Friday, December 21, 2007

GLBT DIGEST December 21, 2007

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

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International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)

"Equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Europe"

http://www.ilga-europe.org/

MEPs call for withdrawing public funds from extremist political groups

Source: Media release by the European Parliament, 13 December 2007

The European Parliament called today in Strasburg for public funding to bewithdrawn from political parties - or media businesses - that incite to hateof a group of people on the basis of their race, religion, handicap, sexualorientation or nationality. They also stressed that such speeches comingfrom public personalities should be considered an aggravating circumstance.

The European parliament adopted today a resolution to show its concern onthe fact that several European countries have experienced recently hatredviolent events and killings. The text, adopted by 527 votes in favour, 15against and 39 abstentions, calls for public funding to be withdrawn from"political parties that do not condemn violence and terrorism and don'tabide with human rights as set out in the Charter for FundamentalRights" -formally signed yesterday in plenary by the three EU institutions-,and to the media who promote racist, xenophobic and homophobic ideas. TheChamber also said to be "seriously alarmed at the Islamic fundamentalistrecruitment" in Europe.

Members stressed that public personalities should "refrain from statementsthat encourage or incite to hate or stigmatisation of groups of people onthe basis of their race, ethnic origin, religion, handicap, sexualorientation or nationality" and believed that being a public personalityshould be considered as an aggravating circumstance when inciting to hatred.Furthermore, on an amendment adopted by 450 votes in favour, 93 against and30 abstentions, MEPs warn, looking to the 2009 European elections, "of thepossibility that extremist parties may secure representation in the EuropeanParliament and calls on the political groups to take the appropriatemeasures in order to ensure that a democratic institution is not used as aplatform for financing and echoing anti-democratic messages".

The resolution calls on the EU institutions to give a clear mandate to theEU Agency for Fundamental Rights to investigate on the structures ofextremist groups, and for governments to give appropriate preventiveresponses," regarding young's people education and public information,teaching against totalitarianism" and keeping alive the memory of Europeanhistory.

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GayCityNews.com

http://gaycitynews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19133423&BRD=2729&PAG=461&dept_id=568864&rfi=6

HOMO WITCH-HUNT IN MOROCCO

by Doug Ireland
Gay City News, 12/20/2007

Amid media hysteria and large and riotous anti-gay demonstrations inMorocco, six men whom prosecutors claimed participated in a "gay marriage"have been convicted of violating that country's law against homosexualconduct and sent to prison.

The drama, which attracted huge national media coverage-- in large measureof an hysterically anti-gay character -- took place last month in Ksar ElK├ębir, a largely impoverished city of more than 100,000 halfway betweenTangier and the nation's capital of Rabat, and which is dominatedpolitically by the principal Islamist party, the Party of Justice andDevelopment, popular among Morocco's economically deprived majority.

According to the feisty Moroccan French-language weekly magazine Tel Quel,noted for its progressive views, "All began when F., a local celebrity knownfor his sales of alcohol, organized a private party on November 19 in ahouse in the Hay Diwan neighborhood, habitually reserved for celebrations ofmarriage...F. 'has the reputation of a libertine whose comings and goingsare spied on by the local population,' a local source told us, 'and hisparty did not go unnoticed.'

"The party had a special aspect: it resembled a ritual ceremony, with gnaouaentertainment and a man disguised as a woman on the dance floor," wrote TelQuel. (The gnaouas are a Moroccan Sufi brotherhood, descendants of blackslaves who mingle music and dance in a way that leads to a trance-likestate. They fascinated gay writers like Paul Bowles, Brian Gysin, andWilliam Burroughs as well as the Rolling Stones, who in the 1970sincorporated several gnaoua songs they considered "music to get high by"into their recordings.)

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REUTERS

Iran hangs three men and a woman for murder, rape

Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:21pm IST

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran has hanged three men and a woman, anewspaper reported on Thursday, in the latest of a series of executions thathave drawn criticism from rights groups and European states.

Two of the men and the woman had been convicted of murder, while the thirdman was executed for rape.

Murder, rape, adultery, and drug trafficking are among crimes punishable bydeath under Iran's Islamic sharia law, imposed since the 1979 revolution.

"The four convicted people, including a woman, were hanged on Wednesdaymorning inside the Evin prison in Tehran," said the state-run newspaper,Iran.

It said that Ghasem Yaghoubi had kidnapped and raped 19 young boys in ayear.

Amnesty International has protested to Iran over the number of executions,which according to its report in April had doubled to at least 177 people in2006.

The number of executions, many in public, has risen since July with thelaunch of a summer crackdown on "immoral behaviour". During the campaign,police have arrested dozens of drug addicts, smugglers, rapists andmurderers.

The crackdown has also included an initiative to confront women who fail toadhere to Iran's strict Islamic dress codes.

Before the latest series of hangings that began in July, Amnesty said atleast 124 people had been put to death in 2007. Based on those figures, Iranhas now executed more than 150 people so far this year.

The European Union in May criticised Tehran's human rights record andexpressed concern about the use of the death penalty in the Islamic state.Western rights groups have called on Iran to abolish it.

Iran routinely dismisses criticism of rights abuses, particularly fromWestern organisations or countries, saying it is acting on the basis ofsharia. It usually responds by citing what it says are abuses in the West.



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Poll exposes Hungarian hostility to gay relationships

20th December 2007 12:40

PinkNews.co.uk staff writer

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-6387.html

While the Hungarian parliament passed new laws this week legalising same-sexcivil partnerships, an opinion poll for a national newspaper found littlesupport for the measure among the voters.

The Nepszabadsag survey found that only 12 percent of Hungarians thinksame-sex relationships are completely normal.

60 percent condemn homosexuality and 30 percent disapprove of gay people.

The new law will apply to both heterosexual and gay and lesbian couples, andthere is widespread support for civil partners having the same rights asmarried couples - 71 percent of respondents agreed in the poll by researchfirm Masmi.

Government statistics show that there were an estimated 349,000 unmarriedcouples in Hungary in 2005, 12.2 per cent of all families, compared to62,000 in 1970, 2.1 per cent of all families.

Hungary's opposition conservative parties refused to back the new law, whichthey regard as a "hidden attempt" to legalise gay marriage.

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www.napwa.org

From the Desk of Frank J. Oldham, Jr.
Executive Director

National Association of People with AIDS

2007 was an historic year of success for the National Association of Peoplewith AIDS, the voice of 1.2 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS.

December 19, 2007

Since NAPWA was founded in 1983, over a half million Americans have died inour nation's AIDS health crisis. The path of destruction caused by AIDS hastouched nearly every community in the United States. This is particularlytrue for the African American community where 46% of African American gaymen in our nation's major cities are HIV positive and AIDS is the number onecause of death for African American women between the ages of 25 to 44. TheAfrican American community is dependent on strong leadership to stop theonslaught of this raging epidemic. Furthermore, there are 1.2 millionAmericans living with HIV/AIDS in the United States who are also dependenton strong leadership to ensure that they continue to be treated in acompassionate, respectful and dignified manner.

NAPWA is the voice of people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. AsI proudly embrace my third year as NAPWA's Executive Director, I thank youfor your strong support that is integral to our numerous successes andachievements. Some of our more notable accomplishments during the past yearinclude:

NAPWA's financial and organizational excellence

* Debt-Retirement: NAPWA paid-off its long term aged-debt andimplemented strong financial management and fiscal controls.

* Increased Professionalism: NAPWA secured some of the nation's mostexperienced HIV/AIDS professionals from government, the private sector andthe AIDS community to serve on its Board and staff thus strengthening themanagement and the capacity of the organization to serve our constituency.

NAPWA participation in national HIV prevention programs and planning

* Staying Alive: NAPWA held two PLWHA Summits in fiscal year 2007:Staying Alive in New Orleans, Louisiana and Cleveland, Ohio. Over 800people living with HIV/AIDS representing all 50 states and U.S. territoriesattended the programs to strengthen the capacity and skills of tomorrow'sleaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

* National HIV Testing Day: As the founder of National HIV TestingDay, NAPWA held a Congressional Briefing in the U.S. Capitol Buildingsponsored by Congresswoman Barbara Lee and attended by RepresentativeEleanor Holmes Norton and numerous other legislators. Congresswoman MaxineWaters sponsored a Congressional Proclamation in support of NAPWA's NationalHIV Testing Day. Thirty-five major cities and Mayors participated in theMayor's Campaign Against HIV. The opening of the NASDAQ in Times Squareaired on CNN and encouraged thousands of Americans to "Take the Test, TakeControl." We conservatively estimate that over 135,000 Americans took an HIVtest during the week of June 27th, 2007.

NAPWA as the lead national advocate and unified voice for people living withHIV/AIDS

* HIV+ constituent-lead legislative meetings: NAPWA coordinatedregional focus groups of people living with HIV/AIDS for U.S. Senator TedKennedy's office to provide guidance on the creation of new Ryan WhiteProgram legislation slated for 2009. Ryan White programs and services areessential in saving the lives of people living with AIDS in America.

* Expanding Increased Access to Health Care and Treatments: NAPWA, inpartnership with the Treatment Access Expansion Project (TAEP), expanded itsleadership role to ensure the passage of the Early Treatment HIV Act. Thepassage of ETHA saves lives through early detection and access to HIV care.

I hope that you share my pride in NAPWA's amazing accomplishments during2007. Through NAPWA's advocacy and programs, coupled with your generousfinancial support, we can expand our work of HIV prevention, care, educationand advocacy programs. In honor the friends and loved ones lost to HIV/AIDSand the 1.2 million Americans who are people living with HIV, I ask youtoday to generously support NAPWA, the U.S. oldest national HIV/AIDSorganization. Thank you for your continued support and commitment to thefight against HIV/AIDS.

Sincerely,
Frank Oldham, Jr.



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This is Your Opportunity to Influence Our Direction

www.stonewalldemocrats.org/census2007

December 20, 2007

This week, many Stonewall members will be receiving a copy of our StonewallCensusin the mail. This survey is designed to allow our membership - andpotential Stonewall members - the opportunity to provide feedback on thework of National Stonewall Democrats, state your own priorities, andinfluence our future direction.

You may fill out the survey at: www.stonewalldemocrats.org/census2007

You now have the opportunThis is Your Opportunity to Influence Our Direction

December 20, 2007

This week, many Stonewall members will be receiving a copy of our StonewallCensusin the mail. This survey is designed to allow our membership - andpotential Stonewall members - the opportunity to provide feedback on thework of National Stonewall Democrats, state your own priorities, andinfluence our future direction.

You may fill out the survey at: www.stonewalldemocrats.org/census2007

You now have the opportunity to complete this census online and informNational Stonewall Democrats of your view of its operations and the standingof the Democratic Party.
- Should transgender Americans be excluded from ENDA if it means moving thebill forward?

