Monday, January 21, 2008

GLBT DIGEST January 21, 2008

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He Had a Dream

by Jennifer Vanasco,

He organized the 1963 March on Washington. He helped arrange the Montgomery,Ala. Bus boycott. He debated Malcolm X, learned non-violence directly fromGandhi's followers, went to jail for his civil rights protests, and isconsidered one of the architects of the black civil rights movement.

He was Bayard Rustin. He was gay. And he is all but forgotten during ourcountry's annual January commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rustinwas 17 years older than King, and had been working for the cause sinceleaving college. Born into a Quaker family in 1912 in a town where the KluKlux Klan paraded proudly down the street on holidays and where blacks weren't able to take a seat in white restaurants or theaters, Rustin was soonconvinced that non-violence was the answer to winning black civil rights. Hetraveled the country with the Fellowship of Reconcilliation, calling on"angelic troublemakers" to use their bodies to protest unfair conditions.

Rustin was athletic, polite and handsome. He was also completely unashamedof being gay. He met his first partner, Davis Platt, at a conference at BrynMawr College.

In the documentary "Brother Outsider," showing today on Logo (Logo is theparent company of 365Gay), Platt recalls what Rustin was like: "Suchintelligence, such a love of life, such a sense of humor, really a lot ofwisdom. And he had absolutely no shame about being gay."

That comfort with his gayness ended in 1953 in Padadena, Calif., when he wascaught by the police in the backseat of a car with two other men. Hisconviction for "sexual perversion" was to haunt him the rest of his life. Itconvinced him to tone down his sexuality in public, and was used by foes ofthe civil rights movement - notably Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) - to try toconvince the public that King was working with moral deviants.

more . . . . .


Judge: Private School Not Covered By Calif. Gay Rights Law

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: January 21, 2008 - 8:00 am ET

(Riverside, California) A Riverside County Superior Court judge hasdismissed a civil rights case brought by two teenage girls who were expelledfrom a private Lutheran high school because they were suspected of beinglesbians.

Judge Gloria Trask ruled that was no legal basis for the claim that theschool falls under the California civil-rights law that prohibits LGBTdiscrimination.

John McKay, the attorney for the school, had argued that the school shouldbe exempt because it is run by a religious institution and does not acceptstate funding.

"You can't infringe upon the basic rights of a religious group and theirright of association by forcing them to accept people who don't believe intheir values," McKay told the Press-Enterprise.

McKay said it would be inconsistent for the school to teach thathomosexuality is a sin while allowing the two girls to be students.

more . . . . .


Lords ready for fight over gay parents

21st January 2008 13:05
Tony Grew

Conservative peers and senior churchmen will this week attempt to block newlegislation that will give more rights to lesbian and gay parents.

Leading gay rights opponent Lord Tebbit, a former Cabinet minister underMargaret Thatcher, wants to defeat proposals that would allow two parents ofthe same sex to be listed on a child's birth certificate.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill proposes new recognition ofsame-sex couples as legal parents of children conceived through the use ofdonated sperm, eggs or embryos.

A woman who gives birth and her civil partner will both be recognised as theparents of a child conceived through assisted reproduction.

Two men will be able to apply for a parental order to become parents of achild conceived through a surrogacy arrangement.

more . . . . .


Cuban law may recognise same-sex partners, say officials

21st January 2008 12.21
Gemma Pritchard

The Cuban Communist Party is considering granting legal recognition tosame-sex unions, as health officials prepare to authorise sex-changeoperations, the director of the Cenesex sex education centre in Cuba hassaid.

The proposed change to Cuban family law would put members of same-sex unionson a par with heterosexual couples, psychologist Mariela Castro, who is thedaughter of acting President Raul Castro and niece of Fidel, told EFE.

Cenesex, which was founded in 1989 as a department of the Public HealthMinistry, approached Cuba's parliament two years ago with a proposal tooverhaul the 1975 Family Code to recognise the rights of gays, lesbians andtranssexuals. But it is the Communist Party that will decide whether theproposal becomes law.

"We are receiving suggestions and debating adjusting the proposal so it ismore flexible and has more chance of being approved," Mariela Castro toldEFE.

The principal needs of Cuban homosexuals "are related to the right to theirrecognition as consensual couples, as non-matrimonial couples, but thatauthorities recognise their property and inheritance rights in thosenon-legalized unions," she said.

more . . . . .


