and at the same time, lay the foundation of peace.".

The SBC's new Army Head Of Chaplains, Douglas L. Carver, no doubt believeshe is laying the foundation of peace too, but Carver may feel thatfoundation will be laid via the Apocalypse and Armageddon.

On July 13, 2006 Carver told a Gadsden Alabama SBC church congregation "I'mnot an end-times preacher, but I think something is up", cited theapocalyptic scripture of Daniel 12:1-3, then told the congregation, asreported by Alabama Baptist, " "This is our time, our destiny," just asEsther was placed in a certain position at a specific moment "for such atime as this"". Some of Carver's statements can be seen as suggesting the USinvasion and occupation of Iraq amounts to the playing out of Biblicalprophecy.

As reporter Leigh Pritchard, described Carver's Gadsden speech, the Army'snew Head Of Chaplains appears to feel American is riding a fast track ofburgeoning immorality morality, straight to hell:


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Feminine guys are better!

LONDON: Women see masculine-looking men as more unsuitable long-termpartners but men with more feminine features are seen as more committed andless likely to stray, British researchers said Wednesday.

Scientists at the universities of Durham and St Andrews came to theconclusion by asking more than 400 British men and women to make judgmentson character after looking at digitally-altered pictures of men's faces.

The web-based test asked participants to rate the face for traits such asdominance, ambition, wealth, faithfulness, commitment, parenting skills, andwarmth.

Men with square jaws, larger noses and smaller eyes were classed assignificantly more dominant, less faithful, worse parents and as having lesswarm personalities.

Those with finer facial features, fuller lips, wide eyes and thinner, morecurved eyebrows on the other hand were viewed as a better bet for long-termrelationships.


Get support at school
August 10, 2007

Dear Harlan: I've been keeping a secret from my family for years. The samesecret was also withheld from most of my friends until my junior year ofhigh school. Some of my friends already know my secret, but were told tokeep their mouths shut, please. I didn't want anyone to know. I was almostashamed. I came to terms with it, mostly, when I told my friends. I've knownsince the third quarter of eighth grade. Now, as I head off to college, I'mready to tell my family. I'm gay but I don't know how to tell my family. Mymom constantly makes remarks about gay people (just poking fun at my choralteacher, which is often followed by a comment like "I have no problem withgay people ... as long as they don't force it on me"). Is there any way totell my mom (who's raised me single-handedly) without freaking her out? -Concerned and Confused

Dear Concerned: My initial thought is that the college transition is a hugechange for everyone - especially a single mom - and new information (likefinding out your child is gay) is hard to process in the midst of dramaticchange. At the same time, you need to be completely supported during thistransition. My suggestion is to make sure you have a support system atschool when you arrive. Once you root yourself in a community that cansupport you, you can then share this secret with your mom. The morecomfortable you feel, the easier it will be to handle her reaction. In termsof support, there are campus advocates, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendergroups, counseling and support groups on campus and in the community, andthen there's online help ( When the time is right, you canconnect your mom with Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians andGays -( and get support so that she can get comfortable with theuncomfortable.

Write Harlan at harlan@helpme or visit online: All letters submittedbecome property of the author. Send paper to Help Me, Harlan! 2506 N. ClarkSt., Ste. 223, Chicago, IL 60614.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,6389610,print.story

Taking positive steps
Prisoners in the Philippines are finding precision dance brings fitness, asense of pride and now, YouTube fame
August 10, 2007

CEBU, Philippines Behind thick stone walls topped by electrified razorwire, one of cyberspace's most unlikely hits is already warming up as therest of Cebu stirs from sleep.

Pockets of inmates stretch and practice their latest moves. Then the morningworkout gets under way in earnest in the exercise yard of the CebuProvincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center.

In their identical orange prison uniforms, up to 1,500 march and clap inunison as they perform precision dance routines with the Village People's Inthe Navy and YMCA pounding from six well-worn black speakers.