- Who do you support in the Democratic presidential contest?

- What is your biggest concern with National Stonewall Democrats?

- How should National Stonewall Democrats invest its resources in 2008?

Please take a few short moments to complete this census. This is a greatopportunity to evaluate National Stonewall Democrats, identify areas wherewe can grow and to give your input towards our 2008 national activities. Theshort time it takes to complete the Stonewall Census will enable us tobetter serve you.

The survey Link is: www.stonewalldemocrats.org/census2007 ity to completethis census online and inform National Stonewall Democrats of your view ofits operations and the standing of the Democratic Party.
- Should transgender Americans be excluded from ENDA if it means moving thebill forward?

- Who do you support in the Democratic presidential contest?

- What is your biggest concern with National Stonewall Democrats?

- How should National Stonewall Democrats invest its resources in 2008?

Please take a few short moments to complete this census. This is a greatopportunity to evaluate National Stonewall Democrats, identify areas wherewe can grow and to give your input towards our 2008 national activities. Theshort time it takes to complete the Stonewall Census will enable us tobetter serve you.

The survey Link is: www.stonewalldemocrats.org/census2007



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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
dailyqueernews@yahoo.com

http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=2538

Gay man's mom critical of DA

by Ed Walsh
Edwalsh94105@yahoo.com

The mother of a gay man who died after a fight in the Castro last year isblasting a decision by the San Francisco District Attorney's office thisweek not to refile manslaughter and assault charges against her son'skiller, Kyle Adams.

"This person has all the rights," Cathy Smith said of Adams. "My son hasnone."

Meanwhile, in her first jailhouse interview, Adams, who now identifies astransgender and uses the given name London, told the Bay Area Reporter thisweek that she was a victim who was forced to act in self-defense.

Adams also was very critical of the B.A.R. 's coverage of the case becauseshe believes it was biased against her.

In May, a jury found Adams, 26, guilty of felony assault for the beatingdeath of Chad Ferreira, 27, on Market Street in January 2006. The jurydeadlocked on whether to also find Adams guilty of manslaughter and guiltyof assaulting Ferreira's friend. On December 7, Adams was sentenced to sixyears in state prison. Her lawyer pleaded for probation instead of a prisonsentence because she said that Adams is a transgender woman and her safetywould be at risk in state prison. Adams has not yet legally changed hername.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
dailyqueernews@yahoo.com

http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=2537

LGBTs need to step up in marriage fight
by Cynthia Laird and Heather Cassell
h.cassell@ebar.com

With an estimated six-month window of opportunity until the CaliforniaSupreme Court is expected to issue its decision in the same-sex marriagecase, advocates with the statewide Let California Ring campaign are urgingcommunity members to step up activity in an effort to move public opinion intheir direction.

Legal briefings in the consolidated marriage case have concluded, and thecourt is expected to hear oral arguments next spring. Typically, the SupremeCourt issues its decisions within 90 days of oral arguments, though there isno set schedule. Using that timeline, with the caveat that no one knows forsure what the court will do, advocates said now is the time for communitymembers to get involved. That means talking with friends and family membersat holiday gatherings, and donating money so that the campaign can air itstelevision ad, officials said.

"The challenge to us in California is: will we use every day between now andthe summer to make the same powerful case for the freedom to marry in thecourt of public opinion," Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom toMarry, told the Bay Area Reporter during an interview last week. "The clockis ticking."

Wolfson, who runs his national organization in New York, made a swingthrough the state last week to talk to donors and others in an effort tohelp jump start Let California Ring. The campaign, run by the EqualityCalifornia Institute, has the support of some 45 state and nationalorganizations, ranging from the NAACP and United Farm Workers to theNational Center for Lesbian Rights and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance AgainstDefamation.

Let California Ring launched this fall and received some media buzz inOctober, when it unveiled its television ad on National Coming Out Day.While the ad did not air often on TV, it did get wide exposure through newsstories around the state and was featured on national outlets such as CNN.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
dailyqueernews@yahoo.com

http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=2540

Lesbian runs for police union head

by Matthew S. Bajko
m.bajko@ebar.com

Six years after helping launch and lead an LGBT employee group within thecity's police department, homicide Inspector Lea Militello is now running tobe president of the police union, known as the Police Officers Association.

Militello is taking on current union boss Gary Delagnes, a combative,outspoken former narcotics cop who has led the POA since 2004. Should she beelected to the three-year term, Militello would be the first woman, as wellas openly gay cop, to lead the union.

"I just think it is time for a change," Militello told the Bay Area Reporterwhen asked why she decided to run for the position. "I don't know that I cansay a majority feel Gary is not doing a good job. I do sense a frustrationthat our officers have felt a bit of a disconnect from our association."

Delagnes has been on the POA's executive committee for close to two decades.While department insiders say Militello presents a formidable challenge,Delagnes said he is confident he will be re-elected.

"Sure, it would be nice to not have to run when you feel you haveaccomplished a lot. But I feel pretty good," Delagnes said of his chances.

A third candidate, 27-year veteran Officer Juanita Stockwell, is alsorunning for POA president. Stockwell could not be reached for comment bypress time.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
dailyqueernews@yahoo.com

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/12/20/nlaw120.xml

Law: 'Moral judgments have no place in court'

By Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor
Last Updated: 1:38am GMT 20/12/2007

We are so used to the idea of an activist judiciary in Britain that talkingto a senior judge who shudders at the thought of judges rewriting the lawcomes as something of a shock.

Brief Encounters: Law diary
Antonin Scalia, 71, is the second most senior Associate Justice of the USSupreme Court, ranking third after the Chief Justice. Married with ninechildren, he was appointed by President Reagan in 1986.

Justice Scalia was in Edinburgh last week to give the final lecture in aseries marking the 300th anniversary of the university's first Chair in law.The lecture, bluntly entitled "Ayatollahs of the West", gave him the chanceto outline the conservative philosophy of which he is the Supreme Court'sleading proponent. And it gave me a chance to ask how a judge can apparentlyavoid having to adapt old principles to new problems - which strikes me asthe essence of judging.

"I don't think that judges should do anything but interpret the meaning oftexts that have been democratically adopted and give them the meaning theybore when the people adopted them," he told me. "But what I have noticedincreasingly in recent years is that judges - not just in my country, butinternationally - have taken on this function of being moral arbiters forthe world."

Justice Scalia referred in his lecture to a British case about gay rights.In 1996, a man identified only by the initials ADT was convicted of grossindecency and conditionally discharged. Police officers who raided his homein Yorkshire had found video tapes showing him taking part in sexualactivity with up to four other men. As the law then stood, homosexual actswere permitted only if no more than two people were present.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
dailyqueernews@yahoo.com

http://www.gazette.net/stories/122007/carrnew35725_32355.shtml

Same-sex marriage decision may split state Democrats

by Alan Brody | Staff Writer
Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007

ANNAPOLIS - The next chapter in the quest for equal rights for same-sexcouples could split Democrats, as lawmakers question whether there areenough votes in either chamber to resolve a matter that the courts left upto the General Assembly.

''It will be an issue, but I think it's an issue whose time has not yetcome," Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Dist. 27) of ChesapeakeBeach told The Gazette. ''For a law like that to move forward, there needsto be a strong body of public opinion, and I don't think it's there yet in astate of moderate temperament like Maryland."

In September, the Court of Appeals upheld the state's 34-year-old ban onsame-sex marriage, ruling that the law is neither discriminatory orunconstitutional. The court also said the General Assembly may be the bestavenue to change the law.

Ever since, advocates have been gearing up to take their fight to thelegislature.

''I think our two biggest challenges are political skittishness by somelegislators and general ignorance about the issue," said Dan Furmansky,executive director of Equality Maryland, an advocacy group for gay rights.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
dailyqueernews@yahoo.com

http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/583424.html

Schwarzenegger proposes to release 22,000 prisoners

By Andy Furillo - afurillo@sacbee.com
Published 6:22 pm PST Thursday, December 20, 2007

In what may be the largest early release of inmates in United Stateshistory, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration is proposing to openthe prison gates next year to some 22,000 low-risk offenders.

According to details of a budget proposal made available to The Bee, theadministration will ask the Legislature to authorize the release of certainnon-serious, non-violent, non-sex offenders who have less than 20 months togo on their terms.

The proposal would cut the prison population by 22,159 inmates and save thecash-strapped state $256 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1 andmore than $780 million through June 30, 2010. Besides reducing the inmatepopulation, the proposal also calls for a reduction in more than 4,000prison jobs, most of which would involve correctional officers.

A gubernatorial spokesman said no final decisions have been made.

The administration, which is looking at across the board budget cuts to stema budget deficit pegged as high as $14 billion, is looking for more savingsin prison spending by shifting all lower-risk parolees into what officialsare describing as a "summary" system. The shift also would requirelegislative approval.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
dailyqueernews@yahoo.com

http://www.pridesource.com/digestarticle.shtml?article=28506

Feds pull funding from local youth program
Ruth Ellis Center calls on community to help bridge 'cash flow crunch'

By Jason A. Michael
Originally printed 12/20/2007
Between The Lines Newspaper
From issue number 1551

DETROIT -

Facing drastic funding cuts by the federal government, the Ruth EllisCenter, one of the nations premier service programs for lgbt youth, is nowscrambling to adjust accordingly without losing clients or staff.

"We're in a cash-flow crunch," said Grace McClelland, REC's executivedirector. "But things will level out."

So far this year the center has lost 80 percent of its federal money,including funding for its emergency shelter.

"We think we may lose all of it," said McClelland of the federal funds,which represent nearly half of the center's operating budget. "We wereexpecting $100,000 to come into the bank for the shelter on Sept. 1. Now,none of that has come through."

To compensate, the center has undergone an urgent conversion.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
dailyqueernews@yahoo.com

http://www.pridesource.com/digestarticle.shtml?article=28505

Nonprofit legal team gets grant to continue services to elderly LBGT

by Todd A. Heywood
Originally printed 12/20/2007
Between The Lines Newspaper
From issue number 1551

LANSING-- Elder Law of Lansing had an idea last year. The not for profitlegal clinic, begun in 1990 to assist seniors with legal questions rangingfrom probate issues to medicaid, noticed that a lot of older lesbian,bisexual, gay and transgender seniors were reluctant to address many oftheir issues with the group's traditional law line.

So the group started an LBGT hotline, executive director Kate White said."We were expecting about 100 calls."

Instead, the hotline with very little advertising took in 226 calls. Whitesaid she was "gratified" the group was there to assist.