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.

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Editorial: We urge the Utah Legislature to support a proposal that wouldremove the state's ban on unmarried cohabiting couples as foster andadoptive parents. The well-being of children should come first, and thejudges and professionals charged with helping children should not behandcuffed by state law in finding the best home available. The UtahAdoption Amendments, sponsored by Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake, and Rep.Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake, would respect traditional families bycontinuing to give priority to married couples in adoption or foster carecases. But the amendments would give courts the option of allowing acohabiting adult to adopt or take in foster children in some cases, ratherthan forcing judges to put children into state custody. While a healthyhome environment with a married mother and father is the best choice for achild, sometimes that option simply isn't available. But a close relative,or even a parent, may be in a home environment currently disallowed forchildren.
Josh Friedes, a former board chair of the Massachusetts Freedom to MarryCoalition and the MassEquality Education Fund who currently serves asadvocacy director of Equal Rights Washington, said that in the early days ofMassEquality, prior to 2004, marriage equality advocates asked transgenderpeople to stay out of the spotlight out of concern that they would notinspire sympathy among the lawmakers that advocates were trying to persuadeto support marriage."If you go back and look at our materials [fromMassEquality and Freedom to Marry] I think you'll see an attempt to showfamilies that are racially and age diverse and using cut-lines to showgeographic diversity, but what you weren't seeing were imagery of coupleswhere one or both were transgender," said Friedes, who spoke with BayWindows about the agreement during an interview last October. "And to thatextent I think transgender individuals were made fairly invisible during thestruggle for marriage equality." He said transgender advocates agreed tostep out of the spotlight with the understanding that marriage activistswould use the strength built during the marriage battle to fight fortransgender rights, and he said it was incumbent on the gay, lesbian andbisexual community to keep that promise.
In a curiously limited ruling announced on January 18, the Supreme Court ofIowa disapproved a determination by Polk County District Court Judge D.J.Stovall that the district court lacked jurisdiction of a custody andvisitation dispute initiated by a lesbian adoptive "second parent." JudgeStovall, opining that Iowa's adoption statute did not authorize a woman toadopt her same-sex partner's children, found that previously performedadoptions were invalid, and thus his court had no jurisdiction to adjudicatecustody and visitation issuees when the lesbian partners ended theirrelationship. Unanimously disagreeing, the Supreme Court observed that nodirect appeal had been taken from the adoption rulings that had beenrendered years ago by a different judge of the district court, which hadtreated the adoption petitioner as the equivalent of a "step-parent" forpurposes of the adoption statute, and the court asserted: "We haverepeatedly said that a final judgment is conclusive on collateral attack,even if the judgment was erroneous, unless that court that entered thejudgment lacked jurisdiction over the person or the subject matter." Thecourt noted that an adoption decree can be attacked by a natural parent ondue process grounds, but in this case there was no natural parent attemptingto nullify the original adoptions. The birth mother's position in the casewas not to argue that her former partner's adoptions were not properlyapproved, but rather, apparently, to mount a "best interest of the child"argument in support of her position on the custody and visitation rights ofher former partner. Both mothers had appealed from Judge Stovall'sdismissal, as they sought a judicial resolution of their disagreement andthe birth mother, Jamie, was not contesting the validity of the adoptions.
While several folks have asked why I haven't been banging the amendment drumas loudly this legislative session, I'm happy to report some good news byway of explanation. I didn't have to. Our grassroots effort from last yearreally built momentum across the state. Politicians, businesses,organizations and concerned individuals came together to work without thebig egos and attention whoring that seems so endemic to a lot of ntrenchedorganizations. This time around our work from last year is paying dividends.
With property taxes foremost on most politicians' minds, appeasing thereligious right has felt the pinch. The Indiana House will not be holding ahearing on SJR-7 this year. That means Indiana's hateful bit of gay bashingis dead.
BURLINGTON, Vt.-Guest speakers brought in by a group opposed to same-sexmarriage got an earful from an audience mostly sympathetic to that idea. TheVermont Marriage Advisory Council, a newly formed group based in Rutland,organized Saturday's event at the University of Vermont and brought inspeakers from two national groups opposed to same-sex marriage. Many in theaudience disagreed. "It's nonsensical that marriage can't have multiplemeanings," Paul Deslandes of Burlington told Stewart and Fagan. "That'ssimply scare tactics." A spokesman for the Vermont Marriage Advisory Councilsaid the group was formed as a counter to what it sees as a pro-gay-marriagebias on a legislative task force studying the issue, the Vermont Commissionon Family Recognition and Protection. "We're trying to deliver educationalinformation that is either being forgotten or avoided in the public debate,"said Steve Cable, the Marriage Advisory Council spokesman. The legislativetask force is expected to report in April to lawmakers, who will thenconsider whether Vermont should move beyond its current law allowing civilunions for same-sex couples to full marriage.