And why not? Their version of Michael Jackson's Thriller had been watchedalmost 4.4 million times on YouTube as of Thursday, uploaded by ByronGarcia, the Cebu provincial security consultant who came up with the idea ofadding structure to poorly attended exercise sessions.

Inmates with arms covered in tattoos and baby-faced guys who may have beengang members on the outside gyrate next to one another. They all seem to beenjoying themselves, or at least taking pride, as their sandals and tennisshoes slap in unison on the gray concrete. They laugh when they screw up,applaud when they get a new sequence right.


Court says gay couples can't file taxes jointly in NJ _ yet
The Associated Press

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. - New Jersey now grants gay couples the same statebenefits that married heterosexual couples receive, but that does not meanthey can file their tax returns jointly for the 2006 tax year, a court ruledThursday.

In a unanimous ruling, a three-judge appeals panel affirmed the state'sposition that the benefits , at least regarding tax returns , did not startuntil Feb. 19, when gay couples were allowed to join in civil unions.

Roslyn Quarto and Judith Prichason went to Canada, where gay marriage islegal, to wed in 2003. The next year, they registered as domestic partnersin New Jersey so they could receive the limited benefits the state was
allowing then.

Last October, the state Supreme Court ruled that New Jersey had to extend tosame-sex couples all the rights that married couples are granted. But thecourt left it up to lawmakers to work out the mechanism for doing that.

The Legislature decided to enact civil unions, which are essentiallymarriages in all but name and which previously in place in only Vermont andConnecticut.


Thursday, 09 August 2007 15:37
Important Federal Decision
Same Sex Couples Protected by Courts. ACLU Legal Director Victorious.

Last week, we got what I think is the best decision yet to follow up onLawrence v. Texas, the 2003 decision in which the Supreme Court struck downthe Texas "sodomy" law.

In the new case, United States v. Roberts and Mangini, a federal districtcourt ruled that same-sex relationships are protected by the federalConstitution. It then struck down a federal agency's refusal to treat asame-sex couple as family. It is a great decision, both because of what theCourt did and why the Court did it. It is also a good reminder of how to uselitigation to make change.

The new decision came out of what looks at first glance like an unpromisingsituation. In 2004, Steven Roberts and Daniel Mangini pled guilty to sellingmethamphetamines. Both were sentenced to federal prison. Before theirarrest, Roberts and Mangini had been partners for 18 years. They livedtogether, supported each other, and were treated as a couple by both oftheir families. They raised Roberts's niece, who was placed with them by thePhiladelphia Department of Human Services. As the District Court Judge putit, they ".were in every way a family."

That is not, however, the way the federal Probation Office saw it. Manginiwas released in April 2005, and went to live with Roberts' uncle. But whenRoberts was released in June 2006, the Probation Office refused to let himjoin Mangini. The Office relied on "standard condition number 9," which saysthat while on probation, a convicted felon may not associate in any way withanother convicted felon without permission.

The Probation Office frankly admitted that it generally does give permissionto associate to people who are "blood relatives and spouses." But the officesaid, it would refuse permission to Mangini and Roberts since they wereneither. The two men, the Office said, could have no contact with each otherwhatsoever until 2011. To make matters worse, Mangini developed AIDS, so theProbation Office's refusal meant Mangini had to face the disease without thesupport of his partner. For Roberts, of course, it meant he might never seehis partner again.


Thursday, 09 August 2007 15:47

LGBT People Murdered in Hate Crimes to Be Honored by "Gay American Heroes"
Memorial and Exhibition to Serve as Tool for Remembrance, Education andCompassion

August 9, 2007 -- A "Who's Who" of gay and straight culture have cometogether to create a national memorial to honor LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexualand transgender) people who have been murdered because of their sexualorientation or gender identity.

