Saturday, September 01, 2007

GLBT DIGEST September 1, 2007

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


Anti-gay group told to find another hotel
31st August 11.30

Americans for Truth, the Naperville, Ill.-based organization dedicated to"confronting the homosexual activist agenda," will have to find a new hotelto host its annual fund-raiser on 6th October.

Representatives for the Naperville Holiday Inn Select reportedly asked theorganization's executive director, Peter LaBarbera, to find another locationfor the event after LaBarbera mentioned it could draw protests from"homosexual activists."

That request prompted LaBarbera to cry foul in an article posted, a Christian news website.

"It seems that there is now a sort of politically correct homosexual'heckler's veto' that's forcing or persuading businesses to do things todecent people that they wouldn't normally do," LaBarbera said.

"When a hotel chain is willing to cancel a Christian group's event due to apotential protest by a homosexual activist group, it's a sad day inAmerica," he added.


Stonewall Cymru to 'Shout OUT' at Mardi Gras
31st August 13.29
Alex Donald

Stonewall Cymru is launching a new community activism campaign ahead ofSaturday's Mardi Gras in Cardiff.

The Shout OUT campaign will encourage the LGBT community to have their sayabout gay life in Wales and will tackle issues such as hate crimes, healthcare, education and employment.

Cardiff's Lesbian and Gay Mardi Gras is set to draw massive crowds thisweekend.

Now in its ninth year, it has grown into one of the biggest free gay andlesbian events in the UK.

Liz Morgan of Stonewall Cymru Director told

"Life for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Wales has changed immeasurablyin recent years.


Iowa's gay wedding day brought to a halt
The Associated Press
September 1, 2007

DES MOINES, Iowa Same-sex marriage was legal here for less than 24 hoursbefore the county won a stay of a judge's order on Friday, a tiny window ofopportunity that allowed two men to make history but left dozens of othercouples disappointed after a frantic rush to the altar.

At 2 p.m. Thursday, Judge Robert Hanson ordered Polk County officials toaccept marriage license requests from same-sex couples, but he granted thestay at about 12:30 p.m. Friday. By then 27 same-sex couples had filedrequests, but only Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan of Ames had actually gottentheir license.

In the front yard of the Rev. Mark Stringer, pastor of the First UnitarianChurch of Des Moines, they become the only same-sex couple wed in the UnitedStates outside of Massachusetts, where roughly 8,000 such couples have tiedthe knot.

Stringer concluded the ceremony by saying, "This is a legal document and youare married." The men then kissed and hugged.

"This is it. We're married. I love you," Fritz told McQuillan after theceremony.


Article published Sep 1, 2007
Candidates focus on gay marriage
Republicans jump to debate Iowa ruling
The Associated Press

An Iowa county judge's ruling knocking down the state's same-sex marriageban stirred up the presidential race yesterday as Republicans jostled tostake out a position with the state's conservative voters in mind.

Mitt Romney was the first to seize on the ruling, promptly aligning himselfwith Iowa political leaders in denouncing the decision.

The former Massachusetts governor's swift criticism served to bolster theconservative image his campaign has been working hard to promote to Iowa'sRepublican voters. Romney stressed his support for a federal amendment thatwould ban same-sex marriage, a stand that distinguishes him from his toprivals, who have said they prefer to leave such decisions to the states.

"The ruling in Iowa . . . is another example of an activist court andunelected judges trying to redefine marriage and disregard the will of thepeople as expressed through Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act," Romney said ina statement shortly after the ruling was made. "This once again highlightsthe need for a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect the traditionaldefinition of marriage as between one man and one woman."

Yesterday, Polk County Judge Robert Hanson, who ruled Thursday that thestate's decade-old ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, issued astay on his own ruling. The stay closed the window for any gay couplesseeking to marry in Polk County.


Uncertainty follows bliss for 27 couples
'I started crying,' one woman says after learning that a ban on same-sexmarriages in Iowa had been overturned.

Twenty-seven same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses Thursday andFriday before a Polk County judge issued a ruling stopping the process.

The 26 couples who were not married Friday likely will receive a letter nextweek explaining why their license, which would have become valid Thursdayunder a required three-business-day waiting period, now will not beaccepted.

Several same-sex couples, anticipating the ruling, rushed to the countyrecorder's office to obtain a marriage license.

The first in line Friday - two Iowa State University students - were at therecorder's office at 5:30 a.m. One of the two women wore sunglasses anddidn't want to give her name. She said she hasn't told her co-workers, oneof whom has a picture of the pope as a screensaver, that she's gay.

"She's got a Catholic boss and a Republican grandma," said her girlfriend,Katy Farlow, a 23-year-old accounting student at ISU.


Elizabeth Edwards talks of Clinton "hatred"

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards,says ''hatred'' of his rival Hillary Rodham Clinton would motivateRepublicans to vote against her in the general election.

''I want to be perfectly clear: I do not think the hatred against HillaryClinton is justified,'' Elizabeth Edwards said in an interview with Timemagazine, out this week. ''I don't know where it comes from. I don't beginto understand it. But you can't pretend it doesn't exist, and it willenergize the Republican base. Their nominee won't energize them, Bush won't,but Hillary as the nominee will. It's hard for John to talk about, but it'sthe reality.''

Responding to Mrs. Edwards, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said polls showthat Clinton will be a strong opponent against the Republicans seeking thepresidency.

''Senator Clinton leads all the leading Republicans in national and keyswing state polls because Americans know she is the Democrat with thestrength and experience to bring real change,'' Singer said.

Elizabeth Edwards has become the voice for many criticisms of her husband'sleading rivals. She has suggested that Obama and his campaign plagiarizedmaterial from Edwards's 2004 presidential campaign and criticized Obama foropposing the Iraq war but voting for the funding, saying that he's been''behaving in a holier-than-thou way.''


Hillary tells Letterman her husband looked into being her veep

Hillary Rodham Clinton has already had to forgo one potential runningmate-her husband.

Asked by talk-show host David Letterman if Bill Clinton could serve as hervice president should she be elected to the White House, the former firstlady acknowledged that he could not.

''Believe me,'' she joked, ''he looked into that.''

She also remarked that if the Constitution didn't forbid a president from athird term, ''he might be running.''

Such easy banter marked Clinton's seventh appearance on Late Show With DavidLetterman, which was celebrating its 14th anniversary on CBS. She firstappeared on February 14, 1994, when Letterman's mother, Dorothy, interviewedher briefly from the Winter Olympics in Norway.


As the Larry Craig scandal continues to unfold, I'm amazed at the shock withwhich political commentators and even some Blade readers have reacted.

The most common question that readers are emailing to me: Who's next? It'sfair to assume that Craig isn't the only closeted gay member of Congress,but there are members we've described over the years as "openly closeted,"meaning they decline to answer "the question."

At least two active members of Congress fall into that category: Rep. DavidDreier (R-Calif.) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). There was muchspeculation that Dreier failed in his bid to take the House majority leaderpost after Tom DeLay resigned because of the rumors about his sexualorientation, which have dogged him for years.

Mikulski has similarly dodged questions about her sexual orientation overthe years. She voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, but has an otherwisesupportive record and spoke at last year's Equality Maryland brunchfundraiser.

What people need to understand is that living a double life in the closetmakes you do strange and self-destructive things, like pleading guilty tocrimes you later deny or refusing to answer a simple question about yoursexual orientation.

Until the acceptance of gays improves, we'll continue to see sad dramas likethe Larry Craig scandal play out.
Posted by Kevin Naff, Washington Blade Editor| Aug. 28 at 8:33 PM |


Toobin: Entrapment defense rarely works in case like Craig'sNEW YORK(CNN) -- Embattled Sen. Larry Craig accused police after his June arrest oftrying to entrap him, but CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says he putslittle faith in such a defense.

A police mug shot of Sen. Larry Craig after he was arrested at theMinneapolis-St. Paul airport in June.

In a police recording released Thursday, the Idaho Republican denied thathe was trying to engage in lewd behavior in a men's bathroom at a Minnesotaairport. He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.

"You shouldn't be out to entrap people," Craig said on the tape.

The arresting officer denied Craig's accusation of entrapment. Listen topolice interview Craig » asked Toobin about how an entrapment defense might work in court.


Students rally for gender-neutral johns
They're riding tide of toilet tolerance
Josh Shaffer, Staff Writer

RALEIGH - In the past, an activist might picket City Hall, burn a draft cardor occupy a segregated lunch counter. Now there's a new cause: publicrestrooms.

Bathrooms -- how and where they are built, and who should use them -- are anurgent topic on college campuses across the Triangle and nation.

Three N.C. State University students have proposed installing lockable,unisex restrooms in all new campus buildings as a convenience fortransgender students, the disabled, nursing mothers and single parents withchildren of the opposite sex. They seek to join at least 17 universities,including UNC-Chapel Hill, in mandating a gender-neutral john.

"There's been a real push to support diversity on campus," said MadelineGoss, a senior and male-to-female transgender student. "I go to the bathroomand I don't get a second look. But there was a time when people walked outwhen they saw me in the bathroom."

The limits of traditional bathroom demarcation have arisen in the statelegislature, too. Sen. Janet Cowell, a Raleigh Democrat, introduced a billin March to mandate twice the number of female restrooms in bars,restaurants, theaters and arenas, a move aimed at ending long restroomlines. She dropped the bill when she learned that the state Department ofInsurance had already made nearly all her provisions part of an updatedbuilding code.


Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (August 31, 2007)
by Karman Kregloe, Senior Writer and Director of Special Projects
August 31, 2007


The New York Post recently blasted Tammy Lynn Etheridge (the artist formerlyknown as Tammy Lynn Michaels) for her anti-Bush/Rove rant on her blog. Inhis Page Six column under the headline"Vulgar and Vile," Richard Johnsonwrote:

Tammy Lynn Michaels ought to wash her mouth out with soap. The lesbian"wife" of rocker Melissa Etheridge calls President Bush "an idiotic,parasitical, country-raping piece of [bleep]" on her blog, HollywoodFarmGirl. "How does Laura [Bush] lay her head down at night?" Michaels'constructive and civil rant goes on to call Karl Rove a "sweaty littlepiggish Oompa-Loompa Elmer Fudd ass." And if the administration doesn't likeher hate-filled profanity, she taunts, "Come arrest me, you [bleep]ers."