As a result of this, the group has been honored with a $5,000 HOPE Fundgrant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

"We know there are pople out there with problems that are nagging at them,but they don't know how to get started in addressing them," White said.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
dailyqueernews@yahoo.com

http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=16962

Global Gays Initiative Crosses Borders

by Emmanuel Garcia
2007-12-19

The Global Gays Initiative was unveiled Dec. 13 at a town-hall meeting atCenter on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted, to discuss issues and concerns relatedto the LGBT immigrant community. The forum, attended by over 50 people ofdiverse ethnic backgrounds, listened as Amigas Latinas co-founder EvetteCardona introduced a group of panelists who are directly affected, areadvocates for immigrants or identify as allies.

The subject of immigration has been at the political forefront for the pastthree years, yet many contend that relatively little has been written abouthow current and future immigration law impacts the LGBT community. TheGlobal Gays Initiative is the second effort in Chicago involving the LGBTimmigrant population. In the summer of 2006, CLIA ( Chicago LGBT ImmigrantAlliance ) was formed out of concern over the proposed Sensenbrenner Bill( also known as the The Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and IllegalImmigration Control Act of 2005 ) and the consequential massive marches inprotest across the United States.

Jonathan Eoloff, staff attorney for National Immigrant Justice Center'sNational Asylum Partnership on Sexual Orientation ( NAPSO ) , spoke aboutasylum and gave a brief overview of eligibility. "In order to apply forasylum a refugee must be present in the U.S. and be able to provepersecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of sexualorientation or gender identity," he explained. Under the current definitionof the law, members of the transgender community do not fall under theumbrella of "membership in a particular social group," which allows someonewho identifies as gay to be eligible for asylum. However, there are specialcircumstances that may allow a transgender individual to apply.

"Often, a transgender individual encounters identification barriers thatreflect gender and chosen names," said panelist Caitlin Daniel-McCarter, anactivist. Daniel-McCarter talked about the effect of the No Match Letters( in which employers may terminate workers whose Social Security numbers donot match those in government records ) on members of the transgendercommunity. An employer may receive such a letter based on gender and decideto fire the person, assuming the employee is undocumented.

Jonathan Livingston shared his personal experience of being in a binationalrelationship with a man from Brazil. Livingston has decided that, in orderto be with the person he loves, he will be forced to leave the UnitedStates. They met when his boyfriend was here on a work visa [ H1B Visa ] butwas later laid off. Unable to find a job, he was forced to return to Brazil.Livingston is actively trying to create more awareness to pass the UnitingAmerican Families Act, which would allow him to sponsor his same-sexpartner. In addition, activists ( and panelists ) Yasmin Nair and TaniaUnzueta both urged audience members to become involved.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
dailyqueernews@yahoo.com

http://www.baywindows.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=glbt&sc2=news&sc3=&id=53835

The devil's in the details: our guide to the candidates

by Laura Kiritsy
associate editor
Wednesday Dec 19, 2007

With the Iowa caucuses (Jan. 3) and the New Hampshire primary (Jan. 8) justaround the corner, you can't flip on the television, pick up a newspaper orlog on to YouTube without encountering images of a weepy Mitt Romney,Hillary Clinton trying to soften her edges or Rudy Giuliani perusing holidaytchotchkes at a barn in New Hampshire. The pundits are opining endlesslyover minutia like whether the fact that John Edwards prefers campaigning injeans or that Mike Huckabee used to be fat will help or hurt their chancesin the presidential sweepstakes. And what of the impact of Oprah'sendorsement of Barack Obama? We're guessing it's got more heft than Sen. JoeLieberman's nod to candidate Sen. John McCain and Clinton's endorsement fromBabs combined. Obviously, we're just as guilty of contributing to the mediacacophony, especially given the fact that Massachusetts voters will be goingto the polls on Feb. 5, about month earlier than we usually do.

For the past year, we've heard candidates parse, parry, flip-flop, backtrackand nip/tuck their positions on LGBT issues. The Democratic candidates havedone this all the while promising to advance a pro-gay agenda: All of theDem contenders support repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and parts, or all,of DOMA. With the exception of Congressman Dennis Kucinich and former U.S.senator Mike Gravel, who both support marriage equality, all of thecandidates support civil unions. All have expressed support for federalbenefits for same-sex partners, immigration equality, trans-inclusive ENDAand hate crimes bills, comprehensive sex education and increased HIV/AIDSfunding. Meanwhile, the Republicans for the most part have tried tosugarcoat their anti-gay views with bland statements about tolerance. Whileit would appear that support for LGBT rights breaks down along party linesour attentions have turned up some little nuggets that might make youwonder.

For Democratic voters concerned about LGBT rights maybe it's time to lookmore closely at which candidates have actually been able to produce resultsand been willing to show leadership on the issues. Sure, all of the Demswant to do away with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," but why haven't any of thesitting senators in the race introduced a version of a House bill to do justthat? Mmmm.

For Republican voters concerned about LGBT rights, well, maybe there's alesser evil somewhere in the pack.

Either way, our handy-dandy guide to the presidential contenders aims togive you a closer look at the candidates. Hope it helps you pick a winner.

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
dailyqueernews@yahoo.com

http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/122007WA.shtml

Human Rights Watch Highlights Obstacles to AIDS Drugs for Zambian Women

The Associated Press
Tuesday 18 December 2007

Lusaka, Zambia - Domestic violence and poverty are preventing manyZambian women from accessing AIDS drugs, undermining the Zambiangovernment's ambitious treatment program, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

The New York-based rights watchdog released a report focused on women'streatment in Zambia, based on interviews earlier this year with 83 women inthe urban centers of Lusaka and the northern Copperbelt region, as wellpolice, health counselors, and government and non-governmentalorganizations.

The government has made AIDS treatment drugs free and put more than93,000 people on them with the help of international donors in Zambia, asouthern African nation of 11.5 million that is still largely poor despiterecent economic growth. About 16 percent of adults are HIV-positive here. Inurban areas, the prevalence rate exceeds 20 percent, with HIV infectionrates higher among women.

The report documented a variety of cases where HIV-positive women wereprevented from taking AIDS drugs, or from adhering to their proper regimens.

"We would like to commend the way the Zambian government has activelydealt with HIV/AIDS treatment," Nada Ali, the author of the report, toldjournalists at a press conference. "However, for many Zambian women,receiving an HIV-positive diagnosis might still be equivalent to a deathsentence."

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Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
dailyqueernews@yahoo.com

http://ukgaynews.org.uk/Archive/07/Dec/2101.htm

Gay Iranian Teen Awaits Decision of Dutch Court Over Return to UK

Mehdi fled UK in April following rejection of asylum application

Thanks his supporters: "I am sure I would have been dead by now if I youguys weren't supporting me"

LONDON, December 21, 2007 - A young gay Iranian, who fled the UnitedKingdom in fear after his asylum application with the Home Office's Borderand Immigration Agency failed earlier this year, will be spending thefestive season hoping that a Dutch court will allow him to stay in theNetherlands.

UK Gay News highlighted the plight of 19 years-old Mehdi in April followingthe failure of his appeal against deportation from UK back to Iran.

Mehdi had arrived in the UK two years previously on a student visa and hadcompleted his education in England.

Before leaving Iran, the teen had not only come to terms with the fact hewas gay, but also had a serious boyfriend.

So scared of being forcibly removed to Iran, Mehdi managed to flee the UKand surfaced in the Netherlands before crossing the border into Germany.

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http://www.thisishampshire.net/news/hampshirenews/display.var.1920442.0.teenager_punished_for_homophobic_attack.php

Teenager punished for homophobic attack

A TEENAGE girl behind a homophobic hate campaign has been punished formaking two women's lives a misery.

Lydia Jayne Lake, 18, waged a war of harassment and homophobia against gaycouple Carol Cashmore and Nina Meffen.

The catalogue of abuse took place last year, starting with a vicious attackin July when a 20-year-old man and two teenage girls armed themselves withwooden chair legs and rained blows on the two women until they were barelyconscious.

Lake, of John Street, Southampton, has already been given a communitypunishment order for her role in that attack.

She has now been sentenced to a six-month prison sentence, suspended for twoyears, for further harassment and abuse against the couple.

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http://www.pridesource.com/digestarticle.shtml?article=28481

Reclaiming the Roots of Heritage

By Michelle E. Brown
Originally printed 12/20/2007
Viewpoint

One of the curses of homophobia is the disconnect we often feel from ourfamily. After we come out we are often excluded from those family gatheringswhere so much history is shared and knowledge passed. We are kept at arm'slength no longer a part of that familial inner sanctum.

This can be especially hard during the holiday seasons when the invitationto the family dinner excludes your partner and you are cautioned not to talkabout your life around certain elders or children. It's a variation of lovethe sinner hate the sin. Everyone is happy to see you but they don't want toenter the "gay zone".

Now that both of my parents have died, I have been trying to reconnect withmy family, especially the elders. I never cease to be surprised as to whoknew and who didn't. My mother was pretty cool with everything and was closeto many of my gay friends but never told her sister. But I wasn't upsetabout it, she was just old school. She didn't tell anyone I was pregnantuntil I was about to give birth.

I asked her why once and she said it was because she loved me and didn'twant anyone to say something that would hurt me. For the most part, on herside of the family, that was never the case. When my grandmother found out Iwas pregnant, she just said "Well it's not like she's the first one to getpregnant," and kept on loving me.

The reaction was about the same when I came out to my aunt. Her responsewas, "Is that why you never brought anyone to Christmas dinner?" She hassince fallen in love with my girlfriend. My aunt is under five feet tall andweighs only eighty pounds. When we pick her up for an outing she throws herarms around Sandra's neck and kind of dangles there for a couple of minuteswhile she covers her face with kisses.

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http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=16957

Views: This era of Black women and HIV/AIDS

Extended Online Special
by Rev. Irene Monroe
2007-12-19

Black women are dying of AIDS, and is anyone doing anything about it?
With the recent commemoration of the 19th anniversary of World AIDS Day andthe United Nation's AIDS-fighting agency overestimating the global impact ofthe epidemic by six million people we would think we've seen the worst ofthis pandemic.

Not quite! Right here in the nation's capitol, the HIV/AIDS epidemic rivalsthat of many Third World countries. Washington D.C. affectionately dubbed as"Chocolate City" is approximately 60 percent of people of African descent.And of its residents, one in 20 is thought to have HIV, and 1 in 50 of itsresidents to have AIDS. Of the 3,269 HIV cases identified between 2001 and2006 who tested positive nine of 10 were African American.

Are these statistics overwhelming?

"The Washington data is really a microcosm of what we already know: thatAIDS in America today is a black disease," said Phill Wilson, founder of theBlack AIDS Institute, an HIV/AIDS think tank that focuses exclusively onAIDS among black Americans.