Led by Scott Hall, Frank Kameny, US. Representative Barney Frank and ChipArndt, the idea for Gay American Heroes was born on March 13, 2007, whenFounder and President Scott Hall learned about the brutal murder of RyanKeith Skipper. Ryan was a 25 year-old Floridian who lived in Polk County,not far from Hall. Ryan was viciously stabbed more than 20 times and wasleft to die; for one reason --- Ryan Keith Skipper was gay.

Hall had twice been the victim of hate crimes and was quickly spurred intoaction. Within days he contacted longtime friend Frank Kameny, pioneeringgay rights activist, who immediately recognized the importance of Hall'sproject. James T. Sears, noted writer and historian, also voiced his earlystrong support of the project. The group then assembled a team to create theGay American Heroes Foundation, a not-for-profit organization.

With Founding Board Members Chip Arndt, Jack Rutland and William J.Iannarelli leading the way, Gay American Heroes' mission was established: 1)to honor and remember LGBT people who have been murdered because of theresexual orientation and/or gender identity; 2) to engage and inform thepublic about hate crimes against LGBT persons; and 3) to inspire compassionand greater appreciation for, and acceptance of, diversity.

Hall traveled to New York City where he met with Cyndi Lauper to discuss theproject. Ms. Lauper immediately offered to help in any way that she could.Hall also met with "Grey's Anatomy" T. R. Knight, who expressed hisheartfelt support for the project.


August 10, 2007
Baptist seminary instills strict gender roles with curricula

The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary offers coursework in Greek andHebrew, in archaeology, in the philosophy of religion, and, starting thisfall, in how to cook and sew.

Southwestern Baptist, one of the nation's largest Southern Baptistseminaries, is introducing a new academic program in homemaking as part ofan effort to establish what its president calls biblical family and genderroles.

It will offer a bachelor of arts in humanities degree with a 23-hourconcentration in homemaking. The program is open only to women.

Coursework will include seven hours of nutrition and meal preparation, sevenhours of textile design and ''clothing construction,'' three hours ofgeneral homemaking, three hours on ''the value of a child,'' and three hourson the ''biblical model for the home and family.''

Seminary officials say the main focus of the courses is on hospitality inthe home-teaching women interior design as well as how to sew and cook.Women also study children's spiritual, physical, and emotional development.

Yet the program is raising eyebrows among some Southern Baptists, who say adegree concentration in how to be a Christian housewife is not useful, and awaste of seminary resources.


The Advocate

August 10, 2007
Analysis: GOP rivals target Romney

Rivals have hit Mitt Romney on a range of issues including hisabortion-rights reversal and his equivocations on gays and guns, and he'sstill standing-and standing tall. At least for now.

In the long run, months of GOP competitors chipping away at his conservativecredentials could undermine his effort to be seen as the most conservativeand most electable Republican.

''Mitt Romney is telling Iowans that he is firmly pro-life. Nothing could befurther from the truth,'' an automated phone call by Sam Brownback'scampaign tells Iowans. ''Stand up for life and say 'no' to Romney.'' TheKansas senator has stepped up his criticism of Romney, seeking an edgeleading up to a Saturday test vote in Iowa.

Romney insists, ''I am pro-life.''

Brownback, and to some degree other Republicans, are going after Romneybecause the former Massachusetts governor leads in early primary statepolling, including the leadoff Iowa caucuses, and most GOP candidates arefighting for the support of the same voters-conservatives who make up asignificant part of the electorate.


August 10, 2007
Young GOP leader accused in gay sex crime

On July 7, after a six-month campaign, 33-year-old Glenn Murphy Jr. waselected chairman of the venerable Young Republican National Foundation.

Last week, however, Murphy sent out a strange e-mail announcing hisresignation, explaining that a "life-altering" business deal had arisen and,after praying with his family, he had decided to pursue this newopportunity. For some reason, Murphy could no longer represent a politicalparty due to a "gut-wrenching dilemma" that forced him to step down from hisnew office.

In fact, as bloggers soon made public, Murphy had been accused of what iscalled in Indiana "criminal deviate conduct," a class B felony, afterattempting to have sex with a sleeping man July 29.