Undaunted, Etheridge responded to the Post with keyboard blazing:

dear ny post,

first, i am honored that someone at your paper reads my li'l blog. indeed,the blog of which you speak was vulgar and crass and such the like as that,i agree. swearing and vulgarity is a forte of mine. (i think i listened tobette midler's standup tapes far too young in life. i digress.) it seemsthat only extremism gets the message out these days, doesn't it? theNeo-Cons (or Modern-Day-Hitlers), the terrorists (that we created), the kidsshooting other kids in school, the hollywood whorlets who show their vaginato the world AND go to jail AND still make magazine covers... see? so alesbian, using filthy language, swearing and daring for the criminals totake the lamb's clothing off.... of course i make the ny post.

i bet you'll be surprised and disappointed to know that i've already had mymouth washed out with soap, a coupla times, in fact, when i was a kid. mycaretaker, evelyn, was a believer in "soap cleans out the dirty words". andi was a believer in dirty words. i can clearly recall not only the taste ofthe soap in my mouth- but also the texture of the washrag as she rubbed itinto my tongue. i guess she didn't rub hard enough, huh? LOL ...


New HIV Drug Safe, Effective FDA Says
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 31, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Washington) A new HIV-fighting drug from Merck & Co. appears superior tooptions for patients who have stopped responding to available drugs, federalregulators said Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration said Merck's studies of Isentress show thedrug is safe and effective to treat HIV patients who have developed aresistance to other medications.

Roughly 1 million people in the U.S. are HIV positive, according to theCenters for Disease Control. FDA has cleared 30 different HIV treatmentssince 1987, and they are typically prescribed in combination to suppress thevirus, which cripples the immune system and causes death if not treated.

The agency posted its review of the drug to the FDA Web site ahead of aWednesday meeting, where outside experts are scheduled to vote on the drug'ssafety and effectiveness. FDA is not required to follow the experts'recommendations, though it usually does.

The agency granted the drug priority review status earlier this year,meaning staffers would finish the review in six months, four months earlierthan usual. A decision is expected mid-October.


Mother Jones

Gay By Choice? The Science of Sexual Identity
If science proves sexual orientation is more fluid than we've been led tobelieve, can homosexuality still be a protected right?
Gary Greenberg
August 27 , 2007

When he leaves his tidy apartment in an ocean-side city somewhere inAmerica, Aaron turns on the radio to a light rock station. "For the cat," heexplains, "so she won't get lonely." He's short and balding and dressedmostly in black, and right before I turn on the recorder, he asks me for thedozenth time to guarantee that I won't reveal his name or anything else thatmight identify him. "I don't want to be a target for gay activists," he saysas we head out into the misty day. "Harassment like that I just don't need."

Aaron sets a much brisker pace down the boardwalk than you would expect of adoughy 51-year-old, and once convinced I'll respect his anonymity, he turnsout to be voluble. Over the crash of the waves, he spares no details as hedescribes how much he hated the fact that he was gay, how the last thing inthe world he wanted to do was act on his desire to have sex with anotherman. "I'm going to be perfectly blatant about it," he says. "I'm not goingto have anal intercourse or give or receive any BJs either, okay?" Hemanaged to maintain his celibacy through college and into adulthood. Butwhen, in the late 1980s, he found himself so "insanely jealous" of hisroommate's girlfriend that he had to move out, he knew the time had come todo something. One of the few people who knew that Aaron was gay showed himan article in Newsweek about a group offering "reparativetherapy"-psychological treatment for people who want to become "ex-gay."

"It turns out that I didn't have the faintest idea what love was," he says.That's not all he didn't know. He also didn't know that his same-sexattraction, far from being inborn and inescapable, was a thirst for the lovethat he had not received from his father, a cold and distant man prone toangry outbursts, coupled with a fear of women kindled by his intrusive ndoverbearing mother, all of which added up to a man who wanted to have sexwith other men just so he could get some male attention.


Palm Beach Post

Teen gets probation for attacking transsexual
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 31, 2007

The teen who severely beat a preoperative transsexual on Palm Beach wassentenced to four and a half months of probation Thursday.

Palm Beach County Juvenile Court Judge Peter Blanc rejected recommendationsfrom prosecutors and the Department of Juvenile Justice, who said the teenwas likely to commit more crimes and should be locked in a high-securityresidential program.

The teen, then 17, was out with his best friend on Clematis Street in July2006 when they met the victim, a 39-year-old who has breast implants and haslived as a woman for more than a decade. They went to Palm Beach and wereabout to have sex when the 17-year-old said he discovered that she had amale organ.

He initially left with his friend, then went back and beat the victim. Awitness who was in the lifeguard tower at the public beach that nighttestified that he slammed the victim's head into the lifeguard stand so hardthat he could feel it shake.

She was covered in blood, lost teeth and was taken to the hospital.

Blanc said he didn't believe the teen's argument of self-defense and saidthere was no excusing the violent beating that got him the charge ofaggravated battery.

But he disagreed that the teen, now 18, is a threat to public safety, andwithheld adjudication on the case. The circumstances of the case were sounusual that he is unlikely to find himself in a similar situation again,Blanc said.


Gay City News

Is the Closet Okay for Gay-Friendly Pols?

The morality of schadenfreude aside, it's easy to rejoice in the outing ofUS Senator Larry Craig, an anti-gay crusader who this week was revealed tohave pleaded guilty to soliciting another man in a bathroom at theMinneapolis airport. History - and hopefully more in our community - willnow judge gay activist Mike Rogers more kindly for having been the first toreport on Senator Craig's being gay last year on his site

But the tougher dilemma is what do we do about closeted gay politicians goodon most of our issues, but who, for example, might still oppose marriageequality?

Does one have to be Larry Craig or the Reverend Ted Haggard to be judged ahypocrite and pass the litmus test of eligibility to be outed?Most pro-gay Democrats, including closeted gay Democrats themselves, play itsafe by endorsing legislation in Congress like the EmploymentNondiscrimination Act and the Matthew Shepherd Hate Crimes Act. They speakout against the Pentagon's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy and gladly endorsecivil unions. But they draw the line at marriage equality.

As a gay activist outside the United States, I am stunned that the Americangay activists give such politicians a pass. That includes closeted gaypoliticians who perpetuate the fraud that civil unions are equal tomarriage - how many more times must New Jersey prove that wrong? - as wellas straight politicians whom the American gay community refuses to out asanti-gay for their opposition to marriage for same-sex couples.



The Huffington Post

I'm Holier Than Thou, Larry Craig
Posted August 30, 2007 | 02:10 PM (EST)

I'll say it, I'm Holier Than Thou, Senator Craig. Most of us not behindbars, lying under oath to congress, or appearing on To Catch a Predator cansafely say that. And yet, few Republicans seem to want to go there. The "m"word they won't say is morality.

In John McCain's statement on Craig, Mr. Straight Talk said "but my opinionis that when you plead guilty to a crime, you shouldn't serve. That's not amoral stand. That's not a holier-than-thou. It's just a factual situation."

If being guilty of a crime isn't a moral issue, why should Craig quit?Slate's Bruce Reed found a similar sentiment to McCain's in an IdahoRepublican newspaper, writing: "the North Idaho Press, one of the mostRepublican newspapers in the state, called on Craig to resign in a scathingeditorial titled, 'Trust violated, there is no future, Senator.' The Presssaid it had reached that conclusion not as a moral judgment on theallegations against Craig ... '"

Over the years, the Republican Party wrapped itself up in so much fakeoutrage over Janet Jackson's boob or slapping Howard Stern with FCC finesthat they don't know the real thing when it shows up. McCain felt itnecessary to suck up public dollars over steroid hearings, celebrity showtrials with McCain starring as Mr. Clean, chief scold of baseball. NowMcCain argues for moral relativism?

You'd think this one is a moral no-brainer for the Moral Majority crowd. Acrowd which, I might add, loves to set its brains on hold when characterissues for Dems come up. Here is Senator Craig, who lied to his party andconstituents about the life the nation should lead versus the one he himselfleads.


New York

Ulster Co. School Principal To Undergo Gender Change

Parents of students at the Ulster County BOCES Career and Technical Centerleft school Tuesday with a new understanding of gender transition, but manysaid it will take time to get used to calling the school's principal, GarySuraci, Jenna from now on.

Suraci will undergo a gender change in the upcoming weeks while maintaininghis post as the school's principal.

Suraci ran for Congress last year and is a nationally recognized principal.Some fear he will now only be defined by his gender change.

"The biggest issue seemed to be whether the person should stay in a positionof authority in the school," parent Joe Acquisto said.

According to parents, on the first day of school, the principal will beknown as Jenna and will dress like a woman even before the surgery will takeplace.

"This is a process of matching up the outside of themselves with the insideof themselves," a gender expert said.

No one answered the door Tuesday at Suraci's home.

His biography on a political Web site said he has three children and threegrandchildren. It was not clear if he is married.


LGBT Students of Color! Speak Out!

GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) is looking for studentsto be part of a study about the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender (LGBT) students of color. You can help GLSEN inform educationpolicymakers and the public about what's really going on in our nation'sschools.

If you.
. attend a U.S. high school,
. are a person of color,
. are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and
. would like more information about participating.

please contact Elizabeth Diaz, Research Associate, at or212-727-0135 (extension 8051). All participants will be compensated fortheir time. Note: Permission from a parent or guardian is required toparticipate.


[al-fatiha-news] News:

Ugandan Rights Group Slams Gay Ban Law
From Voice of America
By Webb Malcolm
22 August 2007

A Ugandan organization that represents the rights of gays, lesbians andbisexuals says they are deprived of their rights by the country's law thatmakes homosexuality illegal. The comments follow an anti-gay protest in theUgandan capital Kampala on Tuesday, which drew more than 100 demonstrators.Malcolm Webb reports for VOA from Nairobi.