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Southern Poverty Law Center

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=847

Coming Out: Former 'Ex-Gay' Minister Speaks Out

Interview conducted by Casey Sanchez

Scott Harrison desperately tried to change his sexual orientation in various"ex-gay" ministries for eight years, three of them as a ministry leader inSouthern California. Most of his experience with ex-gay groups - Christianorganizations that see homosexuality as a choice that can be changed withproper therapy - was with Living Waters and Desert Stream, two curricula ofa national ex-gay network that has more than 80 branches today. WhenHarrison joined in 1982, he felt ex-gay ministers were then a band ofcompassionate outsiders attending to the first AIDS victims. But by the endof that decade, Harrison had taken note of the movement's increasingradicalism, symbolized for him by the minister at the Vineyard ChristianFellowship in San Pedro, Calif., who performed an exorcism on him in anattempt to cast out the "demons" said to be the cause of his homosexuality.Harrison finally quit the movement in 1990 after deciding he could, afterall, reconcile his sexuality with his Christian faith. Today, he speaks toparents of gay and lesbian children about the dangers he sees in the ex-gaymovement. Harrison says the relatively recent alignment of ExodusInternational, one of the largest ex-gay groups with some 120 ministries inNorth America alone, with anti-gay Christian "dominionists" - people whowant to impose Christian rules on the secular institutions of society - hasled to ex-gay ministers pursuing a hard-line message with young people thatcan only end in mental anguish and failure.

Scott, how did you first get involved with the ex-gay movement?
I grew up in the '60s in a conservative evangelical home, in a Baptistenvironment. From a young age, I learned homosexuality was not only bad butwas the worst sin a person could do. It was worse than murder. For me, thetwo options I saw, once I realized I was gay, were to commit suicide and goto heaven or to come out as gay and go to hell. [The ex-gay movement]offered a third option.

You started attending ex-gay ministries in 1982. Those were the early daysof the movement. What was a typical meeting like?They would open with a prayer. Andy Comiskey [founder of LivingWaters/Desert Stream, a neo-Pentecostal ex-gay ministry], or whoever theparticular person leading the session was, would present the teaching. Theseteachings later became the chapters in Comiskey's book, Pursuing SexualWholeness.

We were separated into small groups that would stay together for the entireduration of the class. It was a three-and-a-half-hour segment everySaturday. We would break up into our small groups, and we would do adiscussion.

There would be praying to break "one-flesh unions." That was the languagethey used to describe anything that involved having sex that they consideredsinful, whether it was premarital sex or homosexual behavior or someonehaving sex with someone who was in the occult.

The small groups were meant to create Platonic, healthy, same-sexrelationships with other Christians. And so you got really close to thesepeople who were in the group. You'd call them every day just to see how theywere doing. It was really similar to a recovery group. Homosexuality wasviewed as a temptation, not as an orientation.

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http://www.dallasvoice.com/artman/publish/article_7596.php

Ex ex gay recants: Stabile apologizes for lying, says he was 'badly hurt'by Pure Life Ministries

By John Wright Staff Writer
Dec 20, 2007, 13:21

James Stabile
Representatives from Heartland World Ministries Church in Las Colinas hadalready uncovered James Stabile's web of lies.

In fact, Stabile had decided to leave the congregation after beingconfronted by church leaders, and he'd been kicked out of the home where he'd been staying with other members.

But that didn't stop Heartland from asking Stabile to do an interview for asegment on televangelist Pat Robertson's "The 700 Club" about the so-calledpurity sieges organized by the church outside gay bars on the Cedar Springsstrip.

In his interview for the segment, which aired on national TV and wascirculated widely on the Internet, Stabile said he'd had a religiousexperience at one of the sieges that quelled his desire to be with othermen.

"He had come clean, and he had said he wasn't going to lie any more, andthey ['The 700 Club'] wanted him on there," said Joe Oden, a Heartlandevangelist who's been helping to organize the sieges. "We just gave him thebenefit of the doubt. Hindsight is 20/20. Maybe we would have done thingsdifferently."

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http://www.pridesource.com/article.shtml?article=28507

Gay Straight Alliance group at Bay City school draws fire

By Todd A. Heywood
Originally printed 12/20/2007

BAY CITY - Bay City Central High School's Gay Straight Alliance chapter wasjust formed in November, but it already is involved in a controversy.

A parent complained to the Bay City School Board on Dec. 11 about what shesees as the group's promotion of the "homosexual lifestyle."

In a phone interview, Kimberly Bublitz, parent of a freshman at the school,said the issue is "what is appropriate for children."

"On the surface, they seem to be about promoting tolerance and preventingviolence," the mother of four said. "But when I did research, I found thatis not the only thing the GSA does."

Gay Straight Alliances (GSA) are student-lead groups that encouragetolerance of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.Membership is open to any student in a school with such a group. The group'snational website (http://www.gaystraightalliance.org/) reports there areover 3,500 chapters.

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http://lgbtyouthnews.blogspot.com/2007/12/aclu-demands-virginia-high-school.html

ACLU Demands Virginia High School Stop Censoring Gay Student

Thursday, December 20, 2007

PORTSMOUTH, VA - The American Civil Liberties Union today demanded that ahigh school that punished a student for wearing a t-shirt featuring alesbian pride symbol apologize to the student and guarantee that it will nolonger illegally censor her in the future. School officials at I.C. NorcomHigh School had threatened the 17-year-old senior with suspension because ateacher was upset by her t-shirt, which bears an image of two overlappingfemale gender symbols.

"When my teacher told me she wanted me to turn my shirt inside-out or coverit up, I was confused, because I've worn that shirt to school several timesbefore and nobody ever said a word about it," said Bethany Laccone, whoattends a different school full-time but goes to Norcom High every morningfor a hotel management class. "I wear that shirt because I want people toknow that I'm proud of being a lesbian and comfortable with who I am. And Ihave the same Constitutional right to free speech as any other student."

n a letter sent to I.C. Norcom High School officials this morning, the ACLUdemanded that any mention of the censorship be removed from Laccone'sstudent record, that the school guarantee it would not illegally censorLaccone or other students in the future, and that the school apologize toLaccone for its actions.

"What's happening to Bethany Laccone is a clear-cut case of unconstitutional censorship," said Kent Willis, Executive Director of the ACLU of Virginia."Bethany Laccone has the same rights to express her opinions and be openabout who she is as any other student. We intend to make sure I.C. NorcomHigh School stops breaking the law and treats all of its students equallyregardless of their views."

Laccone says that on December 10 she was pulled out of class by a teacherwho said she shouldn't be wearing the shirt at school and then sent her tothe assistant principal's office. The assistant principal and the teacherthen told Laccone that the shirt violated a section of the school dress codethat bans "bawdy, salacious or sexually suggestive messages." In a latermeeting with Laccone's father, the assistant principal said that he wasupholding the censorship, and added that because the teacher is "veryconservative" she claimed she was so upset by the t-shirt that it"interfered with her ability to teach."

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http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=16963

Lambda Legal Challenges Ind.School District

by Andrew Davis
2007-12-19

Lambda Legal filed papers Dec. 12 in the Northern District Court of Indiana,charging that a Gary, Ind., school violated a student's rights when itstopped a male student from entering his prom because he wore a dress.Kevin "K.K." Logan attended West Side High School and "expressed a deeplyrooted femininity in his appearance and demeanor," according to a LambdaLegal press release. During this time ( his junior and senior years ) ,classmates and teachers supported Logan. However, at the May 19, 2006,senior prom, principal Diane Rouse stretched her arms across the door whenLogan attempted to enter, blocking his access to the facility. The pressrelease also stated that classmates and friends "rallied to his defense tono avail-even though a female student was allowed entrance dressed in atuxedo."

Rouse has supported a school policy that bans "clothing/accessories thatadvertise sexual orientation, sex, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, profanity [and ] negative social or negative educational statements."

Jim Madigan, a staff attorney in Lambda Legal's Midwest Regional Office,told Windy City Times said that the plaintiff's case has two facets.
"There's
an aspect [ that ] is the First Amendment," Madigan said. "The fact thatthey shut him out by virtue of wearing this dress-while allowing otherstudents to wear gender-non-conforming clothing, particularly females intuxedos-basically suggests that it's the message ( associated with allowinga male to wear a dress ) that the principal didn't like. We think that herreaction to that message and the challenge to that convention [ are ] whyshe shot him down." The other element, according to Madigan, is "an issue ofwhether they violated the rules that prohibit sex and gender discrimination."

He also said that the legal team representing Logan asked the schooldistrict for all of the "reasons and policies [ regarding ] what happened to[ Logan ] ," and simply received the policy stated above. "They sort of,quite frankly, gave us the brush-off," Madigan said. "They didn't send anyexplanatory letter other than [ the ] policy." Madigan added that subsequentrequests to discuss the situation have yielded no response.

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http://gaycitynews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19133273&BRD=2729&PAG=461&dept_id=568864&rfi=6

Congress Cuts HIV Prevention Dollars

By: DUNCAN OSBORNE
12/20/2007

AIDS and gay groups are reacting negatively to a federal budget bill thatincludes a small increase in Ryan White dollars, a major funding source forAIDS services, and a cut in the federal Centers for Disease Control andPrevention (CDC) HIV prevention budget.

"We are disappointed in the funding levels," said Ronald Johnson, deputydirector at the AIDS Action Council, a Washington, DC-based lobbying group."The new funding levels certainly do not reflect the domestic AIDS crisisand the growing numbers."

On December 17, the House approved a $516 billion omnibus bill that funded14 federal agencies for the 2008 fiscal year that began this past October 1.

The Senate approved the same bill, but with an additional $40 billion forthe Iraq war. The House was expected to pass that $555 billion bill onDecember 19. The White House signaled that President George W. Bush wouldsign the budget bill though some Congressional Republicans have complainedthat the legislation is too expensive.

Among its provisions are just under $2.2 billion for the Ryan WhiteComprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act, which funds services for peoplewith AIDS provided by states, cities, and private AIDS groups, and $692million for the CDC's HIV prevention programs, which got $695 million in the2007 fiscal year.

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http://gay_blog.blogspot.com/2007/12/advocate-marks-milestone-with-release.html

Advocate Marks Milestone With Release of 1000th Issue

The Advocate, the award-winning newsmagazine for the LGBT community, marks amajor milestone in its history when the publication releases its 1000thissue on December 18th. The special double-issue also coincides with themagazine's 40th anniversary, making this an especially historical year forThe Advocate. Marquee gay writers John Cloud, Benoit Denizet-Lewis, andAndrew Solomon were invited to help celebrate the milestone by writingstories on a number of vital LGBT topics for the issue. The Advocate is aflagship brand of PlanetOut Inc (NASDAQ:LGBT), the leading media andentertainment company exclusively focused on the gay and lesbian market.