According to a police report from Clark County, Ind., the man, his sister,and Murphy had been drinking at a Young Republican party the previous night.The revelers wound up at the sister's home, where Murphy got into a top bunkbed and the victim took the bottom bunk.

Sometime that morning the victim awoke to find Murphy, in his words,"holding my dick with one hand and sucking my dick with his mouth," policerecords state. The man kicked Murphy off and left the house.


August 10, 2007
Activists outraged over axing of South African health minister

South Africa's deputy health minister, one of its most respected womenpoliticians, lost her job on the eve of the nation's Women's Day.

Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge was credited with revamping a beleaguered campaignagainst AIDS, earning the respect of AIDS activists who had blasted herboss, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, for her promotion of garlicand lemons as a remedy for AIDS and her open mistrust of antiretroviralmedicines. President Thabo Mbeki fired Madlala-Routledge late Wednesdayfollowing reports that she had gone to Spain to attend an AIDS conferencewithout his permission.

Madlala-Routledge's aides told a newspaper earlier this week that there hadbeen a mix-up in dates and she had already arrived in Spain by the time shereceived word from the president that she should not go. Since then she hasmade no comment, but AIDS activists said Thursday she would address a pressconference Friday.

A two-paragraph statement from the presidency, released just beforemidnight, gave no reason for the dismissal.

Opposition parties and AIDS activists reacted to the dismissal with shockand outrage Thursday.


August 10, 2007
Methodist court to consider case of transgender minister

The highest court for the United Methodist Church is taking up the case of aminister who changed sex from female to male.

The Reverend Ann Gordon had spent five years as minister at St. John'sUnited Methodist Church in Baltimore before undergoing surgery and hormonetherapy to become the Reverend Drew Phoenix.

Bishop John Schol of the Methodists' Baltimore-Washington Annual Conferencereappointed Phoenix this spring as pastor of the church, noting that thedenomination's Book of Discipline said nothing about transgender clergy.

The church's judicial council, scheduled to meet October 24-27 in SanFrancisco, will look at whether the Board of Ordained Ministry shouldconduct a review if a pastor changes gender, and whether the denominationallows transgender people to be appointed as Methodist ministers at all.


The Advocate

August 10, 2007
Pelosi to celebrate 20 years in Congress at National AIDS Memorial

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trading the pen and paper for the rake andtrowel this Saturday, celebrating her 20th year in Congress with a day ofmanual labor at the National AIDS Memorial in her native San Francisco.

Pelosi has been a longtime supporter of the Memorial, nicknamed the "Grove,"and was instrumental in passing the 1996 legislation that designated thesite as a national monument.

"The National AIDS Memorial Grove stands as a monument to all that we havelost, but also all that we have held onto-our hope, our optimism, oursteadfastness and determination to fight against this disease and for thepeople who have it," said Pelosi in a press release. "In this beautifulcity, we turned heartache into hope by creating the Grove, by continuing totend to this garden, and by treasuring the memory of those we have lost."

The National AIDS Memorial began as a grassroots project in 1989 by localresidents who wished to create a living tribute to those affected by AIDS.(The Advocate)


August 10, 2007
S.F. officials cancel Castro Halloween

San Francisco city officials are hoping for a quiet night in the Castro thisOctober 31, announcing that there will be no official Halloween celebration,reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

"There will be no party," said Audrey Joseph, president of the city'sentertainment commission, according to the newspaper.

Officials had planned to host a large outdoor concert near AT&T Park as analternative to the Castro celebration, where a shooting last year injurednine people. But the concert promoter has decided the event is too much tohandle and that there is not enough time to find another venue, Joseph said,according to the Chronicle.

Although the alternate celebration has been canceled, officials are stilltrying to keep the Castro empty come Halloween. According to the Chronicle,supervisor Bevan Dufty sent a letter to 110 local business owners askingthem to keep their doors closed during the holiday.

