Friday, January 11, 2008

GLBT DIGEST January 10, 2008

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Wayne Besen

Anything But Straight
January 8, 2008

Is Mike Huckabee A Closeted Stoner?

Is former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee a closeted stoner? This is thequestion that many people are asking, while the mainstream media has lookedthe other way.

Of course, what I am talking about has nothing to do with drugs, but ispotentially more dangerous. Unfortunately, one needs a headline thatincludes drugs, sex or Britney Spears to get anyone to pay attention. Simplybeing a leading presidential candidate with ties to religious extremiststhat would stone homosexuals, adulterers and people who lie about theirvirginity is not newsworthy, I suppose.

It is scary to imagine, but the jovial Huckabee is linked to leaders of theReconstructionist movement, which is so far to the right it makes PatRobertson look like Ted Kennedy. The late RJ Rushdoony, a prolific writerthat sought to replace the Constitution with the Old Testament, founded thisschool of religious thought. In essence, they want a Christian version ofIranian or Saudi Arabian sharia law in the United States. The Bible wouldgovern every action, whether religious, personal or civil.

These fanatics believe that in order for Jesus to return, we have to createtheir view of the Kingdom of God on earth. I know this may be surprising,but their plan doesn't include gay people and Hillary Clinton would be inthe kitchen fixing trail mix instead of mixing it up on the campaign trail.



New York Times

Filmmaker Exposes Gay Life, Pollution In China

Filed at 7:52 p.m. ET
January 9, 2008

SINGAPORE (Hollywood Reporter) - Documentary maker Ruby Yang is laying baresome of China's thorniest issues -- HIV/AIDS, tobacco and the ravages ofsmoking, homosexuality and the environment.

She's doing much of it with the full support of state organizations inChina, where censorship remains fierce and authorities are noted more forclamping down on sensitive domestic issues than for exposing them to theworld.

Yang's 39-minute Academy Award-winning film, "The Blood of Yingzhou" (2006),funded by the Starr Foundation, tracks a year in the life of AIDS orphans inChina's Anhui Province.

She followed that up in November with three public service advertisementspromoting condom use, using celebrities like Jackie Chan.

The shorts, produced with the support of the Ministry of Health, were thefirst condom advertisements to air on state-owned broadcaster China CentralTelevision's national network, CCTV 1.

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Analysis: Almost Like Two GOP Primaries

Associated Press Writer
6:05 PM EST, January 9, 2008


One Republican presidential nomination. Two primaries.

Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson are competing for the love ofRepublicans on the right, while John McCain and Rudy Giuliani battle for theloyalty of the party's center.

The GOP is ideologically split and so, too, the Republican race to succeedPresident Bush. It's almost as if there are two separate Republican primarycampaigns going on at the same time.

By most strategists' accounts, the candidate who can unite all wings of theparty will be the nominee.

"The fight over who wins the conservatives is up in the air, just as thefight over who wins moderates is up in the air," said Terry Nelson, aveteran of Bush's bids and a one-time McCain campaign manager. "The questionis whether that will be the dynamic in a few weeks."

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Miami Herald

Brazil's carnival: How to celebrate and survive

Posted on Thu, Jan. 10, 2008

Everyone knows Rio de Janeiro's carnival is supposed to be the greatestparty on Earth, but to many, the hordes of sweaty, scantily clad bodies ondisplay can be as intimidating as they are inviting.

The city's reputation for violence and the difficulties that arise from notspeaking Portuguese make it even more important that tourists get someguidance about how to jump in.

The locals have barely recovered from their New Year's hangovers and arealready preparing for the five-day-long, no-holds-barred pre-Lenten bashthat sweeps over this seaside city like a tidal wave.

Foreigners in the know are flocking to the hillside shantytowns, where thecity's top carnival groups hold weekly rehearsals to polish this year'stheme songs and to the Sambadrome stadium where free technical rehearsalsoffer a taste of the Samba parade with none of the glitter or glitz.