Did gay people make significant progress and gain momentum in 2007? Time'sJohn Cloud and The Advocate news & features editor Sean Kennedy face off onwhether this year was the "tipping point" in the LGBT community's civilrights struggle. Andrew Solomon, author of Noonday Demon, shares his verydifferent experiences entering the United States and England as a marriedgay man. In light of Senator Larry Craig's bathroom scandal, The New YorkTimes Magazine's Benoit Denizet-Lewis investigates the phenomenon of publicsex and the reasons why this behavior shows no signs of stopping.

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http://pageoneq.com/news/2007/Changing_the_face_of_sports_The_story_of_transgender_athlete_Renee__1218.html

Changing the face of sports: The story of transgender athlete Renee Richards

by Dylan Vox, GayWired

Imagine waking up every day and feeling like you were in the wrong body.Imagine the frustration and angst it would cause to know that although youfelt like a human being, those around you didn't treat you that way. Imaginespending a lifetime trying to excel at a sport only to be told thatphysically you were unable to compete because an unprecedented gender policyforbids your inclusion. Imagine being the first person ever to challengethat rule and win.

For former tennis player Renee Richards, those scenarios were reality. Asone of the first recognized professional transgendered athletes, Richardsmade waves and broke down barriers, creating a legacy that would change theface of sports forever.

Although the gay community includes transgendered individuals in theiracronym LGBT, they are often the forgotten populace and take a back seat inpolitics, social reform and sports.

While gay and lesbian people are staking their claim in the sporting worldproving that they are just as gifted and talented as their straightcounterparts, transgender athletes still face an uphill battle when it comesto acceptance.

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To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

Information, news, and discussion about the legal recognition of same-sexcouples and their families, including marriages, domestic partnerships,civil unions, adoptions, foster children and similar issues.

http://samesexmarriage.typepad.com/weblog/

Go to the website, above, for the following article:

--
On Feb. 5, 2008, Arizonans across this great state will go to their pollingplaces and cast important ballots to help determine who may eventuallybecome the President of the United States. We're not ready to issue ourofficial endorsements. Not yet.But we do have our official anti-endorsementready, and it won't be a big surprise to anyone who's been reading ournewsmagazine -- or heck, anyone who has been paid even the slightestattention to the race.Are you ready? This is the historic, very-first-everColorez! anti-endorsement, sure to become a mainstay feature over theyears.We urge you to vote against John McCain, if you vote in the Republicanprimary.If you insisted on asking why, I suppose we'd have to tell you.We'dtell you about his embarrassingly deep ignorance about LGBT people -- he'dnever heard of the acronym prior to a few months ago -- despite his publicendorsement of the unpopular, failed Proposition 107 that would haveconstitutionally banned same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships.



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National Gay News

http://nationalgaynews.com/

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:

--
Gay Sex Scandal Senator Invited to the White House
Beleaguered Republican politician Larry Craig was an official guest at theWhite House yesterday.The Senator from Idaho, who denies he is gay despite aconviction for cruising for sex in an airport toilet, was invited to watchPresident Bush sign a new energy bill into law.

--
Planting The Flag: Canada's Gay Diaspora
On a recent business trip, a new world grabbed me by surprise. I didn't knowwhat to expect of the city's gay scene but I knew I wanted to explore it.Within the bustling metropolis I found a fetish night happening at one ofthe city's three gay clubs. Artsy lesbians and bourgeois gay men strolledthe streets and were in full attendance at the dance theatres and musicshows. The Andy Warhol exhibit was showing at the city's art gallery.Culture, art, culture. I left the city feeling happy and gay, refreshedafter my two weeks in Winnipeg.

--
Pop Star Reveals He is HIV Positive
Andreas Lundstedt, best known as a member of pop group Alcazar, hasconfirmed in a Swedish magazine interview that he his HIV+. The Swede toldQX that he tested positive for the virus several years ago. Alcazar arebest-known for their hit Crying At The Discoteque.

--
Movies Every (Gay) Man Must Watch
My friends are continuously shocked when they name off classic movies that Iam yet to see. As a gay man they are even more shocked when they name off"gay classics" that I can't even recite a line from. So for the holidays,one of my friends bought me Neflix. Together my friends complied a list of"must see movies" (some "gay classics" and others just classics). The listis below. Are there movies we are missing? Ones that shouldn't even be onthe list? Let me know.

--
Syphilis Makes Comeback in Europe Amid Spread of Risky Sex, Online Dating
Sites
Syphilis is back: The sexually transmitted disease long associated with 19thCentury bohemian life is making an alarming resurgence in Europe."Syphilisused to be a very rare disease," said Dr. Marita van de Laar, an expert insexually transmitted diseases at the European Centre for Disease Preventionand Control. "I'm not sure we can say that anymore."

--
Heroes of GBLT Community to Be Honored at Los Angeles Dinner Gala
The Human Rights Campaign is looking for superheroes this holiday season,and not action figures in a box under the tree. The nation's largest GLBTcivil rights organization is seeking sponsors and contributors for its 15thannual Los Angeles Gala Dinner to be held March 15, at the Hyatt CenturyPlaza Hotel in Los Angeles, to the theme of "Justice for All".

--
Harmony Cafe Spreads Diversity Through 'Winter Drag Wonderland'
The stage at Harmony Cafe in downtown Appleton will come alive Saturday withartists whose performances will playfully challenge the mainstream conceptof gender. "Winter Drag Wonderland," an event that combines fashion modelingwith stage performances such as singing, dancing, or lip-synch routines, isan invitation for the community to experience a form of personal andartistic expression that some may consider unconventional for the FoxCities.



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Channel 7 - Denver

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/14893646/detail.html?rss=den&psp=news

Picture Of Ted Haggard Found In Church Gunman's Home
Police Confiscate Boxes Of Ammunition, Bible From Murray's Home

POSTED: 5:24 pm MST December 19, 2007
UPDATED: 6:53 pm MST December 19, 2007

DENVER -- Among the items taken from a search of gunman Matthew Murray'shome was a picture of former New Life pastor Ted Haggard, according topolice documents released Wednesday.

Murray lived in the Englewood home in with his father, mother and brother.The family was very devout and the parents had home-schooled both children,neighbors said.

According to the police documents, officers confiscated a Beretta,ammunition, a pamphlet entitled "Fall of America," literature on Youth WithA Mission, a Bible, a journal, a pistol, a homicide investigation manual,prescription pills, several hard drives, gun cases and boxes of ammunition.

In several online writings, posted weeks before the two deadly churchshootings, Murray expressed his rage at organized religion and at Youth WithA Mission, which had kicked him out of a missionary program for unspecified"health reasons."

Murray wrote that he would rain Columbine down on the Christian world. Hecame "armed to the teeth," as he promised, bringing an assault rifle, twohandguns and 1,000 rounds of ammunition when he walked into New Life Church.

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Express Gay News

Miami

http://www.expressgaynews.com/2007/12-20/locallife/feature/4288.cfm

A gay family holiday story
A season of affirmation for same-sex parents and their children

By JUAN CARLOS RODRIGUEZ
Thursday, December 20, 2007

SATURDAYS IN MID-DECEMBER ARE action packed at the McNamara-Bloom household.There are haircuts to be had, gifts to be bought, and about 300 Christmascards to be stamped, labeled and mailed.

The two-dad family is like most families in the throes of holiday season.There's a lot to do and little time to do it. The family celebrates bothChristmas and Hanukkah.

Meanwhile, 8-year-old Dawson and his 5-year-old brother, Donovan, arebursting with energy. Dawson jumps his BMX bike over concrete parkingbumpers in the front yard, while Donovan is fascinated by the weird crinkleof dried hair gel on his newly shorn cowlick.

It's a bright morning and together with their dog, Buddy, Donovan and Dawson's dads, David Bloom and Damian McNamara, walk their boys to a neighborhoodpark to check out library books at the bookmobile.

"It's no big deal," McNamara, concerned that a visitor may be bored whilefollowing the family around that day. "We're just like everybody else."Andlike all other parents of two young energetic boys during the holidays,McNamara and Bloom must keep the family moving along if they are going toget all they need to get done accomplished.

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Express Gay News

http://www.expressgaynews.com/2007/12-20/news/national/4291.cfm

Controversial poll shows wide prevalence of bisexuality
Some say findings inflated, others claim 'bi-phobia is alive and well'

By JOSHUA LYNSEN
Thursday, December 20, 2007

A national poll showing that bisexuals account for half the number of peoplewho identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual is drawing mixed reactions.

Many bisexual men and women told the Washington Blade, a gay newspaper thatis affiliated with the Express, that the findings, part of a poll funded byHuman Rights Campaign and controlled by City University of New York's HunterCollege, are enlightening.

"I think it definitely holds some truths about the gay community that mostmembers would rather ignore," said Nicole Kristal, coauthor of "The Bisexual's Guide to the Universe."

"There are plenty of lesbians in the gay community who occasionally sleepwith men and still call themselves lesbians and vice versa. People need tostart being honest in their daily lives about their actual behaviors ratherthan hiding behind convenient blackand- white labels that breed acceptancefrom their gay and lesbian peers who often condemn bisexuality."

The poll of 768 people, conducted last month, shows in its adjusted finaltally that 15.4 percent of respondents are bisexual men and 33.5 percent arebisexual women. Gay men accounted for 33.4 percent of the poll's respondentsand lesbians accounted for 17.8 percent. The poll asked respondents toassign their own sexual orientation.

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Express Gay News

http://www.expressgaynews.com/2007/12-20/view/editorial/4273.cfm

by Phil LaPadula

The holidays mean different things to different people
Focus on the Family's narrow-minded approach is not typical

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Focus on the Family, a right-wing religious-political group, recentlyre-leased its Christ-mas list of naughty retail stores. Their sin: not usingthe word Christmas in their holiday advertising pitches or not mentioningChristmas enough.

The group divided its list into "the Good," "the Bad," "the Ugly" and "MixedReviews." The "good" stores "mention Christmas," the "bad" stores "only maketoken references" and the "ugly" stores "censor Christmas," according toFocus on the Family.

It may seem odd that a religious-based group like Focus on the Family wouldnot object to Christmas being too commercialized but instead take issue withstores for not using Christ's name to pitch for shopping dollars. But Focuson the Family, a multi-million-dollar organization, certainly knows how touse God and Jesus' name for money-grubbing purposes, and they are not aboutto appear to be hypocrites by discouraging retail stores from doing thesame.

Focus on the Family is apparently oblivious to the fact that there are otherholidays besides Christmas being celebrated at this time of year. There'sthe Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, there's the African-American celebration ofKwanzaa and there's the Winter Solstice that some atheists and agnosticpeople celebrate. The retail stores are simply trying to appeal to thelargest possible customer base by making their holiday advertising pitchesas generic as possible. Moreover, since many stores start their holidayadvertising in early November, Thanksgiving is also often included in thecatch-all "holidays" pitch.