Iowa: One image encapsulates the chaos of the summer morning five monthsago when gay marriage was legal - briefly - in Polk County.A crowd of 30,mostly reporters and photographers, encircles two young men under a mapletree. Sean Fritz, bearded and dripping sweat, throws his arms around thetall, redheaded Tim McQuillan. With a kiss, their marriage is sealed - andso is their position as the unlikely poster children of gay marriage inIowa. Another poignant image occurs 138 days later: Hundreds march from theIowa Statehouse to the Iowa Supreme Court on a January morning, praying as alight snow falls. They lobby legislators for a ban on gay marriage. Sean andTim's marriage epitomizes the marchers' worst fear.After months of quietmarried life in Ames, Sean, 24, and Tim, 21, have returned to the middle ofa media maelstrom as Iowa's most visible symbol of gay marriage.
DAYTON - A local attorney is calling for Montgomery County Area Court JudgeJames Piergies to withdraw from the Democratic primary race for countycommon pleas court because of comments he made about his openly gayopponent. "If people of good will are going to stand by when this sort ofthinly veiled bigotry is thrown out and traded upon, then where are we?"said attorney Steven K. Dankof Sr., who called for the Ohio and Dayton barassociations to take a public stand against Piergies' remarks. Dankofaccused Piergies of violating canons of judicial conduct and betraying thepublic trust. Last week Piergies said Montgomery County Common Pleas JudgeMary L. Wiseman should remove herself from cases involving gay rights,including those challenging Dayton's new anti-discrimination law or the Ohioconstitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Piergies said it wouldviolate the judicial canon of ethics if she would rule on such cases becauseof her outspoken support of gay rights and her role in promoting ananti-discrimination law that failed in 1999 when she was a Dayton citycommissioner. In an open letter to Piergies, Dankof said, "You clearlyraised Judge Wiseman's sexuality in the hope that homophobia would rear itsugly head and propel you to elected office."
CHARLESTON - Once again, a move is afoot in the House of Delegates to accordWest Virginia voters a chance to define marriage as an act between one manand one woman.Simultaneously, the proposed constitutional amendment wouldbar same-sex unions.Introduced early on in this session, the proposedMarriage Protection Amendment would prohibit the state from recognizinghomosexual marriages and prohibit recognizing a legal status forrelationships of similar nature. The current law in force is the In Defenseof Marriage Act, which recognizes marriage as a legal union between a manand a woman, but some legislators fear this could be overturned in the stateSupreme Court.
John Cloud, a writer for the Times Magazine, recently penned an articleabout gay relationships. Mr. Cloud, himself an openly gay man, first tellsof the breakup of his own seven year relationship the year before, thendelves into what he calls the existing "academic research on relationships"to fill out his theme that gays and lesbians may be somehow "different" fromstraights in their relationship dynamics. While Cloud admits theheterosexual research is "abundant", he also concedes the scarceness andrelative newness of studies dealing directly with homosexual pairs.The mainpoint I want to highlight is that all these "studies" - in most reportedpublications - seem to be comparing apples to oranges - and I´m not talkingabout the gay-straight dichotomy. That is to say, they compare gay andlesbian couples "living together" in committed relationships to heterosexual"married" couples.
Trinity College Dublin's annual Rainbow Week begins this Monday, 21stJanuary, with a demonstration calling for recognition of marriage rights forsame-sex couples, in association with Gay Marriage lobby group, LGBT NOISEand the USI LGBT Campaign. The theme of the demonstration will be 'Open youreyes, Love is blind', and will see supporters of gay marriage congregatingon Front Square of TCD wearing blindfolds."We are delighted to collaboratewith LGBT NOISE in making this statement for Rainbow Week. NOISE are verynew, but are already making a huge impact, and represent the feeling of thestudents, gay and straight, whom I represent," says Jason Devoy Keegan,Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Officer of Trinity College.
A PLAY that depicts Jesus as a gay man who is seduced by Judas and conductsa gay marriage for two apostles has been condemned by religious leaders asit prepares to open in Sydney. The Anglican Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, questioned the integrity of Corpus Christi and expressed his outrage at the "unhistoricaland untrue" depiction of the son of God and some of his disciples ashomosexual. The play's director, Leigh Rowney, is unrepentant. "I would besurprised if people bothered to protest outside the New Theatre . but ifthey did, bring it on," Rowney said. The play, which will open at the NewTheatre in Newtown on February 7 as part of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian MardiGras, provoked protests and bomb threats in the US. Death threats were sentto playwright Terrence McNally, who draws parallels between the rejection hefaced as a young gay man growing up in Texas and Christ's persecution.
Rowney, a Christian, denied the play mocked Christ but said it would upsetsome Christians. I think it humanises Him in a way Christians might finddifficult because we like to believe God and the son of God are ultimatelydivine and above all of us. "I wanted this play in the hands of a Christianperson like myself to give it dignity but still open it up to answeringquestions about Christianity as a faith system."
A proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages in Indianalikely was dealt a fatal blow today when a key lawmaker said he would notgive the issue a hearing. Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, who ischairman of the House Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee, said todaythat the most urgent issue facing the state is property taxes, not same-sexmarriage, which already is banned by Indiana law. "I'm not planning onhaving a hearing," Pelath said. "The short session (of the legislature) wasdesigned to deal with emergencies. We have a very serious problem with theproperty tax system, and we don't have any gay marriages in Indiana."



Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Judge: Private School Not Covered By Calif. Gay Rights Law(Riverside, California) A Riverside County Superior Court judge hasdismissed a civil rights case brought by two teenage girls who were expelledfrom a private Lutheran high school because they were suspected of beinglesbians.
Obama Speaks From MLK Pulpit
(Atlanta, Georgia) Barack Obama on Sunday called for unity to overcome thecountry's problems as he acknowledged that "none of our hands are clean"when it comes to healing divisions.
Clinton Stumps In Harlem
(New York City) Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton attended services Sunday ata historic black church in Harlem, a day after her victory in the Nevadacaucus and with a fresh challenge looming ahead of her in South Carolina.
GOP Moves On To Florida
(Miami, Florida) The Republican presidential race turned to Florida onSunday, ever more chaotic and contentious as four candidates began a 10-daysprint to win the state and momentum heading into the de facto nationalprimary next month.
Teen Swimmers Upset After Pictures Appear In Gay Adult Sites
(Santa Ana, California) Several gay adult Web sites have posted photographsof teenage water polo players from several high schools in SouthernCalifornia, a newspaper reported.
Pope Draws Crowd In Wake Of College Cancellation
(Rome) Tens of thousands of people packed Pope Benedict XVI's traditionalnoontime blessing Sunday in a show support after the Vatican canceled hisvisit to a university because of some protests by students and faculty.
FDA Approves HIV Drug Entravine
(Washington) Tablets of the drug etravirine were approved Friday by the Foodand Drug Administration for the treatment of HIV infection in adults whohave failed treatment with other antiretrovirals.
Tainted Blood Charges Dropped
(Hamilton, Ontario) All remaining charges in the tainted-blood scandalagainst Dr. Roger Perrault, former director of the Canadian Red Cross, havebeen dropped after the prosecution found there was no likelihood ofconviction.


From GayAsylum - UK

Jewish leaders back homophobic incitement law

Posted by: "omar kuddus" gayasylum
Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:19 am (PST)
18th January 2008 15:31 staff writer

A proposed new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexualorientation has been backed by the main body representing British Jews.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said that their community's experienceof prejudice was the reason they were supporting the government's proposal.

The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill was passed by the House of Commonslast week and will now be discussed in the Lords.

Christian MPs objected to the homophobic incitement proposal and attemptedto introduce an amendment allowing: "criticism of or expressions ofantipathy towards, conduct relating to a particular sexual orientation, orurging persons of a particular sexual orientation to refrain from or modifyconduct relating to that orientation."