For the carnival itself, which takes place during the first five days ofFebruary this year, there are basically three ways to celebrate: party inthe street, watch the Samba parade from the stands or -- for the trulyfleet-footed and daring -- dance in the parade itself.

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Express Gay News

Md. marriage bill finds early support
But changing law won't be a 'slam dunk'

By JOSHUA LYNSEN | Jan 9, 4:26 PM

Equality Maryland is "fairly close" to meeting its goal of lining up 35House and Senate cosponsors for the Religious Freedom & Civil MarriageProtection Act, according to Carrie Evans, the group's policy director.

"The difficult thing is because the session isn't in, you can only getverbal commitments," she said before the session began Jan. 9. "There'snothing they can do right now except verbally commit until we have thedraft."

But commitments have been won, Evans said, from several House and Senatemembers.

"We know politicians are fine tuned in being squishy," she said. "They'renot going to say unequivocally 'yes' or 'no' unless that's what they mean,but we've had a lot of people say 'yes.'"

Tentatively slated for introduction Jan. 15, the Religious Freedom & CivilMarriage Protection Act would make valid marriages of "two people."

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Express Gay News

For gay N.H. lawmaker, Obama was clear choice
Voters finally get their say after long slog in the snow

By LISA KEEN | Jan 9, 4:15 PM

HART'S LOCATION, N.H. - When Ed Butler recently invited several neighbors to"The Met," he was not playing into a gay male stereotype. He was campaigningfor Barack Obama.

Butler, a New Hampshire state representative, is gay. And he's one of thosenewcomers to politics who surfed into office on the Democratic tidal wave ofNovember 2006. He's also a 58-year-old innkeeper in the north country of NewHampshire with his life partner. And together they are two of the 29registered voters in the state's smallest town.

The Met is a coffeehouse in the center of nearby North Conway Village, whereMichelle Obama, the wife of the candidate, was to appear in just a couple ofdays.

On Saturday, just hours after having to take his nine-year-old BerneseMountain Dog, Abby, to the vet to have her euthanized, Butler hit thecampaign trail for Obama. It was two days past the Iowa caucuses and threedays before the nation's first presidential primary of 2008. Obama had wonIowa, taking 38 percent of the delegates at the caucuses. The polls wereshowing a close race between Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Going door to door, Butler found only one neighbor who said she wasundecided. Everybody else had taken sides - for Clinton, Obama, and JohnEdwards. A list of registered voters showed the undecided woman hadregistered with no party affiliation. Butler talked up all the Democrats,but emphasized Obama, then asked the woman how she thought she might voteTuesday.

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Express Gay News

Sgt. Manzella on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

I attended the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network news conference thismorning with Sgt. Darren Manzella of the U.S. Army on "Don't Ask, Don'tTell." Manzella says that he's openly gay in the military and hasn't beendischarged yet, nor has he received any negative feedback from colleagues orsuperiors regarding his sexual orientation.

SLDN offers free legal services to gay military personnel. It is supportingManzella's idea that there is an "undeniable shift in attitudes regarding'Dont Ask, Don't Tell'." The organization says it is aware of more than 500troops who serve openly in the military today, according to executivedirector Aubrey Sarvis.

When he first enlisted in the military, Sgt. Manzella, like every othersoldier, had to sign countless documents. When he had to sign somethingdealing with the military's gay ban, he paid it no mind.

"I didn't think the policy would apply to me," he said, because there wereso many other things to focus on at the time.

Now, Manzella has an extensive military resume to boast of -- he is atrained medic and has saved civilian and soldier lives in both Iraq andKuwait. He's received numerous awards and promotions, and he's not afraid tosay how good he is at his job.

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Express Gay News

Craig: Disorderly conduct law requires multiple victims
Senator tries new strategy to erase guilty plea

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) | Jan 9, 12:19 PM

Seeking to have his guilty plea in a bathroom sex sting erased, Idaho Sen.Larry Craig's attorneys argue in a new court filing that the underlying actwasn't criminal because it didn't involve multiple victims.

An appeals brief filed Tuesday contends that Minnesota's disorderly conductlaw "requires that the conduct at issue have a tendency to alarm or anger`others'" - underscoring the plural nature of the term.