The rights organization, Sexual Minorities in Uganda (SMUG) says gays,lesbians and bisexuals in Uganda have suffered abuse, neglect and violence,and they want to be left alone.

SMUG representative Laurence Misedah said these people are not doinganything wrong.

"We are not harming anyone," he said. "We are requesting them to let uslive in peace. We are just trying to let them know that what we arerequiring is understanding, and for them to give us space so that we talk tothem, because most of them are talking out of ignorance."

Misedah was speaking in reaction to an anti-gay demonstration Tuesday by acoalition of Christian, Muslim and Bahai groups.


The Washington Post

A Sting He Didn't Deserve
By Aaron Belkin
Saturday, September 1, 2007; A25

If Sen. Larry Craig is guilty of a serious crime, you'd never know it fromlistening to the audiotape of his arrest or from reading his arrest record.

Craig entered a Minneapolis airport restroom and fidgeted with his fingerswhile standing outside an occupied stall, occasionally peering through thecrack between the door and the doorframe. After entering an adjacent stall,he sat, tapped his foot and touched the occupant's shoe with his own.Finally, Craig swiped his hand under the stall divider three times, at whichpoint the occupant revealed his police credentials.

Craig later denied that he had done anything wrong and insisted that he isnot now and never has been gay. Although homosexuality is not illegal, Craigthought that he could protect himself simply by claiming a heterosexualidentity.

The arresting officer, however, believed that Craig wanted to have sex withhim, and recognized the tapping of Craig's right foot "as a signal used bypersons wishing to engage in lewd conduct." Craig was arrested after onlysix minutes.

Craig's case apparently was handled according to the book. But the use ofeveryday gestures that fall short of sex to mete out punishment for sexualmisconduct illustrates a revealing departure from methods that investigatorsused to carry out sting operations nearly a century ago. Courts used torequire a lot more than the tapping of a toe to sustain a conviction for amorals crime.

In 1919 the Navy hired "decoys" to frequent the lobby of the YMCA inNewport, R.I. Orchestrated by officers at the local Naval Training Station,the cleanup campaign sought to eliminate gay men from the ranks. Followingan introduction, decoys would accompany their suspects to a hotel room andthen have sex. At least three dozen sailors and civilians were arrested, andmany ended up in jail.


The Washington Post

Peas in a Disingenuous Pod
By Colbert I. King
Saturday, September 1, 2007; A25

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig and Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick havemore in common than you might think. Hold those groans. How, you may ask,can these two men, separated by age, race, and ideological and socialcircumstances, be placed in the same camp?

Here goes:

Until they recently ran afoul of the law, both Craig and Vick were popularpublic figures with enthusiastic and loyal followers. Given a chance to comeclean with the public about their illegal activities, both men chose insteadto hunker down and not account for their actions. And, finally, disgracedand marginalized as Vick and Craig are at the moment, the worse days may beyet to come for both.

Of course, there are differences between the two men. Craig is a 27-yearmember of Congress, a father and grandfather, a rock-ribbed Westernconservative, and an outspoken advocate of traditional family values. Vickis a professional football player who was raised in an East Coast publichousing project and is unmarried. Their crimes are different, too.

Disorderly conduct, to which Craig pleaded guilty, is a misdemeanor. Thesenator's lawbreaking concerned allegedly soliciting gay sex in aMinneapolis airport men's room.

That's hardly the same as Vick's pleading guilty to a felony charge ofconspiracy "to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture," which in hiscase means breeding and training dogs to tear each other to pieces for theenjoyment of gambling spectators.

Another difference: What Craig was doing -- or seeking to do -- in thatairport restroom required the participation of another consenting adult.

Not so with Vick's operation. Dogs have no say in how they are used.

One other feature sets the two men apart: Vick doesn't pretend to havevirtues that he really doesn't possess. Craig, on the other hand, is araging hypocrite.


The Washington Post

For a Day, Gay Marriage Is Legal in Iowa
Associated Press
Saturday, September 1, 2007; Page A07

DES MOINES, Aug. 31 -- Two men sealed Iowa's first legal same-sex marriagewith a kiss Friday morning, less than 24 hours after a judge threw out thestate's ban.

A couple of hours later, though, Polk County Judge Robert Hanson stayed hisown ruling, pending an appeal by the county to the state Supreme Court.

Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan were among the lucky few to get theirapplication through.

The approval process for marriage licenses normally takes three businessdays, but Fritz and McQuillan took advantage of a loophole that allowscouples to skip the waiting period if they pay a $5 fee and get a judge tosign a waiver.

On Friday morning, the Rev. Mark Stringer declared the two legally marriedin a wedding on a Unitarian minister's front lawn in Des Moines.

"This is it. We're married. I love you," Fritz told McQuillan after theceremony.

Hanson ruled Thursday that Iowa's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, whichallowed marriage only between a man and a woman, violated the constitutionalrights of due process and equal protection of six gay couples who had sued.

State House Minority Leader Christopher Rants (R) said the rulingillustrates the need for a state constitutional amendment banning suchmarriages.

"I can't believe this is happening in Iowa," Rants said. "I guarantee youthere will be a vote on this issue come January," when the legislatureconvenes, he said.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Singapore Bans Speech by
LGBT Activist Rev. Troy Perry
For Immediate Release: August 31, 2007

Country of Singapore Bans Speech By Gay Activist Rev. Dr. Troy Perry,Founder of Metropolitan Community Churches

"There's a saying that when a door closes, God opensa window. That's also true of LGBT activists," saysPerry, who found creative ways to share the message of LGBTrights in Singapore.

Los Angeles -- During 40 years of LGBT activism,Rev. Dr. Troy D. Perry,founder of the predominantly gay Metropolitan Community Churches, has beenpicketed, taunted by Right Wing extremists, and arrested for civildisobedience. Perry knows what it is to be the target of hate mailcampaigns and the recipient of death threats. Occasionally, a church ororganization has canceled a speaking engagement by the outspoken gay rightsleader.

But recent actions by Singapore marked the first time an entire country hadbanned Perry from public speaking engagements.

Rev. Perry was part of a recent six-member delegation to Southeast Asiafrom Metropolitan Community Churches. The delegation, led by Rev. PatBumgardner, chair of the Moderator's Global Justice Team of MCC, wasscheduled to conduct speaking engagements, workshops, and worship servicesin Malaysia and Singapore, and to meet with LGBT rights groups.

"I've had enough experiences for three lifetimes," said Perry, "but this wasthe first time an entire country banned me from public speaking. I wasallowed to enter the country and told that I could speak one-on-one withindividuals, but I was banned from delivering my public speech." Perry wasscheduled to deliver a speech, "Metropolitan Community Churches and the GayChristian Witness" before a coalition of LGBT rights and LGBT pride groups.

Gay male homosexual sex is illegal in Singapore, though lesbian sex inprivate is not criminalized. Penalties for male homosexual acts, whileseldom enforced, are severe.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] Ireland: President's plea over persecution of gay people 31/08/2007 - 14:07:48
President Mary McAleese today called for a national change in attitudesto end the bullying of gay people.

Addressing world experts at the International Association of SuicidePrevention Conference in Killarney, the President said the link betweensexual identity and suicide had to be addressed.

And she warned gay people encounter a hurtful undercurrent of bias andhostility.

"Ireland is making considerable progress in developing a culture ofgenuine equality, recognition and acceptance of gay men and women," shesaid.

"But there is still an undercurrent of both bias and hostility whichyoung gay people must find deeply hurtful and inhibiting.

The President also said Ireland's alarming suicide rate of 500 a yearcould be reduced by decommissioning the culture of binge drinking andthe tolerance of alcohol and drug abuse.

But she said there appeared to be an attitude which encouraged bullyingof all sorts and the deeply hurtful abuse of gay people.

She said sexual identity is a discovery, not a decision.

"Homosexuality is a discovery, not a decision and for many it is adiscovery which is made against a backdrop where, within their immediatecircle of family and friends as well as the wider society, they havelong encountered anti-gay attitudes which will do little to help themdeal openly and healthily with their own sexuality," the President said.

Ireland's suicide toll is around 500 every year. Young men make up 40%these and elderly men comprise the second highest at risk group.


The New York Times

September 1, 2007
Kansas: Governor Signs Ban on Bias Based on Sexuality

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, signed an executive order prohibitingmost state employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.The order requires agencies under the governor's direct control to ensurethey have programs to prevent harassment against gay men, lesbians,bisexuals and people who have had surgery for sex changes. It covers 25,000of the 41,000 state employees.



The New York Times

September 1, 2007
Former NJ Governor's Wife Recalls Ordeal
Filed at 7:09 a.m. ET

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (AP) -- Perhaps no one knows better than Dina MatosMcGreevey how Suzanne Craig -- the wife of Idaho Sen. Larry Craig -- felt asher husband insisted he is not gay despite his guilty plea in a police sexsting.

Matos McGreevey once stood shellshocked next to her ex-husband, then-NewJersey Gov. James E. McGreevey, as he announced before TV cameras that hewas ''a gay American'' and would resign.

''I was watching his wife the other day standing next to him, and I thought,'Oh my gosh, that was me three years ago. Now here we go again,''' MatosMcGreevey said in an interview at her home Friday evening. ''She's a victimof the choices he's made.''

James McGreevey, the nation's first openly gay governor, later said hestepped down rather than succumb to a $50 million blackmail threat from amale former lover.

When it was Suzanne Craig's turn to stand stoically beside her husband thisweek, 40-year-old Matos McGreevey said she felt her pain. Matos McGreeveysaid she stood by her man in 2004 because she still loved him and she feltshe had done nothing wrong.


The New York Times

September 1, 2007
GOP: Craig Plans to Resign From Senate
Filed at 9:53 a.m. ET

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig's decision to quitspares his party the embarrassment of an indefinitely prolonged scandalfollowing his arrest during a sex sting in a Minneapolis airport bathroom.