Borders bookstore made FOF's "bad" list and Barnes & Noble made their "ugly"list, even though both bookstores sell numerous books about Christmas andthe word Christmas appears in many book titles in the stores. Apparently,that is not good enough for Focus on the Family. I don't recall seeingHanukkah or any of the other holidays featured prominently in any storeadvertising campaigns. But apparently FOF is concerned that Christmas doesnot dominate the season enough.

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Jim Neal for Senate

http://www.jimnealforsenate.com/

I want each of you to take a moment and look at this poll commissioned byDailyKos and posted by Kos (Markos Moulitsas). Please comment and forward.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/12/19/1219/2172/829/424295

To those naysayers in Washington who believe that I'm not a viablecandidate-- think again :-)

While the debate rages in this community about where LGBT activists, donorsand advocacy organizations should be investing their resources andconsolidated our considerable political muscle, I'd like to ask that each ofyou focus on funding the viable candidates across the country like me, whomeQualitygiving has endorsed.

I'll assure you one thing. I will do what I say I'm going to do once electedto the United States Senate. I'm going to push relentlessly against thencrementalist approach to gaining basic civil liberties for LGBT Americans,regardless of who I might piss off in the process. I believe-andpassionately so-that the current Congress could be doing a helluva lot moreand we're all sticking our very-intelligent, dedicated heads in the sand ifwe delude ourselves into believing otherwise. Clearly, the Democratic Partyis the party which is going to be the party of change. However, we damnedwell better elect a few more folks like me who are going to hold our partyleadership accountable.

That's my ten cents worth. I'd appreciate your $2,300 worth!

Best,
jim

Jim Neal for Senate
PO Box 697
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514
tel.919.249.5985
http://www.jimnealforsenate.com/
JimNealForSenate.com



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UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW:
A Guide for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Advocates

NEXT DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS ON STATES' HUMAN RIGHTS RECORDS:

January 14, 2008 for the following States:
Gabon, Ghana, Peru, Guatemala, Benin, Republic of Korea, Switzerland,Pakistan, Zambia, Japan, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, France, Tonga, Romania, Mali

What is the Universal Periodic Review?

· The Universal Periodic Review ("UPR") is a new mechanism of theUnited Nations Human Rights Council. Under the UPR, the human rights recordsof all 192 United Nations member States will be reviewed by the Council onan ongoing, regular basis.

· The UPR was set up as part of the reform of the UN human rightssystem. It was designed to respond to criticisms that consideration ofcountries' human rights records had become politicised and selective,focusing only on certain countries, while allowing more politicallyinfluential States to escape scrutiny.

· As a result, the UPR will ensure that the human rights records ofall 192 member States will be regularly reviewed on a 4-year cycle. Thismeans that 48 States will be reviewed per year, 16 at each of three sessionsannually.

· The UPR is intended to be a cooperative mechanism, designed toassist States in fulfilling their international commitments and improvingtheir human rights situation.

Why does the UPR matter to advocates working on sexual orientation andgender identity issues?

· In countries around the world, human rights violations based onsexual orientation and gender identity are all too common. These includeuse of the death penalty, criminal sanctions, torture, disappearances,denials of freedom of expression and assembly, denial of refugee or asylumclaims, and discrimination in access to health care, employment, educationand housing.

· A report prepared for ILGA, the International Lesbian and GayAssociation, indicates that over 80 States and territories continue toimpose criminal sanctions against consensual same-sex relations, with 7States maintaining the death penalty: http://tinyurl.com/394gpx. A furtherILGA report also summarises positive developments in a diverse range ofcountries, including antidiscrimination legislation, and same-sexrelationship recognition: http://tinyurl.com/3ckd36.

· Some States are willing to be supportive, but could benefit fromguidance on the steps needed to improve their human rights situation. OtherStates are indifferent or hostile, in which case increased internationalscrutiny can draw attention to human rights violations and help to generateinternational pressure to remedy them.

· The UPR affords a unique opportunity to raise awareness of themany human rights violations experienced on the grounds of sexualorientation and gender identity. It gives us an opportunity to highlightour concerns, strengthen alliances, foster positive developments, buildinternational support, and make concrete recommendations for change.

What's the process? How can we be involved?

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365gay.com

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/12/122007school.htm

Va School Accused Of Anti-Gay Censorship

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: December 20, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Portsmouth, Virginia) The American Civil Liberties Union on Friday demandedthat a high school that punished a student for wearing a t-shirt featuring alesbian pride symbol apologize to the student and guarantee that it will nolonger illegally censor her in the future.

School officials at I.C. Norcom High School had threatened the 17-year-oldsenior with suspension because a teacher was upset by her t-shirt, which hadan image of two overlapping female gender symbols.

"When my teacher told me she wanted me to turn my shirt inside-out or coverit up, I was confused, because I've worn that shirt to school several timesbefore and nobody ever said a word about it," said Bethany Laccone, whoattends a different school full-time but goes to Norcom High every morningfor a hotel management class.

"I wear that shirt because I want people to know that I'm proud of being alesbian and comfortable with who I am. And I have the same Constitutionalright to free speech as any other student."

In a letter sent to I.C. Norcom High School officials this morning, the ACLUdemanded that any mention of the censorship be removed from Laccone'sstudent record, that the school guarantee it would not illegally censorLaccone or other students in the future, and that the school apologize toLaccone for its actions.

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365gay.com

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/12/122007quotes.htm

No Gays In Iran and Larry Craig's Wide Stance Among Most Quotable Of 07

by The Associated Press
Posted: December 20, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(Hartford, Connecticut) It was the plea heard round the world. "Don't taseme, bro" - shouted by a Florida college student as officers removed him froma speech by Sen. John Kerry - tops this year's list of most memorablequotes, compiled by the editor of the Yale Book of Quotations.

Second on the list is a quote from Lauren Upton, the Miss Teen USAcontestant who gave a confused and mangled response to a question about whyone-fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a map.

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because somepeople out there in our nation don't have maps and I believe that oureducation like such as in South Africa and Iraq and everywhere like such asand I believe that they should our education over here in the U.S. shouldhelp the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asiancountries so we will be able to build up our future for us," Upton said.

The words of both young people were immortalized in videos posted onYouTube, the video-sharing Web site.

"These new media are spreading these things," said editor Fred R. Shapiro,53, associate librarian and lecturer in legal research at the Yale LawSchool. "I'm not listing the most admirable quotes, the most eloquentquotes. It's the most memorable quotes."

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365gay.com

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/12/122107likes.htm

Down And Personal With The Candidates

by The Associated Press
Posted: December 21, 2007 - 8:00 am ET

(Washington) Bring on the grilled meat. Just don't plate it with certainvegetables.

The presidential candidates seem more aligned in their food cravings thantheir politics. Indulgences include a hearty Southern breakfast, chocolateand Mexican spice.

Bring them all together for a feast, and the host would want to pass on thebeets, eggplant, mushrooms and carrots to avoid a turned up nose at thetable.

Since the spring, The Associated Press has been exploring the tastes, traitsand backgrounds of the Democrats and Republicans running for their party's2008 presidential nomination.

AP asked them about their ideal jobs and their worst gigs, their hiddentalents and their treasured possessions, to find out more about theirpersonal side.

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365gay.com

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/12/122107obama.htm

Obama Laments Negative Tone Of Campaign

by The Associated Press
Posted: December 21, 2007 - 8:00 am ET

(Rochester, New Hampshire) Democrat Barack Obama on Thursday lamented thesour tone of the presidential campaign, but insisted he and his wife havecreated a protective bubble around their two young daughters.

In recent weeks, Obama has been criticized by his chief rival, HillaryRodham Clinton, as being too inexperienced to be elected president. One ofher top advisers resigned after suggesting Obama would be vulnerable toquestions about his use of illegal drugs as a teenager. A Clinton surrogateraised Obama's Muslim heritage roots in what some viewed as an unflatteringway. And he and Clinton have engaged in debate about their health careplans.

"So far, I think, attempts to go negative in a way that's not policy-basedhave backfired on the people who have gone in that direction," Obama saidduring a brief interview with The Associated Press after a town hall-stylemeeting at an American Legion hall.

"If people are arguing about policy, that's part of politics and that'sfair," said Obama, an Illinois senator.

Obama said campaign ads focused on policy, such as his spot criticizingClinton's universal health care plan, are fair game and he will beaggressive about making such comparisons. While not pleasant, he said hecan't fault his rivals for them.

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365gay.com

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/12/122107romney.htm

Romney Caught In New Fibs

by The Associated Press
Posted: December 21, 2007 - 8:00 am ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) Mitt Romney, who earlier this year had to backpedalon his hunting exploits, is explaining himself again after claiming anendorsement he did not receive and saying he witnessed his father in civilrights marches he could not have seen.

"It's a figure of speech," Romney said Thursday after media inquiries intothe Republican presidential contender's statement during his recent religionspeech that he watched his father, the late Gov. George Romney of Michigan,march with Martin Luther King Jr.

Romney, who was in high school at the time, later said he only heard of hisfather marching, and some historians have questioned whether his father, infact, did march with King. The Romney campaign provided books and newsarticles it said supported his statement.

Romney said it was akin to him stating, "I saw my dad become president ofAmerican Motors." He told reporters in Iowa, "I wasn't there when he becamepresident."

Romney similarly backtracked after telling a national television audienceSunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "I received the endorsement of theNRA" in 2002 while running for governor of Massachusetts.

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365gay.com

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/12/122107paul.htm

Ron Paul GOP Spoiler?

by The Associated Press
Posted: December 21, 2007 - 8:00 am ET

(Concord, New Hampshire) It wasn't long ago that Rep. Ron Paul was ananti-war asterisk in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.Then his campaign raised a record $6 million in a single day.

Now the libertarian-leaning Texas congressman is looking like a possiblespoiler, with an eclectic, tech-savvy following and an astounding $18million in donations raised in less than three months.

"It's sort of gotten out of control. I don't know what to do about it," hetold one audience recently in mock frustration.

At the current rate, it is some of his better known rivals who might havecause for concern. Polls give no indication that Paul can win any primariesor caucuses. But his appeal to independents, in particular, could make adifference in contests in New Hampshire, which votes on Jan. 8, or inMichigan, where a primary is scheduled one week later.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona, for one, hopes to appeal to independents inthose states, both of which he won when he first sought the White Houseeight years ago. Paul's literature says he never voted to raise taxes, apoint that could get him a look from backers of former Massachusetts Gov.Mitt Romney.

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Sun-Sentinel.com

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/sfl-forum21buttesbdec21,0,1054767,print.story

Hard to justify 'don't ask' policy

By William Butte
December 21, 2007

Unit cohesion sounds like a phrase used by a high school chemistry teacher.