Craig's brief goes on to cite other convictions that were overturned becausethe multiple-victim test wasn't met. His lawyers apply the same logic to hiscase.

The Republican senator pleaded guilty in August after his arrest two monthsearlier at the Minneapolis airport. It was part of a broader undercover pushtargeting men soliciting sex in public restrooms.

Craig was arrested June 11 by an undercover officer, Sgt. Dave Karsnia, whosaid Craig tapped his feet and swiped his hand under a stall divider in away that signaled he wanted sex. Craig has denied that, saying his actionswere misconstrued.

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Express Gay News

Ron Paul's bigoted past

The New Republic posted a story titled 'Angry White Man' about politicalnewsletters that Ron Paul has released over the years. They've gone by avariety of different names -- 'Ron Paul's Freedom Report,' 'The Ron PaulSurvival Report' and 'Ron Paul Political Report' -- but they've beenreleased monthly since about 1978. The story was written by Bladecontributor James Kirchick.

In 1996, Charles "Lefty" Morris was running against Paul for a House seat.He released some excerpts from 'Freedom Report' archives -- racist andsexist ones. At that time, in 1996, Paul's people said that the newsletterhad been quoted out of context. Let's review the quotes:

"... Opinion polls consistently show only about 5 percent of blacks havesensible political opinions."

"... If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know howunbelievably fleet-footed they can be."

"... [Black representative Barbara Jordan is] the archetypical half-educatedvictimologist [whose] race and sex protect her from criticism."

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Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Obama, Clinton Dig In For Long Bitter Fight
(Washington) Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have dug in for aprolonged struggle over the Democratic presidential nomination, a woman anda black man in a campaign unlike any other.
Romney Pulls Ads in Fla, S.C.
(Boston, Massachusetts) Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney hasdecided to pull his advertising from South Carolina and Florida, in a signof trouble for a campaign that badly needs a win.
Source: Bloomberg Secretly Polling For Potential 3rd Party Run
(New York City) New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has quietly been pollingand conducting a highly sophisticated voter analysis in all 50 states as hedecides whether to launch an independent presidential bid, associates say.
Anti-Gay Reggae Music Owned By Town That Banned Homophobic Music
(Brighton, England) Brighton city council told bars and clubs last year thatthey risk having their licenses revoked if they are found to be playingmusic by reggae and rap artists that promotes hatred against gays but acheck of the city library has found a large collection of the music.
Fundamentalists Launch Shareholder Drive To Fight Microsoft On Gay Rights
(Seattle, Washington) A group of conservative religious leaders have formeda corporation to organize a shareholder revolt against what they callMicrosoft's funding of the gay agenda.
HIV/AIDS Deaths Decline In NYC
(New York City) Deaths in New York City from HIV/AIDS fell by nearly 15percent in 2006 the city health department said Wednesday.
Sen. Craig Amends Gay Bust Appeal
(St. Paul, Minnesota) Seeking to have his guilty plea in a bathroom sexsting erased, the attorneys for Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho argue in a newcourt filing that the underlying act wasn't criminal because it didn'tinvolve multiple victims.