Halloween has been a major community event-nicknamed the "gay Christmas," itdraws several hundred thousand people to the Castro-but Dufty says thecelebration has lived past its prime.


Church Ready To Replace Disgraced Pastor Haggard
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 9, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Colorado Springs, Colorado) A search committee at New Life Church isrecommending a Texas megachurch leader replace disgraced senior pastor TedHaggard.

The committee has nominated the Rev. Brady Boyd for the job, afterconducting what it said were "dozens of hours of interviews" over eightmonths.

As part of the hiring process, Boyd, associate senior pastor at GatewayChurch in Southlake, Texas, will preach at New Life Sunday services leadingup to Aug. 27, when church members will vote whether to accept him. Boydmust win a two-thirds majority to get the job.

Haggard was fired last year after a former male prostitute alleged athree-year cash-for-sex relationship with him. (story)

The man also said he saw Haggard use methamphetamine. Haggard confessed tounspecified "sexual immorality" and said he bought meth but never used it.


Real Life Prison Video Features 'YMCA', Other Gay Hits
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 9, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Cebu, Philippines) Behind thick stone walls topped by electrified razorwire, one of cyberspace's most unlikely hits is already warming up as therest of Cebu stirs from sleep.

Pockets of inmates stretch and practice their latest moves. Then the morningworkout gets under way in earnest in the exercise yard of the CebuProvincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center.

In their identical orange prison uniforms, up to 1,500 march and clap inunison as they perform precision dance routines with the Village People's"In the Navy" and "YMCA" pounding from six well-worn black speakers.

And why not? Their version of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" had been watchednearly 4.4 million times on YouTube as of Thursday, uploaded by ByronGarcia, the Cebu provincial security consultant who came up with the idea ofadding structure to poorly attended exercise sessions.

Inmates with arms covered in tattoos and baby-faced guys who might have beengang members on the outside gyrate next to one another. They all seem to beenjoying themselves or at least taking pride as their sandals and tennisshoes slap in unison on the gray concrete. They laugh when they screw up,applaud when they get a new sequence right.


RI Gov. Blasted For Hiring Conservative Lawyer To Fight Gay Marriage
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 9, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Providence, Rhode Island) Rhode Island Democrats have blasted Gov. DonCarcieri (R) for hiring a conservative attorney to write a brief in a caseinvolving same-sex marriage.

The state Supreme Court is considering a case involving a lesbian coupleseeking a divorce.

Margaret R. Chambers and Cassandra B. Ormiston were married in Massachusettsin 2004.

The marriage was never recognized in their home state of Rhode Island andlast year the women filed for divorce in Providence, citing "irreconcilabledifferences".

The Chief Family Court Judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah Jr. said he did knot knowif he could rule without taking up the issue of marriage and asked theSupreme Court justices to determine if he has the authority to hear thecase. (story)


Gay Former Top Cop Eyed For London Mayor
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 9, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(London) The highest ranking out gay police officer in the world isreportedly being considered for mayor of London.

Brian Paddick, 49, is being courted by the Liberal Democrats. He recentlyheld meetings with the party, but is said not to have made a decision.

If he runs he would be pitted against Labor's Ken Livingstone, currently themayor of London, and the Tories' Boris Johnson.

Paddick left his job as Deputy Assistant Police Commissioner of London'sMetropolitan Police in the spring after a 30-year career with the force.

Paddick had become disenchanted with the force following a disagreement withthe way Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair had handled the shooting of aninnocent man police had mistaken for a terror suspect at in 2005.


Jewish Guide Has Transgender Blessing
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 10, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(New York City) Halfway through a newly revised manual promoting inclusionfor gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in Judaism's Reformmovement are two short blessings written by a rabbi who was raised Eliza andis now Elliot.

The prayers for Jews undergoing sex changes are included in the 500-pagesecond edition of a guide called Kulanu - Hebrew for "all of us" - publishedthis week by the New York-based Union for Reform Judaism.