Instead, it's the phrase used by the Republican presidential candidates thiscampaign season to explain why they support the military's discriminatory"don't ask, don't tell" policy that prohibits openly gay service members, apolicy supposedly created to stop military commanders from performingwitch-hunts against gay service members that instead has been used todischarge more than 12,000 gays in the 14 years since its implementation.

After I wrote a column last year in which I questioned how then-DefenseSecretary Donald Rumsfeld could claim openly gay troops would disrupt unitcohesion and undermine the services' missions when a study he commissionedin 2005 indicated otherwise, I received an e-mail from retired BrigadierGeneral Keith Kerr.

Kerr, who agreed to be quoted for this column, noted that the argument bytop military leaders that unit cohesion would be destroyed if openly gayservice members were allowed "has been a well-cultivated military myth fordecades," that it was the same argument used by "every admiral and general,save one, opposed to Truman's order to integrate African-Americans in themilitary following WWII," and was used again in the 1970s "against admittingwomen into the service academies." He also noted "There is strong oppositionfrom the Christian conservative movement to allow GLBT members to serveopenly."

Coincidently, now-retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen.Peter Pace, best exemplified that opposition earlier this year.

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Sun-Sentinel.com

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nationworld/sfl-flasyphilis1221sbdec21,0,6473556,print.story

Once rare, syphilis resurfaces in Europe, driven by risky sex

By Maria Cheng
The Associated Press
December 21, 2007

LONDON

Syphilis is back: The sexually transmitted disease long associated with19th century bohemian life is making an alarming resurgence in Europe.

"Syphilis used to be a very rare disease," said Dr. Marita van de Laar, anexpert in sexually transmitted diseases at the European Center for DiseasePrevention and Control. "I'm not sure we can say that anymore."

Most cases of syphilis are in men, and specialists say more risky sex amonggay men is the chief cause for the resurgence. But more cases are being seenamong heterosexuals, both men and women.

Syphilis was the sexual scourge of the 19th century and is thought to havekilled artists such as poet Charles Baudelaire, composer Robert Schumann andpainter Paul Gauguin. The widespread use of penicillin in the 1950s all butwiped it out in the Western world.

In the past decade, however, syphilis has returned, driven by risky sexualbehavior and outbreaks in major cities across Europe, including London,Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin.

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Sun-Sentinel.com

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/sfl-brmail790sbdec21,0,5692820,print.story

Is marriage a life raft of morality in a sea of unsafe sex?

December 21, 2007

Re Dec. 3's column, "Marriage a foundation that should not be diluted": Ifpressed for an opinion, I'd say that allowing gays to join an institutionwith a 50 percent failure rate would only enrich wedding planners anddivorce lawyers, but I suppose the government should recognize theircommitted relationships by granting the benefits of marriage.

That being said, am I really expected to believe that the inability of gaysto marry pushes them into "the streets and back alleys" to indulge in"disease-ridden encounters"? Is marriage really such a life raft of moralityin a sea of random, unsafe sex?

I think the article does a disservice to anyone involved in unmarriedmonogamous relationships by implying that without a state certificate theirown bestial natures will soon have them cruising back alleys and bathroomstalls. Perhaps it's unfair that Britney Spears is allowed to marry and gaypeople aren't, but marriage laws can't compete with poor sex education, lackof parental guidance and stupidity when it comes to facilitating the spreadof sexually transmitted diseases.

Ernesto Leone
Fort Lauderdale


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[Send your comments about articles to Rays.List@Comcast.net]
#####

FLORIDA DIGEST December 21, 2007

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

=

Sun-Sentinel.com

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/custom/consumer/sfl-1220psdrugcards,0,4829521,print.story

State offering prescription drug discount cards

By Linda Kleindienst
10:17 AM EST, December 20, 2007

TALLAHASSEE

Nearly 4 million Floridians who have no prescription insurance coveragewill have access to lower priced drugs at pharmacies across Florida under anew program unveiled Thursday by Gov. Charlie Crist.

The Florida Discount Drug Card is now available to individuals and familiesunder the age of 60 whose annual income is less than 300 percent of thefederal poverty level. Qualifying incomes for individuals are up to $30,636,for two-person families the income cutoff is $41,076 and for a family offour, $61,956.

All individuals over the age of 60, regardless of income, qualify for thecard if they do not have prescription drug coverage or if they are in theMedicare Prescripton Drug Coverage gap.

More than 3,000 retail pharmacies have agreed to accept the discount card.Drug discounts range from 5 percent to 42 percent. Savings will varydepending on the quantity, type and brand of drug purchased.

"Access to affordable prescription drugs enhances every person's quality oflife as well as the vitality of our state, and many working families andseniors struggle to afford their medications," Crist said.

Individuals and families can enroll online at
www.FloridaDiscountDrugCard.com or by calling 1-866-341-8894. The Web siteprovides the names of participating pharmacies and lists the drugs, alongwith the discounts that will be provided.

Those applying for the card must provide their name and contact information.
Those under age 60 must also provide qualifying income information.

Linda Kleindienst can be reached at lkleindienst@sun-sentinel.com or850-224-6214.



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MiamiHerald.com

http://www.miamiherald.com/971/v-print/story/352999.html

AIDS Healthcare Foundation's 'Out of the Closet' Thrift Store Pays $90K to
City for Crosswalk on Wilton Drive

Posted on Fri, Dec. 21, 2007

AIDS Healthcare Foundation

In a move that could go a long way toward improving safety along a dangerousstretch of Wilton Drive, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), operator of the'Out of the Closet' Thrift Stores, has paid $90,000 to the City of WiltonManors for the installation of a crosswalk on Wilton Drive, in front ofHagen Park. Part of an eighteen-store chain that is the nation's largestretail fundraising vehicle for HIV/AIDS medical care and research, theWilton Manors 'Out of the Closet' is scheduled to open at 2097 Wilton Drivein January 2008.

The $90,000 contribution for the crosswalk comes at a time when WiltonManors city officials are in talks with the Florida Department ofTransportation to improve safety along Wilton Drive. Area business ownersand residents have been lobbying the City for some time to improve safetyconditions on that road --- the site of numerous serious accidents.Community efforts for traffic calming in Wilton Manors have intensified inrecent months after a pedestrian was struck and killed this past Novembercrossing Dixie Highway at Five Points intersection -- just three weeks afteranother pedestrian was critically injured crossing an extension of WiltonDrive, NE Fourth Avenue.

"Particularly in light of recent serious traffic incidents in the area, weare pleased to announce this payment of $90,000 to the City for theinstallation of a crosswalk on Wilton Drive," said Matt LaMariana, DistrictManager-Florida, 'Out of the Closet' Thrift Stores. "As the community hasrallied together to address the issue of traffic calming, it is our hopethat this much-needed crosswalk will not only help make the area morepedestrian-friendly, benefiting all of the businesses on the south side ofWilton Drive, but also play a critical role in accelerating the process ofimproving the safety and quality of life for all of those who work in, livein and visit this area."

Though the crosswalk installation falls under the jurisdiction of the City,Wilton Drive itself is a state road and, thus, decisions regarding changesto it rest with the state. According to a recent Express Gay News article("Local Gay Resident Killed Crossing Street in Wilton Manors," By JuanCarlos Rodriguez), in response to community concerns City officials met withthe Florida Department of Transportation regarding traffic calming options.However, officials failed to see eye-to-eye on potential solutions at thatmeeting. Since all changes to Wilton Drive are subject to State approval,the traffic safety situation will remain as it is until State and Cityofficials can come to an agreement.

"The installation of a crosswalk on Wilton Drive is long-overdue," said KateWalsh, owner of We're Everywhere, a clothing store and gift shop located at2041 Wilton Drive, near the site of the proposed crosswalk. "I'm excitedabout any improvements that will make the neighborhood more pedestrianfriendly. With four lanes of traffic and cars flying by at high speeds,Wilton Drive is very difficult -- even dangerous -- to cross. I've longwondered how many more people will be hit or killed before action would betaken. A crosswalk will be 100% beneficial to Wilton Manors business-ownersand residents alike."

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365gay.com

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/12/122007fla.htm

Drag Queen Gets New Murder Trial

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: December 20, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(West Palm Beach, Florida) A 28-year old gay Florida man convicted ofkilling a man he allegedly picked up for sex in 2003 will get a new trial anappeals court has ruled.

The appeals court said that Eulis Campbell had not received a fair trialbecause the original judge erred by not sequestering the jury during itsdeliberations.

Campbell was well known in West Palm Beach's gay community as a drag artist,performing under the stage name Madeline Monroe and impersonating MarilynMonroe, Liza Minnelli and Madonna.

He was convicted in 2006 of killing truck driver Farook Baksh, 45.

At his trial the prosecution presented evidence showing that Campbell metBaksh at an area gay bar and the two went to Baksh's apartment.

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Express Gay News

http://www.expressgaynews.com/2007/12-20/news/localnews/4286.cfm

Defendants sentenced in local gay doctor's murder

By JUAN CARLOS RODRIGUEZ
Dec. 20, 2007

Two men in their early 20s will serve 70 years combined for the brutalmurder of Harry Grossman, a gay anesthesiologist who lived in FortLauderdale.

Scott Whisenant, 20, was sentenced to 40 years and his accomplice, JosephFleischer, 21, was sentenced to 30 years in prison. The sentences were readin separate hearings before Broward County Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes Dec.12.

Whisenant and Fleischer broke into Grossman's Guava Isle home Jan. 12, 2005,with the intention of robbing him, prosecutors said. The breakin went awryand resulted in Whisenant beating and strangling Grossman to death with adog leash as Fleischer searched for Grossman's safe.

Grossman met Whisenant and Fleischer at Covenant House, a shelter fortroubled youth, two days before he was murdered. He often hired young men todo maintenance at his home.

Whisenant's attorney, Pat Ratstatter, had argued that Grossman hiredtroubled young men for sex, as well as odd jobs, but Holmes did not allowthe argument into evidence.

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Express Gay News

http://www.expressgaynews.com/2007/12-20/locallife/pulse/4292.cfm

Ft. Lauderdale

Local arts scene gears up for new year
New gallery opens in Manors; White Party seeks performers

By J.W. ARNOLD
Thursday, December 20, 2007

WITH MORE THAN ITS share of galleries, theater companies and musicalorganizations, the South Florida arts scene remains active throughout theyear. Here's a quick look at some local arts and cultural events:

Howard Gordon, one of Florida's leading photographers of orchids, willcelebrate the grand opening of the Howard Gordon Gallery, 2437 Dixie Hwy. inWilton Manors, on Friday, Dec. 21. Gordon, an accomplished photographer withworks in many prestigious private collections, will be on hand to discusshis work. The reception runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at the gallery, located justsouth of Five Points.