To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has sent aletter to all Primates of the Anglican Communion, in which he describes indetail the state of the conversation on same-sex blessings in the Canadianchurch. "I hope to dispel rumour or misunderstanding by sharing with youwhat is actually happening," Archbishop Hiltz says in the letter. The letteralso stresses that the Canadian church continues to "rejoice in thefellowship we share throughout the Communion. "We embrace wholeheartedly theFive Marks of Mission for the Anglican Communion," the Canadian Primatewrites. "We value international relationships developed over many years andwe cherish the opportunity to participate in the work of global commissionsand networks. We treasurer our friendship in Christ." The full text ofArchbishop Hiltz's letter follows:
A gay man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple so that they could have achild is entitled to pursue an action seeking custody and visitation rightsin the Connecticut courts, according to an unpublished decision issued onDecember 7, 2007, by Superior Court Judge Michael E. Riley (Putnam County)in the case of Browne v. D'Alleva, 2007 WL 4636692. Judge Riley's decision,which includes a thorough review of case law from other jurisdictions on aquestion of first impression in Connecticut, relies heavily on anacknowledgment of paternity executed by the biological parents shortly afterthe birth of the child, and Browne's name being listed as the father on thechild's birth certificate. According to Judge Riley's opinion, Browne and D'Allevabecame friends as Harvard undergraduates in 1983. D'Alleva and her same-sexlife partner were united in a Connecticut civil union in 2005.
The Words "Moral Values" Mean Very Different Things to the Public and toPundits
Large Majority of Those Who Say Moral Values are Very Important in TheirVoting Choices are Thinking About the Characters of the Candidates Not TheirPositions on Controversial Issues. Political commentators and journalistsoften use the phrase "moral values" to mean the issues of importance to someconservatives and members of the "Christian Right", issues such as abortion,gay rights, same-sex marriage and stem cell research. In fact, when thepublic uses the phrase, only a few people are referring to these issues.
Most people who say that moral values are very important to them in decidinghow to vote (46% of all adults) say that what they mean are the charactersof the candidates - such as honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and theirlikelihood of "doing the right thing". These are some of the results of anew Harris Poll of 2,335 adults surveyed online between December 4 and 12,2007. How Important Are "Moral Values"? Using the phrase as the publicunderstands it, moral values are important to most people (85%) whendeciding whom to vote for, and are "very important" to fully 46 percent ofthe public.
Oregon's domestic partnership law remains stalled in new year Oregon'sdomestic partnership law, which Catholic leaders oppose as a possiblydangerous forgery of marriage, is still on hold. The law, passed by thestate's lawmakers last spring and signed by Gov. Ted Kulongoski, stops shortof allowing an institution called same-sex marriage, but gives homosexualcouples all the civil benefits of married life. The legislation was to gointo effect this month. But just before the New Year, a federal judge said acitizen attempt to overturn the law may have been nixed in anunconstitutional way.
The Rev. Ellen Tatreau belongs to a denomination that considershomosexuality "un-Christian." But as pastor of Albany [NY]'s EmmanuelBaptist Church, Tatreau welcomes homosexuals. The pastor took her supporta step further six months ago when, for the first time, she performed amarriage-like "service of commitment" for a lesbian couple. Eight peopleattended. "The first time was really a profound experience," Tatreau said.
"Because I knew that the families of this couple were really struggling withthis and did not see it as anything that should be sanctioned by thechurch." The pastor shared the story Tuesday following a forum billed aroundthis theme: "The Spirituality of Marriage: Is Gay Marriage Different?" TheCapital Area Council of Churches sponsored the discussion in a brick-walledhall at First Lutheran Church. A small crowd gathered over lunch to hear twopastors address a subject that has polarized government bodies around theUnited States and faith communities around the world.
The Connecticut Supreme Court may foist same-sex marriage on its citizenswhen it issues its landmark ruling in Kerrigan and Mock v. Commissioner ofPublic Health, which is expected [Thursday] Jan. 11. The state's largestnewspaper, and the oldest in the nation, The Hartford Courant, hasn'tcovered the case on its news pages since it was argued last May. But thatdoesn't mean the paper has kept its bias in the closet. The Family Instituteof Connecticut notes on its blog: "For months now the paper has made nomention of the Kerrigan case. And, of course, it ignored FIC's Rally forLiberty, which brought 300 people to the state Capitol on a Wednesdaymorning last September to defend marriage and self-government."