Craig will announce his resignation, effective Sept. 30, at a newsconference in Boise Saturday morning, GOP officials in Idaho and Washingtontold The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Still, opting to wait a month before officially bowing out raises questionsof what Craig hopes to accomplish in Washington once the post-Labor Daysession begins.

Word of the resignation came four days after disclosure that Craig hadpleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge arising out of his June 11arrest during a lewd-conduct investigation at the Minneapolis-St. PaulInternational Airport.

Craig's regional director in Boise, Will Hart, declined to say if thesenator will appear in Senate chambers Tuesday. Craig, should he show up,could continue to be a liability for his party as it tries to shed negativepublicity, said Jasper LiCalzi, a professor of political economy atAlbertson College of Idaho in Caldwell.

''If he's trying to walk into the Senate chamber, everybody is going to befollowing him,'' LiCalzi said. ''I've been surprised by everything -- thisis one more.''


The New York Times

September 1, 2007
Idaho Governor Faces Speculation on Senate Seat

BOISE, Idaho, Aug. 31 - If Senator Larry E. Craig yields to calls for hisresignation amid allegations that he solicited sex in an airport bathroom,his successor would be chosen by a fellow Republican who once entered atight-jeans contest - and won.

Gov. C. L. Otter, known as Butch, was lieutenant governor when he won the"Mr. Tight Jeans" contest at the Rockin' Rodeo bar here in the state capitalin July 1992. A few days later he was arrested, and eventually convicted,for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Now, after having gone on to serve three terms in the House ofRepresentatives before being elected governor last year, Mr. Otter knowsbetter than most what voters in this deeply conservative state will toleratewhen it comes to the private behavior of public officials.

"As a public servant who has made mistakes in my private life, I am mindfulthat you don't really know who your friends are, until you stumble," he toldreporters here this week.

As late as this morning, aides to Mr. Otter, a conservative with anunpredictable libertarian streak, said no meetings had been held or plansmade for what to do if Mr. Craig resigns.


The New York Times

August 31, 2007, 6:16 pm

How Conservatives and Gays Can Get Along
By Chris Suellentrop
Tags: Gay Rights

Writing at the blog of the Independent Gay Forum, Jonathan Rauch (the authorof "Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good forAmerica") links to an op-ed by Steve Lonegan, the Republican mayor ofBogota, N.J., that was published August 19 in The Record.

Rauch excerpts part of Lonegan's op-ed:

Historically, gay Americans have struggled for the freedom to live theirlives the way they choose in order to pursue happiness. This is the AmericanDream, the cornerstone of conservative thinking, and it is these principlesthat make the increasingly influential gay community the conservativemovement's natural ally.

Rauch comments, "Sadly, it is just about impossible to imagine anynationally prominent Republican, gay or straight, make that statement ­asopposed to the kind of statement Sen. Larry Craig made ('I am not gay')."

Lonegan's op-ed was written in response to "the passing of a constituent,friend and fellow conservative who also happened to be gay." In it, heproposes a bargain to be struck among religious conservatives and gayAmericans: "Gays shouldn't expect government to foist acceptance of theirlifestyle on others; religious conservatives shouldn't expect gays toabandon an integral part of their being." Lonegan also writes:

Barry Goldwater once remarked that government cannot pass laws to "makepeople like each other." His words still ring true today. Labeling people"homophobes" or "bigots" if they refuse to accept the entire gay agendacreates political fractures that work against individual liberties and serveto keep gay voters in the Democratic Party's political ghetto.


The Washington Post

Hypocritical? Don't Ask.
By William Saletan
Sunday, September 2, 2007; B02

Poor Larry Craig. He's being held to the same standard of sexual conduct heimposed on the U.S. armed forces.

Fourteen years ago, in his first term as a Republican senator from Idaho,Craig helped enact the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The AirForce, for instance, now says any airman will be discharged if he "hasengaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in ahomosexual act."

According to the report filed by the police officer who arrested Craig atMinneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in June, Craig stood outside theofficer's bathroom stall for two minutes, repeatedly looked at the officer"through the crack in the door," sat in the stall next to the officer,tapped his foot and gradually "moved his right foot so that it touched theside of my left foot . . . within my stall area." Craig proceeded to "swipehis hand under the stall divider for a few seconds" three times, palm up,using the hand farthest from that side of Craig's stall. Most of thesegestures, the officer said, are known pickup signals.

I feel sorry for Craig, who pleaded guilty three months ago to a charge ofdisorderly conduct. I hate the idea of cops going into bathrooms and bustingpeople for coded gestures of interest. I'd rather live, let live and tellthe guy waving his hand under the stall to buzz off. But that's not thestandard Craig has applied to others. Any gay soldier, sailor, airman orMarine who admitted to doing what Craig has admitted would, at a minimum,lose his job for violating "don't ask, don't tell." In fact, many have beenkicked out for less.



The Washington Post

The Secularist's Corner
America's Gay Fixation

Last week's question in "On Faith," sponsored by The Washington Post andNewsweek,[],concerned the Evangelical Lutheran Church's decision to leave gay clergyalone if they are in chaste, committed relationships. This somewhat cautiousdecision by one Protestant denomination drew a huge and angry response, fromboth pro- and anti-gay panelists and bloggers.

Why do you think Americans care so much about an "issue" that ignites solittle controversy in Europe? Why are we alone in the developed world in ourintense distress about the fact that a minority of people are eroticallyattracted to members of their own their own sex rather than to the oppositesex?

Even as the Evangelical Lutherans were timidly saying that it was all rightfor a minister to be gay if he was in a monogamous long-term relationship,yet another gay-bashing right-wing Republican politician was caught in acompromising situation in a public restroom.

Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho was arrested in a sting operation in a bathroom atthe Minneapolis Airport, and he says he pled guilty to disorderly conduct,without the advice of an attorney, in order to make the case "go away." Thenhe held a press conference, with the obligatory stone-faced wife at hisside, saying that he was not gay and had never been gay-that he only entereda guilty plea to to keep the whole thing out of the media.

It made one queasy to hear Craig describes his "wide stance" in the bathroomas the explanation for his hands and feet having wandered under the barrierseparating him from the cop in the next stall.


[Send your comments about articles to]

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST September 1, 2007

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


The New York Times

September 1, 2007
Diplomatic Memo
As Her Star Wanes, Rice Tries to Reshape Legacy

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 - On May 25, Stanford University's student newspaper,The Stanford Daily, devoted the bulk of its front page to the university'sformer provost, who is on leave while she serves out her term as secretaryof state. "Condi Eyes Return," read the headline, "but in What Role?"

Within hours, the letters to the editor started coming in. "Condoleezza Riceserves an administration that has trashed the basic values of academia:reason, science, expertise, and honesty. Stanford should not welcome herback," wrote Don Ornstein, identified by the newspaper as an emeritusprofessor of mathematics in a letter published May 31.

Online comments on the newspaper's Web site were even harsher, a veritablestream of vitriol. One of the milder posts came from Jon Wu, who did notgive an affiliation: "Please go away, Rice. We don't want someone who isresponsible for the slaughter of an entire nation teaching at our school."

There was a time when, perhaps more than Hillary Rodham Clinton or BarackObama, Condoleezza Rice seemed to have the best shot at becoming the firstwoman or the first African-American to be president.


The New York Times

September 1, 2007
Virginia Senator Will Retire in 2008

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 - Senator John W. Warner, a five-term Republican fromVirginia and one of Congress's most influential voices on the war in Iraq,announced on Friday that he would not seek re-election in 2008.

His decision immediately put his seat up for grabs, drew the interest ofmajor figures in both parties and substantially increased the Democrats'chances of holding - if not expanding - their majority in the Senate.

Mr. Warner, 80, made his announcement in a nostalgic speech at theUniversity of Virginia, where he had attended law school. He thanked thevoters for his 30 years in the Senate, and said it was time to step aside in2008.

In a letter to constituents, Mr. Warner quoted another Virginian, ThomasJefferson: "There is a fullness of time when men should go, and not occupytoo long the ground to which others have the right to advance."

Colleagues and outside analysts hailed Mr. Warner as a skilled consensusbuilder in a sharply polarized era, and predicted he would continue to playa pivotal role in the debate over Iraq.


The Washington Post

Tony Snow Resigns as White House Spokesman
Deputy Perino to Take Job of Press Secretary
By Michael Abramowitz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 1, 2007; Page A02

White House press secretary Tony Snow announced his resignation yesterday,the latest in a series of departures that have reshaped the upper echelonsof the administration with the addition of more low-profile replacementswell versed in the ways of Washington.

Snow, who has been battling cancer, will be replaced by his deputy, DanaPerino, 35, a veteran press aide in the administration who is well liked bymany of the reporters covering the president but has little of herpredecessor's star power or on-camera experience.


The New York Times

September 1, 2007
Living in Fear for Helping America

Of all the Iraqis jaded by the failure of the United States' invasion, feware more fearful than the tens of thousands who worked loyally for theAmerican war effort but now find themselves hunted as traitors by militantgunmen.

The Bush administration only lately stepped up the effort to offer themspecial refugee status, but it turns out that very few are able to safelyapply. It's too dangerous to process them within Iraq, so these harrowedworkers must risk expensive trips to Jordan and Syria to apply at AmericanEmbassies. It is a classic Catch-22 that has many hiding in terror in theirhome neighborhoods.

The existing program should be open to the 69,000 Iraqis who work onPentagon contract jobs, from interpreters to cleaners to security guards.But only a few hundred have been able to run the gantlet to sign up. Theplight of the hounded Iraqis was graphically reported in The Times this weekby Sabrina Tavernise and David Rohde.

They found no comprehensive tally of those slain for working for the wareffort, but they tracked grisly chunks of the death toll - 280 murderedinterpreters at one Pentagon contractor; more than 120 Iraqis slain inBaghdad for working on local government and neighborhood efforts to realizethe American promise of democracy. Ali Saleh, an interpreter who saw eightcolleagues slain during his four years on an American job, quavered with hisfamily in Baghdad, terrified to leave the house, let alone Iraq. He fearedbeing fingered by guards at the borders to Jordan and Syria, where the tideof two million Iraqi refugees already on the road is overwhelming.