"Here you have a Jewish person who is undergoing a very momentous aspect oftheir personal journey, and they will reach into their tradition to havethis affirmed in the way we do it, through a blessing," said Rabbi RichardAddress, an editor of the volume and director of the union's Department ofJewish Family Concerns. The union represents 900 Reform synagogues in NorthAmerica.

The inclusion of the transgendered blessings alongside a liturgy forsame-sex union ceremonies and a divorce document for same-sex couples is inkeeping with the Reform movement's tradition of liberal positions on humansexuality.

The largest branch of Judaism in North America, Reform Judaism allows gayand lesbian rabbis and cantors.


The Washington Post

Jailing Juveniles
Children should not be held in adult jails.
Friday, August 10, 2007; A12

MORE CHILDREN are going to jail -- too often even before they have beenconvicted.

In the District, the average daily count of juveniles being held in adultjail before trial has nearly tripled in the past year, according to a recentreport from the Campaign for Youth Justice. It's unclear whether this riseis attributable to an increase in serious crimes by juveniles, a surge inpolice patrols or tougher decisions by prosecutors who choose when to tryteenagers as adults. Whatever the cause, the increase in children held inadult jails should be reversed as a matter of public safety and decency.

Studies have shown that children incarcerated in adult jails are more likelyto be arrested again and to commit graver new offenses. In the D.C. Jail,which holds inmates awaiting trial or serving short sentences, juveniles arekept apart from adults, but they benefit from little of the rehabilitativeprogramming and structure required at juvenile detention centers. Currently,only those needing special education, for example, can go to class. DevonBrown, director of the D.C. Department of Corrections, said the agency hasnegotiated with the D.C. public school system to begin providing classes forall juveniles at the D.C Jail starting on Oct. 1. These efforts arelaudable, but, as Mr. Brown agrees, an adult jail does not have theresources, staffing or training to treat these youths.


The Washington Post

Gaddafi's Son: Bulgarians Were Tortured
Statement Confirms in Part Allegations Made by Six Released Medical Workers
By Molly Moore
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, August 10, 2007; A08

PARIS, Aug. 9 -- Six Bulgarian medical workers imprisoned on charges ofinfecting children with the HIV virus were tortured by electric shock duringtheir captivity, the son of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi told al-Jazeeratelevision.

The doctor and five nurses were released last month after eight years inprison, and several have described ordeals of electric shock, rape, attacksby dogs and other torture during their incarceration.

"Yes, they were tortured by electricity, and they were threatened that theirfamily members would be targeted," Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was quoted assaying on the Arab broadcaster's Web site Thursday.

Although the younger Gaddafi confirmed the electric shocks, he disputedother allegations of torture, some made by Ashraf al-Hazouz, a 38-year-oldPalestinian-born doctor who was among the imprisoned medical workers.Hazouz, who was recently granted Bulgarian citizenship, has said ininterviews, "We were treated like animals."

Hazouz told Dutch television that Libyans attached electrodes to hisgenitals and feet, sent dogs to attack him and tied his hands and legs to ametal bar, spinning him "like a chicken on a rotisserie."


The Washington Post

Why the Democrats Caved
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Friday, August 10, 2007; A13

Shortly before noon last Saturday, about 20 House Democrats huddled inSpeaker Nancy Pelosi's office to decide what to do about a surveillance billthat had been dumped on them by the Senate before it left town.

Many of the Democrats were furious. They believed they had negotiated ingood faith with Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence. Theysought to give the Bush administration the authority it needed to interceptcommunications involving foreign nationals in terrorism investigations whilepreserving some oversight.

But the administration held out for granting McConnell and Attorney GeneralAlberto R. Gonzales more power while seriously circumscribing the role ofthe Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The Senate's Democraticleadership, lacking the votes to pass a measure more to the House's liking,gave the administration what it wanted.