Winter Party seeking performers

If you are a performer, the Winter Party Festival may have a special rolefor you. The Winter Party Festival planning committee invites you to becomea part of the cast of performers. They are seeking local, national andinternational talent to fill positions such as hot gogo boys and girls,fierce drag queens and kings, professional dancers and specialty acts suchas stilt walkers and puppeteers. There is no monetary compensation, butperformers will receive free tickets to the dance events. Travel and lodgingwill not be reimbursed, but some costumes will be provided.

Interested performers should send contact information, photo, a full bodypicture and a short video submission to damientwo@aol.com with the subjectline "WPF Entertainment Casting Call." You can also apply by mail to TheTask Force, Attn: WPF Director of Programming, 3510 Biscayne Boulevard,Suite 206, Miami, FL 33137. For more information, go to www.winterparty.com.

Pride Wind Ensemble to resume rehearsals

After performing Christmas Eve with the Sunshine Cathedral Choir and othergroups, the South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble, one of the nation's premierGLBT bands, resumes rehearsals at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, in the musicroom of St. Mark's Episcopal School, 1750 E. Oakland Park Blvd. The bandwill begin preparing for its spring concert at the Broward Center for thePerforming Arts on May 11, as well as upcoming Pride events in Ft.Lauderdale, Lake Worth and Jacksonville. Musicians of all levels areencouraged to attend, and the band can provide some instruments, ifnecessary. For more information, go to www.flamingofreedomband.org or call954-478-7478.

GLCC continues toy drive

The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida (GLCC) continues its2007 toy drive through Christmas week. Donations of unwrapped toys are beingaccepted Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. or Saturday andSunday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Center, 1717 N. Andrews Ave. in FortLauderdale.

Women Net, a networking social for women presented by the GLCC, holds itsmonthly social Thursday, Dec. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. at GBS The Beauty Store,31 N. Federal Hwy. in Fort Lauderdale. In addition to complimentary drinksand hors d'oeuvres, participants will receive free flat iron treatments,blowouts, skin care analysis, mini-manicures and make-up touch ups. A $5donation is requested. For more information, call 954-463-9005.

If you are looking for a special stocking stuffer, pick up the 2008 MainStreet Gym calendar. Proceeds from the sale benefits the GLCC and BrowardHouse, a local HIV/AIDS service organization. The calendars are available atthe gym, located in the Shoppes of Wilton Manors, as well as the GLCC andBroward House. They cost $15 each. The calendar can also be purchased onlineat the GLCC website, www.glccsf.org. The calendar was the culmination of athree-month model search conducted at Coliseum and featuring some of thehottest guys in South Florida.



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Express Gay News

http://www.expressgaynews.com/2007/12-20/news/localnews/4287.cfm

Broward Human Rights Board approves trans amendment
Members agree on definition of 'gender identity, expression'

By JUAN CARLOS RODRIGUEZ
Dec. 20, 2007

The Broward County Human Rights Board on Dec. 17 unanimously approved aproposed amendment that would add protections for transgendered men andwomen and pregnant women to the county's human rights ordinance. Theamendment will now go before the Broward County Commission, which isexpected to vote on the measure no later than February.

Supporters of the amendment have been seeking quick passage of thelegislation. But supporters and activists have been calling for changes thatwould streamline the ordinance's administrative process and strengthen thestatutes that currently protect gays and lesbians as well as other protectedclasses.

In a three-minute speech before the board, Broward County Commissioner KenKeechl, the amendment's main sponsor, urged board members to approve theamendment rather than rework the language, which could result in furtherdelay.

"Let's get it done today," said Keechl, who said he wants to see theamendment approved by Feb. 14. "If we don't get this done quickly, we'redoing a disservice to the transgendered community," he said.

The board agreed without discussion to a revise the definition of genderidentity and expression to read "genderrelated identity, appearance,expression or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual'sassigned sex at birth."

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Express Gay News

http://www.expressgaynews.com/2007/12-20/news/localnews/4284.cfm

Miami-Dade County looking to form GLBT advisory board
Officials invite gay and lesbian leaders to 'historic' meeting

By DONALD CAVANAUGH
Dec. 20, 2007

A new chapter in the history of relations between Miami- Dade County and thegay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community opened Dec. 13 when theMiami-Dade County Community Relations Board (CRB) invited local GLBTactivists to participate in a focus group to explore creating a GLBTadvisory committee for county government.

Vincent Delgado, a long-time GLBT activist and a member of the communityrelations board, organized the meeting, which was attended by Dr. LarryCapp, the executive director of the Miami-Dade County Office of CommunityAdvocacy, the parent organization for the CRB.

"I just felt the time was right for our community to have a common voice forthe county government," said Delgado, introducing his proposal to the group."We make up a large part of the county population and need to be representedbetter."

Organizations attending included Equality Florida, Miami-Dade Gay & LesbianChamber of Commerce, Pridelines, Safe Schools South Florida, SAVE Dade andthe National Gay & Lesbian Task Force.

"This is historic," said Heddy Pena, executive director of SAVE Dade. "Weknow there are factions that will oppose this, but how exciting to beinvited to participate by the CRB."

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Express Gay News

http://www.expressgaynews.com/2007/12-20/news/localnews/4290.cfm

Art Walk to showcase Pompano Bill's photos
Ubiquitous Bill's subjects include Liza Minnelli, John Wayne Bobbitt

By JUAN CARLOS RODRIGUEZ
Thursday, December 20, 2007

Photographer Pompano Bill has a certain way of getting his subjects tosmile. If the flirtatious glimmer in his baby blues doesn't immediatelyproduce a row of pearly whites, Pompano Bill peeks out from behind his viewfinder and works his magic.

"If they don't smile, I get them to say something that will make them smile," he says. "I get the women to say 'vagina' and the men to say'penis.' It's better than saying cheese."

Art lovers and friends of the one-of-a-kind Fort Lauderdale personality canponder Pompano Bill's technique Friday night as Copy This copy center inWilton Manors hosts "Snapshots," an exhibit of more than 50 of the82-yearold photographer's originals.

Eartha Kitt is captured in a candid shot. Bea Arthur mugs for the camera.Local legend Auntie Mame appears in a flourish of red feathers. And whatcould John Wayne Bobbit be saying behind his captured grin? That's right.You guessed it - the P word.

The exhibit depicts the wide range of people and experiences the colorfulphotographer has encountered. Liza Minnelli, Janet Reno, Wilton Manors MayorScott Newton and openly gay Broward County Commissioner Ken Keechl arecaptured alongside porn stars, drag queens, local entrepreneurs and PompanoBill himself.

For Pompano Bill, the collection tells a story of the local gay community.

"People of pride is what it says to me," says Pompano Bill about hisphotographs, which he estimates to number around 50,000.

Bruce Bogan, owner of Copy This, said Pompano Bill's infectious spiritinspired him to present the exhibit.

"He's taken pictures of everything," Bogan said. "He's the FrancescoScavullo of Fort Lauderdale."

Pompano Bill, whose birth name is Bill Calcaterra, started shooting picturesof the Fort Lauderdale gay scene after retiring from IBM. Soon his shotswere being published in Scoop, a local gay magazine that published from 1992to 2001. Pompano's photos ran in two regularly featured columns, "Cruisingwith Pompano Bill" and "People and Places."

Brad Casey, then publisher of Scoop magazine and now an account executivefor the Express and 411 Magazine, came up with Pompano Bill's well-knownmoniker because he used to live in Pompano Beach. Although Pompano Bill nowlives in Fort Lauderdale, the name has stuck.

Copy This is located at 21257 Wilton Dr. Admission to the Art Walk is free.



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Express Gay News

http://www.expressgaynews.com/2007/12-20/view/friendfoe/4274.cfm

Friend & Foe

By PHIL LaPADULA and juan carlos rodriguez
Thursday, December 20, 2007

FRIEND OF THE WEEK

Dani Campbell

Our Friend of the Week honor goes to Dani Campbell, a lesbian firefighterwho lives in Fort Lauderdale and works for the Deerfield Beach FireDepartment. Campbell made waves by making it to the finals of "A Shot atLove with Tila Tequila," a bisexual dating show. Even though she didn't winthe date with Tequila, Campbell is an inspirational role model to alllesbians and gay men who hold serious and challenging jobs.

It was obvious by the crowd at New Moon Lounge on Dec. 18 that Campbell wasa winner with the crowd. Campbell, 29, is an inspiration to the younger MTVgeneration.

FOE OF THE WEEK

Broward County School District officials­

When Broward Count School District officials shut down a fund-raisingappearance by reality TV star Dani Campbell at Taravella High School inCoral Springs Dec. 17, they revealed just how out of touch they are withtheir students.

With her down-to-earth sensibility and warm sense of humor, firefighterCampbell made a powerful impression on the viewers of "A Shot at Love withTila Tequila." She showed the fans the image of an out, butch lesbian whohas a ton of heart and integrity. The show was among the most popular showson MTV, whose viewership is largely composed of young people.

In fact, many of the young fans who showed up to New Moon Lounge Tuesdaynight to watch the final episode of the show identified themselves as beingstraight. They said that Campbell's image helped them understand their gayand lesbian peers.

Although school district officials denied that their decision to axeCampbell's appearance had anything to do with her sexuality, they balked atthe opportunity to send a positive message about young people - bothstraight and gay - who are different and not afraid to express themselveshonestly.

While blaming the shows depictions of sex and alcohol for the cancellationmay not be the same as canceling the appearance because of the fact thatCampbell is a lesbian, it still reeks of a stale moralistic stance that ispathetically out of touch with high school students today.



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From Florida Red and Blue

More great news! Two more newspapers today joined Florida Red and Blue inopposing the "marriage protection" amendment.

This morning, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale) called theamendment "unneeded" and "insulting," while the Daytona Beach News-Journalwrote its second editorial opposing the amendment, saying "embeddingprejudices in the constitution" is wrong.

Your support and hard work fighting this amendment is being noticed. Thankyou -- and let's keep fighting to defeat this unnecessary and punitiveamendment next November!

To date, NOT ONE Florida newspaper has supported the amendment. You canread the complete editorials at the links below.

AND REMEMBER: Harry Jacobs has agreed to match, dollar for dollar, everydonation we receive on our website by the end of the year. Join us incelebrating these two new outstanding editorials by donating today.
https://services.myngp.com/ngponlineservices/contribution.aspx?X=N7UOV24VIanC4xuRMFqTUA%3d%3d&m=floridaredandblue

Sun-Sentinel Editorial
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/sfl-editgsmarriagesbdec20,0,798399.story

Daytona Beach News-Journal Editorial
http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/Opinion/Editorials/opnOPN18121907.htm


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