The New York Times

September 1, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
Anxious About Tomorrow

You know you've stepped into a different universe when you hear a majorAmerican labor leader saying matter-of-factly that employer-based healthinsurance and employer-based pensions are relics of a bygone industrialeconomy.

Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, whichhas 1.9 million members and is the fastest-growing union in the country, isnot your ordinary union leader. With Labor Day approaching, he wasreflecting on some of the challenges facing workers in a post-20th-centuryglobalized economy.

"I just don't think that as a country we've conceptualized that this is notour father's or our grandfather's economy," Mr. Stern said in an interview."We're going through profound change and we have no plan."

The feeling that seems to override all others for workers is anxiety.American families, already saddled with enormous debt, are trying to make itin an environment in which employment is becoming increasingly contingentand subject to worldwide competition. Health insurance, unaffordable formillions, is a huge problem. And guaranteed pensions are going the way oftypewriter ribbons and carbon paper.

"We're ending defined benefit pensions in front of our eyes," said Mr.Stern. "I'd say today's retirement plan for young workers is: 'I'm going towork until I die.' "


The Washington Post

Why We Stood Up to Florida
By Donna Brazile
Saturday, September 1, 2007; Page A25

Last Saturday, the Democratic National Committee's rules and bylawscommittee voted to enforce its rules. It was hardly an extraordinary act,although you wouldn't know it from the furious reaction that ensued in somequarters.

Why the uproar?

It's simple: state envy. Just look at what one governor said recentlyregarding her state moving its primary forward in 2008. "Holding an earlypresidential preference election attracts more presidential candidates,staff and media to Arizona," said Gov. Janet Napolitano, "increasingArizona's sales tax revenues and promoting Arizona's hotels, restaurants andbusinesses." At least she was honest.

As a member of the DNC's rules and bylaws committee, I understand why statessuch as Arizona, Michigan, Ohio and Wyoming, and even the District ofColumbia, crave the media attention and financial resources that holding anearly presidential contest draws. But the nominating system should not bedetermined by a state's economic development plan or a desire to havecandidates focus on parochial issues.


The Washington Post

William M. Arkin on National and Homeland Security
The Generals and the Candidates

Bill Gertz of the Washington Times reports today that three of the eightannounced 2008 Republican presidential candidates are considering retiredArmy Gen. Tommy Franks as their vice presidential pick. Retired Army Gen.Wesley Clark, a 2004 presidential candidate and hard-working DemocraticParty activist, has been suggested as a dream running mate for Sen. HillaryClinton. And Sen. Barack Obama has been hanging out with a Swahili-speakingretired Air Force two-star.

Of course, national security and Iraq are already central issues in the 2008campaign, and I suppose we want the best military minds involved in thedebate. But by declaring their partisan allegiances, and by jockeying for"civilian" appointments in the next government, these officers are obscuringthe difference between military and civilian responsibilities and betweenmilitary and political advice. This serves neither the military nor thepublic particularly well.

Franks and his former boss, former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld,are the dynamic duo of the failed Iraq after-war. Franks is now amotivational speaker and head of Franks & Associates, a consulting firm, andis a board member of Bank of America, Innovative Decon Solutions and OutbackSteakhouse, Inc.


[Send your comments about articles to]

FLORIDA DIGEST September 1, 2007

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


Broward Sheriff's deputy charged with rape, kidnapping
Incident occurred during transfer, warrant states
By Sofia Santana
September 1, 2007

A corrections deputy with the Broward Sheriff's Office who for the lastcouple of months had been under investigation after an inmate accused him ofrape was charged Friday with rape and kidnapping, according to county jailrecords.

Charles Edward Floyd, 37, was being held without bond at the Broward CountyJail late Friday on one count of kidnapping and two counts of sexualbattery.

The allegations against Floyd surfaced in June, according to law enforcementrecords.

A female inmate told detectives that Floyd forced her to have sex after hepicked up her and two other inmates from a satellite jail in Pompano Beachon June 13, the records state. Floyd was supposed to take the three inmatesto another jail but instead only dropped off two and took the third, hisaccuser, to a closed business in the 1800 block of North Powerline Road tohave sex, according to a search warrant filed in the case.

The woman said she told Floyd "no" at least twice and that he later told hernot to tell anyone and "this don't have to be a one-time-thing," the warrantstates.


City of Oakland Park
City Commission Meeting

Item 7 Transgender Ordinance

Wednesday, September 05, 2007 at 6:30 PM

For more information on this and other meetings, please call the CityClerk's office at 954-630-4300


Ft. Lauderdale

Wells Fargo Mortgage Program Benefits GLCC

Eric Gilbert (center), senior loan officer with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage inBoca Raton, presents a $600 check to GLCC Executive Director Paul Hyman(right) and GLCC Development Director Robert Boo on July 17. Wells Fargo,named by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as one of the nation's topcompanies in terms of LGBT outreach, donates $300 from every mortgagecompleted to the buyer's choice of nonprofit institutions, including theGLCC. Eric can be contacted at (561) 241-2166.

Contact for the full article.



South Florida

Plea deal deadline passes in investigation of Broward County sheriff
But lawyers say such talks often extended
By Paula McMahon
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
September 1, 2007

Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne, one of the county's most powerful officeholders,spent Friday dodging speculation he was about to resign, as a tentativedeadline drew near for him to decide if he can reach a plea agreement withfederal prosecutors investigating his private and public business dealings.

Jenne has been under investigation for more than two years. The U.S.Attorney's Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement have beeninvestigating allegations Jenne failed to report more than $100,000 inincome and other benefits from Sheriff's Office contractors, his secretariesand other local businessmen, according to sources familiar with the inquiry.

Both sides were aiming for a deadline of 5 p.m Friday for Jenne to decide,but it passed and no new deadline has been set, the sources said. Localveteran attorneys said such time limits often are extended.

Theresa Van Vliet, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice, saida deadline may not be mandatory but part of a fluid negotiating process.

For at least the past several weeks, Jenne's defense team, which includeslocal powerhouse attorneys Dave Bogenschutz and Tom Scott, has been tryingto resolve the case with a plea agreement. If they fail to agree on terms,prosecutors are expected to ask a federal grand jury to vote on whetherJenne should face charges, possibly fraud and income tax evasion, thesources said.

The grand jury has been hearing testimony in the case since February and isexpected to wrap up its work shortly if the case is not resolved.

Jenne has denied any wrongdoing.



Forwarded from Joe Van Eron
Gay Dania Beach.Com

Results of recent Sun-Sentinel news polls

These polls are not scientific. Poll results are not posted here if there isevidence of tampering that skewed results.



Aug. 29 Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle has been kicked off BrowardCounty's Tourist Development Council for making remarks that angered the gaycommunity. What do you think about his ouster?
Good move. (6095 responses) 51.4%
Bad move. (5767 responses) 48.6%
11862 total responses


July 18 Should Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle resign for making repeatedcomments that gay and lesbian residents have found offensive?
Yes. (7063 responses) 53.5%
No. (5950 responses) 45.1%
I'm not sure. (194 responses) 1.5%
13207 total responses


June 11 Fort Lauderdale city commissioners have decided to provide space ina Holiday Park building for the Stonewall Library, a gay and lesbian archivethat includes sexually explicit material. Your opinion?

I support the decision. (2739 responses)

I'm opposed to the decision. (5559 responses)

8298 total responses


July 6 Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle says the city should buy a $250,000robotic toilet for the beach because it has a timer that would prevent gaysfrom having sex there. Do you agree with the mayor?

Yes. (3130 responses)

No. (10045 responses)

13175 total responses



[Send your comments about articles to]

Friday, August 31, 2007

GLBT DIGEST August 31, 2007

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


Questions Surround Clinton Campaign Donations
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 30, 2007 - 1:00 pm ET

(Washington) Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton Thursday defended hercampaign's efforts to investigate the backgrounds of its fundraisers afterit was disclosed that one of her top money-raisers is wanted on a felonyfraud charge in California.

Clinton also sidestepped questions of whether she would return the money thefundraiser, Norman Hsu, brought in, saying the campaign would analyze thecontributions and "take action if that's warranted."

At a press conference with New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer to promote there-authorization of the State Children's Health Program, Clinton said sheand her campaign had been "surprised" by the news first reported in the LosAngeles Times that Hsu appeared to be a fugitive from justice in California.In 1991, Hsu pleaded no contest to a single felony count of grand theft butfailed to appear in court for sentencing.

"I wish Mr. Hsu well in dealing with the problems he's confronting," Clintonsaid. "When you have as many contributors as I'm fortunate enough to have,we do the very best job we can based on the information available to us tomake appropriate vetting decisions."

Her campaign announced Wednesday it was donating $23,000 Hsu had directlycontributed to her Senate and presidential campaigns and her politicalaction committee to charity.


Maine High Court OKs Same-Sex Couple Adoptions
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 30, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Portland, Maine) Maine's highest court, the Law Court, Thursday issued aruling allowing a lesbian couple to jointly adopt two siblings currently infoster care.

The unanimous ruling opens the door in Maine for other co-parent adoptionsby same-sex couples.

The case began in 2001 when children were removed from their home aftertheir biological parents were no longer able to care for them.

The children were placed with Ann Courtney, an attorney, and Marilyn Kirby,a counselor.

The children, identified in court documents only as M who is now 10 and who is six, had multiple emotional, learning, and developmental problems.


Tape Released Of Senator's Police Interrogation
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 30, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Washington) The officer who arrested Sen. Larry Craig in a policeundercover operation at an airport men's room accused the senator of lyingto him during an interrogation afterward, according to an audiotape of thearrest.

On the tape, released Thursday by the Minneapolis Airport Police, the IdahoRepublican senator, in turn, accuses the officer of soliciting him for sex.

"I'm not gay. I don't do these kinds of things," Craig told Sgt. DaveKarsnia minutes after the two men met in a men's room at the airport on June11.