Express Gay News

New Log Cabin pres is straight woman
Former Wilton Manors mayor Sandy Steen pushes for repeal of military andadoption bans
Thursday, August 09, 2007

Saying you are a Log Cabin Republican usually raises some eyebrows, but astraight woman leading a local gay Republican organization is even moreunusual. Former Wilton Manors Mayor Sandy Steen recently became thepresident of the Gold Coast Log Cabin Republicans, and she thinks it's aperfect fit.

Steen and her husband, both active in the local Republican Party, invitedthe Log Cabin Republicans to their home to have their meeting.

"I happen to be a pretty good cook, and I always serve appetizers and herbaliced teas and wine," Steen explains. "So, they've been having their meetingshere."

During a recent meeting, the group had an election of officers and electedher as president.

"I asked, 'Are you sure you want a straight woman as president? And theysaid, 'You are such a leader, we would want you,'" she says.

Steen was raised in a Republican household. She switched her politicalaffiliation in college briefly to independent, but not long after, went backto Republican.

"I married a Republican," she says and laughs. "I used to tell people, 'Idon't care what my husband's religion is, as long as he's a republican. Ican't go to bed with a Democrat.'"

The two met through a mutual friend at a political function and have beentogether ever since.

Steen has lived in Broward County for 50 years. Her parents moved here in1957 when she was 17 and had just graduated from high school. She attendedthe University of Miami.

"Years ago, especially when I was first starting to get active in theRepublican Party, in Broward, if you weren't a Republican, you couldn't winin Florida," she reminisces. "Now it just flip-flopped. Broward County isnow Democratic, and the rest of the state votes Republican."

She says that it's not healthy when just one party is in control.

"I think there's room for Democrats, Republicans and independents," shesays. "I think it's very important for Republicans to take an active part inBroward County and to be heard."

Steen served two terms as mayor of Wilton Manors and worked 34 years forlate property appraiser Bill Marcom. She thinks many people havemisconceptions about gay Republicans.

"People think it's an oxymoron," she says. "It's not true at all. Quitefrankly, a lot of gay people are closeted Republicans."

Steen says that she and her husband are the only heterosexuals in the group,so far.

"But we are a very inclusive group," she says.


Express Gay News

Trans rights fight takes center stage
Forum at GLCC in Fort Lauderdale highlights issue
Thursday, August 09, 2007

Susan Stanton, the transgendered former city manager of Largo, Fla.,recalled an incident at a public hearing earlier this year when she wasstill Steve Stanton, in the eyes of the public at least, and fighting tokeep her job. A man approached her with his hand extended. Thinking the manwas going to wish her luck, she shook his hand. Suddenly a hateful lookflashed on the man's face.

"Where is your fucking dress, you faggot?" the man said.

Stanton was fired from her job as city manager after her plans to transitionfrom a man to a woman became public. Her story was one of the highlights ofa town hall meeting held at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of SouthFlorida on Aug. 3. Presented by the Human Rights Campaign, "Equality forAll: A Town Hall Dialogue on Transgender Issues" featured severaltransgendered individuals, who told their stories and answered questionsfrom the audience.

"This is what I am, and this is what God has made," Stanton said. "It is nota lifestyle. It is not what people choose to do. I've joked, 'Gee, I wish Iwere gay. It would be so much easier.'"

It has not been easy for Blue, a transgendered high school student who spokeat the HRC forum. "My dad was angry and blamed himself," Blue said. "My momthought it was a phase, and my sister said I needed spiritual help."


Express Gay News

Right-wing coalition forms to back Naugle
Group launches website to respond to 'public health crisis'
Thursday, August 09, 2007

A new coalition has formed to support Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle'scampaign against public sex and to respond to what the group describes as"Broward's public health crisis."

The group has launched a website, Visitors tothe site are greeted by a large American flag and the statement: "MayorNaugle is Right. is coming soon."

The group posted a press release on the site Aug. 3.
", a newly formed coalition of local and nationalgroups, announced its support today for Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle andfor measures to stem Broward's public health crisis," the press releasestates.