It was overwhelmingly defeated.

Explaining their decision to support the proposed new law Jon Benjamin,chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told the JewishChronicle:

"Our community has a long history of suffering on account of prejudice andhatred on the grounds of being Jewish.

"For this reason we abhor hatred and violence directed against other groups,however their lifestyles may be regarded by parts of our community."

Justice minister Maria Eagle has said that religious will continue to havethe right to express their homophobic views.

"If you are a preacher and on Sunday morning you tell your sermon of yourbeliefs and the beliefs of your denomination about gay people then that'sdifferent to going and standing outside a gay club and using threateningwords and behaviour," she told

"The intent is the key. That is very clearly unacceptable and that's wherewe are pitching the offence."


From Euro-Queer

Turkey: transsexuals take to the stage to defend their rights

Jan 20, 2008

ANKARA (AFP) - A unique play in an Ankara theatre ended with a standingovation this week as the little-known actors -- transsexuals and gaysraising their voice against discrimination -- fought back their tears onstage.

Their play, "Pink And Grey," put the spotlight on the plight of transsexualsin mainly Muslim Turkey, in the latest initiative of a fledgling butincreasingly vocal movement for rights by a community long ostracized andoften harassed.

Beaming with pride and excitement, the amateur stars, male-to-femaletranssexuals Derya Tunc and Sera Can, received congratulations in theboisterous backstage, taking a welcome respite from their actual jobs as sexworkers.

"Despite all the discrimination we face, I have no regrets for what I am,"Can cheerfully told AFP. "My only regret is having ended up in theprostitution sector."

Almost all transsexuals and transvestites in Turkey make their living asprostitutes. They say they have no other option in a society wherehomophobia is strong and often accompanied by violence.

Three quarters of Turks say they are "disturbed" by homosexuals, a recentopinion survey showed, although many gays today are recognized as beingamong the country's most prominent singers and fashion designers.

Notoriously harsh against transsexual prostitutes, police have been accusedof arbitrary round-ups, mistreatment, torture and rough "clean-up"operations in several Istanbul neighbourhoods popular with transsexuals.

Activists say police abuse declined in recent years as the homosexual andtransgender movement became organised and Turkey's bid to join the EuropeanUnion made human rights a priority issue.

"Before, the police used violence -- now they only fine us," said BuseKilickaya, the head of Pembe Hayat, or Pink Life, a newly-foundedassociation that advocates transgender rights and sponsored "Pink and Grey."

She pointed to the ongoing trial of four people over an assault ontransvestite and transsexual prostitutes in Ankara's Eryaman suburb in 2006,which left several seriously injured.

The victims were attacked by young men wielding sticks and knives who wereallegedly encouraged by local authorities and property developers; theirflats were ransacked and they were eventually forced to flee theneighbourhood.

Attorney Senem Doganoglu, a supporter of Pink Life, said transvestites andtranssexuals continue to be arbitrarily detained and could end up in apolice station simply for showing up in the street.

"I had a case in which one was detained when she went out in the evening tobuy bread," Doganoglu said.

Prostitution is not a crime in Turkey, so the police use a law that providesfor fines for disturbing public order to pursue transsexual sex workers, sheexplained.

That the advocacy of conservative values by the governing Islamist-rootedJustice and Development Party (AKP) "is fostering the existing climate ofintolerance," she said.

Islam's impact on sexual freedoms, however, has proven to be a tricky issuein secular Turkey, where same-sex relationships and sex change operationsare allowed, unlike in many other Muslim countries, and homosexualtraditions can be traced back to the palaces of Ottoman sultans.



From Euro-Queer

Gays reject equality promoter, Dr Joel Edwards

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
From Times Online
January 21, 2008

Gay activists will tomorrow condemn the appointment ofopenly-Christian leader in the UK to the country's main equalitycommission and demand his resignation.

In a ten-page dossier to be published on its website, the Lesbian andGay Christian Movement calls for the head of the Evangelical Alliance,Dr Joel Edwards, to stand down as a member of the Equality and HumanRights Commission.