National Gay News

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Huckabee Accused Of Reneging On Promise To Meet AIDS Activists
Jeanne White-Ginder, the mother of Ryan White, said Tuesday that Gov. MikeHuckabee is reneging on his commitment to meet with her and other AIDSactivists over 15-year-old comments that AIDS patients should have beenisolated. Ryan White was an Indiana teenager whose life-ending battle withAIDS in the 1980s engrossed the nation.
ENG 317: "How Not To Be Gay"
I've been studying higher education for a long time, but I've never seenanything quite as queer as a new course being taught at the University ofMichigan. Section Two of English 317 is titled "How to be Gay: MaleHomosexuality and Initiation." Taught by Instructor David Halperin (halperin@umich.eduThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, youneed JavaScript enabled to view it ), the course is worth three credit hoursto Wolverine students interested in exploring learned gayness.
The Hottest Men on Ice
This month the Grand Prix of Figure Skating came to a rather predictableconclusion with all of the usual suspects capturing the medals and theAmericans lagging behind once again with only a silver and a bronze.
But some of the season's highlights weren't really about the competitionrather. Per usual, the hot men on the ice stole focus.
Gay Channel Logo Steps into "Sordid" Realm
The gay-themed Logo cable channel said Tuesday it has started production on"Sordid Lives: The Series," a scripted satire about a dysfunctional Texanfamily. The project, slated for a fall premiere on the MTV Networks outlet,is based on Del Shores' 1996 play and 2000 film. Shores ("Queer as Folk,""Dharma & Greg") wrote and will direct all 12 half-hour episodes.
Sporting Kiwis Set for Melbourne Outgames
The inaugural Asia Pacific Outgames and Midsumma Festival in Melbournebegins next weekend, and organisers say they've signed up a large number NewZealanders to come and "play with their neighbours".
Taking place between 19 January and 10 February, the Festival and Outgamesaim to embrace the Asia Pacific gay and lesbian community and their friends,with a wide variety of sports, as well as a Human Rights Conference, andcultural festival including shows, parties, film screenings, and a PrideMarch in St. Kilda.
The (Not So) Real Gay Hollywood
This week trash mag Famous have done their best to cash in on thescandalousness of being gay by producing their "Real Hollywood Gay List".
Splashed all over the front cover is every old news story and gay clichéunder the sun, wheeled out, repackaged and sensationalised for the straightmasses to devour. It begs the question - why does stuff like this sellmagazines? And what kind of message does it send?


Democracy in Action

by Libby Post

Next month I'll be 50.

I started paying attention to politics in the latter half of my firstdecade. I actually did my first literature drop when I was eight for EugeneNickerson, the only Democrat to ever elected county executive in NassauCounty until the beginning of this century. For a little kid, it was prettyexciting.

Fast forward four decades or so and I'm feeling really excited again. Notbecause Obama won or Clinton won but because democracy is winning.

For the first time in as long as I can remember, as a country, we actuallyhave a choice. We finally don't have to just pick between two evils. Eachside of the aisle has at least three viable candidates for president.

That means we can get involved, ask questions, deliberate and exercise ourability to make our nation a better place to live. We can work for change.We can get fired up and ready to go. We can find our own voice.

We can get actually get excited about presidential politics.

Since this campaign began a good year ago, I thought we'd all be brain deadby now-fatigued by the constant droning of candidates saying they're thebest choice. Well, happily, I was wrong.

Starting earlier-while making the campaigns more expensive-gave us more ofan opportunity to engage. We could actually do our part of retailpolitics-pick over the candidates like we pick over all the clothes at Macy'sin the after Christmas sales. The earlier start gave us time to exploretheir platforms, talk about it with our friends and family, create anational dialogue about the future of our country.

With the first two events of the political season behind us, we've gottenjust a glimpse of how dynamic this race will be.

Iowa gave us Obama and Huckabee as the victors. Going into New Hampshire, itwas pretty clear that John McCain was the resurgent Republican. He's theonly one who spent any real time there.

Huckabee may win a few more primaries down south but watch out for Guilianiin Florida and New York on Super Tuesday, February 5th. Fred Thompson issleep walking through his campaign hoping his good ol' boy actor-personawill win him a few delegates.

It's great to see the Republicans in such disarray. From where I sit, theirdivergent primary field speaks to the lack of leadership in the White House.In typical fashion, the party in control has not developed a road map tokeep their grip on power. We saw it in New York after 12 years of MarioCuomo as Governor. We're seeing again after eight years of the worstpresident in American history.



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