The press release then quotes Rev. O'Neal Dozier, pastor of the WorldwideChristian Center in Pompano Beach. "We have an epidemic on our hands,"Dozier says in the press statement. "More than 8,000 people have died fromAIDS in Broward County since the early 1980s. Everyone, regardless of hisplace on the political spectrum, should agree that public sex - whether itbe in parks, restrooms, department stores or bathhouses - endangers livesand fuels the public health crisis we face in Broward."

Dozier then cites statistics showing that Broward County leads the nation inthe number of new AIDS cases. "A staggering one in five men who have sexwith other men is HIV positive," he says.

Dozier made headlines last summer when he referred to Islam as a "cult" andthe Koran as "evil." His comments led to his removal from a state panel thatrecommends judicial appointments. Dozier has also been a key figure inefforts to pass a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Florida.



Express Gay News

National conservative group to fight sex ed plan in Md.
Thomas More Law Center calls gay-inclusive lessons 'hedonistic'?
Thursday, August 09, 2007

A national law firm is backing new attempts to stop Montgomery County fromteaching its gay-inclusive sex education lessons.

Thomas More Law Center, which focuses on religious freedom and "familyvalues" cases, has joined three local groups to challenge the curriculumanew in court. The case, filed July 26, has no scheduled trial date.

"I'm impressed with the principled and steadfast opposition by thesepro-family groups to this outrageously hedonistic and life-threateningsexuality curriculum," said Richard Thompson, the Law Center's president andchief counsel. "The Law Center will do everything we can to assist them intheir fight."

Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, Parents & Friends of Ex-Gays & Gaysand Family Leader Network are challenging the Maryland State Board ofEducation's decision last month to approve the lessons.

State officials said July 3 that legal challenges to the curriculum, raisedby the three conservative groups, were unfounded and the curriculum islegal.

The lessons, titled "Respect for Differences in Human Sexuality," explainconcepts like sexual identity and orientation using what supporters say isnonjudgmental language.



Largest Lesbian Social Networking Site Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

Press release from: SHOE International Network GmbH
08-09-2007 01:58 PM CET

(openPR) - Zurich, Switzerland --, the largest online socialnetworking site devoted exclusively to women who love women announced todaythat they are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. To mark theoccasion, SHOE has just launched new exciting video and playlist features.

Created in 1997, the site has evolved into the largest lesbian onlinecommunity, boasting nearly 140'000 members spanning across 140 countriesworldwide.

SHOE is a one stop lesbian portal for women of all ages; in or out of thecloset; in relationships or single and looking. Women can create their ownprofile; share photos; blog; browse through the classifieds; play in thechatrooms; or participate in forum discussions - all for free. As of todaymembers can also add their own videos and playlists to their profiles.

SHOE Founders Sunci Nikolic and Fab Syz are pioneers in their own right,whose efforts have forever changed the virtual face of the lesbian world.Their cheeky approach "We no longer burn our bras but wear wonder bras withpride" got them into a spot of trouble. "Clubs were boycotting our Flyers,saying they were sexist" explains Fab. "We also were under attack byfeminists for our slogan "Totally Girl Powered" - demanding to have itchanged to "Totally Woman Powered." Those days were wild but thankfully theworld has moved forward."

Since then, SHOE has gained International acclaim. Awards include "BestOnline Portal 2006," "Lesbian Personality of the Year 2005," "Faces of theYear 2001," and an important nomination for the "Pride/Stonewall Award" in2004 for outstanding contributions to the lesbian and gay community.

"It's our mission to provide a safe haven for our members, in a concertedeffort to insulate them from online perils," says Fab. Their newlyintroduced "User Verification System" is just one small measure implementedtowards preserving a safe place in the virtual world. "It's an ongoingeffort which takes up most of our time but we're only too happy to take onthis challenge for another 10 years," adds Sunci.


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