The commission, chaired by Trevor Phillips, was set up last Octoberunder the Equality Act 2006. Dr Edwards was appointed one of 14members in November as having "exceptional experience in the field ofequality and human rights." The commission's role is to achieve "afairer, more inclusive Britain" by promoting equality and human rightsacross society and providing back-up for discrimination legislation.The commission will also investigate the root causes of inequality inour society.

The movement's main concern outlined in the dossier, which is based onmaterial taken from the Alliance's own website, is that he shouldnever have been appointed in the first place. The dossier cites DrEdwards' stance on the Sexual Orientation Regulations and on civilpartnerships. The dossier also refers to some of the lobbying the EAhas done behind the scenes on such issues, and reflects concern in thegay community that as an insider, Dr Edwardds might be able to use hisposition on the Commission to lobby further.



From Euro-Queer

EU court set to rule on gay adoption

By Kieron Wood
Sunday Business Post, 20 January 2008

The European Court of Human Rights will rule this week whether the Frenchauthorities were right to refuse to allow a lesbian couple to adopt a child.The ruling will have an impact on gay adoption laws throughout Europe.

A woman identified as EB, a 45-year-old French nursery school teacher, hadbeen living with R, a psychologist, since 1990. In February 1998, EB appliedto the social services in the Alpine department of Jura to adopt a child.During the adoption process, she did not conceal her homosexuality or herlong-term relationship.

On the basis of reports by a welfare officer and a psychologist, theapplication was refused in November 1998 because of the absence of a"paternal reference" and by the "ambiguity" of R's attitude to the adoption.

The administrative court of Besancon overturned the decision in February2000. The appeal court in Nancy overruled that judgment, saying that therefusal to approve the adoption was not based on EB's life choice, so hadnot breached the European Convention on Human Rights.

EB appealed but, in June 2002, the Council of State decided that the Nancycourt had not based its decision on a point of principle about sexualorientation, but on the needs and interests of the child. EB appealed to theEuropean Court of Human Rights, claiming she had been given discriminatorytreatment.

The European region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, theAssociation of Parents and Future Parents of Gays and Lesbians and theBritish Agencies for Adoption and Fostering were given permission tointervene in the proceedings.

The decision will be delivered on Tuesday.


Inside Higher Education

Hunger Strike for Partner Benefits

Today will mark one week that Uri Horesh has gone without food in his questto pressure the University of Texas at Austin to provide health insuranceand other benefits to the partners of gay employees.

Horesh, a lecturer in Arabic, says that the university is violating its ownanti-discrimination policy, which states that the institution maintains "awork environment free from discrimination on the basis of sexualorientation." Horesh said that denying gay people benefits for theirpartners amounts to discrimination. The university notes that state law -made more restrictive in recent years as legislators have tried todemonstrate just how opposed they are to gay marriage - specifically barsstate institutions from providing family or spousal benefits to anyone notrecognized as a legal spouse or family member in Texas.

That argument is a cop-out, Horesh argues. If Georgetown University, whichmust contend with Roman Catholic leaders' opposition to gay relationships,can find a way to offer benefits that would help gay couples, so can Texas,he said. Just because legislators would object is no reason for theuniversity to discriminate, he said. "There are laws that promote bigotry,and they may be legal in the books, but they cannot be upheld by any moralstandard," he said.

Horesh warned Texas officials about his plans for a hunger strike at the endof the last semester. Last week, he kept up his normal teaching schedule -three sections of Arabic - while also attending meetings with universityleaders about the policy. He said he is drinking water and taking vitaminsbut will go without food until he collapses or sees the policy change. He isalso applying for jobs elsewhere - and has one offer from a private liberalarts institution that offers domestic partner benefits. While a gay employeegroup has been meeting for several years with university officials aboutthese issues, Horesh's hunger strike has attracted considerable attention inTexas newspapers and television stations.

As a single man, Horesh would not benefit in a financial way from theaddition of benefits, but he said that the absence of benefits sends amessage of inequality to him. And for many gay and lesbian employees atTexas, the lack of benefits does have a direct financial and health impact.

Dana Cloud is among them. She is an associate professor of communicationstudies and her partner is a Ph.D. student without health insurance. Whenher partner needed root canal and crowns last year, Cloud and her partnerput several thousand dollars of bills on credit cards that they are payingoff. Her partner hesitates to go to the doctor unless absolutely necessary.



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