"You shouldn't be out to entrap people," Craig told the officer. "I don'twant you to take me to jail."

Karsnia replied that Craig wouldn't be going to jail as long as hecooperated.


Israeli Same-Sex Couples May Be Denied Rights
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 30 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Jerusalem) Under pressure from religious parties in the Knesset, Israel'sJustice Minister has reportedly revised a draft law on inheritance law forcohabitating unmarried couples to specifically exclude gay and lesbiancouples.

Haaretz newspaper reports that Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann made thechange in the draft bill this week following a meeting with theultra-Orthodox Shas party.

The original draft was gender neutral and approved by the cabinet.

The bill now defines a couple as "a man and a woman who lead a family lifein a joint household," Haaretz reports.

Friedmann's revision ignores the recommendations of a government commissionthat recommended partners in same-sex relationships have the same rights toinheritance as married couples when one partner dies without a will.


Haggard Slapped By Church Overseers Over Cash Plea
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 30 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Denver, Colorado) Ted Haggard has been warned he has violated an agreementover his departure from the church he led after admitting he had an anaffair and purchased drugs from a male prostitute.

Last week Haggard sent an email to KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs saying hewould become a counselor at a faith-based halfway house in Phoenix and wouldneed money while he and his wife pursue degrees. (story)

"It looks as though it will take two years for us to have adequate earningpower again, so we are looking for people who will help us monthly for twoyears," the e-mail said. "During that time we will continue as full-timestudents, and then, when I graduate, we won't need outside support anylonger."

When news of the email became public the overseers of the New Life Churcharranged a meeting with Haggard on Wednesday.

New Life Church overseer Mike Ware in a statement following the meting inDenver said that Haggard was told "his plan and his communications about itwere unacceptable."


Iowa Gay Marriage Ban Overturned
by Newscenter Staff
Posted: August 30, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Des Moines, Iowa) A Des Moines judge late Thursday afternoon stuck down thestate's law that prevents same-sex couples from marrying.

Judge Robert B. Hanson ruled that the state's so-called Defense of MarriageAct violates the Iowa state constitution.

In his decision, Hanson said, "Couples, such as Plaintiffs, who areotherwise qualified to marry one another may not be denied licenses to marryor certificates of marriage or in any other way prevented from entering intoa civil marriage pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 595 by reason of the factthat both persons compromising such a couple are of the same sex."

The case began in December 2005 when six same-sex couples were deniedmarriage licenses.

The couples are represented by Lambda Legal and former Iowa SolicitorGeneral Dennis Johnson who is now in private practice.


Thompson To Announce Bid Sept. 6
by The Associated Press
Posted: August 31, 2007 - 6:30 am ET

(Des Moines, Iowa) Republican Fred Thompson will officially launch hispresidential bid Sept. 6 in a Webcast on his campaign site, followed by afive-day tour of early primary states.

"I believe that there are millions of Americans who know that our securityand prosperity are at risk if we don't address the challenges of our time;the global threat of terrorism; taxes and spending that will bankrupt futuregenerations, and a government that can't seem to get the most basicresponsibilities right for its citizens," the former Tennessee senator and"Law & Order" actor said in a statement Thursday that laid out themes of hiscampaign.

Thompson, 65, is vying to be seen as the most consistent mainstreamconservative in the race.

Aides disclosed details about how he will formally enter the race in aconference call with supporters.

Evening house parties will be held nationwide on Sept. 6. A tour of Iowa,New Hampshire and South Carolina will quickly follow the Internetannouncement on , with later stops in Florida, anda homecoming event in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., on Sept. 15.


Anti-gay pol's a usual suspect
By Margery Eagan
Boston Herald Columnist

Thursday, August 30, 2007 - Updated: 07:04 AM EST

Yesterday's hot rumor: Embattled bathroom Sen. Larry Craig will pen a book,"If I Did It."

Many are sure he did, just like the original "If I Did It" author, O.J.

My own doubts were erased watching a replay of Craig's 1999 "Meet thePress" interview. Craig, calling for Bill Clinton's ouster, repeatedlycalled the embattled bedroom president "a bad boy." Then "a naughty boy."Then, with a salacious glee, which in hindsight should have given us pause,Sen. Craig repeated those odd adjectives, winding up with Bill Clinton is,"probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy!"

OK, gentlemen, when was the last time you referred to another grown manas a "bad boy" - never mind - oh, my - a "naughty boy?"

"I am not gay," said the embattled bathroom senator Tuesday about hisstall shenanigans. But really, who believes such denials anymore?


Pastor's Daughter Speaks Out On Father's Offer To 'Help' Gays
POSTED: 10:50 pm EDT August 29, 2007
UPDATED: 9:55 am EDT August 30, 2007

MILLVILLE, N.J. -- NBC 10 first told you Tuesday about the sign outside theCumberland County Community Church sparking controversy in Millville.

"I do not believe that people are born gay," Pastor Salvatore Roggio said,speaking in front of the sign advertising "Help for the Homosexual" at thisweekend's sermon.

Wednesday night, the controversy was hitting home for the church's pastor,NBC 10's Ted Greenberg reported.

The pastor's daughter said that she is a lesbian and just couldn't staysilent.

"It is with great sadness that I learned of the public statements my fatherhas made against my community," said Sharon Roggio.


Parent Doesn't Want Children to Learn of Teacher's Sex Change

A teacher at a Durham private school underwent a sex change over the summer,sparking a debate among school administrators and at least one parent overhow to approach the issue in class.

Leslie Webster has taught music at Duke School for Children for 12 years asa woman but started the new school year Wednesday as a man.

The parents of all 460 students at the private elementary and middle school,which isn't affiliated with Duke University, received a letter this weeknotifying them of Webster's sex change and outlining plans to informstudents on Sept. 4.

School headmaster Dave Michelman said in the letter that "children will betold that Leslie was born a female but felt like a male" and became a manwith doctors' help.

But Jim Gossett, whose 9-year-old daughter is in the fourth grade at DukeSchool, said the issue isn't appropriate to bring up in class.


August 31, 2007
Analysis: Democrats hit jackpot as GOP reels from scandals

When it comes to scandal, Democrats could be forgiven for thinking they hitthe political jackpot this summer. At Republicans' expense.

First came the disclosure that Louisiana U.S. senator David Vitter'stelephone number was listed in the records of an escort service.

Then Sen. Ted Stevens's home in Alaska was raided by federal agents as partof a corruption investigation.

Now Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho is recanting a guilty plea that grew out of apolice undercover operation in an airport men's room, adding ''I am notgay'' for emphasis.

''This is a serious matter,'' said the Senate Republican leadership, anunderstatement for the ages.


August 31, 2007
Romney criticizes Craig's conduct

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Thursday that Larry Craig'sconduct was ''disappointing and disgraceful,'' but he stopped short ofcalling for the Idaho Republican to resign from the Senate. SeveralRepublican lawmakers, including Romney's presidential rival John McCain,have said the three-term senator should step down.

The 62-year-old Craig pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge stemmingfrom an undercover police operation last June in a Minneapolis airportbathroom. Craig said Tuesday he had committed no wrongdoing and shouldn'thave pleaded guilty. He also said he was not gay.

Campaigning in South Carolina, Romney was asked by a voter why Republicanswere distancing themselves from Craig.

''I think it's appropriate when there's been conduct that we think isdisappointing and disgraceful to indicate that. I don't think there's aresponsibility to try to gild the lily in a setting like this,'' said theformer Massachusetts governor. ''I think individuals across the countryexpect us to have the same expression that they feel, which isdisappointment.''

Later, Romney said he would not tell Craig what to do. ''I expressed my viewthat his conduct was disappointing, disgraceful, and at this stage, he has adecision of his own to make about his future. I'm not going to insert myselfbetween him and his conscience,'' Romney said during a stop in NorthCharleston.


August 31, 2007
Maine lesbian couple allowed to adopt children

A Maine lesbian couple will be able to adopt sibling foster children, thestate's highest court ruled Thursday. The decision overturns a lower courtruling that barred Ann Courtney and Marilyn Kirby of Portland from adoptinga 10-year-old girl and her 6-year-old brother, the Associated Press reports.

The couple became foster parents for the children in 2001 and then filedpetitions to adopt with the Cumberland County probate court, which rejectedthem.

Supreme judicial court judges cited the fact that state law does not forbidtwo unmarried people from adopting children in overturning the lower courtruling. (The Advocate)


August 31, 2007
Craig finding himself alone in GOP amid scandal

Idaho U.S. senator Larry Craig is finding himself increasingly isolated fromhis political allies as more Republicans call for him to resign over hisarrest in an airport men's room.

A spokesman for Craig, Sidney Smith, denied widespread speculation inWashington, D.C., that the three-term senator-up for reelection nextyear-was preparing to quit. Smith said Wednesday he had heard no suchdiscussion.

Republican Senate leaders pushed Craig from senior committee positions. AWhite House spokesman expressed disappointment in the 62-year-old lawmaker,who pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge stemming from anundercover police operation in June in a Minneapolis airport bathroom.

Others in the GOP were more harsh. ''Senator Craig pled guilty to a crimeinvolving conduct unbecoming a senator,'' said Sen. Norm Coleman ofMinnesota. ''He should resign.''

Coleman, who faces a tough race for reelection next year, also turned overto charity a $2,500 campaign donation he received two months ago fromCraig's political action committee.


August 31, 2007
Anglican tensions continue as two U.S. bishops are consecrated in Kenya

Two American priests were consecrated Thursday as Anglican bishops inNairobi, Kenya-the latest in a string of conservative priests who aredefecting to African churches in a dispute over gay clergy.

Bill Atwood of Texas and William Murdoch of Massachusetts left the EpiscopalChurch-the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion-because it allowsthe ordination of gay priests.

''The gospel...must take precedence over culture,'' said Archbishop DrexelGomez of the West Indies, one of 10 Anglican leaders or representatives whoattended the ceremony in Nairobi's All Saints Cathedral. ''Homosexualpractice violates the order of life given by God in Holy Scripture.''

The spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury RowanWilliams, has asked African archbishops not to consecrate U.S. priests tohelp avoid a schism. Kenyan archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi said there had beenno direct communication with Williams over Thursday's ceremony.

Williams has no direct authority to force a compromise, because eachAnglican province is self-governing.


August 31, 2007
Iowa judge rules against same-sex marriage ban

Gay and lesbian couples in Iowa should have the right to marry despite astatute banning same-sex marriage, a district court judge ruled Thursday.Judge Robert Hanson said a 1998 statute defining marriage as a union betweena man and a woman violates the equal protection and due process clauses ofIowa's constitution.

"Couples, such as plaintiffs, who are otherwise qualified to marry oneanother may not be denied licenses to marry or certificates of marriage orin any other way prevented from entering into a civil reason ofthe fact that both persons comprising such a couple are of the same sex," hewrote in a 63-page decision.

Camilla Taylor and Kenneth Upton Jr., senior staff attorneys with LambdaLegal, argued for the plaintiffs alongside Dennis Johnson, a Des Moinesattorney.

"I think it shows that every state in the country can offer fair treatment,"Taylor told The Advocate Thursday. "Even in the heartland-especially in theheartland."

The ruling stems from Varnum vs. Brien, filed in December 2005 by sixlong-term couples-some with children-who were denied marriage licenses byPolk County recorder Timothy Brien. The couples sought the status ofmarriage to protect their families. According to Lambda Legal, which isrepresenting the couples, the words "husband," "wife," "spouse," or someform of the words "marriage" or "marry" appear in more than 540 sections ofthe state's laws, which exclude same-sex couples from many of the samerights as heterosexual couples.


Fighting the Anti-Gay Amendment

Florida - Fairness for All Families
July/August 2007 Campaign Update

The Fairness for All Families campaign is continuing to build momentum.Thanks for being part of our growing statewide team. We can defeat thismeanspirited amendment but it will take a diverse team of volunteers anddonors from every corner of the state. This is your campaign and this is ourmoment to stop a measure that will hurt real people, embed discriminationinto our state's Constitution and make it harder for people to take care ofloved ones by taking away essential benefits.
Help spread the word. Make a contribution today and volunteer in yourcommunity. With your help we will win.

Campaign Highlights

Student Organizing
We have a strong and growing network of student activists on 16 universityand college campuses statewide and our online student network has grown toalmost 6,000 in less than a month. Fairness is now identifying "CampusCoordinators" to build campus campaigns around the amendment. "CampusCoordinators" will galvanize students around this issue and use the nextyear to build grassroots infrastructure both on campus and in the communityto fuel campaign phone banks, canvasses, and other grassroots activities.
-----If you would like to help with Student Organizing, send an email

Faith Organizing
The Fairness Coalition has built strong inroads into the faith community. Weare working closely with MCC statewide the Florida Unitarian Universalistcommunity and our recent focus has shifted to bringing clergy together toengage the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC). FloridaUCC is a mainstream Christian denomination that has the potential to take astand on this amendment and help galvanize leaders from many other religiousdenominations.
-----If you would like to help with Faith Organizing, send send an email

The Fairness Coalition has initiated a major donor program and we areplanning 16 receptions in cities across the state during August andSeptember. We have begun building Fairness for All Families FinanceCommittees in each of these 16 cities that are comprised of volunteerleadership from a broad range of organizations and individuals invested inseeing this dangerous amendment defeated.


Wall Street Journal

Craig Scandal Pains Social Conservatives
August 30, 2007; Page A4

WASHINGTON -- The scandal over Sen. Larry Craig's airport arrest is rapidlyworsening for Republicans -- in particular for already dissatisfied socialconservatives.

Prominent Republicans distanced themselves yesterday from Mr. Craig, anIdaho Republican who pleaded guilty early this month to disorderly conductafter an encounter with an undercover police officer in an airport restroom.Senate Republican leaders removed Mr. Craig from top posts on the VeteransAffairs Committee and two subcommittees pending an ethics investigation. Atthe same time, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizonaand Sen. Norm Coleman (R., Minn.), who are seeking the support of socialconservatives as they head toward the 2008 elections, called on Mr. Craig toresign from the Senate. Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R., Mich.) also called for hisresignation.

The rapid erosion of support for Mr. Craig came after a Tuesday newsconference in which he attempted to apologize to voters and clear his name,declaring he isn't gay and should have hired an attorney rather thanentering a guilty plea. Mr. Craig didn't address details of the airportencounter.

Bryan Fischer, head of the social-conservative Idaho Values Alliance, saidMr. Craig's public statement was "unconvincing and unpersuasive," and calledon him to resign.


The New York Times

Audio Link - Police Interview With Larry Craig


The New York Times

August 31, 2007
Tape Shows a Senator Protesting After Arrest

BOISE, Idaho, Aug. 30 - In the moments after Senator Larry E. Craig wasarrested in an airport men's room, he accused an undercover police sergeantof entrapping him, emphasized that he did not want to go to court or to jailand frequently said, "I don't recall," when asked about his reported sexualadvances to the officer.

The tense exchanges between Mr. Craig, Republican of Idaho, and the sergeantwere captured on a nine-minute audiotape made public on Thursday under theMinnesota public records law.

The officer, Sgt. Dave Karsnia of the Minneapolis-St. Paul InternationalAirport Police, read Mr. Craig his legal rights and tried to press him toconfess to soliciting sex, calling Mr. Craig's continued denialsdisrespectful and disappointing.

"Well, you're not being truthful with me," the sergeant said. "I'm kindadisappointed in you, Mr. Senator. I'm real disappointed in you right now."


The New York Times

August 31, 2007
Disowning Senator Craig

The Republican Party is in quite a rush to keelhaul Senator Larry Craig forhis run-in with the vice squad in an airport men's room. Disclosure of thesenator's guilty plea to disorderly conduct set off a frenzy to demand aninvestigation by the Senate's somnolent Ethics Committee and to strip Mr.Craig of his committee seniority. Some of the senator's peers simplydemanded that he resign.

No similar leadership chorus for judgment has been heard about any number ofother scandalous revelations on the party's plate.

There's the F.B.I.'s inquiry into whether Senator Ted Stevens swung aquid-pro-quo deal for a government contractor who eventually renovated hisAlaska home. There's also Senator David Vitter's presence on the client listof a Washington brothel. Mr. Vitter, a social conservative, pleaded guiltyto "sin" (heterosexual) and no leadership call ensued for a thoroughin-house ethics inquiry. Certainly, no Republican called for the resignationof Mr. Vitter, who comes from Louisiana, which has a Democratic governor whowould then replace him. Mr. Craig is from a safe state with a Republicangovernor.

Mr. Craig's explanation of his behavior may make little sense to the averagevoter trying to fathom how he was taken in by a police sting against lewdpublic behavior. The senator quietly copped a disorderly conduct plea aftertaking two months to consider his arrest and his options. Once it hit themedia, he claimed his judgment was clouded but his heterosexualityunblemished.

Being stupid as a member of Congress is hardly a reason to be ridden on arail from Washington. But Republican presidential campaigners are urging Mr.Craig to resign fast as a swift boat. One senator offered the ultimaterebuff between political pros by returning Mr. Craig's campaign donation.

Underlying the hurry to disown the senator, of course, is the party's brutalagenda of trumpeting the gay-marriage issue. To the extent Senator Craig, astalwart in the family values caucus, might morph into a blatant hypocritebefore the voters' eyes, he reflects on the party's record in demonizinghomosexuality. The rush to cast him out betrays the party's intolerance,which is on display for the public in all of its ugliness. But it alsobetrays their political uneasiness as the next election approaches.


The New York Times

August 30, 2007
Political Wives and Scandalized Husbands
Filed at 7:36 p.m. ET

She didn't say a word and she wore big sunglasses, but Suzanne Craig wasstanding by her man -- conservative Republican Sen. Larry Craig, who at thatmoment was denying he had propositioned a man in the stall of an airportbathroom.

She had walked hand-in-hand with her husband of 24 years to a newsconference in front of a Boise, Idaho, bank. She placed her hand on thesmall of his back as he maintained he'd nothing wrong, that he wasn't gayand that he'd mistakenly pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in thebathroom case.

Why do the wives of politicians willingly step into the frame of publichumiliation that only a sex scandal can bring?

Hillary Clinton did, though her appearance seemed more icy defiance thanunconditional support. So did Dina McGreevey -- initially, anyway. Latercame a tirade of name-calling between herself and her husband, JamesMcGreevey, who announced in 2004 on live television that he was steppingdown as governor of New Jersey and that he was a ''gay American.'' His wifestood next to him, looking shellshocked.

Even Wendy Vitter, after earlier saying she'd remove her husband's manhoodshould he ever stray, nonetheless stuck by husband David Vitter, aRepublican senator from Louisiana who recently admitted to using an escortservice.


The Washington Post

Police Release Audio Of Senator's Arrest
Craig, Officer Argue Over Details of Incident
By Paul Kane Staff Writer
Friday, August 31, 2007; A03

Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho) denied to police that he was soliciting sex inan airport restroom but told the undercover officer who arrested him that "Idon't want to be in court" to fight the charges, according to a policeinterview with Craig released yesterday.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Police distributed the audio andtranscript of the eight-minute interview, which was conducted immediatelyafter Craig's arrest on June 11. In the session, Craig disputed theofficer's account of the encounter, and both grew combative.

"I'm a respectable person, and I don't do these kinds of . . .," Craig said,prompting police Sgt. Dave Karsnia to cut him off near the end of theinterview. The officer called the senator's recollection of the events"unbelievable" and said that Craig was "embarrassing" himself with hisdenials.

Because of politicians like him, Karsnia told Craig, "we're going down thetubes."

Support for Craig in Idaho and on Capitol Hill has been sinking since newsof his arrest and guilty plea to a disorderly-conduct charge became publicon Monday. Several colleagues have called for his resignation, and SenateRepublican leaders, who demanded an inquiry by the ethics committee,stripped him of his senior positions on committees that are key to hispolitical survival.



Iowa Court OK's Marriage for Same Sex Couples

'This decision brings to life the Iowa Constitution's promise ofequality for same-sex couples and their families in Iowa.'

(Des Moines, IA, August 30, 2007) ---- A 63 page decision issued todayby the Iowa District Court for Polk County said that same-sex couplesmust be allowed to marry based on the Iowa Constitution's guarantee ofequal treatment under the law. The case was filed by Lambda Legal onbehalf of six same-sex couples and their families in Iowa.

"This decision brings to life the Iowa Constitution's promise ofequality for same-sex couples and their families in Iowa," saidCamilla Taylor, Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's MidwestRegional Office in Chicago.

"This is a significant step forward in recognizing the constitutionalrights of all Iowans, and it's an amazing day for same-sex couples andtheir families all across Iowa," said Dennis Johnson of Dorsey andWhitney, co-counsel for the Plaintiffs with Lambda Legal. In hisdecision, Judge Robert B. Hanson said, "Couples, such as Plaintiffs,who are otherwise qualified to marry one another may not be deniedlicenses to marry or certificates of marriage or in any other wayprevented from entering into a civil marriage pursuant to Iowa CodeChapter 595 by reason of the fact that both persons compromising sucha couple are of the same sex."

In December 2005, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit with the Polk CountyCourt on behalf of six same-sex couples who were denied marriagelicenses in Iowa, arguing that denying marriage to same-sex couplesviolates the equal protection and due process guarantees in the IowaConstitution, and prevents these couples from taking care of eachother and their children. Today's decision comes after a hearing inMay of this year where both sides made arguments before the court.

The plaintiffs in this case include: Kate, 34, and Trish Varnum, 42,of Cedar Rapids, who have been in a committed relationship for nearlyseven years. In addition to the Varnums are David Twombley, 66, andLarry Hoch, 65, of Urbandale, both retired teachers who have been in acommitted relationship for over six years; Dawn and Jen BarbouRoske,39 and 37 respectively, of Iowa City, who have been together for morethan 17 years and their two children, McKinley, 9, and Breeanna, 5;Ingrid Olson, 29, and Reva Evans, 33, of Council Bluffs, who have beentogether for nearly 10 years and their son, Jamison, 1; Jason Morgan,37, and Chuck Swaggerty, 35, of Sioux City, who have been together for10 years; and Bill Musser, 49, and Otter Dreaming, 50, of Decorah, whohave been together for over six years.

Camilla Taylor and Kenneth Upton Jr., Senior Staff Attorneys at LambdaLegal are handling the case. They are joined by former Iowa SolicitorGeneral Dennis Johnson of Dorsey and Whitney in Des Moines.

The case is Varnum v. Brien.


Euro-Parliament takes up the case of Iranian lesbian facing deportation
30th August 18.29 / Gemma Pritchard

European Parliament President Hans Gert Pöettering has said he will write aletter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown regarding the fate of PegahEmambakhsh, the Iranian lesbian woman who risks expulsion from Great Britainto Iran.

His actions follow proposals by Italian MEP Giusto Catania (PRC),representing the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) Group inthe European Parliament during today's Conference of Presidents, and GrahamWatson, President of the Parliament's Liberal Group.

Pegah Emambakhsh, 40, who fled to Britain from Iran in 2005 after herpartner was arrested and tortured, is due to be expelled this week after herbid for residency was rejected, according to a British advocacy group.

If deported, Ms Emambakhsh risks physical violence and torture and apossible death sentence.

MEP Giusto Catania said in a statement:

"Pöettering has the task of explaining to Gordon Brown that Pegah'sexpulsion to Iran would constitute a serious violation of human rights andinternational conventions and bring shame not only on a country like GreatBritain but also on the European Union as a whole.

"I suggested to the President that he indicate Italy's willingness towelcome Pegah, who is not guilty of any crime.

"We strongly support Pegah and I am sure that all European parliamentarianswill continue to follow her case very closely."

The European Parliament Presidency has committed to sending the letterwithout delay.

Meanwhile, gay rights proponents and left-wing politicians rallied for hercause in a protest on Monday outside the British embassy in Italy.


National Gay News

Aug 30, 2007 8:30 am US/Eastern
NAACP Call Mayor's Remarks Against Gay Hateful

(CBS4) FT. LAUDERDALE Add the NAACP to the list of groups who have come outagainst Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle for his anti-gay remarks.

Local leaders with the civil rights organization said Wednesday the mayor'scomments against the city's gay community are a form of hate anddiscrimination.

Tuesday, Naugle was removed from the Broward Tourism Development Council forhis controversial remarks against the gay community which began overdiscussions of sex in public bathrooms across South Florida.

In recent weeks, the mayor also took a stand against housing the gayStonewall Library in a city building because he said it containedpornography, and questioned if the city and county should continue theirmarketing to gays and lesbians because of the increasing rate of HIVinfections in South Florida.

Broward County tourism officials estimate gay visitors account for about abillion dollars a year in tourist revenue.


Maine Today

Lesbian couple victorious in court

E-mail this page Reader Comments (below) By Trevor Maxwell Portland Press
Herald Staff Writer August 30, 2007 01:31 PM

PORTLAND - The Maine Supreme Judicial Court today ruled in favor of twoPortland women who have fought for the past six years to adopt two siblings,now aged 10 and 6.

Supreme court justices unanimously struck down a previous ruling by theCumberland County Probate Court, which did not allow Ann Courtney andMarilyn Kirby to jointly adopt the children.

The decision sends the case back to the Probate Court, with a detailedopinion from the justices that opens the door for the joint adoption.

The decision was hailed as a victory for same-sex couples seeking adoptionand other rights, according to the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders. Anattorney with that group, Mary Bonauto, handled the appeal.

Joint adoption by same-sex couples is legal in 12 states, includingConnecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts.

"We're ecstatic," Ann Courtney said in a written statement. "We love thesekids, and their well-being means everything to us. Our daughter and son cannow know that we are a family, and we'll always be a family."


National Gay News

Gay Insurance Exemption Scrapped
Thursday, 30 August 2007 10:45

Insurers are set to scrap an exemption that allows them to treat gay couplesdifferently to heterosexual ones, a trade body has said.

The Association of British Insurers said insurers were currently able totake into account the fact that someone was in a civil partnership whenassessing premiums for life insurance and other protection products.



Nigeria's anti-gay witch-hunt - Update

Nigeria claims to be a democracy but its persecution of gay people ispure tyranny
By Peter Tatchell
London - The Guardian - Comment is Free - 29 August 2007

The arrest on 5 August of 18 men at a private party in the northernstate of Bauchi is the latest incident in a wave of on-goinghomophobic persecution in Nigeria - much of which is incited byChristian bishops and Muslim imams.

Bauchi is a predominantly Muslim region which has adopted Sharia(Islamic) law. Police officers acted on a tip-off from the HisbahIslamic anti-vice squad of the Bauchi Sharia Commission. They seizedthe men, aged 18 to 22, in rooms at the Benko Hotel in Bauchi.

Those arrested were alleged to have "dressed in women's clothing" andconducted a "gay wedding." The latter allegation continues to berepeated by Sharia officials and the Nigerian media, despite noevidence of wedding paraphernalia such as marriage certificates or thepresence of any minister of religion or marriage registrar.

The men were initially accused of vagrancy, cross-dressing andpracticing sodomy as a profession, contrary to Section 372, Subsection2(e), of the Bauchi State Sharia (Islamic) Penal Code. A sodomy chargecarries a sentence of death.

Fortunately, at their hearing on 21 August in the Tunda Al Khali Areacourt, Judge Malam Tanimu Abubakar ruled that the 18 men should not becharged with sodomy - only with vagrancy and cross-dressing.Nevertheless, even if they are found guilty of these lesser charges,they could face up to one year in prison and 30 lashes.


The Government of the United Kingdom condemns Pegah

The pressures of all the world are not enough for the United Kingdom, theIranian lesbian will be deported if she will not succeed to proof herhomosexuality. As everybody know, any Iranian woman can not speak abouthomosexuality and least of all to officially testify that Pegah is lesbian,because she wouldbe immediately condemned to the lapidation.

This unexpected decision of the English government transforms Pegah in avictim of the prejudgment, like the Jewish women during the Holocaust. Itis not possible to proof homosexuality for any human being, if not throughthe most serious violations of the dignity and the human rights. A newHolocaust is begun for those who will ask to the United Kingdom asylum aspersecuted.

We have tried to obtain testimonies of Iranian women who know Pegah ashomosexual, but is not a practicable way because those women would risktheir life.

The EveryOne Group asks the immediate, civil mobilization of all the personswhom, in the United Kingdom, still believe to the respect of the HumanRights and asks a clear position of the High Commissioner for the forRefugees of the United Nations (UNHC).

For EveryOne Group, Roberto Malini and Matteo Pegoraro


The Washington Post

So, What Made Me an Addict?
Experts Debate Whether Disease or Defect Is to Blame
By Maia Szalavitz
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, August 28, 2007; HE01

Many people think they know what addiction is, but despite non-experts'willingness to opine on its treatment and whether Britney or Lindsay's rehabwas tough enough, the term is still a battleground. Is addiction a disease?A moral weakness? A disorder caused by drug or alcohol use, or a compulsivebehavior that can also occur in relation to sex, food and maybe even videogames?

As a former cocaine and heroin addict, these questions have long fascinatedme. I want to know why, in three years, I went from being an Ivy Leaguestudent to a daily IV drug user who weighed 80 pounds. I want to know why Igot hooked, when many of my fellow drug users did not.

A bill was introduced in Congress this spring to change the name of theNational Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to the National Institute onDiseases of Addiction, and the National Institute on Alcoholism and AlcoholAbuse (NIAAA) to the National Institute on Alcohol Disorders and Health. Ina press release introducing the legislation, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr.(D-Del.) said, "By changing the way we talk about addiction, we change theway people think about addiction, both of which are critical steps ingetting past the social stigma too often associated with the disease."


[Send your comments about articles to]